Sneak peek into an estranged world. Cheers!

Posts tagged ‘beirut’

Blues

Do you know that feeling,
When the blues kick up,
And the saxophone hits high;
And you just wanna let go?
How about tonight you let go!

T.

via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/mpBrV4

River

When nature takes over,
It takes over the roads,
It covers all,
Yet it is beautiful,
In its own persistence.

T.

via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/mkSd7p

Tears of hate

How do you know when you’ve had enough, when the annoying things have overflowed in the cup of your brain and patience?

I’m not sure if I have reached that level but it sure feels like it if not worse sometimes. Getting to my house or leaving my house have become a suffering process I have to go through daily, and most times two to three times a day.

It is not my home in itself that I find insufferable, but the process of getting there; it is not the traffic and the road that annoy me so much, but the process of security check point I have to pass through to get home; and of course it is not the safety check points that are being put all over the country to protect us from car bombers and drug dealers, but the checkpoints that a politician that decided to stick around in the center of Beirut keeps adding and enlarging, while making the roads smaller and tougher to go through.

It currently takes me 15 to 30 minutes to get in or out of my house through a distance of 7 meters (yes yes, you read that right). Imagine me forgetting something at home while heading out, I will need to have my car searched again from top till bottom, inside and outside, with no privacy or intimacy left for my dignity to hang on to.

Now it does make sense in some ways, I agree that having the outside of my car searched with mirrors to check for any harm that someone might have stuck to the bottom of my car. I have no idea who sees me driving in and out of this extremely secured area, so I agree, search the outside of my car with all the mirrors you can, and do a good job when searching please.

But when they search the inside of my trunk, ask me to open my windows in the middle of the pouring rain to see what’s on the seat next to me and in the back seat is annoying; and of course they never miss staring at my legs and breasts in the process, taking their time to take it all in before going to search the trunk, going through all my groceries, destroying packaging and such to make sure ‘you aren’t hiding a bomb or guns in there’; so I got a question for them, do you seriously think I might want to bomb my own home, destroy all my belongings and kill my family? (I hope I don’t look like someone who might, but who in his right mind ever might do so?). And of course searching your car’s engine (why? Most of the time you guys don’t even know how to open it, much less know what should and what shouldn’t be there).

Don’t get me wrong, I love and respect the Lebanese army a lot, but it’s the cops I don’t respect; these sleazy men that whistle at you and stare at point blank without feeling shameful or respecting you, it’s those souls that never had an education, those kids that used to carry guns during the war, those people who learnt that the only way to get something is to take it. I have no respect for such scum in my life (fortunately there are some very few whose parents gave a correct education to).

So here are my questions to this politician who’s been abusing power (like all the others in Lebanon) and is now afraid of repercussions. Why don’t you move up to the mountains and hills like all the others did before you? You have closed in 6 roads, already put two businesses on the street and now, with your growing fear, and multiple road closings, you’re putting another business on the pavement.

Second, they search my car, bags and all my belongings from top to bottom on the first check point, so why add a second one? I doubt my car or any of my belongings will change or anything will be added within 2 meters (makes sense? It does to me).

Third, you’re currently adding extra protection to the entrances; first there were a small gate and a small wall, then it became a larger gate with 3 meter high walls, where I can’t even see my house anymore; a couple of months ago you started digging a huge hole in the ground to add a metal springing road blocker with sharp points that ‘can stop a 3 ton truck driving 70km/h’. I’m not sure what you will need that for, the road up towards it is already paved and full of cement blocks making it close to impossible to drive through (worse than trying for your driving license!).

And now, yesterday to be precise, you started digging holes in front of the first road-block, making it close to impossible for my mum’s car (which is a big land cruiser tank- 1999) from passing through without one of the wheels slipping through the cracks. Turns out you want to now add towers and more gates, closing in 17 homes, 4 office businesses, a mall entrance, and a school entrance.

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In yellow is the ‘secure area’, in pink are all the road blocks, the yellow dot is the politician’s home, in red are the offices, purple is the mall, and green is the school.
And of course all the security cameras pointed at our bedroom windows, bathrooms and salon that makes your life feel like ‘The Truman Show’.

