Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. I had an interesting  conversation today about Lebanon and our patriotic duties. I’d like to share it with all of you.

I will not disclose the sect of the person I was having a conversation with. However, when discussing environmental issues, this gentleman said, “we do not pollute. It’s the other side that pollutes. In any case, it doesn’t affect us; we don’t live next to them. Why are you worried about pollution? Your job is protect your family and your religious sect’s interest.”

Lebanon, this is bigotry. There is pollution everywhere, from Saida, to Zahle, to Beirut, to Jounieh…everywhere. Beyond this, pollution anywhere in the country affects all of us. The garbage that falls into the sea affects us all; doesn’t the water move, and don’t we all eat its fish? The air, water, and soil pollution that is produced from landfills affects all of us; doesn’t the air move, and don’t we all inhale it? This is a NATIONAL problem, not a Christian one or a Muslim one. In talking about Lebanon, we tend to discuss what we think is best for our religious group. Have your Christian or Muslim rights EVER gotten you anywhere? Have they improved the amount of electricity you get? Have they improved your standard of living? Have they ensured your clean air, your clean sea? Even outside of the environment…have these rights raised your minimum wage, have they ensured your safety, have they ensured law, order, and accountability? Have the emphasis on your religious community’s rights gotten you ANYWHERE? No, they haven’t. Instead, they have plunged us into wars and chronic political tension. And yet, we fail to define ourselves as Lebanese and view our national problems through sectarian lenses anyway.

The emphasis on the rights of religious communities has actually reduced our standard of living. We now have 800 illegal landfills that give out toxic  gases and contaminate our water and soil because we are too petty to create solid waste management plants that will service the garbage of those of a different religion. Owing to our emphasis on the rights of religious communities, we are not treating our garbage and prefer to live in it instead. Does this system work for you? 

Lebanon, the condition of the environment is not to be blamed on one religious group. This is a problem that affects all of us as Lebanese, and we as Lebanese need to come together and solve it. We can do it if we want to!!

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