Category Archives: Critiques

Tripoli’s Bikeathon

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Picture from Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi’s FB Page

I was eager to see pictures of the Tripoli Bikeathon that took place yesterday and was aimed at “reflecting the real image of Tripoli” as a city of peace and a city that loves life but I could barely find any. I looked on Tripoli’s most active facebook page and it didn’t include a picture from yesterday, the same for Bikeathon-Tripoli page and the event page with its lousy poster.

Assuming whomever is running the page didn’t have time yet to upload all the pictures taken, I looked on Instagram and barely found 5 or 6 decent pictures. I used the hashtags #TripoliLB, #Bikeathon, #WeLoveTripoli, #Tripoli and #LiveLoveTripoli.

It’s a real shame that such a great initiative doesn’t get the proper online coverage, specially when the aim is to show a better image of Tripoli amid the tensions and fights happening there. It’s a good thing LBCI covered the event live on NharkoumSaid.

Having said that, I hope the organizers will follow the Achrafieh2020 model next time and make a proper buzz for their beautiful city Tripoli.

Here are some of the pictures I found:

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via Najwa

tripoli3
via PaulaYacoubian

tripoli4
via RanaElHalabi

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Dutch ambassador Hester Somsen was there – Picture via Sietske

[YouTube]

U.N. Refugees Chief Antonio Guterres Warns Lebanon Could Collapse Under Syrian Refugees Burden

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Picture via UNHCR

Here’s a sum up of what United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour:
- Lebanon could collapse under the weight of the massive influx of Syrian refugees
- Without economic and financial support, and an increased effort to share the burden of Syrian refugees, “Lebanon [does] not [have] the possibility to go on with the present situation.
- Twenty-five percent of the Lebanese population today is Syrian.
- We have more Syrian students in Lebanese public schools than Lebanese students.
- Lebanon has serious problems with electricity and water, and largely because of this huge increase in population.
- The health system is totally overburdened, and the security implications of the Syrian crisis to Lebanon are absolutely dramatic.

This is old news to most of us Lebanese by now, and Lebanon is in need of a substantial help to cope with this humanitarian crisis. Aside from that, and instead of requesting to expel Syrian refugees or stop receiving them like some Lebanese officials have been doing for the past couple of years, the government needs to set up an emergency plan once and for all to cope with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and organize them into camps or proper settlements. This should have been done since day1 and even if things are out of control now, it’s never too late to have a plan and put an end to this chaotic situation because the Syrian war is not ending anytime soon.

Roqayya Monzer A New Victim Of Domestic Violence + Parliament To Discuss Draft-Law On April 3

[YouTube]

Roqayya Monzer is yet another victim of domestic violence in Lebanon after her husband shot her dead when she asked him to divorce her. Roqayya was fed up from all the beating and asked for a divorce on several occasions according to her sister who was brave enough to come out and testify against the criminal husband. Unfortunately, the victim was pregnant.

This is not the first case of domestic violence and definitely won’t be the last, not before there’s a new law to protect women from abusive husbands, a law that would come under the penal code rather than being personal status laws. That’s what KAFA has been working on for years now and Nabih Berri has vowed to include and discuss the draft-law proposed in the next parliament session on April 3, after KAFA collected 71 signatures from MPs in favor of adopting the new law.

For those interested in knowing the remarks added by KAFA to the draft-law proposed, you can check them [Here] and follow [KAFA] for further updates on this matter.

I hope that the law will be passed quickly and put into action, so that these murderous husbands are put in jail and not freed the next day.

PS: There’s a seminar for women only that teaches them how to defend themselves against domestic abuse and crimes of rape on April 5 for those interested.

Dear Lebanon

[YouTube]

Dear Lebanon is a movie showing Lebanese teenagers’s views on Bombings, Religion and Politics. I want to believe that the new generations will make a change in the right direction and rebel against the corrupted political class that’s been ruling and ruining the country for years but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

What does this constant insecurity mean for them? What are their thoughts on religion and politics? To what extent do they feel personally affected by the bombings?

Together with a team of eight youths between the ages of 15 and 18, film producer Raphael Schanz set off on a journey in search of answers. During the course of seven weeks he accompanied them through the streets of Beirut and discussed the points in which they felt their wishes clashed with the crude reality. This 30 minute documentary features youths’ ambivalent love for their home country. Which role do teenagers see for themselves in Lebanon? How can they succeed in making their voices heard?

via StopCulturalTerrorismInLebanon

Reason Behind The Traffic In Beirut Today

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I don’t understand why they have to close the road all the way from Annahar building if they are holding a session at the parliament. Moreover, isn’t it better to close it starting 9am and let people get to work on time?

In all cases, the road will be closed tomorrow as well so watch out for traffic and leave early.

About That Video On Syrian and Ukrainian Refugees In Lebanon

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Picture via GlobalPost

I am sure you’ve all seen this [video] showing how Lebanese reacted when asked about Syrian Refugees in Lebanon and the possibility of having Ukrainian refugees following recent events in Ukraine and the Crimea region.

For some reason, whomever uploaded the video and most of the people commenting are labeling the Lebanese as racist and insensitive, and that’s the message being spread all across the social media networks. Knowing that there’s still racism in Lebanon, that’s not what the interviewed people said and that’s definitely not the message being sent out from this video. The Syrian Refugees in Lebanon is a very alarming and serious matter as they constitute almost 30% of the country’s population now, and are a huge economic burden on the Lebanese people and its government. That’s not a racist statement, that’s a fact that even the UN acknowledges and I don’t think there’s anyone helping the Syrian Refugees as much as the Lebanese are. Moreover, the Lebanese Online Community and a lot of NGOs and associations have long condemned all the racist acts against Syrian refugees and helped in promoting awareness on that matter.

After all:
It’s normal for public schools and universities to get overcrowded when you have a 1 million refugees in a country of 4 million.
It’s normal for Lebanese workers and local businesses to complain because they are competing with a cheaper labor force.
It’s normal for rent prices to go up when there’s more demand.

What’s not normal is for Lebanese to spread this misleading video and label their own people as racist and insensitive.

Moreover, whomever asked that question about Ukrainian refugees (Just Female Refugees) obviously meant it in a funny way even though I didn’t find it funny, but still the answers were not serious ones and cannot in anyway be compared to the first part of the video. This being said, stop sharing this video and report it if anything because it’s misleading and harmful to the Lebanese and Syrians. No one’s denying that there’s still racism in Lebanon but that’s not how you portray it and raise awareness on it.

Lebanese Cameraman Samir Kassab Still Missing In Syria

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I don’t know why Samir’s story is not over the news like the Maaloula nuns, but he’s a Lebanese who’s gone missing along with Sky News Arabia Mauritanian correspondent Ishak Moctar back in October 2013 and there are still no news of him. Lebanonfiles reported via Al Jomhouria that he could be in the Rakka area in Syria.

Speaking of kidnappings, the Missing and Kidnapped Lebanese issue is a critical one that must be given the highest priority by any government, specially the thousands who disappeared during the Lebanese war at the hands of Lebanese militias. Their families deserve to know what happened and the authorities should work hard to close these files once and for all.

Let’s hope Samir’s case will be resolved soon as he’s just a cameraman and wasn’t kidnapped for political reasons.