The Lebanese Ministry of Culture has chosen George Khabbaz’s new movie “Waynon” to represent Lebanon at the Oscars. Waynon is about six Lebanese women representing three generations, each one still waiting for the man in her life who was kidnapped during the Lebanese Civil War and is still missing. The movie tackles a very sensitive topic that hasn’t been resolved yet. In fact, thousands of people who disappeared during the war in Lebanon and its aftermath are still missing today. The government has done nothing to clarify the fate of the missing persons, and the families are still waiting.
“Waynon” was written by Georges Khabbaz and directed by Naji Bechara, Jad Beyrouthy, Zeina Makki, Tarek Korkomaz, Christelle Ighniades, Maria Abdel Karim and Salim Habr (All NDU Graduates). “Waynon” was awarded Film of the Year Award at the Lebanese Film Festival. This is the second movie that Khabbaz is involved in that makes it to the Oscars, after Ghadi last year.
Lebanon has already submitted 11 films for the Oscars but never got a nomination. Let’s hope we do get one this time!
PS: You can find [here] the list of foreign-language movies that Waynon is competing against this year.
Update: I got a clarification from MTV saying “that the title used was indeed wrong and that it was changed at the midnight news. Moreover, they didn’t mention the online campaign because it wasn’t related only to Ali and they wanted to shoot another report on online campaigns especially that there are already two success stories. Also, they couldn’t mention all the names and they made sure to thank everyone”.
I thank them for the clarification and for changing that horrible title. The report should have been elaborated further in my opinion as it sent out a wrong message unfortunately and the title made it worse. What matters the most and MTV agrees on that now is that Ali is now in a new shelter with his family.
Everyone is happy that Baby Ali was rescued from the street and moved into a new shelter but MTV’s report last night was a disrespectful one for the baby and his family and those who helped.
To begin with, they gave themselves all the credit for shedding the light on the story which is not correct as the story had spread before on Twitter and was highlighted by several media as well. I personally knew about Baby Ali from the MTV report but a lot of people were following up on the baby since day 1 and posting updates.
Second of all, calling the baby a “bastard” is inappropriate and unnecessary. The headline used “بعد الاعلان: منزل للرضيع اللقيط!” was a terrible one! Did you verify that he’s a bastard? And if that’s the case what difference does it make? Did you check if the mother was raped or forced into prostitution for example? Or if the father ditched her or maybe died in the war in Syria? This baby has a name and you could have used it for announcing the story.
Last but not least, why didn’t they mention who helped and how? If they don’t want to say Alfa helped, what’s wrong with mentioning LiveLoveBeirut and letting people know about the online fundraising campaign to help Ali and other children?
Speaking of donors, Alfa covered the rent as you all know and Touch promised to buy the family everything that’s missing in the house. Several anonymous donors also offered to help and one of them was referred by MTV. As far as the 30-day long online campaign is going, we collected over $6500 in only 4 days which is amazing!
Overall, moving Baby Ali into a new apartment was a very demanding task that took a lot of time and dedication mainly from Carol Maalouf and the Leb4refugees team but also from a lot of people who were taking care of the baby since Day 1. Rachelle, Lama and Rana spent hours every day watching over the baby, feeding him, buying him and his grandpa stuff, taking him to a doctor on their own expenses, getting him meds, trying to reach out to the media and other things. They were the first people I talked to about sharing the post and they were extremely helpful and caring. they were sick worried about the baby and wanted to know every single detail of the story and still ask for updates every day. It is not MTV’s report nor my post that got baby Ali out of the street, it’s the follow-up of these mothers and the Leb4refugees team. Carol made sure that Ali won’t be sleeping on the street the day she found out about him and did all the arrangements to move him and his family the next day to a new house despite the obstacles (Police, paper work and some NGOs) that she ran into. It’s very easy to show support online and share stories but things are very different on the ground especially when it comes to refugees and street children.
Despite this disappointing report, what matters the most is that Ali and his family are doing great now and they are enjoying their new shelter and the new life they were given.
One of the key villains in Michael Mann’s latest action thriller Blackhat is a Lebanese known para-military who fought with the Christian Phalanges during the Civil War and is called Elias Kassar. The character is played by Ritchie Coster. Kassar is a ruthless machine gun-wielding and bloodthirsty guy who would do anything to protect the big boss.
I don’t remember the last time someone referred to the Lebanese civil war and militias in a Hollywood movie. There are two movies that had scenes shot related to Beirut during the civil war era and that I can think of now: The Delta Force with Chuck Norris and True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
As far as Blackhat is concerned, it’s an action-packed movie but the plot is not that good. I’d give it a 6/10.
I have no idea what demonstration etiquette even means, but someone caught MTV talking about it this morning and started the #اتيكيت_التظاهرات hashtag. I just found the video on MTV and the woman is simply talking about the right to protest and preserve public property in the first few minutes but then she starts discussing (around Minute 10) the proper dress code for a protest and how women should dress nice and look pretty LOL!
