Category Archives: Information

Marwan Charbel Should Step Down

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[YouTube]

Before I start this post, I want to clarify that my opinion here is as a Lebanese citizen who has the right to hold any representative accountable for his actions regardless of his political affiliations, whether he’s a Minister, an MP or the President himself. Of course it should be done in a constructive and objective way, away from insults and personal attacks.

More importantly, what matters to me as a Lebanese nowadays are basic stuff, like a decent internet, 24/7 electricity, freedom of speech, security, stability, a good economy etc … and I don’t give a damn about one’s political affiliation if he/she is able to provide me with all those.

This being said, I strongly believe Marwan Charbel has failed on several occasions as an Interior Minister and that he should step down and make way for someone else who is capable to cope with everything that’s happening lately in Lebanon and its surrounding. Don’t get me wrong, Charbel is a good man and a highly esteemed officer but I believe he doesn’t have what it takes to manage the crisis we’re going through as a country and should take this load off his back and hand it to someone else. He could be perfect for another position for all I know but the Ministry Of Interior was not made for him. After all, there’s no shame in resigning as we are going through extraordinary circumstances that require someone a bit more street-smart and used to handling this ministry or any other sensitive position.

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Before looking back at the mistakes and miscalculations he’s done in the past three years, what happened today at the explosion site is quite shameful and embarrassing for any Interior Minister. It’s not acceptable for demonstrators to attack a minister but it’s ridiculous to see an Interior Minister running away and being escorted to a safe spot by non-governmental armed factions. These things may happen with other Ministers or MPs but they shouldn’t happen with an Interior Minister of a Minister of Defence.

Putting this incident aside, let’s recap few past events:

– Marwan Charbel admitted back in May that the authorities had miscalculated in not building camps to house Syrian refugees escaping the fighting in their country and that he has no plans to fix this problem. [Source]
– Charbel refused at first to sign Nidal and Khouloud’s civil marriage contract despite the public pressure and the President’s request. Fortunately though he ended up signing it.
– As a reaction to the increase of thefts and kidnappings, he announced a security month but publicly announced the starting date thereby eliminating the element of surprise. [Source]
– He said and I quote that “There’s an old saying that Lebanon is the Switzerland of the Middle East; I say that Switzerland is the Lebanon of the West.” [Source]
– He teared up when asked about the security in Lebanon and the rise in crime. [Source]
– He got robbed twice during his visit to Romania.
– He justified the Antelias bombing back in 2011 as being “a result of a financial and personal dispute between several people, including some car dealers.” This justification is one of many that didn’t make any sense and insulted our intelligence. [Source]

Having said that, the man clearly has good intentions but seems disconnected from what’s happening and unprepared to offer solutions and take things in his own hands. His biggest mistake was probably the Abra clashes and the diplomatic approach that he took towards Assir who is now wanted for killing soldiers. For all I know, he may have been trying to cool things down but he clearly miscalculated the threat Assir and others posed and the arming that was happening from both sides.

Best Airlines in the Middle East

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Source

Emirates and Qatar Airways were ranked respectively the first and second best airlines in the Middle East and in the World. Middle East Airlines came in 8th spot ahead of Air Arabia and flyDubai in the Top 10 Airlines In the Middle East list, which isn’t something to be proud of. [Source]

Below are the Top 10 Airlines in the Middle East for 2013:

1 – Emirates
2 – Qatar Airways
3 – Etihad Airways
4 – Oman Air
5 – Gulf Air
6 – Royal Jordanian Airlines
7 – Saudi Arabia Airlines
8 – Middle East Airlines
9 – Air Arabia
10 – flyDubai

You can check out the World’s Top Airlines Rankings [Here].

Via 248am

Israel and Lebanese shepherds

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Picture from 500px.com

Every now and then, we hear about Israeli soldiers, or even a commando force, infiltrating Lebanese soil to kidnap a shepherd and then releasing him few days later. I don’t know what is their deal with shepherds and whether some of them are truly spying for Hezbollah, but until now all shepherds were released and sent back to Lebanon.

Here are some of the kidnappings that took place since 2010:

July 8, 2013: A 15-member Israeli commando force on Monday crossed the border of the occupied Shebaa Farms and abducted Lebanese shepherd Youssef Hussein Rhayyel who hailed from the town of Shebaa. [Source]

July 2, 2013: Israeli troops kidnap two shepherds in South Lebanon. [Source]

May 2, 2013: Israelis Attempted to kidnap another Lebanese shepherd. [Source]

Jan 2012: Israel releases kidnapped Lebanese shepherd. [Source]

Jan 12, 2011: Israeli army kidnapped a Lebanese shepherd. [Source]

June 27, 2010: Israeli forces have kidnapped a shepherd on Lebanese territory and have reportedly taken him to the Israeli occupied Shebaa Farms. [Source]

Dawawine: Beirut’s newest cultural center

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More Cultural hubs like Dawawine are much-needed in Beirut.

Read the rest of the story [Here].

A new cultural venue opened its doors in Beirut last month, tucked away on a back alley between Gouraud and Pasteur Streets in Gemmayzeh. Visitors to Dawawine – espace des arts de la scène, du son, et de l’image – will immediately be struck by the space’s conceptual and visual novelty and calm, welcoming atmosphere.

Its central location (if we compare it to the Beirut Arts Center and Ashkal Alwan) marks it out, for one. Its interior, designed by architect Jihad Kiamé, consists of an open space with various sections: a bistro (open every day from 10:30 AM to 11 PM with a European menu), a bookstore devoted to theater, cinema, music and performing arts, a library specializing in the same subjects, a 32-seat cinema, and an adjacent conference room. Big windows, sofas, high ceilings, and a terrace add to the atmosphere. The style is modern, but Dawawine is no White Cube.

Another distinctive feature is the venue’s sophisticated sound system, installed by Architettura Sonora, the renowned Italian firm that has previously collaborated with the likes of Zaha Hadid, among others. Its loudspeakers resemble space ships suspended from the ceiling, or Renaissance terracotta globes. [Now]