Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Karaba Conundrum

Karaba is Arabic for electricity, and there is not a great deal around in besieged Lebanon. The Syrians are providing electricity, but with two, if not more, power stations destroyed here, rationing is underway. It is very strange driving through downtown between East and West Beirut - all the lights are out, like a blackout during the London blitz. The reason, explained a driver, was that municipalities are turning off all essential lights etc. for residential areas.
In my area electricity is intermittent, on for maybe 10 hours a day here and there. Went off last night – why I was not able to blog – and came on at 4am. Then off again at 9am, back on at 2.30pm. Will see how long I get it now. Murphy’s law of course that my laptop battery only last 30 minutes now…
Petrol is also being severely rationed, with queues for petrol all down the street and people only allowed 10,000LL worth of fuel ($6.66). Unless the Syrians open the pipeline to Lebanon shut last year after Syria withdrew, petrol will rise in price and only the most necessary journeys will be made.
I have been walking around different areas, speaking to people and getting an idea of the situation the last few days. As I am in the middle of conveying these thoughts for a few publications, will blog more in detail later…probably to the sound of generators humming away in the darkness.

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