Genre and Gender: The Case of Soap Opera (group project)

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Politics in Lebanon: If I had to explain the history of Lebanon and it’s wars I’ll keep talking till forever. Have you Ever wondered why Lebanon is always stuck in wars? You see every country wants a piece of this country. What for? Have you Ever wondered maybe because Lebanon is so special, everyone wants it for their own? Even the Lebanese people. It’s sad isn’t it? Lebanon is divided, you see everyone defending it in his own way, and you see people who know absolutely nothing about politics or religion defending leaders who are not worth it. They do not even know they exist. But why? Will we ever learn? So, as far as I know, no matter whom are you defending, you’re not defending Lebanon anymore, you’re just making things worse, whether you agree or not. Fighting others over the same issue. All of them are saints, right? This Christian man who always fight for the Christian rights but in the civil war, he killed thousands of Christians and some say he burned down a whole church, but you know he’s all right! He’s fighting for the Christian rights! How ironic. And this man who also claims to be the best leader there is and he has potentials to be the president of this country, left his whole followers in the worst time, and went to Paris. But he’s the best! Isn’t he? Or this man who claims to fight for Lebanon against any Israeli enemy because in his opinion, his militia are the Lebanese army, and was planning 30 years ago to make every Christian in this country leave Lebanon. But he won in 2006 war! See, in his opinion winning a war is by destroying every single bridge and road and killing over thousand people including kids, is a victory. Or this man who died, he helped people, but he also stole a whole lot of money, now because he’s dead he’s a saint. Or this man who claims to be better than the partake throws curses and disrespects everyone, and still people follow him. Or the leader who every time he changes his opinion and decides to make a better plan and becomes against the people who he used to work with. And all of them are called “leaders”, and all of them have followers who are willing to sacrifice their own lives, their own families, just to defend them, claiming that they are defending Lebanon. Call me innocent, call me naïve, but I also ask myself the same question: what for? Why would they do that? And never got a real answer. I never got an effective answer that makes me want to follow one of these political parties. You see, there are probably more political parties in this country than the people. No offense to anyone, but even Syria has their own political party.

My intervention: Maybe I took this project a lot seriously but that’s because I’m sick of it. I’m sick of those leaders, I’m sick of this country, and I’m sick of the people. Call me harsh, but that’s the truth! Haven’t they learned anything from the war that passed? So they passed it on their kids and grandchildren?! I mean isn’t it just insulting for you to see a 5 year old saying: “alla owwet?” or “enta lbatrak ya sleiman?” etc… Instead of teaching kids forgiveness and peace, they’re teaching them politics.

My intervention as you can see, it’s about politics. I held a board, and on this board was a pattern of the Lebanese flag. Between these flags, there were the flags of all the “active” political parties in Lebanon. Students held paint balloons and threw them on the flag they hate the most. The paint represented the colors of the Lebanese flag, which are: red, white and green. In the end was the result of an abstract art representing the Lebanese flag, and how the flag is ruined by war and replaced by other flags. The flyer that was distributed to the students said the following:

(Please take a moment and think of what you have done. Are you sure you just hit the right flag and nothing else? 3o years ago, Lebanon got hit with bombs by the Lebanese people, and its flag was replaced with other flags. Ever since then, people have been missing what to hit, and instead the story ends up by Lebanon being the victim. They destroyed Lebanon.

Do not allow them to manipulate you.

Free yourselves and free Lebanon.

Bring back the Lebanese flag.

Thank you for participating.)

During the intervention: While working on the board, people started to pass by and look and ask questions. Some asked the purpose behind my project. Some got really excited and wanted to play, and some got it in a personal and offensive way.

When the game started, everyone got so excited, and some got overly aggressive, which isn’t really what I was hoping for. A guy held like 5 balloons and started throwing them randomly. Some took it as a joke, and others just did it for fun, and others did it for the cause of it. I was surprised because I was expecting the ounyye also to participate, but no one came to throw on the Lebanese forces, whereas the Lebanese forces participated a lot, I didn’t actually see a reaction from all the sides, for some reason. But it opened my eyes to the society here at the university, not probably Lebanon, but here in this university. Most of the participants were anti-politics, which was really a positive thing for me. Some got really insulted that the Lebanese flag is being taken for granted and refused to throw because it’s an insult for the country, others refused to throw because it’s an insult for their political views.  While I was packing, there was a guy who came he wanted to throw so I gave him a balloon, at the end of the movie you see how he’s totally focused on hitting the flag he hated the most, after that, I gave him a flyer, he was totally into the idea, but then I met him again in the campus and he gave me the flyer back. People took it a lot personally, probably because of the effects of the war. Many people lost someone very dear to them and a lot lost a lot of things, so people cannot really move on that quickly. But the thing that I will never understand is that people are being killed over someone who doesn’t even know they exist.

