American University of Dubai Graduation Ceremony Live on Lebanese TVs

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Update: Lebanese Elias Bou Saab, VP of the American University of Dubai, is apparently the reason why the ceremony is always broadcasted on Lebanese TVs. He is a major shareholder in OTV and business deals with major Lebanese TVs and institutions. I was told he’s also he was the mayor of Dhour el Choueir, whose municipality is becoming a model for others to follow. He’s also the husband of singer Julia Boutros. Thanks @ArzLeb

I was told that this is not the first year that they broadcast it live but I still find it weird. They have pretty cool commencement speakers though, Arianna Huffington the Chair, President, and Editor-In-Chief Of The Huffington Post Media Group and Los Angeles’ mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa.

I remember Journalist Ghassan Tueni (May he R.I.P) was the speaker during my AUB graduation. We didn’t get any TV coverage though, unless my memory has failed me.



Sietske’s Kick-Ass Housekeeper won her first race!

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Aregu in first place

The story keeps getting better and better! In case you missed the original story, check it out [Here].

In case you haven’t visited Sietske’s blog yet, read [Here].

My housekeeper, as you may remember, runs for pleasure. And so her trainer sent me a message me yesterday to make sure she got to this 10 kilometer cross-country race in Arsoun this morning. I had no idea she was signed up, but he’s signing her up for all kinds of races, and she’s loving it!
Well, he just sent her picture through on WhatsApp; First place in her age category, and what’s even more cool, First Place in the overall category. So she seriously kicks ass! Her next race is on May 26, for the 10K women’s Challenge Race, and her trainer (I should name him, he’s really awesome in taking her under his wings, Roger Bejani. And her team mates, who run with her as well!) says she’s got ‘podium possibility’. Watch out for her, and come and cheer her on!!! [Link]

A letter from Enta 7orr’s Producer Rami Zeineddine to MTV’s CEO Michel el Murr

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Joe Maalouf was sacked from MTV and his show Enta Horr stopped last week

It looks like the war between the Murrs and the Enta Horr team is far from over. First Jyad Murr replies to Joe Maalouf:

Just to clarify what happened, knowing that my family will not be happy that I answered, and want to ignore the one usual one sided monologue he usually does. But since I read so many things on the internet and heard what he said on VDL, especially the part that he only met twice by coincidence Gaby Murr in the elevator, I wanted to relate some facts with my apology to MTV’s board of directors for not wanting me to do that and doing it anyway:

1- MTV giving someone the freedom to express his opinions, has always given instructions to give the chance to both parties, weather political or social, to show their different point of views. We give the liberty to the broadcaster to express sometimes his personal opinion but always in a fair way. In the case of Maalouf, it’s a one sided pretentious monologue. These are not MTV’s principles, as you notice in all our political programs, Bimawdou3iyya, the news, seven, Beirut lyom etc and in Social shows like Talk of the town for example where we treat all guests whether from 8 or March 14 the same way, and I guess most of you noticed that.

2- After many remarks regarding that, especially from Gaby Murr and the many promises in his office to do so, 3 of these times I was present, (Maalouf says he only met him by mistake in the elevator on VDL!!! maybe all the persons in the 4th floor who see him there are only hallucinating and maybe, I am a the one not saying the truth, and Maalouf is)
The last time, and after 3 very strict remarks, Joe begged my father to excuse him and said: “Wa3ed Charaf, It’s the last time I do that, and I will always go by you to have your agreement on the political and social programs before I go on air, and will always have both sides of the argument..”
What happened after that, is that he does a show without sticking to his “wa3ed charaf”, with a one sided argument, and after a contact from a person who wanted to express live his other sided of the story, my father had call the studio to oblige Joe to do that because he was not accepting!!! , and after the threats, he does not let the person speak and acts as the sole judge and torturer with the caller.
Well just to tell you, I do not know any head of company, store, newspaper or whatever place who will not do much much more to an employee who acts this way, don’t listen to the directives, don’t keep his promises, and so on. I was surprised that my father reaction was just throwing him out of the door, I would have done that from the window if someone disrespects me that much.

