Category Archives: Critiques

Beirut Stinks So Let’s Shine The Traffic Lights First

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Garbage smells, mosquitoes invasion, allergies, diseases and then you find this guy cleaning the traffic lights one by one in Down Town Beirut, and the concerned ministries giving us warnings on Twitter.

On another note, here’s what Ziad Abi Chaker, one of Lebanon’s leading garbage entrepreneurs, advises us to do to protect ourselves and our homes:

In regards to the bad smells in Beirut and suburbs, these are due to the removal of the 7 to 8 months old waste which has undergone advanced anaerobic fermentation and has a very putrid smell…we will have to live with this situation until all the old waste by Beirut River and Karantina are removed. There is practically nothing we can do for the smell but we can protect ourselves and homes from the bacteria present in the air:
Get a mouthwash product, if possible select the extra strength, the regular would do too, dilute it 1:1 with water, that’s 1 cup mouthwash to 1 cup water, place the solution in a plastic spray bottle and spray it around your house…Mouthwash has antiseptic properties…if you have little kids spray it twice a day in their bedroom…
There is no need to buy the expensive antiseptics that some companies are pushing on the market now to make a quick buck…The mouthwash solution will be more effective and it should give a nice smell while it lasts…
Hopefully, they will finish removing all the old waste in a timely fashion before it gets too hot as it will become nearly impossible for the handlers to deal with the smells….
On another note, if you or your kids are bitten by the flies, not all are mosquitoes, some of these flies are specific to anaerobic fermentation processes, you can put some mouthwash on a cotton and dab the bite area with it…it will alleviate the burning and automatically cleanse the bite wound from infection….

What The Naameh Residents Are Going Through Because Of The Landfill

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The garbage crisis is first and foremost a health crisis and Naameh residents are the most affected by this crisis. Residents neighboring the landfill should have been given a financial indemnity as promised and moved outside the area long time ago.

No one should be allowed to live near this poisonous and toxic landfill. The air is contaminated with various toxic substances, the water is contaminated by the landfill, the flies roaming around the garbage and over your food can get you food poisoned or severely sick, and there’s an increasing rate of cancer among the residents as they are left exposed to untreated chemicals.

The Naameh landfill should have never reopened and residents have every right to block the road. The cost to maintain the Naameh landfill is one of the highest in the world and the garbage is not even being treated properly. Moreover, “The combination of organic and dangerous trash in the landfill has created toxic liquid known as leachate, which is much more polluting than sewage water” according to Lebanon Eco Movement President Paul Abi Rached.

All those living near the landfill should relocate the soonest and all medical and relocation expenses should be paid by the government. This should be the Health Ministry’s top priority.

مطمر الموت الصحي

ما لا تريدك سلطة الفساد أن تعرف عن ما يسمى من قبلهم بالطمر "الصحي".. شاهدوا للنهاية..#طلعت_ريحتكم وقتلتونا

Posted by ‎طلعت ريحتكم‎ on Friday, April 8, 2016

Saudi-Owned Daily Asharq al-Awsat Removed The Disrespectful Lebanon Cartoon

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sharq Caricature published in the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper “April Fools… the Lebanese state”

Saudi-owned daily Asharq al-Awsat angered Lebanese after it published a caricature earlier today depicting the Lebanese state as an April Fools’ joke. The cartoon was later on removed from the website without any explanation. The cartoon is disrespectful and offensive but I honestly laughed when I saw it because the joke is really on the paper and the cartoonist not on us.

Snapchat’s Beirut Story: AUB, National Anthem, AUB, Ain el Mreisse, National Anthem, Fattit Shrimps

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Snapchat has been featuring towns and cities as part of the “Life” Snapchat Stories and Beirut got its own Life Snapchat Story yesterday. Life stories are prepared by Snapchat and are basically a compilation of snaps from Snapchatters at events and locations around the world. Anyone can see them under “Live” on the Snapchat application.

Beirut’s story was a lousy one to be honest, but I’m not sure if I should blame Snapchat or Lebanese Snapchatters. Maybe it’s a sign that we need better Snapchatters in Beirut 🙂

Here are some of the things we learned in this story:
– Beirut’s logo is a mosque for some reason.
– Beirut is all about Ain el Mraisse, AUB and Beirut Souks.
– Maamoul is a national dessert (which we feed to pets as well).
– Fattit Shrimps is a traditional dish (local secrets).
– We sing the National Anthem everywhere we go.
– There are clowns in Beirut distributing balloons to cars rocking Ali el Deek.
– Everyone speaks English in Beirut except that motorist with his “Assalam 3alaykoum” greeting.

There are few good snaps in this story, mainly the Dabke, Oud, Wara2 Arich but that’s about it.

PS: They removed the fattit shrimps today from the story.

Najwa Karam’s Message to All Working Mothers

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mbc via MBC1

This is not an April Fool’s prank and this is coming from someone who is not married and doesn’t have children.

نجوي كرم توجه رسالة لكل امرأة قد تراها بعض النساء صدمة #شط_بحر_الهوى

Posted by MBC1 on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Enough With Celebratory Gunfire!

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A 5 year old kid was hit and killed by a stray bullet from a funeral gunfire in Beirut’s southern suburbs back in June 2015. Yesterday, Bettina Raidy, an 8 year old girl, was struck in the head by a stray bullet and died.

