Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. I would provide you with so many excuses…but I suspect that we are used to hearing excuses from our politicians. We don’t need to do it to each other.

I’m sure you’ve all read Robert Fisk’s latest article–‘For once in the Middle East, a single Arab nation is solely responsible for the destruction of its land and heritage.’ In case you haven’t, it’s right here: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/lebanon-countryside-destruction-tourism-villas-lakes-mountains-a8393126.html

It’s telling us what we have already known for years–that our land developers are pillaging our land and destroying it. We have been happy to sit on our hands and do nothing about it–well, to be fair, we do complain about it. We whine as to why no one cares. And go about our own way, not even realizing that it’s our country too, and if we want something changed–then it is our job. Like it or not.

Perhaps predictably, much of this illegal rock quarrying can be traced back to either government officials or affiliates, a peculiar subset of people upon whom the rule of law does not seem to apply. Through a cocktail of cynicism, ennui,  disinterest, and yes, fear–we simply turn our heads the other way–not only concerning environmental matters, either. Only 46% of eligible Lebanese voted in the elections–an all time low. If anything, this indicates our demoralization,  and the silent acknowledgement that we are so disconnected from our country that we have little fight left.

When you think about it, we’ve participated in warfare, protests, elections, and limited coordinated activity between civil society groups. And yet, we are still not able to meet our most basic needs. It’s no surprise that we turn our backs on our country. We don’t see that it is our job to take care of it, not the reverse.

More to the point though–we need to hold those perpetuating these environmental massacres (yes, I am using this phrase–and with no apology, either) accountable. We can do it through the law, withdrawal of popular support, public humiliation, or whatever political currency we have left. How bad to things have to get before we realize that we can only emigrate and leave for so long? How bad do things have to become before the realization that we are destroying the only home we have? What has to happen?

 

 

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