Cancer Of Arabism, Breeder of Terrorism, And Radical Islam Harborer Saudi Arabia Is Walking All Over Lebanon’s Reputation & Sovereignty Because We Allow It

It’s the epitome of irony when the country that gave the world the masterminds and executioners of 9/11, whose soil gave birth to Bin Laden and other infamous terrorists that have killed innocents the world over, whose money has funded terrorism in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Europe and America, whose entire existence is about destabilizing as much as possible accuses Lebanon of terrorism – and detains its own prime minister as a result.

Saudi Arabia, the country that made a robot a citizen before its own women can have equal rights, summoned our prime minister to their country one week ago to this day, forced him to resign, and is now holding him at an unknown location in their country, not permitting him to return to his country that he is still technically in charge in. You see, Lebanese Prime Ministers cannot resign from abroad and consider that resignation valid, it has to be presented to the Lebanese president. Saudi Arabia is holding our head of state for ransom – as one of Marcel Ghanem’s Saudi guests put it: “you’ll get him back once you’ve gotten rid of Hezbollah.”

I wonder, how would the Saudis feel had some foreign power decided to hold their crown prince hostage, say, in their territorial waters one day, on his fancy ass boat just because they can? Nay, Saudi Arabia doesn’t reason. It’s a country synonymous with oppression, cutting off hands as forms of punishment and spreading hate whenever they can.

A country that’s made Arabism more cancerous than actual cancer, who has bred terrorism and harbored all the facets of Radical Islam is currently tramping all over our reputation as sovereign state. They hold our economy in their hands – 22% of remittances come from there. They hold our politics in their fingers. They are literally holding our prime minister in their midst. They send their henchmen on TV shows run by Lebanese journalists and reporters, and have them insult the country to those reporters’ faces, only to be stared at blankly.

You see, for a country that’s 50 shades of demented like Saudi Arabia to have so much power over our own home, the answer is simple: we’ve allowed it to foster over the years, putting our own dignity as a country second to the well-being and pride of the Saudis, and their friends.

When they send their tourists in, we treat them like royalty. They’re not just another tourist visiting the country for the summer – they’re the Saudis who are back for this season. We offer them specials in our restaurants, we kiss their asses like no other touristic ass has ever been kissed in the country. We inflame the sense in them that we need them more than they need us.

When they tell us we have to be thankful they ended our civil war, we shrug and nod. We don’t rise up to say that they had as much a hand in the civil war in the first place. We don’t tell them that one cannot claim credit for ending a disaster that one was part of. Instead, we take the hit and change the topic. It’s Saudi Arabia, the mighty heart of Mecca. One does not simply oppose their rhetoric easily.

When they call on their citizens to leave the country, we fall on our knees and beg them to change their minds. They pull that card faster than Gebran Bassil spews racism, and yet, we fall to their tricks every time. No, please don’t have your people go. No, please let them stay. Sam Smith was not that desperate in any of his songs. Do we need their money? Sure. But some things are more important than money in this country, and sometimes telling someone who’s bluffing to your face to fuck off is what’s needed.

When they threaten the well-being of Lebanon’s families in their country, and consequently our economy, we crumble in fear of what could happen if they execute their threats, not knowing that their economy is as much reliant as Lebanese workers who are there. It’s beyond egotistical for them to remotely believe they can even replace our diaspora that is there, but they threaten it anyway, and we fall for it every time.

Their hands – as are Iran’s – play with our country like legos. Our borders, whether closed or not, are always open for their interference to come in and do whatever it wants, no questions asked. Our relationship with them has been parasitic for a very long time, but today it is becoming cancerous. Today, Saudi Arabia is trying to, as it has been doing for years now, squash the little country it thinks it can take on, except it’s no longer in the woodworks and out in the open.

And we let it. We’ve let our politicians, be it Saad or his dad or other figures, convince us that we must be eternally grateful to the Kingdom for our well-being as a country, no questions asked, no criticism raised. They can kill our political cycle by not letting us have the president we want, the prime minister we want, the elections we wanted, the security we deserve, the stability we seek. And we are supposed to sit in a corner, bow our heads and be eternally silent.

Our country has lived without a president, prime minister, functioning governments, functioning infrastructure, a garbage disposal system, terrorist attacks (funded by Saudi Arabia and friends, sometimes), democracy and elections, and we’ve survived. What have the Saudis been through exactly in their lifetime? Oil prices dropping? Cry me a river.

