Outlook Newspaper The American University of Beirut
Vol. XLII, No. 16 | Tuesday, march 02, 2010 | The Independent Student Publication Since 1949
Freedom Club LOL’n Abraham Hajjar Staff Writer
s one of their many events, AUB’s Freedom Club was able to reserve all the seats at the taping of LOL, a comedy program aired on OTV on Friday, February 26. For those who are not yet aware, the show is a new type of comedy program to be shown on Lebanese TV. It involves two hosts and three guests sharing various jokes with the studio audience and television viewers for a good two hours. This type of comedy is not like western stand-up comedy but more like joking around with friends, the Lebanese way. LOL is enjoying great ratings, viewed by many, and is the number one comedy program in Lebanon. At the same time, however, it has been deemed as very controversial, due to the fact that its jokes are vulgar at times (i.e. sexually and religious-
Photo Outlook Staff
ly) and not suitable for local viewers. After negotiations with governmental insti-
Pakistani ambassador discusses issues and projections Heather Jaber Staff Writer
n a discussion on Wednesday, February 24 entitled “Pakistan’s current challenges and opportunities in the dynamics of the region,” her excellency Ambassador of Pakistan to Lebanon, Raana Rahim spoke of the different issues and projections related to Pakistan
in the modern world. Ambassador Rahim served as First Secretary to the Embassy of Pakistan in Paris, while working with UNESCO in 1985. In 1987, she became the Director of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Continued on page 4
Editorial & Opinion 2-3 Entertainment Campus News 4-6 Out of The Box
tutions, it was agreed that they would self censor their jokes and not talk, in any
way, about religious figures. It could clearly be said and seen, though, that it has ris-
en much stronger than before after all this controversy. The popularity of this program can be seen through what happened at AUB. After the first day of announcing the event, there were around 150 reservations. The LOL set could only accommodate 70 people, however. There was a waiting list that had grown to around 200 extra names, so it was decided to divide AUB students between an FEA and non-FEA sessions. The number of students allowed to attend each session was allowed to expand to 90. The enthusiasm of all the AUB students was seen before the start of the program. It was agreed that all would meet at 6 pm in front of the studios, but many came beContinued on page 4
Interjection, Palestine: The story behind the banners Sherif Maktabi Contributing Writer
group of AUB activists stood up and interrupted the Arab League Secretary-General, Amro Moussa at his lecture at the Charles Hostler Conference Center on Thursday, February 18. At 5:30 pm exactly, two AUB students sitting in the fifth row from the front stood facing the pub-
BSS Speed Night
lic, their backs to SecretaryGeneral Moussa and held up their banner that said: “Down with the Shameful Wall and the Compromising Arab Regimes” While the crowd exploded in applause, men in suits made their way to the banner-bearing students and forcefully obtained the poster. At this point, two other students seated in the fifth row from the back stood up
Bliss Street, West Hall 208 tel: 01 350 000 ext.3193
The Healthy Kitchen, Recipes from Rural Lebanon
and revealed a second banner saying: “Freedom for Gaza, Freedom for Palestine” Along with those statements, the room echoed with the four activists’ voices, shouting: “Bring down the wall!,” “The Wall kills!,” “You represent every single regimen that is responsiContinued on page 5
Movie Review Valentine’s Day
Editorial & Opinion Editorial Who’s your real enemy, popo?
Mohamad Yahia Hamade Editor-in-Chief “Just loosen up, it’s not like we’re going to be arrested, Yahia.” That was what my friend told me just minutes before armed gunmen drew their automatic rifles at us a week ago. Without any identifying themselves as offices of the law, the gunmen dressed in navy blue fatigues wasted no time and asked for my license and registration. At the beginning, I refused to comply, as they had not produced any identification. However, I decided to play along since my friend was cowering in terror with automatic assault rifles pointing towards us. Apparently, we were parked in a “military zone” which ironically looked like a junkyard. A heavily guarded junkyard. Why I was there is irrelevant. What is important however, is how the police treated lawabiding Lebanese citizens. I am aware that everyone has their stories with the henchmen, excuse me I mean police. Whatever encounters you might have had, I am sure it made you lose your faith in the Lebanese law enforcement agencies. Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that all the police force is messed up and acts like a renegade henchmen, it is just a minority that corrupts the whole image. I realize that what I am writing
might offend most people, but hey it is a (sort of) free country. My story does not end there. During the same night, the army also pulled their assault rifles on us. Also for parking in a “military zone.” Strangely enough, all military zones in Lebanon look like junkyards. However I digress. You might be wondering what is the point behind this rant-like editorial. Well, honestly speaking, this is just a rant since I cannot shout at the people that “protect” the country; I decided I would do that here. The second reason is that I had another editorial in mind but it was not fit for print – it was politically incorrect. Do not get me wrong, I have always been a fan of the armed forces, just not the Lebanese ones. I am embarrassed by it. All they do is hit on girls and drift using tax-payer bought cars. I am still waiting for someone to explain to me how having gung-ho hooligans driving around doing nothing constitutes serving and protecting the public. Until then, I’ll be avoiding getting confused for an enemy of the state. Maybe by the time the armed forces know the real enemy, they would probably be non-existent by then.
