Archive for the ‘Lebanese Shenanigans’ Category

Yeah, this is one of those sports “fail”s.

This took place during the Presidents Tournament at AUB, it’s the second one they host. American University of Dubai (AUD) and the American University of Beirut (AUB) were playing, and apparently things got messy with a red card.

Don’t ask, just watch 😛

Lebanese are literally just everywhere.

The undefeated Lebanese/German boxer Rola El Halabi was shot by her 44 year old stepfather in the dressing room prior to her title defense on April 1st and will not be able to participate in the match, with a huge chance of having her career over.

El Halabi, 25, is 11-0 in her career and was supposed to fight Irma Balijagic Adler for the vacant IBF lightweight title. Their clash was supposed to be the last on the card at The Trabrennbahn Karlshorst, but the incident instantly ended the evening.

She was shot in the hands, feet and knees by her step-dad – and former manager, as it most probably seemed to be his way of revenge. Two security guards were also shot before Roy El Halabi was arrested. The German daily newspaper Bild interviewed Rola El Halabi after she had a successful surgery during the weekend.

Rola el Halabi, a champion from Lebanon

“I was with my coach and manager in the changing room when Dad rushed into the room, threatening us with a gun and shouted ‘All out! Then he shot me in the hand from three feet away, I cried and cried, begging him to put the gun away. He threatened to shoot himself, but he was too cowardly. He took his time aiming and shot me in the knee, then in my right foot.”

The shootings may have most probably served their purpose of ending her career with such difficult surgeries to recover from.

Disclaimer: If you consider yourself ignorant, rather, if you fall in my dictionary of being ignorant and cannot take the heat of pointed out what’s right and wrong and then feeling stupid eventually, don’t bother reading this. Also to be clear, the point of this article is not to attach a specific type of people based on their sect, rather based on their capacity of thinking. Also, this opinion-editorial will be published in AUB’s Outlook Newspaper on the issue of March 15, so you’ll see it in print then 😉

When I came to AUB, I thought people would be, how am I going to say this, a bit smarter than your Average Joe. I really thought so, given that they were given the honor of getting an education at this prestigious university. When I say “a bit smarter”, I usually mean respecting others and giving the benefit of the doubt of being ignorant rather then removing all doubt when that student opens his mouth.

I was wrong. Big time. Here’s why:

Usually, around this time, Lent starts for Christians. Now for those who don’t know what Lent means (believe me, I ran into a lot of those now), it’s like Ramadan for Muslims, where they fast for a whole month. Christians do that too, yet under different circumstances. On Day 1 of fasting, the tradition for Christians, especially the Maronites of them, is to go get the Cross painted on their forehead, usually by the priest, who says in Arabic ‘Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return,’ one of what Christianity is based on.

I’m not typing this to give a lesson on religion, as this isn’t my job. Back to the main story, after I had the cross painted on my forehead, I came back to AUB to attend classes as normal. Being a senior means this isn’t the first time I do such a tradition and come to classes.

But this year, it’s something else.

I could not walk five meters without getting a dirty look, a  “what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-you” look, some of my friends even going as far as saying: “Dude, do you know what’s on your head,” or even saying “You look like an Indian,” and even ignorant “Frenchie” girls going to each other “Yii look at this dumb guy hahaha what’s on his head OMG!”

Let’s make a few things clear. As a normal human being who prefers to respect the environment and the people around him, I do look at the mirror when I wake up and I do make sure that there’s nothing on my forehead. Also, comparing me to the people of a country that has more than a billion people isn’t really the right thing to do because I got a cross on my forehead. I’m not even going to respond to the dirty looks, given some people can be just plain stupid and lack respect for themselves or for others, or bother wondering why a girl who can’t speak two proper words of English is dumb enough to make herself look stupid in public. If your parents didn’t tell you are to mingle with other people in AUB, that’s not my problem. Yet, I’m pretty sure though at some point your parents taught them manners, and not to glare and make dumb comments that indicate what type of people you are.

If they didn’t, take this as a note for next time: It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Editor’s Note: It may not have been made clear in the article, but Christians fast for 40 or 47 days (depends on if you want to count the Sundays or not).


It’s been 20 days, but I had been going through a lot regarding a death in the family and getting ready to come back to AUB. So I apologize for the long absence.

But now…


A quick summary of what I was planning on blogging about but never got the chance to do so:

FIBA World Championship 2010: The semifinals took place on the day before last, with USA crushing Lithuania behind Kevin Durant’s stunning play, while Turkey beat Serbia in easily what was known as the Game of the Cup as it ended on the last few seconds. The final was played in front of a full house, but the hosts Turkey were unable to finish their amazing run in the World Cup, as they lost a well deserved decision to the U.S.A 81-64, with Kevin Durant taking over and giving back the long awaited World Cup back to the Americans, who haven’t won it since 1994.

10th Arab National Championship: After playing in multiple tournaments throughout the summer, Lebanon had to host one more, and despite the wear and tear, made an amazing run to reach the final. But it lost focus and luck at the end, and was unable to to pull it off, losing to the Egyptians in the finals seconds 60-57.

Expect a review of the new Phil Collins album “Going Back” when I get time to write one. Also, the new music video for Eminem and Lil Wayne is out, coming off Eminem’s latest album “Recovery” with the song titled “No Love”.

I don’t know if you’ve managed to see this yet but the Lebanese advertisement world finally has a fantastic final product airing on the local TV stations, and it comes in the form of an ad for Bank Audi’s Loubani Card, which and taking into consideration my limited knowledge in the banking world, is a card that solely uses the Lebanese Lira as its working currency.

