I’ve been criticized by my family, some friends and blog readers for not supporting nor voting for Jeita. I promised to keep quiet until the campaign’s over but now that it’s done and Jeita lost, I will explain why N7W was a bad idea all along.
1- As many bloggers have pointed out earlier, UNESCO does not recognize this competition and the voting is a joke. You can vote a zillion times, come up with a zillion fake emails and I received in the past week not less than two or three emails asking me to download softwares that help get Jeita more votes. So it’s a competition of who can cheat better.
2- Putting aside whether this competition is a scam or not, what truly pissed me off was the amount of money the Lebanese government and those behind the Jeita Grotto campaign were investing into this competition.
From what I heard, not less than 10 Million Dollars were spent over the past 4 years. Let’s assume it’s only 10 Million Dollars.
– If Jeita were to win the N7W competition, how much time will it take us to get back this kind of money? Were they expecting the whole world to start coming to Lebanon to see Jeita Grotto? Do you really think people will start going to the Amazon or Komodo more now because they won?
– Assuming more tourists will show up to visit Jeita. Has anyone done an estimate on how much it will cost us to prepare the Jeita area for tourists? Has anyone seen the road leading to Jeita? The restaurants next to it? The trucks that empty their waste in the valleys near the Grotto? Of course not.
– Assuming more tourists come and a plan has been put in place to turn the area around Jeita Grotto into a touristic one, can anyone imagine the traffic that will result from such a thing? Did the concerned ministry take this into consideration? Keep in mind the road leading to Jeita is the one leading to Feytroun, Hrajel, Ajaltoun, Klayaat and most importantly Faraya.
All this being said, only a fool would spend that much money without calculating the estimated return on investment because there’s no way we could have profited from this competition.
3- Last but not least, did anyone take a look at the 7 winners? No offense to Jeita Grotto, but objectively speaking, we don’t deserve to be among the winners. If I were not Lebanese, I would have easily picked 7 different wonders.
4- On a last note, is our country that financially stable to afford wasting millions of dollars over such a campaign? Isn’t it better to invest them in public schools? Or protecting whatever is left of our forests and planting more Cedars?
I would rather donate the money to the Lebanese National Audiovisual Media Council so that they start registering our blogs and websites than enter this stupid n7w competition.
I hope I was not too harsh but what we did throughout this voting campaign resembles sending money to a Nigerian prince and refusing to admit we’ve been scammed.
Couldn’t have put it better myself. If the amount of energy and “can-do ism” shown by the government and population in this farce was channeled into something of actual use to the Lebanese, we might have achieved something of value.
You do have a point. But how can we be sure if really 10 million dollars were spent or this number or is just 3al lebnene (x10)
I think 10 million dollars are much less than what was originally spent.
Check those links to have an idea on the fees N7W requests from participants.
And this to see that no budget was put for this campaign which raises more questions as to how much it really cost.
Let’s not forget that Jeita doesn’t belong to the Lebanses gov, they only take about 0.1% and the rest goes to the private company “running” Jeita. I (proudly) didn’t vote.
I totally disagree with what is said here is a reply point by point:
1- noted, but all is fair in love & war. we all wish the rules were different such as an objective jury to come & choose but this is not the case. so we can’t just back out of a potential win situation just cause we do not like the rules.
2- all of point 2 with the assumptions fails the moment you acknoledge downtown for example is a good investment & it did have a good ROI casue it is what made the whole real estate market go up & attract gulf money to lebanon. do you think back in the 90’s where there no roads even in BCD, they had this kind of reasoning? why would we spend money on downtown, & if we do, what about traffic, what about ROI… of course jeita would attract more tourists & my previous comment I was nagging about how so many tourists ask me to take them there just cause they heard of it without the New seven wonders.
3- hmmm r u positively sure it does not deserve to be in 7 wonders? did u do an objective technical research to back urself with this statement? As far as I know crystals & stones 100,000 years of age & a huge nature subteranean natural lake right under a highway is not something ordinary.