Timmy Malkoun The hunt…
The hunt is a general phrase alluding to the seemingly inexorable pursuing of something, be it tangible or intangible. Though the term itself is more often than not associated with game, the scope of “the hunt” extends far beyond the mere killing of animals. For instance, the hunt is very much alive in AUB. Under the right circumstances, any AUBite will have the role of hunter thrust upon him or her, and this is no more evident than in the first week of any semester, also known as Add and Drop week. Be it due to a poor initial selection of classes, attitude changes, or teacher-preference, almost everyone attempts to
change some element of their schedule. This applies even to the student who has gotten his or her schedule of choice, as the “what-if” factor plays a prominent role in instilling hesitancy. AUBsis, thus, becomes the forest. Armed with your refresh button, the hunt begins. Yet, contrary to any nuances of rush and excitement possibly suggested by the aforementioned metaphor, the hunt here is hardy as exciting. Rather, one often finds him or herself caught in a standstill, sitting at his computer desk, languorously waiting for a certain class to open. This outcome, however, is logical and expected. We have all heard about good or easy courses from our peers— which seem to be oddly synonymous in many cases—as well as the good teachers and so on and so forth. In a similar manner, the grapevine in AUB is also permeated with stories about unbearably impossible classes and teachers. While we all have to take certain courses, other factors
such as timing, further exacerbate the discrepancies and distinctions between the courses as seen by the students. As a reader, your reaction now is probably along the lines of “So what?” This is largely because, albeit the fact that the metaphor itself is hopefully interesting, what I have presented thus far is nothing new and nothing we don’t know. While reading into metaphors often drives us further away from complete understanding, doing so in this case, however, lends itself to an interesting and unexpected semi-solution. Hunting and gathering was the primary way of feeding oneself at one point in time. However, much like courses are limited, so too was game, and hence, people moved away from this mode of sustenance, and towards farming and trading. I am not suggesting that we grow courses as that is ludicrous. What I am suggesting, however, is that change can be made.
The issue with sex Lojine Kamel
I personally feel that today’s generation has become so overexposed to sexuality that it has lost all meaning. We have been subject to sex since elementary school, when certain words or phrases that were once taboo have now become everyday jargon. College students, especially, are in their “experimental” phase, one that often leads to unprotected sex and dissapointed one-night stands. I find abstinence to be the best of course, a position often met with “You’re going to wait till marriage?! Didn’t you live in America for 18 years? How is that possible?!’ among other outraged exclamations. But hey, if I’m not here to judge, why should they? It makes no difference to me whether people choose to have pre-marital sex or not – it’s their decision, not mine. Whereas my decision doesn’t affect anyone but myself, I am still viewed as “old-fashioned” and “closedminded.” Why should I bend to the whims of our “let it all hang loose” society? Just because sex has become the norm doesn’t make it acceptable to those who choose to wait. Nor does it make it okay to judge those who don’t have sex, or lie about doing it just to seem “in.” The opposite is true for pre-marital sex, if that is indeed your position. Individual values are different for everyone and it is no one’s right to judge or look down upon another person’s wishes. On one hand, having that kind of freedom in many societies today may be a good sign of overcoming our shyness about such private matters. Nonetheless, this particular topic is a sensitive one, and people, especially with the help of the media today, are taking it too far when it comes to viewing inappropriate sexual scenes. Imagine how traumatizing this could be for a six year old child who happens to stumble upon such a scene on tv. Although there is no hope of a modesty resurrection in the media(have you watched a Lady Gaga video lately?), it doesn’t mean that we should accept all their ideals as true. Don’t forget your morals and submit to the sex craze just because it has become commonplace. For those of you who are undecided about whether to wait or not, don’t let peer pressure influence you. Easier said than done, I know, but this is an important issue. Choose for yourself, not to impress your friends, appease your significant other, or even to fit in.
Editorial & Opinion Op-Ed
Elie El Khoury Confessions of a Valentine
February 14 1946, ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer, is unveiled. February 14 1989, the first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System are placed into orbit. February 14 1929, seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone’s gang, are murdered in Chicago, Illinois. February
14 2010, Valentine’s Day. Propelled by the curiosity and deep boredom on such a jolly occasion, I have decided to figure out what makes us humans tick on that very day. Meet Joe, a computer whiz who has probably spent more time online than he has with his mother. The man has become a guru in fixing up dates and rendezvous with girls he just met online. Joey’s ways never came to my likings, but nonetheless, the man was definitely a credible reference when it came to human social dynamics (ironically). He simply put it, “Valentine’s Day is nice and red, girls feel left out if they don’t have a valentine, and that’s why all the nice guys (me) tell all the lonely girls that she is my valentine.”
