Friday, June 30, 2006

From Lebanon 20

The Sahsouh.

The Sahsouh is a ritual performed on a male who's showing off a freshly cut head of hair.
It aims at restoring a feeling of warmth to a recently-shaved, cold, and naked neck through a severe blow from the palm of a hand. The Sahsouh is always accompanied with the word "Naeeman" which you'd think means "Die motherfucker!" but is actually part of hair cuttery pleasantries.

There are no documented cases of paralysis caused by a Sahsouh, but any look around town shows that brain damage is clearly widespread.

Everytime we try to shed the image of violence associated with our culture, something like a Sahsouh comes up and pushes us back to square one.
It is an act performed by people of all ages that are close to the hair styled person. By close I mean that they know his name and/or are within striking range.

Sometimes a Sahsouh is preceded by the Sahsouh jingle that is meant to help you prepare mentally for the inevitable moment of contact.

So the next time you see a man sporting a hairy neck in Lebanon, know that it is not a grooming mishap but rather a defense mechanism to save his neck. I'm not sure if the same criteria works for other body parts.

The Sahsouh; yet another proud tradition from the hairy homeland.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

National Sausage Fest Day 500

As I type this Elie Skaff and friends are once again meeting to discuss a defense strategy against summer season bugs and mosquitoes. Don't you hate it when you're enjoying a day on the beach and a zionist dragonfly dives into your mojito? That won't happen anymore if Elie Skaff gets his way today in session #500 of the national dialogue.

Today also marks 500 days of searching for the Truth. Well 500 days of searching for justice since the Truth has been known since day 1: Rafiq Hariri committed suicide.

Beirut was ranked as the 32nd most expensive city in the world this year, yet I see a lot of "Bas 500LL" shops around town. I wonder what can you find at these shops. Are they just stocked with gum and Bonjus?

500LL is the bus fare, but beware of being spotted in a bus. It's social suicide; you'd be permanently blacklisted at Crystal.

500 Palestinians will be crushed under 500 tanks in the next week. 500 people worldwide will notice, the rest are busy watching the World Cup.

500 also happens to be the average temperature in Beirut these days. It's Graduation season these days, so every day 500 Lebanese people get in line to apply for visas. $500 is the average airfare they'd have to pay.

Yalla off to work now. "500 kirmal allah bas 500."

Monday, June 26, 2006

Job Searching is a Piece of Baklava

Job searching in Lebanon is very easy. Grab As-Safir for example which is one of the Top 3 dailies in Beirut. Look for the job listings . On a good day you'll find 3 jobs listed, two of which are in the gulf so that leaves you with one ad which you excitedly circle.

"Office in need of a Dactylo-savvy female secretary, submit photos to Mr. Sleaze."

You don't remember what a Dactylo looks like so Voila , your search is done.

I didnt' say finding a job was easy, that's of the 7th impossibilities*.

*If you happen to know what the 7th impossiblities are , please do feel free to share that knowledge.

Friday, June 23, 2006

More Sex Talk

This poll was taken in 2003 (Courtesy of : Information International) when the now famous Kodder was in college.

Less than 50% of Females who don't approve of premarital sex state Fear of Family or Society as the reason. So we have roughly 50% of the College Age Society who tolerates premarital sex even if they don't necessarily practice it. On top of that, more than half of those who disapprove of it do so for reasons other than the "Taboo" Factor (i.e. Personal Conviction, Religion, STDs). Some might argue Religion is a Taboo factor but that opens a whole other can of worms.

In my opinion these reasons are to be respected as part of the Lebanese culture and not to be mistaken with evil cock teasing techniques that women practice just to see their loved ones with blue balls.
The tolerance level of premarital sex at USJ for example is probably higher than many conservative western colleges. So, in conclusion, these numbers prove that the Lebanese Society (at least those in their 20s) is not as sexually frustrated as some are arguing.

Whatever your taste is , there is something for you. So what some are labeling as Taboo, I prefer to call Tabooleh. It is something to be cherished and preserved and not something that should be changed.

Enjoy your weekend.

PS: No personal insults will be tolerated.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Francogate Update

The Romanians are willing to compromise by withdrawing the invitation to the Prime Minister and instead inviting a couple of not so prime ministers. However, they are still stubbornly refusing to budge on the Constitutional Council issue. Bush, however, promised he won't rest until Romanians stop interfering in Lebanon and stop impeding true democracy. He won't rest.

