I didn’t expect to hear positive things about my blog and my work on 7ki Jeliss especially that I tend to criticize them a lot, but LiveLoveBeirut were their guests last week and they mentioned the picture that I took in Achrafieh that went viral and helped initiate a beautiful campaign aimed at helping children in need.
I’m sharing this small report on LiveLoveBeirut because I’ve been supporting this initiative since day1 and I love the work that they are doing for Lebanon and its youth and the community that they built. A picture is truly worth a thousand words sometimes and LLB has been working day and night to leave a positive impact on the community and show a better image of Lebanon.
They’ve recently launched their website [Livelovebracelet] where they are helping young people achieve their dreams by funding their projects and ideas. Make sure to check it out!
Adel Karam issued an apology few hours ago for disrespecting a 63 year old man who was presenting his brevet exams after the story went viral online and Elie posted about it. Needless to say, it’s a shameful thing to mock an old man for wanting to complete his brevet exams at the age of 63 and he should be praised instead and even though it’s too late to apologize now, I’m glad Adel decided this time to do so instead of blocking those who are attacking him and ignoring them (which he did earlier on Twitter with a separate incident).
More importantly, I hope Adel and his team will learn from this mistake and try to focus on positive stories worth sharing instead of hosting dumb guests and updating us on Kim Jong-un. What happened with Fares Karam few months back was also unacceptable as he handed Adel a loaded gun live on TV.
I still think Adel’s show is a decent one and he does make me laugh from time to time, but it can be much better than that in my opinion.
Update: Never mind the blocking remark, it seems he did block few tweeps who attacked him. I think this is a silly move (from him or whomever is managing his account) that will only backfire on him.
If you had asked me 5 or 6 years ago what I thought about Tony Khalife or Joe Maalouf’s TV show, I would have probably told you that they need to be shut down. However, as social media is becoming more and more important in Lebanon and the Arab world, these shows are mainly feeding on hot social media topics and taking them a step further, and are helping (sometimes) shed the light on other important topics. Needless to say, this doesn’t mean that the hosts are doing a fine job and should be praised. On the contrary, I’ve been criticizing and bashing Khalife and Maalouf for years and I still disapprove of their methods and some of the stories they cover but the fact that they are able to tackle any topic they want and say (almost) whatever they want on TV, even if it’s wrong, is something we somehow need in Lebanon.
Take for example tonight’s episode with the guy who was filmed beating his wife in ABC Dbayyeh. Both criticized and bashed the man and Maalouf went as far as accusing him of bribery. He even decided to hang up on him at some point when the guy stopped making any sense. Again I’m not saying I approve of such behavior but you need someone to do this dirty job and they are doing it for us and indirectly forcing those who committed a certain crime or are involved in a scandal to show up and defend themselves or state their point of view. More importantly, the fact that the original video spread via social media got people engaged in the show and helped spread the story even further and put more pressure on the concerned parties (juridical body) to do something about it.
Again I am not a fan of these shows to be honest and I struggle to watch them but I do so when there’s a hot story going viral online because both hosts are very well connected and powerful enough (I don’t know who’s backing them) to say whatever they want and they almost always manage to surprise me with the amount of information they collect, specially Joe Maalouf. Unfortunately, their take on some issues is sometimes disappointing and even shocking, like when Tony Khalife was taking sides with some Sheikh and bashing Kafa and other NGOs for trying to help women being abused, or when Maalouf revealed a secret hideout for gays in Lebanon causing their arrest, but that’s where the online community should intervene and pressure them to apologize for their mistakes.
All in all, social media is still growing rapidly in Lebanon and is leading to positive changes in our society but it still didn’t reach a point where it can have a serious impact on some matters, mainly because the authorities rarely listen to what people are saying, and more importantly because some parties are hijacking social media and “imposing” their views by spamming our timelines. We need more online influencers and by that I don’t mean popular Instagram accounts
This is an old video where Jumblatt appeared on a famous TV show on LBC and was asked to call a random pastry shop and order two huge Knefe platters to be delivered within 5 minutes. I think Jumblatt should consider doing his own comedy show after he retires from politics as he’s quite hilarious on Twitter lately. Moreover, he’s been in politics since ever and is powerful enough to come up with jokes all day on other politicians and get away with them.
