Fortresses of Herceg Novi

Massive silent, but vivid witnesses of rich history and culture and significant geo- strategic position of Herceg Novi are its fortresses that were build during the centuries or the development of this town.  If the visitor wants to know more about the past of  Herceg Novi then he or she should meet its fortresses. Each fortress in Herceg Novi symbolizes an era of foreign rulers of the city in different historic period. Spagnola is Spanish fortress, Kanli Kula was made by Turks, Forte Mare dating from Middle Ages was reconstucted by Turks and  Venetians…  

Spagnola – Spanish Fortress is located on one of the high hills in Herceg Novi, at 170 meters above sea level. The hill on the top of which the fortress was built is called Bajer.

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“Sea Turtle Exhibition” in Tyre

On the occasion of the “World Turtle Day“, on Thursday 23 May 2019, the exhibition dedicated to sea turtles, created as part of the NEMO project – Mediterranean Coastal Communities”, funded by the Italian Cooperation, was inaugurated in Tyre.

The NEMO project has been implemented by CIHEAM Bari, in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture and the main actors of the coastal community of Tyre (Tyre Nature Coast Reserve, Municipality of Tyre, Union of Municipalities of the province of Tyre, LAG TYROS, Mosan Center, Syndicate and Cooperative of the fishermen).

The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by the coordinator of the NEMO project of CIHEAM Bari, Enrico Azzone, the Mayor and President of the Union of Municipalities, Hassan Dbouk, the Director of Tire Nature Coast Reserve, Nahed Msayleb, the President of LAG TYROS, Hussein Alawieh, expert herpetologists Piero Carlino and Simone Tarantino of the Museum of Natural History of Salento, that created the exhibition, representatives of fishermen and local and national institutions.

The objective of the initiative is to make citizens and tourists aware of the importance of protecting sea turtles, often threatened by fishing hooks and nets and, above all, by plastic pollution, mistaken for food.

Moreover, thanks to the Tire Nature Coast Reserve, which will manage the use of the exhibition space, with the collaboration of the local Associations, educational visits will be organized for the children of the schools of Tyre and the province.


The boats of Tyre return to the sea

After several weeks of bad weather the fishermen go back to the sea bringing home abundant catches.

The artisanal fishermen of Tiro use small wooden boats to carry out their activities. Over 300 families in Tire depend on fishing, an activity that involves men and young people and that was transmitted to them by parents and grandparents.

After the long weeks of storms and strong winds that forced the fishermen to remain in port, they have now returned to the sea to fish and earn their livelihood.

The abundance of catches made by fishermen is most likely due to the strong currents that have led many fish species to move along the Lebanese coast.


A giant turtle on Tyre beach

A giant sea turtle was made in Tyre using plastic waste collected on the beach.

The realization of the work was the final event of the beach cleaning campaign, organized by the Municipality of Tyre, in collaboration with the Patriotic Vision – PVA Organization.

The initiative was organized within the project “Bridges of love between young people” under the slogan “Clean seas” to combat plastic pollution in the seas and educate citizens to respect the environment. In addition, the event wanted to raise awareness among the younger generation, about the damage that plastic waste creates on marine ecosystems and biodiversity and in particular on sea turtles.

Tyre, in fact, has all the characteristics to be considered the ideal habitat for the reproduction of sea turtles, especially within the Natural Reserve of the coast of Tyre where every year many turtles go to lay their eggs.

The awareness raising initiative saw the participation of over 50 young volunteers.


The last boat-builders in Tyre

The city of Tiro, due to its particular geographic conformation, surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean, appears as a peninsula and owes much of its history to the sea. In fact, since ancient times, activities related to the sea have represented the main sources of income for the inhabitants. Fishing, sea trade and activities for the construction of wooden boats have always been Tiro’s main economic activities.

The Lebanese wooden boats, built and shaped by the skilled hands of the boats-builders, showed a great Phoenician influence, found both in the construction lines (the ends of the boats were usually very high and curved towards the inside) and in the decorations. The stern usually ended with a decorative mermaid tail pattern, while the bow was often adorned with an horse head. At the bow, above the waterline, two large eyes were designed to protect the ship, fear the enemies but also to scrutinize the route to go. The wood for shipbuilding was mainly the cedars of the Lebanese mountains.

