Category Archives: Critiques

Tripoli Cafe Open During Fasting Hours Hit By Grenade

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It is not clear whether the cafe was attacked because it was open during fasting hours, but that memo that was approved by Tripoli’s mayor has indirectly contributed to this incident. Having said that, the least Tripoli’s mayor should do is arrest those who threw that grenade the soonest and threaten those who attack cafes of punishment.

Bab al-Tabbaneh is a Sunni Muslim district in Tripoli that has frequently been involved in violence with the residents of neighboring Jabal Mohsen district, whose residents are Alawites — a Shiite Muslim splinter sect. The city as a whole has been affected by the growing presence of religious extremists, especially after the outbreak of conflict in neighboring Syria, with Bab al-Tabbaneh particularly affected.

Wednesday’s attack comes after cafes and restaurants were warned against opening during daylight fasting hours in Ramadan in text messages and on social media in recent days. One such message names establishments staying open, and says “these pigs are selling food and drink during the day and in view of everyone.” It advises people “to deal with them in an appropriate manner,” without specifying further. [Naharnet]

Electricity Only For Tripoli During Ramadan

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Mikati Taken from Najib Mikati’s Twitter Account

I have no clue what’s wrong with Tripoli officials these days. First they ban breakfasts in the city, then they declare that convoys and fireworks are not allowed as well during Ramadan and now this. What about other Muslims fasting around Lebanon? What about those who are not fasting and can’t afford to pay for a generator? What sort of logic is that?

A Blessed And Peaceful Ramadan To All!

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bp5

I wish I could have just wished everyone a Ramadan Kareem and moved on with other posts but given what’s been happening in the past week in Tripoli and before that in Abra, it looks like some people, aside from the terrorists and suicide bombers, are trying to ruin Ramadan for all the Lebanese.

As you all probably know by now, there’s a memo that was circulated in Abra first, and then in Tripoli asking restaurants and cafes not to serve breakfast during Ramadan. While Abra’s memo was supposedly revoked, few parties in Tripoli are keen on keeping the memo and don’t seem to realize the damage that they’ve done so far.

To be honest, I am sickened by most of the comments and reactions I’ve been hearing on this matter, and I believe these memos are as bad for Muslims as they are for non-Muslims. I’ve lived and worked with Muslims my whole life and I never had any problem with them in regards to fasting and eating during Ramadan. I was never asked not to eat by any of them, and it rarely occurred to me that I shouldn’t be eating because I know that’s not how fasting works either for Muslims or Christians. I was at a brunch yesterday and those who were fasting just sat on an empty table and didn’t feel offended one single bit. Moreover, I would always make an effort and fast the whole day when I am invited to an Iftar at some friend’s house as it’s an interesting and fun experience to have. Souhour is quite special as well but I’ve tried it once or twice only.

What I’m trying to say is that we don’t need someone telling us what to do and where or when to eat. We don’t live in an Islamic or Christian Republic and most Lebanese are respectful when it comes to fasting and religion. It’s really as simple as that and these memos will only give us a headache now and in the future.

Getting Used To Bombings In Lebanon

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Duroy

Three explosions have taken place ever since I started writing this blog post almost a week ago. I don’t know why the bombings are all of a sudden back but the summer season is ruined that’s for sure and more innocent civilians and brave security members are dying. The one thing that did not change is how Lebanese react after every bombing, and how quickly they forget and move along with their lives, as if they’ve gotten used to explosions and they’ve become part of their everyday life.

If we take for example yesterday’s suicide bombing at the Duroy hotel in Raouche, here are the typical reactions that we witness on all social media channels:
- Lebanese condemning the terrorist act and supporting the Lebanese Security Forces and Lebanese Army.
- Lebanese cursing this country and wanting to leave.
- Lebanese accusing KSA/Syria/Israel/Iran/US of the chaos in Lebanon.
- Lebanese accusing Hezbollah/Hariri of what’s happening.
- Lebanese asking for the army to rule.
- Lebanese posting cheesy patriotic songs and posters and calling for unity.
- Lebanese attacking each other politically.
- Lebanese posting cheesy religious posters with a cross and a crescent next to each other.
- Lebanese sharing gruesome pictures of the wounded and dead and not caring for their
- Lebanese posing for selfies wel infijar khalfi (yes this happened but I won’t post the picture because the user deleted it).

