To help you get it,
Meeting Ferry Corsten was truly a dream come true. He is an historic DJ and an awesome person in real life. I have Beirutnightlife.com and Poliakov to thank for this amazing experience, here’s what Ferry had to say =)
Living in a country where Star Academy actually still exists, and where stupid people, with useless aspirations and pathetic rewards of signing one CD with Arab labels, pollute the airwaves, one of the countries of the Gulf we mock for being stupid, is holding a brilliant “Stars of Science” competition series.
One Lebanese participant, the only Lebanese one for that matter, has made it to the Qatar Foundation-funded competition’s final four.
Hind Hobeika is a 22-year-old AUB Mechanical Engineering graduate who has designed and engineered swimming goggles that monitor a swimmer’s heart rate. Hind, a passionate swimmer herself, noticed that no device existed to help swimmers monitor their heart rates, for a better work out, and of course their safety.
Here’s a YouTube of Hind and other experts explaining more:
I was surprised to hear about this from none other than Hind’s younger sister, and my good friend Youmna Hobeika. If it were some brainless, vain show of tweens singing, and a Lebanese person made it to the finalists, we would go crazy and create mobs and conspiracy theories about Saudi dialing-slaves who will beat us at sending SMSes. But science? Brains? Something useful? Something that would make the world better? We shy away… Shame!
Hind’s device is ingenious, it is original and it has filled a huge gap in the sports and fitness world with a sleek looking pair of goggles I’d love to try on some day when it hits the shelves worldwide.
So, let’s help our fellow Lebanese candidate and AUBite get the recognition she deserves, and send 4 to 1084 from your Lebanese mobile phone. You can vote as many times as you want, and voting ends Sunday! So, hurry up! Send 4 to 1084 as soon as you read this.
For numbers from other countries, go to www.starsofscience.com
Here’s another YouTube for my engineer-readers, explaining more about the engineering aspect
What time are you going to be there? First two win =)
The above picture is one of Lebanese Riot Police in front of the American University of Beirut’s Main Gate on the Student Representative Committee Elections day taken a few years back. These days, they’re replaced by humvees and APCs full of Lebanese army personnel armed to the teeth with everything from assault rifles with sophisticated scopes, to RPGs and anti-tank guns. This is one of many face-palm inducing realities that AUBites blame on the neighboring, traditionally more violent, Lebanese American University.
We all know AUBites will never fight each other. Why? Well, first I trust everyone got accepted based on their slightly above-average IQ, unlike the savages that usually fight each other over a cartoon or basketball game. Second, very few actually care about what happens in the political realm. Maybe because they’ve reached a higher political consciousness and realize Lebanese politics are more of a tragic comedy, than a serious business or movement. I prefer another explanation though: ego. AUBites ego will not allow them to quarrel for some “higher” person. In that case, I can’t decide what’s worse, the fact that the notion “higher” people exists or the fact that a mutated sense of ego drives us to believe we can all “sakker el taree2″ with one “missed call”
Now that the cat’s out of the bag (and there are a lot of those cute things on campus), let’s move on to this year’s exceptionally brainless election season. I never thought I’d be saying this, but thank God for giving us the Adha holiday and the French for giving us our Independence day, for if those four precious days weren’t off, we’d have to experience an extra 96 hours of pity for the human race.
I was a candidate. Technically, I still am. Here are a few thoughts before you go vote (or abstain) on November 24th
Clubs will forgive me for saying it as it is, but come on, who are we kidding?
Tradition at AUB (or rather the past few year’s Lebanese election results) states that the Future Movement (Youth Club) the Lebanese Forces (Social Club) and the Kataeb (Discovery Club) join forces to create the “Students at Work” campaign. Sporadically, the PSP also join in or opt out, depending on the PSP’s leaders most recent political choices.
On the other side, we have the Free Patriotic Movement (Freedom Club) and the Amal Movement (Lebanese Mission Club) with lower-profile Hizbullah participation (Cultural Club of the South) as well as the rest of the former “opposition”
The first coalition is usually the better-prepared, more coherent, more efficient and better funded one. It is also the victorious one for as far as I can remember, or at least my past two years at AUB. That is why the SAW campaign lives on, while the other side’s campaign changes every season, or like this time around, changes every couple of hours.
You might be wondering who I was running with and probably think I’m just a disgruntled washed-up candidate. In fact, I’m sure that that’s what this post will be portrayed as, but I trust a few will understand what I mean, and perhaps nod in agreement, or do something more…
It is no secret that tensions exist between the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and (AM) who often resort to crossing off names of candidates of one party, to better the chances of their own candidates succeeding in the SRC elections. This too has unfortunately become a tradition in AUB, with the mindset being at ease with this status quo of “toshteeb”
Regardless of whether or not lists formed on a political basis are the right way to go, let us consider this as if we were part of the FPM.
