Outlook Newspaper The American University of Beirut
Vol. XLII, No. 14 | Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | The Independent Student Publication Since 1949
The “Angry Arab” tells Palestinians, “No one will stand up for your rights like you will” Maryam Hoballah Staff Writer
he Palestinian Cultural Club invited the man behind the infamous blog, the Angry Arab News Service, to speak about Palestine in the context of Lebanon. Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil astounded the packed audience in the Issam Fares Hall with his energy, striking accusations, and bold views. Around 7:00 pm on Wednesday, January 13, the hall filled up and students were spotted wearing keffiyehs in show of Palestinian solidarity. AbuKhalil started out his lecture by saying that he was going to be speaking in Arabic. “For those of you who don’t understand [Arabic]… learn Arabic. Just like we are compelled to learn your language in your country, learn ours if you want to write or study in this region.” The first topic on the speaker’s agenda was Palestine in the context of AUB. “I used
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to write on the walls of… AUB during my University years. I have never been more proud of any of my academic writings. I wrote down my feelings and drew Ka-
Student elections pass over final bump in the road Fouad Badaoui Staff Writer
he last elections to take place in this eventful electoral season happened last week. AUB eventually did get a Vice President (VP) for its University Student Faculty Committee (USFC) and congratulations go out to Elias Ghanem and to all those who now hold a
position, permanent or temporary, as it may be. One day before Ghanem’s election, however, on Wednesday, January 13, Outlook staff interviewed Dean of Student Affairs Maroun Kisirwani. Although pleased about the fact that Student Representative Committee (SRC) Continued on page 4
Editorial & Opinion 2-3 Entertainment Campus News 4-6 Out of The Box Arts & Culture 7-9
lashnikovs,” said AbuKhalil. This was his form of protest. He spoke of AUB’s history in dealing with the Palestinian crises. The lecturer stated that historically, the Presi-
dents of AUB worked alongside the leaders of Lebanon (such as ex-Prime Minister Sami Al Solh) to tone down pro-Palestinian protests at the University. AbuKhalil
said that AUB does not represent the West but rather, it brings the most right-wing ideas out there to the University. AbuKhalil sifted through Arab nations and the Lebanese political spectrum to critique their treatment of the occupation of Palestine. He especially stressed upon the March 14 forces. He did not mention the March 8 parties. Referring to the March 14 forces, AbuKhalil stated, “They say, ‘Lebanon will be the last country to make an agreement with Israel.’ What they really mean is that Lebanon will make an agreement with Israel and they already have.” While speaking about the Gemayel family and their alleged negative role in the Palestinian crisis, AbuKhalil said, “The Gemayel family Continued on page 4
“Is Religion Outdated?” A lecture on the adaptive ability of Islam Lojine Kamel Staff Writer
modern society is one that promotes peaceful coexistence and progress in scientific and technological fields, among others. Many of our generation today believe religion to be exactly the opposite of modern, instead finding it backwards, old-fashioned, and often – unfortunately – corrupt. Wednesday night’s
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lecture in West Hall, entitled ‘Is Religion Outdated?’ discussed these issues from an Islamic viewpoint, beginning with its vast history and accomplishments and ending with the modern-day perspective. The first half of the lecture was given by Adnan Rashid, notable Islamic historian and philosopher. He began by addressing the four as-
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pects of modernity – political stability, economic prosperity, moral grounds, and the pursuit of science and arts. Rashid went on to say that none of these features would be possible without the presence of security and tranquility, without which civilization would be utterly Continued on page 5
Movie Review Amelia
Editorial & Opinion Editorial Big presentation tomorrow? Fuggedaboutit!
Mohamad Yahia Hamade Editor-in-Chief As per tradition, at the end of every semester professors seem to gang up and bludgeon students with projects and presentations - as if we do not have enough things to do already during the last week of classes. Imagine this scenario: You are in the classroom, the same one you have spent every day during the past semester week in, week out. You are suddenly in front of the whole class. You look around and see yourself overwhelmed by the number of people surrounding you; and at this point you being to feel uneasy and confused. Out of despair, you try to control yourself and begin your presentation nothing like you originally planned. You are not alone. This happens to more people that you think at one point of their lives. It does not matter if the setting is in classroom or a meeting with a professor. It is painfully uncomfortable to present your work to a room full of people you never actually got to know, especially if you want to be well received. Standing in front of a classroom full of strangers and addressing them does not seem to be appealing at this point. This feeling of uneasiness is more common than you think. The cool kids that seem to be nonchalant and even your professors have it.
Some people are just better at hiding their insecurities and fear of public speaking What makes you uneasy when you are placed in a situation which requires public speaking is the fear of rejection. Again, I would like to remind you are not alone here. Many great people have been rejected at some point of their lives. Some people were even slapped into submission. It is really not the end of the world if you sweat and jitter a little, you are human after all. Try looking at it this way, “the spider is more afraid of you than you are of it.” There is nothing wrong with you. It is not your personality; it is the lack of self confidence. This is a negative trait that can be easily eliminated. Know your material before hand and practice it. Your not an improv actor, so you should practice. This will definitely make your presentation perfect. Always plan for the unexpected, it will keep you prepared for the worst case scenario you could imagine. Remember to breathe, air is your friend. Take a deep breath when you are nervous and fuggedaboutit. That will transform your nervousness into enthusiasm. I have always noticed that the less you obsess about the fear of public speaking, the better your presentation will be. Keep a stiff upper lip and form a practical consideration of the final outcome. What is the worst thing that could happen? I have never heard of anyone dying from a few frowns and yawns in the audience. And remember, just like Alan Shore once said, “Those who do not like you fall into one of two categories: the stupid and the envious.”
Maya Terro Pandora... “I see you.”
Want to hear a secret? Here goes. The last time I set foot in a movie theater and actually watched a movie was like two years ago. You’re probably wondering why. Well, to be frank , I have a little theory that goes something like this, ‘‘Ain’t no movie out there worth going to the movies for when you can get it on
التعاسة قد ختمت على قلبي في حلظة ٍ من اللحظات وجعلتني أخسر أشياء كثيرة. ال تسمحوا لإلحباط أن,وفي زبدة احلديث يتغ ّلب عليكم وإن أُقفلت جميع األبواب في وجوهكم ال تفقدوا األمل وابحثوا عن أبواب أخرى وستفتح لكم آفاق أكبر ألنكم بذلتوا يجب علينا أن.جهدكم في البحث عنها فما، نتقبل احلياة كما هي بحلوها وم ّرها قد يكوني حديثي ضربًا من.ضاقت إالّ لتفرج ضروب اخليال وقد تفكرون بأ ّن احلياة ليست السهولة ولكن صدقوني إن ج ّربتم ّ بهذه عيشوا.ما أقول ستكتشفون صحة قولي ّ متتعوا و،حياتكم ،تذكروا ابتسامة للحياة تكفي لنمضي...
