Lebanon’s January 2013 Storm In Pictures

Lebanon’s weather was all over the place this past week. The “Bride” storm (Or Georgette or Olga as some have called it – we sure can’t agree on a storm name as well) is ending and it was one of the biggest snowstorms to hit Lebanon in years. Torrential rain and snow, including some accumulations on the Lebanese coast, have all been documented. The joke for the first days of the storm went: Skiing and swimming at the same time are now much easier because the storm has brought the sea to your home. For the next few days, the storm brought the snow to your sea.

Many casualties have fallen to the storm, notably young infants of Syrian refugees who died of the freezing cold. Many Lebanese have had their houses completely ruined in the Beiruti neighborhood of Hay el Sellom due to the nearby river flooding.

I have reverted to the following Facebook page (here) unless otherwise specified in order to collect as many pictures as I can and include them here.

Don’t you just love how Lebanon looks after a decent blizzard? I sure do.

Achkout

Achkout

Achkout

Achkout

View of Beirut

View of Beirut

This is Batroun's beach

This is Batroun’s beach

My hometown Ebrine

My hometown Ebrine

Sawfar

Sawfar

Jounieh Bay

Jounieh Bay

Aito, in the North

Aito, in the North

Hrajel

Hrajel

Hasroun - Picture from the Daily Star

Hasroun – Picture from the Daily Star

Jounieh Highway

Jounieh Highway

Ehden

Ehden

Jounieh highway

Jounieh highway

Klei3at

Klei3at

Ein El Mraysseh - Picture from the Daily Star

Ein El Mraysseh – Picture from the Daily Star

This is a picture in the Jbeil caza

This is a picture in the Jbeil caza

Raachine -

Raachine -

Manara, Bekaa

Manara, Bekaa

Bteghrine, Metn

Bteghrine, Metn

Dhour el Choueir

Dhour el Choueir

Ajaltoun

Ajaltoun

Hay el Sellom - Picture by the Daily Star

Hay el Sellom – Picture by the Daily Star

Baalbak

Baalbak

 

When AUB Students Mourn Their Homeless Ali Abdallah

Ali - AUB

R.I.P. Ali, 7aram Ali, di3anak ya Ali, I gave him a banana once – these are all things that I saw AUB students say now that their seemingly favorite homeless person passed away.

Ali Abdallah was supposedly an AUB Math professor. He’s also a diagnosed schizophrenic. All of the notions about Ali Abdallah’s life are irrelevant right now. What is sure, however, is that most AUB students mourning right now not only ignored Ali when they passed by him on Bliss Street, they were also disgusted by the fact that he was there: a mad man, always unshaven, always unclean, always there.

How death changes things, right? He’s no longer the figure they can’t wait to look down on as they pass Dunkin Donuts or Abu Naji. He’s “their Ali of Bliss Street” – their homeless mascot whose presence they had gotten accustomed to. Until their mascot was gone.

I will not mourn Ali Abdallah because I, like the absolute majority of AUB students in a state of depression now, never spoke to him, never bothered to know him and never considered him “our Ali of Bliss Street.” I feel sorry for the way he died – out there, alone in the cold, leaning against a cold Beiruti wall.

Some are citing natural causes for Ali’s death. Well, those natural causes are freezing to death in the midst of the worst storm of Lebanon’s recent history. How many of those mourning Ali ever thought about giving him a coat or money for a place to stay or ever tried to help him out? I highly doubt they are many.

For those of you who are touched by his death, there’s another homeless woman on Bliss Street that you’ve been ignoring for many years now. Perhaps it’s time to give her a second glance so you don’t feel sad when the homeless woman you ignored day in, day out ends up dead as well due to the freezing cold.

My thoughts go to all the people of my country who don’t have a roof over their heads in these though times, no one to care for them and no government to provide them with shelter.

Ebrine’s Municipality Building & Library Get Flooded Due To Lebanon “Bride” Storm

My hometown in the Batroun district woke up today to find its municipality building and public library completely flooded because of the overnight rain of the recent blizzard that’s been named “Bride” storm.

The location of the municipality building is over a hole which was known to my town’s older generation for its water retention abilities. But it has since been fixed – or at least that’s what people thought:

Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain -  3 Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain -  5 Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain - 1 Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain - 2 Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain - 4MTV and other news services showed up to film this. It has also been mentioned on the Lebanese Forces website as an exclusive. So expect this to be part of the 23 minute report on tonight’s news bulletins about today’s storm.

My hometown’s public library which was donated by the late Lebanese University professor Youssef Farhat is also entirely ruined. This is the room you see completely covered by water in the above pictures.

Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain - 6 Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain - 8 Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain - 10 Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain - 7 Ebrine Municipality Lebanon storm rain - 9This is not a testament of Lebanon’s lack of decent infrastructure which everyone has been parading around today (not that our infrastructure is in top shape). If anything, this is a testament to the amount of rain we’ve had overnight. This is the first time in more than 20 years that this happens.

 

 

 

Nature’s Christmas Gift to Lebanon: the Slopes Will Open Next Week

Skiing and snowboarding lovers rejoice. Your beloved slopes that you’ve missed will open soon after Christmas, just in time for your holidays.

The amount of snow on the slopes is already decent though subpar for this time of the year. However, this will change in a few days. A huge storm is coming. It will start this Wednesday and extend till Christmas Day. Rainfall is expected to be big and snowfall altitude levels will dip.
Some places will have a white Christmas this year.

The best news? December 26th is when the storm ends and you’ll be able to hit the slopes to practice your favorite winter hobby.

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When It Rains in Lebanon

Lebanon gets hit by a modest-strength storm… we get damages equivalent to those of a US hurricane. We just have stellar infrastructure.

Where do we begin?

  1. Highways that are not even flat so water gathers on their sides, causing your car to buckle out of nowhere because we don’t even have highway lighting to see the puddles everywhere.
  2. Water that gets cut even during storms… because of shortages in water.
  3. Internet that turns drastically slow according to the following equation: internet = 1/rain. Add in a constant for recuperation in the days that follow and the formula becomes: internet = C/rain.
  4. Water drain that do anything but drain water. They might as well be a good place for future vegetative growth with all the compost they contain.
  5. Airports that turn to swamps. Airplanes that land here are so futuristic they can even float.
  6. Road walls collapse.
  7. Entire roads collapse.
  8. Buildings crumble because of the water seeping in.
  9. Traffic that pops out of nowhere the moment it rains.
  10. Potholes that get uncovered because their filling of stones and secondhand asphalt got swept away with the rain.

And this is barely  the tip of the iceberg. I wonder if the country were to ever be hit by a storm slightly stronger than your Lebanese average, what would happen? My predication is that scientists would start flocking in for a live reproduction of a Noah scenario. We are that unique.

Here are a few pictures of the first major storm in this winter season. Absolutely breathtaking.

Pictures from this Facebook page.