Category Archives: Critiques

Is This A Crime Scene?

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crime Picture via Naharnet

A Lebanese called Elias Kfouri was killed today during a failed shop robbery in the Jal el-Dib area. I found these pictures which are apparently from the crime scene and they’re just wrong.

Who the hell seals a crime scene with fruit crates? Don’t they have crime scene tapes? Anything better than crates?

Here’s a [link] to the full story behind Elie’s murder.

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Egg-Throwing Kids In Hamra

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20140818_193826 This translates to “The neighbors’ kids are throwing eggs from the balcony”

Yesterday was the first time I visit Hamra in the past 4 months and I enjoyed walking around and taking pictures of funny and creative writings and drawings like the one above, but I was saddened by the substantial number of beggars, specially children and even babies playing on the sidewalks and sleeping on the floor. I walked for around 15 minutes and saw at least 20 children on the sidewalks, some of them sleeping next to a garbage can.

I honestly don’t know why no one’s doing anything about it, because this is really unacceptable and must be handled in a better way. Beggars are one thing and a whole family thrown on the street is another. I am sure there are a lot of NGOs and organizations that can at least help the children and put them in a clean and safe place.

Somehow the above writing didn’t sound that funny after all, specially after seeing all these kids around me and feeling helpless.

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

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[YouTube]

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.

[YouTube]

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

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beer

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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[YouTube]

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.

bball

#Tripoli_Loves_Beer: Does It?

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beer

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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shot

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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soura

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?