Communication Club remembers Kamal Jumblatt

MARCH 24, 2015
Vol.XLVII, No. 18
Mads Gilbert brings Bathish
audience to tears
Secular Club and
KAFA discuss
domestic violence
Dana Kambris
Staff Writer
Laudy Issa
Staff Writer
Joey Ayoub
Flooded with keffiyehs
and fervent students, Bathish Auditorium cheered
loudly when Norwegian
physician Dr. Mads Gilbert took to the stage on
March 19, and began his
lecture titled “Eyes in
Gaza: what did we see and
what can we do.”
Recounting his first visit
to Beirut since
Continued on page 3
Communication Club
remembers Kamal Jumblatt
One year after the ratification of Law 293 for the
protection against family
violence, the Secular Club
welcomed KAFA to AUB
last Monday in an effort
to put the spotlight on the
duty of the law in protecting women.
A non-governmental
organization that combats exploitation and
women, KAFA screened its
powerful short movie “Bel
Anoun” in Bathish Auditorium, followed by a discussion and Q&A. Director
David Oryan and lead actress Bernadette Hadib sat
among the crowd, though
attendance was less than
expected after such an important year for women’s
rights campaigns
Continued on page 3
Fadlo Khuri, MD, appointed
AUB’s new president
Under the heading “In
our minds, leader,” the
Club organized a panel
talk last Wednesday to
commemorate the late Kamal Jumblatt on the 38th
anniversary of his assassination.
The lecture took place
in West Hall’s Bathish
Auditorium with three
speakers who discussed
Jumblatt’s philosophy and
The panel included Dr.
Nazek Abou Alwan Abed,
a writer who was a close
acquaintance of Jumblatt
and wrote her PhD
Continued on page 5
Yara Beani
Staff Writer
Carole Hassan and
Dana Kambris
Staff Writers
After eight arduous
months of surveys, interviews, and rumors in the
media, the international
search for AUB’s next
president has finally come
to an end.
The Board of Trustees
(BoT) voted to elect Fadlo
R. Khuri, MD, as the university’s 16th president,
according to an email announcement sent by BoT
Chairman Philip Khoury
The first Lebanese presi-
dent since 1993, Dr. Khuri
will succeed Dr. Peter Dorman, who announced his
resignation in June 2014.
The newly elected president was a student at AUB
during the academic year
1981–1982, and many of
Continued on page 4
MARCH 24, 2015
‘The Rape’: Conflict is mutually destructive
Alexy Frangieh
“What depth have we descended to?” calls out Rahel
in perhaps the most dramatic moment of “The Rape.”
Written by Syrian laywright Sa’dallah Wannous, the stage
play—a co-production between the American University
of Beirut and the Lebanese American University running until March 28—focuses on the Israeli/Palestinian
conflict. Upon hearing those two words, we immediately
ask: Who is the play advocating? One of its strongest and
most surprising elements is that the play only advocates
humanity. There are no sides, but simply humans, fighting
for a common goal—peace.
The dark background superposed with the light shadows
emanating from a black baby stroller introduces the opening scene of the play. Thematically, this has very interesting implications; there is an immediate sense of conflict
with the disproportionate darkness and the weak light.
The conflict grows even further when the image of a
baby stroller, symbolizing life, is juxtaposed with the black
and colorless stroller, symbolizing death. It is an excellent
opening to such a human-centric play.
Director Sahar Assaf does a splendid job in coalescing
the different scenes of the play. This is no doubt possible
due to the help of set designer Ghida Hashisho. The set is
simple yet effective at the same time.
With the help of the lighting designer Fuad Halwani, one
of the most frightening moments in the play is brought to
life in a very interesting and almost neo-noir style—the
shadows of a rape scene are amplified on the background
screen of the theater.
It is terrifying and beautiful at the same time. The costume design, by Bashar Assaf, is also a perfect match to
Edward Ghazaley
Contributing Writer
the atmosphere of the play and the characters. The colors
are mostly dark and simple, which fits brilliantly well with
the setting. The female costumes are appropriately designed, allowing actors to make full use of their clothing
by highlighting their emotions and the emblematic interpretation thereof.
The actors are strong in their roles, notably Sany Baki who
plays Ishaq. His character develops the most throughout
the play, from someone who is confident to someone who
is lost. And this transformation plays out quite effectively
in the tête-à-tête with his wife Rahel (played by Soha Shukayr) after she is raped.
Rahel secretly knows that Ishaq is a torturer and we
know that Rahel has been raped but Ishaq doesn’t. The
dramatic irony slowly builds the suspense as each character hides the truth behind their lines. Finally, Ishaq discloses all his feelings and the overall effect is poignant. The
way the line “What depth have we descended to” repeats
itself first from Rahel then to Ishaq encapsulates the awakening of both characters and reverberates potently to the
condition of Israel. This scene is unequivocally one of the
best in the play.
The original play was written in Arabic and was translated for the purpose of adapting it to the stage. Robert
Myers and Nada Saab’s translation is generally good, but it
does often lose some of the poetic rhythm that is expected
from its Arabic counterpart. When metaphorical description is used—which happens quite often—the English
equivalent often sounds like a word-for-word translation
that lacks any connecting rhythm in the verses. This leads
to a confusing intonation and inappropriate stress points
in some moments of the play. Ultimately, the translation
could have fared better.
Even to this day, over 50 years later, we see that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hasn’t ended. After that much time
has passed, the reality of the dual-sided torture becomes
less shocking and almost forgotten; it is easier to forget.
“The Rape,” much like its title, isn’t an easy thing to forget but many people try to because of societal ignorance.
What the play does is the exact opposite, it brings back
the spotlight to a struggle that even today needs as much
attention as it can get.
MARCH 24, 2015
Mads Gilbert brings Bathish audience to tears
Continued from page 1
1981—when he assisted Lebanese doctors during the
Israeli invasion—Dr. Gilbert dedicated his lecture to the
people of Palestine and the Palestinian medical personnel,
whom he referred to as “extremely moral people, because
they never leave their calls despite all difficulties … they
have my deepest respect and admiration.”
Dr. Gilbert has been helping the Palestinian people
since 1981 as well, and he flew back to offer his services at the beginning of the ruthless July 2014 attacks on
Gaza. Thunderous applause constantly echoed throughout Dr. Gilbert’s lecture. The audience supported his entire speech, applauding both during moments in which
he defended the international right to resist oppression,
and while describing the exemplary Palestinian hospitality. The Norwegian doctor stressed on the need of international solidarity, calling for the world to “never fall asleep
in its own egoism and selfishness.”
In a speech that would put most TED talks to shame,
Dr. Gilbert shared with the entranced audience lessons he
learnt from the “Home of the Brave,” Gaza. He claimed
that everyone can learn from how Palestinians maintain
“so much dignity, so much humanity, and so much good
culture,” regardless of their oppression.
“I am struck by this combination of education, warmth,
hospitality and culture,” he said.
After describing, with distress, the overwhelming sadness in Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital on the morning of the July
20, the day in which 21 medical personnel were killed, Dr.
Gilbert insisted on not viewing Palestinians as pitiful and
helpless victims.
“Pity doesn’t [dismiss] the blame, it is a way to maintain oppression,” he said. “We buy our way out of pitifulness by giving some money or sending humanitarian aid.”
Palestinians, he argues, are far from helpless; giving the
example of a young boy he met in the Sabra camp in 1982.
Khalil “The Brave” had just lost his mother, and his arm
was amputated when Dr. Gilbert met him. Khalil changed
the then young doctor’s perception of life.
Just a week after procuring the injury that had left him
stunned, Khalil regained control of his life, asking the
doctors to teach him how to change his bandages himself. Khalil also used to run around the hospital cheering
on the other patients with patriotic songs, and tending to
their wounds.
“Khalil has taught me not to look only for failure and
weakness, but to look for the energy to survive, the resilience, the strength, and to ask myself how I can help
people like Khalil.
It is solidarity, not pity, that makes the oppressed strong. ”
Dr. Gilbert joked about how Fox News had referred to
him as the “Hamas propaganda doctor,” and proceeded to
then play a video showing an Israeli bomb reduce an entire neighborhood in Shujai’yah to the ground within the
span of an hour.
“Do you hear that sound?” he asked in reference to the
background noise of cameras clicking.
“That’s the world press watching,” he said as the audience
shivered. Dr. Gilbert then played an audio clip of a typical attack—drones, F-16s and rockets—with the purpose
of giving the crowd a sense of the traumatic experience
that the children face by hearing the brutal sounds of the
Israeli war machines. Dr. Gilbert was visibly distraught by
the end of clip, much like the entire Bathish audience.
“I don’t have problems giving lectures in the US or
Norway, but forgive me, it is very special and very painful to talk to you, my brothers and sisters, because I know
how painful this is to you,” he said with his voice breaking.
Dr. Gilbert is now banned from entering Israel, and since
it is the only current entryway into Gaza, he is also unable
to return to Gaza. The heroic doctor claimed that Palestinian medical personnel are perfectly capable of managing
without him or other foreign doctors, and they are well
aware of this fact. He was told however, that whenever he
joins them, they feel stronger.
This is because the Palestinians believe that the world is
forgetting Gaza, and whenever foreign doctors join they
do not lose hope. “And that is at the heart of solidarity, not
to be left alone” he said. Even Al Shifa’s emergency room
may seem too crowded and chaotic, the doctor highlighted
how in control the doctors and nurses are, and how much
they try to include the family members in what is happening. “If we had one day like this in my [better equipped]
hospital, we’d collapse. These people stood their test for 51
days and nights,” he pointed out.
Of the many gruesome pictures and videos of wounded
civilians Dr. Gilbert showed, one in particular hit home.
It was a video of a screaming toddler suffering severe
burns. However it was not his greyed petrified face, nor
his shrieking cries that had all of Bathish sobbing, rather
it was the look of sheer terror in his eyes, a haunting look
that portrayed his thoughts more than his facial expression ever could.
