Positive News Stories From September To Brighten Your Week (Part 2)
If you didn’t catch the first installation of our positive news stories for September, you can read them right here! We’re a few days into October, and we figure it’s a good time to look back fondly on some more awesome things that kicked off our Fall last month. Our news cycle continues to be bleak, with so many issues deserving our attention, our action, and our outrage. But we’ve got to have the energy to keep tackling all those things! And one way to get that energy is to keep finding ways to see the beautiful and good things unfolding in the world too. So without further ado, here are 5 more fabulously positive stories for you.
1.Record Number of Musicians Boycott Israel’s Music Festival
Lana Del Rey was one of 20 acts that pulled out of Israel’s Meteor Festival (which happened Sept 6th-8th) in support of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (or under pressure from…but still!). This massive and unprecedented move by the musical community is seen as a major reflection of the shifting views of the younger generation around Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and its oppressive and dehumanizing policies. It also made significant press, and has resulted in a lot more visible communication and debate among cultural influencers worldwide. We can only hope this is real evidence of changing tides and some real tangible impact for the Palestinian people!
Shlohmo, another U.S musician who withdrew, said: “Sorry to the fans I’m letting down and to the festival staff but supporting the oppressed thru my absence is more important to me especially after the government’s recent human rights atrocities”
Rockers of Montreal also made a statement on their Facebook page: “After exhausting all the different possible ways of justifying playing an Israeli party festival, while the political and military leaders of the country continue their murderous and brutal policies against the Palestinian people, we came to the realization that there is no actual appropriate move other than to cancel the show.”
Yes! That’s what we want to see, folks. Keep the momentum going.
2. Istanbul Gives New Incentive for Recycling
It was announced on September 6th that Istanbul would be exchanging plastic waste for credit on the city’s metro cards! That’s a pretty good incentive (as if we need more, but still). Using ‘Smart Mobile Waste Transfer Centers’, your plastic waste gets scanned, sorted, crushed, shredded and sorted into bins. There were 25 machines installed at the time of the announcement, and the goal is to have 100 by the end of the year. Hey, while we’re figuring out how to not create any plastic waste in the first place, this is definitely a great way to deal with the inconceivable mounds that are building and to get people actively involved. We could do with a few of those here in Lebanon, wouldn’t you say?
Find out more right here.
3. Activists for Lebanon’s Coast
The Daily Star announced that on Sept 17th, a group of Lebanese urban planners and architects launched a proposal to correct historical infringements on Beirut’s shoreline. What does this mean? The goal is to protect the natural features, and restore public access (180km of the 220km is currently privatized!!!). The proposal was drafted by Beirut Madinati and the Social Justice and the City program at AUB’s Issam Fares Institute (same institute that released the amazing research about refugees in the city, which we featured in Part 1!). Preserving our coast and maintaining public spaces are crucial elements to a healthy, vibrant, and just city. Find out more details about the report right here.
4. #DoItForPeace Campaign
#DoItForPeace is an awesome global experiment that was launched on Sept 21st, the International Day of Peace. Initiated by two global nonprofits, Kids for Peace and Peace One Day, and joined by Good News Network, the goal was to inspire one billion people to ‘take action for peace’. The intention was to hit the billion within a ten day period, and while I can’t find evidence to show that this goal was reached, I have found evidence that it is having an incredible ripple effect! Kids for Peace has a ‘peace-building’ network of 10 million youth across 121 countries, and this network was used to launch events across the world. And the ‘acts for peace’ are still ongoing. To see what those ‘acts’ look like, check out the Kids for Peace Facebook page right here.
To find out more about the initiative and how YOU can get involved, have a look at https://doitforpeace.org/
5. Lebanon’s First Blind-Friendly Supermarket
Photo Source: https://www.lebaneseexaminer.com/2018/09/30/lebanons-first-blind-friendly-supermarket-opens-beirut/
Lack of accessibility is a major concern in Lebanon, so it’s really something to celebrate that Marqet supermarket on Koraytem Main Road, which opened September 27th, is blind-friendly! The initiative was an effort between The Youth Association of the Blind and the Red Oak non-profit, who trained Marqet employees on how to support blind and visually-impaired shoppers, and to make the supermarket as accessible as possible. Hopefully this inspires similar considerations by private and public establishments in the country! If this is important to you, give some feedback to the establishments you frequent often. Every voice makes a dent!
And that’s it for our September Positive News Chapter, folks! See you in November. Let us know your positive news in the comments, because we love hearing from you. And because happy stories make us happy too.