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Mkalles roundabout is still a roundabout

Mkallis
The works at Mkalles roundabout were recently concluded and the bridge as well as the tunnel have been open for a while now. However a few crucial points puzzle me:

Obama’s ‘no troops’ vow is unrealistic

There is a proverb that if you sit by the river long enough, you will eventually see the body of your enemy floating by. Similarly, observe Washington long enough, you will see politicians reversing themselves on their most cherished beliefs.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, suggested that the United States might alter its position on the deployment of American troops in the fight against ISIS.

Regional unity threatens Iran’s divisive agenda

Iran was not invited to the international conference held in Paris this week to discuss ISIL. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared that it had rejected an offer to cooperate, while the Americans said that they too did not want to collaborate with Iran.

Yet in recent weeks American and Iranian officials have met in Iraq to discuss the ISIL danger, with the approval of their governments. American aircraft played a key role in the Iraqi army’s and Shia militias’ recent breakthrough to Amerli. A video from the town showed a celebrating Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a scene that must have embarrassed the Obama administration.

ISIS and the West

isis18jun14-483261
ISIS is the expression of different social and political phenomena that must be understood separately. One of them is undoubtedly the significant amount of “Western” fighters of which some elements are also at the forefront of their media campaign. By Western I mean people who have lived and were educated in Western countries (mostly Western Europe and the US) either as Muslim minorities or as recent converts (or who knows maybe just random Westerners with searching for a cause).

Lebanese Lawyers index in Lebanon and Abroad

lebanese-lawyers-index
LawyersLb.com presents for internet surfers profiles of Lebanese lawyers living in Lebanon or of Lebanese origin but practicing law abroad. With this service we offer information on lawyers and so help surfers to find lawyers online. We urge lawyers listed on our site to review their profiles from time to time and keep us informed about their progress in their careers and law practice so that the information remains always updated.

Back to front - How Jabhat al-Nusra might fare in the anti-Islamic State campaign

An interesting subtext of President Barack Obama’s campaign to “ultimately destroy” the Islamic State (ISIS) is what it will mean for the rival Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

While ISIS has alarmed most countries, the Nusra Front has played its cards carefully. It has not imitated the barbaric behavior of its jihadist counterpart; it has focused on Syria, even if it ultimately seeks to create a Muslim caliphate there; and it has maintained collaborative relations with Syrian rebel groups, unlike ISIS, which has sought mainly to overpower them.

Might ISIS bring a resolution in Syria?

At the time this was written, it was expected that President Barack Obama, in explaining to Americans his military strategy against ISIS, would announce that he intended to extend airstrikes into Syria.

That may be true, but it leads us to other questions. What is the future of Bashar Assad’s regime? Would such attacks help his forces, or on the contrary might foreign warplanes over Syrian territory somehow precipitate his departure? Most important, how will the implicit alliance in Iraq between the United States and Iran fare in Syria, where, clearly, the two countries have different interests despite their shared hostility toward ISIS?

As sectarian tensions rise, Hizbollah must recalculate

It has become more apparent in recent months, as sectarian tensions in Lebanon have risen, that Hizbollah is losing control of the situation domestically.

The party’s vaunted strengths have always been exaggerated. Hizbollah has shown an ability to manipulate sectarian divisions to its advantage, but with the emergence of Sunni jihadist groups along the Lebanese border, such as ISIL and the Jabhat Al Nusra, the fear that these may encourage Sunnis in Lebanon to oppose Hizbollah has increased.

العقل والحياء والدين

وفي الحديث
أن جبريل عليه السلام أتى آدم عليه السلام فقال له
إني أتيتك بثلاثٍ فاختر واحدةً، قال: وما هي يا جبريل? قال: العقل والحياء والدين
فقال: قد اخترت العقل
فخرج جبريل إلى الحياء والدين فقال
ارجعوا فقد اختار العقل عليكما
فقالا: أمرنا أن نكون مع العقل حيث كان
من كتاب السؤدد – ابن قتيبة

Coast erasing in Batroun


A new project seems to be chewing away the coastline in Batroun.  I was able to get a few shots when I was passing by the area last weekend.

Leftovers finale review

The music, oh heaven, the music!Starting us up with Nina Simon’s extraordinary interpretation of Jaque Brel’s sorrowful “Ne me Quitte pas”, then whisking us out on the show’s hypnotizing piano theme, passing through Apocalyptica’s interpretation of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, to end with the theme again. What magic is this! Unbelievable!

Abir Ghattas

Abir Ghattas | Blog & Portfolio

يحدث الآن

الرابعة فجراً في حي بيروتي "ذو طابع تراثي" الشرطي رقم 1:"رجاع رجاع الطريق مسكر، في حريق. دخلك معك شي طفايه بهل جيب تعيرنا اياها؟"الشرطي رقم 2:"دق للاطفائيه عل 120 مدري ال-125."الشرطي رقم 1:"مع معي يونيتس، دق إنت."الشرطي رقم 2:"ال-120 مع بدا يونيتس يا حمار."

ألف مبطوحة

حاولت إنقاذها، لكن وصلت متأخّراًولمّا حاولت أن أعطيها تنفّس إصطناعي، إتّهمت بقلّة الحياءفما العمل؟

From Beirut to the Beltway

A Lebanese American journalist's anonymous take on Lebanese and Middle Eastern Politics

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