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Gino Raidy is a prominent Lebanese blogger and his blog “Gino’s Blog” is one of the best read blogs in the country.

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Bonofa is…well who knows what Bonofa is? A company? A website? A scam posse? I’m not the one to have the right answer but all I know is it’s a bunch of money craving annoying people who minimize their social life to their corporate Bonofa pals that in time felt like a sect or cult of bigots.

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Some of the people I know joined this cult and started sharing pictures of themselves in meetings looking cheerful and all suited up.They started annoying us with facebook statuses about loving Bonofa and that Bonofa is the future and it’s life itself.They even started annoying other friends by nagging them to join Bonofa and dragging or cheating them into attending some Bonofa meetings.

Most of those people where the image of failure,stupidity and poserism and to see them in all those pics flashing a winner smile and bragging about being members of the “amazing” Bonofa you’d think they’re about to do a great achievement to humanity while all they were craving was (if Bonofa is a truthful thing) filling their pockets.

Gino and other bloggers decided to wage a war on Bonofa exposing it as a scam or what is known as “The Pyramid Scheme” and Bonofa reversed the attack by taking every single one of the bloggers to court for libel.

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A week ago Gino posted a blog post stating that Bonofa is finally shut down.( http://ginosblog.com/2014/05/08/busted-bonofa-shut-down-mabrook-and-whats-next/ ) but till now I still see is Bonofa members claiming they cashed their commission and trying to recruit new members. ( http://bonofauniverse.com/blog/?p=120&fb_action_ids=10154103177275048&fb_action_types=og.comments )

So if Bonofa is shut down isn’t the work of those members a fraudulent act? Or did Gino misinform his blog readers?

The Idiot Box never ceases to bring us dumb,annoying and disgusting programs ,but so far I’ve never seen  cheaper,dumber and more disgusting programs as Lebanese MTV ones.

Take “Hayda Haki” (That’s Talking) ,hosted by Adel Karam a comedian turned host ,a really cheap imitation of “Al Barnamag” (The Show) hosted by Bassem Youssef and The Daily Show by John Stewart.Image

Adel Karam who played in TV show  “Ma Fi Metlo” a comedy show on the same channel couldn’t get over the different dumb characters he impersonates in “Ma Fi Metlo” on “Hayda Haki” .You can find him as a pimp like ,suited,heavily gelled, and donning a thick mustache Lebanese vain “Jagual” (standing for a Lebanese macho male that counts on appearance and display of expensive possessions  to grab the attention of females whilst heaving no IQ whatsoever the equivalent of the Female blonde) with the same facial expression and sense of “humor” (if you can call it humor at all) of the characters he impersonates on “Ma Fi Metlo”.

His show is a cheap parade of machismo,sexism and homophobia,always objectifying his female guests and making  lame and sexual allusions towards them while making fun of homosexuals (when he started bashing french singer Mika for being homosexual).

Most of his hosts are slutty Lebanese singers,actresses,hosts….. or macho conventional males.

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All that makes Adel Karam and his program “Hayda Haki” a crappy host in a crappy show.Who wants to watch a show hosted by  a guy that looks and sounds like all the repulsive and vile males you bump into everywhere in Lebanon.

Everybody’s aware that for last couple of years Tripoli have been undergoing rounds of heavy violence.Clashes between Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tebbeneh,Criminals and armed thugs running the streets terrorizing peaceful citizen,invading restaurants and coffee shops looking for Alcohol or for anyone criticizing their leaders,theft,threats,attacks over peaceful citizen of other sects and lets not forget the bombing of two mosques during the prayers peak time.

Many of the outlaws and criminals are know to the public and cruise the streets with no intervention whatsoever from the Security Forces or the Army that seems intimidated and the Judges are uninterested .On TV you can see an interview with a bare face armed thug threatening people or a kid shooting at a “neighbor/enemy” assisted by a father or a brother,you can hear hate confessional speech by those who call themselves leaders.

