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WishList: Made In Lebanon

April 8, 2014

My mom is a super crafty person: a brilliant dress maker, cook and everything DIY. I grew up believing you shouldn’t pay for what you can make yourself, and to evaluate what you buy by its quality first.
Being a workaholic i have less time for DIY but still have a fondness for quality handmade everything.

Being in Lebanon for the past few years, i was hoping to adopt a more hand made lifestyle… but it seems more difficult than I anticipated.

Glass furnaces no longer roar like they used to. Crafty carpenters sit with grim faces. Home made produce has been hijacked by the “organic” and priced up. Quantity & “made in China” has triumphed the market place.

Bokja Design Chairs – Modern, Creative and Local.

The core of the problem is not that people don’t want hand made goods. It’s that these professions are abandoned by newer generations that are moving into desk jobs and “i want to be a manager” attitudes. We respect the suit, not the human in it.
One thing i loath about traditional academia is its celebration of theorizing and analyzing rather than doing. Not everyone is cut out for books. Many undergrads frail through college, only to graduate into mediocre jobs, unemployment, marriage or a mobile-phone-credit-refill shops.
Elite schools have more opportunities for children to explore their talents, but how many children go there, how many can afford to?

Recycled Blue Glass – GGRIL (did you know that glass is 100% recyclable and that there’s only one glass furnace operating in the country still?)

The problem: Social pressure, Education, government support.
Social pressure:
What did you really want to be when you were young? A painter? An actor? A designer? What made you tick and drew a smile on your face? Every passion can be a profession! It takes some work and perseverance, but also passion, to succeed.
Maybe it’s time to pick a hobby, and fly with it. It disgusts me that many parents label hobbies and pets as a “waste of time” and “juvenile” – even though they are essential to teach time management, compassion and discipline.
Education:
Did your arts teacher really teach you how to draw? craft? or anything… my siblings’ art teachers sit in the classroom and gives them crayons. done. nada. no techniques, no art history, nothing :/  (yes she gets paid to do nothing, and have the nerve to protest!)
Music, Arts and Sports (and anything non-traditional”) are under appreciated subjects in school curriculum, not enough institutes are available across the country to endorse these talents either. For heck’s sake, there isn’t even accessible Dabke classes!

Ants Accessories – Makhoul Street, Hamra

Government support:
How about we cut taxes for craft industries, support and endorse them through subsidies and incentives? Facilitate distribution, safety measures, protect intellectual property… or furnish the government buildings and public facilities exclusively thoroughly local furniture, glass, paper, stationery, etc?
It may not sound like much, but imagine how many public institutes and buildings (whether offices or barracks) exist in Lebanon and how many chairs these require… enough to keep many carpenters busy!
Also how about the Media stops labeling made in Lebanon as “ooh shu exotique!” and use a more assertive tone and promotion ;)

Made in Lebanon [Green Glass Recycling Initiative] [Ants Accessories] [Bokja Design]

Carpenter / Saida, Lebanon

Carpenter / Lebanon

Glass blowing / Lebanon

Wishlist: Public Transport at Beirut Airport

March 18, 2014

Is it too much to ask; to be able to arrive at the airport get on a bus, train, tram or ferry and head to a station.

Public transport in the Lebanon is so under developed, ironically the “conflict of interest” for Van #4 drivers, cab drivers and other infamous routes always seem to be an obstacle for any progress.

Arriving at the airport of any country / city, is a reflection of your trip to come. Arriving at Beirut Airport is … let’s just say… a nightmare. Between haggling cab drivers, smoking policemen and intrusive luggage workmen, it’s not the most pleasant experience (and probably a true reflection rarely portrayed by the Tourism Ministry Ads).

The main challenges: Consistency, Quality and Reliability.

Charles Helou Station © Haytham al-Moussawi / Al Akhbar

Charles Helou Station © Haytham al-Moussawi / Al Akhbar

An idea:
Two buses should leave the airport every 30 minutes to two destinations: Cola Bridge Station (main station for all transport heading South) & Charles Helou Station (main bus station for heading North). (– A single bus stop maybe designated on route to/from the airport for midway pickups and drop offs.)

