Lebanon: Could today’s four news items bring a light of hope?

From a quick reading of the news, Bambi learned tonight the following:

First, against all odds, and despite the continuous intimidation of the ruling mafia (mafia-militia rather; and you may perhaps recall the recent sadly fatal street clashes), Judge Tarek Bitar “still wants to question ex-Ministers” about the Beirut blast on October 29, 2021 (https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-lebanon-court-decisions-beirut-hassan-nasrallah-fdfe864d9829a64f2e56a3bf9e336acc). Despite any risk, it is reassuring to finally see a light of hope for accountability in the country of impunity.

Second, we also learned that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has officially confirmed that it has resumed its talks with Lebanon (https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/imf-official-hopes-lebanon-program-talks-can-start-before-new-year). It is about time because the economic boat has been sinking for a while now!

Third, the new American negotiator, Mr. Amos Hochstein, just arrived to Beirut in his role as a key-mediator in the indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel to “find a mutually agreeable solution to their shared maritime boundary for the benefit of both peoples“, to use the official language of the US Embassy in Lebanon (https://lb.usembassy.gov/senior-advisor-for-global-energy-security-hochsteins-travel-to-lebanon/; https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1278459/amos-hochstein-a-beyrouth-pour-des-discussions-avec-les-responsables-libanais.html). Good luck as this is can perhaps rescue the (sinking) boat sailing in troubled waters.

Fourth and last, Lebanon may seem to be heading toward elections in March, 2022, if Bambi gets it right. This may finally bring a change… but, without being cynical (contrary to her nature), people may end up electing the same folks or parties… as we did in Canada lately. Is this a possibility?

To conclude this post on a musical note, Bambi just discovered this version of the famous Le Beirut (of Fairuz) by a talented singer, called Ms. Lina Salibi. Thanks to her and best wishes to Lebanon. Everyone loses if this tiny country collapses… First and foremost its own residents. Second, the neighbouring countries and Europe (then the world) that will have a refugee crisis, like with Syria and other troubled places. It is always wiser when we support countries in solving their own domestic crises and conflicts, whether strictly internal or with external interference, as has historically been the case of tiny bankrupt yet patient Lebanon.

Why are we allowing ideologies in our sports?

We learned from the media recently that the Montreal Canadiens (ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Canadiens) will now be saying a land acknowledgement (a historically false one on top of that) before each of its games in Montreal. How odd and how sad… why?

Some columnists in Montreal have analyzed that it may be due a marketing strategy to re-improve an image? Maybe. As far as Bambi is concerned, she wonders if this organization did not receive a form of pressure (or threats?) of some sort to become woke like that? Same phenomenon we have sadly increasingly seen elsewhere.

We have seen it in soccer games in the United States and in European and world competitions. Not about land acknowledgements there, but about knees on grounds rather. Sometimes we even see images of dark-skinned athletes looking at their (less tanned) peers in an odd way when the latter are on the ground while they are standing up proudly to their national anthems.

Indeed, for Bambi, one thing is clear in her mind, whether the statement is true in the case of Montreal or not (this is not the point), no ideology neither religious nor secular has its place in a sport, period. Sports are simply meant to assemble people and to entertain them while being their common pride (regardless of the team or the winner/loser of any game).

Make no mistake. Contrary to what it pretends, the wokeism bulldozer that is speeding up in Canada (and the world) with little resistance is neither about Indigeneous people nor about immigrants [or whatever someone wants to call them: “Invisible/visible minorities” (Bambi’s preferred name) or “racialized” (Bambi’s most distasteful term) or “BIPOCs” (what a funny term for Bambi…)]. It is an ideology that is using minorities and, from time to time, exploiting tragic stories about them.

If you think Bambi is exaggerating, just do a quick tour of the media and see what happened to her on February 22, 2021. A whole cancellation (or censorship) campaign took place; Many smart folks from our elites (media, academia, social media, and all the words ending with ia) indulged in it. Perhaps they did so willingly (to advance agendas or careers) or cowardly (when fear paralyzes decision-makers, you know how seriously bad things have become in a country). It may also feel good to appear virtuous OR to simply have a false sense of safety that we are/will remain untouchable by being a part of a mob.

Charters of human rights, work agreements, history, evidence, common sense… all these do not matter in cancellation stories. So, maybe the Canadians of Montreal know that deep inside. They perhaps think that if they repeat slogans (empty or false ones, who cares?) no one will attack them or their players in the future. So, they lie down in front of those imposing ideologies… just like we have seen throughout history in other places.

