Lebanon’s Electricity Crisis: The Gebran Bassil Paradigm

As I’m writing this, I’m looking at the light bulb we have installed in our house to let us know if the electricity we’re having is provided by our “moteur” subscriber or by Electricite du Liban. It is lit. So much for EDL.

What’s troubling is that this lightbulb has been lit a lot these past few days. Hold on, I stand corrected. This light bulb has been lit a lot these past two months. I know this firsthand because my father is one of those moteur providers you like to hate so much for overcharging you. But when you don’t get electricity for 330 hours in a given month, the moteur provider will have to charge you.

What I don’t get, however, is why Lebanon’s electricity has suddenly gone into dying mode, especially in the last two months. I understand having to go through a weekend of total blackout in Beirut due to a protest in a power plant. But to go on for two months without getting half a day of coverage is way exaggerated if you ask me.

Has Lebanon’s need for power suddenly exponentially increased beyond what it was a couple of months ago? I hardly think so. Did the dismal capacity of our power plants exponentially decline in the past two months? I hardly think so as well. What has changed in the last two months is the way the Minister of Energy’s brain neurons are firing.

This is Gebran Bassil – Batroun’s “pride and joy”

I’ll just come out and say it. I do not like Gebran Bassil. Never have and I’m guessing never will. Perhaps that’s why we voted against him and got him to lose twice. But how good is that when he’s always finding his way to power?

Gebran Bassil reminds me of kindergarten days. That short, plumped bully kid you all hate and have no idea how he can actually bully everyone. Then you remember. Someone has his back. The fact that he lost two successive parliamentary elections and still made his way to three successive cabinets, even becoming a major hurdle to the instillment of the second, is only indicative of how spoiled he is and how used he is to getting his way, never hearing no as an answer to anything he requests.

The latest? He’s actually threatening the current government of taking it to the streets to get his way when it comes to the proposed electricity bill. I’m not sure he knows this but wouldn’t he be protesting against his own allies? And wouldn’t taking it to the streets to fight for a proposed law be a hurdle towards the advancement of a state the way Michel Aoun & co want it – “change and reform”?

As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to the electricity situation in Lebanon nowadays, Gebran Bassil is not reforming. He is deforming. There’s nothing working about it. And as long as he keeps acting like an insolent brat and not a minister, it will not head in the right direction anytime soon.

Perhaps when a politician’s allies are not responsive to the “plans” he or she is introducing would be an obvious enough hint that they’re doing something wrong. But I guess that logic doesn’t flow well with Mr. Bassil. The fact that he is part of a one-sided government and is constantly facing hurdles doesn’t warrant him to feel paranoid and targeted. It simply means he’s not doing things right.

So dear Lebanese, plan your showers according to the electricity cycles in your correspondent region. If your electricity coverage is not adequate, there’s always a bucket and a stove for you. Or better yet, plan your whole life to constantly fluctuating electricity cycles. Let’s add another fear to the long list a Lebanese society suffers from: electrophobia.


20 thoughts on “Lebanon’s Electricity Crisis: The Gebran Bassil Paradigm

  1. Great post. The problem didn’t start with this government but Bassilo has had the worst handling of it.

    Keep in mind he has $1.2 billion to work with.


  2. Wow, it’s that bad lately?
    I was used to having a few hours of cuts. But 330 hours is way too much. Has it gotten worse around the Beirut area as well?


  3. he has been warning about this issue so many times and he is trying to find solutions… he is the only minster at least in the last 15 years who was warning about this problem and is seriously trying to find solutions… the problem is that he has to fight with politicians and mafias who are in every part and aspect of every administration and business in Lebanon. This is not the worst time in Lebanon concerning electricity… remember how many times people used to get 1 or 3 hours per day simply because the “fuel boat did not arrive”? now seriously, what do people think about the unfair distribution of electrcity between regions on the claim that tourist region should get more electrcitiy? isnt that worth criticizing… and instead of criticizing Gebran Bassil ont he personal level, criticize the ideas, debate them and propose better ones… I always believe that when people starting attacking the person not the idea, this means that they do not have ideas of their own… with all respect ๐Ÿ™‚


    • It is the worst time in Lebanon with regards to electricity because the fuel boats are here, our capacity to produce electricity has not decreased and yet, we’re not getting any coverage.
      No, Gebran Bassil is all talks and no action. Ma3le ye3ne. I’m from Batroun. We know firsthand the lies he tells and the “promises” he gives. Have you ever thought what made him lose in such drastic proportions in 2009? Simply: a little black book about what he “did” in Batroun. So when I attack Gebran Bassil, it’s because I know he’s full of it. When I attack Gebran Bassil, it’s not because I don’t have ideas of my own, with all due respect, but I’m sick of people who are so taken by him that they cannot see him for the fraud that he really is. When I talk about Gebran Bassil, it’s because he is, at the end of the day, as corrupt as every other politician in Lebanon and him being Michel Aoun’s son in law won’t change that. Oh wait, Michel Aoun is as corrupt as they come as well.

      Regarding the ideas, $1.2 billion for 700 Megawatts. Really?


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  7. Hi. I read this with fear in my eyes… I’m from Poland and the last electricity problems in here were like … in deep deep communism… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


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