The Beirut network celebrated its 2nd anniversary on the 21st of this month. “I’m glad to see it surviving two winters so far” network founder Stefano explained to IRC-Junkie. “Definitely it has become the main middle eastern IRC network today. But it wasn’t easy”. The event was celebrated in Beirut with toast, dinner, champagne, cakes and fireworks on a party with 164 people.
The network was founded after Stefano was experiencing problems on the former network of his choice Undernet. “I had a big channel on undernet.. #beyrouth with an average of 130 users sized and the channel site was 2000 members within one year only and 1500 profiles with photos.. I noticed that all these people had to do nothing with undernet but joined there just because of our friendship and atmosphere.”
As the channel grew also the problems grew: flooding, multiple users on a single IP causing innocent users being Glined, users without an ISP email so they could not register a username, etc. “So at the end I got sick of the situation, having a dozen of complaints of users everyday not able to join irc … so I thought its much better if I provide my own services and server so at least we could halt the lame ones.. And truly it has worked.”
The network is also a bridge between different cultures that are not always on friendly terms in the middle east: “I am proud and glad that on our network you may find a user with a nickname Israeli, and another with hamas for example, or hezbolla and Americans and Finnish and Germans.. and all together chatting in the same room and in peace.”
The friendly chat environment has not gone entirely unnoticed. Even an Israeli newspaper has written an article about the network.