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Make more Choco not war

August 14, 2014

Recently this video was circulating on my timeline:

I replayed the video a few times, each time waiting for the conclusion that should have come from it: Why export Cocoa beans for cheap when you can make it in to chocolate and rule the industry?

Why import vegetable when you can grow them?

Why export oil, when you can refine it, why import oil, when there is alternative energy?

Lack of education is a killer.

A little food for thought.

[Guest Post] We can make a change by the human right.

August 12, 2014

By Georgette Souaid

My article today, won’t be about economics, but it will reflect the hundred of questions in my mind regarding my point of view on the controversies of society in my country and around the world.
I will be writing about what I learned regarding the philosophy of human rights. If I base myself on logic and religion, theses two topics do not contradict the science of economics. Economy does promote human rights, sustainable development and the conservation of environment .
The declaration of human rights took place in 1789; it promotes the equality between all human beings. Is it what we’re seeing nowadays? A devoted freedom? Why don’t you apply it?
We’re always protesting and asking for our freedom. But do we know the real definition of the word freedom? Is it just Philosophical? and then what? Is it enough? Well no, because freedom alone won’t resolve anything without equality. But being equal is more important than being free. Being equal in rights and duties will give opportunities. To have an equal right to access information, for women and men to be equal, to have an equal life. By having theses we can obtain freedom. Freedom in life, and the freedom to enjoy of liberty.

Graffiti by PhotoLarks on Etsy.com – Thomas Jefferson Quote

It really saddens me, to think of how many people get tortured daily. Because they speak what’s on their mind, because they say what they want. All of this leads to “suppressing” our freedom. Our freedom shouldn’t be limited. But nowadays it is. So you must cancel the freedom of every person by law when using excessive liberty against humanity!
Every human right brings out the humanity in every person. It hurts humanity must be punished Even in a religious way. Religion regulates our every day life and give us values that we should respect. I don’t think that religions are very different , they all have one aim which is to bring out the best in each one of us, religion is based on love.
To be logical, I personally do not think that God is against equality. He does not make any difference between us, he is against oppression, but not against life, joy and music. He wants peace and not violence . God is love on the basis of all religions. He loves each and every one of us. He loves each and every one of us. …. he loves to be happy in life and live in peace and joy …. comes with love .. We can devote love to devote humanity …. Love can change us!
Yes, we all want to change some rules and ways of thinking to improve the situation in our country. Today, we , and by we I mean the youth of the world, are a big majority. We can all work together to make a difference. A small difference, at the level of individuals. You can be the difference or the change…..be the change!…This change will be based on love and communication between every individual, with no distinction of race, sex age and ideas. Show everyone that we can be who we want to be, thanks to human freedom and equality. It’s humanity that brings us together, and love that brings humanity.
Now, let’s take the example of my country-Lebanon. We are a country with freedom and democracy, but the most important part is that we are a country with a “message” because of the different religions and communities. But all of this doesn’t benefit us, because in reality all of this is not true .We do not think freely, and every individual does not have any freedom and there is a lot of discrimination (unbearable) . Our thoughts are modeled following what we’ve heard from our parents. Every family transmits their political view from generation to generation. As you know political views here in Lebanon are also based on religion. This isn’t freedom in my opinion and surely not equality.

Human Rights Graffiti in Malaysia

We, Lebanese consider ourselves as a country of religion and faith. If that is true how can we explain that Lebanon is one of the most corrupted countries in the world? Books on faith and religion refute fraud and corruption. Isn’t that contradictory? How can we actually consider ourselves as a country of faith when in reality we are living a lie .
If only we believed in humanity and/or human rights to be able to change our society. To be able to change our ideas on humans, and on racism, which is unbearable in our society. Every human is a person, no matter what his shape, color or religion are.
Up till today, we still make use of the word “abed” ( which is a pejorative word for black people ). That just shows how discriminating and evil our thoughts can be. I hope one day will come, in which we will truly be free!!!
Violence against women!!! …. Is that considered as human? God is love, …. he is against evil. Violence is evil. Where is faith going? But violence became an image we give of God and religion. Unfortunately!
Why do Arab women seldom live in oppression? Why is society against women in general? Women are human beings with an independent mind. She is human after all. And there is no difference between a man and a woman in their minds. One isn’t superior to the other.
We are no longer living in the Stone Age. The era of domination ended a longtime ago. Every thought and every word are made for both woman and men. There is no freedom if we are not equal, equality leads to freedom.
I tell women, that I do not keep quiet. Staying quiet tortures me!! …., and indirectly tortures the community. Whatever you have to say, say it. Express yourself !!!!
My faith is not opposed to my freedom, and my freedom does not come against my faith. Intellectual freedom, I was able to find the real faith, the faith of mankind, faith, human rights and equality. My faith in love. To live humanity. Through which we can make a difference. A difference in our society, difference and change in our way of thinking. To be able to present the best part of us, and tomorrow will be based on the true human freedom.

