Category Archives: Critiques

The Janna Dam: Yet Another Scandal?

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Building a dam in Janna could affect the water flow to Jeita Springs

The German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources published a [report] back in May 2012 on the Janneh dam and gave the below conclusion and recommendations:

Conclusion and Recommendations:
The results of all four measurement campaigns prove the existence of a massive infiltration into the J4 aquifer in the Upper Nahr Ibrahim Valley and have major implications for the currently ongoing planning of the Janneh dam which extends well into the assumed zone of high infiltration.

The exact location of the infiltration zone could be narrowed down to the area shown in Figure 23. The infiltration zone could start at an elevation of approx. 80m asl going up to around 860 m asl. The major infiltration is assumed to be at an elevation of 810-820 m asl. The planned minimum level of the Janneh dam would be at 834 m asl, the maximum level at 839 m asl. Due to infiltration between 14 and 29 m of storage would be lost completely.

In view of the current findings, it is strongly recommended not to go ahead with the construction of the planned Janneh dam.

The infiltrating water is believed to flow towards Jeita spring, constituting a large share of discharge at Jeita Spring. Any interference at the infiltration zone would directly affect Jeita spring. Should it be attempted to seal the infiltration zone, though practically impossible, discharge at Jeita spring would be significantly reduced.

It is recommended to establish a completely new monitoring of spring flow at Afqa and Rouaiss springs because both stations are in a state of disrepair and do not produce useful results. Construction costs for both are in the range of 1 Mio USD.

Despite these facts, The Energy and Water Ministry Gebran Bassil is going ahead with plans to build a dam in Janna, knowing that this plan might potentially damage Jeita Grotto.

Is Bassil aware of this report? Does he know something we don’t?

Either way, he’s a resigned minister now and hopefully this plan will never see the light.

Fadel Shaker Featured In The New York Times

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He was a known and loved artist and had the chance to play a positive role in society, instead he chose to get armed and shoot at army soldiers. What a total waste of oxygen this guy turned out to be.

You can read the whole article [Here].

SIDON, Lebanon — His success was a dream come true for this tough port city on the Mediterranean coast: a poor kid whose honeyed voice and ballads of love and heartbreak rocketed him to wealth and fame far from the gun-ridden neighborhood where he grew up.

Ahmed al-Jardali, a leader in the Lebanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sidon, said he tried to persuade Mr. Shaker to focus his piety on spiritual songs.
“Someone like Fadel could send a message much better than someone holding a rifle, so it was important for us to try to put him in the right place,” Mr. Jardali said. “But then the problems started and it was too late for him to choose a different direction.”


Standing in Mr. Shaker’s bedroom upstairs, where springs jutted from a burned mattress and a black chandelier hung overhead, Mr. Sin, the driver, shook his head.

“Even I have no idea what changed him,” he said. “How did he benefit from all of this?”

What is Al-Jadeed’s Reporter Nawal Berri trying to prove?

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We have over 600,000 confirmed Syrian Refugees in Lebanon yet this Al-Jadeed reporter figured some might be “Nawar” (As if those are not human beings) and are pretending to be Syrian Refugees to get food and shelter. She also thought it’s ok to stay in the car and yell at random homeless people sleeping on the streets asking them if they are Syrians or not and requesting identification papers.

I honestly don’t understand what Berri was trying to prove by this report. Al-Akhbar also didn’t get what she was going after and saw in her report more racism against Syrian refugees.

Sehnaoui: Fiber-optics network will cover all of Lebanon by year-end

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Picture from TheBeirutReport

We’ve been waiting for the fiber-optics network to be completed for 3 years now as it was promised by the previous Telecom Ministers. I hope this time things will work out and people will finally be able to enjoy more than 1 lousy Mb connection but if you read Habib’s report on this matter, it doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen anytime soon.

Let’s not forget the ongoing feud between the Telecom Ministry and Ogero.