DVD.’’ But that theory died the day I watched Avatar. I’m sure by now the majority of you have watched this heck of an amazing movie (If not, I highly advise you to do so ASAP). For me, watching the movie was a part of a promise I made to my little brother and sister, a promise to which I am so thankful that I have kept. The movie, set in 2015, basically tells the story of Pandora, a moon in the Alpha Centuauri star system. In the core of this planet lies tons of reserves of a precious mineral which humans are engaged in mining (typical greedy-human-scenario).It just so happens, however, that the Na’vis –a race of indigenous humanoidsare against this whole colonist-expansion concept since it threatens the existence of the Pandoran ecosystem and subsequently the continued existence of their species. So the idea is somehow a cliché, but seriously what really made me fall in love with this movie is the reality of it and I don’t just mean it being 3D. Sure, there was a time when I was literally reaching out to grab falling tree leaves only
تر الوجود جميال َِ ًكن جميال ً جتد أحد الطلاّ ب قد أ ّدى اختبارا,الدراسى ّ في ما ّدة معينة اّإل أنّه لم يو ّفق ونال عالمة قمة التّعاسة ويتخيل بأنّه ّ جتده في،متدنّية ّ لن يحالفه,مهما فعل ومهما درس ً احلظ أبدا في تلك املادة ويبرر قائالً ( ما فاتت براسي وال )!راح تفوت. فأظن كلنا نعيش على اإليحاءات النفسية ّ ّ أ ّن هذا الطالب لو قال لنفسه كل يوم بأنه سيتحسن وسيحقق أفضل مستوى في ولكنه دخل في,لتم له ما أراد ّ هذه املادة مغارة اإلحباط ولم يجد سبيالً للخروج التعاسة واإلحباط شيئان متالزمان.منها .فإن غمرنا اإلحباط غمرتنا التّعاسة وهكذا ًفي نظري التعاسة ليست موجودة أصال نحن من نخلقها ونحن من نرضى ألنفسنا أن نعيش في بوتقتها. أنا ال أ ّدعي الكمال وال أ ّدعي بأنني لم أعش يوما ً في حفر التّعاسة ولكنني اذا استرجعت شريط حياتي كثيرًا ما ألوم نفسي أل ّن
to notice that I was reaching out for the screen. But, come to think about it, Earth was once a Pandora in itself, but then we wanted to make money out of it, and we did, but we lost Earth on the way. I was so into the movie that I wished I could someday turn into an Avatar and visit Pandora. Why? Simply because after watching this movie, it became so clear to me that Pandora is the place where I would like to spend the rest of what’s left of my life—I want to be friends with nature, with its creatures, its colors, its every little living and non-living thing. I want to sleep under a gazillion star only to wake up surrounded by a zillion tree with the sweet scent of wet grounds underneath my feet and the sight of a clear blue sky above me. Lights back on. The movie ends—reality right in your face again! Seriously, sometimes I wish I was an Avatar. But wait, what’s real is only real if you want it to be so. All it takes is a bit of imagination, and-swoosh- Pandora I see you!
فاطمة بوحليقة ملاذا نيأس؟ ملاذا نشعر في حلظات مع ّينة بأنّنا أتعس خلق اهلل؟ ملاذا يش ّلنا هذا الشعور أحياناً؟ ملاذا نقبل أن يسيطر على عقولنا وقلوبنا؟ للحظات نشعر بأ ّن احلياة توقفت وأ ّن ما اقترفناه في تلك اللحظة،حد ما ّ عند لن يتغ ّير بل سوف نبقى ندفع ثمن فعلتنا ترسم لنا مخيلتنا أشياء.طوال حياتنا وهم ّية وهذه األشياء هي التي تش ّلنا وجتعلنا ّ ،حظنا التعيس محبطني فنندب بذلك ونحاول حينها أن جند أسخف املبررات حتمل غلطتنا ّ لنخفف عن أنفسنا عبء ّ فكل ،ًالتي من املفترض اّأل نعتبرها خطا لكن الذكي فينا هو ّ إنسان يرتكب األخطاء من يستفيد من أخطاءه ويحاول اّأل يكررها مرارًا. ّ في داخل كل واحد منا ق ّوة كامنة يستطيع من خاللها أن يغ ّير األشياء من حوله وأن يراها جميلة ومثمرة مهما كانت مؤملة وباعث ًة فعلى سبيل املثال وعلى صعيد،لالحباط
Editorial & Opinion Op-Ed
Tala Kardas Caffeine: A solution to every bad work ethic
So that time has dawned upon us AUBites once again. A time where no spaces remain at any of libraries, a time where students race to print out the lectures they neglected during the length of the semester, and where panic is a widespread, yet normal, feeling throughout the campus. It could only be the time for final examina-
tions. While eventually everyone manages to make it through this period, it is undeniable that the campuswide caffeine addiction will reach an all-time high. On regular days, students can be seen clutching their books in one hand and a coffee cup from any of the coffee shops on Bliss Street, in another. The scene is so familiar that not having coffee accompany most students just seems odd. Even though we do not want to admit it, we’ve become so dependent on the substance for a quick fix-up to be able to focus during that much despised 8 am class-or for the matter, that despised 12 pm class. Should you encounter one that was unable to get his or her needed supply, social interaction with that person is unadvisable as you will be met by weary
eyes, loud yawns, and occasional glares that make you want to run in the other direction. Then comes the two weeks of the semester preceding the final exams. In this period of frantic rush, coffee consumption becomes your companion of choice on long nights of attempting to catch up on four month’s worth of material. You, like many, will fall victim to procrastination, multitasking, or even both, and yet thanks to the caffeine intake, still find the energy to further one or any of the three activities and forget the original purpose behind this overnight. Just when you think this could not get any worse, the morning comes and you have to head out to that class. Eyes barely open and mind numb (because of last night’s
“studying”), you resort to what is the seventh extra large black coffee in the span of eight hours. In class, you complain to your classmates how nothing is getting done and freak out when the resident nerd tells you they’re on the verge of finishing everything- with no overnights or excessive coffee needed. Your friends, the ones that actually do care, had warned you that this would happen and continue to rub that in your face, but you just don’t listen. Instead, you head out to Dunkin Donuts for coffee number eight, gulp it all down, and inform anyone in your sight that you’re skipping class to go study for that major final. At the library, you’re finally consoled because almost everyone there is going through your same exact situation.
Finally, before heading out home, you grab cup number nine, because after all, you have to be focused to drive, and you have been feeling a bit sleepy since the last time you had coffee, three hours ago. This routine continues for around three weeks, with coffee replacing blood. Your loss of faith in yourself and the belief that you can actually do well are thrown out of the window. A good work ethic, where you actually shut off any distractions, gives way to cup after cup of black stuff. You, and every AUBite, are going to be just fine, but for the time being, gulping all your worries away is the best solution for everything you failed to do during the semester.
Marwan Jaafar Out With the Old, In With the New?
Change is an eternal law of the universe; if we do not make happen, time will. Like everywhere else, things around us are not the same anymore. Old buildings are being demolished and new ones are under construction. Old trees are being removed and none are being planted. Everyday a lot of new cars hit the streets but the poor streets are still the same, the parking lots are even fewer.
New faces, new people, new ambiance, and-for sure-a new culture is emerging. Nevertheless, the rotten portions inside our brains are still the same. AUB’s surrounding area (Ras Beirut and Hamra) is known for its cultural diversity, its intellectual coffee shops, vivid streets, and good-hearted locals. To me, the area represents a model of old Lebanon (as I heard), and in a way, a close model to new Lebanon as I wish it would be (in terms of cultural diversity and acceptance of the other). When I look around today, I no longer see old coffee shops, small, local supermarkets, and old buildings. The old, traditional coffee shops that everyone could afford have been replaced by new, modern restaurants which only certain class can afford. I
used to enjoy watching older men and women discuss the newspaper as I walked by the Café de Paris every day. The Café is gone, as well as the old men and women who used to sit there. The sixty and seventy-yearold buildings that are a part of this area’s history are being demolished to be replaced by lofty buildings with million-dollar apartments. Who can afford to eat at the new restaurants? Live in the new buildings? Certainly not everyone. The old culture of Hamra is being slowly eradicated. Small shop owners cannot afford the rent of a shop in the new, sky-high buildings. Local restaurants cannot compete with the modern chain restaurants that have recently started popping up in Hamra. This area no longer belongs to everyone, it now belongs to a cer-
tain class of the population. To those who have grown up here, though I am not one of them, Hamra has certainly changed a great deal in such a short time. When you walk out of Main Gate, do you notice the buildings on the other side of Bliss Street? These buildings endured the test of time, but I am not sure how long they will endure the cannibalism of modern civilization. Fortunately, some green areas are left around here; AUB has been able to preserve its green campus and that is one reason why it has one of the most beautiful campuses in the Middle East. Yet, when one steps outside AUB, the greenery no longer exists. Trees have been cut down to make way for new stores, buildings, and restaurants. Nothing is being planted in their place. Rules for urban
planning do not appear to exist, and if they do, they certainly are not being implemented. The new buildings that are being built overshadow the older, smaller buildings. They are being built very close to each other and that will soon create the problem of congestion. Yes things are changing around here. For better? For worse? I do not know. Time will surely answer.
