Excerpts from articles in the press (online and offline) with reference to myself, Jad Aoun, or the blog, Lebanon News: Under Rug Swept.
Excerpts from the Press
Jad Aoun, un autre blogueur libanais basé à Dubaï, qui s’est fait une spécialité de défendre l’image du Liban en traquant l’utilisation du cliché «on dirait Beyrouth» pour décrire des scènes de destruction ou de ruines, estime cependant que la voie judiciaire annoncée par le ministre libanais est une impasse. «Mes interventions se sont toujours limitées aux articles factuels dans les médias», écrit-il, car s’attaquer aux producteurs et aux scénaristes butera toujours sur le message affiché au début de tous les films avertissant les spectateurs du caractère fictif de leur œuvre.
One former resident of the city grew so tired of the stream of articles and broadcasts in which the words “looks like Beirut” were used to describe scenes of destruction that he started a blog to document them.
Jad Aoun, the author of the blog, named ‘Looks Like Beirut’, called Homeland’s portrayal of the city “a mash-up of every conceivable generalization of the Arab World.”
“Were the episodes taking place in the 70s and 80s, it could have passed for a slight resemblance of Beirut. Therein lies the problem: the civil war in Lebanon had such an impact on people’s perception that Beirut is stuck in that perpetual state in people’s minds.”
The Daily Star: Headlines hide the positive in Lebanon
Jad Aoun, author of the blog “Lebanon News: Under Rug Swept,” monitors coverage of Lebanese news, and “looks like Beirut” comparisons from across the world.
He believes that the high number of negative news stories on Lebanon preceding the pope’s visit stems from a failure of journalists to follow up on stories.
“I noticed that the Western press focused on the kidnappings, not on the subsequent releases; families with military wings, not the army intervention and subsequent arrests; and the smoking ban, particularly how it will unlikely succeed,” Aoun says.
“No one seemed to care about the positive developments that finally came to fruit. The focus was on the negative because that’s what people are interested in reading about and that is what gets clicks.”
“Focusing heavily on the bad without providing the developments of the story leaves a dark cloud over the city,” Aoun says.
While Aoun concedes that, “Lebanon has always been a news-interesting place because things can get out of hand quite easily,” he also believes that Syria, and the high concentration of journalists in Beirut, are contributing to the volume of stories from the region.
For Aoun, Lebanese and Arab media are also becoming increasingly focused on “news which excites rather than informs.”
By their nature more informed of local news, Aoun says, but adds that “they now seem to follow the Western press in focusing on the single, groundbreaking events while glimpsing over the developments.”
The Media Line: Fear and Blogging in the Arab World
Jad Aoun, a Lebanese blogger living in Dubai, says his English-language blog did not cover political issues, but if it did he would probably censor himself.
“With the change in the status quo, anything can happen,” Aoun, who blogs at Lebanon News: Under Rug Swept, told The Media Line. “Regional governments seem to be more focused on social media and are more likely to pounce on any online dissent to pre-empt street action.”
Also appears in the Gulf Times.
The Daily Star: Jad Aoun: the guardian of Beirut’s image
From Communicate Levant – Blogosphere:
Jad Aoun is on a mission: sending “Looks Like Beirut” certificates to people around the world – and we do mean around the world – comparing an ugly situation to the Lebanese capital. And since one American sheriff answered back saying that he stood corrected and would frame his certificate, Jad is on the roll. Just an example of how one blogger can do more for his country’s image than tourism offices.
My post Benihana Goes Bananas; Manager Stereotypes Lebanese has appeared in Communicate Levant’s March issue. Thanks to Liliane, Chantal, Ivy and Lelya (from Mediaquest) for the info:
France24′s report on my “Looks Like Beirut” campaign:
This newspaper cut-out from Dubai’s Gulf News is related to my MBA; this semester, we had to form groups of four and create a board game based on market needs and then develop brand behind it. My name wasn’t mentioned but that’s me on the right with my team-members with our game, BOOSTER.
Here’s the link to the article.
Here is an article that appeared in Saudi Arabia’s Al Hayat newspaper by Jihad Khazan (click on the photo to see the entire article):
For an English translation, click here.
I was contacted by a BBC journalist, Elizabeth Diffin, as she came across my website while researching the phrase, “It’s Like Beirut”. After an email and phone interview shortly later, the article was published as part of the BBC Online Service. And here it is for you all to read:
…Finally, and amusingly, UAE based Lebanese blogger Jad (jadaoun.com) tells us of some new developments in the Middle East.
The Israeli Army has added an arsenal of Eland antelopes on the border with Lebanon, he writes. The latest in animal warfare: a weed cutter. I wonder if the Israeli Army studied the ecological aspect of bringing in a new creature to the local eco-system.
Nevertheless, I hope the Israelis take care of these animals better than they took care of the animals at the Gaza Zoo.
Jad kindly provides a link to Gulf News video editor Ashraf Helmis’ piece about the animals who were killed in Gaza Zoo during the recent war.
Both the blog, and Gulf News’ videos from inside Gaza are well worth checking out.
“The Korean cars were cheap and competitive. It provided a great profit margin for traders in Lebanon,” said Jad Aoun, assistant manager at Korea Trade Center in Beirut. “They see Lebanon as an entrance to the Middle East market.”
“While the market in Lebanon is relatively small, Koreans believe that Lebanese are good traders and can sell their products outside Lebanon,” Aoun said.