A beautiful message of compassion from Dr. Blair Rutherford for his colleagues, Dr. Hassan Diab and Prof. Rania Tfaily

Although the supportive message below is from June, 2021, Bambi just came across it. It is from the Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carelton University, Dr. Blair Rutherford, concerning the saga of Dr. Hassan Diab:

Well, it seems that the French courts have decided to have him stand trial in France, despite the lack of evidence (“other than discredited evidence”) to link him to the deadly and tragic bombing of a synagogue in Paris over 40 years ago (https://www.france24.com/en/20110606-canada-bombing-extradited-france-justice-hassan-diab-paris).

Here is a statement from Dr. Hassan Diab himself (https://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/bayne-memos-2021-05):

My life has been turned upside down because of unfounded allegations and suspicions. I am innocent of the accusations against me. I have never engaged in terrorism. I have never participated in any terrorist attacks. I am not an anti-Semite.”
– Hassan Diab

If you are interested in reading the arguments of his Canadian lawyer, Mr. Don Bayne, you can find them here: (https://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/bayne-memos-2021-05).

If you want to support him, you can find all the details above (e.g., writing to Mr. Justin Trudeau, to Dr. David Lametti, etc.).

If you do not want to consider supporting him, please ignore this post.

As far as Bambi is concerned, her thoughts right now are as follows: Regardless of the back-story, why is our legal process run in this way? The story of Dr. Hassan Diab is making a farce of our entire legal system that France’s request would even be considered.

Had Drs. Best & Banting been alive today, would they have been shocked by what is happening in Lebanon with insulin?

Insulin is a hormone, essential for life.

Dr. Best & Banting are our Canadian pride. We owe them the discovery of insulin about 100 years ago (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/insulin-co-discovered-by-london-ont-s-frederick-banting-100-years-ago-1.6248796)!

You may wonder why has Bambi been thinking of these two scientists since yesterday when her parents called to share the new level of the shocking reality of Lebanon of today: Insulin is not available in the pharmacies of the country! Indeed, Bambi’s dad walked to 20 pharmacies in Beirut to find insulin to his spouse (Bambi’s mom has Type II diabetes).

As her own mom said, what will the population do when a large percentage use insulin? What will families do if their child has Type I diabetes?!

Indeed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 2016, 12.6% of the Lebanese people had diabetes and many use insulin in primary care (ttps://www.who.int/diabetes/country-profiles/lbn_en.pdf).

This being said, medication has been hard to find in Lebanon for a while now (https://observers.france24.com/en/middle-east/20210730-lebanon-medicine-shortage-expats-bring-home-medication & https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210711-expat-pill-couriers-lifeline-in-medicine-starved-lebanon.

Even governments of respectable counties, like the Netherlands, have tips to travellers taking medicines to Lebanon: https://www.netherlandsworldwide.nl/countries/lebanon/travel/taking-medicines-with-you-when-travelling

As for us in Atlantic Canada, Bambi may have posted in the past a message from the Lebanese Consul in Halifax to the Maritimers wishing to send medications to their loved ones (https://www.lebaneseconsulatehalifax.com/single-post/%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%85—important-announcement). Thanks to him and to a medical clinic in his city for facilitating such a process (shown further below). Of course, for insulin, it can be more complex and Canada is not as close to Lebanon as Europe, geographically speaking.

Now, why is this happening? Hard to tell. Is it due to directly and only the financial crisis (currency lost 90% of its value): the state is bankrupt (while bank accounts of many corrupt leaders are likely full in foreign counties)? Or is is the latter in addition to perhaps the following, if Bambi understood well: The Government is now planning to remove subsidies on insulin (as they did with gas, bread, etc.). Pharmacists may be keeping this medication stored until the prices will dramatically go up to earn more money? Some out of greed… maybe others are on a selfish financial survival mode? Or maybe they are saving insulin for their own loved ones with diabetes? Could it be? Regardless, this is VERY worrisome and totally unacceptable! Will this insulin crisis be solved soon or should more people escape Lebanon to have access to a much needed medication?!

