Update (20/01/2015): It appears that the government won’t be fixing any prices and the prices will drop by more than 1,000 Lebanese Lira tomorrow.
Gas prices have dropped by over 13,000 Lebanese Liras from last year until now in Lebanon, and they should normally continue to drop since oil prices are plunging worldwide. However, it appears that the Lebanese authorities and the concerned ministries want to put an end to this drop and set a minimum price for the tank. Moreover, there are talks that they might re-introduce a fixed amount that is related to internal distribution and governmental taxes and that was abolished by Gebran Bassil a couple of years ago.
Knowing that the prices are related to international market fluctuations, I don’t think it’s fair for the government to set a minimum price. If they want to compensate for the oil companies and gas stations’ losses, they should also set a maximum price and relieve the Lebanese from high fuel bills. If the government wants to take action and help oil companies by fixing the price of 20 liters of gas at 22,000, they should also prioritize the average citizen and set a maximum price.
On another note, I wonder if the drop in gas prices has anything to do with the increase in traffic lately.
Kalam Ennas showed yesterday exclusive footage from inside Roumieh’s Bloc B and I can easily say this is one of the biggest scandals in Lebanon’s history. A whole building inside Roumieh’s prison that contains an operations room, servers and hubs, a library and a coffee shop, a school to train terrorists, LCD and LED TVs, drugs and women clothes etc …
I am glad that Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk ended this mess but someone should be held accountable for it so that it doesn’t happen again. After all, the prisoners are still there and corruption among officers as well. If you want to know the kingpins of the Islamist Floor inside Roumieh’s prison that were identified by the ISF, check it out [here].
Yves deserved candles not bullets, he deserved birthday cakes and celebrations not a funeral. I didn’t know Yves, neither did many of us, but we all helped spread his story and ask for the arrest of his killers because we are fed up with thugs and criminals mocking justice and doing whatever they like. We forced some politicians to come out and deny covering for these criminals and we should continue to push until justice prevails. I believe in our juridical system and I am positive there’s a number of decent judges in this country but we need to keep the pressure on and make sure every murderer gets arrested.
Until then, my good friend wrote this beautiful letter that I thought is worth sharing:
So I woke up there, it’s such a beautiful and a calm place… The last thing I remember that I was partying with my friends and enjoying my time.
I didn’t realize where I was until two beautiful angels walked towards me and welcomed me to heaven and took my hand and asked me to join them.
They showed me my room, it looks small from the outside and I was surprised, is this really heaven everyone talks about? But when I walked in I was shocked by how huge it is from the inside.
The room had 4 windows, I walked towards the first one; I saw my mom, she was there crying while looking at my picture, I called her name “Mum, I’m fine, I am here not physically but you can close your eyes and there I am hugging you and telling you how much I love you”. I couldn’t see her that way, I looked away.
The second window showed my dad, my hero. I whispered: “Dad, I know how strong you are and whenever you will break down, I will take your hand and lift you up, the way you lifted me up every time I fell since I was a kid”
The third window showed my sister, that’s when I was speechless and I couldn’t say a word.
The fourth window got bigger the closer I got to it and when I looked through it, tears of happiness filled my eyes and I couldn’t stop smiling as I was seeing many people from Lebanon and around the globe supporting #JusticeForYves.
For a second I stopped there and looked at my friends and the people who did not know me and I smiled, there were people from all around the globe.
I’m here to thank you, I’m there in each and everyone of you.
I don’t want any of you to be Yves, Stand up for me and for you.
And as I was going to get some rest, an angel knocked at my door with a cart full of letters that are from you, prayers and pictures.
Thank you people,
Three million copies of Charlie Hebdo were printed and distributed today with a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad holding a “Je suis Charlie” sign on the cover page. Above the cartoon are the words “All is forgiven” in reference to the bloody attack on the magazine last week. I’ve seen a lot of Lebanese and few journalists and medias sharing the cartoon on their social media page but I wonder if it’s legal to do such a thing?
I know for a fact that you can go to jail for “blasphemy God publicly” in Lebanon and I am pretty sure you can’t draw the prophet and publish it anywhere in Lebanon, but I don’t know if it’s the same thing when you are sharing someone else’s work. If it were up to me, I would vote for a limitless freedom of expression as I believe extremes will end up being repelled by most societies. Take for example Charlie Hebdo, the magazine was suffering financially and looking for funds before the attack and now it’s selling 3 million copies and has collected over $1 million dollars in donations because of that incident.
In all cases, I hope no one gets sued or threatened for sharing the cover today.
