Seven Sisters Beirut Bans Veiled Woman From Entering Because International Football Players Were There


Pic via Daily Star.

It’s perfectly legal for any private institution in the country to pick the clientele it wants to admit, that’s a given. But that doesn’t mean that some practices should go by unchallenged or even accepted just because they are legal, such as Iris banning men under the age of 24 but allowing women, because who knows why?

The Seven Sisters Bar and Grill in Beirut reportedly barred entry (link) for a couple with a veiled woman despite being told, before coming to the place, that they would be allowed to sit at the bar if they arrived between certain hours, which the couple had done.

While trying to negotiate their way into the place, the couple was surprised to see many unveiled women enter without even having their names checked on a reservation list. A recording, according to the Daily Star, saw the Seven Sisters Beirut establishment say: “We’re not allowing anyone with hijab tonight because it’s a special night.”

Find a link to the recording here

The special night they were referring to was a football-themed gathering whereby international football players who were coming to Lebanon for a charity game against Lebanese players were meeting fans for photographs and autographs, among other things.

It seems the Seven Sisters Beirut establishment didn’t want those football players from being exposed to any culture that they probably deem “not fit” for the reputation they want to perpetuate about the country. You know, the reputation where everything everyone does in Lebanon is party and drink and enjoy this joie de vivre everyone believes is what makes Lebanese special.

Guess again.

This kind of discriminatory behavior is appalling  and, quite honestly, will stop people like me – the non-veiled clientele that you want to bring into your establishment – from ever stepping foot there again. You should be ashamed of wanting to hide away essential and predominant figures of Lebanese society in order to paint a fake image for a football player who couldn’t remotely care.

But isn’t this how we do business in this country? We perpetuate fake-ness and masquerade it as authenticity in the belief that the “Western” way is the way to go, essentially annihilating everything about this country that makes it  unique, starting with banning veiled Lebanese women entry to certain restaurants just because “they don’t fit.”

It doesn’t matter if the place served alcohol or pork or any other food that Muslims tend to avoid. The fact that that couple was there willingly meant they were okay with being exposed to whatever it is Seven Sisters offered, and were doing so whole-heartedly. This kind of behavior from the Seven Sisters establishment only serves to further widen the divide between the Lebanon they want to convey and the Lebanon that actually is, one veiled woman being stopped at the door at a time.

So on the night when Luis Figo, Michel Salgado, Carlos Puyol and Roberto Carlos were being pampered left and right by a bar and grill in the heart of Beirut, some Lebanese who may have wanted to see them were falling victims to Islamophobia and prejudice in the heart of a country where Islam is not an anomaly.

Shame on Seven Sister Beirut’s establishment for such derogatory measures. The sad part is they probably couldn’t care less.

The hardships facing veiled women in this country are not only exclusive to being banned from entering certain restaurants. It’s perpetuated to work opportunities whereby some companies would outright refuse applicants just because they’re veiled, to various other aspects of daily Lebanese life that many of us take for granted, which is unfortunate as well as surprising in a country where being veiled isn’t exactly rare. Being non-veiled is beginning to be turned into a privilege. With each passing day, the spectrum of freedom allowed to Lebanese is shrinking.

Euro 2012 Final: Italy vs Spain aka Super Fun Italy vs Super Boring Spain

Remember way back when I told you how I, as an Italy fan, was getting ready for my team’s opening game against Spain in the group stages?

I had my jersey ready.

I had the flag at my disposal.

And for good measure, I had all forms of deities I can get to at hand:

Now that my team has reached the final after an awesome win against Germany (which I was deep-down expecting but went about lowering my expectations and doing some necessary pre-game damage control, just in case. Those Lebanese football fans can sure be a pain when you lose), how will I get ready for the big finale?

Yes, that is pasta! And this is how a friend and I celebrated😀

Well, if anything, this Euro tournament has shown that you cannot dismiss the Italians easily, which many (including some of their supporters *raises hand* have done).

1 – Some hadn’t expected Italy to get past the group stage. They did.

2 – Some didn’t expect Italy to then beat a very mediocre England in the quarter finals. They dominated England and were unlucky not to have won in the game’s original time. Many had even predicted a 3-0 score for England. Those same people are predicting a 3-1 Spain win today.

3 – Once Italy reached the semi-finals against Germany, the only thing you could hear is resounding confidence how this will be the end of the road for the Italians. But it was far from it. The Italians should have won with more than two goals.

So what’s my mentality going in to the final?

Well, I cannot but have a faint tinge of panic (or a lot of panic). But I am proud of what they have done in this tournament. Italy have proven that they are so much fun to watch. They are attacking, creating chances. Not just scoring on a counter-attack and parking their legendary bus, stopping any team from even thinking about scoring.

