Tradition v/s Trend

Every once in a while, a group of people agrees on a same set of values, beliefs,
life goals, defensive concerns, lifestyle, etc… a civilization is thus born. To take but one example, the ancient Roman Civilization lasted 700 years (western Roman empire), an impressive lifespan, from its birth, to the start of its decline (which took yet another millenium until the total demise of Western and Eastern parts of the Roman Empire with the fall of Constantinople).

The early Romans of 300BC differ from the Romans of the 3rd century AD, but not so drastically as to be unrecognizable. Freshly founded by aeneas after the fall of Troy, ancient Rome took much from its preceding Hellenic civilization but quickly developed its own identity. This identity, visually evident in Roman garb, military equipment and architecture, evolved and grew as the Romans forged their empire through the centuries. This is tradition in motion. You cannot touch it, but you can see and feel it everywhere, reflected upon the people who wear  and live it.

roman army

As illustrated in this book cover, the same people’s clothing and equipment evolved, but without losing identity. In trends, Identity is not important because trends are all-inclusive, for obvious commercial reasons.

Tradition, contrary to what we’re told in these ‘modern enlightened’ times, is not the dust-buried remnants of a dead past: It moves, it grows, slowly and steadily, with its people, according to their needs. It’s an ongoing empirical experiment, trying things, adopting them when they work, discarding them when they don’t. The growth is there but imperceptible within a single human lifespan. This is perhaps why humans invented trends; to have something that changes several times within one lifetime, and give them the feeling that they are in control. Trends are centered around the individual, while traditions emanate from a functioning community with a defined shared identity. No wonder why in an age and paradigm of excessive individualism, traditions are mocked and
disregarded as ‘out of fashion’ and ‘outdated’.

Traditions were never meant to be a ‘fashion’ anyway. One individual has no control over a tradition and if they did, as maybe an emperor could,  chances are they wouldn’t live to see the results of the changes they made forging and shaping their reformed society. As society grows more atomized, the individual lives as an island of feelings and emotion, operating their fashion trend on their own Instagram page, basking in delusions of changing the world while actually mistaking a banal trend for something far more enduring, timeless and outside their grasp.

Trends and fashion are attempts by us to influence others into adopting a certain way of clothing, behavior, cuisine, or artistic outlook. But because humans get bored, trends and fashions being the man-made devices they are, must change with human emotion, feelings, moods and attitude of the time. The shallowness of trend is evident in its cyclical nature: It always returns back to square one under the name ‘retro’ or ‘vintage’, which are actually no more than camouflaged acknowledging of the relevance of an older lifestyle. No matter how many fashion tendencies we’ll see in the space of a few months, they’ll always come back to ape whatever classical or timeless cultural trait they originally sprung from.

Left: Parisian Gentleman Hugo Jacomet in a classic handmade suit. Right: Progress.

Left: Parisian Gentleman Hugo Jacomet in a classic handmade suit. Right: Progress.

Trends do not require a shared set of values, beliefs, blood bond
or lifestyle to admit a newcomer. They should be taken for the recreational human distractions they have always been, without confusing them with actual traditions, which live longer and will always constitute the benchmark upon which trends spring and die. Oscar Wilde bitingly called fashion an intolerable ugliness, but fashion/trends are actually
a bit more than that.

Because we will never be able within our human lifespan, to experience the birth and maturation of a tradition, we’ve created a substitute, which we can control, depending on how prolific creators we can be. Imitation being a form of flattery, Trends are an imitation of something intangible we humans can feel and see, thanks to artifacts, historical documents and records we inherited from our ancestors. Tradition is something we can only deduce and acknowledge, a tranquil force that shapes us over several centuries, even millennia.

We currently live in Leftist times. Leftism, an ideology that promotes equality, but not before God, is an anti-traditional force imbuing the zeitgeist of the past and current century, but which seeds bloomed in the times of the Enlightenment era and French
Revolution. Since then, trends took center stage and traditions were vilified. Instead of having people creating trends and fashion as a healthy creative expression of the human mind, trends became increasingly marketed as a replacement of actual tradition.
As societies ‘modernized’, individuality slowly mutated into individualism, resulting in today’s atomized societies where tradition and cultural roots are abhorred, and every single individual wants to be a trend setter with his/her horde of social media worshipers.
We’re mini gods/rockstars now and we set the pace in our mini social media group. Or at least we like to think so.

