Stories about Lebanon

Series 3 The Little Princess Part 1 Blushing with fear

Women are creatures of the spring. Their hearts do not beat, they flutter. Their dispositions are sweet like honey and their eyes deep as oceans, their smiles light up their surrounding and their voices are like symphonies. They light up candles, make wishes, find shapes in the clouds, make sand castles and dream their days away. These are the fortunate ones though. When real life unleashes its raw cruelty, the spring turns to autumn. Hearts get torn apart, dispositions are rendered naked and the eyes… oh the eyes are the worst…They lose their sparkle; the oceans dry and leave giant ...

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Why Muslims should empathise with Islamophobia

After 9/11, the world was pushed into a forced and impetuous war on terror by the president of the United States in 2001. A war on terror means nothing less than more terror and the aftereffects of the war have shown that the war achieved little more than destruction.  But the infamous George W Bush in his post 9/11 speech said, “I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit ...

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The Gulf States are defecating gold, but can’t offer relief to Syrian refugees?

The first time I came across these images I was overcome with grief. Later, the sadness was replaced by outrage, but the tears continued to flow. Strangely, all I can do now is remark on how beautiful this toddler is, even in death. Photo: Reuters His name was Aylan Kurdi and according to CNN he was only two-years-old. He, along with his four-year-old brother, Galip, and mother Rehen, drowned after their boat capsized near the Greek island of Kos. This family of refugees was trying to find their way to Canada. Reuters reports that their father, Abdullah Kurdi, was understandably distraught, “I was holding my wife’s hand. ...

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Where is Al Jazeera’s journalistic responsibility?

Al Jazeera News Network was recently in the news for relatively positive reasons. A surprise, one must say. Their editorial on “Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’”, grabbed attention not only among global media consumers but also various renowned media networks – who published scores of commentaries appreciating the stand taken by the media outlet. In their policy editorial by Barry Malone, Al Jazeera’s online editor, wrote, “At this network, we try hard through our journalism to be the voice of those people in our world who, for whatever reason, find themselves without one. Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice. Substituting refugee ...

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Is a Muslim scholar allowed to disrespect a woman?

Wow! That was my first reaction when I came across a certain incident making waves on social media, catching the attention of people globally. A gutsy Lebanese female TV host, Rima Karaki, strong-armed her guest, London-based Muslim scholar Hani Al Seba’I, live on air after he told her that it was beneath him to be interviewed by a woman. Being a TV presenter myself, I am very well aware of the fact that no anchor enjoys giving their guest a shut up call. Talk-show hosts are often bound by respect and obligation for their guests because of personal affiliations. It also takes a lot of ...

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Good vs evil: Where does America stand?

Having read through the 500-odd page US Senate report on CIA torture and all of its gory details, I can understand why the CIA, Pentagon and White House didn’t want this report to come out. Remembering the international outcry over the pictures that were leaked from Abu Ghraib and Bagram, the US intelligence services knew the powder keg that they were hiding from the world. They knew what they had done were crimes against humanity and no amount of verbal discourse would make this acceptable, tolerable or forgivable. There are two parts of this discourse that are disturbing to me as a human being. First, ...

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Hypocrisy at the Pakistan Football Federation is killing our chances at FIFA!

Despite lack of infrastructure, no comprehensive grassroots program and a mediocre league, Pakistani football does have one major gain – foreign-based players. Throughout the globe, national teams opt to pick the best players no matter where in the world they are playing. In Asia alone, you can see glaring examples with world cup candidate Iran recruiting players such as Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) and Daniel Davari (Grasshopper) from Germany to bolster their ranks. Similarly, Lebanon has done the same with a host of European-born Lebanese players opting to play for The Cedars on an international platform. As a result, Lebanon has reached the last round of the 2014 ...

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If Amal Alamuddin can bag George Clooney, so can we!

Dear Mr Clooney,  To most of us, Amal Alamuddin was just another name – she could be a friend, a neighbour or another acquaintance. But what we really didn’t know was that this name would one day be linked to you. We would have never guessed that you of all people, the fantastic silver fox of Hollywood, would tie the knot and that too overnight! She is engaged to you, the ‘world’s sexiest man’ and one of the most sought-after bachelors. I hope your ego has taken a huge boost while you read this. She has set the standard so high that if we had to ...

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Kahlil Jibran meets Rumi

I am Kahlil Jibran, a poet, born in Bsharri, Lebanon and buried in my beloved homeland. Despite lacking physical existence, my bonds with the earth have not been severed. Being a spirit, I can fly across space and glide around luminous stars; but, my spatial sojourns have not diminished my love for the beautiful earth, covered with gossamer clouds. Often, I zoom down to the earth and silently visit spiritual sites, immersing myself in the divine radiance. On a balmy spring afternoon, as I was daydreaming on crisp, cotton clouds, floating over Taurus Mountains, the sight of Mevlana Rumi’s cylindrical turquoise ...

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Culture cousins: Beirut and Karachi

The population is made up of people from diverse religious, linguistic, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Political parties are based on ethnic and sectarian lines which go hand in hand with political identities. Unity is relatively rare among the political leadership and the population in general. The masses blindly follow the incompetent and corrupt leaders and unfortunately some have no other choice as their livelihood depends on it. The same faces and names remain in power for years on end considering the main qualification for holding office is that you belong to a specific family. The blame game never ends (external or ...

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