Campus News The “Angry Arab” speaks at AUB Continued from page 1 is no different than Anwar El Sadat.” Sadat was the Egyptian President who became rather unpopular among Arabs after signing the IsraelEgypt Peace Treaty in 1979. AbuKhalil made an interesting point as he spoke of the necessity of political violence as a means to get ideas across. In reference to the March 14 parties, he said that one cannot achieve anything tangible by merely holding pens and lighting candles. The speaker uncovered his own take on the Lebanese President’s treatment of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “I noticed that [Michel Suleiman] repeatedly says, ‘Lebanon faces a threat from Israel and terrorism.’ Does he mean to do that to separate the
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term “terrorism” from Israel? He should say ‘Israeli terrorism’.” AbuKhalil stressed that this is exactly what Israel wants–to get the Lebanese to forget who the real terrorists are. The speaker criticized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah. AbuKhalil brought up Abbas Zaki, who is the PLO’s representative in Lebanon and a member of Fatah. He sarcastically remarked that Zaki is basically the ambassador of the Future Movement to the Palestinian camps. AbuKhalil reported that after Zaki’s recent meeting with Samir Geagea, the head of the Lebanese Forces, he had said, “I noticed the love and affection from Geagea to-
wards the Palestinians.” According to AbuKhalil, this is one example of authorities in Palestine not fighting for their cause genuinely. AbuKhalil had informed the audience that Geagea did not play an encouraging role for Palestinians. AbuKhalil‘s overall message was that Palestine should keep up the movement towards Palestinian liberation. “I say to the Palestinians hold on to your weapons. No one will stand up for your rights like you will.” The Q&A segment of the lecture was heated and controversial. After the lecture, AbuKhalil blogged that, “Supporters of Arafat started to yell…at me because I had criticized in a recent article
the PA and described them as counterparts to Antoine Lah[a]d…the Q&A was not to my liking.” Lahad was the Lebanese leader of the Israeli-backed Southern Lebanon Army (SLA) during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. In response to a man asking how AbuKhalil could compare the Lahad Army with Fatah, AbuKhalil stated, “I said that the current administration in Ramallah is serving Israeli interests just as the Lahad Army did. If you think not, then you haven’t read a newspaper in seven years.” One of the Arafat supporters got up and announced, “I am an officer in Fatah with 17 martyrs in my home. It is wrong to use this supposed
culture and knowledge to sway opinions.” A few minutes later, he stormed out of the room yelling a pro-Arafat slogan. One of the last so-called “questions” (because most of the Q&A session was filled with speeches) came from a lady who got quite emotional. She yelled out that she was remembering last year’s attacks on Gaza. She used to protest daily and she affirmed that none of the students present had been alongside her, protesting the atrocities. She said that the audience is here, doing exactly what is wrong with the Arabs–merely talking. “Where is the university activism? Students used to go to the streets and mobilize the whole region.”
New cafeteria facilities to open soon Fouad Badaoui Staff Writer In an email to SRC presidents last week, President Peter Dorman announced that new cafeteria facilities will open around campus, including those in Olayan School for Business (OSB) and Bechtel building in order to “relieve some of the pressure” on the demand for an effective cafeteria area at AUB. The Ada Dodge cafeteria has been closed since the beginning of the current academic year with no real facility being set up to replace it, except for the Hostler cafeteria, the mobile kitchen near Ada Dodge hall, and the second floor of West Hall, which is a small canteen. In addition to this, Faqra Catering, the company currently running all stands and facilities, has been providing a free delivery service to any location on campus. Students , however, still complain about the lack of an actual cafeteria on upper campus, capable of filling the shoes of the old one. The email was a response to a communication sent and
signed by several SRC members, expressing their dissatisfaction about the current situation regarding the lack of proper facilities. They had suggested that the actual cafeteria, in Ada Dodge Hall, could be reopened. In his reply, Dorman explained that work on “upgrading the lighting and mechanical systems” in that building would not permit the facilities to be functional before another four months. In clarifying this issue, Dean of Student Affairs Maroun Kisirwani explained that renovation was necessary after the old company running food services had left AUB. According to Kisirwani, the former catering service felt cheated and, before clearing the building, considered it was their right to take away all the mobile objects. As a consequence, the cafeteria is now missing light bulbs, a false ceiling, and even the staircase railings amongst others. Bechtel and OSB cafeterias are, according to the email, to start serving hot meals in a
month’s time. Along with the Hostler area, three functional canteens would be available on lower campus but none on the upper side, excluding the West Hall area services. “I’m afraid it takes time,” said Kisirwani while explaining that management, although slow, is working at its very best to accommodate students promptly. Faqra Catering alone is expected to run all these cafeterias in order to avoid internal competition between several providers. Dorman’s email also noted that the Mahmoud Malhas Common Room in West Hall will henceforth be considered a student lounge for the “exclusive use for students” with the possible exception of an alumni event in the spring semester. The email read, “it will no longer be co-opted for occasional exhibits, as it has been recently, but we want students to feel that this is a space dedicated for their use alone” and promised better furnishing. On the prospect of changing the furniture, Ki-
sirwani noted that “students are very rough” on the existing ones and that he would consider it quite satisfactory if it lasted till the end of the academic year. Public Administration senior Sally Yamak comented that the noisy Common Room wasn’t cozy and couldn’t admit enough students; she thinks it could be better.
Speaker says, “Islam is more than just one verse dude!” Continued from page 1 nonexistent. Rashid then delved into the various histories of the three Abrahamic religions, with the prime focus of his discussion being Islam. Beginning with Jewish history, Rashid discussed how they were once a great civilization that was oppressed and attacked by tyrants for centuries. He then went on to explain their ties with modernity and progress, for at the time Jews were valued as some of the most brilliant scientific and literary minds of the day. Under Muslim rule Jews found protection and religious tolerance, providing the means for scientific advancements. Rashid discussed Christianity’s views on modernism in ancient times. With the reformation of the Church, Christianity was at odds with science, leading to the repression and even murders of prominent scientists and philosophers, such as Galileo and Copernicus. When Islam came to power in the Middle East and Spain, it promoted progress for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Rashid explained that Islam had flourished in less than one century under just rule and provided a safe and stable environment for those who wanted to advance. In fact, Oxford University and
the University of Naples were both based on manuscripts taken from Islamic Spain, a tribute to the marked growth of religion and progress. So why the history lesson you ask? Why not? Islamic Spain and Muslim rule are excellent examples of modernity and religion combined, in that science and faith can push each other to greatness. Unfortunately, lamented
USFC finally formed Continued from page 1 presidents had taken action earlier that week concerning the closed cafeteria, Kisirwani does not hide his discontent with the general ambience of the elections as a whole. The peculiarity of these elections started with postponing the SRC cabinet seats, thus ensuing tension. It ended with a re-election of the entire Olayan School of Business (OSB) SRC on the very same Wednesday. An SRC member from OSB had
apparently presented a last minute resignation and the rest of the OSB representing students refused to move on to further elections without replacing her. What followed was an argument with Kisirwani that resulted in the rest of the OSB representatives resigning as well. Consequently, the day before the VP-ship was to be determined, OSB was having yet another round of SRC elections. Most of the seats went back to those who had given them up the previous day. Kisirwani noted that the
Rashid, this is not always the case today. Many people misinterpret religion for their own uses, pushing followers farther and farther away from true religious ideology. The second main speaker, Sary Farah, continued Rashid’s message, except from a modern standpoint. Farah began by reviewing the “need for Deen” – fulfilling spiritual needs, allowing
for moral guidelines, and answering philosophical questions about existence. He argued that without these aspects, humans would be left without a sense of meaning, much less a drive for development. Farah then likened religion to a Ferrari, saying that the Ferrari, a perfectly dependable (and awesome) car was just like religion; it needs a driver to go anywhere. However, if the Ferrari crashes it is the driver to blame, not the car itself. Audience members responded enthusiastically in the Q & A sessions, asking philosophical and religious questions to Rashid, Farah, and guest speaker Adam Deen, well past the lecture’s end. One question in particular set straight many female stereotypes in Islam and their relation in today’s world, to the pleasure of the female audience, and a bit surprisingly, much of the male audience as well. Business sophomore Hadi Inja, was one of many who debated women’s rights, but by the end of the discussion felt differently about religion, “I think these lectures really change the way I viewed Islam for the better” he said. Others were not as appeased, such as ECE sophomore Ayman Jaber, who stated: “Historically, this lecture was
very informative, especially for non-Muslims, even though there weren’t many. Nevertheless I believe that many of the notions were flawed and I disagreed with them.” To those concepts that didn’t apply in Prophet Mohammed’s time, Farah explained Ijtihaad, which is the founding of new Islamic ruling based on principles of Sharai’a. Both Farah and Rashid touched on this concept, discussing its uses in the modern society. Farah emphasized the fact that Ijtihaad is cannot be applied by just everyone, only those with a thorough understanding of the principles of Islam. Modernity need not be the antithesis of religion, rather the counterpart. Both Rashid and Farah emphasized that to really return to the golden age of Islam, we need to embrace the true principles of Islam, that of justice, faith, and equality, without misconstruing parts or phrases of religious texts to fit our own views. Guest speaker Adam Deen particularly emphasized this position, pointing out to one of the audience members, “Islam is more than just one verse dude!”