Related to the above, it is not surprising then that Bambi’s dad shared with her that Lebanon is now printing over 7000 passports EVERY day. We are talking about a population of 4.5 millions. This is a lot of passports. Will they still afford to pay for the ink and have enough material? People are scared to death, even those who cannot afford to pay for their passport fees… or those who have never considered leaving.

To conclude this post, the Lebanese people are suffocating in their own country (and this has nothing to do with Covid-19 restrictions, as they haven’t any lockdown now, thankfully. Plus, people do not panic easily over a virus that will logically mutate with this or future seasons. In addition, their problems, health-related or not, are sadly imminently more dangerous than the worrisome coronavirus). Even those who have never considered renewing their passports are doing so as they are scared and distressed. How sad to see Lebanon in this state. Ouf… but to try to end on a lighter note, here is a French song from Chantale Goya from Bambi to the children of Lebanon. Her last words are: “Children of Lebanon, like those around the world, will also live in love and peace“… and Bambi feels like adding “and in insulin… for those who need it!”.

Is freedom of expression in danger worldwide?

It is sometimes said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. True.

It is also said that the devil is in the details. True.

Why are each of the world’s leaders (Ms. Jacinda Ardern, Mr. Justin Trudeau, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, etc.) calling for less freedom of expression (https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/new-zealand-pm-says-facebook-others-must-do-more-against-online-hate-2021-11-26/) in their respective countries?

What is all this about? An idea by Mr. Macron, it seems?

If you have 2 minutes to kill and you are interested by freedom of expression, like Bambi, check the words of Ms. Ardern. Aren’t they worrisome?

With all due respect to Ms. Ardern and Mr. Trudeau, Bambi will now focus on Mr. Macron (because she respects/even likes him :). Indeed, she has thanked him, on her blog, many times for his compassion with Beirutis after their surrealistic blast. He rushed to Beirut after the tragedy. He listened to the traumatized residents (for a change!). He even hugged them on the streets before their own heartless politicians. Correction, NONE of the Lebanese politicians visited any of the devastated neighbourhoods of the city, including her parents’, and reached out to the people, as Mr. Macron did, up to now!

So, with much gratitude in her heart, she will allow herself to ask him the following: Why are you all limiting the freedom of expression in your respective countries? Who has entrusted you to propose to regulate the internet like that? You may be tempted to do something, truly thinking it is a good idea (making it like a HUGE so-called safe place… of course, from your own perspective) but have you thought about the long-term impact of your authoritarianism? By the minute, we are becoming less and less free. So what will be the outcome in 2, 5, 25, and more years? Please think long-term, for the sake of your beautiful nations, and beyond your own mandates.

To conclude this post, Bambi is convinced that a liberal (with a little “l”) approach may be the wisest approach to online hate/so-called hate? Just leave the internet as it is with its good and bad side…. Of course, do so, by keeping a close eye on ALL radical/extremist groups, as needed (ending with” ism” or not). Keep an eye on online criminality (call for violence, etc.), please, to keep us safe. As well, let the police, army, and secret services, do their job, as needed (of course, with proper funding) to keep the country safe… and leave our internet free! In the name of this freedom of expression that is in danger now, Bambi will allow herself to tell Mr. Trudeau and ALL the politicians in Ottawa the following (as it is perhaps related to the rationale underlying Ms. Ardern’s call): no, to Bill C-36! This proposed bill is an unwise idea for our country, even if you genuinely think otherwise (or if you think it is to your political advantage). Thank you.

Lebanon: Four judges have resigned to denounce political interference… and how refreshing to read about a competent AND transparent Health Minister in the midst of all the other corruption!

First, here are Reuters and l’Orient Today articles on the judges who are denouncing political interference with probes of the central bank (1 judge) and the Beirut blast (3 judges):



Bambi learned, from the above media articles, that one judge has resigned a month ago to denounce the political interference over the central bank probe.

She also learned that three judges resigned yesterday to denounce the massive political interference with the investigation of the surrealistic Beirut port explosion that destroyed literally half of the capital (with all those who lost their lives, the 6000+ injured people, homelessness, and sad destruction).

Second, concerning Covid-19, thanks to l’Orient Le Jour for its French (English Google Translate follows) informative article:



Sarcastically, we can perhaps guess that the health sector does not seem to be the place where corruption is found in Lebanon.