Dr. Gilbert justified showing these scenes by saying: “I
want the world to know about what lingers in the Palestinians’ ears when they talk about 2014, what is their collective memory. Because I’m sure if the good people of the
US and Europe see this and hear their cries, they won’t
accept this anymore.”
When asked if he had the opportunity to defend the
Palestinian cause on mainstream US media, Dr. Gilbert
said that with the exception of a phone interview with Fox
News whereby he was accused of terrorist collaboration,
he did not. He did however herald the advent of giving
lectures to a young audience, since the desire for change
is increasing in the youth: “I think we can all do something, theater plays, songs, videos, writings, do what you
feel right, and it will make a difference, for sure. It’s the
drip that hollows the stone, and each one of you can be a
drip, and together we can hollow the stone, inshallah, I’m
sure we will.”
Another attendee asked about the best way students can
help the Palestinians, to which the doctor answered by explaining that there is no one, clear set way to help. The
best students can do is to get in contact with some young
people in Gaza and ask them how they can be helped. He
felt that the Palestinians should decide on their own fate,
just like Khalil did.
“The tides are turning my friends,” he said. “People all
over the world are sick and tired of the Israeli lies.” He further proved this point by giving the example of “Justice for
Palestine,” the now largest student organization in the US,
of which half of its new members are Jewish students who
do not wish to be aligned with the Zionist state.
The last question addressed the coping mechanism Dr.
Gilbert adopts to avoid falling into depression. “I am in
good contact with my feelings, I cry when I have to, and I
have great social support from my friends and family, but
the most important thing is what I get from the Palestinian people. It is how they greet me when I come to Gaza, it
is how they include me, it is how they respect me, and it is
to have this very strong feeling to be part of the Palestinian
family, and that is a great privilege.”
Secular Club and KAFA discuss domestic violence
Continued from page 1
and the notable increase in activism.
“Bel Anoun” is based on the true stories of abused women who have kept their suffering hidden, and follows the
difficult life of Layal Rahal, who had finally built up the
courage to speak out after the introduction of the new
protection law.
Filled with painful flashbacks, hidden bruises, and
a shocking scene of a beaten woman, the movie helps
spread awareness about a social issue that was once considered taboo. It gives hope to Lebanese women to trust in
Law 293 and the judicial system.
KAFA representative and lawyer Amen Bader Dine
mentioned after the screening that the movie portrays
the ideal implementation of the law, which the NGO is
aspiring to reach. Though much more time is needed to
even attain that level, 2014 was still a year of significant
progress. KAFA has been training internal security forces
to deal with abuse victims and has found a significant
change regarding the mentality that domestic abuse is not
a crime.
Perhaps what shocked the audience the most was the
fact that marital rape is still not considered a crime. The
proposal was scratched off from the original draft of the
law because it stirred disagreement among religious and
political parties.
The definition of domestic violence seems to be narrowed down to physical violence and life threats according to Law 293.
During the past year, 14 women and their families have
been placed under protection by the law. This has included restraining orders, forcing abusers to provide alimony,
and in the common situations whereby the victim hopes
to return to her husband, psychological treatment.
While the law itself cannot force a divorce or even put
the abuser in prison, abusers often file for divorce to avoid
the legal troubles. Moreover, any violation of the condi-
tions placed by the victim would lead to the abuser’s imprisonment.
The law seems to have several loopholes, many of which
judges are choosing to exert their jurisdictions to counter.
As mentioned at the screening, the law is meant to protect
all family members who are at risk of domestic violence,
yet the issue of child custody arises. In this case, judges
consider children in direct threat of the violence and give
custody to the mother when deemed fit.
Even though the protection law was passed a year ago,
many of its important articles were butchered, as brought
to light by the discussion, and it seems that Law 293 falls
short in providing adequate protection for women and
their children.
KAFA has helped the women’s rights campaign arrive
at an important landmark with the passing of Law 293 a
year ago, certainly leaping across a great distance from the
previous years. Yet there is still much more that needs to
be done.
MARCH 24, 2015
Fadlo Khuri, MD, appointed AUB’s new president
his relatives graduated from the university as well. He
moved to the US in 1982 to earn his bachelor’s degree
from Yale University and his Doctor of Medicine (MD)
from Columbia University.
Khuri is an accomplished scholar, having published over
300 articles and papers in a number of renowned journals,
in addition to earning major awards in recognition of his
work, including the 2006 Nagi Sahyoun Award of the
Middle East Medical Assembly for his cancer research.
Over the course of his vibrant career, the president-elect
occupied many high-ranking academic positions. Today
and until he is officially instated as president—most likely
at the beginning of the next academic year—Khuri chairs
and teaches at the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Emory University School of Medicine, and holds the Roberto C. Goizueta Distinguished
Chair for Cancer Research.
The presidential chair will not be Khuri’s first position at
AUB. While he has only been an AUB trustee since 2014,
Dr. Khuri has chaired the AUB Medical School International Advisory Committee since 2010, and has also been
a trustee at the Naef K. Basile Foundation since 2005.
“These are challenging times, but even more so, these
are exciting and transformative times for academic institutions everywhere,” Dr. Khuri said in a press release. “I
am confident that working together, we in the AUB community are uniquely capable of serving our students, our
alumni, our patients and our global community with great
distinction, always mindful of our mission that ensures
that as many as possible ‘may have life and have it more
The student body garnered mixed feelings about the
announcement. “I’m really happy they chose someone
who is Lebanese and also familiar with AUB,” said Jason
Lemon, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Media Studies and Communication. “I think that these qualities will
make him a strong leader connected with the culture and
the region and the AUB community.”
One student posted a picture of the president-elect on
the popular “AUB Guru” Facebook group, labeling him
“our next enemy.”
Students who commented on the post, however, asked
others to “give [Dr. Khuri] a chance.”
When asked what she thinks of the new president being
a medical doctor, pre-med student Hala Osta told Outlook that “it doesn’t really make a difference, [since] nothing is going to change about the medical program or its
expensive fees.”
Continued from page 1
IFI examines Syria and the responsibility to protect refugees
Farah Taha
Staff Writer
The Issam Fares Institute at the American University
of Beirut hosted a talk Thursday titled “Syria and the Responsibility to Protect Refugees,” given by Dr. Tendayi
Achiume, an assistant professor at UCLA Law School.
Dr. Achiume sketched out an overview of the refugee
crisis in the world. She introduced her working project on
the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), an act that tackles the
international community’s responsibility toward refugees,
and more specifically the Syrian population.
Her project, which examines the R2P act initiated by the
United Nations with the collaboration of more wealthy
countries, took off from her “interest in the protection of
individuals and a focus on state cooperation.”
A modest number of students and professors attended
the lecture. Dr. Achiume was particularly glad that, save
for one doctoral student, no one in the room had any prior experience or background in law, as that would make
for a better conversation on the topic.
Dr. Achiume defined a refugee as “a person unable or
unwilling to return to his or her country of origin due to
fear of persecution.” That being said, the guest speaker
noted that “developing countries host 86 percent of the
world’s refugees, according to a UNHCR report in 2013,
with 63 percent of all refugees constituted in the global
Concerning the Syrian crisis, it is estimated that there
are “3.9 million Syrian refugees relocated across Turkey,
Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, while Europe (the whole continent) hosts only 217,000 Syrian asylum-seekers.”
Clearly, she said, there is a “complete disproportionate
skew of where these refugees are located, and this maldistribution is detrimental to hosting regions that don’t have
enough resources to carry the burden of the crisis alone”.
This leads to all sorts of “human rights violations, such
as child labor and sexual violence, as well as continuous
socioeconomic problems, including, for example, in-
creased rental prices and condensed wages in the hosting
Hence, in Dr. Achiume’s words, “there is a need to improve international action to share the cost of Syrian refugees around the world.”
Apparently, money is not an issue, and the underfunding that host communities have witnessed has not been
caused by a lack of financial resources. Dr. Achiume
pointed to the UNHCR 2013 report, which stated that
“funding for the protection of Syrian refugees represents
what Americans spend on ice cream in 32 days, what Australians spend on overseas travel in 32 weeks, and what
German drivers spend on petrol in six weeks.”
Evidently, then, there is an unwillingness to give aid
even when members of the international community have
the capabilities for doing so. In trying to find a workable
solution, Dr. Achiume emphasized the need to find “an
international framework for influencing the attitudes and
behaviours of states, and facilitating their interactions.”
The Responsibility to Protect Doctrine, which in a sense
represents an attempt at forming a framework for international cooperation, is based on three pillars:
“Firstly, that states have a responsibility to protect their
territorial populations (including everyone residing inside
the borders, regardless of legal status) from war crimes,
crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.
“Secondly, that the international community has a complementary responsibility to aid the host states. Finally,
that [it must also] take timely and decisive collective action in case states fail to protect their territorial populations.”
The R2P is viewed by some as a polarized doctrine, especially when it comes to its third pillar, which focuses on
measures of force. Similarly, Dr. Achiume clearly voiced
her “skepticism at the use or role of military intervention in the protection of states and populations from war
crimes,” and found “no basis or justification for any kind of
humanitarian protection or refugee intervention through
coercive measures in the host communities of refugees.”
The R2P also holds a Comprehensive Plan of Action
(CPA) component to it. The CPA aims at “providing a
comprehensive response to a refugee crisis.” It targets three
areas of focus, the first of which involved giving “protection assistance in legal status and resettling of refugees,
humanitarian assistance in funding for the distribution of
food, shelter, …, and development assistance for the host
states to maintain and expand their infrastructure and capacities in supporting the influx of refugees.”
Although “critical skeptics believe that the R2P is another dangerous ideological vehicle that will cause more
damage than give help,” Dr. Achiume said she remains
convinced that, in all of its flaws and challenges, “it might
be beneficial in its potential for protecting vulnerable
populations, and this potential has yet to be seen throughout the coming years.”