Trying to invite friends or family over for dinner is a huge hassle, either for having to call their “security office” so they would let them in after a 30 minute search, or most of the time not let them in at all saying it’s for our own security; honey if you weren’t here we wouldn’t need to fear anything; I wouldn’t have to fear someone that might stick a bomb to the bottom of my car, I wouldn’t have to fear the people that are fed up with you during black days when they attack and shoot their guns towards you, I wouldn’t have to hold in my pee for half an hour while waiting for you to drool all over my tights and try to understand how the car’s engine works, I wouldn’t have to hate going home or leaving it in the first place, because then I wouldn’t need to go through this terrible process and have to add it to the usual traffic of Beirut.

 

As some of you might have read in my previous posts about my love to this country, and lately have noticed how many things make me hate it as much as I love it; unfortunately it is not just hate that’s been boiling in my heart, but loathing, a feeling stronger than love. You are the ones making me want to actually leave this country at times, and it makes me so sad to actually say it out loud, and even worse write it down.

Sometimes I just want to leave this country and its stupidness, its immature people, its abusive politicians, its drivers, and its brainwashed crowds. I’m getting tired, and yet I keep fighting, still wishfully hoping that one day we Lebanese will take things into our own hands.

Tomorrow there is a rally that will take place for KAFA, I will be there, and hopefully many Lebanese, men and women will join us, let’s just hope that after the rally the government will take into consideration our pleas, and that the people won’t just give up saying: “yeah we went to the rally, we did our job, now we can go home and forget about it”. Let’s hope they will fight for once, and keep nagging our politicians who are supposed to protect us, as a community, as a country, and as individuals.

I put my voice out there. Maybe sometime soon others will stop accepting the oppression.

T.

Trashing Lebanon

Strangely very few Lebanese people are aware of what has been going on in Beirut and mount Lebanon specifically over the past four days. But questions have started arising with the smells and pollution increases around their homes and streets.
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So here’s the headline for those trying to figure out why trash has been piling up all over the streets and Sukleen trucks (whose job is to remove waste from the streets to the landfill) have been MIA: a sit-in has been taking place on the road leading to the landfill by residents of Naameh and Ain Drafill in protest over the lack of care and sky-rocketing degrees of pollution taking place in the landfill.

As some of you might know the landfill was excavated and ready to take in 2 thousand tons of waste for a limited time of 10 years until the government provides a new facility for the waste to be divided, treated accordingly, and made eco-friendly as to not destroy what is left of health in the country (which of course they still haven’t done anything about after 15 years and more than 10 thousand tons).

Now all I’ve read and seen are people protesting and not taking matters into their own hands; one blog post I read believes the best way to take matters into their own hands is by piling up the trash in front of our politician’s homes in the hopes that they will take action. But I believe otherwise.

If as many people as they say are protesting and feeling an unfairness when it comes to the treatment of trash in Beirut; the best way to treat the matter is either to provide a waste treatment plan for the government (who’s apparently too ignorant over what’s happening) or take matters into their own hands literarily and take action as NGOs in helping out Sukleen workers in the division of trash for later recycling.

Of course being Lebanese and thinking too high of ourselves, most of us prefer simply sending out the blame on others and/or getting Syrian, Sudanese, and Palestinian minority staff to do the “dirty job” for them.

I for one took matters into my own hands and got them dirty while growing up, by dividing my trash into plastics, paper, organic matter, glass, and solids over the years (a knowledge which I have learnt and acquired from my parents). Most of you will ask “then what? Now you have 5 different piles of trash but no way to get rid of them”. The answer is actually simple, we already have in Lebanon waste recycling facilities for plastic, glass, and papers; you simply need to look up the one that is closest to your home or arrange a monthly pick-up with the companies to help you out.

