كانت الساعة تقترب من الواحدة ظهرا يوم الأربعاء 12 سبتمبر 2012 عندما وصلتني رسالة من شخص على تليفوني المحمول بأن السفير الأمريكي في ليبيا قد قتل خلال الهجوم الصاروخي الذي تعرض له مبنى القنصلية الأمريكية بمدينة بنغازي والذي نفذه مسلحون احتجاجا على الفيلم الأمريكي (لأقباط المهجر) المسيء للرسول محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم. بعدها مباشرة تصفحت مواقع اخبارية اجنبية، وها أنا أرى تاريخ جديد (12 سبتمبر) و أستشعر إسلاموفوبيا جديدة. 

يوم 12 سبتمبر اقترن إسم الإسلام من جديد في الإعلام الغربي (الأمريكي خاصة) بالإرهاب والقتل والعنف، واصطبح الأمركيون على كابوس أشبه بكابوس أمسهم 11 سبتمبر! من المسىء للإسلام هنا، هم أم هؤلاء؟ هم أساءوا الى رسولنا الحبيب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بقصد الاستفزاز، أما هؤلاء فهل أساءوا للإسلام؟ وإن أساءوا فهل أساءوا بقصد الغيرة؟

إن كان مبرر قتل السفير الأمريكي في ليبيا الغيرة على الإسلام فهذه غيرة آثمة يثاب تاركها ويعاقب فاعلها! فالغيرة على دين الله عبادة، وما دامت من العبادات فلا بد أن تكون من لذة الأعمال وأسماها ولا تخرج بصاحبها عن حد الإعتدال إلى الغلو المنهي عنه فيهلك كما أخبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بقوله: “هلك المتنطعون” (أي المجاوزون الحدود في أقوالهم وأفعالهم).. فمن هنا ألا يعتبر الرد بالقتل تجاوز الحد في الفعل؟

الإسلام يتبرأ من هكذا أناس! فهو بريء من كل من كان له دور في تقديم صورة مزيفة ومشوهة عنه.. كل من ساهم في تخوف الغربيين من خطر إسلامي متوحش وخلق الكره والترهيب من الإسلام والمسلمين وساعد في إظهار الإسلامية على أنها التهديد الأعظم لسلام العالمية.. اتقوا الله في دينكم! فأنتم من أوصلتم فرية التخوف من الإسلام إلى التحريض وإثارة الإستفزازات الدينية حتى وصل الأمر بهم إلى التطاول على أطهر الخلق و أحسنهم خلقا..، عليه أفضل الصلاة وأزكى السلام.

والله ما كان لينتشر هذا الفيلم عالميا إلا بعد أن روجنا له وجمعنا الخبر “بالخبرية” فتحقق ما يريده صانعو الفيلم من بروباجندا لإنتشار الفيديو مع إيصال فكرة إسلاموفوبيا جديدة للمجتمع الغربي.. فهو سيناريو مدروس.. وكاتبه موريس صادق رئيس الجمعية الوطنية القبطية الأمريكية الذي وجه كلمة إلى “مقتحمى السفارات وقتلة الدبلوماسيين نشكركم على حسن تعاونكم معنا!”

ونختم هنا…

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Mykonos, one of the world’s most sensational islands if not a piece of land from heaven. With it’s fabulous temperament and large cost scattered around the island every year Mykonos gets about 750,000 tourists that visit it. Walking around the Island means a journey into the past that narrates ancient Greek history with each step you make. In the centre of the town, you see visual impact of the Greek blue and white color scheme. If the blue component is crazy loud, white is an quiet; If the blue is a blue, white heart is a bliss.

As the body in the magic world, Mykonos Town Street with its many churches, pubs, and squares with all terraces having the ocean as their front yards; is the secret behind the quintessential of the Greek island. The more you walk with your plastic slippers and comfy outfit by the harbor, the more you explore that behind every corner in this island there is a surprise. Even on the womb of the sea sceneries are never taken by surprise.

During the day, the town street is wearing a white smile. Between the tiny passageways through the lively blue windows you see a natural burn island. When nature speaks, it speaks blue and white, Mykonos. With nature speaking, and sun dazzling lively beach activities are the highlight of Mykonos town street.The combination of the beautiful harbor, and the romantic sandy beaches trigers in you a brave desire to dive deeper beneath the ocean in which Amphorae and pots and the traces of the ancient Greece and the Roman Empire can be seen,

In the evening the party in Mykonos breaks loose, all around the city. And while bars and pubs are competing to sound louder than the other, the tourists stroll through the narrow streets and the port. This high-beat street never sleeps. Who ever enters the centre of the island at night turns to be a nocturnal creature, just like owls.

Spotted on the top of a small hill with traditional Mycenaean architecture, Mykonos Downtown is a brilliant blend of multi-cultured elements, with sophisticated luxury all surrounded by the great Peloponnesus mountains. The romance of the Aegean Sea combines the blue with white and pure simplicity in how to celebrate life day and night.