4- this is irrelevent, efforts should be puller wherever needed. of course public schools & plantining forests needs to be done & it is being done by public & private sectors. this does not take the place of promoting lebanon’s tourism whenever & wherever we can.
I just hope next time they vote for the new 7 man made wonders & Baalbeck is nominated, you will not have the same reasoning…
1- We don’t enter it in the first place. I clearly said it was wrong all along, since the start. Nevertheless I did not stress on that point cause we are already in deep.
2- Comparing Jeita Grotto to DT is absurd. Beirut is your capital and was a highly visited city from the whole world at some point. Jeita is far away from the capital and in a distant city and was never really a touristic place. Beirut was destroyed by the war and cannot be but a good investment. And FYI, it was the 2006 war and what followed that made the whole real estate market go up and not the reconstruction of Beirut. Chou jeb Jeita 3a Beirut? Two whole different stories.
3- Objectively speaking as a non-Lebanese, not scientifically speaking. If I were a tourist, I would not have chosen Jeita Grotto over the others.
4- You can promote Lebanon’s tourism by paying money to clean the area around Jeita and prepare it for tourists, not on some scam competition. we could have boosted Jeita’s visitors without needing it to be a wonder with those 10 million.
Baalbeck cannot be nominated because it is man-made. Plus when was the last time you visited Baalbeck? You have any clue how much money is needed to rehabilitate the area?
PS: Try take out the resistance musuem up there first before nominating Baalbeck.
btw sorry for the typo mistakes. I did not proofread what I wrote.
200% right najib … i always thought the same way and never voted… read my comment in the previous post to see my point of view about it.
EXACTLY! THANK YOU 😀
Yalla, now that we have lost, everybody will go: Eh, he’s right this is definitely a scam, this is stupid, fuck it! I’m not talking about you Najib, you made it clear that you were against this whole idea from the first place!
Amen to that
With all my respect, I can t see any logic point in what you are saying, that can let you and Gino lead such a campaign.
You are talking about the rules.. Ok we wish the rules were different, but N7W is known worldwide and it would have been huge if Lebanon won. Plus law min ma kein 3emil el competition, Unesco or not, kell el 3alam heke fiya and as I said it s known worldwide and that’s enough to make us want our national candidate to win the title.
The road leading to Jeita, the traffic.. are secondary compared to the economic boost that will be caused by Jeita’s success in the competition.
Is Table Mountain more beautiful than Jeita? Is Jeju Island more beautiful than Jeita? I don t think so..
Ah and no money, no budget was spent by the Lebanese government. You can be sure of that.
I was shocked when I saw that some Lebanese were leading a campaign against their own country.
Do you know Kadisha valley is threatened to be removed from the UNESCO list? Wasn’t it better to spend the money to preserve it before it’s removed?
What economic boost will Jeita cause? Do you have proof of what you are saying? Is there a business study supporting your claim?
And how do you know no money was spent by the gov? Proof?
Lebanese who financed this competition are those who harmed their country the most because we are being laughed at for falling into this scam.
Yes I know and of course it should be preserved and it would be great if you write about Kadisha explaining what s happening (instead of writing against you country). But what s the relation with Jeita and the N7W? No money was spent and I can assure that since I was in the “support team” of Jeita Grotto. Do you have proof that the Lebanese gov “wasted millions of dollars over such a campaign”?
Petra won 4 years ago in the new 7 wonders made by human. The number of tourists visiting Jordan doubled. Don t forget that Lebanonâ€™s economy is based almost entirely on the tourism sector.
FYI the campaign promoting Jeita began 4 yeras ago, without any help from the gov. The gov started to support Jeita some months ago.
The only persons who financed this competition are those who voted by sms.
Stop saying I am writing against my country. This is my opinion on the matter and you have to respect it like I respected yours. I did not say a word about Jeita until the voting was over.
