Why The Beirut Cinema Week Got Cancelled

Posted By :


The Beirut Cinema Week was supposed to take place back in January and bring “together Lebanese cinema—professionals, investors, the intellectual and general audience”. Unfortunately, recent bombings in Lebanon have forced the organizers to postpone the event.

Here’s what Sabyl Ghoussoub, the director of the Lebanese Film Festival, had to say about that. [Interview]

Do you feel the security situation in Lebanon is stifling creativity?

No, the situation leads us to create more. It stimulates creation. The only problem is that investors do not follow, so many projects do not end.

Do you see any artists, film or otherwise, in Lebanon who are using the current situation as a way to express themselves?

Living in fear of a bomb exploding or in a permanent state of war makes us see life differently. There are many situations in Lebanon, artists who actually live here and artists from the diaspora who merely pass [through]. These are different experiences, different views, but their work is all in one way or another affected by the situation.

Soup For Syria: A Cookbook To Help Feed Syrian Refugees

Posted By :


Barbara Abdeni Massaad, a serious cook since the age of 15, has decided to publish and sell a cookbook aimed at helping the Syrian refugees. With enough money raised, Barbara hopes she’ll be able to build temporary pop-up kitchen in the Bekaa town of Zahle where a lot of Syrian Refugees currently reside. The book will be called “Soup For Syria” and will contain recipes for soups that consist of local ingredients that can be made by the Syrian families.

I love the initiative and I am definitely buying the book. You can check out updates on this initiative on [Soup For Syria].


Vice: Between Beirut And A Hard Place

Posted By :

From Right To Left the author, Saad Haddad, and Haddad’s Israeli minder, at Haddad’s headquarters a couple of months before the kidnapping

The author is telling the story of an Israeli-backed militiaman and murderer who kidnapped him in Lebanon back in the 1980s and ended up selling ice cream to children in Detroit. Quite an intriguing story. Read it all [Here].

Thirty-four years ago, on April 18, 1980, I was with a United Nations Peacekeeping patrol that was abducted in south Lebanon. The kidnappers released me after a couple hours, but they tortured and killed two Irish UN peacekeepers who had accompanied me at the time of the abduction: Private Derek Smallhorne, 31, a father of three, and Private Thomas Barrett, 29, who had a baby daughter in Ireland. They tortured and shot a third Irishman, Private John O’Mahony. US Major Harry Klein, an American officer working for the UN, and I carried O’Mahony out of harm’s way. He lived.

“You guys know that the killer, or at least the man who abducted us, is living in Detroit, driving an ice cream truck, right?” I asked, genuinely hoping that in this day and age of information technology, my previous interviews with officials about the matter had been recorded and filed away somewhere.

“Yes, we know that, and he has applied for US citizenship,” Kao said. He said Homeland had determined that the mastermind behind the kidnapping, Mahmoud Bazzi, had entered the United States illegally with falsified papers. He was granted political asylum, then a green card, and now wanted to become an American citizen.

That was news to me. The last time I had heard anything about Bazzi was 2006 in Washington, DC, where I had been called to give my deposition to the Department of Justice. DOJ investigators came to see me after the Irish television network RTE’s program Prime Time aired a detailed one-hour special titled The Enclave of Killings about the 20th anniversary of the ugly incident in Lebanon in April 2000. The assassination of the Irishmen was, of course, big news in Ireland and the lead story in the New York Times on April 19, 1980. Historically, very few Irishmen have died in foreign wars.

Car Accidents On The Rise On The Achrafieh – Furn el Chebbak Bridge

Posted By :


I was surprised to see an ISF officer in the report complaining about the separator and how the authorities should fix this problem the soonest. It’s like an employee telling his bosses that they are not doing a good job.

In all cases, and until the separator is fixed, a good idea would be to put some signs to alert the drivers to slow down specially at night. By the way, the Dora (Facing the Forum De Beyrouth) and City Mall (Maritime road) separators are no better and should also be fixed.