Lebanon ranked 3rd with the highest level of government debt

3. Lebanon — 139.1%. The country used to be a tourist destination, but war in Syria and domestic political turmoil have caused ructions across the economy. (Source: The Independent).

Corruption, theft, rigged system, dirty politicians ….. and Al Sha3ib Al-3anid ….

On the 80th Memory of Gebran Khalil Gebran

I leave you with his own words:

khalil_gibranMy Countrymen

What do you seek, my countrymen?
Do you desire that I build for You gorgeous palaces, decorated With words of empty meaning, or Temples roofed with dreams? Or Do you command me to destroy what The liars and tyrants have built? Shall I uproot with my fingers What the hypocrites and the wicked
Have implanted? Speak your insane Wish!
What is it you would have me do, My countrymen? Shall I purr like The kitten to satisfy you, or roar Like the lion to please myself? I Have sung for you, but you did not Dance; I have wept before you, but You did not cry. Shall I sing and Weep at the same time?

Your souls are suffering the pangs Of hunger, and yet the fruit of Knowledge is more plentiful than The stones of the valleys.
Your hearts are withering from  Thirst, and yet the springs of Life are streaming about your Homes — why do you not drink?

The sea has its ebb and flow, The moon has its fullness and Crescents, and the ages have Their winter and summer, and all Things vary like the shadow of
An unborn god moving between Earth and sun, but truth cannot Be changed, nor will it pass away; Why, then, do you endeavour to Disfigure its countenance?

I have called you in the silence Of the night to point out the Glory of the moon and the dignity Of the stars, but you startled From your slumber and clutched
Your swords in fear, crying, “Where is the enemy? We must kill Him first!” At morningtide, when the enemy came, I called to you Again, but now you did not wake From your slumber, for you were Locked in fear, wrestling with The processions of specters in Your dreams.

And I said unto you, “Let us climb To the mountain top and view the Beauty of the world.” And you Answered me, saying, “In the depths Of this valley our fathers lived, And in its shadows they died, and in Its caves they were buried. How can We depart this place for one which They failed to honor?”

And I said unto you, “Let us go to The plain that gives its bounty to The sea.” And you spoke timidly to Me, saying, “The uproar of the abyss Will frighten our spirits, and the Terror of the depths will deaden Our bodies.”

I have loved you, my countrymen, but My love for you is painful to me And useless to you; and today I Hate you, and hatred is a flood That sweeps away the dry branches And quavering houses.

I have pitied your weakness, my Countrymen, but my pity has but Increased your feebleness, exalting And nourishing slothfulness which Is vain to life. And today I see Your infirmity which my soul loathes And fears.

I have cried over your humiliation And submission, and my tears streamed
Like crystalline, but could not sear Away your stagnant weakness; yet they
Removed the veil from my eyes.
My tears have never reached your Petrified hearts, but they cleansed The darkness from my inner self.

Today I am mocking at your suffering, For laughter is a raging thunder that
Precedes the tempest and never comes After it.

What do you desire, my countrymen?
Do you wish for me to show you The ghost of your countenance on The face of still water? Come, Now, and see how ugly you are!

Look and meditate! Fear has Turned your hair grey as the Ashes, and dissipation has grown Over your eyes and made them into Obscured hollows, and cowardice
Has touched your cheeks that now Appear as dismal pits in the Valley, and death has kissed Your lips and left them yellow As the autumn leaves.

What is it that you seek, my Countrymen? What ask you from Life, who does not any longer Count you among her children?
Your souls are freezing in the Clutches of the priests and Sorcerers, and your bodies Tremble between the paws of the Despots and the shedders of Blood, and your country quakesUnder the marching feet of the Conquering enemy; what may you Expect even though you stand Proudly before the face of the Sun? Your swords are sheathed With rust, and your spears are Broken, and your shields are
Laden with gaps, why, then, do You stand in the field of battle?

Hypocrisy is your religion, and Falsehood is your life, and Nothingness is your ending; why, Then, are you living? Is not Death the sole comfort of the
Miserable?

Life is a resolution that Accompanies youth, and a diligence That follows maturity, and a Wisdom that pursues senility; but You, my countrymen, were born old And weak. And your skins withered And your heads shrank, whereupon
You become as children, running Into the mire and casting stones Upon each other.

Knowledge is a light, enriching The warmth of life, and all may Partake who seek it out; but you, My countrymen, seek out darkness And flee the light, awaiting the
Coming of water from the rock, And your nation’s misery is your Crime. I do not forgive you Your sins, for you know what you Are doing.

Humanity is a brilliant river Singing its way and carrying with It the mountains’ secrets into The heart of the sea; but you, My countrymen, are stagnant Marshes infested with insects And vipers.

The spirit is a sacred blue Torch, burning and devouring The dry plants, and growing With the storm and illuminating The faces of the goddesses; but
You, my countrymen, your souls Are like ashes which the winds Scatter upon the snow, and which The tempests disperse forever in The valleys.

Fear not the phantom of death, My countrymen, for his greatness And mercy will refuse to approach Your smallness; and dread not the Dagger, for it will decline to be Lodged in your shallow hearts.

