Lebanon’s Security Forces Which Stopped A Terrorist Attack in Hamra Tonight Are Heroes

A 24 year old Lebanese terrorist suicide bomber named Omar el Assi, from Saida, was apprehended moments before he detonated himself in Hamra, one of Beirut’s most bustling streets, right outside Costa Cafe, in breaking news out of Beirut right now.

The terrorist had an explosive belt strapped around his chest. It’s unclear whether he was targeting Costa or one of the many nearby bars. Hamra is one of the most liberal places in Beirut, and attacking it is a frightening precendent in Lebanon’s constant fight against terrorists.¬†

Uncovering the attack was a coordinated effort between Lebanon’s intelligence and Internal Security forces. Tonight, they are heroes. Plenty of people are safe because of them, and for that I am forever thankful.

This shows that when our security forces work together towards the one goal of keeping us safe, they can be as triumphant as this. I hope we learn from this lesson moving forward how valuable our unity is.

I hope that terrorist receives the worst of punishment from the state and that the level of vigilance that the security forces have shown over the past few months remains as high going into the new year. In the political turmoil overtaking the region, Lebanon’s stability has been the result of such work, and it shows.

Thank you for saving Hamra tonight, and for saving the country on those many occasions that don’t make it to the news.

Lebanese people out and about on this Saturday evening, stay safe and enjoy your night away. Don’t fall for the culture of fear that those Godless barbaric disgusting creatures want to instill in is. Facing their culture of death, let’s always rise above and show them that we are a people who will not be broken that way.

And to that terrorist, and those that support that horrifying ideology, fuck you. Take your culture of death and shove it up the darkest orifice in your body. Nothing about you is welcome here.

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Lebanon’s New Driving Law

Behold! Lebanon has a new driving law – and it stands at a whopping 197 pages! (check it here). Who knew our driving regulations were that developed?

I personally didn’t bother reading it because 1) I have no idea how it differs from the previous version and 2) no one will abide by it – not even our security forces who are supposed to enforce it. But I’ve linked it just because some of you are short on fun things to do.

When it comes to driving in this country, what’s on paper has nothing to do with what’s actually on our roads. When will our politicians realize that their attempts at regulating that are futile at best?

Driving in Lebanon will forever be as follows:

  • – You will use your left hand as indicator at all times. If you have a passenger with you in the car, his right hand will serve as your right indicator. This is non-disputable.
  • – There are no lanes. If the axis of your car isn’t alined with those dashed lines, you’re not doing it right.
  • – There are no maximum speed limits. You just keep going and going and going as long as traffic permits. If by some random chance you stumble on someone going at the speed limit, you will use your high beams to temporarily blind them.
  • – There are no minimum speed limits. You are allowed to text and whatsapp and tweet and update your Facebook status as you drive slower than a turtle on the left lane. No one is allowed to be annoyed by this.
  • – Red lights are for decorative purposes only. If you see someone waiting for it to go green, you will honk their ears off. It’s only appropriate – your time is golden and they’re wasting it.
  • – That pedestrian light is simply there to entertain you with its constant glowing. Green means go and red means go. Pedestrian gets squashed? Who cares.
  • – The pedestrian light is also there to entertain pedestrians. Whether it’s red or light holds no bearing on whether they should cross or not. The rule is as follows: look left. Look right. Read, set, go!
  • – Nothing comes between you and your favorite snack place. If it means triple parking in the middle of the road then so be it. You will park wherever you please, whenever you please. Unless there’s a politician passing by. Or the entire street is taken by valet parking. If someone dares to take your parking spot, bloodshed will be permitted. Refer to your favorite local militia for assistance.
  • – Your car being unsuitable for driving is no problem whatsoever. A renault 12 without doors, without a roof, without headlights and with an engine that almost dies every few minutes is the standard. If your car is better than that, it’ll pass.
  • – Think of road signs as year-long Christmas decorations. Some of them are ugly. Others are more creative. But they are all useless. Example: A one way street sign means this particular street is always two-ways. Always. The imbecile who put it there was not thinking straight.
  • – If by some random chance some policeman decides to hand you a $50 ticket, you will grab your $1000-worth smartphone and call your favorite politician or that policeman’s superior then hand the phone over. Once the policeman cowers away in terror and rips your ticket in tiny little pieces, you will leave the scene of the crime with your dignity intact.

And that’s how you do it. That new law can shove it.

#ProtectPrivacy – The Lebanese ISF Should Get Controlled Access To Your Information

The ISF have issued a request for minister of telecommunication Nicolas Sehnaoui to hand out the much coveted and talked about data that has been sought for months and months now. He has refused their request.

The data in question contains the text messages you’ve sent, some of your email correspondences as well as BBM chats (didn’t know that was accessible) and social media information that’s available to them. As a result, the entire Twitter community is in an uproar over this as they tweet against ISF measures using the hashtag #ProtectPrivacy, after a request from minister Sehnaoui.

I don’t know how the ministry of telecommunication actually has my Facebook or Twitter passwords. I don’t know how they have access to my emails or how they can actually read my iMessages. Last time I checked, those happened over an encrypted connection that makes access to them very difficult. But I digress.

When it comes to all of this, my stance is that of the devil’s advocate. Why not let them have access?

Of course this access has to be controlled. I’m against open access for them to everything because that’s just absurd. If I’m not a person of interest, then my data should be off limit until a time when I become a person of interest and that’s proven via evidence that shows my possible connection with a crime. For the record, I am innocent! (Although that’s what a criminal would also say). But to say that data should be off limit in absolute terms and for everyone doesn’t really make me feel safe in a country where safety has become a fleeting sentiment that you get occasionally… when someone’s not getting blown up on a busy intersection at rush hour.

My privacy is important to me and I surely wouldn’t want everything I do be broadcast in some dark room somewhere in Lebanon’s Intelligence HQ. However, that’s the same thing criminals who are assassinating politicians and blowing up people would also say and are absolutely loving at the moment.

Eventually, the ISF doesn’t really care who you slept with or if you sexted someone other than your girlfriend/boyfriend. They don’t care where you went out for dinner yesterday or who you’re meeting up for lunch tomorrow. What they should care about is catching criminals and contributing to the safety of citizens in this country. An ulterior motive may exist. Perhaps all those Turkish soap operas are not enough. So that’s why we should have functioning courts that determine whether an ISF request for a person’s private data information is valid or not.

As a Lebanese citizen, I don’t care about someone getting controlled access to my privacy if it meant I don’t have to die for finishing work at 3 p.m on a Friday. #ProtectPrivacy? Honestly, I’d rather #ProtectSafety first and foremost.