Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Sassine Square

Demolishing Iconic public Stairs: Mar Mikhael stairs in Ashrafiyeh (Lebanon)

Would you protest for the removal of a historic set of stairs in your neighborhood? People in Beirut are suffocating for lack of green spaces, and yet, local residents are willing to fight for stairs.

I watched on the evening news the protest of the neighborhood to that iconic stairs (about 66 stairs) and they all promised to die in front of the bulldozing machine… Many people have taken these stairs as their reference and place of daily work…

Ashrafieh is hilly. Sassine square is up on a hill and Mar Mikhael’s toes dip in the sea (before reclaiming the sea that is).

Anyone who walks around Ashrafieh/Gemmayzeh/Tabaris/Mar Mikhael knows how essential these stairs are, and the time they save. They’re also cultural and historical icons where dozens of festivals, exhibitions and performances take place.

 posted this Nov. 9, 2013

Residents Protest Demolition of Mar Mikhael Stairs

Here’s why the decision by the Municipality of Beirut (dominated by Al Mustakbal movement of the Hariri clan) to demolish the Massaad stairs, known as the Mar Mikhael stairs, is unreasonable.

  1. It means too much to so many people. This is a historic piece of land that many if not most of us have memories on. Personally, I’ve walked up and down (believe it or not) those stairs dozens of times when I lived in the area growing up. I’ve also been to many an art performance and exhibition on those now colorful steps.
  2. It is the only outlet for many houses on it.
  3. It’s too narrow. Just look at it, how can a road (which will have cars parked on the side) be of any use?
  4. Traffic. There’s a vast network of crisscrossing roads already, and adding this one won’t have much value, if any. It’ll just add to traffic on Armenia Street and make the resident’s lives uncomfortable.

I hope the ultra-corrupt Beirut Municipality will reconsider, and that the residents’ pleas are heard. I’d also like to tell the residents we are with them, and will support them in any non-violent action they take to try and stop this unfair and unnecessary plan.

Another car bombing in Beirut, another immediate political finger-pointing, and scores of civilian dead and injured

A nephew of mine called from Beirut and asked me to turn the TV on and tell him the location of the blast: It sounded close to the Justice Palace where his direction was headed to. It turned out the explosion was in Achrafieh, on the hill overlooking the Palace.

The “Urgent Flash news” on LBC claimed the blast was in Sassine Square, but there was some traffic. Then the camera showed a cloud of black fumes emanating from the right corner of the Square, and a possibility that Starbuck was targeted. And I said to myself: “That is a probable target: Starbuck has been financing Israeli colonies in Palestine…”.

The news claimed that the blast was 400 m from the headquarter of March 14 coalition, headed by the Hariri clan of Al Moustakbal, but the distance is a way far to be the target.  And the news said that one of the Kataeb (Phalange) Party was 30 m away…

We were in the dark, until over an hour later, it was confirmed that the main target was Wissan Hassan, director of internal intelligence gathering.  Why this delay? They recognized Wissam from his jogging shoes?

A car exlpoded in a side street in Achrafieh.

The target was not Wissam, but the institution of internal intelligence center.

The target was not Hassan, but this political climate that put forward the director as the main hero for the internal “security”, and loaded all kinds of praise on the director for any “minor” exploit, just to taunt the other political coalition…And quickly promoting him General…

The target was this symbol of a policy that says: “Lebanon is neutral in the calamities befalling on the Syrian people and the State of Syria…”

The target was selected to bring us back to the same political environment when late and ex PM Rafic Hariri was assassinated in 2005, an event that witnessed the prompt withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon after 15 years of a mandated power over Lebanon, a mandate agreed upon by the US, France and Saudi during the late Syrian dictator Hafez Assad…

The March 14 coalition (the Hariri clan Moustakbal movement), funded by Saudi Arabia and under the direct guidance of the US, immediately pointed the finger at the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad…

The March 8 coalition is accusing Israel because Wissam Hassan was given credit for dismantling several Israeli intelligence networks in Lebanon, with the coordination and cooperation of Hezbollah, and the army intelligence bureau…

It is well known in Lebanon that Wissam Hassan was in constant contact with the Syrian regime, and visited Damascus on a bi-weekly routine to coordinate security problems.

Wissam changed focus with the political winds.

In the beginning, Al Hassan was part of Rafic Hariri security team. In 2005, Najib Mikati PM appointed Wissam as head of the internal intelligence branch, and also appointed Ashraf Rifi (another of Hariri employee),director of the internal forces…

After the assassination of Rafic Hariri, Hassan was given the job of gathering intelligence pieces in order to indict Hezbollah as the executioner of the Syrian regime  dirty activities and turning the investigation toward Hezbollah as the main perpetrator, and purposely not considering all the other alternative criminals such as Israel, the US and France, the radical Islamists…

Four Generals in the various internal security institutions were jailed for 4 years, with no material convicting evidences, simply on political charges and for revenge…

Lately, Hassan rounded up the former minister Michel Samaha, on charges of carrying explosives from Syria in his car…

There are information relating this assassination to a more recent event.

A month ago, three top Al Qaeda leaders from the Jund El Sham have been whisked out of Roumieh jail: They got out surreptitiously from the main gate. Internal investigations have been pointing to Wissam Hassan as the main authority in circumventing the minister of the interior. Hassan has already displaced countless witnesses in many serious charges to outside Lebanon, particularly shipping them to France, Dubai or Qatar.

Jund El Sham radical Islamist had occupied the Palestinian camp of Nahr el Bared (close to Tripoli up north) and attacked the Lebanese army.  It took over 6 months for the army to re-enter the camp, scoring hundreds in casualties, and totally destroying the camp and evacuating the refugees…

France, in cooperation with German secret services, is suspected of being the main power in charge of planning the dirty operations in Lebanon and Syria, as former mandated power. As one of these dirty operations coincides with the interest of Israel, then Israel is subcontracted to carrying out the explosions and assassinations… with plenty of benefits, politically and financially…

The US has cornered itself by listing many powerful organizations as “terrorists”, and consequently, most of the CIA agents in Lebanon have been uncovered by Hezbollah and left Lebanon. The US is currently relying on Germany and France agents to feed it with intelligence pieces…

Note: The “institution” headed by late General Wissam Hassan was illegally operating and functioning outside of the Parliament legitimacy: no laws were enacted for the expansion of its tasks and personnel…





February 2023

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