Thursday, March 29, 2007

في واحد لبناني

لبناني و واحد؟!؟ واهاهاهاهاهاهاهاهاهاهاهاهاهاها
أضف نكتتك المفضلة عن اللبناني

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


But then again we are shameless people. No shame in that. But I do not intend to comment on today's show nor tomorrow's road show. This is a review of the one man show that goes by the same name.

Rafiq Ali Ahmad's long awaited return has had some box office success which usually raises a red flag since I do not trust Lebanese theater goers' taste. Arsonists have stayed away from the stage though, which raised a few more questions. Did they deem the play unworthy of an attack? Did they migrate like everyone else? Did they leave the country in April 2005? Or did Mr. Ali Ahmad budge and let the terrorists win?


The dude is good. He is a brilliant performer and he showcases all his talents in this work. The casting job was excellent, and so was the overall production. But, and there's always a but with me, the script needed a little more work. He managed to combine too many personal anecdotes with too many clichés. He also took a light approach in various parts were he could have upped the oomph a bit.

If you've already seen Little Miss Sunshine then you don't have any other movies worth watching this year, so go out and check one of the plays around town. I saw Jorsa at Monnot Theater, but it has since moved to a Russian thingie on a French battleground. Other Jorsas can be witnessed daily on your favorite newscast.

Monday, March 26, 2007


كلمات ليست كالكلمات
كلمات بتشوفوها على آرمات بطريق صيدا القديم
مؤسسة عيتاني التجارية لتأمين الخادمات
ضا ديسكاونت ستور

نشرة الأخبار
إستقبل رئيس كتلة المستقبل النيابية الشيخ سعد الدين الحريري في قريطم وزير خارجية بلجيكا...
ثمّ إستقبل رئيس كتلة المستقبل النيابية الشيخ سعد الدين الحريري في قريطم وفدا من جمعية ...
ومساءاً إستقبل رئيس كتلة المستقبل النيابية الشيخ سعد الدين الحريري في قريطم رئيس اللقاء الديمقراطي النائب وليد ...
و في مجدليون إستقبلت النائب بهية الحريري وفدا شعبيا...
في باريس إستقبلت السيدة نازك الحريري سيدة فرنسا الأولى برناديت شيراك و بحثتا...
و عشان هيك إسمو تلفزيون المستـقبـِل


إحتمال إنّو يضرب نيزك مركز المؤتمرات بالرياض بعد بكرا و يمحيهن كلّن فرد ضربة هو واحد بال130000000000000000000

في أمل يا جماعة، يلاّ كترو دعاءاتكم.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Left Behind

This is a follow up to Jij's View from Left.

The view from the left has to be directed to the next stage in the Lebanese political life as there is clearly no role for a bunch of weaklings in today's imminent Saudi brokered deal.

Whether we go through the national unity government charade or we skip this transitional period and directly usher in the new troika regime; this time around dominated by the Mar Mikhail duo plus a token prime minister.

I have argued before that I would be as opposed to the new lords of that castle as I am of the remaining ghosts of the outgoing ruling class. Well maybe slightly less opposed as they cannot possibly be as damaging as the previous crew. I don't see in them the miracle solution to Lebanon's ills; still they have set an example of how to accomplish change in a change repellant region. Their model should be studied closely and emulated by the left or anyone hoping to see change in our lifetime.

I come across many coffee shop leftist groups with more words in the name of the group than living members. They always complain about all political players including their natural home, the dormant LCP, and are disappointed how their holding of signs on a side of a road one afternoon failed to abolish sectarianism and stop Harirism from drowning the highest peaks of our proud mountains in rolling roaring debt. A friend of Salim El Hoss once told that he never had a chance to stand up to Rafiq El Hariri because "He took afternoon naps." Now I love my coffee breaks as much as anyone, but if you look back at the top 2 political/popular forces in Lebanon you won't find many coffee breaks since their inception.

Hezbollah has sacrificed sweat and blood non stop since the early eighties. FPM has taken a different route but with the same level of intensity and energy since the early nineties. When they ascend to power in the next month, year, or two; it will not happen accidentally due to right star alignment that the traditional opportunist Lebanese politicians pray and wait for. They created their success by laying solid ground work over a significant period of time that enabled them to seize the opportunities when they came. They have faced the same challenges and challengers (Syria, Harirism, Israel, and American Imperialism) that the left has faced, yet today they sit atop. Meanwhile the left is obsessed with past glory and the nincompoop Atallah.

To keep it brief, change is possible since a precedent has been set. A leftist awakening can be achieved with a vision, the right strategy, dedication, sacrifice, and more. It took the others a couple of tough decades to reach dominant positions; it should be slightly easier for the leftists today since the Israelis and Syrians have been tamed, not to mention the intellectual superiority that they love to claim.