Of course, Bambi may be wrong in her analysis above, but this is her own reading of what is described below. She will end now and simply share a quick translation of a thoughtful article by Dr. Joseph Facal entitled “It is a stupid decision on behalf of the CH” [“C’est une décision idiote de la part du CH“] (https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2021/10/19/cest-une-decision-idiote-de-la-part-du-ch):

“At first I thought it was a joke, but no.

The Montreal Canadiens will have the house announcer say before each home game that the game will take place on the “traditional and unceded” territory of the Mohawk Nation.

Yep, even the CH is crawling in the face of wokeism and the deceptive rewriting of history.

False

Three words come to mind: hypocrite, dishonest, and silly.

This is hypocritical, because the CH has never cared for natives, as it has not cared about francophones for a long time.

Ah, but natives, this is the hot new cause in the society of spectacle and the staging of good feelings.

Because make no mistake, the HC places the Aboriginal cause very, very, very low in its scale of priorities.

However, it sees the direction of the wind and therefore does, as we say in the world of figure skating, the “compulsory figures”.

It’s also dishonest, because it’s historically false.

Apart from activists or historians who have become activists – and who betray their profession – there is not a serious researcher who believes in this thesis of a sustained Mohawk presence in Montreal when the city was founded.

When Maisonneuve founded Montreal in 1642, no Aboriginal nation was permanently established there.

Some come there occasionally to hunt, but not the Mohawks.

Native people had already lived on the island of Montreal, since Jacques Cartier had spoken of it a hundred years before, but they were Iroquoians.

The Mohawks were then at home in the north that would become New York State.

These Iroquoians, some Mohawks say today, were our ancestors. Small problem: they did not speak the same language.

While they were waging war against the Mohicans, Algonquins, Attikameks, Innu, the Mohawks certainly made a few forays here, but they returned home afterwards.

Joseph Goebbels, from sad memory, is credited with the following words:

“With repetition and a good understanding of the psyche of the people involved, it should be quite possible to prove that a square is in fact a circle. After all, what are “circle” and “square”? Simple words. And words can be shaped to make the ideas they convey unrecognizable. “

Wokeism has understood this perfectly: by imposing words like “unceded” or “systemic”, we want you to buy the vision of things contained in the expression.

Exasperation

Finally, it is a stupid decision on the part of the CH, which is likely to backfire.

Between us, the basic hockey fan seems to give a damn about all this.

I suspect, however, that this is the kind of jeering that could quickly turn into annoyance, if not exasperation.

Who will be the first victim? The Aboriginal cause itself [indeed and sadly, Bambi agrees!!!].

This organization is run by fools of the worst kind: fools who think they are shrewd.

Sackville, NB, will not be the same without you, Pat Belliveau!

With a VERY heavy heart, Bambi is dedicating this post to honour you Pat (Belliveau).

First and foremost, Bambi would like to extend her heartfelt condolences to your loved ones: family (daughter and son, along wit their families, including your beloved grand-children as well as all your relatives), good friends (Bambi is thinking of all of them, one by one, including… and especially you Stephen), neighbours, former colleagues, Rotary club folks, friends across Canada and even in the world (including Africa). We are all in disbelief today. We are all one heart, one thought (prayer), one tear with your family.

Pat, it is hard for Bambi to write about you in the past tense because you will always be present with us. Yes, you will even when a new chapter of life in Sackville is starting without you physically among us.

What usually makes a place what it is is its people… and God knows how much you contributed to make Sackville, and the world, a better place Pat.

Indeed, Bambi does not know from where to start to pay tribute to your heart, shining smile, authentically generous and giving self, along with your contagious joie de vivre. You were simply like a happy sunshine during the day and a moonlight of sweetness in the eves.

Talking about evenings, Bambi is thinking of our get-together at Ducky’s pub in town, both for real in this lovely place and in our own pandemic’s “Virtual Ducky’s” :). We will miss your pizzas, literally baked in front of our eyes and your dog Sadie (who surely misses you dearly!). Most importantly, we will ALL miss you… ouf :(, including “Oscar“, the plush toy (hope you are smiling from heaven now :).

Pat and Sadie!

Pat, for some reason, you were notoriously known as “Patty Kakes” (count on Bambi to investigate why again :)) You were full of life… and you lived your life SO fully!

You also devoted your energy to support those in need of dignity and love. For instance, in addition to your work within your local Rotary Club, you volunteered your time, over many months, at an orphanage in South Africa in 2018. Bambi was honoured to be added by you on your mailing list for updates from your enriching journey abroad. You have inspired her, and many of your friends, with your enthusiasm and compassion as well as your social entrepreneurship (i.e. successfully fundraising your trip). Thank you!

