The Psychological Effects of Social Media


If we take a trip down memory lane, we would definitely notice that social media has gained quite a vast amount of power. It has the ability to shape every human being on earth, from our grandparents to our grandchildren. Back when technology was still gaining its popularity, social media outlets weren’t yet created and if they were, were found as something unusual. I mean if you would go back in time and tell any person in the 1700s to take a “selfie” and post it on Instagram for the sole purpose of everyone to see it, they would probably laugh at such a thought. However, social media outlets have gained popularity and went from being a luxury to a part of our lives. There are arguments that are trying to debunk myths about how social media affects us on a daily basis but the truth is, social media, whether we like it our not, is found all around us, our children, parents and friends. Hence why it is called the 21st century of technology. So while some people believe that social media has many benefits, there are others who believe that the bad outweighs the good. Therefore, it is highly recommended that we understand the psychological effect of social media, to explore how social media affects us on a daily basis and which type of users are most affected.

Changes in technology have brought a major change in the way we go about our days. An example: children used to go to malls, school and each other’s houses to visit one another. But nowadays, they can simply “catch up” by a click of a button via Skype or any other outlet. But who is to say that this affects them badly? If you think of it, it actually just facilitates life. Other benefits are: 1) A growing number of children are documenting personal experiences, and expressing their ideas and opinions on social media websites such as Facebook (Storm, p. 50). And Paris Storm added that: “Having someone pay attention to your opinions and give honest feedback can support growth.” This means that children no longer need to suppress their feelings and can find somewhat of a comfortable place behind their screen. 2) The Millennials Report Blogs (Storm, p. 50.) At this website, students are given the freedom to discuss frequently changed topics. “The users are expected to read and provide background information about the topics before expressing their views on the blog.” (Paris Storm, p. 51) This just goes to show that some social media outlets such as this blog can be used as a tool to benefit and progress a child’s ability to research and discuss topics in a safe environment.

Unfortunately to every good there must be a bad. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the bad outweighs the good and this is because it is easy to find fault in anything that is new and not yet fully understood. However, the reasons to why some people believe social media affects us negatively are: 1) Public display of unhealthy behaviours (Fernandez, p. 31). Lewis Fernandez and his colleagues have analyzed the top 100 self-injury YouTube videos during their research on this issue. And the results showed that these videos have been viewed more than two million times combined recently. With the popularity of gadgets, comes the freedom of children to search and look up anything on the Internet, so when children see videos such as these ones (and as frequent) they might in the near future attempt to copy it. This does not only affects the person’s psychological train of thought but also their well-being. 2) Selling drugs over Instagram (BBC, p. 1). Many journalists have uncovered pictures and videos on instagram that displayed drug-dealers advertising their sale. “[…] A picture showed a variety of pills, adding: “$2 a pop for xans, $10 a pop for roxys.”” (Refer to image below). Says a journalist in an interview with the BBC. Xanax is a psychoactive anxiety treatment and Roxicodone is used as a relief for pain. Clearly this shows that something as simple as Instagram can be used as a gateway to bad influence.


Adults are obviously more aware of the amount of time they spend using these social media outlets and whether or not what they are displaying is inappropriate to other viewers or not. However, children may not have that privilege, to them it’s a game of “Simon says” but in this case it’s “Instagram/Facebook/Twitter says.” Which means whatever they see, hear, and do is acceptable. Though, this is not only limited to age but also to gender. According to a study done by Andrew Schwartz and his colleagues, their complete dataset was consisting of approximately 19 million Facebook status updates that were written by 136,000 participants. The participants generously agreed to share their status updates as a part of the “My personality test” that the researchers were conducting. The results showed that there was indeed a difference in the types of vocabulary used among the genders and they concluded the existence of the language of age and language of personality. Which means that people of different ages, genders, and backgrounds responded differently to their Facebook statuses. Females used more affectionate words like “my love, I like, shopping, baby etc…” while males used words like “fight, battle, himself, football etc…” Again this draws our attention back to how an outlet like Facebook affects each and every individual differently. Some in a positive way and some in a negative way depending on what can attract them as consumers.

