Away From Politics

History will judge, oh - and airplane crashes.

Now that tragedy has struck again for Malaysian airlines after the first disaster of #MH370 (the current one is the downing of one of their planes #MH17 over Ukraine), I was really - and I mean really - eager to see how Malaysian transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein was going to handle this one. Tough luck, in a country not exactly known to be a full democracy, Hussein was actually discharged from his post.
Considering he was also the minister of defence (and from what I understood still is), he is also - no, no, nothing to do with corruption and nepotism - the cousin of Najib Razzak, the prime minister. So going as far as discharging him from his post truly speaks volumes about how bad the situation was and the ultimately bad job he did.

Little Abbas’ Father Apprehended By The Lebanese Police

[YouTube]
Based on reports from Al-Jadeed and LBCI, the security forces have identified the people behind the video that went viral earlier today and was showing a young kid beating another child and being encouraged by his parents. Moreover, LBCI just reported that the Internal Security Forces’ cyber crimes bureau raided the al-Raml al-Ali area in Dahieh to arrest the father of the minor Abbas. T.
This is great news and I am glad this video went viral and these people were arrested. I don’t get if it was the father or some relative or a total stranger who did this, they must be punished accordingly because this is a crime against an innocent child.

My Trip To Jordan: Part2

In case you’ve missed Part1 of my trip to Jordan, you can check it out [here]. I’ve shared in it my experience at the dead sea, at the Baptism site (Al Maghtass) and Ma’In resort. The second part of our trip was the most interesting one as I got to experience Petra by day and by night, spend a whole afternoon in the desert, watch the sunset at Wadi Rum before heading to Aqaba.

WTF?

[YouTube]
The video is uploaded by YaSour but it doesn’t say if it’s in Lebanon or not. They do sound Lebanese though.
What the hell is wrong with people?
via Trella

The Middle East Friendship Chart

Here’s a useful guide done by Joshua Keating and Chris Kirk to explain who’s on whose side in the Middle East. For some reason, Lebanon does not exist on their list but Hezbollah is mentioned.
You can check out the full chart [Here].

Two Lebanese-Australian Killed in The Malaysia Airline Crash in Ukraine

Update: According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two victims are Egyptian-Australian and not Lebanese.

My Trip To Jordan: Part1

As mentioned previously, I was in Jordan for a week back in May along with a couple of bloggers and media people courtesy of the Jordan Tourism Board. Before talking about the trip, I have to say I am quite impressed by the initiatives taken by Jordan to promote tourism in their country and through the JTB as opposed to what the Tourism Ministry does in Lebanon.
Moving on to the trip itself, and given that it was 1 week long, I thought I divide it into 2 parts:

The phallic symbol in AIR-bnb new logo


It took about a couple of hours before the new Airbnb logo would become the ridicule of the design community - much has been read into it: A phallic symobl, check, a widened vagina, check, boobs, check, and the list goes. The fact that is resembles closely two other logos (N3twork and Automation Anywhere) does not help.

ISF Clarification Regarding The Highway Picture That Went Viral

via YasaLebanon
I am sure you’ve all seen the above picture by now. As confirmed by the ISF, it is not a fake photo but a real one and there are reasons why the ISF motorist did not stop the young man.

Kifbetwaffirmay - saving water in a laudable initiative.


Photo credit G.H.

At a time when we are suffering major water shortage and that someone came up with the idea of buying water from Turkey (what an irony!!!), there's an intitiative circulating in town from the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water and the EU Kifbetwaffirmay (a website, twitter account already exist).

Update: Air Arabia Removed The Video Showing A Wrong Map For Lebanon

Air Arabia decided to remove the video showing a wrong map for Lebanon, however I was checking their promotions for other countries like KSA and Egypt the maps don’t look very accurate as well.

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab Asks Schools To Respect Religious Freedom

This statement comes one month after the Sabis controversy and clearly states that Sabis School has to amend its regulations and cannot by law ban the display of religious symbols. Personally speaking, I’d rather see secular schools in Lebanon and I wish Lebanese students would learn to co-exist away from religious and political considerations. However, the problem with Sabis is that it made an exception for veils which doesn’t make sense coming from a secular school.

LOL: Mooo Ra7 To2ta3 …

I wonder how he fit the cow in this tiny car lol!
Thanks Manal!

Shakira Singing (Badly) a Fayrouz Song

[YouTube] Start watching at Minute 10:30
MTV, Annahar and a couple of other news portals reported that Shakira shared this video but I only found it on some unofficial Facebook group. What caught my attention is that she was singing “A3tini Al Naya” for Fairouz which is a song that is taught in most Lebanese schools. I wonder who taught her that song because it’s a very bad song for belly dancing lol!

Meet Lebanon: An Iron Meteorite Found By NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

The massive iron meteorite is roughly two meters wide and might be the largest ever discovered on Mars. I have no idea why they called it Lebanon and whether it is related to our country or not. There’s a smaller piece that was found as well and dubbed “Lebanon B”.
It is worthy noting that the director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a Lebanese called Charles al-Achi. Check out [Here] other prominent Lebanese working for Nasa.

Jazz Nabad and Ma Jazz Kawlouhou - word plays in music.


I just saw the name of a concert in Metro al Madina, "Jazz Nabad" (jass nabad means "to take the pulse") which is an awesome word play....

My Top 12 Favorite Things This Summer

1. Lazy B If you like to go to the beach to actually tan and chill rather than see and be seen, then you need to be in Lazy B in Jîyé this summer. It’s quiet, it’s hippy it’s earthy and super colorful. Every little inch is an Instagram photo opp and it also has one of the cleanest freshest coldest natural salt water lagoons you will see in Lebanon. But be warned service is also lazy.

