Category Archives: Middle East

Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta From the American University of Beirut In Gaza To Provide Medical Care

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[YouTube]

Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta is the head of the Plastis Surgery division at the American University of Beirut and this is his 4th trip to Gaza to help the injured Palestinians. That’s really brave of him to go to Gaza as the Israelis are even targeting hospitals. I wonder how he managed to get to Gaza though.

LBCI Changed Its Logo To LBن

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It appears that they’ve done so in solidarity with the Iraqi Christians of Mossul. They also had an interview with an Iraqi Sunni journalist Muslim called Dalia al-Aqidi who decided to wear a cross around her neck in solidarity with her country’s Christian minority.

To be honest, I’d expect Tele Lumiere to do so instead of LBCI but it’s a nice initiative nevertheless.

Walid Jumblatt And The Islamic State’s New Caliphate “Rolex?” Watch

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Ever since the new Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first public appearance, everyone’s been speculating, including Lebanese MP Walid Jumblatt, over the brand of the watch he was wearing. Some are saying it’s a Rolex, while others are claiming it’s an Omega or a Tag Heuer or even an Al-Fajr WA-10S Deluxe watch.

10568943_10154335512550332_2132450439566306333_n via Mustapha

The Al-Fajr watch is apparently Swiss made and is pre-programmed with the correct prayer times for all the world’s major cities. You can also set the date according the standard international, or Gregorian calendar, based on the birth of Christ, or the Muslim calendar, dated to the Hejirah. The compass found on the watch shows the direction of prayer (Kiblah).

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The funny part is that this self-proclaimed Caliph was denouncing the West in his speech. The sad part is that people nowadays seem more interested in the brand of his watch rather than the persecutions, massacres and atrocities his group is committing.

Arab-American Sulome Anderson’s #JewsandArabsRefuseToBeEnemies Selfie Gone Viral

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jews He calls me neshama, I call him habibi. Love doesn’t speak the language of occupation #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies via @SulomeAnderson

Sulome Anderson is an Arab-American journalist who writes for the Atlantic, Foreign Policy, NY Mag & VICE. She’s half Lebanese and tweeted the other day a selfie with her Jewish bf kissing with a message that said #JewsandArabsRefuseToBeEnemies. The photo quickly has gone viral and became a symbol of peace. Sulome Anderson is the daughter of former AP Middle East bureau chief Terry Anderson, who was kidnapped in Lebanon three months before she was born in 1985 by a Shiite militia and was held for seven years.

I think these messages are important, because even though they won’t help resolve the conflict, it brings people, mainly Jews and Arabs, together as this conflict isn’t just about politics but about people and human values. It is unacceptable that children and innocent civilians get murdered that way and no one’s able to stop these massacres from happening.

My boyfriend is Jewish, raised in an orthodox family, and I’m half Lebanese. Last week we were on vacation and, at the suggestion of a journalist friend, added a photo of us together in support of what was then a little-known initiative called Jews and Arabs Refuse to be Enemies. I wrote those words on a piece of paper, kissed my boyfriend, snapped a picture, and posted it on the group’s Facebook page. I also tweeted it to my modest following and added this caption: “He calls me neshama, I call him habibi. Love doesn’t speak the language of occupation.”

Mercer Consulting 2014 Report: Beirut Is The Most Expensive City In The Middle East For Expats

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Two African cities, Luanda in Angola and N’Djamena in Chad, topped the Mercer Consulting list of the most expensive cities for expatriates according to Mercer’s 2014 Cost of Living Survey. They were followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Zurich, Geneva, Tokyo, Bern, Moscow and Shanghai.

As for the Middle East, Beirut was ranked the most expensive city in the Middle East for expatriates and the 63rd world wide, followed by Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Jeddah. I don’t think that’s something we should be proud of as it doesn’t reflect the reality at all and we can’t be compared to cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

#LB4Gaza: A Unified Lebanese NewsCast In Solidarity With Gaza

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LBCI, Tele Liban, MTV, Al-Manar, Al-Jadeed, NBN, Future TV and OTV all broadcasted the same report tonight to voice solidarity with Gaza against the Israeli offensive. The Israeli war on Gaza is still ongoing and almost 600 Palestinians were killed so far. What’s happening is quite sickening as a lot of innocent civilians in Gaza are being targeted.

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92% Of Lebanese Find It Unacceptable For The US To Monitor Communications Of Citizens

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The American government has reportedly been monitoring communications, such as emails and phone calls, in the U.S and other countries. Pew conducted a survey asking people from around the world whether they find it acceptable or not for the US to monitor communications from citizens, American citizens, suspected terrorists and country leaders.

Here’s what the Lebanese had to say about that:
– 92% found is unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of Lebanese citizens.
– 76% found it acceptable for the American government to monitor communications of suspected terrorists.
– 77% found it unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of US citizens.
– 87% found it unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of Lebanese leaders.

You can find other Pew polls [Here]. One interesting survey on the rise of Islamic Extremism in the Middle East revealed that 92% of Lebanese (the highest %) were very concerned about Islamic Extremism in their country.

Thanks Mark!