Category Archives: M & Lebanon

KASSER. RECYCLE. REPEAT. @KasserLebanon

Having a garbage epidemic did not really reshape our daily routines into being less violent towards our daily usage of everything. Solving the size of this issue starts with reducing, reusing, and recycling. When we reduce our usage of products, less items will go to waste. When we cannot reuse an old item – when it is completely retired, we recycle it.

It takes us a lot of patience to think of recycling our beer glass bottles – however it takes everything but patience, if we were to actually smash glass bottles to tiny pieces getting our rage out – instead of getting it out on the streets. Yesterday, I smashed an old phone, an old TV set, kitchen blenders, a lot of glass bottles…

– and I FELT GREAT!

Let’s support @KasserLebanon into getting the word out!
Basically the initiative is smashing out old unused items & sending it to recycling. Kasser will be arranging a lot of events and collabs so make sure you stay tuned with their socials.

They are very interactive on instagram and facebook, Follow them, DM them and they’ll answer! 😉

Also, here’s the team’s instagrams: @pedroskt @mariadoloresgebrael @gass13 @cyntttttt

With Love
Less-Stressed M

 

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I learned كوميدي عالواقف in 48 hours: @comedycentralar #ComedyHunt

I have been off the map for the past 48 hours and this is why:

Comedy Central Arabia OSN (namely the comedians Khaled Omar and Ali Al Sayed) came all the way from Dubai to give us comedy-interested people a 2-day-workshop:
#findcomedycentralarabia

[Sunday September 24 2017]
An Open Mic (us trying our material and trying the stage out)

[Monday September 25 2017]
A Full Day Workshop introducing the classical Structure of a good Stand Up Comedy show & An Assignment that will guide us to developing a good show

[Tuesday September 26 2017]
Workshop Day II: presenting our prepared stand up show in front of our peers then at 8:00 pm in front of our friends in A Legit Stand Up Comedy Show at Retro Active Monot

 

What I took from this workshop?
A Stand Up Comedian is the writer, director, and performer of his show.

A Good Stand up comedian:

  • Comes up with his own material – something that he cares about
  • Avoids mentioning genital organs or swear words – just for the heck of it
  • Never disrespects another comedian
  • Knows well how to be an audience member – Zips it
  • Attacks Up never down – An ugly girl attacks Victoria Secret models and not vice versa
  • Always makes the audience feel superior

A Good Joke consists of a premise (subject), Setup (place/location), and Punch line.
Types of jokes:

  • Acting Out
  • Impressions In Sounds (the impression is not the joke, whatever is being said should still sound funny even if there was no impression)
  • Compare & Constrast
  • Analogy
  • Breaking Logic: Exaggeration

A one-hour stand up show doesn’t mean a longer build up for jokes; Louis CK presents one-hour sets consisting of one-minute-jokes.

It is best to start with a 5 minute set, then move to a 10, 15, 45, and 1 hour sets. Classically, the show should start and end up with the funniest material.

So much love for our mentors & the Comedy Central production team!
M

..القانون يحمي القويّ، الوحش، المُغتصِب

القانون لا يحمي المغفلين
فمن يحمي القانون؟

وكيف نُعرِّف المغَفّل… الاحمق؟
هل هو العاجز؟ المُتَّكل؟

المغفّل في ايامنا
هو الانسان الذي يُضرَب ويُهَدَّد
هو القلب الطيّب
هي الطفلة البريئة
هي المرأة الطموحة الساكتة الخائفة

القانون يحمي القويّ
الوحش
المُغتصِب
الغنيّ
المستغلّ الغير
المهدِّد

هذا هو قانوننا
قانون الغاب

صار وقته القانون يحمي من التحرش الجنسي
#mesh_basita
مش_بسيطة#

 

Photo & video credits : Emir Kreidie 


Currently, there exists no national legislation specifically confronting sexual harassment in Lebanon. To confront this lack of laws, a number of initiatives by civil society organizations and government entities have recently pushed for legal reform to address sexual harassment in public spaces and at the workplace. Within the last few years, draft laws criminalizing sexual harassment in public spaces and in the workplace have been prepared and submitted by various bodies, the latest of which is now pending voting by the parliament.

The KIP Project on Gender and Sexuality at the Olayan School of BusinessAmerican University of Beirut, and in partnership with the Office of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, launched the “Mesh Basita,” a national campaign that aims at highlighting the need for legislation around sexual harassment within the Lebanese landscape and mobilizing the general public’s opinion towards pushing for legal reform. While many often tend to downplay instances of harassment, suggesting that these are part of everyday social life, this campaign hopes to highlight the many forms harassment may take in an effort to draw attention to the fact that they are violations.

In order to confront the idea that sexual harassment is not a serious issue, “Mesh Basita” stands for the idea that sexual harassment is “not okay.” Offering a double meaning through a message of empowerment, it also suggests that the person is not naïve and that they are taking a stand against harassment. In doing so, the campaign ultimately aims to highlight the need for legislative reform around sexual harassment in Lebanon.