MARCH 24, 2015
Chemistry department celebrates the legacy of Professor Haddadin
Ali Nasrallah
Staff Writer
Professor Makhlouf Haddadin turned 80 years old last
Saturday after 50 years of service at AUB, which accounts
to over a third of AUB’s lifetime. Countless generations
have been able to gain from Haddadin’s knowledge; eight
out of the other 13 faculty members in the chemistry department are former students of his, including the whole
organic chemistry division.
To celebrate this milestone in AUB’s history, the Chemistry department, headed by Dr. Bilal Kaafarani and his Organic Chemistry Club team, organized the first Makhlouf
Haddadin Lectureship, as well as a gala dinner to commemorate this event; both of which took place Wednesday, in the Samir Zaabri Science Lecture Hall and Le Mallion Restaurant respectively.
The first of many seminars to come under the Makhlouf
Haddadin Lectureship was given by Dr. Joseph W Perry, a
highly renowned chemist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Perry is a fellow of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Optical Society of America. He has received
numerous awards including a NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement.
Perry’s seminar, titled “Organic and Hybrid Materials
for Photonics and Electronics,” highlighted his research
group’s advancements in the development of higherperformance dielectric materials from organic-inorganic
hybrid materials. They have made developments in this
field through utilizing nano-scale blocking layers which
significantly improve the energy density and extraction efficiency of dielectric film.
In the presence of highly recognized AUB officials, the
president of Balamand University, and the Jordanian
Ambassador, in addition to AUB faculty, alumni, and
students, Dr. Haddadin was awarded a trophy during
the gala, as a token of gratitude on behalf of his past and
current students for his 50 excellent years of service. Two
short movies were made in his honor as well, one of which
was a special tribute from his family, showing some of his
life’s most memorable moments.
Haddadin’s contributions to the chemistry department,
AUB, and Lebanon as a whole are immense. “Dr. Haddadin is Jordanian, but he has been Lebanese in heart and in
all his contributions,” said his former student and current
colleague, professor Kaafarani.
Kaafarani even contacted former President Michel Suleiman two years ago in an attempt to grant Haddadin Lebanese citizenship as a token of appreciation from Lebanon,
but this attempt was unsuccessful.
Haddadin’s work and expertise also extended to Lebanon and foreign countries with his co-discoveries of the
“Beirut Reaction” and the “Davis-Beirut Reaction,” two
innovations which have great potential in cancer and inflammatory diseases treatments. This is not to mention his
90 international publications, 42 patents in 25 countries,
and time spent abroad at various top universities, including the University of Colorado, University of North Texas
and University of California at Davis.
Highly praised and appreciated by both his students and
the AUB administration, Haddadin made tremendous
contributions to the AUB environment that did not go unnoticed. From associate professor to professor to holding
several administrative positions, including Acting President, it is safe to say that Dr. Haddadin is truly an asset
to the university. In addition, he was given the “AUB Life
Achievement Award” by former president Peter Dorman,
in the very first ceremony held in his honor.
Kaafarani initiated the Makhlouf Haddadin Endowment, with which he managed to raise $20,000 in a matter of weeks with the help of AUB faculty and Haddadin’s
family, to fund the annual Makhlouf Haddadin Award for
outstanding chemistry undergraduate and graduate students.
In October 2016, AUB will hold the first Makhlouf
Haddadin Symposium to celebrate the 150th Anniversary
of AUB, in which numerous distinguished speakers will be
presenting their remarkable advancements and contributions to the world of science.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Haddadin’s life is
his love for Arabic poetry, and this passion has made an
impact on his students. Hadi Mourad, a current Med II
student at LAU and an AUB alumnus, wrote a book dedicated to the professor.
The book consists of three pieces of Arabic poetry, and
was distributed at the Gala dinner, during which Mourad
took to the podium to recite one of them.
President of the Organic Chemistry Club Divina Hasbani expressed what many of Haddadin’s current and past
students felt.
“It feels like he witnessed organic chemistry in the making, and that’s the beauty of his teaching. We not only get
to learn about the science of reactions, but also the history
behind them! And in that way, each class becomes a delightful mystery.”
The admiration all these people have towards Professor
Haddadin is without a doubt remarkable. He has raised
generations, witnessed the development of AUB, and the
evolution of Organic Chemistry, having also made his fair
share of contributions to it.
Haddadin manages to turn the science of chemistry
into art by always surprising his students and colleagues
with the emotions shown in his work and style of teaching. According to those who know him well, he has always
expressed to them that he loves what he does and when
that passion is found, there is beauty in every field of an
individual’s interest.
Communication Club commemorates Kamal Jumblatt
Continued from page 1
thesis about him; PSPA professor Dr. Khalil Gebara; and
Mr. Douraid Yaghi, VP of the Progressive Social Party and
a close friend of the Jumblatt family.
Students also took the opportunity to express their loyalty to Kamal Jumblatt, founder of the Progressive Socialist Party and one of the most prominent political figures
of Lebanon.
Reina Abou Dargham, president of the Communication
Club assured that, as students, “[they] are and will stay on
the path that [he has] drawn for [them].”
Omar Halabi, representative of the event’s organizers, set
the tone with his opening speech.
He spoke of Kamal Jumblatt as an “inspiration with his
philanthropic message, a man of knowledge, civic culture,
and civilization.”
As one of the invited speakers, Abed spoke about the
martyr’s views on education in general, as well as Jumblatt’s perspective on knowledge, saying he believed that
“strength is in wisdom and perfect truth is the most precious thing in one’s life.” When it comes to religion, Abed
mentioned that “control of the soul over a person’s activities is a freedom that surpasses time and space.”
With respect to students, she wished “graduates lead
their life working hard and seriously, trying to reach truth
in everything they do.” Abed concluded her speech by revealing her “pain for his absence.”
Gebara, in turn, talked about Kamal Jumblatt as an enlightened political thinker, discussing how he had initiated public institutions that serve people, and called for
many issues that the Lebanese are still demanding today.
“Before the 1970’s, public goods were [solely] concentrated in the Beirut area,” Gebara said.
“Kamal Jumblatt played a major role in the decentralization of these goods and the creation of public institutions
like municipalities and the Lebanese University.”
The late Jumblatt issued other important laws during
his tenure as a minister, including “traffic laws and laws
allowing for the creation of political parties,” Gebara said,
adding that his main contributions were in fighting fraud,
corruption and bribery.
The lecture came to an end with a speech by Yaghi who
had lived with Kamal Jumblatt and considers himself as
his “mentee.” Yaghi shared a glimpse of his experience
with Jumblatt, saying, “He taught us in our weekly meetings to be free and truthful.”
Freedom meant a lot to Jumblatt, according to Yaghi, as
he used to warn people from becoming “slaves of [their]
own creations; as is happening now,”
“He was also a strong supporter of secularism and the
banishment of sectarianism in the state.” Yaghi continued.
“It was such an honor to have accompanied leader Kamal
Jumblatt in his liberal and national journey. We will remember you with every cry of freedom.”
The three speakers along with the students sought to
portray the image of Kamal Jumblatt as the inspiration,
the leader, the pioneering politician and humanitarian.
In Yaghi’s words, the event symbolized that “[Kamal Jumblatt] will always remain the beautiful dream.”
MARCH 24, 2015
Staff List
Talia Abbas
Following the vote by The
Board of Trustees to elect
the AUB’s new president, the
AUB community welcomes
Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, as
the 16th president of the
university. A former AUB
student himself, and an
AUB trustee since 2014, Dr.
Khuri is the only Lebanese
to own the title—an
interesting break from our
university’s tradition. Yet
with an impressive resume,
Dr. Khuri seems to be an
apt successor to our former
president Peter Dorman,
and we are keen to see what
Dr. Khuri has in store for us.
Keeping a look out for
all new things happening
at AUB, one of the most
acclaimed Middle East
correspondents of our time,
Robert Fisk, will be holding
a lecture this week. Prior
to Fisk, The Palestinian
Culture Club welcomed Dr.
Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian
physician and humanitarian,
to the stage of Bathish in
West Hall. He shared with us
his moving experiences as a
medical doctor in the heart
of Gaza, in line with his
book «Eyes on Gaza.» His
lecture was both engaging as
it was moving, and for those
who were not able to attend
last Thursday, we made sure
to cover it for you in this
week’s issue.
On a final note, we extend
many thanks to our many
sponsors in our Mother’s
Day raffle, and for those of
who you who bought tickets,
the results are officially
out on our social media
platforms, so double check
to see if you own the golden
ticket to Greece.
Outlook is a weekly publication of the American University of Beirut (AUB) and represents the
voice of the student body. It is an independent, non-affiliated publication that favors no ethnic,
religious or political group. All columns, articles and reports are the property of Outlook and do
not necessarily represent the views of Outlook or the AUB community. No part of this publication
may be reproduced in any way, shape or form without the written consent of Outlook and/or
higher authorities. Outlook reserves the right to edit all material.
Contact us:
[email protected]
@Outlook AUB
01 350 000 (Ext: 3193)
A. U. SHI Comics
This comics section is the result of a workshop
offered by comics artist Barrack Rima at the
department of Architecture and Design, with
the support of the Mu’taz and Rada Sawwaf
Arabic Comics initiative.
