Category Archives: Critiques

Fares Karam Offers Adel Karam A Gun On Hayda 7aki’s Show

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fares karamj

I was actually enjoying Fares Karam’s interview on Hayda 7aki yesterday until he pulled a fully loaded pistol, emptied it and handed it to Adel Karam as a gift. I know that Fares Karam loves guns and all but I think it’s a very bad idea to let him carry a gun (and a loaded one) during the show.

PS: Skip to Minute 36:59 if you wanna see it.

Mohammad Chatah Did Not Get Killed To Get A Square Named After Him

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Moahmmad Chate7 via Sara Assaf

Former Minister of Finance and Saad Hariri Senior Advisor Mohamad Chatah was killed along with 6 others in a car explosion exactly one year ago yet we haven’t figured out who assassinated him in the heart of Beirut and we probably never will. Meanwhile, he got a square named after him in Beirut. Every martyr that fell since 2005 got a street, a garden or a square named after him but we still don’t know who’s behind these assassinations. More importantly, the families of innocent civilians who died during these explosions still have no explanation as to why they lost their loved ones.

It is one thing to become immune to explosions and assassinations, yet another to undermine the value of one’s life. These people getting killed weren’t armed and fighting but were politicians, statesmen and journalists, and these innocent civilians killed as a result of these bombings had nothing to do with all that. Their families and all of us Lebanese deserve to know who killed them and why and the Lebanese authorities have a responsibility to figure that out, even if it takes them 20 years. Mohammad Chatah was a brilliant statesman, an economist and a diplomat and he also had a family that loved him and cherished him, his bodyguard Mohammad Tarek Badr may not be well know but he also had a loving mother and family and the two teens that were taking a harmless selfie and survived the explosion, unlike their friend, will be scarred for life by this incident.

We have enough squares and streets named after martyrs. What we need is to do is preserve this sacred freedom of expression that this country was built upon, remember the importance of one’s life and remind the authorities of that.

Gebran Tueni’s TV spot is probably the best example to give in that case. This man represented at one point the voice of almost every free and young Lebanese yet his assassination was not even investigated and then ignored by the authorities, a crime even worse than the one that took him away from us.


Justice Minister Rifi To Take Legal Action Against The Convoy In Achrafieh But What’s The Point?

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Minister Rifi asked Judge Hammoud to investigate the incident that took place in Achrafieh a couple of days ago where security guards stepped down from a convoy to assault a driver and damage his car. He also asked to bring those wrongdoers to justice but we all know that’s not going anywhere specially if the rumors are right about who was in the convoy.

In all cases, I am pretty sure the driver himself wouldn’t want to get himself involved in this mess because he’s powerless and may be harassed in the future. I believe the best Rifi can do is get the security guards or the official in question to issue a public apology for what happened, but just like everything else in this country, the case will be forgotten in a couple of weeks and won’t be raised until another convoy harasses an innocent civilian.

Here are the two [videos] showing the convoy guards assaulting the car and the helpless driver.

Should Lebanese Muslims Celebrate Christmas?

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Every year, I hear about a pamphlet or a message inciting Lebanese Muslims not to celebrate Christmas and calling it a holiday for the “Kuffar”. I never knew who’s behind these campaigns but they definitely do not reflect the values and traditions of our Lebanese society. Muslims and Christians in Lebanon are used to celebrate their holidays together, whether it’s Christmas, Ramadan, Adha or Easter. I personally love attending Iftars during Ramadan and wish everyone around me a Merry Christmas, whether they are Muslims, Druze or even atheists.

Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with Muslims refusing to celebrate Christmas, but what’s unacceptable is using the “Kuffar” pejorative to describe others. If Muslims want to celebrate Christmas with their Christian friends, they should be free to do so the same way Christians should be free to have an Iftar with their Muslim friends.

All in all, Christmas is a joyous time of the year where people bring gifts to each other and have family dinners. Most Muslims I know celebrate Christmas and even put Christmas trees at their place because they love the customs and traditions. I don’t believe there’s a need to dig into religious interpretations and label people as “Kuffar” and spoil the holidays for everyone. Lebanese in general should be free to celebrate any holiday and can refrain from doing so if they are not comfortable with it.