Meet David, a natural. He lost his virginity to an older girl at the tender age of 13, and took on dating instead of therapy ever since. Being the heir to a huge business, David developed the habit of breaking every task and interaction down to an investment and potential revenue situation. Having settled down with a girl for quite a while now, he gave me an alternative perspective, “I hate Valentine’s Day! It was created for business! For selling balloons, flowers, and perfume to guys trying to prove their worth to women and attempting to improve their chances of getting lucky (no matter the definition of “lucky”) by fulfilling their materialistic needs.” I was starting to form a pretty dark prejudice of this whole
V-Day issue. Are these few credible testimonies, indeed representative of the majority of society’s stereotypes, I had to have some more faith in humanity! So I turned to my final source of February 14 knowledge. Rachel is a feisty petite brunette with a chemical engineering degree. Men usually gave her their phone number and she reciprocated by leaving many restless souls wondering for long sleepless nights whether she was in fact too much of a challenge to keep up with. Rachel’s green eyes sparkled as she described all the emotions that gushed in when she had her first kiss on that very day, many years back. She ranked her best Valentine’s as the day she received only a flower. No canned compliments,
no gifts, just a sincere expression of affection- the memory of which still gives her butterflies. I find it fair to give credit for all the “V-Day-ers” out there, who put much effort and thought into rendering this day as a success (for themselves at least, or themselves first in some cases). Some thrive to be the smoothest and the others choose to flaunt the biggest egos. They all seem to want one thing, though, and that is acknowledgement. Which leads me to believe that by the end of the day, Valentine’s Day exists so Joe can expand his phonebook, David can outsmart the system, and for Rachel’s heart to skip a beat whenever she remembers that day…
Tala Kardas Losing our legacy
A few weeks ago, AUBites received an email announcing the closure of the West Hall and Bechtel smoking areasan action that was met with a multitude of cheers and complaints. Initially, I was one of those who cheered. Having condemned smoking ever since I was aware of all its
hazardous health effects, I saw this step to be just what the campus needed. Thinking this over, though, the many that opposed the action and took to Facebook to protest had a startling and interesting point: the legacy of that area would disappear. In a similar fashion, and upon the start of this academic year, we were unpleasantly surprised by the shut-down of the Ada Doge Hall cafeteria, affectionately known as the “cafet.” As the Fall semester progressed, rumors materialized about the cafet’s fate until one email confirmed our worst fears: the renovations would not be complete before summer. The loss hit the entire student community hard and it is completely understandable why.
Now with the smoking area gone, little places remain where the chance of social interaction-a quality that AUB prides itself upon- can take place between the students. Come to think about it, there are only sparse benches on upper campus, which are always occupied and could prove to be largely in effective once it pours. The Common Room at West Hall, which has been promised to be restricted solely to students beginning with this semester, has not escaped from the students’ objections. The furniture is highly uncomfortable and the room is always noisy and occupied to the maximum capacity. Let’s not forget about the semi-failure that the Charles Hostler Student Center rep-
resents. While the sporting facilities are excellent and often overcrowded, the building does not embody the student spirit that is known to represent AUB. The building looks astoundingly empty and students who have nothing to do there pass by with odd glances. They are not to blame as it is the odd man out between the dated Physics, Biology, and Agriculture buildings. The latter represent a legacy that was shaped through numerous social interactions over a lengthily time span. Unfortunately for the CHSC, this isn’t happening. Before enrolling at AUB, I heard infinitely about the numerous places my alumnus father and his friends would frequent to spend their free time. These places, such as
the popular Milk Bar, are all gone, leaving those who had heard so much about them wistful. The places our current generation regard as prime hangout spots are also following suit, eliminating hopes that our children could once relieve the legacies all the past generations left behind. Whether all the changes on campus are permanent or not, we are being robbed of places where we can interact, expand our horizons, and indulge in the history that AUB has to offer. The newest thing, in our situation, is never the best thing.