A clear route map and schedule of buses should be available at multiple locations throughout the airport to guide arrivals (in Arabic, English and French)

The buses need to be monitored and controlled by the airport to make sure they are on time and meeting cleanliness and hygiene standards. (maybe some of the ideal staff can have some work to do ;) )

The same should be available for arrivals to the airport; a consistent bus that leaves Cola / Charles Helou every 30 minutes to the Airport.

Beirut 2020?

Questions for 2014 أسئلة لعام ٢٠١٤

March 14, 2014

Questions for 2014 أسئلة لعام ٢٠١٤

شو وضع الكهرباء؟ سفن وجبنا…وين الكهرباء؟
هل سيبقى نبيه بري بالحكومة بعد سن التقاعد؟
حيسير في انتخابات؟ ايمتى و ليه؟ بتترشح ميريم كلينك؟
التوقعات ل٢٠١٤ بتقول في صلحة بسوريا على المستوى الطائيفي… اتفاق متل الطائف؟
بيبقى الشارع اللبناني “هنّ” و “نحن”؟
بيضل في حوريات بالجنة؟ او بتقلب “مثلية”؟
بيبقى في شعب بالبحرين برا الحبس؟
هل يبقى السيسي؟ وايمتى بيطلع علاء عبدالفتاح من السجن؟
كم دولة من “الربيع العربي” تعود الى “حالة الطوارئ” ؟
هل يسقط التاج؟
العالم شو وضعوه من الاحتلال الإسرائيلي؟ ايمتى بتفقد امريكا الأمل؟
هل يسقط اوباما؟
في أزمة عالمية جديدة؟
في سواح هالصيفية؟ بدنا سواح هل الصيفية؟
لي ما في باص على المطار؟
لي مكبات الزبالة بعدها بتحترق بالغلط؟
شو سعر الرصاصة؟ وال ب٧؟ طيب الكلاشن؟ امريكي؟ روسي؟ ايراني؟
بكم الليلة بالمعاملتين مع تناقص الطلب؟
بتنزل بورصة الجواز السفر اللبناني أكتر؟
مين ليبيا؟
بلا مزح في “دولة” داعش؟ انا بعد مش مستوعبة الخبرية…
وعاملين اسم البلد “acronym” كمان!!
شو ممكن تعمل على كذبة نيسان بعد أكتر من هيك؟
بتصّفر السما وتزّرق الشمس؟
بيتصالحوا عندالمنعم ونيكولا وبيصير عنا انترنت أسرع بالبيت؟
بترجع فاطمة؟ او بتنتقل على حريم السلطان؟

بتتذكر الحكومة تفتح شي حديقة او فسحة خضرا بالمدينة؟
بزيد عدد مستوعبات الزبالة على زواية الشارع تحتى ما يكون عنا حجة نكب بالشارع؟

 شو وضع مافيا الڤالة؟
ومواقف السيارات عامة؟

كتير صعبة نشيل الثلاث صفر حد الواحد، وتصير الليرة تحكي؟

بيرجع الله بيلتفت ببلد اسموا لبنان

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Censor Ministers not Bloggers

March 12, 2014

Here’s the deal; I’m a design major, and through out my college years have been assured ENDLESSLY that media / awards are mainly sponsorship and financial based.
You can always do the math, the higher sponsorship levels always get more awards, by coincidence… It could be that they have $$ paid more for applications, say for … 20 website applications, at a rate of $5000, and want to send in your management for a couple of days, about another $5,000 – quite a budget; we haven’t even booked tickets yet! But you have submitted a ton of material, more likely to be reviewed and more likely to win something (this is the benefit of the doubt)
However, that doesn’t make you an award, that makes you a supermarket, you pay more, you get more.
Many younger and vibrant boutiques / agencies /individuals are doing amazing work, but you are only rewarding those that can afford it, and those are not many… Is it fair? Financially, yes? Is it professional… shove it!