The song:

Civil war is a Guns N’ Roses song which i thought it’s totally perfect for movie.

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.
Some men you just can’t reach…
So, you get what we had here last week,
which is the way he wants it!
Well, he gets it!
N’ I don’t like it any more than you men.” *

Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they’ve always done before

Look at the hate we’re breeding
Look at the fear we’re feeding
Look at the lives we’re leading
The way we’ve always done before

My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can’t deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars

D’you wear a black armband
When they shot the man
Who said “Peace could last forever”
And in my first memories
They shot Kennedy
I went numb when I learned to see
So I never fell for Vietnam
We got the wall of D.C. to remind us all
That you can’t trust freedom
When it’s not in your hands
When everybody’s fightin’
For their promised land

I don’t need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war

Look at the shoes your filling
Look at the blood we’re spilling
Look at the world we’re killing
The way we’ve always done before
Look in the doubt we’ve wallowed
Look at the leaders we’ve followed
Look at the lies we’ve swallowed
And I don’t want to hear no more

My hands are tied
For all I’ve seen has changed my mind
But still the wars go on as the years go by
With no love of God or human rights
‘Cause all these dreams are swept aside
By bloody hands of the hypnotized
Who carry the cross of homicide
And history bears the scars of our civil wars

“We practice selective annihilation of mayors
And government officials
For example to create a vacuum
Then we fill that vacuum
As popular war advances
Peace is closer” **

I don’t need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
And I don’t need your civil war
I don’t need your civil war
I don’t need your civil war
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war
I don’t need one more war

I don’t need one more war
What’a so civil ’bout war anyway


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In this country, there is a lot of everything. A lot of good people, a lot of bad people, a lot of religious people, a lot of atheists, a lot of wrong rules, a lot of wrong everything. And all the wrong things are in this country didn’t exist before the 1970s; in fact, Lebanon was the best country in the Middle East. It had everything, rules, values, economy, tourism, class etc… Everything that this country lacks nowadays. This country was ruined by one and only one thing: Politics. You know sometimes this word scares me, and there are other times which makes me want to throw up.

Everyone wants to leave this country. You see everyone complaining about each and every single flaw in this country and they never realize that it was our ancestors’ fault and now it’s our fault and in the future it will be us who ruined this once so called beautiful country. I’m going to take this project on a personal level, cause politics to me became a personal problem, because it makes my heart ache every time someone criticizes Lebanon and makes fun of Lebanese people, and what makes me even more angry is when the best people leave Lebanon just because this country doesn’t have any potentials. You know people criticize Lebanon the whole time, they all wish they were born in some other country, in fact some people don’t admit that they are Lebanese even though they were born here and raised here. They speak some other foreign language because Arabic is not a cool or class language, but when it comes to politics everyone changes, they suddenly become interested in this poor country, they become slaves to the Lebanese leaders who have been ruining Lebanon since 30 years and even more! Now this is just wrong! Those leaders you are defending right now lead to the result that ruined Lebanon.

Personally, I wasn’t born here; I was born in Ecuador, beautiful country indeed. But you know what? I’m 100% Lebanese and I say it out loud. I don’t even speak Spanish, though it would be nice to know how to speak this language, but you see my family and I always spoke Arabic with each other, we simply prefer speaking Lebanese because that’s who I we are. I’m from a town in Bekaa valley called Rayak, I bet most of you don’t know the name of this town, which is why I always say that I’m from Zahle. Other than having a big station and a huge airport, Rayak was famous for having one of the biggest train factories at that time. It was well known for designing and reassembling old steam engines that worked on charcoal to work on fuel. In World War II this factory was used as a military base in which military weapons were fixed. At that time a group of engineers from both the train factory and Rayak’s Military Airbase where assigned to build airplanes for the French military. Some of the airplane parts were manufactured and designed in Rayak’s train factory. They were then taken to Rayak airport to be assembled to their new chassis, and, Rayak’s first airplanes concurred the sky. In 1976 the railway was shut due to the civil war, ending more than eighty-five years of success and achievements. Thirty-three years have passed and this institution, which is more than one hundred and fifteen years old, has been silenced, and left to perish through time. And now people who know this town are so few. People who even know what kind of town are also few, and I was one of them, until recently my brother opened my eyes to his amazing project. He’s working for in order for this beautiful railway to come back to life. There is something really wrong about that. And it’s all because of the Lebanese leader which most of the people follow.

What do you like about Lebanon? The answer is always: “nothing” or “the nightlife”. The nightlife? Seriously? That’s what’s really important about this country?