3- Joe is trying to present this as a case of defence against poor transexuals, and I agree that what was done is wrong, however, This is not the case. Remember that by doing the contrary a few month ago, Joe made these homosexuals undergo the most humiliating treatments when they were arrested because of his report.
No, it is not because of this show specifically, it is because of all that was said above, and because of that MTV will stay the voice of freedom, will give a chance to everybody to express their opinions, and like it pushed a unknown Joe Maalouf a year ago will push in the future other stars who will stick to their “Charaf”, who will follow the directions of the media they work in, who will not think they are more important than the media and everybody who works there, who will not think they are smarter than any Lebanese, who will not arrogantly express their mono-sided opinions. We can create new program and star who will represent mtv’s values as it is the case of all the other 100 hosts we have on our channel.

4- Finally, please Joe Maalouf, come back to earth, when you started working in mtv, you used to talk with everyone in the cafeteria, now you go inside barely looking at anyone from the 100’s of studiovision and mtv employees, maybe, after stopping your show in mtv you will land back to planet earth. This time I will not use the French Fable of Lamartine: “La grenouille (des egouts) qui voulait se faire aussi grosse que le boeuf”, because he might not understand it, i will use the Arabic:
“رحم الله امرء عرف حده فوقف عنده

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R.I.P Law 174?

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I passed by Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhail yesterday and most people were outside the pubs smoking. You could see large crowds at some point in Mar Mikhail almost blocking the road. I even spotted some people smoking inside but the doors and windows were open, so I guess that makes it legal.

I don’t want to sound too pessimistic but I’ve seen violations everywhere I went lately, specially in the arguileh places that don’t give a damn about Law 174 anymore. Even though the Facebook Group Law 174 – No Smoking Lebanon is doing a great job reporting the businesses breaking the law, and even created a hot line (1735) to report violations, there’s no point in all that if there’s no one to enforce the law.

The pictures are taken from the funeral procession that was organized by the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) and the Tobacco Control Citizen Watch, with the support of the Union of Syndicates of Lebanese Professionals, in the name of the 3500 annual victims of tobacco in Lebanon and to point out the negligence in the implementation of Law 174.

The funeral procession was organized by the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) and the Tobacco Control Citizen Watch, with the support of the Union of Syndicates of Lebanese Professionals. These organizations and the Tobacco Control Research Group at the American University of Beirut warn the ministers of Tourism, Interior, Health, and Economy that they will escalate their actions if those ministers continue to neglect protecting the Lebanese from the top cause of death in the country. In addition, they urge citizens to be vocal in demanding their rights to a healthy environment, and to call 1735 to report violations. [Link]


Beirut 2090

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Beirut Design Week is organizing a competition where graphic designers and creative people have to design a poster from the future that envisions Beirut in the year 2090. I don’t know why they chose a date 77 years from now but it would be interesting to see what the participants will come up with. One thing is for sure is that if we keep going at this current rate, we’d barely become another Dubai by 2090.

Read more about it [Here].

We are asking graphic designers and creative people of Lebanon to design a poster from the future that envisions Beirut in the year 2090.

Imagine the world in 77 years from now. What has Beirut become:

A haven of cultural renaissance and a high-tech hub in the Arab World?

A city of polluted decay enforced by war and destruction?

Another Dubai, with a dense gridlock of high-rises and cars?

Or an entirely new concept of city life and culture that is yet unimaginable by the citizens of today?

This is your chance to explore your imagination of your city’s future with no constraints, and show the public your creative design and conception skills. You will design a poster that acts as a personal visualization and interpretation of Beirut in the year 2090, while depicting a scene or showing an essential side of the city’s future character. You may use any media such as illustration, photography, typography, or computer generated graphics as long as it can be sent as a digital file and printed on a poster. [Link]