By Bana Kalash Kobrosly, president of the Rotary Club of Saida, Lebanon
On 20 November, the Sea Castle in Saida, Lebanon, an important archeological site, was dramatically illuminated with the End Polio Now message.
The polio awareness program has been one of the most important humanitarian initiatives for Rotary clubs around the world for more than a quarter century now. For the second year in a row, Rotarians in Lebanon have played a part in helping build awareness around the need to eradicate this crippling disease.
With the help of various civic groups, local Rotarians were successful in attracting a number of officials, diplomats, and public figures to the lighting, including the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, a representative of the ministry of health, and several Saida area government deputies.
We wanted to highlight Lebanon’s role in the End Polio Now campaign by illuminating the Saida Sea Castle. Moreover, we wanted to showcase Saida as a strategic hub for the program given that it has been a beneficiary. The PolioPlus campaign and its volunteers have provided vaccines to hundreds of thousands of children in this region over the years. As one of the oldest cities in the world, Saida has gained international attention in the fight against polio. This event has been viewed around the globe and specifically in the many countries where Rotary has clubs.