Lycée Abdel Kader, one hundred years old school in Beirut, might be relocated. OPINION

http://www.thetechbug.com/2011/12/16/what-will-you-do-when-you-grow-up/#more-36
Picture of ex Lycée Abdel Kader Students in 1977.
Photos from the blog : The Tech Blog. belongs to Rabih Sukkar

You might haven’t heard of Lycée Abdel Kader. It is a school, it teaches from Maternelle (kindergarten) to Lycée (high school) and prepares its students for the French and the Lebanese Baccalaureate.

It is located in Zarif, at the end of the Mar Elias Road in Beirut, Lebanon.

Lycée Abdel Kader is more than 100 year old, its walls have seen the best years of Beirut, and the worst, and its 2000 students know how much history it witnessed.

Its walls have seen old cars and buses take children from the school and to the school, children who will be parents, parents who intend to have their own children go to the same school they attended.

Its walls have seen the bullets, the missiles, the blood during the Lebanese Civil War, yet it still stands, education beats war.

But Business might beat Education, and when we speak of a 100 years old school, we also speak of History. The Lycée Abdel Kader might be relocated within 5 years, and the whole area will be destroyed. The school is a part of MLF (Mission Laïque Française  ), AEFE ( L’Agence pour l’enseignement français à l’étranger) and the Rafic Hariri Foundation. 

The latter sent a message to the Lycée Abdel Kader, it was posted on the Facebook Page LAK Forever, a group that reunited professors, students, ex-students and parents to protest the idea of the probable relocation. It has now more than 1600 members.

Here’s the message in French.

10151332_749064295134511_82971775_n

Roughly,

“Fondation Rafic Hariri is studying the project of relocating Lycée Abdel Kader in a Beirut Suburb, within the delay of 5 years, to answer needs of development and modernization of the establishment. No decision have been made yet. AEFE stays Fondation Hariri Partner, whether the decision of relocation is taken or maintaining the school in its current location.”

Why Mrs Salwa Sinionra didn’t think of renovating the school instead of destroying/relocating it ?

The school was established in 1909, Rafic Hariri Foundation began to manage it in 1985. Legally, you have every right to relocate, even bomb it, morally, it’s another story.

Some rumors say a mall will be constructed at this place…

Here’s what I read in Hariri foundation website :

The Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development greatly values the rich cultural legacy Lebanon has inherited from past civilizations with five World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO and considers safeguarding this distinguished culture among its top priorities.

Don’t destroy the cultural Legacy of Lebanon. Lycée Abdel Kader is a cultural legacy. And it’s a part of the history of Beirut.

And oh how ironic, Solidere is a part of this empire, and Solidere was criticized with the “development” and “modernization” of post-civil war Beirut’s Down Town.

Why are we allowing corporations to destroy our patrimony ? I always hear how proud are we, how we’ve known so much different civilizations, yet we don’t do a single thing to stop this massacre. We have so much beautiful ruins that are being destroyed for soulless modern buildings. Don’t get me wrong, I am with modernization, but I believe that preservation is a part of it.

Lycée Abdel Kader is not more important than the other schools, all the other schools that might one day get relocated, must fight this war. It’s Education Versus Business.

See also the report from LBCI on the matter. Click on this Link

 

Bonus : Some pics of Lycée Abdel Kader classes and court are seen on the very popular movie West Beirut made by Ziyad Doueiri.

One of the first seen depicts the Bus massacre of 13th April 1975, official date of the Lebanese Civil War. The Massacre did not happen near the school, but in Ain el-Rammaneh.

Lycée Abdel Kader Well known Chateau seen in this shot.
Lycée Abdel Kader Well known Chateau seen in this shot.
a Lycée Abdel Kader Corridor
a Lycée Abdel Kader Corridor
Lycée Abdel Kader Class
Lycée Abdel Kader Class
Lycée Abdel Kader court.
Lycée Abdel Kader court.

 

 

 

 

 

Tripoli Wars – Satire

“Tripoli is so different from other Lebanese cities, maybe it should not be in Lebanon.

