The People Want a Newspaper and a TV Station

Image Credits: Maria Kassab.

First of all I would like to apologize from the organizers of, and participants in the #Feb27 demonstrations for not having joined their crowd of 3000. As a consequence of that, my account of this day will always be second-hand, and lacking on an essential quality: an understanding of the participants’ energy. However, I will do my best to articulate what I think of the whole deal. Continue reading

Letter To An Undefined Entity

Dear Undefined Entity,

I must start this by complimenting you on your complexity, and your elusiveness. I’ve been trying to send you a letter for a few days now, even before you started, but I couldn’t put a finger on who you were or on how I must address you. Every time I tried to look you in the eye, it felt like I was looking through a mirror, at my whole history, my identity, my context and my genes. Thus I really could not address you in an angry or offensive way. There is so much of you in me that despite my disillusionment with the mess you have made, I can still at least sympathize, or secretly enjoy your drama. Continue reading

Aljazeera’s Social Media Shame

Aljazeera only consolidated its association with Islamist movements following its firing of Shlomo Pfeffer

‘It is a sad day for media in general, and for social media in particular’. Judging by the number of retweets, this would easily classify as the most popular among the Israeli Twittersphere in the wake of Aljazeera TV’s disengagement of Shlomo Pfeffer from his responsibilities as its Senior Correspondent in Israel and the Palestinian territories. This controversial move from the Arab world’s prime mouthpiece in the west comes after an equally controversial tweet from Pfeffer, where he expressed his sorrow over the permanent vegetative state of ex-prime minister Ariel Sharon on its 4th anniversary. Continue reading

Taking Pride

Photo courtesy of blog.independence05.com

Lebanon’s march for secularism on April 25th was special and significant in many ways. To begin with, it was the country’s first ever event of this sort, and even though the numbers of attendees was less than the 7,656 who have RSVP’ed with a nod on Facebook, the few thousands who were there said a lot about the aspirations of a generation. Continue reading

Exotica And The New Paradigm

March 8th, 2010 was a special day for both the advertising industry and social media users in Lebanon. Were it not for the sake of avoiding hype, I would have gone as far as calling it ‘historic’, for that day marked a new era of relationships between local brands and their audiences.

On March 8th, 2010, billboards carrying Exotica’s Mother’s Day campaign changed faces, not in response to the whims of disgruntled traditional media, nor to the disagreement of a sell-you-conservatism politician, but in response to the honest, candid, and real time feedback from social communities (namely Twitter) and the Lebanese blogosphere.

Growing Up With Egyptian TV

Prologue:

Here, allow me to oscillate between ‘We’ and ‘I’ because even though the experiences described are personal, they are not unique. They are rather standard for people of my generation who grew up in my social setting or in clones of it. Thus it is really more of a collective experience rather than a personal one.

We grew up in Liberal Islam. A version that believes in the supernatural, but remains appreciative of life’s value. One that does not take veils seriously, and sees them more like an age-image accessory for grandmothers. One that integrates playfulness, optimism and earthly ambition into it. And above all, one that does not invade the territory of personal choice. Continue reading

A Personal ‘Brand’?

With the emergence of social media, the ChatBox era discourse on the ‘online persona’ evolved into a discourse on the ‘personal brand’. The issue was not about projecting a set of transient characteristics anymore, or an online ‘temperament’ that could very easily change with every login. It was about constructing and maintaining a single, stable and consistent online identity. Continue reading

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