War on Terror Graffiti

War on Terror Graffiti via Filipspagnoli

Changes will only start once we change our way of thinking, and our philosophy. We shouldn’t blindly follow traditions and old ideas. We should liberate ourselves of all intolerance. Fanaticism leads to the suppression of intellectual freedom!!!!
Yes!! , changes happen through human rights : equality, love, reconciliations, help joy and most importantly peace.

 

Disclaimer: This is a guest post, all thoughts and ideas are a reflection of the author. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Lebanese Army; a saga

August 7, 2014

Let’s start with, I support the Lebanese Army till death do us part.
As a child i always dreamt of growing up to be a soldier, things have changed, when i found out girls don’t go to battle and there are millions of ways to serve your country.

Recently i have conflicted feelings about the Internal Forces, Army and all those “protecting” the state. As a person that attended protests against the sectarian regime which was always faced with a sea of ISF, whom on too many occasions ended up beating peaceful protesters.

Clashes in Tripoli as army tanks watch.

When the image of the army sitting ideally as masked gun-men stormed in Tripoli it was a hard blow for everyone. Noting that the image did not go overlooked, and that the soldiers were held accountable…. but no one really knows what happened and how.

The ongoing wars in the region have been harsh for everyone, the strategy is turn everyone against each other in a war that frees the land of humans and leave the oil and gas fields for the US and Saudi to lavish in. There is no army in Palestine, The armies of Syria and Iraq are in a war within themselves, and Egypt is split with Sisi’s coup of the government with pro-sisi and pro-morsi supporter turmoil, aka, the army is at war.

Middle East and North Africa Region torn at the center.

Middle East and North Africa Region torn at the center.

That leaves us with Lebanon, that small never stable (and too used to it) place, where the army still stands, not as a power, but a symbol as proud and high as the Cedar. Lebanese can disagree on many things, we even have multiple versions of the national anthem, but the Army and Cedar are what keep the countrymen holding.

Ironically, Lebanon is a country infested with guns and weaponry in every major political party (not just Hizbullah, sorry for the “wake-up” call).

https://twitter.com/samygemayel/status/496990625804210177

Yesterday, King Abdullah declared a Billion Dollars in aid for the Lebanese Army to support it against ISIS. this comes after announcing $3B of aid earlier this year in the form of weapons from France (which don’t exist yet), in the blame game, Saudi is saying that France is delaying, France is saying that the weapons and ready and Lebanon has and fucking clue. Ofcourse, the real deal is that the money and weapons will only be transferred if the army turns its weapons against Hizbullah  and / or fulfills some Saudi set criteria for eligibility, and / or, Harriri is broke and that’s a nice way of camouflaging them sending him money ;)
الحريري: الملك كلفني بإيصال المليار دولار للجيش – Saad AlHarriri: The King ordered me to deliver the $1B to the army

Some Factors:

Why is the Lebanese army weak in artillery, finance and numbers?

Weapons and Finance:

The army has been under equipped since the beginning of the invasion by Israel in the 80s to post civil war 90s and ongoing. When the Israeli invasion happened, that took the region by storm, but ever since the country has been split in a civil war and disintegration of state and the bulk of artillery was bought and maintained by militias fighting in the streets. When the civil-war supposedly ended, parties declared handing in their weapons to the government supposedly (ofcourse no one believes that), Hizbullah was not a major group yet at the time, but they never handed in their weapons.

