Nationalism, sexism, and other evils

I just learned something that is mostly fascinating, and may shock some of our beloved readers.

Everyone knows that a Lebanese woman cannot pass its nationality to her kid (if the father is not Lebanese, while the opposite is possible).

But did you know friends and relatives that a Lebanese woman married to a Palestinian man cannot even let her kid inherit her? (While if she was married to a man of any other nationality then she could actually make her child inherit).

You may ask what is fascinating about it. Well it is the fact that you can be sexist and chauvinistic at the same time and enclose it in a law. Beware that if I use the term sexist that does not at all mean I believe in “Women’s rights” in the liberal tradition. More on this later.


Yes why out of all instruments the Scottish bagpipe? This is at a Palestinian camp during demonstrations against the murderous encircling of Gaza. But there is a Hizbullah song that has it too, and in its video clip, there is a guy filmed dressed like a soldier, playing bagpipe on the top of a hill or something. Anyone who has an answer to this question will be more than welcome to comment.

Update: the comment section has mo explaining clarifying things..

Do the math

A recent poll was conducted among the Palestinian refugees of the Nahr el Bared camp (two times refugees that is). When asked which political faction in Lebanon represent best their point of view 40 percent answered Hizbullah, and another 40 percent answered none. On the other hand when asked about which Palestinian faction represent them best, 63.3 percent said no one, and only 11.7 percent said Hamas. Even worse than that, 85 percent of Palestinian two-times refugees think the PLO does not work in “the interest of the people”. And there is much more to discover in the article.

The Saga Continues …

Confrontations between Hamas and Fatah members erupted in at least two Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon over the weekend, raising fears that the situation in the Palestinian Territories might spill over into Lebanon’s camps.

Fishy "Improvements"

The statement quoted Makkawi as saying the government “had executed part of its national and ethical duty toward our Palestinian brothers by making such achievements.”

“Even after the end of the summer 2006 war with Israel, the government continued to provide camps with the necessary aid,” it said, adding that UNRWA has rebuilt 350 Palestinian homes.

Two simple comments (which probably need elaboration):

1 – Lebanon has no “national duty” to help the Palestininans, but the Lebanese do have a moral one to provide non-Lebanese (Palestinians included) with civil and social rights.

2 – The concept of “aid” disappoints me in that it is used to build walls around the potential for change. If the government – past, present, future – really wants to parade achievements they are proud off, they need to remove restrictions that being a Palestinian in Lebanon brings.


Sitting in one of the hospital’s many full rooms, Rehan Khoadr, 20, was recovering from shrapnel wounds to her abdomen, chest and legs. A thin woman, she appeared drawn but gestured animatedly despite an intravenous needle inserted into her arm.

“When the war started we became scared and tried to flee the camps,” she said. “As we were getting ready to leave a bomb fell on our house. That is all I remember. Now I know my father is dead and my mother is in a coma.”

Thanks …

“My sister was beside me and fell down with her head bleeding. She haemorraged from 5.50 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon. At last my brother brought us all out in his car. But let me tell you this. The Palestinian people have heard Walid Jumblatt and we say ‘thank you’ to him and let us have more shelling.
“And I would like to thank Prime Minister Siniora, and say thanks – really thanks – very much to George Bush and to Condoleezza Rice. I really want to thank them for these shells and these wounds we are suffering. And if Rice really wants to send more materiel to the Lebanese Army, she had better hurry up. There is a woman still in the camp who is very pregnant and the child in her womb will be born and will grow into a man – and then we’ll see!”

Help Out …

Dear friends,

After the shaky cease fire in Nahr el Bared, scores of refugees have been fleeing the camp to go to Badawi camp, people’s homes and UNRWA schools. The Badawi clinics and hospital are running severely short on medical supplies. We have been coordinating with relief NGOs in Beirut who are going up to the North to assist the refugees and have obtained the following list of urgent supplies: diapers, medical kits, liquid panadolin, sulin, nervous system medicine, kovaj for diabetes, clamid 5 mg saline solution, irdan for muscles, stiching kits, If you are able to provide any of the following asap, please email Rasha ( or Marcy Newman (

plea via angryarab, photo via al-akhbar.