© Participants:
Sara Kishly
Diana Itawi
Karol El Masri
Aya Krisht
Elia Tawil
Riham El Ghoseini
Staff Writers
Talal Nizameddin
Ali Kobeissi
Ali Nasrallah
Talia Abbas
Camille Mroue
Managing Editor
Carole Hassan
Ellen Francis
Chermine Sleiman Haidar
Arabic Editor
Christy Choueiri
Nizar Aouad
Cynthia Saghir
Dana Kambris
Sarah Khalil
Fatima Kazma
News Editor
Farah Taha
Shereen El Ladki
Firas Haidar
Business Editor
Imad El Hassan
Mohamad Saleh
Jane Nasr
Opinions Editor
Jason Lemon
Azza El Masri
Karmah Chehaitly
Arts and Culture Editor
Khaled Al Kurdi
Vicken Margossian
Lama Miri
Community Editor
Lara Mekkawi
Linda Bou Ali
Laura Al Bast
Lifestyle Editor
Laudy Issa
Dana Abed
Leen Bou Nasser Eddine
Layout Editor
Meer Rashid
Maha Haider
Malak El Sabeh
Copy Editor
Mohamad Al Chamaa
Loulwa Sweid
Nerses Arslanian
Web Editor
Noor Barrage
Joy Waked
Rayan Al Arab
Social Media Manager
Razan Mneimneh
Hania Osta
Rifaat Fakih
Business Manager
Roni Rafeh
Bassel Abdallah
Serine Haidar Ahmad
Photography Editor
Tala Ladki
Philippa Dahrouj
Tamara Jurdi
Business Team:
Yara Beaini
Tala Kassassir
Yusra Bitar
Alik Jebejian
Ziad Lawen
Fatimah Hoballah
Social Media Team:
Patrick Tchiloian
Saly El Wazze
Joud Hudhud
Tania Chiha
Myriam Claire Baker
Ghinwa Moujaes
MARCH 24, 2015
The dilemma: easy grades
or interesting material?
Noor Barrage
Staff Writer
When it comes to choosing courses for the upcoming semester, many students
go through a major panic.
“What’s an easy humanity
with minimal work and high
grades?!” is a question always
plastered all over AUB Guru,
the Facebook group that carries over 9,000 students.
Students are conflicted because they want to learn interesting material, yet they also
want to achieve good grades.
At the end of the day though,
you should always opt for taking an interesting class versus
one that does not appeal to
you but seems easy.
Choosing one that appeals to
you is vital as it can determine
your success in the course.
Instead of dreading homework and going into stress
mode around exam time, if
you are learning things that
you find interesting, studying
actually becomes enjoyable.
On the other hand, if you
choose courses that do not
interest you at all but are relatively easy, you will have a
hard time getting yourself to
work to the best of your ability. When taking an uninteresting class, I have to force
myself to do the readings and
homework, and I often leave
everything to the last minute,
simply because I am not interested whatsoever.
This (regardless of what you
tell yourself) will affect your
Not only is it difficult to do
the work required for such a
course, it is also quite difficult
to attend classes.
When I was enrolled in a
course that was very boring,
I had to force myself to go to
When I did go, it was as
struggle just to keep my eyes
open, and I often found myself texting and doodling on
the side of my notebook, completely oblivious to what the
professor was talking about.
In contrast, last semester I
took classes that I was thoroughly interested in; I was always wide-awake in class and
eagerly taking notes.
All of this was reflected in
my grade, as well as in the
knowledge that I retained.
It is easy to get caught up in
the obsession of getting good
grades, but it is important
not to forget why we are here:
to learn, and to take away as
much as we possibly can from
this institution.
I guarantee you if you take a
class you are interested in, you
will learn a lot more and be
more successful grades-wise.
Physical discipline is no laughing matter
Dana Abed
Lifestyle Editor
If acceptance is considered a
form of surrender, then what
about not only accepting, but
finding ways to joke about it as
well? Sounds crazy, right? To a
Lebanese audience this is not a
far-off concept; we do not miss
the chance, especially on Mothers’ Day, to remember what
made us once cry as babies.
Famous blog NoGarlicNoOnions (NGNO), in an attempt to
bring humor to the table, published a greeting for Mothers’
Day, saying, “Cooking or Hitting, it is all good from your
momma’s hands.” As hundreds
of digital impressions shortly
fell after, the shocking part was
that actually most of those were
cheering the blogger on.
It is not unusual to encounter
a Lebanese adult who was once
a battered child. In fact, most of
them were, since hitting children was considered an effective
way to discipline your offspring
in the past. Whether with the
palm of their hands, or with a
belt, passing by wooden sticks
and other random objects, traditional parents always found
ways to aggressively pinpoint
their children’s mistakes.
Most new parents, or to-be
parents, address this issue as a
no-no in their parenting styles.
They brag about their advanced
opinion as they admit beating
a child is, to the last extent, an
ineffective way to deliver the
message. Nowadays, this form
of discipline is considered to be
from the past, but is it really?
Again, most adults seem to be
at peace with their past as they
laugh, and laugh, and laugh,
at any joke that addresses how
they used to be beaten up. This
however, contradicts what they
claim to be: against children
This op-ed makes no attempt
whatsoever to drive readers to
hate their mothers and fathers.
It also does not blame the older
generation. In fact, I do understand that parents did it out of
love, yet precisely for that matter, it doesn’t make it right.
When the once-battered child
finds ways not only to accept,
but also to laugh at the times s/
he was receiving physical punishment; they will find excuses
to physically punish their children as well. It is rather easy to
claim being against domestic
abuse, but once put in a frustrating situation, a person cannot afford to lose their nerves, and hit
their children.
Being against domestic abuse,
should, to all extents, be portrayed in the behavior of the
person, including when it comes
to laughing at jokes that are offensive to every child in pain.
The non-governmental organization, KAFA (Enough
Violence and Exploitation),
highlighted this in a post shared
on their Facebook page. KAFA
strongly criticized the NGNO
blog’s ad, saying that hitting is
not “good” no matter who was
behind it. Defenders of the ad
did not spare KAFA their comments, claiming that KAFA is
“dramatizing” the topic and
“should chill” about it.
In fact, what the NGO was
trying to do is what—at some
point—we should all start to
do. Like KAFA, we need to be
against normalizing such an act.
“We just can’t justify or make violence sound funny, in any way,”
replied KAFA’s Facebook admin
to a criticizing comment they
had received.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the
Child also addresses this issue.
It clearly states that the definition of violence has no prerequisites, especially not of the sort
of “wanting the best interest to
the child.”
“Definitions must in no way
erode the child’s absolute right
to human dignity and physical
and psychological integrity by
describing some forms of violence as legally and/or socially
acceptable,” quotes the General
Comment 13 on the convention
on the Rights of the Children.
Laughing at jokes that hinder this topic is similar to normalizing it. After all, if parents
agree—even lightheartedly—
with the old fashioned ways
their parents use, what else will
stop them from using it on their
Slam the breaks on the new traffic law
Tala Ladki
Staff Writer
Lebanese authorities have finally managed to draft up
a new traffic law. Everyone’s happy and safe, but let’s not
get ahead of ourselves. With the implementation of this
new law over the coming few months—perhaps years—
comes the question of whether or not it will be rightfully
While it is best to worry first about stopping illegal drivers, easily bribed officers and fixing potholes, the parliament has opted to draft a law with fines that the average
working man cannot even afford to pay in case of violation.
The new law seems great on paper; it’s very “European,”
but will officers stick to it or will it fall under the mesmerizing spell of the ‘wasta’ to which the Lebanese public
quickly resorts? And will citizens feel the need to follow
such a law knowing that there are many corrupt officers
out there who will willingly forget about your violation for
an extra LL50,000?
The traffic law covers everything from having a new
driver’s license, to new license plates and finally, to what
we all hate the most about driving in Lebanon: violators.
Violations are divided into five categories, with category
one for pedestrians being the least reprimanded. The
fifth category is for dangerous stunts in cars and motorcycles that might lead to or have led to accidents, in
which case fines reach up to $500 and cases might be
referred to the Supreme Court.
As for having tinted windows, not wearing seatbelts
and texting while driving, these fall into categories two,
three, and four respectively with fines that can reach up
to $300.
Of course, we’re all loving the law so far. That jerk
who ran the red light will finally get justice, and that
16-year-old driving daddy’s Porsche who stopped traffic
for half an hour trying to park will finally get what s/
he deserves for driving without a license. Sure, well-off
people can afford to pay such fines, but what about the
people whose paycheck is the minimum wage?
The government hasn’t thought this law through. The
average working man or woman’s minimum salary is
$500. If s/he commits a crime in the fifth category, will s/
he have to pay an entire month’s salary? Granted, it would
be for a crime s/he committed, but that is such a big price
for someone who gets paid so little for his/her labor.
The government should probably work on focusing more
on covering holes in the ground, training good traffic officers who don’t accept bribes and who don’t make exceptions for young, attractive women. More so, authorities
should worry about 15 and 16 year-olds driving, who pay
a little extra to have their licenses issued ahead of time. It
should be more concerned with the increasing death rate
from car accidents and drunk driving. The government
should tackle these important issues before finding new
ways that drain money from people’s accounts.
If the government fails to look into critical issues and reissue a reasonable law, many people will find their way out
of it, and those who don’t—and they will usually be those
who can’t afford it in the first place—well, they’re basically
the ones in trouble.
MARCH 24, 2015
AUB and Sukleen launch new
recycling initiative on campus
Seven ways to overcome the flu
in this alternating weather
Razan Mneimneh
Staff Writer
Khaled Al Kurdi
Staff Writer
Sukleen launched a free recycling
program at AUB at the end of last
February in the hopes of achieving a
greener campus by installing red and
blue garbage cans.
The concept is simple: Students, professors, and staff members make use of
the bins by dividing what they want to
throw away depending on the colors,
and then the bins get sorted out after a
couple of days.
In an interview with Outlook, Farouk
Merhebi, director of environmental
health, safety, and risk management at
AUB, explained that the reason behind
this collaboration is economical. “AUB
used to have a lot of monetary issues
before [the collaboration with] Sukleen,” he said.
Merhebi discussed the lack of sufficient storage bins and the unwillingness of students to cooperate in
the segregation of the already present
recycling bins. “All we had was [recycling bins for] papers and that is not
enough. We needed a bigger storage
The idea behind using colors, red and
blue, is to have a clear and memorable
identification system that would make
it easy for students and staff members.
Sukleen made efficient use of colors
and labeled the recycling boxes with
the main information about the material to be thrown in the bins.