Since the pseudo-peace the government has had no decision to strengthen the army in any form. Recovering from a 30 year war, there was alot of infrastructure and maintenance to get the country up and running, also with the chaos came a great opportunity for looting the cabinet). Besides the western embargo on having any army surrounding Israel have any real army power (queue the end of Iraq, Syria and Egypt).

So they can’t get weapons from the West, nor Iran & Russia, in fear of economic repercussions. where do you get arms from? and how do you afford them when Nabih Berri and AlHarriri’s loot the country’s resources, abuse the system, get away without taxes and bills? Who pays for the bullet that save a Lebanese child?

So when the government that is driving the army of financing does a call for financing by citizen donations … I don’t know how to feel about it.

Numbers:

A few years back the parliament (who rarely agrees on ANYTHING!) voted against compulsory military service. For a country surrounded by turmoil.. who’s fucking bright idea was that????? Syria has invaded Lebanon for decades and still has a major influence on its turmoil (I’m not blaming refugees), Israel doesn’t hide its aggression and continues to violate Lebanese airspace on almost daily basis!

 

Economist’s Graph on International Military Personnel (size)

Jordan is at “Peace” with Israel, so it’s no threat, but a strong war rages against Iran, Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Syria to eradicate any army “bigger” than that of Israel’s, as they widen their scope of compulsory military service, and ISIS continues to the kill the people for them.

Recruit them to become the slaughterers of their armies… sounds like a brilliant sinister plan. Turn the people against their armies, and the clergy against science. Death by the zombies apocalypse.

On a lighter note, here’s some comedy:

Yes these are the brilliant elite that run this country. *facepalm*

Open Letter to #Indiegogo

August 6, 2014

Dear #Indiegogo community team.

This campaign may not be directly against your regulations, it’s a sugar coated version of the continuous aggression against the people of Palestine and the death of it’s civilians.
Although I support the building of temples and synagogues, this comes at high cost when it happens by a body that has no respect for human rights, religious tolerance, nor credibility.

I realize Indiegogo is based in the US, the sole love of Israel. I just ask you to switch of the Media and watch what is really happening in Palestine.

Prohibited Content: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/876301

Jerusalem Post: Amid war, right-wing organization calls for Third Temple initiative, angering pivotal J’lem council
Al Jazeera: ‘Third Temple’ crowdfunding plan aims to relocate Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock

Build the Third Temple - Hasbara

Build the Third Temple – Hasbara

#MashrouLeila for #President

August 1, 2014

#MashrouLeila for #President.- No other artists have gathered youth across the region, rich and poor, black or white, like the blissful voice, enriching lyrics, and outstanding music of #MashrouLeila.

The fact that the lead singer is Gay spills towards a feared reality: We are all Human, beyond the social clutter.

It’s one thing to oppose legalizing marriage for homosexuals. It’s another to call for their condemnation and abolishment.

We all have our interpretations of religion, rarely do people adopt the love interpretations. When fear becomes our religion, what differentiates us from savage life?

I support Mashrou’ Leila’s right to perform their mesmerizing tunes across the globe as they raise our flag and pride high. (in contrast to the bullshit that reigns our media!)

What is the difference between Fouad Al Adem and #ISIS? Nothing.

 

Fouad Al Adem's post ridiculing Hamed Sinno and homosexuals.

Fouad Al Adem’s post ridiculing Hamed Sinno and homosexuals.

 

Fouad El Adem  فؤاد العضم مشروع ليلى

Fouad Al Adem Follow up post.

It’s important to note that this great “man” is a Free Patriotic Movement representative in Zouk Mikael. There are Lebanese homosexual people across the world that support the FPM, as the case with life is politics and person are not the same.
Will the FPM discipline people that speak in it’s name with no respect to others? Would you vote for them?

This is NOT the Lebanon I want to live in.

