The majestic Valley of The Saints has been in need of urgent restoration in various areas. Luckily, UNESCO just received from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) half a million euros for that purpose.
In an event on Friday, coinciding with the celebration of St. Marina’s Day, said to be the first proclaimed Lebanese saint, the launching of a project to restore four of these ancient sites was announced.
Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai toured the heritage sites in the Qadisha Valley alongside MP Sethrida Geagea who announced the launching of religious tourism.
“Today, we launch religious tourism so that our people can remain rooted in their land, preserving it and their dignity,” announced MP Geagea.
“We will not leave our land and we will remain in Lebanon for which we have made the most precious sacrifices.”
“With Patriarch El-Rai, we will complete our resistance and our steadfastness until we build a free, sovereign, and independent country,” she added.
“We all have become beggars without dignity and this is not Lebanon, and it does not reflect Muslims nor Christians; the neutrality of Lebanon benefits everyone and we will not stop demanding it.”
Patriarch Al-Rai has recently accused politicians of selfishness and thinking only of their own vested interests, rather than the citizens.
He has been calling for Lebanon’s neutrality, a topic that has become popular in Lebanon these past two weeks, saying that the state should be invested in mutual Arab issues but not become involved in conflicts.
He stressed that Lebanon should defend justice and promote peace and understanding.
“Lebanon is a model for the East as well as the West,” he said today during the event announcing the opening of the restoration project.