That light at the end of the tunnel?

It may be Lebanon’s Lira Solar Car.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Whilst being a cliché to some, this. pearl of wisdom is all too real to others. History tells us of the many inventions or discoveries which came to light during times of hardship. The lightbulb, telephone and basketball for example. Even gravity, which was discovered during the plague. So it should come as no surprise that an electric solar-powered car has emerged from the troubled state of Lebanon. It’s called the Lira Solar Car.

This is not the first of its kind in the Middle East. Towards the end of last year the UAE launched the Lightyear, manufactured by the Dutch company of the same name. But the Lira is local, from design to manufacture. It’s not pretty, but it will do the job in a turbulent energy infrastructure.  

The Lira is named for the Arab name for the Lebanese Pound. Lebanese residents  may raise an eyebrow or two over the name because the currency has collapsed. But Hicham Husami, the developer, insists its name will bring some real value back to the concept of Lira.

Necessity is the mother of invention

In an interview on Chinese TV Hicham, an industrialist, spoke of the necessity for ideas which will spark a revival of the country’s fortunes. He also talked about the indomitable will of the Lebanese people. The Solar-powered Lira is a manifestation of their resilience.

The Lira has a range of around 200 kilometres before it needs a recharge and only needs half an hour to bring it batteries back to full strength. That’s without sunlight, of course. It charges itself when there is sunlight. And sunlight is the one thing Lebanon has in abundance.

Husami’s experience in industrial manufacturing makes him a prime candidate to have conceived built the Lira. But it is his Lebanese nature that understands the need for such a vehicle for a population who are vulnerable to painfully high energy costs, amongst innumerable hardships.

Brene Brown, world famous Professor of human studies, once remarked in a now-famous TED Talks speech, “vulnerability may be the home of despair and uncertainty, but it is also the birthplace of creativity and invention”.

On that note, we at Inside Telecom wish Hicham Husami every success with the Lira.

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