Archive for category Editorial

Baath, ISIS and FIFA

Things are not what they seem. The Baath party failed to fulfill its “eternal” objectives set out for the lands lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. Da’esh (known as ISIS or ISIL- Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria- in Western media) is not laying the grounds for an Islamic Caliphate that would take us back to the days of Muawiyah, Omar or Andalusia, and FIFA is far from reviving football at grassroots level, in every corner of the world, as it is pretending to do. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our Next President: King Carl Gustav

“Syria had established a monarchy under King Faisal Bin Hussein and the proclamation of a kingdom or an emirate in Lebanon was not greeted with any opposition from residents. Yet, the French wanted us to be republicans, so we became republicans…”

“Mount Lebanon lived in the Mutasarifiyah era for seventy years under a system pretty close to the monarchist regime. Why don’t we go back to those days and establish a long-term small-sized administrative council with advisory and legislative powers, and the state will be headed by what we call Emir or King rather than Mutasarrif?”

Iskandar Riachi

 

‘Who will be the next President of the Republic of Lebanon?’ A question frequently raised by the media, the politicians and the public as if anyone knows the answer. As if we lived under a parliamentary democracy in the first place to speculate who the next President will be. Is the current Parliament, whose mandate has been extended, even qualified to elect a new legitimate Head of State? Is it normal for the Speaker of Parliament to be Shia’a, the Prime Minister Sunni and the President of the Republic Maronite? Is it normal to distribute posts based on sectarian quotas? Is it normal for a Za’im (depending on the circumstances that dictate who that Za’im will be) to have the final say on whom to hire and promote to public posts from his sectarian community? Does it really matter whether we have a President of the Republic if there is no Republic to begin with? Read the rest of this entry »

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O Bankers of Lebanon, Set the Tires Ablaze!

It is common knowledge that at stake is not the issue of the pay scale; it is not the issue of public property encroachments or of tax evasion and inequity nor is it the issue of mismanagement and of squandered funds at the Lebanese customs and the land registration services; the issue is not simply one of the decline in public education or of the brain drain nor is it one of social security or lack thereof. At stake is not the issue of the pollution of Lebanon’s air, water and soil either; it is not an issue of heritage destruction nor one of amnesty laws or of thousands of missing persons who have faded into oblivion; it is neither an issue of intermittent power supply and poor road maintenance nor one of irresponsible officials assuming positions of responsibility or of citizens acting as goons for the Zua’ama; it is certainly not an issue of the Zua’ma complaining that they are being victimized by their people or of foreign powers meddling in our domestic affairs. At stake is an amalgamation of all these tragedies combined. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Lebanese Are Better Than We Think They Are

How do we balance between what we know in theory and how we live in practice? Ironically, the powers and technologies that have transformed the world into a global village have partly contributed to our segregation into separate clans, tribes and sectarian groups. How can we satanize and eliminate the other person? How can we reduce him into nobody, into a bitter enemy, despite our knowledge that the self and the self of the other are one? How dare we speak of “coexistence” and “civil order” while we fail to have the simplest dialogue in a peaceful manner? We extol the virtues of love but fly off the handle if someone begs to differ with us. Where is our scale of values? What is our point of reference? Do we use the same standards in evaluating issues and politicians irrespective of our personal interests? Read the rest of this entry »

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Lebanon’s Game of Musical Chairs

The few comments made by Ziad Rahbani about the Diva’s (Fairouz) admiration of the Sayyed (Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah), were sufficient to send the March 8 camp into an elated and celebratory frenzy and its March 14 rivals into tantrums of reprehension and condemnation. Whether it was intended or not, Ziad’s declaration deployed the Diva in the trenches of the March 8 Forces, but put her in the cemetery of the March 14. Fairouz did not utter a word. Her son did and Rima, her daughter, responded. So why was the backlash aimed at her? Read the rest of this entry »

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Hypocrisy in Giving

  • Q: What is the occasion of this fancy ceremony?
  • A: It is for raising funds for the poor.
  • Q: Do you work for the organization?
  • A: No. I work for a reception services’ company to bid you a cordial welcome. Read the rest of this entry »
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The General’s Son

general-son

He was not an activist for the Red Cross or the Red Crescent. Mattityahu Peled, known as Matti, was a Zionist General born in Haifa in 1923 to a father from Belarus and a staunch believer that Palestine was a land promised to him and to his people. For its sake, he engaged in atrocious fighting and killing with the Haganah. Yet, during a fascinating journey, the General went from a military hawk during the Haganah madness and later during the systematic violence of the Israeli Army in 1956, 1967 and 1973 to a peace activist, reconciled with himself and “the other”, and embracing a two-state solution, in a metamorphosis worthy of admiration. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maktoub

“..It was all written by God- maktoub.” Those were the words of a Lebanese survivor of the Australia-bound boat tragedy that unfolded off the Indonesian coast. Indeed, our birth, our land of birth and the families we are born into are all ordained events- maktoub. We were predestined to hail from Qab’it, Akkar. But what’s more? Read the rest of this entry »

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Nour and Reem Chamseddine – Two Success Stories

Most of what we write brings distress to the heart. Most of what we see casts a gloom on the spirit and most of what’s around us creates an aura of pessimism. But amidst deepening gloom, bright spots emerge to defy the dark.

Laborers sweating from dawn to dusk, survivors fighting sickness and poverty with a smile, industrialists, traders and craftsmen reaping the yields of their efforts with self-dignity, yet without arrogance, citizens saying no to humiliation, bribery and oppression; those are the unsung heroes. They solicit no posts or money and implore no favors from sects and Zu’ama. Never do they serve as talebearers. Never do they stab a nation or a friend in the back. Read the rest of this entry »

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1985 and 2013: Peak Years for Killings

1982 was the year of car bombings par excellence. Hardly did a month go by without an explosion ripping through Lebanon. As a matter of fact, a total of 34 car bombs exploded that year, thus translating into 2.8 explosions per month. 1985 on the other hand was the peak year for killings with approximately 317 Lebanese dead and 1198 injured in car bomb attacks.

Putting aside the operations against the Israelis, the Americans and the French, which claimed a number of Lebanese lives along the way, the list of yearly car bombings by the highest death toll would be as follows: 1985, 1981,1983 and 1982. Which year ranks fifth?

Here is the gist. It is 2013. At least 74 people were killed and 678 injured in four car bombings that hit Lebanon until mid-September. These numbers put the year 2013 fifth in the list since the 1975 Civil War, and first since 1985. This year alone has seen the death rate of 54% of the total deaths in car bombings since 1990. In other words, the death toll in 2013 exceeds half that registered in 23 years.

No wonder the Lebanese are packing up and leaving the country and the PTSD levels are high.

Jawad N. Adra

drawing

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