Thursday, March 29, 2012

About Hygien

Lebanese restaurant are well known for their unhygienic food and atmosphere:
About the food: Restaurants goal in Lebanon is to make a maximum of profit by any possible mean by serving you (for example) non-fresh meat stocked in the freezer for more than a month  with other “things” that shouldn’t be with meat. I ate twice sea food platter in different restaurant in Lebanon and each time I got sick! That’s not a coincidence because when we look at Lebanese shores (in which I’ll write about at a later time),  I consider myself lucky to even be alive!!!! In July, Marcel Ghanem (from kalam el nass, a Lebanese TV show) discussed this matter with the minister of agriculture; and they showed us some SHOCKING images. Legumes watered by SEWER water. River polluted to the highest degree possible, meat transported in a OPEN truck etc… And also they showed us some famous and well known restaurant who’s kitchen looks more like a pigsty…. No wonder I got sick so many times….
About the atmosphere: Between the cigarette, cigar and chicha (Arguileh) I can say that my poor lungs are in a pretty bad state. How can they even authorize such a poison in a closed space resulting in a toxin depot in your dishes instead of food? Don’t they have any sense of respect toward the customer? Recently, a “Zaatar W Zeit” branch in Achrafieh decided to ban indoor smoking resulting in a violent reactions from “smokers?”. This is the core of the problem, people smokes and they don’t even notice that they are doing something wrong! A Lebanese newspaper asked a couple of smokers about this decision, majority of people were ok with this, stating that they weren’t bothered at all; but what was outraging was that person who said “If they are disturbed by smoke they can go outside, why do I need to bother myself for them?”
What can I say? There is no word capable of describing such an arrogant statement…

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nightmare of public transport [Part 1]

Today on my way back from university, I had to take public transport from Jounieh to Tripoli and there the nightmare begun.
Yes the nightmare on Lebanese public transport is Cigarette. Everybody Smokes and no one complains. Smokers just light their cigarette on without asking anyone anything. If you make the mistake to stare at them while they lit their death stick, they won’t feel like they do something wrong, on the contrary they would feel that we are seeing them as “cool” and “awesome” people and they feel so “awesome” that they want to share their “awesomeness” by proposing you a cigarette. I mean what the hell! If I’m staring angrily at you does it mean that I approve what you are doing? Or that I think that you are “cool”?
Why are they smoking in a crowded closed place like buses? 2 theories:
The first one is that they know that they are going to die out of smoking and they want to take a maximum of people with them
The second one is that they are unconscious of their behavior like smoking is perfectly natural to them and no one  disagrees.
What really angered me is that I opened the window so I can breath everybody complained: ‘it’s cold”, “please close the window”. I mean come on people you are bothered by wind and not by the cigarette smoke???
The worst part is that there was a “No Smoking” sign and that smokers Noticed it but they just laughed and lit their cigarette
Poor Lebanon and poor Lebanese

Good morning

Good morning Everyone!
Today I woke up quite late (after 2 nearly sleepless night) and I went out to the balcony to take some fresh air... The scent of flowers is in the air, it really feels great and refreshing and it gives a nice smell all over the village. People are in their garden collecting some flower to make Rose Syrup (may zaher).

But there is still one problem; because in Lebanon nothing can be this good, there HAS to be something to ruin the moment! In my case it is the highway (picture). You see my house is just near the highway (not just the case of my house, in fact even from the far end of the village you can still hear it's noise) and all the problems that come with it: Noise (which is the worst) and Pollution (there are still 50 years old cars running in Lebanon and I'm not exaggerating a bit)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Truck in Lebanon

With the hundreds of desastrous ”towers” constructions in Achrafieh and other areas of Beirut, we are watching an overdose of concrete trucks, they are everything but good and legal:
-Extreme pollution
-They don’t care if they come in wrong way in a small one way street
-They don’t care if they close a whole dsitrict
-They throw tons of concrete on the roads because they don’t respect norms of cleansing and closing the concrete at the back, making roads as bumpy as forest hiking paths
-They don’t care if they stop in the middle of the Hotel Dieu road in both sides(upward and downward) making terrible traffic jam.
-They don’t care if they smash ”some” cars
And guess why? because their boss is close to a deputy/minister or IS one of them, police?? they only ask money from people who don’t have “wasta”…
Celui qui n’avance pas recule!
It’s the whole country going into pure jungle

Internet In Lebanon

So today I will be blogging about the internet situation in Lebanon and how it evolved from 1993 to nowadays!

