Pascale Saad and Lara Debs, co-founders Green Cedar Lebanon, decided to support the Lebanese Army the only way they knew how – with jewelry.
“We owe it to the Army,” Saad said, explaining why they held the event Join Hands in Support of the Army at the Phoenicia Hotel Monday, where they sold custom-made jewelry inspired by the Lebanese Army, including bracelets for $75 apiece.
The bracelets, designed especially for the event, were decorated with cedar tree cutouts emblazoned with the Army’s signature camouflage colors. The company was founded in 2007 to help support reforestation, in response to Lebanon’s diminishing green spaces.
“The total amount made will be transferred to the Army as a donation,” Saad told The Daily Star, “because we believe in our Army and because we are proud of the sacrifices they are making.”
Saad, who was sporting Army camouflage pants, explained that she believes Lebanese used to take the military institution for granted.
Although she believes some still do, nevertheless she says she sees this mentality changing. “Now, there’s more consciousness about the role of the Army and its importance [to] Lebanon.”
Both Saad and Debs said they hope enough money will be raised by the event to help support the Army, adding that they want their new bracelets to increase interest, especially among high profile politicians and social figures.
Debs said the total amount garnered through sales at the event, which will be donated to the families of martyred soldiers, will be announced by Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi.
“What’s happening around us and the [overall] situation [is what prompted us to take action,]” explained Debs, who wore a shirt with the word “Army” in bold.
“When the Army defends us, it doesn’t think about whether it’s defending Muslims or Christians. It is fighting for all of us and we want to give [back] to all, this is the idea,” she said.
“It’s our Army … it’s sacrificing for us, [so] we sacrifice for them with the simplest thing,” said Ali Hammoud, a customer who was paying for his new bracelet. “This is the least we can do for it.”
“All of us [should] support any event that supports the Lebanese Army,” said Yousra Bustrous, who called the bracelet initiative encouraging. She said she believes that such activities are vital, especially since the Army is being subjected to various campaigns seeking to undermine its importance.
Whether it was a small or major event, Lebanese should express solidarity with the military institution whenever they can, Bustrous said.
“[Through these events] we’re showing politicians and others that we no longer believe in them, we believe in the military institution.”