Still the officials seem to be helpless against those crimes,the security forces are inexistent and sometimes partners.We all remember the video streaming on Youtube of the citizen calling the emergency room to tell  them about an armed thug that stops the cars and search them and what was the answer of the Police Officer on the phone!!!(He told him that there are hundreds of armed thugs on the streets of Tripoli and there nothing the Security Forces can do).

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But wait.After you read what I’m telling you later,you,my dear citizens of Tripoli don’t have to feel insecure and scared anymore.The Security Forces are vigil and strong in capturing the criminals,the Judges are intolerant against criminals disrupting the peace of the lovely Tripoli.

Yes the Security Forces have captured the MOST DANGEROUS CRIMINAL IN TRIPOLI  and the Judges refuse to let him go.

THERE IS NO MESSING WITH THE LAW.

A week ago I was contacted by this guy who told me that an 18 year old boy ,a friend of his was arrested and that this boy’s father is deceased and his mother is poor and that he’s the one working to bring money home and they’ve got no one to help them.

I asked him what was the alleged crime he did and he told me that it seems he refused to stop to a Security check point and that he’d been arrested for one month.

I went to the Prison to see the boy who sounded pitiful and not knowing what is exactly his crime.He told me that he was to meet a certain friend to whom he owed money and headed to give them back but instead of finding him where they were supposed to meet,he found some Policemen who asked him to come to the police station when they knew he was asking for his friend who turned out to be wanted.

The boy headed to the Police Station and that’s where he got arrested for supposedly being with the fugitive criminal when he comited a crime the boy don’t the nature of and thought was not stopping at a check point.

And now HEAR THE SCANDAL

When I checked the boy’s file at court (he’s been arrested form one month) it turned he’s been accused with the fugitive of stealing A DOG.

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The poor boy is accused of a Felony that can go to up 10 years of imprisonment and there is NO PLAINTIFFS.

While till today criminals are roaming the streets with heavy weapon under the eyes of the Security and Army threatening people,I here salute the strong arms of the law for arresting the most dangerous criminal in Tripoli and we all can feel safe in this beautiful city.

We were celebrating my friend Mu’taz’s birthday on the beautiful shores of Kfar Abida in the hip Pierre & Friends beach pub/restaurant when I bumped into Tres and Tim a couple of American friends working and living in Beirut.

We sat on the stony shore having some Martinis listening to music and having a laugh when Tim returned totally wasted having too much booze ,he sat next to me and started to talk his drunk talk and telling me about his origins and how they mistake him for a Latino while he’s black,Island black and other stuff.He asked me where I was spending my night so I told him I’m going back to Tripoli.

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And that’s when he started talking about Tripoli.

He told me he haven’t been to Tripoli since 2009.And when he was there he loved the city.He asked “why are you people fighting?you have a beautiful city,you should take care of it”.He talked about the nice,down to earth ,friendly people in Tripoli,about the delicious food especially the Baklawa,the lovely places he visited.

He told me that he thinks 90% of Tripolians are nice people who’ll never fight each other and that the fighters are few.He said “bring them to the beach man.No one will fight in the beach man.Look everyone is enjoying his time.Man they’ll throw their weapon and enjoy their time man.” and then after a minute of reflection he said”man the girls in Tripoli have the most amazing booty man.Man they have real big amazing booty unlike Beiruty girls small ass” and he kept talking about the booty and Baklawa in Tripoli and gave us a good laugh.He said “how can you have have such lovely girls with lovely booty in Tripoli and you still fight man.Man you guys should seriously drop your weapon and enjoy a good Baklawa and a nice booty”.

