Meet Lebanese Rima Najdi, AKA Madame Bomba

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Rima Nadji is a Lebanese performance artist who is revolting against the situation that we Lebanese have put ourselves into. “She is protesting against the normalization of suicide bombing in Beirut and She knows that some people may take a glimpse at her and smile, or think this is a joke, but it is not. This is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death.” [Source]

It is definitely a weird way to protest but a very powerful one. We should not get used to suicide bombing and car bombs in Lebanon, we should not behave as if nothing’s happening because all of us are targeted at the moment. Let’s all keep in mind that we are only victims, not martyrs of these explosions. [#NotAMartyr]

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Madame Bomba at Torino pub in Gemmayze

Quick Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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Ben Stiller in a still from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is based on a short story by James Thurber. The movie is about Walter Mitty, an average man whose daydreams take him to a world of adventure, heroism and romance. Honestly, I had high hopes for this movie but I didn’t think it was that great. The story is nice, the plot is interesting, the views are breath-taking but the movie is slow-paced and a bit boring. Mitty’s character is quite interesting and you get attached to it but then I lost interest at some point and wanted the movie to just end. The end was nice and emotional even though it was predictable.

It’s definitely a feel-good movie and I don’t regret watching it, but I thought for some reason it would be much better than that. I do agree with Patrick though that the movie’s soundtrack is amazing!

Our Lebanese Cedar Is Our Identity: Adopt A Cedar Tree

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Picture via CedarsBox.com

As most of you probably know, Lebanon is known for its Cedars yet today cedar forests cover only 0.0002% of Lebanon’s surface, mainly due to the climate change, over-harvesting and of course the lack of initiatives from Lebanese authorities. Luckily though, a number of local NGOs and the private sector have been working for years to preserve Cedar forests and expand them by planting new cedar trees. One of the most recent initiatives is the “Adopt A Cedar Tree” which is a collaboration between Byblos Bank, Jouzour Loubnan and Cedars Box to plant thousands of Cedars in Kfardebian, Zaarour, Ehden and Ehmej.

I received a complimentary Cedars Box as a gift on Christmas and already planted it in Kfardebian. I was given precise GPS coordinates and an official certificate of Adoption soon after I filled all the needed information. I will share a picture of the tree as soon as I visit it.

If you want to know how you can adopt a tree, click [Here].

History Of Car Bombs In Lebanon

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According to this 1992 article from Time Magazine entitled “Lebanon: The Terrible Tally of Death”, our country has witnessed 3,641 car bombs during the 1975-1990 civil war period, which resulted in the death of 4,386 people (including 241 U.S Marines and 58 French Paratroopers).

I thought the number was pretty high and so did Karl (see below conversation) because 3641 car bombs during 15 years (almost 5475 days) means 1 car bomb every 1.5 days which is incredibly high. Having said that, another source “The Atlas Group” mentioned that only 245 car bombs, which is more reasonable, took place. From what I recall, the highest number of car bombs took place during the Elie Hobeika era.

Let’s hope we will reach one day in Lebanon where car bombs will become part of our history only.

1 [Source]

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Lebanese Ship Accused Of Dumping Dead Cows In The Baltic Sea

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Picture via AFP

Denmark and Sweden have been investigating for days how fourteen dead cows ended up on their shores and it seems it was a Lebanese ship who dropped the dead cows in the sea. Not only did they do that, but the ears were cut off to remove the earmarks identifying the animals.

Dumping slaughter waste is illegal in the Baltic Sea and the crew could be charged with animal cruelty. Swedish police spokeswoman Ewa-Gun Westford said and I quote that “She’s been working in the police for 40 years and had never dealt with such a crime”.

Maybe we should invite her to visit Beirut’s slaughterhouse and see what goes on there.

Fourteen dead cows that washed up on the beaches of Denmark and Sweden were probably dumped overboard by the crew of a Lebanese ship after it encountered bad weather, Danish police said Friday.

“The police suspects that (the source is) a Lebanese ship that was transporting live cattle from a US port to Europe,” the South Zealand and Lolland-Falster Police said in a statement.

“The ship ran into a storm in the Bay of Biscay, in which a number of cows died,” it added.

The animals, the first of which was found on December 31, also had their back legs tied together and their stomachs cut open. The ears had been cut to remove the earmarks identifying the animals, police said.

“The reason the stomachs had been slit open was probably to ensure the animal sank, and the back legs were probably bound so that a crane could grab and hoist the cow overboard,” it said.

The Lebanese ship’s crew had asked to unload the dead animals in a Russian port but were turned down, after which they most likely dumped them around 18 kilometres (11 miles) off the Danish island of Bornholm, police said. [RawStory]

Help Rebuild Lebanon’s Torched Al Sa’eh Library

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I’ve been supportive of every initiative to help rebuild Al Sa’eh library in Tripoli, and I loved the book drive that was kicked off on January 8th and will last till the end of the month, but I was surprised to read about a campaign to collect $35,000 for the library to buy new bookshelves, a new front door and paint the wall .

Don’t get me wrong as I am not doubting the campaign but I thought one of Tripoli’s MPs or politicians would happily fund the project to restore the library as it was. I mean $35,000 is a ridiculous amount for billionaires like Mikati and Safadi, who happen to be from Tripoli.

We shouldn’t have to start crowd-funding campaigns for Al Sa’eh library. Since all parties condemned the incident and showed their support to Father Sarrouj, let them allocate a decent amount of money to repair the library and bring it back to life! Most MPs probably spend 35k on fuel for their convoys so it wouldn’t hurt their pockets if they donated money to rebuild Lebanon’s second biggest library.

Unfreakin-believable!

PS: If you wish to help or donate, click [Here].