A New Breed Of Beggars in Beirut

[YouTube]
Very smart ad by DSC!

Banned Anal Exam (Gay Test) Still Being Used By Police In Lebanon

Even though this shameful “gay exam” was banned, some doctors are apparently still using it. I won’t bother explain against what happens during this exam because it’s outrageous, humiliating and is considered torture by the UN. Whomever this doctor is, he should be banned for life.
Lebanon needs to drop Article 534 once and for all and stop considering homosexuality a criminal offence in Lebanon. We need more than just exceptional rulings and banning anal exams.

Wen el Dawle?

via YasaLebanon
I’ve always wondered why these crazy motorists are not stopped by the cops specially that they perform their stunts on the highway. Well it seems the cops don’t notice them somehow.
PS: I am still finding this picture hard to believe and trying to check if it could be fake or not, even though it was posted by Yasa.

New Chiclets Designs

I still prefer the old ones.

Evolution Graffiti in Verdun Vandalized


After memos banning public eating and a string of religiously fueled suicide bombings, coupled with scathing criticism and absurd allegations towards Lebanese nightlife and beach parties, the putrid hand of religious intolerance strikes again, and this time on an iconic piece of graff in Verdun.

REGIONAL FREE TRADE MAP

Noura Andrea Nassar is a Lebanese artist with a column on the blog satirizing different topics each week. Check out her awesome work here!

Ex-PM Saad Hariri Taking Selfies

Hariri’s Selfie while biking in Riyadh
Some are saying this selfie is only few days old. If that’s the case then it’s a very bad time to be doing so specially with what’s happening in Lebanon and Gaza.

يا غزة Oh, Gaza

(حبر ورصاص على ورق و ألوان رقمية ink and pencil on paper, digital colors)
نشرت في شباب السفيرالاربعاء 16-07-2014
مع نص لأنيس غنيمة (غزة)

In Shabab Assafir
Wednesday 16-07-2014
With Arabic text by Anees Ghanima 

Is online media avenging women's maiden name?


Miss Mommy - Egyptian film starring Sabah

Now that is interesting, I remember almost a decade ago when Marianne Khlat was sitll collaborating with a Marc Kodeih at the height of his creative powers, she had a monologue which spoke as to the different titles a woman has during her life, except that the man never changes his - he's always "monsieur".

You are what you say

My Beirut Baby turned three last week. Watching her language develop still astounds me. And it’s not just linguistic; listening to her speak teaches me a lot about her personality, too.
My little control freak, having breakfast on the terrace:
“Wind, don’t blow my hair when I’m eating!” …or…
“Fly! Fly! Come to me!”
My little humorist, who loves the huge calendar I make her every couple of weeks, with a cheeky smile:
“Is there a “L” in the middle of Wednesday and we say ‘Welensday’?”
Or, deliberately showing me her “Domino” box upside down:
“Do we say ‘Onimod’?”
My little obsessive (eating an olive oil biscuit called torta con aceite) the day after discussing how we don’t say the last letter often in French:

There’s No Forgetting (Sonata)

I have been aching for words to say it; but words are failing me again, and again, and again... Like the world failed Palestine, and Lebanon, and so many other places before... And in the end I just return to this haunting poem by Pablo Neruda, perhaps my favorite of his, and on which I based my thesis, "Memory for Forgetfulness”: Registering/Effacing the Memory of the Lebanese War, which has, at once, tragically come back to life and become laughably irrelevant...
Ask me where I have been
and I’ll tell you: “Things keep on happening.”
I must talk of the rubble that darkens the stones;
of the river’s duration, destroying itself;

Mahmoud Darwish: "On This Earth" محمود درويش: "على هذه الأرض

على هذه الأرض
:علَى هَذِهِ الأَرْض مَا يَسْتَحِقُّ الحَياةْ
تَرَدُّدُ إبريلَ
رَائِحَةُ الخُبْزِ فِي الفجْر
آراءُ امْرأَةٍ فِي الرِّجالِ
كِتَابَاتُ أَسْخِيْلِيوس
أوَّلُ الحُبِّ
عشبٌ عَلَى حجرٍ
أُمَّهاتٌ تَقِفْنَ عَلَى خَيْطِ نايٍ
وخوفُ الغُزَاةِ مِنَ الذِّكْرياتْ

:علَى هَذِهِ الأَرْض مَا يَسْتَحِقُّ الحَياةْ
نِهَايَةُ أَيلُولَ
سَيِّدَةٌ تترُكُ الأَرْبَعِينَ بِكَامِلِ مشْمِشِهَا
 ساعَةُ الشَّمْسِ فِي السَّجْنِ
غَيْمٌ يُقَلِّدُ سِرْباً مِنَ الكَائِنَاتِ
هُتَافَاتُ شَعْبٍ لِمَنْ يَصْعَدُونَ إلى حَتْفِهِمْ بَاسِمينَ
وَخَوْفُ الطُّغَاةِ مِنَ الأُغْنِيَاتْ

:علَى هَذِهِ الأَرْض مَا يَسْتَحِقُّ الحَياةْ
عَلَى هَذِهِ الأرضِ سَيَّدَةُ الأُرْضِ

Shakira tagged with the #Lebanese flag!


For closing ceremony during the 2014 World Cup final match between Germany and Argentina the lebanese designer Charbel Zoe custom made Shakira's outfit, well this is not that unusual, Lebanese designers always dress the stars! what interested me is that he tagged the dress with the lebanese flag!