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Shakespeare said, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”

In Lebanon, well… Where do I begin?

One of the most basic signs of God’s gift of love to mankind is Nature, the haven of peace …the kind that revitalizes the human soul.
Consider the natural site of a vivid blue sea view, and what effect it could have on a human being struck by an overwhelming feeling of grief or shock, as he stands a few meters away and watches its divine healing powers, which are unfortunately being weakened by the dumping of toxic and radioactive wastes in the sea….
What about this– amidst the insufferable, suffocating solar heat, an angelic, light breezy whisper suddenly reminds us that there is still someone up, voting for us to maintain the haven of peace, merciful enough to allow a tender, tiny breeze absorb in seconds the attacking heat of Beirut. That was imposed by some men’s vanity, as their ignorant cruelty cut down the green, beautiful trees surrounding the city’s space. That breeze reminds us of God’s love and patience in the face of mankind’s impetuous behavior and immaturity….
Have you noticed that we no longer have four equivalent seasons? Or how aggressively and unmercifully the Sun’s rays are striking our skins with their angry, boiling stings during the early months of the year?
And I ask, during the upcoming years, will a cup of pure, distilled water turn into an unaffordable luxury rather than an attainable, acquired right for all humans?

Will those who are less privileged economically be able once a month to sink their teeth into a freshly-made green salad with a variety of vegetables? Will they be able to preserve their right to live a healthy life?
Will fresh fruits and vegetables, not canned or otherwise preserved, remain accessible to all of mankind, and particularly to the Lebanese, who remain casual observers rather than considerate activists who are eager to develop the agricultural sector?

For instance, I cannot imagine anyone gloating on social media with snapshots or selfies depicting a portrait of a person holding an expensive cup of a freshly squeezed mixture of tender fruits! Or a picture taken of someone eating a fresh, well-made salad with the deliciously included green and other tasty kinds of vegetables!
This is expected to appear in the coming few years.
Has anyone noticed that rainy days have decreased all too many during Lebanese winters?
Has anyone noticed that the seasons have been reduced to basically two main seasons: winter and summer?
Once we lose our Mother Nature, we suddenly become old men and women, rotten, left to wither and die from inside out….
Natural resources are slowly becoming a far-fetched asset to people, humanity….
Respect and reciprocity is the key to every relationship.
So why is mankind so inconsiderate and forgetful with regard to the ethical, environmental respect that should be shown for Mother Nature?

When children wrongfully upset their mothers, they turn sour and teach harsh lessons, and some of these lessons leave eternal marks….
Yes, experience is a brutal teacher, and by God, it teaches you, and it definitely teaches humanity. Do we want Mother Nature to ever lose its temper towards us?
People, you think that you have it all made– diplomas, millions, great families… what about your natural environment?
Today I have the privilege of writing to you, because I still believe in the goodness of mankind, and in the goodness of the genuine Lebanese citizens, who are bound by the obligation to save Lebanon and the greenery with which God has blessed our country– Lebanon, once upon a time known as “The Green Country of the Middle East.”

I believe that together we can turn the myth back into a reality.
Friends, we are at war with Time!
The clock is ticking …Just like a human body giving the needed signals for the doctor to check before its total collapse, the clock is ticking towards, God forbid, “Nature’s downfall.”

We fight back. We mirror our enemy… we fight time with time dedicated from our own time.
All that we need to do as Lebanese is to please dedicate a bit of time together, to fight the Time that is leading us to our inevitable ruin!
Do the right thing … it is embedded in our DNA.
Just as our fingerprints are engraved on Lebanese Nature, incriminating us for our inconsiderateness towards Nature.

We must have an environment-oriented conscience before the environment reaches an irrevocable state in which all efforts would be too late.

Get out of that role and GO BEYOND … Beyond the already cartooned roles and expected behaviors, and against all odds, rise up, object, and fight
Fight with reason and construction against rage and destruction.
Fight with love for the Green of Lebanon, like no other because you can, because you have to, because Time is against us all….
It is time to unite.
It is time to act.
It is time to join.
It is time to undo the unthinkable before it becomes the irrevocable, with its unforgiving lessons and harmful effects upon Mother Nature.
Freely, you have been given all of the goodness and graces of Nature.
Now it is your turn to freely give back, by preserving, protecting, and safeguarding your country.

By Noor El Hashem