Campus News FEA attend LOL Continued from page 1 fore, at 5 pm, in fear that they may not get seats to watch the show. In the end, around 100 people attended the first session. Filming started at 7 and ended at 9:30 sharp. Not all were able to be seated but everyone enjoyed the experience. Before the show started, the students went about securing their places and taking pictures with the hosts and guests of LOL. The hosts of the program were the usual: Hisham Haddad and Arzeh Chidiac. The guests of the show were Natalou Hana, Francois Naoum, and Freddie Abboudi. The show started and Haddad welcomed the guests as well as the AUB Freedom Club. The jokes were funny from the start and everyone was laughing and enjoying their time. You could see from the faces of all the audience members that they were hanging onto every word of every joke that was told. Fourth year Mechanical Engineering student Jad Hayek
explained that everyone was listening closely and that no one was sleeping or dozing off. This, to him, showed that the event was a success and he was happy about the interaction between the audience and hosts. Fourth year ECE student Ziad Nader said, “…I think it was one of the best episodes of LOL, no doubt about it…” Another fourth year ECE student Charly Hallak expressed, “… LOL its abbreviation gives the true meaning of the show: Laughing Out Loud…” After the event the second wave of students went to talk with the LOL crew and take pictures. It is easy to say that this event was a great success. The AUB Freedom Club has promised all the non-FEA students who did not get the chance to watch on Friday night, a second show soon. The details of this showing will be provided soon. Freedom Club President Michel Haddad explained that the success of the event and
Photo Outlook Staff
its organization was successful even before the start, due to the fact that everyone was talking about it. The size
of the waiting lists and the number of people calling was phenomenal. He further explained that he was happy
that students from all backgrounds came and watched the show just to have a good laugh.
guish Al Qaeda and the Taliban.” She provided a basic overview of the two, explaining that the Taliban is the localized group that went into Afghanistan to confront and destabilize local commanders, and that they were initially welcomed by the people. Al Qaeda was comprised of men from “the disgruntled Arab world,” who were rallied to help fight against the Soviet Union when they invaded Afghanistan. Afterwards, massive instability remained, including the “ideologically motivated” and heavily armed Al Qaeda, who turned their guns on the United States. She also stated that the Taliban want “to get rid of people who they feel are invading their own country,” and
that they refused to hand over Al Qaeda to the United States because they considered them “guests” of their country, due to differing ideologies, which led to the present situation between the two countries. Rahim stressed that nowadays, “we tend to mush the two,” which leads to ignorance and confusion in the world. Rahim also spoke of the Pakistani media, which she referred to as “one of the freest media in the world.” The media is responsible for “forging public opinion, and as a result of that it keeps the government on its toes.” She used her experience in the United States to relate the differences in the medias, saying that in the US, “very few people subscribe to national news-
papers,” creating ignorance in world affairs. In Pakistan, “civil society warns the government and so does the media.” Regarding terrorism and regional security, she said “the moment Indians come on board, that will be very good for our region.” Rahim stressed that communication remains vital in this sector of the world. As a country with “unresolved historical conflicts,” Pakistan must work to secure its people and cut off potential threats, and this success “will not come through military means.” With the current issues that Pakistan faces, the ambassador stated that “the only thing that will work is dialogue.”
Pakastani ambassador Continued from page 1 (SAARC). She also worked in the United States, specifically Los Angeles, maintaining a post as Consul General of Pakistan. She has also served as an ambassador of Turkmenistan. The lecture provided a detailed outline of the current problems Pakistan faces, relating to a myriad of factors, including the war on terror, nuclear proliferation, drug use, human trafficking, as well as energy, economic, food, and water security. The issues relating to Pakistan cover a broad spectrum, including basic needs like energy, water, and food security, which remain “top political agendas,” according to the ambassador. “Population increases and demographic shifts” account for
these issues, as underdeveloped countries continue to have extremely high growth rates. The solution to this issue, Rahim stated, can only be “family planning,” as is done in countries like China. The “presence of terrorists among the Pakistani [...] borders” also added an “increased element of insecurity” to the region. Not only do the terrorist groups pose threats, but their means of finance must be dealt with. Major drug use in Pakistan creates “a spiraling problem which then goes on into other dimensions,” as this money is used to finance terrorist groups. According to Rahim, a major issue involving Pakistan and the international community is “not being able to disin-
Campus News How serious is Lebanon from Copenhagen to Beirut? Lynn Itani Staff Writer
n collaboration with the Environmental Club, the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) SRC held an event concerning environmental issues in Lebanon on Tuesday, February 26. Sponsored by BLC Bank, the event featured three guest speakers in order to inform the public about their environmental action plans in Lebanon. Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director of Indy Act (The League of Independent Activists), explained that Indy Act is working on the goals of preserving marine biodiversity, mitigating the effects of climate change, as well as the sound management of wastes. He presented IndyAct as a “think tank” that works on influencing governmental health and environmental policies in Lebanon through lobbying with