The concert is tomorrow, Saturday, August 2. Tickets available @ Virgin Ticketing

 

This post is based on this article (and some poking on social media): Daily Xtra: Mashrou’ Leila and lead singer Hamed Sinno still set to perform at Zouk festival

 

Mashrou’ Leila in Concert

KUMA Games uses #ISIS to advertise it’s #Fail

July 8, 2014

I was reading an article about the Mariam Yehya, the Sudanese women sentenced to death for switching religion to Christianity in Sudan, (article link: http://www.mugrn.net/ar/13887) when upon scrolling down I saw this:

بالصورة  تضامن ناشطين مع مريم يحي الطبيبة المتهمة بالإرتداد عن الإسلام

 

Translation: “Da’ash” (ISIS) – Free War Game

I clicked on it ofcourse… and I got to this site: http://wahdatalnimr.com/

العاب اكشن وحدة النمر

A game (ofcourse arabized) by KUMA Games … in New York.

Very mature and culturally sensitive. Very.

Manual: When to start a revolution?

July 4, 2014

The Arab Spring (yes, there were real revolutions in the past two years, for those that prefer to blame chaos on conspiracy) has altered the region dramatically and dictatorships have killed tens of thousands of citizens in the past two years.

But what started in Syria marked the end of the spring that was launched in Tunis, as we know it. Ofcourse a quick glance of the region… not a single country’s leadership deserves the reign (please don’t object by saying Dubai is perfect, reality check: it’s not!).

Mohamed Abu Khder who was murdered and burned by Israeli settlers by @Occupy2gether Palestine

The Syrian crisis has been ongoing for 2 years now. Neither a solution nor a peace treaty seems to be looming in the horizon. Other countries still in turmoil: Bahrain, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq(ofourse!), Yemen, and the never-ending Palestine (and Lebanon by extension of everything, as always). With the “Islamic States of Iraq and Sham” ISIS, ISIL, Madmen with beards and bazzukas, or whatever you wanna call them, declaring an “Ummah” of their own on top of existing borders (not taking consent nor opinions of  their citizens… zionism much?), AND, declaring Caliphates for each state to “rule” them, where are the eyes of the region?

ISIS

ISIS declares their “ummah” by Reuters

@Alaa Abdel Fattah and 15 Egyptian activists sentenced to 15 years in prison for peaceful “protests” #Egypt – Picture by Reuters

Protest is Sudan in support of Mariam Yehya who was charged with Execution because she changed her religion to Christianity in #Sudan

Well… FIFA for one, vacation in Europe, and ofcourse… the epilogues of yet another “Bab El 7arra”.

If you’d like to start a revolution, a protest, a humane call, here’s what you should avoid, in order to get any attention:
1. FIFA
2. Champion’s League
3. Ramadan
4. Eids (both of them)
5. Christmas
6. Summer (May through October) – It’s just too hot for people to think or focus + vacations, no schools, etc.
7. Weekends (especially Friday)
8. An Armin Van Burren Concert in the region
9. 9PM on weekdays (weekends are out of question) – that’s when prime movies are showing on TV
10. Talent Shows on MBC1 – all of them. just not a good idea.

When can you have a revolution, protest, or a remotely dire discussion to the vitality and existence of human kind in the region?

Monday and Tuesday, between 8 – 9 PM

We can rally all (what’s left) of 300 Million citizens in the region and give them a minute each on tv every Monday and Tuesday for an hour. That’s 5 Million hours / 2 days a week / 52 weeks a year = 48,076.9 years.

That’s probably how long we’ll need to realize we are ignorant and inhumane! It takes more than giving pocket change to a young begging girl to become human. Why is this child on the street to start with, why is she not in school, parents? law? government? where are your taxes going? Where is the returns from the money that the governments are laundering from you? Why is there no R&D in the region? Where is our right to speak? to learn? to work and conduct business?
Where is our right to breathe clean air? unpolluted food? 24/7 power and water? Internet … some decent affordable internet!!!!

Where is our right to exist?

(apologies for the graphic image… but this has to be seen)

Syrian citizens crucified in Deir Hafir, #Aleppo by #ISIS via @green_lemonnn

I  disown the Arab League for forbidding me from my basic right of travel within countries they claim are related by language (which they are not) without the bestowed permission of authorities that i’m not a threat to their national morals (being a Lebanese girl is always a threat to cultural morals). Let’s just cut the crap and end the nostalgia of unity “Arab” nations… bala habal.

Let’s have a revolution next Monday night at 8PM, we can even vote for the topic we want to protest!  It’ll be a blast!

 

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