L’Orient Today: “US adjusts travel advisory for Lebanon to ‘Reconsider Travel’ “

No clue what the title of this post means, but
Lebanon deserves the best!

Bambi just read in L’Orient Today the following: “The United States has revised its travel advisory for Lebanon from Level Four (“Do Not Travel”) to Level Three (“Reconsider Travel”), according to the State Department’s official website. The change suggests a cautious but slightly more optimistic assessment of safety conditions for American travelers considering a visit to Lebanon” (http://tinyurl.com/yvu92sf7).

The article cited above, which calls this change a nuanced approach, also informs us of the following American updated recommendation: “Travelers are urged to reconsider plans due to serious security risks under the newly assigned Level Three advisory. However, certain regions, including southern Lebanon, the border with Syria, and refugee camps, remain under a Level Four advisory, where Americans are strongly advised against all travel“.

Of note, the new American lowered advisory level is now different from the Canadian most recent Lebanon travel advice of “Avoid all travels” (at the time of preparing this post), which was updated last on “January 9, 2024 09:21 ET” (http://tinyurl.com/bc39pk3w).

Whether the American “Reconsider Travel” warning means anything or not, anyone familiar with Lebanon knows how volatile this country remains. Of course, a volatile situation is one thing and the charm of the place is another thing. May everyone there, residents or tourists, be safe and sound. May Lebanon’s beauty shine again!

Mr. Robin Motheron: thank you for your highly moving performance of “Avec le temps”/Léo Ferré

Bambi cannot go to sleep without sharing with you what she discovered earlier today: a beautifully moving performance of a deeply sad love song, which was composed by French artist Léo Ferré (1970) following a recent breakup. Thank you Mr. Robin Motheron for your talent and sensitivity. Please keep singing!

Dr. Joseph Facal: “UQAM: la discrimination faussement positive se poursuit” [UQAM: false positive discrimination continues]

Thank you, Dr. Facal

Like Dr. Joseph Facal, Bambi strongly believes that merit must remain the criterion for selection of Canada’s researchers if we want to keep the level of research and teaching high. Therefore, the current post will translate Facal’s column, which was recently published in the Journal de Montréal because it addressed this topic in a clever way (https://shorturl.at/fqJT6). As usual, Bambi thanks her loyal friend, Mr. Google Translate, for his assistance.

I did my undergraduate studies at UQAM a long time ago.

I have excellent memories of it. I made friends for life there.

Since then, I have contributed to its annual fundraising campaign, even though what happens there often annoys me.

This is over until further notice.

Forget that!

Remember the outcry when we learned that Laval University wanted to hire professors while formally excluding white men.

It was difficult to explain to us that it was to comply with the requirements of the federal government which subsidized the positions in question. A true explanation, but insufficient.

I hope you don’t imagine that this outcry put an end to the practice.

The Faculty of Political Science and Law at UQAM has just launched a competition to hire two professors as part of the Canada Research Chairs Program.

The competition will be reserved for people in four categories: women, Indigenous people, visible minorities and disabled people.

UQAM could have chosen not to open this type of position subject to federal requirements. Rather, it does so with enthusiasm, presenting these requirements as imperative and unavoidable.

In short, white men without disabilities, forget it, you are excluded from the start.

In the federal document which sets out the criteria for granting these specific positions, it is explained in particular that people from visible minorities are “people, other than Indigenous people, who are not of the white race or who do not have white”.

Obviously, there are all kinds of human skin tones, like the colour palettes at Sico.

A candidate’s membership in one category or another will be done by self-identification.

The questionnaire to complete asks:

“Do you identify as a person from a racialized minority?”

“Do you identify as an Indigenous person?”

“Do you identify as a woman or as a person from a gender minority?”

Is UQAM reluctantly complying with federal requirements? No way.

In its action plan, it states: “[…] UQAM must be exemplary in its desire to have in its ranks a cohort of professors holding a Canada Research Chair (CRC) who reflect the diversity of our society. More than taking targeted measures, UQAM must now act at the structural level and adopt systemic and lasting changes.”

In short, we believe in it thoroughly.


UQAM is laughing at us by adding that it will not compromise on quality since it reduces the pool of applicants from the outset.

Any institution that acts in this way is therefore caught in a perverse spiral.

As soon as we modify the hiring criteria to favour a category, we are inevitably led to modify the criteria to then evaluate performance, since the objective of diversity takes precedence over that of merit.

And this is how we are dragging our universities down“.

Ms. Shushan Petrosyan: do you like her Armenian version of Aznavour’s “Emmenez-moi”?

