Mashrou’ Leila is Lebanon’s Latest Free Speech Victim
Artistic Freedoms under Threat from Outdated Laws
The world famous Lebanese band, Mashrou’ Leila, has become the latest victim of Lebanon’s criminal defamation and insult laws, encapsulating the alarming crackdown on free speech in a country once proud to embrace diversity.
Within Temptation تتضامن مع “مشروع ليلى”.. لن نغني في جبيل
أعلنت فرقة Within temptation الهولندية عن عن إلغاء حفلها في مهرجانات بيبلوس، الذي كان مقرراً في 7 آب الجاري، تضامنا مع “مشروع ليلى”. وفي بيان نشرته على حسابها على “فيسبوك”، قالت الفرقة إنّ السلطات اللبنانية عاجزرة حالياً عن تأمين حماية للفنانين ليغنوا في جو آمن، مشيرةً إلى أنّها تتضامن مع حرية التعبير بعد منع مشروع ليلى من قبل بعض المتعصبين دينيا بحسب بيان الفرقة.
Sepultura have expressed their “deep dissatisfaction” with Lebanese authorities after they were barred from entering the country.
They were due to perform at Beruit’s The Palace – Aresco Center this week, but were denied entry by the country’s general security office, who refused to process their visas.
Organiser Skull Session pressed authorities to find out the reasons why and were told it was due to the band “insulting Christianity, that the band members are devil worshipers, that they held a concert in Israel and that they filmed a video clip supporting Israel.”
Now Sepultura have issued a statement of their own, which reads: “On behalf of Sepultura and staff, we would like to express to our public in Beirut our deep dissatisfaction with the situation to which we were submitted by the general security office, which resulted in the cancellation of our show that would take place on Sunday.
“In 35 years of history, it was the first time we had our entry blocked in a country by a false interpretation of our purposes and values since our intention has always been to promote unity and freedom of expression through music, without making any political, racial or religious distinction.
“To try to compensate everyone who, like us, are frustrated with what happened, we would like to invite you to watch the live broadcast of our upcoming Dubai concert on May 2 in honour of all Sepultura Lebanese fans who could not watch us in person.”
How do I write and talk about freedom in a country that has stolen peace from my heart? How can I deal with ideas and humanity in a country that often stands behind “false” papers? How can I restore my health and my comfortable life? I’m ashamed to write to people and give my thoughts … I’ve asked many people and got the answer. I can not live under humanitarian law because it does not include me. I’m not one of them. What a shame in a country that claims and elevates the flag of human rights
Most of the time we learn false knowledge from our community, since our childhood. Simply because this is what people know. I was lucky to be a freethinker who is more attracted to science since my childhood. And I was lucky to have such wonderful, wise and tolerant parents.
I was born in poverty in the beginning of a 20 years civil war, I learned a lot from my childhood, I saw people killing each other in the name of peaceful religions, I was even persecuted for my free and rebellious mind but I never stopped being the happiest and the strongest person on Earth and nobody can stop this. If I become the richest I’ll let you know :p
I believe that I live a simple and beautiful life because I don’t really care for things that make our community crazy. And that is so cool!!!
A True Story
We are social beings, but the community usually defines our aim, our desires and even our own success and failure. Mostly according to dogmas that has gone wrong through centuries, including religion, politics and money. We rarely decide for ourselves, we always want someone else to do our things or else we do his things.
At the other side, people nag a lot, they keep nagging even when they have what they really want or deserve. Everyone wants to have all the money in the world, people are never satisfied.
Many people were mislead to win the whole world, to be closer to God or even to have an eternal life. But no one was even close, we got misery instead.
Paradoxical nagging and dependency lead people into various troubles.
Freethought is Simple
Freethought is simple, if we take things easy, we can find the solutions, that are available before us, life is simple, beautiful and miraculous, and it always gets to the better, if we really want this.
What defines success is the things that we do from our hearts, the things that we try our best to do, and the things that can optimize the self and the community.
