Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Island of Dr. Moron.

I am sure that by now, many Lebanese across the world have seen this image that has been circulating in emails. At first I thought it might be a hoax, but then I got it many times, from different sources… And this mass advertising scares me.
“Beirut - "Noor International Holding", located in Beirut, declared its determination to present to the Lebanese official authorities the development of "Lebanon's Cedar Island" project facing the Lebanese coast in order to get the approvals. The company revealed also that the project is an artificial island in the sea and it is similar to Lebanon's national symbol. It is worth mentioning that this island will be the biggest artificial tree in the history”

Now pardon my arrogance and maybe my pretense, but with my multiple architectural degrees, and in all modesty, I can sincerely say that I would tend to have thoughts regarding this.
So here’s my educated opinion:

What the FUCK do you think you’re doing!

"Dr. Saleh confirmed that the project, in its plans, takes into consideration the protection of the maritime environment without causing any damages to it due to the fact that some of the Island's parts will be the cedar's branches floating above the sea surface."

What? Does anybody buy that?
So you’re telling us, that you are going to claim 3.5 M.sq.m of marine land, and not disturb aquatic life? Or the planet? I don’t care how many environmentalists you’re going to hire, but I don’t buy into that… not one bit.

Furthermore, and to add to the insult, Dr. Saleh claims that he “invented” the idea, while flying above Lebanon on the Middle East Airlines (of course). He thought “why don’t we eternalize the emblem, by having a giant Cedar island float at sea…

Did any of you not think that this is a dumb imitation of the ultimate Dubai stupidity that is called the Palm Island, when you saw the image?

Thank you!

I am sorry, but you did not invent shit! A person that is capable of such projects can not possibly have a creative mind…

Why… Why would anybody dotted with the least bit of logic, and with the thinnest grain of intelligence, think that Lebanon would need this?
What is the point?

There is no argument whatsoever that I would accept to justify this endeavor, so they should just save their breath, and withdraw this delusional masterplan, as I am confident that it will not pass cabinet.

I went on their site (which I am not even going to bother giving you), and much to my surprise I actually found in their guestbook, insane people that supported this delusional project. Those who did not approve were a bit more numerous, and that is a big kudos to the Lebanese.

The fine Doctor also claims that his mega-project will grant 50.000 Lebanese new jobs. Those workers will only be the tentacles of your glory, your construction workers, and then they are gone; they may later work as servants for the elite society you are creating on your gated island, built on PUBLIC LAND.
Is it not enough that most of Lebanon’s shore is private and exploited, now you’re extending to the sea.

“Moreover, the company mentioned that it will be the main developer of the project and that it has started its calls with many Lebanese investors residing in Lebanon and abroad, with Arabs and other investment parties.”

You have to give it to him though; the man is a clever businessman. He is creating work for himself. He is the Client and the Architect at the same time, and all we have to do is bite. He created the idea, and then became the client. He won his own competition, and commissioned the job to himself, so he became the Architect. What he is doing now, is trying to sell the idea, so that he can steal public domain, and sprawl his gated community. He can finally act as the “main” developer, and will reap the profit of his own lie.

I am almost positive though that the Lebanese government will not go through with him on the project. Despite what I think of our politicians, I suspect that most of the elected officials will quickly dismiss this environmental and social disturbance.

Otherwise God help us.

Dr. Saleh, if you really care for the cedars and their symbolism, and if you really want to do something for Lebanon (and not just the filthy rich few) why don’t you spend a fraction of that money (7.4 billion) to plant actual Cedar trees up Mount Lebanon; that’s Cedrus libani for you.

I’ll even write to the government and push them to name a whole forest after you…

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Secrets of Survival.

Jan 09 / Arenal, Costa Rica / Canon PowerShot SD750

I was watching “the secrets of survival” on the Discovery Channel tonight, as they were featuring an interview with a young couple that had set out for a three hour hike in the Amazon rain forest, but because of one wrong turn, their short exploration turned into a six day nightmare.
In order to teach us the secrets of survival in the hostile jungle, “the dude” was going to reenact the couples' ordeal and try his luck in the same jungle, at the same spot, and see if he can find his way out of the thick jungle.

Instead of just jumping in - grabbing a handy cam to document his trip - and showing us first hand how to tackle the dangers of the rain forest, the moron shows up with a two-man camera crew, and a local guide carrying a rifle and a machete, to make sure he doesn’t do anything “wrong” (as he so eloquently puts it).

After atrocious minutes of documentary-gone-wrong-tv-torture, and trying to clumsily tackle dense vegetation - while at the same time being slick, funny, and real - he makes it out of the jungle in two days, bragging, boosting, and all happy.

