Commentary, Digital Life, Human Rights, Lebanon, Published Work

Why the world grieved for Paris and not Beirut

As Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris unfolded, people around the world tuned in to watch blanket coverage of the events. Facebook activated a feature allowing Parisians to check in as “safe.” By Saturday, millions of people had added a filter of the French flag to their profile pictures to show solidarity with Paris. Continue reading

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Commentary, Lebanon, Published Work

Western media’s troubling obsession with “badass” and “submissive” Arab women

A version of this article originally appeared on Now Lebanon.

A clip of Al-Jadeed anchor Rima Karaki shutting down London-based cleric Sheikh Hani al-Sibai during a televised interview has received international attention. As a journalist and a feminist, I initially cheered at Karaki’s satisfying take down of her patronizing guest. But as the video went viral, I found myself struggling to come to terms with the ways that the clip was repurposed and framed by many international media outlets. Continue reading

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Lebanon, Published Work

Featured in “Positive Lebanon”

I’m happy to share that a piece of mine has been featured in the book Positive Lebanon, which was released by Tamyras publishing house in December 2014. The book features positive initiatives from Lebanese civil society, as well as a number of Lebanese writers.

For media coverage of the book launch at Salon du Livre Beyrouth:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Arts-and-Ent/Culture/2014/Dec-18/281555-compiling-the-publics-love-letters-to-lebanon.ashx

The book can be ordered online here:

http://www.antoineonline.com/Article.aspx?id=103

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Commentary, Lebanon

The tired foreign media narrative on Lebanon

A version of this article originally appeared on Now Lebanon.

The week of Lebanon’s Independence Day, Foreign Affairs published a commentary piece ominously titled “Beirut’s Center Cannot Hold: Lebanon Is On the Brink of Another Civil War.” The headline, a less-than-subtle nod to Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming,” begs the question that has been debated time and time again by international media since 2005: what is holding Lebanon together? Continue reading

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Commentary, Human Rights, Lebanon

Fattouch, Bassil actions reflect a deeper misogyny

While political gaffes may appear to exist in isolation, Fattouch and Bassil’s actions are reflective of a society with a deep and troubling political legacy of violence and misogyny. 

A version of this article originally appeared on Now Lebanon.

An incident involving independent MP Nicolas Fattouch punching a female clerk in the neck at the Justice Palace has gone viral.

While rumors circulated online that Manale Daou, the clerk in question, was forced to withdraw a lawsuit and apologize to the offending MP, Mahmoud Darwish of the Public Administration Employees Committee has denied that legal action against Fattouch has been dropped. Continue reading

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Commentary, Digital Life, Lebanon

On Slacktivism and Objectification: Why #StripforJackie Misses the Point

A version of this article originally appeared on Now Lebanon.

In the wake of Lebanon’s latest pseudo scandal, Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun has been vilified for a three year old photo-shoot in which she posed topless. In a particularly poignant logical fallacy, even for Lebanese governmental standards, Minister Faisal Karami has requested an investigation into the shoot.

The irony that a minister considers a pair of breasts more of a threat to the country’s international reputation than weekly car bombings, crumbling infrastructure and rampant corruption is so absurd that it requires no further comment. The reaction to the scandal has been as visceral as it has been viral. And while the hearts of those involved may be in the right place, the movement, like so many in Lebanon, may be missing the point entirely, if not demonstrating the country’s inability to rally for meaningful social action. Continue reading

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Commentary, Human Rights, Lebanon

The Normalization of Violence

A version of this article originally appeared on Now Lebanon on 16 January, 2014.

Another morning, another bomb rips through Lebanon. Metal, flesh, and personal belongings are strewn across the street, a chaotic, and now, familiar scene. Nothing is quite as ugly as the mayhem of rubble. Shards of human life intermingle with pieces of the buildings they once occupied, covered in a fine layer of dust that follows explosions.

The greatest tragedy of this shameless violence is, without question, the innocent lives lost, people unwillingly caught in the crosshairs of a conflict so convoluted that no side truly fights for anyone. Between the political jockeying and media speculation, it becomes strangely easy to forget those whose lives came to a sudden end in their homes, on their way to work, or between two cups of coffee. Continue reading

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