Category Archives: Middle East

Lebanese-American Journalist Serena Shim Killed In Turkey

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serena

Press TV, for which Serena used to work, is not buying the car accident story and is pointing at the Turkish Intelligence. Serena had stated few days before that the Turkish intelligence agency had threatened her and accused her of spying.

The Lebanese authorities should call for an open and transparent investigation into the death of Serena Shim.

A journalist working for Press TV on the Turkish-Syrian border was killed on Sunday in what are claimed to be suspicious circumstances.

Serena Shim was reported to have died in a car accident while returning to her hotel in Turkey after leaving the strategically important Syrian town of Kobani.

She was a passenger in a car that collided with a truck. But Press TV, an Iranian broadcaster, does not accept that it was an accident.

Her death occurred the day after she broadcast an item – as shown in the clip above – in which she said the Turkish intelligence agency had threatened her and accused her of spying.

Religious And Ethnic Hatred Top Concern Among Lebanese

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map danger larger

Egypt, Israel, Palestine, and Tunisia also shared Lebanon’s concern. Check out the rest of the study [Here].

At 58%, Lebanon had the highest level of concern of any country and identified religious and ethnic hatred as the single greatest danger to the world, correlating to its diverse religious makeup of Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Lebanese Christians, Greek Orthodox, and Jews. Meanwhile, severe battles between Hezbollah and Jabhat al-Nusra have brought war to Lebanon. Egypt, Israel, Palestine, and Tunisia also shared Lebanon’s concern. [PewGlobal]

Lebanese Tries To Bribe A Kuwaiti Airport Staff, Gets Interrogated

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corrup

According to Al-Anba2, a Lebanese was arrested after he tried to bribe a Kuwaiti airpot staff member. The passenger gave the employee 1500$ to let him in but he didn’t get away with it. Some Lebanese seem to believe they can buy their way out of everything, well that’s not the case.

Speaking of bribery and corruption, it is at an all-time high in Lebanon. If you are interested in looking at numbers, check out the Sakker el Dekkene initiative.

Missing Iraqi Cash ($1.2 To $1.6 Billion) Ended In Lebanon

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CASH-master675 Stuart W. Bowen Jr., left, a special inspector general who examined corruption and waste in Iraq

After the US defeated Saddam Hussein in 2003, $12 billion to $14 billion was sent to Iraq in the airlift, and an additional $5 billion was sent by electronic transfer to support Iraq’s new government and help the economy. However, and based on an investigation led by Stuart W. Bowen, he found that between $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion had been stolen and moved to a bunker in rural Lebanon for safe keeping.

This is the first time I hear about this money and the bunker. Where did all that money go and where the hell is that bunker?

Read the full article [Here].

Mr. Bowen said that Brick Tracker, his office’s most sensitive investigation, began in 2010 when Wael el-Zein, a Lebanese- American on his staff, received a tip about stolen money hidden in Lebanon. An informant told him about the bunker, which in addition to the cash, was believed to also have held approximately $200 million in gold belonging to the Iraqi government.

But by this time, official Washington had long since forgotten about the flights from Andrews. The C.I.A. expressed little interest in pursuing the matter, and the F.B.I. said it lacked jurisdiction, Mr. Bowen recalled. And when Mr. Bowen and his staff tried to conduct an investigation of the missing cash in Lebanon, they also met with resistance from the United States Embassy in Beirut.

Mr. Bowen was not allowed to travel to Lebanon on official business. Two of his investigators who did travel to Lebanon were denied permission from the embassy to see the bunker themselves because it was too dangerous. When Mr. Bowen’s staff members met in Beirut with Lebanon’s prosecutor general, Said Mirza, he initially agreed to cooperate on an investigation, but later decided against it.

The office of the special inspector general for Iraq closed in 2013, and Mr. Bowen is now working in the private sector. Mr. Bowen thinks at least some of the money has been moved, and said it is impossible to say whether any of it is still in the bunker. He says he is still frustrated by the lack of cooperation he got from his own government in his efforts to pursue the missing cash. “We struggled to gain timely support from the interagency as we pursued this case,” Mr. Bowen said.

#ToOurCountries By Faia And Rihan Younan

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lebanon To Our countries was produced by a group of young people living in Sweden and originally from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

Wars are still raging unfortunately in the Middle East and thousands of innocent civilians are getting killed everyday. Lebanon is still safe from a new civil war and we need to keep it that way at any cost.

[YouTube]

Beirut Is Crazy, Messy, F***ed-up and Fantastic But It Is Not The Real Centre of This Region

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beirut

I just finished reading the “Why Beirut Really Matters” post that everyone’s been sharing in the past couple of days and I really wish I could agree with everything the author is saying but I would be lying. I love Beirut and I admire Warren’s love for our capital but tiny little Beirut is ANYTHING but the real centre of this region, and definitely “not an indication of where we might, could, possibly even should, all be going, regionally and globally”.

Lebanon is no longer setting trends in the region and serving as a role model for other countries to follow. Lebanon has been going backwards ever since the civil war has started and things are not getting any better. The economy is bad, the liberties are diminishing, sectarianism is on the rise, fanatic and terrorist groups are everywhere around us, gay and women rights are still practically inexistent, the country’s infrastructure is bad, corruption is here to stay and we keep on voting for the same people. The only thing that we are continuously improving is the nightlife, and Beirut will stay the Middle East’s party capital for years to come.

Despite all that, I do love my country and I’ve learned to enjoy it the way it is and highlight through the blog and other social media channels the positive things happening in Lebanon. However, for Beirut to really matter, serious and drastic changes must be implemented and I will keep on pushing for such a change, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

The Story Of The Fake Bomb Detectors Still Being Used In Lebanon

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fake

Even though the man who sold these fraudulent bomb detectors was sentenced to seven years in jail, some governments and security companies are still using these devices. I’ve been talking about this matter for 3 years now yet only few malls and businesses have decided to drop these useless devices in Lebanon. Luckily enough, we haven’t had any bombings in crowded places for the past few months but that’s not a valid reason to keep using these detectors.

Here’s the [latest] on this story by BBC’s Caroline Hawley.

The Washington Post’s Failed Nine Attempts To Explain The Crazy Complexity of The Middle East

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lo

I don’t really blame them. I doubt that anyone is understanding what’s happening around us. It feels like everyone’s gone mad. Maybe the only way out is to give everyone in the Middle East their own country based on the 317,000,000-state solution proposed by [The Onion].

It’s a fun read nevertheless. Check it out [Here].

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