The Lebanese National Basketball Team Urges The Lebanese Federation To Resign

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The National Team is finally back to Lebanon and Coach Ghassan Sarkis held a press conference where he asked the Lebanese Federation on behalf of the Players to resign immediately. Sarkis “addressed the Federation’s President Robert Abou Abdallah saying: “I kindly tell you that you do not know how to run this game.”

This proves the points I raised earlier this week, that the Federation failed miserably and should resign immediately.

Let’s hope they do it ASAP and things go back to normal knowing that we have a very promising season next year.

[YouTube]

Rabih al-Ahmed’s wife says he tricked her into marriage

[YouTube]

For those of you who forgot, Rabih al-Ahmed is the guy who got his penis severed by his wife’s family members. He was brutally beaten up by seven men for half an hour, then dragged to the town’s square where they cut off his penis.

Now you’d think the wife would stay silent or defend her husband but instead she went on TV, surrounded by her family, and accused her husband of fabricating the story and assaulting her on several occasions. She also stated that he tricked her into believing that he’s Druze and that she wished justice would take its course.

I have to say this love story is a bit weird specially that Rabih is 20 years older than Rudeina, but there’s nothing that could possibly justify the crime the girl’s family members have committed and I truly hope that they get jailed. Unfortunately though, these religious-driven acts go unpunished most of the time in Lebanon especially when there’s apparently an MP protecting the perpetrators.

Adel Karam to start his own show?

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One of the many characters Adel plays

According to this article by Al-Akhbar, MTV are preparing a show similar to Bassem Youssef’s El Bernameg that will be hosted by Comedian Adel Karam. I like Adel and he’s a very talented comedian but I never imagined I’d see him running a show similar to El Bernameg as it’s quite demanding; so I am interested in seeing the outcome specially that Ma Fi Metlo has become a bit boring lately.

The closest thing that we have to El Bernameg right now in Lebanon is Chi.N.N, but I don’t like it and don’t think it’s a good show to be honest.

Quote Of The Day By Marwan Charbel

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So it’s either the Death Penalty or Freedom? Lol!

English Version:
Speaking of the Roumieh Prison scandal, Marwan Charbel stated that he found out during his visit that the conditions under which the prisoners are jailed are unacceptable and inhuman, and that until they are provided with a decent place we should let them go.

He said and I quote: “The prison conditions are so bad in Lebanon from all aspects that it makes me want to ask that prisoners either get the Death Penalty or be granted freedom. I can’t allow prisoners to suffer anymore inside the prisons. I know many do not agree with me, but those are my convictions.

. لقد وجدت في جولتي داخل السجن أن الماء لا يزال ينش من السقف، ماء الشتاء، وهذا بعد الورشة لا قبلها! يريدون أن يعيش السجين تحت مزراب كأن هذا هو الطبيعي”. واضاف: “بنظري لا يجوز سجن هؤلاء في مكان كهذا، وطالما ليس لدينا مكان لائق بإنسانيتهم يجب تركهم… الحال سيء داخل السجون اللبنانية، صحياً ونفسياً ومعنوياً ومادياً، إلى درجة تجعلني أطلب إما عقوبة الإعدام وإما الإفراج عن كل سجين. لا أقبل بقاء أحدهم يتعذب في الداخل. أعلم أن كثيرين لا يوافقونني الرأي، لكن هذه هي قناعتي”.

You can check out the full statement [Here]. He also stated a lot of Security Officers in Lebanon don’t know how to fire a gun.

Thanks Nad!

MIX FM’S 80’S Night at B018

Before writing this post, I was checking on the last time I wrote about the 80′s night as I’ve been wanting to go forever and indeed it was back in November 2011! The reason it took me so long is that the 80′s night is held on Thursdays so it’s hard to convince working people to party on a weekday and because it’s always overbooked. Believe it or not, Mix FM has been holding this 80′s night for 7 years now and the place is booked every single week!

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I got there around 11pm and the place was already full. I haven’t been to B018 in a long while but the place looked exactly the same as I last recall it. We had a small argument with the person in charge as we had reserved a table for 15 people and got one that could barely fit 4 but we finally got a decent table some 20 minutes later. However, the guy who was in charge of our table was very rude and unfriendly throughout the night and he even refused to get us a knife and plates to cut our friend’s birthday cake. I wasn’t the one who reserved so I don’t know why things got messed up but the staff weren’t friendly at all.

Putting this small incident aside, the night was a blast all thanks to one man: DJ Rodge! I am a big fan of the 80′s and he reminded me of some many good songs I had forgotten about, without forgetting the awesome tribute he did to Michael Jackson. I don’t remember having that much fun at a party in a long time, as I was singing and dancing throughout the whole night. I even went behind the DJ’s booth and had a small chat with Rodge, who’s a really cool guy.