They have a way of making even the staunchest anti-Hezbollah Lebanese rise up against the disgusting rhetoric they’re throwing at us, the insults they’re hurling our way, and the utter disregard to the sanctity of Lebanon as a country in everything they do. It is high time we stand up as a country to being bullied and say that will happen no more. Give us back our prime minister, fight your proxy wars elsewhere, and leave us the fuck alone. We’re a country of 4 million strong who have been through hell and back, whose skin is thicker than yours will ever be, and who are sick of your bullshit in their daily lives for the past 30 years.

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From Lebanon To Saudi Arabia: Thanks For Declaring War On Us, But Can You Chill The Fuck Down?

In today’s episode of “The Bullshit Roaming The Kingdom of Saud,” Saudi Arabia has – through one of its ministers – declared war on the tiny country of Lebanon as it accuses of Hezbollah of launching a missile from Yemen on its capital, Riyadh, on Saturday, naturally without providing any proof of any sort to reinforce such an accusation.

While the premise of Saudi military action against Lebanon is far-fetched; after all, they are barely holding it together in Yemen against some rebels anyway, the mere notion of such a huge and capable country declaring war against Lebanon is horrifying.

What this means is that Saudi Arabia can turn Lebanon into another Qatar (minus the money) effectively barricading it both economically and strategically. As it stands, Saudi Arabia does not want Hezbollah to have anything to do with any form of governance in the country, effectively considering the mere presence of the party in any government a declaration of war. Dramatic much? Perhaps. But then again, a country that arrested 11 princes only 48 hours ago is not exactly one known to go out with grace.

Such a declaration of war can mean chaos to many Lebanese families and our entire economy, especially with politicians that have made sure over the years to interconnect our entire country’s fabrics to us being in the Kingdom’s good graces. Yes, Saad and family, we are looking at you.

I imagine that KSA’s demands will be very Hezbollah centric. As we all know, requests to halt any military activity by that specific party are near impossible for us as Lebanese to fulfill. Whether we want to or not, Hezbollah is stronger than the Lebanese state, is backed by a regime that is as strong as Saudi Arabia, and is influential enough to even terrify the mighty House of Saud.

What Saudi Arabia can do, however, is cause so much economical damage that Lebanon can take years to recover. Thousands of Lebanese families are dependent on work in KSA for their livelihood. Thousands of projects in the country are dependent on Saudi funding. Even more projects and economic dependency is illustrated once you factor in other GCC countries (minus Qatar) that also fall in line whenever Saudi Arabia orders them to.

Unlike Qatar, however, Lebanon does not have the financial or economic backbone to withstand an effective blockade against it from mighty countries that were, up until a few hours ago, “very concerned” about its well-being as a country. What could this mean for Hezbollah? The party has received such threats from Israel before, but where Israeli threats remain predominantly as such, Saudi Arabia could tangibly put a blockade into effect.

So dear Saudi Arabia,

We know it’s been hard for you. Trying to enable a new bratty prince is difficult, especially when his view of the world is so different from anything you’re used to that it’s sort of threatening everything you’ve known. Your clerics are angry, some of your ruling class are angry, a lot of your men are angry now that you’ve let your women drive (welcome to 2017). And then add in those low prices of oil. Have you tried a Prozac, perhaps? Xanax does wonders too.

We know you’ve been stretched too thin. A war in Yemen, a blockade that’s not working against Qatar, a feud with Iran that is not going your way, an American president who’s only concerned with wanting you to sell stocks in the New York Stock Exchange, but could you maybe have developed some hearing deficiency? I’m pretty sure you saying we declared war on you is way too similar to that kid in recess back during school days who’d beat up other kids and then go run to his mother saying it’s the other way around.

Look at the bright side though, you’re slowly becoming BFFs with Israel. Yes for new friends, isn’t that nice?

In the grand scheme of things, I wonder: are you okay? You seem to be more demanding than that ex we all have and despise. Do you want to talk about all those issues you keep piling up? Is letting women drive really causing your societies to unravel so much you can’t even get your shit together anymore and feel the need to declare war on small countries just so you can feel mighty?

You already have our prime minister in knots around your fingers. His allegiance is literally with you, and not his country. He escaped to you in the moment you declared war on the country he was governing. What more do you want from us? Is Saad not enough? I mean look at him! He looks so happy to be there, with his fancy smartwatch.

To put it blunty, can you chill the fuck down and mind your own business for once? Of course not, what a silly question.

P.S.: I hope you’re happy, Saad! ❤

Sincerely,

Lebanese citizens concerned for their families back home. 

When Lebanon’s Trash Becomes International, But We Are Too Busy Kissing Saudi Arabia’s Ass

Don’t call it brain dead.