You cannot assure me that no money was spent cause obviously you were not involved in the whole process.
Check those links and you will see even for ads we have to pay considerable amounts.
You had to pay a license to join the n7w, and to host events in case you won and for the ads etc …
As for Petra, it has always been popular because of the marketing Jordan does for it. Nevertheless, it did gain more visitors in 2007 upon entering the N7W and winning but read this and you will see they are exactly describing what I posted about.
They did the same mistake we were doing and they are finding themselves unable to generate the most of out it.
For the financing, thee N7W charges you for everything you wanna do for your site, so it can’t be just the voters.
I do respect your opinion, otherwise i would have never replied. Anw that s not the main subject.
And yes i can assure it, I was involved in the whole process.
We did not pay any license to join the n7w, although i know that other countries did. N7W did not ask us to do so. You can ask about it.
As for maldives they withdrawed for “internal” reasons.
For the financing you re right, the N7W charges the sponsers for the add they are getting out of the comp. But in Lebanon nobody sponsored Jeita. That s why I said that only the sms voters finannced N7W. The only budget the gov spent was for the billboards on the roads, and it s nothing compared to what we could get if Jeita won.
Thank you for your valuable input.
How come we did not pay any license or fees? and when you do ads for Jeita isn’t this considered as sponsoring Jeita?
Why wouldn’t the responsible from the Ministry of Tourism unveil how much we paid?
About the license, I will get you more details soon.
Nop when you do ads for Jeita it is not considered as sponsoring Jeita. You ll be sponsoring it when you use tho Logo of the N7W. (N7W policy). You can notice that the N7W’s logo was not used in any ad.
The official support committee was the only party allowed to use the N7W logo without paying any fees.
As for the ministry of tourism and the budget they spent, we will ask them to unveil how much we paid.
of course the logo was used in the official support committee ads (with no fees), but not in any other ad.
I don’t expect transparency from the MOT but having an official answer from them won’t harm.
Also I still don’t understand why we weren’t asked to pay any entry or license fees. Why were we treated in a special way? Fi wasta bil N7W?
Najib says: November 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm
I donâ€™t expect transparency from the MOT but having an official answer from them wonâ€™t harm.
Also I still donâ€™t understand why we werenâ€™t asked to pay any entry or license fees. Why were we treated in a special way? Fi wasta bil N7W?
so man what is MOT? is it tourism? transportation? telecom?! you seem to be using the same acronym for all our ministries!
again, grow up
Words of wisdom! I couldn’t have said it better myself. The saddest part is the stupid lebanese politians on the billboards: don’t vote for me. Vote for jeita (with those brain dead grins on their faces)
I was ashamed at how ignorant the lebanese people were being with regards to this competition. What a waste of time and money. I hope that everyone who voted and harassed me with messages on facebook and bbm to vote for the jeita grotto, realizes the degree of their stupidity.
Thank God it’s finally over!
Sorry, but I totally disagree with what you said! I think that everything that allows Lebanon to get exposed to the outer world and promote us in the worlds rank is without any doubt totally beneficial for us! And yes there are a lot of people who are really concerned in visiting the new 7 wonders! That’s why the competition was found. In addition, Lebanon is considered a touristic country and we rely mostly on tourism to fullfill the economic needs every year regardless if they cover Lebanon’s financial needs or not! So is it illegal to enter such competitions?? From what you’re saying I can conclude that you’re against any competition of that kind. What if Jeita won? What would your point of view be? I don’t think it would be the same!
I don’t mind exposing Lebanon to the world but you could have done a million things instead of entering such a competition and losing.
My stance would have been the same whether we lost or not. If you are right about the n7w, then we should expect more visitors to Jeita next year right?
Lebanon is a touristic country yet doesn’t spare a chance to pollute its environment and damage its reputation and image.
