Lebanese Jester

Me, my Lebanon, and I.com weblog

Thank you MTV

And more over “thank you Claude Abou Nader Hindi”, for having once more proved that there is no objectivity in local reporting.
Please crucify me for having believed that the only breath of fresh air and free voice was once again allowed to air. Astonished I was, when on the 7th of April, MTV took to the air, voicing what I thought was the only free and independent medium that was lacking amongst all those “sold out, political belonging, warlords promoting thugs. Tonight, and after having watched Ms Hindi’s program I can’t help but wonder about the zeal of such journalistic integrity.

The topic at hand is one that holds close to, not only my heart, but my financial well being; that of Gemayzeh.

I, like many others before me, believed in the entrepreneurial ship spirit of the Lebanese; whom after 30 years of living under Syrian hegemony (and their local stooges) took a stand towards reestablishing the Lebanon we (and you, Gemayzeh citizens) knew. The Lebanon that used to strive on culture; the city that never sleeps (Beirut), and love of life.

We came to Gemayzeh and rented premises (at exorbitant prices) that were not even fit to be used as stables to mules and donkeys, from those of you whom are now complaining.

Ms Abou Nader Hindi, made a point tonight of showing the plight and suffering of the residents of one sector of Beirut that would have been lost in the history books if it wasn’t for the few people (like me, and others) who decided to revive it. Throughout her program, there was talk about parking spaces, lack of running water, smell of sewage, lack of civic duties, power failures, noise pollution at noon (not only in the evening), a plot to get Christians out of Gemayzeh…etc.

The entire blame fell on those of us who spent huge amounts of money trying to revive what was nothing more than a ghost town (and still would have been). Not a single mentioned was aired, blaming the neighboring ISF watching female punters passing, by whilst ignoring teenagers drinking on the sidewalk.

The “propos” of Ms Nour (Monique) and Mme Kiwan are nothing less than the sayings of two bitter women (typical of old school “femmes aigries”) on whom the following saying applies:

“Never bite that hand that feeds you”.

How is it that I (an owner of an establishment in Gemayzeh) can be held responsible for the noise that a “citerne” makes when it is delivering me water? Is in it the duty of my government to provide me with running water ?!!!!!!

Ms Nour goes on saying that our youth lacks civic education. So is that my fault as well, and should I be penalized for it?

The only parking in Gemayzeh is soon to be turned into 144 apartment’s blocks, a couple of high rise towers and a few condos I the middle of a small garden; and I am to blame for it?

The smell of sewage is also our responsibility or is it that of the “baladiyeh”?

The war that is now being shunned by those uptight, ingrate, “usuriers”; should not pass. They want their pound of flesh, let them get it from those in power who made us pay through our noses for our licenses. Let the residents of Gemayzeh shut us down and witness their properties plummet to $10.0 a square meter; then they will come back crawling licking our arses.

Ms Hindi and MTV, sorry but I have to say it; you haven’t done your homework properly, what a shame !



April 27, 2009 Posted by | Claude Abou Nader Hindi, Gemayzeh, MTV, Pubs, Restaurants | , | 7 Comments

From one moron to another.

With the upcoming “crucial” elections rapidly approaching our local airwaves have recently been cluttered with different (opposing is a better word) views of what our future might hold. M14, M8, the demented general, the not so doctor, the Iztaz, the goatee wearing Leb/Saudi daddy’s boy, the chouf warlord (with his ever changing loyalty)… to the sweaty turban wearing sole protector of our territory(having omitted more than a few in order to keep it brief); they all have been promising swift and conclusive victory.
In a perfect world, I might have been drawn to the idea that the day has finally come when the ballot boxes would actually revive my country from the deep slumber it has been afflicted with for over 30 years. I will still go on Election Day and cast my vote, not for “someone” but out of spite for some other; convinced that it will not fully protect my rights to live and prosper in this land of ours. The road to recovery is very long and tedious, and as far as I am concerned none of 401 nominees have the forward thinking, nor the BALLS to see true democracy implemented.
I am one of the lucky few (and that is debatable) who enjoys a steady job (for the time being) and strived to better himself (and by that I mean his income) by investing his very hard earned cash in what he thought was THE striving sector (food and beverage). So I invested in a pub on one floor and a restaurant on another in a building in Gemayzeh. I will spare you the hassles and the delays my partners and I encountered on the hands of the “Mohafez” and other local agencies (9 months). After having paid our dues (3 times fold) we finally opened.
Silly me, I thought that this was the end of our troubles. We had to readjust our figures, embrace losses, and move forward. March of 2008 our doors were open, people came in, spirits and hopes were high; then came May the 7th.
So we ride the wave (just like everybody else), and when the storm passes us by, our then minister of tourism (yes Joe Sarkiss)


