02 January 2009

* Lebanon Predictions for 2009

Beirut- Michel Hayek, Lebanon's Nostradamus returned to LBC last night to announce his predictions for 2009. Hayek who predicted last year that Lebanon will have a president in 2008 and it will not be affected by the global financial crises told the Lebanese yesterday that Lebanon will have elections in 2009 and will witness a boom in trade, tourism and real estate
Last year Hayek told the Lebanese : “ hold onto your properties “ ! He was correct . The real estate prices in Lebanon skyrocketed in 2008 , following the Doha accord and the subsequent election of the president.

Lebanon overall
- Unlike the rest of the world Lebanon will enjoy plenty of liquidity , the investment climate will be encouraging and whatever cannot be sold in the rest of the world will be sold in Lebanon ( in reference to the depressed real estate market worldwide) .

- The Lebanese currency (pound) will face many challenges but will overcome them .

- The governor of the central bank ( Riad Salameh ) will become the reference for the largest banks and the most powerful businessmen in the world because of his wisdom in sparing Lebanon the global financial crises.

- The Central bank will be confronted with many crises but will overcome them and will receive several excellence awards that will make the Lebanese proud.

- Some gossip and rumors to disrupt the Lebanese banking industry will originate in Israel and will target some local banks and bankers
." Made in Lebanon" label will be on many products that will be consumed locally or exported . The Lebanese industry will witness a boom

- The Lebanese contractors will have their names displayed on major new construction projects.

- The Lebanese agriculture will also witness major growth , specially in the Organic field and the Lebanese agricultural engineers will score many achievements in Lebanon. But this growth in the agricultural industry will lead to huge surpluses that will force the prices down and hurt the farmers . This will lead to protests by the farmers and calls for help

- The Beirut port will be the port of the region , will witness a boom in both shipments and tourism ( cruise ships).

- The Lebanese coast will be developed to accommodate more tourists and lots of construction will take place by local and foreign companies .

- The flights to and from Lebanon will increase substantially as a result of increase in tourism and the commercial activity and the Middle East Airlines will set new records and become a prominent world class airline, despite the regional problems.

- Some occupied Lebanese territories will be returned to Lebanon .

- The International tribunal will become operational and the names of the killers will be revealed . We will be able to see and hear real pictures of the explosion and will be shocked when we here the revelations of some of the suspects and the witnesses of various nationalities

- The elections will take place. An incident will affect one of the candidates . Religion will be used in the election

Detailed predictions
- Important development in connections with the investigations of the assassinations of General Francoise Hajj and former minister Pierre Gemayel

- Two major incidents against the Army may shock the country but the army will remain intact , gains more prestige and its leadership unchanged

- Syria won't return to Lebanon, but its influence in the country will increase and will interfere in several local issues . I see Syria in a limited security role in Lebanon ...some participation will be open while some others will be marred in mystery

- The Israeli war planes will no longer be able to be safe in Lebanese airspace and "I don’t mean here because of the 10 Russian Migs that were donated to Lebanon"


- The recommendations of the Arab summit in Beirut in 2000 won't die and will come to light

- Some Lebanese leaders may be facing house arrests

- Some parties will open new centers that will surprise and shock everyone

- The name of the mayor of Sidon may be implicated in a new scandal

- New political parties will be formed, headed by women

- A dangerous and painful message will be addressed to Saad Hariri that will remind him of the past pressures his dad ( Rafik Hariri ) was subjected to
 

- An uprising ( intifada ) will take place between the syndicate of editors and newspapers

- The revelation of a major plot that has two purposes: To change the top leadership in Hezbollah and overturn the balance of power

- The issue of the assassination of Mughniyeh will gain more

- The name of (Minister of Interior) Ziad Baroud will make the headlines ( several plots and plans)

- Minister Safadi's name will be linked to many events : He will participate in the breaking the ice between two major rival political blocs and this will be in Lebanon's higher national interest . He will surprise the nation with his unexpected political stance in the upcoming elections

- The world of civil aviation and the Lebanese airport will witness a major tragic scene

- A wanted terrorists will reside in Lebanon

- Bikfayya area will make the news

- Jumblatt uncovers a plot against him and 2 of his associates and against an area in the Druze stronghold of mount Lebanon

