28 November 2008

* Bank Al Madina Conspiracy Time Line (part D): The Collapse


Triggering the collapse of the bank was another chapter in Rana’s conspiracy and was orchestrated by her to bring about its liquidation in order to eradicate all possible clues to her robberies and money laundering crimes. The liquidity crunch that led to the bank collapse was caused by hundreds of bankers cheques drawn by Rana on her account in an attempt to withdraw the remaining balance of the stolen money. During the period of December 2002 and January 2003 (up to 5-February-2003, date of actual collapse) she made more than 400 cheques issued in her name and the names of her accomplices and drawn on her account for a total amount of about 150 millions dollars. That was sufficient to create a liquidity crisis and consequently cause the bank’s collapse.

When the bank collapse became a reality in February 2003, it was a completely horrible shock to Dr Adnan. At that time, he could not believe that this could really happen. How can he suspect that such thing could happen when two weeks earlier he received copies of letters from the central bank governor (later discovered to have been forged by Rana) that the negotiations for the merger of the two sister banks were well underway. How can he believe what happened, when two weeks earlier he had transferred 150 Millions US Dollars to the Central Bank, in partial payment of the amount that was requested from him in the said letters by the central bank.

The new developments of February 2003 and the news about the bank collapse dragged Dr Adnan Abou Ayyash into the eye of the storm and he 6/12 had to act very fast to clear his name and reputation and to safeguard the bank depositors’ money and to prevent the closure of Madina Group companies which would put at risk the livelihood of thousands of families. That is when his integrity and honesty made him take the decision of putting at risk all his remaining resources to pull the bank from its crisis and to prevent its collapse. He had only one option, which was to payoff additional amounts of money to guarantee the payment of depositors’ money. Up until March 2003, he poured another 470 Millions US Dollars to the Central Bank of Lebanon from his own money and had to tender all his fixed assets (land, buildings, etc..) to the Central Bank so that the collapse of the bank can be avoided. Unfortunately, Dr Adnan Abou Ayyash’s altruism, his integrity and all his resources were not sufficient to halt the collapse of the banks.

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Lebanon Time-Line

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.