Other countries in the region:
- Jordan: 66/177
- Syria: 168/177
- Iraq: 171/177
- UAE: 26/177
- Qatar: 28/177
- Egypt: 114/177
Check out the entire map interactive map here.
Other countries in the region:
Check out the entire map interactive map here.
I’m a few months late, but this was the National Geographic’s Photo of the Day on August 28, 2013. It was taken in 1958, and where STARCO center currently stands in downtown Beirut… Here’s the caption:
This photograph of a bustling street scene ran in the April 1958 issue of National Geographic in a story by Thomas J. Abercrombie about “Young-old Lebanon.” The caption read, in part: “For variety, few cities can match Lebanon’s bustling capital. Part Christian, part Moslem, Beirut combines East and West, ancient and modern. Contrasts stand out vividly in street scenes such as this on the Rue Georges Picot. … A sign over the blouse shop shows the cedar, Lebanon’s national symbol. The market-bound shepherd in Near Eastern headdress and Western jacket icily ignores the latest European fashions.”
That Beirut was amazing… I hope we can someday feel our present was better than our past, and soon.
Lots of things disgust us every day, but the day customs cronies in Lebanon protest in support of the savage beating of investigative journalists, is extra disgusting.
The baboons who went on protest today (as if they did any legit work on a normal day) felt the savage beating was justified because “dignities of our own people were compromised”. Seriously? For a second there, I thought I was in Afghanistan, and felt that the Al Jadeed crew should be stoned, you know, like the women whose husbands cheat on them. It’s infallible logic that one, you know, punish the person that got wronged. Brilliant.
On another note, last night I went down to Adlieh, and it made me really proud and happy so many people turned up. Journalists from all TV stations, magazines, radio stations and newspapers were there, and a lot of prominent activists and artists and personalities. I guess the unanimous support was because it was tough to pin the Customs on one particular party (which means, for once, both Al Manar and Future TV, as well as OTV and MTV are covering the same story from the same angle)
The reporters were released, but that’s not enough. The Customs people should be punished. This is unacceptable. The footage above shows the savagery and unwarranted attack. How scared are they of the report? That only makes us all more intent on releasing the truth.
I think it’s disgusting some people stood with the savage men who beat up the Al Jadeed crew. The rage was so palpable, and the disgust so severe, that one witness to the beating threw three 1,000LBP banknotes in the face of their commanding officer and told him “hadde teltalef, roo7 ta3me klebak” (here’s 3000LBP, go feed your dogs).
This isn’t over, and a lot of good people are working on it, and we can’t let this pass. So, please, don’t dismiss this like everything else. For once, we all agree on the same thing: this is NOT ok.
When I was in AUB, I took a special topic CVSP course with Professor Bornedal, and one of the themes we tackled was George Orwell’s 1984. The segment on Orwell included watching the movie based on the classic novel, 1984. The striking resemblance between Hezbollah today, and what Orwell imagined would be the perfect totalitarian dystopia (I realize perfect and dystopia is an oxymoron, but I’m sure you get what I mean).
The Party barrages its subjects with psychological stimuli designed to overwhelm the mind’s capacity for independent thought. The giant telescreen in every citizen’s room blasts a constant stream of propaganda designed to make the failures and shortcomings of the Party appear to be triumphant successes.
This sounds eerily familiar. Hezbollah’s relentless and convincing propaganda machine is arguably the best in Lebanon and the region. Its ability to turn mediocre, or even negative events, into “divine triumphs” and “God’s promise realized” and the shaming of those who disagree, might convince even the most liberal skeptic that it’s true. Not allowing Israel’s Defense Forces to complete their entire objectives is one thing, and the loss of over a 1000 civilian lives and the near-complete destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure and economic abilities, is another. Yet, even Hezbollah’s staunchest rivals dare not comment on that, which is a textbook case of successful propaganda.
The Party also forces individuals to suppress their sexual desires, treating sex as merely a procreative duty whose end is the creation of new Party members. The Party then channels people’s pent-up frustration and emotion into intense, ferocious displays of hatred against the Party’s political enemies. Many of these enemies have been invented by the Party expressly for this purpose.
