19 Dec 2014

2014 on Karl reMarks: Six posts to remember the year with

January: God Interviews A Suicide Bomber

The ultimate conversation and a cheerful topic for the new year. 

'Dead Bomber: Blessings be upon you… 
God: Cut that out, I’m good. There have been so many of you people blowing yourselves up, I decided to interview you personally. But this is not something I normally do. Why are you doing that? 
Dead Bomber: Eh, we thought that’s what you wanted. 
God: You thought what? Are you insane? Why would I want you to blow yourself up? And kill other people on top of that? It’s in all religions, ‘Don’t Kill’. Number one. The first thing. How can you miss it?'


February: Travels in the land of the infidels: The island of Britannia
What would happen if a medieval Arab traveler and explorer (like Ibn Battuta) visited Britain today and wrote about it in his traditional style? Find out here. 

'Although long in decline, legend has it that Britannia was once a mighty power and that it was known as ‘the empire upon which the sun never sets’. This proved to be a rather ironic description as I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of sunny days I enjoyed in a full decade there. Nevertheless this old legend still influences the self-regard of the Britannians, some of whom still believe it’s their duty to administer the entire globe.' 

March: The 1,500 year old schism fueling the clash between Russia and the West

What would it sound like if we wrote about the conflict between Russia and the West like  analysts talk about the Middle East? Discover obscure ancient rivalries that don't make it into the media today. 

'The conflict could be traced back to the 451 Council of Chalcedon, during which the great rift between Christianity’s major wings began. At its heart was the debate over the use of unleavened bread when performing the Eucharist, a rite derived from the Last Supper when Jesus broke bread with his disciples during a Passover Seder. Western Christians preferred unleavened bread, whereas Eastern Christians opted for leavened bread. The debate has escalated over the centuries and is particularly difficult to resolve today as no one is quite sure what unleavened bread is but nobody wants to admit that they were wrong.'

May: The Alternative Guide To Lebanon

Back in May, everyone was talking about Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney getting engaged and everyone was trying to learn more about Lebanon. Ever the helpful person, I wrote this guide/photo-essay to introduce Lebanon to the world. 

'Religion plays a very small role in public life in Lebanon and most of its citizens aren't interested in religion. The only religious buildings that could be found in the country are ancient and are rarely visited except by tourists.' 

July: The Caliph and His Psychiatrist, Exclusive Transcript

My biggest scoop of the year. A few days before the leader of ISIS and self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first public appearance wearing a black turban and robe combination, I predicted his costume in this imagined conversation between him and his shrink so accurately that it even freaked me out.

'Psychiatrist: Let’s start from the beginning; has anything changed in your life recently? 
Caliph Ibrahim: Has anything changed in my life? Are you kidding me? We have announced the caliphate! 
Psychiatrist: The what? The caliphate? Are you serious? 
Caliph Ibrahim: Do I look like someone who jokes? Don’t you follow the news?'


October: Qassem Suleimani Iran’s Shadowy Commander Who Has No Shadow

In another big scoop, I managed to predict a flood of articles in English-language media about Iran's legendary military commander Qassem Suleimani. After I wrote the post no less than ten articles were published about Suleimani in major media outlets, all using the word 'shadow' in the title. 

'It is also said by the same Western analysts who have been following Iran’s shadowy behind the scenes intelligence scene for decades that Suleimani’s reflection doesn’t appear in the mirror, which official Iranian media attribute to his legendary modesty. To add to the mystery, Suleimani doesn’t cast a shadow as a result of an old war wound he got while stationed at the frontline during Iran’s long conflict with Iraq in the 1980s.'


See also in this year's highlights: Unprecedented images of Western people looking just like you and me and We Give the Scottish Independence Referendum the Middle East Expert Treatment

As ever, thank you for reading the blog and continuing to share my posts on social media. I am immensely grateful. 

2 Dec 2014

A Secret Guide to Immigrants: How to Abuse the UK Benefit System

So you made it to the UK, welcome to your new life. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about abusing the benefit system here, but there have been hardly any useful articles on how to actually do it. To that end we have prepared this handy guide which will make it easy for you to abuse the system and enjoy a decent lifestyle, while contributing little to society. Remember to think big and be ambitious.

Politics

Politics is by far the easiest way to abuse the system and live comfortably while doing very little actual or productive work. It’s also an equalitarian field where even the most limited intellects can go on to achieve high office in the UK. Consider running as an MP or for your local council and make lots of big promises that will ensure you get elected. Don’t worry because you will not be expected to keep them.