Two or three days after the bombing, most of these these people are back to going out normally, partying, posting #LiveLoveLebanon pictures, sharing selfies and hoping for a good summer. On the other hand, few of them would find this attitude unacceptable and start calling for demonstrations and sit-ins, as well as creating hashtags and online campaigns, just the #NotAMartyr campaign.

Personally speaking, I had a birthday party at Iris on the same day the Dahr el Baydar explosion took place and I ended up going and the place was packed. Few days later when the Tayyoune explosion took place, I was watching the Brazil game and I stopped watching because I was too disgusted. Yesterday I was on my way to the Queen’s Birthday party when the Raouche blast happened and I kept going but didn’t stay for long.

What I am trying to say here is that you can never get used to explosions, but at the same time we can’t just stay home and wait for them to end. Everyone is sick of bombings, but I am also sick of Lebanese blaming other countries for these bombings. Once we stop letting others interfere in our business, once we stop interfering in other people’s businesses, and once we stop voting for people who take orders from others, then we can put the blame on others.

Until then, there’s nothing much we can do except show our support to the army and security forces and hope they can get rid of these scumbags before it’s too late. There are no hashtags or online campaigns or petitions that could help us get rid of the terrorist threat. What is needed is a proper security plan and sealed borders and I won’t bother get into details here because I am sick of repeating the same things, specially when we have malls and shopping centers still using defective bomb detectors. This being said, I ask Lebanese to stop rallying behind political parties and politicians and start looking at the bigger image, because innocent civilians are the prime target of terrorism and we should stand as one against it. Just not to sound too cliché, I am not implying for Christians to go pray in mosques and vice versa, but to simply show some respect to each other and argue in a proper way instead of cursing each other like politicians do. This sectarian hatred must go away somehow and it can be achieved if we change the way we interact with each other.

On a last note, life must go on and we must keep on enjoying it just because the terrorists don’t want us to. At the same time, we must also serve as role models for everyone around us and teach them to stay away from hatred, violence and fanaticism. That’s the lifestyle we need to get used to.

I hope you all stay safe.

Abra Municipality Preparing For Ramadan

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10342766_674587419255303_6137083092957507730_n via StopCulturalTerrorism

I come from a village right next to Abra and I don’t recall ever being advised not to eat in public during Ramadan. In fact, I have a lot of Muslim friends and colleagues and I never had an issue with them during Ramadan. Unless you are being disrespectful by stuffing food to their face or sending them food pictures, there’s no need to tell people where and when to eat or not.

I think that was a meaningless thing to do from the municipality, and even though the mayor, who’s Christian, probably had good intentions, this act will cause more harm than good.

Riyadi Beirut Defeats Sagesse To Clinch Its 24th Lebanese Basketball Championship Title

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I think what matters the most is that the series finally came to an end and someone won fair and square without fights or politics involved. It’s quite unfortunate that fans were banned from watching the last 3 games, but it was necessary and I hope both teams will learn how to control their fans next year. As for the federation, I am glad they decided to keep the series going and I urge them to take the appropriate measures to avoid any clashes next year and have a very strict policy towards all the teams and players.

All in all and despite everything that happened, I think this year was one of the best in terms of competitiveness and the years to come promise to be even better.

Woman Comes Back To Find Her Mar Mikhail House Partly Demolished: Developer Promises To Buy Her A New Home

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Updates: One of the people who commented, is saying he is the lady’s son and the developer didn’t offer anything or even show up. On the other hand, Prad is saying the contractor had warned the woman prior to demolishing the building next to hers and had signed an agreement with her two months ago to terminate her rental agreement.

Given these two versions, it would be nice if LBCI, MTV, FTV or any local TV investigates this issue further and let us know what really happened because such an issue is more important than Jägermeister Demonic Worshippers.

I tried getting new updates regarding this story since it spread yesterday, and the only news I got was from Habib who said the developer promised to buy her a new house.

However, whether the developer damaged the house intentionally or not, the woman was fortunate enough not to be in the house when the walls were taken down and this is a serious mistake that cannot be ignored just like that. I say the developer should be heavily fined, forced to fix the lady’s house and have his project suspended until further notice.

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[YouTube]