At last we agree on all the points ,well said
Well said! A nice breath of air through the brainwashed Lebanese community!
I would also like to add that IF Jeita won and IF the tourism sector in Lebanon flourished, we would expect more power cuts to supply the tourists with power in hotels, rented apartments, etc. Robbing people (foreign and Lebanese alike) blind will grow into a bigger trend in our country I assume; just like any other touristic country. In other words, we the middle class and poor people will get screwed financially big time (even more than we already are).
But don’t blame the government my dear, I mean since when do they set and accomplish their priorities?
i couldn’t agree more… i didn’t vote either for the same reasons you just mentioned.
Mass Marketing shit :-s
So according to your logic, even though Lebanon’s economy is based almost entirely on the tourism sector, we should no longer invest in this sector because this would bring more tourists, which would cause traffic jams on your way to Faraya… What logic!! Fuck those tourists, they come here with their money, stay in our hotels, rent our cars, eat in our restaurants and cause traffic jams!!
As for the amount of money spent on the campaigns, though a bit exaggerated, it’s well paid money. What was it spent on? TV ad campaigns? Roadside billboard campaigns? Radio Ads? Bulk SMS? What this money did is simply switch hands from government funds to Local media corporations employing hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people. Ironically, you are somehow affiliated with the Media sector. Way to go biting the hand that feeds you.
Also note that the government basically collected back most of what it spent on the campaigns from SMS through mobile operators, moving the economic wheel forward in the process. Ask anyone who works in the banking or financial sector and they will tell you how beneficial this is for the Lebanese economy in general.
As for the amount of money needed to prepare Jeita for tourists, FYI it’s spent by the German company overseeing the grotto and not the government. And even if it was the government, it’s well spent money. The people around Jeita deserve good roads and a better quality of life, especially that their town is attracting tourists and bringing good returns for the whole country, regardless of what you say.
As for the generally pessimistic views that this blog post portrays of Lebanon, there is only little to say here. Sadly pessimism is viral and contagious.
I’m not saying Lebanon is the best place in the world to live in day to day, but you never know what you’ve got until you try to visit other middle-eastern countries and see the difference. Try Jordan, Syria, Egypt and you’ll see the difference.
Personally, I voted 300 times myself. I consider it as an investment. That’s 30$ worth of MTC credits. It’s less than what I could of spent in Gemmayze over 2 beers and a shot. Sadly there are people who would not contribute to save a few cents and for god’s sake please don’t make it look like you people refused to vote because of your long standing “principles”. You didn’t vote to save 10 cents and a few minutes of your precious time.
The only bad thing about Lebanon is that kellna bedna netfalsaf 3a ba3edna wu no2rot nazariyet and none of us is willing to just play along and do something for our country, unless it pays back instantly, in cash and directly to our bank accounts (or that of our town/political party/cult (aka religious institution))
I don’t know how you came up with that reasoning of yours. I want to stop investing in tourism cause it brings more traffic? Is that really that you understood from my post?
You cannot make some distant site of yours a world wonder if you have nothing around it to welcome tourists and need at least a year of work to fix the place and all around it. No one has a plan for Jeita, kello mabsout bil voting.
And who told you the Jeita people want all this attention and their town turned into a touristic attraction? Did anyone bother ask them?
As for the money spent, if you don’t know how much it cost, you can’t tell me it’s exaggerated. Check the links I posted for Alf and you will see it’s a very reasonable estimate.
Not sure how this was good for the Lebanese economy. Please enlighten me because I come from a financial background and fail to see how this voting was of any help.
“As for the amount of money needed to prepare Jeita for tourists, FYI itâ€™s spent by the German company overseeing the grotto and not the government.”
Oh really? and this Germany company is doing it for free right? They love Jeita so much they wanna pay from their own pockets?
Anyway, if you really think we did not vote because we want to save 10 cents despite all what I’ve written, then I guess our discussion better ends here cause it’s pointless.
