Modern day slavery has become a booming business with an estimated 27 million people thrown into a life of forced labor, coerced prostitution, and physical abuse. This week, Lebanon moved up on the U.S. Department of State's human trafficking blacklist to be included among the 42 countries now on a watch list.
The atrocious story of the abuse and death of Nepalese national Lila Aacharya in Lebanon caused a major uproar among Lebanon's human rights activists, and served to highlight yet again the failure of Lebanese authorities to address the problem.
Tourism in Lebanon may have been dealt a blow by the recent political crises, but the country's cultural life is blooming. Summer is known for its music and cultural festivals, the most renowned of which are the Beitiddine and the Baalbek Festivals, extending from July to end of August. Lebanon's cultural productions this year have made it to the New York and Cannes, France.