A Separate State of Mind Now Has an iOS App!

It makes me so happy to announce that my friend @TawaNicolas has made an iOS app for this blog.

Download it at this link (click).

The stateofmind13 iOS app is basically a reader for the blogposts that I write, with enabled post-replies and likes. 

You’ll also be getting push notifications whenever I publish a post, to keep you updated – if you want to of course.

Subsequent updates will, hopefully, feature more Facebook integration to allow you to “like” posts and share them easier.

The app is also 1.3MB only, so ideal for Lebanese internet downloads. ✌🏻

I would like to thank my awesome friend Tawa for his awesome work with this app. I couldn’t have imagined a better or easier app for this blog and I’m so glad he took the time and effort to do it.

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Vote For “A Separate State of Mind!”


Overwhelming success! Celebrity endorsements! Awesome blog! You don’t believe me? Well, check these out:

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Well, not quite. The above tweets are not real. But they could have been. Am I right?

Ok, I’ll take my antipsychotic pill now.

Anyway, this blog is nominated for “Blog of the Year” and “Best News Blog” – I know, I know – at Beirut’s Social Media Awards. I’d appreciate your support.

  1. Go to www.smabeirut.com
  2. Log in with either your Facebook or Twitter account
  3. Vote for “Separate State of Mind” in the first two categories. You can only vote once so be careful to choose right! Voting happens by clicking on the “vote” button next to my blog’s picture (that of a brain).
  4. Tell your friends.
  5. Come back here to receive your cyber hug.

This is how your screen turns once you’re successful:

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Thank you awesome readers!

 

My Article for Annahar: بلاد الضحايا الدائمة

Annahar A Separate State of Mind blog interview article

I was approached recently to be interviewed for renowned Lebanese newspaper Annahar regarding my blog. I obviously agreed and was also asked to write an article – in Arabic. After a brief moment of panic because I hadn’t written in Arabic since 2008, I gathered my thoughts and came up with the following, which I believe is decent:

نتباهى كلبنانيين، بصلابتنا التي نعتبرها مصدر فخر لنا في بلدٍ أقل ما يُقال فيه إنه يصعِّب كل نواحي الحياة علينا. الشعب
اللبناني دائماً ضحيّة… ضحيّة الغبن، الإهمال، النسيان، التناسي، المزايدة المستمرة،النفاق الدائم، والموت.

اللبنانيون ضحيّة المراحل. يكثُر الحديث عن تحضير جارنا الجنوبي لحرب كونيّة جديدة، فيما شعبنا المغلوب على أمره لا ملاجئ عنده ولا يشعربطمأنينة ولا بأمان.

اللبنانيّون ضحيّة الكلام الفارغ الذي يكثر ويعلو كل أربع سنوات ليشحن آمالهم بمستقبل افضل، لكن الدهر يعود بهم إلى واقع فقير، مرير لا خروج منه. ويتساءل البعض، من ضحايا القوقعة المناطقيّة، كيف يعلو التطرف في تلك المناطق التي لن يزوروها حتماً. فهم لا يعلمون أن الوجه الآخر للمركزية الإنفتاحيّة هو التناسي المكرّر، المحتّم والممنهج، نتيجته الأساسية زيادة الشرخ في كل مكوّنات هذه الأمّة المنقسمة على ذاتها، دائماً وأبداً. الشعب اللبناني هو ضحيّة خوف مستمر هدفه الأساسي سياسي، ويصوّرونه له بأنه للحماية. الخوف على الوجود، الخوف على أشباه الحقوق، الخوف على الذات، على الهواجس والخصوصيّات. كل هذه الأمور تؤدي إلى اقتناع راسخ في صلب الكيان الفردي، بصحة هذا الطرح السياسي أو ذاك. والحقيقة الواضحة أن أصحاب تلك الطروحات هدفهم واحد: جمع أكبر عدد من اللبنانيين ووضعهم في صناديق الاقتراع.

الشعب اللبناني ضحيّة التخويف التكفيري الذي يجعله يعتقد بأنه يحمي معتقده الديني كلما تشبّث بروحانيّته أكثر، لكن الواقع هو لحماية جيوب رجال الدين من خطر حرية الإختيار.

الجيش اللبناني ضحية المزايدة السياسية والعاطفية المتبلورة في السؤال اللّا متناهي: من يحب الجيش أكثر؟
فيعدد البعض أسماء شهداء جيشنا، متناسين أسماء أخرى لا تخدمهم، فيما تنقلب معادلة الأسماء عند آخرين ويبقى جيشنا رهن المتغيّرات العائليّة، الطائفيّة والسياسيّة التي تحمي الجميع، إلاّ أفراده. فلتسترح أنفس شهداء الجيش أجمعين، من أبطال نهر البارد مروراً بسامر حنا، فرانسوا الحج، وصولاً إلى بيار بشعلاني وإبرهيم زهرمان برحمة الله والسلام.

يكثر الكلام عن صعوبات اللبننة الحياتيّة ولا يكفّ. في استطاعتي أن أسترسل في الحديث الى أبد الآبدين، ولن يكفيّ!
الحق يقال، إن شعبي يلتقي في كونه ضحية معاناة مشتركة ويتشرذم إلى قطع صغيرة متى ذكرت له تلك المعاناة الّتي لا يراها كفيلة برفعه من حدود الإنتماء المناطقي والطائفي، ليتلاقى باللبناني الآخر المُفترق عنه قسرا
.

