It all started when my sister called me in despair to tell me that, in an ironic turn of events, all 3 laptops we collectively owned in my family crashed. It would cost millions of Lebanese pounds to repair them: that's her entire salary over a couple of months to purchase computers to allow my… Continue reading Closing the Digital Divide and Providing Tools to Access Education
When Lebanon’s Government agencies are too coward to uphold the constitution and protect the LGBTQ community, brave voices stand up for equal rights! Thank you Elie Fares!
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Over the past week or so, I’ve had the honor to write about two major advances for the LGBTQI+ community in Lebanon. The first was them being represented in an ad for a major company, which you could check out here, and the second was to proclaim how Beirut is the first Arab city ever to celebrate Pride Week, despite Islamists threatening one of its events eventually leading to that one event’s cancellation (link).
Nevertheless, they persisted.
On those posts, be it in the comment section or on my Facebook page, the amount of vitriol homophobic – or more globally LGBTQI+ vomit although homosexuality takes the cake in aversion – was just too ignorant and insurmountable to be addressed in Facebook comments that could, sooner or later, degenerate into shouting rows…
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Ghazali’s actions are unconstitutional and violate our consecrated right for freedom of expression, freedom of worship and freedom to live anywhere in Lebanon without fearing discrimination. I hope the central government and Minister Mashnouk takes proper actions towards this Mayor who thinks himself above the law. This is not the real image of Tripoli you are portraying! We will not believe you!
It must be tough being from Tripoli lately, or at least tougher than average for the people of a city long forgotten by successive governments, left to its own accord to make do with the little it has.
It wasn’t enough for people from Tripoli to have to deal with the fact that the other Lebanese, quick as they are to judge and believe their views are scripture, believe them all to be undercover members of ISIS or ISIS members to be.
It wasn’t enough as well for those unfazed by the ISIS threat (yet) to deal with the fact that their city has become synonymous with mayhem, sporadic fights, mini wars and hating the Lebanese army. No amount of tweets, Facebook posts or mini gatherings on the street and billboards in support of the army or in condoning the behavior of some of the city’s men would change that…
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While visiting a friend, her very courteous middle-aged male guest stood up to shake my hand and “politely” asked me: Should I call you Demoiselle or Madame? Flashing a big smile, which quickly turned into an expression of confusion and disturbance. I had simply answered him: “You can call me as you like – متل ما بدك”!
Clearly he was not expecting my reply, or should I say he was not expecting to reflect on whether I was a virgin or not!
Sadly that is the new Lebanese/Arab dimension of the words: demoiselle and madame…
Read more on the social pressures on sigle women in Lebanon
a great article I stumbled upon in Al Akhbar, related to Social pressures on single women , the age crisis, the stereotypes of women …
bref, I liked it!
enjoy reading it if you have time this summer 🙂
Lebanon: “Misses” Don’t Miss Much
Social pressures on single women fail to acknowledge their economic independence, educational, and professional achievements, or the fact that “late marriage” is the statistical norm.
Her scattered grey hairs seem to render the trick of hiding them beneath colored hair useless. Her eyes have lost their former glow. Her facial lines are “under control” thanks to cosmetics whose container “annoys” her, as it suggests her age. Her stomach is slightly rounded. The fat refuses to burn. She gestures…
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A beautiful and well-researched piece by Joe Dyke documenting the Lebanese migration to Brazil from the late 1800s till today... Published in the Executive Magazine, July 2014
The International Community, the US, EU and the UN commend Lebanon for being cooperative and receiving more Syrian Refugees while allies of the EU and the US such as Jordan and Turkey have taken a clear position towards closing their borders in consideration of their national security and incapacity of managing the what we know now is going to be a long crisis with no ends or solutions any time soon.
Yes, Lebanon is commanded for being collaborative, but in reality it is commanded for being weak and unable to take a firm position toward a crisis that should be the responsibility of the International Community and not just that of the 4 million Lebanese.
If the international Community is REALLY concerned about the Syrian Refugees safety and security, they have two options: either provide them with the needed 400 million dollars monthly to ensure their bare survival in Lebanon or host them in their own countries. But to push Lebanon to receive more refugees and to refrain from providing them with support, then accuse Lebanese of xenophobia and racism is pure hypocrisy!
What alarms me the most is that I am seeing more xenophobia among the most liberal of the Lebanese civil society, simply because what is happening is just inflicting worry and hardship to all Lebanese throughout Lebanon. What is even more alarming are the hypocritical comments of some NGO leaders who are benefiting from the donations and support given to the Syrian Refugees and who continue to mislead the international community about the reality of the situation on the ground. This is the beginning of a crisis which will impact seriously Israel’s security too. Maybe then the international community will look at it more seriously…
The below article from Eye on the East says it all. Please take a moment to read it!
Talking about the growing, or rather alarming, number of Syrians that have sought refuge in Lebanon since 2012 is very tricky. There is a very fine line between the humanitarian aspect of the issue and racism and intolerance, from a population that should know more than anyone else, the meaning of war and the pain of having to leave one’s home behind.
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Yesterday’s explosion in Beirut – killing former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah among around seven others who remain to be identified – is a sad way to end a year already painted blood-red. With the ongoing violence and bombings in Tripoli, Dahiyeh, and the recurrent attacks on Lebanon’s border with Syria, 2013 was a tragic year, but in true Lebanese style, it could have always been much worse…
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In another of those instances of invaluable political lessons one learns along the way, there is one about the role of the army that I will never forget. The idea is that in so-called developed countries with long-established and solid democratic traditions,
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I met Mohamad Chatah in late 2011. I was in Beirut for a couple of weeks, interviewing politicians and civil society members for a research project on bicameralism and consociationalism, and a mutual friend put us in touch. He had been interested in the idea of a Lebanese senate for many years, and so he invited me to meet him at Center House, not far from where he was killed this morning.
Mr. Chatah was a Lebanese economist, minister, ambassador, and senior adviser to the Hariri family. In the course of our discussion, he struck me as curious and flexible in his thinking, a realist uninterested in pie-in-the-sky ideologies. We chatted about the political situation, about blogging, and about my doctoral research, and then moved to a discussion about his ideas on the role a senate might play in Lebanese political life. Some of those ideas informed my working…
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