Signs of decline

Signs of decline

Just like Traditions are a reflection of the Eternal, trends are a reflection of the Eternal’s creation. Fluttering expressions of creativeness borne out of an ephemeral individual. Movements taking place within  the much larger timeframe of a tradition. Trends are an unconscious imitation/flattery of Traditions and should never be at odds. When a trend’s purpose is to mock and degrade, it’s a sign of something wrong that needs to be addressed promptly, because next time such frustration or negativity manifests itself, it will no doubt do so through less artistic and more violent means.

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Hypocrisy

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Dear Lebanese citizen, in case you were still wondering why your country has no hope of emerging from its 33rd world cesspool condition, here is why. In 33rd world cesspits, an inscription forbidding littering, actually invites deliberate littering. The culprit is no doubt feeling smart, rebellious and defying, with his heroic littering act. There is no greater proof of a people’s progressiveness and acute sense of evolution, than deliberately covering trees with your own (unsorted) trash. Such respect of nature is only the sign of highly evolved, supra-progressive breeds like Lebanese people. After all, we cant help it because, it’s our leadership’s fault! It’s never our fault or responsibility if we destroy our own lives and the

environment that sustains us and brings us whatever small beauty is still left in our ugly existence. Dear Lebanese citizen; you are ugly. And because you’re ugly, and you know it, you want to destroy that which is beautiful, and you do it deliberately. Then when you’re cornered, you conveniently blame your leaders. Yes, your leaders are bad. Very bad. But have you forgotten who voted for them?

It’s small, banal evils like this everyday vandalizing of nature, which bring about a people’s doom. A small cheating from here, a wasta abuse from there, a trashbag thrown into a pond, a glass bottle left in the forest… After all, it’s just ONE trashbag. And nobody saw me do it! Multiply this 1 small, meaningless evil by 5 million, by 365 days and you have yourself a catastrophe. People are still throwing their garbage unsorted, despite municipal efforts to sort the garbage for recycling. If you want to commit suicide, please do it alone, because the rest of the country is actually trying to abide by the rules. Whining about the

desperate situation in the country? Just do a quick review over your most recent transgressions. That should shut you up for a while. Still reading this article? You wont find a single congratulatory word here, so you might as well start having your precious feelz hurt. Come on, feel alienated and offended. YOU are to blame. You dont like the patronizing tone? Take a look again at the picture. Now grow up and do something about it.

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Binnisbi La Boukra Shou – a APLH special screening

Yes, Ziad Rahbani has finally decided to release Binnisbi La Boukra Shou, in REMASTERED VIDEO. This is akin to the moonlanding, only better. We have M Media to thank for this most welcome initiative.

in the cadre of rehabilitating the historical coastal path of hamat (Batroun), the APLH is aiming to raise funds in collaboration with the Municipality of Hamat.

one of our fundraising events is the special screening of the classic Ziad Rahbani play ‘Binnisbi La Boukra Shou’, In cinemas starting 21 January 2016.

 

ziad rahbani now in cinemasthe APLH Avant premiere/special screening will be JANUARY 20, not 21, as the poster says.
Be many in supporting the rehabilitation of this picturesque and little known hidden treasure of North Lebanon’s coast.

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For more info about donating for the coastal path of Hamat rehabilitation project, or to help, contact APLH: 03797785

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The Palais Chehab MediaBook is Available At…

palais chehab lancement poster III flat

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Le Palais Chehab: Droit de Réponse de l’APPL au “Communiqué de Libnanews”

Suite à la parution de son premier livre :: Le Palais Chehab :: et à toutes les rumeurs qui ont circulé à ce sujet, l’APPL tient à rappeler qu’elle est une association à but non lucratif dont l’objectif est de protéger le patrimoine à travers des actions judiciaires, et de sensibiliser Libanais et non-Libanais au sujet du patrimoine historique et culturel du Liban. Cette sensibilisation se fait par le biais d’articles et de projets culturels (dont le livre :: Le Palais Chehab::) visant à protéger et renforcer la mémoire culturelle et l’identité du peuple Libanais.
:: Le Palais Chehab:: Mediabook, qui a vu le jour grâce au soutien  de son Excellence Madame  l’Ambassadrice d’Espagne et de la Famille Chéhab, est un travail collectif initié par l’APPL. Une équipe a été formée de membres de l’APPL, qui sont tous des bénévoles contrairement à ce qui a été dit sur la page facebook de Libnanews.com, et s’est investie dans la préparation de ce livre, avec des délais à respecter et des meetings périodiques d’évaluation du progrès du travail.
Le Livre ::Le Palais Chehab::, contenu et format, est la propriété intellectuelle et légale de l’APPL, ainsi que tout autre travail fait dans le cadre de l’association (Youtube channel, pages facebook, Blog, Site et Gazette imprimée et en ligne) et toute atteinte au travail collectif de l’APPL de la part de quiconque sur ces propriétés, sera suivie par des poursuites judiciaires.
Sur ce, l’APPL tient à rappeler que cet ouvrage, fruit du travail collectif de ses membres, lui appartient, ainsi que tous les droits qui y sont relatifs et elle se réserve le droit de poursuivre en justice toute personne qui se permettrait de porter atteinte à l’APPL.
Le comité administratif de l’APPL, 8 octobre, 2015.
palais chehab.
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The APLH launches its first book :: Le Palais Chehab ::