In 1993, while the fixed network Lebanese still suffering the aftermath of the Civil War, was decided to install a GSM network. The tender, launched in March 1993 ended in June 1994 with the signing of contracts with France Telecom Mobile International (FTMI) and Ericsson, two networks MIC1 and MIC2.
In May 1995, the GSM service will be effective with a network deployment, at the time this network has granted two months free usage to its new subscribers to test the service. Cost of service at the time: 5 cents per minute excluding tax, 2 cents of tax granted to municipalities as against 12 cents today.
 Similarly, while Lebanon since 1982 was connected to the Internet via the AUB (American University of Beirut), the global network will actually be introduced into Lebanese homes the same year, with the creation of an ISP in 1995 and will become operational in 1996. Through 2000-2001, it was in fact directly to ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to provide Internet access (ISP especially significant that only had a connection of around 700 KB / S for all its customers). There was also present in Lebanon, ComputServ, AOL etc. ... so major players through local representatives, without however this being official, as the details of the time this article papers / catafago.htmlSo it will change from 2000, with the provision by the Lebanese state, via the company Ogero, of connecting means other than satellite connections, and installation of hub particularly in Bir Hassan. Besides the interest "economic" to force the ISP to the state to buy their bandwidth and improve the finances of the state, high prices are passed primarily to customers. We can mention the case of a private university plan fitted by two T1 connections and who paid 60,000 usd per month for each of its campuses.
This was also the Lebanese state to consolidate Internet connections and better control.These include notably the case of the case "of lesbians from the AUB" or the broadcasting of live scenes of a homosexual Hamam of Tripoli in Northern Lebanon. The ISP sector was then marked by mergers and acquisitions in December 2001 or diversifications including abroad. This period was, moreover, marked by the dramatic growth of "cables", it was actually providing Ethernet Internet on a large scale, but still it was an illegal network, their primary access to the web from unlicensed the state via satellite or via unscrupulous ISP or at least looking at the use made by their customers of their services. Level "security" only two networks worthy of the name, that of BDL (Bank of Lebanon) and ISP (Internal Security Force), connected by a fiber optic network, the rest, the ISPs are largely low; by example, an ISP had its customer database directly accessible on the Internet, or access a computer to a Lebanese trader company, just with Internet Explorer.
DSL service announced in 2005 has been effective in 2008, meanwhile, there was a rise of erzats internet connection "Broadband" from 2003 to 2004
So the prices were about as such as we have received DSL: - 128Kbps (download) 64Kbps (upload) 2GB (quotas) for $ 20 - 256Kbps (download)  128Kbps (upload) 3GB (quotas) for $ 30-512Kbps (download) 256Kbps (upload) 4GB (quotas) for $ 50-1Mbps (download) 512Kbps (upload) 5GB (quotas) for $ 75Note that the speeds were THEORETICAL! We usually only received 70% of the promised speed (and again)These prices were due to several factors:- Prices are set by the state and their ISPs have no words to say-- E1 cables were sold by the state to ISPs has $ 1,350 (compared to $ 10 in France)- The connections were mostly via satellite- The single Ethernet cable land we came from Cyprus (our neighbors Syria and Israel loving us so much)- Political corruption (even African governments are not as corrupt as the Lebanese government)
In 2009 an event change all this. Indeed, Lebanon announces that it has signed its participation in the IMEWE (a project of submarine cable connecting India to France serving nine countries on its road; IMEWE = Indian Middle East Western Europe) in December 2010 the day of the inauguration and commissioning of the cable, telecommunications minister stop the project and cancel the inauguration saying that the ISP (Ogero) who will look after the cable has not paid the state the right to exercise control on the cable (everyone knowing that this is just an unacceptable excuse and that this is only the result of greater political problems, in fact the boss Ogero and the Minister belongs to different political parties) The funniest is that after this incident the minister who sabotaged all attempts to pose as savior of the telecommunication sector and Announces 3G for summer 2011 (which will arrive in November 2011) I should mention also that ISPs have only a one-year contract that is renewed each year (hello investments)
After a long and interminable wait "salvation" has arrived. The government has changed, the new Minister of Telecom has signed a decree allowing the use IMEWE cable, reducing the price of E1 cable ($ 1350 was $ 300) and packages (packages that are available to end users on October 2011) I leave you the pleasure of discovering these new package here: problems often encountered lately: frequent disconnection, reduced speed for no apparent reason, quotas still too low, the unavailability of these packages to all regions of Lebanon's infrastructure is weak. (Also changing ISP is equivalent to 1 month minimum of waiting if you're lucky)

This is my first post on my blog! I will be blogging about everything I feel worth and share my experience, adventures and interesting events!
For now 1-2-3 HELLO WORLD