We love lists, everyone loves lists, and we love being featured in them. Wether it is the list of worst passports to have or how awesome are parties in Lebanon or most recently the list of the oldest cities in the world, Lebanese love lists. They basically are fun to share, a quick read and a conversation material… You know, talking about women’s right, political instability, economic fucks up, is not really sexy! -_-
So I decided to come up with my own list of the things Lebanon and the Lebanese lost over the years… I will just name the top 5 (in my opinion) by some chronological order. Feel free to add to it, I am sure there is a lot more…
- The Train & Tramway
Rail transport in Lebanon began in the 1890s and continued for most of the 20th century, but has ceased as a result of the country’s political difficulties. Whereas the tramway system opened in April 1908 and lasted until September 1965. The golden age of the Beirut Tram saw it cover 12 Kilometers around Beirut’s center in 1931. [source]
And of course the employees of the Lebanese Rail Transport are still getting payed till now. Yey!
- The Downtown of Beirut – El Balad
No matter what everyone says about this, After 1994, Lebanon lost its downtown, not because of war mind you (even though the war destroyed it) but because of Solidere (sigh!) that forced and coerced the residents and owners into leaving their homes and shops. Solidere expropriated land from its owners and gave them the equivalent of “market value” (according to their assessment) in Solidere shares. Property owners were given little choice in the decision, as those who opted to refurbish their own properties were subject to Solidere’s stringent regulations and approval. After redevelopment, many former residents were unable to pay the inflated housing prices and could not return to their neighborhoods. [source]
What pisses me even more about this loss, is that downtown Beirut is now a privatized compound of private fleet of douchebags security personnel and valets parking that control every entry and sidewalk, not to mention the destoryed, stolen or hidden ruins that lay under every shop and parking space… Shoukran Solidere!
- Lebanese Right to VOTE
The Lebanese government and the parliament members deprived the Lebanese people from their constitutional rights to vote by postponing the parliamentary elections that was supposed to take place in JUNE 2013, the elections are now supposedly to take place in November 2014. However and as most of our illegitimate parliament members are declaring, this round will also be postponed… you know, they care so much about the well being and stability of the country to hold the elections.
- Public Beaches (and overall public spaces)
This is not a recent issue in Lebanon, all over the Mediterranean coast, private resorts are more and more controlling the sand and water. From the north all the way to Nakoura, public beaches in Lebanon are disappearing. Wether it is the greed of people in charge or those who owns the resorts (they are usually the same person or someone from the family) the Lebanese have lost their public beaches . More recently, the Dalieh beach is soon to be a private property, a luxury destination they say, a destination that is now fenced in an attempt, which is apparently successful, to end public access to the beach. And a couple of weeks back I read that also Ramlet El-Baydah’s beach is now owned by two private companies who filed a request to the governor of Beirut to also fence the property. [source]
People in Turkey ignited a widespread protest, Gezi Protests, to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. The protests were sparked by outrage at the violent eviction of a sit-in at the park protesting the plan. [source] They have took almost everything from us, what are we waiting for?
- The battle of wage correction, salary scale and universal health coverage
Another lost battle (I don’t believe in miracles) is the wage correction battle in Lebanon. Even though some might say a decree of wage correction was signed, it is still a lost battle. What was passed is not a decent correction (they didn’t include the transport fees in the base of the salary) and of course it favors the company owners rather than the employees, and of course it is not applied since in Lebanon the employers are above the law and if you dare to ask for your right you will be fired or bullied into silence (We all still remember the spinneys case). Same goes for the universal health plan that was being pushed by Minister Charbel Nahas, a health plan that benefits all Lebanese residents, funded by taxes on real estate and financial speculation. This plan was shot down by almost everyone in power, the ministers, the real estate moguls and ironically enough by Ghassan Ghosn the head of CGTL. [source]. And finally the teacher’s battle for their salary scale, another soon to be lost battle from one of the truest and popularly mouvement in Lebanon…
I am sure there are still more examples of things we lost in Lebanon over the years, but my question remains, till when we will stay silent and okay with that? #يا_ضيعانو