When I first read the title, I thought it was terrible news but then I checked the source (Addiyar) and I started laughing. I am not sure how Addiyar newspaper didn’t turn yet into a film production company because the stories and conspiracies they come up with are fascinating!

It’s like they have nothing to write about, so they come up with a shocking story to frighten the Lebanese without any proof or proper sources to back it up. In fact, if you read the article closely, it says a major disaster took place in the last 24 hours in the US when a group of Lebanese students were no longer reachable by phone or internet due to the storm. How exactly did they assume they were missing? Just because they were unreachable? Aren’t Addiyar aware of the electricity outage that hit NewYork and other cities?

حصلت كارثة كبيرة في ال24 ساعة الاخيرة خاصة في صفوف الطلاب اللبنانيين من شباب و صبايا, بقيت خطوط الانترنت تعمل في نيويورك وظهر ان 98 لبنانياً هم مفقودين لايردون على نداء الانترنت و ليسوا في منازلهم و طبعاً لا تعمل اجهزتهم الخليوية مما يعني انها معطلة و الاسماء هي التالية فاذا عرفتم عنها اي شيء فالرجاء ابلاغ الجهات المسؤولة لطمأنة اهلهم : الان زغبي – ريما كرم – احمد كركي – جورج الياس بشير – جورج كرم – روزيت كرم – ديما و ريما و طوني كرم و هم اولاد عائلة كرم المفقودة – انطوان شديد – جورج قرداحي – بدري فغالي – مروان فغالي – جوزيف فغالي – انطوان ابو معشر – ادوار نصار – جورج نصار – جوزيف معلوف – محمد عيتاني , هذه الاسماء و المطلوب عند معرفة اي شيء عنها ابلاغ الجهات المسؤولة اضافة الى انهم من الجالية اللبنانية التي تعاني الان في نيويورك [Link]

Needless to say, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour denied the story today stating that he contacted Lebanon’s permanent representative to the United Nations, who informed him that all the Lebanese expats are well.

I don’t know how our permanent representative to the United Nations made sure that all Lebanese are all well, nor why the Lebanese Ambassador in the U.S wasn’t contacted, but I don’t expect much from Adnan Mansour whose last count of Lebanese expats eligible for voting was a pure joke.

Having said all that, it would have been better for our dear Foreign Minister to question Addiyar over their sources than just deny such reports, and punish them if needed. Spreading fake news and fabricating stories have become a trend lately in Lebanon that has to be stopped at any cost, even if it means closing down a newspaper or TV.

Only a week ago, Ehad al-Azzi almost started a war in Beirut after he fabricated a story about Sunnite Extremists cutting off his fingers in Tariq Jdide. The story spread because it was published in many renowned local media sources, mainly Annahar, Lebanon’s leading newspaper.