All Day, All Night with JB ;)

ANOTHER ONE! Guys! Jim Beam is ROCKING the Lebanese Crowd AGAIN – This Time at IRIS Beach Club on the 5th of August 2017!

Supporting the Local Talent Scene is the Main Concept this year with four DJs and a Line-Up of the FINEST 8 Local bands (Meen, Jammit, Iklil, Paola & The Band, Peter & Naji, Rasta Beirut, Happy Faces, Etyen, and Ingrid Naccour).

Come with an empty stomach because there will be some BBQ going on – plus fun inflatables and for you aesthetics, art exhibitions!

 

Also, @jimbeamslb is giving you a Chance to WIN Tickets if you:

1- Follow @jimbeamlb on instagram & Pose CREATIVELY on instagram with anything that resembles Jim Beam (Bottle, flag, flask, poster…)

2- Post it with the hashtag #caughtoncamwithJB #mayaacraJB

3- Tag me @mayaacra & @JimBeamLb in the picture
PS: Make sure your profile is public till the winners are announced!
Good Luck!!

Check my instagram to get inspired!

 

Why I never miss a Jim Beam Concert is the VIBE – it has become a Yearly Tradition, all Good Vibes, everyone enjoying the music, making friends, drinking from the Bar, dancing… All Day, All Night with Jim Beam 😉

 

Click here to Get your tickets Online
Tickets Available at All Virgin Ticketing Box Offices
More info on: 03 126 444

 

Women, Homosexuals, and Artists as Politicians in Lebanon – @theKIPProject

… following my Not Your Ashta Blogpost..

I was happy to be invited to the KIP Project this year held at the American University of Beirut (AUB), since I was extremely sick for the past week, I could only attend it on the 1st of April (I missed the first day).

*Whereas all the panelists truly inspired me and scratched my head, I will only mention those who somehow triggered my senses more than others.*

Panel (Highlighting Discrimination through Art & Media)

One of the panelists, Bahaa Harmouche, is a creative director and works on the stigmatized HIV Positive outcasts in our modern societies – more specifically the homosexual HIV Positive people in the Middle East. He speaks on behalf of them saying “Accept Us and Love Us, we are not your enemy.”

Homosexuality is still an extremely controversial issue in the Middle East where all religions completely reject it as being un-natural and devilish. Individuals are living an internal conflict day after day, especially those who belong to extremely religious families. HIV patients – often persecuted by (somewhat) hypocrites that mainly engage in the same actions they did, but were luckier to not contract such a fatal disease – victimize themselves due to their little awareness, education, and luck.

“The gay society is already marginalized in our societies. The homosexual HIV Positives are even marginalized in the gay society itself,” claimed Bahaa during his panel.

It was definitely the first time I hear such a panel – a taboo, an unspoken battle, and a condemned group by even the minority sub-culture – a courageous topic to address.

Heather Jaber, an independent researcher, discussed the fact that homosexuals are often portrayed in Lebanese series as depressed, and are sent or exiled to other countries. While this portrayal of reality has its positive aspect where it shows that these individuals are unaccepted in society, other questions arise like: why isn’t the media showing us the successful happy homosexuals in Lebanon as normal characters living with us everyday – and are WE  giving them the option of either living with depression, committing suicide, or unintentionally sending them to extreme exile? Why is the sexual orientation the only layer a character is described with in Lebanese cinema and why is homosexuality the only artifact that is leading gay characters into depression?


Panel (Marginalized Groups in the Lebanese Political Sphere)


Carmen Geha and Krystel Tabet shared with us the findings of their research of the little engagments of females in the political life. “Politics is masculine” she said, “women are usually brought up in Lebanon to be honest, thinking about the benefit of the community rather than personal benefit whereas men usually possess more ego, aspire to be powerful and are more interested in politics.” Other reasons discussed were the patriarchy of sectarianism and the (debatably) little resources of women, their little effectiveness in national institutions, and their less availability (since they are mostly also mothers and house wives).


Reem Saab’s research highlighted a slight difference in the degree of political voting among men vs women (men are more likely to vote by 1.2% than women) yet a rather great-low representation of women in politics, due to lack of interest, lower chances of employment, and lower education levels.


Nada Anid, representing the NGO Women In Front, shared with us her findings of Lebanon being ranked 180/187 (in Women Parliament Representation) and 143/144 (in Women Governmental Inclusion). She states that a better Quota of women will only happen under one condition: Real Political Will.


In addition to the absence of a Feminist Block and the misconception of the role of politics, one can not but note that the seats in the Lebanese Parliament are barely fitting our politicians that are almost devouring each other for one seat, what if a WOMAN was to take that seat? Unfortunately, giving a seat to a woman is regarded as more of a gentleman act than anything else in the Lebanese government.

Perhaps these issues are disregarded in oppose to what our country is facing these days, however there exists a definite misconception of the role of politics.

