Friday, June 19, 2009

Me on Twitter

Since taking up my masters course in February, I have been totally consumed by studies.

I am nearing the end of the exam period, but I will be embarking on a little voyage of South East Asia in July/August before moving to Norway for a period of 6 months for further study.

So as a forewarning, my blogging and journalistic endeavours in the second half of 2009 will be just as sporadic as the first half.

HOWEVER, to balance the time consuming studies with my great urge to share my voice with the world, I am now using Twitter more frequently, particularly when major events in the region occur (i.e. Lebanese and Iranian elections).

You will notice a scroll of my Tweets to the right of the page if you are not on Twitter (and I strongly recommend you to join as it is the new phase of citizen journalism), and if you are on Twitter, please add me:

Username: antissa

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coverage of Lebanese elections

For English readers, good coverage of the Lebanese elections today might be a bit hard to find.

As I'm not in Lebanon at the moment, I am in a similar boat to many of you: sitting on my screen surfing through a haystack to find some good on-the-ground English reporting. I've all but ruled out the Western media, who never really understand what's going on-the-ground in Lebanon (i.e. Australian reporters based in Beirut have in the past called me in Australia to ask for information in the country, even though I'm on the other side of the planet).

I think most of the world is expecting a March 8 (Hezbollah, FPM et al) victory, but if there's a country to pull surprises, it's Lebanon.

The US hasn't fully endorsed co-operation with a Hezbollah-led government, but Jimmy Carter certainly believes it should and so do I. Israel will also need to deal with this reality, and be aware that any military response to a Hezbollah victory will only empower the Shi'ite group in the country.

As for the elections thus far, some cheating has been reported, but that's natural in a country drenched in corruption. I'm just praying no one kills each other today.

Anyway, good English-language sources for those who want to keep updated are:

- Sharek961 (the best election coverage site I have found)
- Qifa Nabki's blog (an English-language Lebanese blog offering live coverage today)
- The FPM forum (although partisan, this is an excellent and very quick English source for election results if you can ignore the political rhetoric)
- Twitter (search #lebanonelections)
- Blacksmiths of Lebanon (again, quick updates, but biased towards March 14)

For a list of candidates and their affiliation, click here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lebanese elections in a nutshell

Every major political party vying for seats this weekend either fought in the civil war or played a corrupt part in Syria's convenient domination. Enough said.

Some choice for the Lebanese voter.

Are we really that devoid of an intellectual, political class? Are our bloody warlords and corrupt billionaires the only options we have?

Good luck to the winner this weekend, it sure won't be Lebanon.

PS. Sincere apologies for my long absence, I have been absolutely swamped with my post-graduate studies. My blogging/media work has taken a backseat to trying to 'theorise' the problems in the Middle East.