ruthlessness of politics in student elections have caused a certain “disenchantment” among himself and some colleagues. Tactics like Trojan Horses, blackmail, resignations, and the like are used very abruptly by candidates and election managers, according to him, even for real life politics. Nevertheless, Kisirwani thought the worst was behind him, “I didn’t find anybody coming in and cursing at me,” he said with a smile. He still criticized the attitude adopted during elections and hopes
the elected students will cooperate closely and put politics and whatever animosity was developed behind them. It may be a good start, he says, that they are finally “interested in issues of concern to students,” in reference to the action taken about the canteen facilities. When asked if the electoral system will be revised next year, Kisirwani said it is highly unlikely that any changes will be implemented, but that a rationalization would be welcome. A “relief from the idea of who won
and who lost” would, supposedly make things simpler, although no clear substitute exists yet. Perhaps, revisiting the system by lessening the hierarchy difference between the SRC and the USFC would create a procedure where affiliations and emotions have no room. In any case, there is no clear change to the electoral laws in view and the “herders that should be removed” from the system will just have to wait longer.
Insight Club debates morality and the existence of God
Fouad Badaoui Staff Writer
he Insight Club, formerly known as the Makassed Club, and the Debate Club held a debate on Tuesday, January 12 in Bathish Auditorium, West Hall as the second of three events during that week. The title of this debate was “Can there be morality without God?” “There should be more events like this one,” said Insight Club member Mounir Mukaddam, as other members distributed pamphlets and CDs on Islam at the entrance of the auditorium. According to him, such debates are a good medium for exchanging ideas and clearing out misconceptions of religion. International guest speaker Adam Deen was to defend the theistic position while Civilization Sequence and Philosophy (CVSP) professor Raid Samaha would refute it. Each had 25 minutes to argue and prove a point. Deen asserted that science alone is not sufficient to study morality. His arguments mainly focused on the fact that, while scientists like Darwin and Copernicus destroyed the “special” image of man and made him
just another animal, they couldn’t explain what and why morality is.“You can’t discover morality in a test tube,” Deen stated. He went on to explain that without an absolutely objective morality that everyone agrees on, it is impossible to hold anyone accountable for their actions. We would all drown in a pool of subjectivity when it came to determining right and wrong. God, therefore, must be present to apply that morality. He went on to say, “How can you have moral laws if you cannot have a law giver?” Samaha, on the other hand, appealed to the naturalistic side of the topic by saying, “propositions of morality do not require God.” Yet, his view wasn’t traditionally naturalistic since he doesn’t agree with the stance taken by most naturalistic thinkers, that we’re all psychologically egoistic and moral just as long as it’s in our self-interest. According to Samaha, we all have a biologically programmed altruistic side that encourages us to be moral in order to coexist in a society. The evolution of the commu-
nity and social contracts are the driving force behind being nice, which is necessary for a positive coordination between human beings: “being moral pays.” He stated that morality does not have a mysterious origin and that its objectivity comes from the group of people who agree upon it and no one else. The next 15 minutes involved a back and forth debate between the two, in which other controversial issues were
introduced including the existence of God, his omnipotence, and Man’s ability to universally label some things as good or bad. After that, the Q&A took longer than expected and the event did not end before 7:00pm. Students were enthusiastic and kept raising their hands after each answer was given by a speaker. Both were faced with challenging questions as the audience asked for clarification, proposed
their own explanation, or bluntly tried to disprove some of the ideas they had formulated. “I love it, it gives true credibility to freedom of speech,” said Omar Talhouk, a Mathematics sophomore. Ali Harfoush, a member of the Insight Club said they look forward to “constructive criticism” concerning the event. Samaha commented that the event was “well organized, fair, and the crowd was civil.”
mas, luck was on their side this time. ‘’We were lucky that donors were not arriving all at once, thus they didn’t have to wait for too long,’’ he said, ‘’also we had four beds so that at any time, a maximum of four people were either donating or resting after having donated.’’ When asked about the whole experience of donating blood, Environmental Health junior Sarah Chehab noted that ‘’[the whole process] took around 4 minutes[...]and it was beyond awesome.’’ Karim Yatim, also a blood donor, described the blood drive
as “organized and safe as the staff consists of well-trained AUBMC professionals”. As always, after donating, every donor received a thank you gift consisting of a red travel mug with ‘’I am a blood donor’’ printed on it, as well as a stress ball and a ‘’Kiss me, I gave blood today!” AUBMC sticker. Moroevr, according to Malek Tuffaha, BDIC’s Project Representative (PR), “this year’s blood drive also aimed to raise awareness about AUB Red Cross’s blood donation database”. After the procedure, donors were given the
opportunity to be included in this database which serves as a reference for Red Cross centers as well as hospitals in case patients are urgently in need of blood. The next blood drive has been scheduled for Febraury 24. According to Raghd Hamzeh, also a BDIC subcommittee member, ‘’An eligible donator ‘’should be 18 or older, should not be sick, should not have donated blood in the last 3 months, did not get a piercing or tattoo in the last 12 months, and has had food at least one hour prior to donating blood.’’