Lebanon recently dropped 6 spots in the Download Index Report and now ranks 158th out of 182 countries.

Telecom Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui said Thursday that more than half of Lebanon’s telephone substations were linked to a long-awaited fiber-optics network, and vowed to extend coverage to the remaining areas within the next six months. “After two years of work, the fiber optics network is ready in 170 telephone areas, and we sent a letter to [state-run telephone land line operator] OGERO to detail their financial and technical requirements to expand it to the remaining areas, which do not yet have DSL,” he said.

“The project is a part of balanced development … and no Lebanese will be without fast Internet by the end of the year,” Sehnaoui said. [DailyStar]

Haifa Wehbe Gets Sued After Ramez Ankh Amon’s Prank

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This is beyond ridiculous.

Egyptian lawyer Abdelhamid Shaalan has filed a lawsuit against the singer, demanding that she’s denied entry into Egypt. Shaalan told that Haifa was extremely exaggerated in her reactions, and showed an ugly face that no one had ever seen before.

“How could she have insulted an Egyptian artist in the way she did, while she lives in Egypt and has earned her fame through them? Egyptians have been nothing but loving towards her, is this how she repays them?” the lawyer said.[Link]

Why is Addiyar still open?

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Taken from +961

I was just reading on Rami’s blog the small note the paper had left to thank one of their reporters for failing to do his job properly and I remembered a month back the letter Addiyar’s Editor in Chief Charles Ayoub wrote to Syrian President Bashar el Assad begging him for $700,000 and admitting he lost all his money to gambling.

He deleted the letter from his page but I found it somewhere else. You can check it out [Here]. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more humiliating and unprofessional and I am wondering whether any actions should be taken against the paper to close it down. Aren’t there any rules or guidelines to operate a newspaper in Lebanon? Shouldn’t there be a minimum level of credibility and integrity?

Al-Assir Shot First

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The above footage shown by Al-Jadeed is supposed to show how Al-Assir was the one who shot first at the army but I honestly don’t see how they made such an assumption based on this footage. Don’t get me wrong, I am convinced Assir and his buddies are criminals that should be arrested and jailed not just for attacking the army but for having weapons in the first place, but this video, specially the title, is misleading and proves nothing.

If anything, it undermines the earlier report submitted by the Lebanese Army and the Ministry of Defense (See Video Below). In Al-Jadeed footage, the gunshots came from an unknown source far from Assir and the army while in the video below, Al-Assir is the one who started firing at the army.


Update: Here’s another footage taken from Bank Audi’s Camera. It still contradicts with the story shown in the LBC report above.

The Lebanese National Basketball Team Urges The Lebanese Federation To Resign

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The National Team is finally back to Lebanon and Coach Ghassan Sarkis held a press conference where he asked the Lebanese Federation on behalf of the Players to resign immediately. Sarkis “addressed the Federation’s President Robert Abou Abdallah saying: “I kindly tell you that you do not know how to run this game.”

This proves the points I raised earlier this week, that the Federation failed miserably and should resign immediately.

Let’s hope they do it ASAP and things go back to normal knowing that we have a very promising season next year.


Rabih al-Ahmed’s wife says he tricked her into marriage

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For those of you who forgot, Rabih al-Ahmed is the guy who got his penis severed by his wife’s family members. He was brutally beaten up by seven men for half an hour, then dragged to the town’s square where they cut off his penis.

Now you’d think the wife would stay silent or defend her husband but instead she went on TV, surrounded by her family, and accused her husband of fabricating the story and assaulting her on several occasions. She also stated that he tricked her into believing that he’s Druze and that she wished justice would take its course.

I have to say this love story is a bit weird specially that Rabih is 20 years older than Rudeina, but there’s nothing that could possibly justify the crime the girl’s family members have committed and I truly hope that they get jailed. Unfortunately though, these religious-driven acts go unpunished most of the time in Lebanon especially when there’s apparently an MP protecting the perpetrators.