As for the organic matter, we Lebanese continuously use and abuse chemical additives as fertilizers for our plants, crops, or actual agricultural fields; which ends up seriously harming the environment as well as the fruits themselves. Why not instead make an organic compost in your back-garden; I know that you’re probably thinking we don’t have back-gardens in Beirut, just apartment houses; but in that case why not work with your building’s or street’s community and provide a space for you all to put your organic trash to be composted before using it as a natural fertilizer, or sending it off to those with agricultural farms in need of the nutrients it provides instead of spraying chemicals all over them.

When you look at it this way you realize almost 80% if not more of your trash will be re-used and going separate ways to different treatment facilities instead of piling up the whole load in one landfill and over-exceeding its size and limits.

As for the 20% of the non-reusable trash being sent to the landfill? Well the government will have to deal with them accordingly the same way all other countries treat their waste and dispose of it without harming the environment, water, or air; as well as providing the towns close to the landfill with clean living and a healthy future.

This kind of changes the perspective on things doesn’t it?

For those interested in a recycling plan, here are some companies that can help you out, not just by taking into their own hands your trash, but sometimes even paying you for it:
http://www.lebanonclean.org/uploads/4/6/0/0/4600018/management_of_recyclable_marterial_for_lebanese_municipalities.pdf

Still hoping for a greener Lebanon.

T.

Building… down!

Now as most of you know, lebanon had this non stop habit of tearing down all buildings pre-war (in talking about the civil war here) to make more livable complexes to rent out for crazy prices.

Unfortunately it means tearing down our country’s heritage, but hey, Lebanese always go for money before beauty. So here you have it!

Building… down!

Now the funny part about this post, as most of you might have noticed while walking through the streets of beirut, most buildings are stuck together, to avoid lost space (aka build as much as possible).

So not too long ago, an old rosary style building was torn down in the down town area of beirut.
Sad but true, but still non the less makes it hilarious from the mark it left.

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Any comments?
I simply found it hilarious, and I have to mention, karma can be quite hilarious sometimes 😉

T.

“Goodmorning” lebanon!

Now I sure some of you might be surprised at that post today, but today should have been a good day, which is why I say goodmorning!

Today marks for most of us the last day of work for the year before heading out to the villages or preparing our homes or our plans for a happy happy new year.

Most Lebanese are out shopping, swearing at traffic, wiggling their way around to make sure they end this year 2013 in style and welcome a new year full of joy and happiness.

But as I notice we, as a country, as Lebanese, still dream big; we dream for peace and safety…
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And this is what we get
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Even Lebanese and non Lebanese living abroad get injured
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I’m not taking about physical injuries of course, I’m also taking about mental and emotional; we as a country have learnt to be thankful for surviving explosions instead of being thankful to the Trust, love and prosperity that we’re supposed to wish for.

And still, someone keeps dividing us, destroying our Trust in each other.

Media and crowds run to assumptions, blame parties, and forget to mourn for those whose life was destroyed in a blink of an eye; 5 dead and 70 injured in the polls today.

Will our history ever stop repeating itself? No one knows. But I still have hope.

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So goodmorning to all, and hope that 2014 brings with it some safer days with less tears and more laughter.

T.

Hallo-Meen? (Who?)

Who are you this Halloween?
Walking around on Urugway Street, beirut on Halloween night, I noticed that once again the lebanese crowd has completely misunderstood the meaning of this fright night and have, once again, decieved my hopes for a fun night.
Though I have to say, most of the crowd were dressed up this year (yay!).
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So what does Halloween actually stand for? It’s All Hallow’s Evening, the night for the dead and the saints. So I’m really not sure how dressing like a prostitute fits, but hey, if it makes them happy.
So I think I’ve counted more than 40 cat costumes, at least 50 people with no costumes, 27 prostitutes, 30 simply wearing a wig and 48 people (including me and my friends) in actual full on costumes.

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I think the translation from Halloween to our lebanese Barbara has been lost, for we do not prepare a fright night for Barbara, but we carve pumpkins and dress up for Halloween. Still not making any sense to me.

I just had to add (and this makes me even more ashamed of being lebanese) a post a friend of mine wrote.
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Thank you T.Z for sharing.

So who were you on fright night?

T.

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