Manale Daou: Hero That “MP” Nicolas Fattouch Punched Today

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I would insult and call the “man” above names, but, I’m sure he’ll want to file a lawsuit and I don’t want him to beat up any more folks at the Justice Palace. So, I’ll refrain from using any insults, but will allow you to make up your own. Key words: fat, douche, etc.

This is the “person” that allegedly got TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS as “compensation” in your taxpayer money for his the partial closure of his and his brother’s illegal quarries that ravaged and destroyed so many mountains in Lebanon.

He’s part of the disgusting, stinky, rotten, festering “wonderfully unique” establishment that is the current Lebanese Parliament, who apart from punching government employees, excel at suing taxpayers, extending their terms illegally, stealing public money and of course, their notorious convoys that highlight their need to compensate for tiny penises “security concerns”.

This creature “man” punched Manale Daou in the throat because she asked him to wait his turn at the Justice Palace. To which the creature “man” was outraged and yelled, “I am MP Nicolas Fattouche, and I cannot wait” to which Manale replied (unlike 99.9% of government employees) “Tekram 3aynak, bass bel dor” (of course sir, but by turn please), and it punched her in the throat. That’s when Manale’s colleague intervened, and one of Fattouch’s leashed dogs “bodyguards” also came in. But, with so many eyewitnesses trying to calm things down, the Fat-Douche “Fattouche” ran away with his “bodyguard”, to terrorize god knows who next.

I’m delighted to see a government employee actually do what’s right, and ask people to stand in line. I’m sure all of you have noticed the zoos that are public institutions in Lebanon, where lines don’t exist and the one with the best connections gets his paperwork handled first. What’s horrifying, is that this mountain of a member of parliament physically assaulted a female employee, in front of everyone’s eyes in broad daylight… He’s done that, and yet, he still isn’t shackled in the back of a Police car on his way to where he belongs: jail.

It’s a nice one-two by the MPs this month, first with lawsuits against taxpayers for saying the truth and demanding that the right thing get done, and the second was an actual physical assault by an “MP” for asking him to abide by the law. How outrageous is that? Abiding by the law for an MP?! She must be crazy…

The MPs gang of “we are not thieves, ok?! prove it! But it’s a crime if you do prove it”, we might start believing you if you pull immunity from Fattouche and make him pay for his latest horrendous crime.

L3ama shu we27een.

MTV Lebanon’s Twitter Account Hacked

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MTV Lebanon’s twitter account with over 420,000 followers (ironically, it jumped some 3000+ followers since the hack!), has been hacked, apparently by a pro-Hezbollah hacker.

The cover photo has been changed into a Hezbollah fighter with the yellow flag fluttering, and one tweet was tweeted almost an hour ago which says:

Which basically translates to:

“When you learn the difference between a “martyr” and a “casualty/victim”, between an “informant/agent [of Isareal]” and a “Resistance fighter”. When you learn that Israel is the enemy, then, your account will be returned to you. So we don’t forget Palestine.”

Some Background

MTV Lebanon is well-known to be on the far-right spectrum, and several mistakes in the last few months that portray Israel as the victim for example in the recent Gaza assault, have gotten a lot of backlash, forcing MTV to change their marquees sometimes because of the criticism.

Anyway, this is not cool and I hope MTV get their account restored soon.

FAP Lebanon Finally Makes it to 9GAG’s “Hot”

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You can see the billboard under it has a tobacco ad, meaning that this photo was taken prior to March 2012 when the ban on tobacco advertising came into effect. As (like the French call it) an “internaut”, I chuckle every time I see FAP signs or ads. For the 0.01% of you of don’t know what “fap” means, it’s masturbating. That’s why people sometimes comment *fap fap fap* on something hot, or sarcastically for something unattractive.

Anyway, I still can’t believe I just explained the onomatopoeic intricacies of “fap”, but, it was a long time coming and the 9gag users finally landed it on the site’s “hot page”.

Mabrook la Lebnen!

Source

Marrouche Hamra CLOSED

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It looks like one of Beirut’s best places for the infamous chicken sandwich with garlic, is no more. According to Amer Tabsh, this is a photo of Marrouche being closed down with “red wax” (red tape) because of a court order after its bankruptcy… I know a lot of you will be sad and disappointed, and it is certainly alarming, that such an old and famous restaurant in a bustling part of Beirut (between AUB and LAU!) has fallen under rough times (assuming that’s why it got bankrupted, not confirmed). I guess we’ll have to risk it with Barbar from now on…

Takes 54 Minutes of Work for a Beer in Lebanon

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I came across this inforgraphic the other day, and it tried to calculate how many hours you need to work at minimum wage, to earn 0.5L of local beer. Now, from the start, there’s huge discrepancies in the infographic. For example, it lists Kuwait, where alcohol is absolutely forbidden. Now, we all know there’s alcohol on the black market there and in some embassies and consulates, but there definitely is no “local beer at a cafe or restaurant”, which begs the question how did they put a price on the illegal beer trade in Kuwait (maybe the non-alcoholic ones like barbican or something?)

