Category Archives: Middle East

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

Posted By :

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

Posted By :

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

Posted By :

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].

fail

Gebran Bassil Comments On The “Caroline” Video

Posted By :

[YouTube]

I am not sure if he made things better or worse by linking what happened to Da3esh. He could have simply clarified the whole situation and apologized from Caroline if she felt offended by what he did.

Speaking of women in the UAE, it is worth mentioning that UAE ranked first in the world for respecting women according to a study back in April 2014.

caroline

Four Great Achievements Of The Lebanese Army

Posted By :

ary

Most Lebanese, if not all of them, love and support the Lebanese Army. We trust our soldiers because they’ve united the country around them, they’ve protected us from terrorists despite being under-trained and under-equipped, and they’ve prevented a new civil war from erupting on several occasions, despite all the politics involved. Having said that, TV host Faisal al-Qassem’s attack on the army is a cheap and sleazy one but we shouldn’t have reacted by storming al-Jazeera’s offices. A nice reminder of what our army has achieved throughout the past ten years is the best way to silence Qassem:

1- Prevent a new civil war in Lebanon:
Lebanese are divided on almost everything except the Lebanese Army, because it is the only side that is capable of calming things down and is the only institution Lebanese trust. Even though politics have created obstacles for the army, they’ve always managed to diffuse the situation and bring back peace whenever and wherever there’s trouble in Lebanon.

2- Keep things under control in the 2006 war:
The Lebanese Army did not engage directly with the Israeli army back in 2006, but instead helped control the situation internally by providing aid to civilians, and keeping order in all the cities, noting that almost 1 million Lebanese had to relocate within the Lebanese territories during the July war. Despite all that, 49 soldiers were killed by Israeli airstrikes.

3- Defeat Fath el Islam in 2007:
The 2007 battle between Fatah el Islam and the Lebanese Army was one of the fiercest battles since Lebanon’s civil war and the LAF emerged as a winner against all odds. Our troops were under equipped, had to cnovert UH-1 helicopters into bombers, and were up against highly trained and heavily equipped terrorists yet they’ve managed to take control of the camp after more than three months of heavy fights. This victory was praised regionally and worldwide as few armies were able to confront and defeat terrorists the way our brave troops have done so. The death toll was a heavy one though, as 155 commandos and infantrymen died.

4- Prevent Da3esh and Jubhat al Nousra from entering Lebanon:
The battle is still ongoing against ISIS and other terrorist cells coming from Syria but the Lebanese Army has the upper hand now and is working day and night to keep these groups away from Lebanon. Let’s not forget as well the work they’ve been pulling all around Lebanon, in coordination with other security forces, to catch terrorist cells and prevent future bombings.

These are only four achievements, but they are more than enough to silence anyone criticizing the army, whether in Lebanon or abroad. Last but not least, here’s one of the many songs that Lebanese artists have sung in support of the Lebanese Army. I don’t like them usually but I am sharing this one benkeyĆ© bi Al Qassem.

[YouTube]

Tyre, Beirut, Sidon And Byblos Among The World’s 20 Oldest Cities

Posted By :

byblos

The Telegraph posted today a list of the World’s 20 oldest continually-inhabited places on earth, which included four Lebanese cities: Tyre, Beirut, Sidon and Byblos. The list also included Faiyum and Thebes in Egypt, Kirkuk and Arbil in Iraq, Damascus and Aleppo in Syria and Jerusalem and Jericho in Palestine.

The fact that we have 4 of the world’s oldest cities should help us attract further tourists and promote our history instead of showing girls and night clubs in our tourism commercials.

iPhone6 and iPhone6 Plus Will Be Available To Order In The UAE On September 27

Posted By :

iphone

I wasn’t expecting the new iPhones to be available that soon in the Middle East but according to Apple’s UAE store, they will be available to order starting September 27th, a week after the official release date. The iPhone6 starts at 700$ and the iPhone6 Plus at around 815$.

As far as Lebanon is concerned, you can expect the iPhone6 and iPhone6 Plus to be over $1000 in the first few weeks, so I recommend you wait a little bit till prices settle.

I followed the #AppleLive event yesterday and it’s great to finally see an iPhone with a big screen at last. The Apple Watch is nice but it looks big to be honest and expensive at 350$. There’s even more expensive edition that has a watch case crafted from 18-karat gold. Something tells me this edition will sell big in the Middle East.

watch

If you are an Apple fan, my friend Jad posted everything you need to know about Apple’s new products [Here]. You can also check AbsoluteGeek’s post [Here].

Something Is Brewing In Lebanon, And It’s Not Beer According To VICE

Posted By :

goIREgs

I usually enjoy reading Vice’s articles but this one is not very accurate to say the least, unless they know something we don’t. Lebanon has been the Middle East’s next ticking bomb for 3 years now yet things are still relatively under control. I don’t know if it’s just me, but things have improved lately from what I’ve seen and getting ammunition and new weapons to the Lebanese Army will only help stabilize the situation.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope things will improve further.

On Wednesday, the country’s Daily Star newspaper reported that the Russian ambassador to Lebanon confirmed that the two nations are in the process of negotiating potential military cooperation. This comes on the heels of Lebanon’s request to the US in August for new aircraft to support counterinsurgency operations against the Islamic State and other jihadist groups. Saudi Arabia recently granted $1 billion to Lebanon to help its fight against the Islamic State, on top of another huge dollop of cash it pledged to the country’s military last year. Fighting from Syria’s civil war finally spilled over into the Lebanese town of Arsal in early August, bringing ISIS forces with it. The country’s Cabinet convened a special session just days later to chart a plan for getting military assistance from “brotherly and friendly countries.” In other words, Lebanon is looking for guns and ammo from just about anyone willing to supply them. [Vice]