Perhaps the Lebanese like to carelessly joke that a bomb will kill them faster than smoking but from first hand experience I have also learned that most Lebanese suffer from serious/prevalent stomach problems and today I was reading a medical report that correlated these two factors with each other.
The report was on the role of prostaglandins in gastric mucosal protection. Prostaglandins strengthens the mucosal (the stomach lining) to protect against gastric and ulcer problems. It stated:
“Cigarette-smoking, another risk factor for peptic ulcer disease, has been reported to acutely decrease gastric and duodenal musocal prostaglandin synthesis. In addition to inhibiting PG synthesis, cigarette smoke stimulates the synthesis of throboxane, a potent vasoconstrictor that also increases leukocyte adherence.”
Basically, smoking decreases the natural protective lining of the stomach increasing gastro intestinal problems, the chance of ulcers and reduced immune responses.
The moral of the blog post: quit smoking or quit complaining about stomach problems. Chances are it is causing or making your stomach health problems worse.
Poland has formally asked the Lebanese government to work towards eliminating the hunting of migrating birds as they fly over Lebanon, particularly the stork, a protected animal worldwide. Such senseless slaughter is usually carried out by brainless men/teenagers/even children who believe shooting the bird a testament to their masculinity (because they are so clearly lacking otherwise) and care little to nothing for the impact their act has on the environment.
Birds migrating from Africa very often fly over the death trap that is Lebanon on route to Europe. This is the route the birds have taken for thousands of years but one might assume it an easier and faster task to try and encourage the birds to change their course than to change the minds of so many Lebanese who will not stop hunting until the animal is extinct.
Regional conservationists have tried for years to enforce stricter anti-hunting laws but the Ministry of Environment has done nothing. Perhaps, at most, with upcoming elections he will make a half-ass attempt to publicly disapprove of the act. But even that is not sure.
When P’s family were traveling to Ireland they were so worried about not been able to get ‘good’, ‘strong’ coffee they brought with them a large stash of coffee from Lebanon. I have previously brought Arabic coffee home so my family presumed they were referring to this but anyone who knows the Lebanese knows they were of course referring to Nescafe. The ‘coffee’ the Lebanese cannot live without.
Having said that, my own mother just messaged me asking if Lebanon has fresh milk because they want to bring Irish teabags with them when they visit. The Irish are the highest consumers of tea per capita in the world, and not just any tea, but Irish tea which is an extra strong brew.
Not so different after all.