Our mission is to provide our readers with all the news about Lebanon published on the Internet.

One billion dollars to "confront extremism"

Saudi Arabia is reportedly spending $1 billion to “confront extremism” in Lebanon, putting former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in charge of overseeing the effort.  In a sign of convergence of regional inter

"Light at the end of the tunnel (and it wasn't the train)" video art by Tarek Chemaly

This is a new video art composed of 61 hand-animated frames on a digital platform. The joke goes “I saw the light at the end of the tunnel,
and it was the train” – so after several years of trials and tribulations, I am
hoping I now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that it’s not the
train.


Still from "Light at the end of the tunnel (but it wasn't the train)" by Tarek Chemaly

Vice Report On The Islamic State

[YouTube]
If you want to know what the Lebanese army was up against in Arsal, and what’s really happening in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, check out this amazing documentary by Vice. There are still 3 parts coming out very soon on their YouTube channel.
[YouTube]

Fadi (Ba3ed) Ma Sa2at …

It looks like the teachers didn’t like the idea proposed by the Education minister to give passing statements to everyone and decided to correct the exams after all. This is definitely good news for the students.
Update: It’s not clear yet whether the teachers will correct the exams or not. I will keep you posted.

Tragic

No compromise.

When the final curtain falls,
I will come down in flames.
No half exits,
No hesitant escapes.

When the call comes around,
I’ll stay rooted in my place.
No hasty excuses,
No clinging to the earth.

I will take it as I find it,
I will gulp it as it is.
No syrup for me, thanks;
No god with a sweet face.

Tomorrow when I falter,
I will shatter with despair.
I will tell you where I have been,
I will leave without a face.

Tomorrow in the gallows,
When the sirens lose their voices,
When they tell you it will linger,
I will—enough!

Someday there will be none,
When tomorrow doesn’t come.

Meet Ajialouna: A Charitable, Social, Healthcare, Educational And Cultural Organization In Beirut

The first time I heard about Ajialouna was when they launched with ABC Verdun the Ramadan Festival few weeks ago, and when ABC donated over 10,000 pieces samples of clothes to Ajialouna to distribute them to families during Eid. Since I wasn’t able to make it to the event in Verdun, I thought I pay Ajialouna a visit and see what they do, specially after reading that it’s been around for 20 years now, and that it’s not only a charity organisation, but also offers public, medical, educational and health services for orphans, widows, underprivileged families and individuals.

Why Anthony Rahayel should decline Deek Duke prize


Source: Facebook

If I am writing this, it's both - to congratulate Anthony Rahayel (our fellow blogger at the excellent No Garlic No Onions) for his Milan trip win in the Deek Duke lottery - and to invite him to decline to accept the prize.

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 4 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

ما زال الفجر الرصاصي يتقدم من جهة البحر على أصوات لم أعرفها من قبل.البحر برمته محشو في قذائف طائشة.البحر يبدل طبيعته البحرية ويتمعدن.أللموت كل هذه الأسماء؟ قلنا سنخرج،فلماذا ينصب هذا المطر الأحمر الرمادي على من سيخرج وعلى مَن سيبقى من بشر وشجر و حجر؟ قلنا:سنخرج،قالوا:من البحر.قلنا:من البحر.فلماذا يسلحون الموج والزبد بهذا المدافع ؟الكي نعجل الخطى نحو البحر؟ عليهم أن يفكوا الحصار عن البحر أولا....وعليهم ان يخلو الطريق الأخير لخيط دمنا الأخير..ومادام الأمر كذك وهو كذلك..فلن أخرج.إذن سأعدُ القهوة

Is This Haifa Wehbe?

[YouTube]
She definitely looks like her a lot. In fact, if that’s really her, she looked much nicer when she was young!
Speaking of Syrian commercials, here are my favorites:
[YouTube]
[YouTube]
[YouTube]
Thanks Terry!

Falling for it

In recent days a story has been circulating on social media that was picked up by Samir Mansour in a column Wednesday for the daily An-Nahar. It affirms that the United States was responsible for the establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) – since renamed the Islamic State.

That would have been a remarkable scoop, had it only been true. On Wednesday the US Embassy in Lebanon issued a statement saying the story was “a fabrication.” More surprising is how easily Mansour was duped, as Al-Nahar’s publication of his article lent credibility to an otherwise doubtful story.

Saad Hariri is Back

This time it’s for real heh! Hariri’s been out of the country since 2011.

