Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008, rough start, 2007 bad year

It isn't completely surprising that another year in Lebanon starts out very defectively. Needless to try to go back in time and state history, it is utterly perplexing to decide whether the civil war days, the syrian presence days or the post-hariri assassination days are the worst.
It's a rough start with 2008 beginning by an explosion (January 15, 2008) mainly targetting a US embassy convoy taking the American Ambassador from the airport to celebrate his last days in Lebanon, which turned out to be a decoy, nonetheless resulting with 4 casualties and more than 20 wounded in Karantina Bridge, near Dora Highway.

What happened in 2007 really that is so different than 2006 and worth mentioning? Let us try to recap!

The year 2007, and most probably predicted by Michel Hayek, our 21st century Nostradamus, started out violently specifically on January 23 when a general strike by the opposition took place, leading to burning tires, conflicts between opposing parties, closing roads, traffic and pollution!

Two days later on January 25, a riot, a result to a clash between students in Arab University (most probably a quarrel concerning who's right and who's wrong for what happened two days before), erupted between residents of the surrounding area to the University in beirut, calling for reinforcements from the Lebanese Army to calm things down and call for a curfew.

In response to all this, many non sectarian, non political, non religious movements appeared, far from any color and only embracing the black, white or grey, to call upon the Lebanese to stop being sheep and followers and start working for the better of this country, they were against the pathetic bipolarism in Lebanon.

To save you the suspense, almost a year later, I can tell you the end of this movie. They did not succeed.

If you think this movie started out strong, wait for the next unfortunate event, which I naively recollected that it happened in 2006, but no, it was on 13 February the explosion and sad death of 3 and a number of casualties in Ain Alak.

The reason behind my weak memory is far from it being weak than for the fact that too much is occuring in this damned country that we think it is taking placing during a long period of time.

14 February, once a Valentine's day a celebration of Love, now...

A short while later, a war of Billboards splashed across the nation with the famous "I Heart Life", then "I heart Life with dignity", etc.. etc.. leading to many shops and companies taking advantage of it for their own good.

Despite it all, Lebanese still have their humour.

Throughout the year we hear politicians and political leaders (most of whom were once warlords) give speeches, in general they are all bad at it except one, whom I don't support or agree with most of the time, however acknowledge his articulate way of giving a speech, Hizbollah general secretary, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

Nevertheless, what is beautiful about Lebanon, remains beautiful, and this is why:

Lebanon at one point had two presidents representing it in the Arab Summit.

May 20 to May 27 in 2007 was undoubtedly one of the worst weeks of the year when clashes between the Lebanese Army and Fatah Al Islam started in the Palestinian Nahr el Bared camp in North Lebanon, leading the the infamous war with Fatah Al Islam, resulting with many martyrs and casualties from the Lebanese Army.
Also on Sunday May 20, an explosion killed a woman in Ashrafieh (Beirut).
Monday May 21 recorded an Explosion in Verdun (Beirut).
Wednesday Mar 23, an explosion in Alay (Mount Lebanon).

Meanwhile, Draft resolution 1757 was adopted by the Security Council, declaring a decision in forming an international tribunal under the 7th chapter in order to investigate the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

A while later, and as the Lebanese always cope with the horrible situations that Lebanon goes through with jokes, a long line of jokes started spreading and what better than in a Facebook group.

Another Explosion in Sid El Bouchrieh on June 4 (Eastern Beirut Suburb).
And another in Zouk Mosbeh (Mount Lebanon), three days later.

Due to all the saddening and agonizing events that occured, School year ended early.

The 7th explosion in 2007 took place on June 13 in Al-Manara (Beirut) and this time it was a direct hit and unfortunately a successful attempt of assassination of MP Walid Eido.

As a consequence to the series of unfortunate occurences, festivities in Lebanon were cancelled.

On June 25, UNIFIL troops have taken their share of the explosion where a car bomb killed 6.

As a replacement to the late MP Sheikh Pierre Gemayel, there was elections in Mount Lebanon, where Former President Amine Gemayel ran against Kamil Khoury from the opposition's FPM. The outcome of this elections although at one point both were winners, turned out in favor for Kamil Khoury.

September 2007, started out a bit more positif than the previous months where the Naher AL Bared's war ended, with the Lebanese Army rising victorious.

Yet, it did not continue well when on September 19 a bomb in Horsh Tabet exploded killing MP Antoine Ghanem and 6 other casualties, including the young Charles Chikhani.

As not to leave things metaphorical such as Lebanon being on fire, a fire did happen across most of the forests of mountains in the country.

Jealous for not breaking a record, Lebanon broke its own record, reaching the highest number yet of car accidents. 830 casualties and more than 10000 wounded.

While preparing for the presidential elections, which (to also save you the suspense) have been delayed 12 times by this date, people were not coping so well, delaying big purchases and trying to put some money on the side, especially that everything was getting more expensive.

Emile Lahoud leaves Baabda, becoming a former president, assigning no one behind him, making Lebanon presidentless during the holidays.

At the final days of the year and on the same day Gibran Tueni died 2 years ago, there was an explosion in Baabda (South Metn) on 12/12/2007 killing the Head of Operations in the Lebanese Army Francois AL Hajj with 4 others, making it the 10th explosion this year.

830 car accidents casualties
100+ casualties and injured from explosions
10 Explosions
3 Assassinations
1 Draft Resolution
1 war
0 President

The End.

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