Stories from Quick Reads and Lebanon
Investigative journalists and people interested in social media in Lebanon are in for a treat at the end of this month.
The hands-on training will take place from 2pm to 6pm and covers topics related to the emergence and development of citizen journalism in the MENA region, reporting for the Web and online media verification.
Launched in March 2015, Global Voices Checkdesk is powered by the globally minded team at Meedan; working from San Francisco, Cairo, Vancouver, London and Beirut. It is a multi-year project combining research and open curriculum development with our University partner Birmingham City University, open curriculum development and training with a set of community media initiatives, and content creation through a growing network of regional media partners.
GV Checkdesk is run by Global Voices Lebanese author Joey Ayoub and Global Voices Bahrain author Faten Bushehri, who, along with a team of volunteers, have been tracking citizen media reports on breaking news across the Middle East and North Africa region. The goal is to collect witness accounts and other reports under one platform, and then verify the news, before it is used as part of our coverage at Global Voices Online. To join our GV Checkdesk team, please sign up here.
To find out how Checkdesk works, sign up here for the workshop. Hurry up as seating is limited.
Blogger Royayah Chamseddin, a Sydney based Lebanese-American journalist and commentator, shares a list of books on Islam, feminism and racialization in this blog post on her blog Letters from The Underground.
The list, which will continue to be expanded, includes links to some books which are available for free download in PDF format.
“To further its vision of showcasing and promoting as best as it can the local talent”, the Musical Collective “Beirut Open Stage” has launched its online platform.
Their new website, which compliments their YouTube channel, allows live viewing of performances as well as staying up to date with their latest events and spotlights. Aspiring artists can also apply and have their talent recognized by the ever-growing community that is Lebanon’s crazy artists.
Beirut Open Stage has been a leading advocate in promoting some of Lebanon's greatest bands and singers, including Adonis, Allen Haze, BandAge, Charlie Rayne, Eileen Khatchadourian, Elepheel, Etyen, FareeQ el Atrash, Flum Project, Halib el Nawar, Jammit The Band, Joy Fayad, Karim Khneisser, Lazzy Lung, Loopstache, Mashrou’ Leila, Maya Aghniadis, Michelle & Noel Keserwany, OAK, Pindoll, Poly, PostCards, Rama's Whisper, Ramly, Sae Lis’, Sandmoon, Scrambled Eggs, Split Second, Tania Saleh, Tanjaret Daghet, The Banana Cognacs, The BnB Project, The Flying Filangees, The Incompetents, The Missing Pixels, The Wanton Bishops, Vladimir Kurimilian, Wake Island, Who Killed Bruce Lee, Yasmine Hamdan, Youmna Saba and Zeid Hamdan.
The question “How Should Middle Eastern Women Dress in Public” posed by the University of Michigan is attracting hilarious spoofs online. The content is so rich that an additional post to our first one was necessary.
When Washington Post Max Fisher shared the original image on Twitter, he wasn't expecting this response by WSJ blogger Tom Gara:
— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) January 9, 2014
But the spoof that got the most attention was undoubtedly Karl Sharro's of KarlreMarks:
An Arab university ran this fascinating poll about what is most appropriate for American women to wear in public. pic.twitter.com/uIta80i1f8
— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) January 9, 2014
Interviewed on PRI, he explained his motivation:
“It's almost like putting Muslim women on a scale from 1 to 6, from being fully covered to not being covered at all, which I think is pretty absurd.”
Lebanese blogger Karl Sharro tells us how the newly introduced police lineups work in Lebanon here.
The Qnion – or Lebanese blog Qifa Nabki, shares the scenario of the “likely military strike on Syria.”
The plan includes:
we’re primarily considering two sets of Tomahawk missile strikes (between 8 and 11) launched by the USS Mahan and the USS Gravely against a set of military bases in the Syrian desert, including but not limited to… [ruffles some papers]… and let me see if I can get these names right: the Marj Ruhayyil Military Airbase, Al-Nayrab Military Airbase, the Suwayda Army Base, the Marj al-Sultan Military Heliport… Wait, no scratch that. My bad. The heliport is not under consideration. I mean, it may or may not be under consideration. Let’s see, where were we? Oh, also the Shayrat Military Airbase and the Khalkh… you know what, I’m not even going to try to pronounce that one.