Is Rita right? She doesn’t have to be, that’s why it’s called a blog. It’s an opinion and an honest one for that matter.

Instead of Pan Arab Web Awards reaching out to her after realizing the problem, taking the feedback (and waking up to their rep) and introducing changes, or even embracing or explaining the reasoning behind their strategy… *drum roll* … they tale legal action! [more]

Deja Vu moment:
Benihana Kuwait [review] [lawsuit]
Abir Ghattas’s Photo
Zeid Hamdan (General Suleiman Song) [story][release]
and the list is endless…

And to think that “web awards” being a little more “digital” and assumptivly more “open minded” would know better than to take that root. But they might as well be running Kitten beauty contests (oh wait that would actually be better, since it would promote more adoption… or something).

How about we take on another approach, can we sue Butros Harb for his sectarianism and Randa Berri for her fight against women’s rights (which is against the UN Human rights, which again, btw, we are signed on as a country)! Can we sue MTVLebanon News for the love of wrong news (always reporting casualties, blocked roads and death before confirming them, always deleting their tweets and changing their titles!)

Pan Arab Web Awards vs. the Web

Pan Arab Web Awards vs. the Web

Wishlist: Digitizing TeleLiban’s Archives

March 9, 2014

Digitize TeleLiban’s archives, all of them, and upload it all to Youtube.
TeleLiban has a wealth of media from the past decades that need to be available for the newer generation & the older generation to recall their history of a civil war still bleeding. Also, for a glorified progressive educated and lively past, of a country that shines it’s beauty under the ashes.

What is needed? Probably permissions from the Government… digitizing film machines, man power (and video enhancing talents) and internet. (Oh and permission from the station)

Since the quality of videos is probably very low, enhancing them would be very important and uploading them should be relatively ok.

Keeping in mind that TVs ran very specific short programming in the past also means that the content is not a 24hr stream…

Teleliban Zajal

While back the “past government” allocated budgets to support the station (Tele-Liban gets glossy hi-tech overhaul)
I don’t how this was affected by the current interim government… nor how ambitious the overhaul is.

With a place holder website and a stagnant Facebook page… will TeleLiban meet the expectations of the new world? Can we help?

Get The Government Out Of My Ass!

February 28, 2014

Update/ March 9th.
Qatar Airways and Emirates Airline under-fire when faced with their employee policy that bans their attendants from getting pregnant or even married while part of the fleet.

Qatar Airways even had the nerve to blame the backlash on their Qatar2022 plans (which are webbed in rumors if money and corruption). The CEO even stated “”If you come to seek employment with Qatar Airways we give you a document that these are the rules and regulations, if you as a mature individual accept those conditions, then you shouldn’t complain.””

I don’t know when he missed the memo on Human rights and the end of slavery , but that is the epitome of human rights violations. That’s the equivalent of saying: “i’m paying you less cause your a woman and i will put you on birth control because i can and no one can judge me”

For a country that claims the the believe in God, or any form of religion of mercy, this is a disgusting and bigot claim. No human has the right to control a person’s right to marry and procreate, just to make their “investment” worthwhile.

Humans are not investments, they are beings with lives, not property nor bonds and no one has the right to claim otherwise, let alone some blood thirsty war mongering country that is lavishing in the downfall of others.

Oh wait that obviously adds up.
I’m sure the law also applies to Qatari women, oh wait Qatari women don’t work as cabin crew they are too “cool” for that.

AlArabiya | Arab News
–———————
We have agreed over and over again that Lebanon is not a sovereign government / country; tied between the worse of world evils: Russia (Syria/Iran) & US (Saudi/Qatar). So it rightfully bugs whenthe bl governments of either of those, or their extended networks have some nerve.

Pretext set.

