I don’t know why Samir’s story is not over the news like the Maaloula nuns, but he’s a Lebanese who’s gone missing along with Sky News Arabia Mauritanian correspondent Ishak Moctar back in October 2013 and there are still no news of him. Lebanonfiles reported via Al Jomhouria that he could be in the Rakka area in Syria.
Speaking of kidnappings, the Missing and Kidnapped Lebanese issue is a critical one that must be given the highest priority by any government, specially the thousands who disappeared during the Lebanese war at the hands of Lebanese militias. Their families deserve to know what happened and the authorities should work hard to close these files once and for all.
Let’s hope Samir’s case will be resolved soon as he’s just a cameraman and wasn’t kidnapped for political reasons.
Some Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group in Lebanon has issued an apology for targeting orphans in the last suicide bombing attack to hit Beirut’s suburbs. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades said that a “technical fault” occurred and have requested from their suicide bombers to be more cautious next time.
I still can’t believe they issued such an apology.
A militant group issued a rare apology Saturday for a twin suicide bombing in Beirut that killed eight people and wounded dozens, including children from a nearby orphanage. The al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades issued the statement on militant websites apologizing for civilian deaths. It said a “technical fault” affected the second of two Feb. 19 suicide bombings targeting an Iranian cultural centre in Beirut, but didn’t specify what it was. The group insisted its suicide bombers were trained to not target civilians.
“We affirm, always to our suicide bombers, to be cautious, and to abort any operation if they believe it will hit others but the targeted,” it said. [Source]
Ranja Jarrar argues in her piece that white women who practice belly dance are, willingly or unwillingly, engaging in appropriation. Personally speaking, I didn’t really get the point the author was trying to make and I never saw a problem in white women learning how to belly dance and finding in it a form of self-expression.
Women I have confronted about this have said, “But I have been dancing for 15 years! This is something I have built a huge community on.” These women are more interested in their investment in belly dancing than in questioning and examining how their appropriation of the art causes others harm. To them, I can only say, I’m sure there are people who have been unwittingly racist for 15 years. It’s not too late. Find another form of self-expression. Make sure you’re not appropriating someone else’s.
But, here’s the thing. Arab women are not vessels for white women to pour themselves and lose themselves in; we are not bangles or eyeliner or tiny bells on hips. We are human beings. This dance form is originally ours, and does not exist so that white women can have a better sense of community; can gain a deeper sense of sisterhood with each other; can reclaim their bodies; can celebrate their sexualities; can perform for the female gaze. Just because a white woman doesn’t profit from her performance doesn’t mean she’s not appropriating a culture. And, ultimately, the question is this: Why does a white woman’s sisterhood, her self-reclamation, her celebration, have to happen on Arab women’s backs? [Source]
I was at O&C having lunch on Sunday and I thought I pass by the supermarket and pick up some stuff on the way out. On my way to the cashier, I noticed they had some Nutella jars on display so I picked up one but saw that it was priced at 9000 Lebanese Liras (6$), which is almost double the price of the one I usually buy. I asked around and as it turns out, the Nutella I got is the American version while the commonly available Nutella in Lebanon comes from Poland (Packaging done in KSA or something like that) and is priced at roughly 3$. Weirdly enough, the guy I asked told me this is the “original” one, as if the Polish one is fake or something.
I ended up getting both to see if the US one is any better but I haven’t tasted them yet as I am trying to get an Italian or German Nutella to taste as well. To be honest, I am just curious to know if they do taste that differently, but I don’t think I will switch to the US version and pay double the price even if it tastes better.
The commonly available Nutella jar in Lebanon has Arabic writing on the back
Update: Here’s the list of ingredients for both as written on the back of each jar:
Ingredients: Sugar, Vegetable oil (palm), hazelnuts, fat reduced cocoa powder, skimmed milk powder, demineralized whey powder, emulsifiers (Soy Lecithins), flavouring.
Ingredients: Sugar, Palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), Vanillin: an artificial flavor.
While one cannot deny that Minister Sehnaoui has improved the internet situation in Lebanon as a whole, internet is still relatively slow in Lebanon and the data caps are still ridiculously low. I am currently registered to the 1.5GB 3G plan and always exceed my monthly limit, even though I use WIFI at work and at home.
Let’s hope things will improve with the new minister.
You can watch the full CNN Report by Mohammad Jamjoum [Here].
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.
Here are few testimonies given by athletes on Roy, including Lebanese Maxime Chaaya.
“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.