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:
(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).
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.