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Showing posts from April, 2010

Seen Around :P

Definitions of Wasta:
Wasta (Arabic: وَسْطة) is an Arabic expression that loosely translates into ‘whom you know’ or 'clout'. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WastaIntercession or mediation by people on behalf of others to whom they are connected by friendship or blood
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wasta

Sociology proffessor at AUB co-edits a book with Israeli academics

Before you guys go crazy on me, I did not write this article. It is a repost from Al-Bayt Baytak blog which I found interesting. I am very interested to see what you guys think about this issue, so feel free to comment below.
Sari Hanafi, a sociology professor at the American University of Beirut, has done an incredibly brave or stupid act (depending on your perspective) co-editing a book with Israeli academics. This is particularly perplexing considering that Hanafi has put his name to the Lebanese Campaign for the boycott of Zionism in solidarity with the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. This includes boycotting Israeli academics and their institutions, as the statement reads:

Specifically, we ask our colleagues worldwide to support the call by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel to comprehensively and consistently boycott and disinvest from all Israeli academic and cultural institutions, and to refrain from participation i…

Band review: Lifehouse

by Mohammad Hijazi

Lifehouse is an American alternative rock band originating from Los Angeles. They grabbed the attention of the music scene in 2001 with their hit single "Hanging by a Moment" from their record-breaking multi-platinum debut album "No Name Face." Their first single was able to claim a Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year and beat Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson for the #1 single in 2001.

Currently, this band includes Jason Wade (lead vocalist and guitarist, Rick Wooltenhulme (drums, percussions), Bruce Soderberg (bass guitarist), and Ben Carey (guitarist). They have sold over fifteen million albums and singles worldwide to date.

Another song from there debut album which has became famous is "Everything." This song was featured on the Premiere and season one finale of "Smallville," the TV show that tells the story of Clark Kent, aka Superman. This began a long-standing affair between the band and the series, as Lif…

Lebanon should look up to Syria (for once)

Below is an opinion piece that will be published in this week’s issue of Outlook, AUB’s official student newspaper. Believe me, I cannot believe I just said that either. Yet, there is a very compelling reason; I have to give credit where credit is due. Syrian President, Bashar al-Asad issued a decree early this April banning smoking inside cafes, restaurants and other public areas. This decree was implemented almost two weeks after, making Syria the first Arab country to implement such a ban in public areas.
Moreover, in 1996, Syria banned tobacco advertising while in 2006, a law was passed to outlaw smoking on public transportation and some public areas.
According to recent studies, an estimated 42 percent of males and 30 percent of females smoke in Lebanon, a country of around 4 million inhabitants. Most teenagers start the habit of smoking (cigarettes or ‘Nargileh’) due to peer pressure or family traditions. If our society wasn’t as accepting to smoking as it actually is,…

Syria bans smoking in public areas.

Smoking using a nargile is very popular in Arab culture Syria has become the first Arab state to implement a ban on smoking in public places, such as restaurants and cafes. The decree also outlaws smoking in educational institutions, health centres, sports halls, cinemas and theatres and on public transport. Workers must not smoke during meetings and businesses need to provide well-ventilated areas for smokers. The restrictions include the nargile, or hubble-bubble pipe, which is popular among locals and tourists. The decree was signed last November by President Bashar al-Assad, a qualified medical doctor. According to the official news agency SANA, fines for violating the ban range from 500 to 100,000 Syrian pounds (US$11 to $2,169).

How to name a volcano

Freedom of Speech at AUB: Why I was fired from Align

This article is featured on the Support Freedom of Speech Blog. ---
A month ago, I got recommended by a friend to work for Align, the official Olayan School of Business (OSB) monthly electronic newsletter at the American University of Beirut (AUB). I applied and immediately got accepted.
Two weeks ago, the letters of acceptances to the AUB Medical School were sent out to senior premedical students. In short, several very qualified candidates did not get acceptance letters while others with much lower grades got the approval. The role of ‘wasta’ (i.e. connections) was very apparent, especially with the new rolling-out admissions system they are implementing.
In a spontaneous effort to expose the truth while trying to cheer the deserving people up, I published an opinion piece on my personal profile on Facebook and my personal blog “Mind Soup” discussing the effect of ‘wasta’ and favoritism on decisions made by several departments in AUB while focusing on the recent results of th…

Photo of the day

When I was your age, there was a water fountain in front of Jafet

by Mohammad Hijazi
Many students have been surprised after they were welcomed back from the inter-semester break by the decision of the university to remove the water fountain that was situated in front of Jafet Library and turn that space into a mini-garden which some students are starting to refer to as "the mini-zoo", especially in reference to the abundance of cats in that area.

What makes this issue more interesting, however, is that a biology student at AUB has created a memorial page on the social networking site Facebook, which has attracted 700 members so far, many of who complained that they have never seen the water fountain operating during their enrollment in AUB, while others remember that week last May when it was fully shining and operating during the President's Inauguration ceremony.

Some students speculated that the university had made this decision to make the AUB camper greener, while others think that they are trying to cut their water and electricit…

The secret to creativity

So True!

I want this clock!

I want this clock! Does anyone know where to get if from?

50 Ways to cope with stress

Found this in Stacks today!

Jafet Stacks, April 14, 2010.
Honestly, I felt a little offended (though I'm not officially a Business Student yet - though I was there studying accounting. haha)

PRESS RELEASE: AUB Outdoors 2010

by Mohammad Hijazi
This article was published in Outlook, AUB's Official Student Newspaper on March 16, 2010.After its massive success last year, the AUB Outdoors Festival is officially under-way. After the recruitment process that occurred during the Fall semester, the Outdoors committee now includes more than 120 enthusiastic members, which is a number much larger than last year's. These members are divided into seven teams, all of which essential for the completion of crucial tasks required for the success of this event, which will be held during a weekend towards the end of May. Each team has a team leader chosen by the Outdoors Executive Team in collaboration with the Office of Student Activities. These teams are also supervised by three Vice Executives (VEs) who are responsible for two or three teams. The different teams are: Marketing, Decoration, Food, Construction, Games, Entertainment, and Sponsorship. 



Interestingly, this year has brought several changes to the Outdo…

Investigation: Cafeteria Sit-in - Do we care?

Is Faqra Catering much worse than its predecessor? 
by Mohammad Hijazi
This article was published in Outlook, AUB's Official Student Newspaper on March 23, 2010. One of the most advertised events that occurred last week was the Cafeteria Sit-in organized by the USFC, which only lasted around ten minutes and attracted far less students than expected. This was a great opportunity to interview students who where around at that time about this matter. The main question behind this investigation was: Do students really care about the cafeteria? Yet, this question opened many doors to other issues related to the cafeteria and Faqra Catering- the current service.

Biology junior Abeer Mahfouz described the sit-in as useless. "We've managed to survive without the cafeteria," she said. "There are much more important issues for the USFC to protest about. These include the decreasing number of printers in Jafet library, the huge increase in internet fees, and HIP coverage which…

Photo of the day

Translation: This American is a donkey. He doesn't read Arabic.   -- Your brother Abu Jahar

Things We Learn From Movies

During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing St. Patrick's Day parade - at any time of the year.It's easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place.  No one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language.  A German accent will do.The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.If a large pane of glass is visi…

Happy Easter from Mind Soup

Why not to take a man shopping

Song of the week: Pictures of you – The Last Goodnight

Swiss Transparent Public Toilet

From the outside: Mirrors
From the inside: Transparent glass Would you dare use this bathroom?

Take a number!

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