I’d like to invite this woman to attend the next #YouStink protest and show us how we can apply this etiquette with water cannons, tear gas canisters around us and hundreds of riot police around us.
The DailyMail shared an article on the recent Beirut Protests stating that “a female reporter was attacked by protesters on live TV during the anti-government demonstrations in Lebanon”. I’m not sure how they came up with that conclusion but the “mob” that they are referring to was actually protecting the LBC reporter from the riot police. The crowd didn’t assault her and her clothes weren’t torn down. In fact, I don’t see anywhere in the video her clothes being torn down so I’m not sure where they got this information from.
Here’s what the DailyMail said about this picture: “Dramatic footage shows the reporter screaming and cowering for cover as she is assaulted by the crowd who tear at her clothes”.
And here’s the LBCI report where Nada Andraos Aziz, the reporter shown in the video, explains how she was attacked by the police along with her cameraman.
Update: Someone did a hilarious edit out of this guy’s reply. Check it out [here].
It’s hot, there’s no electricity and there’s garbage everywhere, an ideal scenario for the Lebanese to keep on nagging. Whether they are at the beach tanning and having drinks by the pool (they might sweat if they swim), or having drinks at a rooftop, they need to tell everyone it’s hot and they can’t stand it, as if we’ve never been through such a hot summer before. More importantly, we always have that urge in Lebanon to one-up each other in every conversation, such as:
Shob lyom kteer.
X: Shob bass?? Fatteeess
Eh walla Fatteess.
X: Fattees bass?? Jhannamm!
3le2et bil 3aj2a 2 hours kenet ra7 jenn.
X: Ana 3le2et 4 hours man!
and so it goes.
Back to the heat wave that is sweeping the country, LBCI was asking few people on how they are handling it and one of them replied with one of the worst pick up lines ever! I’m glad LBCI decided to keep it in the report.
PS: Some guy at Minute 0:18 said something sad yet true “Iza el Arguile btechteghil 3al kahraba, ken 2em el cha3eb el lebnene kello”, but I think this pretty much applies to all Arab countries not just Lebanon.
Three IMAX theatres will be added to VOX locations in the MENA region, including one in Beirut, marking IMAX’s entry into that country. VOX Cinemas are expected to get IMAX by end of this year based on what I’ve been told, but the date hasn’t been confirmed yet. I’ve been to an IMAX theater once and it’s quite an amazing experience. The technology and architecture makes you forget you’re in a theater and makes the movie so freaking real!
I will keep you posted if there are any updates but this is very exciting news for myself and all movie-goers in Lebanon.
IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and VOX Cinemas, a leading exhibitor in the Middle East, today announced an agreement for three IMAX® theatres to be added to VOX locations throughout the region. IMAX theatres will be added to existing complexes in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and in Beirut, Lebanon, marking IMAX’s entry into that country. In addition, IMAX’s next-generation digital laser projection system will be launched as part of a completely new development of their flagship VOX Cinema, located within the landmark Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, UAE.
“Moviegoers in the Middle East want only the best cinema technology and movie watching experiences when visiting our cinemas and IMAX is a brand that is regarded as the best among our guests in the region,” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of VOX Cinemas. “Our commitment to delivering a customer-focused cinema experience is a perfect fit with IMAX’s cutting-edge technology and blockbuster film slate. As we continue to expand our circuit throughout the Middle East, IMAX will serve as an anchor attraction that we are confident will be embraced by our guests. [Source] “
Rumors spread yesterday (from a fake news website) that Rambo is set to fight ISIS in the next and last Rambo movie “Last Stand”, and that his production team is already scouting for locations in ‘ISIS strongholds’ in Syria and Iraq. Unfortunately, the rumors were denied quickly by a representative for Stallone.
It’s too bad as it would have been one heck of a plot. I actually thought of one where Rambo would be in Lebanon on vacation with an old friend before she gets kidnapped somewhere in the Bekaa by ISIS and then he has to go free her from inside Syria or Iraq. He seeks help from his newly made Lebanese and Syrian friends and goes on to battle ISIS from Syria to Iraq.
Anyway the good news is that “Last Stand” still might exist, the bad news is that it won’t be Rambo taking down ISIS.
I’m not sure if my Anthony Bourdain post got CNN interested in my Instagram account, but they asked me to send a couple of pictures that I took in Beirut and they got featured on CNN’s iReport which is pretty cool.
I wish I could have sent more pictures to show them all the complex elements that make Beirut a beautiful city. The old streets and houses next to the skyscrapers, five star hotels and rooftops, the vibrant nightlife 10 minutes way from refugee camps and security zones, the residential streets packed with pubs, bars and plenty of street food, and other things that make Beirut so special and so difficult to live in.
I know Lebanon has a ton of issues now, we don’t have a president, over 2 million Syrian and Palestinian refugees, terrorists at the borders, armed groups inside the country, corrupt politicians and a bad economy but that doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy our everyday life and make the best out of it, and more importantly speak positively about our country.