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.

Today is the first session of the Lebanese presidential election and there is only one serious runner for the post 14 March’s  candidate,a convicted war criminal and murderer ( convicted for killing Prime Minister Rachid Karame,MP Tony Frangieh and Dany Chamoun his wife and his 2 kids Tarek 7years and Julien 5years among others), Samir Geagea.

Another war criminal Walid Jumblat has named Henry Helou and 8 March decided to vote blank.

The other probable candidates are:Michel Aoun,Boutros Harb,Soleiman Frangieh,Amine Gemayel and Jean Kahwaji,names that have stained the Lebanese political life.

Add to that the upcoming President will be elected by an illegal and an unconstitutional Parliament.

But who’s responsible for the dead end we’re in??? US the Lebanese people who’s been brainwashed into confessional camps facing each others,dependent on the services provided by the “ZAIM” ( Clan Master) instead of having recourse to the governmental institutions  as tax payers (our tax money is gone to the pockets of our incompetent politicians).

The solution is pressuring the MPS into taking their full responsibility not to vote to people who have stained their hands in the filth of war,to thieves and criminals or to incompetent subordinates.The pressure can take many forms from an internet campaign to a large street demonstration to the taking over the parliament.Yes taking over the parliament.

The solution is VOTING FOR A FOUAD CHEHAB

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Fouad Chehab maybe the only Lebanese President that paved the way to modern and institutional Lebanon.

 

فؤاد شهاب للجمهورية

الرئيس فؤاد شهاب  (1958 – 1964)

 

تميز عهد الرئيس شهاب بإعادة أحياء مؤسسات الدولة البنانية وتثبيت المصلحة الوطنية وجعل الوحدة بين اللبنانيين أولوية سياسية. عمل الرئيس على استراتيجيات تنموية لبناء الثقة بدور الدولة القادرة العادلة. عرف عهد الرئيس شهاب بالعهد الأصلاحي الشامل الوحيد في تاريخ لبنان.

دأب الرئيس شهاب منذ اليوم الأول لتسلمه الحكم متابعة الملفات التي تهم المواطنين والمواطنات والتي يجمع عليها اللبنانون بجميع أطيافهم. شهد عهده ولادة سلسلة من المشاريع والمؤسسات والقوانين لم يسبق للبنان أن شهد مثيلاَ لها والأهم أنه وبعد أكثر من 44 سنة لم يشهد لبنان مثيلاَ لها، من أهمها:

قانون تنظيم التعليم العالي

أنشاء المجلس الوطني للسياحة

تنظيم وزارة الاعلام

تنظيم وزارة التخطيط

إنشاء المجلس الوطني للبحوث العلمية

قانون التنظيم المدني الشامل لكل لبنان

وضع أول خطة وطنية مبنية على بحث شامل لكل لبنان

إنشاء المشروع الأخضر البيئي

وضع قانون النقد والتسليف

إنشاء مصرف لبنان المركزي

أنشاء الصندوق الوطني للضمان الاجتماعي

توسيع التعليم المهني والمدارس الحكومية

إنشاء مديرية الرياضة والشباب

تنظيم عمل الاجانب بما يتناسب مع المعايير الدولية

وضع المخطط التوجيهي العام لضواحي بيروت

أنشاء تعاونية موظفي الدولية

وبقي أثر “الشهابية” ملموساَ لأجيال من بعد انتهاء عهد الرئيس بسبب أنجازات أساسية أخرى في اخر ثلاث سنوات، منها:

أنشاء مصلحة الانعاش الاجتماعي

إعادة تنظيم مصالح المياه والكهرباء

إنشاء هيئة التفتيش المركزي

أنشاء مجلس الخدمة الوطنية

إعادة تنظيم التفتيش المالي وديوان المحاسبة

إعادة تنظيم مجلس القضاء الأعلى

إنشاء كلية الحقوق في الجامعة اللبنانية

إنشاء مكتب الإنماء الاجتماعي

وضع كتاب التنشئة الوطنية

عرف الرئيس شهاب برجل العلم والاخلاق والبناء وبرهن أن عندما توجد الارادة السياسية بالاصلاح فأن الدولة اللبنانية قادرة على خدمة أبنائها من دون تفرقة. استطاعت مؤسسات الدولة في عهد الرئيس شهاب ان تجعل من التنوع غنى ومن حاجات المواطن فرصة لإعادة احياء المؤسسات.

لذلك اليوم نقول: فؤاد شهاب للجمهورية…

 

 

 

I’m usually picky in my musical likes as in any artistic likes,I’m not easily satisfied and in Lebanon the music scene although is not terrible but never comes with something original and powerful.Few are the bands worth checking.

