Beirut airport’s ‘ugly’ Christmas tree removed after social media storm

A Christmas tree made from metal, fire extinguishers, life vests and other recycled airplane parts was taken down at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport after photos of the tree on social media caused sharp backlash.

The upcycled tree was meant to be an environmental initiative from Lebanon’s national carrier, Middle East Airlines, who said in a statement that they put up the tree “to raise awareness about environmental protection and to prevent logging and awareness on the recycling process.”  Travellers passing through the Lebanon’s only airport didn’t get on board with the “garbage Christmas tree” and voiced their distaste on Twitter. A few days later, the Christmas tree was removed and replaced.

Christmas tree with baubles and fairy lights Image by Westend61/Getty Images

Lebanon is one of the world’s smallest countries, but its terrain is amazingly diverse, with two mountain ranges, a lush valley in between and prime Mediterranean coastline. However, its fragile environment has been ravaged by unfettered construction, endemic corruption and the deep scars of civil war. The Christmassy cedar tree, the bright green emblem on Lebanon’s red and white flag, can still be found dotting the peaks of the Lebanese landscape, especially in the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, which takes up an astonishing 5% of the country’s land.

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Beirut airport’s ‘ugly’ Christmas tree removed after social media storm
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