Give blood…Give life Maya Terro and Lynn Itani Staff Writer’s
he Lebanese Red Cross club, in collaboration with AUBMC, organized a blood drive on January 12 at West Hall. Starting with the academic year
of 2008-2009, blood drives are held at AUB on a monthly basis so as to ensure blood availability for the transfusion needs of AUH patients as well as patients of the Children Cancer Center (CCL) affiliated to St. Jude. According to Fadi Chammas, a member of the RC blood drive subcommittee (BDIC), ‘’the students were very enthusiastic and really wanted to donate blood to help whoever might need it.’’ The event took place between 9am and 4pm, at the end of which a total of 87 blood units were collected. According to Cham-
Arts & Culture Economics Student Society shows lively presences on campus Mohammad Al Medawar Staff Writer
he Economics Student Society at AUB can be generally described as a society with “an energetic group of extroverts who participate in every event, engage with various clubs, and are involved in academic and non-academic occasions on and off campus,” as Marc Dib, newly elected president of ESS says. Dib was unanimously chosen by his classmates and the members of the Economics Student Society to lead the society as of Fall of 2009-2010. When asked about their mission, Dib explained that the ESS “aims to bring the Economics students closer and launch a variety of events such as lectures and social gatherings, as well as tighten student-teacher relationships, and most importantly, make sure that graduating students attend annual class reunions. With one event
so far, which was the successful Christmas dinner, Dib aims to make use of this year by hosting a lecture on the latest economic crisis that struck the rich and poor alike and invite famous economists and successful businessmen to give lectures and seminars on how to prepare for job interviews and submit applications, CVs, letters of recommendation, letters of motivation, and so on. He also plans to form a kind of a partnership with the Career Center at AUB to assist the Economics students in finding the best career opportunities and job positions in the Lebanese society and abroad. Moreover, he added that “AUB student societies, in general, should be more interactive with the career center at AUB to provide even the average-grade students with a decent job when they graduate.” As for the dazzling Christmas Dinner, it took place on Friday, December 18 in the five-
star Monroe Hotel, with all the tickets being sold out. The event started at 8:30 pm with the attendees’ number exceeding a hundred and twenty, although it was expected that only around a hundred would show up. The seating, however, was distributed almost equally amongst sophomores, juniors, seniors, and even professors, and the event hall was decorated with Christmas embellishments, with red and white balloons covering the ceiling and special lighting effects uplifting the event’s class. Dib started the event with welcoming everyone, thanking them for coming, and “hopes that, at Christmas Time, we can remember those who are in need.” He also added that he “would like to thank the professors for all what they have done for the Economics students” and wished to “see the same participation in the many activities that would follow during this year.” 2 DJs filled the halls of
Monore Hotel with music, even beyond midnight. Christmassy music, as well as current hits, was played out by DJ Btrouni, featuring the good old “Merry Christmas Everyone” by Shakin’ Stevens, along with some 80s hits that gave the dinner an overall “smooth and relaxed ambiance,” as Dib described it. Then, as DJ Matt took over and lit up the house with RnB exclusives, dancers could be spotted, whether students or prefessors, swirling around the tables in their semi-formal blazers for the guys, and smart casual dresses for the gals. As the champagne poured, several cakes were brought in at the same time and all with the same Christmas decorations. A “Buche de Noel” was severed to some students who had their birthdays on that day. Right then, their fellow students wished them a happy birthday, while the traditional “Congratulations” song was being played
by the DJ. Although the ESS plans for future events have been set out, the society has not started working for them yet. Moreover, Dib hopes to collaborate with other societies at AUB , like last year’s alliance of all FAS societies for the Gala dinner, so that more students can participate in the events and contribute to their success. From this point on, Dib continued to reaffirm his hopes in making societies more active socially, in a way that societies can work together to bring AUB students even closer at gatherings and frequent dinners. All this will be done in an effort to link new students to each other and to the older students, providing the new AUBites with “watch out” signals and motivation and, at the same time, reflecting a sense of usefulness and wisdom on the older students in return.
bells should go off upon hearing the typical question, “So what do you look for in a guy/ girl?” (A tip: If you are not interested, make sure your answer is a description of someone completely the opposite of the person asking). The easiest kind of flirting
to spot is usually the physical type; this ranges from unnecessary physical contact to standing at unnecessary closer distance than you would with a friend. Now let’s not lie, we all know what “unnecessary” means, and it is not necessary for faces to be an inch apart “to hear better.” So why do people flirt and what makes it such a popular activity? The clearest answer can be summarized in two words: ego boost. It’s simply flattering when someone expresses interest in you and even more so when they go as far as to employ enough creativity to engage in witty banter. Your ego happily blushes at the compliment. The second reason is that flirting is a way of discerning if someone is a desirable partner or not. A relation-
ship without pre-flirtation is almost like blind-dating; it’s a set-up for disappointment, and without flirting you can’t really know if you like the person well enough. So flirting has important functions, but sometimes it can go embarrassingly wrong. Probably the biggest faux-pas of flirtation is failing to pick up on signals that the sentiment is not returned. Most commonly, he/ she unwelcomely invades personal space. It’s uncomfortable, awkward, and sometimes downright annoying when someone doesn’t appear to understand that the other has no interest in them, romantic, or otherwise. A final tip: when it comes to flirting, you should either do it well, or not at all.
The Art of Flirtation Yasmine Saab Staff Writer
hy do people flirt? What is flirting anyway and how is it different from other interactions? Finally, this article also points out what are considered the faux-pas of flirting. Flirting seems to be generally understood as behaving in a manner that implies romantic and sexual interest toward another, but without serious intentions – in short: playful seduction. It is when you cease to be just friendly and insinuate that you have further objectives of a somewhat non-platonic nature. So when does “friendly” cross over to “flirty?” The line is a little blurry, but the elements of “flirtation” often encompass small mannerisms, conversation topics, and physicality. Of course,
these differ depending on the culture. In repressive cultures, simple mannerisms such as smiling a lot and constant giggling can be construed as flirtatious behavior, whereas in more liberal societies it might take a bit more effort (teenytiny clothing, anyone?) to get the message across. In our parents’ day, the “flirtation” that began a passionate relation was “They would glance at each other from across the street.” In our day, however, it is considered disappointing, not to mention creepy, if someone just stares from a distance. (A tip: Don’t. Really, it’s weird.) Conversation topics also have the potential to indicate flirtatiousness. More often than not, these topics involve the person’s romantic life – alarm
arts & culture Shake A Leg!
Did You Know? Contrary to popular belief, exercise at a reduced intensity (aerobic) can not only alleviate fatigue but fuel our energy supply (CBC).
Rami Diab Staff Writer Health is the first wealth. Why else do we lament the death of a close relative or sympathize with an illness of a fellow friend and comrade? I think most people would agree with me that too often a time, we get absorbed by the din of city life and forget to focus on what matters most, our main source of wealth and prosperity: HEALTH! No doubt, exercise is pivotal in developing a healthy notion towards “hale and hearty” everyday living, but with the dozens of sports out there (snooker, believe it or not is no exception) one is overwhelmed by all the choices. Broadly speaking, exercise is of two types: aerobic (jogging, power walking) and anaerobic (sprints, weightlifting, pull-ups, and pushups). The former comprises timely, steady activity and thus is essential in slimming down our waistlines whereas the latter is characterized by short bursts of exertion (i.e. a little and often) and is therefore more targeted at boosting fitness level (Anaerobic Exercise). The question that remains however is as follows: which class of exercise is right for you? Quite evidently, the answer is BOTH and here’s why:
For those suffering from depression or offset by the obstacles in their lives, a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise gives a real sense of accomplishment, not to mention it inducing endorphin (natural opiate-like polypeptides) production by the body, which can overcome pain and make us feel a whole lot happier! For those who have entered, or are on the way to enter their middle-aged years, anaerobic exercise is particularly helpful in easing off the calamities of the ever so popular “mid-life crisis” (Why Exercise is Wise). Luckily enough, many common sports include a combination of the two types of exercise. Tennis for instance, combines strenuous activity (serving and countering a ball) with increments of rest (awaiting the ball) (Aerobic Exercise). Moreover, the great thing about interval training is that it can be implemented on almost any sport! In essence, you can “tailor make” a workout to suit your precise needs starting with your sport of preference! Here’s an example: Swimming can first be performed leisurely and without effort (freestyle swimming) and then shifted to a more hurried and demanding pace (such as the butterfly technique). The same can be said of running and most other sports. In short, there’s nothing like a good workout to feel accomplished and gain a sense of self-confidence. Interval training will make you look, feel and even think better. How much more proof do you need? For heaven’s sake, SHAKE A LEG! Note to reader: The Weekly Health Corner is in no way the Gospel of health, wealth, and well-being, and thus should not be treated as a legitimate replacement for professional medical advice. Citations: “Aerobic Exercise.” eMedicine Health. Dec 15, 2009. WebMD Inc., Web. 15 Dec 2009. <http://www.emedicinehealth.com/aerobic_exercise/page2_em.htm#difference>. “Anerobic Excercise.” Your Discovery. 2009. Discovery Communications, Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <http://www.yourdiscovery.com/homeandhealth/article.jsp?section_id=4&theme_id=4&subtheme_id=6&article_id=311&site=uk&cc=LB#mainconten t>. CBC. “Low-intensity exercise can boost energy, curb fatigue: study.” CBC News (February 29, 2008 ): n. pag. Web. 15 Dec 2009. <http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/02/29/lowintensity-exercise.html>. “Why Exercise is Wise.” TeensHealth. The Nemours Foundation, Web. 15 Dec 2009.