Many Lebanese musicians and bands are overrated and become your Lebanese artsy scene “must like” and mentioned in any in their conversation as the majority of this scene is stereotypical,repetitive and…somehow lame.

My favorite Lebanese band is Scrambled Eggs that have been hibernating and cancelling shows lately,There’s Mashrou’ Leila,Lazzy Lung and The incompetents that can put on wonderful show without forgetting to provide us with some amazing tunes.

And then there is PINDOLL

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My first experience with Pindoll was when they opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers.I’ve never heard of the band before,never cared to check them as I was becoming more and more bored of the lame Lebanese bands popping out everyday.

I was pissed of Pindoll for replacing Mashrou’ Leila and I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers hating them preparing to bash them at any given moment and sharpened my sense of sarcasm for that.They won themselves a place on my shitlist for replacing Mashrou’ Leila even before knowing anything about them.

Erin Mikaelian (Pindoll Vocalist) entered the stage and like magic all my senses were drawn to the Band.The fabulous music ,the Gwen Stephani like vocals,the show Erin put drew every single one’s attention.

In just one show Pindoll joined the team of my Favorite Lebanese band and the next day I downloaded “Stop Me” and their amazing “Tainted Love” cover that both played on repeat on my Itunes.

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My second encounter with them was at the “Beirut Rock Festival 2013”.

There were plenty of bands playing in this festival but I booked my ticket the first day they were put on sale for the sake of Skunk Anansie one of my favorite international bands.It was a dream come true seeing Skin live on stage.Pindoll was in the lineup and I was thrilled to see them again.

During the show many shitty ass bands passed on stage while waiting for Pindoll and off course Skunk Fucking Anansie and when Pindoll showed their head I was relieved.Erin looked tense ,I could sense there was something wrong going with the band still they succeeded to provide a wonderful show but I was disappointed they didn’t play “Stop Me”.It was obvious there was something wrong going on with them.Even my friends noticed it.

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Three month ago a new song of theirs called “Keep Walking” went viral then a video of the song “Fed Up” both were wonderful and got me hooked and on the 1rst of March their debut album launch.I couldn’t be more excited.

The week before the launching gig.I had a crazy week of work that left me jaded.The night before the gig I went partying with friend for the wee hours of the morning knowing I had urgent work on Saturday.Saturday afternoon I was left with no energy whatsoever and I was considering skipping the Pindoll Album Launch.I decided to sleep/rest a bit then decide what am I to do.

Around 8 pm I called my friends who bailed on me and decided not to go.The Idea of driving all the way from Tripoli to Beirut and back alone made me think it wasn’t worth it.But,but it was FUCKING PINDOLL DEBUT  ALBUM LAUNCH and I wouldn’t miss that.So I made up my mind and drove all the way to Beirut.

As I entered MyBar alone grabbed  a drink took a corner and waited for the gig to start as I knew no one from the people there.The Jim Beam girls were offering shots and I drank my way to the gig.Some acquaintances came latter and I bumped into Lazzy Lung’s Allan and Imad and a couple of friends that I joined dancing to Ziad Nawfal that was spinning great tunes (Nawfal is my favorite DJ).

When I saw Erin joining the crowd I rushed  like a groupie to say hi and take a picture with her.

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When the gig started I pushed my way to the stage and was instantly spellbound by Erin’s performance as she outdid her self through her originals and a couple of covers (The usual “Tainted Love” and a first time “My Own Personal Jesus” ).I found my self insanly singing along and jumping to her songs.She was like a magician mesmerizing the crowd.The band wasn’t less astonishing,especially the lead guitarist(noise as the band put it) Miran Gurunian with his riffs and solos.

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I left right after the EPIC show happy and satisfied,forgotten all my tiredness pick the free Album(The cherry on top of the cake) on my out and drove all the way back to Tripoli listening to it.

Pindoll made my night.Pindoll are to big for a country that doesn’t give credit to its talented musicians.

I’m gonna wait impatiently for their next gig and watch them go international.I’m sure.

With all the corruption,crimes,car bombings,armed criminals circulating in broad day light in front of the Army and ISF and abuse against women President Soleiman found it urgent to move hell on earth against Jean Assi who tweeted against him and Ali Itawi who posted a picture of himself kissing A STATUE of Virgin Mary.

What a joke of a country Mr. President!!!!!!!!

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Abou Daass a chief of zone in Tebbeneh 

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Manal Assi a women killed after being beaten by her husband

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Kids holding weapons in Tebbeneh

 

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Ali Itawi.His crime is posting this picture.