Hezbollah might not be that absurd, but the party’s ultra conservative ideals, their recent upping of the ante against Lebanon’s “decadent nightlife culture” and their condoning if not support for cracking down on alcohol shops in regions where they’re a majority, is definitely non-conducive to a pro-sex culture. It’s the second part of that note though, that is more similar to the reality. The ferocious displays of hatred against the perceived enemy might not be against an invented enemy (after all Israel is indeed an enemy and its endless transgressions are something any rational person condemns and would oppose). However, the knee-jerk over-reaction to almost anything, blaming it on the “zionist machine” seconds after it happens, encourages these exercises in hatred, and transplants blame from fellow Lebanese, Arabs or the party itself’s shortcomings or mistakes. Bomb goes off? It’s Israel. No discussion of where and how security or lax, no questions asked about the possibility it might be Hezbollah’s Syrian allies, back to their old Machiavellian games of “divide and conquer” (Tripoli bomb vs Dahieh bombs)
By controlling the present, the Party is able to manipulate the past. And in controlling the past, the Party can justify all of its actions in the present.
This is especially true when it comes to Hezbollah’s 1980s days. Talk of radicalization of Lebanon, and more recently, the romanticization of suicide bombings by Hezbollah’s secretary general, is often brushed off by the party, and doesn’t faze its supporters. One might comment the Iranian embassy bombings are eerily similar to the US embassy bombings (both done by radical groups against their perceived foreign enemy), but one is heralded as a historical victory, another is condemned as filthy.
In any case, the face of Big Brother symbolizes the Party in its public manifestation; he is a reassurance to most people (the warmth of his name suggests his ability to protect), but he is also an open threat (one cannot escape his gaze)
The secretary general of Hezbollah’s photos are everywhere. To many, he is a benevolent leader who can do no wrong, never lies and always sticks to his promises. To others, he is a threat that is blamed for everything. Here, the two parties are at fault. Blaming everything on Hezbollah by its opponents, is pathetic, and shows a trend of putting their paws up and justifying their every failure and shortcoming on Hezbollah’s arm, is another version of just blaming Israel for everything, and never really doing anything to help the people, their rights, freedoms and prosperity.
WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
The contradictions here are painful, but they do portray the reality accurately. The warrior culture of Hezbollah, and the willingness of its loyalists to present themselves and their loved ones as “fida el Sayyed” (for the Sayyed) glorifies war and gives the impression perpetual war is the only way to have peace. Freedom is slavery manifests itself by the willingness to compromise when it comes to freedom and rights, for the sake of the heralded cause. It’s ok if you give up many if not all of your rights, because it’s for the sake of fighting the enemy. This is a rhetoric adopted by many police states in the region as well to oppress their people with the excuse of resisting Israel (which they never really do, it’s just their excuse). Ignorance is strength is played out when glaring facts and disadvantages get warped into something else. Fighting in Syria is a bad decision in every respect, yet, loyalty remains unflinching to it, and despite the heavy losses incurred (more fighters have died on Syria soil than Israeli one) and the intense displeasure of Hezbollah’s closest allies inside Lebanon. Yet, the justifications are many, and perhaps if the same supporters would have been consulted 3 years ago on the matter, they’d have a completely different opinion on the matter. Yet, the propaganda has worked again, and people are on board with something that is obviously not in their best interest. Ignoring the facts in this case, is the Hezb’s strength.
I realize this post might be very offensive to many people. I also realize trying to take such an angle to such a divisive issue might not be prudent. But, it is every person’s right to express their opinion and highlight events that affect their lives the way they see fit. Also, this is absolutely not an endorsement of Hezbollah’s rivals. If anything, I think Hezbollah is better than many of its 14 March sworn enemies, only difference is that Hezbollah was actually successful in the tactics above, while many of the so-called “liberals” and “moderates” just failed miserably at doing the same. Israel is the enemy, there is no argument here. The argument is, how much do we need to sacrifice for that cause? Shouldn’t we enjoy at least the same respect and rights the Israeli government gives to its own citizens before we actually embark on resisting them?
The Golden Days of Beirut were undoubtedly before the Civil War, especially in the 1950s and early 60s. Lebanon was a prime destination for the world’s most prominent jet setters, almost every brand in the world was open in Beirut, nightlife was amazing, hotels were next-level and heck, we even had a red light district.