Lebanon (0.9 hours) comes ahead of Isreal (1), Turkey (1.1), Armenia (2.6) and Jordan (3.5). Now, this is sad considering how cheap beer is in Lebanon with plenty available everywhere (despite Islamist conservatives’ attempts to curb that in some parts). The standard Almaza is 1000-1500 LBP retail price, and about 6,000-8,000 LBP at a regular cafe or bar (4-5 USD). So, our minimum wage is way too low if you need to work a whole hour for a beer.

Amid the Chaos, Ebola Threat Left Unchecked in Lebanon

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There’s chaos in Lebanon at the moment, with the Lebanese government officially joining the “War on Terror” alongside two dozen other countries, the Lebanese public in darkness because of electricity disputes, the presidential seat being vacant, the upcoming postponed elections being pretty much dead and of course, the threat of Islamist extremist attacks and invasions is still very much a possibility. So, it’s understandable that not enough is being done to take precautions against Ebola spreading here.

Now, many of you might say, “it’s all the way in West Africa, shu baddo ywassella?!”. Well, I’m pretty sure you all know someone, or know of someone who works in West Africa, like Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. That’s where the danger lies: if any of the Lebanese diaspora gets infected and decides to come home.

Steps have been taken though. No flights from Lebanon’s national carrier go to and from the area anymore, but as this Al Jazeera English article shows, when Lebanese expats in West Africa do return, they’re not asked or tested for anything. France did so, and they were just there for a layover, to sorta show you how seriously they’re taking it compared to our government.

I know we have too much on our plate to worry about Ebola, but a little can go a long way. Stricter borders, quarantine precautions and medical facility preparedness can go a long way. In recent years, we’ve faced several virus strain threats, like the MERS virus from Saudi Arabia, and the Polio virus brought in by fighters from Pakistan to Syria, then to us. We came out on top so far, let’s hope we do when it comes to Ebola as well.

As for prevention, most of it involves staying away from infected people, their remains, or their bodily fluids. One sure thing though, as with every other infectious disease, is wash your hands… Always wash your hands, especially if you’ve been traveling.

Solar Farm Above Beirut River Construction Underway

BxJ2Q1tCcAA8xs7The plan to build a solar farm above the Beirut River has started. As you can see if you take the Emile Lahoud highway, you’ll notice the steel frames with solar panels being installed on them. Initially, the farm will supply up to 1 MW of power to the surrounding area, and there are plans to expand the project to supply up to 10 MW of electricity, which roughly would supply 10,000 homes with electricity.

At a time when we have no electricity because of political bickering and incompetence, it’s nice to see projects like these actually realized. What’s sad though, is how little they are, and how important it is to decrease our reliance on our unreliable power plants, and focus on renewable energy like solar and wind energy.

Here’s to hoping a wind farm in Akkar is next!

Defense Minister, Resign.

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The current crisis is one of the absolute worst we’ve ever witnessed, and that’s saying a lot, given Lebanon’s extremely painful and horrifically violent history. Here’s a small recap for those of you who still trying to ignore what’s happening.

  • Clashes between marauding islamist terrorists and the Lebanese army in the border town of Aarsal
  • After fierce clashes, muslim clerics mediate to get an immediate ceasefire, and the retreat of the Islamist terrorists back into Syria
  • Somewhere between 28 and 30 soldiers and policemen were kidnapped by the Islamists
  • Islamic State militants beheaded two soldiers, and released a purported video of them beating and humiliating a Lebanese soldier in their custody
  • Revenge attacks by thugs and corrupt municipalities target innocent Syrian refugees, reigniting wartime practices like self-enforced security, de-facto checkpoints and ID checks, refugee tent burning and giving refugees ultimatums to leave certain areas and towns

This complete and utter incompetence is colossal. It’s historically, epically bad. The handling of the Lebanese government of this crisis could not have possibly been worse, and here’s why:

  • Why would you negotiate with terrorists in the first place?
  • Why were the army barrack and bases not properly reinforced, given fair warning that Islamic terrorists were eventually going to attack Aarsal?
  • Why was there no effort to rescue the soldiers immediately?
  • Why did the Lebanese government not have actionable and reliable intelligence, given the situation?
  • Why didn’t the Lebanese government seek the help of foreign intelligence and security agencies to ascertain the troops’ location?
  • Why, after seeking to pinpoint the kidnappers location, didn’t the Lebanese government act to return our boys home?
  • How can you even consider releasing dangerous terrorists to replenish the ranks of the terrorists we’re already fighting?
  • Why has the treatment of the kidnapped troops’ families been so insensitive, incompetent and dishonest?
  • Why have the Lebanese taxpayers been kept in the dark about this serious crisis?

