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 The gay rights group Helem has successfully petitioned to prevent Lebanese singer Mohamed Eskandar from performing songs they consider homophobic at a concert in Canada. Eskandar is due to perform in Montreal Saturday night, and in Ottawa the next evening.

A Lebanese-Canadian gay rights group, Helem (Dream), works toward the abolition of Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code which, in effect, outlaws homosexuality.

In an open letter condemning the invitation of Eskandar to perform in Canada, the group lobbied the owners of each venue – both of whom have promised in writing that the singer-songwriter would not perform two songs which the group deems offensive, “Dod al-Enef” and “Joumhoureyet Qalbi.”

“Dod al-Enef,” which literally translates to “Against Violence” is, according to Helem, “a slogan commonly used by the LGBT [Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender] community in its advocacy against discrimination.

“The title was purposely used to ridicule the LGBT cause and advocacy efforts. The song starts by depicting two parents fighting because of their son’s sexual orientation and blaming the gay son for the disputes and separation of his parents.”

The song, and video, goes on to mock men who are not masculine. “Without jealousy and real masculinity, women are in trouble,” the lyrics read. “Ever since the military service stopped, half [the] men became plagued by the disease of femininity.”

In his “Joumhoureyet Qalbi” (“The Republic of My Heart”), the Baalbek native encourages women to stay at home, rather than find a job.

“We have no girls here that work with their degrees,” Eskandar sings. “Our girls are pampered. Everything she wants is at her service …

“Assuming I agree that you work,” the song continues, “what would we do about your beauty? Your job is taking care of my heart … it’s enough that you’re the republic of my heart.”

When “Joumhoureyet Qalbi” was released in 2010, a protest was held by women’s rights activists in Beirut.

In the open letter, Helem writes, “Mr. Eskandar has a long-standing record of homophobic slurs and behavior. Helem Montreal condemns in the strongest possible terms the invitation for Mr. Eskandar to sing at a concert in Canada. Mr. Eskandar’s offensive art contradicts Canadian values and amounts to hate speech.”

According to the Ottawa Citizen daily, Elie Abou Assi, the son of the owner of Ottawa’s El Mazaj Restaurant (where Eskandar is scheduled to perform), said he wasn’t familiar with “Dod al-Enef” before he was contacted by Helem. He added that when he had booked the act, he’d done so with an eye to the popularity of the performer.

“All we cared about was doing our business, and we know what our customers want and we know who they want to watch. So we just bring them, whoever they want,” he told the paper. But he said he understood Helem’s concern: “I can see their point of view.”

The Ottawa Citizen reported that Sam Khoury, president of Helem in Montreal, said that had the owners not agreed to request that Eskandar not perform the two songs, the group had planned to protest outside the venues.

“We just wanted to make sure these songs this guy was singing in particular would not be sung,” he said, calling the tunes and their accompanying videos “gross” and “beyond acceptable.”

The group would prefer to educate than to make enemies, Khoury said. “We demystify homosexuality within these groups and communities.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 31, 2012, on page 16.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Performance/2012/Aug-31/186193-advocacy-group-helem-protests-tasteless-lyrics.ashx#ixzz25A3Eg9y2
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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About

WHAT IS IT?

SHARE Beirut is a weekend-long public, free and non-commercial hybrid event blending an Internet culture and technology related daytime conference with dynamic cutting-edge music festival by night. It will bring together hundreds of passionate people, forward-thinkers, cultural creatives, activists and artists from Lebanon as all around the world for talks and parties in 72 hours of powerful gathering to share ideas, knowledge and creativity.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

It’s about understanding and celebrating Internet culture and all the aspects of open, decentralized and accessible forms of communication, exchange and creation. It’s about empowerment of individuals and networking of like-minded people. It’s about setting the values and new standards that will prevent any kind of oppression, censorship and surveillance for future generations. It’s about understanding alternative economic, cultural and educational models. It’s about Internet ecology and struggles to protect Internet as open and free territory for all of us. It’s about energizing sub-cultural groups and praising diversity that these cultures are bringing. It’s about promoting open access to software, hardware, information, knowledge, science, government, design and almost everything else that can be open. It’s about sharing. It’s about how to do it yourself. But mostly, it’s about cats doing flips, birds flying over the moon and robots making biiips.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

