Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Now Lebanon

Are we a silly State (Lebanon)?

In countless of my posts I have described how silly is our country, and the exaggeration and hyperbolic dreams of “wish be list” and “clever entrepreneur” and… The Tourism Minister suggested beauty queens should promote Lebanon

This post in Now Lebanon is an additional example:

October 12, 2012                                               

Earlier this week, Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud—flanked by Rina and Romy Shibani, winner and runner-up, respectively, of the latest Miss Lebanon  pageant—called for the creation of a “national academy” to groom future beauty queens and teach them to promote a positive image of Lebanon.

Months earlier, in  July, when he announced the ministry’s sponsorship of the competition, Abboud  also called on parents to encourage their daughters to participate in future pageants.

If ever there were a national call to arms that illustrated how sunk in shallowness we are, and how limited in our aspirations we have become, it was  this.

Abboud is one of our smarter ministers, so one must ask what planet he was on when he made these asinine suggestions. He is a successful  industrialist, and yet if he cannot see the damage he is doing to Lebanon’s reputation by championing an event that for years has been dismissed as sexist by more enlightened nations, what hope is there for our tiny, insignificant, but  over-inflated country.

The irony is that if any beauty academy—even  writing the words feels ludicrous—is ever established, it will be nothing more than a veneer to hide the chronic ugliness our society has  acquired.

The latest source of this reeking stench was found at the departure gate of an outward-bound MEA flight at Rafiq Hariri International airport last week, when a Middle East Airlines employee felt she was well within her rights to single out a group of foreigners—it is not clear if they were  Nepalese of Filipino—and tell them to shut up.

We are not sure why this Airlines employee did this,  but it is a fair guess that their happy chatter in an unfamiliar language was bothering the sort of people who normally employ them to clean their homes. 

Imagine! The employee concerned has since been let go, and it would be easy to dismiss the entire incident as the actions of one rotten apple. We  could do this if Lebanon were a country where basic human decency—not to mention  human rights—were practiced as part and parcel of everyday life. But it isn’t,  and so we can’t.

We live in a bubble. Something happened to Lebanon while the rest of the world was evolving.

Our 15-year civil war certainly had  something to do with it. Lebanon went into suspended animation for nearly two decades, and when we came to our inherent national selfishness, our insular tribal nature, our inability to engage with the global community, and our refusal to recognize that we are a tiny country with very little, if any, global clout, have all combined to make us one of the most dysfunctional nations on  earth.

We claim modernity, and yet priests and sheikhs still rule our personal status.

Our MPs would blanche at accusations that they are small-minded people lacking in sophistication, and yet they cannot find it within themselves to pass a law that prohibits a husband from forcefully having sex with his wife.

We claim to be a country of compassion, and yet we pragmatically practice apartheid.

In short, we are a country that feels it has the right to tell irritating foreigners to be quiet, even if they come from a nation with three times our GDP. The only good to have come out of the MEA incident is the fact that public outrage forced the airline to act. There is hope.

A new generation of Lebanese who have either lived aboard, grown up after the war, or simply, through social media, are waking up to the fact that  they have a voice and that they don’t have to tolerate the uglier or unfair  aspects of the Lebanese character.

People power, mainly through Twitter and  Facebook, provoked MEA into action.

Twenty years ago, even ten years ago,  perhaps as little as five years ago, the incident would have very likely passed unnoticed.

Today, we have the power to effect change, if we want it. Let’s first of all establish an academy for national values,  for upholding basic human rights, for updating our societal laws, for enforcing  equality, for developing prosperity, for teaching a notion of sovereignty and for respecting the environment.
The list could go on and on, but it should not, even at the very end, include the grooming of beauty queens. That’s  just plain silly.

To read more:

Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon:

Note: If our beauty queens are to be representative of the Lebanese “citizens” I suggest that those selected in the first cut do undergo a 2-week advance course in background knowledge covering:

1. A few of Lebanon’s social problems

2. A few of the Middle-East complex structures

3. A few of global problems that need global resolution

Those potential queens who fail to demonstrate this urge to understand, read, freely discuss, cooperate and selected a few of the choices that are of interest to get engaged in should be eliminated from the contest.

