Category Archives: Critiques

Manal Assi’s Killer Not Getting Away That Easily with Murder

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manal assi

Mohammad Al Nhaily beat his wife Manal Assi to death with a pressure cooker back in 2014, leaving her to die in front of her two daughters. Last month, The Beirut Criminal Court reduced Nhaily’s sentence from the death penalty to five years in prison, stating that he was in a state of extreme rage at the time of the murder, which means that Nhaily was expected to walk out of prison in around 18 months given that the judicial prison year is only 9 months. The new “lighter” sentence was based on Article 252 of the penal code, which allows for reduced punishment if a crime occurred as a result of extreme rage caused by “dangerous and wrongful action committed by the victim.”

KAFA, along with other activists and human rights groups, staged a protest outside Beirut’s Justice Palace in Adlieh last week and demanded that Nhaily be handed a longer sentence. Following that protest, State Prosecutor Judge Samir Hammoud has appealed the decision issued by Beirut’s Criminal Court and saw the decision to reduce Nouheili’s sentence from the death penalty to five years in prison a mistake in explaining and implementing Article 252 of the Penal Code.

He also pointed out that Manal’s husband should be punished by death penalty in accordance with the Article 549, paragraph 4 of the Penal Code. Nine women have been killed in domestic violence cases in the past 12 months according to Kafa.

KAFA

Saida’s International Festival is Back!

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sidon

Saida, or Sidon, International Festival, which stopped organizing celebrations since 2009, is finally back this year! The festival will run for four days, starting with a touristic day on September 4th, followed by performances by Nancy Ajram and Guy Manoukian on September 16th and 17th and will end with a fun-filled event “Saida in Color” on September 25th. The festival will combine culture, tourism, and art in the most attractive, musical, and fun activities Saida has to offer.

Said Source: RiseAboveLebanon

This year’s slogan is “Let’s make it happen” as the city has been struggling for years and is in dire need of such a festival to showcase the real Saida and inject some activity to the local economy. I’m originally from Saida and it’s a beautiful city with a lot to offer. From the Sea Citadel to Khan Al-Franj, the Soap museum, the Debbaneh Castle and others, Saida, Lebanon’s third largest city and one of its most ancient ones, is rich with cultural and natural heritage. I will be writing another post on the things to do and places to visit in Saida.

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The National Committee of Sidon International Festival has come a long way to bring back these festivals and I hope everything will go smoothly and peacefully.

For more information about the Sidon Festival, read [here].

There are Still Lebanese Prisoners in Assad’s Saydnaya Prison, Possibly The Worst Place on Earth

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saydanaya

Ex-detainees and architects have built an accurate model of the Saydnaya Syrian prison based using ‘ear-witness’ and The Guardian is describing Assad’s most brutal prison as the worst place on Earth.

Amnesty international reports that over 18000 people have died in Syrian prisons since March 2011. This averages out to roughly 10 people dying every single day. Prisoners are subjected to all types of torture methods, and treated like captive animals, with complete disregard for human rights.

Unfortunately, very few people are bringing to the forefront the matter of the Lebanese citizens still detained in Syrian prisons for over 20 and sometimes 30 years now. Most of these are political prisoners, of which some were reportedly moved to the Saydnaya prison. Needless to say, the government has done nothing to clarify the fate of these prisoners while their families are still waiting and fighting to learn of their loved ones’ fate.

Let’s just hope the nine remaining Lebanese Army captives don’t end up forgotten like these prisoners.

Elias Rahbani Says Lebanese Music at an All-Time low, Writes Songs for Myriam Klink

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rahbani

I admire Elias el Rahbani as a composer and an artist and I’ve been to two of his concerts however I don’t think he should be complaining about how bad Lebanese music is these days when he’s giving songs for Haifa and Myriam Klink.

Needless to say, he’s free to do whatever he wants and he can give Rola Yammout songs for all I care but he’s definitely not bringing back Lebanon’s glory days by working with such artists.

