Archive for the ‘The Bad’ 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).

Going to restaurants used to be fun. It was all about trying out new foods and enjoying the company of whoever you happened to be dining with.
Now, and especially with the massive tourist influx, the fundamentals of dining out includes a bunch of waiting: to be seated, for the waiter to take your order, for the food to arrive, and finally for the bill and the change.
First there was the World Cup frenzy. For those who are unaware, during that month, it was impossible to dine out without having to pay some sort of entrance plus combo fee at even the tiniest of restaurants. Add to that the already expensive prices and the above-mentioned waiting, and you’ve gotten yourself an experience for the ages.
But that’s nothing in comparison to the waiters declining to serve you, because apparently the entire premise is fully booked, when in reality, it’s just a sea of empty chairs. The pathetic excuse they present is normally along the lines of “Oh, but they’re expected in an hour, and we don’t want to rush your dining so you can enjoy it” which in my opinion, roughly translates to, “In one hour, you won’t even have the chance to look at your plate because we’re going to be procrastinating as much as possible before you get your order.”
Call me a cynic, but it has happened before, and on countless occasions.
And now that the tourists are here, we Lebanese are second-class citizens to our own countrymen.
Which is something I don’t understand.
Do they really think that the foreigners, who would rather save every cent of their money, tip more than the citizens? Or do they think that by paying them more attention then more positive things would be said about the place?
I beg to differ.
Consider this as a real-life situation. You go to a very popular restaurant chain and decide to order the chocolat mou. This is a fairly simple dish to prepare as all it requires is scooping out the ice cream into a glass and topping it off with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It could be done at home if the ingredients are available.
But no.
At this popular place, that very same order takes around 30 minutes to arrive. And when it does, all the waiter could say to excuse himself was that they were having a busy night and everyone was ordering deserts. The dish wasn’t even that good!
Restaurants are supposed to be a place where only utter courtesy comes into play. They are not supposed to be a place where people are scammed off thanks to low-quality food and horrible service. They are not supposed to be a place where costumers consider the waiters to be subordinates either.
They are supposed to be a place where people can come together to focus on the most important aspect: the food.
Plus, in a country where recreational facilities are oh-so very limited, taking our families out to eat on weekends has become some sort of ritual.
Well, if things keep going the way they are, that’s yet another ritual we’re going to have to kiss goodbye.
And if things keep getting worse, we may even have to kiss the tourists goodbye.
Don’t get me wrong, I happen to have an immense respect for people in this profession and a complete understanding for how tiresome their jobs can be. But it is not up to them to decide who to and not to serve. And it is certainly not understandable when they chose to do so.
But then again, this is Lebanon, where anything goes, and where laws are just words thrown around to appear to sound fancy.
As long as the law is not clear-cut and protecting us, we are always going to fall victim to our own terrible actions and remain stuck in this utter state of chaos.

Last night, I was lured into watching the elections of Miss Lebanon 2010 because there were no football matches being broadcast and no newly downloaded episodes of Glee on my laptop. But the main reason I tuned in was out of pure intrigue. The newly crowned Miss, Rahaf Abdallah, and I are both alumnae of the same high school and naturally, former classmates and teachers took their Facebook accounts to show their support and encouragement once news broke out that she would be participating in this year’s pageant.

Rahaf Abdallah, Your New Miss Lebanon

The result, as determined at midnight, did not disappoint her supporters, and I, for one, would like to extend my congratulations to Rahaf, who is pleasantly the opposite of the classical “type,” and hope that she goes on to achieve many good things in her reign, and not fade into obscurity like most of the former title-holders.
The show last night, however, got me thinking about what the exact message these pageants try to convey to the general population, especially given that Lebanon’s beauty queens rarely go on to receive worldwide acclaim, such as Miss World and Miss Universe.
Year after year, the Lebanese Broadcasting Company (LBC) dishes out a large amount of money to organize these extravagant soirees, making sure the competing ladies are decked out in only the finest of couture (which this year was absolutely horrible) and are styled by only the best in the world of fashion. That’s in addition to getting only the most notable Lebanese “superstars” to entertain the audience, because you know, the show would be nothing without them. And let’s not go into how much they spend on sets, choreography, stage effects, and of the course, the prizes! I am assuming that the resulting electricity bill for that one night is equivalent to what an entire Lebanese village generates in one month.
And that’s only the beginning.
The true heart of the competition lies in its outdated format. Assuming that we are electing beauty queens to promote the touristic qualities of our country (which are now being replaced with a notorious reputation for being a party-town), the concept of having the contestants strutting around in barely-there swimsuits just doesn’t make any sense to me. So the Miss looks good in a swimsuit, but what is that going to do to the country’s tourism? Gain the reputation of having the hottest women? Really now? Are we forgetting that despite having different religious sects, the majority of the population are conservative and would be appalled at the notion of having their wives, girlfriends, sisters, or daughters wearing nothing but a bikini and having every creature out there staring at her?
I won’t even go into the effect of that on little girls and the change in perception of their body image. Too much has been said already.
But that’s not the real problem. As any beauty queen would tell you, it’s the “inner beauty” that counts, and by inner beauty they mean, answering those nonsense questions, that seem to be adopted from a how-to-book on making people cringe, in hopes that people would see that these girls have something up there and are not just bone-skinny victims of a merciless industry.

The poor girls who had to endure the questions

Watching the girls being forced to answer a question like “What would you prefer to have between money, authority, and knowledge?” just made me want to hurl the closest piece of furniture at the television. That’s not including the fact that the five finalists all gave the exact, same answer, “Knowledge because that would give me authority and being in authority helps me make money.” Don’t be quick to blame the girls for that ingenious answer; it’s really not their fault.
Why can’t the organizers ask something more constructive?
It’s obvious the ladies have the brains; otherwise they wouldn’t be enrolled in the best universities in Lebanon. It is a true pity that these young women have to dumb themselves down to be accepted by a shallow, materialistic society.
Allowing that above-mentioned aspect to come into full-focus would just throw off the whole notion of electing beauty queens. After all, the French said it perfectly:
“Sois belle et tais- toi” which roughly translates to “Be beautiful and keep your mouth shut.”
But then again, some girls want to be the president of their country and others just want to wear that glittering tiara.

The prized tiara

And to get there, you have to pay the price. Even if it means enduring a ridiculous event like the one broadcast last night.