Then out of his drunken haze he said the wisest words I’ve ever heard:”Man you’ve got a gem of a city.I love Tripoli it’s a gem,its people are nice and friendly and they are the majority.How can you nice people of Tripoli leave it for those few thugs.Man you nice people of Tripoli you’re the majority.YOU SHOULD TAKE BACK TRIPOLI MAN.Seriously you should take it back man”

I was about to leave Tripoli for the night.Leave my people who were busy picking up the traces of the last clashes that paralyzed the city.Busy analyzing the situation each from his own sectarian point of view,busy sucking up to their masters those meager leeches,hanging banners promoting some new prophets,creating some illusionary  threats to start a new round of clashes and hate.

I was sitting in a cafe sipping my Americano,re-reading Douglas Coupland’s “Hey Nostradamus” before leaving.Jane Birkin was putting a show in Beirut Downtown’s “Thermes Romains” and I wasn’t going to miss it for the world.It was Jane Fucking Birkin for fucks sake.My Jane B.,Serge Gainsbourg’s girlfriend,Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Douillon’s mother.

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No one in Tripoli was interested to join me attend this once in a lifetime event.They didn’t know who Birkin was.”Some french Bimbo” one of them told me.The few cultured ones who knew who she was weren’t interested.For them.the ultimate cultural event was a Rahbani play,a Majida El Roumi concert or poetry reading by some old obsolete leftist fart whose job was to criticize the Lebanese bourgeoisie.

I left to Beirut.I left all those grey faces.Those full-of-them,selves teenage faces hardened by the  duty,the obedience to an ephebiphobic  father or society and a lack of understanding of real beauty.

The young adults and adults are gonna sit in their Hookah cafes,cyber games shops or other lame ass place discussing politics or an easy girl they can easily go anal with.

I got to the “Thermes Romains” 30 minutes before the show and the place was almost full with a couple of hundred people who came to witness the English/French Goddess.People that felt and looked different from my peers in Tripoli.Faces more relaxed,more happy,less hardened.You can note that more knowledge,culture and exposure graced their features and they were dressed simply yet elegantly.People from different ages or social ranks starving for knowledge,for culture and for art while my Tripoli people were busy teaching their young sisters to shoot at others or worshiping an illiterate Master making him the new object of glorification.

A kind old dame pushed aside with a smile.and gave me a place to sit next to her.She kept talking to her daughter(she looked a lot like her) about her cats,Dylan and Tadzio,the friend of her daughter(who was studying psychology) was asking her about the cats.

Another elegant old woman with simple beige suit and boyish haircut was standing next to me for there was no more places left(the show was free).She looked European to me.Another woman came  and greeted her as “Madame L’ambassadrice”.I thought to myself what would a very low rank Lebanese politician in her place?but dismissed the idea for no Lebanese politician would come to a Jane Birkin show and sit on the stairs.

At exactly 9:00 pm as advertised Wajdi Mouawad entered and started reciting his prelude.While he was on it rose the voice of the Athan from the mosque nearby,but Mouawad didn’t stop his long prelude.The sound of the Athan was harmless,in harmony with the words of Mouawad.It was a peaceful,beautiful Athan that didn’t intercept your other sonic interests contrary to the Athan in Tripoli that aggressed your ear buds with  the entwined noises of the incompetent Sheikhs.

The Goddess appeared from across the street wearing a silver dress.I knew her from her silhouette her sway,her movements even before she was close.

The closer she got the more her featured betrayed her old age.Man she was the older version of the Birkin of my dreams.The last time I saw her she was fresh and plump,sexy as ever.

Her neck,her hands,her cheeks….The Birkin of my wet dreams.The Birkin of my “Je t’Aime Moi Non Plus” movie on repeat was old now and lost all her sexiness.I never thought muses aged.

Still she was the same gracious Jane B.,the Goddess.She stood on the pedestal to perform the poem Mouawad wrote her.The Goddess looked like a statue in motion or many statues in different position.Every movement was a statue of its own.A masterpiece.

Her face portrayed the anguish,the suffering and the madness of the poem she was performing.The broken french was being spit from her mouth in coarse words that mimicked the bitterness.

The wrinkeled old hands were in permanent motion.Expressing her feelings.

