This environmental initiative was organized, for the first time in Lebanon, by Upndownbeirut website’s founder Rita El-Hajj, in collaboration with the Rene Mouawad Foundation and in partnership with Mist Hotel & Spa Ehden.
Many ambassadors of different countries took part in this long eco-tourism day, including the ambassadors of Argentina, Belgium, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Nigeria, Cuba, Bangladesh and Indonesia, alongside the President of the Independence Movement MP Michel Mouawad, and many prominent figures from the area of Zgharta and Ehden, and a crowd of journalists.
The eco-tourism day started in the morning with the guests arriving at the Mist Hotel and Spa. They were welcomed by MP Michel Mouawad who invited them to “discover the beautiful touristic village, which is known for the hospitality of its people, and its ancient history that is full of championships.”
From the hotel, they headed to the Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve, where they were greeted by the director of the reserve, Sandra Kousa, who explained to the audience about the unique characteristics of the reserve.
In return, the ambassadors planted cedar trees in their names, promising to visit them annually. After touring the reserve, they visited the Church of Our Lady of the Fortress (Sayidet El-Hosn), which overlook the village and beyond, and they took photos of the scenic view.
At the end of the day, an honoring ceremony was held for the guests, where the Founder of Upndownbeirut, event organizer and Journalist Rita El-Hajj, welcomed them in a speech.
She stressed on “the importance of eco-tourism, which is now an industry and a science, as well as an integral part of sustainable tourism shedding light on the natural and cultural heritage of our civilization and our ancient history, in addition to the unique picturesque nature of Lebanon.”
On the occasion, minister Al-Jarrah delivered a small speech, thanking “all those who contributed to this beautiful trip” that gave him the opportunity to get to know Ehden.”
“It is true that we have some problems, but we have much more beauty,” Minister Al-Jarrah said. “Ehden is an area that must be visited by all Lebanese and it is an area known for its warm hospitality.”
The event concluded with the ambassadors receiving shields in the form of handmade cedar as a token of appreciation for their efforts in supporting tourism in all its forms.
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