I was watching MTV’s report on the poor girl and I couldn’t bear watching it to the end. I couldn’t imagine what her parents were going through and how devastated they are. They’ve been raising this young girl for 8 years only to see her get killed by some moronic gun-loving scumbag.

Not only should celebratory gunfire get banned but it should also be considered a crime. Guns should only be used in battle by the Lebanese Army or security forces, not for celebrations or during funerals in the street. Anyone who still thinks that emptying guns in the sky is part of our culture is a complete idiot and belongs in prison.

Guns have no place in a celebration of any kind and celebratory gunfire is destroying people’s lives and causing unnecessary tragedies. Not only do we need the authorities to take strict measures against these criminals, but people need to start reporting such thugs.

My sincere condolences to the family and all my respect to the father for his stand on celebratory gunfire.

Yet Another Environmental Disaster: Jiyeh Sea Filled With Garbage

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The old Lebanese proverb “أعمل منيح وكب بالبحر” should be changed into “يا بهيم حاجي تكب بالبحر”. As if Israel’s deliberate bombardment of fuel tanks in Jiyeh back in 2006 wasn’t enough to pollute the waters, some assholes (Lebanese) have been dumping recently large piles of garbage into the Jiyeh sea.


The discovery was made by a woman (Dr. Halima Kaakour) who usually swims there every morning and the underwater pictures and videos being shared are horrific.


Civil Defense volunteers worked on cleaning the waters for hours last Friday but it will take them days if not weeks to take out all the dumped trash.


Jiyeh’s coast is one of the most beautiful in Lebanon and some of Lebanon’s most popular beach resorts are found there.

Beirut’s Raouché Rock Lit Up with Lebanese & Belgian Flags

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The Raouché rock in Beirut was lit up with the Lebanese and Belgian flags, in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks that hit Brussels few days ago. Beirut’s Pigeon Rock was also illuminated to condemn terrorist attacks back in November 2015 following the Burj el Brajneh and Paris attacks.

Now we’ll never hear the end of it. Why Belgium and Paris and not Egypt or Ankara? Or Baghdad? In fact right now we have a repeat of what happened back in November 2015 whereas media is talking about the Ankara attacks that took place before Brussels and were barely mentioned in the news. There’s also the horrible suicide bombing that took place in Baghdad yesterday inside at a football match and killed at least 30 people.

I don’t want to get into this debate because it’s a useless one. Some argue that bombs have become the norm in our region while they have yet to become the norm in the West, while others insist that global media gives more importance to the West but what matters to me is that terrorism is on the rise, innocent people are getting killed and we are not doing enough to combat extremism.

Sagesse (Hekmeh) Players Went on Strike Over Non-Payment of Salary

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I was told by a friend who’s a loyal Sagesse fan that the players have stopped going to practice since Thursday until they get paid. Hekmeh players only got paid once this entire season and the team apparently still owes some players money from last year. The team is currently in 7th position and has lost 7 of its last 9 games.

Hekmeh’s nightmare season doesn’t seem to be getting any better, despite winning the Dubai international basketball tournament earlier this year. The real blame is on the previous management but the newly elected management knew what they were getting into and should have managed things better. A friend told me that sponsors did not pay yet their dues but that’s not something the player should be worried about. How can any team expect his players to perform well if they aren’t getting paid all season long?

Unfortunately, Riyadi is probably the only team that pays his players and staff on time, which means that we have a serious problem in the league, a problem that no one wishes to tackle. Instead of spending millions of dollars on foreign players and leaving the Lebanese players/staff and the team broke, the teams should have a solid financial plan over 3-years at least and properly manage their budget every year. That’s one the many reasons I was against that stupid 3-foreigners rule and things will only get worse now for Lebanese players and the teams.

I’ve always loved and supported Sagesse, even when Ghassan Sarkis was their coach, and it’s truly painful to see them go through such a phase, especially after everything President Choueiry has done to help Sagesse reach an international level and win Arab and Asian cup titles. More importantly, Sagesse fans are among the most loyal and dedicated fans and they deserve better than that.

All in all, there are two major problems in Lebanon’s basketball and they are not going away anytime soon with the current federation and team officials:
– The intervention of politics and religion in the sports, which was perfectly documented by Rayanne Moussallem two years ago.
– The incompetence of most Lebanese Basketball officials, which is mainly due to the intervention of politics and religion, add to that wide-spread corruption.

With or Against Cancelling The Brevet Official Exams in Lebanon?

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MPs Serge Torsarkissian and Nadim Gemayel submitted last week a law draft to cancel the Brevet official exams. Their argument is that the certificate no longer matches the development pace of the curriculum in Lebanese schools. I am for cancelling the Brevet exams as long as they are replaced by another type of exam or middle-year programs.

However, the real problem in Lebanon is not with the exam itself but with the widespread cheating during officials exams. When I was presenting my Brevet, I gave everyone in the classroom my answers and took some guy’s paper and did it for him because the instructor “kindly” asked me to. I’m not proud of what I did but I was forced to and we all knew that it was ok to cheat. We weren’t even scared that we’d get caught in the process and I’m sure things have only gotten worse ever since.

This “open-cheating” syndrome is the real problem in our educational system and should have been the primary concern of Lebanese schools and our Education Minister. It is important to understand what motivates students to be dishonest and to punish harshly teachers that encourage them to cheat and commit unethical acts.