Mohammed Al Turki attends amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS Gala party during the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Hotel Du Cap

Mohammed Alturki can be known as (Mister has-it-all). As a Saudi Actor, Producer and Philanthropist Alturki surpassed all the imaginable challenges that exist in any cinema industry, in particular the ‘turbulent’ Hollywood.

As a child, his talent took place before a camera was ever switched on. And as a man, his passion separated him from being just a good producer/actor to being a highly talented one. For Alturki, “There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life” as Federico Fellini-the famous Italian Director- stated.. No wonder why both did crack the “Holly-Wood!”

Was it difficult, as a Saudi, getting into the Film Industry (Hollywood) at that time?

It’s hard as is it is getting into the Entertainment industry you can imagine how much harder it is for a Saudi or a Middle Eastern.Contacts and networking are key in this industry I’m blessed to have that. It eased my way in working on certain projects. You have to be open minded and accepting to a lot of criticism you get.

For me the factor of being a part of an industry that has no value or a proper understanding of its purpose in my country doesn’t make things easier.

I’ve grown up loving film. I grew up in a household where we were told we could pursue whatever we want as long as we work for it. I wanted it I worked for it and now I’m a member of an industry I longed to be a part of.

Tell us more about your latest project “Arbitrage”?

Arbitrage is a film about Robert Miller “Richard Gere” a hedge fund billionaire trying to get rid of his empire before being caught in his scheme, in modern day Manhattan with the after math of the financial crisis.

We got a great ensemble cast that includes Oscar winner Susan Surandon, Tim Roth , Nate Parker, Sundance favorite Brit Marling and French sensation Latetica Casta. It is directed brilliantly by Nicholas Jarecki and we have a great cinematographer Yorick Ke Saux who worked on “I am love”.

Who was the most important mentor in your life and why?

The most important mentor in my life is my father Abdulaziz Al Turki. I’ve learned so much from him. I am so proud to be his son. I learned from him the importance of giving back to the community you both live and work in. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is important to him. I now understand and see why. The simple fact of joy and the feeling of satisfaction after you helped others. Simply makes you appreciate what you have nevertheless wanting to do better in life.. My father made us appreciate small and big things in life. Family for me is important as friends come and go but family lasts forever. They are the support system that will always live by your side.

In the last five years, what has been your most unforgettable meeting or experience and why?

I have many memories and experiences that are unforgettable. I cant decide which one is the most unforgettable. But I am on the start of my journey and I am looking forward to more unforgettable memories.

What is the one question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview today?

I’m not sure, but I sure know the questions that I wouldn’t want to be asked in an interview. (Smart one!)

RAMADAN DRAMA SERIES. (From left to right) Syrian Series, Egyptian Series, Kuwaiti Series.

TV broadcasting during Ramadan is changing particularly in the Middle East. While there are uncertainties as the industry moves forward, clear trends are emerging:

1. Large TV channels are providing their audience with high- quality drama series to differentiate their offerings and stay relevant in the market during the holy month of Ramadan.
2. Major broadcasters have been responding to rising Arabic TV series prices and the need for quality productions by commissioning their own TV series or entering into joint productions with producers and/ or other TV channels.
3. The increasing involvement of TV broadcasters in series production, even if primarily as financiers, is likely to improve overall production quality. Not only are TV broadcasters able to vigorously market the new programming, but also being in a better position to understand the needs and preferences of viewers, broadcasters can tailor productions toward more contemporary topics of interest to their audience.
4. Large TV groups with generalist channels, such as MBC, are launching thematic channels in order to maintain viewership across multiple segments. These channels tend to be clearly identified and positioned, with the identity made obvious to viewers in both content and promotion.

➢ Advertising Revenue During Ramadan

1. TV series are among the most popular types of programming during Ramadan especially in the Middle East followed by variety/entertainment shows, films, and news. As such, TV series, especially dramatic TV series in Arabic, are becoming dynamic sources of advertising revenues.
2. Regional TV stations spend the whole year preparing for Ramadan month, as it has become the single most important time of the year for them. The leading broadcasters typically earn about 30% of their annual advertising income during the Holy Month.
3. Exclusive rights to air a TV series during Ramadan cover approximately three quarters of production costs, with Dubai TV, MBC, LBC, Al-Rai, Abu Dhabi, and Melody Drama TV competing to be the first in line.
4. Statistics from the Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC) show that Ramadan is the advertising high season in Egypt, with $146 million spent during the holy month last year, a remarkable 62% increase over any other time of the year.

