Away From Politics

Tanmia copycats Hawa Chicken


Compare and contrast: Above Tanmia is bragging that "their sheet is clean (white)" (after the food contamination issues lately in Lebanon) with white meaning both the color and the word egg in Arabic.

Oum Ali, new video art by Tarek Chemaly


Georgina Rizk was elected Miss Universe in 1971
while representing Lebanon, the Christian beauty went on to marry Ali Hassan
Salameh – Yasser Arafat’s chief of security for the PLO and the mastermind of
the Munch’72 Olympics operation whereby Israeli athletes were slain by
Palestinian guerilla fighters. In Arabic culture, a woman is named “mother of”
after the name of her first male child (so “Oum Ali” refers to the child which
was born 3 months after Salameh’s liquidation by the Mossad).

Pornhub: Lebanese Are Boobs People and Middle Easterners Love Feet

Everyone watches porn. Guys, girls, young, old. Is it good? Is it bad? That’s not really the point now, but the fact of the matter it is, and the metrics Pornhub have are always interesting to read. You can check them out here.
Most Arabs are Butt People, Except Lebanon and Egypt
Lebanese folks are boob people, according to Pornhub/Youporn’s insights. That might explain why the epidemic of massively grotesque fake boobs doesn’t seem to be letting up in Lebanon. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think plastic surgery is wrong, and I encourage it if it makes someone feel better about themselves. But, when the funbags become heavy enough to cause a herniated disk, no.

10 Gorgeous Johnnie Walker Fire Graffiti for Lebanon


So, I’m sure you all saw a photo or two on your newsfeeds, or on a billboard or LED screen somewhere in Beirut. I was lucky enough to be asked by the brilliant guys and gals behind the campaign to stand in the shot of my quote, and it was quite the experience.

Lebanese App of the Week: Tari’ak’s Realtime Traffic


Traffic is a daily disaster every Lebanese person grows up with. Eventually, we start understanding certain patterns on the routes we take most often. But, other times, we find ourselves venturing to parts we rarely go to, or can’t foresee an accident/tire burning/roadworks episode that causes even more traffic.

Winter in Lebanon as not seen on TV

Picture via Al Jomhouria
I am loving these campaigns by LiveLoveLebanon and the Ministry of Tourism. This winter will be one of the best in years. Come visit Lebanon and enjoy it!
[YouTube]

A Suggestion To Park Meter Lebanon

I spotted one of the Park Meter officer fining a car the other day and I bought from him a Park Meter prepaid card that you can use on machines. As I was giving him the money, he was complaining on how this car has been parked for more than 2 hours without a ticket and that its driver never showed up. Honestly speaking, I agree with the officer but I wonder why Park Meter doesn’t set up prepaid cards dispensers so that people can buy these cards when needed. Most of the time, people don’t have coins and supermarkets and small grocery stores get pissed when someone asks for coins.

Lebanese Minister of Transportation Wants To Ban #UBER

Update2: Uber Beirut confirmed that these claims are not true and that business is running as usual.
Mustapha shared me with me this morning an article from Annahar stating that Uber will be banned in Lebanon after complaints by the taxi syndicate. Uber Beirut launched back in July and has been offering an excellent service at competitive prices. I personally used it at least 6 times so far and I have nothing to complain about.

Holiday Inn, new video art by Tarek Chemaly


The famous hotel wars, are re-seen and
re-imagined artistically… Somewhere between caricature, blood and kitsch. Set
to the Bandali “Do you love me” – an Arab rock song way before its time.

Lebanon Wins Galactic Discovery Competition – MENA Region

My friends from Uf Chou Laziz just informed me that they won the international Land Rover Galactic Discovery Competition for the Middle East North Africa Region! The winning team members are Wajid El Hitti, Sam Nassif, Samah El Hakim and Nicola El Hakim and they won a 6 days wildlife travel adventure to Botswana in Africa in mid-2015. The video was shot in Lebanon of course.
Congrats guys and I hope you go to space one day!
[YouTube]

