BEIRUT: Spring has come and brought with it the colorful opportunity to show off nature’s floral dress under the generous sun of May.
Ainab, a small town in the western slopes of Mount-Lebanon overlooking Beirut in Aley’s District, celebrated its second annual flower festival over the weekend, decorating its Town Hall with the inviting colors and scents of Spring.
The festival welcomed people from across Lebanon to celebrate; and this year, the festival was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Municipality. The Head of the Agriculture Department, Aboud Fraiha, who represented the Minister of Agriculture Dr. Hasan Al Lakkis, along with the representative of the Minister of Education, Dr. Walid El Chaar, hosted the opening of Ainab’s Second Annual Flower Festival.
Some MPs were present as well, including Lebanese Forces member Anis Nassar, along with the head of the Union of West Municipalities, Micheal Saad, in addition to the Head of Ainab’s Municipality and the Mayor.
Fraiha told Annahar that the Ministry of Agriculture plays an important role in helping youth and encouraging them to work in the agricultural field. He added: “As the Head of Agriculture Department, we try our best to create campaigns and orientation sessions to youth on the new agricultural technologies available and that aid in facilitating the field.”
With the support of the Embassy of Japan, the Union of West Municipalities is now purchasing new technological tools and formulating recycling techniques that will be implemented in other towns, Saad told Annahar.
According to Dr. Walid El Chaar, Lebanon lacks a link between the labor market’s need and the work policies and development, adding that “agriculture is crucial to tourism,” and that “the ministry of Education has a plan to introduce agricultural awareness into the Lebanese curricula.”
A plethora of flowers, plants, and trees filled the place and attracted people all the way from the Beqaa valley, the North, and Beirut.
The festival was diverse and not limited to agriculture or flowers, but participants also displayed carpentry, pottery, woolen clothes, silk, oil paintings, homemade sweets, Sajj pies and other Lebanese traditional dishes.
The Shimlan Social Institution participated in this festival to showcase the crafts that are done by their registered children that suffer from learning disabilities or mental retardation.
Shimlan’s Social Institution representative told Annahar: “Our children are trained by professionals to produce crafts and handmade materials that are to be sold in exhibitions.”
The traditional crafts and embroidery decorated the Hall, which caught the attention of most villagers, one of whom told Annahar: “We almost forgot about beautiful carpentry and types of cloth, which is disappointing since it’s an essential part of our tradition,” a local villager told Annahar.
One of the participants had a collection of crafts that were made from recyclable material such as eggshells, napkins, and plastics, in the aim “to reduce pollution in the first place, and to decorate our homes in a creative way,” Nayla Zeidan said.
It was an event for both adults and children. There was an area for children with swings and slides and several other activities that allowed them to have fun while their parents roamed the floral hall.
The Head of Ainab’s Municipality, Dr. Ghazi Chaar, expressed his support to the social league and the individual efforts that are gathered to produce such events that aim to gather people and promote environmental awareness.
This year’s Festival had a larger audience than last year’s, and the Head of Ainab’s Social League said that he wishes more people get to visit this town to witness its beauty, and to also get young people to participate in social activities.
This festival is one of Ainab’s regular social activities; and during the beginning of the summer season, it will hold more events, which will also take place at the Town Hall.
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