Beirut airport’s Xmas tree was taken down for being ugly, but there’s a powerful reason for its look

As far as Christmas trees go, the one set up in Beirut Rafic Hariri Airport could hardly be called a stunner.

Travellers expecting to be greeted by green pine needles, jolly tinsel and bright baubles were instead faced with what very much looks like rubbish.

And that’s exactly what it was: the tree was constructed entirely out of discarded scraps of metal.

Let’s just say people were less than impressed with the non-traditional tree. We won’t share the Twitter posts because they’re largely in Arabic, but people really went to town.

In fact, the backlash was so great the tree was taken down, no doubt to be replaced by something more traditionally festive.

However, what many people probably didn’t realise was the choice to make the tree out of scrap metal and aircraft bits actually had a deeper, symbolic meaning.

The tree was set up by Middle East Airlines (MEA), with the hope of raising awareness around environmental conservation. The New Arab reports the company wanted “to raise awareness about environmental protection and to prevent logging”.

Apparently the tree was a “call on to keep Lebanon green and save your environment”, according to MEA’s chairman Mohammad Hout.

It just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover – or a Christmas tree by the rubbish that’s on it, (although that’s far less catchy a phrase).


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