Vice-president of Al Waleed Bin Talat humanitarian organisation, and ex-minister Laila Al Solh Hamada on Wednesday launched ' Olive House Professional', an agricultural cooperative in Ain Ebel town, South Lebanon, after the organisation finalised constructing and equipping a centre for olive oil refining, storage and packaging.
The ceremony for the occasion saw the participation of the mayor of Ain Ebel, Farouk Barakat Diab, head of the cooperative Mrs Tamam Marron, head of Fair Trade organisation Philip Odaimy whose organisation will handle the distribution of the oil products in Europe, and representatives of the French division of UNIFIL, religious leaders and other dignitaries of the region.
Farouk Barakat Diab welcomed Solh Hamada with the words: "You heal the wounds, support the resistance, and strengthen your determination to be an endless giving spring to Lebanon".
Solh Hamada gave her response saying: "Here we are again by your side to share the concerns of the people of the border area. We see more people being evacuated and areas that unfortunately seem empty of residents, of its own people, particularly its youth. I'm afraid to say that it is a forced displacement with impure intentions behind it which no-one can confirm or deny."
She went on to ask: "Where are the agricultural cooperatives and where are the traditional and handicraft industries? Where is the tourism? Those areas where people have suffered the woes of war, survived, but instead of being embraced, receive only neglect."
She added "We need to make great strides to overcome the limits of the 'one environment', and arrive at communication and openness between the various Lebanese classes. We need a leader who tears apart the 'patents' of privilege in all communities."