Gaza is slowly dying.

The Gaza strip, blockaded by sea and land, is barely breathing 8 months after the Israeli onslaught. Operation “Protective Edge” killed 2300 people, including more than 500 children, and destroyed infrastructure like electric plants, civilians houses, schools and even hospitals.

A report, called Charting a New Course: Overcoming the stalemate in Gaza and signed by 46 international nongovernmental organizations working in Palestine, condemns Israel failure of lifting the blockade. Gaza have been effectively blockaded by Israel since 2007.

The reports adds that “Six months since donors pledged $3.5 billion towards Gaza’s recovery, many people are worse off and not a single one of the 19,000 destroyed homes has been rebuilt. 100,000 people are still homeless and many are living in makeshift camps or schools”

Israel has violated the so called ceasefire four hundreds of times when only 4 rockets have been fired into Israel in retaliation.

Omar, a Palestinian living in Gaza, tweeted a shocking reminder.

Foreign Policy, in a frightening report, presented the dreadful conditions in Gaza.

Electricity is scarce: Most Gaza residents are surviving on just three to six hours of power a day. The water in the taps is salty, because seawater from the Mediterranean has infiltrated the sole coastal aquifer — according to the AIDA report, 95 percent of the territory’s water supply is unfit for human consumption. And because the sewage plants aren’t functioning properly, thousands of cubic meters of waste are openly flowing onto the beaches.

“Gaza was under bombs, now it’s under rubble” “Nothing has changed, as the time has stopped in Gaza in this wasteland”, reports Shaima Ziara from Gaza. Watch the alarming report below.

Foreign Policy adds that the damage is not only material but psychological.

Over 400,000 children — who are sufferingthe cumulative effects of multiple wars — are thought to have severe shellshock, and many of them are heavily medicated.

During last winter, 5 children died of cold due to the disastrous infrastructure and the subsequent absence of heating systems.

Israel has bombed and destroyed Gaza three times in six years.

Israel today remembers the Holocaust, while the Knesset and the Israel government are slowly killing Palestinians in a modern Warsaw Ghetto.

Despite all of Israel’s flagrant human rights violations and crimes, it condemned the decision of the International criminal court (ICC) to open a preliminary probe into possible war crimes committed against Palestinians. The United States of America, main ally of Israel, also condemned the decision by calling it “a tragic Irony”.

Erdogan insults the memory of Armenians by denying the genocide once again.

The years of the first world war were the last years of the Ottoman empire. Alongside with their downfall, the Ottomans took with them the lives of 1.5 million of Armenians.

The Armenian Genocide is in fact the first genocide of the 20th century, and yet Turkey denies the facts.

The 24th April every year, the Armenians of the world protest and remember the genocide. They demand the recognition of the Genocide because the deaths of 1.5 million can’t be just  denied and even be mislabeled. This year, 2015, will be the 100th sad anniversary of the genocide.

In the last episode of the recognition of the genocide, the pope Francis 1 supported Armenians in a Mass in Vatican accompanied by head of Armenia’s Orthodox church, Karekin II.

“The first, which is widely considered the first genocide of the 20th century, struck your own Armenian people,” the pontiff said. “Bishops and priests, religious women and men, the elderly and even defenceless children and the infirm were murdered.”

Turkey’s Erdogan condemned the Pope and yesterday’s resolution from the European union. The latter agreed to call the Armenian massacres genocide. Erdogan condemned the resolution even before the vote.

“For us it will go in one ear and out the other,” he said in Ankara, a day after criticising Pope Francis. “It is impossible for Turkey to accept this accusation. The stain of genocide on our nation is out of the question.”

Erdogan and Turkey must accept the recognition of the genocide if they want the world to take them seriously.

Continue reading Erdogan insults the memory of Armenians by denying the genocide once again.

13th April 1975 – Lebanon still led by warlords 40 years after start of civil war.

Today’s a sad anniversary, 13th April 1975 is considered to be the “official” date of the beginning of the civil war in Lebanon. A war that killed more than 150,000 and 17,000 disappearances.
It is a sad day even for the generations that were born after 1990, the end of the civil war. It reminds them how fragile is the situation, and a date like the 7th may 2008 comes back to their minds. A “mini” civil war between political parties militias, urging them to make the Doha agreement.

Look at today’s leading politicians of Lebanon and you’ll see many war faces. The elections of a president in Lebanon are disputed between two old warlords, Michael Aoun and Samir Geagea. Geagea was the only militia leader that was imprisoned, the remaining were in a way “pardoned” following the Taif Agreement. These men have activity participated in war, killing dozens of people, sometimes in massacres. Today they act as salon gentleman. We stil call Michael Aoun general, a reminder of his role in the civil war, and Samir Geagea doctor, even though he never received a diploma.

We still have a Joumblatt, his son is also playing politics with him, we still have Gemayels in the ineffective Lebanese parliament. We still have Hariri’s, because “if you kill my father, that will launch me into politics”. We still have Nabih Berri, because his chair is so confortable, and of course, he’s also an ancient (literally) warlord. Hezbollah revere the sons of slain leaders, making them leaders at their places.

