Electricity Goes Off… At Beirut’s International Airport

With my flight a few hours away, this news is surely reassuring. At 11:15 am today, electricity went off at Beirut’s International Airport (or the Rafic Hariri International Airport as they call it these days). (Source).

Personnel rushed to get the situation fixed. The problem seemed to have originated straight from the source: EDL.

I wonder, if this had happened at night, how many people would have died? Don’t they even have backup generators that would ignite the moment anything of the sort happens to ensure smooth and continuous electrical coverage?

It seems even our most important facilities as a country are going down the drain. And what a splendid image we’re giving to those visiting. The moment they land… bye electricity… yes, this is the way things are here. Better get used to it by now.

Ahla w sahla fikon bi Lebnen. 

Congratulations Lebanon. The Whole Country Won’t Have Electricity Tonight!

EDL held a meeting this afternoon – exceptionally – to bestow upon us the good news. (Source).

You don’t get electricity. I don’t get electricity. We ALL don’t get electricity.

What’s electricity useful for again?

Why do they want to bring the whole country into blackout? Because EDL HQ have apparently been occupied by workers who don’t really work and who are displeased by the decision to let them off.

Therefore, somehow, making the whole country suffer is the way those whose jobs are safe at EDL decide to retaliate .

I guess those 2 or 3 hours were also considered as too much for people like us.

I never thought I’d say this but I actually want Gebran Bassil to come out winning of this. Enough with the pandering of nonexistent resources. Enough with useless workers breaking the back of whatever we have left in our coffers. Enough with politicians getting their people a job they will never attend to just because they need their votes every few years.

To all you couples out there, candlelight dinners are especially romantic. Perhaps the state of hopelessness will get you to seek a higher degree of comfort… if you know what I mean.

Gebran Bassil is an Awesome Stand Up Comedian!

Poor Gebran Bassil!

Didn’t you hear? He hasn’t had electricity in his house for FOUR days! FOUR! Even his generator is busted. How unlucky can one get? You would think the other few million Lebanese have a worse electricity situation.

But no. Gebran has it worse than all of us.

In fact, he has it so bad that his wife had to go out with her friends because they couldn’t do a surprise birthday party for her at their house. He had to take care of the kids.

Such a great dad too!

And you know what’s worse?

He’s also a victim of the Summer wedding season. And he attended a wedding where the bride and groom, as well as those attending, were melting from the heat because the Church didn’t have electricity to turn on the AC.

Poor, poor Gebran Bassil. My heart is breaking. How can someone not sympathize with such candid awesomeness by the minister of energy?

And he’s got news, fellow Lebanese. The electricity situation is about to get worse. How many hours do you get it per day? 2? Make those 30 minutes. That should be enough, no?

Don’t blame Bassil for the electricity crisis. He’s providing much needed comic relief! Who needs A/C again?

And he’s got a request for you…. You need to take it down to the streets. Because he – and you – can’t tolerate this anymore.

7ayet l wazir se3be ya jame3a. 

Happy birthday to his wife! Alla ywaffe2 l 3ersein.

Click here and jump to 26:45.

Now in all seriousness, how can a minister fathom sharing such stories in a press conference about one of the most serious matters in the country and still be taken seriously?

There’s a limit to what you can say and, regardless of what you think about Gebran Bassil politically, sharing stories about his wife and weddings he’s invited to is not something you talk about. Never. Not even to illustrate a point.

He’s not the reason behind the electricity crisis? Sure. But his handling of it is so laughable that Gebran Bassil turns out to be quite awesome… at being a stand up comedian that is.

Nemr Abou Nassar who?

 

Two Days in the Life of a Lebanese in Beirut

It starts early in the morning. You wake up and the heat is already beyond an acceptable value. You look at your phone. Nothing on that lockscreen.

You had forgotten. The country has been disconnected from the internet for two days now. You get out of bed forcibly. The day must start. You flick on the light switch. Nothing.

So they’re cutting it 6 am – 9 am today? Neat. At least you’ll have power when you get home, right? You go towards the kitchen to prepare some coffee. You hold the teapot under the water valve. Nothing comes out. No coffee for you? But no. You are more than prepared. Hello Tannourine bottles!

A day at work or class later, you go back home. There’s electricity. But the internet and water are still nowhere to be found. The former is unusual while the latter is typical for any Beiruti summer.

