When you look at the town of Yammouneh, you see a sparkling
jewel in the “orphaned valley” of Baalbek – Hermel. But as you dive into its
tight streets and discover its humble houses, your perception changes
gradually. The only school in this town is closed and its residents have to
bear harsh climate conditions. All they have are agricultural lands that,
despite their fertility, do not generate enough income to their owners.
For a certain time, this town was known for growing apples,
but it was often associated with cannabis cultivation that is said to date back
to the French mandate era.
Farmers say cannabis is easily sold to markets, but reject
the idea that it has a negative impact on the Lebanese youth.
The residents of Yammouneh also refuse that this issue leads
to armed confrontations with security forces that are destroying cannabis fields,
considering that they are in need of another source of income to secure the
future of their children.
The residents warn that solving this issue by force of arms
will have dire consequences, stressing that the region’s families are united to
defend what they call their “dignity” and to prevent the
continuation of the cannabis fields destruction.
For the full LBCI report, watch the video above.