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Schalkhaar, 26 January 2022 update 27 February 2022
In search of memories, culture and certainly also good food.

For example, already in April, now that the corona measures are further relaxed, we think it is again possible to make a trip to Lebanon.So if you are interested, mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From Monday 4 April to 11 April 2022, to southern Lebanon. Unfortunately, this trip will not take place due to a shortage of participants
We are trying to organize another return trip in October, keep an eye on our messages about this.

From Monday 11 April to 18 April 2022, to northern Lebanon Unfortunately, this trip will not take place due to a shortage of participants

A trip to northern Lebanon requires a lot of preparation.
The deadline for registration for the trip from 11 to 18 April ends on 27 March
That is the deadline for us to be able to arrange all the necessary documents.
Update:
Last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed the travel advice for about 10 countries, That message came out via RTL news where many countries were put to red, including Lebanon.
On closer inspection, this message appears to be incorrect. Lebanon has red areas, namely the entire (direct) border area with Syria and Israel. Furthermore, Lebanon has a number of Palestinian refugee camps that are not accessible and are always listed as red.
In addition to these standard red areas, Lebanon was actually always colored yellow. And those yellow areas are now orange. The reason seems to be entirely based on the corona status.
Travelling with red is not an option because you cannot count on support for repatriation in case of problems.

Only with a code yellow / orange and enough participants can we really give a go. We will of course keep you informed.
Both trips last 1 week, departure on Monday from Schiphol to Beirut with Transavia, for the rest everything is included except the drinks. So the flight, the hotels, the food, the transport, a coach with air conditioning and driver and a very good guide.
The trip to southern Lebanon is, among other things, 3 days to the UNIFIL area where we will visit the places of former posts of Dutchbatt, on request if possible.

To get an idea of this return trip read our travel reports 2018 and 2020.

The second possibility is a trip especially for people who may have already been to Lebanon once and now want to see more. So visit a lot of culture and beautiful places such as the 2500-year-old Cedar Forest at 2000 meters altitude. Or to Tripoli, the souk, the crusader castle and the old train station where you are immediately immersed in the past glory of a century ago?
If you also want to get a small idea of what this trip can look like, look at the report working visit 2021 and especially at the Sunday 8 August.

For both trips a necessary participation of 20 people is needed, only in that way everything can be kept affordable. Because of the smaller group you can get everywhere much easier and see many more things.

If you know any people who may want to join, we would like to hear from you as soon as possible. Together we can still make it possible. We are still looking for a number of people for the trip to Northern Lebanon.


If it is not possible to find enough people, we are thinking of making the trip in the autumn, mid-October. Do you have any questions? Ask them. This can be done via
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Important: there is no revenue model on these trips, you only pay the actual costs.

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About Veterans for Lebanon


Background

From 1979 to 1985, almost 9,000 Dutchmen, mostly conscripts, contributed to the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in southern Lebanon. Now more than 41 years later, this peacekeeping force is still present on the border of Lebanon and Israel.

 

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It is in 2018 when Bert Kleine Schaars organizes a first trip with former Dutch Unifil soldiers. This is possible with the cooperation of, among others, Minister Bijleveld and the airline Transavia, which has just started direct flights from Amsterdam / Beirut.

The second trip with several veterans and their wives or children is in March 2020. It is another great trip through a country that has great poverty and unfortunately also has few options of its own. Only recently have gas and oil fields been found off the coast. In fact, the country is completely dependent on food imports.

Due to the global crises, the country is in bad shape if the Corona strikes there too in March. Medical facilities are coming under even more pressure.

From this group, the idea quickly arises of how help can still be provided and what would be the best way to organize it. If the group in the Netherlands in the Lock down is still working on that thought, something will happen on August 4 that will change everything in that country and in Beirut.

 
On August 4, 2020, an unprecedentedly heavy explosion destroyed a large part of the Lebanese capital within seconds. The damage is enormous, the human suffering hard to comprehend.

The sad balance: 200 dead, 6,000 injured, 300,000 homeless!

 

Background and establishment of the foundation

 

The explosion of August 4, 2020 in Beirut is the direct reason for the establishment of the VVL foundation, veterans for Lebanon.

 

August 12, 2020
At the initiative of Bert Kleine Schaars, the campaign 'Veterans help Beirut' is being set up together with the Veterans Institute and the Foundation for the Support of Veterans Activities (OVA).

August 14, 2020
Bert Kleine Schaars is a guest in the TV program Een Today, where he gets the opportunity to draw attention to the action.

September 22, 2020
Intermediate position of the aid campaign: more than € 20,000.

September 29, 2020
Establishment of the 'Foundation VVL, veterans for lebanon'.


Board members of the foundation

  • Bert Kleine Schaars
  • Jeannet Kleine Schaars
  • Fred van der Ploeg
  • Janos Loczi
  • Siem Kersten

Objective of the foundation

  • Promoting the friendships of the Dutch with Lebanon and Lebanese;
  • Promoting knowledge of the archaeological riches of Lebanon in the Netherlands;
  • Promote Lebanon as a country and travel destination;
  • Supporting the preparation and guidance of UNIFIL veterans on return trips;
  • Supporting targeted aid actions to offer support and/or relief goods for or in Lebanon.


In collaboration with Containers of Love, we as a foundation are still committed to sending relief supplies to Beirut with the help of our sponsors. Every transport means a lot of arrangements and, in addition to careful planning, requires targeted supervision of the execution. Because we want to be sure that the containers not only arrive, but also that all relief supplies on site find their way to the planned final destination as quickly as possible. Given the current circumstances in Lebanon, this is a challenging operation.

Several dozen containers have now been successfully shipped. But many more transports will be needed. This is not possible without financial and material support. In that regard, we would like to make an urgent appeal to you and to companies that want to contribute to the reconstruction of the city of Beirut and to that beautiful country full of potential, which Lebanon was and is!

Help is urgently needed! On behalf of the people of Lebanon: THANK YOU!

See also our weblog above for the current state of affairs.