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Jean Assi

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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When I was a kid I wanted to be an Astronaut….

Now all I want is….to make it to another day….To live.

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Last night we gathered in the same old coffee shop in Jabal Mohsen playing cards,drinking Mate and conversing in a joyful mood despite the dire condition we’re living in.

Two days ago the violence against the Alawites escalated.They killed an innocent man in downtown Tripoli in broad daylight for the only reason of being an Alawite.

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A month ago a school boy was beaten to shit while he was in Azmi street shoping for shoes.He was Alawite.

But in the coffee shop all was behind us.We were laughing to jokes,talking about girls and whatnot.We repressed our worries about going outside our small area,to our universities or other chores.

Every trip outside this area was a risk taken of being beaten humiliated or maybe shot at. 

The government and Security Forces were doing nothing to stop this craze.The Jabal Mohsen controllers Rifaat Eid and his men were silent.The media was ignoring the crimes against Alawites.Our death and humiliation was of interest to no one.We were roadkill forgotten to rot in our small prison that is Jabal Mohsen.

Even the stray dogs in Tripoli had someone to support them when they were threatened to be killed by the Municipality.The burning of a Library owned by a priest raised more hell than the killing of an innocent Alawite in broad daylight a week after.

I sure do miss my friend Sam but he’s lucky to have left this death trap to a certain Southern American country.I always check his facebook pics and I really envy him.

This morning is a cold wintry morning and I’m in the cab heading to my university,earphones blasting some rock tunes,dark sunglasses to hide my worried eyes of my daily hellish trip.

I fell asleep thinking about the girl I love about her Auburn hair that smells like Jasmine and how I’m going to meet her this weekend in Zgharta and I’m gonna wear the new Jacket I’m wearing now that my Dad brought me from his last trip to Beirut.I always wanted this Jacket.

I woke up to the sound of shouts as the cab driver was slowing down.There was some weird looking men holding weapons pointing at the car.At first I thought they wear Security Forces until I noticed their civilian cloth.

I couldn’t understand what was happening until someone pulled me by my new Jacket and dragged me outside the car and I thought “SHIT it;s happening to me.I’m gonna get beaten to shit!!!!!”.

They told the cab driver to leave and they dragged me to a corner where they started beating the living hell out of me.They tore my new Jacket and shouted “Nsayri L Kalb” (Nsayri is the condescending word for Alawite and Kalb means dog) and all I was thinking about was when they’re gonna get over with the beating so I can go home.I wanted not to be Alawite.I wanted not to live in Tripoli.

They tore of all my cloth till i was totally naked.My body felt burning with scars and I could feel the viscus blood all around me.

They started writing something on my chest with a felt pen.

The pain was unbearable.

The pain…

When will they stop already??

Then they stopped.It was over finally.

I could hear a ringing in my ear and the pain…Oh God the pain.

I know I’ll heal.I know I’ll never comeback the same.I know…..

Then I felt something solid and cold in my mouth that tasted metallic and through the ringing in my ears I could barely hear “die pig”.

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I didn’t hear the gunshot but tasted the bitter taste of gunpowder in my mouth and felt my brain exploding……

 

Forget about the Tebbeneh/Jabal Mohsen clashes.Forget About the IRA (Islamic Radical Assholes) that are trying to take control the city in the name of Islam while distorting the real Islamic rules to fit their terrorizing goals causing harm more to Islam than to anything else.Forget about the so called “Civil Society” that’s majority is related to some Tripolitain politicians or affiliated to some parties or camps because  when I see emerging from its youth some groups or movements trying to make a positive change,working away from any political affiliation or with out any hidden agenda but to give the city a chance to show a better civil side,I’m hopeful.

Most of these groups are underground groups that aren’t professionally organized but are doing more wonders than any organized association  or NGO and giving tools to the youngsters of the city to express their talents or promoting a better future for the city.

Some of these groups are:

WE LOVE TRIPOLI

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Even though it’s an officially organized association but it done wonders ever since it started as a facebook page.

As I stated before We Love Tripoli started as a facebook page that was trending four years ago and I followed trend as a statement that expressed my love for the city.

My first encounter with the founders was when I received a facebook event invitation to attend a workshop  organised by WLT in Beit El Fan.

I went there by curiosity and as soon as I arrived I was greeted by a young man with a friendly smile that led to the a yard where the workshop was organised.That guy was Taha Naji,one of the founders of this group,a nice friendly guy who made you feel welcome.The other people present weren’t less warm in their welcome and it’s there where I met Hassan Osmani ,Mourad Ayache ,and Mahmoud Layla in addition to Taha.

