The latest from the awesome Ashekman brothers.
A little help from everyone can make a huge difference sometimes. That’s what “Little Helps” is hoping to achieve this year by making, baking and selling Maamoul during April to help the needy in Lebanon. All revenues that come out of the sales will be distributed to underprivileged Lebanese, elderly people, orphans or refugees fleeing the Syrian war. The sales will start during the month of April every Saturday in Souk el Tayyeb, Beirut Souks.
I love Maamoul and I love such genuine initiatives so I’ve already placed an order for 1 box of Dates and 1 box of Pistachios. You can place your orders [Here] or visit Souk el Tayeb starting April.
For more info, click [Here].
The Ride For Roy is a 65 km ride that starts and finishes at Atlantis, The Palm. It was organized to honor Triathlon Lebanese Champion Roy Nasr‘s memory. Roy was killed by a drunk driver whilst riding his bike near Safa Park back in September 2013.
More than 1000 cyclists joined the ride, noting that all the registration fees will go into the Roy Nasr Memorial Fund.
“This is to celebrate the life of a man who was an inspiration to so many,” said Paul Venn, an organiser with Race ME, which hosts triathlon events. “It is a chance for people to pay their respects to a man who was never happier than when on his bike. The thought of more than 1,000 people on a ride with jerseys with his name would have put an enormous smile on his face.”
“Roy was a natural leader and had a certain aura about him, so whether it was in the sea or in the pool he would give others a boost and help them swim a bit quicker,” Seth Chappels, founder of Dubai Masters Swim Club where Nasr trained, said. “He was a competitive triathlete but always had time for a word for you,” he said. “You could not help but like him.”
“Roy was a motivator and such a warm person,” said Chris Khouri, an IT manager who took to triathlons after a 2009 motorbike accident left him disabled below the chest. “He would call me every couple of months to chat and he didn’t have to. He has left behind a legacy. He touched so many people because of his positivity.”
This is not my first post on Ambassador Fletcher’s actions and definitely won’t be my last, as I believe this man is doing way more what he’s required and setting the bar very high not just for other ambassadors and foreign representatives but for Lebanese politicians as well.
Ambassador Fletcher was at an event recently where domestic workers were asked to sit in a separate area. Instead of ignoring the matter, he decided to join the domestic workers for lunch and then leave. He said and I quote that “the true measure of the generosity of a society is not the way it treats Ambassadors, but the way it treats the most vulnerable”.
Speaking of human trafficking as well as discrimination and violence against men and women, the Beirut Bar Association has apparently launched a booklet on what people should do if they see human trafficking happening, but it’s not out yet on their website.
It was great seeing so many people at Mathaf today for the demonstration planned by KAFA. It is time to change all laws that give advantage to a man over his wife or any woman for that sake, and to officially set up an office to follow up domestic violence issues and provide the required protection for victims (A governmental office not one run by an NGO).
The son of Ibrahim Sakr, a reputed business man in Zahle, was freed after he got kidnapped yesterday in front of his house. Some reports are saying a prominent political figure intervened to release the kid, probably Nabih Berri.
Tens of kidnappings for ransom have taken place in the Bekaa area since last year, and it looks like everyone knows the groups behind them yet nothing’s being done. In all cases, this is definitely good news for the kid and his family.
Here’s a letter I got from a good friend of mine who chose to remain anonymous. I salute her for her courage and hope that tomorrow’s demonstration and many others to follow will give Lebanese women the legal protection needed from abusive husbands.
“Everytime I hear about a woman dying because of domestic violence, every single time, I swear… I think of you. You’re one of the lucky ones. You escaped.”
My best friend just sent me this two months ago. And I have been thinking of how lucky I am ever since!
I’m one of the lucky ones indeed. I escaped.
I live today with my children in a house, next to my parent’s place. Society still didn’t accept my divorce: “walaw! Halla2 tzakkarit titirko?”… And, like many other women victims of domestic violence, and for the sake of my children, their mental health and growth, I still don’t utter a word about the reasons of my divorce. (maybe also to keep myself “safe” because I am not “strong enough” to face him again and fight back… I’m weak and tired of all this…)
But I, I escaped death.
And I don’t utter a word about that neither. Of course.
My parents first felt weird, but ended up supporting me.
Most of my friends still don’t understand the tension I face every time I drop my children at their father or pick them up after the visits he is entitled to (at least I’m one of the “lucky” ones who survived and kept her children! I am double lucky).
And I, myself, still don’t understand the fear I grew towards men.
When I hear the news, I often cry.
I cry because I was lucky to get out alive.
I cry because it was never too late for me.
I cry because no one saw my mother on television weeping my death.
I cry because my brother escaped the crime he would probably have committed after my death.
I cry because I have to sit home and express myself without revealing my face or identity, because that is the only way to protect myself, my children and my family.
But from the bottom of my silence I send a message to everyone out there, to every lady who can hear me, every mother, every daughter, every child who is old enough to read: Get out before it’s too late. Get out alive.
It might be not enough. I want more. We all want more. I want to go out unveiled and shout to who can see me: I survived violence.
Now I can’t. One day maybe. If ever this country reaches a level of protection that would allow me to shout-it-out loud and clear, without putting anyone in danger, without risking of losing my children, without putting my life at risk.
But for the time being, as I wash my face, clear my throat and wipe my tears, I publish this and pray for every woman out there to be a new story of survival.
Happy International Woman’s Day.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the arrest and dismissal of Samer Kubba, Baghdad Airport’s deputy head as well as all “those responsible for preventing the plane coming from Beirut from landing in Baghdad”. Yesterday, Iraqi authorities forced a MEA airplane to return to Beirut because the son of the Iraqi Transport Minister had missed the flight.
I want to believe that the Iraqi authorities will take the necessary measures but I have a feeling it’s just a media stunt to cover up the story.
Exotica – الأمهات المتحدة
I like keeping my car clean but I hate waiting at gas stations for an hour on a Sunday morning in order to wash the car. Few malls like ABC Achrafieh and City Mall have a car wash service but it’s not a practical solution. Having said that, Just Wash looks like the ideal solution for people like me, as it’s a delivery car washing service and more importantly an environmentally-friendly one. They basically send their cleaners to wherever the client has parked his car and clean both the inside and outside for 10,000 LL.
What’s interesting about Just Wash is that they are trying to spread awareness on the excessive water consumption in Lebanon by using a water-less washing technique (non-toxic biodegradable chemicals) that needs only 250 ml of water per car, as opposed to at least 10-20 liters for a normal car wash. Their staff also drive electric motorcycles to reduce carbon emissions.
I like almost everything about Just Wash (Their Facebook Page Is Great), but I am a bit worried about the chemicals they use and whether they could ruin the car’s paint or the interior. Moreover, Just Wash doesn’t operate on Sundays which is weird since it’s the peak day for car washes in Lebanon usually and it’s not very practical to go down open your car or pass the keys to the Just Wash staff during week days while you’re at work.
In all cases, it’s good to see Lebanese going for eco-friendly solutions like Just Wash and I think it’s worth a try. I hope they will reconsider their working hours though and open on Sunday from 8 till noon at least.