They annoy us with their clashes, I mean c’mon grow up like in Beirut, we have clashes from time to time but we stay cool, you just kill each other like it was the middle ages…

Have you seen their beards ? Can’t they just buy a razor or something ?

Why don’t we let them kill each other, they will finish their bullets and everybody can party again with a clean conscience.

This is not the image we want to give to the tourists ! Lebanon is about partying, about living, who cares about the clashes in the North.

Beirut is a great city, we don’t have any problems, I mean just look at the life in Gemmayzeh, if I were Syrian I’d be jealous. We’re the only Arabs that have so much nightclubs and I’m very proud of that.  We have the only real democracy in the Middle East.

So please stop hating each other and put an end to these clashes !

Maybe they should have a Gemmayzeh street in Tripoli ?”

The West hypocritical relations with Saudi Arabia.

Obama-Saudi

I have always found the relations between the United States, its allies with Saudi Arabia  highly hypocritical.

United States is the master when it speaks for freedom, equality, rights. It is the first country to condemn violations of human rights etc. It’s beautiful words, addressed only to those who are not benefiting the United States.

Let’s take a look at Saudi Arabia regime and give a few examples.

  • The World knows that Saudi Arabia bans driving for Woman, one was sentenced to 10 lashes because she did not respect the ban.

Every Woman has a male guardian, she cannot, without the permission of this male guardian, travel, work, go to school or get medical treatment, it also bans them from sport. It even installed a system that alerted the male guardian with an sms when the woman “under his control” left the country.

Did the United said something about it ? Did it condemn it ? No.

  • To give you another crazy story.

In 2013 a “cleric” has raped and tortured his 5 year-old daughter because he has doubted her virginity… he was imprisoned..and released few days ago.

Al-Ghamdi, however, has now been released as “blood money and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama’s death suffices as punishment” a judge ruled, according to Albawaba News.

  • Another one, this one is recent and funny.

The very serious Saudi Interior Ministry have released a statement to back the chaos and the terrorist threat, it banned very dangerous names !

Some names on the list are allegedly banned by the interior ministry because they are considered “blasphemous,” non-Arabic or non-Islamic, or contradictory to the kingdom’s culture or religion, Gulf News has reported.

The ban was also allegedly justified by the ministry because some of the names were deemed foreign or “inappropriate”.

This is the friend of the United States in the Middle East.

  • Let’s get back to more serious cases.

Bahrain has known popular uprising since 2011, back when “the Arab Spring” began. The protests were severely reprimanded, and human crimes happened. The Bahrain government used systematic torture (page 219) and other forms of physical and psychological abuse on detainees. Remind you of another regime highly condemned by the West ? No ? Syria!The Bahrain government called the “help” of 1000 Saudi troops. Faint condemnations from the West.

  • Finally, controversies happen within the kingdom itself.

The “king” himself is imprisoning his daughters in a house, really shocking story. And it’s not rumors, his ex-wife said that she did not see her children for over 10 years.

The list is exhaustive, endless, the previous examples are a fragment of the atrocities, the repressions that happen in Saudi Arabia. I have not talked about SA involvement in terrorism with Syria.

No real condemnation from the United States, from the EU, how can you criticize your oil provider ? (watch Palmes d’or Fahrenheit 9/11)

Well known non-government organizations like Amnesty International and Humans Right Watch condemns the kingdom.

To end the story,  Prince Charles visited Saudi Arabia few weeks ago, he participated in the traditional Saudi Arabian Sword dance. How does SA apply the capital punishment ? Beheading by sword, in public.

Discrimination Against Palestinians in Lebanon – Opinion

I have always felt that it is weird that one of our main political force in Lebanon is Pro-Palestine, and with the right of their Return, which is guaranteed by the fourth Geneva convention.  Yet Palestinians in Lebanon live in Ghettos, have zero access to good work, because they are…Palestinians. Why this restriction on Palestinians ? Why this constant conscious impoverishment by the Lebanese Authorities ? Why can’t they access to more than 70 professions ? Because they are…Palestinians.

