Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘News from Lebanon

News from Lebanon the week of (April 12, 2014)

What changed in 6 months?

Here’s some of the most important news stories you might have missed from the past week.

1. Parliament Passes Civil Defense Bill

(image via

On Wednesday, after public sector workers went on a strike in demand of a wage hike, and despite the objection of Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, Parliament approved Wednesday a draft law to grant Civil Defense volunteers full-time employment.

(The red cross are also volunteers, should they be paid as full-timers?)

Earlier that day, a group of Civil Defense volunteers gathered on the Ramlet al-Baida beach and plunged into the sea in a symbolic act of defiance, as others demonstrated outside Parliament demanding the passage of the law.

Why Parliament chief Nabih Berry passed the bill? Are the  Civil Defense volunteers part of his political party?

The syndicate of public high school teachers of about 60,0oo, “silsilat al rawateb wa rotab” movement, has been steadfastly demonstrating for 2 years demanding to obtain their agreed upon rights in cost of living increases and ranks, at no avail.

All the politicians say that their demands are 100% rights. All politicians are against ratifying their demands on political grounds. Why?

This movement is felt to be acting politically against the rotten political and social system and not just demanding their just and fair rights since 1996.

2. Heavy Rainfall Waterlogs Vehicles in Keserwan

Early morning rain on Thursday caused severe traffic jams on the highway from Beirut towards Jounieh and in Keserwan.

A number of cars were waterlogged and significantly damaged in the Al-Wadi neighborhood located between Zouk Mikael and Zouk Mosbeh.

The heavy rainfalls also lead to the injury of six people in traffic accidents in the regions of Harissa, Safra, Naameh, and Kfardebian.

(Since then, Lebanon started its 7 months of total dryness and acute water shortages.)

(Mind you that snow barely cupped our mountain tops this year, and the rainfall was half the normal, and yet at every shower, roads and houses are flooded and traffic halted)

3. Parliament: Parents Have a Right to Smack Children

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A recommendation to overturn a law on child physical chastisement submitted by Change and Reform bloc MP Simon Abi Ramia was refused, on Thursday by most of the MPs that were present at the session.

However, parliament agreed to amend the law according to the following:

The law allows non-violent [physical and verbal] chastisement inflicted on children by fathers and mothers, provided that it does not leave any impact on their psychological and physical health.”

4. Health Ministry: Lebanon Faces Polio Threat

(image via:

“The closest danger for Lebanon lies in Syria where 38 [Polio] cases have been observed.

This means there could be [as many as] 200 hundred cases that have not been discovered until now,” Health Minister Wael Abu Faour announced this week.

Children in Lebanon are in danger of contracting the disease as new cases are being detected in the region.

Abu Faour urged media outlets to provide coverage of the issue so as to promote awareness among citizens. 

Currently, Syrian refugees are plagued with skin diseases (jarab) due to sanitary deficiency.

5. Top Ain el-Hilweh Cleric Survives Assassination Attempt

(image via

An unknown gunman on Wednesday tried to assassinate the top official of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects in Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

According to Naharnet, Sheikh Orsan Suleiman suffered severe head wounds in the incident. The hospital says he is alive but in a “very critical condition.”

The development comes after 8 people were killed and ten others were wounded on Monday in fierce clashes at the nearby Mieh Mieh Palestinian refugee camp.

6. Mystery Surrounds Death of 52-Year-Old Lebanese Woman

Instead of being taken to a hospital on Thursday after suffering from fractures to both her hands and legs, and bleeding profusely from the head, Samira Shedid was rushed to a Burj Hammoud police station, according to LBC.

Shedid, 52, was found injured in Dora. The circumstances behind her injuries remain a mystery. 

According to the Internal Security Forces, various citizens reported that Samira was taking off her clothes in the Dora roundabout, adding that ISF members transported her to the police station and handcuffed her “to prevent her from harming herself.” 

Her family was only able to transfer her to a nearby hospital after going through a legal process.

Shedid later died at the hospital.