We know every single detail related to Yves’ murder, from the fight that erupted in the night to how they got out and then ambushed. We also know the names of the whole gang involved in the murder and almost every politician denied hiding or covering these criminals, so what’s stopping the police from arresting them?
Well apparently they can’t find them still, even though Charbel Khalil’s lawyer did issue a clarification regarding the incident and is probably communicating with the suspect. Assuming they didn’t flee to Syria as it was reported, I think our interior minister should intervene personally to step up the investigation, find these murderers and throw them in jail where they belong.
PS: I don’t know how OTV managed to mix between Yves Nawfal’s murder and crimes related to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The killers did not turn themselves in yet and it doesn’t look like they have any political coverage. Check out this video shared by LBCI. It’s unbelievable how they just parked their cars and shot at Yves and his friends.
Syrian boy died from the cold in a refugee camp in Lebanon
Thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are facing a merciless winter and children are dying of cold inside camps. Many refugees don’t have the adequate clothing for this freezing weather and some were seen wearing flip flops only. In order to contain this crisis, a lot of NGOs are launching initiatives to collect clothes and donations to keep the refugees warm.
Meanwhile, Myriam Klink also decided to show her solidarity with those poor children freezing to death by posing in a bikini in the snow, an idea inspired from the Ice Bucket challenge that trended few months back. Of course it all makes sense (at least in Klink’s mind) and I would propose that she uses the hashtag #StripForZenaWhilePoorKidsDie or #FreezeToDeathInABikini to help more kids freeze to death while she collects Instagram likes.
I can understand the ongoing debate on whether to use the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag or not but I can’t figure why why some Lebanese decided to come up with a #JeSuisBeyrouth hashtag and continue that “Beirut is more damaged than Charlie”. Beirut is indeed more damaged than Charlie because we always mix things up and never set our priorities right. There’s nothing wrong with Lebanese being outraged about what happened in France and expressing their solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo staff, because this is about freedom of expression and not Charlie Hebdo as a magazine itself, it’s about someone being murdered for his drawings not about the right to mock religions or not.
The #CharlieHebdo massacre is a reminder for all Lebanese to stand united when it comes to freedom of expression because without it, our country will cease to exist. it is a wake up call to realize the importance of preserving our liberties and standing against those who wish to compromise it for the sake of security or religions. Few of us realized that when Gebran Tueni and Samir Kassir were killed and we’ve been paying the price for that ever since but it’s never too late. Let’s learn from the French instead of giving them lessons in counter-terrorism and liberties. France is standing as one against the murder of four controversial journalists while we can’t bring together few thousands to mourn prominent journalists, stop violence against women or even better stop illegal parliament extension.
To sum things up, any attack on free journalists anywhere in the world should be condemned by all Lebanese and stand as a reminder about the importance of preserving our freedom of expression in Lebanon at all cost.
Walid Joumblatt is saying that a restaurant pressured TVs and medias not to mention its name but LBCI stated that even Minister Bou Faour didn’t mention the restaurant’s name so what’s the story? Why would Joumblatt tweet such a thing and not even mention the restaurant’s name? What is he trying to say? That Bou Faour is favoriting restaurants over others?
I honestly don’t think that’s the case but minister Bou Faour should answer Joumblatt (on Twitter?) and clarify this matter.
As far as Balthus is concerned, this is one of the finest French restaurants in town and I highly doubt that it’s violating any food safety regulations. If this is really the case, and as stated in previous occasions, the minister should clearly state how Balthus is غير مطابق as this could mean a zillion things.
In all cases, I don’t think violating restaurants are a primary concern at the moment specially when most of the slaughterhouses and food storages are violating.
Masked gunmen killed yesterday at least 12 people at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The magazine is widely known for mocking all religions and religious figures such as the Prophet Mohammed and has received threats on several occasions. As a result of the attack, Charlie Hebdo’s editor Mr Charbonnier (Known as Chab) was killed along with renowned cartoonist Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous.
Personally speaking, I strongly condemn the terrorist track as I believe freedom of speech is more important than anyone’s feelings and killing someone over a cartoon is sick and disturbing. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t find Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons offensive and provocative. These are two different things that shouldn’t be mixed together and nothing justifies the carnage that took place yesterday.
If we take Lebanon for example, it is illegal by law to mess with any religion and a magazine like Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t be allowed to open in the first place, but under the French law, they are allowed to whether we like it or not. Therefore, Charlie Hebdo is free to mock all religions just like we are free to criticize their cartoons but no one, under any circumstances, should be killed over a cartoon.
All in all, freedom of speech cannot be killed and what happened yesterday will only make it stronger.
PS: I already wrote an article on the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy that took place back in 2005. Check it out [here].