GV Face: Everything You Need to Know About Lebanon’s Massive “You Stink” Protests

After over a month of active mobilization in Lebanon to protest against the trash crisis, 10 thousand people took to the streets on August 22, and 20 thousand the following day. “You Stink” or طلعت ريحتكم is a grassroot movement that rallied up the people and called for the resignation of the minister of environment besides other demands. They are a group of young Lebanese who refuse to remain silent and let corruption take its course again.

The movement quickly escalated and people were angry not only about the trash crisis but about the political situation in general including the mismanagement of the minister of environment in handling such pressing issue.

I talked to Joey Ayoub on GV Face, a Lebanese blogger and a Global Voices contributor who has been working closely with You Stink, about how it all started, what happened during the two days of the mass protests, and how to move forward.

Here’s the video of the live show:

What is Bahrain Doing to Prevent a Terror Attack?

Following two attacks on Shia mosques in Saudi Arabia in earlier weeks, and the last attack in Kuwait two days ago, ISIS promises the next will be in Bahrain.

I wrote a much needed article on Global Voices wondering if safety measures are being taken in Bahrain to prevent potential attacks, and protect worshipers.

“Bahrain is politically a perfect hub for a terrorist attack. The country is already divided by sectarian tensions following the popular uprising in 2011, when people called for more political reforms. The government pitted the conflict as a Shia population trying to wrestle power from a Sunni leadership, a storyline often echoed in international media. Bahrain is also different from both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait because Shias are closer to being a majority in the small Gulf island and are easier to target as the government has been engaged in daily street battles with Shiite protesters on an almost daily basis since protests started four years ago.

However, it remains the responsibility of the government first and the people second to provide security for all citizens equally, and not based on sect or political loyalty. Failing to secure the lives of all Bahrainis, regardless of their sect, is a sectarian statement in itself.

The question is, how can a country like Bahrain where systematic approaches based on sect are deeply infested, fight a bigger battle against ISIS. How are people expected to stand united, when state media fuels hatred and sectarian tensions in the country? Are we even allowed to blame ISIS for their irrational extremism when Bahraini religious figures, media outlets, and laws do the same?”

Read more here.

Analytical Series: Why Women’s Political Presence in Bahrain is Still Marginal

My colleague Anne Koopman and I co-authored a series of three analytical articles to explore the problem of women’s marginal role in politics in the Gulf Island of Bahrain. We have talked to politicians, activists and regular people to get a better understanding of the situation.

Since the introduction of the National Action Charter ‘Al-Meethaq’ in 2002, women and men have equal political rights in Bahrain, giving both the right to vote and actively participate in politics. However, female presence in politics is considerably low. In this series we will address the issue of low political presence in Bahrain by dividing the problem into three articles. In “Bahraini Politics: Where Are The Women?”, we will look at the political background in Bahrain and the statistics of women serving in higher positions, as well as compare the country to other Gulf States. In the second part “The Triangle of Oppression: Challenging Women’s Political Presence” we explain how the male dominant society, religious influences and lack of endorsements by political societies cause women to experience pressure to withdraw from elections or stay away from the political scene, but also to feel hesitant towards participating to begin with. In “Is There Hope For Equal Political Representation?” we show how the popular uprising in 2011, has put women’s rights on a back shelf, and the challenges for both men and women have become more similar and equal, leading to an unclear future for women in politics in Bahrain. Experts and female activists propose some solutions that could gradually improve women’s political presence in Bahrain.

Read all three articles on The Bahrain Debate:

Part I: “Bahraini Politics: Where are the Women?”

Part II: “The Bahraini Society: Challenging Women’s Political Presence”

Part III: “Is There Hope for Equal Political Representation?”

Bahrain: Why are Women Playing a Marginal Role in Politics

We Need Your Help Bahrain.

A colleague of mine, Anne Koopman, and I are working on an analytical piece that looks in to the reasons why women in Bahrain are still marginalized in the political scene. Since 2002 when the electoral experience came back to life in Bahrain, both men and women had the right to vote and run for elections, yet the female presence was still low.

Despite a little bit of increase over the years, and we now see a few females in the House of Representatives (lower house of the parliament and the Shura Council (upper house of the parliament), many consider this to still be a low number given Bahrain’s history with women’s associations and the fight for rights.

We have talked to several women in the political scene, some parties, women’s associations, but we want to hear from the people. We want to know how the every day life is for a woman, and what are the challenges that hinders her participation and success in reaching senior executive positions.

We have put together a very short survey to get the perspectives of both Bahraini men and women. This will help reflect our research on the reality in Bahrain and confirm that we’re understanding the issues as they are.

This is the link, it will take you less than 2 minutes to complete it.

// Answer five questions on this link

Thank you and we appreciate your contribution.

Stay tuned for the final article

Faten & Anne

Saudi Cables in Relation to Bahrain

Wikileaks released about 500,000 top secret documents from the Saudi government that consists correspondence between the country’s official bodies and other governments around the world.

Several of these relate directly to the Bahraini popular uprising in 2011, when people took the streets calling for democratic reforms and improvement of living conditions. The leaked documents show the Saudi government’s interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs and obsession with the uprising’s media coverage.

As an editor of Global Voices Check Desk, I am tracking these documents and posting them on a story that is constantly updated as we go through more documents.

Check it out: http://globalvoices.checkdesk.org/en/story/1909

Omar Al-Bashir Escapes Potential Arrest for War Crime

The story of Omar Al-Bashir dodging an arrest warrant for being accused of war crimes has triggered global reactions.

A higher court in South Africa was due to reach a verdict on whether to hand Al-Bashir over to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and had ordered the South African government to ban him from leaving the country pending trial. Al-Bashir, who was attending an African Union summit in South Africa, is accused of war crimes and genocide.

As an editor and contributor for the Global Voices Check Desk I write stories from the Middle East and North Africa region, and update them as more information comes in.

To follow updates and news on this story, or other stories in the region, check out the Check Desk.


Milan is mistakenly only famous for its fashion glamor, and wonderful shopping experience. But only a few know the hidden beauty in this Italian city. When in Milan you can’t miss the Duomo Terraces, one of the largest and oldest cathedrala in the world. A 600 year old Gothic building that enjoys incredible architectural details. The Duomo Terraces tells an Italian story through its walls and Pillars.

Lake Como is an hour away from Milan, and offers a perfect calm get away, a breath taking mountain view, and a nice walk through the village’s narrow alleys. On a good day with clear skies, you can see a view of the Alps.

The colors, architecture and art make for perfect camera snap shots, but doesn’t do it any justice.

Milano and Lake Como through my lenses.



The beauty of Milan & Lake Como