Lebanon Takes First Step To Abolish Marriage Rape Law

Lebanese lawmakers on Wednesday took the first step to overturn a law that allows rapists to avoid punishment if they marry their victims. The move came a day after protesters wearing fake-blood-stained wedding gowns confronted lawmakers just steps away from Parliament in the capital Beirut.

After a scheduled review of Article 522 of the penal code, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri tweeted that a parliamentary committee had agreed to push forward with a plan that would abolish the law.
Article 522 states that if a man rapes an unmarried woman he can avoid prosecution for the crime if he marries the victim.
Hariri praised the committee’s decision. “We await the completion of this civilized step in the nearest legislative session,” he told state-run news agency NNA.
Samy Gemayel, president of the Kataeb political party, also welcomed the move and said he hoped for fast approval at Parliament’s general assembly, according to NNA.
Activists on Tuesday rallied near Parliament to denounce the law. Participants, who dressed as beaten brides, said the action was a visual reminder that for many women who are the victims of rape, what comes next may be worse than the rape itself.
Beirut-based rights group ABAAD, which has long lobbied against Article 522 through a grassroots and online media campaign, organized the protest.
Read More: CNN

Lebanese Sisters Begin A Kardashian Like Reality TV Show

They were touted as Lebanon’s answer to reality TV icons the Kardashians, but the stars of “The Sisters” have been dismissed as not only unrepresentative but even worse — boring.

In the sleek apartment where their show is filmed, Alice, Nadine and Farah Abdel Aziz teeter around on high heels, in full make-up at all times.

They defend their show as a realistic glimpse into their lives, and a chance to show how smart Lebanese women are.

But Lebanese viewers seem to disagree, criticising the series for focusing on a small sliver of the upper class and failing to provide the whiff of scandal that animates the infamous “Keeping up with the Kardashians” US reality show.

“The Sisters” began in March with much fanfare and local media coverage.

It usually features the slender siblings in Beirut’s most expensive restaurants, designer shops, and beauty salons, often with friends, each visit usually documented with a selfie or two.

And the sisters do represent a segment of Lebanon’s most ostentatious wives and daughters, who enjoy similarly extravagant excursions and designer styles.

But they say they still respect the Middle East’s conservative values, which rule out the discussions of body parts, boyfriends and sex that spice up the Kardashians’ hit series.

“They live in a certain environment, and we live in a certain environment. Their lifestyle is really different,” Farah, 22, said of the Kardashians.

Lebanon, a multi-confessional country of four million, is considered among the most liberal in the Arab world with women generally free to wear revealing attire and alcohol widely available.

Lebanon’s Christians Warn of ISIS Threat to Their Country

With a Christian population of around 40 percent, Lebanon is home to the largest percentage of Christians among all Middle Eastern countries. Contrary to Christian populations elsewhere like in Iraq, Syria and Egypt, those in Lebanon have not fallen victim to Takfiri groups. But the terrorists’ latest atrocities against Christians, including the abduction of over 200 Assyrians in the Syrian province of Al-Hasakeh, have pushed prominent Lebanese Christian figures to take the lead in warning of the Takfiri threat.

Christians in Lebanon, though not directly targeted by Takfiri terrorists, have felt the terrorists’ threat. According to various reports ISIS and other Takfiri groups have their sights set on Lebanon. Taken together these developments have pushed many of Christians here to become more outspoken in support of Hezbollah’s participation in the fight in Syria.

Takfiri terrorists hold territories inside Syria near the border with Lebanon, with the Lebanese army and Hezbollah continuing operations to prevent these elements from infiltrating into the country.

The Takfiri terror threat appears to have brought about more harmony between the Middle East’s Christians and those who are taking the lead in fighting terror, like Iran and Hezbollah. It has also revealed that Lebanon may be the most successful model in confronting the terror threat.

Credit: PressTv

Woman Detained in Lebanon Not ISIS Leader’s Wife, Says Iraq

Iraq says a woman detained in Lebanon is not the wife of the Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Lebanese officials said on Tuesday that the army had picked up a woman named Saja al-Dulaimi after she tried to enter from Syria with forged papers. But the Iraqi interior ministry said on Wednesday that while Ms Dulaimi was from a family of known militants, she was not married to Baghdadi.

Unofficially, the Lebanese army says it still thinks it is holding his wife. A source told the BBC it believed the woman was a current or former spouse of the IS leader. The Iraqi interior ministry said Baghdadi’s wives were believed to be named Asma Fawzi Mohammed al-Dulaimi and Isra Mahal al-Qaisi.

Credit: BBC

Arab League Chief Says Confront ISIS “Militarily & Politically”


The head of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby, urged its members Sunday to confront Islamic State extremists “militarily and politically,” issuing an apparent call to arms. He said that what is needed from Arab countries is a “clear and firm decision for a comprehensive confrontation” with “cancerous and terrorist” groups. The Arab League includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

It wasn’t immediately clear what steps the Arab League would take in supporting the West’s campaign against the Islamic State. Reaching a consensus on how to move could be complicated by Arab world rivalries and member countries’ different spheres of influence.

Elaraby himself noted that the Arab League’s member states have failed to help each other in the past when facing local armed groups, often because of disagreements and fear of being accused of meddling in one another’s affairs. He called the Islamic State a threat to the existence of Iraq and its neighbors. It is “one of the examples of the challenges that are violently shaking the Arab world, and one the Arab League, regrettably, has not been able to confront,” he said.