Of course, I have my own list in mind, but funnily enough I have a similar one here compiled from a recent 22-county poll conducted by GlobeScan (an international opinion research consultancy) and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland – Program on International Policy Attitudes.
In reference to the recent collapsed building in Achrafiyeh in Beirut, and frenzy over Jal al-Dib bridge in northern suburb of Beirut, Stephen Dockery wrote a good story in The Daily Star about Lebanon’s collapsing structures. Stephen quoted me in his article.
I told Stephen:
I wouldn’t say Jal al-Dib is bad in its structure or design, it just wasn’t followed with maintenance.
We desperately need routine maintenance regimes in place for public assets, rather than reactionary plans. Moreover, construction projects, which could have adverse impact on the nearby structures, should go through rigorous approval procedures, not only for their permanent designs but for their temporary designs that serve them for the duration of the construction period.
The aim of any law should be protecting public and private assets, and maintaining the public health and safety – which are really low on the Lebanese agenda.
Please click here to read the full story in The Daily Star.
You wonder what kind reforms are possible by a Syrian regime, or what kind of ‘terrorism’ they are fighting, when they see the iPhone as a dangerous device!
Below is a copy of a memo issued by the General Directorate of Customs of the Syrian Ministry of Finance; “iPhone is outlawed due to its banned features as per the watchdog regulations”.
With the ongoing popular uprising in Syria, it’s enough for any tourist or guest visiting now Syria to possess a smartphone to be potentially a spy suspect! But not if they have Samsung, HTC or other brands! That’s in addition to the usual confiscation of all the activists ‘facebooks’ they can get their hands on…
Good Steve Jobs didn’t manage to see this during his lifetime; his iconic device being banned in his ‘home country’.
I love these charts, especially when they tell you something you already know! or when they put something in a graphical systematic mathematical geeky way for something you vaguely know…
The relation in this chart is straightforward: when democracy is down, gender inequality is up. No wonder Middle East is at the bottom…oh, sorry, at the top on this chart.
“A Crime File”
Date of sentence: 23rd Sept 2011
Culprits: 10 Muslim students (Irvine 11).
Jury: Orange County jury, California
Crime: Practising the American First Amendment of the Bill of Rights
Method of crime: protest in a form of heckling
Location of crime: University of California, UCI
Date of crime: 8th February 2010
Subject of protest: Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren
Aim of protest: highlight the Israeli occupation to Palestine & its crimes
Evidence: below video…
Academic performance of UCI: note towards the end of protest @5:20, how apparently an orthodox bearded ‘teacher’, happened to have a Jewish cap on, was telling them ‘you are failing your exams’.
Question1: what would the verdict be if the students were of a different religion?
Question2: what would the verdict be if the Ambassador was not an Israeli person?
Question3: has the ‘teacher’ been disciplined?
“propagating murder is not an expression of free speech”
Just the perfect example to prove how tourism is vital to Lebanon.
According to the below graph compiled by The Economist (based on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation – UNWTO) tourists visiting Lebanon are second in the world in their spending after Australia; these are 2010 figures, with the spending figure calculated per tourist, with the figure standing at $3,000+ for Lebanon. The challenge is to keep increasing the number of tourists now!
If the cost of living is taken into consideration, I think Lebanon will take the top spot (or India). These two countries are presumably cheaper than the rest in the same chart. The two mentioned African countries are likely to be near the top too.
I am not sure if our tourists are big spenders, or we are good in sucking money out of people, or a bit of both. But it’s not bad, considering this is more than what I spend on my holiday!
This is Ed Miliband, the opposition leader in the UK House of Commons (Parliament), in an interview with the BBC.
Listen carefully to him repeating almost the same answer to every question. Is he a robot or an idiot – at least less idiot than the BBC presenter?
I just hope he doesn’t have to copy-paste Gordon Brown’s policy, else he should let his brother David have a go…
As part of their fight against counterfeit products, the Brand Protection Group (BPG) commissioned – the international creative advertising agency – LeoBurnett (Beirut) to start a campaign to raise the public awareness about this matter.
BPG is an association launched in 2003 by 21 big corporations to fight counterfeit in Lebanon. They established a hotline 1739 to report counterfeit products. They aim to protect consumers from the hazards of counterfeit products, and obviously protect their profit margins on the way!
LeoBurnett started a public awareness campaign in March 2011 which included some nice adverts, and some ‘public stunts’; one of the them featuring Marcel Ghanem, the LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting corporation) host.
The video below is a summary of their campaign; it’s a 5-minutes video, but I found it fun to watch…enjoy!
If you read this blog, you are less likely you watch the Syrian state media or the ones affiliated with it (unless the ‘Moukhabarat’ started following me).
So I thought of posting this below video, your opportunity to listen to some of the rhetoric being said on these ‘media outlets’.
The man speaking in this video is a Syrian ‘researcher’ called Ali Al-Shu’eibi. Continue reading
They complain about the bad driving and they drive wrong. They complain about politicians and then they elect them again. They complain on how a night club is expensive, and they keep going there. They complain that they can’t find work, but they don’t want to wake up early in the morning…plus the usual problems in water, electricity, traffic, telephones etc
Anyway, I am NOT suggesting that I want to sort all that out, but it seems there is a place where you can express your anger, probably about something went wrong. So someone has done something about it!
It’s an informal micro-blogging (by you) website, that allows its members to post whatever they want under the theme of ‘Nba3sna’ !
‘Non-Lebanese’ speakers: please note a lot of what’s written are Lebanese slang, like the title itself.
Check it out, and write on how you got ‘nba3asit’ to write something there, when you read something here! 🙂
PS: Non-Arabic speakers: Nba3asna means when something is fucked-up!
In a recent post on this blog, I mentioned a ‘secret’ friend who seems coming back in this post again. He provided me with a valuable piece of information, that I am going to share with you. By the way, I am going to call any ‘secret’ friend: ‘The Stig’ of this blog!
Yes, The Stig has passed me the whereabouts of Ron Arad. Continue reading