Dennis for President (of the US of A)

Most people probably have never heard about Dennis Kucinich who seems to be running for the Democratic party’s ticket to run for President of the United States of America. However it seems that he is the favorite candidate of my much respected left-wing friends in the US (or at least some of them). Not sure if he really makes a chance but he sure is special. If you believe his website he is some modern day jesus, only better: In Lebanon, Dennis and Elizabeth also spent time walking through destr…

I love life...

Is the PR campaign by the march 14 camp against the ongoing demonstration by the opposition in downtown Beirut. They argue that the ongoing protests are strangling Lebanon’s economy to death and because of that those who love life should rally behind them (the slogan also is a reference to the martyrdom culture entertained by Hezbollah). These days large parts of the city are covered with i love life stickers (in arabic, english and french) and there are i love life x-mas trees at random locatio…

Dutch über alles!

Got reminded again that the Netherlands have turned into a society of discussing racist cowards less then 10 hours after arriving back back in amsterdam. on the front-page of todays Volkskrant there is an article titled ‘Verdonk: op straat alleen Nederlands‘ (link requires paid registration). In English this translates into ‘Verdonk: Dutch must be spoken in the streets’. Apparently the minster for ‘integration’ has completely lost her mind (not that this is any news). The local website for engli…

Women empowerment

So apparently the government of Maharashtra (the same idiots who came up with the brilliant idea to rename Bombay into Mumbai) thinks it can improve the position of women by stenciling ‘women empowerment’ on the back of every second rickshaw in the state (the other half has ‘if a girl studies progress will happen’ stenciled on them in Marathi). To me it is not really clear how this is going to work, and most of the time the inside of the rickshaw makes it even harder to believe in this kind of s…

Protect intellectual property rights by all means necessary?

Maybe i have been a bit premature in my condemnation of the French and Dutch no votes on the European constitution back in June. The charter of fundamental rights that is part of the proposed constitution contains an article relating to intellectual property rights. In all its simplistic beauty article 17(2) reads like this: Intellectual property shall be protected Yes this is it. No qualifications whatsoever, No purpose (‘for the progress of science and the useful arts’) like in the US constitu…

What the visa?

Today i soend most of my day trying to get a schengen visa for programmer/activist from cote d’ivoire and that meant i had to make lots of phone calls to cote d’ivoire and while doing that i dialed wrong numbers a couple of times. Now if you dial the wrong number locally people are usually pissed that you disturb them. not so in this case, each time i got connected with someone wrong, the people started me asking all kinds of questions about me or amsterdam or what i was wearing (sic!) and gener…

Mit dem zweiten sieht man besser

Kanak-Attak has started a beautiful poster campaign against the practice of expatriating immigrants with german passports when they also hold another nationality (passport). The campaign uses a slogan and the look and feel of the german television station ZDF.…

R.I.P Samir Kassir

Today i am back in Beirut. In the morning we met with the Hezbollah (i was still getting SMS straight from the ‘zionist entity’ while sitting in their press room), but talking to them did not make them any more sympathetic. The guy got himself in rage about Israel and how they had every right to defend themselves against Israeli aggressions, but instead of stopping there he then started to explain us how we (the Germans) were also victims of them as ‘they (Israelis) made us (Germans) responsible…

Welcome to Israel!

Today we went to the South of Lebanon, the part that is officially referred to as the liberated zone. This is the area that was controlled by Israel – through the south Lebanese army – until they were forced out by continuing casualties inflicted upon them by the armed wing of the Hezbollah in 2000. after visiting Beaufort castle, a former crusader castle overlooking most of south Lebanon, the Golan and parts of Israel, that was used by the IDF during the occupation as a military base and a form…

How to email the Hezbollah?

Before meeting with a PLO representative who runs a youth center in Shabra. we had to send scans of our passports to Hezbollah so they could run a background check on us before our visit with one of their media representatives on thursday. After having had our passport scanned at an internet cafe in Beirut’s hamra district we were supposed to send them to a given @yahoo.com email adress. But how do yo write an email to hezbullah, how do you start? ‘inshallah’? ‘grüss gott’? in the end we settled…