My Two New Favorite Desserts From Cannelle

Succes aux fraises
For those who like brownies as well, you have to try them out at Cannelle.
Macaron Cheese Cake

Allies and Opponents of the Islamic State

The Wikipedia page for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has a sidebar displaying the group’s banner, coat of arms, force strength, and a list of its allies and opponents.
Among ISIL’s many enemies are included the following powers and their own enemies:

Aishti goes all Carmen Miranda


Composite image - Aishti ad and Carmen Miranda

Good news for Aishti, their site is now up, bad n

I’m still not ready to leave

I’m still not ready to leave, but dare not say it to anyone. There are words behind my eyes still maturing, still not ripe for utterance. I have made a habit of keeping things to myself, but every now and again they weigh on me. Sadness is like that, it begs to be shared, to be spread like a cold. But I am resisting the decadent temptation, this once.

My throat is ready to leave; it is charred with exhaust. But something in me lingers, not wanting to pack just yet. More things to fold within: these congested streets, my backache, unwrapped endings, and the hesitation of what’s to come—I’ll have to pack them all. But I’ll have to unpack them first: lay them on the bed, fold them one by one—I don’t have much room.

The Army must not enter Syria’s war

There are several versions of what happened in Arsal last Saturday. But whichever one applies, the Army must avoid being drawn into the Syrian conflict and taking one side against the other. It will not be able to manage the consequences.

For example, what Michel Aoun proposed on Tuesday is precisely what Lebanon should not do. Aoun declared, “I warn against carrying out negotiations with terrorists as we should negotiate with Damascus, not the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.” He added, “Monitoring the border is the responsibility of Lebanon and Syria, based on past agreements between the two countries.”

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 3 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

أريد رائحة القهوة،لا أريد غير رائحة القهوة.ولاأريد من الأيام كلها غير رائحة القهوة، رائحة القهوة لأتماسك،لأقف على قدميَ،لأتحول من زاحف إلى كائن،لأوقف حصتي من هذا الفجر على قدميها،لنمضي معاً أنا وهذا النهار إلى الشارع .بحثا عن مكان آخر كيف أذيع رائحة القهوة من خلاياي،وقذائف البحرتنقض على واجة المطبخ المطل على البحر لتنشر رائحة البارود ومذاق العدم؟صرت أقيس المسافة الزمنية بين قذيفتين.. ثانية واحدة... ثانية واحدة أقصر من المسافة بين الشهيق والزفير،أقصر من المسافة بين دقتي قلب ... ثانية واحدة لا تكفي لأن أقف أمام البوتغاز الملاصق لواجهة الزجاج المطلة على على البحر...

The fear of another civil war hangs heavily over Lebanon

The outbreak of fighting in the Lebanese town of Arsal last Saturday threatens to draw Lebanon further into the Syrian war, exacerbate already tense Sunni-Shia relations and lead to a potentially devastating internal conflict.

The fighting began after the Lebanese army arrested a Syrian, Imad Jomaa, who was a Jabhat Al Nusra commander until he switched allegiance to the Islamic State. According to early news reports, after the arrest, Mr Jomaa’s partisans took over army positions in Arsal, forcing the military to mount an offensive to retake them.

Destroyed MEA planes as art inspiration

Soon there will an auction in Doha which which include interesting Middle Eastern art, Ayman Baalbaki will feature among the lot with a work entitled Al Sharq Al Awsat (which means "Middle East" - but also refers to our national carrier Middle East Airlines).
Here is the work in question courtesy of Sotheby's:

Exclusive: ISIS internal memos from Lebanon

The following documents where retrieved from a building that was occupied by jihadis from the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) in Lebanon following the group's recent entry into the country. They paint a revealing picture of the group's operations there and the type of problems they faced with local recruits. Click on the images to zoom.

Exit

It’s time for us to exit
The stage and leave
The animals to shred
Their shadows

It’s time for us to exit
Without looking back
Turn off the light
Set the set on fire
And leave

It’s time for them
To cry our tears
To taste the salt
And the soles of our feet
And lick our spit
Off the floor

We shall burn in their retinas
Like the afterimage of a nightmare
We shall linger
Like the caustic aftertaste
Of regret

It shall burn
And we shall smile
They shall writhe
And we shall smirk
Through their moans

Spill me
Onto their gaping flesh
Like lemon juice
Bitter and bright
Scrape me
Off of their green skins

Thoughts About The Aarsal Operation


I’ve been following the news minute by minute over the past week. The general sentiment was already an unpleasant one with the heart-wrenching crimes against humanity being committed in Gaza and Mosul, by equally extremist ideological entities, and it became worse when it hit so close to home, as we’ve all been predicting.

