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#GGRIL now fundraising!

October 19, 2014

It’s no secret, this blog is a fan of the Green Glass recycling initiative by Cedar Environmental. [here, here and here]

Why we should care about recycling glass? Oh let me count thee ways…
1. less landfills (which in Lebanon means trash mountains)
2. less glass ending up in forests and causing fires
3. saving the last glass blowing workshop in ALL of Lebanon (the Phoenicians would be ashamed!)
4. did you know that factories are now IMPORTING glass for beverages, yes, we IMPORT glass, because after the last Israeli war on Lebanon the investors have run away…
5. citizenship is a contribution, and small steps are what matters.. be a role model for future citizens, just maybe, the next generation may have some ethics to save us!
6. the recycled products are pretty cool, come in recycled packaging and is available across venues in Beirut.
7. did you know glass is 100% recyclable?
8. because this is the founder’s love epilogue to the recycling:

IMG_8972 IMG_1483IMG_8970IMG_8973

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The Dead Arabic Dream

October 13, 2014

The regional situation is so sad, that singing about it has become our only remaining past time. (even ISIS’s troops are imported!

This beautiful video (and vocals) has been circulating for a few days…

…and the comments section (as always) makes me lose hope. Loads of morons condemning singing and calling for the caliphate, calling the women whores. I fail to see hope at the end of this tunnel.

All the recent videos / songs remain a slither next to the one the blasted throughout the Intifada days, with Mohammad AlDurra’s dying images (which have been declared false last year as Israel is cleansing its media image, without a blip of discontent from the dormant masses)

At some point we believed there was hope, it was a shiny life. But those that have sold our lives… have a marvelous tactic of making the center of the world a dark abyss of hatred. Arab what?

The Little Drop – Is humanity worth saving?

September 26, 2014

أول الغيث The little drop

The art of webisodes and online video content is one that is gaining undeniable traction in the region due to its grasp on youth’s online attention span.

After my addiction to Shankaboot & Takki, I can’t believe i actually missed this webisode that started last month: The Little Drop أول الغيث.

—- I have one problem with the whole series: the opening graphics… very TV drama reminiscent … bad. Really, please change them. —-

The episodes evoke a reality that we like to hide from. One that we are happy to pretend is one-dimensional, that evil is not us, that racism is our opposite & that terrorism is a person and not a machine that can turn anyone into a bomber.

The story touches upon:
Syrian refugees
Parental pressure
Unemployment & need for money
Youth & digital
Corruption through religion & institution
Organ black market
Immigration
Terrorism (and specifically, ISIS)

For 15 episodes… that’s a whirlwind!!

The most resonating angle for me is recruiting terrorists from young men in vulnerable situations.

If you want to control an ignorant person, package all void in Religion

If you want to control an ignorant person, package all void in Religion – Ibn Rushud -

Being a person that is faced with this occasionally through my younger brother (15). His classmates father has taken the liberty to attempt luring him to sermons and prayers, as well as, ongoing preaches about what religion should be and how my brother needs to change his habits. To clarify some things: these preaches are happening without the parental consent, the classmate is barely passing in school while my brother is the first on his batch. I’d rather my brother respects religion, but remain secular in his outlook, which he is good at!

We look at people who are bombing us as if they have come from another planet, we sometimes look at the army and ISF as of they are not one of us. (which completely legitimizes their campaigns that emphasis their belonging to the people) We also look at political parties’ recruits as if they are imported sardines! It soothes us to think that these people don’t belong to “us”, they are a “them”. It justifies our rage to see them as group, a “them and they”, not as names and faces, individuals, with families, children, friends, mothers and siblings that probably don’t approve of their switch to radicalism (even though the seeds of racism lurk our social consciousness)

It’s heart throbbing to accept that these terrorists are humans, with families and lives that have been lured by the endless mechanisms of a very sophisticated and merciless war machine.
I’m not justifying ISIS’s actions or saying we should cut them some slack. But i look at these young men and women in videos and streets, and see humans ( a humanitarian failure on my behalf maybe ), not guns.

Radicals answers to survival are ignorant violence

Radicals answers to survival are ignorant violence

We are born humans before being churned into a religion, class, language and flag.

Everytime a bomber explodes to ashes, they seem to get younger. I see a person whose childhood friends are secretly weeping as they don’t dare publicly miss and love a terrorist.

People are killed for the same reason others are raped: to be taught a lesson. To be put in place. To prove power. To prove to themselves before anyone else that they are right and others are wrong. That maybe if they are able to reach a majority they maybe, just maybe, be going to heaven, or make their parents proud. Or maybe they can fill the void.

Terrorism, like Rape, is an action, not a reaction.

(Disclaimer: the American government’s terrorist list IS NOT the reference for “terrorists” in the world. However their buddies could easily fill that gap ;) )

Lulu kills Daesh

September 24, 2014

Today i read this brilliant op-ed, What if Loulou could kill Daesh? by Raafat Majzoub, about the new world war and the role of media machines in making it happen. I agree with every word.

If no one attended their ( or Al Aseer’s ) press conferences, who would have ever heard or believed them? Just like Palestinians don’t exist to FoxNews, ISIS / Daesh should not exist to the world.

Impulsively i had to help loulou kill Daesh. Meet Loulou.

Little lulu joins ISIS DAESH

Rape, War and Boobs [NSFW]

September 23, 2014

What offends us more…
Nudity – the picture of a boob that fed us; a vagina that brought us to life.
Or
Women forced to cover, banned from driving, banned from visiting a doctor without a patron, raped in the name of God?

What offends us should be the extremity of both. The fact that we actually need the two polars to realize that they are both degrading and unnecessary. As long as it is by choice, real choice and a woman has control of her life, I frankly don’t care if she walks around naked or dragging a tail.

It’s terrible that we are still even discussing this. That rape is still excused as a reaction to horniness caused by the victim, completely ignoring rapists own words in all scenarios: “She needed to be taught a lesson”

ISIS IS ISTUPID, Future is in women's hands! @Femen_France @FEMEN_Movement @femeninna @FEMEN_Turkey @FEMENSWE pic.twitter.com/eiT2pGhK3L

ISIS IS STUPID, Future is in women’s hands! @Femen_France @FEMEN_Movement @femeninna @FEMEN_Turkey @FEMENSWE pic.twitter.com/eiT2pGhK3L

The future is in women’s hands, I look at chauvinist men (and women) and I see ignorant mothers. I blame ignorant mothers. A man with no respect for their nurture is a man with no respect to life itself, birth.

I saw this video of young women in India raising awareness about Rape culture and how stereotyping gender “roles” and “behavior” builds a sense of right to dictate behavior upon women and “punish” them for breaking the “roles”.

Is being veiled enough to protect from a predator that thinks your out too late?
Is wearing a swimsuit at the beach excusable for a man (wearing technically boxers) to rape?
Is this culture of lies, really buying this madness?

Rape is an Action, not a Reaction.  

and in a very weird way … the US and ISIS have managed to gang rape more people in the name of peace and freedom than those that claim it in the name of sex!

le-femen-contro-l-integralismo-religioso

Alia Al Mahdy’s extremism in Nudity to send a message to #ISIS

Women and Veils

The very recent evolution of what is acceptable as “covering” up.

Male-Dominated-Culture-300x229

Oppression is the thought and not the garment.

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.

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