Palestinian Labor force in Lebanon. Restricted Professions. Courtesy of Visualize Palestine

Here’s a sentence from an excellent Electronic Intifada article written by Moe Ali Nayel and with infographics by Visualizing Palestine .

Palestinians, alienated by the Lebanese political and official discourse, are treated either as a burden, a threat, or potential agents provocateurs plotting to ruin Lebanon from inside their sunless refugee camps.

This is sadly true. I have often heard that Palestinians are the cause of the civil war, that “they’re bad people” and provocateurs.

But are we keeping them in ghettos because they acted in the very complicated civil war ? Who did not fight in the Lebanese Civil War ? No one! But we are not confining this sect or this sect in a ghetto.

I have often heard that we are keeping them without jobs so that “they can’t get too much happy here so that they can return to Palestine”. I am deeply sure that Palestinians, if they had the possibility to return tomorrow, they would ! A good job here, or a decent life won’t make them stay,  it is very hypocrite to claim that. But maybe Lebanese people are comparing themselves to Palestinians. We have 12 Millions Lebanese living abroad, installed in many countries like in Brazil, and they won’t come back. But who wants to come back in a country like Lebanon ??

Armenians here in Lebanon, have their rights, nationalities, jobs.  Yet they are still engaged to Armenia, claiming their rights, like the recognition of the genocide. They speak their language, their culture is still attached to them. They live here, not because they don’t want to return to Armenia, because a lot of them can’t return because of poverty.  Yet there are Armenians, fully installed here, with jobs, good income, that go back to Armenia.

I can understand people that say, “if we give them nationalities, Israel will win, because they will claim that they have not the right to come back because Palestinians are attached to the Lebanese authorities, and they are now under the responsibility of Lebanon and only Lebanon and no more considered as real refugees”

Alright, let’s say no nationality, but no rights at all ?

Imagine yourself dear Lebanese people, Israel expels you out of the country, or force you to leave because of massacres and fear. You installed yourself in Syria ( which is not very good with the Palestinians refugees either ), after generations, you still cannot return to Lebanon, so what will you do instinctively ? Expand, have a good job and a good home, you will want to live with decency, with dignity. Not in a ghetto.

And please, tell me not that us Lebanese have enough problems to deal with others. I am not very proud that my state act shamefully with Arabs, people that asked for nothing expect dignity.

Me, young Lebanese adult, advice the Lebanon authorities to reform the laws against the freedom of profession for Palestinians in Lebanon. More jobs, more competition will do good for our bad economy.

And for our morality.

Palestinian Labor Force in Lebanon. Courtesy of Visualize Palestine

News you won’t hear in the mainstream Media – French Cesar and Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett advertising for Sodastream.

Scarlett Johansson, the well-known American actress, received the “Cesar of honor” in the 2014 Cesar ceremony ( the French equivalent of the Oscars ).

Scarlett Johansson, few weeks ago, was in the heart of a scandal, she was, to sum it up, at the same time,

1) Ambassador of Oxfam, which is against illegal settlements in Palestine, therefore factories on the illegal land by international law.

2)Advertising Ambassador of Sodastream, an illegal factory is the West Bank, Ma’ale Adumim.

Here’s what Scarlett said in a Huffingtonpost article.

I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights.

After pressure from pro-Palestine side, and weird “behind-the scenes” in Oxfam, she made her choice, left Oxfam, supports Sodastream and claims that Sodastream is “helping” the Palestinian cause by making Palestinians and Israelis work together.

Francois Cluzet was the 2014 Cesar President, he refused to give the Cesar of Honor to Scarlett, (French Article) and the French committee, at the last minute, invited well-known American Director, Tarantino, to give it to Scarlett…

Why ? Just see Above. Cluzet is a man of principle…

Image

Additional article : Israeli settlement factory sparks Super Bowl-sized controversy