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Picture from the 80s night at B018 – Tribute to Michael Jackson

We left B018 around 3am but the place was still packed. We ended up paying around 60$ per person. If you are an 80′s fan, you shouldn’t miss out on that party. If you need more info on how to reserve, click [Here].

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DJ Rodge gives out free CD copies of the night’s mix after midnight

The Reason Why The Lebanese Basketball Federation Got Suspended

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Here’s the letter that was sent to the Lebanese Basketball Federation by the FIBA explaining the reasons behind the suspension:

Dear Mr. President,
Dear Mr. Secretary General,

We acknowledge receipt of the documents and information requested in our email of 16 July 2013 following your request to reconsider the suspension of your federation. This information undoubtedly allows us to shed more light on the current situation in Lebanon. Thank you for your cooperation in submitting this information promptly.

At the outset, we wish to reiterate that the suspension of your federation has not been a decision taken hastily by FIBA. It was indeed approved by the FIBA Central Board due to events of the utmost gravity whereby one club has been able, with external political support, to disrupt entirely the smooth running of the Lebanese National Championship. It has also been able to obtain a decision by a state civil court cancelling technical and sporting decisions taken by your federation.

This scenario represents without any doubt the most serious violation of the FIBA General Statutes and all principles under which the Olympic sports movement is founded. Despite the financial impact or political intersts that sport generate, it is clear that it must remain at all costs a competition whereby merit, integrity and fair play prevail.

This matter demonstrates a profound dysfunction of the Lebanese Basketball Federation since one club alone has been able to stop your championship. In complete violation of the FIBA General Statutes and the obligations of all national member federations of FIBA, your federation was not and still is not properly armed to face political interferences and solve sporting disputes within its own structures.

The FIBA Central Board was therefore of the firm belief that the Lebanese Basketball family must now assume the consequences of its organizational deficiencies and actions. For as long as key governance principles are not implemented in the statutes of your federation and in the latter’s policies and managament, and approved/agreed to by all stakeholders it shall not be readmitted with full rights with FIBA and be allowed to participate in the most important international basketball competitions.

The letter is very clear and the reasons for the suspension are two:
- One club has been able, with external political support, to disrupt entirely the smooth running of the Lebanese National Championship.
- The Federation was not and still is not properly armed to face political interferences and solve sporting disputes within its own structures.

I think at this point, the real problem is not the suspension itself but the way the Lebanese Federation and concerned teams dealt with the FIBA warnings, and the way a lot of fans are reacting to this decision by blaming either Amchit or the Federation. Having said that, I recommend that everyone re-reads the statement issued by FIBA and understand that both the team and the federation are the problem, but the one to get the bigger blame is always the person in charge and that’s the Federation in that case.

There’s nothing political about it, and it saddens me to read some of the comments on the various Lebanese Basketball Facebook pages, but the fact that one team was able to disrupt the whole season is a clear proof the current Federation was unable to assume its responsibilities (Without mentioning the financial scandal). Lebanon is not the only country where political parties try to influence sports teams or invest money in sports to gain popularity, but that’s where the Federation plays its role in keeping the sport and the teams away from such considerations. President Choueiri succeeded in doing that in tougher days and with Sagesse Team against all odds, not because he poured money or was politically powerful but because he was able to find a compromise between all parties while focusing on improving the sport and helping Lebanon win international tournaments and even qualify for the World Cup.

Unfortunately though, We will never have someone like Choueiri again, which is why it’s time to elect a new federation and come up with new bylaws that prevent incidents like the ones that happened this year and the years before. In order to make that happen, all teams should sit down, propose new ideas and figure a way out of this mess once and for all. I hear some teams are considering launching the Super League but I don’t have a lot of details on it yet.

I’ve already posted several times on how politics should be kept away from sports in Lebanon, and even proposed some ideas to make this happen.

The Difference Between Political Correctness And Censorship

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I couldn’t have said it better. Read the full article [Here].

Political incorrectness is not about the need to shock and the seeking of gratuitous provocation, which is the easiest accusation thrown in the face of those who dare to speak up. It is not about encouraging hatred and promoting intolerance. It does not prevent what is and should be punishable by the law, to be indeed punishable by the law (racism, violence, terrorism, crime…).

It’s about time we learn the subtle – but fatal – difference between political correctness and censorship, as much as we need to learn the gap between political incorrectness and bigotry: Because in between the two poles lie a great deal of hypocrisy, lies, and fake justice, where honesty and critical thinking are the expensive collateral damage.

It is about time we grow up and dare to speak our minds even when, especially when we don’t have nice things to say.