When she moved to a different position her tights were revealed.Oh those tights I always fantasized about,smooth like silk,hot like embers

When she sang,her soothing voice was still the same unchanged,touching.

The show was long,in parts touching,in others a bit lame,still the whole thing was good.

When she bowed her head to the public and smiled at the end of the show .I wanted to hug her tight and tell Jane oh Jane when the hell did you get to grow so old?

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When she disappeared the public that stayed totally silent during the two hours of the show started to leave,breaking the silence and sending the echo of Jane B.’s words to the sky

On my way out I bumped into some friends from Beirut and a couple of others from Tripoli that lived in Beirut.I went with my friend Mira to have some Haagen Dazs ice cream then drove all the way to Tripoli after dropping her home,listening to a selection of songs by Belle And Sebastian.

The morning came.The terrible noise of weapons stopped.The fighters needed a rest from their all night fighting.They were fighting a secret enemy.An enemy in the form of a child from Jabal Mohsen who is responsible for the Iranian Nuclear Threat or a mother from Tabbeneh who is plotting to destroy the Assad regime in a dirty plot with the Israelis.

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The fighters are humans too,they need rest,they need sleep for at night they are busy doing Godly chores they are destined to.

Isn’t that what they were raised to believe?Isn’t that what the undereducated Sheikh told them in the Mosques?

The fighter from Tabbeneh knows well his mission that is to extract Refaat Eid* from the area,for Eid is the bastard son of Nasrallah* and his target is to exterminate Sunna and transform Tripoli into an Alawite stronghold opening the path  for Shia expansion

The fighter from Jabal Mohsen is defending his pace from the beard sporting Israeli terrorists.He knows well that the word “Takbir”* is a Hebrew word meaning destroy the Alawites.

The President woke up early,took his daily shower and wore the dove grey suit and navy blue tie his wife chose for him.He’s got meetings to attend,a lunch with a foreign diplomat and the elections to get through with.The elections are driving him crazy and his erection too.He hasn’t got one in a while even with help of the blue pill,but who needs an erection when you’ve got power.Power will give any woman multiple orgasm.

His wife stood on her toes to kiss his chin while he gives her his lovely winner smile.

What about Tripoli she asks???

Tripoli???What about Tripoli???Isn’t that in Libya????

He brushes the idea away and heads to his office.

Prime Minister Mikati wakes up obsessed with the idea of getting  hair implant and growing a beard because that’s so “a la mode” in Tripoli nowadays will get him more voters for the next election.

He phones his underdog Saad Al Masri proposing to send more money,more weapons for the sake of his “Middle-ness”.You know,no one should win  or have the upper-hand in the fights in the fights or his “Middle-ness” will be destroyed and he will lose more voters.

Mp Abou L Abed Kabbara didn’t have a second of sleep that night.His bastard sons are leaving him,they are refusing to obey him anymore.It’s crazy he’ll lose his powers and wont be able to help all the imprisoned Sunna.

He calls Brigardier Hammoud *and shouts to him:DO SOMETHINGGGGG.

His voice wakes Mostapha Allouch* from his ex communism sleep and reminds him to wash his Whiskey breath  for he’s got a meeting today with a bunch of Sheikhs that will lead him to the righteous path.

The stilness of the morning after disturbs Mp Ahdab sleep.He yawns a Tom Ford breath and feels the urge to use the bathroom.He gets out of bed,he was sleeping with Ahmad Al Assir in the chat room.He washes his perfect botoxed face  and smiles gold to the mirror.He finishes shitting flowers,heads to the balcony to salute the army of women fantasizing about him.

Refaat Eid* is having a greasy breakfast ,he already ate three roasted Tabbeneh fighters.Those filthy bearded terrorists .Today he’ll focus his hunt on younger flesh for it’s more lean.He hits the table with his fist and shouts to his men to go kill some terrorists

One of his men replies that it’s still morning and the fighters are still sleeping.Oh Eid replies then I’m going back to sleep too.Tonight we have some filthy terrorists to kill.

