The percentage of criminals in Lebanon

Every other day (if not everyday) I read in the news that the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) arrest between 25-45 person wanted for criminal acts. Those arrested are wanted for either killing, theft, drug charges, breaking and entering, fraud, kidnapping … So in short, all kinds of crime. According to World Bank Data, Lebanon population is around 4.5 Million and if we do the math the ISF is arresting around 5000 wanted criminal per year. This is a high number of criminals arrested per year for a small country like Lebanon.

Some people might argue that the crime rate is up due to the years of civil war. These people tend to forget that the war ended a decade ago. It is more than the war effect. What we are facing today is the decline of a society, the break in family ties and most important the vanishing of the values that these families used to hold dear to their hearts.

What we need is to educate the young generation with a massive PR campaign in order to enlighten the older one. It is not enough to educate the young and leave their parents out of the process. Those kid will return home and what ever they learned in school will be demolished when they see their parents doing the opposite.

Lebanon needs to introduce civic education to its school curriculum. We need to prepare our young to carry their roles as citizens. Amy Gutman describes civic education as “the cultivation of the virtues, knowledge, and skills necessary for political participation.

But schools are not enough to educate the young. That is why we should put a great importance on educating simultaneously the community. It is a project that needs the effort of the families, house of worship, civic organizations (do we have any in Lebanon?), unions (if we take politics out of them), sport teams (if we take politics and sectarianism out of them), mass media (do I need to explain about Lebanese media!).

So do you realize what kind of work is needed in order to establish a better future for the young society? It is not only about few civic courses given in school.

What is needed is a total transformation of Lebanese mentality. What we need is a revolution.

A revolution to build a new society.

Net Metering in Lebanon

Sebline Public Hospital Solar power

Today, December 22, 2011, Net Metering is introduced to Lebanon official and the first Lebanese signed an agreement with Lebanon Electricity Company to link to its Grid. This is great news for Lebanon. Clean energy in an over polluted country.

Net metering is a financial agreement in which utility customers generate some of their own electricity and use a single meter to measure the net electricity bought from the utility. At various times, the customer will not use all the electricity generated. The excess is fed back into the grid and makes the meter run backwards. When the meter is read, it will usually show a net purchase from the utility. If for some reason the customer generated more electricity than was consumed that month and the meter shows a negative value, it will be read as zero or credited to the next month’s bill.

Lebanon has another source of “clean” energy that is going down the drain (or the sea). Its water resource. Instead of relying on diesel generator, Lebanon should invest in hydroelectricity. Lebanon can easily produces 10 megawatts from small hydro projects.

Another source is the wind. Wind Turbines can be placed in strategic places inside Lebanon and in the sea in order to generate power.

We have plenty of sun in Lebanon during the year, why not start with solar street lighting? Few municipalities in Lebanon implemented small scale of solar street lighting. Why this program is not implemented nationwide? We all know how bad are our street lights.

Back to Net Metering deal signed today, and I have to admit that I am not aware of its details, but knowing Lebanon and its politician, will one company given the rights to sell equipment to generate solar power and turn this “clean” energy to a “dirty” one?


Why this Blog?

For the last few years I refused to write down my thoughts about Lebanon and share them with others. This past summer, I visited Lebanon after a long absence. I have to admit, the articles that I read in newspapers and magazines about the new Lebanon being rebuild pushed me to go. It was the shock of my life. I was flabbergasted  of what I saw. Everything is decaying in Lebanon expect the new building that are rising left and right with no urban planning and no respect to the history and the beautiful (used to be) nature  of the country.  I was so angry and disgusted that I decided to write again. I know my words might not change a thing but I refuse to stand still and be part of this massacre. I have some friends who will be joining soon to share their thoughts and I want to thank them for doing so.

“You have your Lebanon and its dilemma.  I have my Lebanon and its beauty.” Gebran Khalil Gebran