Indeed, it is refreshing to read an article where we can see the competence AND transparency of this country’s Health Minister. As a reminder, he was the Administrator of the Rafik Hariri University Hospital (formerly known as Beirut Governmental University Hospital). Of note, the former Lebanese Health Minister was also competent and honest.

For those who do not know it, Lebanon has a hybrid model of healthcare sector. Some hospitals offer both private and public insurances. Some are strictly governmental. The Lebanese health sector has been historically strong, even during a 15-year-long civil war and other following conflicts. Mind you, Lebanon has been (was?) even a regional medical hub. Sadly, this sector took a major hit over the past two years because of the multiple crises (i.e., the corrupt banking sector crash, Beirut blast, migration, and… of course Corona!).

To conclude this post, will the judges’ resignation be accepted and will it make a difference on the ground? It is good start, for sure… Thanks to them for the wake-up call!! Best wishes to tiny, corrupt, bereaved YET dignified Lebanon!

What is more educational for kids: A book chosen based on its quality or to please a librarian’s own race-based ideology?

Bambi just read in Le Devoir an article entitled “Des titres jeunesse trop blancs pour les bibliothèques scolaires” [Youth titles too white for school libraries”].

Here is the original French article:

https://www.ledevoir.com/lire/649755/diversite-des-titres-jeunesse-trop-blancs-pour-les-bibliotheques-scolaires .

Here is an English translation (thank you Google Translate!): shorturl.at/szMR6 .

Why is the Québec’s ’”Association pour la promotion des services documentaires scolaires (APSDS)” resorting to this now?

Since Bambi is usually an optimistic deer in life, she cannot help not to tell herself that this may be less shocking than Ontario schools’ book burning (as per an older post further below)!

OK, more seriously now, what matters the most in life? The literacy quality of books (e.g., language or of other educational standards) OR an apparent obsession with a race-based ideology?

You may not agree with Bambi at all (or think she comes from planet Saturn), but here are some questions she has for those librarians:

Why don’t we keep allowing children to explore books’ characters, to let their own imagination grow while reading, and simply perhaps find themselves in the humanity of the characters? Why should we become obsessed with skin hue?

Characters or heros may have this or that look, be from this ethnolinguistic background or another one. They could be locals from a small town or from a metropolis’ suburb. They could be newborns or seniors, adolescents from Chicoutimi, Saint-Faustin, or Oka. Blond or darker men. A veiled mother, a boy with a kippa, or a soccer player in another country. Whatever. They could be from Québec city and make a child dream of a political career. Who knows? Maybe non-humans from the moon and make a kid dream about space? This being said, even if children’s book characters look like a majority of the residents in a certain place (small towns of regional/rural areas), why is this problematic all of a sudden?

To conclude this post, how about a silly, personal example, followed by a song? Well, Bambi is a (relatively) small deer. Should she only read books about dwarf deer with curly hair (to recognize herself in the book’s character, as mentioned in the article above)? Can’t she be inspired by a hero who happens to be a tall man from the Netherlands, for instance? OK, enough of questions for tonight… Time for a song for books now :)!

November 25: Happy American Thanksgiving; Bambi thanks you all for the support! Happy Birthday to Jacinthe!

Bambi would like to wish ALL her American supporters, including her friends and relatives, a Happy Thanksgiving :)!

Her heart is filled with gratitude for your support (each one of you) over the past few months. If she may, she would like to send you a message she posted on this blog and on her personal website on Canadian Thanksgiving:

On this [American] Thanksgiving weekend, Bambi would like to warmly thank you for your incredible support, whether in the form of a word or a gesture of kindness, courage, fairness, openness, generosity, and… especially humanity. This is called love in Bambi’s dictionary. For her, love is simply the essence of life. THANK YOU from the bottom of her heart!

As for you Jacinthe, well… “c’est à ton tour de te laisser parler d’amour, chère amie“! Happy Birthday from both Bambi and her spouse… lalalala!! Bambi is singing for you now, with much love, across the miles!! Have fun!

