Fire Nadim Koteich Now

Some people are surely brainwashed. But the people don’t act without a trigger. The death of Wissam Al Hassan got them angry – but it didn’t get them to attack Lebanon’s Serail.

The funeral wasn’t even over yet when someone who was unkown to the majority of the Lebanese people decided to grab the microphone and start shouting.

He said every single thing unimaginable while the children of the person being buried cried their father. He worked the crowds’ instinct with cries of sectarianism and hate. He was uninhibited. He was out of line. And he took center stage.

Nadim Koteich called on these people not to hear their politicians and to attack the serail. Which they did. Nadim Koteich, the miracle child of Future TV, with a 30 minute TV show in which he provides “valuable” political analysis, the kind that doesn’t offer anything new except get people worked up and angry, needs to be fired.

A person like him, with obvious political prospects, doesn’t even have the inhibitions to know what can be said from what cannot. A person like him should never be given a platform because once he gets going, he doesn’t know where to stop.

I blame the politicians who saw it fit to give such a person a podium in order to shout. But I cannot ask for them to be fired. Is Nadim Koteich getting fired the best thing that can be done? No. The best solution would be an overhaul of our social system, one where people like Nadim Koteich would speak words that fall on deaf ears. But firing him is something that can be needed. If he remains in his job, spreading his poisonous, empty and useless words, it will seem as if it’s okay to get people to attack the Serail. It will seem as if what he did was nothing wrong.

He needs to be punished for what he has done. If it’s not for the sake of the country, let it be for the sake of the man whose funeral he just turned into a freakshow.

It would be a shame if history was to write that a man like Nadim Koteich managed to let the country slip into the mayhem it looks to be heading to. Such a disgrace of a human being.

The Maghen Abraham Synagogue in Downtown Beirut, Lebanon

I recently visited the Wadi Bou Jamil area in Downtown Beirut to check out the infamous synagogue, currently being renovated. The area itself is a security zone within a security zone – call it security zone-ception. They have security forces for Hariri’s “Beit el Wasat,” the Serail and the synagogue itself.

You can get to the synagogue by walking up the stairs of the Serail and then walking on the street towards the Capuchin church. Once you reach the church, proceed to the street that is sealed off with one of the red plastic barricades, with an ISF person guarding the entrance to the synagogue’s street. Don’t worry about him, though, just proceed as if he doesn’t exist.

As a result of the security zones, the synagogue is off limits by a huge gate that is sealed shut. You can still see the building from outside but you are not allowed to go in. Furthermore, you are prohibited from taking pictures of any kind whatsoever.

We asked the security guard present near the synagogue if we can get access if we happened to be Jewish and he said no. He then said no one comes to this area except for very few tourists who want to look around, which is understandable because the area is so segregated from Downtown Beirut and yet so close that finding it is a task on its own so many Lebanese don’t care it exists to begin with.

I wonder, though, what’s the point behind so much security if the synagogue’s renovation is supported by the different political parties in Lebanon? I guess what’s been declared is drastically different from the hidden intentions…. Typical of Lebanon.

Until then, the synagogue is such a beautiful location in Beirut, in a very serene area of Downtown Beirut, whose calm contrasts drastically with the bustle of the surrounding shops and streets. It won’t be long before they ruin it with high-rises as well. They’re already talking about demolishing the Roman hippodrome near the synagogue to replace it with a high-rise.