Congrats Lebanon, we have made the international news cycle once more, the first time this year and hopefully the first of many.

No, it wasn’t about that viral Facebook fake-pictures-filled post proclaiming the beauty of God’s gift to Earth. I can hear your hearts break all the way here.

What made us international is actually old news to us. It’s so old in fact that not only does nobody care anymore, but the hype surrounding the issue has disappeared with each vanishing garbage bag stashed away in one of Lebanon’s valleys or on random roads, snaking around curves like white rancid rivers. Out of sight, out of mind – Lebanon style.


There is a bright side to the ordeal, however. Even our garbage bags look nice. They’re white, snow-like, built into winding rivers or towering pyramids.

Say hi to Buzzfeed.

Say thank you to CNN.

Wait for the upcoming onslaught from other outlets as well in the next few days. We are making it big. Aren’t we all proud?

Except, of course, this is *obviously* not the image of the country:

img_2545

I mean it’s always someone else’s fault, never ours collectively.

Putting lipstick on a dead pig level: Lebanon.

Is anything happening regarding the garbage crisis? Not really. Our government is busy doing other things, or just one thing to be exact: kiss Saudi Arabia’s ass like no country has missed another country’s ass before.

This past week, our government convened for SEVEN straight hours to discuss one item on their agenda: how to formulate a paragraph to please Saudi Arabia in order not to face their wrath manifesting in them not giving us money anymore, beggars-style.

I don’t think our government has convened for a total of 7 hours discussing the garbage crisis, or any other Lebanese crisis for that matter, over the last several months.

Live Love Saudi Arabia.

This past week, Saad Hariri decided to launch a petition across the country in order to show Saudi Arabia that Lebanon loved it so, akin to our country giving them a big fat political blowjob.

No politician cared enough to act about the garbage crisis, or any other crisis, since it started. Have we ever had a “Loyalty to Lebanon” petition circle around the country before?

Live Love Saudi Arabia.

This past week, minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi quit to protest the Lebanese stance towards Saudi Arabia’s recent embassy attack, first and foremost, and to a lesser extent protest the handling of Michel Samaha’s case. It took their reference country being seemingly offended for some ministers to resign.
Months after the garbage piled up on our streets, months after protests of hundreds of thousands… No other minister resigned or was even fazed by the notion of needing to resign.
This past week, Lebanese politicians of all kinds of kinds had something to say about Saudi Arabia. Even those that opposed KSA politically were at loss about what to do.
This amount of political maneuvering has not occurred not only with the garbage crisis, but with out presidential vacuum issue as well.

Live Love Saudi Arabia.

There comes a point where an entire country begging for absolution from another entity for the sake of money, for the sake of empty Arabism, for the sake of useless politics when that country’s capital is drowning in trash becomes not only humiliating but also insulting.

This is where we are today: a country sinking in garbage, but whose priority is how low it can go to its knees. But please, by a all means, don’t call it brain dead.

Let’s keep loving Saudi Arabia.

Al Jazeera’s Maronite Patriarch Caricature

Taking a cue from Saudi Newspaper Al Watan (click here), Al Jazeera decided to tackle the Patriarch’s visit to Syria in their own way. If you thought the Saudi caricature was bad, this one is even worse – at least the other one was decently drawn:

Al Jazeera Patriarch CaricatureI reiterate what I said before regarding these caricatures.

  • I don’t care about the content of the caricatures: Bechara Al Raï is not a holy figure.
  • I care about the source of the caricatures – Al Watan and Al Jazeera are of the same mold.
  • If these caricatures came from a country where freedom of speech reigns supreme, I would have accepted them without any hesitation. I’d have made posters out of them.
  • These caricatures originate from countries that have no freedom of speech, next to no liberties and are only functional because of the copious amounts of oil beneath their soil.
  • The publications in such countries do not get the right to exert their freedom of speech on me when they have countless problems in their own backyard that could be discussed.
  • Seeing as these publications’ corresponding governments have supreme control over what appears in them, it wouldn’t be far fetched to assume this has also passed through the approval of relevant authorities.

Of course, such caricatures do not warrant replies from Lebanese that – although very creative – go like this:

Lebanon Saudi Arabia picture King Saoud Jal el Dib highway

It’s not because we have to worry about our expats. It’s not because we have to worry about the Saudis coming for tourism. It’s simply because their low level of discourse does not even warrant the effort put into that poster.

Now let’s await a new poster for the Qatari prince and then Qatar will definitely act out all hormonal and threaten to kick all the expats out of its land because its ego was bruised.

