Just when you thought Lebanon couldn’t slip further and further into the abyss, what with the recent bombing in southern Beirut and the kidnapping of the two Turkish pilots. Unfortunately, such happenings have been part of Lebanon’s rather “eclectic” repertoire for some time, so the news of these came as no surprise to me. But sometime last week some very bizarre news-even by Lebanon’s standards-came up and caused me to even question my own sanity.
William Tawk, son of former deputy Gebrak Tawk, has decided to take the obscenity (those who have attended at least one know what I’m talking about) of Lebanese weddings to a whole new extreme…by bulldozing and pretty much terraforming the land near the cedars of Bcherreh, northern Lebanon. Let me repeat that: Tawk has ordered the area around the oldest trees in the country to be damaged, possibly beyond repair, thereby leading to the likely destruction of the cedars themselves. Just so he can add something to his collection of things to show off about, typical of the locals who have way too much money and time to spend. Now I don’t know much about Mr. Tawk, but I assume that given his status and family he would at least have received a decent education in his time, thus affording him some sense and intelligence so as to hold his wedding somewhere more suitable and friendly to Lebanon’s national-freaking-symbol.
This, unfortunately, is one of the many problems Lebanon faces besides the obvious political and sectarian issues we all know and love to hate: the sheer lack of concern or respect towards the environment. People used to talk about “Lebnen al akhdar”, or “Lebanon the green”, but the more time goes by green is giving way to grey, and that cannot be allowed to happen. Unfortunately those responsible for this have more money and connections than the rest of us, but somewhere in the mold there exist those who genuinely understand the significance of and care about this country’s natural beauty. Despite the ever-increasing conflagration this country’s slipping further and further into, I think there’s still some hope at preserving what nature remains in this place. Who knows, maybe it could lead to better things in the long run, far-fetched as that sounds.
Helluva something to write about after a long hiatus, but it’s good to be back. To everyone else in Lebanon, stay safe but have fun.
Y’all take care now