Lebanon celebrates Labor day on May 1, which happened to be on Sunday this year. We usually get the next working day instead but since we are celebrating Easter today, Prime Minister Salam decided to just ignore that holiday that we are all entitled to.
The idea from Labor day is to give all this country’s workers a break to honor their contributions to Lebanon’s well-being and prosperity, or whatever is left of that. I just got back from Rome and nearly all stores were closing on that day, except few ones in tourist areas.
Since it’s not common for shops to close down on Sundays, labor day should be set on a working day (first Monday of May for example). If the government and parliament celebrate Labor day every day, that’s not the case for most hard-working Lebanese.
Let’s not forget also that domestic workers are also workers, and that they are still being treated as slaves in this country because our government still refuses to annul the Kafala system.
Less than 5% of the Lebanese Coast remains clean and untouched and there are at least two turtle reserves known, both in the South (Mansouri and Kolaila beaches). Both are recognized as being protected natural areas by the municipalities but they are still not protected by law and are often threatened by projects or simply fishermen.
In the past four months, four female sea turtles were killed by dynamite and lannate poisoning even though using these substances is forbidden by law. The Orange House Project, an NGO working for the protection and conservation of sea turtles in South Lebanon, shared pictures of the dead turtles and urged the authorities to do their job and stop these criminals.
Sea turtles travel from all over the world to lay their eggs and reproduce on our beaches. They are beautiful yet endangered turtles and something needs to be done to declare the Coastal area that stretches from the Naqura Cliffs (South of Tyre) to the Tyre Reserve a protected area and sea biosphere reserve!
There’s no doubt that the influence of social media channels is growing in Lebanon but we have yet to see its effect on elections as we haven’t had any for the past 5 years or more. The upcoming municipal elections will rely heavily on social media and online campaigns but its effect will be minimal in my opinion especially that municipalities are about families and most of the work is still being done “offline”. More importantly, political money and bribes are still a key factor in winning elections and cannot be fought that easily online.
Nevertheless, the good (and bad) thing about social media is that things could change overnight and we might be in for a lot of surprises during the upcoming municipal elections. For example, Beirut Madinati is posing a serious threat on the Hariri-backed Beirutis list and could help facilitate the transition from online activism to off-line action and create a much-needed change. Let’s not forget that the turnout is VERY low for municipal elections (barely 20-25% in some areas).
Also and as mentioned by my friend Jimmy in the below MTV report, a candidate’s online popularity is very important nowadays and most of those in power are struggling to repair their online image despite spending tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars online. Lebanese are more aware now of what’s happening and who’s corrupt and who’s not, and they will hopefully think twice before voting for the same people again.
Change will eventually come one day or the other.
Spring hunting is extremely damaging to wild birds as they are flying back to nest and provide the next generation of birds. If we don’t allow these migratory birds to breed during this sensitive time, their populations stand no chance of recovery.
The Indiscriminate Killing of any type of Migratory or Resident Birds,.at any time of the year (and surely increasing at the Migratory Season), ..the shooting that is happening at any Location (not just in the Bekaa Valley, or High lands),..between Olive groves, Fruit gardens, agriculture fields, between houses in villages, the use of hunting guns by people as young as 7 years old,….this is not just killing beneficial birds that help control the ecological balance (the birds help in harmful insects reduction and therefore directly contribute to a healthy agriculture and to the farmers reducing the use of chemical fertilizers) but also spreading all “heavy metals” / “toxic chemicals” from the bullets shot in the air, powder falling on the soil, on the fruits, olives, vegetables, infiltrating the soil and polluting the ever rare fresh water…
This is simply a Suicidal activity..not just for the country Lebanon but also to the Region and the whole Planet since we are all Connected on our Home, Planet Earth.
Unfortunately, hunting in Lebanon is still not regulated and a lot of hunters just go out and hunt for the fun of it. They shoot at anything that flies and don’t even bother retrieve the downed birds or pick up the empty bullets. A couple of hunters were arrested this year due to illegal hunting but more needs to be done to stop the carnage. There’s already an ongoing campaign and a online petition being signed and we can do more by preventing family members and friends from hunting during spring.
