Lebanese Government Resigns

After demonstrators defied a government ban and poured into Beirut’s city center to protest against Syria’s military presence in Lebanon…

The Lebanese government abruptly resigned Monday during a stormy parliamentary debate, prompting a tremendous roar from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in central Beirut.

The demonstrators, awash in a sea of red, white and green Lebanese flags, had demanded the pro-Syrian government’s resignation — and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon — since this month’s assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The country’s pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud, now must pick a prime minister to form a new government until scheduled elections in May.

In his speech, Karami said he would have won a no-confidence vote scheduled for later in the day, but was resigning to avoid making his government a stumbling block to peace.
[Source: CNN]

I totally respect the people speaking out for what they want and putting the necessary pressure to get it.
I just hope things don’t get out of control and turn sour.
Some people are afraid of all this leading to another civil war. I hope they’re wrong and that it never happens.

Ariel Sharon Invited to Tunisia

So Ariel Sharon was invited to Tunisia for the WSIS 2005 (World Summit on the Information Society) and apparently he accepted the invitation.

This was met with mixed reactions by Tunisians and Arabs alike. Some people are totally against it and feel that it is wrong to host the man behind the Sabra and Chatila massacres and all the Palestinian bloodshed.
Others think that it’s a very normal thing and that it shouldn’t be taken out of context as the WSIS is a world summit and many leaders from all over the world will be attending.

Some people try to look a bit deeper and think it’s a step closer to normalization of ties between Tunisia and Israel, after the mood was set with the Sharm El Sheikh summit and the Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors returning to Tel Aviv.

Of course Ariel Sharon is a horrible man and he was behind a lot of Palestinian bloodshed, but when he comes to Tunisia in November he comes as a leader of a country that is recognized by the UN in a summit that is organized by the UN.

And I think that’s how the Tunisian government looked at it when the decision to invite Sharon was made.

More on the subject: AquaCool, Je Blog, Hou-Hou (FR).

Oscars 2005, 77th Academy Awards Winners

So the Oscars are over and the winners in the main categories are:

Actor in a leading role: Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Actor in a supporting role: Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby)
Actress in a leading role: Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)
Actress in a supporting role: Cate Blanchett (The Aviator)
Animated feature film: The Incredibles (Brad Bird)
Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy and Tom Rosenberg)
Directing: Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood)
Music: Finding Neverland (Jan A.P. Kaczmarek)
Visual Effects: Spider-man 2 (John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara and John Frazier)

And for the rest check out the Oscar Winner List.

I’m very happy Jamie Foxx got the Oscar for best actor, he truly deserves it. He was awesome as Ray Charles. Nobody could have deserved that award more than he did.

I must see Million Dollar Baby, it seems like one great movie.
Congrats to Clint Eastwood for taking the best director Oscar. Tough luck for Scorcese. (I can’t believe Martin Scorcese has never won an Oscar up to now.)

Ray

Today we watched “Ray”, the movie about the extraordinary life of Ray Charles.

This is one great movie. Jamie Foxx did an amazing job as Ray Charles. He truly deserves an Oscar for this role. He wasn’t acting, he simply became Ray Charles. Awesome acting.

I’ve always been a fan of Ray Charles and seeing this movie gave me insight into his life, music and genius. I truly enjoyed every moment of it.

The soundtrack was beautiful too, full of great Ray Charles songs. I’ll sure be getting it and enjoying it time and again.

This movie is a must see. It will satisfy both the music and cinema fan in you all.

My score for it would be: 10/10.
One of the very best movies of the year 2004.

The Gardens Of Light

I just finished reading “The Gardens Of Light” by Amin Maalouf.

The book tells the story of Mani – the painter, mystic, physician and prophet – exploring his life and journey.

It’s a very interesting book that takes the reader back to those times when the great Roman and Persian empires were in their battle to control the Middle East, and followers of different religions were fighting against each other for ascendancy.
It lets you live the journey of Mani while he preached his doctrine of humility, tolerance and love.

I really liked the way the story was told and how you really start feeling and understanding the characters.
I wish there were a bit more details about Mani’s teachings, as the book only hinted at some of the ideas.

Anyway, it was very interesting to me reading about Mani, learning about his life, beliefs and religion.
I thought his message of tolerance and love between all people, no matter what their religion is, no matter their caste and race is a very powerful and important one that we really need nowadays.

Egypt Election Reform

Good news from Egypt…

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered the constitution changed to allow multi-candidate presidential elections in September, making a surprise reversal Saturday that could mean he will face a challenger for the first time since taking power in 1981.

It was the first significant move toward political reform in decades in Egypt, a powerhouse in the Arab world that has had one-party rule for more than half a century.

The announcement came amid increasing calls for political reform from the domestic opposition and from the United States and after historic Iraqi and Palestinian elections that brought a taste of democracy to the region.

[Source: CNN]

I think this is really good news for all Egyptians.

In a matter of fact, just earlier today we were talking about the Kifaya demonstrations in Egypt, how currently the elections are only a referendum in which Egyptians vote yes or no for their president and how there should be change.

Hopefully this change, allowing more than one candidate to run for presidency, will be a good step towards more choice and more democracy in Egypt.

Yahoo! To Buy Flickr?!

Om Malik reports:

Rumors are flying thick and fast in Silicon Valley: Yahoo is all set to buy Ludicorp, the company behind the hot photo blogging web service Flickr, for an undisclosed amount of money.

Its not the first time rumors of these talks have made the rounds. Most of the deal-related chatter is coming from blogging world insiders who have said that Flickr might have inked the papers last week, but Yahoo is holding off on an announcement until March 1. At this point, it could all just be that

Google Movies

So Google have rolled out yet another cool feature in their search engine.

You can now search for movies on Google using the new “movie:” method (e.g. “movie: usual suspects” ) to find critics’ reviews, ratings and showtimes for that movie.

As a movie lover who’s always on the lookout for reviews of new movies, this is a great quick tool for me.

Quentin Tarantino To Direct ‘CSI’ Finale

Now this should be really cool…

Quentin Tarantino has signed to direct the season finale of primetime’s most-watched series, CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

Tarantino also has come up with an original story for the episode, which is expected to shoot in early April and air May 19, according to “CSI” executive producer Carol Mendelsohn.

“There will be more bugs and blood this time,” Mendelsohn joked.

[Source: CNN]

WOW, I’m sure this would turn out as one of the best CSI episodes ever especially that it’ll be a story of his own that he’s directing.

I’ve watched all of Tarantino’s movies and they totally rock, and I can truly imagine him working on something like this and producing something very cool.

I don’t watch CSI that often, although I wish I could as I like shows of this genre, but I’ll be watching out for this one final episode for sure.

Rastafarian Religion

Yesterday while flipping through some music channels, I stopped for a while on VH1 who were playing an ad for a show about Bob Marley they were going to put on. The ad talked about how Bob Marley was one of the strongest promoters for the Rastafarian religion…etc.

But wait, I never knew that there was such a thing as a Rastafarian faith.
Of course, I’ve heard a lot of reggae songs over the years and have heard a load of the words: rasta, rastaman, jah, rastafari, babylon …etc. But never did it occur to me that there was a religion behind all that.

So today, I hit the net for some research and thought I’d share with you my interesting findings.

Continue reading Rastafarian Religion