At the end of the day, we are responsible to what we let affect us and in whichever way (good or bad). In the case of children and upcoming generations, we need to monitor their daily social media intake and limit their usage to websites that will only help progress their state of mind. Also, many social media outlets have been aware of these negative impacts and have implemented options such as “report abuse, block, delete, spam etc…” to help the viewers enjoy their websites in a safer environment. Therefore, I suggest to anyone who thinks anything on the internet is harmful to report it, to limit the amount spent on such websites and most importantly, not to be the person spreading such things around because he/she will not only be affecting themselves but innocent people around them as well.




Work Cited


Lau, Annie Y. S., et al. “Social Media In Health — What Are The Safety Concerns For Health Consumers?.”Health Information Management Journal 41.2 (2012): 30-35. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.


Unknown reporter. “Instagram blocks some drugs advert tags after BBC probe.” BBC News. 7 november (2013). 15 march 2014.


Schwartz, H. Andrew, et al. “Personality, Gender, And Age In The Language Of Social Media: The Open-Vocabulary Approach.” Plos ONE 8.9 (2013): 1-16. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.


STROM, PARIS, and ROBERT STROM. “Growing Up With Social Networks And Online Communities.”Education Digest 78.1 (2012): 48-51. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

You Don’t Lose Love Just Because A Relationship Is Over

Featured Image -- 277


Wise words.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

In seventh grade science class, I learned that matter always is: it can never be created, lost or destroyed. It is simply transformed or recycled into something new, something unrecognizable.
A month ago, my relationship came to an end. This was a person that I had loved blindly and unconditionally while we were together. This past month, I had been feeling such sadness and anger over all of the love I put into a black hole never to see again that I had forgotten a very important lesson that I had learned in the seventh grade: love is like matter. It can never be created or destroyed, it is just recycled or transferred, but it is always present if we open our eyes to our other relationships in our lives.
Often times we get hung up on the selfish love, the love where our ego is…

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Cultural Schemata: The Reason We Are Who We Are


Considering where we are today, we would notice that there are so many different answers to where humans came from. In a religious aspect (mostly Christianity, Islam, Judaism) humans came from the myth of Adam and Eve. The story begins with God (the upper most powerful creature in the universe) who created man from mud. The mud formed Adam’s muscles, organs and brain but most importantly his bones. Eve was then created when one of Adam’s ribs was broken off and thus Eve was transformed into a woman. Now, no one has seen this occur because Adam and Eve were the first humans to have lived on earth. This assumption makes the answer a myth; basically a story that is thought to be true and told by the word of mouth from one generation to the next. However, this myth is only believed by a vast number of people because it was mentioned in various religious books. Otherwise, it would have seemed ridiculous to anyone who came across it.

Then comes the scientific aspect that clearly states that the universe was made from the Big Bang theory, which is basically a huge explosion that occurred in space creating tiny atoms and energy that over the timeline of billions of years combined to produce planets. And in terms of Earth, the explosion created the atmosphere, then the hydrosphere, then the lithosphere and finally the biosphere, which are all living organisms and plants. So one answer states that we are originally creatures of the mud and the other states that we are composed of billions of atoms that have combined over the years. However, Agustin Fuentes argues that both of those assumptions might be true, but their probability is very low. His answer to the question of human origin is based on Darwin’s theory of human evolution, which basically states that humans are better and improved versions of monkeys, apes, and gorillas; basically that humans are homo sapiens.

The reason as to why Fuentes agrees with this is because of the evidence. Over the years archeologists and anthropologists have worked together to debunk all the other myths and prove that humans are originally wild animals in their nature (in terms of their skeletal structures and some evidence left behind such as drawings, potteries, and tools). Fuentes proves this when he states “humans without society and laws become beasts.”[1]. He is basically trying to strip down humans to their core nature and show the world that what we think is “natural” is actually acquired through something anthropologists like to call “cultural schemata”[2]. This concept is basically acquiring anything through culture and the environment around us and examples of cultural schemata are: learning a native language, knowing your family members (knowing not to marry your siblings) and finally knowing your gender: if whether you are a man or woman.

