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A Clean-Up StoryMalak Yacout

A Clean-Up Story

by Malak Yacout

Volunteering in the national clean up campaign reminds me that we’re all connected - a fundamental principle in life.


We often live individualistic lives. It’s easy in a city like Beirut to go from your house to your car to your work and back, almost numb to the spiraling slums that we cross everyday on the road..or the uncomfortable knocks of children on our car windows. And so we fall into apathy because how can we let ourselves be affected 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗱𝗮𝘆 by this horrific squalor that surrounds us? So we disconnect ourselves and create boundary after boundary until we convince ourselves that it is only me and my small little world that’s all that matters. The greatest illusion is that of separation. How can we think that we’re disconnected from the world around us? How can we think that if our own home is clean and well, that’s all that matters regardless of what’s happening right outside my doorstep?


During my involvement at the Ouzai site clean-up as part of the national “Save our Face” campaign, volunteers of all ages worked tirelessly to make a change. Some of the local residents were extremely engaged, while others watched regretfully from their balconies as they watched outsiders clean up their waste. 12-year-old Abdel Rahman, an extremely hard-working volunteer, summed it up perfectly: “if I throw waste in the sea outside my home, eventually I will eat it. If my car lets out fumes, eventually I will breathe that air.” Volunteers can contribute to a cleaner, healthier, even prettier, and more sustainable country. The smallest actions that each one of us do, have an unavoidable impact on so many around us.


Volunteering reminds me that we’re all part of this beautiful web called life and that sustainable change starts within every home, every mind.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 


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