There are things you can get used to in Lebanon, like traffic and reckless driving but some things just don’t make any sense and no matter how many times I see them, I can’t get over them:
Here are some of the things that annoy me on my way from Jounieh to Achrafieh every day:
1- All of Jounieh’s intersections don’t make any sense. They just cause more traffic.
2- The military base in the highly touristic ATCL area. Why don’t they relocate to a calmer and less crowded area?
3- The small adjacent road to the Dbayyeh – Antelias highway.
4- The ISF headquarters on the main Dbayyeh maritime road: Every time a car is entering the base, recruiting new people or holding an event, they stop traffic and it’s hell. Even the army guys like to jog on that maritime road for some reason blocking one of the lanes. Military bases should be in remote areas in my opinion for their own safety and our convenience.
5- The 200 bumps at the end of the Marina Dbayyeh maritime road. I’m eager to meet the guy who decided to put 6 consecutive bumps there.
6- The wasta shortcut road: This is what I call a traffic booster in Lebanon.
7- The unfinished Nahr el Mot bridge portrayed in the picture above. I also want to meet the engineer who designed the bridge to end that way.
8- People crossing the highway underneath the pedestrian bridge.
9- The very illogical Nahr el Mot main bridge in the middle of the road.
10- The Beirut Saifi (Kataeb) intersection where cars are coming in every direction.
I am going to label this post under “Humor” because this is an absolutely ridiculous list that makes no sense whatsoever and I’m quite surprised that the Telegraph and Time decided to share it without double checking some of its findings. Out of the 64 cities categorized as “extreme risk” in Verisk Maplecroft’s new Global Alerts Dashboard (GAD), there are 6 Lebanese cities: Beirut, Byblos, Aley, Baabda, Jounieh and Zahlé.
Noting that the rankings are based on “an online mapping and data portal that logs and analyses every reported terrorism incident down to levels of 100m² worldwide”, and that is based on the “intensity and frequency of attacks in the 12 months following February 2014, combined with the number and severity of incidents in the previous five years”, I am not sure how cities like Byblos, Aley, Baabda, Jounieh and Zahlé made the list while Tripoli wasn’t even mentioned. When was the last time you heard about an attack in Jounieh, Byblos or Baabda? The areas aren’t even close to conflict areas like Zahle is. Moreover, how is Beirut more at risk of a terror attack than Damascus?
Funnily enough, I was just praising Jbeil yesterday for winning the Arab Tourism Capital Title for 2016 and now it’s on some world’s deadliest cities list.
Update: I am going to email the Telegraph and Time and ask them to revise this article.
There’s a guy on Facebook called “Anthony Touma” who has been getting tons of messages and friend requests ever since Anthony Touma (the singer) won the 2015 edition of Dancing With The Stars. He doesn’t seem too upset about it as he’s been getting deliveries in less than 10 minutes. Check out what he wrote as it’s hilarious.
When I first read the title of this article, I checked the date to make sure it’s not an old post, then I read the whole thing 3 times just to make sure it’s not a satire post and I still can’t believe that someone, Robert Fisk in that case, would believe that “Beirut has the chance to revive its steam-age role as a key transit hub”, and that Syria’s relaunching is going to happen sometime soon and have a positive impact on Lebanon. I mean seriously? A Tunnel from Baabdat to Chtaura? A train from Beirut through the Bekaa, Syria and the Gulf and all the way to Europe? Who are we kidding here?
Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous, an Austrian politics professor at Notre Dame University in Lebanon and engineer by profession, told his Unesco audience that “railways are a regional, international issue because infrastructure development is one of the keys to the future of the Middle East”. Talking later, he was more specific. “The majority of the freight for re-launching Syria after the war will obviously go through Beirut. The Syrian port of Lattakia is too small. The reopening of the old Tripoli-Homs train line, which is still relatively intact, could be done quite quickly.
