Levant: Bloggers start warming up for World Cup 2010

The World Cup will kick off in about three weeks and bloggers across the Levant have already been busy using their keyboards and camera shutters trying to capture the hysteria that engulfs the world once every four years.

Syrian and Lebanese national teams have never qualified to the World Cup finals, yet that does not stop people from being hardcore fans and showing their admiration to their favorite teams in any way possible. While Lebanese blogger Rami from the +961 blog was content with certain aspects of the football fever, he was not impressed by some of what his compatriots are doing. He says:

people are getting those mini flags for their cars and balconies, it might seem silly but it’s cool as long as it makes people deviate a bit from the political discussions.

Still, it really is pathetic when you get a flag that is more than 1 meter in width or length! I’m pretty sure you could have put that spent money for a better use!

Photo courtesy of +961 blog

From Syria, Nasdaq on the other hand was occupied with analyzing the different reasons people get behind a certain team, highlighting religion as a factor[ar]:

تطالعنا الأخبار كل فترة حول إسلام احد اللاعبين بالتالي زيادة شهرته في العالم الإسلامي وتوجه الناس  لتشجيعه وتشجيع فريقه وحمل صوره و و و فقط لأنه أصبح مسلماً و لذا تشجعه .
Every once in a while we hear that a player became a Muslim thus making him a star in the Islamic world, where people start cheering for him and his team in droves and carrying his pictures, etc. Only because he became a Muslim and only for that.

And he goes on to comment on the “resourcefulness” of the Syrian youth who can't afford to pay for premium channels so they decode them and watch the games for free instead:

طبعا لا احد يشك بقدرة الشباب السوري على تجاوز كل المعيقات التي تظهر أمامه – عدا المعيقات الرسمية –  للوصول إلى أهدافه ، منذ أن كانت مجموعة محطات ART بأوج قوتها قام بعض الشباب باختراق شيفرة الترميز  للبطاقات، ومع دخول الجزيرة الرياضية وغيرها تحركت مواهب الشباب وأصبح لدينا جيش من خبراء فك التشفير  الذين لم يدرسوا في الجامعات ولم يقرأوا كتب في هذا المجال ، وربما تغلبوا على مهندسين في كسر الشيفرات الصعبة ومشاهدة قنوات رياضية مشفرة ومجانا .
Of course no one doubts the abilities of Syrian youth to overcome all the hurdles that are in the way, apart from governmental ones, to achieving their goals. Ever since ART channels were in full swing some guys were able to decode their cards and by the time Al Jazeera Sport was launched we had an army of decoding experts who did not study it in universities nor learn about it in books, and perhaps they're more capable than engineers in deciphering codes and watching premium sports channels for free.

Lolitto comments by saying that she's cheering for the Italian team and the reply comes swiftly from Nasdaq:

You're a girl, so it's only normal that you're cheering for Italy. When my nana (grandmother) was young, she also cheered for the Italian team and they were even more handsome than they are now according to her.

And Independence '05 blog , from Lebanon, publishes more photos of the “flag industry” that flourishes due to World Cup:

Flags for sale in Beirut – Courtesy of Independence '05

Courtesy of Independence '05

And like the others, she dwells a little on the reasons of the somewhat excessive expressions of excitement for world cup, but reaches the same conclusion:

the result? It's FUN FUN FUN.

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