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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Confessions of a Lebanese Driver

You know how everyone keeps talking about how reckless Lebanese drivers are and how dangerous driving in Lebanon is. Well, yesterday when I was driving to Gemayzeh for a drink, something hit me! It wasn’t a car, or a pedestrian (or an unidentified flying object). It was An Idea! A dangerous one.

I noticed that while I’m normally a peaceful and quiet guy, behind the wheel I become someone else, an emotionless beast reacting violently towards the smallest incident. Yes, it’s like this big metal shield of a car gives me power to be invincible!

Now there’s no need to start critisizing and classifying me as one of the many reasons for the chaotic traffic system in Lebanon. Let me explain. This power I feel in my car, it’s not uncontrollable rage, it is a power that I use for good or at least what I think is good.

Yesterday I noticed that while driving on the lousy roads we have, I feel the need to rectify every bad encounter. Some examples are driving real slow to obstruct tailgating lunatics, or driving towards maniacs going against traffic, or with blinding headlights, or with really low speeds on the extreme left, or even driving towards pedestrians crossing under a pedestrian bridge! This always involves shouting and cursing.

Yesterday, I figured out, that I am part of this system I hate. I am contributing to the unsafely of Lebanese roads. And I hated myself for that!

While I decided to try changing my reactions towards irritating traffic incidents, I hope that I won’t have to learn one day, the hard way that this metal shield of a car is not as protective as I think, and that it can quickly turn into a killing machine.

How about you? How do you feel behind the wheel?


  1. I am so glad for your confession and I hope others wake up and begin to think like you.

    After a drive to Beirut and back home (Jabal lebnen),I feel like my whole body is shaking and I thank god for still being alive.The reason is that I actually have to be careful of others bad drivng,not mine.aktarit el cha3ab lebnene do not have any respect to others when they are driving,especially taxi drivers.Wich make me pissed of bas bdallne tawel bele.Khallina na3mil 2a7san minn ghayrna.If we all think in a better direction,others will sooner or later do the same.I hope..


  2. 100 % but i say if you were not a part of this system and behaving as it behaves u'll reach no where. don't think its safer to be calm and drive slowly because the opportunity that someone hits u while being a calm driver is much more than u get into somebody. i don't know that's my opinion..I don't know how I reached your blog LOL "May be its a message delivered by U"

  3. Iman,

    This is exactly what i am talking about. Most Lebanese drivers complain about other people's lack of safety and respect when driving while not noticing their own. Next time you miss an accident, or another driver tailgates you, ask yourself "What did I do wrong?" (F7aseh Damirik. LOL)

    By the way, Jabal-Beirut is my field, that's where this idea "hit me". I hope we don't bump into each other one day.

    Drive Safe!

  4. Bassel,

    In my opinion, being calm is one thing and driving slowly is another (And I hate slow drivers on a highway!). One should try not to react negatively towards bad traffic incidents: drive your way and let the others drive by their own.
    And I am sure if you don’t get carried away by the system, you still get to your destination. It can take a little longer, but at least you’ll get there with a clear conscience.

    I don't know how you reached my blog either but I hope you'll stick around!

    Drive Safe!

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