Category Archives: Critiques

Marcel Ghanem’s Storming Intro and His Take On Charles Aznavour

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It seems Marcel Ghanem managed to anger a lot of people (not me) during his last show including Charles Aznavour fans. In fact, towards the end of his 8 minutes long intro, He bashed Aznavour’s suggestion to put Iraqi refugees in French deserted villages.

I have to say his Aznavour comment was a bit harsh, but what the French singer was proposing is also unacceptable. After all, Aznavour is an Armenian and what happened to his community is happening now to the Christian and Yazidi communities in Iraq. The international community should not stand still and offer deserted villages to the refugees, but instead wipe out these IS savages until there’s not a single one of them left.


#Tripoli_Loves_Beer: 10 Things Tripoli’s Mayor Should Worry About Before Banning Beer Ads

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Removing the beer ads in Tripoli may be legally correct, but I think Tripoli’s mayor should have other priorities on his agenda that are way more important than removing alcohol billboards. Here are some of them:

1- Remove all Jihadists and Qaeda-like flags from the city.
2- Fight child labor specially in the poor areas.
3- Remove all banners and flyers that harm the image of Tripoli as the city of peace and co-existence.
4- Improve the living conditions of local residents and refugees inside the city.
5- Fight poverty, improve education and help needy families.
6- Promote tourism in Tripoli.
7- Kick off more initiatives to fight pollution and preserve the environment in Tripoli.
8- Rehabilitate historic and classified structures and help preserve the city’s cultural heritage.
9- Improve road conditions inside the city and fight traffic congestion.
10- Fix the garbage collection problem to avoid more dumping sites.

And the list goes on and on …

What Is Wrong With The Lebanese Basketball Teams? Why Are They So Determined To Kill The Game?

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I am really surprised that basketball players in Lebanon are still quiet over what’s happening recently. The Lebanese Federation may be obliged to take a decision soon that will literally kill basketball in Lebanon and harm first and foremost the Lebanese players. As you can see from the report, All the teams (except Riyadi) want 3 foreign players instead of 2 and their arguments are as follows:

Allowing three foreign players:
- will increase competitiveness.
- allow the Lebanese players to improve.
- lower the budgets of all the teams.

What they are basically saying is that Lebanese basketball players are overpriced and that they’d rather overpay one additional foreign player than invest in Lebanese. Honestly speaking, this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard and that can ever be implemented. If anything, the teams should allow only one foreign player and the federation can always bring down the salaries for Lebanese players if they find them outrageous and high (which they are not).

If the teams are suffering financially, it’s because they’ve been spending massively on foreign players (instead of spending on young talents) in the past years in order to clinch the title, and I am sure they will do the same as soon as their financial situation improves and spend even more on foreign players since they will be allowed three.

I am really glad the president of the FLB Walid Nassar is against allowing three foreign players and I really hope he doesn’t change his mind and look for alternatives. Speaking of alternatives, here’s what I suggest:

1- Set a yearly budget range (between 750K and 1.5M) that all teams must abide by.
2- Allow 1 or 2 foreign players only and LIMIT the spending on foreign players to 25% of the total budget.
3- Force the teams to implement a 3-year financial plan.
4- Form a committee to follow up on the team’s spending and penalize those who fail to show a positive balance within 5 years.

That’s one of the ways to improve Basketball in Lebanon and I am sure there are other alternatives. Asking for three foreign players will bring the game 10 years back.


#Tripoli_Loves_Beer: Does It?

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People have been saying that Tripoli’s mayor has banned all kinds of beer and alcohol publicity in the city, and some have started an online campaign using the hashtag #Tripoli_Loves_Beer to condemn this decision. Honestly speaking, I haven’t seen any official statements regarding this matter so I’m assuming some people decided to take down some beer ads, which happens elsewhere (unfortunately) in Lebanon as well.

Needless to say, I am against these practices and I find any ban on personal freedom wrong, but I don’t think alcohol commercials are the real problem in Tripoli. After all, it is known that Tripoli is not alcohol-friendly and that there are very few cafes and restaurants that serve alcohol and this is not necessarily a bad thing if the owners choose not to serve alcohol. The real problem is when local groups pressure business owners and force them (illegally) not to serve alcohol, and no one does anything about it.

In all cases, I doubt that this hashtag or any other campaign will change things in Tripoli, because the majority of residents don’t seem to mind the lack of alcohol or at least they don’t show it. Speaking of alcohol, a popular restaurant in Hamra decided recently to remove alcohol from his menu for some reason.

BuiG9g_CUAADl7_ via Pierre

Huffington Post On How Lebanese Journalists Handle Rumors

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Journalists all over the world, not just in Lebanon, are handling rumors in a much worse fashion than 10 or 20 years ago. Speaking of Lebanon, there isn’t one single source I can follow blindly, and there are more and more competing news portals and websites that just want to get more hits by publishing unreliable information and unfounded news. Most of them depend on rumors and gossip which is quite sad.

Take for example the current Arsal battle between the Lebanese Army and Islamists whereas we’re seeing so many fake pictures and videos of dead Islamists and army soldiers. There’s even a video of a decapitated army soldier that’s been shared that has nothing to do with the current fight and took place in Syria two weeks ago apparently. This led the Lebanese Army to issue an official statement asking everyone to verify their sources and stop sharing misleading information.

