10 November 2010
The 'handshake' controversy has been a blessing for those who want to represent leaders of Muslim nations as regressive figures. However, close scrutiny reveals that the story first came to light because the minister in question had earlier refused to shake the hand of a female journalist, citing religious piety as his reason, which is why she mocked him on Twitter. See this article for more. So the event can be used to argue that the people living in Muslim majority nations are not the unquestioning followers they are usually made out to be!
By Shvetal Vyas
Yalla Lebanese Festival
5 November 2010
Last year a collective of young Australian Lebanese Youth organised the Inaugural Yalla Lebanese Festival.
What made the festival stand out from previous (Lebanese) festivals was the fact that the organising committee were composed of youth from various religious backgrounds. This has been attempted in the past however not so successfully due to the underlying tensions that remained as a result of the Lebanese civil war and the political tensions found among Lebanese Diaspora communities.
The members of the organising committee are largely second generation Australian Lebanese professionals who are tired of the underlying sectarian tensions that have dominated their parents generations and the negative perceptions of Lebanese in some Australian circles. Last year they took the initiative by challenging some of the their extended families prejudices and worked toward representing the positives of Lebanese culture and the achievements of their community ... and they succeeded!
By Minerva Nasser-Eddine
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