Category Archives: Critiques

Nadine Labaki Running With Beirut-Madinati For All The Right Reasons

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A lot of people, including myself, were happy to see Nadine Labaki on Beirut Madinati’s list, not because she’s a celebrity and a well-know figure in Lebanon, but because she’s a hard-working and highly influential person in her field of work. Very few people were able to connect with the Lebanese and represent everything that is right and wrong in our society the way Labaki has done so through her movies. Her latest masterpiece, “Halla2 La wen” (Where do we go now?), is beyond brilliant and shows how passionate Nadine is about Lebanon and its people, and why she’s a perfect candidate for Beirut’s municipality and even for parliament.

If you’re still not convinced by her candidacy, check out her awesome reply to “Abou el Abed” today.


Joke of the Day: Lebanon to Sign Climate-Change Pact in New York

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2arrib Source

Dear Prime Minister, wake up, get out and smell the garbage in Beirut.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam traveled to New York on Thursday to participate in the ceremony aimed at signing the climate-change pact that the world adopted in principle in Paris last December.

The state-run National News Agency said Salam is expected to give a speech at Friday’s ceremony, which will be attended by leaders and envoys from more than 160 countries. [Naharnet]

Why Would Anyone Buy A Special Passport Number?

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The Lebanese passport is one of the most expensive and least useful in the world, yet for some reason, the General Security has just released special “VIP” passport numbers that will cost you up to LL 1,000,000.

I can understand golden mobile numbers and up to a certain extent car plate numbers but why would I pay extra to get a special passport number? Will that special number allow me to enter more countries without a visa? Do I get free upgrades at hotels or during a flight if I show off my number? Will I get a free “Arabic Select Upgrade” on Southwest Airlines?

There’s only one type of Lebanese who will benefit from that: Those who show off every time they check in at the MEA Cedar Lounge will now be able to brag about their “special” passport numbers.

Here are few funny tips from Farix on how to make use of that special number:

Lebanese Municipal Elections Candidates That Litter

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The municipal elections will probably take place on time in Lebanon this year as promised by Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk. A lot of candidates have already started campaigning and some of them began littering as well. Posters are randomly placed on walls, traffic lights, residential buildings, traffic signs and even on your car.

We are in the middle of a garbage crisis, we are trying to push people to reduce waste and recycle and then you find municipal elections candidates polluting their own city’s streets and walls. If I were an Achrafieh resident, I would never vote for this guy or any candidate that doesn’t even bother to keep his city clean.

On another note, there’s an ongoing volunteer-led campaign this year, called “Beirut Madinati”, that looks very promising and aims at electing a municipal council of qualified, politically unaffiliated individuals. I’ve been meaning to write about this initiative but I’m waiting for them to announce the candidates.

Beirut Stinks So Let’s Shine The Traffic Lights First

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Garbage smells, mosquitoes invasion, allergies, diseases and then you find this guy cleaning the traffic lights one by one in Down Town Beirut, and the concerned ministries giving us warnings on Twitter.

On another note, here’s what Ziad Abi Chaker, one of Lebanon’s leading garbage entrepreneurs, advises us to do to protect ourselves and our homes:

In regards to the bad smells in Beirut and suburbs, these are due to the removal of the 7 to 8 months old waste which has undergone advanced anaerobic fermentation and has a very putrid smell…we will have to live with this situation until all the old waste by Beirut River and Karantina are removed. There is practically nothing we can do for the smell but we can protect ourselves and homes from the bacteria present in the air:
Get a mouthwash product, if possible select the extra strength, the regular would do too, dilute it 1:1 with water, that’s 1 cup mouthwash to 1 cup water, place the solution in a plastic spray bottle and spray it around your house…Mouthwash has antiseptic properties…if you have little kids spray it twice a day in their bedroom…
There is no need to buy the expensive antiseptics that some companies are pushing on the market now to make a quick buck…The mouthwash solution will be more effective and it should give a nice smell while it lasts…
Hopefully, they will finish removing all the old waste in a timely fashion before it gets too hot as it will become nearly impossible for the handlers to deal with the smells….
On another note, if you or your kids are bitten by the flies, not all are mosquitoes, some of these flies are specific to anaerobic fermentation processes, you can put some mouthwash on a cotton and dab the bite area with it…it will alleviate the burning and automatically cleanse the bite wound from infection….