Arts & culture
12 Angry Lebanese explores the humane side to Lebanese prisoners from the audience and introduced a special guest, former inmate Ratib Al-Jabbawy. Jabbawy was noticeably changed by the project, apparent when he spoke of his experience. “Before this project we were almost forgotten in jail, and no one was asking about us. That changed when Zeina came. I remember after the opening night of the play, all forty-five of us were crying because we were comparing where we used to be to where we are now. Those people in the audience who had judged before were now clapping and that gave us self-esteem. Through this project I learned that I was not alone. – I learned – all of us learned to accept others people’s opin”ions and work in a group.
mentary] to be really inspiring and [it] should be an example of one of the many things happening in prisons, if we are to continue having them. Prisons should be rehabilitation centers, not just ”places for detention. The prisoners’ were giddy with excitement and anxiety on opening night, which may be surprising to viewers, as many forget that these prisoners are humans just like them. They even created a special bond with director Daccache, referring to her as “Abu Ali,” showing that they considered her as one of them and accepted her into their circle. After the film was shown and a standing ovation preceded the end credits, Daccache answered questions
“Why do we remain idle and ”?useless One prisoner, Chankar, explained that he was “paying [with his] life” for the mistakes he made. Another prisoner said simply, “when you enter the prison, you lose the ability to feel.” It is these kind of statements that make one wonder what the conditions in Roumieh are really like. Due to the play, contact between civil society and prison was created, which was important, as people need to see what kinds of conditions exist in Roumieh and other similar prisons. The play notice’ably improved the prisoners attitude and lives; they were no longer sitting on wasted potential. Fine Arts special student Gia Michael agreed, saying, “I found this [docu-
ّ ...والشعر يُزهر من جديد في ربوع األميرك ّية
موسى شلح وفاطمة بوحليقة كاتب صحفي
زمن بعيد ,وبدعوة من اتحّ اد للم ّرة األولى منذ ٍ الكتّاب اللبنانيني ونادي الهندسة املدنية في اجلامعة األميركية في بيروت ,افتتحت أبواب قاعة بطحيش في مبنى الوست هول من جديد ,األمسية الشعرية اجلامع ّية األولى في ال ّثالث عشر من ّ الشهر اجلاري ,2009 بحضور حفل من األساتذة ّ والط ّالب والوجوه قدم احلفل ّ الشاعر ّ الطالب الفن ّية العريقةّ . علي بدران ,صاحب كتاب “أرسمك بالورد”, كما شارك في احلفل ّ كل من الشاعر غسان مطر -األمني العام التحّ اد الكتاب اللبنانيني, الشاعر طارق ناصر الدين -مستشار ّ والشاعر يوسف احلركة الثقافية في لبنان, عبد الصمد -عميد الرابطة القلمية في نيويورك .هنا ,في هذه القاعة صرخ نزار ألف وتسع مائ ٍة وثالثني “ :أه كم ق ّباني عام ٍ اشتقت إليكم وإلى ّ الشعر!” ,فكم كانت تتوق هي نفسها إلى من يأتي ويحييها من ّ عار جديد ,بعد طول الغياب“ .أقول وبكل ٍ أنّنا أقفلنا منبرنا بعد أن كنّا املكان ّ الطبيعي حيث متر ّ كل قصيدة قبل أن تُك ّرس ”...هذا مقدمة بدران ّ الذي عب ّر عن حربه ما برز في ّ الدائمة مع القلم قبيل حلول هذه األمس ّية, ّ لكن القلم ما أحرنه بل ألقى قصيدتني حتت ّ عنوان “فلسفة األعوام” و”قبلة ّ الشهادة”, تضمنت أبياتهما أحالم براءة ّ الطفولة ,ور ّقة ّ األحاسيس ,وطموح ّ الشباب ,وعطش احلر ّية .القاني تعددت املواضيع التّي سكنت كذلك ّ القصائد امللقاة ,وقد شملت احلنني إلى الوطن ,والتّراث العربي ,وال ّلغة, وال ّرومنطيق ّية العذر ّية ,والفخر ,إلخ... عمل فيها ّ الشعراء املدع ّوون على إبرازها وترسيخها في عقول الفئة ّ الشابة التّي
لم متتنع عن املشاركة باحلفل .من جهته, الدين تط ّرأ أمير القصيدة الوطن ّية نصر ّ إلى العالقة القائمة بني الكهولة الهرمة ّ والشباب املتو ّثب ,كما دعا إلى التّكامل بني الفئتني من أجل إمتام احلضارة القائمة, ثم أكمل معربًا عن وقد رسم هذه ال ّروابط ّ أسفه ملا ّ حل من نوائب بالكلمات التّالية”: نحن ٌ للسلطة أردء أنواع ّ احلكام, جيل أوصل ّ ولكنّنا لسنا طائف ّيني وال مذهبيي ,فلم نصل إلى مرحلة عبادة األصنام ...يجمعنا ّ املسمى”.... كاسم هرب منه الشعر ّ ٍ قصة مجنون مجد شاعرنا ً ّ العذري ّ أيضاّ , اجلن في قصيدة حملت عنوان” ليلى وديك ّ اجلن من رسالة قيس بن املل ّوح إلى ديك ّ اجلن لقبر احلمصي” ,روت أصداؤها زيارة ديك ّ ّ قيس ,وقيام هذا األخير مبعاتبته إلقدامه على قتل زوجه “ورد” ,فضالً عن إعراب قيس عن مدى جنونه لبعاده عن ليلى ,وقد رويت هذه امللحمة على ّ الطريقة العذر ّية ,خو ّفا من أن ّ ويقل العذر ّيون اجلن ”!“يكثر ديوك ّ كذلك ,شملت اخلمس وسبعون دقيق ًة الصمد -وريث جبران ونعيمة- كلمة عبد ّ ّ عدة سنوات, الذي ٌك ّرم في القاعة عينها منذ ّ حتدث في رسالته ليك ّرمها اآلن في شعرهّ . عن رحلته ّ الطويلة بني وطنه األم لبنان وبلد املهجر أميركا ,واصفًا مغامرته العاطف ّية أيضا لم يتر ّدد عن ذكر بقالب فريد ومنمقً . ّ اإلجنازات التّي قامت بها ال ّرابطة القلم ّية في نيويورك ,واملسؤول ّيات البارزة املنوطة بها, فضلاً عن إحياء ال ّلغة العرب ّية والتّراث من خالل مسرح ّيات ترجمت إلى االنكليز ّية على .أيدي محترفني في هذا اجملال رحب ّ غسان مطر الشاعر ّ باالضافة إلى ذلكّ , باحلضور ّ الشاب ,فقد كان يتوقع بأ ّن الشباب
في هذة األيام قد هجروا الشعر ولكنه الحظ ومن خالل احلضور بأ ّن الشباب مازال صديقا ً للشعر ،وقد ّ يهدد هذه حذر من اخلطر الذي ّ الداخل واخلارج ويهدف إلى محو الفئة من ّ أمة الهو ّية العربية ,فكما يقول مطر“ :نحن ّ واخلواص تفقد روحها بدءا ً من ضياع ال ّلغة ّ أمة تفقد روحها ألنّنا ال وال ّثوابت ...نحن ّ نقرأ ,نستسهل اّأل نقرأ ,نكابر في تبرير أل نقرأ ,نخجل أن نقرأ بلغتنا ,وال نعرف الكنز ا ّلذي تختزنه لغتنا!” تابع مطر حديثه مشددًا على ما للمقاومة ال ّثقاف ّية من ّ أهم ّية في حترير ا ّلروح ,ولم يبخل في إلقاء ّ “للشمس القصائد التّي وسمها كما يلي: متكأ على شفتي”“ ,لغة العرب” ,و “سوف ّ ”.أبقى هنا في انتظار املسيح وينبغي القول أ ّن في مثل هذه األمس ّية خطوات بارزة تعبرها جامعتنا في حقول خصوصا ,وترسمها في مداميك األدب ً الفن عمو ًما ,على أمل أن تستم ّر في تأدية ّ رسالتها التّعليم ّية وال ّثقافية في الغد القريب ،فقد عشنا حلظات توصف بالغير عادية ،فنحن نعيش في عصر يتوسم بالسرعة والبعد عن األشياء التي تغذي أرواحنا مثل الشعر ،ولكن في تلك الساعة استرجعنا حلظات كدنا نفقدها في زمن ال يعترف إال القليلون بكنوزه ومكنوناته، فالشعر ثروة جيل كتب وحرر ودافع عن حقوقه من خالل الشعر فجدير بنا نحن أبناء املستقبل أن نحافظ على هذه الثروة لتترك .بصمتها على أرواحنا وقلوبنا
have expected to view a film about thirty hardened, cruel ciminals, but the audience finds that each man has insecurities, hopes, and fears, as does each one of us in reality. The project followed the process of creating a play to put on for an audience full of officials and citizens. The months leading up to play were filled with doubt and tension, as the men’s tempers and personalities clashed, testing the limits of all those involved. One prisoner named Magdi, waiting on death row, provided a chilling comparison for the viewers of the film. Magdi described his wait and time in prison as “paralyzing,” as all he can do is wait for his death to come. One prisoner in the film asked honestly,
Heather Jaber Staff Writer A new form of documentary was shown at AUB on the evening of Thursday, January 14 at West Hall. 12 Angry Lebanese documents the creation of a theater production in Roumieh- Lebanon’s infamous high-security prison and the trials of the forty-five participants involved. The documentary resulting from this experience was one filled with emotion, making the viewer reflect upon their own life, as the best films do. The documentary was created by drama therapist, actress, and director, Zeina Daccache, and involved some thirty prisoners, ranging from drug-dealers, murderers, and rapists. One may