I hate you, my countrymen, because You hate glory and greatness. I Despise you because you despise Yourselves. I am your enemy, for You refuse to realize that you are The enemies of the goddesses.

21 days are short …..

I will not talk about him or how and where I met him. He doesn’t need my introduction. Bachir Gemayel doesn’t need any introduction. I’ll leave you with this song …

Kataeb party and rape

"There are certain circumstances where we need to ask ourselves if women have a role in pushing men to rape them" MP Marouni
“There are certain circumstances where we need to ask ourselves if women have a role in pushing men to rape them” MP Marouni

Lebanese MP Elie Marouni blames Lebanese women for getting raped. When asked about the Lebanese penal code law that stipulates that a rapist can marry his victim whereby absolving him of his crime. His reply was as follows:  “There are certain circumstances where we need to ask ourselves if women have a role in pushing men to rape them,” Marouni said. Hey idiot, there are no circumstances. Rape is rape and its a crime. Marouni is a chauvinist pig. Rape is never the victim fault. Rape is the fault of those who committed this ugly crime and specially the fault of people like MP Marouni.

Women do not ask to be raped. Neither by the way they dress, the way they behave or their line of work. It is sickening to hear an MP blaming a victim of a crime for the crime that someone else committed against them.

Here we have, an MP that represents the Kataeb party, covering rape. What will be the position of the party? Do they agree with his position? If Marouni is not asked to resign and kicked out of the Kataeb party, then it is clear that the party, its leader Sami Gemayel and all Kataeb members are defending rapists.

My question to all members of the Kataeb party, from Sami to the newest recruit, when will you kick this chauvinist pig from the party and force him to resign as an MP?

September the Martyr’s month – part 4

It was summer 1975. Few month after the famous Ein el-emmeneh bus and the start of Lebanon civil war. I was at my uncle’s house in Ghannoum street and heading up to our house. At that time the first bunker was right behind our building. We had to jump from the balcony to get in and out of our apartment. I was walking between the buildings and through couple of oranges fields (yes they were oranges fields at the time), and one of the battles had started. When I got to the “Mrayeh” (mirror), where today stands the famous virgin Mary statue, I saw a young men in his swim suit, a towel on his shoulder, hands wrapped with couple of bandages, firing a B10 rocket from his shoulder. Ein el remmeneh, the Stalingrad of Lebanon, knew him very well. Her fronts, Maamal El riha, red shoe, Saydet Lourde, Mazda, Gallery Zaatar, Nehmeh Station, Rond point al-Barid, El Hajar building, …. Mahmasit Sanine …. if they can speak, they can tell story about his heroism. He became the leader of the area. He organized the fronts. His main concern was the security of the population and his fighters. He was beloved by all and hated by his enemies. An icon of Lebanon Stalingrad that faced all kind of attacks.  I still remember making the holes in walls from a building to another with m cousin. Both mastered the B10. They used to put it through several holes in order to hit their targets. Every time I see a corned beef can, I think of the early hours of the morning back in Ein el Remmeneh. I was entering the bakery and he was passing by. He said take these corned beef cans do with them some Lahm Baajin. We had no meat due to the fighting and he wants to treat his men with some Lahm Baajin. They turned out great.

One day, the Syrians were bombarding the area with their preferred weapon, Grad multiple rocket launchers. This time it hit our streets hard. One of them landed on the top floors of our building and others landed on buildings down the street. When we finished checking damages in our building, we moved to the others. I saw several fighters with teary eyes. When a rocket hit one of the building, one of the balconies dropped and landed and Toni Harb and other fighters. It happened he was standing in front of their office. Toni passed away defending the area in which he grew and loved.

September the Martyr’s month – part 3

imageI knew him from my street. His parents had a convenient store. We were not friends, he was older than me. He impressed me growing up. When I used to wait for my school bus, he passes by me, returning from the front, under the dark early morning of Ein el Remmeneh. He was in almost every battle that was there prior to his death. Iqlim war, mountain war, aswak …. But mostly Ein el Remmeneh front. It was one block away from our street. We exchanged the good mornings and that was the only exchange between us. He was respected. He did his duty and went home. Never got into a fight or bragged about this battle or not. Between all the show off, he was a silent doer. Then came the division after Bachir’s death. It was the second intifada. Geagea vs Hobeika. I still remember when a military jeep pulled up in front of his apartment. He didn’t want to go but they insisted. It was a fight he is not interested in fighting. He wasn’t willing to fight his brothers. They insisted and almost forced him. Few hours later the bad news game. He was killed in a battle that wasn’t supposed to happen. He was killed in brother’s fight. A fight, he didn’t want to be part of.  For those fighters who died in a senseless fight and for you Jean Khoury all the respect. You were sacrificed for nothing ….

If his father can speak ….

Nadim GemayelAccording to MP Nadim Gemayel, this picture was taken before the parliamentary session started. He added what is more important is what he said during the session about garbage session ….

The country is without a president, the government is about to fall, the parliament renewed to itself another term, garbage crisis, water crisis, electric crisis, pollution crisis, traffic crisis …. And yet MP Nadim Gemayel has time to play a game. If his dad can speak, he would have said: …. …. … ….