Beirut’s Municipality Has $800 Million In Surplus

Beirut’s mayor Bilal Hamad mentioned in an interview with Executive Magazine that the city has almost around $800 million in surplus and that they are spending money where it needs to be spent. Knowing that the interview focused on the mayor’s strategy to improve green spaces in 2015, it didn’t seem like a top priority for Hamad and I don’t expect to see any new parks next year in Beirut.
Here’s a summary of the interview highlighting the important points raised:

Remembering Gebran Tueni

Picture via sdaouk
Every year, we remember Gebran Tueni while Lebanon takes a step back in freedom and liberty. We need journalists like Gebran to influence the Lebanese youth and guide them in the right direction but unfortunately there aren’t any. We’ve lost la crème de la crème with Gebran Tueni and Samir Kassir and it doesn’t look like we will ever recover from this huge loss.

Don’t Mess With Lebanon’s Call Of Duty Clan

I am a huge Call of Duty fan and I’ve been playing it for years offline and online on my PS3 and PS4 (Advanced Warfare). I never joined any teams online and just played random games but it’s good to hear that we have a highly active and impressive online COD Lebanese clan. They’ve reached 3 times Maximum level in Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops 2 and Ghosts and they are the only Lebanese clan to win platinum division clan wars.

My issues with je ne sais quoi

Elle Decoration (of course)
One of the problems with moving abroad and immersing yourself in another language is that you forget how to say foreign words in English. I mean all those borrowed words that are commonly used in English. The English language has adopted loads of French words like “ambience”, “connoisseur”, and “rendezvous” (or even fake French words like “en suite”). I’m sure there are plenty of words from other languages that I’m less attuned to as well.

The Wall Street Journal Features Jbeil’s Christmas Tree

The 97-foot-high Christmas tree at the entrance to Byblos, Lebanon, north of Beirut, shown on Nov. 25. The tree is covered with 2,500 gold-colored iron leaves.
The Byblos Christmas tree was featured in the Wall Street Journal as part of Christmas trees from around the world, and not the most beautiful Christmas trees in the world. There’s no doubt though that the Byblos tree and decoration are gorgeous.
Check them out [here].

AC Milan Captain Franco Baresi In Beirut For The “Sports For Peace” Project

via @ACMIlan
Italian former captain Franco Baresi visited Beirut recently to kick off the “Sports For Peace” Project. I didn’t hear about it anywhere in the news here but I found this article in Italian that says that the initiative kicked off in March and that it reached almost 1450 Lebanese and Syrian aged between 6 and 17.

Desperate Massage Parlor Offering Manicure And Pedicure

I’ve seen at least 3 or 4 massage places opening in that same building on the Zouk highway. They were “Anti-Stress” before becoming “Massage” but I think they are still selling the same service (but with manicure and pedicure now) lol!

Linked In Now Open In Keserwan

Pass by and start building your networks!

That's Me in The Corner

(ink and digital color حبر ولون رقمي)

"ذاك أنا في الركن"

line from REM's "Losing My Religion"

Five Reasons Why SLCHI Is Funnier Than MafiMetlo

Every now and then, I watch some of the old SLCHI episodes and they are always funny as hell. Sadly though, I don’t remember the last time I’ve laughed that much on a MafiMetlo episode even though the characters are all (almost) the same. Knowing that I still consider it the funniest Lebanese TV show, here are five reasons why SLCHI was funnier:

Jazirat al Ahlam, new video art by Tarek Chemaly


Advertising heaven. Nothing but that. Young men
and women in ads, doing impossible things on the beach, bikini clad ladies and
rock solid muscled hunks in suspended lives. Soundtracked by the late Sabah's "Sa3at sa3at" (there are times) languishing tune which
celebrates those instances or serenity and farniente in our lives.

Christmas Village (عيّد معنا) In Achrafieh (Sassine Square) On December 13 & 14

Achrafieh2020 and The Municipality of Beirut are organizing a Christmas village on December 13 and 14 next to Sassine square. They will be transforming the area into a pedestrian Christmas village for everyone to enjoy and have fun.
The village will be open from 10am till 11pm. Check out more info [Here].

Lebanon Breaks A New World Record

I think a lot of contractors from all around Lebanon would feel offended after watching this report as two years is a ridiculous record. They are way too incompetent to finish things in two years only! Take for example the “genius” Fiat bridge separator which was finally replaced by a height limiter. Of course the contractor was smart enough to build a crappy height limiter that got wrecked the next day.

