Sunday, February 27, 2011

Friends or Foes?

I'm still having a hard time that anyone close to Hariri would sign off on this billboard design. The way I see it; surrounding a dead man's picture with flames and an "Allahu Akbar" isn't exactly an expression of love. Then again, maybe it's just me. Who else would associate flames with hell and the "Allahu Akbar"chant with divine justice?

One thing is obvious. Elie Khoury and Saatchi don't do business in Saida.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Joseph Smaha, 4 years later

(This tribute was originally published on this blog on February 26th, 2007.)

Today We Must Think a Little Harder

Life Goes On, but it must not go on dumber, less informed, mentally poorer. We were privileged to have our collective minds enriched on a daily basis by a ten minute read each morning that encapsuled decades of knowledge, a philosophical library, and a strategic eye that saw beyond all horizons. No single pen can replace these lines. We, each of us, must make up a little of this loss on our own.

Who are we and us? The commies raced to claim an old comrade. The Arab nationalists have anointed him above Abdel Nasser. Muslims, Christians, Secular, and Infidels as Ziad put it say he was their voice.

To me he was Free Lebanese Thought. Scratch that, make it Free Thought period, for free thought can not be bound by geography. A school of thought based on deep-wide-long-fat knowledge, smart-logical-surgically precise analysis, and genetically gifted vision that can not be acquired or taught.

We have a void to fill, a void that can only be filled with a collective effort. So today we, each of us, must think a little harder, read a little bit more, make that read a lot more, dig a little deeper, look a little bit further.

Today we graduated. It is now time to work.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Siniora achievement

A dozen decades-young trees chopped down to make room for a few extra meters of luxury treeless housing in Beirut. (Brought to you by Fouad Siniora, the developer)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To Egypt....

I've been to Egypt twice. Each time I took notes so I could blog about
the trips but never got to it. Now I kinda have to do it...
My last trip to Cairo was just last October. To get there I had to go
through Rafiq Hariri airport in Beirut. Why should I start there?
Well, it's because of this idiot who was sitting behind me at airport
cafeteria. I was sipping an overpriced Almaza when I hear someone
loudly ordering Foie Gras. I was so tempted to turn around and see
what the biggest douche on earth looks like, but I opted to leave it
to my imagination. I didn't want to risk recognizing him and having to
talk to him over airport cafeteria foie gras. 90 seconds later, douche
yells at waitress, "What happened to the Foie Gras I ordered?" You
see, the people at the end of the bar didn't get to hear him the first
time around. Finally, there are many globally recognized ways of
asking for the bill. Most of them are silent and involve hand signals
that look like air signatures. In case of douche, it's a very loud
"Here's a $100 bill to pay for the Foie Gras I had." I never saw his
face, but I'm pretty sure he had a goatee.
During the revolution, Egyptian TV was accused of blatant propaganda.
It must have been the panic of the regime that led to that because
back in October the propaganda was a lot more subtle. As you board
Egypt Air and take a look at the flight map you'll find something
striking about Libyan-Egyptian border. You can easily see where one
country ends and the second starts because as we all know Egypt is a
vast expanse of Green while Libya is where the Sahara starts. I know
you've seen pictures of sand around the pyramids in Giza, well these
were taken before Mubarak's agricultural policies were implemented.
Today, the Sphinx sports a full head of green Hair.
There was someone sitting in my seat, but before I expressed myself
there were passengers within a 5 row radius telling the guy that he
should move over because he's in the wrong seat. This is a bit scary
because even before they enjoyed freedom of speech, an average
Egyptian would go through my average daily quota of words before
breakfast. So I can't fathom what things are like today.
The traveler's prayer, which apparently is common ritual on Arab
airlines, is supposed to put your mind at ease; but personally I'd
rather see the captain blow through a breathalyser. The flight was
sponsored by Talaat Mustapha, isn't he the corrupt father of that
convicted killer? Not very reassuring, but I arrived in Egypt. Spent 3
days. Loved every moment. The End.