On this 70th anniversary of Lebanon’s independence, all we have to show for it is an ugly 50,000LL bank-note with a spelling mistake, two suicide bombings, no government cabinet and a continuing influx of refugees without any light at the end of this long, long tunnel.
Perhaps, it’ll do us some good to remember what the good old days were like, what our grandparents lived through, how your grandma might’ve had dinner at The Carlton Beirut, which your Grandpa paid for with a cheque from Chase Manhattan…
Wajid Hitti, a good friend of mine, has digitized a massive collection of the ads from that era his father had saved up from the days he worked at Gaumont Palace in Down Town Beirut (which used to stand next to St Vincent de Paul church). During the war, the building was largely occupied by Syrian troops, and the tower (11 stories was a lot back then) fell into ruin. Wajid’s dad found out the Syrian troops were burning the books and booklets from the 50s-60s era, and made sure he reclaimed them in order to preserve the pop culture heritage of a time when it was a pleasure to live and love in Beirut.
I will be posting ads like these regularly from now on, but to kick things off, here are 14 amazing ones. And again, a MILLION thank yous to Wajid and his father for giving us the opportunity to back in time on this bitter-sweet day.
It’s sad that we’ve never had any good news about Lebanon on BuzzFeed. It’s always about how horrible at basketball we are, our violence against women ads, dipshit religious extremists destroying KFC and Hardees, forcibly tattooing refugees and a ton of other horrible stories. Oh, but we did land biggest glass of wine…
Check out the rest here
“Did you just wake up?” was how Joelle greeted me as soon as she got out of the UNHCR headquarters’ in Jnah where I was meeting her. She looked just as tired, and we were both in a limbo state that’s become all-too-familiar in Lebanon. I was on my way to the site of the explosion, and Joelle was busy with the massive influx of refugees in Aarsal. It was everything but good news, and after a gloomy chat about the status of things and plans to make an excursion into the field, I hugged Joelle back to her work and made my way a few blocks away, where the army had cordoned off the blast site and hazmat-clad crime scene investigators combed the streets.
I’d like to sensationalize the scene, explain how it was surreal to walk into that, and that it’s something many of us have never seen, but I can’t. I can’t because it was all-too-familiar, even routine-like. This wasn’t my first blast scene, and I doubt it’ll be my last. I’ve gone to most blast sites in Lebanon since I was a clueless 16-year-old, and I still find it hard to stay away.
After parking and walking to the military cordon, the only sounds were those of glass shattering and journalists’ standard Arabic reports broadcast by the dozen or so satellite uplink cars lining the streets.
The smell is perhaps the only thing I never get used to. It’s literally, the stench of death; human remains. It’s quite pungent, and no matter how many cigarettes the journos, soldiers and curious bystanders smoke, the overlooked pieces of seared flesh and bone and blood reek, making even the delivery boys carrying chicken tawouk sandwiches with extra garlic paste to the news crews, cover their mouth and nose absentmindedly while navigating through the shrapnel and glass.
But, the residents looked mildly annoyed and inconvenienced. They weren’t hysterical. They were dutifully brooming up the glass and wood and hurling it off their balconies into large heaps to be hauled off tomorrow. Some even sat on their heavily damaged balconies with their flat-screen TVs, showing a close up view of the scene they’re witnessing live right under them, amused at the slight lag and waving hello to their neighbors shuttling away their stuff, moving elsewhere till things get back to normal in their neighborhood.
23 people were killed there today, and even though it might not be Lebanon’s highest death toll, it is the scariest in many respects. Lebanon’s bombings are usually rigged cars or packages, timed or remotely detonated. Today, it was a suicide attack carried out by at least two bombers. Responsibility was claimed too, via Twitter, by an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Lebanon, something that is also almost unheard of in our tiny, divided country.
What’s strange though, is despite the difference in style, target and timing, the aftermath was the same: Lebanese people, with their indomitable spirit, quietly cleaning up, secretly sobbing behind closed doors and overtly giving defiant speeches for TV cameras.
Today, no one was surprised, no one was outraged, no one was dismayed, no one was scared, no one was worried. The usual, stiff, face-saving reactions were recited, with the same phrases, same vocabulary and same unconvincing tone. Today, only the injured, their families and the families of the dead are truly affected, truly touched, truly hurting, truly outraged and truly hopeless. The rest of the Lebanese will continue life as usual, even in that neighborhood. There was a time where I felt that was something positive, which allowed the Lebanese people to continue and persevere despite all the daily horrors they face. Today though, I’m not so sure about that anymore. I don’t think it’s healthy for a society to remain so un-phased in the face of such horror…
Victims, not martyrs. Investigations, not conspiracies. Truth no matter what, not lies to for fear of reactions.
