Friday, January 23, 2009

Highway to hell

The Arab Highway linking Lebanon to Syria and to the rest of the Arab World passes through the rangelands of the Central Bekaa. It split the traditional pastures in half. Now the shepherds have to walk 6 km each way to cross to the other side to graze their flocks. They will soon stop keeping herds, and join the ranks of the poor. But hey, who cares in Lebanon? We want our highway.

1 comment:

northshorewoman said...

Too bad Lebanon does not seek to learn from the mistakes made in countries with a lot of highways, like Canada. The Trans-Canada Highway, which crosses our land coast to coast, and surely is one of the longest in the world, is a killing grounds. While some work towards thinking of ways to stop the carnage is underway and there are some underpasses and overpasses just for wild animals like moose, caribou, deer, fox, skunks, etc., overall these are not only ineffective but few. We even have a name for the animals who get killed by us zipping about: roadkill. Some people even find it kind of funny and this word has entered popular culture; of course, stripped of any critique of our dependence on vehicles. On a drive down any section of the Trans-Canada in northern Ontario, for ex, you will see the roadside littered with scores of bodies of dead moose and deer, mostly hit by transport trucks, but also passenger cars. Last time my husband and I drove back from Winnipeg I had to keep my eyes closed for 100s of kilometres because I could no longer bear to see all the moose lying dead at the side of the highway. Of course, you won't see these photos in our tourist literature.