Category Archives: Critiques

#Tripoli_Loves_Beer: Does It?

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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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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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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?

Names Of The 10 Lebanese Army Martyrs From The Arsal Fighting

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lebarmy (2)

The Lebanese Army has unfortunately lost 10 of its brave soldiers while fighting Islamists in Arsal. The names as published on the Lebanese Army’s official website are as shown below. You can find a resume of each of them [Here].

Noureddine Al Jamal
Ibrahim Mohammad Al Ammouri
Walid Nassim el Majdalani
Nader Hassan Youssef
Omar Walid Al Nohaily
Jaafar Hassan Nasreddine
Hussein Ali Hamiyye
Khaldoun Raouf Hammoud
Hassan Walid Mehieddine
Mohammad Ali El Ajal

I just want to add one thing here, given that few people have criticized my last post where I called to stop the cheesy songs and actually show some real support and a proper coverage of the events happening in Arsal. My support to the Lebanese Army is unconditional against ANY terrorist or armed groups without any “buts” or “ifs” and I want them to destroy every single one of them. Moreover, I want the TVs and media to highlight better the situation in Arsal and all over Lebanon, and silence anyone who dares criticize what the army is doing for his own personal goals.

There’s nothing to discuss when foreign gunmen seize a Lebanese town and kidnap Lebanese security forces.


Can We Stop The Cheesy Army Songs And Cheesy Support?

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I am all for supporting the Lebanese Army, but someone needs to stop these cheesy and lame Lebanese Army songs being played on TVs. Moreover, Al Jadeed’s TV anchor wore the army uniform yesterday as a sign of support, which I didn’t like as well and found really cheesy. It’s enough these days to just put a hashtag or a small logo just like LBCI did with the N thing.

Moreover, I think the best way for TVs to support the army would be to try and cover as much as possible what’s happening in Arssal instead of broadcasting stupid TV shows and try to explain to the Lebanese what’s really happening there, because I am sure most of them don’t have a clue who the army is fighting and how critical the situation is.

On a last note, I really hope the army controls the situation very soon because the Islamists are in the thousands there and pose a very serious threat to Lebanon unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Killing Children Is Wrong: Randomly Sharing Gruesome Pictures Of Dead Children On Facebook And Twitter Is Also Wrong

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kid Gaza Children – Picture via NJBRepository

There’s no arguing that killing children is wrong and that Israel is committing horrendous war crimes against the Palestinian people in Gaza, but I don’t understand how sharing pictures of slaughtered babies, a child without a head, or a toddler’s body torn to pieces on your Facebook or Twitter pages is helping. Journalists and TVs may be eligible to show pictures after warning their viewers, but I don’t see why a random person would pick the most gruesome picture and share it on his Facebook wall or on Twitter and use popular hashtags for everyone to see.

How are these pictures actually helping the Palestinians in Gaza? Would it change the way I feel if I see a headless infant? Would I be less angered by the fact that 300 innocent children died if I didn’t see their dead bodies? We’ve been seeing gruesome pictures from Syria for the past 4 years now yet nothing has changed. In fact, it has gotten even worse now and the crimes the Islamic State is committing in Iraq are not better. Showing corpses on your page will not lead to a ceasefire nor achieve peace and you don’t need to share them all over the place to show that you care. What’s even worse is when people google random dead bodies on the internet and share them on Facebook and tag Gaza or Syria. I’ve seen at least 3 or 4 gruesome pictures that had nothing to do with Gaza but involved dead children. Do you realize how disrespectful this is for the victim and his family?

This being said, I urge everyone to think twice before publishing such pictures on their public profiles, specially without checking the sources, and to respect the dead and their families and take into consideration the feelings of others and how these pictures might affect their friends and family members if they see them. I personally don’t mind looking at any picture, but I refrain from posting or sharing them and when I do, I just link to the video or picture and issue a warning.

A Not So Happy Lebanese Army Day After All

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At least 8 army soldiers were killed yesterday after Syrian gunmen attacked their checkpoints in Arssal. The Lebanese army quickly regained control of the checkpoints and pushed back the gunmen but the situation is still tense. Everything started when the army arrested Abou Ahmad Jemaa, who’s the Jobhat el Nusra “Prince” in Lebanon.

The pictures below are not from Iraq but from Arssal unfortunately and there are hundreds if not thousands of these armed men in the Arssal outskirts between Lebanon and Syria. The last thing we need are these scumbags raiding our towns and terrorizing our people and I want the army gets rid of all them and takes over the borders.

Let’s hope there won’t be any renewed bombings following these incidents.


ersal via BBC

Here’s a map that helps explain the situation in Arsal taken from ISWSyria:

Arsal-MCO (1)

We Should All Go To Watch Mashrou’ Leila In Zouk Mikael Tomorrow Night

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CULTURE_MashrouLeila_IrmakTaner_WEB Picture taken by Ralph Haddad

I was never a big fan of Mashrou’ Leila and I got really pissed off when they cancelled their opening act for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I totally condemn the attempts to stop the band from performing in Zouk Mikael and the disrespectful comments that emerged in the past few days. I have no idea who Fouad el Adem is, but neither him nor anyone have the right to stop the band from performing because their lead singer is homosexual. If they don’t like the band, they can easily stay home and boycott the event, but there’s no need to spread hate and spoil the town’s festival.

The posts that emerged are quite shameful and even though the first post was apparently deleted, and Adem clarified today that he never intended to block any roads or do any demonstrations to stop the band from performing, that didn’t stop him from making a very lame gay joke. I don’t even know where to start with these comments. All I have to say is that Mashrou3 Leila is a band and that music is an art that is appreciated for what it is, not based on the artist’s sexual orientation.

We need people in charge to fight homophobia not encourage it, and the only way our society will evolve is by accepting each other. On a last note, and since most of those who are against the band referred to the Church and to religious terms to attack the organizers and Mashrou3 Leila, I ask them to read what Pope Francis said about LGBT and how the Church must accept them with respect and compassion.

This being said, I am going now to buy tickets for the Mashrou’ Leila act if they are still available and attend tomorrow and I am sure the Zouk Roman amphitheater will be packed and the Light FM 25 Years concert will be a complete success!

See you all there!

PS: You can buy the tickets [Here].




Drunk Woman Roaming Beirut Streets

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I really don’t understand the Lebanese people anymore. First they film and make fun of a topless (mentally ill?) woman and now they harass a drunk girl walking in the middle of the highway instead of calling the police?

The good thing is that the guy who filmed her apparently ended up calling the police, but that’s not enough as he shouldn’t have filmed her and tried to calm her and keep her away from the cars if he wanted to really help.

Lebanese Basketball Teams Are Pushing For Three Foreign Players Next Season

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I’ve heard that the majority of basketball teams in Lebanon, with the exception of Riyadi, are asking the federation to allow three foreign players next season, specially after Ismail Ahmad got the Lebanese nationality. I really hope that this is just a rumor because that’s the worst thing that could happen to Lebanese Basketball.

I’ve been urging the Lebanese Federation for years to force teams to cut down their expenses on foreign players and invest in young Lebanese talents, because that’s the only way to develop new talents and improve the game in Lebanon. Ismail Ahmad has been living in Lebanon for around 10 years and turns 38 this year, so using him as an excuse to get more foreign players is invalid.

Like I said on previous occasions, the Lebanese Federation must force all the teams to set a 5 or 10-year plan and invest as much money on recruiting and improving local talents as they spend on getting foreign players. If we keep on relying on retired NBA players and undermining our youth, we will be killing the game in Lebanon.