During the 3 days of the conference Beirut will become the world’s epicenter in exchanging progressive ideas and knowledge on Internet culture, society, technology, music and new media. The lectures and talks will be given by leading international stars in these fields, world-class bloggers and artists who will educate the audience on new forms of activism and approaches in using advanced technologies and the latest tools to create, influence and affect. Discussions will delve deep into the underground of the Internet subcultures and explore groups that fight for digital and human rights, free information flow and access, improving transparency, and protecting the privacy of fellow peers and residents. The event will be accompanied by an intensive music program, which will be simultaneously organized in several well-selected clubs and alternative venues in Beirut. Contributors and visitors who obtain one of 1500 unique free wristbands will get access to both day and night events where many local, regional and international artists will perform for audiences who will share vibes and energy to celebrate the Internet as open and free territory for all.

WHEN WILL IT TAKE PLACE?

From 5th to 7th of October (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) 2012.
Get ready and don’t plan anything else for this weekend. 🙂

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THE EVENT IS FREE, BUT DO I NEED TO REGISTER?

Yes. Even though the main venue is huge and several clubs are on board, capacity is limited, so it is important that you register for the event. Around 1500 unique wristbands will give access to over 80 talks, exhibitions, concerts and DJ sets, so we encourage you to register as quickly as you can. Moreover, we encourage you to contribute and help us make this event even better.

WHERE WILL IT TAKE PLACE?

Main conference venue is Solea V in Beirut – a dazzling and very hip venue promising to host large events, dripping with atmosphere. The center boasts a huge skylight, and an indoor tree under high ceilings. Night program venues, clubs and program are soon to be announced, so be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

Location: Jisr el Wati, next to Jaguar Dealership Sin El-Fil
Capacity: 1500 people

Google Maps I Foursquare Location

WHO ARE WE?

Share is organized by Share Foundation, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to protecting the rights of Internet citizens and promoting positive values of openness, decentralization, free access and exchange of knowledge, information and technology. The activities of Share Foundation are supported by cooperation and friendship with a wide network of various institutions, individuals and organizations such as State of Exit FoundationGoogleVimeoMozilla Foundation.MeErste FoundationInstitute for Sustainable Communities,Electronic Frontiers FoundationPirate PartyFlattrDigitalna AgendaRepublica …

HOW YOU CAN JOIN US?

IF YOU ARE A COMPANY OR FOUNDATION
We are not looking for sponsors, we are trying to find partners who will share our vision of creating social and cultural impact on society.
Check our presentation (pdf) and contact us

IF YOU ARE A GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION
Issues and topics that we are addressing are important for every system and society. Freedom of speech, ecology of media, internet neutrality, privacy and transparency should be on the list of priorities of any responsible government.
Check our presentation (pdf) and contact us

IF YOU ARE AN ACTIVIST
Contact us. We will try to help as much as we can in your activities. We can create this event together, give you opportunity to spend 3 days with an international expert in your field of work, give you a space and time to present yourself or even try to fundraise for your activities.

IF YOU ARE ARTIST, MUSICIAN, BLOGGER, NEW MEDIA MAKER 
Do something together with us. We will organize a lot of collaborative activities before, during and after Share Beirut: remixing, crowd-designing, filmmaking, street art and interventions, flash mobs.
Here you can check some of our previous activities:

IF YOU ARE JUST ONE REALLY NICE PERSON 
Donate (Karma +1).

Flattr this

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Multiple award winning and Vimeo staff picked documentary about the first SHARE Conference that happened long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time at info@sharebeirut.net

The Force is strong with this event.

 

http://www.sharebeirut.net/en/about

 

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have you read the story lately?