Red Bins are dedicated to recycle
plastic bottles and containers, glass
bottles, and jars, as well as tins and
cans. These items include water and
beverage bottles, detergent and bleach
bottles, plastic containers, and pastry
Blue Bins are designed for papers and
cardboard wastes such as newspapers
and magazines, books and copy books,
brochures, leaflets, greeting cards and
envelops, egg boxes, and toilet roll
“The program took about eight to
nine months to sign and was launched
in 14 main buildings on campus in order to get used to the system,” Merehbi said. “Since the initiative has both
transportation and financial costs
among others, we decided to start with
these places and progress later on as
the project shows success.”
Both the environmental club at AUB
and the department of environmental
health collaborated to promote this
program by raising awareness through
distributing ambiguous teasers on
campus. One teaser, for example, read
“Separation isn’t always a bad thing.”
Their aim was to get the attention of
passers-by and make them wonder
about the possible meaning behind the
Sukleen has also informed the users
of this initiative about the aftermath of
the recycled items. Plastic bottles and
containers become bags, pipes, textile,
containers, crates, chairs, and tables.
As for tins and cans, after recycling,
they turn into cans, light poles, benches, trash cans, bicycle and car parts.
“Our goal is to achieve a recycled and
over-all greener and better looking
campus,” said Merhebi. “The success of
this proposal will depend on students.
Our staff collected twice so far and the
results are promising.”
From warm sunrays in the morning
to dripping afternoons, the weather
this year is a Six Flags roller coaster.
These sudden shifts in climate conditions make us vulnerable to catching the flu, which will probably stick
around until summer when the warm
weather settles in.
In order to avoid staying in bed surrounded by a dozen of snot-filled tissues, we are sharing with you seven
effective ways to overcome the flu this
season, split into three different stages.
1-Take the flu shot: Vaccination is
your weapon against possible contamination. Avoid catching the flu by enhancing your immune system to combat the viruses causing the sickness.
2-Start a healthy diet: Your mom’s advice is to be taken into consideration.
A diet rich in vitamins and mineral
decreases your chances of getting sick,
and if you did, it will be attenuated.
3-Stay warm: No matter how it seem
like outside at the moment of getting
out, in this changing weather you
should always get dressed properly. Although this might provoke discomfort,
it is not to be taken lightly. Any cold
breeze might enhance your chances of
catching the flu. It is worth the pay!
tion in several organs of the respiratory system.
Inflammation however requires additional time and effort to be cured,
something you can easily avoid by
consciously treating the flu. Once you
feel the kick-off of the sickness, do
not hesitate to consult your doctor for
proper advice.
5-Have a good load of fluids: It is important to consume a good amount of
fluids, especially the ones rich in Vitamin C. Drink lots of water and fresh
orange juice for instance.
6-Take the full dose of medication:
Whether your doctor prescribes coldand-flu pills only, or severe medications such as antibiotics, it is crucial
for you to keep on taking the assigned
The flu or inflammation might have
a drastic increase if your medication
dose wasn’t sufficient to completely
demolish the virus.
Post flu
7- Continue what you started: After
healing, it is also recommended by
doctors that you keep on being protective.
Do not dismiss what was mentioned in
part one, in order to construct a good
immunity against the viruses and prevent future possible sickness.
Follow these steps and you’ll be sure
to have a spring in your step.
The Flu
4-Don’t underestimate it: Having the
flu can lead to developing inflamma-
Look out for Zlatan: Football skills and sharp comebacks
Joseph Habib
Staff Writer
Egotistically arrogant, and brilliant at football as well
as humor, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has found himself at the
center of controversy time and time again, probably making him the most controversial footballer in the modern
Zlatan is a swedish player for Paris St Germain. Fresh off
Paris St Germain’s loss to Bordeaux on March 15 (3-2) on
homeland, in which Zlatan knotted both goals, Zlatan hit
out against French officials by calling France a “shit country” and saying they “don’t even deserve PSG [playing] in
this country.”
Never shy to say what’s on his mind, allow us to use
this latest antic as an excuse, or perhaps an opportunity,
to recall Zlatan’s 10 most infamous quotes (in no specific
1- When asked by a reporter about what he will get his
wife for her birthday.
Fittingly, Zlatan responds “Nothing. She already has
2- When confronted by an Italian female reporter asking
if he is gay after a picture of him hugging Barcelona defender Gerard Pique surfaced, Zlatan responded “Come
to my house and you’ll see if I’m gay.
Bring your sister.”
3- Still yet to make a superstar name for himself, Zlatan,
at Ajax at the time, was invited by Arsene Wenger to have
a trial with Arsenal. He responded in the third person,
“Zlatan doesn’t do auditions,” and accordingly did not
show up.
4- When a reporter asked why there are scratches on
Ibrahimovic’s face, his reply was: “You’ll have to ask your
wife that one.”
5- On the wisdom of Bayern Coach Pep Guardiola, Zlatan
said: “Then Guardiola started his philosopher thing. I was
barely listening. Why would I? It was advanced bullshit
about blood, sweat and tears, that kind of stuff.”
6- Why did he dislike Pep so much? On being misused at
Barcelona, Zlatan commented: “You bought a Ferrari but
you drive it like a Fiat”.
7- When asked if his ethnic roots had influenced his
footballing approach, “Swedish style? No. Yugoslavian
style? Of course not. It has to be Zlatan-style.”
8- When asked about the outcome of a few games Zlatan
responded, “Only God knows ... You’re talking to him
9- Recently after the exciting win over Chelsea where
Zlatan was sent off, he recalled: “The worst is when I get
the red card, all the Chelsea players come around. That,
for me, I don’t know, it felt like I had 11 babies around me.”
10- When explaining how he beat an opposing defender,
he said, “First I went left, he did too. Then I went right,
and he did too. Then I went left again, and he went to buy
a hot dog.”
PSG will look to channel their inner Zlatan and will try
to win again without Ibra who will serve a one-match ban
after seeing red against Chelsea.
You can be sure, before long, Zlatan will birth yet another controversial quote and you can take it again into
his account.
MARCH 24, 2015
Make your dorm room
feel more like home
Apple’s latest way to your heart: The apple
Leen Bou Nasser Eddine
Staff Writer
Tamara Saadé
Staff Writer
College years are often associated with independence,
and by that we mean it’s time
to move out. Living in dorms
is not as easy as it appears to
be, as many students tend to
feel homesick and consider
dorms to be no different than
a prison cell.
When students move into
dorms on their first day, all
they find is an empty bed, a
desk, a closet, and a chair. The
rooms are white, and the walls
all around are bare.
A few weeks later, things
begin to change. As students
settle in, they turn a lifeless,
colorless room into a vibrant
space; one that is similar to
their own room back home. It
is important to identify what
makes your home special and
bring that secret ingredient to
dorms with you.
Here’s a list of things that
could make your dorm room
feel more like home:
1- Keep in your mind the
image of your mother upset
over your messy room, and
push yourself to be tidy. With
the limited space you have, it
is important that everything is
in order and at the tip of your
2- Add pictures: It is true that
you are away from your fam-
ily and friends which might
provoke feelings of loneliness.
Make sure you find a way to
cope with the new lifestyle.
Decorate your bedside with
pictures of your loved ones.
3- Make sure the fridge is
never empty: A happy stomach makes a happy AUB student. Also, when asked why
their favorite place is their
home the majority of students
answer, “Because at home the
fridge is full.”
4- Make sure your room
smells good: Add your favorite fragrances by using air
fresheners, or scented candles.
Not to mention, of course, to
keep the furniture clean.
5- Add furniture from home:
Place a small rug on the floor,
get a lamp or a comfy chair.
Add some colors and styles to
the small space you occupy.
Feeling comfortable at your
dorm room brings positive vibes to everything that
you do. It is not easy going
through university and facing
hardships during the day, so
make sure you have a relaxing
place to come back to.
Your dorm room doesn’t
have to look the same way it
did when you first moved in.
Consider that the emptiness
you encountered at the beginning resembles a clean canvas
for you to color.
Apple revealed its long-awaited Apple Watch on March 9,
in three different models, with
prices ranging from $399 to
The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order starting April
10, and on the market beginning
April 24 in the U.S, Canada, the
U.K, France and Japan amongst
The Apple Watch was first announced on September 9, along
with the new iPhone 6 and 6
plus. After Samsung, Sony and
LG, Apple finally made its entry
in the smartwatch market.
Questions were raised about
the Apple Watch’s new features, but the main concern
was its price. The three different models, with prices starting
at US$399 for the sports model
(38 mm face) to $17000 for
the 18-carat yellow gold model
(which is higher than the tuition
for an AUB undergraduate student for a semester).
A Standard model was also
designed with a price range
from $549 to $1099, again depending on the size, strap and
material chosen.
What Apple is most proud of
is the “Digital Touch.” Sending
a regular heart emoticon being
too mainstream, Apple proposes sending your own heartbeat
to someone by holding both fingers on the screen of the watch.
This new technology brings
to mind that Apple doesn’t only
have access to your contacts, address book and bank accounts
but also to your inner-self. In
2015, nothing can be kept away
from technology anymore, not
even your heartbeat.
Another question everyone
wondered about, including
the five-year-old kid dreaming about talking watches, was
whether phone calls could be
made through the watch. Apple proudly announced that
answering calls, messaging and
responding to emails will all be
available options on the Apple
Watch, thanks to the wireless
connection, microphone and
built in speaker.
In order to use the Apple
Watch, an iPhone 5 (or higher)
is required. It will function via
Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, always
through the iPhone, and won’t
work unless it’s within a 30 meters perimeter of the iPhone,
according to the website mac-
The iPod option is also included, but limited: only two GB of
music for a total storage of eight
GB. Accordingly, Photos will
have 75 MB of space.
Apple stated that the battery
autonomy could not exceed 18
hours, but the use of the Apple
Watch as a basic watch could go
up to 72 hours.
In Lebanon, The Mac Shop, one
of the Apple authorized reseller
answered that the date of finding the watch on the Lebanese
shelves is yet to be assigned. The
Standard and Sport model will
both be available shortly after
their release in America, but the
Gold edition will only be available upon special request.
If the Apple Watch follows the
iPhone and iPod’s arising success, Apple may even have to
create a sequel to it, with more
developed features and options.
