Lebanese government to sue Homeland over Beirut portrayal

Everyone in Lebanon knows this is not how Hamra looks like these days or ever looked like and It’s only normal that the Lebanese government sues Homeland producers for this misrepresentation of Beirut streets in Season2. Here’s what Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud had to say about the matter:

Minister Abboud said the reach of the show made the misrepresentation even more problematic. “This series has a lot of viewers and if you are promoting Lebanon as a non-secure zone it will affect tourism. It will mean a lot of foreigners stay away if they are convinced by what they see,” he said. “Beirut is one of the most secure capitals in the world, more secure than London or New York.”

The show was not filmed in Lebanon at all, but was shot instead in the Israeli city of Haifa. For Abboud the fact that it was filmed in a state with which Lebanon is technically at war was an added insult. “We would like to welcome the crews here to film in this city — we were offended by the fact that they filmed the thing in Israel and said it was Beirut,” he said. [Source]

And this is how Hamra really looks like these days:

Picture from Sieskte

Arab artists pull out from Austria’s Salam.Orient festival

Lebanese Rapper Malikah

Arab artists, including Marwan Abado, Syrian singer Lena Chamamyan, Lebanese MC Malikah, and Palestine’s DJ Sotusura and MC Boikutt pulled out in the past two days of Austria’s Salam.Orient 2012 music festival because of sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy. Malikah justified her withdrawal by saying:

“”I cannot participate in an event sponsored by a Colonial Occupying Force, especially when the occupied subject is us!!”

With all due respect to Malikah and other Arab Artists, but their decision to pull out doesn’t add up. If you want to boycott Israel and Zionism, you boycott any event including an Israeli and not just one sponsored by Israel. The festival’s schedule clearly listed all participants, including the Israeli band Buchara Groove, so they should have all withdrawn from the start!

Added to that, if they had asked for a clarification from the organizers, they would have understood the reason behind this sponsorship. As shown below, the sponsorship came for one performance and has nothing to do with the event as a whole. In fact, the same happened in 2011 with an Indian band.

“In 2012 Vienna Acts also invited a group from Tajikistan living in Israel to present a music program called “Buchara Groove.” For this evening – and only for this performance – we asked the Embassy of Israel for financial support to cover local cost (meals and hotel) which they agreed to cover. For this reason, the logo of the Israeli embassy is displayed on our website (alongside all other sponsors). Besides this, the Embassy of Israel has no influence on the programmation or content of Salam.Orient.” [Source]

All in all, it doesn’t look like those baseless boycotts are going to end anytime soon. You’d think Arab Artists would make use of their talents to show support to Palestine through songs or plays or acts but instead they insist on doing it the wrong way.

Lebanese Charbel Abou Khattar wins

Lebanese Champion Charbel Abou Khattar

Lebanese bodybuilder Charbel Abou Khattar participated in The Italian international Class of Natural Bodybuilding and won the first international natural bodybuilding trophy in the history of Lebanon. It is worthy noting that Charbel passed his drug test with a 100/100 score as a life time drug free.

Thumbs up to our local champion and to team Shape Up!

You can check out more pictures about the event on ShapeUp’s Facebook page [Here].

62 inch TV found inside Roumieh prison cell

Families of Islamist prisoners protesting outside Roumieh Prison

I would understand finding mobile phones, drugs, laptops maybe, knives and other sharp items inside few prison cells, but how the hell do you sneak in a 62 Inch TV inside a prison? Honestly I don’t see a reason why those prisoners are asking for their release from Roumieh. They do whatever they want, leave whenever they find it suitable, buy mobile phones, laptops, knives, weapons, 60-inch TVs, have internet access and are never bothered by the guards.

I wonder what’s really bothering them? The food maybe? Kababji doesn’t deliver there?

The military court wrapped up on Tuesday investigations in the Roumieh prison break carried out by three Fatah al-Islam inmates with the number of detained security guards reaching 13, reported the National News Agency. Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) reported on Tuesday that the “flawed situation” included the inmates’ possession of a 62 inch flat-screen television and internet access that allowed them contact with extremists from all over the world. [Naharnet]

Lebanese expatriates’ right to vote in the 2013 parliamentary elections

Lebanese expats were denied the chance to participate in the 2009 parliamentary elections and it looks like they are going to be excluded as well from the 2013 elections, especially that our dear Foreign Minister is treating this issue as if it’s some sort of joke. In fact, according to the report he submitted to the government 3 days ago, only some 3,009 expats had registered to vote at Lebanese embassies and missions to take part in the 2013 elections while Assafir’s earlier study revealed that there are almost 1 million Lebanese expats eligible for voting.

I managed to get from a source the distribution of those 3009 and they clearly show how unprofessional and lousy this report is. Here is the list of cities and number of registered voters as provided by the foreign ministry:

State or City / number of registered voters
Istanbul 19
Indonesia 15
Detroit 77
Oman 181
New York 110
Washington 132
Los Angeles 9
France 742
Montreal 0 Canada
Ottawa 0 Canada
Brussels 117
Bogota 20
Bucharest 16
Britain 20
Austria 20
Canberra 11
Sydney 1
Prague 10
Buenos Aires 0
Tunisia 12
Rio de Janeiro 0
Freetown 519
Caracas 5
Conakry 89
Manama 29
Senegal 161
Asuncion 0
Madrid 70
Kuwait 23
Angola 0
Zambia 0
Mozambique 0
Zimbabwe 92
Malawi 89
Botswana 18
Namibia 16
Marseille – France 37
Guinea 63
Dubai 14
Melbourne 50
Kuala Lumpur 1
Switzerland 17
South Africa 0
Jeddah 0
Doha 21
Vienna 63
Kazakhstan 25
Stockholm 84
Sofia 6
Abidjan Cote – d’Ivoire 6

0 Lebanese registered in Montreal and Ottawa while 92 registered in Zimbabwe. 89 Lebanese registered in Conakry, which is the capital of Guinea, while none of the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese in Brazil bothered registering. Needless to say, this report is a joke and was rejected by a large number of officials. I mean how is it possible that 0 or barely 10 Lebanese register in major cities ( 1 in Sydney) while 25 register in Kazakhstan?

Maybe it’s better if Adnan Mansour resigns and let someone handle the expats file and other files in a decent and professional manner. In fact, I think the expats voting should not be handled by a minister but by an independent committee at one distance from all parties and capable of handling such a large task.