Merry Christmas to all my Muslim and Christian friends!

Should We Complain About Traffic During Christmas?

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largest Via Dan Khoueiry

Two days ago, I left Beirut around 5pm and got stuck for 45 minutes between Saifi and the Touch building in Karantina. I thought at first it was just traffic but cars weren’t moving at all but as it turns out the security forces had blocked the road apparently because some Iranian official was visiting. I don’t know who’s the genius who planned this visit but I think Lebanese are the priority not a foreign official. Once we got past Touch it took me an hour and a half to get past ABC and Le Mall in Dbayyeh and then the road was almost clear. Yesterday was probably the worst traffic I’ve experienced this year as it took me almost 3 hours to get from Beirut to Jounieh.

The main reason behind all this traffic are malls, shops and restaurants on the highway and cars cutting off others to get in the parking lot. This happens all the time not just during holidays but it gets worse during Christmas and even worse when it rains during the holidays. Of course it’s normal to witness traffic during Christmas and it’s been happening for years, but the only thing that bothers me is that no measures are ever taken to relieve traffic congestion. Companies, malls, businesses and on top of them the authorities can at least try to make things easier for the Lebanese. They could allocate further parking spaces near malls during this period, or provide shuttle services, or organize the entry to malls. So many little things can make a huge difference but no one cares and traffic keeps getting worse every year. Of course there are things that we can do as well as citizens, like getting our Christmas gifts early, avoid going to the malls during peak hours, carpool, walk instead of driving to nearby places, take more days off during the holidays etc …

All in all, I love Christmas and I hate nagging or complaining during this period, but I really want the authorities, businesses and more importantly the blog’s readers to take this into consideration and try make things easier for themselves and others. For example and since NYE is in a week, try to go buy your stuff on the 26th or 27th not the 31st this year and see how great it feels and how much traffic you can avoid.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I Can’t Pay My Mecanique Because I Have Invisible Fines

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no fine

I went down to the bank to pay my mecanique fees today but the teller told me that there are fines that I have to go check at the Nef3a and pay first . I went to the ISF website to see if I have any pending speed tickets but didn’t find any. I don’t remember getting any speed ticket and I didn’t park anywhere illegal to get parking fines so I am not sure what this is about. I think I’d rather pay late fees than drive to Nef3a during this week.

In all cases, I think it’s about time we make this whole procedure online.

Minister Bou Faour Issues New List Of Violating Restaurants And Supermarkets

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Dima Minister Bou Faour having lunch with Dima Sadek

Minister Bou Faour is still issuing new lists of “bad” restaurants and supermarkets and confusing the hell out of every Lebanese. I am no longer following up on this matter but I’ve noticed that the minister is now mentioning which restaurants are no longer bad. Unfortunately he hasn’t released yet a full detailed report on the whole campaign and we can’t track the progress on the ministry’s website or anywhere.

Here are some of the restaurants and supermarkets that were found violating in this new report and I’ve tried or been to:
Crepaway in Batroun (Chicken)
Main Street in Beirut (Marinated Chicken)
Relais Foch (Meat – Hamburger)
Karamna restaurant (Stuffed Chicken)
Place de l’Etoile (Chicken breast)
Ghalayini Snack (Lahm Baajine – Akkawi Cheese)
Malak el Taouk in Louaize (Mayonnaise – Taouk – Hamburger)
Rassifna in Kaslik (Hamburger – Kabab)
Shawarmanji in Zouk Mikhael ( Shawarma Lahme)
Lala Chicken in Zouk Mikhael (Kafta)
Awwad Chicken in Tripoli (Sawda Djeij)
Bakkar Chicken in Tripoli (Chicken wings)
Pomodoro in Zaitunay Bay (Chicken breast)
Classic Burger Joint (Hamburger)
St Elmo’s (Hamburger)
Karam Sur Mer (Soujouk, Makanen, Kebbet Samak, Shrimps)

The problem with this list and with any upcoming list is that we don’t know what’s wrong with these restaurants and how serious the violations are.