Live from Beirut, from the beating heart of Beirut

I thought there would be no words to describe what happened in the streets of Beirut yesterday, but there are. Continue reading

Posted in #YouStink, #طلعت ريحتكم, Activism, Arab World, Beirut, Blogging, Eye on the East, Lebanese Armed Forces, Lebanese Government, Lebanese Parliament, Lebanon, Middle East, طلعت_ ريحتكم | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remember Greece?

Note: This is the second of two posts recounting Eye on the East’s recent visit to Athens. Part one can be found here.

It’s hard to believe that less than two months ago, Greece was on the verge of exiting the eurozone and forcing the European Union to ask serious questions about its own viability. Today, Athens’ social, political and economic battles – under the vigilant eyes of its creditors – no longer make the international headlines, but they are only just starting to be fought. Continue reading

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It’s about Garbage and so much more

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The lure of Athens

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Visualizing the Nakba

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

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Martyrs’ Sacrificed Even in Death

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 , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ՀԱՅՈՑ ՑԵՂԱՍՊԱՆՈՒԹՅԱՆ 100-րդ ՏԱՐԵԼԻՑ

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).

Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian Genocide, Human Rights, Lebanon, Middle East, Ottoman Empire, Turkey, World History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments