The “Eternal Love Forest – Loop” was inaugurated in Kfardebian on Sunday, at the invitation of the “Green Cedar of Lebanon Association” headed by Pascal Choueiri Saad, with the participation of Caretaker Ministers Walid Nassar, Mohammad Wissam Al-Murtada, Walid Fayyad, Ali Hamieh, Amin Salam, George Boushkian and Johnny Corm, as well as Caretaker Information Minister Ziad Al Makari’s representative, Elissar Naddaf, and Caretaker Environment Minister Nasser Yassin’s representative, Saad Elias, alongside Deputies Nada Al-Bustani and Salim Al-Sayegh and a number of prominent figures from the region.
A welcome musical reception was performed by a folkloric band to the beat of the famous Lebanese song, “Ahla Bhal Taleh”, which represents the slogan of the national campaign by the Ministry of Tourism for the Summer 2022 Season.
In his word during the event, the Tourism Minister indicated that “this is not the first environmental initiative carried out by the Green Cedar Association of Lebanon, and its symbolism lies in the future, meaning that each of us ministers returns to visit the cedar that we have planted, see how it grows, and tell our children and grandchildren about it…This is our continuity and adherence to our roots and land…”
With the summer season coming to an end, Nassar assured that the Ministry of Tourism continues to cater to initiatives that reflect Lebanon’s beautiful, cultural and civilized facets. He said: “On Thursday, August 25, under the patronage of His Excellency Minister of Information Ziad Al-Makari, we will launch the ‘recreational and cinematic tourism’ from Beirut, the capital of culture and civilizations. This is a major project that Lebanon will witness, rendering it on the map of “recreational, cultural and cinematic tourism” with the participation of Lebanese capabilities and talents present in all the neighboring Arab countries.”
Nassar added: “The other tourism initiative is in sports. During our recent visit as a delegation commissioned by His Excellency the President of the Republic to the State of Qatar, we negotiated with the Prime Minister and those responsible for the World Championship that will be organized in Qatar in order to work on sports tourism, and not just the transmission of football matches…I will give you a number that will surprise you, namely that the number of Lebanese who have bought tickets to attend football matches in Qatar has reached 32,000 Lebanese to-date, other than the Lebanese who hold foreign passports…Tomorrow, I am heading to Cyprus to meet the Cypriot Minister of Tourism, and we seek, within the autumn and sports tourism, to attract more than 5,000 Lebanese to stay in Lebanon for about 16 days, and to secure a charter flight to Qatar.”
On another note, Nassar renewed his call, “from the heights of Kesrouan to the Minister of Public Works, whose relentless efforts were witnessed last winter in the harshest conditions in terms of securing the opening of roads and fuel for mechanisms, asking him to accord this touristic region his attention, especially with regards to ski tourism.”
Touching on the new government formation issue, Nassar said: “On behalf of the cabinet ministers and myself, we appeal to His Excellency Prime Minister Mikati and His Excellency the President of the Republic to sit together as we sit here with each other with affinity and respect…so that they can try to form a new government as soon as possible…one that is capable and able to manage the crises before the winter season, and to administer the recovery plan and some constitutional entitlements.”
Afterwards, the partaking ministers began planting cedars carrying their names before moving to the “Artists’ Forest”, where the names of artists and painters participating in the “Draw Me a Cedar” Exhibition were labeled on some cedar trees.
A number of cabinet ministers, including Culture Minister Al-Murtada, affirmed that the current government “has transcended all differences and is united, as its ministers share affinity together despite the variances sometimes in politics.”