Lebanese blogger Habib Battah narrates how he was held against his consent, forced to delete photographs of ruins from his phone camera and repeatedly assaulted in this post on the Beirut Report. When he reported the case to his local police station, the officers in charge said it was his word against theirs. He adds:
KAFA (Enough Racism and Violence) posted [Ar] that the migrant domestic workers in Beirut celebrated Labor's Day by holding a demonstration in which they demanded an end to the Kafala System [Sponsorship System]. The demonstration culminated with a gathering in a public park where the workers shared different aspects from their respective cultures.
Najib at Blog Baladi won the “Blog of the Year” award in Beirut's first Social Media Awards event. He wrote this post about the ceremony in general with comments on some aspects of its organization. He also includes comments about the attitudes of some of the attendees such as those of celebrity Haifa Wehbe, among others.
The account set up on October 27 has attracted about 17,000 followers so far — and a confirmation from the man himself.
Yes it is me
— Walid Joumblatt (@walidjoumblatt) October 27, 2014
Lebanese blogger Mustapha Hamoui quips:
After a three day hiatus after starting the account, the man went on a Twitter storm. To date, he has amassed 666 tweets, all in English, discussing Lebanese and regional politics and other tidbits.
Aaron Ross reports on his investigation in the heart of the ongoing human trafficking of young women from Madagascar to Middle Eastern countries:
For some enterprising businessmen, the collapse heralded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So-called placement agencies sprang up in Antananarivo and other cities across Madagascar, promising the good life in Middle Eastern “Eldorados,” where monthly salaries usually ran around $200. The agencies would pocket upward of $2,000 for each successful transaction [..] As Madagascar’s economy spiraled downward, the number of migrants grew anyway. Some headed clandestinely to Lebanon with the collusion of government officials. Of late, however, the most popular destinations have been Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Ross also details the consequences from of economic sanctions of the coup in his report. The topic was also discussed by national observers here.
Lebanon's traffic authorities have launched a don't drink and drive campaign ahead of New Year's eve celebrations. On Twitter, the traffic department shares this photograph:
Six world powers and Iran are discussing Iran's nuclear programme in a two-day meeting in Geneva. Lebanese satirist Karl Sharro comments on Twitter:
The Western sides at the P5+1 talks with Iran are playing good cop, bad cop, over-enthusiastic cop and insufferably pretentious cop.
— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) November 9, 2013
On August 23, two bombs exploded in outside two mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Forty-seven people were killed, and over 500 injured.
Joey Ayoub, at Hummus for Thought, shares a must-read testimony of the heartbreak at the hospital of a friend who was in Al Salam mosque when the explosion happened.
The friend writes:
Perhaps the biggest pain they caused wasn’t the dead, nor was it the injured. The injured will heal, the dead will be martyrs. The biggest pain they have caused us to feel is the feeling of helplessness and confusion, wondering if we can do anything to make things better only to realize that we never can.
Qifa Nabki writes:
“Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water has launched a new [billboard] campaign promoting the benefits of off-shore oil exploration for the average citizen. The ads contain shots of smiling people aside captions like: “My children and I are staying in Lebanon“ or “I’m going back to work in Lebanon!“”
He continues, sarcastically “Why stop there? I think the Ministry needs a nudge in a more ambitious direction” and suggests adding: “Streets free of traffic jams, private jets, manaqeesh (a pizza-like Lebanese dish) with salmon and caviar, space exploration” etc.
The Eleventh Room posted some funny tweets about Beirut’s first Social Media Awards event. They said the Social Media Awards hashtag #SMABeirut was going strong on Twitter days after the event. They added:
“As we were going through them, we couldn’t help but laugh out loud at some pretty sarcastic/hilarious ones. So, we thought we’d share them on our blog.”