Before you left and upon your return to “your favourite country in the world“, you enriched Bambi’s Mount A Breakfast Chat‘s with your regular annual presence and participation. Thank you!

A couple of years earlier, Bambi and her spouse where honoured to have you over once to say good-bye to a beloved common younger friend. Thank you/Dank u well!

A few years earlier, our whole town (including Bambi and her spouse) benefited from your smile and amazing service at Canada’s local post office. Thank you!

Recently, Bambi saw you at the Elections Canada where you devoted LONG hours (along with your/our good friend Gayle) and peers. You were the first staff who greeted Bambi and her spouse at the door. Bami had the chance to thank you by email at the end of the elections. She will say thanks/merci again!

Bambi feels sorry because she did not have the time to act on her wish of emailing you her Thanksgiving Thank you post yet :(. She hopes you read it by any chance… (shown at the end of this post).

Today, and just to illustrate to her readers, how BIG your heart was, Bambi will allow herself to share a screenshot from your Facebook that our common (virtual and real) Ducky’s friend Tammy Savoie showed her. Tears came to Bambi’s eyes, as you can imagine, when she read it for the first time (as she is not on social media). Thank you for thinking of her family in Beirut!! ❤️ You may perhaps have read Bambi’s latest posts then or perhaps heard the news from the media. It is Bambi’s hope that you saw her own post of Thanksgiving… Perhaps you did in the end? If not, Bambi will say thanks once again for your humanity and care!

To conclude this post, it is hard to say good-bye when we did not have the chance to do so in life. However, one gesture of love from you to Bambi will forever remain in her mind. The incident happened in front of the Painted Pony, precisely in the parking lot. Bambi and her spouse were heading to Ducky’s. Same for you. It was our real get-together after a long lockdown and after months of public health messages about social distancing. Patty asked Bambi if she can give her a hug and Bambi replied: Of course and we did it. This may have been your own way of showing kindness and solidarity with Bambi. This hug is a comforting memory today… You have been a smile, a hug, an extended hand and just a good friend to so many of us Pat. For that, another word comes to Bambi’s mind like a mantra: Thank you for being who you have been. Rest and fly in peace Dearest Pat. May your memory be eternal!!

Why does the CBC seem to amalgamate the shocking Islamist attack to a UK politician with the opposition to our government’s questionable policies?

May British lawmaker David Amess rest in peace and may his memory be eternal…

Bambi has never heard of this politician before, but she is reading now about his devotion to his country and to public service. Thanks to him and to all the politicians of all the countries of the world, regardless of their party or their ideas. It is called democracy, Dear CBC.

Indeed, if you read the following article, you see the inaccurate and unprofessional amalgamation between a DANGEROUS ideology/movement, called Islamism (that is harmful to Islam itself and to the entire world) and internal politics in Canada (just scoring points to elevate Mr. Trudeau’s legitimately questionable policies, like in any democracy):

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/david-amess-canadian-reaction-1.6213606?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar

Journalists have a responsibility of impartiality, even when their organization is public and seems to be a governmental distorted communication tool than a publicly-funded journalistic platform (yes, funded with Canadians’ tax money).

Whether innocently or not, this sort of journalism is disrespectful to this deceased politician and to all the victims of all the trends of Islamism in Europe and in the world (including Lebanon). Just think of the tragedy of Mr. Samuel Paty or Norway recently.

Bambi is also shocked yet not surprised by the mediocre levels of journalism in Canada. For instance, in reporting the tragic clashes in Beirut two days ago.

Concerning the above, as a first example, the CBC titled an article/video “Snipers in Beirut kill six Shia protesters amid port probe tensions“. Why is the CBC calling these men by their sect (sub-religion) and NOT just simply Lebanese? Why does it seem to be more divisive than the Lebanese media? Does that make any sense from a human perspective? If our Canadian media titles and articles wanted to be accurate, they could have called the name of the political affiliation of those who absurdly lost their lives (just like they did in the article above on the UK)? Plus, what about the innocent citizens (including a young mother) who died because of stray bullets in their own apartments?

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1961827395751

As a second example, the National Post‘s title was not better: “Six Shi’ites killed in Beirut as tensions deepen over blast inquiry”. Again, isn’t this insulting to these men to call them by their sect? Why Bambi wonders?

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/israel-middle-east/deadly-shooting-rocks-beirut-as-tensions-over-blast-probe-erupt-4

To conclude this post, contrary to what seems to be implied int the Canadian media, if you are against the policies of our government, this does not make you a terrorist.

