Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Park away

Dear Lebanon

Following the series of explosions which shook the country last month, several businesses and centers started taking safety measures in order to protect themselves.
At the entrance of malls and supermarkets, security personnel would search your car for any suspect package and then search you once you get in.
Last Sunday, I went to a pub in Monot for a drink. At the entrance of the street of Pacifico, Lila Brown, 37 degrees (my favorite) and the other famous pubs, a private security checkpoint is set up to search guys and look in girls' purses.
Neighborhood watch programs have been setup by residents to check for any suspect car, and if not identified within minutes, security forces are called.
As if parking wasn't already a major problem all over Lebanon, it is now forbidden to park in front of many stores, restaurants and banks.
The big beneficiaries of this sad situation are private security companies who provide trained security people to scared entities.
As if paying twice for electricity, water and other necessities which the government is failing to provide adequately wasn't enough, we now have to pay for our own security.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

United we Diverge

For the last 3 months, I have witnessed the irony of fate in Lebanon. Suddenly, a group decided to support the claims of the extreme other. Although some politicians are famous for changing sides as often as changing socks, some of the current alliances under the slogan of National Unity are beyond my comprehension.

I have never been affiliated to any political party.
The only demonstrations I attended recently were the Human Lebanese Flag Making and the big demonstration of the 14th of March which, let's admit it, was a reply for the government who claimed being the majority.

What I hate the most is when some opposition leaders try to take advantage of such situations. As if they forgot that they were the architects of our post-war misery, they actually consider their old robberies and corruption as national achievements and want a medal of honor for it.

What really amazes me is how the Lebanese population quickly forgot who was behind the colossal 40 billion dollars debt.
Am I the only one to notice how they gave themselves licenses for audiovisual and written media, for ISPs, for public transportation companies, and for the city center building exclusivity?

Obviously, the end justifies the means.
That they might fool simple people with their unity, they will never fool me.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Slap Back to Reality

Dear Lebanon

I went to Dubai last week to visit a friend there.
The image I had of Dubai was a small city built in the desert with a very hot weather.
Well, I guess this was a superficial illusion.
When I got there, I was astonished.
Tall buildings, large malls, wide roads, trees and flowers everywhere...
And the nightlife? My friend took me to pubs and nightclubs which I never thought I could see in an Arab country.
What amazed me was the giant advertisements for several towns being built, some of which are on water.
Life there is easy and organized, which makes it quite impressive for a person who spent all his life in chaotic Lebanon.
On my way back in the airplane, I could see the green mountains of Lebanon.
I had mixed emotions. I was happy to see my homeland and felt sorry for my poor country for what it is and what it could be.
The difference between Lebanon and Dubai?
Dubai is not ruled by a corrupted government like Lebanon.
While I enjoyed a relaxing and fun atmosphere during my trip, it only took a 20 minutes drive home to realize I was back to the land of stress and corruption.

Below are some photos of Beirut I took from the airplane... Enjoy!!!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Broumana Explosion

Dear readers

I am not in Lebanon currently. I heard about the explosion which took place in Broumana.
Below are links for some articles:

1- Naharnet
2- Washington Post

Lebanon News - Aggregated by Google