This article first appeared on the Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.lebanon on 30 Jun 1996
INTRODUCTION & LEBANON'S ENVIRONMENT
My name is Fareed Abou-Haidar. I discovered this newsgroup a couple of weeks ago and decided to join in. I studied at International College and got my B.S. in Agriclulture at AUB. I moved from Beirut in 1984 and now live in Mesa, Arizona. My main activity is hiking; I go out almost every weekend. This is a big change from Lebanon where my hiking was very limited after 1975 because of the war.
After "lurking" for a while, I have noticed that the newsgroup has a very important topic largely missing: the *environmental problems* of Lebanon. A lot of you may have been outside Lebanon for a long time and don't realize how bad things are back home. (I was last there in Summer '95.) Therefore, I have decided to post mini environmental "newsletters" every now-and-then (perhaps once a week to 10 days) discussing various environemental problems, as well as hiking opportunities in Lebanon. (Yes, there are alternatives to beaches, shopping and restaurants in Lebanon!) *I will avoid politics entirely.*
WHAT TO DO:
Contact the authorities (such as the Ministry of the Environment) and express your disgust, especially you folks living in Lebanon. Write letters to the editors of the newspapers. Al-Nahar seems to be especially in favor of saving Lebanon's environment, as they have published my Letters to the Editor and even photographs I have sent them. (That includes one of the hill near Bshamoun, discussed in the previous issue of LebEnv.) I am sure many other newspapers share an equally sympathetic view. I have written many letters to the newspapers concerning environmental issues, both when I was living in Lebanon and, more recently, during visits. Also, get in touch with the many environmental organizations in Lebanon, especially if you see something new that they might not know about. I gave information about some of them in a previous issue of LebEnv; I will repeat the info every now and then in future issues.