On the other side of the wall …

Since most blogs and other non-msm online outlets are covering the Lebanese side of events, it is worth having a post on what is happening on the other side.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has been trying to negotiate a cease-fire so medical and food supplies can get into the camp, according to Richard Cook, who works with the UNRWA.

George Ketaneh, national director of the Lebanese Red Cross, said his group is “receiving a lot of calls” and trying to help those in need, but it is severely limited in what it can do amid the violence.

“We are under siege,” Hisham Yacoub, a Palestinian, told Reuters by telephone from within the camp.

And Mohammed Abu Laila, also talking by phone from the camp, told Reuters “there’s no water, no electricity or milk for the children.”


I don’t care if Fatah al-Islam is evil incarnate. I don’t care if they are Hariri-funded or a front for Syrian mukhabarat or Islamaniacs from Tunis or aliens just landed from Mars. Artillery is NOT THE ANSWER. Worst of all, everyone knows this, especially the LAF. The problem of the camps (in its myriad forms) is not a mystery, not a new development. Direct military confrontation serves no purpose. In fact, if security and peace are the objectives, one can easily argue that such an assault is horribly counter-productive as it only increases the militance-misery quotient.

I am all for disarming the camps, but this will never happen outside a political process that integrates the refugees into Lebanon’s political, civil and economic life. Everyone knows this. This is not rocket science. The camps are open wounds and they bleed when the body (Lebanon as a whole) is under stress or trauma. The camps are complex political, social, security and economic problems and thus require complex (and intelligent) solutions. Even in the USA, they have not yet made a bomb smart enough to solve such problems. To think that tank rounds will do requires a willful ignorance of not only Lebanon’s past and present, but also the general nature of human communities.

Was no one paying attention during Israel’s war on Lebanon last summer? Wholesale destruction does not pay. Its returns are limited and unpredictable (see Afghanistan and Iraq for further evidence). Every human problem is ultimately a political one and thus admits political solutions. Process does pay, and it requires less investment in human capital and lower operating costs than violence.

The LAF should stand down. There is nothing to be gained here. Indeed, only something to be lost: human life. This must end, now.

Back in World Headlines …

Obviously, I have much to say about this, but considering the lack of honest information out there about what is actually going on, I will resist the temptation to spew “opinions” as opposed to using arguments. It suffices to say I think that for now, hardly any of the other posts that bloggers (well, the ones I check anyway) have written actually resonate with me.

Update: Here is a post with comprehensive details on this.

Update 2: Explosion in Sassine, Achrafieh.

"Until the basic human rights are equally …

Guaranteed to all, without regard to race, Dis a war“.

Their rights are violated,” said Mariam Itani, a conference attendee and Lebanese researcher at Al-Zaytouna Center for Study and Consultation. “In a sense, you can say they don’t have rights at all.

Houaidi said that after 59 years in Lebanon, “the Palestinian refugee is still treated as a foreigner in the absence of any laws that regulate the relationship between him and the Lebanese government.”

The overzealous vassal

So when you wake up in the morning and you read something like this,

Jordan’s King Abdullah II yesterday told a delegation of Knesset members that “we are in the same boat, we have the same problem. We have the same enemies.” The king reiterated the comments a number of times, which those at the meeting said referred to Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Abdullah also emphasized that he spoke not only for Jordan but for a group of states in the region. The king asked at one point: “Do you want Iran on the banks of the Jordan?”

You seriously start wondering how come we arrived at having to read such radical statements. Saudi officials are anti-imperialist militants compared to this guy!

That is not it. Aparently King II has also suggested (he likes to give intelligent advices) that Palestinians refugee should settle in host countries (specifically Lebanon) against remuneration. Fortunately for us, he informed Israel of his plan. You seriously don’t need americans in the area with this guy around. He can just do the job for them and keep things tidy enough while they’re out conquering new spaces.