This event was followed by many other events  known as “Shoot As You Walk”  that constituted of a walk in the streets of the city taking pictures documenting it.I bet WLT have the biggest repertoire of pictures of the city  that will be invaluable years to come.

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Through these walks ,where Taha and his friends managed to make you feel in a family,I met many great friends like the association’s President Ghaida Bakri.

Now that it’s officially organised it keeps on doing great initiatives to the city like visiting orphanages and elderly shelters while keeping on with the  “Shoot As You Walk” project that is now at its 57th trip.

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SKETCH JAM TRIPOLI

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It’s not just a bunch of kids drawing and sketching.It’s a community for anyone who loves to draw .An Idea started  by Saad Ruslan a friendly,funny and caring.The group gathers youngsters from different backgrounds,meeting once a week and maybe more to draw,go out and have fun together.Ruslan created a forum for people to share ideas,work in solidarity and promote a better image of Tripoli

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In addition to that the group gives a helping hand in community service like painting the walls of a couple of schools in need to brighten up the school moments of the students.

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*FREE HUGS

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“3abbouta Bi Balesh” or Free Hugs is a positive energy activity brought to Lebanon by non other than Tripoli’s own Natheer Halawani,a young engineer,blogger and photographer .

It’s true that it’s not practiced in Tripoli but in Beirut and Byblos,still it’s brought by a Tripolitain who gathers around him a dozen of Tripolitain youngsters and invades the streets of Beirut or Byblos where they’re joined by numerous locals that create a wonderful shining posse that brings joy and comfort to the heart of people in the street.

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So we can say it’s a gift from  Tripoli to bring warmth all over Lebanon

*TA3A NEKTOB (LETS WRITE)

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The genius of Souhaib Ayoub an energetic young journalist that doesn’t lack of Ideas brought this project to life,a workshop for boosting the writing skills in youngsters.

His unique way of mixing serious with fun brought tens of attendees to the workshop held every time  in a different place in Tripoli and organized logistically by AIE  where people from different ages and backgrounds (you can find 15 year old teenagers with 60 year old women,conservative Muslims and liberal atheists) gather and start sharing what they write.

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Every workshop session is followed by an intervention given by different specialists (Movie Director,Psychiatrist,Journalist….)

The beauty of that project is that it brought people from different backgrounds together in a beautiful energetic hive.

*GRIZZLY GANG

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A bunch of 15 to 18 yo skater teens tiered of seeing the image of their city defamed by the media and by the actions of some citizen decided to take over the city streets on their skateboards filling it with youth and life.And in order to promote a brighter more positive image of their beloved city they started documenting their lives and the lives of some other teens on Iphones and some amateurs application that they spread on youtube.

The result is a bunch of amazing short videos of what’s it like to be a teen in Tripoli and how to enjoy it.

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*UNTITLED MOVEMENT (MUTAZ SALLOUM & FRIENDS)

Mutaz Salloum is a young movie director who represents the example of the leader we need in Tripoli.With no aim to please the officials or the politicians of the city and with his love for Tripoli and human beings as only motive for his work.He is the total opposite of what we know as politicians or traditional civil society members.

Gathering around him a couple of friends that share his same ideals and motives, they started moving from project to project refusing any political sponsorship or involvement.

Mutaz is an old friend that I worked with in different projects  organized by Tripolitain NGOs but we started together the real independent work when we started in 2011 organizing with other activists one of the biggest events in Tripoli “Tripoli Car Free City” .

Later on and after the numerous rounds of violence between Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tebbeneh and the sectarian atmosphere engulfing the city  Mutaz called me and asked me about my opinion in a project that gathers youngsters from Jabal Mohsen and Tebbeneh outside Tripoli  giving  them a workshop about Tolerance and Leadership.

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The project was an enormous success gathering around 40 young girls and boys from both sides of the war zone.

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The next project was  a clown march in Tebbeneh and Jabal Mohsen distributing gifts and candies for the kids during Adha Eid in a time where the clashes were disrupting the peace of the citizen.

“Miled Trablos” (Tripoli’s Christmas) took place in December 2013  a huge Christmas Street Festivity in Tripoli,a city considered by the media unfriendly for Christians and occupied by some radical Muslims that burned a Christmas Tree two days prior to the festival.The festival gathered Christians and Muslims,Rich and Poor that enjoyed free games,dances,concerts and free gifts distributed by Santa Claus.A one of a kind event in Tripoli.

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And lately after some extremists torched the library Al Sa’eh owned by Father Sarrouj an Orthodox priest.The crew organised one of the largest protest in front of the library in support of Father Sarrouj (around 500 attendees) and proceeded in cleaning,saving and restoring the library.

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