It all started over a few drinks at a private party in an underground venue in Beirut. I was talking to Tres about a couple of upcoming projects when he mentioned he was going down to Nabatieh for Ashoora with a reporter that has worked with Vice before, Martin. I didn’t give it much thought that night (thank you gin & tonic) but the next day, I called up Tres and asked if they needed a ride and a fixer, and a few minutes later, we were preparing our trip down to Southern Lebanon down to one of the only towns in the world that still practices the infamous self-chastization Shia muslims engage in to remember the fall of Hussein.
Hussein was the ‘son of the daughter of the Prophet’ and in October of 680AD (61H) him and 71 of his most loyal followers were killed by an army that’s said to have numbered in the tens of thousands. After the passing of Mohammed, the line of succession was not clearly defined. Some of his followers wanted it to stay within the Prophet’s bloodline, others believed it should be handled by his closest companions.
Hussein and his followers refused to submit to the Caliph Yazid at the time and pay him allegiance, and a fierce battle resulted in the death of the Imam and all his male companions, and all the women were taken as prisoners to Damascus. That event solidified the schism between Shia and Sunni muslims some 1300 years ago, and ever since then, Shia muslims commemorate the fall of their Imam Hussein on the 10th day of the month of Muharram (hence the name “3ashoora” which comes from “3ashra” which is “10″ in Arabic)
We left Beirut early, and I picked up Tres, Martin and Olivia from Gemmayzeh. The drive took less than we expected since today was a national holiday in Lebanon and most people were still recovering from their nights out. Picturesque town after picturesque town, we finally made it to Nabatieh, where black, white, red and green flags with Arabic calligraphy that reads “Ya Hussain” or “Ah Ya Zainab” or “Ashoura” with painted images of Hussein, his brother Hassan and the Al-Aqsa mosque fluttered from electricity poles, buildings, cars, buses and even cranes.
That’s when I saw the self-flagellation procession pass by, chanting “Haidar! Haidar!” in unison with a backdrop of a man’s very deep voice reading what happened on that fateful day 1300 years ago. Despite the shocking sight of bloodied faces of men waving machetes in the air, my attention kept reverting back to the voice on the massive speakers, who despite its imposing depth and perfect articulation, stopped bellowing every now and then and struggled to keep reading while sobbing at the intensity of the story.
We made a full circle around the square, into narrow streets with traditional Lebanese buildings decorated with Ashoora banners and flags. Processions were different when it comes to size, flags, numbers and whether or not they cut their scalps. Also, many men in those processions did not bloody themselves, but instead sufficed with chanting in unison and tapping their chests rhythmically.
It was the interest in the men that did bloody themselves though, that led us to find out that the large knives and swords aren’t the tools they use to cut, but a straight razor (mousse) which is sterilized before making a small incision on the frontal part of one’s scalp. So, for the most part, it’s not as extreme as the blood makes it look. But, some folks do faint, and there were well over a hundred Red Cross paramedics there that treated anywhere from 600 to a thousand people.
The bloody heads and hands with the white sheets the men in the procession wear was a bit intense, and despite seeing photos of this many times, it was quite different live. After hours of going round and round the square, with thousands of men and even some women participating in the bloody processions, the asphalt turns red, and it literally was a river of blood by noon. The blood spatter in the air every time the men hit their heads and the unmistakable and sometimes pungent metallic, copper-like smell of coagulating blood, was surreal.
Then, at around 11, the reenactment began, and it was quite a spectacle. Over a dozen horses and several camels with anywhere between 60 and 80 actors played out the events leading up to the battle, Imam Hussein’s death, and the aftermath. The epic voice recordings were played out to the dot, and the horses, outfits, battle scenes and sound effects gave the historical and religious event justice in my opinion. It was also nice hearing the story of Hussein and his followers and enemies, something non-Shia folks rarely know properly (myself included).
Throughout the 90 minute reenactment though, the processions continued without fail, and I was amazed at how these men, often very young, could last so long, walking marathon distances while self-inflicting pain on themselves every step of the way.