I usually hate quotes, but one seems perfect in this case. It’s for a cliche quote-bank, Albert Einstein: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results”
As a scientist, I couldn’t agree more with Albert, and thought why not try to shuffle things a little, even if it might ruffle a few feathers. AM proposed an astronomically ambitious seats quota based on unclear criteria. This insulted the rest of the “opposition” factions, and soon enough a scapegoat was born to channel through the displeasure the FPM felt at AM’s previous electoral behavior. This move made me believe there was a slight chance that words might be put to action, and I submitted my candidacy.
Now comes the better half of Lebanese savagery that goes hand-in-hand with infantile politics: sectarianism. Rumors that the Shiite factions were at odds, that Christian factions were trying to incite strife amongst the Shiites, and even some of the Shiite factions trying to cut a deal with the Sunnis spread like wildfire. Soon enough, all the “big brothers” stepped in to “settle” the situation.
Candidates were now expected to submit to the wills of 50-year-old party cadres and negotiate the terms with off-campus “authorities”. Soon enough, the expectations that the FPM will be running separately from the AM became a never-ending spectacle of wasting time. Being one of the advocates of a change and setting an example, I respectfully asked to have my name removed from the “lists” even before the long-awaited, but still far-off final decision is taken. Meetings that never-ended and problems that were never resolved slowly became a given, till the point where candidates of the FPM, HA, and AM were them themselves not aware of who’s who and what’s what.
As a result, students see a skeleton of a campaign on one side, and a dramatically less impressive (compared to previous years) campaign from the other. Deep down, I fear that this is indeed just a spectacle, and that eventually, the FPM, AM, HA and PSP will join forces on the eve of the elections and accomplish a sweeping victory at the expense of the SAW parties who gladly watch the entropy exponentially increase on the “Order from Chaos” side.
If that is the case, then I am an idiot for not sticking to the list and getting elected as an SRC member for my “CV”, if not, then perhaps I made the wrong choice by drawing an incorrect, premature conclusion. Both ways, it seems I am screwed.
To all FPM, AM, HA and PSP supporters, I ask you this, do you really think that one or two seats in this faculty or that one needs over 15 days of non-stop negotiation? I sincerely doubt that, and based on my trials with the “Student Strikes” committee last Spring, I have come to learn that even extremely incompetent politicized individuals can come to an agreement in a few hours time. Basically, because nothing’s really going to change, unless we have some divine intervention, which is as likely as AM and FM forming an alliance in real Lebanese politics.
So, ask questions and demand the answers. Voice your opinions and encourage others to do the same. Amidst the calls to distance ourselves from politics at AUB, we persist in doing so, and doing so erroneously even in political terms. In other words, if you must insist on working politically, do it right and make sure you are part of the decision, not just a pretty face or popular sense of humor that is disposable and interchangeable depending in decisions from “higher up”
I encourage the FPM to take a clear and firm stance and stick to it. I encourage AM to learn from past mistakes and work to pacify their friends’ anxiety. I encourage HA to be more present on the university scene, and voice opinions and decisions clearly. I also encourage all three to stick to their decisions concerning everything from alliances, to the names and colors of the campaigns. This is unacceptable, embarrassing and horrifyingly boring and unintelligent. We want to campaign, we want to have fun, we want to change the university, or at least try to.
I thank each and every person who bore with me, listend to my thoughts and tried to answer my questions from SAW, AM and FPM and I hope they understand where this is coming from.
I believe the only question that remains now, is into how many parts will West Hall be divided on November 24th after the ballots close.
PS I love and respect every single person I thought of whilst writing this down. I cannot count the friends I have in SAW, FPM, HA, PSP and especially AM. In light of this, and even after voicing my personal opinion to them, all of these people I am proud to call friends have become even better friends
PPS I’m sorry I didn’t mention independents and non-political movements, but I don’t really have a problem with anything happening there…
and MOST IMPORTANTLY
I, as Gino Raidy, would like to endorse Fouad Badaoui for one of the FAS Senior seats. Fouad is the only true independent I have met in my life, and I am 100% certain of it and would even bet money on it.
If you agree with anything I said, if you’re fed up with the poor performance of the coalitions this year, I wouldn’t mind putting my name down for an FAS Junior seat too =)
I absolutely love this guy, and rumor has it he might be making his way to our parts in 2011. So, make sure you catch up on the lyrics! Enjoy =)
Pass Out – Tinie Tempah This track is great, made the British accent the hottest new thing in Urban Music
Frisky – Tinie Tempah LOVE this track
Miami 2 Ibiza – Swedish House Mafia ft. Tinie Tempah This one’s the BEST, naturally (House )
Written in the Stars – Tinie Tempah ft. Eric Turner This song triggers my gag reflex (the gesture you make when you’re about to barf), but I know some of you softies out there would like it, so it’s only fair
I blog about my unusual life and happenings. I'm Lebanese with a nomadic lifestyle. I hope to eventually settle down somewhere and become a neuromarketer