- A coup in one of the areas of Lebanon


- Water issue between Israel and Lebanon will resurface

- The Armenians survive a plot against them

- Syrian Diplomatic mission will face a setback

- Palestinian arms will be used in violence incidents inside and outside the camps

- A dangerous spying network will be unraveled


- Territorial water of Lebanon will be subjected to security issues

- A party will try to restrict the movement of President Suleiman and tries unsuccessfully to block one of his trips . Special security measures will be taken to protect the president following receipt of plans over plot against the president

- Hezbollah and Palestinian brigades will join the Lebanese army
 

- George Adwan will survive the challenges 3 unrelated Security issues will take place :
a- An attack against an official security apparatus
b- A very sensitive kidnapping operation
c- Attack related to the diplomatic missions


- An important Lebanese Politian will be involved in an accident while outside the country

- A suicidal operation will take place ( Hayek did not predict any casualties in this operation)

- Pressure to distance Siniora from any political role and spreading rumors about his health problems

- Several clashes between Hezbollah and Israel

- The free patriotic movement which is headed by General Michel Aoun will witness new changes in its leadership

- Infiltration by suspicious people targeting General Aoun and some close to him.

- Michel Aoun will be the man of surprises and will attract media attention even when he is out of the country. Many people will be worried about Aoun as a result of some rumors

- The Kataeb ( Phalange ) party and Lebanese Forces will be the target of backstabbing and harmful attacks

Here are his predictions for the rest of the world


Arab countries:

Egypt:
- Scenes of disintegration within the current Egyptian regime
- Scenes involving the Military and civilians causing chaos and with devastation of governmental positions
- Revenge operations against personalities in Egyptian

Iraq:
- An attack on a foreign delegation in Iraqi
- The Iraqi Christians will be crying out for help
- An Iraqi security crisis (or great change) in the aviation industry
- Despite the fortifications, an attack will penetrate and target a well known personality

Jordan:

- An earthquake will be felt by the residents of Jordan and Iraq
- The uncovering of terrorist cells that infiltrated through the border to perform terrorist attacks in the kingdom.
- The clouds will clear in the skies of the Jordanian royal family after a dark foggy phase
- Major real estate projects to be constructed in Jordan

Kuwait:
- Political intrigue at different levels in Kuwait along with retreats and chaos within the government
- Kuwait will remain coherent (solid) and governed (gripped) despite several destabilization attempts
- Kuwaiti Art (music/acting/entertainment) industry will go through a sad period

Libya:
A mystery surrounds “the tent” of Muammar al-Qaddafi

Palestine:

- Gaza will not be the city of massacres and blockades but the city of dialogue and compromises.
- The Palestinians will secure an important part of their rights, which will make the people happy
- A coup like attempt in the Palestinian West Bank
- Mahmoud Abbas (The Palestinian Authority President) is subjected to personal insults and will be seen in a compromising situation
- Khaled Mashaal (Hamas leader based in Damascus ) will perform difficult and dangerous missions

Qatar:
- Cracks in the armor of Qatari stability
- high level changes within the Qatari regime
- Qatari airlines will encounter major Problems
- Qatar will perform a new highly dangerous mediation in the region
- A certain Qatari hospital will be in the news

Saudi Arabia:
- Beginning of discovery of religious artifacts and historical/touristic sites which make KSA a tourist hotspot
- Discovery of new resources under ground equally as important as oil
- Failure of plans to create a crisis in the governing (ruling) of KSA
- The Saudi intelligence establishment foils several terrorist operations within the kingdom, but some other operations succeed in accomplishing their goals (of vandalism)
- The dialogue between religions (faiths) will be the project of projects in the coming stage despite all the security challenges and the opposing views, it will form a new line in the future of mankind
- The kingdom will be notified by an unknown party of the details of a “changing” operation
- A well known international spiritual personality makes a historical visit to KSA
- The beginning of a change in the kingdom’s weather and a great change in climate
- The outlook is very ominous around a Saudi airplane
- The modernization and creation of new laws which comfort the younger generations and form a great openness by the ruling (Royal family) towards the Saudi people
- The illusion of sadness invades the hearts of the Saudi people