Orient Today: “Families of the port blast victims affirm their support to Bitar’s investigation into the explosion”

Today, the families of the 215 victims, in their own names and in the name of those of the 6000+ injured, expressed their support to Judge Bitar’s investigation into the surrealistic Beirut port explosion of August 4, 2020:

The above article is available at this link. Thank you L’Orient Today (English edition of L’Orient Le Jour):

https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1278262/families-of-the-port-blast-victims-affirm-their-support-for-bitars-investigation-into-the-explosion.html

Of note, and according to L’Orient Le Jour, “most likely under threat, the spokesperson of the victims earlier demanded Judge Bitar to recuse himself“:

In French:

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1278244/vraisemblablement-sous-la-menace-le-porte-parole-des-proches-des-victimes-demande-au-juge-bitar-de-se-

In English:

https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1278273/beirut-port-blast-activist-resigns-many-fear-intimidation.html

How sad, especially that in the articles above, many families reported that this spokesperson’s way of speaking did not resemble him at all. His voice, his facial expressions, and the text that he read in the video. Plus, he did not consult with them earlier, which is contrary to his habits.

Anyhow, whether this poor man was truly under threat or not, Bambi is fascinated to see the extent to which the militia-mafia duo of Lebanon appears to be afraid of the truth that the investigation might perhaps uncover. Nevertheless, it is reassuring to hear the united voice of the families of the victims. Best wishes!

To conclude this post on a musical note, and if she may, Bambi would like to offer Mr. Ghassan Saliba’s moving song to all the families of the victims of the Beirut blast. The song is in Arabic, but if you are interested, an English translation appears in an earlier post (shared at the end of this one).

Honouring Samuel Paty’s memory with an eternal song

A year has passed since the most horrible killing of Mr. Samuel Paty on an unforgettable October16 (a day meant to celebrate life/love in Bambi’s family):

https://www.euronews.com/2021/10/15/samuel-paty-murder-one-year-on-what-impact-has-the-teacher-s-killing-had-in-french-schools

Thank you, “Monsieur Paty“, for your open mindedness and love of your students. Bambi watched a documentary about your life and (sadly) death a couple of days ago. May your family (parents, sister, etc.), friends, students as well as parents (who loved you dearly), colleagues (who miss you greatly), and fellow citizens of your town, nearby capital, and entire republic find peace in their hearts with every passing year.

With France, may we always remember the precious meaning of the word “freedom“.

Freedom of thought… and academic freedom.

Freedom to teach, educate, and discuss… without fear.

Freedom of expression before AND after a lecture, a talk, a chat, or a publication.

May Mr. Paty’s memory be eternal… and may we all keep singing for “liberty” with Ms. Nana Mouskouri.

President of the Beirut Bar Association, Melhem Khalaf (French content): “Lebanon must restore the rule of law… an unpunished crime is a rewarded crime”

Bambi remains speechless by the unacceptable violence that took place in Beirut yesterday (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-58901611).

Indeed, she has wished her parents’ medications were more easily accessible than all the heavy weapons deployed on that sad day.

This being said, her heart goes to all those who lost their lives and may the injured people all heal. How sad to see the population of Lebanon being taken hostage of both the corruption and violence.

Sadly, Bambi learned from this interview that Judge Bitar (the investigator of the surrealistic Beirut port explosion) has faced many obstacles in his mission, both domestically and externally.

Of note, the message of the President of the Beirut Bar Association resonated with Bambi: Yes, may Lebanon remains a democracy, which means neither the law of the jungle nor a dictatorship.

To conclude this post, Bambi feels like adding the following: today more than ever, as a deer who strongly believes in democracy, she is Judge Tarek Bitar (along with the population of his country who is behind him).

Why does the CBC seem to be encouraging entrepreneurs to disclose private medical information of their staff?

The article is not new, but Bambi just had the time to read it. It is entitled “Some N.B. businesses using staff’s COVID-19 vaccination status as marketing tool“.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nb-staff-vaccinated-1.6207203

Did the restaurant owner in question ask his staff if he can share their medical (and thus personal) information with the general public? Did they consent to it? If so, this should be mentioned in the article.

Is it legal, ethical, and common practice in our province and country to disclose medical information of others publicly (https://ombudnb.ca/site/latest-news/privacy-and-covid-19-vaccine-passports; https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health/privacy_and_access.html)?

Bambi thought we were too much attached to our privacy in our culture. What happened to the latter?

