MIT Student From Lebanon Found Dead

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23-year old Hadi Kasab was found dead in his university-owned residence in Cambridge on Thursday night. Hadi comes from Saida, Lebanon and was a second-year graduate student in MIT’s program in computation for design and optimization. He also used to work at the MIT Gas Turbine Laboraty, and if I am not mistaken, this is a [picture] of him.

MIT mourned the young man whose cause of death is still unknown.

Sincere Condolences to his family.

Hadi Kasab, 23, a second-year graduate student in MIT’s program in Computation for Design and Optimization, was found deceased last evening in his room in Sidney Pacific. Kasab was a native of Saida, Lebanon.

As is standard procedure in such cases, an investigation led by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office is under way; the state Medical Examiner’s office has not yet given its determination of the cause of death. The MIT Police have determined that there is no threat to the community. [Link]

British Ambassador Tom Fletcher Strikes Again

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This is not my first post on Ambassador Fletcher’s actions and definitely won’t be my last, as I believe this man is doing way more what he’s required and setting the bar very high not just for other ambassadors and foreign representatives but for Lebanese politicians as well.

Ambassador Fletcher was at an event recently where domestic workers were asked to sit in a separate area. Instead of ignoring the matter, he decided to join the domestic workers for lunch and then leave. He said and I quote that “the true measure of the generosity of a society is not the way it treats Ambassadors, but the way it treats the most vulnerable”.

Speaking of human trafficking as well as discrimination and violence against men and women, the Beirut Bar Association has apparently launched a booklet on what people should do if they see human trafficking happening, but it’s not out yet on their website.

In Pictures: Lebanese Protest Against Domestic Violence On International Women’s Day

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It was great seeing so many people at Mathaf today for the demonstration planned by KAFA. It is time to change all laws that give advantage to a man over his wife or any woman for that sake, and to officially set up an office to follow up domestic violence issues and provide the required protection for victims (A governmental office not one run by an NGO).











Michel Sakr Freed By The Lebanese Police After Getting Kidnapped Yesterday Morning In Zahle

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The son of Ibrahim Sakr, a reputed business man in Zahle, was freed after he got kidnapped yesterday in front of his house. Some reports are saying a prominent political figure intervened to release the kid, probably Nabih Berri.

Tens of kidnappings for ransom have taken place in the Bekaa area since last year, and it looks like everyone knows the groups behind them yet nothing’s being done. In all cases, this is definitely good news for the kid and his family.

via Lebanese-Forces

A HeartFelt Message From A Victim Of Domestic Violence In Lebanon

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Here’s a letter I got from a good friend of mine who chose to remain anonymous. I salute her for her courage and hope that tomorrow’s demonstration and many others to follow will give Lebanese women the legal protection needed from abusive husbands.

“Everytime I hear about a woman dying because of domestic violence, every single time, I swear… I think of you. You’re one of the lucky ones. You escaped.”

My best friend just sent me this two months ago. And I have been thinking of how lucky I am ever since!

I’m one of the lucky ones indeed. I escaped.

I live today with my children in a house, next to my parent’s place. Society still didn’t accept my divorce: “walaw! Halla2 tzakkarit titirko?”… And, like many other women victims of domestic violence, and for the sake of my children, their mental health and growth, I still don’t utter a word about the reasons of my divorce. (maybe also to keep myself “safe” because I am not “strong enough” to face him again and fight back… I’m weak and tired of all this…)

But I, I escaped death.

And I don’t utter a word about that neither. Of course.

My parents first felt weird, but ended up supporting me.

Most of my friends still don’t understand the tension I face every time I drop my children at their father or pick them up after the visits he is entitled to (at least I’m one of the “lucky” ones who survived and kept her children! I am double lucky).

And I, myself, still don’t understand the fear I grew towards men.

When I hear the news, I often cry.

I cry because I was lucky to get out alive.
I cry because it was never too late for me.
I cry because no one saw my mother on television weeping my death.

I cry because my brother escaped the crime he would probably have committed after my death.


I cry because I have to sit home and express myself without revealing my face or identity, because that is the only way to protect myself, my children and my family.

But from the bottom of my silence I send a message to everyone out there, to every lady who can hear me, every mother, every daughter, every child who is old enough to read: Get out before it’s too late. Get out alive.

It might be not enough. I want more. We all want more. I want to go out unveiled and shout to who can see me: I survived violence.

Now I can’t. One day maybe. If ever this country reaches a level of protection that would allow me to shout-it-out loud and clear, without putting anyone in danger, without risking of losing my children, without putting my life at risk.

But for the time being, as I wash my face, clear my throat and wipe my tears, I publish this and pray for every woman out there to be a new story of survival.

Happy International Woman’s Day.

Baghdad Airport Deputy Head Arrested Over MEA Incident

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the arrest and dismissal of Samer Kubba, Baghdad Airport’s deputy head as well as all “those responsible for preventing the plane coming from Beirut from landing in Baghdad”. Yesterday, Iraqi authorities forced a MEA airplane to return to Beirut because the son of the Iraqi Transport Minister had missed the flight.

I want to believe that the Iraqi authorities will take the necessary measures but I have a feeling it’s just a media stunt to cover up the story.

Two More Reasons To Join The Protest Against Domestic Violence In Lebanon Tomorrow

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The demonstration is taking place this Saturday March 8 (International Women’s Day) from 2 to 3 pm. The protesters will walk from the Museum to Beirut’s Justice Palace.

Here’s a call from the mothers of the latest domestic violence victims to join the protest:


And here’s another powerful ad by March:


It reminded me of this awesome ad on how children repeat what their parents do.