I was watching Yasmine Hamdan, another highly talented Lebanese artist, when I read about Ely Dagher winning the Palme D’or at the 69th Cannes Film Festival for his short movie Waves ’98. Ely is the first Lebanese to make it to the official selection since Maroun Baghdadi’s film in 1982 and the 29-year old has become the first Lebanese to receive the Palme d’Or since Baghdadi.
Ely’s 14-minute long film is “about Omar, a high-school kid living in the northern suburb of Beirut, struggling in his social bubble”. I couldn’t find yet the full movie online but I will share it as soon as I do.
Congrats to Ely and I’m sure this is just the start for our young and talented director.
The union of Cable providers in Lebanon (I didn’t know they had a union) decided to take down LBCI yesterday as a sign of protest against the decision taken by 8 local TVs to make them pay a fee for broadcasting their shows. LBCI, Future TV, Tele Liban, NBN, Al Jadeed, Manar, OTV and MTV all set new broadcasting rules by asking cable providers to pay 4 dollars for each subscriber, and asking all cable providers to sign official documents that grant them broadcasting rights.
Honestly speaking, I think it’s about time someone regulated this whole process and put an end to illegal cable providers in Lebanon. I rarely watch TV but I remember I had to call the cable guy almost every Sunday when I was at my parents to be able to watch Formula 1 or some football game. The quality of the image is bad, they control what you’re watching and rarely answer the phone when needed. Moreover, the fact that they are able to randomly shut down LBCI just to protest is quite absurd and unheard of.
Some may argue that we shouldn’t have to pay to watch local TVs but they need to monetize to survive in this market and having illegal cable providers rebroadcast all their shows for free doesn’t make sense, specially when there are affordable and legal providers like Econet and Cable Vision.
The short movie Waves ’98 by 2012 cinema-grantee Ely Dagher was selected by the 2015 Short Films Competition of the Cannes Festival out of 4550 short films submitted. These films will all run for the 2015 Short Film Palme d’or, to be awarded by Abderrahmane Sissako, President of the Jury, at the official prize-giving ceremony of the 68th Festival de Cannes on 24th May. This will be the first Lebanese film in the official selection since Maroun Baghdadi’s film in 1982.
This is great news for Ely and Lebanon. I wish him all the best! I shared below the synopsis and the trailer:
Written and directed by Dagher (Lebanon), the 14-minute long Waves ’98 is about Omar, a high-school kid living in the northern suburb of Beirut, struggling in his social bubble. On a quiet afternoon, on a terrace looking over the city he notices something strange, a sort of Giant golden animal protruding from between the buildings that draws him and leads to his discovery of a special part of the city.
Hollywood star Salma Hayek arrived to Beirut a couple of days ago and visited yesterday the museum of Lebanese-born poet and philosopher Gebran Khalil Gebran in Bcharreh. Salma is here for her movie “The Prophet” world premiere which will be held at Cinemacity in Beirut Souks.
The premiere will be a private event and few people were invited to attend. If L’Orient Le Jour’s info is accurate, the projection of the movie will be followed by a private dinner for 300 people at La villa Rose at ESA. I was actually eager to watch the movie tonight but I guess we will have to wait till Thursday when it’s officially released. The Prophet is based on Gebran Khalil Gebran’s masterpiece and will feature a voice cast including Salma Hayek as Kamila, Liam Neeson as Mustafa, John Krasinski as Halim, Alfred Molina as Sergeant, Quvenzhané Wallis as Almitra and Frank Langella as Pasha.
Hiba is officially in the semi-finals of The Voice France after winning the public vote one more time. The next round will take place on April 18th and will feature the remaining 8 candidates:
– Camille Lellouche
– Anne Sila
– Battista Acquaviva
– David Thibault
– Guilhem Valayé
– Lilian Renaud
Mika was impressed by Hiba’s performance but Jennifer wasn’t very convinced and wants Hiba to sing in Arabic like she did at the start of the show. Honestly, I think Hiba is playing it safe and leaving the best for last which is a smart strategy, plus I wouldn’t trust Jennifer specially after what she did with Anthony Touma.