Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

SaraetKarim is a newly opened coffee shop in Tripoli and its neo-hippie setting with quilts and dream catchers is the absolute opposite of what this place has to offer.

It’s a very small place that despite its decoration is cold as is almost always empty and when there are people it’s never regulars or friendly faces but mostly unfriendly strangers that are always there to criticize and gossip about the other customers and, the only regulars are a bunch of neo-hippy conservative closeted gays that show hostility to any outspoken  LGBTQ people or activists.

The expensive cakes and teas are not even worth the try and they don’t serve anything else but these and a coffee selection.

The owners are judgmental conservative homophobes but that are ok with closeted and under the cover gays.

They obviously told some LGBTQ activists that they’re not welcome because it ruins the image of the place (obviously the image of the place is that of conservative closeted gay neo_hippies).

The owner stated on many occasions that he prefers to have ladies seated at the entrance of the coffee shop than a bunch of male patrons (so much for objectifying women and sexism)

The coffee shop didn’t even complete his legal status and it hasn’t got a certificate from the ministry of tourism and one from the ministry of health and apparently the employees aren’t registered in the social security at the ministry of labor.

Receiving lots of negative reviews and ratings they blocked the rating section on their Facebook page not to be exposed to their bad management, and food and deleting all negative comments.


Two days ago some leaked half naked pictures of Jackie Chamoun a professional Alpine Skier representing Lebanon in 2014 Olympics in Sochi/Russia caused a stir in Lebanon and divided the Lebanese between supporters and opposed what she did as defying Lebanese morals.


It didn’t matter that these pictures were taken three years ago while she was posing for an Australian Ski calendar still instead of supporting her during the Olympics, Minister Faysal Karame demanded an investigation about Chamoun’s nude photos detouring the interest of the Lebanese from the Olympic competition.


Many Lebanese persons,especially youngsters supported Chamoun rejecting the attack against her and making fun of Minster Karame’s decision and how some Lebanese were offended by these photos while the country is being targeted by terrorist,suicide bombers,corruption and lack of security while no one lifts a finger.


A campaign was launched on the internet through facebook,twitter and instagram supporting Chamoun by posting their own nude photos using the hashtag #stripforjackie.



This campaign stirred even more attacks on Chamoun and her Lebanese supporters especially the ones that stripped.

The attack was led by three camps:

1-The religious and conservative camp:

Off course no one expect from those people other than holding the religion,tradition and morality excuse to attack forgetting about the crimes committed in the name of religion,tradition and morality from suicide bombing to wife beating and killing sometimes to the oppression and cultural terrorism.

To that camp I say nudity is beautiful,natural and harmless  unlike your rules and God sent orders that oppress,kill and terrorize so go with your bigotry and hypocrisy and stay in your ugly caves.

2-The condescending camp:

That camp accused the supporters of being moved only by nudity and flesh and not for a certain cause.

To that camp I say that surely some Lebanese were only interested in Chamoun’s issue because of the nudity but most of the supporters were revolted by the campaign against Jackie while other more important issues were forgotten by them and chose to strip for her as they knew well that nudity will draw the attention of the majority of persons that are usually apathetic to certain human rights issues.

3-The Self-Righteous camp:

Some persons criticized the supporters by saying that instead of supporting more humanitarian issues related to  women’s rights like the killing of Manal Assi by her husband and other crimes and oppression against women.

To this self-righteous camp I say that the issue is not that Chamoun nudity is more important than Assi’s killing but it is purely about freedom of expression and women’s essential rights in a patriarchal society that strips the women from her most natural right and where most women are more patriarchal against themselves than men and enjoy being submissive to men.

What led to Assi’s murder is our culture of taking the freedom of  women from by our patriarchal religious education  that teaches them to be submissive to their male(father,husband,brother,religious man)and staying shut on all kind of abuse from beating to denying their right to give their sons and daughters their nationality to veils and burkas to forcing them to marry their rapist to calling them sluts for posing naked while the male clan brags about his multiple sexual experiences,can marry up to four women and so on……

If we stayed silent towards what happened to Chamoun,and deny her the right to dispose of her body the way she likes,we’ll be accomplice in denying any woman her right to stop her husband from beating her to death or stripping her rights.

It’s not about enjoying Chamoun nudity that we her supporters raised hell but it’s about her freedom to dispose of her body the way she likes,about our sick minds that focused on her nudity instead of her talent and her strength and our pride in her for representing Lebanon,about her courage in challenging our patriarchal society that strips women from their rights leading sometimes to their death.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.

No I wont post pictures of the explosion and the damages.No I wont quote the politicians and religious figures.No I wont give up to negativity.No I wont let them take us were they want to.


I want to forget the destruction and blood I saw when I rushed home after hearing the explosion to make sure my son and parents are OK and how the building where my son and ex wife live was severely damaged and how we had to force the stuck door to free them out and how I almost collapsed when I saw the blood on my son’s hand when he rushed to hug me.

I want to forget the terror of that day.


No matter how much I curse and criticize my city and its inhabitants,I can’t deny that I love it so much and that I love my fellow citizen with all their simplicity.

What is needed in these times of hardship is to think clearly.

We ought to not listen to the hating and instigating speech of the politicians and  religious figures and their accusations and invitations to hate and revenge.They are responsible of all the terror and crimes.

We ought to not let them lead us to violence,hate and desperation.They are the real criminals.We should not let them represent us.

Our answer to this terror is to stay united and solidary and refuse to let lead us to fight each others.

We ought to spread love and peace.To give a helping hand to rebuild the ravaged areas,to donate blood,to give moral and psychological support to the families of the dead and the wounded.

