France is always showing off with its history, its revolution, the declaration of the rights of Man and the Citizen, the monarchy abolition. And it has the right to brag about its past, but the present France doesn’t respect itself regarding its history.
Why does France is somehow the first country to welcome the new dictator of Egypt Sisi, a leader that massacres his own people at protests. A “leader” that closes the border of Rafah, the only exit for Palestinians in Gaza that wanted to save their lives during the last Israeli massacre, and that still want to evade the Israeli blockade.
Liberté-Égalité-Fraternité is France national motto, yet it seems that this is only applicable to Frenchmen and not the citizens of the world.
Hollande isn’t the first president to develop a friendship with a dictator, nor France the first country ; Sarkozy welcomed in Paris his late friend Gaddafi, ex-bloody dictator of Libya, and it has been revealed that Gaddafi had paid for Sarkozy’s presidency campaign. Years later, Sarkozy was the first to call for international action in Libya, talk about dirty politics…
At every speech about freedom and equality, you will be laughed at, because you openly ally yourself with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other dictators of the world.
I wrote that us, Lebanese citizens, were too much blaming each others for misconducts or our “uncivilized” tendencies, for example some will blame the people that won’t respect laws. In my point of view, this tendency to blame the “uncivilized” other should be redirected on the government’s lack of control in the country. With control, the incivilities would shrink and eventually stop.
This lack of control is dangerous because it also leads to policing each others ; in other words, everybody becomes everybody’s police because there is a clear lack of authority and appliances of existing laws. We begin to point out our fingers on some incivilities, shaming some in public thinking it would help to improve the society.
This is clearly visible on Twitter regarding the violation of driving laws, the dangerous of some vehicles and the illegality of some license plates. Some may tweet an image to the Traffic Control, and they will retweet you. I also did that, thinking it was enough. But it’s not. Let’s look at some of these revealing tweets.
This brings us to another result. We police each others and report it to the formal authority, consequently, the formal authority will “reshame it”, pointing out a finger on the citizen, omitting that it is their lack of control that is the base of this situation. Let’s stop with taking pictures of entire families on tiny motorcycles and be surprised about it. Some families may have not the money to buy good cars, and some may find that getting on those tiny motorcycles is better than using the public transport. In some areas of Lebanon, the public transport is rare, sometimes nonexistent. Those people know that they risk their lives, we mustn’t me surprised every time we see these “backward” people, we must go to the origins, the lack of the control, the lack of basic transport. If the police were effective, we wouldn’t see them much, and if the government were effective, it wouldn’t exist.
Let’s say that the Police will act after the pointing out, great you may think. But is it our role as citizens to help the police solving clear road safety and law issues ? The common citizen may help the police to solve a mystery when it is asked to do so.
The lack of control doesn’t come from the citizen but from the government.
Another outcome of this could lead to expressing short but strong outbursts of Power from the government ; it is clearly shown with the minister of Health Abu Faour iron fists on food and water irregularities. The current government, lacking power over the people on social and sanitary issues, will try to inverse this situation. Abu Faour strikes the restaurants, shaming them and blaming them for their lack of control and their disrespects expiration dates etc. But is it not the origin, the base of all this debate the lack of the government control on food and water ? Abu Faour clearly wants a better country, but is the way of doing it ?
Let’s stop this nonsense, and point our fingers at the correct persons responsible for all the irregularities, the misconducts, the disrespect of laws, the “shocking” pictures you could see on twitter. Let’s point our fingers on the government because it simply can’t do a proper job.
Have you ever been expelled out of a service because other customers where able to pay more or because their destinations were relatively closer to your destination ? I have, and several times I’ve been left out in a street I don’t even know. You also have some drivers that will tell you “I will drop you here because It’s not my way even if you didn’t arrive yet at your destination but hey gimme your money”
1)Services have too much bargaining power.
They could expel you, decide whether to take you, bargain a price, and put ten other customers in the taxi when the car just allows 4 or 5 passengers. Consequently some customers will “choose” their services. “No I don’t get in this car”, Urgh, too much passengers”. This will considerably slow the transport.
Oh and have you ever been cheated on ? I have.
Me : “Look khaye we made the deal right ?” Driver : “No I want more because you made me go in this neighborhood and there’s a lot of traffic and I need money for gas”
Also, you could wait and wait and wait for a service to pass by and get rejected while you are losing precious minutes.
The drivers have too much bargaining power, some could use this and arrange or cheat with a price. It’s also because there’s not really a clear prices to arrive at your destination. I am not stereotyping the drivers or generalizing them, but I believe these stories are frequent among passengers.
2) The constant drop/entry of passengers.
Services, because they can get more than one person, will constantly and suddenly change lanes to get newcomers, sometimes they will talk and bargain a price, and you are miserably waiting for them to finish their chats, slowing all the traffic behind them. With a price based on distance, there would be no time to bargain, just get in the car, and announce your destination.
3) You can’t go far with a Service.
A service will never take you from A to B if B is too far. You will have to bargain a huge price but first you have to find an empty service (or break the hearts of passengers that get expelled) Good luck with that.
There are some benefits in the service system…
More passengers means less pollution ; if every citizen needed a cab to get moving, more cars are needed or more movement, so more pollution. But this is manageable by sharing cabs.
Fixed prices : with only 2000 L.L you can get very far if you are lucky. But sometimes it’s just not enough.
I believe it’s time to install honest counter in every service, with fair prices for both of the driver and the customer. This will empower the common citizen and the use of public transports could grow.
And if it’s too complicated, it is time to ameliorate this system and find a common ground for both of the frustrated parties.
You are driving your car and the light is clearly green, you can pass without fearing for your life. Yet another driver crosses and you almost crash.
Very loudly and clearly, you insult the driver, the donkeys of this country and how tired you are of the impolite citizens, you ask yourself : is it that complicated to respect lights ? Is it hard to think Green = Go and Red = Stop ?
It is not about the civilians and their tendency to violate clear rules, it is the lack of government and institution control.
A Lebanese person won’t act like this in another country, it is not our nature to be irresponsible and reckless, as many will say and repeat. In another country, the consequence is very clear, fast, and direct, you will get fined, probably a sum you didn’t expect and the message is here : Act irresponsibly and you will face consequences.
Don’t blame the civilians that are only profiting, maybe unconsciously, about the lack of control in this country.
We must blame the lack of control, and demand more concrete actions from the government, not insult each others. With control, we could make our roads and lives better.
Another day, another Lebanese racist attack and harass Syrians.
Why do some persons act this way ? Is it a kind of revenge following the long occupation of Syrian Army in Lebanon ? Is it just pure and simple racism ? Superiority complex ? Xenophobia ? Disrespect for human rights ? Is it because some Syrians belong to terrorist groups ? (Some Lebanese belong to the same group)
Why is there no government decision or declaration on this matter ? Human Rights Watch came up with a list of recent attacks against Syrians ( Refugees or not ), the harassment has become recurrent.
On Monday November 10th, three Syrians were attacked, a man threw a bucket of paint on them, shaming them in public.. they were barefoot.
Is it the image we want to give to foreigners ? Arabs and Non-Arabs ?
The government must act and arrest these wrongdoers.
Read the Article of Human Rights Watch : http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/09/30/lebanon-rising-violence-targets-syrian-refugees