Entertainment Restaraunt Review When the subject is a hopeful, new business, being the bearer of bad news is not exactly a good thing. Yet, the quality of the new cafe, Ahwetna, located off of Bliss Street, is not particularly impressive The fresh decor can draw you into the establishment, but there was not much in the way of food quality or service to keep you there.After being seated and noticing the agreeable decor of the space, one is faced the surprisingly difficult task of placing our orders. The waiter was not only unable to comprehend and record orders, but had
to resort to writing down orders on his pad, which still resulted in the wrong orders being brought out. First, the order of “fries” was brought out, which ended up being two bowls of potato sticks, small potato chips in the form of tiny fries. Shortly after, the order of nachos, or what was meant to be nachos, was brought out and placed on the table. The nachos were literally a couple of bags tortilla chips that one could purchase across the street for 500 LL, compared to the 7,000 LL that the restaurant sold them for.
Album Review It’s incredible what the invention of Autotune has done to the music world. It has taken any wannabe superstar that can regrettably carry a tune out of obscurity and into commercial superstardom. That is exactly the case of the latest female “popstar” Ke$ha who has unleashed her debut album “Animal” this year. The album has fared well on the charts and has been described by the artist herself as a reflection of her life experiences. To say that this sentence is highly misleading would be an understatement, unless the 20-something’s life has been full with nothing but crazy parties, adventures with boys, and just losing her mind completely. There is not one song on the album that reflects any meaningful experience that could have happened to this useless waste of talent. Muscially speaking, the whole album sounds as though it belongs at some club instead of on the pop charts. And let’s not get started on the singing. She flat out cannot sing. The 14-track album kicks off with “Your Love is a Drug,” a song that a first sound
Ahwetna The service did not make up for the extremely mediocre food, either. The order took about forty-five minutes to bring out, and when it was finally on the table, there were many mistakes and disappointments. The tuna pasta was very plain and lacking in any sort of special flavor, while the side salad contained a strange dressing, something not quite sweet and bordering more on the sour side. The tomato basil salad did not offer much more than its name either, including mozzarella cheese chunks but falling short in general portion size or ful-
Heather Jaber fillment. Lastly, the roast beef sandwich was something that could be made better in the kitchen at home, as this sandwich was also lacking in that savory flavor one looks for in a sandwich. Perhaps, the problem was in the missing sauce or stingy single layer of roast beef. Usually, the drinks come before the appetizers and main course during a meal, but at Ahwetna, drinks were received when one is basically finished with the meal. The simple order of Shirley Temples was made more of a hassle when trying to get the attention of the management
draws similarity to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” This all changes when Ke$ha opens her mouth and the “singing” begins. In this masterpiece of a song, she compares her boyfriend to a drug she simply can’t get over. If Ke$ha is trying to set an example for many young girls, she completely changed their definition of love into something almost laughable. First single “Tik Tok” and third track “Take It Off” are the catchiest and perhaps most prominent songs on her album. Atrocious, meaningless lyrics and lack of any vocal ability aside, both songs have that feel-good ambience to them that make you just want to get up and dance. The electro-pop beats certainly make up for what is missing in the other departments. Starting with track four, “Kiss N Tell,” repetition becomes a common theme on the album. Here she throws some “oohs” and “ahs” for some good measure, but nothing can save this disaster. “Stephen” is supposed to tell a story of longing for a guy to call but instead Ke$ha prolongs every single note, boring the listen-
er, and sparking comments of unorginality. “Blah Blah Blah” is appropriately titled and is also a disappointment, as the track listing says the song features 3OH!3. You can barely hear them on the track, however. Attempting to slow things down comes in the form of “Hungover,” a supposed love song that could easily be a continuation of “Your Love is A Drug.” It is mediocre at best and has zero depth to it. “Blind” and “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” are also another form of Ke$ha trying to introduce us to her emotional side. Truth be told, it does not exist and she is trying too hard to fake one. We return to the crazy party scenario and matters of the heart with “Party At A Rich Dude’s House,” “Backstabber,” “Dinosaur,” and “Boots and Boys.” The latter is basically a repetition of the two title words set to a electro beat that we have all been accustomed to. It is obvious that these songs are just an attempt to fill out space, as even attempting to sing disappears here. Instead, she just reads out the lyrics to a musical beat. “Animal” closes things up
failed. The manager did make the nachos and fries on the house, however, when it was made it clear we were unsatisfied. He appeared to be ready to serve the customer, though his wait-staff could have been better prepared. Some attractive features of this cafe are that they do offer a special on karaoke nights and they have a student discount. All in all, Ahwetna would be a fine choice for a relaxing argileh and a coffee, as the atmosphere is nice, and this light order is within the bounds of their service.
Photo from Facebook.com
and it is a breath of fresh air compared to everything else. Maybe because it is the last song on this disaster or maybe because she finally finds a combination that works for her, this song can be classified as just okay. As previously stated, this is Ke$ha’s first venture in the music world and it is a mis-
erable flop. She is all over the place, dabbling in things she doesn’t understand, and stretching vocals she doesn’t even have. Let’s hope she learns for album number 2 (which she shouldn’t release in the first place) to stick to what she knows.
Movie Review Amelia is the latest performance of two time Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank, as she takes the lead role in the biographical motion picture about the life of Amelia Earheart. Amelia Earheart was one of the first, and arguably most prominent, American female flyers. The aviatrix is best known for her active role in endorsing the arrival of women in the world of aviation, as well as for her mysterious disappearance. On her last flight, there was a loss of communication, and her plane has never been found. The movie covers Earheart’s life in the limelight, which comprises the last decade of her life. Unfortunately, a considerable part of the movie content appears to be her love life; it is believed that Earheart went back and forth between husband George Putnam (played by Richard Gere) and flight pioneer Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor). It is easily apparent however that these romantic aspects are distractions to the real central themes of the movie.