As the program ended, and the credits started scrolling, the dude poses the ultimate question
“Why was I able to make it out in 2 days, when it took the couple 6? Is my sense of orientation better than theirs? ...”

No you stupid arse!

You came out in two days, only because you were never really worried about your safety, or your life; there was nothing threatening your existence... You could at least think straight, and not panic, although you did at some points... oh wait, that was to make it look credible.
You weren’t "really" worried about getting lost in this dense emptiness. You weren’t the least ticked about being attacked by a jaguar since Eduardo behind you, walks with a finger on the trigger of his riffle. You weren’t either under the same amount of pressure for fast and critical decision making, and most of all, you weren’t subject to the terrifying feeling of loneliness that they were in, since you had your goofy buddies walking beside you, filming your pretty face make dumb grimaces every time a mosquito flew over.
You couldn't even possibly begin to feel the terror of never being able to be found that they had, since a plane was hovering above, trying to see if they could spot you... They did not have the luxury of having the information you had meticulously gathered before you went on this "journey".
They were at some point, even contemplating suicide, while your ass was clowning back and forth in front of the camera... making jokes.
In fact, and now that I think about it, the only moral and physical suffering you sustained was a few nasty mosquito bites, and loosing your integrity.

So flick off!!!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Landscape Architecure.

I got news last week. I was so waiting for this to happen.
After Architecture, and Urban Design, I decided to go for my third degree, and try to widen my spectrum of design disciplines, in this architectural world.
I am now a Landscape Architect.

To me, this step is not only an academic and professional accreditation, but also a personal reward of accomplishment, for past years’, sometimes painful, sacrifices.
And I know that this will sound tacky, but I truly couldn’t have done it without your support and your actual physical help during the final weeks.

So thank you love.
□ □ □ □

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The H. Word [Barack H. Obama].

While at work today, I was intermittently listening to the "legendary" inauguration ceremony of president Barack Obama. I was streaming it live, while the master of ceremony was naming past presidents, and other "venerable" political figures, present at this historical event.

Surely enough, the M.C. was very careful, and systematic in naming every political figure by their complete name: James Earl Carter... William Jefferson Clinton... Georges Walker Bush... etc.
But when it came to calling for the newly elected president, the dude just went:
Barack H. Obama...

I guess Hussein is very hard for him to pronounce.
Hussein is very heavy for the tongue...

The United States, is apparently ready for a black president, but not yet so for a president with the H. word in his name.

photo ref:

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Beirut: Number ONE Destination.

I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time now, but since I have been nothing but a lazy blogger these days, I am glad that my resident writer on urban_memories, hooked me up with her weekly newsletters...
If you follow the tag at the end of the article - letter from Lebanon - you can read the many letters, Rosie contributed on here.
As some of the older and faithful readers know, Rosie is an American (from California) living in Lebanon, and is the author of "Letter from Lebanon", an almost weekly newsletter that she emails to her family and friends...

Here's a caption of what she wrote this week:

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I guess the United States is all geared up and focused on the inauguration. Once again, the rest of the world will join the United States to watch and listen carefully to Obama’s speech. The Americans voted for Barack Obama, but he will be shared by the world. Everyone seems to want a piece of him, domestically and internationally. He will not be able to make everyone happy, that’s for sure, but let us hope that he will be able to lead the States and the world in a better direction.

Wishing all Americans a great inauguration day, and a successful and peaceful future for all.


Letter from Lebanon--#58 Beirut, the No.1 destination site!

I think just about everyone in Lebanon has heard, read or forwarded messages about the N.Y. Times Travel review of January 11, 2009, stating that Beirut is not only in top 44 destinations to visit in 2009, but it is in the number ONE spot. It is also the number one destination selected by readers, as well. Check out the site, if you are interested, or you don’t believe me!

Over the years, I have been trying my best to describe to you the wonderful life not just in Beirut, but in Lebanon. You can imagine how proud and happy this review makes the Lebanese and the expatriates who love Lebanon. This is truly an honor bestowed upon Lebanon considering all the magnificent places one could visit in the world, and considering its, unfortunate, violent past. Lebanon is a blend of the old and the new. It has amazing ancient sites, great restaurants, top hotels, wonderful beach resorts, a hopping nightlife, and beautiful nature reserves.

As Paris (one of my favorite cities) is better without the Parisians, Lebanon would be better without its politicians. The only difference is that a visitor is not affected by the politicians. In fact, it is the Lebanese people themselves who are warm and welcoming that make this country so great.

So, I welcome you and only wait to hear when you will come to visit!

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