Political

Political blog posts

Is an Aoun presidency more realistic?

Some circles in March 14 are openly talking about the possibility that Michel Aoun, all 80 years of him, may be the next president of Lebanon after Michel Sleiman’s term ends in May.

While this may be speculation, that it is being discussed at all indicates how the political scene has changed since 2008, when Sleiman took office. So what would a serious Aoun presidency entail and how would it gain steam?

No Chance – انقرضوا الرجال بلبنان

This woman is hilarious. I guess she was just requested to chose the word of the day and she ended up coming up with all of this!

How quickly did Lebanon adopt the internet?

lebanon
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the world wide web, Mashable shared an interesting interactive map by Esri today showing how the web spread across the world over the past quarter-century.
The map shows that 2.7% of us the Lebanese were connected to the internet back in 1998, and the percentage has increased to 8%, 22.5%, and 61.2% in 2003, 2008, and 2012 respectively.

Lebanese Selfie

This one is epic!

This parody of The Chainsmokers’ Selfie is a collaboration between Olga Habre, Daniel Abdel Sater, Mark Abou Jaoude, and Beirut Night Life.

"Beirut-ing" or BS-ing?


The photo above was posted on the site "Beirut-ing," a very popular local events site. The headline: "Snow in March" seemed to be an obvious reference to the very recent and late snowfall of last weekend, when some Lebanese slopes opened for the first time.

A city that will never give up nor will we give up on it

Restuarant Mazzat produced a video about Happy Lebanon. They say that they “would like to thank Pharrell Williams for inspiring us to be Happy, Just the idea of doing Happy Beirut version, over whelmed us with volunteers, what was impossible on paper translated to 70 volunteers between crew and cast, 17 unique locations around Beirut and 3 days of filming”.
happy-lebanon

Update: Daily Beast removes "worst countries to visit" article

After an uproar from critics, The Daily Beast has removed an article that labeled Lebanon and four other Middle Eastern countries as "The worst places (on earth) to visit." The link now directs to a blank page with no explanation.

Buenos Aires' Two Hughs of Blues

One of the great perks about pretending to be a writer is that you can do any type of shit and call it research for a story.

Oh, sure I have a pathetic profile on a dating website, but it's only because I want to see how people react to creepy declarations of love. It's for a love novella I'm writing. 

"Stumbling home drunk at sunrise in a city where I don't speak the language" is the

Abroad, alone - John Kerry feels little love from Barack Obama

US Secretary of State John Kerry has often seemed out on a limb, alone, when conducting American foreign policy. President Barack Obama has been supportive in general ways, but, overall, remains detached from foreign policy concerns.

On Syria, the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, and much else, Obama has stayed aloof. That’s not to say the president doesn’t meet foreign dignitaries or pick up the phone now and then. A crisis such as that in Ukraine certainly holds his attention. But on other matters rarely is there much direct engagement by Obama in America’s foreign policy agenda.

The misguided Beast


So by now you have heard that "The Daily Beast" has rated Lebanon the worst place in the world to visit. Of course that's ironic because it was just last year that Conde Nast, which probably has a lot more experience in travel journalism than the Beast, rated Lebanon as one of the best places to visit worldwide, just above Paris.

Why barbarity wins, in Syria and Crimea

News that Syrian President Bashar Assad had been accepted into the Russian Academy of Sciences makes us wonder about the institution.

Perhaps not surprisingly, last year the academy was placed under tighter government control. Assad didn’t complain, declaring “Russia has re-established balance in international relations, after long years of hegemony” by the United States. For three years, Russia has indeed underwritten the most barbaric crimes of the Syrian regime. Yet it was only when President Vladimir Putin began preparing the annexation of Crimea that many people in the West realized the kind of individual they were up against.

Whose Rock is it anyway...

I spent last ten years of my life calling Beirut home. 

They were very eventful years and the archive of this blog can attest to that. While it is a personal blog, my person was mostly just present in the point of view.

But let me share something very personal. Of course, I will use it to get to a public issue, but of course I would do just that.

One of the most amazing experiences in

Lebanon’s vacuum should push all sides to compromise

The optimism greeting the formation of a Lebanese government weeks ago soon gave way to pessimism, as the different political alignments failed to agree to a policy statement. If no statement is approved, either a new government would have to be formed, or the present government would continue in a caretaker capacity.

The main bone of contention is how to refer to the resistance, a byword for Hizbollah, and its independent weapons arsenal. This has divided two of the principal forces in the government of prime minister Tammam Salam: the March 14 coalition, led by Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, and the March 8 coalition, which is led by Hizbollah and is allied with ministers named by Michel Aoun.

What's being dug up at Saifi Gardens?


There appears to be a lot of interesting ruins being dug up at the new Safi Gardens development.

The residential project occupies two plots at the edge of the Solidere area, at the intersection of George Haddad Street and the General Chehab (ring) highway, just across the street from Bourj Al Ghazal tower.

The site was a parking lot at the lower right corner of this obviously dated Google Map:

The paralysis of self-loathing


The following piece was published in the May issue of Bold Magazine, but both the subject and self-loathing are as relevant today as ever before.  

The Paralysis Of Self-Loathing

By Habib Battah           

T

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