A lot of people are sharing stories of the times Aoun and Geagea bombed their neighborhoods. I can’t testify to that, as I was too young to remember and had the “luxury” to be born in a remote village in the north of Lebanon. I can’t testify firsthand to the pain of the war, to the loss, to the fear, to the death surrounding you. But I can testify to the hatred i saw and see every day between people my age or younger, who also did not live the war. I am not dismissing their experiences or those shared by their loved ones, but they themselves did not live the war, yet they hate each other, they listen to songs and learn how to honk, put stickers on their cars, and wage their own war, with no blood shed, but a cold war still… Where is the urge to question those they blindly follow, and ask why? What happened? Who won? How many people died? What happened to those kidnapped? How many women and girls were raped? How many corpses were tied and dragged by cars like war trophies? How many loaves of bread were stolen at checkpoints? Why? …

This is a post I wrote for Global Voices.

Human rights advocates across the Arab world are combing through the troves of data uncovered in last Sunday’s massive hack of the controversial Italian security and surveillance technology firm Hacking Team.

Hacking Team’s notorious “Remote Control System” has been used by oppressive regimes in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sudan, UAE, Oman, Morocco and Egypt to surveil and intimidate political opponents, human rights advocates, journalists, and digital activists. The Remote Control System is a pernicious form of surveillance technology that enables the attacker, usually a government entity, to infiltrate and control the device of the target. …

This is a blog post I wrote for Global Voices Online.

The Saudi Cables: Buying Silence: How the Saudi Foreign Ministry controls Arab media[/caption]

The silence of major newspapers and media outlets towards more than half a million leaked documents from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is deafening.

A total of 61,000 Arabic-language documents, which offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Saudi corridors of power, published by Wikileaks, are already online.

The information dump reveal secret communications from Saudi embassies, as well as “top secret” reports from other Saudi state institutions, including the Ministry of Interior and the Kingdom’s General Intelligence Services. …

Gaza Font is an initiative aiming to shed the light on ‎Gaza hidden stories. Stories that were kept out of the reach of everyone because of the deliberate and complete media blackout. Every letter and number are the beginning of a story little-known, now revealed and eternalized. As per their Facebook Page Gaza Font was created to immortalize the most resilient nation in the world and shed light on its unrevealed stories.

Little did we do when Gaza was under siege and bomb showers; little we can do now, and in this tiny space of hand that we can give, let’s join the discussion #UncoverGaza , download and use the font, read, talk and spread these stories in every way possible.

Hats off to the team of Gaza Font, Assafir Newspaper and Bizaroob for their brilliant work.

Yes, my title has the word might, no I am not jumping into conclusions and no this is not another #CauseDuJour -_-

I came across this tweet by @Zaven_k

So I don’t really know if this is happening or not, but the fact that it is even a question is just crazy! Why would anyone wants to destroy these beautiful art works, by Yazan Halwani, one of the most talented young Lebanese artists, is just beyond me!

I don’t know what comes to your mind when you think about Gemmayzeh street, but I personally always think of that beautiful Fayrouz graffiti and of course smile ^^ but then I remember the valet parking mafia and how they are illegally confiscating the public space and get back to being angry… (Yes, the sidewalk and public parking spaces are important, and are your right dear citizen of Lebanon!)

[caption id=”attachment_3115" align=”aligncenter” width=”650"]

source: The Daily Star[/caption]

Lebanese laws discriminate against women, surprised much? I didn’t think so.

Human Rights Watch latest report reveal the inequality that women face in Lebanon due the the religion-based personal status laws.

Lebanon has 15 separate personal status laws for its recognized religions but no civil code covering issues such as divorce, property rights, or care of children. These laws are administered by autonomous religious courts with little or no government oversight, and often issue rulings that violate women’s human rights.

The report found that, across all religions, personal status laws erect greater barriers for women than men who wish to terminate unhappy or abusive marriages, initiate divorce proceedings, ensure their rights concerning their children after divorce, or secure pecuniary rights from a former spouse. The laws also violate children’s rights, most significantly the need to consider their best interests in all judicial decisions concerning their welfare. …

2 min and 37 seconds from prime time were dedicated to Digital Drugs, MTV Lebanon during its night time bulletin found yet another reason (you know their logic, other from the Syrian, the Palestinian and sometimes the Muslims) to make people scared and worried: DIGITAL DRUGS!

The title is so misleading, and so is the whole reportage. MP3 files that have the same effect as drugs (LSD, MDMA, Weed, H, C..) same effect! and the legal advisor to the minister of justice is on a mission to stop it… After reading ALL the scientific and medical studies out there that as he claims proves how dangerous these digital drugs are he asked Minister Rifi to form a legal committee to study and assess the needed steps to eventually protect us from these digital drugs. Of course no one bothered to kindly refer us to these studies… but hey who cares right?! …

The World Economic Forum released 2 days ago their 2014 Global Gender Gap Report, a report that was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress. The Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups.

Since we love being mentioned in lists, Lebanon was mentioned 39 times in this report in all kind of lists, but you won’t like any of them. I also doubt people will madly talk and share this report, in the end it is not about restaurants, food, beaches and promoted brands… it is about gender equality. …

I am sure you’ve all heard of Nicolas Fattoush, the destroyer of mountains, and the women beater

His website was hacked today! KARMA says hello!!!


- Law 174 facebook’s page just announced that Mr Fadel contacted them saying that as soon as he heard about the situation, he gave extremely strict directives for smoking to be absolutely banned in all indoor areas at ABC. Good news!

It is a bit hypocrite in my opinion to be an awareness leader on one health issue, and break the law by ignoring another. This is the current case of ABC mall that is promoting awareness on breast cancer, but has recently re-become a smoking place, a clear infraction of Law 174 that bans smoking in all closed public spaces (e.g. governmental buildings, airport, schools, public transport, malls, restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs), mandates health warnings on tobacco product packages, and bans all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.


Abir Ghattas

An Activist, Raseef22 communications director, and a digital security trainer.

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