Magdad Rumors are Poison via @MagdaAbuFadil

This being said, check out this nice article on the HuffingtonPost were Media consultant Dalal Saoud, former Arab affairs editor at CNN and one-time reporter at LBC TV Octavia Nasr and Télé Liban talk show host Shada Omar share their opinions on this matter.

Special thanks to the author Magda Abu-Fadil for mentioning BlogBaladi in the article!

How To Get More Hits To Your Story: Add صورة في الداخل or بالصورة or فيديو

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I usually add Video or In Pictures to my title when I actually have something to show the readers, but I’ve been noticing that a lot of Lebanese news portals are adding randomly these terms to the title just to get more hits. Most of the time, the story doesn’t even have a picture or video or like in the example above, the picture is useless.

I mean seriously what the hell is that image? 4 white dots on a black background?

Names Of The 10 Lebanese Army Martyrs From The Arsal Fighting

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lebarmy (2)

The Lebanese Army has unfortunately lost 10 of its brave soldiers while fighting Islamists in Arsal. The names as published on the Lebanese Army’s official website are as shown below. You can find a resume of each of them [Here].

Noureddine Al Jamal
Ibrahim Mohammad Al Ammouri
Walid Nassim el Majdalani
Nader Hassan Youssef
Omar Walid Al Nohaily
Jaafar Hassan Nasreddine
Hussein Ali Hamiyye
Khaldoun Raouf Hammoud
Hassan Walid Mehieddine
Mohammad Ali El Ajal

I just want to add one thing here, given that few people have criticized my last post where I called to stop the cheesy songs and actually show some real support and a proper coverage of the events happening in Arsal. My support to the Lebanese Army is unconditional against ANY terrorist or armed groups without any “buts” or “ifs” and I want them to destroy every single one of them. Moreover, I want the TVs and media to highlight better the situation in Arsal and all over Lebanon, and silence anyone who dares criticize what the army is doing for his own personal goals.

There’s nothing to discuss when foreign gunmen seize a Lebanese town and kidnap Lebanese security forces.


Can We Stop The Cheesy Army Songs And Cheesy Support?

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I am all for supporting the Lebanese Army, but someone needs to stop these cheesy and lame Lebanese Army songs being played on TVs. Moreover, Al Jadeed’s TV anchor wore the army uniform yesterday as a sign of support, which I didn’t like as well and found really cheesy. It’s enough these days to just put a hashtag or a small logo just like LBCI did with the N thing.

Moreover, I think the best way for TVs to support the army would be to try and cover as much as possible what’s happening in Arssal instead of broadcasting stupid TV shows and try to explain to the Lebanese what’s really happening there, because I am sure most of them don’t have a clue who the army is fighting and how critical the situation is.

On a last note, I really hope the army controls the situation very soon because the Islamists are in the thousands there and pose a very serious threat to Lebanon unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Killing Children Is Wrong: Randomly Sharing Gruesome Pictures Of Dead Children On Facebook And Twitter Is Also Wrong

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kid Gaza Children – Picture via NJBRepository

There’s no arguing that killing children is wrong and that Israel is committing horrendous war crimes against the Palestinian people in Gaza, but I don’t understand how sharing pictures of slaughtered babies, a child without a head, or a toddler’s body torn to pieces on your Facebook or Twitter pages is helping. Journalists and TVs may be eligible to show pictures after warning their viewers, but I don’t see why a random person would pick the most gruesome picture and share it on his Facebook wall or on Twitter and use popular hashtags for everyone to see.

How are these pictures actually helping the Palestinians in Gaza? Would it change the way I feel if I see a headless infant? Would I be less angered by the fact that 300 innocent children died if I didn’t see their dead bodies? We’ve been seeing gruesome pictures from Syria for the past 4 years now yet nothing has changed. In fact, it has gotten even worse now and the crimes the Islamic State is committing in Iraq are not better. Showing corpses on your page will not lead to a ceasefire nor achieve peace and you don’t need to share them all over the place to show that you care. What’s even worse is when people google random dead bodies on the internet and share them on Facebook and tag Gaza or Syria. I’ve seen at least 3 or 4 gruesome pictures that had nothing to do with Gaza but involved dead children. Do you realize how disrespectful this is for the victim and his family?

This being said, I urge everyone to think twice before publishing such pictures on their public profiles, specially without checking the sources, and to respect the dead and their families and take into consideration the feelings of others and how these pictures might affect their friends and family members if they see them. I personally don’t mind looking at any picture, but I refrain from posting or sharing them and when I do, I just link to the video or picture and issue a warning.

A Not So Happy Lebanese Army Day After All

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At least 8 army soldiers were killed yesterday after Syrian gunmen attacked their checkpoints in Arssal. The Lebanese army quickly regained control of the checkpoints and pushed back the gunmen but the situation is still tense. Everything started when the army arrested Abou Ahmad Jemaa, who’s the Jobhat el Nusra “Prince” in Lebanon.

The pictures below are not from Iraq but from Arssal unfortunately and there are hundreds if not thousands of these armed men in the Arssal outskirts between Lebanon and Syria. The last thing we need are these scumbags raiding our towns and terrorizing our people and I want the army gets rid of all them and takes over the borders.

Let’s hope there won’t be any renewed bombings following these incidents.


ersal via BBC

Here’s a map that helps explain the situation in Arsal taken from ISWSyria:

Arsal-MCO (1)