Some extra points:

  • Who are the kidnappers? There is a LOT of ambiguity and suspicion about who they really are.
  • Are they truly IS militants? Then how come they’re coordinating with Jabhat El Nusra, who they are fighting fiercely in Syria?
  • What was the rationale behind the attack, given that these militants are cut-off from the de-facto IS caliphate and other Islamist terrorist strongholds? It’s obvious there was no way they could overrun Aarsal with Hezbollah and Assad’s forces on one side of the border, and the Lebanese Armed Forces on the other?
  • It seems that the purported IS militants are just a rabble of stupid religious extremists who pledged allegiance to the “caliph” Al Baghdadi, without real coordination or support. If so, why have the humiliated the Lebanese government and its army so heavily?
  • Why was the offensive stopped before the soldiers were returned? Having them beheaded one by one is a million times worse than risking their safety but apprehending or killing their captors…
  • Who stopped that counter-offensive exactly, and why?
  • Where are the promised arms, and who is twisting France and other nations’ arm to stall arming the LAF over stupid technicalities?
  • Has there been any coordination between the Assad regime over the crisis? And if so, should there be?
  • What is being done to both guarantee the safety of innocent refugees, and ensure none of them become radicalized and militarized?
  • Have the border crossings, both illegal and legal, been clamped down on and properly monitored and maintained?

The answer to all of the above, is a disheartening and depressing one. It truly could not have been handled any worse. I know in Lebanon people tend to believe that resigning is akin to suicide, and see it as a sign of weakness, and that’s one of our main problems: our failures which we call MPs and Ministers and etc. never fucking leave, despite their abysmal track record of corruption, sabotage, violence and even war crimes.

I call on the current Minister of Defense to resign, immediately, and a better alternative be found ASAP. Current 74-year-old minister Samir Moqbel has failed, and continues to do so every day. As a taxpayer, I have every right to demand he resign immediately and admit he is not up to the task so we can hastily find a proper replacement. It wouldn’t be so embarrassing, since he is also the Christian Orthodox vice-PM.

If for whatever reason someone cannot fulfill the duties of his position, he or she must resign. One of my favorite ministers, Ziad Baroud, did just that. For me, his resignation was justified, and I stood by him and today still completely support him and his school of thought and method. His legacy? Limitless. He was the one that allowed for civil marriages to happen when he so astutely gave people the right to cross off their sects from their IDs. That was just the cherry on top, many other positive things about the Interior Ministry, happened under his tenure, which eclipses the tenure of any other interior minister in Lebanon’s history. But, Ashraf Rifi’s political ambitions and the support he got for his illegal and out of line insubordination as well as other petty political crap, obstructed Baroud’s work, and he resigned in protest. Personally, I don’t think Lebanon deserves someone as transparent and hardworking as him, and his resignation was dignified and justified, even though it was a major loss for us as Lebanese citizens. With Baroud still at the helm of the Interior Ministry, who knows how better off we’d all be?

In this case however, Moqbel has failed to do anything meaningful. Whether arming the soldiers, handling the hostage crisis, or keeping the peace, they were all monumental failures. I would call for the resignation of PM Tamam Salam, but, I’m not sure how we could form a new government with no President, and even if that can be circumvented somehow constitutionally, I’m not sure the political parties and their warlord heads in Lebanon would be able to divide the cake fast enough to fix this. It’d probably take many, many months again… Time we do not have to waste. But, someone has to pay the price for these epic blunders, and the army is directly under the Ministry of National Defense’s jurisdiction. Plus, we need to find a more adept and militarily savvy minister, to help us out of this mess and take the tough decisions we need to restore some semblance of stability and get our boys back home safely…

So, your excellency, please leave and let someone else handle this.

Ali and Lana’s Fairytale Wedding Photos

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First, please allow me to congratulate the lovely bride and groom! I’ve known Lana for many years, before any of us had blogs back in AUB. So, it was very moving to see Lana take such a big step in her life after her blog’s and career’s stellar success: L’Armoire de Lana.

The wedding was held at BIEL, which was completely transformed for the occasion. Honestly, it would have been pretty tough to guess the venue from just the pictures. The event planners were Caractere and the catering was by Cat and Mouth.

The reception area was adorned from top to bottom with real, white orchids on all four walls, which was a masterpiece really. Surreal from the moment you stepped out of your car. Inside, the whole BIEL Hall 1 was full of tables and a large dancefloor in the middle, with massive LED screens all around.

After taking in the amazing venue, Ali showed up with his closest friends, as is custom, and then, Lana emerged from behind the LED screens in her absolutely stunning Elie Saab wedding dress. Lots of dancing and several foreign artists were followed by two, somewhat expected massive surprises: Nancy Ajram and Ragheb Alama took to the stage and walked around taking selfies with everyone. It was a perfect wrap up for a perfect wedding. For those who don’t know, Lana regularly styles Nancy Ajram in her public appearances, and, she never disappoints!

All in all, it was as close to fairytale wedding as you could hope for, it went along very smoothly and it was a blast getting to share such a special night with such amazing people. Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough, on your way out, you could grab a Magnolia Bakery cupcake with #MagnoliaForLana on it!