Lebanon: Anti-Semitism, Fist-Fights, etc

Check out the following topics freshly picked from the Lebanese blogosphere this week. Enjoy:

A Case of Anti–Semitism?
An intense argument erupted between Prof Marcy Newman, who lectures at the American University of Beirut, and one of her colleagues after she sent out a flyer to AUB faculty announcing that the Lebanese Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid (LCEIA) would be screening two films as part of their campaign. Prof Newman posted her statements and the responses she got from the colleague. It is an interesting debate, considering that it is taking place in the political science department of one of Beirut’s prominent universities:

So apparently I'm a self hating Jew. Maybe I can be the poster child for this. I was called that yesterday by a colleague in the political science department at AUB. I was also called an anti-Semite, which I suppose is the same as self-hating since I am a Semite.

Questions for the Non–Secular
With Lebanon falling rapidly towards sectarian polarization, NightS poses these questions to the “non–secular”:

Questioning your god/faith shouldn't be a pissing off subject!!
Think about it:
-All the prophets/messengers lived on this earth weren't born with the faith they spread later.
-They had to think, wonder, analyze and “question” the existing faith to reach the new one.
-If they didn't “question” anything, they wouldn't have been what they are to us now.
-People followed them after they were convinced, convincing needed some “thinking” (both sides).
okay so far?!

Barricades and Graffiti

The police sets up barricades on the major streets of Beirut every evening. Some are in the neighbourhood of a diamond in sunlight. “These aren’t concrete barricades,” she states, “but metal fence barriers set in the street in such a way that they make a slalom course for passing cars.” And she also posts a photo of a graffiti showing metal fence barriers with figures of people bending the bars and trying to pass through them. About this she says:

I like to interpret this graffiti as showing the capacity of the Lebanese to find lucid possibilities in even the most constraining of circumstances.

Fist Fights
Jamal reports on how short-tempered Lebanese are when driving. Luckily, for us, he mentions that these fights begins suddenly and ends abruptly. And as most of Jamal’s post, there is always some political implication involved.

The Lebanese on average have a shorter fuse than other great civilizations; but put a Lebanese dude or dudette behind the wheel and the whole concept of a fuse instantaneously combusts. I witness road ragers go at it on a daily basis. Most of the time I watch amused from afar wishing I had a camera on me to capture these priceless moments; when drivers burst out of their running cars and punches are exchanged for a couple of minutes until traffic moves again and everyone rushes back to their cars and order is restored. The sudden start and abrupt end to the fight always fascinates me. Sure, the insults hurled by the drivers resonate long after they driven away, but it does end and never escalates beyond the initial round.

Virginia Tech
Some posts were about the Virginia Tech shooting incident that took the lives of 33 students in the USA this week, especially since two of the victims were Lebanese. Blacksmith Jade posts the photos of Rima Samaha and Ross Alameddine, the two Lebanese students who died in the incident. While Mazen call on bloggers to join the One Day Blog Silence campaign for the victims of Virginia Tech.

Politics and Marriage

Finally, this analogy, comparing Lebanese politics with marriage from MacDara:

Lebanese politics, something like marriage:
Imagine a situation where someone wanted something but refused to tell you what it is they want. Exactly how are you meant to figure out how to help them?
Well the answer is that you must blindly accept that they can get what they want before you know what it is that they want. Only after you agree that they get will they tell you?
It of course sounds as if I am discussing a marriage but actually, I am discussing the Lebanese Political situation.

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