Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Your government on the web

If you've never had the pleasure of perusing the Lebanese Internal Security Force's website, I highly recommend the English version. Not only will they advise you on some common sense means of "limiting snatching of handbags", such as keeping "your bag hung around your neck" (with a priceless photo of a woman in a short-skirt struggling to wrench her purse from the clutches of a thieving motorcyclist), but you can also learn about the history of the ISF.

Here's a highlight (emphasis in bold is mine):

"Emir Fakhreddine II is the founder of the modern Lebanese State. After a perturbed childhood, he acceded in 1589 and started working for the unification of the country, by destroying some independent objecting Lebanese families. In order to keep order and execute the usual police missions, the Emir created a group of armed men, “Zelems”, i.e. direct servants. There were also other little groups of “Zelems” for feudal lords. when internal disorders used to threaten the security of the country, the Emir did not hesitate to ask for the help of his professional elements “The Sikmans”, who were foreign mercenaries. Nevertheless, he avoided the participation of “Bedouins”, known to be thieves and murderers."

Nothing like a "perturbed childhood" to prepare you for the founding of a modern state. When in doubt, "destroy" objecting families and exclude those murderous, thieving Bedouins from your police force.

The rather self-deprecating forward by ISF Chief Ashraf Rifi is also well worth a read, which begins: "
Lebanon has always been the heaven of security and peace and the oasis of the East, in spite of the tragic circumstances he endured." (Note the final, "Good Willing" [sic].)

What struck me as odd, however, is the "Health Guidance" section, which offered three points of advice (with accompanying power point presentations): "25 Reasons Why You Should Start Drinking Green Tea Now", "Honey & Cinnamon" and "Brisk Walking."

In case you want to learn more about some of the less well-known lawmakers in Lebanon's new cabinet, you can also consult their public profiles on Facebook:

  • According to his Facebook profile, the new Minister of Justice, Ibrahim Najjar, is "conservative" and "married" but was recently hugged by an anonymous admirer.
  • Dr. Antoine Karam, Minister of Environment, only has 9 friends.
  • Gebran Bassil's profile is closed to the public but a group called, "Gebran Bassil is gay... I swear!! :D" boasts 96 members.


Ms. Tee said...

Thanks, that was a lot of fun! The main news item in Arabic is the honorary doctorate the AUST granted Gen. Br. Ashraf Rifi.

Tantalus said...

Excuse me, but could you, as a lady, explain to me how to "let the bag be on the side of the wall"? I'm finding it hard to simulate this bag-saving maneuver, as instructed by the ISF.

EDB said...

If your bag is expensive enough, it should have a mind of its own. Therefore, when walking, any halfway decent handbag (read: Armani, Chanel, etc.) will want to be held on the shoulder NOT facing the street, i.e. "the wall." However, how does one both hang a bag around one's neck and let it be on the side of the wall? Only a genius en par with Ashraf Rifi would know.

Anonymous said...

you are a hillarious bitch Emily !

Anonymous said...

"the Emir did not hesitate to ask for the help of his professional elements “The Sikmans” who were mercenaries"...

EDB, did they contract you to write the ISF website or has it been hacked? :)

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