I was on twitter when someone said that joe Maalouf is belevied to be gay….

my answer is I don’t CARE! what is this stupid and negative campaign going to do to raise awareness against homophobic reactions in Lebanon?!!!!

if a stupid tv host is gay or hetero, what this will add to the cause?? Nothing….

what I am talking about ? those are the multiple tweets and blogs I condemn.

the story begins with this news published by a certain Dan Littauer in Gay Star News: I am copying the article for those who cannot open it, below;

the article features a link on MTV news called prostitution and perversion in a Cinema; I am also copying the article below for those who would like to read it in arabic. the piece of news is more rubbish, they call gays perverts, ….. akh 😦

Helem an association that “leads a peaceful struggle for the liberation of people with non-conforming sexualities or gender identities …”  condemned the program and the MTV programs; موقف جمعيّة “حلم” من برنامج “أنت حر” http://helem.net/node/210

the problem I have is with the articles that showed in THE gay star news, that has been going viral on social media, on akhbar el chabeb of annahar, on blogs,

for example the last article “Lebanon : Offensive … conducted by a homophobic gay? Posted by  ⋅ July 30, 2012″ the last paragraph stipulates ” The irony is that Maalouf himself is gay. In any case the assertion Georges Azzi , Helem founder and current leader of the Arab Foundation for Freedom and Equality. On Facebook, he commented on the matter in these terms: “I do not know what’s sadder: that Joe Maalouf’s gay (and well known by the gay community) and working for a conservative chain is taking for the morality police or the fact that this young homo in the closet with his stupid program can mobilize the police as no other movement. ”  …. what?!!!! I truly hope that Azzi didnt do that… is that positive campaigning?????  outing people when we need in lebanon to help people feel safe, and accepted and Respected as they are?!!! I am sorry…. again this is for me Rubbish!!! this doesn’t help the cause on the contrary!!

Pire, the bloggers took on this trend with articles  such as the one that was published by fafathink Joe Maalouf is a homophobic Nazi prick. , again, what??!!?!!! this doesnt help the cause!!! Dears, dears, this is not what we should focus on!!! we should focus on how to amend article 534 ,

As the third voice of Lebanon is doing… with the great text that uses a great legal jargon….. but focus on the loopholes of the Lebanese legislation system! LES EXAMENS DE LA HONTE À L’ÉPREUVE DE LA CONSTITUTION LIBANAISE.pdf Version History here is the link…. “https://www.facebook.com/groups/La3emvoix/365162720219632/” !!

I am angry!!! I remember what the politicians do when they campaign using rubbish, and rubbish talks!!! …… we should focus on the men arrested, and the legislation that will apply to them, and not ternish someone reputation!!!

I am angry!! we need positive and proactive campaigns!!!

Rita Chemaly….

here is the article of Gay Star News http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/lebanon-arrests-36-men-gay-porn-cinema290712:

Lebanon arrests 36 men in gay porn cinema

36 men arrested in Beirut, Lebanon for alleged gay debauchery after TV show unveiled activity in porn cinemas

29 July 2012      | By Dan Littauer

Joe Maalouf a Lebanese gay celebrity used his program to incite anti-gay hate.

Thirty six men were arrested yesterday (28 July) in a porn cinema in Beirut, Lebanon, Gay Star News can reveal.Police raided Plaza Cinema, Beirut, which screens porn films and is famous for being a cruising spot, arresting 36 people including the owner, reported the Lebanese Murr TV (MTV) channel.MTV’s report was written in a highly inflammatory language designed to stir up anti-gay feelings.

It called the men ‘shozoz’, a highly derogatory term in Arabic roughly translated to ‘perverts’ in English, and alleged the cinema was a ‘safe haven’ for prostitution and debauchery.

In an attempt to fuel public outrage the report stated that the man behind the Colorado cinema shooting was gay – which is an allegation without any evidence behind it. It said in Lebanon the issue is the transformation of cinemas into a place of immorality prostitution and perversion.

It is unclear if the men, who ‘are mainly gay’, according to MTV, are still being detained or have been released.

In addition the cinema was shut down by the police.

Lebanese activists are still unclear on what grounds the men were arrested, but they suspect that ‘public indecency’ and Article 534 of the Lebanese penal code were used to arrest them.