To conclude on an amusing note (perhaps to make you smile, Jacinthe), had Bambi been a much younger student deer in her elementary/high school in Beirut, she would have had a day off on November 25 for Sainte-Catherine’s day. If, as a reader, you happen to have studied in the same school of this same birth country (it happened once, mind you!), hopefully you are smiling too. Seriously, happy name day to all the Catherines of the world 🙂 and, once again, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Isn’t Ms. Selma Merchak inspiring? Her son, Mr. Lokman Slim, was murdered in February to silence his critics of the Hezbollah. Despite her sorrow, and impunity, she remains full of humanity

May Mr. Lokman Slim’s memory be eternal…

Thanks Ici Beyrouth for this moving article entitled “The wise mother of Lokman” (https://icibeyrouth.com/liban/5657). What a dignified lady!

Bambi has paid tribute to Mr. Lokman Slim in several posts back in February, 2021 (all shown below). She also featured Ms. Monika Borgmann (his spouse)’s slogan post-mortem, Zero Fear (in Arabic). My God knows how to keep comforting his mother’s (Selma), sister’s (Rasha), and beloved spouse’s (Monika) hearts.

As well reported by Mr. Makram Rabah in French, on the day following the tragic loss of her son, Ms. Selma Merchak reminded Lebanon, and the world, of what matters the most in life (here is a quick translation for you):

“Civilized people argue, they may have differing opinions, but resorting to weapons is never the solution. We are civilized people, not animals in the jungle. The animals of the jungle devour each other. Violence can never be good for this country. It has harmed me as a mother because I lost my son. My only wish is that you use your wit, not your gut, if you really want to build a country. Lokman deserves it so much”.

The wisdom and dignity in grief of this heart-broken mother is making Bambi remember the late and great Mr. Ghassan Tueni, father of another assassinated Lebanese intellectual/journalist, Mr. Gibran Tueni. At the end of the funeral service of his son, he spontaneously took the microphone and called for love, can you imagine? He said: “Let’s bury hate and revenge” (later a title of a book he wrote a couple of years before his own natural death). Bambi was visiting her parents in Beirut at the time of the funeral. She will always recall the scene of the procession from the nearby hospital’s morgue to his final destination where Bambi’s ancestors are also buried. She will also always recall the father’s moving words mentioned above that she watched live on TV.

Anyhow, to come back to Ms. Merchak, if you understand Arabic and/or read French (with a couple of English words), below you can watch her brief message to the youth of her country, as taken from the article above.

To conclude this post on a musical note, and if she may, Bambi would like to offer Ms. Merchak a song by Mr. Charles Aznavour entitled “Ma vie sans toi” (or “My life without you”). An English translation can be found here, if you are interested (https://en.myfavouritelyrics.com/charles_aznavour/ma_vie_sans_toi/). Bless your broken yet big heart, Ms. Merchak, and… may your son’s memory be eternal in the hearts of those who still value freedom of expression (for all!) in our world.

Christmas is all about love, hope, magic, and… music

Bambi does not know about you, but for her, Christmas is perhaps the most beautiful season of the year. OK, not only Christmas for sure, because all the seasons, are beautiful, regardless of the traditions.

However, in Bambi’s mind, in Christmas there is an endless magic. Perhaps she is saying so because it is what will hopefully always remain in her spirit from her (happy) childhood (thanks to her family :)). Indeed, this season brings old memories from Lebanon about love, generosity of the hearts, as well as wishes, or rather prayers, for peace and prosperity (during much adversity then… and sadly now).

Without much philosophy or nostalgia, Bambi would like to use this post to share a couple of songs she had the chance to listen to today (and sing like a frog). The first song is in French. It is by Mr. Enrico Macias and is entitled “Noël à Jerusalem“. The second song is actually a short Christmas Medley in (Lebanese) Arabic by Ms. Chantal Bitar (posted last Christmas on this blog). The final one is the famous Oh Tannenbaum by Ms. Nana Moukouri. If she may, Bambi would like to offer it to Achim who has enriched her blog lately with his comments [if he happens to be reading :)], to her dad, to her father-in-law… and, OK, last but not least, to someone in heaven (yes, it is you, Firas)… since you all can understand/speak the beautiful language of Goethe!