On the other hand, Spain have been boring this Euro tournament. Their game against Portugal was such a pain to watch that I ended up catching up on my reading and blogging about a festival named Wickerpark before they reached the penalty shoot-out during which I still had no idea which team I wanted to advance. Out of the six goals they scored, four were against the same team (Ireland). Their showing against all the other teams they played (Croatia, Portugal, Italy) was far from impressive.

Am I confident Italy will win today? Hardly. But regardless of what the result of tonight’s game turns out to be, I – as a supporter of the Azzurri – am extremely happy with what they’ve accomplished and hope the cherry on top will be them winning.

Rising from the tournament’s underdogs to stars, this Italy side has proven that one doesn’t simply take them lightly. The game tonight will be great to watch, as was the group stage game between both teams.

I think Pirlo will be as great as he was in all of this tournament’s games. I think Balotelli will shine again. I think Buffon will prove, yet again, why he is the world’s best goalkeeper – bar none.

But regardless of what happens: FORZA EFFIN ITALIA! I can’t wait to see what Prandelli does with Italy in the next World Cup.


Watch the Italy vs Germany Euro 2012 Semi-Final Football Game Online

As the Euro 2012 tournament draws close to an end, the second and last semi-final game is here between football rivals Germany and Italy.

Germany haven’t beaten Italy since 1995 and they’ve never beaten them in competitive games. Ever. On the other hand, the Italians should be extremely tired after their 120 minute game against England in the quarter finals. The game is up in the air. As an Italy fan, it saddens me to predict a Germany win.

But a streak has got to end sometime, no?

Either way, here’s a link to watch the game online (here).


The Last Part of UEFA Euro 2012 Round 1 Explained

I was reading the past couple of days sports articles about how a Croatia-Spain 2-2 tie would see Italy out, even if they beat Ireland by 10 goals.

So I asked people about that because it didn’t make sense to me and I was linked to the tie-breaker regulations, which are as follows:

If Spain ties Croatia, they would both have the same number of points as Italy in the case of Italy beating Ireland. In that case, they’ll go down through the above criteria in order. The first two, a & b, do not break the tie. Point c, however, which precedes goal difference, does. Italy tied Croatia 1-1. In the event of Spain tying Croatia 2-2, the number of goals scored by Spain and Croatia in their own game is higher and therefore, they would both advance. Unfair? Well, it’s the way things are.

Either way, sports blog figo29 has taken his time to write out a detailed scenario for all the different possibilities for the next few days playing out. So if you want to know, for example, how Holland can actually still advance despite having lost twice, I invite you to read this very simple analysis here.

Until then, I’ll go back to praying for the sake of Italy advancing. They leave their supporters to the very last round every single time.

Now This Is Football! Italy vs Spain at the UEFA Euro 2012

I’m definitely biased towards Italy when it comes to football but I can appreciate a good game when I watch one, regardless of who’s playing and regardless of my sentiments towards the teams.

For instance, even though I’m indifferent towards both Germany and Portugal and even though I wanted Germany to win yesterday, which they did, I was still bored by the game which everyone would agree was fairly lackluster.

Well, here comes the Italy vs Spain game which ended a few minutes ago to bring some good football to a pretty mundane Euro tournament so far.

Sure, the score is 1-1. No team won. But both teams were great, had many opportunities to score and gave fans a great display of football.

The first half was all Italy. They entered the game as the underdogs. I even thought a good outcome out of this had low outcomes, which is evident by the many Holy forms I had summoned. But suprisingly, Italy were attacking and building opportunities and threatening the Spaniards in ways I’m pretty sure the most optimistic supporters of the Azzurri didn’t think was possible.

They reminded me of the 2006 Italy that was mesmerizing, at least to me, to watch.

The second half held a clear Spanish advantage with Italy returning to their defensive self but it saw both teams scoring within minutes of each other: Di Natale, followed by Fabregas. The second half saw Buffon prove to the world why he is the best goalkeeper in the world today. It saw the Spanish offense & midfield shine and the Italian defense stand firmly in their path. It showcased both teams playing to their strengths.

All in all, the Italy vs Spain game can be summed up this way: Great football. Great teams. There’s no way in hell Italy is a pushover. Buffon is a god. That is all.

PS: I just noticed I actually wrote a sports-related blog post here. Awesome. Oh, and just a piece of trivia. Spain haven’t beaten Italy in a tournament game since 1920.

Watch the UEFA Euro 2012 Italy vs Spain Football Game Online

Since Al-Jazeera (the only source to watch the games in the region) is proving a headache for many, I figured I’d prepare a live streaming link for you all in order to watch tonight’s game, which is one of the most anticipated games of the first round.

Italy meets Spain tonight at 7 pm. You can watch the game here.

Last but not least: FORZA ITALIA😀