concerned developmental institutions. He noted that “in Sweden, the Ministry of Environment’s name will be changed to the Ministry of Existence” in order to reflect the critical issue of environmental preservation. Philip Skaff, President of the Green Party of Lebanon, introduced his party as a nonsectarian, political movement with the aim of protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development. The projects of the Green Party include reforestation to increase green areas in Lebanon from 12% to 20 % within 10 years. Other priorities include the Green River Project that aims to transform the Beirut River (or should we say sewage drain) which is dry for 8 months a year into a green park. This will relieve the surrounding community of the communicable diseas-
es burden, increase the property value of the area, and create a site for cultural and art exhibitions. Another project involves protecting Beirut Valley by changing it into a natural reserve as it is threatened by uncontrolled urbanization. Skaff also advocated for a green brigade to monitor environmental violations under the leadership of the army which has proven over the years to be a non-sectarian gatekeeper of stability in Lebanon. This green brigade will be guided by an environmental general prosecutor, a specialist in environmental judicial decisions. Vahaken Kabakian, representing the Minister of Environment Mr. Mohammad Rahhal, advised the general public to view the national strategy of the ministry through www.moe.gov. lb and to email the ministry about their concerns as the
MOE is open to discussion. He presented the general MOE strategy points which include improving existing environmental laws, reforestation, air pollution, water pollution, waste management, renewable energy, and transportation. The audience raised questions related to the reasons behind the expansion of Indy Act’s activities across the region. The response centered on the fact that Lebanon is not isolated but integrated within a regional system as the environment is interconnected. The audience also criticized the strategy of the MOE as well as the ministry’s commitment to policy implementation. The event was concluded by announcing the winners of the photo competition that encouraged students from different universities to dis-
cover environmental problems in Lebanon and to transmit messages through photos. The competition proved that “a picture is worth a thousand words” as quarries, Jounieh industry fumes, and photos of other sites were shocking. Georges Assaf, a physician, Public Health graduate student, SRC treasurer and one of the principal event organizers, considered that this successful student production informs the public about the critical phase Lebanon is facing. He believes that critical moments must be seized as an opportunity for improvement. He also remarked that the event “gives stakeholders a chance to present their projects so that they are held accountable and are regularly questioned about their accomplishments, important aspects of good governance.”
Regardless of the message they were trying to get across, the men in suits requested the activists to leave the lecture hall. Al-Awar was disappointed by this action because it breaches his right of freedom of speech. “[The AUB guards] can’t be hypocrites by advocating freedom of speech and suppressing it at the same time,” he stated. Event Coordinator Johnny el-Hajj who was present at the lecture explained, however, that the men in suits were actually AUB security guards and they took away the banners and asked the students to leave because they were verbally attacking SG Moussa. “It is natural that students give their opinions, it is freedom of speech, but it is not natural to shoot on an AUB lecturer. He is AUB’s guest. They could have requested to use the microphone and state
their views. In fact, at the end of the lecture some students asked very serious questions to Amro Moussa,” explained El-Hajj. After the four students left the room, the banners taken by the guards were placed on the speaker’s table. This frustrated Jamal Al-Awar because SG Moussa went forward to say that he will accept the banners as a gift. “We did not say that [the banners were a gift]. He stole our banners,” He clarified. “[SG Moussa] used it as a tactic to hide our true voice from the media […] in fact, a few minutes later he spoke about Iran and Turkey. […] Although he started off on the right foot […] but he went wrong when he stated that Israel wont get a seat on the family dinner table of the Arab League. It was shocking to hear that its been considered to give them a seat,”
Rami further asserted. What intrigued the activists the most was the show of support they have received during the action.“[The action was done by] a Lebanese, an American, a Palestinian, and a German,” noted Al-Awar, highlighting on international solidarity with the cause. “AUB is a beautiful place. We have cultures from all over the place […] it has potential to rally support from all over the world. But the difference here is that people know what war means.” Rami additionally said, “All of us young people we are more similar than we like to believe. The differences are trivial. We must unite now because that will unite us in the future. Because as you can see at AUB we are divided and that will segregate us unavoidably.”
Interjection Palestine Continued from page 1 ble for the death of every single Palestinian child,” “Our words are hollow while the people of Palestine die every single day,” and “Your words are hollow.” As a response to the acclamations, SG Moussa calmly interjected that he agrees with [the protesters] and further explained that there is a need to end the Israeli occupation. This did not satisfy the activists. “He [SG Moussa] only offers words and no action,” said Agribusiness senior Jamal al-Awar who participated in the action. “He is endorsing the Wall that will starve and kill not just any people, but the people he is supposed to represent,” says Rami, who also participated in the action but prefers to keep his identity undisclosed. “The Wall” that Rami is referring to is a new, long metal wall that is being constructed between
Egypt and Gaza. According to a British Broadcasting Company (BBC) article written by Christien Fraser on December 9, Egypt is constructing an 11km long wall that is 18 meter deep which is supposed to cut all the underground tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. These tunnels are said to allow the smuggling of rocket parts, weapons, and people but they also serve as a lifeline to Gaza by bringing in food and other necessary supplies. Although the wall is being built by Egypt, it is engineered and fabricated by the Americans. It is made out of strong steel that can withstand bombs and will serve as an extension to the already existing concrete walls that seal off the Palestinians from their surroundings. It is expected that the construction of the wall will be completed in fifteen months.
