For once, and if only in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, the reality on the ground quite literally reflects the exact state of our country and its politics: garbage.
In fact, if it is hard for you to picture it, the tonnes of garbage piling up in and around our capital city are a perfect way to physically depict what corruption, mismanagement, monopoly, nepotism, patronage, clientelism and misuse of public funds does to a country: it is toxic, it affects everybody and may eventually kill everybody, just like the garbage will, the longer it stays on our streets. Continue reading
Posted in Activism, Arab World, Beirut, Corruption, Garbage, Lebanese Politics, Lebanon, Mount Lebanon
Tagged #YouStink, American University of Beirut Medical Center, #طلعت_ريحتكم, Beirut, Corruption, Garbage, Hamra, Hariri, Lebanese Government, Lebanese Politics, Lebanon, Mount Lebanon, Naameh landfill, Riad Al Solh Square, Sukleen, Tarek el Mallah, Trash, Walid Jumblatt
Note: This is the first of two posts recounting Eye on the East’s recent visit to Athens.
Already two trips to Greece and I still haven’t been to its idyllic beaches and islands. Don’t be mistaken, I get along very well with the sun and my first name imposes that I never be too far from the ocean. But so far, Greece has only been about in and around Athens for me. During my first trip six years ago, it was the romanticism of Athens’ past that kept me from wandering elsewhere, reminiscing about the tales of ancient times through the grandeur of the Acropolis and imagining the endless nights of song and dance while walking along the ruins of an old Greek theater. Now, after my second trip only days ago, and again, the appeal of Athens was because of its present and future. Its present, crafted by the historic win of the far-left Syriza party in the last parliamentary elections, a defiant cry by the Greek people for change, while its future is unfolding as we speak (and write) and there was no better place to get a feel for what awaits Greece than in the heart of the country. Of course, there is much more to Athens than the current crisis, but the crisis has dominated much of its current landscape and my conversations over coffee, souvlaki and Greek wine. As I attempt to synthesize what I heard, felt and thought during this last trip, putting it all into perspective as part of the latest developments, here’s what my camera lens managed to bring back… Continue reading
Posted in Athens, Greece, Travel
Tagged Acropolis, Activism, Aegean Sea, Athens, Evzones, Greece, Greek Parliament, Mediterranean Sea, Monastiraki, Omonia, Panepistimio, Plaka, Politics, Porto Rafti, Syntagma Square, Syriza, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Travel, Zeus
These days, it isn’t only a picture, but an infographic, that is also worth a thousand words. In commemoration of the Nakba (catastrophe) on May 15, when the State of Israel was established in 1948 after over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homeland, here’s the Nakba itself in one infographic. Continue reading
Posted in Arab World, Middle East, Nakba, Palestine
Tagged Arab world, Gaza, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Visualizing Palestine, West Bank, Zionism
A martyr is generally someone who is deeply attached to a cause, belief or faith and is willing to sacrifice for the sake of it. A true martyr does not even shy away from death, the ultimate sacrifice, to protect and propagate whatever it is they believe in. Within the context of this very simple definition, it may already dawn on you the number of times and ways the word martyr has been used, misused and certainly abused in Lebanon and the Arab region. Not every person killed is a martyr, because not every person has a cause or is killed because of it. Not dying a martyr doesn’t make a death any less tragic, it’s just that not every human being that is killed is and should be considered a martyr. Continue reading
Posted in Arab World, Lebanese Politics, Lebanon, Martyrs Day, May 6
Tagged Beirut, Fouad Siniora, Jamal Pasha, Lebanese Politics, Lebanon, martyr, Martyrs Day, Martyrs Square, May 6 1915, Ottoman Empire, Rafik Hariri, Syria
Armenian Genocide Centennial
“In the implementation of its scheme to settle the Armenian Question through annihilation of the Armenian race, the Turkish government did not allow itself to be distracted.” – Paul Wolff-Metternich, German [Turkey’s ally at the time] Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (1915–1916).
“Unfortunately, our wartime leaders, imbued with a spirit of brigandage, carried out the law of deportation in a manner that could surpass the proclivities of the most bloodthirsty bandits. They decided to exterminate the Armenians, and they did exterminate them.” – Mustafa Arif Bey, Interior Minister of the Ottoman Empire (1917–1918).
Posted in Armenia, Armenian Genocide, Human Rights, Lebanon, Middle East, Ottoman Empire, Turkey, World History
Tagged Arab world, Armenia, Armenian Genocide, Armenian Genocide Centennial, Forget me not flower, Genocide, Germany, Konya, Lebanon, Middle East, Mustafa Arif, Ottoman Empire, Paul Wolff-Metternich, Remember and Demand, Turkey, William Saroyan, World History
Whether it is the rule of militias, the rising influence of the Islamic State (IS – Daesh) or the tragic fate of migrants fleeing the scourge of war off its coast, Libya is once again in the international headlines. Then again, Libya has always been newsworthy, but there always seems to be something else overshadowing it. Continue reading
Posted in Arab Revolution, Arab World, Daesh, Islamic State, Libya, North Africa
Tagged Al Qaeda, Arab Revolution, Arab world, Beida, Benghazi, Daesh, Derna, Game of Thrones, IS, Islamic State, Kalisi, King Idris, Libya, Mad Max, Mosul, Muammar Gaddafi, NATO, North Africa, Qaddafi, Sirte, Tripoli, Wildlings
Today is the day we remember our war (1975-1990), the one we swore not to forget so that it would never happen again (تنذكر وما تنعاد). But just like everything else in Lebanon, the more things change the more they stay the same. Whatever we said about the war, the lessons learned and chances of it happening again, still stand today, as they stood yesterday and will stand for the decade to come. I read through what I wrote last year – April 13: How can we not forget? – (which you are welcome to read today too) and I would not change a single word of it now. Continue reading
Posted in April 13, Arab World, Beirut, Lebanese Civil War, Lebanese Politics, Lebanon, Middle East, Uncategorized
Tagged American University of Beirut (AUB), April 13, Arab world, Civil War, confessionalism, Editions Noir Blanc Etc, Lebanese Civil War, Lebanese Politics, Lebanon, Middle East, sectarianism, Syria, Taef Agreement, Terry Anderson, War, Warlords, Zahle, تنذكر وما تنعاد