Tuesday, September 8, 2015

We urgently need to open our eyes

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The “National Dialogue” – commonly known as tawlet el-hiwar – politicians are planning to hold on Wednesday, needs to happen. And it needs to have only one item on its agenda: resolving the garbage crisis before the rain starts.

During this “Dialogue”, all proposals available to date should be carefully studied and discussed. Representatives of environmental groups should be present to explain the different solutions they propose.

A maximum time limit of three days should be set for that tawlet el-hiwar to reach an agreement on a viable solution for both the short and long term.

This solution / plan should then be presented and explained in details to the Lebanese public opinion, while the urgent implementation of its short-term application should start immediately.

In order to ensure transparency, an independent body composed of members of civil society, the judiciary and the Central Bank should oversee the application of the long-term plan.

Rather than protesting against this “National Dialogue”, that’s what we should all be demanding.

Demanding resignations and elections is great. But if the garbage remains and the rain starts, the damage will be irreversible. Our underground water will be poisoned. Which means everything we eat, touch or wear will be poisoned.

If that happens, how will the resignation of such and such minister change a thing? What will be the point of holding any election? To ague about which sectarian community suffers more? Or who to beg for money to build extra hospitals and cemeteries?

We all need to immediately stop what we’re doing and open our eyes. This is a matter of life and death. And the solution is in our hands, and in our hands only. People and politicians alike.

The tawlet el-hiwar needs to happen. And it needs to have only one item on its agenda: resolving the garbage crisis before the rain starts. This should be the sole demand of any responsible citizen. And every political party, every union and every NGO should unequivocally support it.

Anything else is a call for mass suicide and the slow destruction of Lebanon.

It’s truly time we open our eyes.


© Claude El Khal, 2015

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