Category Archives: Critiques

Municipal Council Rejects Jounieh’s Floating Island

Posted By :

12

I am quite surprised to read that the municipality in Jounieh did not grant permission to the Floating Island project. “There is no place for the island” and “the municipality does not have the capacity to accommodate the Island’s guests” are not valid arguments to be honest. There’s a lot of space in Jounieh and there’s a huge parking lot near the Casino that’s empty all year long.

We are talking about a one of its kind project that will contain “a sea resort, hotel, gym, nightclub, restaurant and sporting activities” and will attract a lot of tourists to the area. It doesn’t make any sense to reject the project and let another area make use of it. If the municipality is concerned about space and pollution, how about they redeem the stolen beaches from resorts, close down some super night clubs in Maameltein, and do whatever it takes to close down the Zouk power plant?

Moreover, I urge them the municipality to stop causing further traffic with their road works and seek the help of experts before making any changes.

The world’s “first floating island,” currently under construction and destined for Jounieh Bay, has been rejected by municipality officials as incompatible with the seaside resort town.

“There is no place for the island in Jounieh,” Mayor Antoine Frem told The Daily Star, adding that the municipality did not have the capacity to accommodate the island’s guests. Frem said the Municipal Council had decided not to grant permission for the project, which was to launch in Jounieh in summer 2015

“A project of this caliber needs to be constructed in an area that does not have a dense population” Frem said, stressing that the project would require infrastructure and a large number of parking spaces. The mayor also raised environmental concerns, pointing out that mechanisms for waste and sewage management had yet to be resolved.

Official Exams Must Be Held On Thursday

Posted By :

dsc_8753

I don’t know what’s wrong with the Syndicate Coordination Committee but they are obviously not thinking straight and need to step down once and for all. I am sure that they have righteous demands even though I am against approving the new wage scale that they are proposing, but delaying official exams is a very bad move and affects the students first and foremost.

I fully support the Education Minister in keeping the exams on time and holding them with or without the SCC’s collaboration. If SCC’s argument is that standards must be followed in holding official exams, there are also standards to be followed in protesting. Speaking of official exams, maybe it’s a good idea to let a private company oversee them because we all know how things go during the Brevet and Baccalaureate exams.

The Syndicate Coordination Committee warned on Sunday Education Minister Elias Bou Saab against holding official exams without teachers and proper monitors, renewing its call on parliament to approve the new wage scale draft-law.

But the minister hit back later in the day, announcing that “there is a very high probability that the official exams will be held on Thursday.” He stressed that “no one intends to strip them (the exams) of the official nature in order to privatize them.”

“It is only for the education ministry to decide whether or not to hold the official exams,” Bou Saab underlined. Earlier, the SCC said during a press conference: “If parliament does not approve the new wage scale draft-law on Tuesday, then the official exams will not be held on Thursday.”

Parliament is scheduled to convene on Tuesday to address the draft-law amid concerns that lack of quorum will prevent the session from being held. The SCC added: “There are standards that should be adopted in holding official exams. [Naharnet]”

Who Closes The Dbayyeh Maritime Road And DownTown Beirut’s Main Road On A Monday?

Posted By :

20140609_074055-1

It took me almost 2 hours to get to work today because the maritime road in front of the ISF HQ in Dbayyeh was closed due to the military parade planned for their 153rd anniversary. The traffic had almost reached Zouk and cars were barely moving. To make things even worse, the road from Annahar bldg in Beirut was closed due to the parliament session.

The police ended up opening Dbayyeh’s road after realizing the traffic they’ve caused, which is definitely a good sign, but I urge our interior minister, who’s a pragmatic person from what I’ve seen, to put an end to these catastrophic and badly timed road closures. Traffic on a Monday morning is always bad, so it’s definitely not the best day to be closing down busy roads. Celebrations should be strictly held on Sunday mornings or any day of the week in a remote area.

isf

LebanonFiles Has The Full Story (Not Really) On The Troubled MEA Flight From Riyadh To Beirut

Posted By :

lb1

When I first saw the headline in red, I thought I was going to read about some kidnapping attempt, or some fight on board, or some mechanical failure (God Forbid) that led to an emergency landing, or some passenger gone crazy, but what I got instead was that the plane underwent some severe turbulence and few passengers felt nauseous.

