Category Archives: Critiques

Are White Belly Dancers Engaging In Cultural Appropriation?

[YouTube]

Ranja Jarrar argues in her piece that white women who practice belly dance are, willingly or unwillingly, engaging in appropriation. Personally speaking, I didn’t really get the point the author was trying to make and I never saw a problem in white women learning how to belly dance and finding in it a form of self-expression.

Women I have confronted about this have said, “But I have been dancing for 15 years! This is something I have built a huge community on.” These women are more interested in their investment in belly dancing than in questioning and examining how their appropriation of the art causes others harm. To them, I can only say, I’m sure there are people who have been unwittingly racist for 15 years. It’s not too late. Find another form of self-expression. Make sure you’re not appropriating someone else’s.

But, here’s the thing. Arab women are not vessels for white women to pour themselves and lose themselves in; we are not bangles or eyeliner or tiny bells on hips. We are human beings. This dance form is originally ours, and does not exist so that white women can have a better sense of community; can gain a deeper sense of sisterhood with each other; can reclaim their bodies; can celebrate their sexualities; can perform for the female gaze. Just because a white woman doesn’t profit from her performance doesn’t mean she’s not appropriating a culture. And, ultimately, the question is this: Why does a white woman’s sisterhood, her self-reclamation, her celebration, have to happen on Arab women’s backs? [Source]

8 Useless Speed Bumps At the Marina Dbayyeh

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Anyone who takes the Dbayyeh Maritime road in the morning has probably noticed a bunch of new speed bumps at the Marina entrance all around the new public park that they are working on. Now I understand placing one speed bump or maybe two to slow down cars driving around the park but why the hell would you put 4 consecutive speed bumps over barely 30 meters? Similarly there are a couple of other speed bumps placed at the end of the straight or right when you turn which don’t make any sense.

Funnily enough, the long Dbayyeh road where all Zouzou Ebbas meet to do their drag races and which is now packed with malls and restaurants is still without a single speed bump.

Beirut Municipality To Install 1500-2000 Security Cameras Worth $40 Million Dollars

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Surveillance cameras at the entrance of the Iranian embassy in Beirut – Source

Beirut’s Municipality has decided back in August to install CCTVs all across the city due to the security situation, and based on what Annahar reported yesterday, the budget allocated to installing between 1500 and 2000 cameras will be around $40 million dollars. Honestly, it’s quite a huge amount for a couple of thousand cameras (Around 20,000$ per camera), but nothing’s clear yet about the bids submitted and Beirut’s Mayor is saying he’s expecting the real cost to be 30% less. In all cases, the proposal has to be approved by the Ministry of Interior and the government and hopefully will be done in a transparent way.

On another note, I liked the suggestion made by one of Beirut’s municipality members in that article that consists of giving the Park Meter officers devices to scan cars and make sure they are bomb-free, but I wish he had elaborated and specified which type of devices they should be given, because a decent bomb scanner costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. A better idea maybe is to invest in bomb sniffing dogs and let them patrol the city along with the Park Meter officers.

FAIL: Only “Gad” Can Judge Me

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via LebaneseMemes

The driver could be a Gad el Maleh fan but he better be careful because Gad is not welcome in Lebanon. In fact, his show got cancelled few years back because someone decided to edit Gad’s Wikipedia page and circulate a false picture of him fighting with the Israeli Army. Needless to say, Gad has a lot of fans in Lebanon and a lot of them made the trip to watch him live in Dubai on the 13th and 14th of February.

Boobs More Important Than Bombs In Lebanon

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Lebanese Alpine Skiers Chirine Njeim and Jacky Chamoun

It looks like Jacky Chamoun’s controversy is not over yet as Caretaker Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami wants to launch an investigation into her case in order to, wait for it, “protect Lebanon’s reputation”.

Can you imagine what other countries are saying about us now after seeing one of our athletes pose topless for a ski-theme calendar?? Can you imagine the reaction of Germans, French and the Americans when they know about this scandal? Can you imagine how embarrassed the Russians and the Head of Olympic Committee (Read that it’s hilarous) would be by this discovery and the impact it will have on the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics?

This whole thing is beyond ridiculous from the start and asking for an investigation made things even worse. If you want to investigate anything Mr. Karami, check the following documentaries of your hometown Tripoli [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] that were prepared by Vice and see how you can help your own people, because I assure you, the weekly bombs and daily clashes are what’s ruining Lebanon’s reputation, not Jackie’s boobs.

Jacky Chamoun Is Hot And She Knows It!

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Jacky Chamoun is a Lebanese Alpine Skier and is currently representing Lebanon at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. She happens to be very sexy as well and posed last year topless for a ski-theme calendar taken by six-time Mexican Olympic skier Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe.

For some reasons, the news just got to the Lebanese Media, even though it’s been out for at least 10 days and it is even mentioned on Jacky’s profile on the Sochi 2014 website.

There’s a video of her photo session being shared online but I won’t bother share it. She’s representing Lebanon, she’s hot and free to do whatever she likes so Good Luck to you Jacky!