People stop thinking and the ship starts sinking…

Bomb or Change

Sometimes I find it hard to take a serious tone and forget the sarcasm and irony which I use so very often in my writings. But as a citizen of Ashrafieh, and more precisely Sassine square, I find myself violated on the threshold of my home and in no mood to kid. What was before a merry city full of life now reeks of blood and death and its streets are buried in broken glass like the snowy roads of Stockholm in a cold winter.

We are unconsciously circling back to this horror movie that was in place a few years ago, to this public morgue known as the streets of Lebanon. I was in my university when the explosion took place, and when it was confirmed that it was in fact a terrorist attack and not an accident that happened in a gas station, like a few years ago. At that very moment, my friends who belong to both parties, 8 and 14 started wishing that the target was a leader of the opposite political side. I am astonished by the level of hatred growing between us, and on those streets yesterday, all we heard was people screaming and all we saw was people pointing fingers. Instead of uniting once and for all and trying to get out of this well, we fell in back in 1975. All we do is recruit more people with shovels instead of common sense to help us dig what will become a mass grave.

We are people who only scream when we are walking behind a casket, and as this coffin is buried into the ground our voices disappear along with it. As I opened my Facebook account on the 19th, my homepage was flooded by statuses of hatred, compassion, and some of them by pity. And a week later, it is back to our everyday lives, where our biggest problem is what will I have for lunch today or why hasn’t my girlfriend replied to my whatsapp message.

We forget about the truth, we refuse to see the big picture; that has helped us move on and leave the terrible past behind but that will not help us progress, not as long as we are dragged by the same politicians who put us in this mess. And even if those politicians are dead, their kids will be sure to pass the same message. We are the only country in the world where the electoral programs of the different politicians aren’t some projects to help Lebanon evolve, but are only a series of campaign ads to show how bad the other party is. How are we supposed to grow when we are trapped in a small mold?

And since things aren’t over till the fat lady sings, there were a sequel to this tragic turn of events which took place on Friday night. The evening doesn’t end unless a few idiots pumped up with adrenaline and anger and armed with gasoline and a few tires block the roads to protest what has happened. What good does it do to pollute the air and cause traffic? I wonder.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and wounded.

Miss Understanding

About two weeks ago there were the elections of Miss Lebanon, there are basically nothing wrong about the contestants except their combined IQ level (please note that this comment is not to be taken in a condescending fashion). But I am not here to criticize the contestants because I find something funny about the pageant itself.

A team of public figures is vigorously scouted with the only parameter that they have nothing to do with beauty. However their only appeal is the number of viewers each can manage to bring along with them or the amount of endorsements they can provide. These people represent most of the jury; there are two more beauty experts yet to be named. There always is a plastic surgeon, I only figure he is on the jury board to be thanked for the work he has done on most of the contestants. Let’s face it we live in a country where the body of the average woman contains more silicon than flesh. Finally the last jury member is…- brace yourselves this might come as a shock- Georgina Rizk; the pride of Lebanon, the evergreen flower, the lady my parents used to talk to me about the moment I was born, the dream of every girl. Believe it or not I wanted to be like her as a kid, then I discovered a little something between my legs which disappointed me, and this little something is still disappointing me.

Let us skip the pageant till the end, to the exact moment when the results are announced and there are two remaining contenders. “And the new Miss Lebanon is…” a bunch of fake smiles are in order and some hugs as well where the first runner up tries to suffocate the newly elected Miss. And the moment they go backstage rumors of a bribe are rapidly spread like a fire in August. And not to forget that the smile of the Miss is sponsored by Crest (the number one toothpaste in the world)

P.S. I would really like to know the name of the number two toothpaste in the world.

I have never understood pageants, I find them totally useless.  It is just another way for anyone to show off and be on the public scene. I am criticizing the pageants as a whole and not only the ones held in Lebanon as many as they may be: La sirene de jounieh, Miss Lebanon, Miss Lebanon emigrant, Miss 7ay el sellom, … and there is the worldwide pageants which are the ultimate dream of every girl: Miss universe, Miss world, … And that leaves us with one ultimate question: why is the winner of Miss Universe always from Earth?

The Online Prayer

Every single evening
As I’m lying here in bed,
This tiny little Prayer
Keeps running through my head:

God bless all my family
Wherever they may be,
Keep them warm
And safe from harm
For they’re so close to me.

And God, there is one more thing
I wish that you could do;
Hope you don’t mind me asking,
Please bless my computer too.

Now I know that it’s unusual
To Bless a motherboard,
But listen just a second
While I explain it to you, Lord.

You see, that little metal box
Holds more than odds and ends;
Inside those small compartments
Rest so many of my friends.

I know so much about them
By the kindness that they give,
And this little scrap of metal
Takes me in to where they live.

By faith is how I know them
Much the same as you.
We share in what life brings us
And from that our friendships grew.

Please take an extra minute
From your duties up above,
To bless those in my address book
That’s filled with so much love.

Wherever else this prayer may reach
To each and every friend,
Bless each e-mail inbox
And each person who hits ‘send’.

