Who killed Samir Kassir? Who Killed Gebran Tueni? More than 10 years have passed and nothing has been done to bring to justice those responsible for these crimes. I’m not even sure if the authorities are still investigating or even following up on these cases. Nevertheless, crimes against journalists should not go unpunished and this is what Reporters Without Borders wanted to remind everyone about today by renaming 12 Parisian streets after journalists who have been murdered, tortured or disappeared. Lebanon’s embassy street was renamed after French-Lebanese Journalist and Historian Samir Kassir who was assassinated on June 2nd 2005.
The list of journalists included France’s Guy-André Kieffer and Mexico’s María Esther Aguilar, Tunisian journalists Sofiane Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, Radio France Internationale journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, Bahraini Journalist Nazeeha Saad and others. In the past ten years, nearly 800 journalists have been killed in connection with their work. A total of 48 have been killed since the start of 2015.
The Lebanese Rugby League National Team defeated South Africa for the second time yesterday (50-12) and has officially qualified to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup which will be held in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea!
This is the second time that Lebanon will play in the World Cup. Congrats to the players and the team!
Here are the names of the Lebanese players:
Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Adham El Zbaidieh, Tarek El Masri, Chris Saab, Travis Robinson, Mark Daoud, James Boustani, Mitchell Mamary, Ali Allouche, Ricahrd Coorey, Elias Sukkar, Nick Kassis, Ahmad Ellaz, James Elias, Wael Harb, Robin Hachache, Ead Kassem
Back in 2010, Lebanon accepted several recommendations presented by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva but has failed to make progress on many of them. Quoting Nadim Houry, HRW deputy Middle East director “Lebanon missed many opportunities in the last five years to finally move forward on its human rights record and it can’t afford to procrastinate or delay essential reforms to end impunity and ensure basic rights for many marginalized residents – nationals and foreigners alike.”
In other terms, human rights is not something that you can put aside because of the country’s instability and political issues. Here are some of the concerns raised by Human Rights Watch:
– Ill-treatment and torture of detainees.
– Discriminatory provisions against women’s rights in personal status laws, nationality laws, and the criminal code.
– Exclusion of migrant domestic workers from the labor code.
– Restrictive immigration rules based on the Kafala system.
– Risk of detention for Syrian Refugees without legal status.
– Lack of progress on the rights of Palestinian refugees.
– Lack of a movement on a draft law to create a national commission to investigate the fate of the disappeared.
There’s no excuse not to start improving human rights in Lebanon, even if we don’t have a president and haven’t had elections for the past 9 years. There are plenty of personal initiatives that can be done to ensure torture is ended once and for all, and people are held accountable for their acts. Moreover, protecting victims of domestic abuse is a must and is not that hard to achieve especially that there are plenty of NGOs willing to coordinate with the ISF. Kafala system needs to be abolished once and for all because it is only encouraging human trafficking.
Of course we can also help as individuals in improving human rights and not wait for the authorities to get their act together. We can help by spreading awareness, influencing your entourage and setting a good example for others to follow (Unlike Najwa Karam), reporting people who violate human rights etc …
Lebanon will appear for the country’s second Universal Periodic Review on November 2, 2015, at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and will probably get a failing grade in terms of human rights. Check out the original HRW article [here].
It’s been over 100 days now since the garbage crisis started in Lebanon and the situation is getting worse every day. The government is obviously still to blame for everything that’s happening but there’s still a major problem in Lebanon, which is the lack of recycling and personal initiatives.
Personally speaking, we’ve been recycling at home since August and things are going perfectly fine. We’ve also been following specific guidelines to reduce waste and it’s working out very well. The municipality is even sending warnings to those who are not sorting their garbage properly and imposing fines.
3- And you can start recycling right now, and/or pressure municipalities, companies, neighbors, family members to start recycling as well. There’s an ongoing #letsSort campaign taking place right now where you share a video where you show yourself sorting the garbage at home and nominate 3 people in your entourage to do the same.
Of course you can do all three together (and more) but the important is to encourage recycling and start reducing waste.
