Monday, February 28, 2005

The "Lebanon Today" series (2)

Monday February 28, 2005

Since I don't like talking about politics, and since it is hard to write about any other events, I offer you this summary for now:

Two weeks after the tragic events, a parliamentary session was scheduled for that day.
Opposition figures called for a gathering in martyrs' square, aka freedom square.
Government closed the whole central district for "security" reasons.
Although the government was trying to ban this gathering, tens of thousands of people managed to get there by foot, with the help of the army and security forces who were tipping them on how to get through.
Opposition deputies accused the government of being unable to manage the country.
At 6:30pm, the current prime minister resigned.
Later that night, people were driving around Lebanon chanting for what they achieved.

UPDATE: For an insider's view and some photos, check out Mr. Roy Saad's blog by clicking here.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Shock and Awe

Last week, Lebanon was on the headlines of all major international Medias.
After the heightened tensions between the government and the opposition, the bubble finally burst.
Wanting to eliminate the former prime minister at any cost, the murderers planted an explosive device on a major road in broad daylight causing the death of 15 people and injuring around 130.

I won't comment on the political issues resulting from this infamy. Politics is a dirty game I decided not to get involved in.
Still, it makes me wonder. It is a road I take so many times... as a lot of Lebanese people do.
So no matter what your religion or political opinions were, you could have been blown away for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, as many poor people were.

What I make of all this sick situation?
I realize that Lebanon is probably not worth it after all.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Not Over It Yet

Last week, I was at my friend's Internet cafe when we decided to order some food. I decided to chat on the good old mIRC program while waiting for the delivery guy. I usually use mIRC to meet Spanish girls in order to practice the language. This time however, I was automatically logged in to channel Lebanon, so I decided to have fun by trying to find an interesting Lebanese girl to chat with... and I did. Her name was Maya.

After the regular questions, she told me she lives in Beirut. Unconsciously, I wanted to know her religion, so I started asking her tricky questions, and she was replying in even trickier answers. I admit it is wrong to think this way, but I am sure that most Lebanese people of my generation do the same. After failing to discourage me, she finally started criticizing me for being sectarian, and she said it was a shame that some people still feel the way I do.

After realizing I was talking to a mature person, I apologized and changed the topic. Surprisingly, she brought back the conversation to this topic again and again, and when I told her so, she explained her philosophy to me. She believes that there should be no barriers between people from different religions except for marriage. I was surprised to hear it from her. This made me realize that no matter how much people brag about not being sectarian, there is still a long way to go to abolish this feeling. I believe admitting a problem and trying to resolve it is better than acting as if it didn't exist.

I decided to write about this experience in order to get some feedback from you. I would love to hear and share other people's experiences on this topic. I would also like to know whether you want me to keep on discussing this subject.

  1. The title refers to the sectarian feelings Lebanese people (including me) still have 15 years after the end of the 15 years long civil war.
  2. mIRC is an Internet program used for chatting.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Snowing in Beirut !!!

Dear Lebanon,

I just wanted to post some photos taken in Bauchrieh, a coastal suburb of Beirut, on Tuesday 8th of February 2005, around 10:00 am Beirut Time. The temperature was around 5 degrees Celsius and it started snowing.
Yes !!! Snowing in BEIRUT !!!
I managed to take some photos near my office and here they are:

Click on the photos for larger size.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The "Lebanon Today" series (1)

Good morning Lebanon,

Finally, the Lebanese government is about to decide on the parliamentary election law. And I say finally because it took around 3 months for the government to finally decide on adopting the 1960 electoral law. It is a good thing we didn't reinvent the wheel and used instead something already available, but what if we had decided to do so a bit earlier... Nah, where would be the suspense then?

I don't like the way things are going since I have a different approach for selecting decision makers, but what the heck... As long as WE can choose the ones WE want, it is a good start.
More on that in the future...

Tonight is a special night for lots of Lebanese. The local basketball derby between long time rivals Sagesse (7ekmeh) and Riyadeh will take place at 9:45 pm Beirut time.
For those who didn't know, some changes were made before the start of this controversial season. After Sagesse's president quit, Fadi el Khatib along with most key players left the green club. All that remains is the icon Elie Mchentaf.
As for Riyadeh, well, that's another story. They adopted a new strategy. If your team can't win, drop it and buy one that can...The club bought all players and coach from Champville, and kept only few Riyadeh players from last year.

No more comments for today. Hope we'll see a nice game!

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