Most of the peaceful Tripolitain citizen didn’t sleep at night disturbed by the weapons noise.They spent their night pleading and praying to God to save the city.Quoting prayers from Quran on their facebook account,cursing their opponents.

They know that one day their God will listen,but till that day comes God is busy preparing for the Champions League,the World Cup and how Angelina Jolie’s boobs removal are a loss to humanity.

He shakes his head,munches on his caramel Pop Corn that he washes with a gulp of Ginger Ale.

The Civil Society knows well how to stop the fightings.They organize a demonstration in front of a fancy restaurant.There’s a lovely lady running for election participating ,wearing her Chanel costume and her Jaques Dessange bleached hair.She’s gonna push all the others to be in front of the TV camera.After all her Chanel Costume cost her a small fortune and it’s the first time she wears it.No one would dare to stop her from being the highlight of the demonstration.Not even that white haired short power monger.Image

Whatshe didn’t expect is that other members of the civil society objected Chanel cloth and voted for Dior and maybe the newly renewed Saint Laurent so they demonstrated at the same time elsewhere

The Chanel Lady went apeshit in front of the camera and while she was watching herslef on the night news bulletin she cried in shame noticing that in her rush she wore the wrong color of lipstick.

While everyone was busty preparing their chores for the next round of fightsat night,they didn’t notice the disappearance of Alice.

No one bothered looking for heror shouting her name.

Alice died alone on a dark alley by a stray bullet,on her way to get her sick mother some medicines.

Every spring “Ma’an Loubnan” organizes the Tripoli International Half Marathon,an event that gathers thousands of Lebanese and Foreigners who participate in the race and thousands of others that come to watch and enjoy the shows and side activities.

http://www.tripolihalfmarathon.com/index.php

This event is good for a city like Tripoli as it involves a huge number of NGOs,activists and volunteers and gives a chance to Tripoli’s poor families to  enjoy such a huge event.It helps expose Tripoli to those who visit it from other Lebanese cities,and it shows its more positive side.

This year and after the continuous conflict between Tebbeneh and Jabal Mohsen in the suburbs of Tripoli,the organizers decided to flash a peace message and called the even  “One Target,Let’s Run For Peace”.

The event was a big success(but lame in the means of entertainment)  as usual.Different people from all classes and backgrounds were down the street celebrating that day,cheering the competing runners or dancing to the songs of the bands (mostly the same Arabic Hip Hop bands, Arab pop music singers and the one obsolete grandpa rock band).

While I was hanging around the stage where some kid was jumping and shouting some Arabic Hip Hop about peace and unity I saw a bunch of guys wearing “Free Syrian Flag” T-Shirts with a couple of veiled girls next to them,I approached them curiously and asked them if I can take a picture of them.I thought they’re gonna be aggressive towards me,but to my surprise they were very friendly and with a sweet worried smile they looked towards the girls for confirmation.After a nod  from the girls they gathered for the shoot.

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I told them to say anything they want  about their participation in the Marathon but one of them told me in a Syrian dialect that he can’t say anything and that I should ask the girls because they are the ones that gathered them, so one of the girls told the guys in a Lebanese dialect that they’re free to say what they want.

The guys were very nice,they talked about how they want peace and to show Lebanese people that “free” Syrians feel grateful to Lebanese people….

I thanked them and wished them good luck and headed to meet my skater friends over coffee in Ahwak.

While we were there a huge number of youngsters wearing the Marathon tags passed by singing songs against Bashar Al Assad.

The marathon day ended and people were returning back to their houses and as I said it was a success.But the image of those poor “Fee Syrian” students haunted me and how the veiled girls controlled them and how can a Marathon be peaceful with people wearing a sign of conflict that is aggressive to some of the Tripolitains.

Things will never be perfect here but I prefer an imperfect Marathon to no Marathon at all.