Of course turbulence is a very serious matter and I hate it (and get scared) when it happens, but my point is that they should have at least bothered and got more details on whether anyone got injured or hospitalized, and how did the crew handle this matter because there’s a comment on the article saying that no one tried to comfort them. They could have called MEA or interviewed some of the passengers instead of saying there was turbulence and that’s it.

lf2

PS: LebMediaMonitor originally posted about this.

Youssef Nassar’s The Exhibition Banned In Lebanon

Posted By :

10440756_666957150018330_7104327458237389094_n

The General Security has apparently banned The Exhibition by Youssef Nassar, which is a short movie that was showing at the Cabriolet Film Festival in Beirut. The reason is that there are topless Lebanese girls in the 10 minutes long movie.

Here’s what Youssef said:

Just came back from Vienna, what a beautiful city, the culture, the people, it’s just so perfect. Well here I am back in Beirut, I turn my cellphone on, loads of messages about the screening of Cabriolet Festival tonight at Gemmayze. Well, apparently the General Security in Lebanon banned my film to be screened in Lebanon for good. I’m glad The Cabriolet team is being supportive in that matter. It’s 2014 already.. time for a change I guess

I will never understand how censorship works in Lebanon to be honest. So what if there are topless girls or some nudity scenes? Do you really think the American series all the Lebanese watch don’t include nudity and sex scenes? Make the movie suitable for those above 18 and give the people the choice to watch whatever they want!

What’s Happening At Sabis School?

Posted By :

[YouTube]

According to this MTV report, Sabis which is a secular school, dismissed Christian students having a cross of ashes on their forehead on the first day of Lent because the school does not tolerate any display of religious or political symbols. However, and as per the school regulations shown in the report and what the school principal explained to the parents, Hijab which is a “religious obligation” is accepted by the administration.

Here’s an excerpt of the regulations as shown in the MTV report:

The display of any religious or political symbol is strictly forbidden. A religious obligation may be accepted by the administration if it is not in conflict with the curriculum, rules and regulations of the school.

Personally speaking, I believe a secular school shouldn’t allow any religious symbols and shouldn’t make exceptions at all. Whether Hijab is a religious obligation or symbol is open to interpretation and has caused endless debates worldwide specially after France banned it, so it’s a bad idea for a secular school to stick its nose in these matters. Moving on to the MTV report, and since Lebanon is obviously not a secular state, I think they should have dealt with this sensitive issue more carefully without adding more fuel to the fire. Turning the matter into a sectarian one and wearing crosses vs wearing veils matter is silly and won’t do us any good.

More importantly, the way some parents are reacting to this matter will only reflect negatively on their children as they have nothing to do with this matter and are probably clueless about religion as a whole. All in all, I think the administration and the parents should meet and sort this out in the best interest of the children and the school.

Idiots Of The Day

Posted By :

10246683_681533485215201_1392187176293494698_n

As I said on so many occasions before, what bothers me the most about these stunts is that they take place on highways where it’s very easy for cops to spot these motorists and arrest them. Moreover, these bikers go out usually on Sundays and have gathering points, so there’s no excuse not to stop them before someone gets hurt.

10359219_681533498548533_2654630703337023081_n

10376285_681533555215194_1064921595626478950_n

10390016_681533558548527_6482344909758493759_n

PS: Pictures taken from YASA Facebook Page.

Antoury Market In Hamra Closing Down: This is not Ariel Sharon’s Supermarket

Posted By :

shop hamra

If you pass by Makdessi street in Hamra, you will notice the above banners outside Antoury’s market. The big banner says “This is not Ariel Sharon’s Supermarket” while the small ones translate roughly to “Stop this unjust decision that will leave 6 families homeless” and “Can you find a property in Hamra that sells for $2000 per square meters?”.

So what’s the story?
Based on The Beirut Report’s post, a relative of the shopkeeper is saying she was offered only $60,000 to vacate both the shop and the shopkeeper’s 130 square meter apartment. Obviously, the market price for such a property is at least 10 times higher but the woman is an old renter and apparently that’s the amount she was offered after several court rulings.

I don’t know how she ended up getting $60,000 only and it does sound like an unfair amount, but that’s one of the many consequences of this old rent law that we will soon get rid of. The old law is affecting both tenants and landlords and both parties rarely manage to settle things out in a fair way.

My friend Amer said this place had one of the best Labneh sandwiches in Beirut.