You’d think the mood would be gloomy and austere, but relaxed would be a better word to describe it. It was a day out with the family for many, who put their toddlers on the horses and camels and posed for photos taken with their iPads. It wasn’t military-like precision and security. It wasn’t a well-rehearsed, ultra-controlled series of events like many folks might imagine. No one paid much attention to us, but they didn’t mind us taking photos and asking questions. It also seemed like no one was organizing it, but that everyone knew what they had to do and where they had to be.
All in all, the experience was a powerful one for me. I never imagined I’d take part in Ashoora and experience it firsthand like today. My shoes, my hands and my clothes had drops of blood on them. It was awe-inspiring to see such a tradition live, which many of us hear about and never really see live. It was amazing also meeting the people, finding out most of them are normal folks with that one day of what someone not familiar with the traditions would see as odd, even “barbaric” behavior.
Most Shia religious figures condemn this practice. Even Hezbollah strongly opposes it. That’s why today, Hezbollah were present only in the security aspect, and throughout the whole processions, reenactment and town square, we didn’t see a single sheikh or religious figure. So, my take-home message was that this bloody event is more of a layman’s tradition than a disciplined religious rite.
Kids. These are the most disturbing images of Ashoora. Bloody, tiny and sometimes scared faces of infants and toddlers. I, and I’m sure many of you, feel outraged at seeing that. But then again, Jews and Christians do the same thing to their kids, whether it’s dunking them underwater, or circumcising them, both are not choices of the child/infant, and they hurt. Also, teenagers I spoke to were proud they’ve been doing it since they were kids, and assured us they’re going to keep doing it and that more people should. So, I guess it’s one of those irrational religious practices that parents force down onto their kids, but which the kids often grow up happy with (unfortunately).
Personally, my atheistic views are well publicized, and most religious practices to me seem irrational. But, I am also a libertarian, and I firmly believe that people can do whatever they feel like with their own bodies. I might never do it myself, but I can’t condemn a person who does, and neither should you as believers of other faiths. Christians in the Philippines crucify themselves, Jews, Buddhists and many other faithful folks chastise themselves too in sometimes incomprehensibly violent and cruel methods. But, it is not representative of the whole faith. An overwhelming majority of Shias would never do this, and even condemn it. Just like a Christian might cringe at the idea that people actually get crucified on Easter. I still think doing it to kids is not OK, and would much rather wait for the kids to grow up and decide for themselves if they want to engage in that tradition or not. That is the one thing I hated about today, and doubt I’ll ever come to terms with inflicting an injury on a kid (no matter what the faith).
As for most Shias condemning this tradition, the fact is the numbers of people bloodying themselves are getting less and less, and a more noble, acceptable and well-respected trend is gaining more and more traction. For decades, Shias have been encouraged to donate blood on Ashoora instead of spilling it on the streets and hurting themselves. You can see in Dahyeh and several other places, even today in Nabatieh, many faithful donating blood, and I think that’s an amazing and modern interpretation that I am sure fits better with Hussein’s legacy. It shows compassion for your fellow man, it shows sacrifice for willing to stick a needle in your forearm and give a part of yourself to someone and shows courage for standing up and saying no to age-old traditions and doing the thing you feel is right.
This year, I am extremely proud to announce that thanks to a joint effort between DSC Lebanon and Who is Hussain, ninety two bags of blood were donated in less than 3 hours: a new record for us at DSC! So, thank you to everyone who donated today, and I hope more and more people will do that in the years to come!
So, as I said, I didn’t write about the outrage here, because I knew something had to be done. I won’t take any credit for this, because I didn’t really do anything. I just knew what was happening with Animals Lebanon and Nemr, and what we were trying to do at BETA in tandem.
What’s important, is that bousbous is safe, that the boys agreed to do 150 hours of community service each, and that this generated a public outcry so vast, it even got to Reddit’s frontpage and got featured on LiveLeak. This means that, hopefully, people will think twice about abusing animals from now on, and if they don’t, we’ll hunt them down, save the animals and make them repay their debt to society after understanding the mistakes they made.
So, thank you to everyone who made this possible. And, if you have the time, watch the video above. If not, know that the boys are sorry, they handed the cat to Animals Lebanon, and they will help volunteer with them for 150 hours (which is like a month and a half if they work 4 hours daily!)
