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Lebanon: Polemic and nature

Moustafa from Beirut Spring's blog noted in one of his latest posts that Lebanon is “dropping French.”

Somehow that claim is true; Lebanese francophone blogs are few and different from those in English, and are also less popular. However, they present a face of Lebanon that we would like to show to the world.

Garden of Eden

Casadei's blog illustrates that Lebanon by showing that forgotten image of this country, through its culture, its mountains, and its archaeological sites.

Her latest description of Ehden's forest evokes Paradise:

Une forêt où nous pouvons respirer le calme. Une forêt où on peut dormir dans la nature…Une forêt vivante, habitée d’oiseaux, de sangliers, de blaireaux, d’écureuils, de serpents, de porc-épics…

A forest where we can breathe in tranquility. A forest where we can sleep in Nature…A living forest inhabited by birds, wild boar, badgers, squirrels, snakes, hedgehogs…

Her blog has won several prizes, including one sponsored by the AUF.

A broadcast by the French TV channel France2 concerning maids employed in Lebanon ignited a debate in the local blogosphere.

Without denying the gravity of the problem of foreign domestics in Lebanon, two French journalists living in Lebanon who blog at “Chroniques Beyrouthines living in Lebanon argue the documentary was on the air more to create an audience then to achieve any results.

“The approach to the topic very superficial” comparing it to Tintin in the Congo, without explaining for example that the salaries of theses employees is set by their embassies

“Why this situation? She is aggrieved by the level of wages, but never says, for example, that the embassies of the countries concerned that secure these salaries, according to nationalities so.”

Chroniques Beyrouthines states as well that a side of the subject is missing: Torres is not talking about the mafia’s or prostitutions’ network, she is not stating the sources of her statistics and moreover without talking about the right examples.

“Many information are missing, and also incorrect. One example on the Passports's confiscation , she said that a decree on the matter could be easily passed. This is already the case: officially, employers have no right to do so, but it is the agencies that are pushing the employers to take the passport in order to prevent the employees to escape (…) ”

Chroniques Beyrouthines’s authors that already worked on the issue are not denying that reality but they are feeling that this documentary is reduced to the negative arguments:

“But there are examples where it goes well, there are also at a couple of friends franco-libanais whose husband is a (restaurant) chef, they taugh him, (…) and he expects to open a restaurant upon his return to Manila with the knowledge he acquired.”

Nathalie and David conclude by wondering why the French TV is not broadcasting a positive story on Lebanon, for example on the young artists before appealing Torres to produce to produce a real video documentary about the modern slavery, by going for example to Saudi Arabia.

On the issue of the local politics, Lettres du Liban wrote that :

“Since the dawn of its independence, Lebanon owes everything to his people and almost nothing to governments that have been here. It is only through his personal initiative that the Lebanese managed to get before the outbreak of the dirty war in 1975”

Lettres du Liban blames the Lebanese System and the different authorities to prevent and suppress all hope that the Lebanese get one day in a better place in order to keep the power of the ruling classes before taking the example on one of the latest interview of the Prime Minister:

Today, SE. Fouad Sanioura was seen on television for spreading (modestly) adequacy of its white collar and give to the Lebanese average (increasingly illiterate) a speech (…) concerning the World Bank, International conference to help Lebanon, the balance of payments, the interest rate and the growth rate.

(…)

Go therefore explain this to a poor who can not understand why olive oil, lemon, tomatoes, cucumbers, the bunch of fresh mint and other ingredients necessary for making a modest flat ”Fattouche”are now unaffordable.

Taking his own example, the author states how with his neighbours he was obliged to dig an artesian shaft for the building and then …

And to receive the ultimate blue bill of the company Lebanese waters, claiming he candidly to pay your dues.

By consequence, Lettres du Liban is arguing that the tax system is used to rançon the population:

And if they do not understand all the functioning of the tax system and the vital role it plays in the economic and social structure of a modern state, it is not necessary to be a point of Adam Smith to guess that taxes , taxes and other government levies, in Lebanon constitute a kind of RANÇON that citizens (or more correctly said, the national) pay to the authorities, such a maître-chanteur or a mafia, never to have them on the back and they can thus go about their own occupations IN PEACE

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