As you get out of your clothes for something more relaxing, you look at the time. 3:30 pm. And the light goes out. You wonder if the switch (disjoncteur) had been overpowered by something you might have turned on by mistake. You run down the stairs of your old Beiruti building which doesn’t have an elevator and you find out that no, it’s not the switch.

You run back up the stairs and reach the landing of your apartment, sweating like a pig. Perhaps going back home hastily was a bad idea.

30 minutes later, your only source of cooling in that house, the A/C, springs to life. You praise any deity you could think of and type away at your computer, finishing up some leftover work stuff because you don’t have internet to check Facebook, Twitter or even your email. Before you know it, the screen on your laptop dims. You look at the laptop’s electricity plug and you find its light off. You glance at your watch. It’s 4:00 PM.

Thank you for 30 minutes of electricity? But it’s not done yet. 30 minutes later, you hear your fridge hum again only to hear it die down 30 minutes later. Christmas lights-esque electricity from 3 to 6 pm? You bet.

So you sit there, looking at the wall in front of you. You have no electricity, no internet and no water. It’s too hot outside for you to wander somewhere – anywhere – and for the first time in your existence in Lebanon, despite everything, you feel like you are living in a third world country.

But as it is with you being the deservedly proud Lebanese that you are, you shrug it off. Tomorrow is another day. And then your phone buzzes. You look at it and behold, there’s an iMessage there! Yes, tomorrow is another day indeed.

Lebanese Forces Website Turns Into a Joke

Just so you don’t think I have a blind vendetta against Tayyar.org with me bashing them on different occasions (check those here & here), it’s now the Lebanese Forces website’s turn to take a hit.

We’ve all been suffering through horrible electricity outages. Even Beirut is getting 6 hour cuts. Different sides are taking different opinions regarding the matter, as usual, depending on which end of the political spectrum they belong to.

Those opinions can be summed up with the following: Blame Bassil vs Don’t blame Bassil.

I don’t like Gebran Bassil and as a voter in the Batroun caza I won’t vote for him when he runs here – again – in 2013. That won’t end up doing much since he will end up as a minister – again. But I would have done what I can.

When it comes to the electricity problem, however, there’s a drastic difference between putting the entirety of the sector’s woes on him, as some people are doing, and actually acknowledging that the problem didn’t start with him, although his handling of the whole issue isn’t top-notch. For the record, I have blogged before about the electricity problem and about how silly Gebran Bassil was when he threatened civil strife against his one-sided government if they didn’t comply with his electricity plan.

All the political talk aside, you’d expect a reputable political website which should be concerned with, well, politics not to flaunt such a post on their Facebook page, which holds over 57000 likes.

The article they linked to can be accessed (here) and it features a collection of pictures such as the following:

Some of you might think these pictures are funny and you can share them on your Facebook and Twitter timelines all you want for all I care. But it’s unacceptable for the website of one of Lebanon’s leading parties to make an “exclusive” out of them. It’s unacceptable for that website to use them as material in order to please its readers.

How about Lebanese-Forces.com and tayyar.org stop running tabloid-ish “news” and focus on real issues instead? What does either website hope to accomplish by running silly articles about the politicians of the other?

The 2013 elections, if they happen, will be here before we know it. The article in question has over 700 Facebook “likes.” Brainwashing is here in full swing.

Earth Hour in Lebanon

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Observing Earth Hour in Lebanon begs the question: what’s the point?
And if you think about it, there isn’t any. How so?

Well for starters, half of the country will forcibly go dark at Earth Hour. Yes, electricity shortages will hit. It defeats the purpose of voluntarily switching off your lights for an hour when you’re involuntarily going through the process every day. And not just for one hour.

We also have a gas prices crisis so you know people aren’t going around like they used to. It’s just so expensive to go that kilometer by car nowadays. So we walk instead. It’s greener, healthier and we get to enjoy the beauty of our urbanized mountains.

Moreover, we’ve had the rotten meat fiasco lately. So many people have drastically decreased their intake of the substance, thereby going greener – literally. And you know “green” food is more eco-friendly than cows and goats.

So for all matters and purposes, our carbon footprint has been rendered so meaningless that it would register as a statistical error in studies. Everyday in Lebanon is Earth Day. We should receive a medal for it.
I, for one, am not turning off my lights for the hour of grid-connection I get. I have them turned off for the other 23.