Now for the strategy meet me at the coffee shop.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Ever since Taef, Lebanon has been divided into a Holy trinity; each side with its "own" issues and aspirations. Today, we are promised a triangular solution to please all but does it really solve anything?

The Tribunal
The tribunal has been marketed as the solution to the country’s security ills. Many people have bought the story and turned it into their cause. I will not delve into the Saatchi & Saatchi drawing boards that have successfully turned a questionable entity half a world away and which is yet to take shape into a national priority, but I will ask: does the international tribunal deserve to be the top priority for the part of Lebanese calling for it? What is in it for them? The most they can hope for is that by achieving a personal aim of the zaimship some good would trickle down to them in one way or another.

The Third
Veto power in return of not obstructing the Government’s economic “vision,” will likely be the deal. Sure the third would guarantee the official government stance would not officially sellout the accomplishments of decades of struggle, but it cannot and will not stop the national “partners” from continuing to conspire against these accomplishments openly albeit unofficially. In return, the price to pay will continue hitting the pockets of those most needy, and that have fought the most for this third, the hardest.

Election Law
The election law will guarantee that a third portion of the Lebanese will be able to select their representatives. Shortsightedness plagues this vision of what would really protect their interests. Each group of Lebanese picking their own representatives based on traditional and sectarian loyalties will only continue the trend of polarization that started pre-1975 and a collision between the factions will always be a threat. To protect current or future minorities one must eliminate the “minority” label. That can only be done by equalizing everyone. Each individual citizen must be treated as such in all rights and duties. The Kaza is the safe haven du jour but what happens when it becomes the “casa”. To break the ever shrinking imaginary borders of safe haven, a national outlook must be adopted that will force “everyone” to reach out of their walls. But that action must be pursued today, because today “everyone” is still a minority and must reach out to others. But in the future that might not be the case and if past trends continue someone might not need to reach out anymore and the any hope of the emergence of One Lebanon will evaporate.

A sectarian solution will come at the expense of the sects and the country. The solution does not address any of the people’s priorities. Security, jobs, economy, sovereignty, education, defense, hospitalization, services, corruption, etc… are issues that affect everyone equally and do not discriminate against sides in an imaginary triangle. But as most people would tell you,يحلّوها و يحلوا عنا. People are tired and need a break and they’ll settle for just about anything at this stage, and the proposed solution is just that… anything.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


1- Remember the very gay Alaa Zalzali, not that there is anything wrong with that. He had a song that included i nits lyrics the line " Pistik Paralo, Pa Paa Pa Paa". Name that song.

2- Is the Cinema Commodore Building currently being turned into a private militia barracks a la Mayfair?

3- Growing up I played "Gol". In the South they play "Fatbool". In Egypt they play "Koora". Gringos call it "Soccer". What di you play in your neck of the woods?

4- Where are thee now Remi Bandali?

5- Abou Melhem, Abou Salim, Abou Antar, Abou El Jamajem, or Abou Riad?

Friday, March 16, 2007

و الجواب

حضرة مسؤول الأمن المحترم في دارة زعيم الحي المحترم
تحيّة و يحيا زعيم الحي،
نحن العرب نوصي بالجار قبل الدار و نِعم جيرة حظينا بها في هذا الحي.
أبوابنا مفتوحة و مشروعة لكم ليلاً نهاراً،إذا رغبتم في التعارف شاركونا على فنجان قهوة أو كاسة شاي و نخبركم كل شيء عن نشاطاتنا و ماضينا و حاضرنا عن أخبار عيالنا و مشاريعنا المستقبلية، و هكذا نكسب معرفتكم أيضا.
لكن نعتذر عن تعبئة هذه الاستمارة الاستجوابيّة حفاظا لحقوقنا و حقوقكم و حريّاتنا و حريّاتكم .
إلى لقاء قريب انشالله.
جاركم المنزعج و المزعج

استمارة أمنية

إستمارة أمنية من أجل أمنكم و أمننا

إسم أبوك:
إسم جدّك:
إنّو شو طايفتك يعني:
شو بتاكل؟
شو بتشرب؟
شو حلمت مبارح؟
كيف علاقتك بالمخابرات الأجنبية؟
سمّي آخر عشر دول تعاملت مع استخباراتن؟
شو قياس صباتك أو سكربينتك؟
هل عندك سلاح حربي؟Just Kidding أكيد عندك سلاح
ما هو حجم أسطولك البحري؟
و الجوي؟
هل بيطل بيتك ع بيت زعيم الحي او الشهيد الحي؟
هل شفتو شي يوم عم يتحمّم؟
هل تمنيت له الموت يوما؟
هل تخذت الغاب مثلي منزلا دون القصور؟

أرفق هذه الاستمارة بصورة باسبور و نسخة عن الهوية، للفائز بسحب القرعة الشهري ويك أند ببلاش في النيو مزّة أوتيل في رومية.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I dream of white March 14th

White streets of Beirut, March 14th
Snowfetus, Born march 14th - Died March 14th
... Finally a Living room in Beirut, March 14th

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

From Lebanon M14


Zajal is a traditional form of poetry/song exclusive to what is colooquially known as sausage parties.

