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Showing posts from May, 2011

Letter to Lebanese Acting Minister of Telecom Charbel Nahhas

Dear Minister Nahhas, I had the unfortunate displeasure of attending your so-called "open discussion" last week at AUB.which was hosted by the Youth Shadow Government  I have to begin that the whole lecture (which cannot even be considered an "open" discussion because there was nothing open about it) was very pointless and was not informative at all about the telecom situation in Lebanon. What it was though is extremely depressing. Your excellency explained that decreasing the costs of telecommunications will not solve any problems. You also said that equalizing chances between countries will not be achieved if telecommunications became better. I am sorry to tell you that this is a pathetic excuse not to improve the communications sector in Lebanon. Your speculations that such improvements are not necessarily advantageous to the Lebanese society are invalid. I don't know if you realize how important the internet and fast communication is for the Lebanese yo

AUB Student Munib Masri injured by Israel during Sunday's demonstrations

Photo of Masri in South Lebanon via NOW Lebanon (from facebook) Last Sunday, during the demonstrations in the South near the Lebanese-Israeli borders to commemorate Nakba , Munib Masri, a petroleum studies student at the American University of Beirut got severely injured after being shot by an Israeli bullet. Masri is Palestinian in origin, but also holds both the Jordanian and American citizenships. Masri has underwent a couple of operations this week; "he is undergoing surgery today. He has already lost his left kidney and spleen in an earlier operation. His spine is also fractured, and he’s sustained injuries to his diaphragm, along with pieces of shrapnel lodged in his back."  ( NOW Lebanon ) In an e-mail addressed to the AUB community, Dr. Peter Dorman, President of AUB, writes: "We are all shocked and saddened by this development, and our thoughts and hearts are with Munib and his family.We are appalled by the unrestrained use of deadly force against un

Hezbollah Illegally taking over Ouzai

Photo by Naharnet Every week while on my way back to my home-city in the South of Lebanon, I pass by an infamous area called Ouzai.This area is getting more hideous week by week due to the cramming of construction that is going on there. This construction, as you might have guessed, is as illegal as most of Dahye and the South. It seems that Hezbollah is gradually taking over the place. A common trend is fulling constructing a one-floor building (with painting it and occupying it) and then continuing to construct more floors. This way they can claim that the building has been there for a while and not brand new (not that it would make much sense). What's even more irritating is that they are even taking the law into their own hands there. Members of Hezbollah start asking for IDs of people they think are suspicious, as if they are the ruling power in Lebanon. Kinda reminds of stories my parents used to tell me during the Lebanese Civil War where different political groups used

Apply for a PepsiCo Scholarship

I was recently contacted by Tomooh to spread awareness about a scholarship that has been going unnoticed. PepsiCo has an ongoing scholarship program since the past 6 years called Tomooh. It is a scholarship program funding the education of those with high academic performance. It gives partial scholarships starting $500 up to $5,000 depending solely on the academic performance and financial needs of the applicants. Only 500 students are applying each year and more than 200 are getting scholarships; they believe that much more deserving students would apply if they were aware and informed about the scholarships which have become close to 300 this year. For the past two years, the program has been dedicating 10% of its funds for students with special needs. Hopefully this year even more students will benefit. The program is active in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, and have given partial scholarships to more than a 1000 students in Lebanon so far, it's their 6th year and deadline f

Comic of the Day: Commercials Recently

Why was Osama Bin Laden really buried at sea?

I woke up this morning with a flood of news about Osama Bin Laden's death on facebook, twitter, google reader, buzz and so forth. With all the celebrations and the worldwide debate (he's even trending on twitter), something smells very fishy, and its not coming from the sea. So U.S. troops kill Bin Laden, and throw him into the sea within 24 hours of his death. You would think that after ten years of searching for the "most wanted terrorist on earth," the body would be kept for more than one day. TIME newspaper ignorantly attributes this action to Islamic tradition, and that the troops directly threw the body into the sea because the did not want to offend the Islamic beliefs of burial. I quote: The reason is bound up within Islamic practice and tradition. And that practice calls for the body of the deceased to be buried within 24 hours, according to a U.S. official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive national security matters. [..] &

Grey's Annahar Advertisement

Below is one of the most simple yet touching TV commercials that I have seen in a long time. The simplicity and yet complete relevance to the topic at hand is striking (especially with Gebran Tueini's quote - may he RIP), and the visuals compel you to focus on every detail. I usually do not like political advertisements, and this one is not entirely political but advertising for Annahar newspaper (which tends to have a political side), but I felt that it was much more creative than other advertisements in this category. This campaign was done by GREY. Let me know what you think. UPDATE : Apparently, this ad has been inspired (I don't want to say stolen) from a Chinese Ad for CCTV . Thanks Nadim for the info.

Lebanon Speaks Up Loud Against Homophobia

Save the date: May 17th - The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) Lebanon might not have a flashy gay parade with rainbow flags waving above our heads just yet. But many of us Lebanese, gay, straight or anywhere in between, are already actively engaged in a collective effort trying to raise awareness and fight homophobia. More often than not, homophobia is just another by-product of ignorance. People remaining stuck with their pre-conceived ideas, their limited knowledge about how homosexuality plays out in real life. That's where your stories, your personal experiences and your opinions can help a great deal. Sharing some of your thoughts with the rest of us will help spread awareness within, as well as outside the community. So here's the deal: As Lebanon's LGBT blogosphere, we are asking everyone, gay or straight, to take a minute to think: How does homophobia affect you or someone you love? Write 150 words or less and email to You will be