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Abdulsalam Shalashtein 01 Nov 2014

This Week in the Middle East: November 1, 2014

You’re busy, we get it. No sweat. Here’s what you missed in the news across the region this week.

Over 850 People Hanged in Iran in Last 15 Months

(Image via Annahar)

If you live in Iran and were thinking of donating to an international charity, think again. Last time someone did that, he got hanged for “funding the west”. A UN official recently shared his concerns about Iran’s dramatic increase in death sentences, saying that it’s a clear deterioration of human rights in Iran. Ahmad Shahid, a UN official responsible of looking over human rights in Iran, talked about a man being hanged for donating money to a western charity, 35 jailed for being journalists, and 300 others jailed for practicing their religion.

Read more here.

Border Control Catches Drug Smuggling Operation

(Image via The Guardian)

The Lebanese border control foiled a mission to smuggle captagon pills to the Gulf. A reported 9.25 million pills were seized before being smuggled through the port inside wood cutting equipment. Security forces are now working on tracing them back to the manufacturers.

Read more here.

Elderly Sukleen Worker Assaulted in Dekweneh

(Image via Facebook)

Just look at this face. Imagine yourself witnessing the physical assault, the humiliation and cutting of this poor man’s face. Just the thought of it makes me clench a fist. What was his crime? This worker was cleaning in front of an apartment building in Dekweneh and a man from the building was upset because he said the doorman is the only person who can clean in front of it. I’ll quote Anastacia El Hajj, the woman whom without no one would have known about this incident…

“This morning while I was on my way to work, a man was hysterically yelling at a Sukleen worker on the side of the road in Dekwene (Slaf) demanding him to kneel. The Sukleen worker was around 20 years his senior. The man (animal) had his hand on the worker’s shoulder forcing him to the ground, shouting: ‘kneel, kneel’ and verbally insulting him in the worst ways. He grabbed a pocket knife and slit the old worker’s cheek. Someone had to do something other than spectate. When I got out of the car to try and stop this brutality, a woman watching from the balcony looked down at me and said: “leave him, these foreigners are all over our country, and they deserve it.” The swallowed tears in this old man’s eyes just stab right in the heart. I am still sick to my stomach, disgusted by the injustice of it all, knowing that this incident will go no further than a Facebook post.”

Read more here.

NDU Students Elections Canceled

A big fight at NDU that required Lebanese security forces to intervene resulted in the cancellation of student elections. University officials say that elections will be canceled until the students learn to discuss their differences and not fight because of them.

After what happened at NDU, USJ decided to suspend its elections as well.

Read more here.

Angry Man’s Gun-Toting Friends Open Fire on Hospital

(Stock image of hairy man via Elite Daily)

A patient in Baalbek called his friends to open fire on a Baalbek hospital on Monday. Did the doctor hurt the patient? No, what he did is even worse… the doctor wanted to shave the patient’s hair to prepare him for an operation. After the patient saw that his masculinity was at stake, he dialed up his friends to save him.

Read more here.

Ashraf Rifi Tries to Ban Binaural Beats, Calls Them “Digital Drugs”

(Image via Clear Mind Meditation Techniques)

For those of you who don’t know what Binaural Beats are, they’re sounds that have certain effect on your brain. That’s it, audible soundwaves. Some claim that these beats can be used to stimulate drug-like effects, and so Ashraf Rifi wants to ban Binaural Beats. That’s right, he wants to ban sound frequencies.

In other news, the old man who lives next door to me was heard screaming: “Turn down that goddamn garbage you kids call rock ‘n roll!” out his balcony earlier today.