Pope Francis Coming To Jordan on May 24, Won’t Visit Lebanon During His Middle East Trip

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Pope Francis is the coolest pope we’ve got in years and he’s coming to the Middle East in May for a 3-day visit mainly to Amman in Jordan and Bethlehem. Despite rumors that he might stop by Lebanon, reports are confirming he won’t be passing by. If everything goes as planned, I will be in Jordan on May 24th and will maybe get a chance to see him live.

Pope Francis will be meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II and other Jordanian officials on the 24th of May before heading to Amman International Stadium to give a mass sermon open to the public. Afterwards, His Holiness will head to the Baptism Site before meeting with a few sick and disabled people and Iraqi and Syrian refugees.
“His Holiness’ visit to the Kingdom not only underlines Jordan’s religious significance for Christian pilgrims, it reiterates the message we’re sharing with guests of Jordan about the coexistence in the diverse cultures and faiths around Jordan that is reflected in our varied historical and religious sites spanning millennia, civilizations and religions,” said Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board. Director General of the Baptism Site Commission Mr. Dia Madani said “His Holiness Pope Francis I has come to the holy site of Jesus’ Baptism to be blessed by the waters of the Jordan River and bless his disabled and refugee guests in the same waters where Jesus Christ was baptized.”

What Every Arab Country Is Worst at …

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The above list was compiled by a website called Raseef22, and Lebanon is featured as being the Arab country where politicians are the least trustworthy.

This is indeed correct and was mentioned in the 2013 Global Competitiveness Report that I posted about back in October. There are a lot of indicators that rank Lebanon and other Arab countries that you can check [Here] (Go To Page 403).

ISF Launch #زغير_البيت Child Safety Awareness

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The Internal Security Forces launched the #زغير_البيت campaign on Twitter last week to raise child safety awareness, and the importance of putting children in car safety seats when driving. I thought the hashtag was quite original and a lot of Lebanese use it to tweet pictures of their children.

It’s good to see the ISF making good use of twitter and the internet, and I believe they should get closer to bloggers, influential tweeps and the whole Lebanese online community in order to make the best out of social media. More importantly, following up should be crucial to any campaign. For example, the منحط_دركي_لكل_سيارة campaign that was started by the Ministry of Interior back in January was great but a lot of people posted pictures of policemen and officials breaking the law and to my knowledge, no measures were taken against any of them. Moreover, a lot of pictures are shared daily showing idiots making stunts with their bikes on the highways without helmets or anything and nothing’s being done to arrest them.

I think the initiatives being taken recently by the ISF are very encouraging but more actions need to be taken regarding the daily violations we are all aware of.

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Former Minister Fadi Abboud And News Anchor Dima Sadek In Favor Of Legalizing The Cultivation Of Marijuana

lebanon-marijuana-green-08-07 Picture From The Daily Star

Lebanon’s former Tourism Fadi Abboud called for the “legalization of the cultivation of marijuana, and the authorization of its use for medical purposes and exportation” a couple of weeks back and LBCI’s TV host Dima Sadek tweeted in favor of cultivating marijuana few days ago. Even Al-Akhbar newspaper back in September asked on their front page to legalize weed as it’s the only source of income for a lot of Lebanese families.

I’ve already posted about this matter last year and said that while I have nothing against legalizing it, we need a proper plan to start the cultivation and let the government profit from it to close the debt and not gangs and armed groups. Honestly speaking, I don’t see how this can be done in our current state and I really wish someone proposes a viable plan and present it (Why didn’t Abboud propose this while he was still minister?). One of the readers suggested that the authorities strike a deal with the families growing marijuana so that both parties could benefit, but this is just to good to be true, specially when marijuana trade is thriving with or without the government’s approval and the areas where it’s being grown are out of the state’s control.

On a positive note, I am glad the marijuana issue is being brought up to the public as there’s a lot of misconception around it and I noticed a lot of people still associate it with hard-core drugs which is totally wrong.

Dima