Who knows, they might even
add a “Selfie” option. Now this
would be a huge success, no
Last of 16 round of the CL: Spanish supremacy, Brits go home
Rifaat Fakih
Staff Writer
The last of 16 round of the Champions League ended
in the favor of the Spaniards. English clubs will not feature in the last of 8, and small teams lost heavily.
German team Schalke surprised everyone with a stunning performance at the Santiago Bernabeu, where they
gave Madrid players a hard time and almost kicked
reigning champions, Real Madrid, out of the cup.
In a nerve-wrecking game for Madridistas, Real survived and moved on to the next round for the 5th year
in a row despite losing 4-3 at home. The exciting encounter saw both Ronaldo and Huntelaar scoring twice.
Benzema also scored for Madrid. Schalke’s goals came
from Fuchs and Sané.
In his post-match interview, Real Madrid coach Carlo
Ancelotti apologized for the team’s performance. “I’m
very sorry, as everyone saw, we played very badly and
it’s bad for our image,” the manager said. “All the criticism we get is justified, it’s not easy to explain what happened, we’ve lost confidence.”
Arsenal came very close to making the impossible
possible. Yet, they fell short despite winning 2-0 away
from home. The Gunners gave it their all trying to pull
off a miracle to qualify but kudos to Monaco’s defense
for surviving the Arsenal storm that shook the Stade
Louis II.
Arsenal’s captain admitted defeat and credited Monaco with their deserved qualification, saying that the
better team went through. Arsenal’s goals came from
French on form striker, Oliver Giroud and Welshman
Aaron Ramsey, who was back from an injury.
Chelsea failed to go through even though they had
one simple task: keeping their sheets clean against a 10men Paris Saint Germain team, whose star man, Zlatan
Ibrahimovic, was sent off only 31 minutes after the beginning of the match.
Paris took vengeance for last year’s quarter final encounter, leaving the score to 2-1. Chelsea’s goals came
from Cahill and a Hazard penalty. Paris St. Germain’s
first goal came from former Chelsea man, David Luiz,
who did not hesitate to celebrate against his former
team, after he’s been rudely deployed from West London. The second goal was scored by PSG captain, Thiago Silva.
Barcelona proved once again their superiority in front
of English teams after beating Manchester City 1-0 at
Camp Nou. The Catalans goal came from a beautiful
play where Messi cast his usual magic before lobbing a
long ball to Croatian Ivan Rakitic who lift the ball beyond the keeper.
Both Messi and Manchester goalkeeper Joe Hard gave
remarkable performances. Messi wandered around the
field, nutmegging opposing players one after the other,
and Hart saved his team from humiliation by making
incredible saves, just limiting his side to one goal past
their goal line.
The second leg of the round of last 16 of the Champions League witnessed some thrashings as well. Juventus humiliated Borussia Dortmund away from home,
thanks to a marvelous performance from Carlos Tevez,
who had a hand in all goals, scoring two and assisting
Porto destroyed FC Basel, scoring four majestic goals
past the Swiss team. Bayern annihilated Shakhtar, putting 7 goals past Donetsk, sending the team face down
back to the Ukraine.
MARCH 24, 2015
The AUB counseling center and the cultural stigma of therapy
Linda Bou Ali
Community Editor
“I would never tell anybody that I am seeking therapy.
I don’t want them to think something is wrong with me.
Anyways, my family would never accept,” said a student
who asked to remain anonymous.
An enduring stigma ingrained within the framework
of our culture is one that encapsulates a bias judgment of
therapy and counseling. In fact, a recurrent answer that
pops up when interviewing members of the student body
is that students do not speak openly about the counseling
center or about seeking therapy.
“Seeking counseling is not something kids would talk
about, especially because it is stigmatized,” said a student
by the initials of R.K, also preferring to remain anonymous. “So, even if people are going, they would not tell
others about it.”
It seems that the general knowledge about counseling is
that one must be going through impending doom in order to seek guidance. Yet, as R.K stated, “Speaking from
experience, going to counseling doesn’t necessarily mean
that the person has an issue, rather that they could just be
seeking help about classes or exams, or not even finding
the right major.”
A stigma is much easier to talk about than remove,
however, due to our cultural underpinnings. According
to clinical psychologist and AUB psychology professor
Dr.Tima El Jamil, ““the first step we must take as a community, in order to destigmatize mental health, is through
education and media awareness, including newspapers,
TV, billboards, radio, and ads.
It must also enter the education curriculum and be talked
about in schools at a young age.”
Thus, it is apparent that mental health, and being in tune
with one’s internal state, must be given importance from
childhood. In turn, a person can grow to understand what
measures to take when encountering times of hardship or
distress in their lives.
It is difficult, however, to integrate such education into
the system in Lebanon especially because we are lacking
in resources.
“Lebanon is a very impoverished country,” Jamil added,
highlighting how difficult it is for a member of our society
to seek help when needed.
“There isn’t enough mental health resources, not enough
training centers, no suicide hotlines, and most clinicians
are fully booked for months in advance.”
Jamil also pointed to a number of other obstacles that
stand in the way of those who seek therapy in Lebanon.
“The cost of therapy; people are not being able to afford
treatment and therapists are not sliding down their fee
scales or doing pro-bono work.
People are closing doors on clients who can’t afford it
which is very problematic especially in a country where
there are no other resources.”
When it comes to AUB specifically, the university is
equipped with a Counseling Center consisting of 5 highly
qualified individuals available to provide the student body,
as well as the larger community in general, with professional help.
The center’s online description reassures students that
seeking therapy is a process of self-discovery.
“It is a way of addressing one’s problems and concerns
with the help of a trained professional,” the website reads.
“Although some might find it difficult, counseling is not a
sign of weakness.”
This office’s location, Room 210 on the second floor of
West Hall, is relatively discreet. Upon opening the big red
door, which has no sign indicating that a counseling office exists inside, you find a waiting room with several big
black leather couches inside.
You can either proceed to knock on the door of one of
the counselor’s offices, or wait for your appointment if you
already have one. Students can send an e-mail, or call the
office at Ext. 3178 in order to set up a meeting.
According to Dr. Antoine Khabbaz, director of the
Counseling Center, “You don’t see ‘counseling center’
written at the door, because students do not want that. We
are not surrounded by any offices. This plays a good role in
discretion, and this is a positive thing.”
If a student knocks at the door and wants to take an ap-
pointment, they are asked to explain how urgent the matter is. “We will not tell them to come back in a month,”
Khabbaz explained, “for we value the student’s need for
help and guidance and we proceed from the level at which
the student perceives the emergency.”
The counselors are also extremely cautious in terms of
implementing the rules and standards of confidentiality to
the utmost capability.
“It is definitely never an easy thing to open up to a stranger, and tell them your deepest secrets.” Khabbaz said,
discussing the ways in which confidentiality is preserved.
“We do not put any records online as we fear hacking,
and everything is recorded on paper. Even the e-mails are
written in general terms. We do not release information
to anybody, unless the student reads the information and
approves of it,” he continued.
“Thus, we don’t take any freedom with what we are given. Nobody knows who came to see us, there is no list
of students given outside of the counseling center. It has
nothing to do with any level of administration such as
HIP or insurance. It is free and confidential and even the
dean never asks who came in.”
Confidentiality, however, can only be breached in special cases when a person expresses an intended harm on
themselves, others, or animals.
Khabbaz also highlighted a significant recurring incident that he observes with students.
“It is very frequent that students would not like to come
right after their classroom if it is in the same building as
the center,” he said. “There is a resistance at the level of the
society about seeing a shrink.”
On the bright side, Khabbaz truly believes that there is
increasing awareness among students about the existence
of the counseling center and its benefits. “This is my agenda and this is what my week looks like,” he said, holding a
small notebook covered in writing.
“We are understaffed and will always be understaffed no
matter what. But, I think we are coping. We certainly wish
there would be more of us, but so far we are not rejecting
anyone. The student’s demands are being responded to as
appropriately as possible.”
MARCH 24, 2015
Courage prevails: Michael Haddad
Carole Hassan
Staff Writer
It may be hard, but it’s never impossible. Twenty-six years
ago, a young Lebanese boy was involved in a dramatic jetskiing accident, in which he lost control of 75 percent of
his body. He was paralyzed from the chest down, making
it was impossible for him to walk. Yet he refused to believe
that anything was “impossible.”
Through his resilience, Michael Haddad is now an environmental activist, a professional athlete, an inspirational
speaker and an adventurer. He is courageous and bold;
challenging his disabilities and proving them wrong.
On 24 October 2013 Michael broke records as he embarked on a 19km walk from Bcharre Cedars to Tannourine Cedars. This journey took him three days, in which
he carried his weight for 60,000 steps. The aim of this adventure was not only to inspire people with disabilities,
but also an environmental campaign. He carried a cedar
on his back to plant it at the end of the road. In fact, his
environmental campaigns aim at improving the health of
his country.
On 8 June 2014, on the World’s Oceans Day, he embarked on a different type of adventure. Michael climbed
the Raouche Rock, with an inspirational message for
people to see: “Going beyond the limits through pushing
personal boundaries. Endurance, responsibility and posi-
tive attitude!” People from all around Lebanon gathered
to watch him do this extraordinary climb. The National
News Agency mentioned Michael and encouraged his
self-confidence and his positive attitude: “Environmental
activist, Michael Haddad’s climbing of the Raouche Rock,
defying his physical disability, sent out a message to the
Lebanese people from on top, in which he called for saving
the Lebanese coast, the environment and marine creatures
from abuse and pollution.”
Those two impossible challenges weren’t enough for
Haddad. He constantly wants to beat his disability and endure challenging activities. Today, he is willing to climb
Lebanon’s highest peak, the Black Summit. The Lebanese
Army and their commander in chief, the General Jean
Kahwaji, are supporting Michael; and more is yet to come.
Haddad is an icon for most people with physical disabilities; he encourages them to overcome the barriers life has
put in their way.
