Lebanese youth swim next to floating rubbish and waste in the coastal Lebanese town of Anfeh north of the capital Beirut, on August 23, 2016. AFP / Patrick BAZ
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Lebanese like Hamza al-Sees should have no problem finding a beach to while away the summer in a country stretching along the Mediterranean Sea. But as private developers have gobbled up seafront land and families complain of ever-more polluted waters, many Lebanese say it is cheaper and cleaner to fly abroad than go to the beach at home.The "overwhelming presence" of factories along Lebanon's coast has also resulted in severe water pollution, including with toxic materials, according to a 2012 report from Lebanon's University of Balamand.Dahir said an average of 10 charter flights a week – each carrying 150 to 190 passengers – were taking off to various beach destinations abroad between June and September.Many of the resorts that now restrict access to Lebanon's coast are unlicensed, built on land that was obtained during the country's 1975-1990 Civil War.For those who can't afford to travel overseas, Lebanon's few public beaches are the only option.
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