Tag Archive: economy


Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. If you have been following the news regularly, then I’m sure that you are well aware that the international tribunal pertaining to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik el-Hariri is underway. I am sure you are aware of the car bomb explosion in Hermel which killed 5 people. I’m sure you are aware that our economic growth is at 1% when it should actually be at 6% or higher. I’m sure you know all of this. We are flooded with such news every day.

However…has anyone noticed that we are experiencing a drought? Moreover, has anyone noticed that this drought was predicted years ago? 

Usually, Lebanon is one of the few countries that experiences regular rainfall during winter. This year, it has only drizzled a handful of times. This means that our crops are not going to produce a fruitful harvest. While we used to be able to provide enough food for our own people, we might not be able to do so this year. Typically, water-harvesting or rain-harvesting safeguards against these occurrences, but we have not been doing so. We will experience food shortages (much less be able to export our products) sooner than we ever expected. 

My fellow Lebanese, our poor choices of policy have led us here, with no safeguard against drought. Our improper farming methods having lead to more unwanted consequences: soil erosion, depletion of underground water resources, and water pollution. We do not utilize appropriate irrigation techniques, we over-use pesticide and fertilizer to a degree where our land becomes infertile, and more.  Our once abundant land is now in danger, and we are not even paying attention to it. 

Fortunately, there are ways which we can fight this. We need to improve water management, carefully monitor our use of fertilizers and pesticides, and ensure that our agricultural land is being used appropriately. Lebanon, just because this emergency is quiet does not mean that it is any less urgent. We are in danger, my fellow Lebanese.

 

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Hello, my fellow Lebanese. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Have you noticed something unusual about our summer? Something strange?

Far fewer tourists than usual.

This is due to many reasons. The political instability that has swarmed Lebanon and the political instability that has engulfed the entire region, would understandably turn people off of coming to visit. However, this has had devastating effects on our country and economy. Lebanon is a country that derives its income from tourism, services, and the like. To witness a decline in one of our most revenue-generating sectors is scary, particularly as this is coming at a time when we have a new and fragile government and a precarious situation domestically, regionally, and internationally. What can bring tourists, business, and money back into Lebanon?

Eco-tourism. If we invest in rehabilitating our environment, we can do it. Lebanon is famous for its snowy slopes, its beautiful beaches, and its lush forests. This fame is decreasing, given how we have let the environmental situation slide. This has gone far enough. If we rehabilitate our land by planting trees, recycling, using rain-harvesting and sources of renewable energy, reduce our waste, and find better ways of waste management, much of our beautiful country will return. We were known as “Lebanon the Green” and “The Paris of the Middle East.” Ours was the main tourist attraction of the Middle East. More and more tourists are going to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Mind you, they do not have the natural attractions that we have. They don’t have the natural ski slopes, the nature reserves, the historical sites, and the rich culture. We do. But we don’t use it…we’ve abused it.

Lebanon, we need to put our assets to good use. If we rehabilitate and market our environment, we could rejuvenate our tourism sector and inject money into our economy. Ours is a beautiful country. Naturally, after having endured so much struggle over the past years we are tired, angry, poorer than we used to be, and almost want to give up. But now is the time for us to think about how to turn this trend around. We the Lebanese are known for our resilience. There is benefit in improving our environment on every level, both for it and for us. It would improve our health, improve our economy, and considering sources of renewable energy would allow us more economic and political independence. We can only improve our situation by rehabilitating and protecting our environment.

My fellow Lebanese, we can do it. I know that you love this country as much as I do, and want to see our situation improve. We can do it if we want to!