FAIL: Closing The Zouk Mosbeh Bridge During Eid

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Muslims in Lebanon and in the world will celebrate Eid in the upcoming days and it’s a tradition for Muslims in Lebanon to go to amusement parks or drive to the mountains for a change, mainly Dream Park in Zouk and the Karting circuit next to it. Having said that, I don’t know who’s the genius who decided to close down the Zouk Mosbeh bridge for the next two days but they sure picked the worst time to do so.

The good thing is that they left it open from 6pm till 10pm but it’s still a very bad timing. In fact, I am spending 15 to 20 minutes more time to get from Jeita to the highway ever since they started working on that bridge earlier this week, so you can imagine what will happen when it is closed.

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Dabke is an Israeli dance according to The New York Times

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[YouTube]
NYC Dabke Dancers respond to ZviDance “Israeli Dabke”

The below entry was mentioned as part of the Dance Listings for Aug. 2-8 in the New York Times:

ZviDance (Saturday) Inspired by the Arab Spring, the Israeli-born, New York-based choreographer Zvi Gotheiner created “Dabke,” named for the traditional, celebratory line dance performed at Muslim weddings in the Middle East. (The title means “stomping the ground” in Arabic.) A free class in Lebanese dabke and its Israeli offshoot, debka, precedes this Lincoln Center Out of Doors performance, which is a split bill with El Gusto, the recently reunited Algerian band of Muslim and Jewish musicians. At 7 p.m., with the dance class starting at 6 p.m., Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, (212) 721-6500, lcoutofdoors.org; free. (Burke)

Even though the article doesn’t say that Israelis came up with Dabke, Philip Weiss who wrote the below article does make a point that the New York Times has given a lot of importance to this Israeli dabke, which honestly doesn’t look anything like our traditional Dabke.

I’ve read some of the comments on Weiss’s article and while it’s true that it is a matter of cultural appropriation and not imitation, I don’t believe we can forbid or lament artists, whether Jewish or not, from reproducing the Dabke dance in their own way. On the other hand, it wouldn’t hurt the New York times to highlight Arab dances such as the Dabke, speak of its origins and tell people about groups like the Lebanese Caracalla for instance.

The English invented curry and paisley, right?

The dabke (or debka) is an Arab dance. I’ve seen Arabs dancing it in several countries. Zvi Gotheiner is an Israeli-born choreographer in New York. He has a dance called the “Dabke,” and the New York Times has given his dabke a lot of ink over the last year or so.

June 3, 2012 in the Times:

The dabke is a line dance of the Levant. At weddings in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, people link up arm to shoulder or hand in hand and stomp out rhythms and patterns. Israelis, so often at odds with their neighbors, also have a version. Dances are easier to share than territory.

The Times again, June 19, 2013:

The dabke is a line dance, traditionally for men only, often performed at weddings and celebrations in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories. But it is just Mr. Gotheiner’s starting point. Music makes people dance communally, and the sense of community in “Dabke” is so strong that at times we feel that we are on a kibbutz.

The Times August 1, 2013, in dance listings:

ZviDance (Saturday) Inspired by the Arab Spring, the Israeli-born, New York-based choreographer Zvi Gotheiner created “Dabke,” named for the traditional, celebratory line dance performed at Muslim weddings in the Middle East. (The title means “stomping the ground” in Arabic.) A free class in Lebanese dabke and its Israeli offshoot, debka, precedes this Lincoln Center Out of Doors performance, which is a split bill with El Gusto, the recently reunited Algerian band of Muslim and Jewish musicians.

Hasbara: First we made the desert bloom. Then we invented hummus. Then we came up with an amazing line dance. Thanks to Helen Schiff.


That’s one weird Dabke


The real authentic Dabke – by Karakalla

Thanks P!

What happened to the sea lion in Tyr?

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Back in April, I posted an update about the sea lion stating that the Ministry of Environment was taking charge of that matter. However and according to Animals Lebanon, The Ministry decided to leave the sea lion where she was and by that jeopardized her life.

The NGO had warned the Ministry that the sea lion is a captive raised California sea lion, not native to this region and not used to surviving in the wild, and releasing the animal in the wild is against the recommendations of the IUCN, yet no one listened. They even offered a large pool with security for the animal.

At this point, no one knows what happened to the sea lion but it is definitely not the happy ending we were hoping for. Let’s hope the Beirut crocodile doesn’t face a similar fate.

Crocodile