Category Archives: Critiques

A Kind Reminder: Garbage Is Still Out There

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zbele2

These pictures were taken in Dora yesterday and it’s probably even worse today. Meanwhile, the government is still undecided on where to send the garbage and the health and environmental risks associated with this crisis have already reached an alarming level.

In fact, the American University of Beirut’s K2P Center issued a report back in December 2015 stating that “alarming air levels of dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been identified, rendering this problem nothing short of an emergency”. They also added that “time lapse and changes in weather conditions have affected the release of toxins, contamination of food and water, and emergence of infectious diseases; thus necessitating immediate action”. [Full Report]

If you are looking to read more on the garbage crisis in Lebanon and its history, I recommend these two great pieces by Matt Nash:

[Recycling history: Lebanon set to repeat past mistakes]
[Dissecting a waste empire: How Lebanese governments created a trash monopoly]

zbele1

On another note, riot police members were caught posing in their new uniforms.

isf Source

Seriously? Two Syrians ARRESTED For Having Aids

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aids

Update: The two Syrians who were arrested were accused of criminal transmission of HIV. Whoever posted this news in the first place should have got the whole story correct because the title was disgraceful and misleading. Read the clarification [here]. Thanks Patty!

Why would you arrest someone for having AIDS? Since when is it a crime to have AIDS? If anything, they should be sent to a hospital to be diagnosed and treated. The article is saying the arrest was done based on a “Lil Nasher” episode on Al Jadeed but no further details were given.

If these guys are involved in criminal activities or criminal transmission of HIV, then I could understand the arrest. Otherwise, this title is pure ignorance.

Save Adloun’s Historic Beaches

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adloun2

As if we needed further pollution and crimes against nature in Lebanon, there are plans apparently to turn the beautiful and historic Adloun beach into a fancy sea port. Adloun is small beautiful town in the South that is best known for its prehistoric caves and its beautiful rocky beach. It is the site of a Phoenician necropolis and archaeological finds from the 19th century reveled uncovered human remains from the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras. More importantly, Adloun’s rocky beach is one of the last few sanctuaries for sea turtles, an endangered species, along the Lebanese coast.

sea turtle

Locals and activists, especially The Green Southern Community, have been protesting against this new project and in favor of declaring this beach and the whole Adloun coast as a protected natural area, but things are going the wrong way as excavation works could be initiated anytime now.

adloun3

This is an environmental disaster to say the least, and the last thing we need is ruining whatever is left of our public beaches. I couldn’t find any information about this project and I’m surprised that no TVs covered this story before. Of course such a matter should be raised normally to the Environment Ministry, but I think we all agree that there’s no point of doing that. All I’m hoping is that this post will help raise awareness on this matter and pressure the authorities to stop this massacre.

If you have further information regarding this story, please do share them because Greenarea.me stated Khoury Contracting are executing this project but I couldn’t find it on their website. I found this [article] though which indicates that this whole project is a mess.

PS: You can follow updates [here] and check out Aadloun on the map [here].

Be Like Michel, Wala 3a Belak Bel

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samaha Artist: Hassan Bleibel

Be like Michel,

Smuggle explosives into the country, call them fireworks.
Plan terrorist attacks and assassinations, claim you were a victim of entrapment.
Receive money from a foreign country, pretend you were harassed.
Plead guilty to all terrorism charges, claim you were trying to avoid a sectarian strife.
Get caught in the act transporting explosives in a car, make sure you have your seat belt on.

Be like Michel, wala 3a belak bel.

I really don’t know why so many Lebanese were outraged by the decision taken today to free Michel Samaha. After all, the real threat facing Lebanon is not a terrorist transporting explosives and planning attacks and assassinations, the real threat comes from the 18 young men and women who got arrested today for protesting against corruption, from the 8-year old poor kid who got interrogated few days ago, from a couple of Facebook users trashing politicians online, from a young man smoking weed outside a club, from Lebanese flag shoes, from Jagermeister devil worshipers, from Lebanese homosexuals, from yoga-practicing satanists and the list goes on and on …

It’s about time we unite and join hands to fight these threats, and leave these poor terrorists and assassins alone!

[YouTube]

Charbel Khalil’s Lousy Take on The Siege & Starvation Of Madaya

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Madaya

A lot of graphic images of death and starvation have emerged in the past few days out of Madaya, yet a lot of these pictures were not confirmed by aid groups and are probably fake. What’s confirmed though is that residents of the besieged Syrian town are being starved to death. Even when the food is available, the prices are prohibitive and a lot of people cannot afford it.

Having said that, the worst thing that anyone could possibly do in this case is make fun of these people’s misery or make a joke out of the fake images by sharing genuine pictures of people who were starving at some point somewhere else in the world.

If Charbel Khalil wants to mock those who don’t verify pictures before sharing them, there are plenty of ways to do so but his tweet is wrong and inappropriate and he should remove it in my opinion. Of course Khalil is not only refusing to admit he’s wrong but is making things even worse by calling some of those attacking him idiots.