I truly hope that avid and ethical hunters will refrain from hunting during spring and practice their hobbies in other seasons. A lot of species are declining due to climate change, habitat loss and and spring hunting will only make things worse.
I honestly have no idea who advised Sukleen and Sukomi to organize a press conference to defend the Naameh landfill and then sponsor the story on Facebook. It’s like asking for bad publicity and hate comments and I’m sure the person handling their social media is going through hell right now.
The real problem has always been with our government not just Sukleen so I’m not sure why they are dragging themselves into that. Nevertheless, if they insist on proving that the Naameh landfill is perfectly fine, let them present scientific proof and documents to back their claim.
More importantly, let them sit with the Naameh residents and explain to those in the video below who’s to blame for the situation they are in.
مطمر الموت الصحي
ما لا تريدك سلطة الفساد أن تعرف عن ما يسمى من قبلهم بالطمر "الصحي".. شاهدوا للنهاية..#طلعت_ريحتكم وقتلتونا
Posted by طلعت ريحتكم on Friday, April 8, 2016
Gilberte Zouein apparently likes to talk a lot when she’s out with her friends. It seems politics is not really her thing so she’d rather not get involved, even though she’s an elected Member of Parliament (makes sense?).
I think it’s quite pathetic that MPs are still getting paid even though they renewed their terms twice illegally and unconstitutionally and aren’t really doing anything for the country. From 2008 till 2014, Lebanese have paid in tax money their MPs over 400 billion Lebanese Liras ($266 Million Dollars).
In any functional democracy, MPs should have resigned by now and early elections would have taken place. Let’s hope municipal elections this year will pave the way for more accountability and transparency.
A lot of people, including myself, were happy to see Nadine Labaki on Beirut Madinati’s list, not because she’s a celebrity and a well-know figure in Lebanon, but because she’s a hard-working and highly influential person in her field of work. Very few people were able to connect with the Lebanese and represent everything that is right and wrong in our society the way Labaki has done so through her movies. Her latest masterpiece, “Halla2 La wen” (Where do we go now?), is beyond brilliant and shows how passionate Nadine is about Lebanon and its people, and why she’s a perfect candidate for Beirut’s municipality and even for parliament.
If you’re still not convinced by her candidacy, check out her awesome reply to “Abou el Abed” today.
Dear Prime Minister, wake up, get out and smell the garbage in Beirut.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam traveled to New York on Thursday to participate in the ceremony aimed at signing the climate-change pact that the world adopted in principle in Paris last December.
The state-run National News Agency said Salam is expected to give a speech at Friday’s ceremony, which will be attended by leaders and envoys from more than 160 countries. [Naharnet]
The Lebanese passport is one of the most expensive and least useful in the world, yet for some reason, the General Security has just released special “VIP” passport numbers that will cost you up to LL 1,000,000.
I can understand golden mobile numbers and up to a certain extent car plate numbers but why would I pay extra to get a special passport number? Will that special number allow me to enter more countries without a visa? Do I get free upgrades at hotels or during a flight if I show off my number? Will I get a free “Arabic Select Upgrade” on Southwest Airlines?
There’s only one type of Lebanese who will benefit from that: Those who show off every time they check in at the MEA Cedar Lounge will now be able to brag about their “special” passport numbers.
Here are few funny tips from Farix on how to make use of that special number:
The municipal elections will probably take place on time in Lebanon this year as promised by Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk. A lot of candidates have already started campaigning and some of them began littering as well. Posters are randomly placed on walls, traffic lights, residential buildings, traffic signs and even on your car.
We are in the middle of a garbage crisis, we are trying to push people to reduce waste and recycle and then you find municipal elections candidates polluting their own city’s streets and walls. If I were an Achrafieh resident, I would never vote for this guy or any candidate that doesn’t even bother to keep his city clean.
On another note, there’s an ongoing volunteer-led campaign this year, called “Beirut Madinati”, that looks very promising and aims at electing a municipal council of qualified, politically unaffiliated individuals. I’ve been meaning to write about this initiative but I’m waiting for them to announce the candidates.