Category Archives: Critiques

Five Measures Lebanon Will Take To Fight Global Warming

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Lebanon’s garbage crisis was put on hold for the time being as our environment minister was too busy attending and signing the climate pact in Paris to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming. This is the first time an agreement is reached in two decades of climate conferences and Lebanon had to be there given its leading regional role in promoting green energy and reducing pollution.

Quoting Minister Machnouk, “the new agreement aspires to a future free of carbon emission and prepared to confront climate change”. Moreover, and in an attempt to preserve Lebanon’s leadership in the fight against global warmimg, the below five measures will be implemented ASAP:

1- Celebrate Earth Hour 6 times every day:

In addition to the daily electricity cuts planned by EDL, Earth Hour will be celebrated 6 hours every day to encourage people to consider renewable energies or upgrade their generator subscription.

2- Fine more drivers randomly:

In an attempt to discourage drivers from taking out their cars, more fines will be imposed randomly on drivers all around Lebanon. Given the outrageous high fines and the lousy economic situation, this will force people to keep their cars home and use non-existent public transportation.

3- Bury more garbage:

Since burning trash pollutes further the air, the logical thing to do is to bury all this garbage. Garbage dump sites will be open to the public on Sundays and entrance will be free to all.

4- Introduce The “Green” Arguile:
d_petite_green

Arguile has become an important part of our culture and the latest anti-smoking law was an outrageous attempt to destroy this rich (in flavors) tradition. This is why the authorities will kick off a campaign as of January to promote further “healthy” smoking by introducing solar powered arguiles. Smoking will also be allowed again indoors to limit the damage of smoking outdoors.

5- Triple the gas prices:

This measure will help reduce traffic as a lot of Lebanese won’t be able to afford filing up their cars anymore. All extra profits will be used to finance the politicians’ wage increase that has been pending for quite some time now.

All in all, I am not sure which is funnier, what I just posted or the fact that Lebanon signed a pact to fight global warming while we can’t even take garbage out of the streets.

One Quote That Sums Up The AirBoard Hype In Lebanon

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lol By the hilarious OhMyJad

The air-board is a fun gadget but I never thought for a second it would become that popular especially that it’s very expensive ($800+). As it turns out, I was terribly wrong as it became a global trend and is probably this year’s most popular Christmas gift.

It’s all over the place in Lebanon as well. I see people using it in malls, on pavements, on public roads and almost every kid in Beirut Souks has one. The problem however is that there are fake ones being sold now and these are potentially dangerous for kids, not to mention that kids will become even lazier now.

I don’t envy parents who have to buy one for their kids this Christmas because I’m sure they will get bored of it very quickly. I remember when my younger brother once wanted a small electric scooter (that cost $500 back then) for Christmas then he ended up using for a couple of weeks only. Nevertheless, I recommend to buy it if you have to from authorized dealers or decent toy shops like Virgin Megastore or Mazen World.

All in all, I think Jad’s quote hilariously sums up the airboard hype.

Hyena Shot 4 Times In The Head In Akkar

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hyena Source

I cannot believe that their first instinct was to shoot the poor animal in the head instead of calling the cops or an ambulance or NGOs like Animals Lebanon & BETA that take care of animals. Unfortunately, this is not the first crime against hyenas in Lebanon and it won’t be the last.

I’ve said that a dozen times and will repeat it: Hyenas are harmless gentle creatures and they don’t attack humans (especially the striped ones). Moreover, the Lebanese hyena is an endangered species and plays a crucial role by cleaning forests from carcasses and bones, which is why we need to condemn these attacks and fine people who harm hyenas from now on. If they really felt threatened by the animal, they could have tied him up and waited for someone specialized in animals to show up instead of shooting him brutally like that.

Check out the [video].

PS: The video contains graphic content and may not be suitable for sensitive viewers or children.

FAIL: Is Your Husband Or Boyfriend Beating You? Get A Discounted Apartment Now!

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freedom Source

Oh wow! I really have nothing to say about this ad. Exploiting victims of domestic violence to promote discounted apartments? Do you really think an apartment is the first thing on an abused woman’s mind? Do you think such a move will help protect women? Is this some sort of joke?

