Thursday, October 11, 2007


A friend of mine told me that one of the advisers of Lebanon's Minister of (neo-liberal) Economy and (free) Trade, Sami Haddad, took him aside during a meeting and asked him if he knew me. He said that he did. She then asked him: "What's wrong with him? OK the minister made a couple of strong statements, so what? Why the sarcastic commentaries on his blog?"

Assuming that my friend is accurately reporting the conversation, can I be blamed? Hear this:

وأشار قرطباوي الى أنه زار حداد «شارحين لكم أوضاع المزارع المنكوبة، وخصوصاً بعد نكستي أنفلونزا الطيور التي لم تظهر أي حالة منها في لبنان، وحرب تموز وما رافقها من انقطاع للطرق وعدم إمكان إيصال الأعلاف للمزارع الذي دمر بعضها القصف الإسرائيلي. وفي كلا الحالتين لم يعوض على المزارع رغم المراجعات المتعددة والمطالبات المتكررة». وتابع «في تلك الزيارة كان جوابكم صاعقاً بل ومخيّباً للآمال حيث قلتم لنا وباقتناع تام إنك لو كنت مكان المنتجين لأقفلت المزارع وفتحت ابواب الاستيراد وألغيت الرسوم الجمركية عن الفروج المجلد، ونصحت المزارعين بأن يسعوا لأعمال أخرى
Translation: During a meeting with the secretary of the Lebanese Union of Poultry Farmers, Samir Quortbawi, who came to him asking for support to farmers in the wake of the avian flu crisis and of the summer 2006 war, Haddad apparently made the following remark: "If I was in the place of the producers, I would close down the farms and open wide the gates to imports, canceled all duties on imports of frozen poultry, and advised the farmers to find jobs elsewhere."

Earlier Quortbawi had estimated the number of families involved in the poultry production sector at 30,000. That's at least 30,000 jobs.

Sarcasm? I was being nice.

No comments: