Friday 14 September 2007

Emigration 1960

Air Liban

Beirut Film Festival cancelled

"Political instability in Lebanon has forced the organizers of the Beirut Film Festival to cancel this year's event."

African Maids

All Africa news web is running an exposé of the treatment of black maids in Lebanon.

"Sixteen-year old Elisa is from Ethiopia. Her mother died last year, and six months ago she came to Lebanon to work and send money home to her family. For 100 dollars per month she maintains five houses a day.

"When I started work with this family I was sexually abused all the time by the father of my employer. The kids would beat me everyday and I would try to explain to Madame but she wouldn't do anything.

"Sometimes the father would come to sleep with me and threaten that if I refused he would beat me. So I left the house."

Thursday 13 September 2007

Haifa to Beirut in five hours

Haifa-Beirut Service 1920

Beirut 1900s

Postcard of coffee house. Coffee grew in popularity with the rise in factory work, and wages, in the late 1800s.

Wednesday 12 September 2007

In fact

UNDP compilation of facts on Lebanon.

Some to consider:

Urban population in 1975 (% of total) 67.0
Urban population 2002 (% of total) 87.2
Estimated urban population 2015 (% of total) 90.1

Total debt service in 1990 (% of GDP) 3.5
Total debt service in 2002 (% of GDP) 12.7

Public health expenditure 2001 (% of GDP) 3.4
Private health expenditure 2001 (% of GDP) 8.8

Kurds in Lebanon

A history of the Kurdish minority in Lebanon published by the International Journal of Kurdish Studies in 2002.

This thorough and well balanced study shows how waves of Kurdish refugees were caught out by the sectarian system that stigmatised them and kept them in poverty and depravation.

Poverty 1959-60

A UN study of Lebanon in the early 1960s found:

"In addition to the disparities in levels of development between Beirut and the peripheral areas; or between the city and the countryside in general, or even as a function of geographic proximity to Beirut, the IRFED study unveiled huge disparities in income distribution for the interval 1959-1960.

"The richest 4 percent among the Lebanese appropriated 32 percent of the national income, whereas the poor constituted 50 percent of the population, including 9 percent which the study considered as 'wretched'."