The area in question is called the Hill of the Cross (Tallet el Salib) and it was sold to Saudi prince Mokran Ben Abdel Aziz Abdul Rahman Al Saoud.
Tallet el Salib is a huge forest, rich in its flora and fauna. It contains many rare species of mammals and birds that use the millenary forest as shelter. As you can see from the above map, it overlooks the Mediterranean sea. It is in the region of Dlebta, close to Harissa.
The selling of this huge piece of land requires governmental approval to be fulfilled. MP Abi Nasr has said the Saudi embassy put pressure on the government and the Prime Minister in order to allow the transaction to proceed.
No matter how much we talk against this, when it comes to the powers at play in the matter of land purchases in Lebanon we stand powerless. Soon enough, the trees of the area will be cut down in order to make use of them. The winter of the area is especially harsh and wood for the fireplace is needed. The animal species of the forest will, therefore, disappear. And then the construction will start to turn whatever greenery that remains of the Harissa mountain into a massive concrete jungle. The people in the are won’t be able to afford housing in the newly built apartments. Those that can afford housing won’t have anything to do with the area.
Where were the other MPs of Keserwen when the deal regarding this land was being struck and tailored? They’ve already started their 2013 electoral campaign with bulletins on certain bridges in Jounieh. But when it comes to true work, instead of shouting up and down about how Christians are threatened and how they are defending “us,” there’s not much there.
I don’t see any of the Christians constantly worrying about losing foothold in Lebanon do anything when it comes to selling their land. In fact, they are more than glad to make a few millions, get out of the country, and nag about how they are losing influence. Hypocrisy much? You bet. But that’s how many Lebanese Christians have always been.
Where’s the Maronite Church which has been so worried about people selling the land in its regions of influence? Why doesn’t it help those that end up selling because they absolutely need to? Why doesn’t it stop those selling because of greed? Doesn’t it have enough money and influence to counter whatever offers and pressure the government is facing?
The situation is beyond despicable. I know this firsthand because the real estate market, even in my Batrouni hometown, has prices going through the roof and people coming from places you didn’t know existed to buy lands which you had previously thought useless. This is not paranoia. This is reality.
It’s high time those preaching stop doing so and start acting. I don’t have millions on me to help but if I were one of the billionaire Christians of Lebanon, I’d start splurging not on Maybachs and Maserattis but on the only reason we can call Lebanon home.