Monthly Archives: October 2010

Lebanon still a failed state

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According to the 2010 Failed States Index, Lebanon ranked 34th, down 5 spots from 2009 which is considered an improvement, but is still a failed state and labeled “in danger”.

Added to that, the CPI, or Corruption Index has not dropped since last year and still stands at 2.5. CPI, calculated by Transparency International, determines the level of corruption in the public sector from 0 (high corruption) to 10 (almost no corrupt officials). [NowLebanon]

R.I.P Paul

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Paul the Octopus has died at the tender age of 2.

Paul seemed to be in good shape when he was checked late Monday, but he did not make it through the night. He died of natural causes, Vieregge added. [Source]

Unmarried couples not welcome in Lebanese hotels

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A predominant number of Lebanese hotels forbid unmarried couples from staying together in a room. [Source]

I have to partially agree with this article as i believe there are more hotels that accept unwed couples than ones who don’t.

“If the guests are not Lebanese, they can book a room,” said Nasrine Jabado, a front desk agent at the Quality Inn in Tripoli.

“If they are coming from abroad, it’s ok,” said an employee at an upscale hotel in Beit Mary who preferred to speak off the record. “Usually, in Arab countries, that’s hotel policy.”

Added to that, i have to ask those hotels what difference does being a Lebanese make? Why do they assume the girl is a whore or the guy is filthy if they are sharing a room?

I find this policy really backwards and unjustified as this is bad business for them.

What would Ziad Baroud do?

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Yesterday around 6 pm, i was driving on the Jal el Dib highway then went left under the bridge to withdraw money from a nearby ATM. I was on the phone when a police officer jumps in front of me from no where and asks me to pull over. I swear i could have hit him if i wasn’t going slow.

Here’s how the discussion went:

Police Officer: You know you cannot talk on the phone while driving, it is against the law.

Me: I know but i just picked up the phone and am parking over there (pointing at the nearby Bank Audi ATM in Jal el Dib).

Police Officer: It doesn’t matter, you broke the law and i have to penalize you. Please give me your papers.

Me: Here you go.

Police Officer: So you are Najib.

Me (telling myself Dah): Yes

Police Officer: So as i was telling you, i have to write you a ticket for talking on the phone while driving.

Me: Ma badda hal2ad, i was just gonna park over there. I’ve received already two tickets that i didn’t deserve. Just let me go.

Police Officer: I am not sure i can. It is the law, but i can make you a favor. I will write you down the ticket and you can pay it without handing me your driving license.

(So basically, he wants a bribe)

Me: No it is ok, just go ahead and do it the legal way, i don’t mind. Do it as it should be done.

Police Officer: Hmm you know what, you seem in a hurry, i will let you go this time.

So i just left without getting a ticket but imagine how many people are actually bribing him and the money he makes in one day, even though i sense the police officer in question was not even allowed to issue tickets, if he was a real police officer at all!

250,000 and 500,000 bills introduced

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The Central Bank of Lebanon is going to issue new 250,000LL and 500,000 LL bills in an attempt to “absorb the large number of bills currently circulating in the market,”. [NowLebanon]

So basically people earning the minimum wage will receive one bill as their salary! A positive aspect of those new bills though is that it will be easier to bribe (via Mustapha)