Organ donation in Lebanon is one of those taboo things no one really talks/knows enough about, but we’re sure must happen. We’re never asked if we want to be organ donors (until a recent, limited attempt by some NGOs) and chances are we’ve never known someone who needed a transplant and what he/she had to go through to get it. But, plenty of folks need new kidneys and other organs, and our skilled doctors who have even successfully implanted artificial hearts, makes us a top, and affordable destination for thousands of Arabs, especially from the Gulf, that need a transplant.
Of course, like everything else, the government doesn’t care about the illegal trafficking of organs. It’s probably the same old tune we’re all used to: the gangs that operate this dangerous underground trade are probably backed up by the big politicians. Or, simply, legislation isn’t enough to allocate enough resources and hand down a big enough punishment for those committing these heinous crimes.
Here are some highlights of the Spiegel’s piece:
Lebanon has a tradition of illegal organ trading. The country has immensely rich people and a huge number of people living in poverty. And organ traffickers don’t need to worry about government controls. Those are exactly the ideal conditions for organ trafficking, said Luc Noel, transplant expert at the World Health Organization in Geneva.
“When it comes to kidneys, we now have far more sellers than buyers,” said Abu Hussein. He added that four of the Big Man’s other recruiters have brokered the sales of 150 kidneys in the past 12 months. According to Abu Hussein, other gangs are doing similarly well.
Experts estimate that 5,000 to 10,000 kidneys are illegally transplanted per year worldwide. “Many of our products go abroad to, for example, the Persian Gulf,” said Abu Hussein. But Big Man also has customers in the US and Europe, he said.
And the most heart-breaking one was the last sentence, which summed up the plight of all those Syrian refugees forced to sell their kidneys for as low as $7000 like Raid in the Spiegel story…
But when Raïd asks for painkillers, Abu Hussein shouts at him: “Shut up. I don’t care if you die. You’re finished anyway.”
It’s a must-read article, and Ulrike Putz’s work is admirable, getting close to those gangs and their victims and getting the story that has been right under everyone’s noses, but went unnoticed as hundreds of refugees went under the knife so their organs can be harvested and sold off to the highest bidder… Sometimes, it seems the hardships and unpleasant truths just never seem to end…
For those of you not familiar with the District//S scandal, earlier this year, my friend Habib Battah of The Beirut Report got beaten up by the construction workers in the site after he took some photos of the destruction and removal (probably for sale for even more profit) of ancient ruins in the plot the project is being built on.
Here’s a photo he took of the site from the neighboring Saifi Village
And after the horrendous attack by the thugs that work for DS, The Daily Star managed to get another shot of the crime against Lebanon’s and the Lebanese people’s heritage and national treasures.
Of course, nothing happened and the government sat idly by if not actively OK-ing it like “minister” Gaby Layyoun has done time and again for dozens of archeological and historical sites.
Today, the baboons of District S were careless, and left their fortress of lies and deceit uncovered to the thousands of Beirut Marathon runners, which allowed me to get photos of the plot today, many stories deep and completely empty. The ruins are gone, sold off and destroyed and dumped somewhere. Thanks guys, for destroying irreplaceable artifacts and ruins to build ghost town gated communities that none of us will never be able to afford *applause*
The saddest part about this whole affair, is that because of the suffocating lack of green spaces in Beirut, local residents are willing to fight for stairs, and rightfully so.
Beirut, especially Ashrafieh, is hilly. Sassine square is up on a hill and Mar Mikhael’s toes dip in the sea (before reclaiming the sea that is). Anyone who walks around Ashrafieh/Gemmayzeh/Tabaris/Mar Mikhael knows how essential these stairs are, and how much time they save. They’re also cultural and historical icons where dozens of festivals, exhibitions and performances take place.
Here’s why the decision to demolish the Massaad stairs, known as the Mar Mikhael stairs, is unreasonable.
I hope the ultra-corrupt Beirut Municipality will reconsider, and that the residents’ pleas are heard. I’d also like to tell the residents we are with them, and will support them in any non-violent action they take to try and stop this unfair and unnecessary plan.
UPDATE: apparently, the road won’t be to “serve citizens”, but to allow a contractor’s trucks to get to their construction site. *sigh* source