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Rape Suspects Of a 16-year-old Girl Cheered by Crowds Following Release

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192757

A month ago, three boys were arrested by the army intelligence after being suspected of raping a 16-year-old over a period of two months in North Lebanon. Early reports were saying that the girl was gang raped at one point and the girl’s aunt said back then “she was worried that political interference by some officials in Tripoli would see the release of the boys”.

A month later, the girl’s testimony changed and she’s saying now that she was willingly having sex with the three boys, the girl’s aunt is being sued and the suspected rapists were all released.

Now I have no idea who’s telling the truth or not, but we are talking about a 16 year old girl who lost her mother at a young age, lost her virginity to her aunt’s husband and lives with her grandfather while her father works abroad. This case obviously needs further investigation and the girl needs professional help. Moreover, cheering the suspected rapists upon their release and giving them a hero’s welcome is probably the worst possible thing to do.

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A Video that Sums up Lebanese Politics

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police

Workers demonstrating for either political reasons or simply because they got screwed by their leader, an official wants to cut through the crowds so he sends his security guards out to make way, security clashes with unarmed demonstrators, official goes through with his convoy and leaves one of his security guards behind.

The video couldn’t have been more perfect to describe the situation here.

Did the IOC Reprimand Lebanon For Barring Israeli Athletes From Bus?

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libano

Few days after the Lebanese Olympic team refused to ride on a bus with Israeli athletes travelling to the Games’ opening ceremony in Rio, the International Olympic Committee reprimanded the head of the Lebanese delegation on Sunday and warned Lebanese delegation head Salim al-Haj Nakoula that they would not accept any other situations like the one according to [Haaretz] and [Jpost].

I couldn’t find any official link to the Olympic Committee’s response but I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened. Nevertheless, if that’s the case, they can take this warning and shove it up their asses. It is the organizing committee’s job to make sure such incidents don’t take place in the first place and keep Lebanon & Israel apart. The Lebanese Delegation has every right to block the Israelis because they will end up in trouble back home if they don’t, and the organizing committee as well as the Olympic committee for the Rio 2016 should have made sure these teams don’t meet.

Some people will tell me that these are just sports and that we should be competing against Israelis instead of boycotting them. I partially agree but until the Lebanese authorities decide to do so, don’t expect our athletes to go hug Israeli athletes because that’s the Olympic spirit. They’d end up in jail or even worse might not be allowed to come back home.

On another note, it’s pretty funny to hear an Israeli minister describe the Lebanese act as being “antisemitism pure and simple, and the worst kind of racism”. I recommend he reads more about the Israeli Apartheid to understand what racism truly means.

Beirut Municipality Drops “Dog Ban” Proposal

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haters Photo Credits: Animals Lebanon

Beirut Municipality has dropped its proposal to ban dogs on sidewalks in Beirut and clarified that they will put in place regulations and procedures to improve safety and public hygiene, and that they will not resort to banning dogs from walking on sidewalks.

Animals Lebanon have been following up this issue from the start and a ‘Beirut S(h)it In’ was being planned to protest the decision but it’s no longer needed. The good news as well is that they will be holding meetings with the municipality in the coming week to discuss dog welfare and managing homeless dogs.

The municipality should sit with concerned NGOs and organizations for all matters related to the city and they should provide proper funding to figure out long-term solutions to pets and other matters. The municipality of Beirut is very far from the people and its reputation has been quite bad for years now but it’s never too late for a change.

pr bm

Aerial View of the Costa Brava Landfill

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costa1

The Costa Brava landfill looks bad, it smells terrible and it’s located at the worst place possible. People living next to the landfill should have been evacuated prior to its opening and proper measures should have been taken to contain the smell, which is worse than you could ever imagine. Also, setting up a landfill next to an airport poses a potential hazard to aircraft operations as it attracts birds and collisions with birds at low altitudes are very dangerous.

Kalamenass flew over the Costa Brava dump site and shared an aerial view of this new environmental disaster. Based on what they said, the landfill is only 167 meters away from the airport while the distance required is 13 KM!

costa

So instead of finding a viable and sustainable solution to the garbage crisis, the authorities have decided to set up a landfill next to the sea in order to pollute it further, make more people’s lives a living hell and pose a real threat to aircraft operations.