Lebanese Savvy Sisters Bringing Middle Eastern Chain Restaurant Semson To New York

Christine Assouad Sfeir and Carine Assouad are launching next year Semsom’s first outlet in New York City at 2 Astor Pl. This is their first venture in the US and will consist of a 1,256 square-foot space that will seat around 25 people. The plan is to open four more outlets in New York in 2015 and have around 200 locations across the US by 2020. This is a very ambitious plan but Christine is ranked No.19 on the Forbes list of the 200 most powerful business women in the Arab world for a good reason.

Dhour Choueir Celebrating Christmas

Bringing Muslims to sing inside a Church or vice versa is probably the cheesiest thing to do but it works every time in Lebanon. I have nothing against it of course and I appreciate such initiatives as it brings people from different backgrounds together but I think the Lebanese people should be the one teaching our Muslim and Christian representatives how to work and co-exist together. Muslims singing Christmas songs or Christians singing Muslim chants will not get us a president, nor a proper infrastructure nor a decent electoral law to name few.

What’s The Story Behind The Pie?

I spotted this cool pie in a random place on the street in Beirut. Does anyone know why it’s there or what’s the story behind it?

7UP goes back to the future with new logo.


Thankfully it seems PepsiCo is updating that corny logo for 7UP (from the current one which was boxy, boring and lacked joie de vivre) with one which seems more like a facelift from their old 50s branding. Yes, the "up" inside the bubble is still there reminiscent from the previous logo which was just mercifully killed, but the retro curves are back, the 7 and the lettering seem close to the old logo they paraded in the old days.

Congratulations Jounieh (Beirut?) , You Are One of The #New7Wonders Cities

via New7wonders
I wish I knew the person who decided that this picture of Saint Paul’s Cathedral overlooking the Jounieh Bay refers to Beirut. Every time Beirut wins an award or is included in some list, they use the same Harissa shot that has nothing to do with Beirut.
If they need nice pictures of Beirut, I am more than willing to provide them tons of pictures and free of charge.

Maz Jobrani Back to Lebanon For One Night Only On December 14th

Maz Jobrani, one of the founding members of the Axis of Evil Comedy, is coming back to Lebanon to support Sanad Hospice Care yet another time. He will hold one fundraising event on December 14th at the Forum de Beyrouth at 7:30 pm. SANAD is an independent non-governmental non-profit organization established in January 2010 with a mission to provide comprehensive home-based hospice care to terminally ill patients while preserving their dignity and enhancing the quality of their remaining life.

Beirut As Seen From The International Space Station

Our friend Mahmoud Ghazayel emailed the ISS asking them to send him the latest image they took of Beirut from above and this is what he got.
Click [Here] for the larger image.

Alternative uses of bombs.


As flower pot....


As umbrella holder

See the power of recycling? Above are two alternative uses of bombs! Enjoy.

Christmas Series: Beirut Chants Till December 23rd! And its Free

I love Classical music. Whether it’s one musician, a quartet, a choir a whole orchestra or all of the above. Christmas is an especially magical time for such performances in Beirut’s many, many historic churches.
For 7 years now, Beirut Chants has been bringing to life these churches with local and international acts of all kinds: choral, sacred music, chamber and philharmonic orchestra performances and appearances by international soloists.
It already started on December 1st, but will continue till the 23rd.
You can check out their complete schedule here. Also, I’ve taken the liberty of selecting a handful I think will be really worth your while:

Brazilian Football Legend Ronaldo Likes Brgrco

You must try the Parmesan Truffle Fries next time you visit Brgrco. Brgrco opened in Chelsea on December 1.

Beirut Has Always Been A Wonder City

The New7Wonders results were out yesterday and Beirut was “voted” as one of the new New7Wonders cities. It’s funny how we spent millions of dollars campaigning for Jeita and it lost, while barely anyone campaigned for Beirut and it won. In all cases, this whole New7Wonders thing is useless and we don’t need them to tell us Beirut is a great city.
I am wondering how Doha made it on that list though.