Even if the intentions of the company in question are good and meant to help women in need, putting a bruised woman’s picture on the poster was a terrible idea. They could have simply offered women discounted prices and that’s about it :)

7 Electricity Issues You Only Face In Lebanon

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elec

Ever since I moved to my new house a year ago, I’ve been struggling non-stop with the electricity and I hate to say that, but it doesn’t look like there’s a legal way to fix all these issues. I’ve been trying for months to figure out a way to finalize legal papers between the real estate company and EDL to have our own circuit breaker (disjoncteur), since we are using the main construction site one that powers three buildings, but it’s a very complicated and tiring process. In fact, it doesn’t look like any of the concerned parties (EDL, Real Estate company etc …) are interested in resolving this issue and as a result, you end up facing issues that no one has probably heard of outside Lebanon:

1- Main Circuit Breaker Keeps Going Off:
When the building doesn’t have its own electricity room yet, this circuit breaker is located on an electricity pole on the main road and it’s a hassle to turn it on everyday. Moreover, anyone passing by can turn it off and you can’t lock it because EDL officers can drop by anytime to make sure we didn’t replace the circuit breaker with a bigger one.

Of course it’s much easier during summer but imagine there’s a storm outside and you have to go down to turn it on and make sure you don’t get electrocuted in the process.

2- Lightning strikes the electric pole box and ruins the whole thing:
This happened 3 times now every since I moved to my new place. Last time, the whole electric box got burned at around 1 am, our phone was ruined and we ended up without electricity till the next morning. Luckily for us, the municipality takes care of such things so they fixed it the next day somehow.

I’m sure such things occur elsewhere in the world but not as often as they do here. Moreover, the setup is so bad lightning might ruin your home appliances in the process.

3- Generator overheats:
When there’s no electricity (EDL) for a long time, the generator owner sometimes has to rest his generator for some time and so you end up without electricity. We’re blessed to have a decent generator guy so this rarely happens but my parents used to suffer all the time from that.

4- EDL officer cut off the electricity.
Since we don’t have an electric room, there’s a bill that has to be paid by all the tenants. Usually the real estate company takes care of that until you register your house but after that, you have to pay a lump-sum bill for all the buildings connected to that same electric box.

The bills usually are much higher than the normal ones but the real problem is with the bill collector. The first time, he showed up and placed a paper on the door giving us a second warning (we never got the first one) and then he called two days later threatening to cut off the electricity if we didn’t pay. The second time, he also showed up around 10 am when everyone is away and when I called him to set up a date, he didn’t show up the whole week and called me on Sunday night to inform me that he’s visiting the next day.

5- Someone is stealing electricity and screws things up
It’s very easy to steal electricity when it’s a new building because the electric box is out on the street, and you can’t really do anything about it especially when you’re not home the whole day.

6- Neighbors who think they are electricians:
Electricians in Lebanon never show up on time and they rarely get the job done when they do. I don’t know what’s their deal to be honest but it’s easier to learn how to fix things on Google than expect your electrician to show up but electricity is obviously not something you want to play with. Unfortunately, you always have that neighbor who thinks he knows it all and ends up screwing everything.

Few weeks back, our house looked like a Christmas tree for an hour or so because one of the neighbors was doing some works.

7- Someone keeps switching off the electricity:
Since the circuit breaker is on the main road, anyone passing by can switch it off for no reason and this used to happen quite often at my parent’s place. In fact, we once monitored for a week the circuit breaker and finally caught the guy. Luckily for us, this is not happening where I live now but it happens a lot elsewhere. I remember Gemmayze residents used to complain a lot about drunk people switching off their electricity as well.

All in all, we were promised 24/7 electricity in 2015 but instead things got even worse than 2010 and it looks like we are headed towards 24/7 generators soon. I want to make things legal and have my own bill and our own electric box and I’ve been trying for a year now but in vain. Instead, I am paying inflated bills and I cannot control who’s stealing electricity. Until now, I still refuse to use wasta and I’m still trying to fix things for next year so let’s see how things go.

PS: There’s always the option of moving to Zahle.

Why I Will Never Get A Housekeeper Under The Kafala System In Lebanon

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kafala11 via Now

A woman is beaten to death by her maid in front of her child, a family maid kills a 4-year old child, an Ethiopian maid survives apparent 4-story suicide, a maid commits suicide after being accused of theft. The more I hear about tragic stories involving housekeepers and employers in Lebanon, the more convinced I become that I will never hire a housekeeper under this archaic Kafala (sponsorship) system.

The Kafala system is to blame for all the tragedies that are happening because it is reinforcing the status of migrant domestic workers as victims of human trafficking and forced labor and is building unhealthy relationships between the housekeepers and their employers. The whole process from the beginning is wrong and needs to be changed drastically. Most recruiting agencies treat domestic workers like slaves, confiscate their passports and beat them up if their employer is not satisfied, and then expect them to behave normally and go on with their lives.

