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Photo Tuesday

This "Photo Tuesday", I will not be satisfied with a mere caption. I need to rant.

Every now and then, in Lebanon, you stumble upon an oddly named place, an oddly named store, an oddly named building (yup, they name 'regular' buildings here... of course, other than the ingenious "Our place is the 3rd building after Hajj Hassan's uncle's house, third floor, 2nd door"). And now, the "tower" thing seems to be in fashion. Every now and then, a new 6-7 (or 8) story building pops up, and is honored by the term "tower". Today, as I walked around in New Jdeideh, I noticed this "tower", and snapped a shot. I kept wondering what the word "developers" was all about. What is the meaning of "Developers Tower"? Is it some sort of gathering place for developers? But then, the apostrophe is missing at the end, so it couldn't be that. I couldn't help but wonder what all those buildings will serve. There is no shortage of buildings, apartments, office space! On the Rabieh road, there are at least 3 new centres; then there are the older ones that are pretty much out of use, since all the stores that opened there closed down due to lack of business. It seems that every person with some money to waste is now buying a plot and erecting a building -- or tower. I am sitting here in my room, surrounded by 3 -- THREE!! -- construction sites. Apartment buildings, 4 stories high (with some "wasta" you can also add a 5th floor in this 4-story zone). They say there's no money to buy anything, no money for cars, no money for new apartments, but then, where is the money for the construction coming from? These are not isolated phenomena, they are widespread (at least where I live) and are not housing projects by companies, they are individual initiatives. And then there is the issue of the treatment (or rather, abuse) of the laborers, who are mostly Syrians. I once woke up to horrible shrieks and yells, it turned out the owner of the construction site and the engineer were yelling at one of the workers and abusing him physically... Those who whine and continue to cry "there's no money", have the best of luxuries, whereas silence rules over the poor, the exploited, and dispossessed.

I keep wondering, if there is no money, how come I saw at least a 100 brand-new Nissan Tiidas parked in only one tiny "suburb" of Beirut, which claims to be "suffering" (it just can't be that all of the Tiidas belong to "visitors")? And what is worse than the whining and the brand new shiny cars (some quite expensive, topping the $50,000 level) is the condescending attitude towards those who do not have any of these luxuries; for example, towards taxi drivers with oldish cars, who struggle to feed their families, a fact which the poor suffering brand new car owners forget (how convenient). The poor, economically depressed cry-babies turn into abusive monsters when they come across real samples of what they claim to be going through (but aren't in reality). What's worse, sectarianism has plagued this country so much that it seems there are now different standards to judge poverty. A Christian with a yearly salary of $20,000 is considered "poor", whereas a Sunni or Shi'ite with 1/4th of that salary would not even be considered to be anywhere close to being poor. And Iraqi and Palestinian refugees are... not considered at all (except when keeping track of their sectarian "belonging", lest it threaten the "delicate sectarian balance"; batrak Sfeir will demand that we bring some more Christian Iraqi refugees to maintain the 6-6 balance).

Welcome to the world of capitalism and sectarianism... and Lebanon! Enjoy your towers, and don't forget, they (we?) love life...
Oh and, Syria is a hundred times better than Lebanon in almost every respect. Now shut the hell up and get over yourselves.

You demand a tribunal to try the (unknown) killers of Hariri?
I demand a tribunal to try the (known, clear as light of day) killers of 1200 people!!

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posted by Angry Anarchist @ 4/03/2007 04:22:00 PM,


At April 3, 2007 at 9:35 PM, Blogger sasa said...

But I thought you couldn't bear to live in Damascus, choosing Beirut instead. So how is our city better than yours? (Not that I'm disagreeing ;) )

At April 3, 2007 at 9:52 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

how is our city better than yours?
You guys have the best sweets!!! :D


Ok ok, I've been having too much sweets these days (ma'amoul, knefe, ka'ak b-loz, etc.) so forgive me for the distraction.. :P :D

Anyway Beirut is really diverse, depends on where you're going or where you live, but sectarianism is at an all time high (it wasn't so bad back in 2000, or even in 2005 before Syria withdrew), and everyone views others as a function of their sect, which disgusts me. Today I heard the nashid watani lbneni... I had to smile, the words are so...... unfitting... "kulluna lilwatan" hahaha....
Anyway, I'm on a rant here.. :P Lebanon is more of a joke than a country, so I think I can be pardoned for boring you and others with my rants. ;)

But at the rate things are going I'll have to say just about anywhere (minus Iraq and ... Mogadishu -- thanks to the American doctrine of "constructive chaos" or whatever the hell it's called) is better than Beirut (the politics has become very frustrating and it bores me to tears). The two questions I hear often: "inta mn beit min?" and "inta ma3 min?" ....

Still, the sweets precede every other consideration, so ... :D

At April 5, 2007 at 1:43 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

sounds like israel has created the opportunity for lots of new buildings or towers...


how much did the stockpile of rockets that hezbollah has rearmed with cost?

At April 5, 2007 at 6:10 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

Your pride is laughably misplaced.
This is a totally different area than the places that Israel bombarded in violation of INTERNATIONAL LAW (remember that thing they call international law?)

Now go away already.

At April 7, 2007 at 12:09 PM, Anonymous shant said...

Nice finish :D
keep up the good posts

At April 7, 2007 at 3:06 PM, Blogger MarxistFromLebanon said...

I agree with the last two sentences, and why are you bothering to reply to that nutcase hitler What is Occupation? I think he/she is 15 years old who watches too much CNN :D


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