I’m here to talk trash. Over the past year, as you probably know, I have been endlessly lobbying for the right solution to the waste catastrophe to be implemented in Lebanon in my capacity as “national expert on waste-to-energy”, as one of the ministers once called me on TV.
Anyone else competing for that title will be challenged to a duel on top of a mountain of trash. Come forward now, or forever hold your peace (and your nose since, you know, the smell and stuff…).

Famed author, physician, and documentary filmmaker, Dr. Pedram Shojai, known as the Urban Monk, (check out his book) all the way in California heard of all these efforts, and hosted me on his podcast to discuss my work and the Lebanese waste crisis. This happened in Los Angeles, CA. 12,000 km away from Beirut. This media personality in LA was more interested in this clean work in Lebanon than most of the news outlets here in Beirut. It is an honor.

You may either read the transcript of my interview, and/or you can watch the interview to see how I speak with my hands.

Here is the link:

As always, your thoughts and opinions are more than appreciated.





  • Elias Rizk says:

    I support you Sara El-Yafi

  • Jay Toups says:

    Hi Sara, it was a pleasure to learn of you and your work. Lebanon’s garbage problems are the world’s problems with regional wrinkles (deep ones), and I appreciate your grasp of the intricacies of waste to energy. As you state, “Anyone else competing for that title will be challenged to a duel on top of a mountain of trash.” I think we’re all in a death-defying duel over trash, pollution, etc., but most humans aren’t paying attention so don’t realize it yet. I’d be happy to share some info about our GTL fuel (alcohols) venture. Our mission is to get W2E done right and serve up alcohol fuel that doesn’t insult the intellect or the environment. If that reads like a corny duel challenge, well, put up yer dukes. 😉 Cheers and vbr from Montana.

  • Ta Kara says:

    Have to settle for the transcript now that I’m in Lebanon.. Btemshe #notjusttrashstreets #trashinternet

  • Nabila Dada Mekkawi says:

    God bless you Sara Habibti

  • Leila Jaroudi says:

    Way to go Sara! We need more young people like you !txs don’f give up

  • J. E. Y says:

    With young people like you,Sara El Yafi,striving for the welfare of their country despite all disappointments,and dead consciences,we keep the faith and the hope for the Lebanon we dream of.
    GO GIRL???

    • Joumana says:

      Sara,your interview:A pleasure for the eyes,knowledge for the ears,food for the brain and hope for the soul.
      God bless you and your great efforts.

  • Dimitri Trad says:

    Bravo dear friend. So proud of your mobilization.

  • Nahila El Yafi says:

    Bravo !!!
    hoping you ´ll arrive to your aim soon soon soon … we are really fed up !!!!

  • Mona Yafi says:

    Awesome Sara

  • Rima Mardam Bey says:


  • Doha Sakka says:

    Good luck to you I am sure your parents are very proud of you

  • Amal Mazloum says:


  • Georges Tawil says:

    Good job sara. We are all here to support you

  • Sue Yafi Omary says:

    Very interesting, if it works, it will save the country, bravo Sara for your effort , hope they will appreciate what you are trying to do.

  • Lina Hamadeh says:


  • Joumana El-Yafi says:

    You are not only a national expert Sara El Yafi,you are a national treasure❤️

  • Gail Antabi says:


  • Salwa Hadati says:

    Brillant way Sara El-Yafi

  • Noor Nasralah says:

    Amazing / Brilliant / Smart ?? How i wish we can have you in the Council of Ministers

  • Jamal Tayara-Baroudy says:

    Sara El-Yafi my 14 year old is now following you 😉 (reads your blog)

  • Rima Ghanem Bahout says:

    Amazing! Gorgeous! Talented!!WOW!✌???

  • Boubacar Thiam says:

    Tres bien dit!

  • Gail Antabi says:

    Amazing Sara Tks for helping the planet u never cease to amaze m

  • Joseph Jeong says:

    Amazing work Sara! Keep it up! By the way can u run for president in the US? ??

  • Youmna N. Mahmassani says:

    Talks await 🙂 Thank you for making my morning coffee so very enjoyable as I watched this – and to echo Sparkileptic King – it may seem hopeless sometimes to try and challenge the stubborn status quo Lebanon has held for so long on so many issues. However, all realities start with an idealism of some sort but to follow it through thoroughly takes courage and wisdom. Onwards and upwards Sara El-Yafi ?