What does it mean to be of a “gender”? Gender, as defined in Fuentes’ book; Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You, is the characteristics that humans give to one another in the purpose of differentiation. Most people confuse the term “gender” with the term “sex” which is the biological definition that includes chromosome composition and whether it’s XX – Female or XY – Male. But what is gender in society and how do we know?

Growing up as a woman in the Arab society, you learn that you are not a “man” pretty early on in your childhood despite if your learning is subconscious or conscious. For example: when I was first born, my parents dressed me up in pink, yellow, purple, and red, which are all considered and known to be “girly colors” in society. The reason behind this is: a) to show to the public that I am a girl; b) because they had gone through the same thing when they were born. I would say that colors and types of clothing is a major factor in acquiring gender. Also, I was taught while growing up that women should try to wear feminine clothes such as: skirts, dresses and shorts to differentiate them from the men. Who were restricted to the colors blue, black, grey and navy and were expected to wear pants and shorts lengthened specifically under the knee. This is how I subconsciously was introduced to womanhood.

Also being from a village called Irbid, which is a couple of hours outside the city of Amman in Jordan, an area that used to encourage men to wear dress-like traditional attire otherwise, known as “Dish-Da-She”, they would not approve if the women of their village switched clothing and wore pants instead. Here comes a little thing called sexism. They would not approve of the woman to do such a move because: a) they would appear as a man in men-like clothes; b) the pants would accentuate the woman’s curves. And as we all know, men just like apes are territorial of their properties (yes, women to them, being a type of property). And that is how the women of Irbid consciously learn what being a woman really means; basically that they are the property of the man. I associate such behavior with ignorance because most of the men in Irbid have very little to basic education and a lot of cultural schemata. Knowing that about my origin and then later on moving to the Gulf, I also saw the men there dressed in white-like dresses and the women dressed in black-like dresses that also covered their hair completely. In America this color combination wouldn’t be “normal” because in a traditional American wedding, the men wore black suits and the women wore white dresses. This way of viewing things opened my eyes to the importance of cultural schemata in terms of color and type of clothing that has taken over various regions of the world and has influenced them so differently from one another.

Another reason I know that I am a woman is because of the difference in the female and male body, the way in which men and women interact with one another, and how society distributes the power and capability of each gender. Let’s start off by the difference in the bodies. Needless to say that we are evident of the first differences, that women have breasts and vaginas while men have penises. However, those are the protruding and evident differences. In specificity, women have smaller skeletal structures due to their evolutionary role as the home keeper, women have a larger pelvic bone enabling them to carry a child for 9 months, women have breasts enabling them to breast feed, women are more emotionally sensitive to specific issues and the list goes on. But if we actually breakdown and observe the differences between the two genders, we would notice that there aren’t that many to begin with. However, because of the culture around us and because of the human evolution over time, we have acquired many reasons to why we think we are different.

In general, if we observe how women and men interact we would see that women with women are very calm and compassionate to one another. Men with men are very loud, rough and behave in a joking manner. However, that is the case if the environment is at equilibrium; meaning that the environment is calm but that doesn’t mean that women can’t get hostile and men can’t be sensitive if the conditions allow them to be. But society has transformed our mentality to think that men are tough creatures with no emotions while woman are “emotional by nature”[3]. In reality, both of these assumptions are not true because we are all humans made up of the same bones, organs and brains (the shapes and sizes might differ but not due to gender). The only obvious difference between men and women are the genitals. And at the end of the day, those are also composed of the same biological tissue. Thus, men and women are the same.

Society, mainly focusing on the Arab region, has played such an important role in our acquisition of cultural schemata in terms of gender and it has caused many to think this way because it facilitates life. It is easier to have the women stay at home and be the parent, while the man is the breadwinner of the family. This mentality is there because of our ancestors through evolution and it has been passed down to every generation since. Example: I would expect in my great-great grandmother’s time that it was normal for her to be a stay at home wife raising 9 children, the majority of which should be male. Because boys back then were favored by the parents due to the fact that men hold the family name for the future (This is how I acquired my last name), men could go on and become anything they wanted to be; doctors, engineers, and architects. And this cycle would go on to the sons and daughters of the next generation until someone would say enough is enough.