We ought to stop showing our children images of violence and hate and let them grow on these images.

Let us teach them love,tolerance and the acceptance of the other so we build a new generation different than the one responsible for all this violence.

Let us give them colored spaces to play and dance and live.


We are not allowed in anyway to expose our children to images of violence and terror.We cannot use them as a tool in our fights and force our ideas on them.Let them express themselves and develop their own ideas after leading them towards love.


We can only fight the terror by preparing a new healthy  generation of young leaders built on love,peace,tolerance and respect for the different other.

*Pictures are by Taha Baba,Taha Naji,Souhaib Ayoub and We Love Tripoli.

Tripoli never lacks Of harmful issues trying to destroy what’s left of its beauty,from its evil greedy politicians to the corruption in all its institutions to the confessional extremism imposing its culture and smothering every other difference to the company (Batco) that already messed up all its infrastructure and damaged the streets.

And in every society that is being forgotten by the government and being alienated there are always some persons who try to oppose the “Monster” that is harming the society and doing the job of the government  where this one fails to fulfill its duty.

In Tripoli the Civil Society( consisting of many NGOs and individuals)  is supposed to do so and in Many places it is doing a good job.Still most of its members are either politically dependent,politically correct,conservatives and religious  persons and that’s why it doesn’t always succeed in filling the void Tripoli really needs and can’t stand up tough against  the “Monster”.

Many times when this Civil Society wants to show some muscles,it does so in the wrong place or toward a weak and irrelevant person or act.Still it shies away in front of more dangerous and harmful acts or persons.

Few weeks ago one of the most famous Coffee Shops in Tripoli was attacked by radical Islamists (please check my previous post Ahwak And The “Neo Found” Muslims so called Civil Society didn’t even lift a finger and it even tried to reduce the effect of this attack.


Few days ago the same “Civil Society” organised a Ramadanic Iftar in the Karame Roundabout (were the Radical Islamists renamed it “Nour Roundabout” and claimed it their own with lots of Al Qaeda flags ,Islamic banners and photos of incarcerated Islamists or ones killed in the clashes in Syria or in Beib El Tebbeneh surrounding a statue of the Allah word).When some Islamists attacked them claiming the area as their own accusing the participants in the Iftar of being  Gays and Whores and  of drinking Champagne during the Iftar.


And as usual no one said a word or tried even to criticize the act.

But two days ago Nada Elia the public relations official in the Tripoli Municipality wrote a certain prose on her facebook timeline about a certain city(she didn’t mention the city she was talking about) trashing this city and talking about how evil it is.And because of that post many of the self conscious Tripolitans shared it on their facebook accusing her of vilifying the city and its inhabitants.The comments on this post were worst than anything could be said showing the real confessional and parochial face calling her “Christian infidel” and “stranger to the city” and “Aounist”(related to General Aoun).

Worst than that,the Municipality filed a lawsuit against her accusing her of libel and defamation against the city and ended her contract,more offended by the post than any harm did by the damage done to Tripoli by “Batco”.


So this ambiguous post is the mother of all evil against Tripoli.It is the cause of the clashes,of poverty of illiteracy,of infrastructure destruction  and tatter.All Tripolitan forces gathered to confront this evil post.

I just wish  to see the Heroes of the “civil society” standing against the thugs that are threatening the city everyday,against the corrupt politicians and municipality members that  are leading Tripoli to its ruin ,against the poverty and illiteracy,against fear,lenience,weakness and confessionalism  of some of  the civil society  against the “Monster” instead of getting busy with a mere ambiguous post not even naming Tripoli.

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.

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.


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. 

Lebanon never lacked in idiots in Ministerial posts,but lately Marwan Charbel the Lebanese Minister Of Internal Affairs beat the record and won the trophy of the stupidest politician to ever grace an official position.

One of Charbel’s famous quotes is :”You’re not Lebanese if you don’t own a weapon”.Seriously???I’m Lebanese and I don’t own a weapon.Will my nationality be retracted???

Among Charbel’s famous actions and sayings is,meeting and posing with outlaws (Ahmad Al Assir),rejecting the Civil Mariage……

And now once again he states another quote of pure genius regarding Homosexuality after the Dekwaneh abuse,where the Mayor of Dekwaneh Antoine Chakhtoura kidnapped four Homosexuals,stripped them naked in his office and abused them physically and verbally.

Instead of criticizing Chakhtoura’s crimes and hold him responsible for his crimes,Charbel farts other  uber  stupidities like:

*”Liwat ( a demeaning slang for homosexuality like saying fagot) is a felony.”

And he’s supposed to be The Minister Of Internal Affairs that should know the Penal Code by heart.

If he’s pointing to the 534 article that doesn’t states homosexuality or even anal sex but that points to “unnatural acts” that can mean anything and nothing,the article says the unnatural act is a misdemeanor not a felony.

Many Courts ruled that Homosexuality doesn’t fall under the article 534 and is not criminalized.

*”If France legalized Homosexual marriage should we allow French Homosexuals to enter Lebanon????”

How stupid can that be????I wanna know what’s the reaction to the French government to that???

And how can he make sure who’s Homosexual and who’s not among the french tourists coming to Lebanon????

Maybe he”ll appoint Mayor Chakhtoura and his officers in the airport checkpoint for he’s professorial in knowing people’s sexuality by striping them and making them kiss each others.

It’s a real shame to live in a country that has such barbaric idiots that still live in the dark ages of humanity.

No I’m not proud to be Lebanese.Image