Think about it this way: If you were asked to leave your home, travel to a foreign country where you are mistreated by a local recruiting agency and get not training whatsoever and then you’re handed to a family where you risk getting abused or locked up all the time inside the house what would you do? Even if some employers are the kindest and most friendly and treat the housekeeper as a family member, they will never be able to understand what’s going through her mind.

Personally speaking, I refuse to hire someone I know nothing about to sleep in my house and take care of my family. More importantly, my apartment is not fit to host a housekeeper and I cannot let a human being live in a tiny room that barely fits a bed and get locked up all day. If I can afford one day to buy a big house or a villa and have an isolated and decent shelter for a housekeeper then I will look for a professional agency (if there are any in Lebanon) and hire one. Until then, I will hire a cleaning lady to come once or twice a week just like I’m doing now or learn to manage just like our parents and grandparents used to do.

Lebanese React To An Old Man Marrying a 12 Year Old Girl

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wedd1

Child marriage is still a huge problem in Lebanon and is simply wrong. There are no official stats on child marriage in Lebanon but girls are generally more impacted than boys. These girls are not physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers, and they are at greater risk of experiencing dangerous complications and suffering domestic violence. [Source]

I loved KAFA’s initiative to tackle this issue and it’s good to see people reacting the way they did, however civil authorities have no role to play here because of the religious tribunals and therefore the law protects this man.

Sickening but true …

[YouTube]

Europe’s Refugee Crisis In Comparison To Lebanon

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1

We have 1.5 million refugees in a country of 4 million people. That’s the equivalent of:

– Germany hosting 20 million refugees.
– America hosting 80 million refugees.

We are all aware of the situation but it’s very hard to compare the situation in Europe vs Lebanon. When Germany plans to welcome refugees, they allocate the needed resources to integrate them and naturalize them on the long run, while in Lebanon refugees came in because our borders were open for political reasons and no matter how long they stay here, we will always consider them as foreigners (look at the Palestinians).

On the other hand, saying that Syrians are fleeing to Lebanon for economical reasons is bull shit and claiming that they are taking our jobs is a myth. In fact, we’ve had a major shortage of Syrian skilled workers ever since the Lebanese authorities decided to impose visa restrictions.

I honestly have no idea how the country has survived economically this huge burden but what worries is that the Syrian crisis is getting worse and Europe will eventually stop receiving refugees (if they haven’t stopped already) which means that more will be coming our way. No one knows who’s fighting who in Syria anymore and every time a new country starts bombing, more civilians have to flee their cities.

original via KarlRemarks

I doubt any of the Syrian families want to stay in Lebanon living in shitty conditions, sleeping on the streets and begging for food and water. Even Lebanese are dropping their passport and trying to flee the country. No one wants to stay here but there’s no place to go.

no one

AlicĂ© Anil’s report is a good reminder of the current crisis in Lebanon and that we need a lot of help from the Western countries but the comparison is a bad one in my opinion. The countries that should be ashamed of themselves for not welcoming Syrian refugees are first and foremost Arab countries.

Check out the report [here].

Did You Like YouStink’s Furn el Chebbak FlashMob?

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pop

A young pregnant woman was shopping in Furn el Chebbak, her water broke, people rush to help her out and she ends up giving birth to a …. garbage bag. The act was well executed and performed by #Tol3etRi7etkoun and they were able to shock and awe the bystanders but I didn’t quite understand the idea to begin with. Giving birth to garbage bags? What does that even mean and how is it related to the garbage crisis?

They are pointing out at the ongoing garbage crisis, the state of hospitals in Lebanon and other health care issues but showing a woman giving birth to a garbage bag was a bad idea in my opinion.

What did you think?

Check out the video [here].

gar

Roadworks In Dbayyeh For The Next Two Weeks: I Kid You Not!

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20151125_071001

Christmas season has begun and Dbayyeh malls are already causing traffic, The Village Dbayyeh just opened recently, there’s a storm coming this weekend so the logical thing to do is of course to schedule roadworks in Dbayyeh from 25/11 till 7/12.

Now if you thought that this was a stupid move, wait till you read this headline:

title

“Avoid the Dbayyeh highway starting tomorrow!”

Why didn’t I think of that before? I’m gonna call work and tell them I’m off for the next couple of weeks because we were told to avoid the Dbayyeh highway. Of course you can always take the Jounieh –> Jeita –> Achkout –> Kolayaat –> Bekfaya –> Elissar –> Jal el Dib road. It’s a very nice road with a lot of beautiful sceneries, just make sure you leave your place at 4 am.

map

Okay, my rant is over. Enjoy the traffic and expect more “traffic-boosters” during December. Who knows? Maybe they will close down Achrafieh roads a week before Christmas, or close down roads on the way to Faraya right before NYE.