I don’t think that anyone really stops learning about gender in life. This is because there are so many things in the environment around us that make us perceive issues differently everyday. As an example of a mentality change would be pants and their role in the female society. Women were once forbidden to wear pants, and now every woman owns at least 3 pairs in her closet. This just goes to show, that time + culture = change. That nothing in this world is stable; basically we will continue to change the way we think and get influenced by our culture. And this constant change is what Augustin Fuentes focused on because it is the basis to our human evolution.

[1] Agustin Fuentes, Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You : Busting Myths About

                  Human Nature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012)

[2] Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You : Busting Myths About

                  Human Nature

[3] Agustin Fuentes, Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You : Busting Myths About

                  Human Nature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012)

Coffee is a Drug


Coffee Is a Drug

            Coffee, in many regions, is a drink favored hot or cold. Drinks like: Iced latte, Espresso, Frappuccino are what come to most people’s mind when they hear of the term “coffee.” However, those are just different types of coffee beverages but not the original form that is the Coffee bean from the Coffea tree. Most people think of the coffee bean as the roasted ones we see placed in front of the line at Starbucks or included in a coffee shop’s logo and it is. But in actuality, the coffee bean is derived from a form of cherry blossom flowers on the Coffea tree when they have matured (National Coffee Association, par. 1). Which is why exploring what Coffee really is, busting myths about the benefits and harms of it and whether or not it is really considered a drug is important because coffee is a universal source of caffeine that people regularly turn to.

As mentioned earlier, Coffee, covered by a cherry layer called “exocarp,” is a seed taken from a Cherry Blossom tree when it is fully matured (par. 5.) According to the NCA (National Coffee Association), it takes nearly a year for the cherry flowers to mature and reach full harvest potential in order for them to be picked, roasted, packaged and shipped to various countries around the globe. Now we know where coffee is originally from but what is coffee?

“The coffee grounds are mainly composed of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids.” (Journal of The American Oil Chemist Society) The components of the coffee bean are not fully utilized, only the water-based compositions are used and the rest are thrown away or utilized for different purposes other than for consumption. To understand what coffee is, we must break Coffee’s components down and look at each one’s job separately: 1) Proteins: are used by the body to help us from becoming tired. And helps the body improve its immune system to fight illnesses and diseases (wise geek, par.2); 2) Carbohydrates: are transformed into sugar and is used as the body’s source of energy. It is what keeps us functioning throughout our lifetime and helps us perform our day-to-day tasks (Dr. Nitsi Desai, par. 1); 3) Lipids: play an important role in maintaining the body’s health (Erica Kanall, par. 1). Basically, one can say that coffee has many factors that help keep the body functioning properly. It also includes caffeine and antioxidants. But what benefits does coffee provide when we combine all of those components?

Before we make any assumptions on whether or not coffee is bad, let’s try to explore the advantages and disadvantages. The top four advantages of drinking coffee are: 1) It helps protect our brain from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and it helps reduce stress related issues caused by the lack of sleep (Kristin Kirkpatrick, par 5); 2) Drinking four cups or more of coffee a day can lower the depression level of people than of those who don’t drink any coffee at all. (National Institute and the AARP, par. 2); 3) It is a performance enhancer; it gives us the energy and concentration to perform any task in an improved way. According to The New York Times, “[Coffee] has been proven to increase the number of fatty acids circulating in the bloodstream.” This means that it has been scientifically proven to give us an extra shot of energy in our day; 4) Because of coffee’s antioxidants, it has shown that it is capable of lowering the stroke rates and heart disease percentages of average five-or-more coffee cup drinkers (Eating well, p. 3). A common myth believed by many coffee-holics is that coffee has more advantages or benefits and little to no disadvantages or side effects. But nothing in the world, including coffee, can escape the realness of life; every good must come to an end. Therefore, the four disadvantages of drinking coffee are: 1) Balance is key but over consuming the recommended number of cups can do one or more of the following (mostly in adults): nervousness, insomnia, diarrhea, increased heartbeats, upset stomach, restlessness (Christa Miller, par. 4); 2) Too many calories! Nowadays, people won’t just settle for the ordinary cup of black coffee. Instead, they want more cream, more sugar, more caramel, more frosting to the extent that it is no longer a coffee drink but a sugar drink. An example: A study done by Your healthy body website shows us that one 24 oz. mocha ice blended coffee with whipped cream and caramel frosting may have up to 5,000 calories (Christa Miller, par. 3) which leads me to my third reason; 3) A higher risk of developing diabetes (Molly, par. 3); 4) Dehydration (Lawrence Miller, par. 3). Most people substitute drinking water by drinking coffee instead because: a) Coffee tastes better, b) Coffee does include water c) Coffee gives them energy while water doesn’t. That is why average coffee drinkers should be aware that coffee does tend to dehydrate the body due to the presence of caffeine. Therefore, should balance their coffee-consumption with an equal amount of water-consumption.

