Political

Political blog posts

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

The Emir of Lebanon

 Hungarian National GalleryText and Image: Hungarian National Gallery. Painter: Borsos, József

Oh My God! Look at the Poor People!

How do you parody poverty? I believe it's offensive to poor people not to make jokes about them because they're poor. Poverty deprives you of many material things but it shouldn't deprive you of a sense of humor. That's still free, even if comedy has been largely commercialized. Judging by some Hollywood "comedy" films I've seen lately, the comedy writing process has been pretty much

Go South, Young Man

In the mid-1990s, a Guatemalan songwriter released a song called Si el Norte Fuera El Sur. Ricardo Arjona takes a few jabs at North American mono-chromic – or money-chromic – culture and war-loving politics and plays with how things would be different if North was South. In the last line, Arjona concludes that if North was South, it would be the same shit. "Si el Norte fuera el Sur, sería la

Carnaval Propaganda (Part 1)

Rio along with the rest of the continent and other pockets around the world celebrate Carnaval this weekend.

Wednesday marks the start of lent, but at some point in history the revelry surpassed the piety involved with this event.

I must admit I left Rio before Carnaval, but you're going to have a hard time convincing me that the 2 weeks I spent there weren't Carnaval.

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."

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