Insulting The Maronite Patriarch

I don’t believe Bechara al Raï’s visit to Syria was the devil incarnated as many seem to believe. He simply went there to hold Mass, believing his visit would actually get the Maronites of Syria to relax about their future. But it’s not all peachy. His visit is most probably not on his own accord. Odds are the Vatican had requested he visit Syria but I think Al Raï was more than itching to go down in history as the first Maronite Patriarch to visit Syria post Lebanon’s independence. The visit, in my opinion, is absolutely miscalculated and, if anything, showcases a seriously short foresight on his behalf as well – one that a person in his tenure should not have. Al Raï was simply too limited to see the repercussions of such a visit. The hidden meaning is far more serious than it being a simple religious visit.

The Syrian regime has, over more than 20 years, systematically persecuted the Maronites of Lebanon, be it politically or demographically or even socially. The Maronite Church stood against the regime countless times, effectively being the first catalyst that led to the regime’s army departing from Lebanon on April 26th, 2005. Bechara Al Raï’s stances have been far removed from the Maronite Church’s historical views towards the Assad regime. But how can a patriarch truly expect the first Maronite Patriarchal visit to Syria since 1943 be considered as a shallow affair of prayer seeing as it is visiting the country of a regime who did what it did to Lebanon’s Maronites? His visit was not to the regime, granted. But in a way, it is by extension. The Maronites of Syria sure deserve their patriarch to visit them – but not under current circumstances. The argument that Maronites all around the world deserve a patriarchal visit is something that the patriarch shouldn’t even touch to justify him going to Damascus. There are also Maronites in Israel. But that part is taboo.

The Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al Raï’s visit has been, to say the least, extremely polarizing. Many were supportive of it as a step towards reaching out to the scared Maronites of Syria, few as they may be. Others were staunchly against it, characterizing the visit and its Mass as diabolical. Caricature drawings in Saudi newspapers were circulated:

Bechara el Rai Caricature Saudi newspaper Al Watan

The idea being discussed was the following: the Maronites will never do what the Sunnis did with the prophet caricatures or what the Shiites did when Hassan Nasrallah was portrayed on Basmat Watan. The argument goes that Maronites are “more civilized.”

Someone forgot to tune in during last week’s Maronite road barricades in support of the Lebanese army. So it’s not really beneath us as Maronites to block roads. After all, it is in these days.

The Caricature in Al Watan newspaper is definitely not acceptable but it’s not because it’s demeaning and offensive to Christianity. Al Watan newspaper did not, similarly to Danish newspapers, publish offensive pictures of holy Christian figures in order for the comparison between potential Maronite reactions, or lack thereof, and Muslim reactions to be valid.

Pretending as if this is the same caliber as the Muslim reactions to the prophet drawings, which in themselves were not acceptable, is quite frankly very silly. Patriarch Bechara el Raï is not Jesus. He is not a Holy person. He is a neo-politician-priest who did what many believe is a mistake. And it stops at that.

But it is not acceptable in any way whatsoever for a disgusting newspaper, Al Watan, which is published in a country like Saudi Arabia where freedom of speech does not exist, where they cannot – nor do they dare – criticize their own religious folk and their ruling class after which their country was named, where Christians are not allowed to practice their religion freely (even the Cross in the caricature was hidden), where women are kept on a leash, where liberties are suppressed and where human rights are unheard of to remotely have the right to criticize anyone in that way, let alone someone who does not affect their country in any way whatsoever.

I have to wonder, in what way does Al Raï’s visit to Syria bother Al Watan? It only shows exactly how silly that newspaper is – that they’d go after a religious figure who is probably unknown to the majority of Saudis just because he is one of the few religious figures in the region which they can attack. And it’s not because they hate Christians, as many seem to believe, which I would suppose might hold some truth. It’s because it gives them the illusion that they are free, that they can do this and face no repercussions. They thought wrong.

If this caricature had come out from a newspaper in a country known for its freedom of speech, such as Denmark – a place which dared to publish Mohammad caricatures – the discussion would have been totally different. If the pope receives such caricatures, then why not Raï? But Al Watan, with the demented theocratical country it operates in, publishing them is not and should not be tolerated. They only practice their freedom of speech when their bosses approve. When it doesn’t get on the nerves of its readers… when they address a population which lives far away in an issue that does not affect them in any way whatsoever.

They don’t dare to see that their own society has a multitude of issues that could be made into a caricature, starting with that sheikh who beat and abused his 6 year old daughter to death to the fact that women are now starting to learn how to drive after their gender has been voting for more than several decades in countries around the world. And that makes them cowards. It makes them not respectable as a publication or a newspaper or any form of media that wants to be read.

