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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007  
    A divided United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution establishing an international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

    8:00 pm

    Sunday, May 20, 2007  
    - Lebanese security forces clash with Palestinian Islamic fundamentalists in northern Lebanon in fighting reminiscent of Islamist uprising on eve of millennium

    Palestinian (and other) radical groups have been armed and financed by the March 14th/Friday 13th Movement for years as a counterweight to the Shiites (a la the Sunnis and the Palestinians ganging up on the Maronites during the civil war).
    I used to simplistically blame the Palestinians for all our problems but now realise that those who use them are to blame.The perpetrators of the last similar uprising (Al Qaeda affiliated extremists who rose up in the north on the eve of the new millennium killing scores of soldiers and civilians) were all released by the new regime in the run-up to the 2005 parliamentary elections for political reasons.

    The Hajji spent all day calling relatives who live in the neighbourhood of Tripoli where the fighting began (before it moved on to the actual refugee camp).
    She was still at it at 10.00pm when it was time for my ‘’lunch’’.
    So I asked the hajji ‘’have your relatives had lunch yet?’’
    She replied in the affirmative.
    ‘’Well I haven’t’’.
    Life is all about priorities.

    8:00 pm

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007  
    Just got back from a walk to Jounieh.
    If you see someone walking the streets of Lebanon at four in the morning just assume that they have a dial-up so-called internet connection and have nothing else to do because their connection is practically non-existent at that time (or at any other time for that matter).
    I recommend Lebanese dial-up for any parent who doesn’t want their children spending too much time on the internet.
    I’ve given up calling the ISP’s so-called consumer helpline (AKA twenty four hour consumer excuse line) to complain because that just makes it worse.
    They’ll never admit that there’s a problem but will make all sorts of excuses and distract you with all sorts of tasks – restart your computer, check the connection socket, check the firewall… stand on your head, do the twist, do the Lambeth Walk (every evening, every day), put your left foot in and shake it all about, left foot on green ,right hand on red.
    It’s like playing Twister – you end up all over the place.

    4:00 am

    Monday, May 07, 2007  
    The quickest way to misery is to try and be happy.

    3:40 am

    Saturday, May 05, 2007  
    Foaud, Omar and I were walking down to Jounieh once when Omar announced that he had to pee.
    Foaud said ‘’now? You just got back from the swimming pool!’’
    Suffice to say, Omar didn’t wait until we got to proper amenities – he’s at that age when the whole world is your pissoir.

    2:40 pm

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007  
    A source at a private secondary school in the north tells me that a member of a delegation visiting the school today, an Emirati princess, asked the students in one particular class whether education was needed to build a nation.
    All the students answered that it was except one girl who, thinking outside the box, said that education wasn’t necessary and cited as an example the late Sheikh Zayed, the founding President of the United Arab Emirates, as an example.
    The princess was understandably very impressed with this answer and rewarded her with a one hundred dollar note there and then.
    That sure beats a gold star.

    Which reminds me of the (possibly apocryphal) story I heard about a Lebanese man who had a put up a Saudi flag during the 1994 World Cup final being given five thousand dollars for his trouble by the Saudi Ambassador when he discovered it by chance.
    I also heard that Saudi players were paid a million dollar bonus by the king for every goal they scored during the tournament.

    The same source also tells me that there was a brawl involving up to thirty students from that and another school who were manning stands ‘’promoting’’ their schools at the Tripoli leg of the Arab Book Fair over a perceived mocking comment said to one of the students.
    The police had to be called in and there have been vows of vengeance.
    What would they have done if they weren’t promoting their school at a book fair?

    7:00 pm

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