Many questions run in my mind, and I have not yet found the answers.
How come these same parties still hold so much power after their crimes? Are we dependant to them? Is this because we feel that they defend our sect during political turmoil? What about our civil rights? In the last global competitiveness report from the World Economic Forum, Lebanon is the country that trust the less their politicians (out of 144 countries), the country also ranks 142 for irregular payments and bribes and the judicial independence ranks 138. How come these results don’t translate in a change, a movement from the people? The current political parties hold too tightly the political set, and independents are often ousted quickly from the government or leave it themselves because of the bribery, the nepotism, and the strong power of warlords. How come all feel the MP’s will come back to their seats after the next elections, when they illegally extended their mandate?

How come some of us, the “new” generation, post-90, have so much hate and resentment against the other?

Why is the Middle East so prone to conspiracy theories.

It is the new insult. “You’re just a conspiration theorist!, Think!”

I have a theory on why we, the Middle Eastern people, (Arabs and non-Arabs, Muslim and non-Muslim) have so much ease with calling every new terrorist group the work of the USA administration and CIA. It has pushed some Arabic channels to claim that Hillary Clinton admitted to have created IS. (Which is completely untrue) etc.
IS and the general turmoil was born directly because of US presence in Iraqi soil but it was not their creation.

But why are we so quick to call the American government the doer of everything evil in the Middle East? Because USA and CIA have so much directly mingled in foreign governments and affairs that it is almost the first reaction we have.

Here’s an exhaustive list of every direct involvement of CIA and co.

Syria 1949.
Iran 1953
Guatemala 1954
Tibet 1955-1970.
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959
Iraq 1960-1963
Democratic Republic of Congo 1960-1965
Dominican Republic 1961
South Vietnam 1963
Brazil 1964
Ghana 1966
Chile 1970-1973
Argentina 1976
Afghanistan 1979-1989
Turkey 1980
Nicaragua 1981-1990
Iraq 1992-1996
Venezuela 2002
Iran 2005-Present
Syria 2012-Present

That’s without counting the direct interventions here and there. US and their coalition interventionism in the Middle East has killed more than 4 millions of people since 1990. 

After the fall of empires, a new strategy needed to be implemented. Emperors/Presidents couldn’t just invade countries and cut the heads of the subjugated leaders. So they install heads of government they like and topple the ones they don’t like.

Next time someone tells you that you’re just crazy, tell him okay, maybe, but just show him this list and remind him that you won’t be super confident with regimes that killed 4 millions people in 25 years…

Lebanese politicians declare their love for Chairs. (Except the president)

It’s not about the power really, it’s just…look at the design of this chair, I’m literally in love.

That was the response of a member of the Lebanese parliament to the following question : Did you illegally extend your mandate for more personal power and prestige? Another member added : I really don’t care about the mandate, I just love my chair, the way it fits me is surreal. My wife is even jealous!

Is this the real reason Lebanese politicians love so much their jobs and therefore illegally extended their mandate? Is this why Mr. Nabih Berri is on the same chair since 1992? Let’s look deeper into the subject.

Karim Chairri is an interior designer and an expert in chairs from the company “A Chair for every Lebanese”(SARL), we asked him his opinion about the chair of the Head of Parliament. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation.

Thoughts of the Young Arab Adult (YAA) : Mr. Chairri, it’s without any doubt that the Lebanese politicians go absolutely nuts about their chairs. Here’s the best picture we have of the chair of Nabih Berri. Why do you think about it?Karim Chairri (KC) : It’s absolutely marvellous, the chair is obviously designed to last for a very long time and to have someone seated on it for an extended period. 
YAA : What do you think about its color? 
KC:  Black is known for its elegance and simplicity and you must know the French adage that says : “La simplicité fait la beauté” (I.e :simplicity makes beauty). The black leather is also renowned for the confort it offers and makes every genuine Lebanese gentleman to just sit in there, put their Italian shoes on their desk and smoke a big Cuban Cigar.
YAA : I almost want the chair for myself…so Mr.Chairri, your expertise makes the conclusion that it’s absolutely not about power?
KC : Exactly, I understand every politician desire and infinite love..I don’t see how Politics or Power have a role in that.
YAA : Very interesting, but how come the presidential chair have been empty for months now? I don’t understand..
KC : Well that’s another story..the CC is a controversy among-
YAA : I’m sorry to cut you, the CC?
KC : The Cursed Chair, that’s what we call the presidential chair among us Chair experts, well, that’s another issue..just take a look at the chair and you’ll understand.

We decided to look at the chair, or CC as Karl Chairri called it, and we immediately understood, I am sure you will all do.

(AFP Photo/Patrick Baz)
(AFP Photo/Patrick Baz) Empty of course.

“Who wants this chair ? It isn’t stylish, it’s old and old-fashioned, It’s made of wood and not leather, and look at the stupid cushions, if I were a king, I would redesign the entire seat.” That’s what Georges Selman, a design student in AUB, said when he looked at the picture we showed him. He was literally shocked when we revealed to him that it was in fact the presidential chair. “There’s nothing, nothing, presidential about this chair, it reminds me of my grandmother’s salon, ugh”, Selman added with despair.

We now understand why presidents are so hard to find in Lebanon, the chair is the problem, not the solution. YAA believes that a budget for redesigning the chair should be brought upon the council of ministers. It is unfair that the head of parliament has the better chair…