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The Lebanese Get Creative in Their Protests Against the Trash Crisis

Some trash should not be recycled. This is a modified version of a sign held up in a protest in Lebanon shared on Twitter by @Beirutspring

Some trash should not be recycled. This is a modified version of a sign held up in a protest in Lebanon shared on Twitter by @Beirutspring. It shows Lebanese politicians across the political spectrum

Grassroots movement Tol3et Re7atkom (You Stink) has managed to rally around 20,000 people and get them into the streets not only protesting against the trash crisis in Lebanon, but also demanding the resignation of the government for its continuous practice of corruption.

On August 22 and 23, Beirut witnessed its largest protests in recent history, with people of all ages and classes gathered to tell the government that they basically stink. Lebanon's trash crisis started when on July 17, the country's largest landfill in Naameh city was shut down by residents of the area. That landfill catered to the areas of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, which together house almost half of the country's population. The government's inability to resolve the trash crisis resulted in mountains of rubbish piling up on the streets, forcing people to walk around wearing masks.

The pictures below were taken from the official Facebook page of “You Stink” movement:

Mountains of trash in Beirut. Photograph from the the official Facebook page of "You Stink" movement

Mountains of trash in Beirut. Photograph from the the official Facebook page of “You Stink” movement

Lebanon's garbage disposed in a hazardous manner, which harms the environment. Photograph from the official page of the You Stink movement

Lebanon's garbage disposed in a hazardous manner, which harms the environment. Photograph from the official page of the You Stink movement

This problem has only added fuel to the already existing political flames in the country. Lebanon, already suffering from a poor infrastructure and daily electricity cuts, has had no president for more than a year. In 2009, its parliament extended its term until 2017, with no elections, citing instability as a reason.

In addition to people carrying political signs, some came up with creative ways to draw attention to the cause.

Saudi journalist Ahmed Al Omran tweeted a photograph of a guy who wished the government's characteristics were reflected in his love life:

Rana Harbi shared a couple of photographs she thought were funny and “typical Lebanese”. Some men wore costumes to the protest in attempt to relay the message:

This man really wanted to express how intense the smell of piled up trash spreading across Beirut was, so that's how he showed up:

A protester made a bold comparison between the Lebanese politician and Lebanese porn star Mia Khalifa, saying she has more honor than the politicians.

On other social media platforms, people exchanged more creative photographs like these:

"Either you leave, or we won't give birth. #YouStink"

“Either you leave, or we won't give birth. #YouStink” (Source: Unknown)

Yasmine Ballout shares a picture of a sign she deems as creative. The sign reads: “We have chicken and garlic sandwiches, would you let us in?”

When they say everyone joined the protest, they really meant everyone, including movie characters:

Stay tuned for more coverage from Lebanon as it gears up for more protests tomorrow.

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