Away From Politics

Share a Coke with Personalized Names Finally in Lebanon

It’s finally here, when the official campaign’s already over. Now, Lebanon is a tough one to crack. With so many folks with non-Lebanese or Arabic names (like myself) sometimes depending on what sect you were born in, it’s hard to find a “Gino” along with a “Ali”.

Tarboosh Movember: Early detection is key

I haven’t seen a lot of Movember awareness campaigns this year in Lebanon. I loved the Tarboosh one though. Alfa also has some competition including taking pictures with a mustache. Movember is an annual, month-long event (November) involving the growing of mustaches to raise awareness on men-related health issues, such as prostate cancer.

In Dubai For The Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Show

I got invited to attend the reveal of the new Mustang 2015 (#MustangRises) which is taking place today near Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This is the first time I actually get invited to attend an event outside Lebanon and I am loving every single bit of it. Dubai is great, the Address downtown hotel where I’m staying is the best here, and most of the events are taking place in cool venues.
I can’t believe it’s my first time in Dubai as I’ve been planning to come here forever. Too bad I have to come back on Thursday so I won’t be able to explore the city properly but I will be back soon for sure.

Is GTA 5 for PS4 Banned In Lebanon?

I was surprised to read that GTA V is not being sold in Sony stores in Lebanon, specially after I had received a message from my PS4 guy that it’s available. I already booked my copy and should pick it up as soon as I get back to Beirut, so I am not sure if it’s really being banned.
In all cases, it would be nice to know why because GTA 5 for PS3 wasn’t banned.

GTA 5 for PS4 BANNED in Lebanon


After hearing rumors that GTA V’s PS4 release was banned in Lebanon, I called the Sony stores in ABC Dbayeh and ABC Ashrafieh and got confirmation that they’re not gonna get it, because “el dawle mana3eta” (the government banned it).

3 Things Abou Faour Needs To Do


6 days out of 7, I am a harsh critic of the Lebanese government and its institutions. But, on that 7th day, I look for a public sector or institution that’s actually doing their job, and try to support what they’re doing. It was hard trying to classify Health Minister Wael Abou Faour’s recent actions into good or bad though, and for several reasons.

"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.

Ivy Reviews: Cannelle’s Finest Desserts


When it comes to local patisseries-shops Cannelle is an institution. Not only has it mastered the art of the classic French pastry it’s also managed to add its own signature touch along the way.

Justice Minister Rifi On The Arrest of Bearded Lebanese

It’s great to hear that Rifi is against arresting people for just having a beard, but this goes beyond Tripoli and concerns non-religious people who just like to grow a beard. Clear instructions should be given to all security forces to treat respectfully any (unarmed of course) suspect and apologize to those held by mistake.

The reason why the Zoughaib billboards are cut!


Image source Najib Mitri

Najib has asked a pertinent question, one that I have been asked previously by my advertising and graphic design students "why are the Zoughaib billboards cut?". Actually, the photo he took is one of the "good" ones, other are so blotched it's pathetic.

Why Are All The Zoughaib Billboards Cut?

I noticed today that all the Zoughaib billboards on my way to work (Like 3 of them) are cut but it looks like they’ve been that way for a while. I am not sure if it was done intentionally or it’s a huge mistake but it’s ugly and they should fix it.

Lebanese Football Doomed

Corruption, match-fixing, unprofessionalism and now exploiting and tricking young players. We have lots of talented footballers in Lebanon but the federation is not doing anything to promote this sport properly.
[YouTube]

The Silent Majority Speaks Banned In Beirut

The Iranian documentary “The Silent Majority Speaks” by Bani Khoshnoudi got censored in Lebanon because it is against the current Iranian government and could “undermine relations with another state”.
That’s all I have to say here. You can start laughing now.
Via StopCulturalTerrorism

Migrant Domestic Workers Deaths in Lebanon: More Investigation Needed

In three unrelated incidents, three Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon have died or been seriously injured in the last week. The Migrant Domestic Workers Coordination Consortium (MDWCC) and other civil society NGOs demand rigorous and serious investigations into the three cases and in all cases of Migrant Domestic Workers’ death or serious injury.

2014 Good City Index: Beirut Among The 50 Most Inspiring Cities in the World

The GOOD City Index includes a list of 50 cities from around the world that best capture the elusive quality of possibility. Beirut was ranked 9th in 2013 and is in 10th position this year. The report describes Beirut as a city of possibility, in various fields such as civic engagement, street life, connectivity, green life, diversity, work and life balance and others.

