Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Les Priorités

Three ministers took time off from their busy tourist  season schedule, after all one of these ministers promised the Lebanese 3 million visitors this summer, to address an issue that has thousands of citizens enraged n this country. The cancellation of  a French comedian's performances in Beiteddine has ruffled some elite feathers, as it should for where will this country be without the freedom of artistic expression. 
So what exactly happened, let's see. The dude was coming, so many people were enthused they added a second and then a third show... no problems there. General Security gave the OK even though it often prevents local acts from taking the stage, Visas are not an issue... Fine, then a TV reporter questions the dude's allegiances and thinks he's in bed with the Izzies.. Controversy, that's always good for business, free promotion... Dude cancels his trip.... Over 6000 activists join e-campaign against terrorisme intelectuel... 

I have to admire this stand against censorship although I'm having a hard time locating it. General Security is known to prevent shows or cut scenes from movies but that wasn't the case here and there were no threats made to the performer or the festivals. It was the  dude who cancelled his visit. On the Lebanese side, all that happened was that a reporter did not like the dude's alleged background...If the report is inaccurate then refute it but the reporter had no authority to and did not cancel the show... yet the ministers of Tourism, Press, and Culture felt that this reporter harmed Lebanon's image abroad. What will people say?!?!

Meanwhile Zeina Miri, 30 year old mother of 5, gets shot on her balcony. No facebook groups, no ministers holding hands at press conferences, and more importantly no fear for Lebanon's image. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

1st order of matter: Welcome Back!

Every dog has his day ya Jamal. Although I have to admit in the shame that Beri's days have surpassed 18 years.

Also I am glad the "elites" are taking a stand in this regard and hope Gad (who ever he is) does eventually come and preform.

nightS said...

Finally! Something that makes sense!!!
Welcome back :)

Ms. Tee said...

Agreed, Jamal.

Zeina al-Miri (al-Miro? The press cannot even get her name right) does not fill a nice niche, elite or otherwise. She is of Kurdish origin (yeeee, krad!), grew up in Ayshah Bakkar, but lives in Haret Hrayk with her husband. A martyr that cannot be used politically is such a waste. Hers is only a death, not martyrdom.

Paul said...

The French comedian is talented, but he is a zionist sympathizer who supports an association called "Association pour le Bien être du soldat israélien" (association for the well being of the Israeli soldier). Even after the July 2006 war, he wrote a statement supporting the Israeli army. Hezbollah exaggerated the whole thing and said that he was also a former Israeli army recruit. This is not true, but he did write the statement supporting the so-called IDF. Are we supposed to roll the red carpet for him in the name of "tourism" and "culture"? We did not even request the cancellation of his shows. We just said the truth about him. He decided on his own to cancel the show, because he knew what he was guilty of. But the stupid sectarian journalists at French rag L'Orient le Jour want to show that they are "civilized" and want to suck up to the French ambassador so that he keeps inviting them to his cocktails, so they started this whole campaign against non-existent censorship, and they did not even tell their readers the truth about El Maleh's association with Israel.

Ana Min Beirut - أنا من بيروت said...

Why wasn't the "civilized" world outraged when the Izzies prevented Reem Banna from going to Gaza to perform a charity concert for Gaza children ??? Knowing that Reem is Palestinian and is technically performing in her "country" for "her" people ... just to alleviate their under siege pains ... Oh but there is no culture in that and definitely no elites ... so draw your own conclusions on why there was no outrage... The assholes in L'orient-lejour should keep their double standards in check...

bech said...

man I just visited your blog and this post just sums up the issue so well! I wrote something in french about it, so enraged that I actually started a french blog! (miseresfrancophones.wordpress.com).
That's cultural prestige for you.
and his canceling of the show has nothing innocent to it.