America's Unofficial Ambassadors

We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.

Roadtrip Through Northern Lebanon: Three Season in One Day

The following is a post from AUA Network member and guest blogger Kyle Scott Herman who is volunteering by teaching History in Lebanon.

A few weeks ago, our headmaster invited us to join a roadtrip. We took a van up to Tripoli for breakfast. Tripoli felt like summer because it is on the sunny coast.

Tripoli's sunny coast and palm trees make it feel like summer even with snow-topped mountains towering in the distance.

But from there we could see the snowy mountaintops we would be driving up to see Lebanon’s legendary cedar reserve. A wintry wonderland after the first snowfalls in the mountains, it is a last refuge in a country that was covered with cedar forests thousands of years ago before nearly all of them were cut down. Today the cedars remain dear to the Lebanese as a symbol of their national heritage – a cedar is proudly displayed on the Lebanese flag. Along the way to the cedar forest and after, we passed through areas where leaves were changing colors, reminding us that even though the coast felt like summer and the mountains felt like winter, in some places Lebanon was having an Autumn that made me homesick for Ohio. After the cedars, we traveled up and over the Lebanese mountains to the Bekaa Valley.  Here are some pictures that do not do justice to what we saw:

The year's first snows in the mountains made the cedar reserve a winter wonderland.

The sun dips behind the mountains we have traveled through.

The barren top of the last mountain before reaching the Bekaa Valley

This was the last picture I was able to take because we ran out of sunlight. It’s a shame because looking across the Bekaa Valley is an amazing sight – your vision spans half of the country to the Anti-Lebanon mountains on the other side, which are the border with Syria.  We plan to return during daylight when we have more time.

Additional posts can be viewed on Kyle’s blog.


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