Cause:
Protests over Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan ‘ban’ on lacy underwear
ECE ready to consider proposals to change the requirements for underwear [Russian]
Russian ban on lacy lingerie meets cries of panty persecution
ثورة السراويل!؟

Do governments have nothing better to do than ban and meddle with our vaginas? Literally.
You can’t have contraceptives, abortions, tampons, sex or underwear without the consent of some “guardian angel” glaring in!

Hygiene and safety should be taught not banned.

How about incentives for young manufacturers who are working on cotton clothing?
Or tax cut downs on local products and textiles.

The global IQ of governments is reaching the rock bottom of absurdity day after day.

K- Lynn in Faraya Lebanon @ 2008 (Conservative Country)

Lately I have been contemplating the role or governments and their necessity in running our lives.
Lebanon is prime for this; government or no government, life goes on.
It’s not ideal, but if the government worried more about administration and function than “governing” the people. It would actually work. Ministers and ministries are money laundry and corruption monsters, drilling into the resources, power and money of the country.

Why can’t we outsource it once and for all to private companies? With minimal administrative overlook on quality and delivery.

Decrease costs, increase efficiency. Get out of our vaginas!
Worry about more important things… like electricity, unemployment, abuse, media manipulation leading to disorders ( mental and physical ), and and and …

women buying lingerie

Pre- Valentines in Beirut

This is not to say that the Russian government is bad because it’s communist/ socialist, i know some reading this might be happily thinking that (and one of the links above is FoxNews). The supposedly “democratic” west is not better. Abortion and contraceptive pills ( +morning after) are still a debate in court in many american states [another] [another].

Capitalism, socialism, feminism, racism, whatever ism you’re suffering from, doesn’t have to start with the vaginas? Do people really not see beyond the walls of birth?

Get out of our vaginas! It’s not your business what we wear and don’t, nor what we pop or bleed!
I’d rather keep my vagina and lose governments.

Pussy Riot

شحادين يا بلدنا

February 26, 2014

شحادين يا بلدنا…قالوا عنا شحادين
نشالين يا بلدنا… قالوا عنا نشالين
محتالين يا بلدنا… نحن شوية مساكين
مظلومين يا بلدنا… إيه وحياتك مظلومين
.
عطشانين يا بلدنا… والميّ بخمس وستين
جوعانين يا بلدنا… وما عندنا رز ولا طحين
طفرانين يا بلدنا…. وبالتعتير مليانين
محتارين يا بلدنا… ليش منشكي محتارين
.
أراضينا للبيع للأغراب .. يا بلدنا
جرايدنا للبيع للسفارات .. يا بلدنا
ضمايرنا للبيع للجواسيس .. يا بلدنا
على أونا.. على دوّي.. مين بدو يشتري مين
.
نحن يا أهل المروة..
مساكين مساكين..
وزرا ونواب للبيع..
مدرا وحجّاب للبيع..
شعرا وكتاب للبيع..
كلو كلو للبيع..
.
ليش منسرق .. ما سألتونا
منسرق لأنه سرقونا
ليش منبيع .. ما سألتونا
منبيع لأنو باعونا !!
سرقونا الكبار… باعونا الكبار
ونحنا حرامية دراويش.. صغار.. صغار
صغار صغار.. صغار.. صغار!!
.
شحادين يا بلدنا… قالوا عنا شحادين
نشالين يا بلدنا… قالوا عنا نشالين
محتالين يا بلدنا…نحن شوية مساكين
مظلومين يا بلدنا… إيه وحياتك مظلومين..

حسن علاء الدين - شوشو

حسن علاء الدين – شوشو

 .ما حداً بينسى شوشو ونفسه المتواضعة البسيطة، الشخصية يلي كانت تضحكنا من الهم وتجمع الترفهة مع الانتقاد الاجتماعي، الموسيقى والرقص والضحك.
شوشو بينذكر عشان قليل انو ينعاد…

حسن علاء الدين(شوشو) ونبيه ابو الحسن وانطوان كرباج وعصام رجي وجوزيف عازار

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