What The Naameh Residents Are Going Through Because Of The Landfill

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The garbage crisis is first and foremost a health crisis and Naameh residents are the most affected by this crisis. Residents neighboring the landfill should have been given a financial indemnity as promised and moved outside the area long time ago.

No one should be allowed to live near this poisonous and toxic landfill. The air is contaminated with various toxic substances, the water is contaminated by the landfill, the flies roaming around the garbage and over your food can get you food poisoned or severely sick, and there’s an increasing rate of cancer among the residents as they are left exposed to untreated chemicals.

The Naameh landfill should have never reopened and residents have every right to block the road. The cost to maintain the Naameh landfill is one of the highest in the world and the garbage is not even being treated properly. Moreover, “The combination of organic and dangerous trash in the landfill has created toxic liquid known as leachate, which is much more polluting than sewage water” according to Lebanon Eco Movement President Paul Abi Rached.

All those living near the landfill should relocate the soonest and all medical and relocation expenses should be paid by the government. This should be the Health Ministry’s top priority.

مطمر الموت الصحي

ما لا تريدك سلطة الفساد أن تعرف عن ما يسمى من قبلهم بالطمر "الصحي".. شاهدوا للنهاية..#طلعت_ريحتكم وقتلتونا

Posted by ‎طلعت ريحتكم‎ on Friday, April 8, 2016

Saudi-Owned Daily Asharq al-Awsat Removed The Disrespectful Lebanon Cartoon

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sharq Caricature published in the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper “April Fools… the Lebanese state”

Saudi-owned daily Asharq al-Awsat angered Lebanese after it published a caricature earlier today depicting the Lebanese state as an April Fools’ joke. The cartoon was later on removed from the website without any explanation. The cartoon is disrespectful and offensive but I honestly laughed when I saw it because the joke is really on the paper and the cartoonist not on us.

Snapchat’s Beirut Story: AUB, National Anthem, AUB, Ain el Mreisse, National Anthem, Fattit Shrimps

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Snapchat has been featuring towns and cities as part of the “Life” Snapchat Stories and Beirut got its own Life Snapchat Story yesterday. Life stories are prepared by Snapchat and are basically a compilation of snaps from Snapchatters at events and locations around the world. Anyone can see them under “Live” on the Snapchat application.

Beirut’s story was a lousy one to be honest, but I’m not sure if I should blame Snapchat or Lebanese Snapchatters. Maybe it’s a sign that we need better Snapchatters in Beirut 🙂

Here are some of the things we learned in this story:
– Beirut’s logo is a mosque for some reason.
– Beirut is all about Ain el Mraisse, AUB and Beirut Souks.
– Maamoul is a national dessert (which we feed to pets as well).
– Fattit Shrimps is a traditional dish (local secrets).
– We sing the National Anthem everywhere we go.
– There are clowns in Beirut distributing balloons to cars rocking Ali el Deek.
– Everyone speaks English in Beirut except that motorist with his “Assalam 3alaykoum” greeting.

There are few good snaps in this story, mainly the Dabke, Oud, Wara2 Arich but that’s about it.

PS: They removed the fattit shrimps today from the story.

Najwa Karam’s Message to All Working Mothers

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mbc via MBC1

This is not an April Fool’s prank and this is coming from someone who is not married and doesn’t have children.

نجوي كرم توجه رسالة لكل امرأة قد تراها بعض النساء صدمة #شط_بحر_الهوى

Posted by MBC1 on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Enough With Celebratory Gunfire!

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A 5 year old kid was hit and killed by a stray bullet from a funeral gunfire in Beirut’s southern suburbs back in June 2015. Yesterday, Bettina Raidy, an 8 year old girl, was struck in the head by a stray bullet and died.

I was watching MTV’s report on the poor girl and I couldn’t bear watching it to the end. I couldn’t imagine what her parents were going through and how devastated they are. They’ve been raising this young girl for 8 years only to see her get killed by some moronic gun-loving scumbag.

Not only should celebratory gunfire get banned but it should also be considered a crime. Guns should only be used in battle by the Lebanese Army or security forces, not for celebrations or during funerals in the street. Anyone who still thinks that emptying guns in the sky is part of our culture is a complete idiot and belongs in prison.

Guns have no place in a celebration of any kind and celebratory gunfire is destroying people’s lives and causing unnecessary tragedies. Not only do we need the authorities to take strict measures against these criminals, but people need to start reporting such thugs.

My sincere condolences to the family and all my respect to the father for his stand on celebratory gunfire.