21 January 2008

What is next?

Three possible scenarios might emerge:

* Status Quo
* Civil war
* Regional war

Status Quo

That is the favorite option for Syria and Iran. Status Quo means no government (period). They want that so none of the United Nations agreements (1701, 1559) will be applied in Lebanon. Nevertheless, they want to make sure that the International Tribunal will face every single possible obstacle that their imagination can get.

One major consequence of that will be the rift between Lebanese people will be bigger.

Civil War

This option I think Syria will get to it if the International Tribunal started to work without any effective obstacle that they tried. Chaos will be a good way to make sure that some of the suspects will be unreachable in Lebanon. But, I wonder what they will do about Syrian suspects? Will they be moving them to the Syrian parts of Lebanon?

Consequences:

* War will be very chaotic. No known zones are available yet between different rivals. It might take a year or more to establish new stable war zones.
* Massacres will be everywhere especially between Sunnis and Shias.
* There is a big possibility that the regional forces will not allow a party to win.
* Possibility for the war to last 3o years or more.
* Rift between the Lebanese will be bigger than ever.

Regional war

Iran, Syria, Hezbollah Israel and the US will engage in a very messy war. The question will be: who will be starting that war? And, how it will end? How much damage we will be facing in the region?

Why I am writing this?

But, why I am writing this to you is not because of my analysis of the situation. It is because of the rift between the Lebanese people. I hate March 8 leaders. But I should not say that about their followers.

The concept of the soccer team is how we are affiliated with our leaders. Most followers of Aoun will be following him regardless where he will be taking them just because they hate Jaajaa. Most of Sunnis, if not all, are supporters of Hariri regardless. Most of Shias are followers to Nasrallah regardless, and so on….

Where are we going as Lebanese people? Do you know that people are avoiding each other’s because of that? Do you know that, in a Union representatives election for the taxi in one major Canadian city where 95% of the driver are Lebanese, the drivers approximately killed each other’s to avoid having a Aoun supporter representing LFers. And vice versa.

Is this the end of the Lebanese people? Before, I used to be asked about being Muslim or Christian. Now I am being asked clearly if I am a March 8 or a March 14 supporter? Do you know that people are not doing business any more with each other’s because of that?-(beirutspring)

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Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.