Thinking About a Post-Conflict Syria

Photo used courtesy of CreativeSyria.comPhoto used courtesy of CreativeSyria.com

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married


1) We need to look like royalty.
2) Do we really have to invite the company driver to our wedding party too?
3) Our wedding is going to be one of the most different and coolest weddings EVER!
4) Wait, does a single rose really cost $9?
5) Dried flowers are the new trend, everyone’s doing it.
6) So we just like go home together after the wedding party, no eyebrows raised?

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 2 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

الساعة الثالثة.فجرٌ محمول على النار.كابوس يأتي من البحر.ديوك معدنية.دخان.حديد يُعِد وليمة حديد فجر يندلع في الحواس كلها قبل أن يظهر.و هدير يطردني من السرير ويرميني في هذا الممر الضيق.ولا أريد شيئاً، لا أتمنى شيئاً و لا أقدر على إدارة أعضائي في هذا الإضطراب الشامل لا وقت للحيطة،ولاوقت للوقت،لو اعرف فقط،لو أعرف كيف أُنظِم زحام هذا الموت المنصَب لوأعرف كيف أُحرِر الصراخ المحتقن في جسدٍ لم يعد جسدي من فرط ماحاول أن ينجو في تَتَبع فوضوي القذائف.كفى...كفى_همستُ لأعرف إن كان في وسعي أن أفعل شيئاً يدلني عليَ.....ويشير إلى مكان الهاوية المفتوحة من جهات ست لا أستطيع أن أستسلم لهذا القدر المحتوم ولا أستطيع أن أقاومه.

In support of Glen Le Lievre


It's sad that the caricature above which was printed in the Sydney Morning Harald (and drawn by Glen Le Lievre) was withdrawn and with s an apology to boot.

Steak & Cheese Factory: Beirut City Centre

It was Sunday, a day I spend with my family, taking my kids out for lunch. I’m not sure why, but my little one insisted she wanted to visit a mall, ABC then changed to Beirut City Centre. BCC it is! Where better there to eat than the food court, where the choices are wide »more...

Ummati: I am the (real) Muslim.

Breaking news: Beirut/NTSC is abandoning cynism for a very short while. First I must say I have no idea who is behind Ummati (my nation). Their mission statement on their website is positive and uplifting but vague and generic. Oh, and the backlash started already on social media questioning how much of Muslims they are and what not (people did not take kindly to the caricatures republished there, many references were ridiculing the photo of men and women praying together, etc....) in addition to many negative political references - anything from the Saudi Royal family, to the US passing through Israel and the people behind the website and the campaign.

Byblos Bank slices life perfectly.

Testimonials and slices of life have been the bread and butter of bank advertising since forever, and were brought to Lebanon in the mid-90s by advertisers who graduated from universities outside of Lebanon (and TV screens were filled with people giving their names and buying stuff, or alternatively receiving car keys upon graduation et je passe).

"Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath

"I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it-----

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?-------

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The Peanut-crunching crowd

El Molino: Travel to Mexico for a Night

I still remember the symphony, experienced that night… The tacos crumbling under my teeth like tam-tams, the guacamole caressing my palate like horse tail on a violin, the vibes pumping in my ears like sticks on a drum… As simple as it is, El Molino put a smile on my face from start to finish, »more...

New Kid on the Block: Beirut Beer’s State of the Art Factory

Lebanon has a new beer, after years of waiting, ‘Beirut’ is a beer that will stop the monopoly of the brewing industry in our country. Prior to its launch, the Kassatly family, the giants behind brands like Freez and Buzz has been working on this beer for sometime now, coming up with a new blend that »more...

Ice Cream Scoop Fit for a Queen

Give your guests a royal serve of ice-cream next time you throw a party by using this unusually designed Ice Queen Scoop. Having drawn its inspiration from the Queen herself, this scoop can truly bring humor on the party table without a doubt. It’s got a soft section which helps in pushing out the ice-cream, »more...

Lucky Rima


It's easy to get the depressed with all the violence in the news these days and the knee-jerk jingoism to accompany it. But it's nice to know love still finds a way in Beirut, somehow.