Category Archives: Critiques

Brazilian Company Building The Janna Dam Involved In a Massive Corruption Scandal

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While the first phase of the Janna dam construction was handled by a local firm, the second phase which should have started in 2014, consists of the construction of a dam that will enable the storage of up to 38 million cubic meters of water and was awarded to a Brazilian company (Andrade Gutierrez).

This same construction company, Brazil’s second-largest, “has just agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors for its alleged role in a massive corruption scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras and agreed to pay 1 billion reais ($286 million) to settle the allegations”.

Ironically enough, a controversial hydropower dam in Brazil being built by Andrade Gutierrez (AG) was pushed through, despite protests by environmental and social campaigners, by Brazil’s ex-president Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended recently over corruption allegations. The Belo Monte dam went ahead regardless of concerns about its environmental impact and economic viability, which is exactly what’s happening now with the Janna dam. Andrade Gutierrez is also involved in the World Cup scandal and is behind the controversial Amazonia Arena in Manaus.

These dams and stadiums were all built to serve the political parties in Brazil and were all overcharged. The total cost of the Janna dam is estimated at $200 million and works are ongoing despite several concerns raised and the lack of scientific reports to back its construction.

Another scandal in the making. Why am I not surprised?

Original Story via YouStink

VIDEO: Two Teenagers Torturing A Small Chick

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chick via APAF ( Animals Pride And Freedom )

Young and stupid. The school should reprimand the two teenagers as well as the person filming them. I can’t believe they are scouts. Nevertheless, I am totally against harsh punishments such as kicking them out of school. Someone should sit down and explain to them what they did wrong otherwise they will commit worse acts later.

Thanks Aly!

The New Roadster Branch Is Pretty Cool

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rd1

The new RD look and feel has been the talk of the town for the past three days. Some people liked the new look, some hated it while others said it’s a copy of Divvy restaurant. I refused to share the comparative pictures between both restaurants that were circulating online because I’ve never been to the new RD branch and I thought they were misleading.

Anyway, I passed by the Backyard this morning before Roadster even opens, looked around the new branch and personally loved it. The new look is actually pretty cool and a breath of fresh air. In fact, I don’t think the old RD would have fitted in this new venue because most of the shops open there have the same feel, and the same applies to the Village Dbayyeh. As far as the new logo is concerned, I’m still not very comfortable with it but what matters to be is that the food and service quality remain the same.

In terms of comparing it to Divvy (I love that place by the way!), I think those who are saying it’s a “copy paste” obviously haven’t been to Divvy or other diners. Divvy Mar Mikhail doesn’t look anything like Divvy at the Village so you can’t really compare the two to begin with, and most restaurants open at the Village and the Backyard have this urban industrial feel so again the comparison doesn’t stand. Still, I do agree that Roadster’s new round couches (RD had round couches since ever) and menu look very similar and RD should have paid more attention to these minor details especially that Divvy & RD owners were ex-partners.

On another note, I’m surprised that no one saw similarities with the Zaatar W Zeit branches that re-branded few years ago (notice the front facade and stairs), noting that ZWZ & RD belong to the same people.

All in all, what I care about mostly is the food and service quality to remain the same because I’m not there to eat the logo. In recent months, I found myself ordering more frequently from Deek Duke because it’s constantly evolving and introducing new items. At this point, Roadster should do the same and reconsider its portions and prices. In terms of delivery service, the quality has been dropping drastically for all diners and restaurants not just Roadster.

Here are few pictures of the new RD branch in Hazmieh:

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#StopJannaDam: Drone Footage Of The Forest Destruction Taking Place

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janna

The below video was shared by the Lebanese Eco Movement yesterday. If I’m not mistaken, one of the spots shown is one of the most beautiful ones in Jannet Artaba that was featured in Live Love Lebanon’s promotional video.

What is happening is a crime against nature. I thought works were suspended until further notice but obviously that’s not the case.

Jounieh’s Illogical Road

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jounieh road

During the municipal elections in Matn and Keserwan, I saw a video somewhere bragging about this new road they inaugurated on the Jounieh highway. To be fair, this road is very useful but the execution is terrible.

In fact, the road barely fits two cars and at some point you need to slow down to let another car pass. Also once you turn right from the highway to go in, you reach a point where you find yourself on the other lane. To make things worse, there are no signs on the highway to tell you where that turn is.

I have no idea who engineered this road, or who’s behind all of Jounieh’s inner roads because they either cause more traffic or more accidents.

road

Pamela el Kik Says She Got “Inspired” By Charlie Chaplin

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jer

Pamela el Kik delivered a speech this week on Menna W Jerr, which was basically the Arabic version of The Great Dictator’s Speech (Charlie Chaplin). Unfortunately, she didn’t bother to mention that it was Chaplin’s speech but now she’s saying MTV cut off this part during the show’s editing.

I am guessing she’s probably right but she still should have mentioned at first that it’s Chaplin speech before reciting it in Arabic. Also, saying that she got inspired from The Great Dictator is inaccurate as it’s pretty much the same speech word by word. That’s not inspiration, that’s pure translation 🙂

All in all, I guess we should look at the positive side here, that more Lebanese now know Chaplin’s memorable speech.

PS: Good job Lebanese Art police on catching that mistake.

[YouTube]

The Janna Dam is Still a Bad Idea!

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nautre

This is probably the 4th article I write about the Janna dam in the past 4 years and the issue is still causing a controversy. For me, the issue is very simple:

– As long as there are conflicting studies about the dam and no one has a clear answer on its environmental impact, the project should be stopped and no one should be allowed to remove a single tree.

– As long as the authorities don’t have a clear plan to compensate for the thousands of trees cut in order to minimize the environmental impact, knowing that it will take probably 100 years to rebuild what they’re willing to destroy, the dam needs to be stopped.

We are talking about over 400,000 trees and bushes, thousands of plants, animals, mammals and birds that will be put under various levels of endangerment. For that sake, a camp will be organized nexy weekend on Saturday and Sunday at Jannet Artaba to protest against the dam. The gathering is hosted by our friends at LiveLoveBeirut, Deghri Messenger and CyclingCircle.

If you wish to join, read more [here].

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Tripoli School Teacher Beats Up Student, Breaks Two Fingers

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kid via lebanonfiles

I still can’t believe these things still happen in Lebanese schools. The kid was apparently beaten up, taken to the hospital and the mother was told that he “fell accidentally” and injured himself. I can’t confirm the details yet but the Education Minister has to investigate what happened and fire that teacher and the principal if the story is confirmed.

Naameh Landfill Is Closing Tonight, Garbage Crisis is Coming Back Soon!

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garbage Source: AFP

Two months ago, I wrote that the Lebanese cabinet is only postponing the garbage crisis with their temporary four-year long solution. Unfortunately, they weren’t even able to stick to that plan and the garbage crisis is coming back as of tomorrow when the Naameh landfill closes again.

I don’t know if the cabinet has plans to keep Naameh landfill open for a long period but what saddens me is that no one was talking about that garbage crisis during the municipal elections. You’d think that waste management would be the hottest topic on every candidate’s electoral program but instead candidates were polluting further with their posters (which were not removed yet in Beirut) and fireworks.