Now, some people shun coffee away and consider it a drug. But a drug is defined as “A substance that has a psychological effect when ingested into the body.” ( After discussing the advantages and disadvantages, Coffee remains as the elephant in the room; the thing that no one wants to discuss because this would mean that millions of people around the world would be “druggies,” including children, teenagers, adults, and old folks. Sounds ridiculous, right? Sadly, it is not. Coffee, just like alcohol, narcotics, or cigarettes, is considered addictive (Katy Chamberlin, par 1.).  This is because the caffeine found in coffee makes it that way. Coffee gives the human body such a rush and burst of energy (basically awakening the body from a tired state) that we subconsciously want that feeling to reoccur. That is why millions of working Americans go on “coffee-breaks” everyday due to it becoming a popular drink (Katy Chamberlin, par 1.). Those breaks aren’t really a break from drinking coffee but a break from work to go and drink it. So basically, coffee does change your psychological well-being but only for a short period of time and has fewer long-lasting effects on the human body than other “drugs” which is why the idea of it belonging to the drug family seems absurd to some individuals.

All of the disadvantages and advantages only show that the disadvantages were the result of excessive amounts of coffee consumption. Just like objects found in nature, the more of anything, the harmful it becomes. That’s why less is more. And keep in mind that coffee affects people in different ways according to their physical structure such as: the height, weight, age, and medical stability. For example, it might take a longer time and more amounts of coffee to give an obese individual the famous “buzz” than it would take an averagely sized individual. After reviewing the advantages and busting the myth, coffee still isn’t the “bad guy” in this scenario. It is just a tool that we use to facilitate our daily lives but yet again we have found various ways to abuse it. But how it influences our lives and actions is all in the power of our hands or in the next coffee mug that we hold.

Work Cited


N. A Khan , J. B. Brown . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <

National Coffee Association USA, . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Wise Geek , . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Dr. Niti Desai , . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Nelson, R.. N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Eating Well , . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Kristin Kirkpatrick , . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Chris Gayomali , . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. < >.

Chris Miller , . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Wilson, L.. N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Molly , . N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

Chamberlin, K.. N.p.. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <;.

The Modern Definition of A Barbie Doll


This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs. 

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. 

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up. 

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending. 

          “Barbie Doll” is a poem that was written by Marge Piercy in her original collection “Circles in the Water.” She is an American poet, novelist and social activist so we can infer that this is a feminist poem. Feminism is a movement against what society thinks is the “norm” with women. It can be their image, how they are presented, how they must act, what professions they are allowed to work in, etc. Therefore, it is not surprising that an activist would write a poem about female appearance and how it is seen by the world rather than how it should be.

Marge starts off the poem with the timeline of a girl. Let’s call this little girl “X.” At first, X is a little girl that is presented with dolls, miniature stoves and irons. Which are all associated with women’s possessions and how eventually every woman will learn to play around with the “real” ones. Then she moves on to the girl hitting puberty. Puberty is a stage that girls and boys go through sometime in their teenage lives and it begins with their bodies transforming. Some people might be lucky with puberty and others might not be. In X’s case, she developed a big nose and fat legs, which were never noticed until a classmate pointed them out. That classmate is only the start to a domino effect. Although X was healthy, intelligent, and physically fit she could not stand what people only saw of her; fat nose on thick legs (Barbie Doll, 360).