BSS Speed Night: Are you smarter than Homer Simpson?
Rami Diab Staff Writer On the colorful night of Thursday, February 25, the Biology Student Society (BSS) witnessed a one of a kind event at the Charles Hostler Student Center Auditorium between 6 and 8:40 pm - Speed Night! No, this is not a reference to a hazy night of amphetamine poisoning, but in fact, a highly original and mesmerizing game show; a unique and novel BSS production. The idea behind this amusing quiz night was to roughly assess the general knowledge of AUB’s busybee Biology students, thereby examining the speed and acuity of their critical thinking skills and just how well they cope when they face a bombshell of bizarre questions, some pre-MCAT preparation huh? The show fired up with BSS’ official academic advisor Dr. Khouzama Knio welcoming in the eleven sets of three contestants seated to the front of the lecture hall with the audience readily positioned behind them. Biology senior Amro Baassiri, the heart and pulse of Speed Night- having initially come up with the idea for the event and planned it through- then
took the floor to clarify the rules of the game. From then on, it was all one continuous session of fun and drama. Snugly seated amongst the audience was the honorably esteemed Dr. Colin Smith, current Chairperson of the Biology department, who joined in with the audience’s smiles and cheers, sprinkling about his light hearted humor. “I told you folks to study the questions worth most points, didn’t I!?” he addressed one of the teams in playful dialect. For those who have taken Genetics (Biol 223), that really took them back a semester or two! The questions covered a multitude of a subjects including history, geography, astronomy, sports, celebrities, and common knowledge. Some of the questions went somewhere along these lines: “What is the only planet that rotates clockwise?” “Which country was the winner of the first World Cup championship?” and “Name the beverage constituting chocolate and coffee.” Answers to these questions were hidden amongst three others in a color coded multiple choice system, wherein competing
Band Review The name Florence and the Machine may sound like the title of a strange action movie, but in fact, it is the name of Florence Welch, an upand-coming singer to watch out for. Her voice, while becoming less common in the rising popularity of singers like Lilly Allen and Duffy, maintains a stark originality and addictive quality. Welch is a truly unique artist, belting out lyrics that resemble twisted, yet funny, poems, like her song “My Boy Builds Coffins,” a song about a man who makes coffins, never able to fully appreciate his life’s work since they are only to be buried after he creates them.
groups would raise one color specifying their answer of choice only after a thirty second brainstorming period after the question has been posed. The first round ended with an open invitation to all attendees of the game show (contestants and audience alike) to a generous complimentary display of appetizers and butter biscuits. The second round took off with shortlisting the top three candidates, who were then issued to their new seats on top of the auditorium stage where they would run for the final round. Answers this time were submitted in written fashion, however, and handed out to the hosts, after which the three judges awarded priority points to the team who answered fastest. To make a long story short, the final round was a close match between all three teams who demonstrated an advanced level of general knowledge in a wide spectrum of fields. The finalists who emerged the winners of Speed Night extravaganza however, were none other than Biology juniors Omar Nawfal, Fouad Badaoui, and
Amjad Kanj. The audience ranted with applause as the team was justly awarded 300,000 LL cash. As for the other two teams, who drew very near to claiming the top prize themselves, did not leave empty handed, receiving Crepaway dining coupons. As if all that fun and excitement did not suffice, a raffle draw took place in which three winners where randomly selected to claim 50,000 LL cash, and these in their respective order were, Biology junior Pia Maalouf, senior Howaida Al Rayess, and senior Elie Faris. All in all, BSS’ Speed Night
Florence and the Machine
A less morose song of hers is her single “Kiss With A Fist.” This song has a more pop feel and may attract a wider range of listeners. The lyrics are sung with such a beautiful, bluesy voice, and sweet tone that the listener may forget that the song includes phrasing like, “a kick in the teeth is good for some, a kiss with a fist is better than none.” Still, with these slightly violent lyrics, the song remains a fun, upbeat piece, while oddly freeing at the same time. The music video expresses this, with colorful imagery in the form of hanging lanterns, flowers, and stripes. A more unknown gem of hers
is her cover of Cold War Kids’ “Hospital Beds,” which is arguably better than the original. The song opens with a haunting acapella, followed by the introduction of rhythmic guitar. Her voice seems to be made to sing these types of songs, the songs with the sweetly haunting words and imagery. Perhaps the best example of Welch’s talent is her understated acoustic version of “Girl With One Eye.” The video of this performance live is one of the most powerful performances of a singer in the contemporary world of music. The electric guitar slowly strumming alongside Welch’s voice as it slowly
soars to crazy heights perfectly complements the attitude of the song. Florence warns a “girl with one eye” to “get your filthy fingers out of my pie,” and by the end of the song, she has cut the poor girl’s eye out. While teaching the audience not to mess with Florence, the performance displays enormous talent and passion, as Florence closes her eyes and zones out, moving her hands in every direction, as if she cannot contain herself. Welch has been compared to artists such as Kate Nash and Lily Allen, as well as PJ Harvey for her edge. Despite the comparisons, she still maintains a unique appeal,
was a barrel of laughs. Apart from the contestants, the audience were also juggling about their opinions and reasoning, trying to settle on a final verdict.The night bared witness to tantamount evidence that the Biology student body is indeed armed with a rich background of general knowledge so for those giving in to rumors and pretense, beware, for that night, the breadth of know how of our biology students has come to eradicate any doubts of their girth of understanding.
