About 15 minutes south of Saida is a small coastal Lebanese town in the South called Adloun. Most of us hadn’t heard of it before, but it’s actually one of the longest inhabited areas in our country with evidence pointing to human activity there around 70,000BC; it’s a little town filled with prehistoric caves and Phoenician ruins.
And those are not even what make it special.
Being a coastal town, Adloun has one of the few remaining beaches in the area that have not been privatized yet, and is now being actively destroyed by Lebanon’s government.
According to this study, the governmental project will affect the following areas of the beach:
- The location of the prehistoric caves,
- The location of an ancient Phoenician port,
- The location of ancient Phoenician ruins and ornaments.
And, because that is not enough, our government will also do a little of land reclamation, effectively killing off one of the last remaining habitats for sea turtles in Lebanon, as well as affecting the ecology of the entire area with its diverse plants.
What is this governmental project that our government has been hell-bent for years to do, and are currently doing as you can see by the following pictures?
They are building a port that is bigger than that of Saida and Sour, in a town that houses far less people, none of whom are fishermen who operate boats in the first place.
So what will the purpose of that port be? It’s going to be turned into a “touristic” yacht docking site for those who can afford yachts in the first place and who want to come to the area for visits. The town’s mayor says that is not the case. What is true, however, is that the port is officially named after “Nabih Berri.” Maybe our speaker of parliament wants a place closer to home to dock his boat?
As it is with Lebanon, the project is also riddled with corruption. The bidding process for the project was canceled once because the initial prices were deemed unacceptable before finally hiring Khoury Contracting at a fee around 1.66 million dollars higher than the one they offered in the initial bidding. I guess the ministry in question felt generous?
On January 15th, 2016, Khoury Contracting sent its bulldozers to the beach and started work without prior notification. They’re currently establishing access to the beach by digging up a road for more bulldozers to come and finish what’s already started.
Who Cares About Sea Turtles And Phoenician Stuff Anyway?
Good job Lebanon’s government. Those sea turtles can always find another country to go and become unwanted pests in. Those plants? Who needs them. It’s not like ecology or the environment matter anyway. Phoenicia? Do we really want some Lebanese to further cling to that unwanted part of our history?
Keeping a free beach for the people of the area to visit? Who’d want that as well, bring in the money!
Let them destroy the beach. Let them destroy everything as they’ve done to the country for years now. They’ve actively destroyed countless similar sites before, why not this one too? It’s not like anything is relevant when you have the prospects of a port named after a politician!
Let them destroy the beach. It’s better for that beach and for that heritage not to see how abysmal the country our ancestors called home has become à la famous saying: عين لا ترى، قلب لا يوجع.
For a government that has shown repeatedly how apt it is at failing, it should come as no wonder that they’d not only do such a thing but also make sure that it passes by unnoticed.
For a government and people that went up in a fit about the destruction of heritage at the hands of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, how is this any difference? Or does our own history not matter enough because it’s not called Palmyra?
There has been no back to back coverage for Adloun’s heritage. Is it not juicy enough for Lebanon’s media because it cannot be spun into attractive بالصور and بالفيديو headlines?
Among the many travesties taking place in the country today, this is a massacre of heritage and environment. The sad part is? It’s too late to do anything now.
Say bye to the turtles; say bye to that ancient site. They were present in a country that didn’t deserve them anyway.