Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. If you’ve been following the news, then you know that laws that protect women and children from domestic violence have been passed recently. This is an enormous step for women in our country–well done! Organizations such as KAFA, Nasawiya, and others rallied and pushed parliamentarians for years in order for this legislation to pass. It finally happened. We are the second Arab country to do this, the first being Tunisia. This is a rare gem of good news!

Women are typically among the most vulnerable members of our population, and yet enough were able to rally, organize politically, and get legislation passed that protects them. Notice anything that we could learn from this? 

My fellow Lebanese, this example proves to us that we can be effective. How often have women been discouraged from participating politically, or have been told that religious institutions will discourage such legislation to pass? They came through, they organized, and they did it anyway. Those of us who are environmentalists should follow their example.

My fellow Lebanese, if we want to improve our country, if we want to breathe better air, if we want our once-pristine coastline to be clean again, if we want “Lebanon the Green” to flourish, if we want our agricultural sector to grow, if we want our waste properly disposed, if we want proper urban planning to take place, then we need to organize. We need to be effective. We need to be loud, we need to be clear, and indicate that we will not go away until effective laws are passed and enforced. We shrug our shoulders saying “this is Lebanon.” You know what? This is Lebanon. It is our home, it is where we live, and we treat it like the dumpster that it is not. 

The strong Lebanese women who helped make these laws happen command my respect, and should serve as an example for us environmentalists. They have proven that we can make a cause that is usually dismissed central, and make it happen. We can do it if we want to, Lebanon!!!