Political blog posts

Kindly allow us to watch while you die

Three years into Syria’s conflict, one still wonders why the monumental magnitude of the suffering there continues to provoke so little outrage in the West.

In the New York Times last week, Anne Barnard highlighted the limited aid provided to alleviate the Syrian tragedy. For example, some $20 million in private donations were given to Mercy Corps, an international aid group, after the Haiti earthquake, while only $2 million has been given for victims of the Syria war.

Barnard wrote, “The disparities play into a rising frustration among international aid workers, and Syrians themselves, that the enormous human toll and strategic impact of the conflict have not mobilized a stronger and more urgent international response.”

There are many reasons why Assad is stronger than ever

Last Thursday, at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington DC, the former American ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, admitted that the regime of President Bashar Al Assad would likely remain in power for the “medium term”.

This admission, after American officials had spent over two years affirming the opposite, was interesting for what Mr Ford did not say: that Mr Al Assad has remained in power partly because his regime has pursued a careful, if cynical, strategy of survival that Syrian leaders have used time and again.

Aside from Russia and Iran, who have helped keep him in power, the Syrian president can thank his own father. The late Hafez Al Assad perfected a system of control and of regional manipulation that has protected his son’s regime until now.

Phoenician and Punic remains in Malta – The Malta Independent

But the most signal of Phoenician remains in Malta is literacy: Malta became literate with the arrival of the Phoenicians, as signified by some rare inscriptions that have been found. It was through the famous Phoenician broken candelabra, one of which was sent to Louis XVI as a present, that the Phoenician language was finally deciphered.

Yet another happy video from Lebanon

This one is sponsored by Mazzat restaurant. I loved the shots at the rock of Raouche.

Shootings today in Lebanon and the US

By now, much of the world knows there has been a gun battle in Lebanon. The shooting, which killed one person, took place in a poor neighborhood near the sports stadium where clashes have happened many times before. The story made the front page of BBC news. See right column:
It was not clear what the fight was exactly about--but because the rival gangs have different views on the Assad regime-- the story was immediately framed as part of the war in Syria.

Imad Bazzi as a photographer

 trella.org/photo by Imad Bazziimage: trella.org/photo by Imad Bazzi
Imad Bazzi is probably one of first bloggers in Lebanon during times where the concept was not known yet. His blog is still live and lately his name was circling around the media due to a mustach… Any way he stated that he isn’t a professional photograph, just a few blogging by photos.

Dubai's creative chill

Dubai’s Creative Chill

This column first appeared in the March issue of Bold Magazine

I would have played Candy Crush too

candy crush
This photo of MP Ahmad Karami has been making rounds on Facebook over the past couple of days with people criticizing him for playing Candy Crush during the cabinet policy debate.
But think about it for a second, what do people usually do during boring pointless gatherings? I for myself know that I would have played Candy Crush too!
At least he wasn’t watching porn like those politicians from India!

Into thin air - Why it’s past time to honor Lebanon’s disappeared

The decision of the Shura council to allow families of the disappeared to have access to the Lebanese government’s full investigation files on their relatives is welcome. The government conducted a nine-month investigation in 2001, but since that time the authorities have denied the families the right to look at the information uncovered.

Guerrier du Clavier

A Magic School in Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires 

I want to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

How cool would that be?

It's almost magical. 

You have this slick thing where you just want to stick your head, and then just like that you pull out a living creature out of its hole. 

I don't want to suit up, though. It seems like too much of a hassle. The getting dressed part is already too

Events in Syria and outside have turned in Assad’s favour

With President Bashar Al Assad’s term scheduled to end in July, the Syrian regime is apparently preparing for new elections that Mr Al Assad will surely win, by foul means if not fair. This has alarmed the United Nations mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, who has warned that it may doom prospects for future talks.

Elections have yet to be finalised, but Mr Brahimi told reporters that if they were held, the opposition would be unlikely to talk to the regime. A presidential election represents the last opportunity to transition away from Mr Al Assad, otherwise Syria’s conflict could be without political resolution.

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?

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.

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