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Nakba Day event in Beirut: Palestinian refugee kids set world’s kafiyeh record

Last night’s Nakba Day radio special with Franklin Lamb and Gordon Duff is already going viral. (, the “best of alternative radio” channel, picked it up within minutes.) Complete show archive:

Note: “194” is the U.N. Resolution enshrining the Palestinian right of return.


From Debbie Menon,

Franklin does not write the best satire I have ever read, and he ought to stick to reporting and scholarly analysis, but he captures very well in this story, the British “away from home” character of “Jack” who, along with so many of his like insular brothers, should stay at home where no one can see them and they are unnoticeable among all the rest of the ignoramuses and self-inflated stuffed shirts and stiff upper lipped like him.

— Debbie 

Franklin Lamb to Debbie Menon:

Dearest Debbie,

You asked about Nakba day in Beirut.  Well, the Guinness  Book of Records outfit showed up. It was not the largest bikini parade, or the largest chocolate sculpture, or some Scottish  Bulldog  leading a  group of  1000+ costumed dogs through a “Bark in the Park” event, or  the longest catwalk of naked Brazilian virgin  models, or the most people in a phone booth doing the hula hoop, or  even the fastest speed car race with blindfolded drivers. No.

But by God chicken it was a sight to behold!

The photos below will give you an idea of how the camp kids here broke the all time, world, repeat WORLD  undisputed ( old record held by Spain was a sickly 2000)! Record for the greatest number (6,500!) Palestinian kafiyeh exhibition layed side by side in formation i.e. “194!”.

These photos show the ”194” collection from cite sportiff (covering another burial site from 1982 and other times!), the thirsty and lonely  Guinness team from England,  crowded media and officials and a performing troupe of  Palestinian youngsters.  Plus Jack the Adjudicator—a good if very serious guy.

I hope Jack  is very well this morning!

Please note Jack Blackbank, the stiff upper lipped guy pictured in suit and tie and counting the 6,500 !! Kaffeyeh’s  and I think he said he was the  assistant lead Guinness Association’s  “adjudicator of World records.” A serious job.

Jack was impressed with what he recorded  but he wasn’t sure if he could get his superiors to accept a World Record for “Palestinians trying to visit Israel—( as in tourists of some sort he seemed to imagine!) “Is that what all these people want to do” ? he asked with a gaped jaw.”

When he was finished hearing my long explanation of the 1948  Nakba and  introducing him  to a few people from Shatila and Burj who vividly recall walking into Lebanon in May of ’48 Jack  became ashen…depressed he seemed to me…. and  after counting and filling at least a dozen official forms as some middle schoolers serenaded him with “ Biladi, my Biladi”  he asked me:   “ Mate,  it’s been a f—— long day.. me and my team need a pint or two  and a woman”, just show us which direction ok?” 

After inquiring  if he meant one woman total or one each, Debbie ( you know dear how the devil is in the details). Of course I have no idea how to find either in this country  right? … since I  basically  lay low and  stay in my rabbit hole doing my stuff  but I did arrange a taxi outside cite sportive next to Shatila Camp for Jack & Co, Ltd.

I asked the taxi driver if he would be kind enough to deposit his British ( as in Balfour Declaration)  group outside the Fadallah Hussaineyeh  Mosque in Haret Hreik and  never mind that they left their passports  at their hotel in East Beirut. I told the Adjudicator to ask the first three young guys with beards and  black caps and AK 47’s he saw for help with both needs.

As you may know the last person who tried to sell alcohol in Dahieyh was quartered in about 1980 or so.  

I just hope the British Embassy was of more use to these blokes when hez busted them,  than the US Embassy is in getting their citizens out of a jam.

Anyhow, Jack’s not in the local news so far as I  know.  I gave him my card in case we at the SSF  or PCRC could be of further assistance in any way.



 Guiness World Record Ajudicator counting kafiyehs.

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