Huge Accident In Jeita Because Of A Sukleen Truck

Update: Sukleen called me and it is the municipality that decides the location of the bins and how often Sukleen can pass by. The Jeita municipality should change this location ASAP because it doesn’t make sense.

Epic Car Plate Spotted In Jounieh: 3ala Sale3te Betbale3te

via Yasa
I don’t even know what this is supposed to mean.

Hospital غير مطابق

via BintJbeil
This is probably a fake picture but it cracked me up. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if it really happened in Lebanon. I wouldn’t be surprised of anything happening here anymore.
Update: The hospital stated that it is fake but no one can prove it I guess. I couldn’t find the picture anywhere else on Google.

Week5: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

Colorful Beirut by Matteo el Khodr
You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram [Here]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [Here] if you like.
It will snow this Christmas – Picture by Haig Melikian

Spin doctor Abou Faour wags the dog.


Image source

The list of establishments which are non-conform (the now classic expression "ghayr moutabik") to standards which has been released by Lebanese Minister of Health Wael Bou Faour has caused a storm on all levels.

Road Trippin' Up North Part I

Qalamoun Main Street; rain is looming in the distanceHad to go up north this morning to buy some olive oil. Why not go across the supermarket and buy a bottle, you wonder? Only suckers by olive oil by the liter. Here in Lebanon, we buy our olive oil by the ‘tankeh’, which is slang for 20 liters. Actually, we buy more than just 20 liters; I think we’re going through some 60 liters a year if not more.

ISIS May Have Killed Peter (or Abdul-Rahman) Kassig

Peter Kassig in Beirut
That’s just terrible news! I was really hoping that Peter Kassig would be released soon. I’ve been following up on Kassig’s story for quite some time and this man has done a tremendous job in helping refugees specially in Lebanon.

Bar Tartine Opening In Dbayyeh

Bar Tartine will be opening in the next couple of days somewhere near Mandaloun cafe in Dbayyeh if I am not mistaken. I love this place, specially the fresh morning baguettes and the desserts, and it perfectly makes sense for it to open in Dbayyeh as its only two branches are in ABC Achrafieh and Mar Mikhael.

Do they know it's Christmas time? 30 years later


The new version of Band Aid's "Do they know it's Christmas time?" is now tomorrow and this time the proceeds will go for fighting the Ebola crisis hitting Africa.

Tasting The New Tarboosh Flavors: Hazelnut And Strawberry

I finally managed to find the new Tarboosh flavors after looking at more than 5 supermarkets and small shops. Supermarket Achrafieh didn’t have them, O&C only had the strawberry flavor only, TSC Zouk Mosbeh didn’t have any but Charcutier Aoun in Jeita had both. In fact, I only found the strawberry one at first at Aoun but asked the guy who went and got me a box of hazelnut from the storage room.

Rafic Hariri Airport Flooded Yesterday

[YouTube]
I didn’t think it rained that hard yesterday but apparently it was enough to flood the whole country, including Beirut’s airport. You’d expect the airport out of all places to be ready for such things but that’s obviously not the case.
Thanks Mazen!

Books not Boots: UK Embassy Donates $50 Million To Public Schools and Educational Projects In Lebanon

Public schools in Lebanon can accommodate up to 300,000 students and there are 275,000 students expected to enroll in the 2014-2015 academic year. The remaining 25,000 are usually allocated to refugees however there are 400,000 Syrian refugees wishing to enroll in public schools next year, which means that the majority of Syrian children in Lebanon will be left out of school and with no education.

A Kim Kardashian Inspired Lebanese Campaign To (Try To) Break The Lebanese Government

No one’s breaking the Lebanese government and when we had the chance as Lebanese to say no, only few of us went down and got beaten up while trying to say no to the extension. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt for politicians to eat the crap we’re apparently eating everyday according to our Health Minister lol!

Roadster Diner To Donate A Full Working Lab To The Health Ministry

Roadster Diner has re-asserted its commitment to food safety and quality and has decided to donate a full working lab to the Ministry of Public Health to improve their capabilities. Of course this is a good move but I am honestly quite surprised that the full report hasn’t been issued yet by Minister Bou Faour. We know nothing about the nature of the violations, the standards applied etc …

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.

Lebanese Men With Beards: Hipsters or Jihadists?

It’s hard to be a hipster in Lebanon as cops might mistake you for a terrorist if you have a long beard, just like what happened with Lebanese Rapper AA the Preacherman back in January. Kayan Bartender Mazen Hariz has the same problem as he gets mistaken for a Jihadist at checkpoints and was once threatened by a police officer.

MTV Ursula Daccache Gets (Surprise?) On-Air Proposal

So she didn’t recognize her boyfriend’s voice?
[YouTube]