Lebanese MP Hadi Hobeish Destroys A Forest In Akkar To Build His Villa

The saga of every single Lebanese official being above the law they’re supposed to safeguard continues. This time, the culprit is the prized son of Qobayet Hadi Hobeish, an MP with the Future Movement, who is destroying the beautiful nature of his hometown just so he can get road access to his mansion.

Qobayet – Hadi Hobeish’s village – is one of Lebanon and Akkar’s largest towns. It’s also famed for having one of Akkar’s most pristine and well-preserved green spaces, which is known as the Ammou’a. The following are pictures from that site and it’s as gorgeous as you can imagine:

It wouldn’t be hard to imagine MP Hobeish destroying these reserves as well if it meant having easier access to his mansion.

The irony starts with other inhabitants of the region being refused by the Lebanese government to have the privilege that it bestowed upon MP Hobeish in order for them to have access to their homes as well, forcing them to end up paying for long and winding roads instead.

What our parliament member did, however, was get the government to issue a decree (numbered 8880) which “legalized” a road through an entire hill in Qobayet upon which he wanted to build his mansion, with the approval of the ministries of environment and agriculture, of course.

The result of the destruction in pictures is as follows:

 

The above document from the Ministry of Agriculture allowed the MP to cut down: 295 pine trees, 578 Oak trees and 55 Pistacia trees. All of the trees that he was allowed to cut down were thousands of years old. The fact of the matter is, however, that he didn’t only cut down those but he destroyed thousands more in order to build his mansion and make the road as efficient as possible.

The end result is a Lebanese MP getting what he wants, destroying an entire forest in doing so, and the Lebanese government not only letting him do that but almost rolling down the red carpet for such an atrocity to take place.

Hadi Hobeish pretends to want what’s best for his hometown, which is why he throws around annual summer festivals bringing in Lebanese singers who wouldn’t visit that area otherwise. When the attention cools down, however, he proceeds to do what everyone else does and bend the laws at his will, destroy whatever he can destroy in order for him to have his way.

Not only did MP Hobeish destroy the forest, but he did it using governmental money because the decree stipulated that the road needed to be done for “public reasons.”

The road only leads to his house.

Welcome to the jungle.

If we had lived in a slightly more civilized country, an MP committing such a scandal wouldn’t only end up with him being forced to resign, it ends up with him being thrown in jail. Not only is the area that MP Hobeish destroyed extremely ecologically important, but it’s also one of Lebanon’s remaining few places of preserved forest lands.

This is yet another disgrace to add to the constant transgressions by Lebanese officials, especially Northern ones, to the land they’re supposed to upkeep. The sadder part is that you have Walid Joumblat vacationing in Europe, tweeting all kinds of pictures making fun of how Lebanon pales in comparison to the countries he’s visiting, while his own minister approved the eradication of a huge forest in his home country.

Jumblat Tweet

The most heartbreaking part about all of this is that nothing can be done. It’s a circle of mafia that enables each other, benefitting from the fact that it can never be challenged, as it pretends to run a country.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Lebanese MP Hadi Hobeish Destroys A Forest In Akkar To Build His Villa

  1. Pingback: Lebanese MP Hadi Hobeish Destroys A Forest In Akkar To Build His Villa | A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  2. When a government, MPs, politicians, and judges are involved in a project how can we expect a positive result from a protest or media?
    Lebanon is rotting from inside out.

    Reply
  3. There’s something in the Lebanese mindset that wants to cut down trees. My late dad, a kind and thoughtful man even fell into that mindset. We had a gorgeous oak tree in my back yard that I loved as a child. He cut it down because it generated too many leaves in the autumn. I counted the tree rings on the stump after he took it down. There were something like 120 rings. I felt awful like we really did something wrong by taking that tree down because it simply inconvenient.

    Here where I live in New England and in many areas of the world there us the concept known as “old growth forest” where forest has been undisturbed for at least the last 150 years. It’s very difficult to legally touch those areas to say the least.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old-growth_forest?wprov=sfla1

    Reply
    • That’s interesting. I have come across something similar in Turkey. I cannot speak for Lebanon, but I think in Turkey it may have something to do with the speed of urbanization over the last seventy years, which has seen a predominantly rural population turn into city dwellers over a single generation. This seems to have resulted in a general feeling that ‘modernity’ involves distancing the natural world. Add to that the Islamic insistence on cleanliness as being next to Godliness, and you have a recipe for an urban population who are happy to reduce the natural to a few mosque gardens, the trees in graveyards and the occasional sanitized park with concrete walkways wide enough to get a car down.
      That is, of course, a generalization (and therefore generally true!), but I also know many urban people who do not share this view in Turkey and who are in fact fighting with great courage to protect their natural environment. And it must be remembered that nearly half the population still lead extremely rural lives, and really understand how to live within their own natural landscape.

      Needless to say, there are striking similarities between the story of this Lebanese villa and that of the new Presidential Palace in Ankara…

      Reply
  4. Terrible but not surprising at all! Come check out Hazmieh or Brasilia area which is full of dirty politicians and now we have the wonderful Achour and Jabber developers destroying beautiful greenery to build ugly apartment cement blocks in hopes of selling them for millions. You guessed it they bribed the municipality in Hazmieh to look the other way so that they can build whatever the hell they want. Across from my house is a container which I’m sure is illegaly placed with a Syrian family taking care of the construction site. By the way no one knows who is working on the project because there’s no sign for it hmm…sketchy right? Apparently the whe building has been sold to one family from the south. Sound familiar? Well of course it should! Biri and his lovely buddies invading this neighborhood. Imagine the developers flew all the way to Brazil to buy the land in Brasilia so they can squeeze 5 apartment blocks into a land that barely fits 2. I hope they all go to hell and burn there because this Mafiosa government won’t leave unless they die but oh wait their kids will take over so that doesn’t help. Lebanon is becoming a land filled with cement blocks blocking each other so if your neighbor goes to the bathroom you will hear them flush. Perfect example is Dahye where everyday I see people from there driving around looking to move out of there. Big question I have is why not build in the South since there is so much land there but I guess everyone wants to live in good old Beirut…ahh so cozy (not).

    Reply
  5. MP Hadi Hobeish is a relic of our bygone Ottoman Past.

    Thank you for writing this article. When I first saw the road I was horrified. No one in Kobayet’s history has done such harm to the environment there.

    What your article did not mention is the reaction by the people and municipality and the location of his mansion.

    There is a central hill in Kobayet with no houses. It stands prominently and can be seen from most of the town, including its entrance from the south. On top of it is a cross. This is where Hadi built his house… just meters below from the cross, I hope you get the implied message: I’m just a little lower than a god but above you all.

    Kobayet did everything it could to prevent the construction of the road. This permit that he obtain was done to spite the people of kobayet. Your picture does not show the bridge that was constructed to cross the small wadi that runs by the main road and separates that hill from it. The size of this concrete bridge is completely disporpotional to it’s purported function. It’s like he used a bulldozer to build a sand castle.

    Finally, the problem with all this is that many Kobayet people owe their government jobs to the guy. That’s the catch22 system of Lebanon. They give bread crumbs and make the people completely dependent on them while they perpetuate this corrupt system, get filthy rich and live above the law.

    At best, this is totally unsustainable.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s