This is why it’s time for an intervention. My intervention is going to be about politics in Lebanon. I’m going to have a big board in the university’s campus, what better place there is? For a start, every year when the elections happen, they don’t vote for the students they vote for politics! Whenever someone passes in front of you you hear them talking either English or French claiming that they’re not “Lebanese”, yeah.. right!  This board will contain the Lebanese parties nowadays; I cannot put them all because when I was searching for all the Lebanese parties in Lebanon there were 92 pages full of only names of the Lebanese parties. Maybe one day I’ll do my own Lebanese party for me I’d call it “go green”, since I love the environment, I bet there will be another political party against me fighting for the same issue, funny eh? So what I’m going to do is put all the famous most active Lebanese parties on this board: Tayyar Al Watani lHor, Kowwat, Hezbollah, Tayyar Al Mustakbal, Al Ishtirakyye, Al Marada. I’d put aside balloons full of paint, at first I thought about the paint to be of colors of all the Lebanese parties, but then I thought of having the colors of the Lebanese flag: Red, white and green. The purpose is to ask people from all the campus to throw these paint balloons on the political party/parties they hate. The result: an abstract painting made by all the people representing the Lebanese flag. The painting for sure will be chaotic representing Lebanon nowadays. And it’s all because of the belongings and the division of all the Lebanese people who always fight for their Lebanese parties and not for Lebanon.

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We all know what optical illusion is. But when you come to think about it, it’s really amazing how single line can change the perspective of things and how you really see things! Take for example the famous artist Escher his work is too good to be true! It takes you to this whole new world of dimensions and confusion, by only lines and shades! It makes me wonder if God used the same technique to create us!

On the other hand there’s Kurt Wenner who’s actually an architect. He’s famous for his three dimensional pastel drawings, Street Painting, 3D Pavement Art, 3D Chalk Art, or 3D Sidewalk Art, they are a form of anamorphic art. Anamorphism is usually considered a form of Illusion or Trompe loeil, but is really the logical mathematical continuation of Perspective. Kurt Wenner is writing a Street Painting History, explaining how sidewalk art and pavement art transformed itself into a spectacular medium, popular in Advertising, Publicity and numerous Street Painting Festivals. Kurt Wenner applied the principles of classical drawing and classical design to the sidewalk, completely transforming the art form. In addition to creating 3D Street Painting for Publicity and Advertising, Kurt Wenner designs Villas and Residential Architecture. He also creates lavish Interior design and classically inspired Product Design.

Now take a look at his work and enjoy!

Even simple lines can create complicated illusions.



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People are… strange.

Tattoos and piercings:

Things that we might think that they are actually okay, or maybe some fashion trends that makes people cool is actually weird and bizarre when you come to think about it.

Tattoos and piercings are very cool trends. Personally, I’m a big fan I used have a piercing three months ago.

So I’m going to talk about the truth behind tattoos and piercings.  Well, we all know that in ancient times many tribes and cultures like ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Africans, Indians, Incas, Mayans, Aztecs etc… used tattoos and piercings to symbolize something like adornment, religion, position in society, nobility, virginity etc… The oldest piercing and tattoo discovered was 5300 years old, on a mummified body found in Australia. Not to mention that earrings were mentioned in the bible. In Genesis 35:4, Jacob buries the earrings worn by members of his household along with their idols. In Exodus 32, Aaron makes the golden calf from melted earrings. Deuteronomy 15:12–17 dictates ear piercing for a slave who chooses not to be freed.

Anyway, what some of you don’t know is that tattoos and piercings were also used on animals most commonly used for identification or branding. So, nowadays it’s totally cool to wear them. Weird isn’t it? Now people wear them for no reason. So, imagine piercing was originated as a way to control animals! Yet, somehow people find it cool and trendy.


On the other hand we know famous celebrities like Lady Gaga or Madonna, they try anything just to attract attention. Ofcourse everyone heard about lady gaga and her meat dress. Wait till you know about Shoko Nakagawa know as “Shokotan”, she’s a popular singer/celebrity in Japan. Since Shokotan is an animal lover to the extreme, maybe kind of beyond that, she thought that using animals in her look would be a good idea. Remember when someone having bugs in their hair how you get freaked out and stay away from them so that you cannot have the same problem? Well, it seems that Shokotan enjoys having bugs in her hair!  It seems that if anyone can start a trend it’s her. Her concept was about people wearing leather, snakeskin and wool and hurt animals, while her fashion is like no bugs have been killed during this process. What’s even weirder is that Japan’s society is actually applying these trends.