Article 534 prohibits having sexual relations ‘contradicting the laws of nature’, which is punishable by up to a year in prison.

In 2009 Judge Mounir Suleiman from the Batroun court district ruled that consensual homosexual relations are not against nature and thus cannot be prosecuted under article 534, but it may be that in this case the article had nevertheless been used.

Helem, the LGBT advocacy charity in Lebanon, is now seeking legal advice and is planning for direct action.

The arrest comes after a concerted anti-gay campaign championed by reporter and celebrity presenter Joe Maalouf, in his program ‘Enta Horr’ (‘You are free’) that is screened by MTV.

On 8 May MTV screened the program featuring an undercover camera filming men having sex in a porn cinema in the city of Tripoli, whilst exposing their identity to the public.

Maalouf called upon the police and authorities to act against the shozoz (perverts), debauchery and prostitution which they practice in ‘such places.’

He also mentioned that there are several other cinemas that practice this ‘debauchery’.

Helem condemned the program saying that it violated the right of privacy and basic human rights, let alone being unprofessional and unethical by the use of inflammatory and negative language. It called upon Maalouf, and the station to apologise and retract the broadcast.

Maalouf, however, did not relent his homophobic campaign and mentioned on several occasions other cinemas allow ‘debauchery’, perversion and prostitution.

A few weeks ago he also alleged that the authorities are protecting the perverts and the cinemas and called for law enforcement action against these cinemas. This instigated the raid on Saturday.

Maalouf is widely believed in the Lebanese LGBT community to be a closeted gay man, although Gay Star News can not verify if he is truly gay. However his actions have now lead to him being outed.

Commenting on the news, Georges Azzi, the founder of Helem and executive director for the Arab Foundation For Freedoms And Equality stated on his Facebook page: ‘After the call made by Joe Maalouf in his program “inta horr”, yesterday the police raided plaza cinema in Burj Hammoud, a gay cruising cinema.

‘I do not know what is more sad, the fact that Joe Maalouf is gay (and well known by the gay community) and he is working for a conservative TV station playing the morality police, or the fact that a closeted gay kid with a stupid program can mobilize the police like no other movement could.’

Watch Maalouf’s rant on 8 May program ‘Enta Horr’ (from 00:42:00) in Arabic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1dZWdm1mi8&feature=player_embedded

Related Terms:

دعارة وشذوذ في السينما

Sat 28 Jul 2012 – 9:03:00 PM

عادة ما تكون مخبأ من الحياة العملية او ما عداها او كوة تلتمس منها مكانا للسفر إلى عالم الخيال أو ربما التراجيديا ، ولم لا… الكوميديا في أغلب الاحيان.

يجمعون على تسميتها بالفن السابع كيف لا والسينما تجمع أروع الاعمال والمواهب وتضم أضخم الانتاجات التي تراسل الشرق والغرب ناقلة بمبلغ زهيد حضارات وثقافات إلى زمان ومكان مختلفين.

إلا أنها تحولت في الآونة الاخيرة الى ملاذ للمنحرفين يفجرون فيه اكل ما يختزنون في داخلهم من مشاكل نفسية أو كبت أو حتى “شذوذ”.

البداية كانت من كولورادو التي شهدت إحدى صالات السينما فيها جريمة مروعة بعد ان اقدم شاب على إطلاق النار بشكل عشوائي موقعا 12 قتيلا وعشرات الجرحى.

في لبنان، الوضع مختلف حيث لم يسقط لا قتلى ولا جرحى، انما المشكلة اخلاقية وتحديدا في صالة سينما بلازا في النبعة، حيث وللمرة الثالثة تم إقفالها بالشمع الأحمر بسبب تحولها إلى مكان للدعارة والشذوذ. كما تم إلقاء القبض في داخلها على ستة وثلاثين شخصا معظمهم من الشاذين جنسيا، منهم بالجرم المشهود، كما تم توقيف صاحب السينما

to view the piece if video  check this link : it appeared on the news http://mtv.com.lb/News/108657

7996 views
below is the LBCI news:
أمن وقضاء
31-07-2012                                                                                                 19:47
36 شاباً اقتيدوا من صالة سينما وأٌخضعوا لفحوصات المثلية