Madaya residents are starving to death. You can either ignore the issue if you don’t feel concerned or try to help in any way possible, but making jokes out of this serious crisis is wrong under circumstances.

Ghena Bou Hamdan: The Young Syrian Girl Singing For Syria’s Children Of War

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ghena

Back in the late 70s and early 80s, famous Lebanese child singer Remi Bandali captured Arab hearts by singing “3touna el toufouli” and “Imani A7la Iman” to a war-torn Lebanon. Over 35 years later, Ghena Bou Hamdan did the same by bursting into tears while singing Bandali’s “Give Us Our Childhood” song on the new MBC show “The Voice Kids”. Ghena was carrying a message of peace and hope for her home country and singing for all of Syria’s Children of war. Syria has become the toughest and most dangerous country in the world to be a child and the Syrian War has left millions of children deprived of their rights to survival, health and nutrition.

There are over 14 million children who can’t go to school because of wars in the Arab World, and a lot of children are unfortunately losing their innocence due to the war. We see hundreds of them begging and selling flowers on the streets instead of being in school, others are being sexually exploited or even recruited to become child soldiers.

These kids are the forgotten victims of the horrific war and they need every help they could get. I hope Ghena’s performance will help shed more light on this situation and get these innocent children much-needed assistance.

[YouTube]

Fairouz Greets Lebanon On New Year With Bizzare Video

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Fayrouz

I think this is the first time ever that Fairouz shows in a public video wishing the Lebanese a Happy New Year. I love how her voice, one of the most beautiful voices in the World, is still the same but the video is low quality and a bit weird to be honest which is surprising. What’s with the dark setup and candles, the thunder sounds and the creepy look at the end?

The video was posted on Reema Rahbany, Fairouz’s daughter, on her Facebook page. I saw it on MTV yesterday but can’t find the video anymore for some reason. I found another one on YouTube though.

In all cases, I’ve listened to it like 10 times already just because it’s Fairouz so enjoy it!

[YouTube]

What Really Scares The Lebanese People

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The Lebanese people are among the most resilient in the world. We survived a 15-year long civil war, over 20 bombings and assassinations between 2005 and 2012 and over 10 suicide bombings in the past three years. We held against the Israelis in several wars, we kept ISIS out of our country and defeated several terrorist groups, we defied the Americans, the Russians, the Chinese, the Ottomans and everyone who stood in our way, but there’s one thing that still scares the Lebanese, a fear that we are unable to overcome and that keeps growing every year: the fear of an upcoming winter storm.

Storms are taken very seriously in Lebanon, even when they are not even storms and consist of light rains and a windy weather. No matter how big or small a storm is, all the media call it a storm and there’s always drama around it, predictions on how bad it will be, and the precautions that we need to take.

Here are the seven stages that precede a storm in Lebanon:

1- Media predicting that a storm is coming two months earlier even though everyone knows scientists can barely predict the weather a week in advance.

2- Media predicting snows at high altitudes (1600+), heavy rains and strong winds because storms usually consist of clear and sunny skies.

3- Reviving articles from last year or from the 1990s that predicted a harsh winter in Lebanon this year.

4- Calling the storm names. This has become a trend two years ago and the names used are all foreign ones (Olga, Yuri etc …) because the Arabic names are not cool enough.

5- People start making jokes on the storm’s name and turning it political (That’s actually the only part I enjoy).

6- Welcome the storm at the airport. Dabke, Zaffe, few members from the Lebanese government and the Lebanese President (when available) if the storm is a huge one.

7- the Ainata Arz road is declared blocked. I don’t think anyone bothers to check this road anymore, they just state it’s closed.

Of course let’s not forget the hashtags that follow and everyone posing for pictures in the storm, but that’s also a part I enjoy. I just don’t get why we make a big fuss every time it rains here.

Exporting Trash Is Probably The Best Thing We Can Do In Lebanon

Posted By :

zbele2

zbele3

Update: Earlier pictures of the garbage export leaked by Al Anhar lol!.

Update2: Britain’s Chinook Urban Mining International has obtained Russia’s approval to take in Lebanon’s trash.

The garbage crisis in Lebanon was temporarily resolved yesterday whereas trash will sent abroad for the next 18 months starting mid-January. The solution was announced very late at night around 11 pm by Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb who stated that this solution will cost us $200 million ($212 per ton including sweeping fees for Greater Beirut) that will paid out of Independent Municipal Fund. The contract will cost us more than the one we are paying for Sukleen, and there was no mention of encouraging recycling or reducing trash during this period but I don’t think there’s a better alternative for the time being.

To be honest, I’d rather we export the garbage and pay extra than wait for our politicians to agree on setting new landfills and hiring a new company. Those who are complaining about sending the trash abroad don’t have a better alternative and are not doing anything to help, and the #YouStink movement is no longer active unfortunately. What would be ideal of course would be to send incompetent and corrupt people along with the trash but they are here to stay sadly enough while the decent ones are leaving or kept on the side.

Sending our troubles away and blaming foreign interference are what we do best here in Lebanon after all.

PS: Grey Beirut saw it coming haha!

santa