Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sheherazade in Baabda: A play performed by the women inmates of Baabda Prison

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Sheherazade in Baabda is a play performed by the women inmates of Baabda prison, in an attempt to change the way the public perceives prisoners, and let them see them as real people combating stereotypes and misperceptions that limit the prisoner to a sinner, criminal, or loser. [Link]

The play was first shown on the 10th of May in Baabda, and on the 26th of May at Babel theatre. Due to its great success, it will go on in July 2012 at “The Venue” in Beirut Souks. I will provide you with further details later on this week.

The woman behind this project is Lebanese actress and drama therapist Zeina Daccache , founder of the nonprofit organization Catharsis, whose objective is to bring theatre and drama therapy to society. You can read more about her [Here] and watch LBCI’s report [Here].

ISF & Lebanese Army back to work

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Picture from NowLebanon

I was reading this morning that “the Lebanese Army and police are set to begin a monthlong crackdown across Lebanon with the aim of arresting people with outstanding warrants” and that “this measure, which has been IGNORED for a while, is going to be reintroduced in order to keep peace and order.” [DailyStar]

Ignored this measure? What the hell did I just read?

Live Achrafieh 2012

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The “Live Achrafieh” festival was launched back in 2010 and every edition since then has been drawing more crowds. The festival starts in the afternoon with a children’s fair, filled with multicolor folkloric parade, games, face painting, animation, and endless childrens activities. Then as the sun sets down, Sassine Square transforms into a music festival.

The good thing about this festival is that it features famous singers, Najwa Karam this year, is very well organized and is open for all to attend.

You can check out more about the festival and Achrafieh as a whole on [].

Why are AUB Students protesting against Donna Shalala?

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I was told by a friend who just graduated from AUB that there was a brief protest during the commencement against giving a certain Donna Shalala, whose from Lebanese descent, a honorary degree. I found the video this morning and looked up Donna Shalala to see what this is all about.

From what I read, Donna is a highly respected Lebanese-American who has “four dozen honorary degrees and a host of other honors, including the 1992 National Public Service Award, the 1994 Glamour magazine Woman of the Year Award; in 1992, Business Week named her one of the top five managers in higher education; in 2005, she was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report” [Miami University]. Added to that, “President Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award; and in 2010 she received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, which recognizes individuals for outstanding dedication to improving the health and life chances of disadvantaged populations in South Africa and internationally. In 2011, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.”

She’s one of America’s best leaders, President of Miami University and a member of three corporate boards. She’s the first Arab-American to serve in a Cabinet position and the USA’s longest serving Health & Human Services Secretary and we are labeling her as a Zionist because she visited “Israel” and has honorary degrees from there??

I don’t get it.

PaintBalling With Hezbollah

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The Hezbollah paintball team: Picture taken by Bryan Denton

If that’s not some cool PaintBalling, I don’t know what is. I played once with a group of guys who had their own suits, masks and even walkie talkies. And for the record, it’s not just with Hezbollah guys but with every Lebanese who’s been at some point engaged in a militia. I was told once by a friend about an ex-Lebanese Forces Special Units member (an expat now) who beat 4 foreign army men in a paintball game all by himself.

I wish they’d told us what’s the name and exact location of that paintball place. All they mention is that it took place ‘in a grungy, bunker-like basement underneath a Beirut strip mall”.

As my eyesight returns and readjusts to the dim arena light, I poke out from my position behind a low cinder-block wall. Two large men in green jumpsuits are bearing down on me. I have them right in my sights, but they seem unfazed—even as I open fire from close range, peppering each with several clear, obvious hits. I expect them to freeze, maybe even acknowledge that this softie American journalist handily overcame their flash-bang trickery and knocked them out of the game. Perhaps they’ll even smile and pat me on the back as they walk off the playing field in a display of good sportsmanship (after cheating, of course).

Instead, they shoot me three times, point-blank, right in the groin. [Link]

Furn Beaino – Sarba

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If you want a really good Lahm Baajine and live in Jounieh, that’s the place to go to. It’s one of the busiest bakeries in the area especially on a Saturday morning. I had to wait for like 15 minutes to get my Lahm Baajine last time I went.

Added to that, the staff is really friendly and the place looks neat.

Furn Beaino is located next to Habana pub in Sarba right before the large Wardieh gas station.

Another place that serves good Lahm Baajine is Emperor Afif in Faraya.

Khezou2 on the Dbayeh Sea Side Road

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One of the few things I love about summer in Lebanon is that schools are off and there’s considerably less traffic in the morning on my way to Beirut.

However, and like everything else in Lebanon, someone decided to f*** up the maritime road at a specific spot forcing all cars to go slowly and stay on the extreme left to avoid falling into that huge set of potholes.

I wonder who wakes up in the morning and decides to dig potholes and screw up roads in a relatively good condition?

Support Wickerpark Festival 2012

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Wicker Park is an event organized by Lebanese NGO “Lebanon Green Again”, that was founded in 1968 and been working since then to spread awareness on nature and how to preserve it in Lebanon.

The 2nd edition of the Wickerpark Festival 2012 will be held on June 29th and 30th in an open-air venue in Batroun right by the sea. The first edition last year was a success and helped raise money to replant trees in fire-ravaged areas in Lebanon. This year, they’re focusing on repopulating Sea Urchins.

The artists that are participating in this year’s edition of Wickerpark are:
– Karl Mattar
– Sae Lis
– Who Killed Bruce Lee
– The Flying Circus
– Zeid & The Wings
– The Beirut Groove Collective

While some Lebanese are too busy burning tires and polluting the environment, others are actually trying to promote a greener Lebanon and preserve whatever is left of this country. This is why I ask you all to spread the word and support this event. You can buy tickets at Librairie Antoine for 30$.