Happy 2006Most of the people who I asked where they spent New Year's Eve said they stayed at home. I don't know if it is related to the depression many Lebanese are suffering from these days because of the bad security and political situation in the country. What most of them are worried about is that 2006 be as bad, if not worse, than the previous year.
On January 1, many people were talking about astrologers who appeared on Lebanese television stations. Lebanon's most famous psychic, Michel Hayek appeared on LBC television but refused to say anything about what he expects to happen in the coming year. In previous years some of the things he expected did happen.
People who don't believe in astrology, and they don't appear to be many in Lebanon, say anyone can predict if he or she makes some analysis of the situation. That made me take the decision to make some predictions for 2006, maybe I can quit journalism and become a famous astrologer which for sure makes much more money.
What could happen in Lebanon in 2006:
-Lebanon will witness some bombings and assassinations of political figures and journalists. (everybody knows that)
-A leading religious figure will die (some of them are old and some suffer bad health.)
-More Arab mediations to try improve Syrian-Lebanese relations. (since relations are not expected to improve in the near future.)
-Israeli air raids. (since more Katayusha rockets could be fired from southern Lebanon.)
-Country's debt to reach about US$40 billion.
-A new government will be headed by current Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi.
-More violence, mainly in central regions.
-U.S. troops will begin to pull out.
-Saddam Hussein to be sentenced to death in the Dujail trial.
In the Middle East.
-Hamas will win large number of seats in Palestinian parliamentary elections.
-An earthquake will kill thousands of people somewhere in Asia. (every year there is one in this continent).
-Major correction movement in Arab (mainly Gulf) stock markets.
-Eritrea and Ethipia go to war.
-Oil prices to go below US$50 a barrel.
Beirut January 3, 2005. 1 a.m.