Here’s why we handled the Internet outage (that never was) very badly


Today I woke up to news that there will be an Internet outage tomorrow, November 3rd. Or maybe it’ll be so slow we’ll rip our heads off. My thoughts were in the following order:

  • Outrage. Enno walaw?
  • Here’s an excuse to not study today since hek w hek mafi internet boukra I might as well do it tomorrow. #procrastinationYo
  • Let’s check out people’s reactions.

I’m non-political, so I was mostly searching for funny tweets like:

Bet ballish hek, boukra bi sir yon2oti3 el internet kel yom 3al se3a 12 w yerja3 3al se3a 6 w tsir l ossa 3ade metl el kahraba

— Nino Zoghbi (@NinoZoghbi) November 2, 2013

But I couldn’t help but notice how fast the finger pointing started. The sheer number of people bashing others who they thought to be fully responsible for this problem was outstanding. I’m all for placing blame (it’s one of my most dominant characteristics) but it would’ve been good to see the majority take a second to breathe first and give the subject a thought before publicizing their opinion. Objectively a mass-jump to conclusions is a disturbing thing to witness. It’s understandable that every blogger wanted to be the first to write their anti-government post or tweet and I’m all for free speech, but couldn’t we wait until we had all the facts before starting our (very much in their place) rants?

As it turns out Mr. Sehnaoui (Someone I’m very neutral about) was quick to share what was going on and announced on twitter the following:

Have an Important Announcement

— Nicolas Sehnaoui (@NicolaSehnaoui) November 2, 2013

IMEWE payment problem solved thanks to a successful coordination between the Minister of Finance and myself.

— Nicolas Sehnaoui (@NicolaSehnaoui) November 2, 2013

Payment was sent today at 11am.

— Nicolas Sehnaoui (@NicolaSehnaoui) November 2, 2013

Is it embarrassing that the Ministry of telecommunications had to announce, on social media of all places, that they paid their bills? Yes. But as I previously stated in the Tripoli post, embarrassment is a non-issue for our government.

Is it embarrassing that we even have problems like these in the first place? Yes. We’re a country for God sakes. “La Republique Libanaise” remember? I guess we’ve thought of ourselves as ‘Sha3eb m3attar’ for too long to remember that a country should be able to very easily pay 1.5 million dollars (or whichever the sum was).

But it’s also extremely embarrassing that we, the people, were so quick to take out our keyboards and type without waiting for all the facts just because we were taught that it’s all about being the quickest of the slew.

Solving the Internet problem is not a heroic act; it should not be applauded because it should not have been a problem in the first place. But at the same time, belittling the fact that the problem was solved is just as bad. Aren’t we fighting day in and day out to get solutions? It’s immensely hypocritical of us to ask for fixes and then be publicly offended when they come.

But hey what do I know, maybe the only reason the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Telecommunications decided to pay was because of the huge backlash. Maybe that’s how it works, maybe that’s why they waited for the absolute last second. But I stand by my opinion: We should always be grateful for a problem fixed.


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