For me, not voting was doing something good for the country while all those participating in this scam were hurting our image and now that we’ve lost, it’s even worse as all money spent went to waste.
If you disagree with me, that’s your right but stop throwing false accusations and talking nonsense.
This is exactly what I have been trying to explain to people.. I bet the only people that knew about this lame unknown competition were us, Lebanese people. It’s sad how popular celebrities like Nancy Ajram, Haifa Wehbe, and others supported this competition without even looking into it and its internationalism. LOL, bas hayda Lebnen, we get excited over anything.. Yalla, khayra bghayri. Allah ye7me Lebnen<3.
bravo! well said najib! finally a voice of reason in all this circus act. thank u.
Najib you re a gem and your “well said Najib” buddies
Maybe the thing you missed out that the people that voted are longing to some unity a sens of national pride in a country torn by every shit head politician that has access to the media
The 100’s of thousands of ppl that voted knows how to google like yourself and get numbers and figures and they did and they chose to vote because this has united them with there brothers of the same country to hold high the name of Lebanon
Its not about Jeita, Baalbeck, Jbeil its about Lebanon and we Lebanese acting as one for the first time toward a cause non political
I personnaly think this was the best investment we made this is an investment in our identity and our pride as a nation
Before you go into technicalities set your priorities straight
Are you really telling me Lebanese cannot unite unless they participate in some sort of scam competition ???
Did we really need to spend that much money and effort and time to feel some unity with our fellow Lebanese?
Are you hearing yourself here? Did we become that pathetic? How about issues like poverty, instability, unemployment, social differences, corruption, sectarianism? Aren’t those issues we can unite around?
We are one big joke of a country if we need to enter the N7W and have a chance there to feel some unity.
When was the last time you joined in marches for or against issues like poverty, instability, unemployment, corruption….Never because they do not exist
Until we get the chance to participate in these kind of noble social causes that I would gladly join in a heart beat
We will have to do with scam competitions as you say until the time has come for us to unit over greater issues aimed to the betterment of us Lebanese citizens
I am not saying we are that pathetic I am saying that we are that torn
u r sheep.
We never joined because everyone is stuck behind his political/religious leader and doesn’t care about the other Lebanese and the same way, even if politicians looked united around Jeita, that doesn’t mean we showed unity.
It’s a fake unity nothing more or else and I refuse to lie to myself and others by believing Jeita united us.
It is like Christians going to Mosques and Muslims going to Churches, it doesn’t get anywhere but it’s nice for the media.
“All this being said, only a fool would spend that much money without calculating the estimated return on investment because thereâ€™s no way we could have profited from this competition.”
With consideration to all that have been mentioned above, I don’t think we are fools to have voted for this. I read a zillion posts specifically about this subject, and I talked about it with my family – yes, they are connected and heard the rumors etc, etc, etc.
Nevertheless, we decided to vote. 10c out of our pockets isn’t that big of a deal. For once that voting doesn’t cost you much.
It did make a huge publicity campaign as many people abroad asked me about it.
It is a natural wonder and I am very much objective when I say that you personally don’t like this kind of natural phenomenon – but it doesn’t make it less of a wonder. Because it is.
I honestly would have gone with all stated above, but “fools” ? We are not fools. We all are educated people. I am a teacher at the university. I can go all day long stating the diplomas I have. Most important, I weigh choices before I make any whatsoever decision. And I chose to vote. I am not a fool.
Same applies to a large number of the voters who are educated people as well.
I have not considered people who abstained from voting “fools” or “smart”. I have not named you a fool. Why would you do the same ?
Cause frankly, after reading both your posts and Gino’s, I think this is what it’s all about – a campaign of who votes or not. This is the message we get after reading your opinion on the subject.