News from Lebanon this week:

No different from boring California weather.

Actually, Lebanon “enjoys” 7 months of completely dry weather from May to October.

Politically,this week was pretty awful

This week in Lebanon:

1. We engaged in a small war on terrorism in the town of Ersal, which was occupied by ISIS advancing from the Syrian mountains (and the Lebanese army won),

Actually, the “Syrian insurgents” were allowed to vacate the town after killing dozens of citizens and soldiers and taking hostage over 40 soldiers with them.

What kind of negotiations are being undertaken and by whom to release the soldiers is a taboo story and we are in total darkness for how long the kidnapped soldiers will be held.

2. Still “No selection by Parliament for a President to the republic” and this immature and futile process has been dragging on for 2 months

3. No new election law that this Parliament promised in exchange for extending its tenure 2 more years against citizens refusal.

4. No resolution for the Syrian refugee crisis increasing steadily and representing 40% of Lebanon “approximate” population


Continue reading the remaing most boring though important stuff

1. Armed “Vigilantes” Break into Syrian Homes

(Image via Lebanese Forces)

Gunmen belonging to the Amal party were spotted breaking into Syrian homes in Msaytbeh and Mar Elias in broad daylight this week.

The gunmen, acting as self-dubbed vigilantes, are allegedly aiming to “help” the Lebanese Armed Forces by seeking out “terrorists”… their own way.

2. Saad Hariri Returns to Lebanon in Surprise Visit

After being in self-imposed exile for 3 years, Saad Hariri returned to Lebanon on Friday. The former prime minister told the press that he’ll be looking over the $1 billion in Saudi aid to the Lebanese army, and as for his personal safety, Hariri said: “May Allah protect everyone”.

Actually, Saad came to make sure if any Parliamentary election will be due this November, and if the answer was positive to spend the billion on his election campaign.

(Saad stayed less than 3 days in Beirut and returned to Jedda, and we never heard of him again, or his new location).

Apparently, the deputies have decided to extend their tenure another 2 more years, doubling the constitutional 4-year term.

As for the other $3 billion Saudi aid that the French were supposed to arm the army with, it totally evaporated into thin air and in many deep pockets: The army was horribly short on basic ammunition during the siege of Ersal.

3. Education Minister: Everyone To Pass Final Exams

(Image via Annahar)

The Lebanese education system has finally hit rock bottom. The last time the government let everyone pass their final exams was during the civil war that started in April 1975 and ravaged Lebanon till 1991.

But Education Minister Elias Bou Saab says he will let all students who took the exam receive a certificate.

The minister said his decision came after the UCC’s continued boycott to grade the exams until Parliament passes a new salary scale for teachers.

Bou Saab said he would suspend his decision for 48 hours upon the request of UCC representatives.

This massive 100% success rate of “Graduating” students from high schools will still sit for entrance exams in most public and private universities.

Note that the minister is one of the promotions who “passed” without exam correction in 1985?

4. ISIS Expelled From Arsal

(Image via Annahar)

After five worrisome days of joint military actions that involved the LAF and Hezbollah, Arsal is free of ISIS terror.

The damages left however are remarkable, and need immediate attention by the government.

Many Syrian refugees have been ordered to leave Lebanon putting in question what actually happened in Arsal, and why.

5. Syria Rejects Return of 1,700 Refugees from Lebanon

(Image via Annahar)

In a somewhat ironic development, after the Lebanese government decided to ship back 1,700 refugees to Syria, Syria rejected their passage through the border due to suspected ties between the refugees and the Resistance.

The Lebanese Parliament failed the citizens. The sectarian leaders won this round again for the last 60 years and we are back to the voting law of 1960.  The Parliament failed the resolution to allowing citizens over 18 to vote; the partial quota for women; the military to vote and more importantly to discuss other options that do not involve majority win in the sectarian districts for example, percentages or “nisbiyeh”.  The secular movement was denied its right to cordon off the Parliament while in session.




August 2022

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