Month: September 2015

Surprise surprise… #YouStink leaders are supported by NED

Lebanon, as we already know, had been witnessing protests which claim to be against corruption, sectarianism, unemployment, lack of infrastructure etc… in general, and the garbage crisis in particular. Those protests are organized by a group of campaigns, organizations, political parties, etc… among those; the Lebanese Communist party, the Union of the Lebanese Democratic Youth and so on are innocent from any suspicion which would arise about the real forces behind those protests. As for “You Stink”, well…they stink.

Lately, a report was published on simplesite.com showing the foreign connections of You Stink leaders. Shortly after, the report was deleted for some unknown reason. However, media such as Middle East Panorama and the newspaper Al-Joumhouria (sources are in Arabic, sorry) published the information contained in that report; exposing those activists one by one:

Marwan Maalouf: One of the You Stink activists. He was employed at the US-based NGO called Freedom House during the era of the Arab Spring; for 3 years. Freedom House is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Readers of this blog know that the NED is directly funded by the US Congress; though they claim to be a “non-governmental organization”. Then, Mr. Maalouf was asked by his employers at Freedom House to start another organization that deals with the issues of Middle East and North Africa. Thus, he founded “Menapolis” in Istanbul, Turkey. Menapolis participated in the Arab Spring in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya etc… and also Menapolis writes proposals for US policymakers, either directly or through Freedom House. Menapolis trains activists from different countries on the tactics of activism for overthrowing “dictators” (sounds like a Middle Eastern version of Otpor), and it helped the Syrian opposition by pressuring on the Syrian government through sending reports to US policymakers in cooperation with Freedom House.

Imad Bazzi: This name must be familiar to the readers of this blog. This person is trained by Otpor, he’s the coordinator of You Stink, he worked with Menapolis as well, and he mentions it on his blog like he’s proud of it:menapolis

(I know there’s a spelling mistake but in Arabic it is written properly). 

Imad Bazzi was in Tunisia during the Arab Spring protests there, and also in Egypt where he was arrested and deported to Lebanon.

Assaad Thebian: This You Stink activist is known for his comments mocking religious beliefs (especially Christianity) on his Facebook page. He cooperates with the “US-Middle East Partnership Initiative“; which is a US State Department Program which support “reform” in Middle Eastern countries.

Nizar Ghanem: Another founder of Menapolis, and an activist in You Stink.

Catherine Maher: Another founder of Menapolis, an activist, and works as an expert in Wikimedia, USA.

Khattar Torbey: A lawyer in the USA and an activist who worked with Imad Bazzi and Marwan Maalouf on the Menapolis issues especially in Syria. He organized protests for You Stink in front of the Lebanese embassy in the US capital. He visited Qatar in September 2015 (Qatar’s role in supporting the Arab Spring is already exposed to everyone).

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Since the Arab Spring, I have been and will always be suspicious over all those social media revolutions. Poor people can’t afford to have a fast internet connections and smartphones so that they can participate in this coffee-shop activism; so it’s not a revolution “from the people, by the people, for the people”. And no, You Stink is not a “grassroot organizations composed of a bunch of random Lebanese youth who met by chance and are just fed up with corruption and sectarianism in Lebanon”. They are a group of highly trained professionals in activism and “peaceful protesting” or whatever they call it, with a lot of experience in that matter from the Arab Spring. Lebanese people can by themselves solve the problems of corruption and sectarianism; we don’t need National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, Menapolis or Otpor. Don’t be a sheep for the corrupt government, but at the same time don’t be a sheep of NGOs. So wake up before it’s too late; before our country becomes like Syria or Libya.

Types of the 21st Century Activists in Lebanon

This is an English translation of this post.

In case you want to become an activist promoting chaos in our country, starting an “Arab Spring” in it and generalizing corruption to include all those in the government (including those who are DEDICATED to fighting corruption); then you have to choose which type of activist who serves foreign agenda would you wish to become:

The Media Front: This kind of activist appears on television and promotes the “cause”. He is supposed to be moderate in his speech; so that he can attract support from the people.

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The Scapegoat: He’s the opposite of the latter. Extremist in his speech; personally attacks political leaders, relies on the shock method by shamelessly mocking religious beliefs. The rest of the coffee-shop activists picture him as “the bad guy who does not represent us!!1111”. Why do they try so hard to deny him; is it because he shows the true color of this kind of activism?

