Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Occupation: what is it good for? #BDS

"According to OECD publications, Israel spends 8% of its GDP on
security (OECD, 2010), which makes it as the most militarized state in
the OECD, (most OECD countries spend 1%-2% of their GDP on security). It
also places Israel as one of the biggest spenders on security in the
world. But a recent study found that Israel actually spends a lot more
on security than the official figures admit. A more accurate estimate is
that Israel spends 12.3% of its GDP on security (Wolfson, 2009)."

Why Does Israel Still Occupy the Palestinians?

Book: The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation: Repression Beyond
Shir Hever

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our janitor was sad today

He came to me when I was parking my motorcycle in the garage. He didn't say a word but I felt something was wrong. So I went with him to his ground floor one room apartment. He then confided that his application for resettlement was rejected for the second or third time by one of the resettlement countries. He is Iraqi, a recognized refugee with papers from UNHCR, and illegally resident in Lebanon. He's been to jail 3 times
already for illegal entry, and release after spending his jail term because it is not possible to deport him to Iraq. His wife and children live in another area. They're all without legal residency, smuggled into Lebanon, although recognized as refugees.
"Seven years in Lebanon and still hope of a better place. Pro-Saddam people and murders were resettled and not my family. Why?" he said.
He had the Christian channel on TV, and photos of Virgin Marry in several places. He's the second Christian Chaldean janitor we have. The one before him was resettled with his family to Australia. Iraq has been emptied from its Christian minority. It's saddening.

صور: حوار عن النسوية والدين المسيحي من تنظيم جمعية نحو المواطنية

Debate in Pub 101 in Hamra on Feminism and Christian religion,organized
by Nahwa El Muwatinia.
Wasn't very interesting though because both speakers, the priest and the
"feminist" girl, did not go deep enough in the topic.

The Google Toilet (still in beta)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Photos: "Jongerenbijbel"

I translated to English this morning, at Church. He had a Young
People's Bible or "Jongerenbijbel". A really cool version of the bible i
haven't seen in Arabic.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The view from the Beirut Human Rights Watch Office :)

Panoramic photos taken with my new mobile phone of course :)

في البال أغنية لمحمود درويش، يغنيها مارسيل خليفة

هذه الأغنية من البوم "أغاني المطر" لكن هل لا زال البوم ينتج؟

في البال أغنية
مارسيل خليفة

في البال أُغنيةٌ يا أُخت، عن بلدي،
نامي لأكتبها رأيتُ جسمكِ محمولاً على الزردِ
وكان يرشح ألواناً فقلتُ لهم:
جسمي هناك فسدُّوا ساحة البلدِ
كنَا صغيرين، والأشجار عاليةٌ
وكنتِ أجمل من أُمي ومن بلدي...

من أين جاؤوا؟
وكرمُ اللوز سيَّجه أهلي وأهلك
بالأشواك والكبدِ!...
وكان جسمكِ مسبيّاً وكان فمي
يلهو بقطرة شهْدٍ فوق وحل يدي!...

في البال أُغنيةٌ يا أخت عن بلدي،
نامي... لأحفرها وشماً على جسدي.

Summer vacation in the snow

Photos from my "summer" vacation. When it was 35 degrees in Beirut a
few weeks ago, Poland was freezing with half a meter of snow on the top
of the mountains.

The findings of the UN Human Rights Council Inquiry into Israel’s Flotilla attack

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign Briefing
The findings of the UN Human Rights Council Inquiry into Israel's
Flotilla attack: An illegal blockade, an illegal attack, unlawful
executions and use of "extreme" and "unnecessary" violence against

حماية عائلات المنازل - عفوا: عاملات المنازل - في لبنان

Human Rights Watch conference launching report on access to justice
for migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. Typo in announcement converted
"domestic workers" to "domestic families" :)
Fore more info:

Last week's conference on prosecuting the criminals of Sabra and Shatila

Organized by a Palestinian NGO, Thabet. At Hotel Commodore.

My new Sony Ericsson mobile phone is so cool that I stopped using my $1000 Pentax SLR!

Panoramic photo, stitched together automatically by the phone, taken
last month while on vacation in Poland.

Panoramic photo from Dawra, North of Beirut