Category Archives: Critiques

Is It Legal To Share Charlie Hebdo’s Cover In Lebanon?

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Three million copies of Charlie Hebdo were printed and distributed today with a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad holding a “Je suis Charlie” sign on the cover page. Above the cartoon are the words “All is forgiven” in reference to the bloody attack on the magazine last week. I’ve seen a lot of Lebanese and few journalists and medias sharing the cartoon on their social media page but I wonder if it’s legal to do such a thing?

I know for a fact that you can go to jail for “blasphemy God publicly” in Lebanon and I am pretty sure you can’t draw the prophet and publish it anywhere in Lebanon, but I don’t know if it’s the same thing when you are sharing someone else’s work. If it were up to me, I would vote for a limitless freedom of expression as I believe extremes will end up being repelled by most societies. Take for example Charlie Hebdo, the magazine was suffering financially and looking for funds before the attack and now it’s selling 3 million copies and has collected over $1 million dollars in donations because of that incident.

In all cases, I hope no one gets sued or threatened for sharing the cover today.

#JusticeForYves: How Hard Is It To Find Yves Nawfal’s Killers?

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We know every single detail related to Yves’ murder, from the fight that erupted in the night to how they got out and then ambushed. We also know the names of the whole gang involved in the murder and almost every politician denied hiding or covering these criminals, so what’s stopping the police from arresting them?

Well apparently they can’t find them still, even though Charbel Khalil’s lawyer did issue a clarification regarding the incident and is probably communicating with the suspect. Assuming they didn’t flee to Syria as it was reported, I think our interior minister should intervene personally to step up the investigation, find these murderers and throw them in jail where they belong.

PS: I don’t know how OTV managed to mix between Yves Nawfal’s murder and crimes related to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Myriam Klink Figured Out The Best Way To Help Refugees Dying Of Cold In Lebanon

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10906071_830555203677363_327811473501513724_n Syrian boy died from the cold in a refugee camp in Lebanon

Thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are facing a merciless winter and children are dying of cold inside camps. Many refugees don’t have the adequate clothing for this freezing weather and some were seen wearing flip flops only. In order to contain this crisis, a lot of NGOs are launching initiatives to collect clothes and donations to keep the refugees warm.

Meanwhile, Myriam Klink also decided to show her solidarity with those poor children freezing to death by posing in a bikini in the snow, an idea inspired from the Ice Bucket challenge that trended few months back. Of course it all makes sense (at least in Klink’s mind) and I would propose that she uses the hashtag #StripForZenaWhilePoorKidsDie or #FreezeToDeathInABikini to help more kids freeze to death while she collects Instagram likes.




Chou Khass #JeSuisBeyrouth Bi #CharlieHebdo?

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I can understand the ongoing debate on whether to use the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag or not but I can’t figure why why some Lebanese decided to come up with a #JeSuisBeyrouth hashtag and continue that “Beirut is more damaged than Charlie”. Beirut is indeed more damaged than Charlie because we always mix things up and never set our priorities right. There’s nothing wrong with Lebanese being outraged about what happened in France and expressing their solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo staff, because this is about freedom of expression and not Charlie Hebdo as a magazine itself, it’s about someone being murdered for his drawings not about the right to mock religions or not.

The #CharlieHebdo massacre is a reminder for all Lebanese to stand united when it comes to freedom of expression because without it, our country will cease to exist. it is a wake up call to realize the importance of preserving our liberties and standing against those who wish to compromise it for the sake of security or religions. Few of us realized that when Gebran Tueni and Samir Kassir were killed and we’ve been paying the price for that ever since but it’s never too late. Let’s learn from the French instead of giving them lessons in counter-terrorism and liberties. France is standing as one against the murder of four controversial journalists while we can’t bring together few thousands to mourn prominent journalists, stop violence against women or even better stop illegal parliament extension.

