Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. I’m sure you all heard the news three days ago, when Minister of Health Wael Abu Faour announced that one of Beirut’s principle grain silos allows for heavy exposure to rats and pigeons. The images on MTV news indicated dead rats, pigeons on the rafters, and raw sewage floating in the road in front of the storage apparatus. Interestingly, 4000 drivers are responsible for transporting the grain, and they do not have access to bathrooms.

I am going to take a moment to let the implications of this sink in.

What I found even more outrageous was the fact that the Moussa Khoury, the director of the grain silo, kept arguing that everything was alright even though the camera captured all of these violations. He tried to pretend that raw sewage was rain water from the day before, and that it smelled bad because it had “rotted.”  He kept insisting that the rats and pigeons were only in the areas surrounding the the silos, and not in the actual storage units. Even if that were true, having such animals which are heavy carriers of disease around grain is enough.

Moussa Khoury isn’t the first defender of disease in Lebanon. At the Karantina slaughterhouse, Dr. Zeineddine Hasan, the resident veterinarian, said that there was nothing wrong with the slaughtering process. The process he was referring to was one where animals were being dragged through their own feces and slaughtered in front of each other while fully conscious.

To those who perpetuate these sub-standard health conditions: stop trying to defend yourselves. Stop acting as though you are innocent, as though everything is alright, and that you have nothing to do with perpetuating disgustingly low hygiene conditions. Admit your ineptitude, your inability to safeguard clean conditions for food, your pathetic inability to do your job well, and apologize for the mayhem that you’ve created…perhaps you’ll be slightly redeemed. But to think that you mean to convince us that “everything is alright”..that’s upsetting. On the bright side, at least you are temporarily shut down.

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