The best place for Al Watan is the trash bin.

Now let’s address our own Lebanese.

The Lebanese reactions towards the Saudi insult have not been much better although a Lebanese addressing the issue is definitely more acceptable than someone who comes from a country that doesn’t even know freedom of religion. The caricature, the visit and everything around it was milked politically like everything in the country nowadays. Anything that revolves in any way around defending Christians in this country serves as ammo for politicians from both sides to fire at each other, trying to create a firework display of Christian power to please the masses ahead of the parliamentary vote.

As the constant disk of those “bad Sunnis of Saudi Arabia attacking us poor Maronite minority in Lebanon” kept playing, some people were forgetting who was doing even worse than those Sunnis to the former patriarch Sfeir with insults that went from the belt down (“heida l batriark thayyaj” anyone?), to attacking his tenure, his position, his seat and his person. But that doesn’t count – because it’s only bad when a non-Maronite does it apparently.

You want to criticize the patriarch himself, as a person, fine by me. Feel free to criticize his political opinion, if any. Feel free to address his stance regarding social issues as much as you want. I think it’s healthy when religious figures are challenged in this country and no religious figure has probably been challenged as much as the Maronite patriarch, especially by his own people.

But there’s a minimum required respect for the seat the man occupies. The Patriarch is but a temporary filler for the head of the Maronite Church. Calling the patriarchy a patriarchy of disgrace is not acceptable. Calling the Mass that took place in Syria as diabolical is unacceptable. I am not saying religious figures – as men – are the ones that should never be criticized despite everything. I’m saying that the institutions that these figures represent have a minimum of respect that should be given to them, regardless of where you stand when it comes to the matters of faith or lack thereof.

When I read some Lebanese people calling the Maronite patriarchy a new prostitute for Al Assad, that to me – even as a non religious Maronite – is offensive because it not only attacks the patriarchy in its current form, it also attacks my forefathers of whom I cannot but be proud as they struggled through centuries of persecution against tyrants who were worse than Al Assad and I don’t mean this in the religious but in the historical sense.

Insulting the Maronite Patriarchy and patriarch is not exclusive to one sect or one political side. Everyone does it and pretends as if it’s not okay to do it. What many seem not to realize is that there’s a thin line between being critical and downright insulting, especially when it comes to such institutions, that we cross way too readily, most often on a whim. Criticizing the Maronite Church’s practices is definitely not and should never be a taboo. And I’ll be the first one to criticize some of the policies they might come up with, something which I have done many times before. However, a few questions need to be asked: did the patriarch’s visit to Syria really cause any harm among the Maronites here or there? No. Did it bruise our pride? Perhaps it did. But is that reason enough to insult the patriarchy, the patriarch and enable publications from countries that do not even know the basic concept of freedom to do the same? I hardly think so.

Where Do We Go Now is Banned in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia may not have cinemas but it allows some DVDs to be sold in its shops. Where Do We Go Now won’t be one of those DVDs because the Saudi government has deemed the movie offensive and unsuitable for a Home Video release. Therefore, the movie was banned entirely.

In retrospect, this is very much expected. A movie whose ultimate message is about religious tolerance will be allowed in Saudi Arabia how?

In simple terms, Saudi Arabia is here and the concept of religious tolerance has escaped them so much that it’s flown all the way to Pluto and settled there.

The way I see it, in this day and age, banning any movie, book or TV show is irrelevant. The only entity that will get hurt here is some wallets.

There’s simply  a little bay for pirates where everything can be found. If Nadine Labaki’s aim is to deliver a message first and foremost instead of filling up her treasury, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind audiences in Saudi Arabia making a slight detour to that bay.

Or the Saudis, whose government still allows them to come over to Lebanon for the summer, can purchase the super-overpriced DVD here. You know they can afford it.

$450,000: The Bounty for Bashar el Assad’s Head

A Saudi Arabian cleric announced via his Twitter account that he’s offering $450,000 to anyone who would kill the Syrian president Bashar el Assad.

The Saudi cleric in question is actually one of the country’s top religious figure: Dr. Ali Al Rabieei. The tweet was published both in English and Arabic. Interestingly enough, the bounty started at $400,000 before he upped it by another $50,000.

After the Houla Massacre, I have my reservations regarding this amount. But I’m not paying. And I have no idea what’s the point behind something that will obviously lead nowhere except becoming a source for dark humor at a time where no one needs such a thing.