Thanks to the joint work with the Chehab family, and the huge support of HE the Spanish embassador Mrs Milagros H Echevarria, The APLH produced its first MediaBook of the series Chroniques Du Liban, about the Palais Chehab, now home of the Spanish Embassy in Lebanon. The book, entitled :: Le Palais Chehab ::, was launched on October 2, 2015, during a private soirée attended by high profile personalities including Ex interior minister Mr Ziad BAroud, the Chief of the municipality of Hadat Mr George Aoun (whose municipality generously supported the APLH in the production efforts of the book), Madame Anne-Marie Ofeiche (representing the ministry of Culture), representatives of the Chehab family, the Cochrane family, Mr Pierre Issa (arcenciel) and a select number of invitees. The event was covered by LBCI for their culture news section.

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The APLH intended to release their first book as a MediaBook box-set format due to its unconventional nature and the scope of reach of this format: The Box set includes the book, as well as a DVD about the Palais Chehab’s history, the APLH history and a short documentary about the endangered heritage of Beirut. Also, as an homage to the Chehabs for taking the painstaking but rewarding task of documenting their history, A captain’s log is also included in the box set package, made of high quality acid-free 135gr sketchbook grade paper. As such, the Mediabook combines traditional media (book and sketchbook) with modern technology (DVD, QR code and online links) and adheres to the APLH philosophy of linking our past with our present to realize our future.

 

The log and the book both contain all links and contacts to the APLH and most notably, the APLH crowdmap. The box set is available in a 500 copies limited edition print.

We thank the following good people for helping us make this project:

HE The Spanish embassador and her staff, The Philippe Jabre Foundation, Mme Youmna Chehab, The Hadat Municipality, Volver Travel, Mr Chucri Sayegh, Moussallem group, L’Orient-Le-Jour.

Stay tuned for more news and projects from Chroniques Du Liban and  APLH.

 

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Requiem

the Association for the Protection of the Lebanese Heritage[APLH], in collaboration with Volver travel agency,organized a cultural tour on the 16th of june 2015, in theSursock and Abrine neighborhoods.

 

The participants, many of them high school youngsters, had the privilege of discovering the Villa Audi and its mosaics.
Next, at the Rue Sursock, the group intently listened to the architect/restorer and guide of the APLH, who outlined the urban context of the neighborhood. They found out how the zone was gentrified and how the charles Malek avenue divided in the 70s, an initially unified urban fabric.
The group then took the St Nicholas Gardens perpendicular, to see a series of traditional buildings dating back to the20’s and 40’s, with their vernacular design explained in detail by the APLH guide.
Finally, the crucial part of the visit,was in the Abrine neighborhood, where the Abrine school is still located. The group discovered a cluster of 4 traditional buildings, promised to imminent demolition.
Another real estate project is seeking the demolition of this cluster of building sas well as a part of the Abrine school in an attempt to join a 5th parcel to the upcoming project’s 4 existing parcels. Another peaceful neighborhood is about tobe devoured by the development leviathanthat is still not done mauling Ashrafieh and Beirut’s charming traditional areas.
This building cluster, with its gardens,constitutes the last haven of peace and tranquility in Ashrafieh, and is now an exceptional rarity thanks to the still perfect condition of its buildings.
The visiting group in its various ages,was awed at the beautiful structure of the buildings, their architectural details and their many aesthetic yet vernacular features,most of them still intact… Their awe was only matched by their outrage at the neglect displayed by the authorities supposed to protect such gems of Lebanese history and culture. The APLH’s multiple calls (for more than a year) to the ministry of Culture to classify and protect this cluster, still go unheard.

