Lebanon: Communities and Contradictions

The Lebanese blogosphere is growing like crazy. This means that the following summary is not all inclusive. And in the attempt to cover as many new blogs or newly discovered blogs as possible, other interesting posts and/or blogs are missed. But you can always find links to worthy blogs in previous summaries or check back here every week.

The end of last week was the end of the fasting month of Ramadan or Eid al Fitr, and Amal commemorates the occasion with a not-so-smiley face reflecting the situation in the region: (the script in the photo is Arabic for “Happy Holiday”)

Happy Eid

The issue of the Lebanese Jews is not a popular topic of discussion in Lebanon. The Jews of Lebanon is a blog tackling this topic in particular. In this post the author summarizes and critiques the book “Jews of Lebanon: between coexistence and conflict” and declares that the Lebanese Jews were pioneers in promoting nations independence.

There is a Palestinian community in Lebanon. Most of them are refugees since 1948. And Hilal has this to say about them:

We ,as Lebanese, are one of the reasons for Palestinian misery in Lebanon TODAY. This is a purely humanitarian issue. We must review our ethical priorities. Or else, please Lebanese, don't complain about “ignorance” and “extremism” in the camps, they are just the outcome of your “ethical” view.

Bottom line, Palestinians do not bite. You can go to the camps and see how they live and then return and tell me what do you think about it.

On a totally different note there is Carpet Techno who specializes in blogging Lebanese technological news. He has this very interesting project called LebPedia : the Lebanese Encyclopedia. It's a wiki about Lebanon editable by any visitor. And he is searching for enough volunteers to start adding content.

Going back to patriotism, Free Cedar writes a long list of ‘contradictory’ reasons that make Beirut so lovable:

I love Beirut for its opposites. I love Beirut because I see a girl in a Mini skirt and her sister in a Tchador. […]
I love Beirut because I'm the first to call my Muslim friends on Ramadan and they are the first to call me on Easter.
I love Beirut because on May 1st I see Muslims visiting Harissa (Virgin Mary) just like I see Christians.
I love Beirut because we can differentiate between a Jew and an Israeli.
I love Beirut because on the 22nd of every month I see Muslims going to St.Charbel and believing that a miracle will happen.
I love Beirut because as soon as I arrive at one of my friends houses his mom takes me to the kitchen & becomes the spokesperson of the refrigerator
I love Beirut because one can smell gardenia and jasmine. […]
I love Beirut because women go into the swimming pool with full make up.
I love Beirut because guys go in with their cigars.
I love Beirut because it has been destroyed 7 times in History and has risen.

But on the other hand, JoseyWales comes out as an example of a growing number of disenchanted Lebanese who are leaving the country with no intention of returning.

Thank you God. Thank you God a million times for taking me out and away from my original country of idiots.

I once swore I would never ever again put my safety and my family’s in the hands of the incompetent fools who run Lebanon and its security. And I get daily confirmation that I should stick, ever more strongly, to this stance.

Nevertheless Burned continues to post on the best places to visit in Lebanon. The latest is about the skiing resorts recommended with photos.

Stories of the aftermath of the war never ends. Especially with the uncovering of new facts everyday. Nisrine reminds the world that Israel has admitted its use of banned phosphorous weapons in July:

After agonising denial and media spinning, Israeli Officials admits to using phosphorous bombs in the infamous July war. Confessing in the ABC of legal logic is self-incriminating. So in the mind of any sensible human being following the disgusting attacks, Israel is guilty as confessed. Consequently, Israel should be punished as by international law.

Unfortunately Geneva and its conventions will not take action. No sanctions will be called. No premptive, punitive, or proactive measures will be even contemplated. The international community will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and will allow Israel to place itself above all international law.

For Remarkz, it is the environmental reasons, rather than the political or ideological reasons, that are behind a post he titled “Anti-Americanism”.

Finally, how many different or contradictory hearts do you believe there is? Maya[at]NYC has an interesting collection of them:

There are hearts made of steel. They bend but never break. The scratch never appears. Rust however may take its toll. And one day they wake up with rust in their soul. Who wants to live with a heart of steel?

There are hearts made of rubber. They bounce back after each fall, may scratch at the surface, but the cut is never too deep. They make loud noises when bouncing, and tell everyone about their trip. Who wants to have a rubber heart?

There are hearts made of crystal. They look refined, they feel refined, they sound refined. And who said fragility is not refined? One strong shake and the heart is broken. Irreplaceably. Who wants to be with a crystal heart?


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