Syria:
- The current Syrian regime uncovers a dangerous coup attempt against it, but only reveals a fraction of what happened to the media
- Creation and reopening of Arab/foreign diplomatic and cultural centers in Syria
- Syria surprises everyone by arresting (terrorist) tactical leaders, among them one who is very well known and wanted
- A great increase in business collaborative efforts and projects between Syria and Lebanon including corporations and restaurants; Most of which are new, but some old that have been brought back to life.
- International terrorism strikes in vengeance in Syria
- Despite the hostility and distance we see bridges being extended between Syria and Saudi Arabia
- Farouq Al-Sharaa ’ (Syrian Vice President) will surface as a key personality, and public opinion will gravitate towards him
- Dynamic and intentional incidents intended to create sedition (conflict) and destabilize Syria
- A “workshop” to reposition (and replace) high level positions within the Syrian regime
- Syria will not be free of war
- Strange movements near the Syrian coast
- Someone will be pardoned, and it will begin a series of positive decisions
- Dureid Laham (Syrian actor) will be in the limelight

UAE:

- Despite what is happening the UAE as a country will find ways to exit from the current economic crisis but the process will be slow
- A member of the ruling family will be in a critical situation
- I see smoke and fire caused by a major incident (or accident)
- Rumors intended to break up the unity of the emirates themselves, and a wager on the lack of this unity.


Middle east: ( non- Arab)

Iran:

- Despite the sanctions (blockades/embargoes) on Iran, we will see it receiving visitors from some of the countries that imposed these sanctions
- A naval operation in Iranian waters
- The arrest of an espionage ring within Iran
- Attempts to destabilize Iranian internal security and create rifts and splits among Iranians.
- Mysterious operations in sensitive Iranian locations
- The Iranian grip will be broken through a personal assassination attempt
- Iran will direct a very harsh accusation towards an Arab country

Israel:

- the Jewish communities outside Israel will be subjected to great harm
- The people of Israel will live in fear for a long period of time
- A disaster awaits the new Israeli prime minister
- Ariel Sharon’s name will resurface in the news again

Somalia :
- A painful strike awaits the sea pirates
- We will witness a sea battle with the participation of Destroyers and other naval warfare ships


Turkey:
- Turkey will encounter a dangerous earth quake
- Turks will go through several natural disasters this year
- The beginning of finding solutions to the historical hostility between Turks and Armenians
- There is no stability on the Turkish interior
- Turkish arms will extend in multiple directions

West Asia

Afghanistan:  
The outlook for president Karzai's future is dark

Pakistan:
- Acts of Vandalism and terrorism attempt to change the image of the Pakistani regime
- Fire will penetrate the Indian/Pakistani ceasefire
- Pervez Musharaf’s name (former prime minister) will resurface prominently


The rest of the world :


France:
- Popular protests all over the streets of France along with acts of vandalism and chaos

- Confusion among the French Judiciary (or legal system)
- An attempted terrorist act on French soil.
- An incident (or accident) will occur. A celebrity will be among its victims
Germany: Panic among the German people due to an incident that resembles a terrorist attack

Russia:
- Political Party developments reminiscent of the USSR era

- Russian positions (stances) that make it clear Russia is prepared to control (guide) global decisions
- Dangerous developments between Russia and a 2nd country which does not fall under Russia’s domain

Switzerland: 

An incident (or accident) disrupts the peaceful ambiance of Switzerland

UK:
- Problems, difficulties and obstacles await British prime minister Gordon Brown

- Depression will penetrate the London fog, and reach the faces of the British royal family.
- Neo-Nazism begins to surface (give primary signals)

USA:

- President Bush will not enjoy his retirement
- A gigantic fire will erupt in a large commercial center (or mall)
- On key issues Obama displays political inexperience (immaturity).
- Along with the presidency, Obama takes the danger (threat) as well, and while he makes plans for people in America and abroad, there is a group in America and abroad making plans for him and his work team (cabinet or administration)
- The announcement of the death of a top terrorist personality
- Some strange news will surface about (Al-Qaida leader) Ayman Al-Zawahiry
- An American Artist , Musician, Actor, or Entertainer dies in a suspicious manner


Tibet:
The outlook is grim for the Dalai Lama

General - unspecified location :
Arabia: An operation which is close to suicidal occurs in Arabia and generates great debate, argument and questions among Arabs.
Europe: A conflict erupts between 2 European countries which will pose questions at all levels!
Space: Once again Space Scientists (Astronomers, astronauts) make new milestones which give people new hope of man’s ability to survive somewhere other than planet earth.






(lbc/ylibnan)



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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.