Sunday, May 6, 2012

The hole next door

The hole next door has seen a new addition this weekend. After 5months of digging, the bang bang bang and noise and dirt stopped in March, the hole has been fully shaped (rectangle) and now a dirty great crane has been installed. If you want to see how it all started, go back to posts in October, 2011.

That little square thing in the upper left quadrant is a wheelbarrow. The hole is 5 stories deep.

One storey up on the left hand wall is our flat.

Its nuts. And its one reason to be glad to be moving on in the not too distant future. Don't ask where or this space....or check facebook.

So conflicted. It is hard not to be critical of the absolute lack of environmental awareness or concern in Lebanon. In Beirut the unabated building is incredible and controversial, construction sites sprout like mushrooms with a complete lack of any sense of aesthetic. Beautiful old homes are knocked down and replaced by boring and ugly concrete apartment blocks that block out the view of the neighbors in an uncontrolled mad rush to build higher and higher. Sadly, to add insult to injury many of these blocks are 'pre-sold' to Gulf Arabs or Syrians or absentee Lebanese and except for the 'maintenance maids' they sit empty most of the year. They are fully occupied only when their owners come to Beirut for their 'entertainment' yayas (sometimes quite un-Islamic ones) often with their entire familial entourages for the summer shopping holidays. And so, in a packed crowded city where rental units are overpriced, you have empty unaffordable luxury flats cropping up all over the place...that block your view!

If it is true that the preservation of green space and respect for the environment is a sign of a healthy society then the situation in Beirut is symptomatic of a society that is terminally ill. There is no sense of it here.

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