The Barbour brothers are today the last boat-buiders in Tire, thanks to the knowledge passed on to them by their father and grandfather. Their firm belief in wanting to continue their business, in full respect of tradition, has led them to use the ancient building techniques and to use simple traditional tools for the construction of boats.

In 2003, at the International Exhibition held in Portugal, their mastery was recognized and appreciated with the award of the 3rd prize as one of the best boats present.


Seafood safety and method of hygiene and processing

On Monday 25 June 2018, in the port of Mina-Tripoli, the workshop on “Seafood safety and method of hygiene and processing”, was organized by the North Lebanese Fisheries Cooperative.

The seminar, held by Ahmed Akra (Head of the North Lebanese Fisheries Cooperative) and Mr. Samer Jawhar (Fisheries Inspector in the Ministry of Agriculture) dealt with the theme of conservation methods; hygiene practices in the processing of fish products and health requirements for workers in the sector, conditions of transport and use of ice.


The great craft tradition in Lebanon

Lebanon has a long tradition of craftsmanship in various sectors: blown glass, refined ceramics, magnificent jewels, fabrics delicately embroidered with gold and silver threads.

Lebanon is certainly famous for its legendary cedar wood used since ancient times both in shipbuilding and in the construction of houses and furniture. Cedar wood, finely worked with carvings, it was well known and appreciated throughout the Mediterranean.

Shipbuilding was certainly one of Lebanon’s largest craft activities. The over-exploitation of the majestic cedars led the artisans to use different essences such as rosewood, olive, mahogany and beech.

Lebanese ceramics is also very well known and appreciated, thanks to the clay considered to be of the highest quality, used for the production of crockery and for the traditional water jug.

Among the craft activities that have made Lebanon known, it is certainly worth mentioning the art of fabrics, especially silk and the particular dye known as the Tyrian purple, extracted from a mollusk.


Surrounding Nets in Lebanon

The use of surrounding nets in Lebanon is permitted from April to December.

In this type of fishing are used 3 boats: a main boat with nets and winches; an auxiliary boat to net the fish and a small boat without motor – called light boat – that is pulled by the auxiliary boat and stopped at sea, at a distance of no less than 45 m to collect the fish.

Usually these vessels leave the sea before sunset and have crews composed of at least 12 sailors. In the past, gas lights were used to attract and gather fish, while LED lights have been used in recent years.

Tripoli does not have a large fleet equipped for this type of fishing, but during the season of sardines, starting from April, a large number of boats, coming from the nearby port of Abdeh in Akka, moving and staying in the port of Tripoli.


Abdel Wahab Island

Tripoli, is surrounded by numerous islands. The nearest, Abdel Wahab Island, has an area of 8,000 square meters and can be reached via a bridge that connects the port to the island.

The island has had important rehabilitation works in 2015 with the creation of green spaces, areas of protection, conservation of habitats for migratory birds and deer.


The gastronomy in Lebanon

As in many Mediterranean areas, the Lebanese gastronomic tradition has been influenced by numerous contacts with other cultures over the centuries.
Although it is a territory of reduced extension, Lebanon, thanks to its climatic variety, can count on a large assortment of elements. Next to fish dishes, meat, vegetables and an abundant use of spices are among the basic ingredients of Lebanese cuisine.

Among the most traditional dishes there is the sayadiya, a preparation based on rice and fish and served with dried fruit, such as almonds and cashews. Along with the sayadiya we usually eat fish cooked with tahini (a cream made from white sesame seeds), coriander and garlic.

Other famous Lebanese dishes are shish barak, beef and onions wrapped in a dough of pasta and cooked with yogurt, coriander and garlic. It is usually eaten together with majadara, rice and lentils flavored with caramelized onions and spices. The fattoush is the typical Lebanese salad, based on summer vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, sweet onion) with oil, vinegar, parsley, mint and sommaco.

Very traditional is the kubba, balls of meat and burgur that can be served raw and seasoned with olive oil or stuffed and cooked on the grill or still fried, usually accompanied by the tabouleh, a salad based on bulgur, with parsley, spring onions, mint, tomatoes and gherkins, topped with lemon juice and olive oil.

On the Lebanese table surely there are the ful medames, dried beans cooked over low heat and served with olive oil, parsley, onion, garlic and lemon juice, hummus, a sauce made of chickpea paste and seed paste sesame, flavored with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and paprika, cumin seeds in powder and finely chopped parsley and traditional falafel, meatballs of spicy and fried vegetables.