She does know about you, but Bambi adores Emmenez-moi [Take me] of the late and great Mr. Charles Aznavour. A song that make us dream of being taken away. Maybe to a sunny country if we are tired of the cold? Maybe to a peaceful location if we happen to be scared or fed up of endless armed conflicts in some parts of the world? Maybe to feel lighter on vacation or to warm our hearts with the genuine love of family or friends who live miles away. And what about if we are dreaming of exploring the world or of a business and/or learning experience abroad?

Regardless of our intrinsic motivations to want to be elsewhere, thankfully we have music and songs to make us travel in our spirit or enjoy the present moment with a fresh outlook. Bearing the latter in mind, Bambi searched Youtube early this morning [or very late last night :)] to hear Emmenez-moi. She came acorss the Armenian version of a gifted singer called, Ms. Shushan Petrosyan. What an interesting musical discovery!

Following Petrosyan’s Armenian version of Aznavour’s eternal French song, Bambi will share his original with English-subtitles. This will be followed by other beautiful French versions by several talented French and French-Canadian artists. Which version do you like the most and why? Bambi will be happy to post your comment or privately hear from you, if if you prefer so.

Two pictures and two songs from and to Joëlle respectively

Happy weekend everyone!

This post is made possible, thanks to the generosity of Joëlle from Florida, USA. Many thanks to her! Her first amazing picture of the sunset was taken in the Southern part of this state. Same for her second beautiful picture. Sunshine and water, is there anything more beautiful that the marriage of both in nature? To thank her childhood friend, Bambi will offer her and Dave two songs. The first one is an Egyptian-Arabic love song that does not need any introduction. As for the second melody, it s a VERY famous Armenian song mixed with English and French. Have a good one, Jojo ❤️!

A picture taken by Joëlle in Southern Florida, USA
A picture taken by Joëlle in Southern Florida, USA

“October 7 Restaurant”: How can humanity go that low and how would such a business name bring justice to the innocent people of Gaza?

How sad it is to open a restaurant in Jordan with a name, that cheers for the massacre, rape, and kidnapping of innocent people, even if those happen to come from the more domineering country (http://tinyurl.com/45xb6zax)? Bambi is saying so and this more domineering country is in a state of war with her own birth country (i.e. specifically with its largest militia that decides on peace and war instead of its official “inexistent” government). Bambi is also saying so and this domineering country has occupied her birth country in the past for almost two decades. Everyone knows that this poked bear can be TOO cruel, especially when it is under what looks like an orchestrated attack.

Despite all the above, Bambi refuses to cheer for the suffering of its innocent people. Indeed, what a bad taste, to say the least, to name a restaurant “October 7” and to know that many customers seem to be already lining up to visit it, as per several media like l’Orient Le Jour, the National Post, and Haaretz (http://tinyurl.com/45xb6zax). You only have to google this story and you will find even a video on YouTube about it.

For Bambi, this is a sad day for humanity at large while being an insult not just to the innocent people of Israel (some died, some were injured, raped, their dead bodies disrespected, or are still kidnapped, including seniors and a baby who turned one year old lately), but also and especially to the over the 20,000+ innocent victims of Gaza and those of the neighborhood, including Lebanon. Think of it, the name of this restaurant is serving to glorify a massacre, which triggered a tragic, and absurd, ongoing war that massacred even much more innocent people on the other side of the endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also resulted in fear, displacement, injuries or mortality on the Israeli side too. Plus, this war is also at a regional scale, financed by foreign entities, which risks going out of control anytime, including today. It is killing innocent civilians, journalists, and militia-affiliated Lebanese men. What for? Is it worth it?

For all the reasons mentioned above, Bambi condemns the bad (and cruel) taste underlying the choice of the name of this new business. To conclude this brief post, will men, especially those of the Middle East, ever learn to live for love, despite their anger over injustice or grief, like in Lévesque’s song? Why doesn’t love and compassion for the innocent people of all sides (who are trapped in the middle of wars) come more naturally to some? And if it does not yet, how can they learn to express their legitimate anger or frustrations in a more human and dignified way instead of contributing to fuel more hate?

“Edelweiss”: bravo Mr. Amine Hachem (tenor) and Mr. Brian Holman (pianist) for your remarkable yet soothing performance!

For several reasons, including personal ones, Bambi’s favourite movie remains Sound of Music since her childhood. Indeed, she is not a TV watcher [except when she visits her family in Beirut :)]. However, for Sound of Music, she can make exceptions in life.

