Political

Political blog posts

District S ruins finally revealed


Many readers of this blog will remember when I was physically assaulted by site staff at the excavation for the $300 million District S development in downtown Beirut last year.

Some fact checking never hurts

mcdonalds-big-mac-meal
Some news editor at elnashra.com must have stumbled upon this old satire article about human meat that has been found in one of McDonald’s meat factories in Oklahoma and decided to make a story out of it!

The battle against extremism throws Al Assad a lifeline

The Syrian regime’s effort this week to portray itself as part of an anti-terrorism coalition was rich in irony and vulgarity. At a press conference in Damascus, foreign minister Walid Al Muallem declared that Syria was ready to collaborate in the fight against terrorism, embodied by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

It was lost on no one that the regime of president Bashar Al Assad had facilitated the rise of ISIL, in large part to create the very enemy that would allow it to portray itself as a victim of terrorism. And yet Mr Muallem’s hypocrisy aside, the Syrian regime, in its efforts to survive a domestic uprising that began in 2011, has bought more valuable time to do precisely that.

Berries effects

Lingonberry

The leftovers, a review

The music. The music is faeric, it works as a feedback loop, feeding off the images, and the images grow, feeding off the music, both transcending their immediate meaning. Just for the play of music and images, I would watch this series. That haunting piano melody, it transforms you, I am becoming a perfect Pavlov dog, every time I hear those few piano strokes I cringe, my heart constricts, and I hear…
The series follows a few tortured souls, adrift in a world devoid of meaning, of anchors, of purpose, except for a few fanatics full of raging, deadly purpose. This opposition reminds me of “the second coming” poem by W.B. Yeats:

Panel to challenge Boutros Road

The Civil Coalition Against the Boutros Highway is hosting a panel and discussion this Tuesday on the battle against the $75 municipality-led project that will cut through one Beirut's greenest neighborhoods. The speakers include architects, urban planners and activists leading the campaign to create a park instead of the 1.3km road that will destroy several historic homes, including one of the last remaining terraced farm in the city. 

Worst NY Times lead paragraph ever

The New York Times logo

NSFW – Cursing man surprises MTV Lebanon anchor

mtvlebanon
I really don’t know much about the issue that got this man mad but he’s just hilarious!!
Thanks Hani
 

Panic buying - Why arming against the Sunnis is a terrible idea

There have been reports recently of Christian villages arming themselves in northern Beqaa, allegedly with the help of Hezbollah. One story circulating this week was that Christian groups in Zahleh had acquired weapons. However, people in the town qualified the story, saying that some young men had been armed to protect their neighborhoods, and in one case had coordinated with Hezbollah located nearby. Nothing more.

Update: New photos inside Saifi dig


Soon after posting about the ruins discovered at the Saifi Plaza excavation, an activist got in touch over a Facebook thread and shared a series of photos of the dig in the months before it was cleared. 

A.R. Hallab challenges three restaurants in the #IceBucketChallenge

kasr el helou
Ice bucket challenge videos have been taking the internet by storm over the past weeks and it was only about time until Lebanese people start doing it. Not necessarily to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) but mostly just for the fun of it!
Along with the individuals who participated in this viral campaign, celebrities and companies are now challenging each other! In the video below, Kasr El Helou (Abdul Rahman Hallab) are challenging Crepaway, Zaatar W Zeit, and Roadster Diner to do the same. And I guess it’ll be quite fun to see those restaurants replying with similar videos.

Lebanon by James Lewis

Lebanon by James Lewis
Lebanon on Vimeo by James Lewis.

Iraq requires a long U.S. attention span

The reversal suffered by the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, at Mosul dam has raised exaggerated expectations about the ability to defeat the group. The Islamic State will remain a major headache, even as there is still no comprehensive strategy in place to defeat it. Much has been made of the Obama administration’s military intervention in defense of the Kurdish areas. Only when Irbil was threatened, the argument goes, did Washington deploy its aircraft. That’s only partly true. Turning back the Islamic State in the north was as much a priority for Iraqis in Baghdad and Basra as for those in Kurdistan. And Iraqi special forces were as involved in the takeover of Mosul dam as were the Kurdish peshmerga being rearmed by the West.

Ruins cleared at Saifi Plaza


There appears to be nothing left of a major downtown Beirut excavation that took place here a month ago. Compare the photo above to photos I took in June:

Putting America first isn’t always the best policy for the US

Libertarians in the United States feel a new-found momentum on the issues most important to them. Their preferred candidate for the presidency, Rand Paul, has consistently ranked high in pre-election opinion polls. America has never seemed so reluctant to intervene overseas. And the federal government has faced significant pushback for its intrusive surveillance methods, into whose net many Americans have fallen.

However, the growing non-interventionist impulse of Americans highlights a shortcoming in the libertarian position: its insularity. Most libertarians are “America firsters” in that their values seem to apply only at home. That would be fine, except when it has a bearing on the single issue that most defines libertarians, namely liberty.

Syndicate content