First just to be clear, my quote above was referring to those who sponsored the whole thing and paid millions of dollars for it. You are free to vote or not, you may have your reasons but my prime target was the organizers and the Lebanese government for endorsing it. You may have felt compelled to vote cause everyone did, or feel you have a duty to vote for your country, or feel it’s no harm to do so. That’s your opinion and I respect it but fools are those who invested millions and dragged us along with it. Whether you agree or not, there is a whole national sentiment that was created by the organizers that made a lot of people vote, regardless of how educated they are or how many diplomas they have.
And please stop telling me it’s just 10 cents. Where did I ever mention I didn’t want to pay 10 cents? It’s a principle thing and even if it was for free, I wouldn’t have done it.
Nevertheless, assuming you made your choices in a rational manner, care to share with us why you chose to vote?
PS: I never said Jeita was not a wonder. It is a true wonder of nature and I don’t think we need to enter some scam competition to prove it.
Najib. With mentalities like these we would never get anywhere. All your blogs are negative and criticizing Lebanon, this is a step at improving it. Even though it wasnt recognized by UNESCO, at least it will give Lebanon publicity and yes I believe more people will come here now. I guarantee you most people around the world have never heard of Lebanon, and are very curious now. Things need to be done a step at a time
Again how is this a step at improving it? Don’t you think we could have marketed Lebanon a million other ways? like through the Lebanese all over the world for example? or by organizing trips to Jeita for all schools and universities? etc etc ..
Why don’t you think about that before calling me negative? I suggested we come up with a plan and pay the money otherwise than through this scam competition. How is that negative?
Jeita lost and now the government will ignore it for years to come. What are you planning to do about that?
what the hell is everybody bitching about? Big deal. grow up and go to work gentelmen… you lot are a bunch of whiners…
Since we are talking about tourism and Jeita and answering Nadim on the ministry of tourism, which ministry do you think I am referring to? Ministry of the teleferique?
ministry of ta2 7anak!! the thing you do best!!
you need to start reading what people tell you. you dont understand a thing!! i know it is tourism you clever super human!! what i mean is that you have to be consistant… you cant refer to ministry of telecom as MOT… ministry of transportaion as MOT.. the ministry of kelshi as MOT…
when (IF?) you go to the real world (outside of your blogging world…) you have to be careful because there are lay people (just like me) who dont understand your fancy wordings and writing…
have fun behind your computer screen… much love… USER
If you follow the discussion you will understand its Ministry of Tourism. It’s not that hard you know.
you make me laugh…
now i am convinced you need to go back to schoold and learn how to read… and understand a text you read!!
have a very ignorant day (As usual)
De2 el may may
you dont like to admit your mistake… do you?
last time i log in to your blog…. i used to like it.. but from your posts and comments i came to know that you are a disgrace… i mean seriously who feels happy that his post is posted in international newspapers/blogs. especially when it shows some of our negative side…
i only hope God enlightens you to be a bit more optimistic and logical.. but most importantly intelligent!!
What mistake man? There’s no harm in using MOT instead of Ministry of Tourism when we are in the middle of a discussion that is tackling an issue related to the Ministry of Tourism.
I don’t know what’s going in your head but apparently you’re not the same person who’s been reading me before. I should feel ashamed that Washington Post mentioned us? Are you proud we censored Spielberg’s name?
I can t reply on your last comment. Can’t see the “reply” i should click on. I’ll reply here.
I will try to get an answer from the MOT soon.
No there is no wasta bil N7W, but you are talking about million of dollars, and I heard people saying that 500 000$ were paid as a license. None of these huge budgets were spent in the whole campaign. And as I said, ill get you more detailed info about that.
Does anyone seriously believe that had we won, there would have been an incredible upsurge in tourists visiting Lebanon? Most foreign government websites (non-Arab governments) tell their travelers that Lebanon is unstable and not to go unless it is important. Those of us living here know that it is fairly safe to visit, but Jeita winning that scam would still not convince others.
So the whole “boosting tourism” argument is a crock and a cop out to cover up the fact that you’re all embarrassed to have got caught up in the madness.