Women and activists are less likely to consider politics due to the global interests/lobbies that do not appeal to the interests of such individuals. However, the KIP Project reminded all its attendees that politics is not about Russia, USA, France, or the Middle East, it is about our daily life struggles.

The representation of labor in the syndicates and unions has a direct effect on the rights of the practitioners of a certain labor force. The municipalities are responsible for the concerns of its citizens and we (and our votes) are to be blamed for the traffic jam we are stuck in every day. The government is held responsible for the tax, the double-electricity, and our endless expenses. Politics is not whether Iran and USA are on in “tsingof” or “TGIF” mode. Politics is the daily stress or distress we live with every single day.

The panel  (Art as an Alternative Catalyst for Change In Lebanon) featuring the Kesserwany sisters reminded artists that usually have no interest in politics to address social change in their own creative way. Yes, even artists are responsible for fixing Lebanon, no one is exempted – not the women, not the homosexuals, and not the artists. We are all in this together.

I hope one day all Lebanese People find this as interesting as the numerous pointless memes circulating our useless whatsapp groups,
With Love!
M

C8Z0IjlXUAAijns
From the book Louder Than Hearts Poems – Zeina Hashem Beck Winner of the 2015 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

The KIP Project #NotYourAshta

I was personally a fan of the StillNotAskingForIt campaign that started in June 2014 in America, I am glad something similar is happening in Lebanon.

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You’ve probably seen all the #NotYourAshta posts recently posted on social media; basically this campaign is to raise awareness about the KIP Project.

not-your-ashta-3not-your-ashta

The KIP Project on Gender and Sexuality at AUB is in its second year of gathering and disseminating information related to gender and sexuality in Lebanon, as well as building bridges between different stakeholders working in the field.

On March 31 and April 1, 2017, a two-day academic conference will be held to support the production and dissemination of knowledge related to gender and sexuality issues.
The conference will be centered around the theme of gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment.

“To gear up for our multidisciplinary conference in 2017, centered around discrimination and sexual harassment, we’re preparing an online campaign falling within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. This internationally recognized campaign begins on November 25 – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women- and ends on December 10 – Human Rights Day. To get the conversation started and raise awareness, this online campaign which seeks to shed light on the issue of street harassment in Lebanon.”

To know more about the conference and campaign, click here.

***********

What I want to say is: No Matter What A Girl Is Doing, No Matter How She Is Dancing, No Matter What She’s Wearing, NOTHING IS AN EXCUSE for any sexual harassment, and she still IS NOT ASKING FOR IT. 

We live in Lebanon, possibly the most annoying country in the world when it comes to doing what you love without worrying about people’s judgement and persecution – let alone Sexual Harassment. A liberal girl is often labeled as “Asking For It” even though most of the times, it is not the case.

Rape and sexual abuse/harassment is all around us everywhere we go (definitely on the streets). Because it is a taboo, girls often stay silent and do not share their stories. A person’s psychology and sexuality is often destroyed or disoriented due to such stories.

To know more about the #KIP2017 go to thekipproject.info

not-your-ashta2not-your-ashta

Rima Dib: A Mutated Form of …?

I am NOT A HATER. I even wrote a blog article once about not being so harsh on Myriam Klink. But, as I was falling asleep, going through my face book news feed, I saw again Rima Dib’s newest dancing with high heels video and I thought to myself:

I mean the first video with the pillow was okay and daring… The recent ones are too… bleukh… Make it stop!

WHAT IF RIMA DIB IS THE MUTATED FORM OF ZBELEH?

Logically speaking:

One, She popped out of nowhere.
Where was she before the zbeleh epidemic?

Two, she is as – more – polluting to my eyes as the garbage covering our streets.
I am honestly more repulsed with her recurring updates than I am with the trash junks all over my country.

Three..
maxresdefault-1

news_image_file_22556
I pick zbeleh.

Wait…
rima-dib_766970_large
I still pick zbeleh.

Four, the garbage wouldn’t share its haters pictures and videos.
I mean if Zbeleh had a fb page, and saw all of our hating pictures, it would find out a way to recycle itself, somehow. It wouldn’t be sharing our pictures and thanking us for making it famous (la tusal lal 3alamiyeh)

… Or would it?

 

Which makes me wonder:

Was it Rima Dib’s Inspiration?

Did the government fund her music video so we appreciate the ‘manzar of the zbeleh’?

At this very moment I am more bothered by her updates than the picture of Citymall’s blocked bridge covered with waste. What has become of me?

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Maybe she is the mother mutant of last year’s waste generation; we might be witnessing more and more of those: The #El3ama Apocalypse

We will very soon accept her updates on our news feed, just like we accept now the waste.. WHAT IS NEXT?

Is the zbeleh as flattered as Rima with all our praise and that’s why it’s still around?

Midnight Questions…  no answers and no moon in sight.

Khalas laisser-faire,
no hard feelings,
kelna 3amenjenn,
she’s cool,
at least she is doing something, yolo..

Had To Blurt it out!
Good night!
M