The world has finally learned to embrace the ugly Christmas sweater, but the fight to accept the ugly Christmas tree is long from over.
While the people of Montreal welcome their city’s ugly tree with open arms every year, the people of Beirut, Lebanon were far from pleased with the Christmas tree that was standing in Rafic Hariri International Airport this season.
It wasn’t just ugly — it wasn’t really a tree. The structure was actually made of metal, fire extinguishers, life vests, and other recycled airplane parts.
The tree was actually commissioned as part of an environmental initiative from Middle East Airlines in order “to raise awareness about environmental protection and to prevent logging and awareness on the recycling process.” However, most people traveling through the airport couldn’t really get past the idea that they were looking at what was basically a Christmas tree made of garbage.
Many people let their very negative opinions about the tree be heard on social media. Some even said it gave off the smell of rotting garbage. Harsh.
Seriously? Is this tree put up in Beirut's Rafic Harriri International Airport this year....A big F for failure in Design, Creativity and Spirit. pic.twitter.com/zJTgSwPs1v— Ramzy Khoury (@_rktecture) December 5, 2017
LEBANESE OFFICIALS !!! WHAT ARE U DOING ???? WHAT IS WRONG WITH U ??? WE ARE THE ARTISTS OF THE WORLD & THE INNOVATORS OF THE WORLD ... IS THIS HOW YOU INTERPRET CHRISTMAS ??? THAT THING IS DISPLAYED AT THE GATES OF OUR COUNTRY ???? WLE SHOU BEKONE WLE #Lebanon #لبنان pic.twitter.com/XK2IkruIvs— Nick (@NickTohme) December 5, 2017
Related article: The surprising holiday items you can and can’t take on a flight
The Christmas tree at Beirut international airport is epic. It's absolutely perfect for a country still drowning in a waste crisis and constantly caught up in rubbish.— Jasmina Najjar (@JasminaNajjar) December 5, 2017
If only Lebanese people are shocked by the smell of garbage that greets us in #Beirut as soon as our plane lands as they are by a non-traditional Christmas tree in the airport... #Lebanon https://t.co/ZF7zM6nans— Halim Shebaya حليم شبيعة (@halimshebaya) December 5, 2017
After many complaints, the tree was removed from the airport.
Lebanon is actually famous for its beautiful, Christmas-ready cedar trees. However, the ancient trees are becoming more endangered as the years go by. In the last six years, more than 600,000 trees have been planted throughout the country as part of the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI), according to Al Bawaba.
As ugly as the “garbage tree” was, maybe it had a point after all.