More and more people prefer going to Dubai rather than coming to Beirut. We’ve lost our competitive advantage and we are falling behind as a top destination for tourists, even the Arab ones.
Before I left for my trip to Lebanon this December, my 84-year-old neighbor told me about the fantastic nightlife in Beirut. She had visited the city after World War II, while her husband was stationed in Europe. She told me about Beirut’s unique blend of European sophistication and liberal leanings in an Arab milieu. Just about 150 miles from Cyprus on the Mediterranean, Beirut served as a gateway to the Middle East.
Flash forward to today. A generation of Lebanese disenfranchised by 15 years of civil war, a technical state of war with Israel, the presence of the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the war in Syria have contributed to the decline of Beirut as a safe, reliable point of entry into the Middle East. As a result, the soul of Beirut’s Western-leaning temperament was mimicked in Disney-esque style by the city of Dubai. And it’s a crying shame.
It’s sad because Dubai is now viewed as the preeminent, culturally westernized city in the region. Dubai, as an urban personification of the West, is the spoiled little boy who has to have the biggest piece of candy. It’s a place with Texas-inspired adoration for the new, big and sparkly; a town with a New Yorker’s greed to have more. Cops drive in Lamborghinis. Visitors party at nightclubs imported from Las Vegas, Amsterdam and… Beirut. [Link]
HMA Tom Fletcher asked three important questions to the Lebanese in regards to the latest discoveries of gas resources in Lebanon:
1- Do you have the courage to coexist?
2- Do you have a national vision? What kind of Lebanon do you want to see in 2020, when the gas revenues start to filter through?
3- How do you hold the state to account in delivering the benefits of these resources to the people?
Georges Sassine tried to provide an answer to the third question. Check out his interesting take on this subject [Here].
As far as I am concerned, I’d rather we stay away from the oil and gas resources.
Where Fashion Chic Meets Cosmopolitan Flair Blvd 44 Seeks To Provide A Plush Rendezvous For The City’s Elite. In 2012 Blvd 44 Established Itself As A Landmark Among Montreal’s Party Venues. This Year Its creators Are Bringing Its Unique Flavors To The Heart Of Beirut. The Stage Is Finally Set With International Media Organisations Touting Beirut City As A Premier Entertainment Destination. [Facebook]
I don’t know who is behind the website [U-Harass] but it’s irresponsible to publish inaccurate statistics regarding sexual harassment in Lebanese Universities. You can’t possibly come up with such assumptions based on a sample of 221 students from 20 different universities.
The American University of Beirut has over 6000 students (Let’s say 50/50 male/female) so if we take the average of students per university, barely 12 out of the 3000 AUB students answered this survey, which is less than 1% of the AUB population.
Sexual Harassment is a very serious topic that should be tackled in a more professional way.
- “Empowering Women” through running
- Portraying a positive and powerful image of Lebanese women, one that negates some of the preconceived stereotypes that the world has of them.
- Providing Women with a chance to compete in confidence
- Raising funds and awareness for causes through running.
This is a good opportunity to shed the light on Women rights in Lebanon in regards to the Nationality Law, Marital Abuse. and so-called honor crimes. Unfortunately though, I don’t see any changes happening anytime soon, at least not with the current government.