Category Archives: News

Probably a good time to buy tickets!

MEA slashes fuel surcharge in half after international oil prices decline | Business , Local | THE DAILY STAR

BEIRUT: Middle East Airlines has reduced its fuel surcharge to reflect the recent drop in oil prices, company chairman Mohamad al-Hout announced Monday.

“Middle East Airlines has reduced by 50 percent the charge on travel tickets that had been imposed due to the surge in oil prices,” Hout said after meeting Prime Minister Tammam Salam, according to a statement released by the premier’s office.

MEA had imposed a surcharge of about 15 percent of the price of a ticket after oil prices began to spike over the past few years. The surcharge has now been reduced to about 7.5 percent of a ticket’s price.

The chairman told The Daily Star in a recent interview that he had been considering reducing the fuel surcharge by half after oil prices started to fall in June 2014.

Hout revealed that the revenue from the surcharge is close to $100 million a year.

Tickets from Lebanon to Africa were reduced by around $100 and tickets from Beirut to London or Paris by $85, Hout said.

“We have started implementing this price reduction starting today,” he added.

Hout also discussed with the premier the airline’s ongoing projects, including the arrival of a flight simulator at the MEA flight-training academy, the statement said.

The unaudited profits of MEA in 2014 rose to $69 million despite the difficult economic and political conditions in the country.

Hout also briefed Salam on plans to open the aviation-training center near the airport.

Source: The Daily Star

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Je Suis ou Je Suis Pas Charlie, that is the question

The unfortunate terrorist attack that happened last week in France at the Charlie Hebdo has been all over the news and media since then.Twelve people were dead as a result of this attack.

Any act of killing is not acceptable of course, but I cannot see why this attack in particular has been given such dimensions which I believe are way out of proportion. The same week, there have been more casualties and dead people in different areas in the world, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Africa… so what makes the death of 12 people more important than the death of 100, 1000 or even more people who fall on daily basis. Is it that French are more valuable than others? or maybe that it happened in France/Europe? Are they untouchable or something? are their lives more precious than the life of young African kids dying for lack of clean water or food?

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I read many articles saying that the freedom of expression has been assassinated because of this attack. That is just a big lie. Despite all the appearances, no one and nothing is free and without consequences in this world. Everything is manipulated by the hidden strings of politics.

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They called out for many nations’ leaders to participate in a march of solidarity and peace and among those  were many leaders who are responsible of killing many journalists and even genocides, and despite that they were there, some of them even in the front lines to defend freedom of expression?!!  does the word hypocrisy ring a bell?!

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I was also considering what happened from another perspective. Among the basic principles taught about freedom of expression is that “One person’s freedom ends where another’s begins“. When Charlie Hebdo were notified many times, over and over again, that the drawings they are publishing are offending millions of people out there, they did not stop nor apologize and replied back that what they are doing is just practicing freedom of expression.

Put yourself in a similar position, when you say or do something to someone repeatedly, let us call him, Tom, and he starts by informing you to stop because he is getting annoyed and hurt . Yet you keep on going, and he alerts you another time, and so on, and with each time, Tom’s reaction escalates and gets more intense and violent. Eventually, won’t you see a big slap coming at the end?  and if you might argue that someone else, let us call her Rose, was subject to the same acts or talks from your side and yet she did not have the same reaction as Tom’s and was not offended or hurt by you, that can never justify that what you are doing is right, because you cannot dictate how others should react to your own doings. Everyone is free to react and feel the way they please. This is why freedom of expression or any kind of freedom can never be absolute, and should always be practiced with responsibility – everyone should be responsible for the consequences of their own doings – and respect – make sure to respect others and they will respect you back.

Finally, I do not believe that we have free media, and for one single event, the people in each country are fed by the media the version that suits best not the truth but the interests of the corrupted political leaders. This is why, I think that each one of us should be less judgmental, more tolerant and most importantly more intelligent than the passive and limited robotic receivers they are trying to mold us into.

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