Speaking of Japan, we all know those Japanese comics, cartoon, and anime art. Big shining eyes. Since cosmetic surgeries are not enough to make the eyes bigger, they came up with a new way to make those eyes bigger innocent yet sexy that would make many Japanese men weak. So without plastic surgery their eyes can become larger and prettier. How? Simple! Contact lenses. They decided to use extra-wide contact lenses. Those contact lenses are not only tinted, but they have an extra-wide outer ring, therefore an extra wider iris is the result.  Those contact lenses also have a twinkle in them in order to apply the perfect anime character to their style.

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What a picture is worth…

When words have no meaning anymore what better way to express yourself visually?  Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and that is why expressing something visually can send a message needed to be sent very clearly, it could send something whether it’s obvious or subliminal to thousands of people. In a word where media is the way that connects the whole world together, photography and visual messages are the best weapons in targeting people whether it is in a good or in a bad way depending on how each person sees it. Whether it is in facial expressions, body language or maybe backgrounds a picture sends a message or many different messages that leaves a part of our imagination searching for the truth behind it. Take for example the Mona Lisa, it kept people wondering what’s the truth behind her mysterious smile generation after generation.

During centuries babies are always photographed or drawn with their mothers, motherhood is a very important and sensitive subject, it touched a lot of artists. I wonder what it’s like if the baby was held by his father, I mean I rarely see a father holding his child as a symbol of love or fatherhood or serenity. Even Father’s Day isn’t a big deal as Mother’s Day is. So i found this lovely picture, taken by Robert Fitch. Based on this baby’s expression, he/ she needs protection. And the way the father holds this baby expresses love and tenderness. I feel like the father is telling the baby that everything is going to be okay, and the baby is so scared from the real world and maybe wants to go to his/ her mother’s womb where everything is okay there, then the dad holds this baby and assures him/ her that everything is going to be alright. I love this picture, it has so many emotions.

This photograph was taken by Ken Marcus, the first published nude photographer in the United States. Ken worked for 10 years with Playboy magazine.To me, this picture is very sexist. I think the female body is taken for granted these days. I mean just the thought of a magazine that shows naked women, for others pleasure is totally disappointing disrespectful to all women from all over the world, as if women are only sex objects. People forget that women are mothers, full of tenderness, intelligence whether people disagree or not. This picture shows reality, and how women nowadays are used for sex and seduction. This girl is seducing men all over the world, she’s not seducing out of love, she’s not seducing her husband or her boyfriend, she’s seducing strangers! Now if this is not wrong and not sexist, then I don’t know what that is. Instead of evolving human beings sometimes are being slaves of their own instinct. This is no longer called open minded thinking, it’s on the contrary, it brings me back to the days where kings used to kidnap women just for their own pleasure, taking women just for sex and nothing else.

This picture is taken by Kelly Ryden, baby & child photographer. She specializes in newborns, babies, children, and family photography using natural light only.I totally love this picture! It’s so cute, so peaceful! The background is white which represents purity just like the baby. I love the baby’s smile; it’s full of peace and serenity. This baby is few months old, I wonder what is he/she thinking of or smiling for? They say at this age the baby’s smile is like a reflex and nothing more, this picture makes me not to believe that! His smile is full of emotions and not a reflex! It makes me want to be a baby again. No wonder why people use the phrase “sleep like a baby”. This picture to me represents holiness, serenity, and happiness… lots and lots of emotions! As if the photographer went to heaven just to photograph this cute angel!

When i first saw this picture to me represents black people’s agony. Based on this picture this couple looks poor since they are dirty. The woman seems so sad and has a lot of problems going on in her head, and the baby is sad as well but doesn’t realize what exactly is going on. I noticed the tears on this poor woman’s cheek; its contrast is so strong you might think that this woman is crying blood! This even shows more sadness and agony. The way her eyes speak and they way she’s holding a baby shows that she’s scared, she lost a lot and she doesn’t want to lose the most precious thing she has which is her baby. This picture is so emotional and so sad, it speaks right to me, it touches a nerve, and it makes me feel sadness as if I am the woman, that’s what’s so good about this picture. I think it was taken when racism was eating the world. It touches my conscience and reminds me of the consequences of racism and war, and how innocence is lost by sadness. What i saw was almost true, i found this picture in an article talking about racism, a story that tells how a father and all his family were kidnapped and sold as slaves. The writer was obviously a black guy, at this end of his article he said: “Yes I feel like a victim and I am not going to be made ashamed to admit it. A lot of black people have every right to feel like victims. After the sordid history of black people and their relationship with the ruling social class in America I’m surprised anyone would even suggest otherwise. But the real question is why don’t more people feel like the perpetrators they are?” I thought that it was a very touching and strong article that caught a nerve to so many people, especially this picture. I personally am not a racist, but if I am one, i would totally change not only because of this story, but also because of this really sensitive picture.

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