17 January 2008

Facebook users jailed in Lebanon


Last year in the U.S, a girl by the name of Megan Meier was found dead in her room. She had hanged herself.

Megan wasn’t particularly attractive and she had troubles with her parents. Fortunately, she found solace at Myspace with a boy who regularly complimented her and told her how wonderful she looked. The couple would chat everyday, and Megan got out of her depressive mood.

A few weeks later, the boy suddenly turned on her and used a barrage of hurtful language: I wonder why anyone would want be your friend! He told her. The troubled girl ended up killing herself.

Later it was found out that the “boy” never existed. He was a fictional Myspace character designed by the Meiers’ next-door neighbors specifically to cause them harm (although they didn’t mean to have the girl kill herself)

Everyone in the neighborhood knew about this, but it took national TV coverage and intense pressure for legal action to finally take place. The reason? Internet privacy rights that many Americans take for granted.

Why am I bringing this up?

Just to contrast it with the silly Lebanese legal system that jailed 4 university students simply because they had gossiped on Facebook about one woman’s singing.

How backward do you have to be to do that? The act wasn’t very nice, but come on, hasn’t each one of you at some point made fun of someone else on Facebook?

Sometimes, Lebanese officials just need to get a life.-(beirutspring)

4 Students Jailed for Crude Remarks on Facebook
Four Lebanese university students have been jailed for a week for making crude remarks on the Facebook social networking site about the singing talents of a woman they met at a party, media reports said on Thursday.

Local newspapers reported that the students -- all male -- were ordered to be detained on January 10 after the young woman's father objected to the authorities in the eastern town of Zahle.

The four were charged with slander and "violating public morality" and were ordered to be held in preventive detention despite objections by human rights groups.(AFP)

Four Lebanese university students have been jailed for a week for making crude remarks on the Facebook social networking site about the singing talents of a woman they met at a party, media reports said on Thursday.

Local newspapers reported that the students -- all male -- were ordered to be detained on January 10 after the young woman's father objected to the authorities in the eastern town of Zahle.

The four were charged with slander and "violating public morality" and were ordered to be held in preventive detention despite objections by human rights groups.-(bloggingbeirut)

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Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.