As any girl going through bodily changes, X was told to remain positive, to exercise, diet, smile and keep going. But as every real woman knows, those don’t last very long. She eventually gave in to the world’s criticism and cut off her nose and legs, offering them to the world as a truce. However, what X really gave up wasn’t only a part of her but it was her inner self. She lies in her deathbed with a layer or two of painted cosmetics, and dressed in an expected pink gown. But all that everyone could think of was not her true self but of how “pretty” she looked.

This poem just goes to show the extremity of sexism and stereotyping that women go through from the moment they are born. They are expected to play with certain toys, to act a certain way, to look a certain way and at the same time maintain their mentality and self-being. However, not every woman is as strong as they must be. Some women eventually give into society’s standards and undergo dramatic changes just to satisfy a group of people who are sadly considered the majority. This can only go on till they transform themselves into a Barbie doll in an open casket that screams “Finally! I am one of you!” Yet no one even bothers to learn these little girls’ actual names.

*Girls are important to our future. Instead of making fun of the way they look, we should encourage them to change the world rather than themselves. Check out “The Importance of The Girl” video I put up!*



I Absolutely l-l-love Breakfast :)


Dear Readers,

As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of any day. I make it simpler and easier to remember that fact by dividing the word into “break” and “fast”. By doing that, you will remember that your body is taking a break from fasting (consuming no food) throughout the night. Therefore, your body needs as many nutrients as it can get when you wake up in the morning. Also, it is important to remember that when having breakfast that you should try not to overwhelm your stomach. So you should try to avoid greasy, fatty or heavy meals such as pizza, burgers, pastas etc… And stick to oatmeal, omelets, cereal, veggies or fruits. Keep in mind that you can “pig out” during breakfast and eat as much as you want (not to the point where you can’t move haha) because this meal is the gas that will fuel your body till the end of the day.
(A good breakfast = a good and balanced day.)

My favourite breakfast places/meals (All located in Hamra, Beirut):  

1. Café Hamra (Picture above): Offers eggs, break baskets, different cheeses and vegetables which are all incredibly tasty.

2. Ristretto: This is one of those places that appear too small and rigid looking to eat at, but offer a m a z i n g  breakfast combos consisting of eggs, hash-browns, sausage and/or pancakes and french toast. Hands down a favourite of mine!


3. ZwZ (Zaatar W Zeit): Also offers a huge breakfast menu but I would recommend the “grilled halloumi”. It’s such a healthy dish because it comes with a plate of vegetables, amaaaaazing tortilla bread and yummy grilled halloumi in a pan.


4. Or you could just have fruits for breakfast (Take advantage if they’re in season!):

Strawberries & Grapes are my all-time favourite. :)   ImageImage

5. Yogurt for breakfast: If you are in the mood for something refreshing, cut up some fruits and add up some Muesli to a bowl of yogurt. :)


*A fun fact: Based on an old saying, taking a spoonful of honey or olive oil when you wake up (on an empty stomach before breakfast) is said to be beneficial for your body.


5th of November


Whether it was by coincidence or not, today happens to be the most important day in AUB. Not only is it the infamous 5th of november but it is also election day. Election day is basically when students begin working from the beginning of the semester by being nice and friendly to everyone else just for the sake of “securing votes” (What I would like to call, the temporary friends. You know the ones that only talk to you when they need something.) It consists of Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors that elect themselves based on their faculty of studies. And only one of each get to represent the students. They all claim to have “no political background” but everyone and I do mean everyone knows that that is not true. The election is divided into two big and opposing parties and two or three daring “independent” parties that run for the sake of running but never actually win. The two important parties, though, receive support from a lot of outside interference (whether it’s fair or unfair…no one really cares).

