Archive for September, 2011


for those who were not able to attend yesterday’s panel at the Social Media Week intitled ” Crowd sourcing, Social Collaboration, citizen journalism and the future of traditional journalism“.

here is for you a very brief brief:-)

The panel was moderated by Nathalie Bontems  from  Communicate Magazine, with the participation of Sybille Rizk from the Commerce du Levant, Wadih Tueni de Nahar, Maya Rahal de Hibr, me, and the multiple pple who asked questions and participated to the debate:  here are some of the issues raided: what is citizen journalism? Are the Online personal blogs reliable sources for information, how can we check the facts transmitted online, How can the traditional media benefit from the social networks to grow without the bruden of the financial part they have to assume, are the monopolised traditional medium in lebanon ready to accept and respect comments from the readers, web users are engaged in the community and work to cover stories they watch, ….

My presentation during the panel focused on the ways traditional media are using social networks  ( with examples);

Opinion leaders in the new framework of the online world are the Citizen, the web users who are the “digital natives “;

Finally,  raised the controversial polemic asking whether blogs and social networks are reinforcing traditional well known sources and media.

For you to read the paper: Rita Chemaly article for Social Media Week Beirut Wednesday 21 Sept 2011;

For you to access the presentation that illustrated it: RITA Chemaly Presentation Social Media Week Beirut ppt

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Social Media Week Beirut (SMW Beirut) will be organized for the first time in Beirut, by 90:10 Group Middle East.

“SMW Beirut is aimed to be a unique and innovative social media week, happening over 5 days, with more than 30 events in different venues in the city, giving access to as large audience as possible, connecting people & content around diverse and rich themes, with speakers and participants from different horizons, bringing to all the learning experiences for a better understanding of social media in each of industry sectors.”

Friends don’t hesitate to check the website, the schedule, the program, http://socialmediaweek.org/

I ll be participating for 2 days:

Wednesday 21 sept the panel entitled ” Crowd sourcing, Social Collaboration, citizen journalism and the future of traditional journalism” with 6 panelist and a moderator.

Friday 23 sept “The impact of Social Networking on the way we Govern & are Governed

as For the place both discussions are going to be at  Altcity, Hamra….

See you there?

Dont forget to REGISTER!!


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I just read this text from zoya explaining the pro and cons of the new anti-trafficking law passed by the Lebanese Parliament in August 2011.

I re-posting it… While hoping for a more comprehensive law to be passed , helping the victims, while Punishing IN Time the perpetrators!

For you to understand what I’m “lattiching” at please feel free to read the post of zoya:


Approval of Anti-Trafficking Legislation by the Lebanese Parliament



On Thursday, August 4, 2011, the Lebanese Parliament passed an anti-trafficking law that would amend the Lebanese penal code and criminal procedures to specifically address the crime of trafficking in persons. The new law provides a clear definition of trafficking, defines victims of trafficking, and sets penalties for traffickers.


Several local and international NGOs – KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation, ALEF- Act for Human Rights, Caritas Migrant Center, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, World Vision- submitted a series of recommendations on the draft law to decision-makers and lobbied Parliamentarians to make the law more comprehensive and in-line with international standards. Many of these recommendations were accepted and subsequently incorporated into the final approved law.


However, this group of NGOs points to several weaknesses of the new legislation that the group tried to convey during its advocacy efforts; in particular, the law focuses solely on punishment rather than legislation that comprehensively tackles the problem of trafficking through prevention, prosecution and protection.  In addition, the victim can be arrested till the penalties occur, and this procedure can take months and years some time. Migrant workers and refugees are the most vulnerable to such risk. Moreover the burden of proof is on the victim to demonstrate he/she is a victim, which is difficult to do for individuals in trafficking situations and leaves the possibility of detention and prosecution of the victim under Lebanese law for crimes committed during the trafficking situation (such as his/her illegal entry or residence in Lebanon or involvement in unlawful acts as a direct consequence of his/her situation as trafficked persons). Thus, the law fails to uphold international standards in terms of non-liability and punishment of the victims. Further, there are no specific provisions in the law addressing the special protection needs of child victims.


The group of NGOs recognizes that this is a first step forward but also expresses the need for a clear process around the implementation of this new law, including the development of protocols and guidelines. It also urges for the establishment of a national coordinating body and action plan to develop mechanisms among the different Ministries and with civil society to be able to prevent and address human trafficking in Lebanon.


In the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the U.S. Department of State, Lebanon was downgraded to Tier 3, its lowest ranking since the report began ten years ago. The report identified Lebanon as a source and destination country for trafficking of persons for forced labor and sexual exploitation. It particularly pointed to trafficking of foreign domestic workers and women entering Lebanon under the artiste visa for employment in entertainment agencies. The report also highlighted the Government’s lack of initiative on combating trafficking in persons and protecting victims.  


Zoya J. Rouhana, Director

KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation
Website: http://www.kafa.org.lb

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Dear Friends, and readers, I am still shocked with what I saw with some friends when we visited the beautiful CEDAR forest of Jaj. The CEDARS of Jaj are known for their special form: round, tall, growing up in the Rocks; (more than 15 m tall, and 4 m of circumference) 

For those who don’t know about this forest, historically, the village of Jaj and its forest that covered the Lebanese mountain,  used to be the background “promised land” of Byblos. The wood of the cedars used to go though the rivers to Byblos, and then to Egypt….

Today to reach the trees, you need to walk 15 minutes from the new main road. ( Lehfed-Jaj-Laklouk) ;

I remember climbing the mountains with my parents and my cousin and Greenpeace back in the 90s to discover the forest, and make sure that it is clean. It took us several hours of climbing the mountain with its big rocks, and with the help the army, the teenagers we were, discovered the church, the “neige eternelle” and the beautiful scenery and trees…. tall, round and old old cedars…..

Today and with the help of the Monaco Fund, a road of white stone had been built, 15 minutes to 20 minutes of walk is enough to reach the oldest trees and tiny old church between them.

What we discovered with the friends were: barbecue leftovers at the bottom of the oldest CEDAR tree!!!

Yes a Bag of COALS!!!! Under the cedar tree, Stones prepared for a bonfire , ashes under the cedars forest!!!!! People are going there and camping and Lighting fire and eating and throwing their leftovers ( bottles of wine, beer, Kleenex, cigarette….) under the trees!!!!! the Oldest trees in the region!!!!!

I am still shocked by the incivility of some people!!!! We also discovered near the beautiful small church a landfill with plastic bottles, dirty Kleenex….AND a grill!!!!!!!!!  I’ll stop counting for you to see the pictures!!! My hands are still shaking from rage!

Environmental Crime in JAJ LEBANON: Barbecue GRILL and Coals & CEDARS

CHARCOAL BAG found in the middle of the CEDAR FOREST in Jaj-Lebanon

HOME FIRE CRIME under the CEDAR Tree- Jaj Forest

remaining ashes and home fire with bag of charcoals in the CEDAR FOREST LEBANON




I noted that their were many signs asking people in 3 languages to keep the place Clean!!!



Who can take action, and help in the Preservation of Lebanon’s treasure the CEDARS????

Shocked Rita!

a moment of peace

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