You can read the Annahar article about my blog here (click) and find the above article also on Annahar here (click).

What’s The Legal Limit of Cyber Lebanese-Israeli Contact?

In the age of the internet, we, as a Lebanese, are bound to stumble on Israelis who are just like us – browsing around – and many of them actually reading the blogs we write, the pages we share, possibly even following us on twitter and others befriending us on Facebook.

For example, in the past few months, I’ve gotten over 3000 users from Israel to read this blog. And I cannot not allow it. And frankly, I don’t mind them reading.

I don’t have Israeli Facebook friends – I felt like this had to be put out there to prevent any sensitive folk from starting to hurl treason charges from the get-go.

My question is simple: when does our internet interaction with Israelis become illegal? Is replying to a comment by an Israeli on this blog considered illegal? What if I didn’t know he was Israeli? Am I supposed to track every user’s IP to know their country of origin? Can I not reply to emails by readers who happen to be Israeli and who are telling me that they enjoy what they have to say?

I’m not advocating normalization. In the case of war, I – Elie Fares – would be the first to support whoever wants to defend my country because they are, at the end of the day, my people. But don’t you think that worrying about an email or blog reply to another person who might as well be just like us is taking it too far?

This reminds me of a day when I was searching for an article to read about Lebanon’s oil reserves. One of those articles was on Haaretz, which required you to register in order to be able to read the article. And I couldn’t register because I didn’t know if that would be considered illegal as well. Is that normal? Is that how things are supposed to be?

I recently received an email from an Israeli whose name I won’t mention – and the email was touching. People advised me not to reply. So I didn’t. But I really, really wanted to. Not because I “approve” of the state of Israel. Not because I want to leak out information which I don’t have. Not because I want to feel a rebel in doing so. But because the following email really does warrant a reply as decent as the email itself:

LebanoN israel emailSo here it goes.

Dear SD,

Thank you for your email. I’m sorry I couldn’t reply earlier and I believe this isn’t quite the reply you were expecting. But it’ll have to do for now. I was told not to reply via email. Others told me of a workaround that couldn’t be tracked but that would have been way too fishy. So I figured I’d do it here, out in the open, because I really have nothing to hide. This is, after all, a simple reply to an email.

I sent this Hala’s way. She didn’t have too many kind things to say which is understandable if you ask me because she’s the one who was hurt due to repeated wars not me. So I will never fully understand what she has gone through. But she has said this with which I agree: “We know that human beings do not enjoy killing each others unless they’re sick people, your soldiers follow orders, they fear orders, they are taught to be obedient for their “cause.”

I am not as young as you think I am – voting age in Lebanon is 21 and I’m already beyond that point. And thank you for always reading – even if it’s about the road state in my country.

I’m afraid your wish will never happen in our lifetimes. It’s the way things are. But I know many Lebanese would love to visit our enemy to the South.

Best,

Elie

So what is our legal limit as Lebanese when it comes to internet contact which is becoming frequent lately with Israelis? Where is that line that we don’t really want to cross?

 

A Separate State of Mind… One Year Later

Well, what do you know, this little blog has turned one today. The appropriate thing would be to wish it happy birthday, no? I guess my Beirut outing later tonight will serve as a double purpose then.

I am actually proud of what A Separate State of Mind (Facebook page) came to be. I remember wanting to get 10,000 hits to feel like I’ve accomplished something. And now, one year later, I have over 300,000 hits and 3200 comments to top it off. Bloggers who tell you they don’t care about reception are liars. You need to feel there’s an audience for you out there – that people want to know what you have to say. And I’ve felt that throughout this past year. This blog has become my medium to communicate my ideas and thoughts. And there’s always someone’s reading and listening. It makes you feel good.

Throughout this year, I’ve had help from many people. Very good friends have helped me many times with posts, especially when it comes to sensitive subjects where I tend to tell it like it is, without being very diplomatic. So thank you awesome people. You know who you are.

For all matters and purposes, I think it’s been a good, successful year. Thank you for those who stuck with my long posts, my rants, my country music reviews, my political posts with which they don’t agree. Thank you for those who read everything, regardless of length or anger or music genre or political opinion.

Here’s hoping 2012 turns out just as good, if not better. 

New in town

I’ve been seeing people blogging and sharing their blogs for a while now, be it on my Twitter account or on my Facebook page. And I finally decided to take the plunge and register for an account because I’m becoming more active on the web social network lately.

What I think this page will turn into is somewhere I can post what movies I watched lately and my opinions on them, my opinion regarding life events in Lebanon or any other place, music I like, etc…

The title of this blog is “A Separate State of Mind”. And this is what I hope this becomes: a space where I can freely share my opinion about what I mentioned earlier.

A friend suggested Carrie-oholic, since my favorite artist is Carrie Underwood. But I will not be posting about Carrie only. So stick around. Odds are you might find something posted that you actually like. I mean, how at odds will my opinion about things be with everyone else?