decides to put another nail in the coffin. In order to truly portray what was then going on, I would ask of you to imagine the following :
On a Wednesday evening, in a restaurant, on the second floor of a building, having to tell your customers that they have to vacate the premises at 11.30 because of a law being enforced by the ISF. Knowing damn well; that no disturbance whatsoever was coming out of your place.
Those people who were responsible for such harsh actions (demonstrating in the street wearing their pajamas) are the same people who granted us the leases to premises that were unfit to even store cattle, charging us rent at inflated prices. If it wasn’t for pubs and restaurants, Gemayzeh would still be a ghost town with a price tag by the square meter similar to that of Zabougha. So kindly excuse my French when I say to the residents of Gemayzeh “you fucks do not bite the hand that feed you”.
Once again we had to pay “our dues” (free double glazing, A/C…etc), but I guess that wasn’t enough.
The cabinet of ministers changed, and we now have a new minister of tourism. A minister; who in his early days settled for having his picture taken inaugurating shopping malls in Dubai next to Miss Lebanon, while drooling over her (disputed) beauty. We all thought that the witch hunt was over, especially since genuine efforts were made in order to resolve issues pending (such as Valet Parking, Charles Helou station…etc). I guess we all underestimated the savvy of our new minister whose last name should have been shortened for moron (and sure looks like one in my humble opinion).
I fail to see the logic, when the ministry of tourism spends obscene amounts of money attracting tourists (especially Arabs, and we all know that they are not the type to go to bed at 1.30), and when we pride ourselves to have been mentioned in foreign magazines as the ideal vacation spot; and yet we let a moronic minister recall an outdated law that impossible to apply on a whimsy.


That half witted minister had the guts to go on TV two days ago and actually admit that the licensing law is not only old, but could not be applied. Nevertheless this same (lame) law is applied crating gridlock and mayhem in Gemayzeh.
And the coalition which gave him his seat has for a slogan “We want to live”.
Wlek TFEH !

April 5, 2009 Posted by | Elie Marouni, Gemayzeh, Joe Sarkis | , , | 7 Comments

Thank you Gemmayzeh !!!

Thank you Mr Sarkiss and Mr Allouch, for having reminded me, that I took the wrong decision in investing in my own country.
Thank you for having opened my eyes to the fact that my contract (all dues paid in full, and then some more) could be breached for political purposes.
Thank you Gemmayzeh residents for charging me ridiculous rent on my premises, only to later complain that I have defaced your culturally protected neighbourhood, and what a culture I ask.
You took to the streets with slogans such as “bidna neim” (we want to sleep) when you were more than happy to rent us space that was not even fit for your dogs to live in.
We refurbished them at our own expense and put Gemmayzeh back on the map, and yet you repay us by circulating a petition that shuts many of us down.
Thank you for your loyalty, you ingrate bunch of “enculeurs de mouches” (and no do not excuse my French).
It was and still is a sad day, when in my restaurant I have to ask my customers to leave by 11.30.
May Sarkiss, Allouch and all of you rot in hell , and may all gemmayzeh resident be haunted once again by the emptiness and the eerie silence that once prevailed.
“Never bite the hand that feeds you”, you ingrate maggots.
Ana beddeh 3ich.

April 9, 2008 Posted by | Allouch, Gemayzeh, Sarkis | 1 Comment