The American government has reportedly been monitoring communications, such as emails and phone calls, in the U.S and other countries. Pew conducted a survey asking people from around the world whether they find it acceptable or not for the US to monitor communications from citizens, American citizens, suspected terrorists and country leaders.
Here’s what the Lebanese had to say about that:
- 92% found is unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of Lebanese citizens.
- 76% found it acceptable for the American government to monitor communications of suspected terrorists.
- 77% found it unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of US citizens.
- 87% found it unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of Lebanese leaders.
You can find other Pew polls [Here]. One interesting survey on the rise of Islamic Extremism in the Middle East revealed that 92% of Lebanese (the highest %) were very concerned about Islamic Extremism in their country.
I Am a NatGeo Photographer is a reality show broadcasted on National Geographic Abu Dhabi. It features eight asipiring photographer from across the region competing in a series of challenges all over the UAE. “Their goal is to find that perfect photo until, in time-honoured reality-TV fashion, only one remains to be crowned the winner and see their work in the pages of the magazine”.
The first edition of this show has come to an end and it was a Lebanese photographer called Emilie Houwat who won. I haven’t seem the picture she took as I couldn’t find it anywhere, but I will update the post once I do.
Congrats to Emilie! You can check out her website [Here].
First we had the Janna dam and now the Bakaatit Kanaan dam. Is it so damn hard to get someone to do the job properly? I mean everyone needs water even the officials so why can’t they steal some money but at least do a proper job?
Photo of Beirut Port with ships used for migration (Credit: LERC Archives)
Executive Magazine is doing a special report this month about Lebanese in Brazil, by giving a historical overview and compiling the success stories of several Lebanese personalities. As most of us know or have heard, there are at least 6 million Brazilians of Lebanese origin and Lebanese in Brazil have made it to the top in many fields.
All the articles on Lebanese successes are quite interesting, and I advise you to read them all, from Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer to Latin America’s Indiana Jones Amyr Klink, former Supreme Court judge Francisco Rezek and others.
Check out all the articles as they are published [Here].
As far as I know, Ahmaz people were not really hiding their political allegiance, so they must have seen it coming. For those of you who don’t know Stars Group, they basically mobile phones to the majority of shops in Lebanon and always get the new phones ahead of others somehow.
As the Treasury Department announced today, the United States targeted a key Hizbullah procurement network by designating brothers Kamel Mohamad Amhaz and Issam Mohamad Amhaz; their business, Stars Group Holding, which is based in Beirut and has subsidiaries in China and the UAE; and certain managers and individuals who supported their illicit activities,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.
Later on Thursday, a Stars Group manager denied the accusations in remarks to LBCI television, saying his firm had not yet received the sanctions decree in an official manner. “Hizbullah relies heavily on front companies such as Stars Group Holding, which continue to procure dual-use material for the organization to enhance its military capabilities,” the State Department said in its statement.
It accused Stars Group Holding of covertly purchasing sophisticated electronics and other technology from suppliers around the world, including “a range of engines, communications, electronics, and navigation equipment.”
Brothers George and Michel Tanielian are believed to be Lebanon’s first serial killers. The 9 other criminals who made the list are:
Mohammed Bijeh from Iran.
Adam Omar from Yemen.
Mahin Qadri from Iran.
Ali Kaya from Turkey.
Saeed Hanaei from Iran.
Bilal Musa from Jordan.
Dr. Louay Omar Mohammed Al-Taei from Iraq.
Awdhah from Saudi Arabia.
Ali Reza Kordiyeh from Iran.
Check out the full article [Here].
Brothers George and Michel Tanielian killed 11 people, mostly taxi drivers, in Lebanon’s Metn district, earning themselves the nickname “The Taxi Driver Killers.” They boarded taxis at night, and George would sit in front beside the driver while Michel would sit at the back. Once they got to a remote location, George would tell the driver to pull over so that he could relieve himself. As soon as the driver pulled over and George began to exit the vehicle, Michel would shoot the driver in the head. They’d then rob the body and set the car on fire. Sometimes, they’d dump the body by the roadside and use the cab to carry other victims, whom they also robbed and killed. Lebanese intelligence officers once went undercover, posing as taxi drivers to catch the brothers. An agent once engaged them in a struggle, but they managed to escape. The pair were arrested after police tracked a victim’s phone that they’d sold. Along with the two of them, police arrested three other brothers as suspects, until Michel confessed during questioning that he and George had carried out the killings. George and Michel were charged before a military court and were sentenced to death.
Zoomal is kicking off a challenge called “The Must See Film” to empower the film scene in the Arab world. This initiative aims at given an opportunity to filmmakers in the Middle East to present their project and get 1$ from Zoomal for every 1$ pledged by a funder. The rules are simple and explained below:
Geographical focus: Films must be directed by Arab filmmakers. We encourage everyone from the region to apply
Impact: The project needs to be innovative and/or pioneering. Where unique stories from the Arab World are highlighted. Stories that are told in ways beyond the traditional feature film are encouraged to apply.
Up to $25,000: Only projects that require a maximum budget of $25,000 will be allowed to apply in the challenge.
Not Zoomaal Prohibited: project must pass Zoomaal’s screening criteria that ban charity, religious, political, alcohol, adult, and tobacco projects, while focusing primarily on creative and sustainable development projects in the Arab world.
Based on previous challenges, matched funded challenges get 5 times more funding than normal sponsorships so this is a unique opportunity for all film makers to present their project and maybe get the needed money to finish their movie.
Check out more details [Here].
Here are some of the interest statistics as compiled by Hussein.
- 40.2% of the total Middle East population accesses the web,
- 88% of this online population uses social networking on a daily basis,
- In the Middle East, 65% of online users are men, 35% are women,
- 36% of the Middle East of online users are aged between 18 and 24 years,
- Jordan has the highest penetration rate of social networks across Internet users: 88%,
- The smartphones penetration rate in KSA is 63%,
- Facebook is the most popular social network with 94% of the Middle East’s social media users are on it,
- UAE has the highest penetration rate for Facebook (44%),
- 6.5 million users from the Middle East are on Twitter: 3.7 million are active users,
- Arabs produce around 10 million tweets everyday,
- KSA has a penetration rate of 33% for Twitter. It is the highest penetration of Twitter in the world,
- LinkedIn counts over 5.8 million users from the Middle East,
- UAE has the highest LinkedIn penetration with 1.6 million users: A number that has increased by 45% in only 1 year,
- There are 258 million daily views of Youtube videos. 90 million of them come from KSA.
The decision to name Beirut streets after notable Lebanese was taken last year and we finally have a street for Said Akl. Too bad he couldn’t attend the ceremony given his old age (he’s already 103!).
Beirut Municipality Saturday celebrated naming a street in one of its neighborhoods after Lebanese poet and writer Said Akl, to mark his 103rd birthday. At the Sioufi Garden in Ashrafieh, the ceremony unveiled the newly named street and the memorial plaque that read: “Said Akl Street, a century of giving, creativity, honest nationalism.” Akl, who was unable to attend the ceremony, recorded an audio message about his hopes of seeing Lebanon “return to its glory.” [DailyStar]