Creating A Sustainable Business By Keeping Politicians Accountable: A Good Idea For Lebanon?

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Media2

The idea might not be a new one but it worked out for Hackmack in Germany and it might work in Lebanon if it’s done by the right people. We need a panel of experts and intellectuals to kick off such a project away from any political affiliations and hopefully people will start to hold their representatives accountable for their acts. Social Media has proven to be a highly efficient tool in boosting transparency so let’s make good use of it.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on that and whether it’s feasible or not.

You can read more about it [Here]. You can also check out the website [Here].

BONN, Germany – With the federal election season in full swing in Germany, social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow Gregor Hackmack is busy preparing his online portal, ParliamentWatch, to host a variety of special online forums with German media partners and to connect citizen’s questions to candidates.

“It’s all about bridging the gap between citizens and politicians,” Hackmack said at the recent Ashoka Globalizer event in Bonn, which the Ashoka Germany office organized to piggy-back on the larger Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. “We need to build that bridge.”

Roughly 95% of federal parliament members participate with the site, answering 80% of the 150,000 questions that have poured in from voters. The questions are stored in archives as a public record, which voters can use to later hold politicians accountable. The site can also sort and slice data and responses. For example, it shows, graphically, how responsive each of the major parties in Germany is to questions.

“We try to provide as much transparency as possible,” Hackmack said. “It’s one thing what people say they will do and another thing to see how they vote.”

The forum has proved popular, generating 350,000 unique visitors per month. It has partnerships running with several media including Süddeutsche Zeitung, broadcaster NDR, Spiegel Online (see Spiegel’s profile of Hackmack here) and more than 40 other local newspapers, which help draw questions from voters to the site and use some of the answers and data in news reports.

The New Boubouffe

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I finally passed by Boubouffe’s new location yesterday and I wasn’t disappointed one single bit. As some of you know, Boubouffe closed down its original branch and moved to a newly revamped location. The place looks nice, the bar is still there and the Shawarma is still the best you could ever taste.

Price for one Shawarma Chicken + Soft Drink = 11000LL which is around 7$.

It’s expensive but worth every penny.

PS: Boubouffe’s burgers are worth a try too and the Moules et Frites as well.

Update: The new location is on Charles Malek’s Avenue (Hekmeh Main Door) before the old MTV Building. It’s open on the main road so you can’t miss it.

Map

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Saving the Crocodile from the Beirut River

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Animals Lebanon have been working for a week now with the Ministry of Agriculture and Civil Defense Team to try and capture the dangerous crocodile but as you can see from the pictures, the conditions of the so-called Beirut river are so bad that it is the crocodile who’s in danger and not us.

All pictures taken from Animals Lebanon Facebook Page.

It has been almost a week since we became involved with the Beirut river crocodile. In cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, our team along with the Civil Defense team have been taking shifts on a daily basis at the river. Permits from the Mayor of Beirut and the Minister of Energy and Water have been secured to let our team access the area and try to safely capture the crocodile.

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Lens on Life in Lebanon

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LOLM_Ruta from Ann Megalla

Lens on Life in Lebanon uploads stories captured & reflected through the eyes of migrant domestic workers living in Beirut. You can check out more videos [Here] and their website [Here].

Lens on Life Multimedia is a participatory photography workshop, exhibition and online initiative designed to give marginalised and persecuted groups a space to shape and share their unique story through the art of photography and digital storytelling.

Our mission is to promote human rights issues, celebrate cultural diversity, and encourage the international community to support and advocate for positive, meaningful changes to people’s lives.

LOLM_Adam from Ann Megalla