➢ Facts About Drama Production in Ramadan

1. The master of the game is Egypt in terms of TV drama production and TV broadcast services, followed by Syria, GCC countries and then the rest of the Arab world.
2. The number of Syrian soap operas available in Ramadan since 2006 has fallen because of a reduction in the availability of funding from other countries in the region, a consequence of the country’s forced isolation following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005, which Syria was widely blamed for, though has always dined.
3. Since the mid-1990s, Syria has been at the forefront of television drama productions, eclipsing Egypt’s traditional cultural hegemony.
4. Limited supply and strong demand for high-quality Arabic TV series, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan, when viewership is high, is resulting in large increase in prices, especially for first-run exclusive.

Lebanese women have been recruited and associated with labor force more often within the past few years. Although their participation in the public sphere is highly recognized, they seem to face several obstacles that complicated their well to duties and one of them is the gender pay gap. The discrimination and gender stereotyping has relegated Lebanese women as a second-class category when it came to salaries.

“At the hearth of studies and public debates lies the gender discrimination hypothesis that for equal acquired skills the compensation accruing to males is greater than that accruing to females,” Said Abdullah Dah, ex-chairman of business school in LAU.

In other words, for salary pay, men will be at best experience increasing their labor and economic power, while women with comparable skills will be at average or the same experience declining their labor and economic power. The question is are Lebanese women facing an obstacle toward their economic growth?

The report illustrates examples of cases in which education couldn’t bring to a close the hegemony of gender wage gap in Lebanon. Ali Babki, for example is a senior student in LAU, majoring business in the morning and working as Salesman in the evening. “ From Monday to Saturday my work shifts vary between 6 to 8 hours. I preferred the evening shift so I can attend my classes regularly in the morning. My paycheck is handed in 4 payments, each per week, which has its advantages and that is to keep me motivated for more credits like bonuses. It’s quite a hectic job, but I enjoy doing it maybe for the 220 dollars I get paid weekly.” While Farah H, Graphic Design LAU student is working with Ali Babki as a saleswoman but she is making 90 to 160 dollars per week.

“From the universities attended, LAU and AUB graduates receive the highest earnings in local universities. LAU and AUB graduates receive 18.06 percent and 28.40 percent higher earnings respectively than a graduate from BAU,Said Dah.”

Aside from education as being a strong determinant of earning and the relationship between the educational level and income, there is an earning differential attributed to gender in Lebanon. According to the students salary range above with respect to education shows that males receive higher incomes than females. Therefore, Lebanese women may face various challenges and may require having comparable skills to be successful in the work place than their male counterparts.

My Pelada

Posted: January 2, 2011 in Sports

A street where football is played with samba moves.

Pelada

The neighborhood is filled with fresh cut grass, where children waving their hands carrying homemade signs and their body language implies a rhythmic samba steps. The cheers coming from them make it easy for me to blink my lazy morning eyes.My olfaction is restricted with the sharp smell of grass. It’s an odor that makes me believe life is nothing but a green pitch. And Pelada street is my pitch!

It starts with the referee’s whistle. I strap on my jacket with great enjoyment and head towards the pelada field with other samba fans. The rush started and the weather began to sprinkle.The rain drops and the mingling wind joined together to perform the samba tunes. At that moment, The air was filled with screams and yells. How powerful the pelada street is! Flags and scarves were waving like Brazilian curves. They twirled rhythmically in the wind. And the paper scoresheet was blown over and following my steps by the corner of the street.

As the rain rolls down my face my eyes start to shut down. My hands start to sweat. I am having hot flashes in a freezing weather. Suddenly, I feel a gentle breeze. I look up, but all I can see is a glare from the yellow sun, and a smile from the green grass which revived me in one of the most tensed Friday mornings in my yearly calendar.

I look around me, all shops were closed, and the neighborhood was occupied. Even ‘El Arbi’ the neighborhood morning guard vanished from my sight. All the crowd from men, women and children were captivated by pelada fictional stadium. Even taxies gave no service. Knowing that the game have just started, the faster I walked. Just then, I heard the fans screaming…Goaaaaaaaaal!

I fought my way against the wind. The crowd got all wet through by the sobbing for samba victory. At that moment, I saw ‘Sokaina’, the old lady who is always in green and yellow dress, rushing to her bakery shop on the right hand side of the street despite the chaos taking place in pelada. And ‘Mehdi’ the face painter staining calmly yellow and green paint on his face, saluting pelada street football. Now I can only smell the yeast, and flour mixed with sugared water. As I only hear ‘one Dirham….one Dirham.’ Sokaina is celebrating with her freshly-baked Pao de Queijo. How exciting! I was celebrating too in a downbeat street in Morocco I call, my pelada.

Messi who is growing his own legend with FC Barcelona added a golden taste to his plentiful collection of soccer’s great trophies.

Maradona has classified Messi his “successor” on the pitch, and Messi has already surpassed the former legend and everyone’s expectations in terms of successes at club level. He won it all with Barca. He is just lacking one Golden Masterpiece, the World Cup.