Away From Politics

Maamoul at its Finest from Nicolas Audi

As Easter approaches, the quest to find the best maamoul in town becomes harder. I have tasted many, went to three different places and received a dozen different kinds by various makers in town… so far nothing has captured the attention of my taste buds. It’s true what they say. Making good maamoul is art by its own right.

Khoury Home: Chick this coffee pot.

OK, I admit, I am totally enamored. Simply, witty, smart (and I hope to God - Original - meaning so far I did not find it stolen from anyone). A coffee pot that looks like an Easter chick and it's for Khouy Home which sells home appliances. It refers to their line of business, to Easter, and is still is cute as hell!... And the visual? If fallait y penser.
Super. Now let's hope it's not stolen because otherwise it's great.

The Global Competitiveness Report: Lebanon Infrastructure Ranked 127th Out of 144

According to the 2013 Global Competitiveness Report, Lebanon ranked 116th out of 144 in terms of basic requirements, 125th out of 144 in terms of institutions, 135th and 32nd (out of 144) in terms of macroeconomic environment and health/primary education respectively.

Against Approving The Wage Scale Draft

via Al-Akhbar
I am glad the wage scale draft submitted by the Syndicate Coordination Committee did not pass yesterday, not because the banks and economic committees’ arguments convinced me, nor because I believe the current system is a just one, but simply because it’s not the right time to approve such a bill.

#InMediasRes opens tonight at Sation Beirut

#InMediasRes will open tonight at Station Beirut - next to Beirut Art Center in Jisr el Wati at 19:00.

Old Footage (1958) Of The Beirut International Airport

The quality of the videos is quite impressive!
There are more videos to check out about Lebanon [Here].

FAIL: Allah Ye7meek (الله يحميك)

Allah ye7meek indeed because that so-called camouflage on the back of the car ain’t gonna protect you from anything.

Enoteca rebrands, perhaps.

To paraphrase John Lennon "rebranding is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans", and pouf - from one day to the next the sign was changed on the Zalka highway and Enoteca has now a new logo (also note the change in language from "la maison du vin" to "the house of wine").

FAIL: Tourist Information At The Beirut – Rafic Hariri Airport

I wonder how hard it is for the Ministry of Tourism to spell-check Lebanese cities. Hamra is spelled differently twice, Achrafieh three times and Broummana is misspelled.

Idiot Of The Day

He’s wearing a helmet though. He obviously cares about his safety.
Spotted by Ahmad Kurdi via Yasa

Vero Modca soundtrack and Beirut Mayhem-Mek

As a lead up to Vero Modca store opening within the realm of #InMediasRes on April 18th at 20:00 at Station Beirut, why not enjoy the soundtrack as a blast from the past!

Fatka-Village: Me talk pretty one day

Looking at the Fatka-Village ad on top of a building at Dora roundabout - one of the worst places to place an ad with words (as no one is standstill enough to read them) - I could not but remember the title of David Sedaris' heartwarming masterpiece "Me talk pretty one day" - except it's very far from being as well written.

Telecom Ministry: Higher And Cheaper Internet Speeds Within A Month

Picture via MayaZankoul
Lebanon’s Telecom Minister Boutros Harb is promising faster and cheaper internet speeds within a month as well as unlimited plans. He’s also talking to the Wall Street Journal about fiber optics and implementing Law 431, which would allow free competition in the telecom market and stop the duopoly led by Alfa and Touch.

Bkerke Website Hacked

The website is back to normal now.

The Perfect Campaign Ad for Lebanon’s “Presidential” Elections

The above illustration depicts the two main runner-ups in Lebanon’s alleged upcoming presidential elections… No further comment to avoid slander and libel, but I’m sure you all got it =P
It was done by Noura Andrea Nassar, who did the hilarious “If Lebanese Restaurants’ Names Were Honest

Lebanese Civil Defence Volunteers Rescue Woman On Verge Of Suicide

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Post by Civil Defence volunteers.

The woman was identified as being an Ethiopian domestic worker. The Lebanese Police should investigate on the reasons why she was throwing herself off the balcony with the owners.
Great work from the Civil Defence guys!

Douaihy Easter Ads

What does the XO game have to do with Maamoul and is this E-store supposed to mean Easter? I really hope not. On a positive note, I got a Knefe from Douaihy on Friday and it’s still one of the best out there.

Taken from Douaihy

Nadine Magazine Spot On Cover Page And Headline

The woman on the front page with her panties showing told the magazine she will succeed without compromises.
I believe you

Answering ReThinkIsrael’s BuzzFeed Article: The 13 Delicacies That Are Israeli .. Aren’t Israeli

Picture from Al-Abraaj
ThHank you Rumzz for writing this. Read the full article [Here].

Dying for your sins ad(d)s up.

The whole of the advertising market has gone festive it seems. Easter ads - be they relevant or not - are all over the place. Let's examine the exhibits:

 Kurban Tours is playing on "Easter break" - which apparently "breaks the routine" and not just the traditional Lebanese egg challenge (whereby tops and bottoms of rival eggs battle it out until a winner is declared).

