The beautiful Tabaris mural that was painted by the awesome ASHEKMAN brothers was removed today by the Beirut municipality, as part of the campaign to remove “all political slogans” from Beirut. I don’t understand how this graffiti has anything to do with the stupid redundant political slogans that were being removed today, noting that ASHEKMAN and March NGO had received an authorization from Beirut’s governor and the building owner to draw this graffiti. Moreover, Beirut’s municipality should be supporting and sponsoring such positive messages and art works instead of painting over them!
I think we should regroup the soonest in the same place and help ASHEKMAN draw a bigger graffiti.
Melanie Freiha is an 18-year old student who died in a ski accident last weekend in Kfardebian. I couldn’t figure out the exact circumstances of her tragic death but I know that it took some time to transfer her to the nearest hospital in Ajaltoun where she died during surgery. The same happened with Yves Nawfal as the roads were all covered with snow and the Red Cross needed some time to get to Saint Georges in Ajaltoun which is 30 minutes away if not more. Moreover, the Kfardebian – Faraya road is usually blocked due to traffic during weekends, specially in daytime, and we’ve all seen what happened the last time a poor guy tried to clear the way for an ambulance.
Having said all that, I think it’s about time the authorities or the concerned parties invest in building a proper emergency clinic next to ski resorts and in the Kfardebian area. I know for a fact that the Red Cross has a branch in Kfardebian but I don’t think they are equipped to receive and treat emergencies. We need a medical center that has a well trained ER team, as well as emergency physicians, trauma surgeons and nurses capable of evaluating injuries and treating minor ones, and assessing the severity of one’s injury and the need to transfer him to another clinic or hospital. If Melanie was given the necessary treatment in the first 60 minutes of the accident, also known as the golden hour, she could have had a better chance of surviving maybe.
Speaking of hospitals, it’s quite weird that we don’t have any good hospital in the whole Keserwan district which is one of Lebanon’s biggest districts. I’ve been to Saydit Lebnen, Saint Louis and Saint Georges and they are all average, if not below average, hospitals when compared to the ones in Beirut. Maybe it’s time that Lebanon’s Health Ministry tackles this serious problem and sets proper standards for hospitals.
Sagesse was playing against Champville on Thursday and the score was 104-104 with 6 seconds left. Hekmeh player Terrell Stoglin took the ball and was dribbling towards the Champville basket when he was clearly fouled by a Champville player, but the referee somehow didn’t see the flagrant and obvious foul and gave the ball back to Champville with 3 seconds left. As a result, the game went to overtime and Champville ended up winning 138-130 after two overtimes.
Sagesse coach Fouad Abou Chakra was furious after this call and posted on Facebook that referee Adel Khoueiry is probably the only referee in the world that could deny such a foul, and he is somehow right because that’s the worst call and the worst-timed call I’ve seen in years.
Regardless whether Hekmeh won or lost the game, they have every right to file a complaint and the federation should investigate the bad call and keep this referee away from close and decisive games.
The judge in charge of Yves Nawfal’s murder has recommended the death penalty for six people and sentences ranging from three to 20 years for the others, before referring the case to the Criminal Court in Baabda. I know it’s still a bit early for the court’s final judgment but Yves’ killers will probably get the death penalty for what they’ve done.
Personally speaking, I’ve always been against capital punishment and I wish they would abolish it in Lebanon and replace it with a sentence for perpetuity. Taking away someone’s life as a punishment should not be a legal option, even if the murderer is a ruthless bastard. Killing Yves’ murderers won’t bring him back to life but instead give them publicity that they don’t deserve. Moreover, applying the death penalty can be arbitrary and politicized and you can’t undo a mistake once you discover a man has been executed for a crime he did not commit. Last week, a wrongly jailed man accused of the rape and murder of mother of four in the US got $6M award after he had spent 21 years in jail. All in all, I am sure there are many arguments against capital punishment, mainly ethical and religious one, but for me, killing should not be a way of punishment and that’s about it. Also, jailing someone for 20-30 years is a tougher punishment in my opinion that taking away his life.
A video spotted on Facebook showing a father beating his children violently – However I don’t understand how death penalty could be an answer to such an act.
Of course some may argue that there’s corruption everywhere in Lebanon, specially in prisons, and the only way to make sure murderers stay in prison or get punished is by executing them, but I am sure there are other means to do so. In all cases, Yves’ murderers deserve to stay in prison for a very long time and I hope they do.
Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, a Spanish UN peacekeeper was killed on Wednesday when Israel shelled the borders following a Hezbollah attack. This is not the first time Israel targets UN peacekeepers in Lebanon and Spain has blamed Israel for the soldier’s death.
OTV shared a video two days ago showing Strida Geagea saying “Nchallah ya Rab” when Journalist Denise Rahme informed her about what happened in the South two days ago between Hezbollah and Israel. As it turns out, the video was genuine but cut off and MP Geagea was saying “Nchallah ya Rab ma yisseer shi” or something like that which makes a huge difference obviously.
Surprisingly, OTV did apologize indirectly but they insisted that the video was not altered, which is true in case they didn’t have the whole footage (I doubt that) but that doesn’t justify misleading viewers and starting an unnecessary and unfounded controversy.