Don’t think about the negative things that don’t really matter.
OK if you’re one of those people that start taking me into a guilt trip on how and why piracy is wrong please fuck off! I work at McDonalds Beirut my salary is 2.2$/hr, I need to work 10 hours to buy a 1.5 hr movie, and many people are like that or even worst. That’s why I will teach you the way of becoming an Internet pirate muwahahaha.
Step One (Not for all people): Download a VPN software
Please note that free VPNs are free because you are the product (Just like FB, WhatsApp, Instagram etc…)
They WILL sell your data! If you’re cool with that, just like you’re cool with FB use betternet!
I use betternet because I’m a poor slob, if you can pay use ProtonVPN
Step Two: Download and install a torrent client
If you already have utorrent or bittorrent or any shittorent client delete it and download qbittorent
It’s open source free and without any ads. After you download the file don’t just stare at it, double click it and keep pressing next without reading anything and Voila! you have the best torrent client on your computer!
Step Three: Visit a torrent website
Just like google in the normal human world, you have torrentz2.eu in the pirate world, open this website and type what you want without making a spelling mistake, because the creators of this website are grammar Nazis. Let’s say you wanna watch Game of Thrones, you can type Game of Thrones S03E05 to get a specific episode or you can type Game of Thrones complete just like what I did in the picture below.
Now as you can see in the picture you have 2 arrows, the seeders arrow resembles the Green numbers which are the number of seeders (people who are uploading stuff so that other people can download) and the second arrow peers resembles the Red numbers (people who are only downloading). To have a working download the seeders number should always be higher than the peers one.
Now let’s say I choose Torrentsdownload.me I will be redirected to the following webpage:
You simple press the Download torrent button, some website have a Download Magnet button you can also press that instead, and some websites have several large, colorful and fancy download buttons, don’t press them unless you like to have a computer virus, adware or spyware (I might create an article explaining how to remove ads from your computer and keep it clean)
After you press the Download torrent button a small .torrent file will be downloaded in this case the .torrent filename that I downloaded is (game of thrones season 1 complete 720p bluray with esubs – extramovies.torrent) if it has any extension other that .torrent DO NOT open it.
Ok you can press it now since it’s .torrent, when you press it you’ll get the following:
Here you can press Ok and you’ll start the download process of the whole season, or you can uncheck the episodes that you already watched.
Congratulations you can now download anything you want from the internet for free, which means you are officially an internet pirate.
Do you know that A Stanford study found that 30 mins of complaining (even listening to it) is damaging to the brain. Complaining, whether online or in person, is just as harmful as secondhand smoke. We tell ourselves that we need to get it off our chest, but each time we do, we end up ten times more aggravated.
Who knew that 30 minuets of complaining has a damage equivalent to smoking right? Well the Stoics since ancient Greek and Roman times, knew the damage of being negative and complaining all the time, and they created Stoicism to guide people in their lives and help them become better people, people that are positive and happy. Stoicism simply helps you guide your emotions, and throughout time it helped allot of leaders, revolutionary men, scientists, adventurists, explorers and many more.
Now let me get into detail and explain Stoicism to you.
Here are 4 of the most effective and practical mental exercise/meditations that Stoics use:
Method One: A view from above
‘You can rid yourself of many useless things among those that disturb you, for they lie entirely in your imagination; and you will then gain for yourself ample space by comprehending the whole universe in your mind, and by contemplating the eternity of time, and observing the rapid change of every part of everything, how short is the time from birth to dissolution, and the illimitable time before birth as well as the equally boundless time after dissolution’
– Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius (super cool guy btw) advises us to perform an exercise called ‘view from above’. This exercise involves us envisioning ourselves from the third person. In this vision, we zoom out while keeping ourselves in the center. We continue zooming out and contemplating the scale of the universe. For instance, your first zoom might encompass a view of you from above the roof of your house. Increase the magnitude and you might see a view of your street, increase the magnitude and you might see a view of your country. Keep going until you can picture a view of Earth from the stars.
