Monthly Archives: October 2012

Lebanon featured on German Sueddeutsche Zeitung’s frontpage

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I saw this cool picture first on Twitter (posted by @HanyRizk) yesterday but it wasn’t very clear. I tried looking for a better resolution today but it’s not easy when the paper is German!

The best I could find is this one I extracted and posted above from a PDF version of the paper. If interested, you can download the file [Here].

FBI team in Beirut

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Ya Ahla bil shabeb!

The killing of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan in a Beirut car bomb on Friday sparked days of tensions, accusations and violence in Lebanon between supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his opponents. Al-Hassan was solidly in the latter group, and his supporters, many of them Sunni Muslims, blamed Damascus for the killing. Many also called for the resignation of the Hezbollah-dominated government, saying it is too cozy with the Syrian regime.

In Washington, the FBI confirmed to CBS News its personnel was heading to Beirut to assist Lebanese officials in investigating al-Hassan’s death. [Link]

How I escaped Achrafieh’s deadly car bombing

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Picture from the WashingtonPost

On October 19, I woke up and drove to work in Achrafieh. Around noon, I called a friend to see if we can meet up for a coffee at Starbucks Achrafieh and we agreed to meet there at 1:30. Around 1:25, I remembered I had an important conference call and pushed our meeting an hour. An hour after, I had to cancel our appointment as I got caught up at work. At 2:50 pm, a bomb went off near Sassine square killing 4 people, among them Wissam el Hassan and his bodyguard, and injuring over 90 people. To sum it up, I could have got killed that day. Thank God I had work to do!

I hope you did not buy my story because it’s total B.S and I was being sarcastic even though I was planning to go to Sassine that day and was passing by that same exact street.

The reason why I am writing this is because some celebrities in Lebanon want us to believe they had a near-death experience on that day because they were simply passing by Achrafieh or by that street, as if Achrafieh is a small town with two main streets only.

One of them is Ragheb Alameh who apparently was on his way to the studio on that day and got there before the bomb came off, probably just like few thousand other Lebanese who take that street everyday. Another is Comedian Michel Abou Sleiman who had to go to some nearby studio but made a few stops before. [Link]

I am not saying they shouldn’t feel lucky not to have passed by that street at the time of the blast, or near it, but there’s no need to make a big deal out of it, specially that a zillion other Lebanese cross that street on a daily basis. Added to that, over 60 families became homeless after the blast and I have yet to see any of our Lebanese celebrities visiting the victims or helping them. Instead they are sending tweets denouncing the killings and showing support (Wen byoserfouwa hay?).

Achrafieh bombing death toll rises to 4

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Thank you George for the picture and info

I was just informed that a Syrian worker (Called Jassem or Haytham) was also killed in the blast, making the number of casualties 4. It is worthy noting that there might still be missing or unidentified people given the power of the explosion.

Meanwhile, 10-year old Jennifer Chedid, who was severely wounded, is fighting bravely death and her condition is improving. Let’s pray she recovers quickly.

How can you help the victims of Achrafieh’s bombing?

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[YouTube]
LBC report on the innocent civilians wounded by the huge explosion

The explosion that shook Achrafieh two days ago destroyed several buildings, shops and vehicles and left many families homeless. Aside from the injured that are being taken care of in hospitals, there are several groups and individuals offering their help to the victims in an attempt to offer them shelter and food.

Earlier this morning, Achrafieh MP Nicolas Sehnaoui tweeted that both Hotel Alexandre in Achrafieh, and Hotel Padova in Sin el Fil will offer the families a free stay for a week. MP Nadim Gemayel got back from abroad yesterday and has already started supporting the families. I have to say Achrafieh MPs, Minister Sehnaoui have shown a remarkable solidarity in the past in times of crisis and were able to substantially help families by collecting over 300,000$ for the families that were victims of the Fassouh building collapse that killed 27 people and injured 12 others. Let’s hope they manage to raise more money this time.

How can you help?
Follow the hashtags #ashrafieh4all and #SassineAid to see how you can help by providing food, shelter or clothes. If you are a blood donor, follow DSCLebanon to see what blood types are needed and where.

There’s also a Fundraising concert planned on Thursday 25/10 at USJ Mathaf to raise money for the families victims of the bombing. Entrance fee is 10$ (or more if you like) and all the money will go to the families.

Pictures from Wissam Al-Hassan’s funeral today

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A last visit to the ISF Headquarters: Picture from theGuardian

Here are few pictures from today’s funeral which turned violent towards the end when few protesters tried to storm the Serail.


Coffins carried into Al Amine Mosque in Beirut: Picture from theGuardian


Tens of thousands attended the funeral: Picture from theGuardian


Wissam Al Hassan’s two sons: Picture from BBC


Picture from BBC


Protesters trying to storm the Serail: Picture from theGuardian


ISF troops defending the Serail: Picture from theGuardian