Zajal combines the symmetry of the eastern art of Haikus, the realness of inner city rap, the topics of HBO's Taxi Cab confessions, with the inebriation of two and a half bottle of araq as a minimum.

Men showcase their eloquence, wit, and voices all while competing on who's holding the biggest...drum.

Zajal participants always repeat a one line chorus, as demostrated often by politicians and TV talking heads on any given night.

Mijana and Ataba are 2 variants of Zajal verses.

Here's a lame attempt at an Ataba verse en anglais.

You have seen it on an Ad or
a billboard for a life which we adore
promising you a window or a door
where you'll find all the money you can grab.

Clearly, the Araq minimum was never met...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

ميجانا ال100 يوم

شـو عملـت برجــال الله يــا ابن صيــدا يا بــار
نَقَعْتُن ميــة يــوم و يـــوم بوِجّ الـبـودا بــار
ما شمّوالوسكي يوم واليوم ما بيشربوا غير أولد بار
من بــاب الجنّة لنـــار جهنّم رقص و غِنــا
أوف أوف أوف أوووووف
Gateauفؤاد عم ياكل سنيــورة فنمـورة ف
فـتـفـت فــات ينـام فبرد و شخّر فغطّـــو
يا ست نايلة ناطرين نسمع من تمّك ال"فَغَتو"
وباقييــن بخيمــنا لتفلّوا عن سراينا

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

From Lebanon 17

The Zalghouta

First a note to my foreign readers: Even though it rhymes with it, Zalghouta has nothing to do with that One arabic word you know.

The Zalghouta is a physical feat involving the tongue and throat, usually, of a female. No, no, I repeat this has nothing to do with that one arabic word you know.

The Zalghouta is a loud expression of the happy ending of bachelor life. I swear it has nothing to do with sex, even though ladies who can perform it tend to have higher babies per uterus averages than women who can't.

I don't think it is either a genetically inherited talent or an acquired skill, it must be another one of these unexplainable Lebanese miracle mutations like full make up breakfasts and Walid Jumblat.

Whatever the zalghouta is, enjoy it, be happy as it is a sirening omen of an open bar, unless you are stuck at a dry wedding, or much worse a sex seggregated one, in which case you only have yourself to blame for being there.

The Zalghouta, yet another akhou @#$%^&*@# tradition from Lebanon.

P.S. I've labeled all the From Lebanon posts "From Lebanon", if you'd like to go back and learn more about traditions from Lebanon.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


- They killed him

- He only cares about the presidency

- They want us to wear chadors

- He wants partition and his own kingdom

- They are foreign tools

- He wants federalism and his own state

- They don't pay their electric bill

- They stole $45 billion

- They are not even Lebanese

- If you ignore them you don't have to deal with them

- They killed the economy

- We are not like that, but they are, so you have to be like that

No Deal

Are we saved now that the Tehran Madman and the Saudi Baldie struck a deal. or does their hand shake mean that they'll simply split the cake. Puns and name calling end here, I promise. Today we are facing a Catch 22 proposition. The threat of civil war has been weighing heavily on us, whether it's an intentional and calculated weight or not, it is doing the job of weakenig our knees. We could kneel down and beg the lords of war for mercy, but do we really have anything left to lose at this stage? The question becomes the old rhetoric of half full or half empty.

I've written a few months ago that change is imminent, and that change is good in that it sets a precedent of accountability. That would be a dangerous precedent for some who had to raise the cost of change to a knee buckling weight to protect the Zaeemship or the centuries-old dynasty.

But is change worth all this trouble when in the end we are getting more of the same... Establishing a mechanism of change and accountability would only make future changes easier. However, to settle for crumbs after all we've been through would kill any hopes of change until the next Halley appearance.

I am not optimistic about an end to the crisis in the next few hours; but I am about the future of the country. Now is not the time to wane under pressure. It has been painful and it will continue to be, that is just the price of loving life in Lebanon.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

آذار الهدّار

آذار الهدّار... والسـبع استحقـاقـات الكبـــار
بلّش و نحنا بالريــاض و طهران و واشـنـطن زوّار
بكرا جاييــنا ذكرى تمــانـية... و مؤتمر الجوار
أوعا ننســى احدعش و كـل الفرافيــط الزغــار
و بعدين أربتعش الحكومة ...ومجلس النواب إن صار
و مسك الختام القمة العربية و ممثّلينا الكتــار
ياخيّي اللبناني لشو بدّك تنطر وأعصابك على نار
بالآخر شو ما صـار ما إلنا إلاّ التعتير والشّحـار