He'd better do something before they start Ceauşescuing the Lebanese. On second thought, there are a fewthat deserve to be Ceauşescued... peacefully and democratically of course.

For the record, when I say Romanians I'm just referring to the Romanian regime. We love the Romanian people and we appreciate their labor force's contribution to the Lebanese economy, especially in Summer. Some might argue that they take jobs away from the Lebanese but that is not true because the Lebanese just won't do some of the jobs the Romanians are willing to take.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A's to Q's

Kodder the gutter minded blogger asks: What is your favorite position?

I follow the Jumblatt school of thought on positions. Years ago, Kamal Sutra Jumblatt traveled to India seeking spiritual enlightenment and while at the Mumbai Barnes and Noble he picked up a book. A young Walid came across this book and was heavily influenced by it. When he grew up he decided to apply this book's philosophy to politics. That is why you see him today trying a different position every day: for, against, dishing it, taking it, on top, face down, on the side, but most of the time just wacking off.
That's where I stand, I hope that answers your question you sicko.

Laila asks: Shu derij hal iyyem? (What's in these days?)

Shame on you! You call yourself Lebanese? You should know this question is forbidden in Lebanon. We don't ask, "What's In?" We are genetically designed (by the best Italian genetic designer) to always know "What's In." Of course, I can't share that answer with anyone because then everyoone will be A La Mode, and I won't be able to criticize them for being Passe and Unlebanese.

For your effort you do get the Ras El 3abed which is so not Derij. You will have to pay for shipping and handling though. I will ask Lipos, the worst named corporate marketing mascot in the history of badly named corporate marketing mascots, how much it costs to ship a box of Lebanese grease to Massaasssachusssssetttssssss.

Mgh asks: Will Lebanon ever become the Orient's Switzerland again?

At the right angle and with favorable lighting, yes. But the question is who wants to be like Switzerland? How boring is that?

Agy asks about the nicest bikini on the beach and where I saw it.

I was at La Guava in Rmeileh yesterday and there were plenty of nice bikinis, but the nicest was this black Victoria's Secret with a strapless top. The bottom was filled up in a way that would put J Lo to shame. I think that's as far as I can go without getting in too much trouble. But I do hear Eddeh Sands is the Best in Show.

Amal asks: Emta Raji3?

Kariban jiddan jiddan jiddan.

Mgh again asks are Shib3a farms Lebanese or Syrian?

Right now the Israeli flag flies there. Since that's not option, we'll have to take it down and see what happens. If a Syrian flag rises, then they are clearly Syrian. Now if A Barazilian, German, Italian, Argentinean, and English flag go up, then they're clearly Lebanese.

Hilal wants my opinion of General Orange's cleanliness.

I say of course he's clean , but not by choice. There just is no loot to be had when you are constantly on the losing end of wars. Currently, he once again finds himself on the outside looking in on all the fun being had, but I have a feeling he'll have his chance soon. Let's see if he can resist the generosity of Shaab Lubnan el Atheem who's willing to fall in 2 years' income worth of debt just to please their leaders.

Eve asks: what is the thing that made you decide to leave everything behind and return to Lebanon?

I longed for the smell of Cedars in the morning, that is why I moved to El Hamra.

Thank you all for your questions. If you still want cheap candy you can try again later.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Je suis Francophone

Tu es Francophone.
Il est Francophone.
Elle est Francophone.
Nous sommes Francophone.
Vous etes Francophone.
Ils sont Francophone.
Elles sont Francophone.

Il serait Francophone?

I'm not sure what is more ridiculous; that fact that there is a Francophone Summit or that this Summit's invitation has caused this much commotion on the local political scene?

Heck, it even achieved the impossible task of buying Lahoud some love amongst a group that was calling for him to "Fel!" a couple of months back.

Meanwhile, the Romanian deputy foreign minister was in Beirut today and he was blamed for the inexplicable obscene national debt, the brain drain, the erosion of Lebanon's greenery, 50 Cent's 50 minute scam of a concert, ART's lame production of World Cup studio shows.....

Friday, June 16, 2006

On Vacation ... I wish

I'm hoping to spend the next couple of days on a beach as I 'm completely burnt out. It's a plan that will probably fall through, but in case I succeed in getting away I have decided to leave an open mike behind.

