Boycott “1000 Places To See Before You Die”!
It has come to my attention recently that the bestselling book “1000 Places To See Before You Die” (which now has a Travel Channel show based on it) has a gaping omission that is simply shameful and unacceptable. It lists no sites worth seeing in Lebanon, a country that contains 6 of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites; by comparison, for instance, the list includes 10 sites in Israel, a country that contains 6 World Heritage Sites as well (counting the one in Jerusalem as being in Israel, which is disputed still). (You can find the list here, so you don't have to buy the book.) I frankly can’t think of a reason for the glaring discrepancy other than political bias. You’d think a fair and balanced list (not ala Fox News) of 1000 must-see sites would at least include the World Heritage Sites (the total of which is 851 properties “forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value”).
I invite you to write to the editors of both the book and the TV program, post on your blogs, and spread the word that this disgraceful bias is simply unacceptable. We cannot let this shameless slant of American media (which in turn is piped to the rest of the world) to simply continue; it ends up becoming a self-propagating myth and an self-fulfilling prophecy. We may not be able to turn the tide, but we can certainly try to stop it. And there is some momentum gathering in self-respecting institutions to counter this tide (see for example the recent publication by Harvard and University of Chicago professors, Walt and Mearsheimer, of ground-shaking book, The Israel Lobby). So, let's do something about it!
Here is a link to a posting about the same subject matter on the Daily Star forum.