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EcoVillage on Beirut’s Outskirts Highlights Challenges to Sustainable Tourism in Lebanon – September 25, 2013

“Back to nature” trips are recent developments aimed at cashing in on the global trend towards ecological tourism

A mere 18 miles outside Lebanon’s polluted, congested capital city, Beirut, lies EcoVillage — a haven for nature lovers who want to leave the smog of the city behind for at least a day or a weekend. Tucked away in a wooded mountain valley, EcoVillage is only accessible via a bumpy road that leads steeply downhill to the small self-sustained camp. Arriving visitors find themselves in a parallel-universe in stark contrast with the pretentious Beiruti lifestyle, where the greatest luxury is the choice of lodging — a mud hut, a wooden tree house, or a simple tent.

A veiw of the valleyPhoto by Vanessa Kellerhalsmore

by: Vanessa Kellerhals

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In the Midst of Conflict, a Lebanese Beach Provides an Oasis for Endangered Sea Turtles – July 30, 2013

Orange House Project seeks to increase environmental awareness among Lebanese

Every morning at dawn Mona Khalil walks down to the beach to check for traces of Mediterranean sea turtles, which climb ashore during the night to lay their eggs in the sand. The turtles have picked a very sensitive area for their progeny, as the beach lies right against the Lebanon-Israel border. Relations between the two countries have been tense for decades. In 2006, southern Lebanon was convulsed by a month-long war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah that left more than 1,000 people dead.

sea turtle photoAll photos by Vanessa KellerhalsFor the turtles, at least, the long-simmering conflict in… more

by: Vanessa Kellerhals

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