To sum things up, any attack on free journalists anywhere in the world should be condemned by all Lebanese and stand as a reminder about the importance of preserving our freedom of expression in Lebanon at all cost.


Why Is Joumblatt Undermining Minister Bou Faour’s Campaign?

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Walid Joumblatt is saying that a restaurant pressured TVs and medias not to mention its name but LBCI stated that even Minister Bou Faour didn’t mention the restaurant’s name so what’s the story? Why would Joumblatt tweet such a thing and not even mention the restaurant’s name? What is he trying to say? That Bou Faour is favoriting restaurants over others?

I honestly don’t think that’s the case but minister Bou Faour should answer Joumblatt (on Twitter?) and clarify this matter.

As far as Balthus is concerned, this is one of the finest French restaurants in town and I highly doubt that it’s violating any food safety regulations. If this is really the case, and as stated in previous occasions, the minister should clearly state how Balthus is غير مطابق as this could mean a zillion things.


In all cases, I don’t think violating restaurants are a primary concern at the moment specially when most of the slaughterhouses and food storages are violating.


#CharlieHebdo: Is It Wrong To Mock Religions?

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Masked gunmen killed yesterday at least 12 people at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The magazine is widely known for mocking all religions and religious figures such as the Prophet Mohammed and has received threats on several occasions. As a result of the attack, Charlie Hebdo’s editor Mr Charbonnier (Known as Chab) was killed along with renowned cartoonist Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous.

Personally speaking, I strongly condemn the terrorist track as I believe freedom of speech is more important than anyone’s feelings and killing someone over a cartoon is sick and disturbing. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t find Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons offensive and provocative. These are two different things that shouldn’t be mixed together and nothing justifies the carnage that took place yesterday.

If we take Lebanon for example, it is illegal by law to mess with any religion and a magazine like Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t be allowed to open in the first place, but under the French law, they are allowed to whether we like it or not. Therefore, Charlie Hebdo is free to mock all religions just like we are free to criticize their cartoons but no one, under any circumstances, should be killed over a cartoon.

All in all, freedom of speech cannot be killed and what happened yesterday will only make it stronger.

PS: I already wrote an article on the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy that took place back in 2005. Check it out [here].


Annahar Issues Clarification Regarding The “Hamra isn’t Lebanese anymore” Article

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I read the original article written by Hussein Hazzoury earlier today and didn’t really understand what the author was trying to prove. He began his article by saying that Hamra became “black” which is either pure racism or utter nonsense and then stated that Hamra, which was once the Champs Elysees of Beirut (Really?), is now a Syrian street.

I won’t criticize the rest of the article because it’s not worth it but if you are interested, Hummusforthought posted an excellent reply today. As far as Annahar’s statement is concerned, they should figure out a way to stop such articles before they get published.

Hamra has always been Lebanese and has always attracted people from different nationalities and sects. Nothing has really changed in the past years except the nightlife which has been gradually moving to Mar Mikhail.

Is Education Minister Elias Bou Saab Seriously Asking This Question?

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BouSaab via EliasBouSaab

Update1: Minister Bou Saab denied that he was relying on the poll to decide whether to close or not, but the poll is still up on his Facebook page.

Update2: Education Minister Elias Bou Saab has decided to order the closure of private, public and vocational schools on Wednesday.

I am sure all students will refuse to close schools tomorrow and massively vote to keep them open. The results until this hour are a clear proof of that lol!


Lebanon To Impose Visa Restrictions On Syrians For The First Time

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refugees Picture via UNRWA

Syrians were able to stay in Lebanon for up to six months previously, but this will no longer be possible as any Syrian who wishes to enter Lebanon will have to obtain a visa at the borders. This measure should have been implemented long time ago in order to control the flow of refugees trying to escape the war but it’s better late than never.

The new regulations will come into effect on January 5 as mentioned on the General Security website. This is the first time that such measures are taken ever since Lebanon’s independence. Hopefully, the borders will be secured soon as well in order to stop illegal entries as well.