The real issue here is not what MP Geagea said or not, as even her opponents know she’s politically correct and smart enough not to say something, but it’s the lack of professionalism in a lot of TVs, newspapers and news portals in Lebanon. Whomever allows himself/herself to share such a video, or any video or picture without double checking the source is a disgrace to journalism and I think it’s about time these people get seriously fined. I am a blogger who doesn’t get paid for what I write or say yet I always triple check the source before sharing any story as I like to stay credible. Journalism based on rumors, fabricated stories and catchy misleading guidelines is not really journalism.
In all cases, Nchallah ya rab tokhlass billi sar min yamwoumen bil Jnoub
Celebratory gunfire is dangerous as the falling bullets off walls, break through glass windows and occasionally cause injuries or tragic deaths. This is a known fact and we’ve had quite a few awareness campaigns against it but nothing has changed and the proof is what happened today. When I tweeted today that Nasrallah (or any political leader) should ask his followers to stop shooting guns in the air, I was told he has already warned against firing in the air but in vain.
If that’s really the case and our leaders are against these practices, then I recommend doing the following:
– Prohibit all party followers to fire their guns in the air as a general rule.
– Identify those who violate this rule and confiscate their guns.
– If they are not members or supporters of a certain party, coordinate with the ISF and Army to confiscate their weapons and arrest them if needed. This was already implemented on few occasions in sensitive areas in Beirut and it worked out fine.
Minister Rifi asked the state prosecutor to prosecute those who fired celebratory gunshots and RPGs (yes RPGs!) during Nasrallah’s speech tonight, but we need a more pragmatic approach and I believe Interior Minister Machnouk is more than able to do something to stop these reckless people once and for all.
I was surprised to see so many Lebanese excited about the possibility of a new war between Lebanon and Israel yesterday. Taking aside politics and the fact that Israel admitted defeat in its 2006 adventure into Lebanon, there’s nothing good about war and we shouldn’t get too excited about the prospects of a new one. I refuse to live in a basement not because I am afraid of Israel but because I want to have a normal peaceful life and I assume and hope most Lebanese want the same.
In all cases, here’s a reminder to Lebanon’s young generation and to those who forgot already of what we had to endure back in 2006:
– Nearly 1,200 Lebanese were killed in the 34-day Israeli war on Lebanon, out of which 37 soldiers only. More than 5000 were wounded as well.
– Approximately 1 million Lebanese (30% of the total population) were displaced.
– Israel fired at least 3 million cluster bombs old munitions supplied by the US with a failure rate as high as 50 per cent, in the last 3 days of fighting.
– Israel destroyed bridges along Lebanon’s main north-south coastal road, including the Mudeirej bridge which took more than 6 years to fix.
– Al-Manar TV and Al-Nour radio compounds were bombed. Rafic Hariri Airport runways and fuel depots were also bombed and the airport was closed of course.
– Most of Dahieh was bombarded and destroyed.
– Lebanon faced an acute fuel-crisis that threatened to shut hospitals down.
– The Jiyeh power station bombing resulted in the leak of an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes (more than 4 million gallons) of oil into the eastern Mediterranean. This environmental disaster increased the risk of diseases and cancer and endangered the habitat of fish and sea turtles. Israel has to pay us $64 million in damages as pet the UN.
All of Lebanon was targeted by Israel and we still weren’t able to recover economically from the 2006 war. Moreover, the death toll from the land mines and unexploded Israeli cluster bombs is still rising. Between 2006 and 2008 nearly 40 people were killed and over 270 injured by cluster bombs. No one ever wins in a war, and civilians always end up paying the heaviest price (Look at Syria) so let’s do our best to keep Lebanon away from a new war, or at least work to prevent a new round of violence instead of getting excited about it.
So first we have people demonstrating against 24-hour electricity in Zahle and now we have employees protesting after they got fired for not showing up to work. The title is of course a joke but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them didn’t know where the Casino du Liban is. According to LBCI, some of them used to get paid up as high as $11,000 without any attendance … while others were residing outside Lebanon.
Of course if some of these 191 fired employees never skipped work or weren’t among the corrupt ones, then it’s their right to protest but those who used to get paid and never showed up to work should be fined not just fired.
Casino du Liban was plunged into a major crisis on Tuesday after the board of directors sacked 191 contract employees in a step it described as a “salvation” move, which prompted the laid off workers to shut down the vital tourist attraction. “Due to your lack of discipline and your irregular attendance at work, hence your lack of productivity at the Casino du Liban company, it has been decided to consider you dismissed from work at your full responsibility as of the evening of Friday, January 30, 2015,” the company said in a dismissal letter sent to the employees. [Link]
When I first heard that Hiba Tawaji was participating in the Voice France, I was also surprised and did post that she doesn’t need to go to such a talent show with random judges to prove herself, but that I will be supporting her if she does. Hiba sees the Voice as an opportunity for her to prove herself in Europe and worldwide and she might be right. She wants to be there and we should support her not bash her now that she’s competing against other talents, and trust me not all of them are amateurs. (Check Battista Acquaviva for example).
Keep in mind that while Hiba is known in Lebanon and few Arab countries, most people outside have no idea who the hell that girl is. The worldwide exposure and acclaim she got from these few minutes on-stage in France is more than she could have ever achieved maybe and this is a big deal for every artist or singer. Moreover, I am pretty sure she’s not the first professional to compete in the Voice; After all, it’s a win-win situation for TF1 who’s getting viewers from around the world now and for the candidate who’s gaining exposure to new markets.