Amelia Earheart’s real story has much to do with the difficulty of attaining equality and esteem in a male-dominated playing field. While this may be obvious when it comes to domains like aviation – especially considering it was the 1930s, the same underestimation of female in professional contexts is observable in our society today. Earheart soon proves herself through practice and self-improvement to become a respected pilot who went from occupying the passenger seat in publicity exploits to flying her own planes. More than just a struggle against gender partiality, her story is about the battle against self. What with setbacks like crashes and failures to launch, Earheart is constantly pitted against her own doubts but convinces herself, and consequently the world, that she is competent and capable. The film stresses the importance of dreams and self-conviction as prerequisites to any kind of success. What is interesting about the film is the parallels be-
Band Review Every AUBite should feel proud upon hearing this name. The band, composed of Hamed Sinno on vocals, Ibrahim Badr on bass, Carl Gerges on drums, Haig Papazian on violin, Omaya Malaeb on keyboards, Andre Chedid and Firas Abou Fakher on guitars, comes from our very own Department of Architecture and Design. As indicated by their name, literally translated as “overnight project,” they started playing musical themes while working late on their academic projects. Their music is categorized as Arabic alternative, however, as each member comes from a different background,
the style becomes a blend of cultures, thus, representing Beirut with all its different aspects. Mashrou3 Leila’s ever growing public enjoyed their shows in Beirut, starting 2008 and last summer the entire country witnessed their creativity in Saida, Sour, Zahle, Jounieh, and Deir El Qamar. Last year, they won both jury’s and public’s vote of Radio Liban’s organized Lebanese Modern Music Contest. Their numerous songs together with their success on stage encouraged them to consider recording an album. The summer’s vacation gave them the best opportunity to find the time
tween 1930s America and 2000s Lebanon. Factors like the expectations of occupation, and dress (Earheart is almost always in pants), and the inevitability of marriage are very relevant to our own current pseudo-contemporary culture. Ever the tradition-breaker, Earheart not only defies social convention by establishing herself in one of the most male-oriented fields, she also creates her own terms within her romantic relationships, and refuses to settle for less than absolute freedom both in the air and in the home. The film depiction of Amelia Earheart’s life as an aviatrix reveals the woman behind the accomplishments and Swank provides a thoughtful and demure portrayal of a driven and determined woman. The movie itself is interesting in terms of learning Amelia’s story, as she is considered one of the most influential individuals in American history, yet it is average overall. Photo from Facebook.com
Mashrou3 Leila and go through that stereo door to start recording their songs. The much anticipated album was launched on December 19, in Demco Steel’s factory, where 1000 copies were sold out and many fans were disappointed at not having one. The album, recorded by Broot productions, contains nine of their songs and two bonus tracks: one, an instrumental version of “Raksit Leila,” previously released on the band’s blog, and another instrumental track. The themes of the lyrics, written by Hamed Sinno, extend from Beirut’s everyday life to love stories, thus giving a familiar feeling to the
Lebanese audience. Those who have heard Mashrou3 Leila on stage may notice some differences in the recordings: all the songs are a bit “softened,” thus one hardly hears the full intensity of Hamed’s captivating voice; “Shim El Yasmine” and “Raksit Leila,” previously released online, are presented by a different, acoustic, version; one can notice newly added sound effects which decorate the songs; finally “3arouss” does not appear in the track list. Sinno could have benefited from this opportunity to create secondary melodies, and mix them with the original ones, something only
present in a small part of “Min Al 6aboor.” The album also contains an artistic map of Beirut, prepared by Sinno, showing drawings and pictures related to the lyrics of the songs. You can explore the band on their Facebook page, listen to demo recordings on their MySpace, read their shared articles and videos on their blog, and buy their album from major Lebanese music stores or, in a week, from online digital music stores.
out of the box The Outlook team Chairperson
Mohamad Yahia Hamade
Mariam El Ali
Tala Kardas Rasha Salem
Member at Large
Rawan Abu Salman Mohamad Al Medwar Fouad Badaoui Fatima Buhilaigah Moussa Chalah Abraham Daniel Hajjar Rami Diab Yasmine Fansa Nadine Ghaith Maryam Hoballah Mhd Izzat Husrieh Heather Jaber Wajiha Jurdi Kheir Lojine Kamel Elie El Khoury Timmy Malkoun Rita Obeid Roupen Ohannessian Yasmine Saab Wally Saad Sandra Sawaya Maya Terro Ilija Trojanovic Tarek Tutunji Mohammad El-Jabi Emile Zankoul
Qater Al Nada Mohsen Dima Barbir Tariq Buhilaigah Deedee Jilani
Boosting your long-term relationship Let me move away from psychological disorders for a while and write about something you might find helpful in your everyday lives, especially those who are in long-term relationships. Here are 10 tips that the experts have addressed for perking up your relationship and keeping it fresh. Usually when asking for advice to maintain a successful relationship, people focus on the don’ts such as don’t nag, don’t blame, don’t cheat. However, the happiest couples focus both on dos and don’ts, and for once, this line of advice is focusing on the positives in a relationship and its importance in seeing the positive aspects of a relationship. Plus, they payoff great, leading to more fun and more growth. 1. Be grateful: This might seem like a cliché but remembering to thank your partner is simple and has great effects and seems to remind us about the good qualities that our boyfriend/girlfriend possesses. One study among co-habituating partners showed that on days that one partner expressed more gratitude, the other felt more satisfied with the relationship. 2. Introduce Playfulness: When life consists of nothing but midterms, papers, and finals, fun might seem to disappear from the relationship. Keeping the relationship alive involves having fun, joking around, and using funny nicknames. 3. Capitalize on good news: When something good happens to your partner, make the most of it. How couples behave during good times is very important and is related to greater relationship satisfaction. 4. Look up to your partner: One study showed that couples in a satisfying relationship actually rate their partners more positively than these partners rate themselves. Similarly, when a person sees that his/her partner is nicer then maintain greater long-term satisfaction when compared to others who don’t idealize their partner. This list will be continued in our next issue...
Heads Up on Health
Good hair turned bad... When it comes to hair, you might either be faced with a handful of health problems or it could simply be that you’re spending too much time with the blow dryer. Observation 1— White overnight Contrary to common belief, in the aftermath of a terribly traumatic event, according to top US dermatologists, the odds of your colored hair turning white are simply nonexistent. “There is no biological event that can remove pigment directly from the hair shaft. A physical or emotional trauma, however, can cause a change in the hair. The illness or stress sends actively growing hair into a resting phase, and a couple of months later, all those strands in the resting phase may fall out. So, if the dark hairs fall out and the already white ones remain, the result is hair that looks suddenly greyer. “ Observation2— Going gray Some people hold onto their natural colour well into their 40s, while others start finding those wiry gray strands as early as their 20s. The cause is unrelated to how healthy—or unhealthy— you are. In this case, this is in its bigger part genetic— so if your parents’ hair greyed early, it is likely you will too. However, it’s not the hair that loses pigment. As you age, the production of melanin in the hair bulb (or root) decreases. So when new strands start to grow, they may come in with less—or no—pigment, thanks to that decrease in melanin. As a fact, the change happens most quickly in Caucasians, half of whom will be at least 50 % gray by age 50. Observation 3— Serious shedding As a fact, everyday, and out of you 100,000 hair follicles, normally about 100 strands of hair are lost. And since those 100,000 or so follicles have different growth phases, even as several strands fall out, dozens of new ones are on their way in to replace them. So unless thinning of your hair and bald spots on your scalp are clearly visible, chances are the loss is nothing more than natural, everyday shedding. Observation 4— Visible thinning Visible thinning of the hair is usually the result of malnutrition. Iron or protein deficiency—common with the caloric deprivation of anyone suffering from an eating disorder- forces the body to conserve by shutting down hair growth. Thyroid disease (both an overactive thyroid and an underactive one) can also show up as increased hair loss. However, once the disease/malnutrition is controlled/treated, hair growth can usually be restored. To be continued...
Issue 14, Volume 42 (Outlook Student Newspaper at AUB)