هزت فضيحة جديدة “سينما بلازا” في برج حمود، التي أقفلت بالشمع الاحمر بقرار من الدولة لكونها تشكّل تهديداً للأخلاق العامة، في خطوة ليست الاولى من نوعها فقد قامت الدولة باقفال صالات كثيرة أخرى منها “سينما موناكو” لأنها تهددّ الآداب العامة.
ولكن أزمة اقفال “سينما بلازا” تتخطّى الحدود الضيقة للموضوع. إذ قرر مكتب حماية الآداب توقيف 36 شخصاً كانوا موجودين في السينما .وقد تم اخضاعهم لفحصوات المثلية الجنسية التي تنتهك الحدّ الأدنى من حقوق الإنسان ومن خصوصيّته وحميميّته.
وفي هذا السياق، لفت ناشط في المجتمع المدني في حديث الى الـLBCI الى أنه يتم الهجوم في الفترة الاخيرة على الأشخاص المستضعفين في لبنان من فلسطينيين الى عاملات أجانب ، الى مثليين، مؤكدا أنه ينوي تقديم اعتراض على فحوصات المثلية الى نقابة الاطباء.

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I watched the first show of Lil Nasher, I usually like to watch the show, but 2 weeks ago, Tony Khalifeh had angered me big time.

He was “Fulminating” against a movie he didn’t even watch.

he was “protecting” a religion in a way that made me say ” kaffarratouni“;

directly after watching the show of Tony, and hearing priests asking to ban the movie, that has sexual content, and sexual “iihaa2”,

we went to watch the movie… I liked the pictures, the colors, I felt I was watching an “arte” movie… and for me it was a “nice movie”… with some great “jeu d’acteurs”!

During the entire show I was waiting to see what the “hell” made this big “polemique” against the movie, me a “religious person” couldn’t find anything to say… the priest in the Khalifeh show, said, “I stayed more than 3 minutes because of Tony”, euh….  the first 3 minutes and more of the movie are about a family going to the south in a car, hearing on the radio the war news of Lebanon…. are those 3 minutes offending ya priest??

the priest was asking “reclaiming” from the biggest authority in Lebanon to stop the movie, this priest, I am sorry he is a priest, was outraged, angry,

Dear sir, for me you are not a priest, you are a “pathetic pantin” who is frustrated sexually, you can’t even see a women dressed in “hafer ” way….

this “pathetic pantin” even dragged with tony khalifeh the other priest, Pere Fady Tabet, to say that the movie is “mousi2” for the church dogma… even though another priest abou kasm or abdo kasm or something… said, it contains harmful pictures, but it is not “mousi2 for the church dogma”…. cool hein??? they havent watched the movie and they want to CENSOR IT!?!!!! sorry to say what the F…!?!!??!

No to CENSORSHIP!!! Yes for the freedom of expression!! yes for the freedom of artistic expression!!!!

you could have asked for a special mention, such as the ones E begins its program with ” no for sensitive viewers” or “16 years old” … but asking for BANNING IT?!!!! we are LEBANON, the country of artistic creation, production!!! not the country of censorship and Banning!!!!

I am outraged by the “Church” reaction, I am sorry for the “small minds” of those who didnt even watch the movie and talk about him that way.

a fellow blogger , Elie, in ” a separate state of mind” a blog that I encourage you to read and follow,  expressed what I feel greatly!

here is a part of what I feel!! “This is pitiful. This is a disgrace. This is an insult to our intelligence and our freedom. This is an insult to Christianity, an insult to the Bible and an insult to anything Jesus Christ stood for.

Christian priests, are you happy? I am a Christian and I’m telling you – you are disgusting. You are so narrow-minded that if I tried to look through the hole that is your mind, the only thing I can see is emptiness. Is that what they teach you at whatever school you go through to become priests? To close in your mind and get offended at anything that touches on your religion in a way you find unfavorable?

