Battle of the Beards

In the aftermath of the events in Saida last week, pitting Sheikh Ahmad Al Assir in direct confrontation with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the only thing that I could think about was my next blog post. I came up with what I believed was the best title for it, as used herewith[1]. However, I seemed unable to fill the post with anything other than the usual, yet always valid, criticism of the absurdity of Lebanese politics and the way we always seem to swiftly move against the current of modern times (so much so that we could earn yet another pathetic Guinness record for it).

Continue reading “Battle of the Beards”

Activism in Lebanon: Looking at the Bright Side

It looks like I have been pretty angry recently. Or at least that seems to be what my blog followers and friends think. I have been accused of being too critical, focusing on everything negative about Lebanon. Although if you ask me, I would have to write day and night to even get to the core of what is slowly destroying the essence of this country. Continue reading “Activism in Lebanon: Looking at the Bright Side”

Lebanon: History must not repeat itself

One of the images that always comes to mind while recalling the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war, is that of a group of young and peaceful protesters I once read about who headed to Beirut’s infamous Green Line. Defying snipers and tenuous ceasefires, they held their humble signs and white roses to say no to the conflict that dragged on for too long and no to all those who held on to Lebanon solely as a battlefield for their selfish wars. Continue reading “Lebanon: History must not repeat itself”

Minister of the People

There is nothing like waking up on a Sunday morning to an episode of one of many inspiring and animated Lebanese political talk shows. Well, not really.  Political talk shows are only a mirror of the dismal centuries-long political vicious circle we have been stuck in, anything but inspiring and animated in a tragicomedy kind of way.  But when I tuned to New TV’s Sunday talk show yesterday, there he was with his salt and pepper mustache that Lebanese men of old days would swear on; characteristically irritated and annoyed; decorating his speech with the vernacular that you’d never think would make it on national television. Listening to Charbel Nahas at any time of day is refreshing and animated, and so I watched on. Continue reading “Minister of the People”

Lebanon: No Reaction, Just Action

Many Lebanese take pride in the fact that their country is a country of “action.” Not where actions are taken, but where action takes place. There is always something to keep us busy not bored. Something always ready to take the news headlines by storm, breaking yesterday’s breaking news as quickly as it will be broken by tomorrow’s new story.

During the past months, if it wasn’t about the adventures of Sheikh Ahmad Al Assir in Saida, it was the dilemma of the temporary and exploited workers of public utility company Electricité du Liban (EDL). Continue reading “Lebanon: No Reaction, Just Action”

Farewell to Fouad Al Turk

Today, Fouad Al Turk bids us farewell, yet we refuse to reciprocate. Today, Fouad Al Turk stands still and silent, on the hills overlooking his beloved hometown of Zahle, yet unrecognizable from his usual dynamic and eloquent self. Today, Fouad Al Turk refuses to admit that he is among the few who embodied the very essence of diplomacy and the best of Lebanese diplomacy, yet we know all too well that his is a breed that is slowly fading away… Continue reading “Farewell to Fouad Al Turk”

فؤاد الترك … وكبير آخر يغادرنا وتفتقر بلادنا

Note: Eye on the East has the pleasure to feature guest writer Ambassador Samir Chamma who in his Arabic article below pays a moving tribute to late Lebanese Ambassador Fouad Al Turk. In “Fouad Al Turk: Another of the Greats Leaves Us, Further Impoverishing Our Country,” Chamma remembers his friend and colleague as the distinguished diplomat, faithful patriot, champion of dialogue, poet and kind and generous human being he will always be known for. This article was also published in Lebanese daily An Nahar (July 22, 2012) and Zahle’s Al Rawaby weekly newspaper (July 19-24, 2012).

فؤاد الترك … وكبير آخر يغادرنا وتفتقر بلادنا

… وباكرا باكرا التحقت باثنين من كبار سفرائنا. احباك واحببتهما. قدّراك وقدرتهما: ادوار غره ونجيب صدقة.

امينا عاما للخارجية انتقض نجيب صدقة.، رفض غاضبا- اواخر الستينات القرن الماضي- ان يكون شاهدا لاتفاقية قاهرة، برؤيته الثاقبة رأى انها ستقهر بلاده فتوقّع مع توقيعها عليها اخذها الى درب جلجلتها وستأخذ معها القضية الى الجحيم. Continue reading “فؤاد الترك … وكبير آخر يغادرنا وتفتقر بلادنا”

صرخة من المكسيك: احرقوها – A Cry From Mexico: Burn It!

Update Note: Eye on the East has the pleasure to introduce its first guest writer Jorge Seeman, a Mexican-Lebanese residing in Mexico City, who contributed the following post. You will find an English translation at the end. After initial refusal to publish Jorge’s article, Lebanese daily An Nahar published an edited version in its May 14, 2012 issue, almost a month after it was posted in its unedited version on Eyeontheeast.org . Some truths are still too much for the local Lebanese media to handle…

انتفاضة شعبية مكسيكية أوصلت الجنرال Porfirio Diaz الى رئاسة المكسيك اواسط القرن التاسع عشر. مطلب جوهري واحد وقفت وراءه الامة كان الباعث على هذه الانتفاضة هو أن “لا تجديد” للرئيس بعد اليوم, ايا كان هذا الرئيس. اما هذا الجنرال – الدكتاتور فقد أغوتة السلطة – و السلطة تفسد: تنكَّر لهذا المطلب الشعبي الجازم فحكم بلاده على امتداد خمسة و ثلاثين عاما. Continue reading “صرخة من المكسيك: احرقوها – A Cry From Mexico: Burn It!”

And Yet Again, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

It wasn’t long ago when Lebanon seemed absolutely obsessed with setting world records. We had the biggest hummous dish, the biggest tabboule, the longest kebab and largest glass of wine. There also was the largest ceramic plate, largest dabke and largest national flag.  I remember seeing a young bride desperately trying to surround her entire village with her dress to set the world record for the longest bridal train, but I’m not sure if that made it to the book… Continue reading “And Yet Again, Bigger Isn’t Always Better”