When you update your Heavenly list
On your own Great CD-ROM,
Bless everyone who says this prayer
Sent up to GOD.Com

Today, Apple revealed the new iPhone, the iPhone 5, and here is all what you need to know about it:

1. Larger Size and Higher Resolution:

Finally, Apple decided to increase the screen size of the iPhone to 4″, probably to compete with much larger Android phones. As you can see below, this means a new row is added to the screen! There is enough place to fit 24 apps on one screen instead of 20 as before. The resolution of the screen also has been increased: 1136 x 640. Same width, but taller than the older iPhones.

2. LTE:

The iPhone 5 supports LTE, sometimes called 4G. Although Americans and Europeans will be very happy about that, it is clearly not something we, Lebanese, should care about for now.

3. Thinner and Lighter:

Thinner than the iPhone 4S  (9.3 mm thin) and the 3rd-generation iPad (9.4 mm thin), the iPhone 5 is 7.6 mm thin. It is also the lightest iPhone, weighing 112 grams only!

4. Faster:

Apparently 2 times faster than its predecessor, the iPhone 5 has an A6 CPU chip.

5. Battery Life:

The iPhone 5’s battery “not only matches but exceeds”  the iPhone 4S’s battery life. I don’t remember the iPhone 4S’s battery life to be particularly good…

6. Camera:

The iPhone 5’s camera is as good as the iPhone 4S with some very cool additions: a built-in panorama option and 40% faster image capture. The iPhone 4S’s image capture was already very fast, so I can’t imagine how fast the iPhone 5’s image capture is!

7. New iPhone Connector:

The iPhone 5 has a 80% smaller dock connector compared to all the iPhone/iPod connectors you already know. It also has a new name: Lightning!

8. Price and Release Date:

Once again, the iPhone 5’s price is the same as its predecessor. Available in Black and White. $199 for 16GB. $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB. Of course, these are the prices with contract in the USA. Pre-orders start on Friday the 14th. Shipping on September 21st in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

iOS 6 will also be available for the iPhone 4, 4S, 3GS, iPad 2 and the new iPad on September 19th.

9. New earphones : EarPods

Apple also announced new earphones, called EarPods. Included with the iPhone 5.

 

10. Sim Card:

The new iPhone 5 uses Nano-Sim cards, smaller than the Micro-Sim cards, and is not compatible with them. So time to cut or change the Sim cards once again.

And that’s it. No wireless charging. No NFC. What do you think of the iPhone 5 ?

An airport is an international space.  And there is no doubt that every airport has been visited by people coming from all over the world. I recently travelled and it inspired me to write this post. While I was in the airport I saw people from random nationalities but something struck me, Arabs don’t melt in that pot. We are not like a needle in a stack of hay; we stand out. The elements which make an Arab stand out from the crowd are the following.

1- Entrance: we must acknowledge that we have a fear of missing our flight, a fear so deep and strong we show up with our 10 suitcases 3h before our plane takes off and while the pilot is still in his bed dreaming.

2- Check In: while I was standing in line to get my boarding pass and have my luggage weighed there was a Lebanese family in front of me. The allowed weight was 23 Kg however their suitcase was around 28 Kg and like every Lebanese, they want to find their way out of this situation. They opened the suitcase and here are some of the items found (true story):

– 2.5 Kg of Lebanese sweets, because ma fina nrou7 idna fadye 3end el 3alam, 3ayb.
– A bag of charcoal. La2ano barbecue ma3 fa7em baladi atyab.
– A bag filled with all sort of medicines, as if they were hoping to open up a drugstore.
– And of course some gifts for all the family, the friends, the neighbors, the neighbors’ friends, the lifeguard at the water park they want to go to…

3- Security check:
to spot an Arab at an airport look no further than the man suffering a “random” security check along with a full cavity search. At the sight of our Arab passport the airport employees shiver and try relentlessly to keep us out of their country.

4- Boarding time:
when an Arab family travels and they are waiting to board the plane,their kids are the ones running barefoot all over the place screaming and shouting at 6 AM. And to spot the parents, just look for the man running behind them and screaming: “ya Rami ta3a! ra7 trou7 el tiyara balena!!”

On my way back to Lebanon, as the plane landed, there surely was the clapping ceremony. As we left the plane, all passengers rushed to get their passport stamped and go to the luggage claim.

5- Luggage claim:
The Arabs are this group of people who go to the designated belt before even the suitcases start coming in. They all gather over the beginning of the conveyor belt fighting to be in the first row. I wonder if they know they can stand alongside the entire belt and not just the start.  As the first bunch of suitcases comes in, you can always hear a woman tell her husband: “hay2eton dayya3o shenatna, ba3ed ma bayyano”. Later on, all sort of packages with the weird wrappings come along and they all belong to the Arabs. What a surprise!

6- Home sweet Home: I take my luggage and head out, my father and only my father was there to pick me up. However, some Lebanese passengers have the entire neighborhood come along, and they bring them flowers, chocolate, balloons and all sort of festive things.

We Lebanese truly are one of a kind. Nothing more to say.