Plus the fact that the Lebanese government miraculously didn’t pay any fees when every other country did doesn’t make any sense either. I refuse to believe anyone telling me that. Show me official papers instead of the “I am involved/connected/know someone” line.
On to the 10 cent argument – how many of you would have voted 300 times at 10c a pop if the reason were to eradicate poverty, improve schooling, improve transparency, get the electricity to work, or whatever your personal bugbear is? I have an answer – practically nobody.
So get off your high horses about how you’re holding the name of Lebanon high and uniting over something, blah, blah, blah…it was an exercise in futility.
I just wanted to counter point #3: I would definitely pick Jeita Grotto ahead of Table Mountain, Halong Bay and Puerto Princesa underground river (which is very similar to Jeita).
But that’s just me.
Najib, that’s your best post ever.
I tried to convince my colleagues that the whole thing is a scam. Reminds me of August 1999, when the government asked us to “stay home to avoid the dangers of the solar eclipse”…what a country!
Can I copy-paste your post and circulate?
Do whatever you like 🙂
From my perspective, part of the issue is that the Ministries of Tourism and Information didn’t communicate effectively what the expected benefits of winning this competition might be. They relied on emotional arguments having to do with national pride and some vague notion that tourism helps Lebanon, but the disorganized way in which they promoted Jeita made me skeptical that they didn’t really study the issue thoroughly.
N7W as well as the South African press gave attention to a report by Grant Thornton (a management consultancy) which estimated that the value of winning the competition was around US$1 billion within the first 5 years. Moreover, they claim that during the competition, visits to Petra increased by over 60% and visits to The Christ in Rio increased by 30%.
These estimates sound fishy to me, but I haven’t been able to get access to the full report to see how they calculated these figures (I’m a statistician, so I don’t believe numbers until I see how they’re calculated.) Moreover, a management consultancy would never work for free, so obviously someone paid them to write this report, and it would be in Grant Thornton’s interest to tell them what they want to hear.
In any case, at least South Africa seems to have done a better job of convincing the public that there were real, concrete benefits to winning the competition.
On a side note, I went to Jeita a couple weeks ago. It was lovely, but my visit was rushed due to the Minister of Information showing up with enough security to invade a small country.
Great blog, by the way! 🙂
Thank you for your great input.Check the link below as it shows the number of tourists per year for Petra. Regardless of whether it’s accurate or not, what’s sure is that this competition might boost the numbers for two or three years but based on the 2011 it’s looking like it’s getting back to where it was before.
You reminded me of the scandal of Miss Lebanon where she defamed Lebanon and promoted Congo in the Miss World (or Universe, can’t remember) competition. I really am sick of Lebanese people who complain constantly about Lebanon and only see the negative parts. Sure we’re messed up, big time, no argument there. but here we have an opportunity to showcase our country in a positive light, and we can’t seem to do that without spreading negativity with it.
Scam or not, i don’t have enough information to argue about this, this competition did spread worldwide and exposed Jeita and Lebanon to the world. If you read the comments on the facebook page of N7W u see how many non-lebanese people said they have voted for jeita. Somethings were said, even from foreign people, that Lebanese can’t unite for anything and that’s why Jeita didn’t win. For once there was a cause that was devoid of any politics (how rare is that!), and it is very disappointing to still see lack of unity.
U say money badly spent? maybe…but it sure as hell better spent than the way politicians usually spend “their” money, seeing as they consider the government’s money is their money. I would rather see it spent for getting Jeita higher up in the ranking of any competition, than have them spend it to fix the road infront of their houses. I agree with you that money should be spent on fixing so many corrupt things in the country, from public schools to pollution etc..but its not like this money is being taken out of the way of established plans to rehabilitate these things. There is no effort to begin with. Once there is an effort and a plan is put together, people will be more willing to contribute to support these efforts, myself first!