Heather Jaber apparent in her music videos, lyrics, and sense of fashion. Her style is a mixture of the 70’s music era, retro British fashion, and something completely her own. Seeing her in a colorful dress, a drapey neutral top, or even a leotard would not be surprising from this powerhouse. Recently, Welch was the recipient of the “Best British Album” award at the 2010 Brit Awards, for her new album “Lungs.” She is also touring internationally, in places like Holland and Berlin, to name a few. Welch is definitely someone to look out for, as her talent and obvious passion will take her far in the music world.
Movie Review Valentine’s Day is a movie almost as dreadful as the actual event. All the cheesiness that is Valentine’s Day, like the red and pink clothing, flowers, and ribbons everywhere – anything that would provoke your gag reflex – is rolled into one big production that is Valentine’s Day. The main point of audience attraction is the all-star cast, which includes almost everyone from sweetheart Julia Roberts to country crooner Taylor Swift and doctor heartthrob Patrick Dempsey to comedic cutie Ashton Kutcher. In other words, no matter your views on Valentine’s Day or the movie, there must be someone in the cast that you would go see the movie for. One of the few interesting aspects of Valentine’s Day is that it differs – if only slightly – from the stereotypical
romantic movie; a generic cheesy film involves one (dashingly handsome) man and his (strikingly gorgeous) female love interest, who come together at the end of the movie after overcoming all obstacles that stand in the way of their (cheesy) love. Although this does happen in Valentine’s Day, a number of other storylines also develop simultaneously. Made to celebrate love in all its forms, the movie is about also about love between romantic partners, love between friends, and the love between parents and their children. The universality of romance is shown in the various characters’ age-old married grandparents’ love, teenage puppy love, ten-year-old romance between elementary school kids. The most interesting and encouraging factor that dif-
Book Review Upon the conclusion of a two-year research, sponsored by the International Development Research Center (IDRC) in Canada (wwAcidrc.ca) entitled “Wild Edible Plants: Promoting Dietary Diversity in Poor Communities of Lebanon,” University of Ottawa Professor, Malek Batal has teamed up with the American University of Beirut’s Nature Conservation Center for Sustainable Futures (IBSAR), to produce “The Healthy Kitchen, Recipes from Rural Lebanon.” The importance of this book lies in the fact that innate traditional wisdom of the medicinal and therapeutic uses of the Lebanese native plants are being lost due to the fact that the Lebanese diet is being rapidly westernized and cheaper, more readily available “fast food” is being imported and sold in the Lebanese markets. Yet
Valentine’s Day ferentiates Valentine’s Day from a stereotypical romance movie, is the inclusion of homosexual love, which shows the increasing incorporation of homosexuality in mainstream media. It’s not all a bed of romantic roses however; the movie includes its fair share of drama. There are breakups, breakdowns, cheating men, and most amusingly, a manhating party organised by the unhappily single gals. As if everyone didn’t already hate Valentine’s Day enough, the movie makes it just that much worse. It is disappointingly predictable, depressingly unrealistic (pretty much everyone has found their lifelong partner by the end of the movie), and really, really corny. It is also the perfect advertisement of Westernised
“love” that is constantly repackaged in each one of these terrible movies (or series, or novels - ahem, Twilight saga) that spoon-feed audiences a lot of cheese.