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to drop me any questions you would like answered about Lebanon. Political questions, Social, Cultural, Culinary, Spy Networks, Invesigative Teams, Sports, Fashion, Curitiba, Warfare, Shoe Size....

Anything goes even if it has nothing to do with Lebanon, ... just kidding, I know that's impossible.

A box of Ras El 3abed or Bonjus will go to the best Question.

Expectations vs. Reality

Red= Expected Route, Agreed upon drop off point, 10 minutes, 1000LL
Blue= Actual Route, "Lucky I was Dropped off alive" point, 30 minutes, 0 LL

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tale of Two Cities

Curitiba, Brazil (Last Night)

The streets were as timid as the Win

"Just a few motorists hoisted flags, and only a handful honked their horns.
No fireworks were wasted after this unsatisfying display.
Before the game the atmosphere at bars was animated ...... after barely a 1-0, dissappointment was the only thing present as people paid their bills."

Beirut, Lebanon (Last Night)

5 pm (5 hours before kickoff) Cars Honking, Firecrackers cracking, Flags Waving, Chants of "Ba Ra Zil" all over town.

8 pm Cars Honking, Fire crackers cracking, Flags Waving, Chant of "Ba Ra Zil" all over town

10 pm (Gametime) People still on the streets, Cars Honking, Flags Waving, "Ba Ra Zil"etc...

Midnight (Final Whistle) Fireworks, Heavy artillery fire, Cars Honking, Flags Waving, "Ba Ra Zil" all over town

1 am Normal people Trying to sleep, Fireworks still going strong, Car Honking increasing, Flags Waving, "Ba Ra Zil"

2 am Normal people still trying to sleep, Car honking not showing any signs of slowing down, Flags Waving, "Ba Ra Zil"

3 am "Kiss Emm El Ba Ra Zil Akhou Sharmouta!!!"

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend Recap

Do I have to abide by the pact of honor? I am sure this blog does not qualify as a media outlet that’s causing tension between various communities of Lebanon or a media outlet period for that matter. But I do have at least double the readership of some of the Beirut dailies. Who the heck reads Al Liwaa or Al Sharq Newspaper?

I’ll play it safe though, from now on I will only talk positively of our divine political leaders since everyone has some good qualities. It isn’t fair to always point out their shortcomings. For example from now on it’s no longer criminal warlord Samir Geagea, instead it’ll be Doctor Samir Geagea, albeit with an extremely low patient survival rate.

On to the World Cup, I used to be very skeptical of witchcraft and voodoo. Saturday night, however, I witnessed Swedish players trip or slip every time they had a clear chance to score (which was pretty much all game long.) For a klutz like me to trip and fall is a very normal and common occurrence, but for world class athletes to spend 90 minutes on their asses something supernatural had to be interfering. Whatever it was I am happy for Trinidad who celebrated Zero-Zero as if they had won the World Cup. Off course, they’ve got nothing on the Lebanese who take to the streets celebrating after each single game played in this World Cup, Win, Lose, or Draw.

Finally, Brammertz turned in his second report, and The Truth is… lost.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Genuine National Unity

There is only one place in Lebanon where people are truly united. Every single person there no matter their sectarian allegiance feels exactly the same as all the other people around. Abu Elie stands teary-eyed right next to a veiled Imm Hussein. They look in the same direction looking for the same thing. They’ve been waiting for this moment, for who knows how long, two, five, maybe twenty years. The last things on their minds are all the divisive slogans, the color differentiations, and the God-complexed demagogues.

This place is the Arrivals Area at the Beirut International Airport. Everyone in Lebanon stands there at some point in time. Now if we can only bring the Lebanese there all at the same time. What would happen? Would the Lebanese people see that problems that plague Lebanon affect everyone and do not discriminate between the sects?


Thursday, June 08, 2006

National Sausage Fest – Episode June

This promises to be the hottest session yet. While outdoors it will surely eclipse 30 degrees, the heat index will easily trump that mark inside the Parliament building.

Spoiler Alert: I watched a sneak peak and here's what will happen. If you don't want to know how it ends and would like to see it for yourself tomorrow skip the rest of this post.
The first scene shows everyone except Hassan Nasrallah walking into the building, looking to their left, and waving at the cameras. Everyone wonders if Hassan Nasrallah is actually coming.

