Category Archives: News

Lebanese Cameraman Samir Kassab Still Missing In Syria

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I don’t know why Samir’s story is not over the news like the Maaloula nuns, but he’s a Lebanese who’s gone missing along with Sky News Arabia Mauritanian correspondent Ishak Moctar back in October 2013 and there are still no news of him. Lebanonfiles reported via Al Jomhouria that he could be in the Rakka area in Syria.

Speaking of kidnappings, the Missing and Kidnapped Lebanese issue is a critical one that must be given the highest priority by any government, specially the thousands who disappeared during the Lebanese war at the hands of Lebanese militias. Their families deserve to know what happened and the authorities should work hard to close these files once and for all.

Let’s hope Samir’s case will be resolved soon as he’s just a cameraman and wasn’t kidnapped for political reasons.

Masrou2a App on LBCI

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I wasn’t expecting the post I wrote on how to detect stolen cars to get so many positive feedbacks but it did and I hope someone will pass the idea to the authorities as we need to place these license plate scanners and come up with that app the soonest. Just to be clear, what I proposed is not a revolutionary solution as the technology is old and a lot of countries use it and even have complex networks of smart cameras to help them track stolen or suspicious cars. Moreover, it seems few people have already starting working on such an app or at leastthought of it, but what I am proposing is more than just an app.

Now to answer some of the replies I got on the previous post:
– License plate recognition is not only based on a plate number but also on details related to the car and even its location. Since every car should have its plate number, switching plate numbers between cars can also be detected. After all, it’s a software that’s linked to a database and you can do the matching anyway you like.
– Politicians using convoys and fake plate numbers is a real problem to this system and I think the Interior Ministry should restrict the number of cars that are allowed to use fake plate numbers. If an MP’s son wanted to go out to party with a fake plate number and tinted car, he should be stopped.

Of course this will not stop suicide bombers as they might resort to buying and registering cars but it will definitely make it harder and more expensive for them. Moreover it will help the ISF track down stolen cars and maybe figure out where they’re setting up the cars with explosives or catch random car thieves.

Thank you Maytham for the mention and I loved the simulations done. It’s exactly what I had in mind.

Lebanon Warlords of Tripoli (Trailer) By Vice

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Vice hung out with a Sunni Commander called Ziad Allouki and his fighters for a week to discover why they’re fighting, and whether the country really is on the brink of civil war. These so-called militia commanders and gunmen “have been taking advantage lately of the lawlessness in the city to extort money from local businesses“.

That’s definitely a report I am looking forward to.

Thanks Rami for the tip!

Lebanese Man Suspected of Killing His Two Daughters Leila And Zeinab then Committing Suicide At Fort Hood Texas

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It was reported a couple of days ago that a Lebanese man and his two daughters were shot to death in their home in the US, but it appears as if it is a murder-suicide case. For those of you unfamiliar with Fort Hood, it is “one of the one of the largest military installations in the world, has an on-post population of about 80,000, including more than 43,000 assigned military personnel”. Almost 70 soldiers have committed suicide since 2009 at Fort Hood

Al-Jadeed TV stated that the Ezzedine family “has expressed reservations on the initial results of the probe”, but it could be a long time before we know the final results.

U.S Army investigators said on Thursday that the civilian in the suspected murder-suicide, Rouhad Ahamd Ezzeddine, 43, the husband of Pfc. Carla Santisteban, 33, appeared to have killed the couple’s two children before committing suicide. The bodies of Mr. Ezzeddine and their two daughters — Zeinab Rouhad Ezzeddine, 4, and Leila Rouhad Ezzeddine, 9 — were discovered Tuesday morning in their single-story duplex-style house in the Pershing Park neighborhood of Fort Hood. [NYTimes]

#NotAMartyr Campaign on CNN

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Sad Gino

The #NotAMartyr campaign was started following the unfortunate death of 16 year old Mohammad Chaar who was taking a selfie with some friends when the car behind them exploded. The bombing was targeted against ex-Minister Mohammad Chata7 who unfortunately died along with 5 other people.

The #NotAMartyr campaign spread quickly and the latest mention was in an article by CNN International Correspondent Mohammed Jamjoom, whom I had the chance to meet once during the I Am Not A Tourist event at Biel.

You can read the full article [Here].

Beirut, Lebanon (CNN) — Mohammad Chaar wasn’t looking to become a martyr — or a victim. Late last month, the 16-year-old student was just hanging out with his friends in downtown Beirut, out of school and having fun. They all took a selfie to mark the moment, and never expected that moment would become so momentous.
The car bombing targeted and killed Mohamad Chatah, a former Lebanese Ambassador to the United States — but several others also lost their lives.
Minutes after the blast, Chaar appeared in another picture. In it, he’s seen lying unconscious and bleeding on the pavement. He would die later from his wounds.
As is the custom in Lebanon, hardly any time had passed before Chaar, an innocent bystander, had been branded a far weightier title. All of a sudden, “victim” had morphed into “martyr.”

Lebanese Restaurant Taverna Du Liban Attacked by Taliban In Kabul

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_72362064_2abc8cfc-a4b3-495e-92e4-ccf33a11787d The restaurant’s chef, Abdul Majid, was among those injured via BBC

Apparently the restaurant was a popular attraction in Kabul’s Wazir Akbar Khan area and a lot of foreign nationals and diplomats used to visit it. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s owner Kamal Hamade, grabbed a gun and tried to defend his beloved restaurant and guests but was shot dead by the assailants. According to BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet, Kamal “made the best chocolate cake in Kabul, the best Lebanese food and, he thought, the best evacuation plan“.

At least 16 people, including both Afghans and foreigners, were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a popular Lebanese restaurant in the Afghan capital Kabul police have said. Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman for the United Nations, said late on Friday four UN civilian personnel, who were reportedly near explosion scene at the time of the attack, remained unaccounted for. Taliban fighters claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, which hosts many embassies and restaurants that cater to expatriates. [Jazeera]

Good Reads on Beirut’s Latest Explosion and Mohammad Chatah’s Assassination

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Picture taken from Reuters

Mohamad Chatah’s Open Letter to Tehran – The Wall Street Journal

A Talisman for Tolerance – Lebanon loses Mohamad Chatah – Tom Fletcher

The Death of Two Mohammeds – BeirutSpring

16 year old Mohammad Chaar is not a Martyr nor a Hero – DreamOfChange

Are You Ok? – ProBeirut

The meaning of the Shatah assassination – Rami Khoury (DailyStar)

The final, ominous tweets of Mohamad Chatah, Lebanese politician killed in car bomb – Max Fisher (WashingtonPost)

Killing Mohamad Chatah – David Kenner (Foreign Policy)

Mohamad Chatah’s killing threatens to make Syrian war explode into Lebanon – The Sydney Morning Herald

NowLebanon Mistakes Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Chamseddine For Ex-Minister Ibrahim Chamseddine

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I had kept a screenshot from NowLebanon‘s frontpage last week but forgot why until today. As you can see, they are talking about the Customs General Ibrahim Chamseddine who beat up Al-Jadeed crew, but instead of putting his picture, they put ex-Minister Ibrahim Chamseddine’s picture.

Funnily enough, the ex-minister is the son of former president of the Higher Shia Counsel, Imam Mohammed Mehdi Shamseddine, founding member of the Lebanese Forum for Dialogue and founder of the “Imam Shamsuddin Foundation for Dialogue”, a civil organization which aims at spreading culture of dialogue and peace. So basically he is the complete opposite of the other Chamseddine.