It’s not easy to tackle a situation as tricky as the one we are in right now in Lebanon, especially when you are selling a product or managing a brand. In fact, I’ve noticed that most of the brands are choosing to ignore the ongoing garbage crisis and protests and stay away from the negative vibes, which is understandable.
However, some of them are managing the crisis in a very smart and creative way like Almaza and Café Najjar. Almaza only shared one visual stating that “Hayda mich Jawna Hayda mich Ne7na” while Café Najjar has been following up closely and shared three brilliant visuals so far.
All of them tackle the current situation without taking sides or hinting at politics and while relating to their main product which is coffee of course.
Just like #YouStink demonstrations apparently need to have an etiquette in Lebanon, participants in the National Dialogue session have to abide by a set of rules and regulations in order to make the most out of these sessions. Here are some of them:
– Your convoy should consist of at least 10 cars, including 5 SUVs. Having a super-car lead the way can also help.
– Close down as many roads as possible on your way to the parliament to earn extra points.
– Make sure all your cars are of the same color. Black is recommended. Buy new cars if you must and the government will reimburse you.
– Wait for around 10 minutes before stepping down from your car to feed some reporters with useless content for their click-bait articles.
– Make sure to have 3 extra suits/dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, an automatic ironing machine, a tailor and a shoeshiner on standby just in case.
– Get a pyjama for the after-lunch 1 hour nap.
– Make sure to raise your hand and ask Prof. Berri (aka Al Asteez) for a permission to talk before doing so.
– Time your questions and interventions properly in order not to delay the 9 am, 10:15 am, 11 am, 11:45 am, 12:45 am coffee breaks and 1:30 till 3:30pm lunch break.
– Make sure to use the #NationalDialogueLB hashtag while taking selfies during the discussions.
– Playing games is allowed but avoid them at all cost during coffee breaks in order not to spill coffee or hot beverages on your suit or dress.
– Keep your phone silent in order not to interrupt other participants playing on their phones as well.
– If you signed up for the 5 pm spa treatment, you are kindly requested to bring your own towel.
– If you run over a pigeon with your car by mistake, make sure to confiscate all the cameras around you to avoid embarrassment. Violence against reporters is not recommended.
– Do not tag any other participant on Instagram or Facebook without his/her consent.
– All food allergies must be communicated to the cuisine chef before tomorrow noon.
– If you wish to have lunch outside the dialogue venue, kindly refer to Minister Bou Faour Moutabik-list.
– Bikes will be available outside the parliament for those who get bored of the discussions.
– Feel free to bring your own garlic if you insist on having it with the Chicken Shawarma being served.
– Smoking cigarettes inside the room is prohibited. Only Cigars and Arguile.
– Recycling is strictly prohibited.
– Make sure to leave at peak time in order to cause the biggest amount of traffic possible.
I’m sure you all remember this funny video of an over-excited protester at the early #YouStink protests. Well he showed up again at the Aounist rally organized last week but apparently was drunk and went there by mistake. At least that’s what he told Lebanese Memes. He did sound drunk that’s for sure but he is right about one thing: All these new movements/hashtags, protests and sit-ins are quite confusing and a lot of people are unable to keep up with what’s happening which is not a good thing.
There’s a new #YouStink protest happening on Wednesday while activists are still on a hunger strike for almost a week now. One of them got hospitalized yesterday but got detained for a short while on his way back to Martyrs Square which is totally messed up!
Two days after #YouStink organizers held a sit-in inside the Environment ministry, several Lebanese activists decided to stage an open-ended hunger strike until Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk resigns. At least 10 of them set up tents outside the ministry in DownTown Beirut and were joined later on by others.
While I applaud this brave decision, I am not sure if this is the right time to stage a hunger-strike given the circumstances. A hunger strike is a dangerous protest tactic as it can result in death or affect their health very serioulsy and in my opinion should only be used as a last resort. I ask the #YouStink organizers and the Red Cross to take good care of these young men and women.
The names of the protesters on hunger strike are:
Mohamad Harake – محمد حركة
Salah Jubaily – صلاح جبيلي
Ahmad Al Masri – أحمد المصري
Ali Hamouch – علي حموش
Hussein Mubarak – حسين مبارك
Waref Suleiman (Initiator of the strike) – وارف سليمان
Mohamad Awaly – محمد عوالي
Dany Suleiman – داني سليمان
Ahmad Majzoub – أحمد مجذوب
Zein Nasserdinne – زين ناصر الدين
Hasan Koteich – حسن قطيش
Inaya – عناية
Bilal Alawa – بلال علاو
Mohamad Mogharbel – محمد مغربل
Just like art is immortal, some of our politicians are and have been in the same position for ages. Dictators, popes and presidents come and go, empires fall and we still have the same political class in Lebanon. Marie-Josee Rizkallah is hoping that things will change by 2019 and imagined a museum of art and history at the old Mar Mikhail train station where visitors and young Lebanese can learn about the “garbage era” given the garbage crisis we are currently in.
The paintings are quite hilarious. I’m illustrating some of them and you can check out the rest [here].
After being closed for almost 25 years, Horsh Beirut is finally re-opening to the public every Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm. The access to the 40,000-sq-metre pine forest was previously forbidden by the Beirut Municipality for fear of vandalism and poor maintenance, and due to the lack of resources to protect the park.
While I agree that entrance to this park and any public park is a right for all the Lebanese, I think the municipality should only open it on weekends for now until they are well equipped to manage the park at all time. Moreover, and in order to avoid closing Horsh Beirut once again, we have a responsibility as visitors to protect the park by committing to the following rules:
1- The park opens from 7am till 7pm
2- Do not park your car in front of the Horsh gate.
3- No cars or motorcycles are allowed in the park.
4- No sellers allowed inside the park.
5- Hunting is not allowed
6- Smoking and barbecues are not allowed.
7- No littering of any kind, throw your garbage in the designated bins.
8- No fires of any kind are allowed.
9- Playing ball games in the park is prohibited.
10- Do not pick the flowers or plants.
11- No arms of any sort are allowed.
12- For any problems, contact any park employee.
Mabrouk to all the NGOs and individuals who worked on reopening the park and all the Lebanese! Now let’s keep it clean and see you all there tomorrow!
The religions are on top, followed by politicians, political security forces and political media, then there’s the wozz, the armed wozz, the businessman, the singer, the mafiozo and the Arab investors. On the lowest level, you have the baby, the maid, the grandfather, the graduate, the mother, the botox neighor and the “blackberry teenager” (Replace with iPhone teenager) and last but not least the social activist holding a banner that says “We can create Facebook events”. Let’s not forget the yogi floating somewhere in between the 3rd and 4th level and the emo who doesn’t fit anywhere.
I hope this gives you an idea on how difficult it is for social activists to do anything in this country, and why the whole political class is so worried about the #YouStink movement.
I have no idea what demonstration etiquette even means, but someone caught MTV talking about it this morning and started the #اتيكيت_التظاهرات hashtag. I just found the video on MTV and the woman is simply talking about the right to protest and preserve public property in the first few minutes but then she starts discussing (around Minute 10) the proper dress code for a protest and how women should dress nice and look pretty LOL!
I’d like to invite this woman to attend the next #YouStink protest and show us how we can apply this etiquette with water cannons, tear gas canisters around us and hundreds of riot police around us.