Once inside they find Nasrallah is already at the table, so the first dramatic instant ends uneventfully. Then the media comes inside for photo ops, hypocrisy, smiles, hypocrisy, handshakes, and more hypocrisy. You wonder who's the bad guy and who's the hero. Could they all be bad? No,can't be! Impossible! There must be a hero. Of course there is one but we don't know it yet; it's Elie Skaff.

Amin Gemayel speaks first asking the dialoguers to declare June 1st Sheikh Sami's Day commemorating Sheikh Sami's heroic battle to save Crystal. Here Saad's eyes tear up, reminiscing about his pony-tailed-Blue-Label-chugging days at Crystal. It's not easy being a Zaeem.

Then it was on to the arms. Saad dared Jumblatt to arm wrestle Nasrallah. Jumblatt dog dared Geagea to do it. Geagea double dog dared Saad. Saad triple dog dared Jumblatt. Jumblatt triple black dog dared Geagea. Well that cycle kept going for 3 hours when the bell rang sending everyone home.

Teacher Berri then comes out and says that it was a very productive, honest, sincere, and fun session. So much fun that they'll do this one more time in July, one week after a controversial protest or a riot that puts the country again on the brink of war.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Let's see. You steal something daily over many many years. Finally, after these many many years, the rightful owner of what has been and continues to be stolen comes forward and asks you to stop. What do you do?

Run crying to the Lebanese government off course. They'll surely cover your ass. No one protects and encourages thieves like our esteemed government.

The Government brokered a deal between the owners of the pirated cable companies and ART so that the Pirated Cable operations can continue their robbery during World Cup season. Sure they'd have to pay a symbolic figure for the games, but yeah that should teach them not to steal ever again. Well, it sure helps the most these cable providers have close ties to those who cover their asses.

If you're a thief that is not associated with one of the ruling parties, you will still be treated better than honest citizens by this government but not as well as the loyalist thieves. Lebanoon is just like that, we love rewarding crime.

Oh wait, this was done so that the poor Lebanese people don't have to suffer without the games. How Noble.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

From Lebanon 18


No, not Michael Jordan. This is not LBC. Michael Jackson has enough plastic surgery to be an honorary Lebanese, but no, he is not MJ.

MJ is short for "Min Jamaetna" meaning "Our Folk".

The Lebanese express themselves differently when in mixed crowds as opposed to when they are surrounded exclusively by MJs. Amongst MJs there are no red lines, not Hariri, Not Nasrallah, and not the Patriarch; not even Jesus's and Mohammed's genitals.

Since most Lebanese feel overly burdened by having to act tolerant most of the day (at school, work, the supermarket,etc...), most MJ gatherings turn into non-MJ bashing sessions. These sessions serve as anger release therapy that contribute to the relative Peace we live in today.

Infiltrating MJ sessions is always fun. I personally have been mistakenly allowed in on almost all colors of MJ gatherings; the Armenian variety has been a lone exception due to the language barrier. They are all pretty much the same, "Our MJ are the better than the others for such and such reasons". Ironically the same exact resons are used by the other MJs to justify their superiority.

MJ, Two letters that make Two face-ness a cultural norm in Lebanon.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

بيضات بلادي

Abu Fares was a Peaceful, Healthy Farmer
One Day, While working the field. He stepped on a landmine...
He couldn't work anymore or earn his family's living.

The World Rehabilitation Fund helped him build a chicken den
to raise and produce home grown eggs, in spite of that pesky little kid.

Pesky little kid chases a hen.

The Hens lay eggs, the rooster brags about his fertility.

That's why when you buy Shouman's eggs... can fry them or soft boil them...

pesky little kid gets what he deserves after making a move on a chick,

and everyone lives happily ever after.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Just when you thought it's a slow Day

Here come the Hezbollahis to prove they have the sense of humor of a Pea by burning shit. Now I would never ever watch the show in question because..., well, it's stupid. I have seen a different cinematographic gem by Charbel Khalil though that proves that he's a bigotted idiot, but he has the right to freely express his bigotry just like you have the right to TURN OFF THE TV!!!

Anyways, I hope the anti-riot force that was prepared for the commies yesterday is still awake tonight. Yalla, Good Night.