Plus, we have lived for almost two years without vaccines. As a reminder, those of us who kept going to restaurants willingly lived with the risk of catching the coronavirus as well as other viruses (which are sometimes as or more serious). For example, think of the impact of Hepatitis A, a virus that attacks the liver, on some individuals (sometimes it can be severe, especially for the 50+). Hepatitis A is not as common in Canada as in other parts of the world although some other provinces have seen outbreaks in the past. Indeed, Bambi herself surprisingly discovered a few years ago that she has the antibodies against it (without having been sick).

Who knows? Perhaps this restaurant owner is only tailoring to clients with a visa to “high Fearland” on their double vaccine passport? What about his other clients who may not be that worried or those who may not had the vaccine because they had Covid-19 or for whatever other reason? Doesn’t he care about them too, Bambi wonders.

Bambi is asking and yet she is for education about vaccination and the value of massive vaccination (as much as realistically possible).

Beirut’s demonstration of Hezbollah-Amal against Judge Bitar: At least 6 dead and 30 wounded

Before going to sleep, Bambi read that the Hezbollah and its allied Amal militia were calling for a large demonstration in the streets against Judge Bitar (leading the investigation about the Beirut blast). She closed her eyes to sleep with a prayer in her heart for her birth country…

This morning, Bambi received a call from her parents reassuring her that they are safe and sound. They thought of calling before she reads the news about the war scenes in Beirut streets. She begged them to stay away from windows/their balcony.

There has been at least (for now) 6 dead people and 30 injured, including a 24-year-old young woman in her own apartment. What is her fault? What is the fault of the innocent population?

Look at those kids and their parents scared to death? Bambi just read in the L’Orient Le Jour about a child telling his mom that he does not want to die.

A picture taken from An Nahar.
A picture taken from l’Orient Le Jour
A picture taken from An Nahar (like the above). Thank you for protecting this scared boy…

Shame on anyone who uses his or her illegal weapon (whomever the powerful group of the era or country) to play war games in the streets, killing innocent people!

The irony is to see some of those playing war in the streets of Beirut appearing to be so health-conscience (with their medical masks). Yet they do not seem to mind the loss of lives of their fellow innocent citizens. Do you see the ironic contradiction? Or was the mask just meant to help in hiding one’s face behind? Whatever it is and whomever you are: just STOP!

A picture taken from An Anahar. This Lebanese newspaper had the following title:” A message from An Nahar: Do not shoot yourselves“. Yourselves (or us all) is the best antidote to the “us” versus “them” that extremists hide behind to justify their rigid positions. Hezbollah is a master in the latter, especially when they feel threatened (by the blast investigation or by demands to disarm, etc.).
So is and would/could be any other extremist group, make no mistake.

Although Bambi may be wrong, in her mind, the real issue behind all this comes down to the unresolved problem since the end of civil war: The weapons of the Hezbollah (and its allied other militia?). Any country should ONLY have the legal weapons of its army.

A wise answer to violence is not more or reverse violence.

Indeed, everyone loses when violence rules, especially the innocent population.

Sadly, violence is part of the past, present, but hopefully not the future of tiny, bankrupt, heavily-armed, yet hopeful Lebanon.

To conclude on a (VERY short-term) more positive note, if Bambi understood well, there has been a ceasefire agreement now… Fingers crossed!

Mr. Omar Kamal: Thank you Joumana for making your cousin Bambi discover this TALENTED singer!

Bambi would like to thank Joumana who made her day by sharing the YouTube video shown below.

In turn, Bambi could not help not to share this talent with you through this post.

Who knows? Some of you are perhaps already fans of this singer. As far as Bambi is concerned, she just discovered him (thanks to her Dear Cousin who was beginning her day when Bambi was about to go to sleep :).

This singer is called Mr. Omar Kamal and this is his official website:

https://omarkamalglobal.com/

His voice is both beautiful and moving! He is SO talented (OK handsome/cute too :)!

While googling him, Bambi learned that he was born in 1992 not too far from Beirut… in Nablus, Palestine (wow). He is internationally known as the “Frank Sinatra of Palestine“, imagine! When you will hear him singing, you will understand why.

In addition to Arabic and English, he also sings in Italian. He grew up listening to both classical and world music. In addition to his passion for singing, he plays the piano and his music has multi-cultural influences.

Mr. Kamal’s medley captured in the video below comes from Lebanon’s Famous Beiteddine Festival. His medley is “from his own repertoire combining Fayrouz, Mozart, and his own swing version of Symphony No. 40“. Bravo to him as well as to the talented musicians for the magical moments… Thank Goodness, there is music in life!

Thank you Mr. Omar Kamal. Please keep singing for us… FOREVER!