This isn’t a rant, it’s just something that has to be said, once and for all.
When Saudi Arabia decided to freeze its $3 billion in military assistance to Lebanon last February, you could criticize its motives for doing so but not the actual act of freezing the assistance. It is their money after all and they decide what to do with it. Continue reading “Better be an April Fools’ joke for a day…”
“We have been sleepless for years,
We decided to wake up today,
Oh homeland, do not blame us,
We are now beyond the realm of blame.”
– ‘Anthem of the Revolution,’ (Arabic), Ziad Al Rahbani
You may call the life that has suddenly exploded on the streets of Beirut whatever you like. You may call the energy spreading throughout the veins of its youth – which had started to believe in the sense of defeat inherited from their forefathers as a fact of life – whatever you like too. But we cannot deny that during the past two weeks, as popular protests triggered by a shameful garbage crisis have gained momentum in and around Beirut – from the August 22-23 protests (see Eye on the East’s post “Live from Beirut…“) to the biggest demonstration in Lebanon’s history organized independently of sectarian parties on August 29 – something has broken and something has been revived. Continue reading “With the Stench of Garbage comes a Breeze of Hope”
What happened at the offices and surroundings of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on January 7 in Paris was cold-blooded murder. This tragic incident unleashed a somewhat unprecedented reaction on world news and social media, or maybe it’s just the news junkie and social media addict in me that felt bombarded by all of it at once. Some have been targeted reactions and commentaries, while others were ‘all over the place,’ which goes to show the mixed feelings that were triggered. Continue reading “Je suis, Je ne suis pas, Je ne sais plus…”
Almost two months since the U.S. started bombing Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq, less than a week since the U.S.-led offensive in Syria for the same purpose, and the operation appears to be nameless.
Continue reading “Operation X”
After 11 long months of political deadlock and childish bickering, Lebanon finally has a cabinet. Although some are satisfied just by having a cabinet and with it some illusion of normalcy, not many are happy with its composition. And in true Lebanese fashion, “what difference does it make anyway,” some will say: if it’s not the same faces on the cabinet table, then it is the same faces behind the scenes that brought them, and if there has been some alternation in portfolios (based on political affiliation and sect), it all remains part of the same game of sectarian and power politics that has brought so much misery to the majority of the Lebanese throughout the years, and will continue to do so in the years to come… Continue reading “A Warm Welcome to Lebanon’s New Cabinet”
Sometimes, I think it would be easier to just re-post my thoughts and frustrations on Lebanon, again and again, in view of the current situation. I am not inclined to write a “Beirut Yet Again and Again” after the latest explosion in Beirut’s southern suburbs on January 2, after having written “Beirut, Yet Again” (بيروت ايضا و ايضا) following the explosion in Downtown Beirut on December 27. The nature of the explosives may have differed and the location slightly shifted, yet nothing else has changed on the ground. Continue reading “Lebanon: A Gloomy Look Ahead”
It is difficult to stay away from writing and lamenting about bombs, death and destruction for too long when in Lebanon. And it’s all too easy to write and lament about the same old things when this happens: on how we’ve had enough of this perpetual vicious cycle of violence and how our politicians are an indestructible curse; Continue reading “On Resilience and Perpetual Violence”
Saying that this past week was a long week is an understatement. Syria and the Levant awaited the “imminent” but “limited” strike, barely able to imagine the immediate consequences on Syria and the wider repercussions on the region this attack would have had. The attack seems to have been averted, for the time being, with many feeling utterly disappointed and others terribly relieved. Continue reading “A Strike Averted, Back to Business as Usual”
In what came as a rather unexpected move, member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) listed Hezballah on their never-heard-of-before list of terrorist organizations for its involvement in Syria alongside the Assad regime, while threatening to take action against its members/sympathizers and their assets in the Gulf. Continue reading “The Sheikhs Get Down to Business”