Saturday, January 28, 2006

Libraries: Someone CARES!

As a follow up to the library subject, it turns out there is a netwrok of public libraries in Lebanon. It is very modest, but they do have free internet access. The main Beirut library is the size of an average apartment with a maid's room.

Someone is working on improving that however. They are adequately called the Friends of Public Libraries Association in Lebanon.

You can donate the original Russian print of War and Peace, but they prefer connect the dots books.

One of the book donation centers is literally 10 medium sized steps from where I am now. Damn, I thought I was inquisitive, now I have to scratch that out of my C.V.


Eve said...

I have heard rumors once about a public library in Basta, but nothing happened to convince me they were true.

I just called the Bashoura library. can you believe the registration fees amount to 10,000 L.L., for life?
what's missing is, at least, some publicity..

Lazarus said...

well, they have had some publicity. there were articles in daily star, annahar, etc. a few years ago (maybe a year ago, i've lost track) when it first started. and the numbers are growing. but yes, they probably need much stronger advertising than just that.

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...


Who needs a PUBLIC library, when you can illegally raze downtown Beirut (where you actually had a relatively large public library that remained open throughout the civil war), expropriate thousands of Lebanese citizen (among them a dozen bookshop owners) and hand the proceeds of your government-approved theft to the Hariri mafia family and its Saudi friends (Solidere SAL)?

Not to mention the fact that the Lebanese prole public is busy watching enlightening programs such as “Star Academy” and Haifa Wehbe’s lingerie fashion tips, in between hateful sermons beamed live from Mecca: it helps that Saudi Arabia and its Beirut-based Oger Group strawmen own the Lebanese Broadcasting Company and Future TV, the former providing reconstructed fascist zombies such as Ms May Chidiac to run as the “personal appointee of His Highness Sheikh Saad” in the upcoming Baabda by-election!

And, for the more “highbrow” segment of the population, Saudi marketers have The Nahar and Al-Daily Star, which gives them a total of approximately 90% of Lebanese media be it audio-visual or print: not a meager feat for people who staunchly believe in the Orwellian concept of “Al-Haqiqa”!

Once pesky killjoys such as Gen. Michel Aoun and Hizbullah are wiped off, Sheikh Saad and his Saudi handlers will finally be able to aim at reaching a 99.99% market penetration, thus beating Hafiz al-Assad at his own totalitarian game!

Then, and only then, Lebanon will have become an authentic Arabian banana republic where the hapless admirers of Haifa Wehbe and the hateful disciples of Wahhabism reign supreme…

Dr Victor de la Vega
Thomas More Center for Middle-East Studies