For better or worse, there were some notable headlines over the past year. Lebanon became famous for a porn star and a garbage crisis, while the US and the rest of the world watches on as Donald Trump threatens to bring about the apocalypse. It’s been real 2015, and here are some of our most memorable WTF moments of all. 'Lebanese People More Upset Over Losing SkyBar Than Going a Year Without President' http://t.co/TST6E53RB4
1. The garbage crisis
I don’t really have to explain this one. If there ever was a topic a Lebanese person said WTF about most this year, it would have to be the trash crisis that swept the country this year. At first it seemed a little odd to see the piles of garbage piling up, with civilians burning it to make room for the influx. But the real kicker was the reaction of the government — general ass-scratching and a lack of real communication with the public. The protests in Downtown Beirut marked some of the most important moments for Lebanon’s people this year, bringing us all together because hey, that shit is gross.
2. Donald Trump for president
I’m still waiting for this joke to be over. When Donald Trump announced his candidacy, I was a little appalled, but mainly amused. The American people surely won’t elect a talking piece of cardboard as their next president, would they? And this brings us to the second WTF moment of the year—not that he’s running, but that enough American people have supported Donald Trump to give him a possible chance of being the leader of the free world. And that, my friends, is the scariest of it all. And my favourite Trump quote, you ask? "When you're asking me about who's running this, this, this, that's not, that is not, I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.”
3. Hotline Bling takes over the world
I remember checking out the music video to Drake’s Hotline Bling after a friend sent it to me. I couldn’t tell if the friend was telling me to check it out because of Drake’s sick dance moves and the laid-back, smooth feel of the song, or if I was supposed to laugh at Drake look like he was trying to pick something up and deciding not to over and over. I think most of the world alternated between the two, but the last part of my year was filled with Hotline Bling in karaoke bars, living rooms, parking lots, and even the office.
4. Mia Khalifa inspires nationalistic pride
Mia Khalifa. The porn star that inspired blog posts, a song, and a fashion trend. Despite the political shit storm that Lebanon has been in the past year, it was nice to see just how easily we could all be distracted by a shiny new headline in the form of Mia Khalifa. If there’s one thing we have to say to Khalifa, it’s thanks for making glasses sexy again.
5. Adel Karam makes fun of 63-year-old man presenting brevet exams
This truly was a WTF moment, the moment where the line between comedy and purely making fun of someone was crossed. Rather than congratulating the 63-year-old man who had never had the chance to complete his brevet exam and get his diploma, Karam resorted to cheap mockery of the man, mentioning it was a little late to be sitting for the exam when retirement was around the corner. Hayda Haki still has a way to go before it learns to push the line without being cheap.
6. Skybar burnt down and everyone lost their shit
Hey remember Skybar? Remember how it got a little burnt a few months ago and everyone lost their shit? Remember Lebanon’s political shit storm and lack of president? Alright I’m going to stop using that joke. But seriously, the fire that destroyed about 60% of Skybar this May had some of us scratching our heads at the reactions. By the horrors on some peoples’ social media handles, you would have thought there were people inside the club while it was burning or that a wildfire had broken out and was coming to ravage our homes.
7. Bruce Jenner becomes Caitlyn Jenner
This April, the world was introduced to Caitlyn Jenner through an Annie Leibowitz’s photoshoot. It wasn’t so much of a big deal that a celebrity changed their gender identity, but rather that someone who the public had so much access to through television was changing their gender identity. The whole thing became sort of a media spectacle, but props to Caitlyn for using her fame to spread an important idea.
8. Cirque Du Liar
My pun is clever, huh? Cirque Du Liban has been around for the past ten years, and recently their founder and director said that the organization would stop using animals in their live shows. That includes forcing endangered animals to jump through hoops of fire, which the circus still includes in their shows. Not only are they exhibiting a disregard for the animals’ rights to a natural and healthy life, but they went back on their word and continue to block users from commenting negatively on their social media handles.
9. A Lebanese NGO defending families’ treatment of domestic workers
Give me a break. Maybe this one wasn’t super publicized, but it was super ridiculous. I’ve seen a lot of ridiculous things in Lebanon, but an NGO which exists solely to protect generally white, privileged, middle-to-upper class Lebanese women from allegations of mistreatment of domestic workers is abso-freakin-lutely ridiculous. Founders complained that the image of Lebanese families is being tainted, while lawyer and activist Nizar Saghieh rightly said that Lebanon deserves this reputation for the lack of protection it provides domestic workers.
10. Is the damned dress blue or gold?
No question has torn more families and friendships apart this year. And perhaps no question matters less. Despite that, the world was taken over by one of the uglier dresses on the market this year. It even has its own Wikipedia page. I’m not saying it was the most important thing that happened to us in 2015, but looking back, it was definitely worthy of a big fat WTF.
[Images via Reuters and BlogBaladi.]
'Lebanese People More Upset Over Losing SkyBar Than Going a Year Without President' http://t.co/TST6E53RB4— Mahmoud (@MahmoudRamsey) May 28, 2015