Protecting the environment is not just a one-off occasion or a one-day event, it should be a daily habit embraced by every individual, from the youngest child to the oldest citizen and should be supported by all organisations.
Latakia's Marathon and Honouring of Cleaning Men
“Today, we have organised a marathon for national environment day to shed light on the importance of the environment and our role as individuals to protect it,” says engineer Rawan, Head of the Environmental Awareness Department in Latakia.
She continues, “The logo is ‘Btaawonena…Nartaki b beatina’, means "With our cooperation, we upgrade our environment.” We have to cooperate to encourage positive behaviour in every individual and child to protect the environment and develop it."
In a touching ceremony, about 200 cleaning men were being honoured to show appreciation for their efforts in keeping the city clean. They were standing tall with a sense of pride and it was clear that they were happy with the moral value of the action. Ammar, Director of the Department of Environment in Latakia commented on that saying, “We are honouring cleaning men to express that we are thankful for their efforts working day and night cleaning and giving a beautiful reflection of our city.”
Yamen, a participant in the event, says, “I believe that we should plant trees. And agriculture is very important. Recently we experoenced fires in the swathes that destroyed big spaces. When we plant a tree, we see it growing before our eyes to become a tree making our nature more beautiful and purify it.”
In Al Orobah garden, where the marathon ends in Latakia, children drew nature as they see it which added a great sense of teaching children how to be part of their environment, protecting and taking care of it, being the future generation.
Great Central Celebration: Aleppo Plants Trees and Honours Cleaning Men
The main central celebration was held in the city of Aleppo, which has been working on the refurbishment of sewage networks, industrial waste treatment, waste recycling and removal, paying great attention to gardens and green squares.
Aleppo is one of the cleanest cities. It has a great sense of organisation and elegance and this fact can be observed by just walking around and realising how beautifully clean the streets are.
Going through hard times has not stopped Aleppo in any way from being a centre of civilization.
The celebration includes showing an environmental film stressing the importance of protecting the environment, next to other art performances and folklore dances.
In the festival in Aleppo, an environmental exhibition has been opened in Al Sabeel neighbourhood, which included showing artworks and drawings made from environmental waste such as broken wooden chairs, soda cans, paper and other materials that reflect the significance of recycling. It is hoped this will broaden the approach to environmental culture and open eyes to new ideas and solutions.
The festival closed with the planting of about 500 trees in a garden, after removing remnants of destruction, which gives a sense of renewal and symbolises the turning of a new page, of victory and of a fresh start towards a brighter future.
The “Bab Allah garden” used to be full of trees, but, with the crisis and the shortage in gas and oil, people used the wood for heating in cold weather. Today, replanting this garden is a symbol of renewal, renovation and continuity.
Mohammad Nayyal, the person responsible for public and cultural relations in Aleppo city council says, “Taking care of the environment is an essential part of the rebuilding process that we are going through. Today, we emphasise that environmental care is our responsibility and it is not a one-day occasion; it is an everyday effort. And awareness campaigns will always take place. Our nature is precious and with our efforts and every citizens' effort Syria will return to glory."