Monthly Archives: November 2011

Lebanon’s first serial killer?

October 14 2011
The bodies of two middle-aged men who had been shot in the head were discovered in two regions near Beirut early Friday, the National News Agency reported. [Link]

November 12, 2011
BEIRUT: The bodies of two men, killed in almost identical fashion, were discovered over the weekend in separate suburbs of the capital, security sources said. [Link]

I truly hope I am wrong about this. The last thing we need are serial killers in Lebanon.

A temporary solution to electricity blackouts

I heard about this proposal a while ago and I believe it’s the best alternative we have until our electricity crisis is over. What I suggest is that the government encourages households to purchase solar panels as well in order to be able to provide electricity as many hours per day as possible.

BEIRUT: The Cabinet decided in its session Thursday to go ahead with plans to lease electricity-generating ships and has empowered a ministerial committee to study international bids for the project.

Lebanon currently produces less than 1,600 MW of electricity but the actual need of the country far exceeds 2,300 MW. [DailyStar]

Why N7W was a bad idea …

I’ve been criticized by my family, some friends and blog readers for not supporting nor voting for Jeita. I promised to keep quiet until the campaign’s over but now that it’s done and Jeita lost, I will explain why N7W was a bad idea all along.

1- As many bloggers have pointed out earlier, UNESCO does not recognize this competition and the voting is a joke. You can vote a zillion times, come up with a zillion fake emails and I received in the past week not less than two or three emails asking me to download softwares that help get Jeita more votes. So it’s a competition of who can cheat better.

2- Putting aside whether this competition is a scam or not, what truly pissed me off was the amount of money the Lebanese government and those behind the Jeita Grotto campaign were investing into this competition.

From what I heard, not less than 10 Million Dollars were spent over the past 4 years. Let’s assume it’s only 10 Million Dollars.

- If Jeita were to win the N7W competition, how much time will it take us to get back this kind of money? Were they expecting the whole world to start coming to Lebanon to see Jeita Grotto? Do you really think people will start going to the Amazon or Komodo more now because they won?

- Assuming more tourists will show up to visit Jeita. Has anyone done an estimate on how much it will cost us to prepare the Jeita area for tourists? Has anyone seen the road leading to Jeita? The restaurants next to it? The trucks that empty their waste in the valleys near the Grotto? Of course not.

- Assuming more tourists come and a plan has been put in place to turn the area around Jeita Grotto into a touristic one, can anyone imagine the traffic that will result from such a thing? Did the concerned ministry take this into consideration? Keep in mind the road leading to Jeita is the one leading to Feytroun, Hrajel, Ajaltoun, Klayaat and most importantly Faraya.

All this being said, only a fool would spend that much money without calculating the estimated return on investment because there’s no way we could have profited from this competition.

3- Last but not least, did anyone take a look at the 7 winners? No offense to Jeita Grotto, but objectively speaking, we don’t deserve to be among the winners. If I were not Lebanese, I would have easily picked 7 different wonders.

4- On a last note, is our country that financially stable to afford wasting millions of dollars over such a campaign? Isn’t it better to invest them in public schools? Or protecting whatever is left of our forests and planting more Cedars?

I would rather donate the money to the Lebanese National Audiovisual Media Council so that they start registering our blogs and websites than enter this stupid n7w competition.

I hope I was not too harsh but what we did throughout this voting campaign resembles sending money to a Nigerian prince and refusing to admit we’ve been scammed.

Jeita Grotto lost

Lebanon is out of the N7W (New 7 wonders) competition as Jeita Grotto did not rank in the top 7. The Provisional New 7 Wonders of Nature are the Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River, and Table Mountain. [Link]

In conclusion, it turned out to be a big waste of money and time. I am glad that I did not take part of it and I will elaborate why in a future post.

Who’s to blame for the internet problems?

Few days ago, the internet went down due to a problem with the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) cable. It seemed like a valid reason as it has happened before, even though we’re supposed to have a backup line for such cases. No explanation was given as to why we did not switch to that backup line.

Yesterday, the internet connection went down again and according to LBC, there was a problem with some domestic cable and not with the (IMEWE) cable. Telecom Minister announced later on that the problem is from Marseille in France and related to the (IMEWE) cable again.

Who do we believe? What was the problem and why was Lebanon only affected with it?

If anyone has credible information on that matter, I would appreciate if they’d share it.

Old but Epic!

On November 11th 2010, Al Balad online published on its front page a picture of ex-Minister Mohammad Rahhal playing minesweeper during an important cabinet session.

For some reason, the picture resurged online today, and is being circulated via emails and on blogs even though Rahhal is not in the current government.

I say we could really use Rahhal’s expertise nowadays in detecting the mines Syria is planting along our borders.