Opposing Parties ^ *The two opposing parties awaiting the results.* ^

Every year the elections take place in one of the busiest route on AUB campus. Strategic location because it not only gives them access to everyone coming and going to their classes but it also gives them plenty of opportunities to ambush you and try to claim your vote as theirs (this is sometimes done with free food, keychains, and lots of pens. Hmm sounds temping, right?)
As simple as it should sound, it is far from being so. Police guards, campus securities and professors are all warned of the possibilities that might occur today which is why it wouldn’t be a good idea not to carry your AUB I.D around. Just because you will be asked to “present your I.D” every single time you enter or exit the main gate of the university. This, of course, is for safety reasons due to many of the country’s heated (and by heated I mean willing to violently react based upon a word, look, attitude… basically anything) citizens when it comes to politics.

Also, every year, each party claims to have the student’s benefits as their priority. And every year, we, the students get nothing in return for our votes. Better air conditioning, better parking spots, better campus seating etc…. are only a few of the things that are “promised” to the AUB students. Keep in mind that the committees are rewarded with a money trust consisting of thousands of donated dollars just for the sole purpose of bettering the university. Yet, those promises are still not fulfilled.
I cannot change what’s going on. However, I can sit on the side and observe how politics can find it’s way into the simplest things in life and overtake it completely. I just hope that one day, the entire AUB community can come together as a whole and not as “opposing parties” to try to keep the promises rather than destroy them instantly the next day when they are back to their a c t u a l  s e l v e s.

As V once said:

“Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot… But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love… And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man… A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget.” – V for Vendetta

So AUB, who will that man be?


Dear readers, 

We can all agree that being a girl is not easy. It comes with so many responsibilities towards how we should present ourselves. Not only do we have to follow society’s book of “how to behave like a woman” but we also have to go through the most outrageous fashion trends that might or might not suit the various different body types women have. 

Attending AUB has certainly shown me that the amount of outfits you have matters more than your GPA. I am not generalising nor stereotyping because there are obviously really good-looking smart women attending the university (they wouldn’t have gotten in to begin with if that wasn’t the case). However, I am speaking about the majority that I see hanging in front of the cafeteria and smoking areas (total scene out of a typical high school movie.) But I am pretty sure that some of the girls here literally wake up 2-3 hours before their day starts just to choose an outfit. And not just any outfit, one that should say “I-threw-this-on-effortlessly-and-I-want-you-to-notice-how-good-I-know-I-look!”
I’ve seen all shapes and sizes, all colours and styles, and all heights try to pull off the same look; the baggy/tight ripped jeans, skin-tight tank top, a jersey and most importantly CONVERSE (I can finally say I’ve seen every colour of the existent rainbow.) Just to clarify, I am not hating on what I’ve seen. I do also put an effort in how I look. But the difference, I think, would be that I do it for ME because it makes me feel better about myself as opposed for what other people think. Anyway, I’ll leave this argument for another post, so stay updated!

Moving on, another detail that most girls have to consider every time they leave their houses are their nails and whether or not they’ve got the right summer or winter colour on. Doing your nails is a way to unwind and relax when you’ve had a tough day (or if you’re just in the mood to make your fingers look pretty).
There are so many different colours to choose from but don’t worry I’ve got your back ;)

Here we go:

1. Rouge: this is the most abundant colour because it can enhance any outfit. You can dress it down with jeans and a t-shirt or dress it up with your LBD (little black dress) and a fabulous ring. 


2. Tiffany Blue: This one of my favourite colours because it looks so fresh and carefree. You can also play around with it and add glitter or crystals to one or all fingers as a top coat. 


3. Marshmallow: White. White. White eryyyything. This is a good colour when you’re feeling innocent and have hidden your inner rebel deep inside (for now).
*If you’re one of those extremely lucky girls that are naturally born with a golden tan (or just abuse the beach, tanning bed and spray tans) then this colour would enhance your tan even more.  

Image4. The Classic French: This is the most sophisticated style you can choose. It shows a more feminine and classic side than the rest of the looks.
*I only use this style when I have an occasion. (makes it that more special)


5. The two-way Black: Black is such a hard colour to pull off just because there’s a fine line of it appearing classic and it appearing like you switched hands with a witch.