He is a leading figure in Lebanon and is spreading
awareness messages on many levels. In fact, Haddad is defending the Lebanese environment (air and water pollution) and the Lebanese army through his adventures. The
Lebanese society needs more people like Haddad. It needs
positive and inspirational figures to lead the country to a
better tomorrow. This is to salute every effort done by Michael Haddad, and to encourage him to always be positive
and love life.
Graffiti: an ongoing conversation of solidarity, resistance, and artistic
Vicken Margossian
Arts & Culture Editor
As AUB students, we constantly hear about alumni
achieving this and that all over the world. Seldom, however, are these alumni fresh graduates. In fact, when nowAUB English Literature graduate Amar Shabandar started
her website, Lebanese Walls, back in 2013, she was only a
Shabandar describes Lebanese Walls as a closer look at
the street art that recreates, redefines, and resists the sociopolitical events taking place in Lebanon. “I have always
been obsessed with reading walls,” she told Outlook. “In
2011, I travelled to Egypt for work and began collecting
pictures of the booming street art culture that was splattered all over the walls in and around Tahrir Square. Upon
my return to Beirut, I decided to explore the art culture
in Lebanon.
“Lebanese Walls was my way to pay tribute to the artists that create an alternative platform for socio-political
dialogue using public and private spaces in the country.”
The website is dedicated to the growing visual and artistic culture of local Lebanese graffiti specifically. It aims to
document and share the visual culture of local street art
and the opinions of the artists who contest and reinvent
the country’s urban landscape.
Lebanese Walls is divided into several galleries that encompass pieces of graffiti both in local areas around Beirut, and all across Lebanon. “I’m currently working on a
map to virtually walk through the city’s public art scene,”
Shabandar said when asked of her future plans for the
As for the difficulties she faces, she explained that
they’ve mostly been related to updating thus far. Due to
the constant emergence of new graffiti, and subsequently
a continuous need to discover and update, time has not
been of the essence.
International exposure is in Lebanese Walls’ future as
well. “I have collected street art from several cities around
the world, including but not limited to, Cairo, Beirut,
Limassol, Rome, Zagreb, and London,” Shabandar said.
“The ideal scenario would be to create a website that
would host my entire collection in an effort to retain a
virtual memory of the graffiti that continues to challenge
the privatization of previously public spaces—even if that
graffiti has now been whitewashed. Ultimately, I am planning on releasing a book that would include the art and
artists that continuously redefine our relationship to the
geographical, cultural, and sociopolitical contexts in these
different cities.”
Despite Shabandar residing in London for the pursuit of
higher education at the moment, the website was just recently updated, and continues to be so as she collects images of the artwork. Lebanese Walls also has a Facebook
page that showcases different works by ASHEKMAN,
AUBite Yazan Halawani, and others. It currently stands
at 500+ likes with virtually no advertising, a testament to
Beirutis’ admiration of the art of graffiti.
The website actually started as a project proposal that
earned funding and support from AUB’s Issam Fares Institute (IFI), which means that Shabandar had the money
to create a proper website dedicated to the walls of Lebanon.
In her exclusive interview with Outlook, she expressed
her love and benediction for the art of graffiti both in general and in Lebanon. “Graffiti, at the end of the day, is an
ongoing conversation. So my interest lies in promoting
these alternative voices, depicting a different Lebanese
public space (not one riddled with pictures of politicians
that fail us, advertisements that belittle us, or spaces that
are not accessible to everybody), and mapping out these
conversations and, in a sense, taking part in them. what
I mean by ‘conversation’ is our interaction with street art:
we can alter it, add to it, erase it, and make it our own—
even if ever so slightly.”
And Shabandar’s eloquently-put statement definitely
rings true. Graffiti artist Ali Rafei drew a portrait of Jeanne
D’arc then left to complete his Masters in London for the
year. While he was gone, someone added a mustache to it,
one that was soon miraculously fixed to perfection.
“I asked him if it was his doing (the repairs to the original piece) and he was as surprised as I was to hear that it
had been fixed at all, seeing as it is a policy of his not to
fix changes made to a specific piece,” said Shabandar of
the incident.
And there it is; the conversation. It is one that is passed
along from person to person in an on-going series of artistic interpretation.
With websites like Lebanese Walls to document this conversation, and individuals like Amar Shabandar working
hard to protect the local art scene’s legacy from clueless
clowns in suits, the Lebanese can produce art knowing
that there’ll always be someone there to assume the mantle.
MARCH 24, 2015
To understand a butterfly
Fares Serhan
Contributing Writer
Kendrick Lamar’s long-awaited third studio album
dropped on March 16, and the artist’s anticipated album
is indeed a masterpiece. The approach the 27-year-old
Compton-born rapper decided to take with his project
was complex and insightful to such a level that classifying
it as an album would be an understatement. If Lamar were
to really be the rapper that brings hip-hop back from the
dead then “To Pimp a Butterfly” is the resurrection.
“To Pimp a Butterfly” is a play on the title of the novel
‘To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. There are some
similarities with regards to the title in the sense that the
mockingbird is a harmless creature that is a symbol of
peace and innocence—as is a butterfly. However, the title
is from an anecdote that Lamar reads out to the legendary
Tupac during an interview in the last track of the album.
The album is colored with a smooth and funky jazz vibe.
It speaks out to African-Americans to embrace their musical heritage. The use of jazz beats draws from the inspiration that jazz provided for hip-hop. The beats are the
prologue of the story Lamar is telling.
The track “King Kunta” pays homage to the turmoil that
African-Americans went through with slavery. Kunta
Kinte was a slave in the 1900s who had his legs cut-off
to prevent him from escaping. The track is meant to be
analogous to Lamar’s life of success that started off treacherously.
Lamar moves on to discuss the situation of African-
Americans in modern times in “The Blacker the Berry.”
The track is cleverly versed as it begins with the declaration that, “I am the biggest hypocrite of 2015; once I finish
this witnesses will convey just what I mean.” Throughout
the song, Lamar discusses how White Americans felt and
sometimes still feel about African-Americans. He then
raps about being a hypocrite for calling out White Americans for their mistreatment, when African-Americans are
harming themselves by joining gangs, notably the notorious Bloods and Crips of the West Coast.
Lamar also touches on how African-Americans are “Institutionalised” within “These Walls.” Both are songs that
address how society oppresses African-Americans. The
implications of the songs apply to people in general. The
idea that getting rich is the ultimate goal seems to be the
problem with the music industry today. Artists try to sell
music rather than make it; this does result in profits but at
the expense of quality. That is currently the poison of the
rap game; too many rappers are just trying to sell music
and are tarnishing the genre of hip-hop.
The last song in the album is “Mortal Man.” The song is
a 12-minute track that includes an interview with Tupac
along with a poem. Lamar poetically voices his experiences to Tupac; he details his accounts with Lucy (Lucifer) and how he was tempted into a life of sex, drugs, and
alcohol. He realizes that things back in Compton are still
rough, and that nothing has changed. He also points out
a recurring theme in black-on-black violence: the importance of respect towards one another—and lack thereof.
The final message, the vision, and the mission came after
a lengthy conversation with Tupac about the oppression,
the cycle of poverty, and how African-Americans are going to finally put their foot down. The idea of freedom
is not only to be free from chains but also free from the
mental restraints. The message that Lamar has been leading up to is the story about the butterfly. He is a caterpillar
that was hidden in the shadows of society. The caterpillar
could never live up to the beauty and elegance of a butterfly. This serves to show that Lamar had to build a cocoon
and stay trapped in the walls in order to fulfill his potential, and grow wings just like a butterfly.
The problem is that we are shaped to become a certain
type of butterfly, one that is generically unique. The most
talented butterflies are being pimped to fit society’s image.
It is up to us to acknowledge the troubles of others and not
act violently because at the end of the day the caterpillar
and the butterfly are one.
“To Pimp A Butterfly” might just be framed and talked
about for decades. Greatness’ truest test is time. And only
time will tell whether the rapper did in fact raise the bar,
and pave the way for new approaches to hip-hop. After
listening to the album, I am confident that it will survive
the test of time. It may not sell as well, or become a worldwide hit (although it has charted in the top position thus
far) but it is surely going to be dubbed as a classic. Kendrick Lamar has provided the rap game with the breath of
fresh air that could finally bring back the golden days of
MARCH 24, 2015
Christy Choueiri
Staff Writer
When it comes to covering songs, rare are the bands that
can actually do so without taking away from the essence of
the original. Sleeping at Last is one of the few.
The one man act graced his listeners with a brilliant cover of The Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”
o n the tenth episode of season 14 of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Sleeping At Last has also been featured in the “Twilight:
Breaking Dawn” soundtrack with his song “Turning Page.”
A “Twilight” saga franchise movie might not be the best
source of exposure, but you have to admit the movies have
had pretty good soundtracks.
Ryan O’Neal, Sleeping at Last’s sole member, did not
start out alone. The band came into existence about twenty
years ago, with two additional members, Chad O’Neal on
drums, and Dan Perdu on bass. The band lasted for a good
ten years before Chad decided he wanted to pursue other
interests. A few years later, Dan followed suit.
You’d think that O’Neal would’ve just given up by then
and quit making music altogether, but he didn’t. The singer and multi-instrumentalist came out with an album entitled “Atlas” in 2013, which is actually, as Ryan describes
it, “an ongoing series of EPs.”
The album was quite a success, with one of its tracks titled “Sun,” was used in the “The Fault in Our Stars” trailer,
not to mention its series featuring some incredible pieces
of art such as “Saturn,” “Light,” and the instrumental “Arctic.”
When it comes to the music, Sleeping at Last’s genre can
m ost definitely be classified as indie, particularly as the
indie quality was amped up a few notches as more band
members left.
The music transitioned from emo-indie music, to a somewhat more intense form of indie music because of the lack
of bass and drums present. With Ryan’s album “Atlas,” the
songs usually start off with a 1–2 minute long instrumental, during which a delicate combination of sounds plays
out, rendering the listener completely entranced and calm.
