A new dam is threatening one of the Middle East’s most biodiverse regions
JANNAH, Lebanon — At the bottom of a lush valley between rocky peaks of Mount Lebanon, strawberry farmer John Abu Akar may be the last man standing in the path of a dam project worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But he has a few tricks up his sleeve.
When a minister’s motorcade of tinted-window SUVs rolled through his village in 2012 to announce the multinational project, Abu Akar sabotaged the signs directing visitors to the location of a press conference so they pointed instead down the gravel path leading to his farm. Around 10 black American-model vehicles soon pulled in; security agents jumped out and confronted Abu Akar. Unaware that they were in the wrong place, they demanded he move his car from where it was parked in front of his house. They told him they worked for Gebran Bassil, one of Lebanon‘s most prominent politicians and the dam’s chief proponent. Read more…
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