25 Nov 2014

What if Friedman wasn't American? A Patronizing Editorial On America

A few weeks ago I read a great book by an insightful author, entitled the Black Swan. The book deals mainly with the issue of the rare black swans in a world dominated by white swans, clearly a thinly-veiled metaphor for race-relations in America. As many things, from taking a taxi ride to chewing gum do, it got me thinking. What is the problem with America? Why can’t it be like the rest of the world and why does it still have such inequalities more than two hundred years after its independence?

One could be tempted to blame Americans themselves, and I have met many of them over the years, enough for me to speak authoritatively about what’s wrong with this country that has so far failed to fulfil its potential. Americans like John Smith, the young hotel receptionist I met last summer in New York. Over the three-minutes that it took to check me in, I learned enough about the world view of this young black man to see the world through his eyes.

18 Nov 2014

"You have a nice face" Exclusive Leaked Transcript of the Iran Nuclear Talks

In an exclusive scoop that no other media outlet has been able to achieve, our website has obtained a leaked transcript of the Iran nuclear talks involving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a negotiation session held this week in Vienna. The main sticking point in the negotiations has been the US desire to limit Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons, and the two met in a side session to try to resolve the issue of the number of Iran’s mainstay centrifuges the US is willing accept.

14 Nov 2014

Lebanon Solves Global Food Crisis – By Eating Faeces


The tiny nation of Lebanon has come up with a radical solution to solve the global food crisis that will go a long way towards creating a sustainable food source for the entire planet: human faeces. The bold scheme has been running for a few years now and has proved so successful that the country has decided to publicise it and launch a campaign to make it go global.

13 Nov 2014

We Google Translated A Thomas Friedman Article Into Arabic And Back Into English And Now It Makes Sense

We were perplexed by Thomas Friedman's latest article so we Google translated it into Arabic and back into English and now it makes much more sense. Below is the direct results from Google, unaltered. 

Freud and the Middle East

Thomas Friedman

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - When you attempt to try to understand the Middle East, one of the most important rules to keep in mind is: Why do the politicians here to tell you it does not matter usually secretly. What matters most, and what explains their behavior more than once does not, is what they say in public in their own language for the people. As President Obama sends more US advisers help Iraqis defeat the Islamic state, or ISIS, it is vital Web Abebooks listen carefully to what they are key players in the public saying in their own language from each other, and to their own aspirations.

11 Nov 2014

It’s True If I Say It Is, The World according To the Great Nassim Nicholas Taleb

History is full of great Lebanese people who have contributed so much to humanity, and they never even mention it. But in the modern era nobody can come close to matching the genius of the greatest public intellectual of our era, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The claim is largely based on Mr Taleb’s own self-perception but that doesn’t make it wrong. This quintessential Phoenician genius has transformed the way we see the world, in the process changing the very nature of knowledge itself. To that end, we’re lucky to be able to offer you an opportunity to peek inside the head of this very special person.

7 Nov 2014

Qatar Launches Ambitious Nobel Prize Programme, Acquires Einstein For $10mn

The small, oil-and-gas rich, state of Qatar has concluded a $10mn deal to acquire the legacy of Albert Einstein in a bid to increase its number of Nobel Prize laureates. The deal is the first step of a an ambitious programme to increase Qatar’s historic contributions to science and will be followed by further deals to acquire Pierre and Maria Curie, Guglielmo Marconi, Max Planck, Enrico Fermi and many others.

6 Nov 2014

God is of Lebanese Origin!

Omar Sharif, Mika, Salma Hayek, Terrence Malick, Paul Anka, and many many others are all international celebrities of Lebanese origin. But those big names are about to be eclipsed by the biggest personality of them all – God! According to the findings of a recent extensive investigation, God is also of Lebanese origin, a revelation that is bound to shock the world and increase the Lebanese people’s pride in their country.

31 Oct 2014

The Jezebel Complex and Lebanese Women Today

There’s a persistent stereotype when it comes to Lebanese women today that I often come across both in real-life conversations and on social media. Lebanese women pay excessive attention to their appearance, they do too much plastic surgery, they use too much makeup and so on. The implication is that Lebanese women are superficial and this supposed excessive attention to physical appearance reflects a lack of intellectual capabilities.