+ Black looks best with short nails. You can also dress it up by applying a layer of glitter or a design on one or more of your fingers. 





+ However, If you want to unleash your inner alter-ego, go for a long and dark look. Just prepare yourself for the mixed opinions about their appearance. 



6. SHINY Metallic: Finally we come to my favvvvvvourite colour right now! It’s a metallic colour called “For the Twill of it”. Such a must to try because it’s different and interesting in comparison to the rest. *And a bonus: It goes with everything!! 



*Ill be posting another blog entry about DIY ways of taking care of your nails at home!*

** 1. If you are living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates I would suggest going to a place I regularly go to called “Tips & Toes”

Location/Tel: Springs & Meadows Town Centre / (+9714-3619393)

2. If you are living in Beirut, Lebanon I would suggest a place called “Flawless”. The prices are really good compared to the service you are getting. They also give a discount to AUB students, so don’t forget to show them your I.D card. 
Location/Tel: Hamra near Costa / (+961-10345108) 


The Secret Life of Beirut’s Walls


When living in a city, one would take for granted the chaotic beauty that come with it like: the tall buildings, the various noises that all together just sounds like noise garbage, the students trying to make their way around the streets, the shop owners stacking up their merchandise in hopes of making a good sale that day and the late business men that have abused their honks when stuck in traffic. But what most people overlook are the things nearest to them and in the case of Beirut, it’s the graffiti. Ever since graffiti first started, many thought that it is an individual’s act of rebellion against their government and city. They thought that it takes away from the city’s beauty and it ruins its image. When in reality, graffiti only adds to the city’s beauty. And people like the author of Urban Scrolls and Modern-Day Oracles: The Secret Life of Beirut’s Walls, Rasha Salti, consider graffiti as an act of voicing an opinion.

Rasha Salti is an independent curator and freelance writer based in Beirut (After Words: A reader for academic writing, p. 142). She had this article published in the Third Text in 2008. In her article “The Secret Life of Beirut’s Walls”, she starts off with a short story that is based on a discussion between two people about what disappearance is and how it happens. Then she goes on to talk about how Democracy, which is the American influence on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti war, is making its way into the Middle East. Also, how civil wars in Lebanon were thought to have “ended” when the Israelis and Palestinians stopped the conflicts and negotiated for peace. Basically, insinuating that a change was about to occur because wall graffiti has changed dramatically with the outbreak of the civil wars. The walls became the newspapers.

While walking through the streets of Beirut, Rasha’s attention was caught when she saw the phrase: “On n’est pas n’es sous la même étoile.” When translated, it roughly means: “We are not born under the same star.” She has also fallen under the category of the hundreds of people that walk up and down the same street every day yet wouldn’t notice if such a quote was there. However, the reason to why she was flabbergasted was because it’s a French quote that she had never seen anywhere else in the city before. It was in an area near AUB (American University of Beirut) and the borders of another area called Ain el-Mreisseh; both of which were not known to be “French” areas. Which she argues has either of these meanings: 1. “We were not born to the same privileges;” 2. “Our destinies are not meant to meet.”

The quote was special in the sense that it wasn’t a political logo, slogan, or the overly common “X love Y” plastered all over the city’s walls (p. 144). However, it was just an area reclaimed for someone’s personal grief (p.144). And that even if it wasn’t meant to have a deep story to it or if it wasn’t meant to be humble, it showed a different side of what was mostly hung there; it showed change. This is because most of these walls helped to identify different religious communities or areas that were set by the state by the act of hanging up different posters of political leaders and election nominees. Only because anything written on walls was evidence or confirmation on stone and concrete, they are meant to be permanent (p. 145).

One would underestimate the powers of something as simple as a wall but what they often forget is that these walls expose the more spontaneous, unrehearsed opinion of an amorphous mass of folks, or neighbourhood residents; a visa into a place in the present time (p. 145). To some people, graffiti is a reminder of the past, a realisation of the present, and an outlook onto the future. So, the next time you happen to pass by any graffiti just remember that every picture has a story of origin and explanation; they are there for a reason. Therefore, you shouldn’t judge at first glance.