With this scale, we can gain a better perspective on the insignificance of our problems. When compared to the universe whatever problems we might have appear incredibly trivial. For instance, if you were feeling down because a girl flaked on you or someone insulted you, try this exercise. It is far easier to overcome the emotional hurdles we experience when we put things into perspective.
Method Two: Negative visualization
‘Remember that all we have is “on loan” from Fortune, which can reclaim it without our permission—indeed, without even advance notice. Thus, we should love all our dear ones, but always with the thought that we have no promise that we may keep them forever—nay, no promise even that we may keep them for long.’
Negative visualization despite the name is an exercise that will increase your default level of happiness if practised consistently.The exercise consists of you envisioning what it would feel like if you lost certain things from your life. Some of the things that you could consider during the exercise are:
• How it would feel to not have a roof over your head.
• How it would feel to lose social status.
• How it would feel to live in a third world country.
• How it would feel to have a physical disability.
• How it would feel to lose a loved one.
This exercise is not meant to be dark or morbid, it’s meant to put things into perspective. Allowing you to see how lucky you truly are. It also prepares you for the worst case scenarios in which one of these things does happen. You are not meant to fixate on these thoughts, but consider them from time to time.
This is a very practical way for you to practice gratitude, naturally, when you consider things being removed from your life, you start to gain a sense of gratitude. Now gratitude is important because of a thing called ‘hedonic adaptation’, basically, it’s a term that defines the tendency for humans to always go back to their default level of happiness.
If you won the lotto and became a millionaire, your base level of happiness will increase for a while. However, when you become accustomed to the lifestyle, despite all the new toys, you will return to your base level. Gratitude breaks this pattern, allowing you to enjoy each step on the ladder. You can be grateful when you own a box, and you can be grateful when you own a Lamborghini Avendator.
Method Three: Voluntary Discomfort
‘But neither a bull nor a noble-spirited man comes to be what he is all at once; he must undertake hard winter training, and prepare himself, and not propel himself rashly into what is not appropriate to him’
The last exercise has been advised to us by Epictetus. It is called ‘voluntary discomfort’. In this exercise, we are going to deliberately put ourselves through uncomfortable situations. We will do this in order to train ourselves to not hold onto comfort with such high regard. We can perform voluntary discomfort in a number of ways. Some suggestions are:
• Cold Showers
• Exercising in the morning
• Walking in the cold without a jumper
• Fasting for a day
• Sleeping on the floor
All these things will change your relationship with comfort. Once you overcome the need for comfort, life will become much easier. Setting your goals and sticking to them will be far easier. When most people complain about being ‘uncomfortable’, you won’t be able to relate. You are literally training yourself to be like a Navy Seal. This method will harden you up for life.
Eventually shit will hit the fan at some stage during your life. You want to have to mental and physical fortitude to weather the storm.
So those are the three stoic exercises. Stoicism is a practical philosophy that has survived the test of time due to its universal applications. If you practice these stoic meditations, you will be well on your way to the good life.
Method Four: Worry only of what you can control
Now personally I think this method is very important, since most of use worry or get mad about stuff that are not in our control. Epictetus proclaims that our most important choice in life is to decide whether to concern ourselves with the external or internal.
Most of us choose the former. We believe that our environment possesses what is good and what is bad.
The stoics believed that all benefits and harm come from inside of us. That we must give up rewards of the external world to gain tranquility, freedom and calm.
They believed that desire by default makes us unhappy because we want something we don’t have. That happiness and desire for what is present is impossible.
The technique they used to manage this unforgiving truth is to change your desires, not the world around you. To convince ourselves out of desires in our environment, the stoics pronounced that our primary desire should be to prevent frustration from forming desires we won’t be able to fulfil.
Epictetus illustrated this idea with a model named the ‘Dichotomy of Control’. The dichotomy is a simple truth quite easily forgotten — that some things are up to us and some things aren’t.