The Healthy Kitchen
the answer to this troubling problem is within reach; it is found in our traditional food heritage and wisdom. It is this wisdom, built over generations, that is trying to be captured and disseminated through this cookbook. According to Batal, who compiled this book, “the region is blessed with great biodiversity and the population has access to many edible wild plants that could be easily harvested and used. The harvesting and use of these wild plants is, however, on the decline due to eroding knowledge and environmental degradation, which is threatening the survival of this fragile resource.” The recipes collected in this book are the result of two years of work with the communities of Aarsal (in the Baalbeck area), Kuakh (in the Hermel area), Batloun, Kfarnabrakh, and Warhani-
yeh (in the Chouf). In each of these communities, thorough ethnographic work was carried out whereby women who are known in the community to be good cooks were interviewed regarding popular traditional recipes, with an emphasis on those containing wild edible plants. One simple and nutritious dish is tabbouleh with lentils ()تبولة بالعدس, a hearty salad rich in vitamin C and containing a substantial amount of iron, supplied by the parsley and the lentils. The recipes were then replicated in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) Laboratories at AUB with the women from the concerned communities in attendance and under the supervision of trained dietitians. The quantities mentioned in these recipes have been checked and standardized. The nutritional value of tra-
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If you would still like to see the movie, bon appétit, and if not, that is a wise choice as this film will (clearly) not be on the Top Ten Movies of 2010 list.
Mohmad El Medawar
ditional food is indisputable: many recipes contain elements from various food groups, contributing to increasing dietary diversity within one dish. Moreover, these recipes are often nutrient dense, meaning that they are packed with nutrients, unlike the fast food options that are energy rich but poor
in such important nutrients as vitamins and minerals. Although the majority of the wild plants mentioned are not easily available in Beirut, Batal’s book offers readers a fun and quick approach to creating a healthier lifestyle and substitutions are always possible with more readily available greens.
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 Lynn Itani 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
Self-mutilating behaviors This topic is one that should be of particular interest since it is very common in our age group but few people know about and notice it. It refers to self-mutilating behaviors, also known as self-injury. Many people have ideas and beliefs about self injury that are misunderstandings or based on false conceptions. Self mutilating behaviors can be described as acts of violence such as cutting and burning that are implemented on oneself without the intention of suicide. One common misconception is that self injurious behaviors are the same as suicide, but suicide is the purposeful intention to end one’s life. Conversely, self injury is a method of coping and of preserving oneself and an act of sustaining life. Self-injury is aimed at providing temporary relief of intense emotional pain, unlike suicide which is a permanent solution to emotional and/or physical suffering. The damage done due to self-injury usually does not require medical attention and is rarely lethal, thus most of the people who intentionally hurt themselves do not seek medical help and try to keep their injuries hidden. Self mutilating behaviors is a disorder that is on a drastic rise amongst young people (young adults and adolescents). The person basically inflict harm on themselves to reduce the anxiety. This does not at all imply that this is an effective technique, but it seems to be regarded as a home remedy for decreasing anxiety and bad feelings by the person who is implementing this method. It makes them feel real, some state whereas others say that it’s a relief from all the tension and turmoil in the world around them. Therefore, it seems important to note that self-mutilating behaviors are as important and as serious as any other disorders discussed earlier and people who engage in such behaviors should see a professional who can help relieve their anxieties in methods that are empirically supported and not by methods that inflict harm on that individual. So whatever you do, just don’t try this at home!
Heads Up on Health
Got Yoga? - stretching and use of breathing go a long way In a recent study published in Alternative Therapies and Complementary Medicine, it was shown that doing 75-minute yoga sessions for around three times a week for 10 weeks at a time eased symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a group of women aged between 45 and 75. By definition, RA is a chronic autoimmune disease with inflammation of the joints and marked deformities that can lead to the destruction of all components of the joint. Furthermore, yoga classes also worked on improving disability correlated to RA, enhanced balance, as well as decreased symptoms of depression among the women. But that’s not all. More and more research is stressing on the importance of yoga in improving flexibility, encouraging relaxation, and beyond.According to Prevention magazine, regular yoga routines can help keep off unwanted weight. In a study of 15,500 average-weight adults that were followed over the course of four years, subjects following a 30 minutes yoga routine per week strikingly gained three fewer pounds annually compared to those who did not do any yoga. Yoga has been shown to fight food cravings. This is so, because naturally cravings generally strike your body when you are feeling tense. However, with yoga, your muscles are loosened which makes it easier to reflect on whether or not you really want to have that delicious chocolate bar. In another study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, doing yoga while pregnant was associated with healthier deliveries. In their second trimester, around 335 women added a yoga routine; the result was higher birth weights and lower pregnancy-induced hypertension compared to non-yoga-practicing participants. Routine yoga was also shown to enhance sleeping habits. Because of its calming nature, yoga practices are great to take your mind off a stressful day, and to help you sleep better. Moreover, in a study done in the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center, when applied by Lymphoma patients, yoga practices have been shown to improve cancer patients’ sleeping habits by practicing Tibetan yoga. After taking a 20-minute yoga class once a week for seven weeks, patients fell asleep faster, slept longer, and reduced the amount of sleep medication that they were previously required to take in order to fall asleep.