Away From Politics

Libans de Reves: Tarek Chemaly x Charif Megarbane audiovisual collaboration


Based on a title which is a part of a sentence by Rimbaud in his prose poem “Villes I” in Les Illuminations, “Libans de reves” (or “Lebanons of dreams”) is an audiovisual diptych between visual artist Tarek Chemaly and musician Charif Megarbane (the talent behind the Cosmic Analog Ensemble) which includes “CocoCommodore” and “Abou el Rish” – a kind of false introspection for a nation that lost sight of itself (assuming it ever had it).

Funny Interaction On Twitter Between LBCI’s Bassam Abou Zeid And The ISF

I don’t think Bassam expected the ISF to answer him but they surprisingly did. In case you missed my post on this matter, check it out [Here].
Thanks Rita!

Growing Quinoa In The Bekaa Valley

[YouTube]
That’s good news but I hope they won’t be watering them with sewers like other crops in the Bekaa. Speaking of Quinoa, check out my favorite Quinoa salads in Beirut.

Of Acorn and Perseverance

An ongoing tradition is to collect souvenirs from museum shops wherever I go.

The acorn which only appears on a fully mature oak represents the symbol of patience and perseverance in order to attain one's goals.

Surprise Flash Mob Medley at a Lebanese Wedding

[YouTube]
I would have loved such a surprise at my wedding (less dancing for me lol!). Nice one Jad!

صبرا وشاتيلا 2014


(طباعة وحبر على ورق print and ink on paper)
"Is one memory enough to preserve the scene?"
In memory of the massacre of Sabra and Shatila

Street Musician

I love seeing passionate people that really commit to what they do. This guy was so into playing, I took this small video with my phone, check it out
Spotted in Rome.

What Does “Being Open Minded” Mean In Lebanon?

It seems this “business man” has got it all wrong when it comes to open mindedness. Check out the full article [Here].

Koussa Man2our For The Lazy Cooks

I spotted this stand in Tripoli but I’ve seen supermarkets selling them as well. It’s definitely a smart idea but they should cover the zucchini if they wanna sell them on the street.

I am Spécial Magazine’s Geek Of The Month

I am this month’s geek on Spécial Magazine. You can check out the full interview in their September issue or on their [new iPhone app].
Thank you Joyce!

Camaro Club Lebanon Rides For The Lebanese Army

Over 40 Camaros gathered for a ride to support the Lebanese Army yesterday. I spotted some of them on the highway then saw the album they uploaded on their Facebook page. The Camaro Club is one of the biggest clubs in Lebanon, which is quite surprising considering how expensive the car is.
Speaking of Camaros, the only one I’ve driven was a very old one and it used to drift like crazy. I wonder if the new ones are difficult to drive as well.

Meet Apo: Lebanon’s Heisenberg

It appears that we had a Walter White in Lebanon even before Breaking Bad came out. Check out the full story on [Vice].

How To Get Your Loved One* Back …

*Materialistic loved one.

Lahm Bi Hasheesh

A Syrian woman tried to pass a quantity of hashish to an inmate in the Zahle prison after hidding them in meat sandwiches. Last time someone tried to smuggle weed into the Zahle prison, they put them in apricots but they also got arrested.

The Asshole Who Threatened To Slaughter Three Children In a Video Got Arrested

[YouTube]
I am just wondering how f***** up you have to be to do such a thing to innocent children.

Video From Jad Himo’s Funeral

We are all saddened by the loss but we really need to stop firing shots in the air during funerals or any occasion for that sake because we might kill innocent people with these stray bullets.
Jad Himo is a Lebanese drifter and the winner of the Red Bull Car Park Drift Regional Finals in Dubai last year. May he rest in peace.
Check out the video [Here].

Soon, a collaboration between Tarek Chemaly and Charif Megarbane.

Based on a title which is a part of a sentence by Rimbaud in his prose poem “Villes I” in Les Illuminations, “Libans de reves” (or “Lebanons of dreams”) is an audiovisual diptych between visual artist Tarek Chemaly and musician Charif Megarbane (the talent behind the Cosmic Analog Ensemble) which includes “CocoCommodore” and “Abou el Rish” – a kind of false introspection for a nation that lost sight of itself (assuming it ever had it).

Forever 21 Set to Open in City Centre Beirut By January 2015

via Gino
A lot of people have been asking me about Forever 21 and when it is set to open at City Centre Beirut. Well unfortunately it won’t be opening before mid January 2015 as I was told. I tried to ask about the Cheese Cake Factory since it interests me more than a retail shop but there’s not a set date yet.

More Racism Against Syrian Refugees In Lebanon

It is our duty as citizens to report any criminal or terrorist activity, to defend ourselves if someone attacks our family or our home, but coming up with racist pamphlets and beating up random Syrian refugees is unacceptable and shameful. Most of these refugees ran away from Syria from the likes of Da3esh, so stop abusing them and humiliating them that way!