Bi-Weekly Report (#24) on the Middle East and Lebanon (May 28, 2009)


            The weekly “Courrier International” failed to do its job on analyzing Syria’s policies.  Instead of investigating and doing leg works it opted to rely on the Washington Post and Now Lebanon, totally biased against anything related to Syria, for spreading its nonsense.  This weekly publishing is repeating the old story of what the successive US Administrations want from Syria with respect to facilitating the job of US military presence in Iraq. As usual, the catchy “Damascus does not get it” and “Could we have confidence in Bashar Assad ” summarizes the topic. As if the job and responsibilities of President Assad is to cajole and obey the US dicta for nothing in return, such as the Golan Heights that was captured by Israel since 1973.

The Washington Post and supposed “reporter” Karen De Young would like us to believe that the increase of “terrorist activities” in Iraq and in Mossoul last month can be linked to the laxity of Syria’s border patrols.  It seems that Al Qaeda has been active shipping “martyr terrorists” from northern African Arab States to blow up Iraqi Shiaa. What about the other sects, such as the minority Christian sects? The report stated that the Iraqi border patrols cannot do effectively their jobs because of lack of carburant. The Iraqi government has a depleted budget because of low oil prices on the international market and thus the border patrols drive along the vast borders with Syria 15 days out of 30; thus, Syria is to be blamed for the US insufficient funding for borders control.


The monthly “Le Monde Diplomatique” did its job concerning Albania and Kosovo. The US Administration is pushing to finish quickly the fast highway linking Pristina (the Capital of Kosovo) to the Adriatic Sea at the Albanian seaport of Durres. Apparently, the OTAN needs this strategic highway so that the 5th fleet could discharge military hardware and soldiers.  Close to the highway in Kosovo there is the largest US Camp Bondsteel military base by the town of Urosevac.  Close to the highway in the town of Kukes in Albania the US has finished a functional airport used by military cargo and denied access to civilian use and at the expense of the Albanian tax payers.  The story boils down to a Greek bank Alpha lent the Albanian government 300 millions Euros (guaranteed by the US) to build the super highway; the trick is that 65% of the Albanian budget is reserved for the infrastructure ministry and 75% of the budget of this ministry is allocated to this super highway.  The bombshell is that the US  Bechtel multinational will reap 44% profit on the cost of this super highway. The newly “independent” States of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia are quickly becoming the dumping ground for the NATO and the European Union economic, military, and environmental policies.


I watched the highly informative interview of retired General Jameel Al Sayyed with Maggie Farah on the OTV channel.  Jameel Al Sayyed was released recently from 4 years of detention with no formal court cases after the International Tribunal judged his imprisonment illegal and ordered him out along with 3 other officers. General Al Sayyed returned two day ago from France after resuming his depositions on Millis (former investigator to the assassination of Rafic Hariri) and Johnny Abdou (former retired Lebanon military intelligence chief) who fabricated the climate for Al Sayyed unjustified detention.   Al Sayyed will also work out the courts in Germany with respect to Millis.  Al Sayyed is a highly interesting character and a well spoken intelligent and honest personality. Al Sayyed said that it was the Lebanese officials who drew the Syrian counterparts into suspect transactions and corruptions.  Although every political leader in Lebanon has dealing with foreign States, Al Sayyed lambasted Saad Hariri and Samir Geaja for their incapacity in using proper “valves” that can shut down foreign interests to destabilizing Lebanon.


 The German daily Der Spiegel reported excerpts from internet blogs posted by Syrian dissidents six months ago claiming that a special team of Hezbollah masterminded the assassination of late Lebanon Rafic Hariri PM.  The timing of that report, which the International Tribunal denied any knowledge, was evidence that the real perpetrators were scared shit of the victory of the opposition in Lebanon at the next Parliamentary election on June 7.  It meant that the opposition is not about to let the assassination case linger any longer and will pursue its own investigation or force the International Tribunal to move swiftly and close the doors to further political manipulations of that case. What exacerbated the political climate is that Lebanon has started dismantling systematically Israel’s spy webs and dangerous intelligence are accumulating relative to Israel involvement in many of the string of assassination cases in Lebanon since the murder of Rafic 2005. 

The US Vice President Biden visited Lebanon for 6 hours before the publishing of the report and met with the leaders of the government alliances.  Lebanon has to expect the worst every time a US official pay us visit to give orders that Lebanon cannot satisfy.

Thanks to Walid Jumblat, one of the principal allies to the government, he quickly and adamantly lambasted this chimerical and fabricated report and proclaimed that the report was intended to draw Lebanon into another civil war between the Shiaa and the Sunni Moslem sects.  Saad Hariri (leader of the Future movement) and Seniora PM were forced into suspect silence; proof that they were aware of the plan that backfired on them, a plan that is backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and the USA.




April 2023

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