The Jal El Dib Bridge & The Case of Mass Lebanese Hysteria

Sure, Lebanon’s infrastructure isn’t exactly top notch. Who are we kidding, Lebanon’s infrastructure can barely be called infrastructure.  Some of the roads have massive potholes in them that can damage your car sometimes beyond repair. I saw potholes in France and Spain when I visited back in August but you know those potholes will get fixed as soon as possible there. The only way ours get fixed is someone dying because of a car accident caused by those potholes or sometime in May 2013, just before the elections.

As you know, an Achrafieh building collapsed on Sunday, taking the lives of 26 people with it. Everyone was rightfully saddened by that tragedy and many people have sought ways they could help. Soon enough, however, people started panicking about the Jal El Dib metal bridge, as well as the Charles Helou bridge in Beirut, calling them unsafe and nearing crumbling.

Those bridges are definitely high-risk. The Jal El Dib was supposed to be a “temporary” bridge until they build a better structure in its place. But one cannot but wonder, as Beirut Spring pointed out, if this is simply Lebanese hysteria (which usually lasts a few days to a week) after a national tragedy that involved infrastructure. It happened with the

Sure, both bridges are poorly maintained. The Jal El Dib bridge doesn’t even have asphalt on it anymore. We’ve been driving our cars on metal for the past four years. If that’s not enough reason to have the bridge changed, I don’t know what is. However, is the bridge about to collapse? A civil engineer friend of mine told me there’s no proof based on the pictures taken of the bridge that it is about to do so.

One of the ministers in our government, however, so aptly declared that it is about to collapse, which sent the people into a frenzy. And yet, a few days later, the bridge was still not removed. You’d think a minister declaring such a thing would get the government to work in order to expedite whatever paperwork they are cowering behind. Apparently not.

In fact, the level of panic got to a whole new level when normal Friday traffic around the Jal El Dib area was perceived by many as caused by the removal of the bridge, which didn’t as of this post happen yet. And as it is with our Lebanese lifestyle, this time next week people would have moved on to another story altogether and the bridges which should have been removed a couple of years ago will remain there for a couple of years more.

At the end of the day, life goes on, people forget… so until the next tragedy, cheers to our resilience my fellow Lebanese.

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4 thoughts on “The Jal El Dib Bridge & The Case of Mass Lebanese Hysteria

  1. “mass Lebanese hysteria” bring ooooonnn the Xanax and the lexotanil and all the other miracle workers !! I think the consistency in this paranoia that people live in will never go away Khalass …more than a behavior it’s become a characteristic thAtthe Lebanese are defined by….I was just telling my friend that living here puts me on the edge 24/7…I feel like my well being is in danger every second of every day..it makes me nervous..n when everyone around you is a habitual bearer of bad news..it’s hard it to feel that way!!

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    • I think you get used to it. You stop thinking about it until something, like the Achrafieh collapse, reminds you. And then you forget again. Between the first state of forgetting and the second, nothing changes on the ground except you feeling anxious for a week or so.

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  2. Pingback: Al Akhbar & Lara Fabian: Disturbing Lebanese Journalism « A Separate State of Mind

  3. Pingback: Jal el Dib Citizens Need To Tone Down the Bridge Melodrama « A Separate State of Mind | A Lebanese Blog

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