So what strikes me the most about this ad, developed by Leo Burnett, is the archive footage they were able to retrieve of well-known places like the American University of Beirut (AUB), the infamous Saint Georges Hotel and Yacht Club, the teleferique, the tramway in Sehet El Burj (that’s now known as DT if you want to get all modernized), and the now demolished Carlton Hotel (which is expected to be transformed to, you guessed it, high-rise, wildly-expensive apartment buildings!)

Though its only an approximately one minute ad, I’m sure it’s impact is going to be long-lasting, especially that it gives the older generations a chance to remember the good old days, and remind us “newbies” of what we’re single-handily destroying.

Enjoy! 😀

Fadi EL KHATIB(LABANON).JPGThe FIBA World Championships in Turkey began  with all 24 teams playing their first game, some were very close games, other were blowouts, and some even included impressive comebacks.

At 6:30 PM, Lebanon played its first game against Canada, with the Lebanese jumping to an early lead and finishing the first quarter strong, yet the middle was dominated by Canada, which led to a 20-20 tie at the end of the 1st. Canada managed to dominate the second quarter with Lebanon trying to come back numerous times, yet unlike the first quarter, the first half ended with Canada leading 37-34. The Canadians managed to increase their lead throughout the 3rd quarter to as much as 9 points, yet Lebanon’s “Tiger” Fadi El Khatib had other plans in mind, erupting for 16 points in the third quarter on perfect 5 for 5 shooting from the field to bring the lead down to 1 point. The 4th quarter was played out like the end of the third, Lebanese dominance from all sides and El Khatib and Rony Fahed taking over to win the 4th quarter 24-13, eventually winning the game 81-71, giving Lebanon its first World Cup win since the upset of France in ’06. El Khatib had a marvelous game with a game-high 31 points and 8 rebounds, helped by Rony Fahed’s 17 points and Matt Freije’s 12 points, all three pointers while Canda was led by Joel Anthony’s 17 points, Denham Brown’s 13 points and Andy Rautins 10 points, mostly in the first quarter.

The major upset of the night however also came in Group D, with defending champs Spain and France clashing off after Lebanon’s game. Spain started the game strong, limiting the French only to 9 points in the first quarter and it seemed that the Spainards had the game in hand, only for French Mickael Gelabale to spark a 14-5 run assisted by Andrew Albicy and Nicolas Batum, who took on the second half scoring 12 of his 14 points to give France a lead it would never relinquish, shocking the champs with a 72-66 win. Gelabale had 16 points and 6 rebounds for France, helped by Albicy’s 13 points. Spain was led by Juan Carlos Navarro’s 17 points and Rudy Fernandez’s 13 points, whose technical foul and defensive errors were major in costing Spain the game.

Unlike the two previously mentioned games, USA had it easy going, defeating the young Croatians 106-78 behind a strong second quarter that held Croatia to only 6 points and outscored them by 20 points. Eric Gordon, one of the players who weren’t expected to make the final roster, led the Americans off the bench with 16 points, and had Kevin Durant help him with 14 points, as well as Chauncey Billups’ 13 points and having Russell Westbrook and Rudy Gay contribute with 10 apiece. Croatia’s good first quarter was not enough to keep it hanging in there with Team USA, as Bojan Bogdanovich’s 17 points were not enough to pose a challenge for the Americans.

Other results include:

Australia 76 – 75 Jordan

Angola 44 – 94 Serbia

Germany 74 – 78 Argentina

Tunisia 56 – 80 Slovenia

Iran 65 – 81 Brazil

Greece 89 – 81 China

Russia 75 – 66 Puerto Rico

Ivory Coast 47 – 86 Turkey

New Zealand 79 – 92 Lithuania

Less than 6 hours before tip-off, Lebanon will play its first game in its third consecutive appearance at the FIBA World Championships against Canada. This will be the second time these teams play each other after Canada smashed Lebanon in the position games in the 2002 Worlds.

However, things are different this time, as Canada has not improved much while Lebanon embarked on a major recovery from the last-place finish in the 2002 championship, as Lebanon defeated Venezuela and France yet was unable to qualify for the second round due to the point differential factor. Lebanon is predicted by as the second weakest team in Group D with only New Zealand weaker than them. Yet in Efes Pilsner World Cup, which is a warm up for the biggest FIBA competition, Lebanon played Canada in each’s last game and managed to score an 88-76 win, with Jackson Vromann and Matt Freije shining in the win in addition to the help provided by Fadi El Khatib and Rony Fahed. Lebanon also lost its first two games, the first in a hard fought game to group competitiors Argentina 89-82 and were swept by Turkey 93-72.

Although it may look hard, yet Lebanon seems to have a better chance than even to get out of the first round, as losses to defending champs Spain, Lithuania, and Argentina are expectable, which leaves them two games against New Zealand and Canada, both beatable teams and would be more than enough for Lebanon to make it to the Round of 16.

Below can be seen the roster of Team Lebanon and its schedule in the round robin play.

Go Lebanon!

Team Lebanon Schedule:

Saturday, August 28, 2010/ 6:30 PM: Lebanon vs. Canada

Sunday, August 29, 2010/ 6:30 PM: Lebanon vs. France

Tuesday, August 31, 2010/ 4:00 PM: Lebanon vs. New Zealand

Wednesday, September 1, 2010/6:30 PM: Lebanon vs. Spain

Thursday, September 2, 2010/6:30 PM: Lebanon vs. Lithuania