Lebanese Maan Hamadeh Plays Game Of Thrones Soundtrack in Different Tastes At Beirut Airport

Picture via AlJomhouria
You all remember the video of the Lebanese Pianist that went viral after he played Beethoven’s Fur Elise in 4 Different Styles at the Prague Airport. Well he’s back in Beirut this time and has decided to play the Game Of Thrones Soundtrack in Different Tastes.
Great job Maan and keep spreading this positive energy through music!

Fake Lebanese Guy Goes Crazy At The Office

[YouTube]
We’ve all seen office rage videos on YouTube and that one looks fake to me. Nice try though and too bad they wasted a laptop in the process.

We Give the Scottish Independence Referendum the Middle East Expert Treatment


These days, everyone is talking about the Scottish Independence Referendum, especially when they’re not talking about ISIS. But sadly nobody has managed so far to explain this complicated topic in an easy to understand manner. So we commissioned a panel of Western Middle East experts and asked them to apply their unique approach to the subject with their customary disregard for cumbersome nuance and the stifling requirements of accuracy. The result is this fascinating article.

Kahwet Leila Opens In Hamra

I was at the opening of Kahwet Leila yesterday in Hamra. The new branch is facing Piccadilly theater next to Barbar and is the nicest Leila by far! It fits perfectly in the Hamra area and has a vintage feel. Moreover, the garden behind the main indoor restaurant is ideal for relaxing, enjoying some good food and smoking arguile if you want to.
Here are some pictures from the new Leila and the event yesterday. For more info, check out Kahwet Leila’s [website].

Lebanon Among The Seven Most Pessimistic Countries About Their Economic Future

I was reading on Liberation that the French are more pessimistic about their economic future than Palestinians, then I noticed Lebanese feel the same.
There’s no doubt that the economic situation is bad in Lebanon, but I doubt that it is worse than Palestine. The countries that are most optimistic about their future economic situation are China, Peru, Vietnam, Senegal, Nigeria, India and Colombia.

Lebanese Jad Himo, Winner Of The Red Bull Car Park Drift Regional Finals in Dubai, Found Dead

This is terrible news but Jad Himo, the Lebanese drifter who proudly won the Red Bull Car Park Drift Regional Finals in Dubai last year, was found dead on the Matn highway.

Multi Sim At Last!

Alfa posted yesterday on their Facebook page that a Multi SIM is now available for all postpaid and prepaid users. This means that you can use the same Sim as Mini, Micro and Nano. This is very useful and was very much needed specially for people like me who switch between smartphones a lot. For example, if you currently have the Samsung S5 and just bought the new iPhone 6 (or even want to switch to the iPhone 5), you can easily put your Multi Sim in the new device and you’re good to go!

FAIL: Chanel 50%

I am pretty sure Chanel wouldn’t think of advertising with a cheap poster on the back of a pullman.
PS: Nafez al Masri is a clothing shop in Tripoli

KunHadi And Almaza Joint Awareness Campaign

It’s a good move but Almaza can do better in terms of wordplay.

Geely And The Da3esh (Da3ess) Trend

I don’t think this was a smart ad by Geely, knowing that the “da3ess” slogans are being used to support the army.
Via Jad

Geely plays insensitively on double-entendres


Photo credit: Georges Najm

Let's recap the facts: ISIS (or da3esh as it is commonly called) is one of the most serious geostratgic threats on Lebanon and the region at large - the way they interpret the Islamic codes and teachings is at best, barbaric, not to mention them kidnapping Lebanese armed forces members after fierce battles whereby they tried to expand to the Lebanese territory.

6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty


Back in March I waged a full out war on the 9 crimes against beauty that have given us terrifying reputations and landed Arabs on some of the world’s most notorious beauty faux pas lists. Prior to that I launched the Online Petition Against Tattooed Eyebrows to counter the growing  pandemic of creepy crawlers taking over our Lebanon.

September 11, 13 years later.


Manhattan mon amour - Tarek Chemaly

I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that all of us remember where we were on that fatidic moment when the planes hit the twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001 (I was on my desk on my first advertising job in an agency in Achrafieh in Beirut). Not having seen the images yet, when the platinum-blonde colleague said that a plane had hit the tower (at the time it was one plane, one tower), I thought it was some light plane which drifted off-course by mistake.

Beirut Bike Festival 2014

The first ever Beirut Bike Festival is taking place on September 19,20 and 21 at Beirut Waterfront. All bikers from all brands are invited to join bike games, bike challenges and a massive thunder parade. KTM stunt rider Rok Bagoros will be there as well.
You can check out the full program [Here].

Where Did All The Traffic Go In Nahr El Kalb?

I have no clue what was going on this afternoon, but there was absolutely no traffic between Dbayyeh and Nahr el Kalb. The road is always packed there and I pass by it almost everyday at the same time, yet for some unknown reason the roads were empty today. One of my friends told me that it’s due to some army checkpoint on Charles el Helou but still something was not right.
I posted the above picture on Instagram and everyone was as surprised as me, so if any of you knows what was happening please do tell!