Still, we made it to the top 14 (i dunno if it was known what number exactly) and that says something compared to how tiny we are relative to the rest of the world. There was an incredible effort on the part of the lebanese to get Jeita to where it ended up to be. I think we should be proud of that, even though we didnt win.
And yes, in my opinion, Jeita beats Komodo and Table Mountain by a mile! The others are pretty cool i think, but these two are lame.
Now I would like to ask you if you can reply to me and share your opinion, had Jeita won. What would your blog entry say in this case? I’m curious to know your point of view in this situation.
First of all, my post would still be the same either Jeita lost or not. My arguments still stand but I only chose to write this after votes were done in order not to harm the competition and show up like the one spoiling the party for others and to avoid a pile of hate mails.
As you can see, I did not pay much attention to the competition itself but to the money spent on it and to the lack of planning and lack of any vision for Jeita.
Jeita is not a cause to unite us. Jeita is a touristic site that needed to be marketed years ago and we should not have waited for some stupid competition to do so. Same goes for other sites such as the Cedars, Baalbeck, Kadisha valley and many others.
I really don’t understand all this “unity” talk. How did Jeita unite us? Did we start loving each other more? Did our sectarian walls fall? Did we kick out our sectarian leaders and corrupt politicians? Did we all give away our arms and lived peacefully and in harmony?
It’s like you’re telling me Lebanese united over some Star Academy participant. Jeita did not unite wala did ballout. People voted for it cause it’s Lebanese and others did not cause they didn’t like the idea and that’s it. One week from now, everyone would have forgotten the matter and moved on. Wlik students were beat the hell out of each others in universities while the voting was on! ayya unity minnoun haydol?
Let us stop lying to ourselves and wake up for a second. It was a competition organized by a presumably fraud organization and unrecognized by UNESCO or any official party and gained Jeita some popularity worldwide and may bring in few extra visitors and that’s it. However and like I explained in depth, bringing in extra visitors will not generate the revenues needed since there s a lack of planning and resources and hotels and resorts and everything!
I totally agree with you Najib, in every single point. Let them take care of the nature and its benefit to us lebanese and the tourists before voting for Jeita and wasting money on such things.
The funniest thing, is that when people asked me If i have voted, and I say No, they accused me of not being patriotic, what the hell does patriotism have to do with voting for Jeita. Patriotism is raising the Lebanese flag in demonstrations not other parties’ flags.
“Patriotism is raising the Lebanese flag in demonstrations not other partiesâ€™ flags.” I’m pretty sure that’s not the definition of patriotism.
I do not agree with your approach due to the following:
1)the voting procedure was scam-free for example the coordinators refused the 100,000 vote from mtc-touch (meaning much money for them) and it is early to talk about that since we are still waiting the official results to check on the number of votes.
2)life is not an excel sheet to calculate gain/losses; the Lebanese have voted as reflection to their love and loyalty to jeitta and Lebanon. If what your saying right then it is better to shop cedars-that we spend much money on maintaining and protecting them- and replace them with oak trees!
3)This competition is so important for tourism. any tourist will use this important guide for best natural places; and there is no formula to attract tourists it is a matter of accumulative work and what we did for jeita is a part of this work.
4)I have been to some of the winning places and I think that jeita is weigh better; just think about this crystallized cave that is more than 9 kilometers long!
finally i think that we have all won from this competition a unique national union and promotion of our country beauty to the max.
Everything happen for a reason 🙂
Can we give security for tourists ? like what happend in 2006 ?!
As long we have armed militias,bad govt,unstable situation,we cannot invite ppl to visit us.
Hi from Indonesia,
It is pretty much the same here. People have been touting the purported economic impact of becoming N7W ‘winner’. However, I’ve been collecting statistics of countries that ‘won’ in 2007 competition, and I just don’t see any increase in tourism industry that can be attributed to N7W: http://j.mp/s8MWkq (google translated only for now, sorry).
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