Hundreds of AUB Students Protest Against The Raise In Tuition Fees

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[YouTube]

It is great to see so many people joining the protest against the tuition increase and I hope we will see protests in other universities because the same thing is happening there too. A 37% increase in four years (If what the students are saying is true) is unacceptable.

Hundreds of students at the American University of Beirut turned out Thursday to protest a planned tuition hike scheduled to take effect next year.

Students rallied in front of College Hall chanting ‘We won’t pay!’ into microphones as they hoisted colorful signs featuring slogans both serious and playful.

“Our wallets strip for AUB” read one sign in a tongue-in-cheek reference to the recent viral campaign to support Lebanese Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun.

Others read “Raise cost, we raise hell!” “Students sentenced to debt,” and “Show me the money.”

“Over the years, the university has been increasing the tuition with no evidence of why they need it,” said Youssef Samdakil, a third-year mechanical engineering student and one of the protest organizers. Samdakil is also a member of the University Student Faculty Committee’s Tuition Increase Committee, which organized the protest. [DailyStar]

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The Outpost Magazine Crowdfunding Its Second Year

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A good friend of mine once gave me a copy of The Outpost and I really enjoyed reading it. I think it’s a very promising magazine and a quality and non-commercial one that deserves our support. What they are asking for is a meager amount for a whole year and it would be a shame not to see them reach their goal. Here’s a [link] to one of their issues if you wanna check it out.

You can read more about the campaign and help if you wish to of course [Here].

The Outpost is a Beirut-based magazine about possibilities in the Arab world. We are a ‘magazine of possibilities’ when the narrative of where we live is a daily declaration of impossibility. In Lebanon, you’re told it’s impossible to think. In Egypt, you’re told it’s impossible to speak. In Palestine, you’re told it’s impossible to live. In Tunisia, you’re told it’s impossible to win. In Saudi Arabia, you’re told it’s impossible to grow. In Syria, you’re told it’s impossible to survive.

A Petition To Save Achrafieh’s Massaad Stairs And Stop The Fouad Boutros Highway

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[YouTube]

I honestly lost track of what’s happening to the Massaad stairs and the nearby green space as I thought they were threatened by the Fouad Boutros highway, not a new building. To recap quickly, Mar Mikhail residents are against the “Hekmeh-Turk”, which is basically the planned Fouad Boutros road and wish to turn the green space mentioned in the LBC report to a public garden not a fancy building.

To be honest, I think it’s better if we have a public garden there as the last thing we need is a new building, but I think residents and the NGOs protesting against these projects need to be more pragmatic in their approach. For example, the abandoned green space that they want to turn into a public garden is abandoned, dirty and I’ve never seen anyone there. A good way to convince the municipality or to put more pressure is by organizing campaigns and get volunteers to clean and revamp the green space. That way if people start going there more frequently, it will be easier to organize protests and convince the municipality to change its plans.

In all cases, I am fully supportive of any petition to save Beirut from another ugly building and build a new public garden instead. Here’s a link to the [Petition].

Statistics On Stolen Cars In Lebanon Over The Last Five Years

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Source: Al-Jomhouria

Al-Jomhouria posted today statistics related to cars stolen over the past five years in Lebanon. I assume the source is the ISF since the numbers match for the years 2009 and 2010 but the ISF stats are not yet updated.

As you can see, the number of stolen cars has almost doubled between 2012 and 2013 and there are around 5000 cars that haven’t been returned and that we know nothing about. The sad part in all this is that the sides that are behind most of the car thefts are apparently well known, but nothing can be done to stop them.

The Masrou2a App I had posted about previously would definitely help identify the bad guys, and lead the cops to the source, but it’s useless if there’s no green light to arrest these criminals.

Review: 300 Rise of an Empire

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300: Rise of an empire is the sequel to the awesome 300 movie that came out few years back and that I’ve personally watched 5 times. It’s basically a follow-up of 300 with events taking place before, during and after the epic Battle of Thermopylae that opposed 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas and the might army of the Persian King “God-King” Xerxes.

I watched 300: Rise of an empire yesterday at Vox and I have to say it was a decent action-packed movie but definitely not as impressive as the first one. The battle scenes are nice but a bit fast-paced and Themistocles who’s leading the Greek armies and most of the battles is not as powerful and charismatic as Leonidas. Moreover, the only sex scene in the movie seems a bit out of place, and there’s this scene with Themistocles riding his horse that’s just ridiculously fake. I understand it’s a fantasy action film but 300 was the same and didn’t have such scenes or at least they felt a bit more realistic.

In all cases, I think it’s a decent sequel/presequel to 300 but I doubt that I’ll be watching it more than once.

PS: It is recommended that you watch 300 before watching 300: Rise of an empire in order to better understand what’s happening.

French International Basketball Player Ali Traoré Joins Amchit Club

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Ali-Traore

I still think Riyadi is the team to beat this year, but things are going to get tougher for them with French Centre Ali Traoré joining Amchit alongside Fadi el Khatib and Jeremiah Massey. Amchit has already defeated Riyadi by 2 points and is going for the championship with Traoré’s signing.

That’s definitely good news for the fans as the games will get more competitive now specially that Sagesse has apparently agreed to sign NBA Basketball Player Quincy Douby.

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via LebaneseBasketball

Lebanese Ziad Doueiri’s Upcoming Movie Foreign Affairs Among The Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014

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ziad

We never got to see Ziad Doueiri’s last movie “The Attack” because it was banned in Lebanon. Let’s hope we get to see this one in Lebanese theathers specially that it was placed in the 75th rank of the 200 most anticipated movies for 2014 and Gerard Depardieu is in it.

The film is set soon after the end of the first Gulf War, and portrays American efforts to facilitate an Arab-Israeli peace agreement. A diplomat turned used car salesman is called back to help break the ice between the most important political figures of the time.

French actor Gerard Depardieu, who featured in the films Life of Pi, My Afternoons with Margueritte, and Potiche, has been cast as one of the film’s main characters.

The high-profile French magazine Le Monde mentioned the film in an interview with Depardieu on his future projects.

Producer Jean Bréhat described the French actor’s role to www.lemonde.fr: “[Depardieu plays] a disillusioned character who is somewhat of an alcoholic. He acts as a negotiator for the Americans during the secret discussions which preceded the Oslo Accords.” [Now]