  • Lon Fiala says:

    Amazing as always.

  • Mohamad Abdul-Hamid Ajam says:

    About the hands language: the gestures were more to categorize and describe processes than to show an emotional response. They were totally synchronized with the verbal messages. In short — and to me– , they depict the didactic nature of Sarah , they convey trust and establish charisma. Keep them moving Sara!

  • Joe Bahout says:

    Brilliant ?

  • Christy Cortright Mawdsley says:

    That was great. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sparkileptic King says:

    Well done. Educators are always a joy to observe, and you are no exception. A couple of points, however. Throwing in the statistic of 60 people contracting cancer for living on “cancer street” sounds anecdotal and expedient to your mission for waste management. I of course acknowledge the health risks involved, but I’m sure cancer is not the key malady as there are other more obvious, and easier to contract, diseases. This is all speculative at any case, and to avoid digressing any further, I shall move on.

    You speak with a tone of experience in Lebanese politics and those of the Levant. However, there is a tinge of idealism that while may satisfy the ears of those empathetic with the country’s condition, says little to those actually living there. Yes, we have always been aware of this impending crisis as a people, and Beirut Madinati certainly pushed the envelope farther than any of us could have thought possible, but if you believe education is the problem, I sadly disagree.

    I am an educator at heart, please understand, and I believe that all problems can be solved with the right guidance and inspiration. Unfortunately, Lebanon is an exception to every possible situation your beautiful, brilliant mind can simulate. Anyone with half the wisdom you employ would write off the country as a sinkhole waiting to happen, yet it is still here.

    What the country needs is nihilists with a penchant for activism. Walking into the parliament, as an activist or a stout, educated social worker, discussing waste-to-energy processes that will save the country, without paying heed to how much each member’s pockets are lined, is futile.

    Rebellion is the only way out of this travesty. People will suffer, as is the case with our generation, as was the case with our parents’. We all want a peaceful, streamlined process to take place, but where and when will this reverie end?

    Keep up the struggle, and please never stop being the inspiration that you naturally are, but before any additional steps can be achieved, the truth needs to be articulated, embraced, and accepted in its entirety.

    You are a conscious, aware woman. Don’t let Lebanon drag you down too much. Also, I wouldn’t worry about your gesticulation. It underscores your passion and articulates your communication the way mine does for me.

  • Ralph Kaldawy says:

    How well versed and informed you are about this issue. It’s a shame the people in power are way too ignorant and/or corrupt to resolve this. Please keep fighting for a change.

    P.S. Btw keep waving your hands, it hints at how passionate and enthusiastic you are about your work.

  • Ahmad Mohtadi says:

    Very knowledgeable information and impressive talk. Love the hand movements… Very Lebanese .

  • Dana Mansour Hable says:

    Please forget about being president in Lebanon!
    Can u please consider running for that office here in the States??
    Because we have 2 piles of garbage running right now and our stomachs are turning over!

  • Jy Jreissati says:

    Our national expert !!!

  • Pat Almeida says:

    What an eye-opener…

  • Sarah Beaini Rafeh says:

    Amazing work , Sara! Speaking with your hands just proves how much you’re enthusiastic about making your country cleaner ! One question , though : was your host having Yerba matte??

  • Naim Nas says:

    Sara the problem is not the mountain of trash…….and how ever i can help i will cause i really trust you to do your best to make changes …….

  • Nadine Ayoub says:

    Amazing and super promising.. And I say that again #saraforpresident ?

  • Tanya Kassem says:

    You really amaze me, Sara. You really should be calling the shots. How can we help?

  • Carmen Ruf says:

    Really impressive!

  • Larry O'Connell says:

    You’re really, really impressive.

  • Sobhi Itani says:

    Wow. I have been following your brilliant work closely, and I have to say that Lebanon is extremely lucky to have someone as brave, knowledgeable and SMART as you working on such a difficult file. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Sara El-Yafi.

  • Youmna N. Mahmassani says:

    “Lebanon is the size of Connecticut with 6,5 million people… and it wasn’t until recently that people started asking questions like where does the trash go?”
    Sara El-Yafi ‘s take on feudal lords, waste to energy solutions and a brief on the 40’s to 70’s era. A joy to watch ?

  • Ali Al-Khalil says:

    the incredible & impressive Sara El-Yafi is at it again…must watch

  • Jad Ghazal says:

    Lebanon’s ray of hope. Sara El-Yafi, we’re proud of you!

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