Then come the lyrics, which have had the rip-throughyour-heart effect for as long as Sleeping At Last has existed
with words such as “But love travels like a rumor here, losing form with every ear, a skeleton of something more.”
The lyrical prowess of the songs are what have kept the
band going for so long. Although some of the songs sometimes sound similar, the lyrics are what set them apart.
O’Neal’s vocals are not to be forgotten, of course. He
presents the listeners with a unique sound, for not many
p eople have his tone; a soulful one that could make the
phone book sound like a literary piece of profound depth.
There’s an apparent vulnerability in the way he sings, and
it shows with every shake and tremble in his pitch. And
that’s part of what makes listening to Sleeping At Last
such a mesmerising experience. The music, above all else,
comes from within O’Neal and engulfs the listener in a
One is still a crowd: the tragically beautiful music of Ryan O’Neal
whirlwind of emotional highs and lows that make him/
her feel, in a word, hopeful.
“Marco Polo” fails to impress critics and audiences alike
“Marco Polo” is based on the famed explorer’s adventures in Kublai Khan’s court in 13th century China. A historical epic fueled with Kung-Fu, sexual exploration, and
war, “Marco Polo” keeps the viewer thirsty for more.
Netflix’s ten-part series has gotten some mixed reviews.
But the series, standing at a staggering $90 million budget, is truly a work of art when it comes to scenery and
costumes. No cost was spared on detail; yet the plot itself
is not quite as laudable.
Playing Marco Polo, Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy
falls flat, without living up to the expectations of a titled,
lead character. As a character who has intrigued the Great
Khan with his way with words, Richelmy actually fails
to entice the audience, but merely just wanders around.
Perhaps characters such as Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong)
steal the show from Marco Polo.
Wong’s Kublai Khan is quite impressive; one believes
his ruthlessness, power and, calculating thoughtfulness.
Chin Han who plays Jia Sidao, a sadistic chancellor in the
Song court, is also quite intriguing as the antagonist of
the series.
The show could easily fall under the category of an oriental fiction, presenting the exhausted narrative of a westerner in an oriental “Other,” exploring the world of barbarism, mysticism, and sexual fetishism.
While “Marco Polo” definitely eroticizes the Asian
world, it also portrays great historical aspects that the
general public may not have been aware of. The series’
depiction of the Mongols defies the faulty stereotype of
them being brute barbarians. Instead, it exposes the Mongols’ political manners, their military brilliance, as well as
their religious openness.
The Mongols’ aim was never to destroy but to build a
unified empire that stretched across the world. At mo-
Lara Mekkawi
Staff Writer
ments, they appear to be more enlightened than contemporary powers.
With this in mind, the series still relies heavily on clichés, such as the blind master Hundred Eyes (Tom Wu)
who dispenses Kung-Fu-like wisdom while teaching Marco the martial arts, the beautiful and forbidden princess
(Zhu Zhu) who immediately catches the visitor’s eye, and
the concubine-spy (Olivia Cheng) who uses her allure and
killer Kung-Fu skills to spy on the Mongols.
Though the series focuses on a historical period that has
not been exhausted, it does not come out as original. Many
critics have compared it to the hit HBO series, “Game of
Thrones;” from the explicit sexual scenes to the ruthless
violent ones, a lot of similarities can be drawn between the
two series. With real life events, “Marco Polo” can easily
be criticized as Netflix’s attempt to copy the HBO hit.
Be that the case or not, the show is quite the interesting series, with an entrancing historical story, as well as
action-fueled scenes that may grab the attention of any
series junkie. The series has been renewed for a second
season, which is sure to help in the development of the
personalities of the so far one-dimensional, bland characters. This will hopefully be what the show needs to grow
into something more original.
MARCH 24, 2015
Laudy Issa
Staff Writer
A typical “Battlefield” game walks players through the
story of a soldier on the frontier of some raging military
war. When the franchise fully shifted into the hands of
the developers at Visceral Games, its newest installment,
“Hardline,” took a radical turn towards the urban environment. Unlike any of its previous installments and perhaps
unique among first-person shooters, “Battlefield: Hardline” missions have been turned into episodes from a police reality TV show.
Players roam the streets of Miami as Cuban cop Nick
Menoza, gathering intel and taking down criminals in a
seven-hour single-player campaign mode. The best aspect of “Hardline” is definitely the great characters written
into it (though some of the lesser villains are rather onedimensional), as well as the rich and varied voice acting.
Another quality that makes “Hardline” a standout game
is the dialogue. As a matter of course, I have come to
discover that games with a great sense of humor and a
knack for irony never have boring dialogues, and “Hardline” deserves praise for the excellent writers working on
it. Though it is nothing truly unique, the story is interesting and holds together well enough to keep the player
Then there is, of course, the battlefield itself. The fullscale battlefront we’re all used to seeing in the previous
games of the franchise no longer exists, but this doesn’t
stop the game from being an engrossing play. The streets
of Miami offer an all-new experience, changing the familiar ground rules of a typical “Battlefield” game. For once,
it’s not about how fast or often you can pull your trigger—
though there will, of course, be an overabundance of that
as you play. Stealth and the use of non-lethal forces are
highly valued and rewarded in the game, as enemies are
worth more alive than dead.
Surprised enemies freeze up when you flash your badge
at them, and getting an arrest down is just as satisfying
as barging into a room full of armed thugs with blazing
guns—which, by the way, look and feel great.
The environment feels especially lively with all the details and events happening in the background, but too
often, gameplay style does not fit the situation. Blowing
everything up just doesn’t work, but this is a “Battlefield”
game in the end, and explosions are necessary to maintain
the franchise’s reputation. Even though it’s loads of fun for
gamers, the city might be better off without our protagonist and his partner meddling in the drug industry.
With all the exploding cars, the ruined streets, and the
trail of dead bodies that seems to follow them everywhere
they go, Miami is left looking like Gotham does every time
Superman visits The Dark Knight.
The true diamond in “Hardline” is its multiplayer mode.
The refined mechanics are accompanied by seven game
modes and a set of diverse and interesting maps for cops
and robbers to play in. Fans of classic “Battlefield” gameplay will enjoy ‘Conquest’ and ‘Team Death Match’ modes,
while those looking for something different and more tactical might want to try out ‘Blood Money’ or even ‘Crosshair.’
All game modes are intense, and playing smoothly
though the respawn system is agitating, as it often gets
you dead seconds after you’ve been brought back when it
tosses you near other players.
New gadgets like the grappling hook offer mobility and
Gamers get a treat with the newest ‘Battlefield’ installment
an action-packed fast pace to “Hardline,” but one mode
in specific has outshined all the others in these aspects.
Because of its originality and fun, ‘Hotwire’ has become
my personal favorite. Two teams need to conquer and
hold certain points on the map, but these points are actually cars. Driving around the map while players fire RPGs
or call for air support to take you out adds an interesting
twist to the classic capture-the-flag mode.
Unique to all other “Battlefield” games, the latest installment has certainly pushed the franchise towards
somewhere with more potential to have fun. The lively
cityscape and the deep characters in the campaign, as
well as new and original multiplayer game modes, make
“Hardline” an opportunity to truly enjoy turning on your
console and picking up a control.
Azza El Masri
Opinions Editor
With prose that moves the reader’s soul and imagery
that imprints itself into the mind, Khaled Hosseini’s latest
novel, “And the Mountains Echoed,” revisits the author’s
most beloved tropes of pre-war Afghanistan, exile and the
reunion of siblings torn apart.
Hosseini opens with, “You want a story, and I will tell
you one,” pulling the reader in a lyrical tale of hardship,
betrayal and love across generations. The novel starts in
1952 with a fable that a father recites in the dead of an autumn night to his daughter Pari, three, and son Abdullah,
ten. The story becomes the main structure to the novel’s
plot. In this myth, a ‘div’ (demon) gives a father an ultimatum. He must either choose to give his son away to
live a better life or keep him to lead a life of farming in
the village.
Abdullah and Pari share a unique relationship that defies
their impoverished habitat in the southeastern village of
Shadbagh, Afghanistan.
They are forced to separate on a fateful day in Kabul
when Pari is sold to the Wahdatis, a prosperous family her
step uncle, Nabi, works for.
From then on, the plot unfurls revealing other characters that, at first, seem unimportant to Pari and Abdullah’s
misfortune. Slowly, these characters evolve as players in
the denouement, leading to the reunion of the boy and
girl in their old age.
Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed” shifts from Kabul to Paris, where Nila Wahdati, Afghan socialite and
wondrous poet, raises Pari. The plot then suddenly travels
back to Afghanistan to introduce Timur; cunning and so-
ciable, and Idris; pensive and demure, cousins who were
once the Wahdatis’ neighbors, and who have returned
home to claim ownership of their fathers’ property.
There, the reader meets Markos Varvaros, a Greek plastic surgeon volunteering to help those who were victimized by the war.
Hosseini takes his readers across the Atlantic, to the
United States, where Abdullah settles with his family, and
opens a kabob restaurant.
The multi-narrative meanders through the plot in the
voice of different personages.
Each chapter has a different voice and tone, depending on
the characters narrating it. And although every chapter
tells a different story, Hosseini uses the distinctive accounts as strands leading to Pari and Abdullah’s final reunion.
The author and master storyteller creates an emotionally
loaded plot that stops short of hokey sentimentality. Hosseini succeeds in delivering a novel in the same vein as
his previous work, focusing on the same themes: a family
forced to separate, and the memory of a forgotten glorious Afghanistan of the fifties, of nostalgia, freedom, modernity and history, to the last days preceding the Soviet
In relying on his characters’ intersecting storylines, Hosseini brings to life the political context of Afghanistan in
the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and discusses the
way Afghanistan is seen by displaced natives and Western
aid workers.
“And the Mountains Echoed” bears itself as an epic of
the ages, a story that echoes a yearning for love, and family bonds despite hidden secrets. This is Hosseini’s most
compelling work yet.
Khaled Hosseini’s stories echo across the globe
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