All of the city of Tyre is surrounded by another sunken city, and until today the sites have been conserved in detail,” Jundi explained. “Human factors such as looters and vandals have contributed to disfiguring the site. Some take artifacts as souvenirs, while others for example move the blocks so they can tie ropes to them and secure their boats.”
Jundi lamented what he said was a decrease in the number of artifacts over the last ten years. “We hope the authorities follow up on this with greater [urgency],” he said. “This is a true treasure, in the fullest sense of the word; it should not go to waste.”
Mustapha Raed, an environmental journalist, has been diving since 2014, after a chance assignment led him to discover the joys of the sport. He lamented the lack of interest in the marine sciences in Lebanon.
“We do not have real scientific journalism,” he said after his dive. “There is a severe lack of information in the newspaper archives, or it is not accurate.”
Raed’s favorite diving spot remains Tyre, but he also enjoys forays to Batroun and Chekka. He insists he will never dive in Beirut.
“The water there is disgusting. The bacteria present is way beyond the acceptable limit. I am not going to go swimming only to develop a rash,” he said. “It is a shame though. In some places, such as Raouche, there are beautiful caves that are worth exploring, but we cannot do that now – they are filled with garbage.”
Jundi nodded in agreement, but insisted on leaving things with a saying he likes to recount, inspired by his love for the sea.