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The Master of Puppets: The mastermind of the whole campaign from behind the scenes. His job is not to promote the campaign in the media; but to pull the strings of the other activists; planning and organizing every move they make. Most probably he got some training in “peaceful protesting” in Europe or USA; or participated in other Arab Spring “revolutions”; this makes him experienced, sophisticated and different from the typical young student-activist who must appear in the image of a simple citizen who is just “fed up”.

imadbazzi

The Creative Activist: Now that’s the anonymous guy who designed all those funny, satirical and attractive banners and slogans held by the protesters. Highly focusing on slogans shows that there is no real specific cause which those coffee-shop activists are fighting for.

The Social Media Guy: Mostly anonymous; signed up to Facebook, twitter and Instagram with an account or more, under a pseudonym like “angry citizen”, “peaceful protester” etc… His job is to sit in front of the computer, upload photos of the protest showing the “Lebanese Spring” to the world, create pages for protesting campaigns and call members of those pages to “take the streets”.

أنواع نشطاء اخر زمان في لبنان

(English version here)

إذا كنت تريد أن تصبح ناشطاً في تخريب البلد و إقامة ربيع لبناني و مساواة من يساهم في الفساد بمن يحاربه، فعليك أن تختار من أي نوع من أنواع الناشطين تريد أن تكون

الوجه الإعلامي للحملة: هو الذي يظهر على وسائل الإعلام و يتحدث إليها. يجب أن يمتاز بأسلوب معتدل غير متطرف، مما يؤهله لأن يروج للحملة على التلفاز و يجذب تأييداً من عامة الشعب

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الناشط الذي “لا يمثل إلا نفسه”: متطرف، يتهجم شخصياً على الزعماء و الساسة، يعتمد على أسلوب الصدمة و يمس بالمقدسات بلا حياء. يحاول من تبقى من نشطاء السفارات و ثوار المقاهي التبرء منه و يقولون:”هو لا يمثلنا! لا يمثل إلا نفسه!”. نحن نعاملهم بالمثل و نقول:” #كلن_يعني_كلن “. لماذا يتبرأون منه، هل لمجرد أنه على الأقل صادق و يظهرهم بصورتهم الحقيقية؟

assaad

محرك الدمى: العقل المدبر للحملة بأكملها “من تحت الطاولة”. لا  يروج لها في وسائل الإعلام، لكنه ينظمها و يحرك الخيوط من وراء الستار. هو اليد الخفية التي يبدأ التحرك على إشارتها. على الأغلب تلقى تدريباً في أوروبا أو الولايات المتحدة أو شارك في تحركات و “ثورات” في دول عربية، هذا يكسبه خبرة و يميزه عن الناشط الشاب الذي من المفترض أن يظهر بصورة عفوية كمجرد مواطن “قرفان” من الوضع

imadbazzi

الناشط المبدع: الفنان مجهول الهوية الذي يصمم اللافتات المبتكرة التي يحملها من يشارك في التظاهر، بناءً على أفكاره النيرة و الخلاقة  . التركيز على الشعارات الرنانة و الطريفة و الجذابة ضروري عندما لا تكون هناك قضية حقيقية محددة لدى التحرك

ناشط وسائل التواصل الإجتماعي: عادة ما يكون لديه حساب واحد أو أكثر على مواقع التواصل الإجتماعي، ربما تحت أسماء مستعارة مثل “مواطن غاضب،”، “متظاهر سلمي” و ما إلى ذلك. مهمته الجلوس أمام شاشة الكومبيوتر و الدعاية للحملة على فيس بوك و تويتر و غيرها و نشر صور للتحرك ليرى العالم معالم الربيع اللبناني، و فتح صفحات و حسابات للدعوة للنزول إلى الشارع

Syrian, Palestinian & Yemeni kids who die everyday: “What About Us?”

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This photo went viral on social media; it’s a photo of a Syrian child who got drowned on the shores of Turkey while he was immigrating with his family trying to reach Greece. Everyone got concerned over it, from the media to officials in European countries. Worldwide newspapers published it on their front covers. Everyone, due to it, became concerned over the issue of illegal immigrants coming from Syria to Europe.

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Of course may the child’s soul rest in peace. But why all the fuss about that photo all of a sudden when meanwhile kids inside Syria die everyday due to ISIS, and Yemeni kids die everyday due to the war on their country by Saudi Arabia, and Palestinian kids in Gaza die due to the siege enforced by Israel while no one lifts a finger. Their pics can also be found on some online news media, and as they die they scream to you and me: “what about us?”.

What if this photo is being used as a propaganda and that’s why it became viral and got all this attention? For example, one can show it and say “look at those people leaving Syria for Europe and dying on the way, it’s all the fault of the Syrian president, he should resign and foreign intervention should come to Syria to fix the situation…”

We should care for those immigrants who suffer and die searching for a better life somewhere else, just like we care for those who struggle for their lives in Syria itself, Yemen and everywhere. What’s bad is USING people’s lives to propagate your own agenda.