Category Archives: Automotive

The First Lebanese Car

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firstlebcar via RaniaelKhatib

I don’t know how accurate this poster is but Lissan Al Hal (in Arabic لسان الحال) was a daily Lebanese newspaper that was established by Khalil Sarkis in the 1870s and is considered as one of the oldest Lebanese publications. This 1960 article is entitled “The First Lebanese Car” and talks about a small vehicle (very similar to a Jeep) that was built using American parts by Younes Motors in Lebanon. It would be interesting to know if this same Younes Motors is linked to the current Rasamny-Younes group and whether they produced or sold any of these cars. I went through Lissan Al Hal’s horrible website but didn’t find anything except recent boring news. According to what I found online, the publication was acquired by the Lebanese National Congress that resumed its publication as a weekly newspaper.

As far as Lebanese cars are concerned, the W Motors Lykan Hypersport is considered as the first Lebanese car ever produced and is currently priced at 3,400,000 US dollars.

After his election and starting 1942, editing of Lisan al Hal was continued by his son Khalil Ramez Sarkis who was also a literary figure and had a series of literary works published. After Khalil Ramez Sarkis, editing and publishing was taken over by Gebran Hayek.[6][7] Bishop George Khodr wrote for the daily in his column called Hadith al Ahad (The Sunday Talk) from 11 March 1962 to 25 January 1970.[8] The newspaper stopped publication during the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s. [Wiki]

Update: A friend just told me about another Lebanese car made by a guy from Tripoli. The car is called “Spider” and it took 3 years to build and cost $300,000. Mustapha used the body of an Infiniti G35 body and engine and boosted the engine to become a 700HP one. Even though what he did was pretty cool, I didn’t like the car much. Here are some pictures:



car21 Pictures via ElIktisad

Lebanon’s New Traffic Law: Everything You Need To Know

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new law

I think we all agree that Lebanon needs a new traffic law and I’m glad that the authorities finally managed to draft a new modern traffic law but the question remains whether they will be able to implement it or not? I followed closely Kalamennas‘ episode last week, listened to what Gen. Joseph Msallem (head of public relations division in the Internal Security Forces) and Marcel Ghanem had to say and all I can say is that law enforcement officers need to figure out a way to gain people’s trust while spreading awareness on the new traffic law.

If the aim of the new traffic law is to fine people, then things will only get worse and people will find a way (wasta) not to pay the fines. If not, then the ISF should develop a strategy to 1) spread awareness on the new traffic law without fines 2) serve as role models and 3) gain people’s trust and encourage them not to break the law. Two days ago, I spotted four police officers breaking the law on my way from Jounieh to Achrafieh. One of them wasn’t wearing a seat-belt, the other wasn’t wearing a helmet on his bike, and the 2 others were driving recklessly and cutting off people. If some police officers are incapable of respecting the law and are not being fined or reprimanded, then things will never work out even if this new law is the one of the most modern ones in the world.

On another note, you need a proper infrastructure and decent roads to properly implement the new traffic law, which is not the case. Our roads are terrible and barely lit, traffic lights (if present) are not working everywhere, road works are lousy and hazardous, potholes are everywhere etc. Of course this is not an excuse not to have a new traffic law but the absence of any initiative to fix all these small issues endangering people’s lives makes us wonder if the government is serious about this new law or they’re just doing it to collect more money from the Lebanese.

Speaking of violations and fines, I summed up some of the technical details that were mentioned on LBCI in order to give you an idea about the new law. If you are interested in reading the whole 177-pages long law, you can find it [here].

All in all, we do need severe offences to stop traffic violations but we also need competent and trustworthy law enforcement officers to do the job, and we need the law to be implemented in all regions and on all individuals without any exception.

PS: The fines are so high in this new traffic law that one blogger thought of introducing the Lebanese driving ticket loan.





In addition to the above violations, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or exceeding the speed limit will be also be punishable by law. The fines will be determined based on the severity of the violation.

A Lesson For Every Lebanese Driver Trying To Skip Traffic Illegally

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hahaha via Yasa

Every day, I see drivers specially those with 4×4 vehicles trying to go from one side of the highway to the other to skip traffic, specially on the Dora highway. Aside from the fact that it’s against the law and considered very dangerous driving, I don’t understand why people are so reckless about their cars in Lebanon. Why would you put your life in danger and drive like an idiot? Why would you wreck your car if it’s a rental? What’s the logic behind that?

In all cases, I hope the picture above will be a lesson for all drivers to stop trying these stupid maneuvers.


How Lucky Is This Guy?

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The person who uploaded this video said he took the film from the store owner and that it happened somewhere in Beirut. I can’t really tell where the crash took place but that was a very close call!

I pulled over to get something from the grocery store and was just heading towards the store when I heard screeching tires. I looked and without thinking I just ran to the store. With respect to the driver, he was a reckless guy driving above speed limit and lost control of the car so he hit the brakes and his car turned and crashed into my car and the ice-cream refrigerators outside the store. Luckily no one was seriously injured.

The store owner was kind enough to let me film his CCTV monitor before he deleted the tape, so i’ll always have this video to remind me just how lucky i was.


Thanks Hadi!

Lebanese Red Cross Road Accidents Statistics For 2014: 10866 Accidents, 14516 Injuries And 229 Kills

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red cross

If we look back at 2013, there were 11,552 injuries according to the Lebanese Red Cross so the number has increased by almost 3000 this year which is huge! As far as the kills and accidents are concerned, I couldn’t find the full 2013 report but I assume the numbers are up this year as well.

I tried to compare the LRC statistics to the ones published by Kunhadi (via the ISF), but they don’t match at all. In fact, Kunhadi registered lower crashes (3420) and injuries (4690) this year, but 537 fatalities which is twice as much as the number reported by the Red Cross.

I don’t know which numbers are more accurate, but the sure thing is that road safety is still a major problem in Lebanon and the Lebanese authorities as well as all the NGOs concerned should be taking further measures. In fact, I think NGOs should cut down a bit on the awareness campaigns and take further practical measures on the roads, like installing safety barriers, fixing potholes or covering them, or even setting up checkpoints with the help of the ISF or municipalities on dangerous roads.