As a result of the above, she re-watched this classical movie, over and over, more times than her old chronological age (51!). She did so on all platforms, in different countries or provinces she lived in, on airplanes, on Youtube, and of course mainly on TV. Unfortunately, she did not have the chance to watch the opera yet. One day, hopefully. Until then, she is happy to sing almost all the songs by heart. Yes, even frogs, with awful voices, can memorize lyrics to badly sing famous movie songs. Thankfully, on airplanes, most of the nearby passengers are usually sleeping. So no risk for any auditory trauma to their ears or embarrassing moments of public disturbance :).

Bearing her passion for this movie in mind, if you are a regular reader of this blog you likely also know how much Bambi thinks highly of Mr. Amine Hachem who sings elegantly and genuinely in several languages. Thus, what a musical treat for her to come across Hachem’s amazing performance of Edelweiss tonight.

In case you do not know it, Edelweiss refers to a white flower, which could be found in the Alps. Of note, this lovely song was “created for the 1959 Broadway production of The Sound of Music, as a song for the character Captain Georg von Trapp” (http://tinyurl.com/27rf99jf).

If you wish, below you can listen to the performance of the gifted tenor, Mr. Amine Hachem, along with talented pianist, Mr. Brian Holman. Following this brief Youtube video, for her own selfish pleasure, Bambi will share two YouTube videos from Sound of Music!

Long live family, romantic love, both personal freedom and values, and OF COURSE… MUSIC!

Dr. Gad Saad: “Losing weight as a form of white supremacy and colonialism”?

Yesterday, a reader kindly emailed Bambi a National Post article, by Ms. Jamie Sarkonak, in which she informed us that a federally-funded educational document (even if schools are a provincial responsibility in Canada) states that: “Gender binary is a colonial and white supremacist structure rather than a natural and indisputable truth”. As noted by Ms. Sarkonak, the sources of evidence used in this document are the federally-funded CBC articles and a couple of blog posts (https://shorturl.at/txKT5).

Today, Bambi came across the latest “SAAD TruthYouTube video of the funny yet clever Dr. Gad Saad from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). The title of his brief video is “Losing weight as a form of white supremacy and colonialism?“. Please take a moment to listen and to smile, laugh, and/or cry over the scientific quality of some of the academic publications of our collectively insane times. Thank you Dr. Saad for sharing the article’s abstract. With all due respect to everyone, including the author in question, sometimes one can only smile to such level of absurd nonsense still called science.

Mr. Claudio Capéo: what a grandiose song and impressive performance!

Bambi cannot go to sleep without sharing with you her latest musical discovery. Following the YouTube video below, you can find a quick translation of the lyrics of this sad yet beautiful French song entitled “Serve me” [Serre-moi] (http://tinyurl.com/2ck6jsr9). Bravo Mr. Capéo for your incredibly moving talent!

“Serve me

One more drink

Stay with me

one more hour

Don’t slip away

We’ve done it a thousand times

You know well that the sea will wait

Come on, squeeze me

One more beer

Toast with me

It’s the last

Come on, hold me tight

Stop your movie

One day or another, the sea will take us

It’s raining outside

The wind picks up

And my body is on fire

At night I dream, friend, I dream

It’s raining outside, it’s raining

Let the wind rise

And my body is on fire

Thirst on my lips, I dream

Oh, wave to the soul

bed of bitterness

I have a heavy heart

Like an anvil

Don’t slip away

The sailors here below

Know well that the sea does not cheat

Stop there, look at me

She’s gone, she’ll be back

Come on, hold me tight

Stop your movie

One day or another the sea will avenge us

It’s raining outside

The wind picks up

And, and I’m on fire, in my body

At night I dream, friend, I dream

Let it rain, let it rain outside

Let the wind rise

Let the wind rise

And I have the devil in my body

Thirst on the lips

Enlighten me

One more drink

That I drown in it

That I dream of it

don’t drift me

Come on, I believe in you

You know well that the sea will wait

Come on, lend me

A piece of dream

A piece of star

A bout of fever

Do not abandon me

The sailors here below

Know well that the sea will return

It’s raining outside

The wind picks up

And my body is on fire

At night I dream, friend, I dream

it’s raining outside

The wind picks up

And my body is on fire

At night I dream, friend, I dream

It’s raining outside, it’s raining

Let the wind rise

And I have the devil in my body

I have thirst on my lips

I have thirst on my lips”.

Mr. Ed Sheeran: bravo for singing in French with talent and sensitivity

Music and emotions are truly universal. Indeed, Bambi just came across a moving performance of one of Mr. Francis Cabrel’s beautiful love songs by Mr. Ed Sheeran, a gifted English singer-songwriter (http://tinyurl.com/24p5eafv). Bravo to him for this musical treat, which she will share with you now. Long live talent, French music, and love!