How does this reflect on us, Christians, when your narrow-mindedness if the only thing people can see of us? Have you perhaps wondered that if some people decided to convert from Christianity because of a movie like Tannoura Maxi, however unlikely that may be, it’s not the movie’s fault but it’s your own? Or it’s perhaps because you don’t want the reality of having so many people with so little faith on your hands that you are panicking about anything and everything?” Source: Tannoura Maxi is Banned in Lebanon a post by the blog a separate state of mind http://stateofmind13.com/2012/05/21/tannoura-maxi-is-banned-in-lebanon/

dear Church men… do open your mind for the love that is the pilar of our religion.

As the great priest (I think Catholique) at ste Rita Church said yesterday evening during his “homelie”, God do not need us to “ternish” his image, your reaction, is ternishing his image.

Love between a man and a women is NORMAL, stop changing it and transforming it to something people should be guilty for and stop dramatizing it….

for those interested in reading the great reactions written here and there, I luved what Pierre wrote in al Akhbar about the same issue,

and again, bravo for the producer, director and all the crue of the movie, I luved it, especially my old school comrade role, you were astonishing in it, my friend from the church, you played your role magnificently too…

voila!!

Rita Chemaly

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Sit-In on Tuesday April 3 by the Jinsiyati Campaign in front of the Grand Sérail During governmental session… Join us!

Lebanese Women’s Right to Nationality and Full Citizenship:

Tuesday, April the 3rd 2012 , the Jinsiyati Campaign is organising a Sit in in front of the Grand Serail,  Riad el Solh Square at 10:30 am to ask the governmental Committee in charge of working on the nationality draft law to:
– Indicate a clear timeline according within which the committee will be working;
– Share the Terms of References of the Committee;
– Include civil society organizations in the process;
-And last but not least, take into consideration our demands for FULL CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS for women without any conditions.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION:
– Tweet, using the #Jinsiyati hashtag
– Share the event and your stories with regards to citizenship rights on your FB Profile and on this page
– Write on your blog about the issue;
We can do it!

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Regulating blogs??? mais ils sont fous ou quoi?? a ceux qui veulent legiferer, qu’ils sachent au moins respecter les libertes, et comprendre les moyens utilises, bref, mustapha explique clairement ce que je veux dire et en mieux, je le “vole”!!!

rita

 

So apparently our esteemed Minister of communications Walid Daouk is planning to discuss a draft law aimed at “regulating websites and protecting their owners”.

I’ve previously called bullshit on the claims that the government wants to protect us. Oops, I just wrote “bullshit” and broke clause #1 of the proposed law:

The publication by electronic means of material that affects public morals and ethics […] is prohibited.

I shudder to think what they’d do to Angie with such a clause. But hey, since the government wants to “protect” me, maybe I should go ahead and submit my real name, my contact info and my address as mandated by the proposed law, since the law says that websites should provide the details of their “manager in charge”.

Speaking of that “manager in charge”, you can only operate a website if you were never convicted of anything (sorry repentant ex-convicts, no blog for you). You can only “manage” one website at a time(Liliane, you’ll have to choose one of your blogs and one only). And most importantly, if you have legal immunity, you are not allowed to manage websites. So dear representatives of the Lebanese people in parliament, I’m sorry to announce that you are not allowed to have blogs and talk directly to your constituents.

Let me double down on breaking the first clause: This is a boat-load of crap! Not just because it’s hopelessly obsolete (Twitter? Facebook? Google Plus? anyone? Who is the “manager in charge” of such accounts?) but because it’s not enforceable and people are just going to ignore it and run loops around it.

Even the reasons for creating such a law are bogus. Each website, blog, or twitter account establishes its own credibility, and people who make stuff up or steal content are eventually shunned and lose influence (if they had any to start with). The mechanics of fairness and balance are inherent on the web, since it doesn’t cost you a thing to have a voice online.

So please, please, spare us your silly “protection”, and while you’re at it, shut down your utterly useless ministry.

 

source: http://beirutspring.com/blog/2012/03/07/the-lebanese-government-still-wants-to-regulate-your-blog/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beirutspring%2Ffb_feed+%28Beirut+Spring%29

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