Monthly Archives: January 2012

Let’s take down Jal el Dib’s Bridge, and then what?

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We are all very happy that the government and head of the council of development and recontruction decided to dismantle the Jal el-Dib metal bridge within 5 days, but did they think about the extra traffic that closing this bridge might cause?

As you see in the picture above, the Jal el-Dib bridge is a key bridge as it allows:
– People coming from Jounieh/Dbayyeh to get into Jal el Dib or Zalka or head upwards towards Bsalim. (Red Line)

– People coming from Bsalim/Bkenaya/Mezher and surrounding areas to get to the Nahr el Mot/Dora/Beirut highway. (Green line)

– People coming from Zalka towards Jal el Dib to get back on the highway leading to Nahr el Mot/Dora/Beirut.

While cars pass under the bridge in the colors mentioned above, the Blue line corresponds to the normal flow of cars that cross the bridge coming from Dora/Nahr el-Mot/Beirut.

Having said that, closing the bridge will force cars whose destination is between Jal el Dib and Nahr el Mot to use the inside roads from Antelias or go all the way to Nahr el Mot, make a U-turn and come back. (See two pictures below)

The traffic in Antelias and Nahr el Mot is already agonizing in the morning, so closing down the bridge will make even worse.

What should the government do?
– Dismantle the current bridge and setup a temporary metal one until the new bridge is ready. This should be done within few days time as it was already done in the South after the July war and the bombing of several bridges. This would slow down traffic but is better than nothing.

If this option is not feasible, and the new bridge will take few months at least to be finished, then maybe we should all sell our cars and buy bikes.

Fingerprints records of all Lebanese leaked

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If we spent less time checking whether artists coming in Lebanon performed in Israel or not, and more time investigating the companies we entrust our data with, maybe then we would have figured out the partnership between a French Corporation “SAGEM” running the database of the fingerprint records of the Lebanese citizens and “Elbit”, an Israeli military company.

“I will take the necessary measures concerning the matter,” Charbel told As Safir newspaper.

What can be possibly done if the data was leaked? Ask the Israelis to give it back?

Lara Fabian cancels Lebanon tour

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Why isn’t Lara Fabian coming to Lebanon anymore?

Fabian performed at a concert in France in 2008 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel’s establishment in 1948, reportedly saying at the end of a song that she loved Israel. She has also performed in Israel on a number of occasions and attended pro-Zionist meetings. [Link]

What a blasphemy! An artist saying that she loves the country she is singing in! This has never happened before. I don’t know what’s wrong with those people at the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon (CBSI). Who gives a damn about the political allegiances of an artist? She’s here to perform on Valentine, not buy Israel some rockets!

The funny thing about this group is that it’s inconsistent in its boycotts. Let’s take a look at the artists who performed in Lebanon this summer:
– Tom Jones [Interview with Israeli TV] [Tomes Jones tour in Israel]
– Armin Van Buuren [AVB concert in Israel- 2007] [AVB Concert in Israel – 2008]
– Shakira [Shakira in Israel] [Shakira Makes a Star Turn at an Israeli Conference]
– Inna [Inna in Tel Aviv]
– Scorpions [Concert in Israel planned on May 2012]
– 30 seconds to Mars [Concert in Israel in 2010]

I don’t think I need to continue listing all the artists that came to Lebanon and had performed in Israel before or visited Israel. This non-sense must stop and whomever is behind those campaigns must be sued for being an ignorant.

Minimum wage raised to 675,000 LL

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After almost 4 months of bickering between different political parties, the General Labor Syndicate and the economic committees, it seems that we’ve finally reached a solution to the minimum wage raise.

Nahhas’ plan was refused as it should have always been. You can read more details about the adopted plan [Here] and check out the increase you should be getting on your salary in the table above.

Update: Jal el Dib Bridge to be removed ASAP

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Noting that this bridge should have been taken down since October, let’s hope we don’t have to wait for the bridge to collapse to have it changed and hold Charbel accountable if another tragedy takes place.

The decision has been taken to remove the Jal el-Dib bridge “as soon as possible” in order to avoid a possible “disaster,” Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Tuesday.

Charbel reassured that “there is no need to panic,” saying the relevant authorities had taken the “necessary precautions.” [Naharnet]

Mourning day

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I offer this post to all the Lebanese and NON-Lebanese who died in the building collapse in Achrafieh. May they rest all in peace and let’s hope such incidents will never be repeated.

What saddened me today is that one of the Sudanese workers who died used to work in the same building as I did. I used to see him every morning bringing the garbage out. He was a very polite and calm individual. I wish I knew what his name was.

Here’s an incomplete list of the people who died:
– Anna Maria Abdelkarim, 15 years old, Lebanese.
– Jihad, Farhat & Charlie Naim (3 brothers) & their father Tanios Naim.
– Laith, the deaf and mute boy.

If anyone has a complete list of the victims, please do share it as I cannot find it anywhere.

Taking down the Jal el Dib Bridge

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Now that a building has collapsed in Lebanon, Lebanese are all of a sudden worried everything’s gonna fall on their heads, including the Jal el Dib bridge. However, that didn’t stop them from using the bridge yesterday as I went there around 8 pm and traffic was normal.

Meanwhile, someone’s apparently getting impatient and is trying to take down the bridge himself.

Blame the Ethiopians

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The verdict for the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 90 people, including 52 Lebanese is finally out and we still don’t know what happened.

Lebanese version:

Public Works Minister Ghazi Aridi revealed on Tuesday that the probe in the 2010 crash of the Ethiopian plane off the Lebanese coast, in which all 90 people on board died, points to a pilot error. “The truth is in the Lebanese report, the pilot is completely responsible for the plane crash,” the minister said during a press conference held at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International airport.[Link]

Ethiopian version:

Ethiopian Airlines said Tuesday the 2010 crash of its jet off Lebanon was likely caused by sabotage, a lightning strike or was shot down, rejecting an official Lebanese probe blaming pilot error. “The aircraft disintegrated in the air due to explosion, which could have been caused by a shoot-down, sabotage or lightning strike,” Desta Zeru, vice president of flight operations for Ethiopian Airlines, said in a statement. [Link]

Did we really need two years to come out with such conclusions? This is pathetic!