Now the funniest part is how Mr. Maalouf is “relying on the sheer frustration of the automobile-intoxicated Lebanese to bring back the trains”. Don’t get me wrong as I have the utmost respect for the Ecuador-born Lebanese filmmaker Elias Maalouf, but Lebanese have been cursing yet electing the same people for more than 20 years now, and they seem to be fine living without a president, without infrastructure, water, electricity or internet. They couldn’t care less about trains being renovated or turned into UN heritage sites and they are building houses and nightclubs all over them (unless the government paves a new road over the railway).
All in all, the poster below is the closest thing we will get to seeing trains in Lebanon again. Enjoy the [article] and keep dreaming Lebanon
There are three things that came to mind while watching this video:
1- Where are the cops on that road? It’s one of the busiest ones in all of Lebanon.
2- Why doesn’t he have a license plate on the bike?
3- Last but most importantly, who’s the guy filming all these stunts? Why doesn’t he try to film them as landscape?
As you all probably heard by now, UAE citizens will no longer require a visa to travel to Schengen Zone Countries, after the European Parliament approved their proposal back in June last year. Needless to say, the Lebanese weren’t very fond of this decision and filed an official complaint to the EU claiming that they deserve this more than other Arab countries, specially after a study proved that Lebanon is indeed the centre of the universe, and given that Beirut was once known as the “Paris of the Middle East”.
In order to calm things down, and given how crucial Lebanon’s economy and tourists are to the European Union, the EU held an emergency meeting and agreed to grant Lebanese a visa-free access to Schengen Zone Countries if its citizens agree to abide by the following 10 conditions:
1- Lebanese will stand in line while boarding an airplane.
2- Lebanese will not fake bank statements or 5 star hotel reservations in their Schengen application.
3- Lebanese will not attempt to bribe the security guard at embassies.
4- Lebanese will not apply to a different country than the one they are going to.
5- Lebanese will not change seats on the airplane and confuse the hostesses.
6- Lebanese will not attempt to carry a 50kg luggage into the airplane as a carry-on
7- Lebanese will no longer clap when the plane lands.
8- Lebanese will not play loud Arabic music (or sing a mouwwel) on the airplane.
9- Lebanese will not attempt to smuggle keshek or basterma.
10- Lebanese will not schedule five different appointments on the same day to avoid waiting in line.
I didn’t want to share this picture before knowing if it’s and old or recent one, and it turned out to be an old one according to the ISF who stated that the police officer got reprimanded back then. However, the problem is that such officers are probably still breaking the law and I wouldn’t be surprised to see recent pictures of such incompetent policemen.
The good news though is that the ISF is listening and taking action from time to time, so let’s keep on reporting these corrupt officers and respecting the new traffic law.
The above screenshot is taken from the front page of the DailyGuideGhana and shows a picture of the Turkish power ship Fatmagul currently docked near the Zouk Power plant in Lebanon. Apparently Ghana has an electricity crisis and its Power Minister is seeking help from Turkey through emergency power barges.
I think it’s funny that the ship looks Lebanese because of the flag and that some people might think we are able to provide electricity to other countries. I just hope that Fatmagul won’t suffer from electricity blackouts just like it did in Lebanon! If it does, we will gladly send other some generator owners from Zahle since they are unemployed at the moment 😀
Some selected Ghanaian journalists have been touring Lebanon to see the power ship built by Karpowership of Turkey at the cost of $700 million. The trip, which will take them to Istanbul in Turkey, is being sponsored by the manufacturing company. Karpowership is the same company constructing the power barge for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). But the company says it is not an emergency power barge because it is not part of the programme.
The Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor, had told journalists early this year that emergency power barges were expected from Turkey to cushion the crisis that is running down businesses and causing deaths. Mr O’Driscoll said the Karpowership has a power purchase agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana and is working within the time frame of the pact. The ECG signed the 10-year power deal with the Turkish company last year to deliver 450 megawatts of power to boost the ailing power sector which appears to defy all solutions. The barges are to bridge the gap of Ghana’s energy needs and bring to an end the power crisis which has come to be known and accepted as dumsor-dumsor.