 
The visit was filmed and a copy of the footage will be sent soon to the minister of Culture, in the hope for a positive turn of events, similar to that of the contemporary and modern Lebanese Art dossier.
The APLH has a plan regarding the recuperation and rehabilitation of the 4 buildings in question, and hopes for the Ministry’s active cooperation.

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Dear Lebanese Expat: Beirut Needs You

The APLH, in collaboration with other civil society and youth organizations managed to get Beirut inducted into the ‘New 7 Wonders’ List, as well as flagging the entire city to the World Monuments Watch organization, as an Endangered

Archeological Site. Let us clarify one thing here: Beirut is no ‘new’ wonder. It’s a wondrous city with more than 5000 years of history. And it’s in danger. no more than

7 archeological sites in Beirut, survive out of 300. Hardly 200 traditional Lebanese houses survive out of more than 1600, in the APSAD’s post-war census. Clearly, Beirut is disfigured, in chaos and is far from being a ‘world wonder’. THAT is why

the APLH worked on inducting Beirut into the N7W and wrote to the World Monument Watch organization. Beirut (and Lebanon)’s heritage ‘protectors’ in the Lebanese Government, are powerless, complacent or complicit in Lebanon’s ongoing bulldozing

of its heritage and archeology. The Lebanese diaspora CAN do something about it. And here’s how: The APLH has set a crowdfunding and donation platform on its site, precisely for any Lebanese community, expats or locals, to fund, acquire and restore any endangered vestige of Lebanese Heritage, be it man-made or natural, to buy it through

this community’s donations and restore it into a protected Lebanese heritage that is publicly owned.

1-the community in question can be a village, town, or city, represented by a council of representatives, usually appointed by the municipality of said community

2-the council of representatives contacts the APLH and meets with the organization to present and talk about their restoration/rehabilitation/heritage protection project,

its costs, and its use to the community who wants to protect it.

3-the APLH announces the project online on its site, page and blog so that anyone from that community (or interested outsider) is aware of it, and is able to pitch their contribution to finance the project via the APLH crowdfunding platform.

4-the APLH will keep updating its donors about the crowdfunding progress, and the total amount needed to complete the project

5-every donor, will receive an official receipt from APLH, by email, or fax, or traditional mail if they so request.

6-The APLH will update its site, blog and page concerning the steps being covered

in the project.

7-the APLH will include any of such projects into its annual report, as a reference to donors, members and the Lebanese state.

8-the APLH crowdmap is yet another tool we put in the hand of the responsible citizen, to alert, archive and pinpoint all heritage, all over Lebanon.

The mechanisms are in place, and the APLH is now empowering the Lebanese public (Diaspora and local) to be able to protect Lebanese heritage in their vicinity, by teaming up as responsible communities from every corner of Lebanon. This is how we aim to rebuild a beautiful Lebanon for us and our children.

APLH

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APLH @ Souk Al Tayeb Beirut November 29

the APLH announces its participation at the Souk al Tayeb Beirut Souks,

starting November 29 2014, each saturday.

Join us and discover what the APLH has in its kiosk!

Thank you for helping Lebanese ideas and Lebanese trade.

 

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Barouk River Trail Hike & Lunch with APLH – Moukhtara, Chouf

The APLH is pleased to take you on an exciting tour along the Barouk River.

An enjoyable, moderate 5KM hiking trail starting from al Moukhtara, passing through the villages of Ain Qani, Baadaran, Haret Jandal and Ammatour.

Our guide will take us to old mills, across old bridges, and see traditional Lebanese houses as well as Roman vestiges and archaeology.

Lunch will be at the Club House Restaurant, Moukhtara, on our way back from the trail. Bring with you a small satchel of snacks, water, sunscreen, wet wipes, etc, for your use along the way.

Price including transport, guiding, and open Lebanese lunch: 37$/person (56000 LBP)

Transport: by Bus (new model with A/C), from Martyrs Square. gathering at 8:00AM, and we leave at 8:30 sharp.

Confirmation By Phone ONLY: 03 667648 – 03 797785 – 70216992

1-the first 20 confirmations get 1 free APLH pin
2-the next 20 confirmations get 1 free APLH t-shirt
3-later confirmations get a APLH A5 notepad
Please confirm B.e.f.o.r.e the 11th of june to book your place with us! SEE YOU SOON

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