What is #InMediasRes ?

#InMediasRes is the man watching the CCTV watching you "for your own safety"
#InMediasRes is Juvenal's who watches the watchmen?
#InMediasRes is Oscar Wilde's "we are all living in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars"
#InMediasRes is "just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you"
#InMediasRes is the "houdou2 hazer" (cautious calm) that used to be code word for "go there at your own risk" during the Lebanese war on radio stations

On April 13: The Lebanese Civil War Mentality We Need To Get Rid Of

When I first saw the announcement above, I wasn’t really sure if I should laugh at it or criticize it, and as it went viral and Lebanese started commenting on it, I noticed that few people were actually defending whomever posted this announcement and saying that this is the reality we live in. I wasn’t surprised to hear these comments to be honest as sectarianism is still infecting our society and has been on the rise lately mainly due to the Syrian conflict, add to that increased racism against Syrian Refugees.

The 'ghabir' (damage expert) and the tow truck driver I was going to write this amazing post about a fantastic hike in Mazraat el-Chouf, an absolutely beautiful region, especially now that spring has started full-force. But I wrecked my car on the way up there, and had to come down riding the cab of the tow truck. The airbags didn’t even go off; yet the entire front of the car is in pieces, and it was leaking some gruesomely smelling liquid. I should be thankful for all the things that did not happen.

In Medias Res - Miha Vipotnik/Mojca Zavolovsek/Tarek Chemaly

Tarek Chemaly (Installation)
Title of the work: Vero Modca/Searching Joe
A past rearranged to suit the present, a present that is not a gift, or is a poisoned gift, but you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, yes – never examine its content – never ask the whys and the hows and the what fors, keep pretending that the retrospective version of the past is what happened, so that the current narrative still continue to make sense.

Mojca Zavolovsek (Graphic Art)

According To BuzzFeed: Hummus, Halloumi Cheese, Cactus Fruit, Falafel, Shawarma, Labneh, Kibbeh and Baba Ghannoush Are Israeli Delicacies

This BuzzFeed article by ReThinkIsrael is so ridiculous and disrespectful to international cuisines that I don’t know where to start. The author could have simply stated there are things you could eat in Israel, but to claim that these are Israeli specialties is just too much. Moreover, how can you claim that a fruit is specialty?

Fashionable Candles for Palm Sunday

This doll is part of an art exhibition at the Beirut Souks done by Cynthia’s Candle. The candles on display are supposedly the world’s tallest Palm Sunday Candles which I hope no one will consider buying for their children. I remember when I was a kid, I had to carry my younger cousin’s 1 meter and a half candle for a good hour just because he was too little to hold it.

In Medias Res - Jad Taleb - Station Beirut

Jad Taleb (Sound Installation)
Title of the work: Soundtrack of our lives
Nine to the power four combinations of possibilities, footprints of past experience, of luggage being dragged, of sins and hopes and aspirations being trashed, of futures being dared, of permutations being changes, of tribulations being shared, and of identities being forged.

In Medias Res - Jad Tannous - Station Beirut

Jad Tannous (Video Installation)
Tile of the work: Silenced through the eyes
If silence could be experienced, then what would it look like, would it look alike? And if the eye can give it a language, would it still be a silence? What would its alphabet be like once interpreted through visual codes and signals?

In Medias Res - Rami Bishara - Station Beirut

Rami Bishara (Installation Art)
Title of the work:: Two stroke life cycleZoetrope, zootrope, digital animal kingdom, rise of the robots, 3-laws safe, action-reaction-creaction-recreaction, screws in the machine, rage against that machine, get crushed in the gears, break free through the cracks, only to be caught back and get clogged as a clog.

In Medias Res - Patil Tchilinguirian - Station Beirut

Patil Tchilinguirian (Graphic Art)
Title of the work Qualia
Escher staircases leading to empty roofs as bottom halves negotiate their fate and conflicts get resolved somewhere between neurons and hormones, between synapses and snaps, on middle grounds, in three dimensional planes, and if all else fails, your legs could still carry you away.

In Medias Res - Lea Lahoud - Station Beirut

Lea Lahoud (Audio-visual Installation)
Title of the work: Never mind those walls
A making off gone live, re-edited for clarity and absurdity and profanity, re-enacted for the sake of the newbie, re-imagined for those incapable of seeing beyond the word, a record of a work only completed when the dichotomy of the audio is completed by a visual that longs to be perfected, would words still exist without readers or listeners?

In Medias Res - Judith Talj - Station Beirut

Judith Talj (Sound Installation)
Title of the work: Rumors
Spreading like wild fire, they’re talking about behind your back as you talk about them behind theirs, cyclic conversations with news getting dipped in sauces while everyone pretends to be on a diet but actually relishing on the feast, to feed their beast, because of that beast that you happen to be.