A number of Lebanese citizens today attempted to tarnish the image of our country by sharing fabricated and fake images of flooded streets and roads. Luckily though, they were unable to drop loads of garbage on the streets like last time because the trash was already collected and burned (instead of being recycled) in order to spice up every Lebanese citizen’s morning traffic experience.
Anyway, I examined some of the pictures being shared and they were clearly fakes for obvious reasons:
1- The street light in the first picture shown above is off even though the shot was taken in broad daylight. It’s clearly a fake as street lights are generally turned on during the day in Lebanon to waste electricity and turned off at night to cause accidents.
2- A gas station, 3 empty chairs and no arguile around them? This picture was obviously not taken in Lebanon.
3- This is clearly a fake because the Lebanese government would never leave a hazardous object on the road like that.
4- There’s a generator in this picture while electricity in Lebanon is 24/7. It’s clearly cut out from an old movie about Lebanon when we barely had electricity.
5- There’s a Sukleen truck showing so this is clearly an old picture.
6- This is a wedding convoy and the flooded roads were part of the wedding theme.
These are the only two genuine pictures that I was able to find.
On another positive note, this guy’s dream may come true soon.
ArtReview, one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines, has placed Lebanese Akram Zaatari (Rank #80) and Christine Tohme (Rank #74) among the top 100 most powerful contemporary artists in the world. Zaatari was already on the list last year (Rank #94) while Christine is a re-entry.
Christine Tohme is a curator and the founder of Ashkal Alwan: the Lebanese Association for the Plastic Arts in 1993. She was recently “given the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence by Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies in February; and then, in September, it was announced that she was to curate the 13th Sharjah Biennial, in 2017”.
As for Akram Zaatari, he is a Lebanese video artist and curator and the co-founder of The Arab Image Foundation that contains more than “600,000 historic images of daily life in the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora”. Quoting ArtReview, “Zaatari’s solo show at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in the spring of 2015 demonstrated just how prolific the Lebanese artist is. Alongside the gallery displays – various relatively recent installation works that exemplified Zaatari’s formalist interest in archives and how media, particularly photography, is read in the context of changing histories and political flux – the institution also included a screening room with films from throughout the artist’s career”.
Zaatari is the one who discovered Hashem el Madani’s work and decided to partner with him and show Studio Shehrazade’s photographs to the whole world. It’s quite an amazing story that I wrote about almost a year and a half ago.
We’re almost there! Our Lebanese Rugby Team beat South Africa 40-12 in Game 1 and now needs to secure a second win against South Africa on Saturday October 31st to qualify to the World Cup! This is amazing news and I’m quite confident we are going to make it this time. Lebanon was expected to play the home game in Dubai due to Lebanon’s security situation but it appears that both games will be played in South Africa instead.
The Lebanese team is mostly made up of Lebanese who play in the Australian league and includes 4 local Lebanese Rugby League Federation players: Robin Hachache, Ray Finnan (Immortals RLFC), Wael Harb and Toufic El Hajj (Wolves RLFC). Toufic also plays for AUB.
The first game was live-streamed on this [link] for those who want to rewatch it. I will provide you with the link for the second game as soon as it’s available.
Just like the pictures and videos garbage-flooded streets were apparently all fabricated, the largest drug bust in the history of Lebanon is also a big lie. The Saudi Prince was not smuggling 2 tons of drugs worth millions of dollars but instead 2 cans of tuna (2 طون) hence the confusion. The fact that Laila Abdel Latif didn’t predict these two incidents confirms these claims.
As far as the drug-filled boxes that were found, some parties are already accusing activists, saying that they placed the boxes of drugs to ignite a civil war and make Mohamad Machnouk look bad on his way back from Florence. Meanwhile, Netanyahu is confident the Palestinians smuggled these drugs through tunnels all the way from Gaza to the Beirut Airport.
Mohamad Machnouk could not be reached to comment on the story. An unknown source claimed that the minister has been spending so much time on Instagram and Snapchat that he exceeded his 3G consumption and had to turn off his smartphone.