Check out these two video from Bi Mawdou3iyyeh last night on MTV.
Wissam El Hassan’s funeral started at the ISF headquarter in Achrafieh at around 2PM today and unfortunately ended violently as the protesters in downtown attempted to storm the Grand Serail to demand the resignation of PM Najib Mikati.
Below are some photos and a video from the funeral and the clash between the protesters and the policemen. (I found photo #9 quite funny by the way!)
Here’s a raw footage from OTV showing how the second explosion happened yesterday in Achrafieh following the first big one that killed Wissam Al-Hassan. I don’t it’s due to another bomb but rather to some kind car gas tank maybe…
Thank god the people who show in the video were not much closer to the fire.
Here are some photos of the aftermath of the explosion that erupted a while ago near Sassine square in Achrafieh. I’ll try adding more photos as I get them from my twitter timeline.
As you probably all know by now, the ISF intelligence chief Wissam Al-Hassan was killed in this explosion.
According to this article from Al-Akhbar, Mohamad El-Hout (The CEO of MEA) is now working to convince the American authorities to remove the ban on MEA that was imposed in 1985 following the hijacking of a TWA plane at Beirut airport.
Aridi and Hout requested the resumption of air transport relations between Lebanon and the United States. One expert familiar with the issue said, “Hout went seeking US recognition of Beirut Airport’s ability, and the adequacy of its safety standards, to receive American airplanes and fly MEA planes to the United States.”
There has been an American ban on MEA since the hijacking of a TWA American passenger plane at Beirut Airport in 1985. Following this incident, the airport was put on the US terror list. MEA flights were banned from US airports and American airliners no longer flew to the airport in Lebanon.
The expert revealed that Hout took detailed files on MEA and Beirut airport to the DoT in America, including information on public safety standards at the airport, the technology used in this regard, as well as current capabilities and other related information. The DoT officials were satisfied with the information Aridi and Hout provided about the Lebanese carrier and the airport.
Telling by the actions Hout is taking, I wouldn’t be surprised if flights really resume some time in the near future. Given of course that politics will have nothing to do with the matter…
I noticed the other day that TSC mounted some LCD screens on their shopping carts to display advertisements while people are using them.
No matter how hard you try to ignore them, these screens keep on vibrating every once in a while to grab your attention… They’re so annoying and I hope they lose them anytime soon, unless they add an option to play Angry Birds while your wife takes her time checking every single isle in the supermarket!
I was surprised to spot this small Grendizer figurine selling at Joué Club in Le Mall Dbayyeh along with a Grendizer mug and keychain. I mean I’m sure kids nowadays have no idea what Grendizer is all about.
Anyway, I bet they’ll make a cool gift idea to people who used to watch it religiously back in the 80’s and 90’s like me. The figurine was selling for 39,000L.L, the mug for 19,000L.L but I don’t recall for how much exactly was the keychain.
Let’s hope this is true. Al-Anba (A Kuwaiti newspaper) posted today that Fayrouz will soon be releasing a new album and is currently busy choosing the songs to be included in it.
I also hope she holds a concert in parallel as I still have never watched Fayrouz performing live, and totally regretted missing the opportunity to do so in the last few years at BIEL and Pleatea.
Check out this racism incident that a guy called Abed Shaheen has witnessed at Beirut International Airport yesterday and shared on Facebook.
Racism at Beirut Airport! My personal hands-on experience.
Yesterday on the 6th of October I was at gate 11 with a friend of mine waiting to board the Air Arabia flight at 20:25.
While waiting to board there was a group of foreign workers sitting with the rest of the passengers waiting for their turn. They were behaving normally as any other group of passengers would. Then sadly, the lady (looking at her uniform she apparently works for MEA Ground Services and not Air Arabia) at the gate announced on loud speaker (over the whole system covering the airport) the following: “Filipino people stop talking”; then she started giggling about it with the macho gentleman who was with her at the gate. They continued their racist behavior by announcing again “Filipino Nepal people talking not allowed here” and on and on.
Shocked, I obviously became furious and approached them and explained that this racist and discriminatory behavior is not acceptable, impolite and does not at the least reflect what employees at Beirut Airport should stand for (not to imply it’s acceptance in any other situation of course).
This unfortunately sounded like a joke to them and they went on to say “we do whatever we want and we don’t care about what you are saying”, then “management doesn’t even want this kind of people on the flight” and “even if you complain this will be thrown away and we dare you to do anything about it”. When I asked her “how would you feel if you ever wanted to travel to Europe and while queuing for your visa they told you the same thing?”, she replied “these people are different”; The macho gentleman seeing that his female friend, whom he was trying so hard to impress with his imitating giggles, was cornered with her twisted racist logic even went further to ask me to back off the counter and threatening to make a problem and to void my ticket!!
When I asked for the complaint form they answered (While still laughing of course) “take it from the flight attendants and good luck sitting next to such people on the flight” I did file an official complaint with Air Arabia and their staff was very helpful and promised to reach the message out to their management. However Air Arabia is paying MEAG for such services and they need to use their power to do greater efforts too to ensure that the people behind this are held accountable. I also sent an email today to Mr. Richard Mujais from MEAG, explaining what happened and asked him to further discuss this with me and to show us that these employees were held accountable for such racist behavior.
Until then, and as a friend suggested that they also need to be exposed please help me exposing such intolerable behavior…
What a shame…
MEA posted the following response on their Facebook page yesterday:
To our loyal customers and fans,
We are aware of the purported incident that took place on the 6th October 2012 at Beirut International Airport, and appreciate your patience while a full investigation by MEA is underway. Please rest assured that MEAs policy is not to tolerate discriminatory or racist behavior in any form from our employees, and that appropriate measures will be taken once the facts of the incident are brought to light.
The MEA Team
And the story made it to BBC Arabic!
MEA issued a second statement today announcing that severe disciplinary actions have been taken against the involved staff in this incident.
To our loyal fans and customers,
Having investigated the issue that occurred on the 6th October, 2012 at Rafik Hariri Intl. Airport – Beirut, which involved misbehavior by a MEAG (subsidiary of MEA) passenger service agent, we would like to issue the following statement.
This type of behavior represents an isolated case, and is 100% against MEA’s policy.
It does not fit within MEA’s culture, and furthermore goes contrary to our training procedures.
Severe disciplinary action has been taken against the staff concerned.
Kindly rest assured that our goal is to attain the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
The MEA Team
It was mentioned in an article by the Associated Press that the woman was fired and a disciplinary action was being considered against her male colleague.
“My last valentine in Beirut” is a Lebanese movie by Salim El-Turk and was supposed to be released back in May but for some reason it didn’t make it.
A few days ago I started seeing some posters announcing it will premiere in theaters on November 15th.