Away From Politics

What’s Happening To The Iconic El-Houssami Old Lebanese House In Byblos?

I am finding this hard to believe but according to the president of Jbeil-Byblos municipality Ziad Hawat, the old famous Lebanese house in Byblos, as well as the sea castle and other ruins in one of the oldest cities in the world are in danger. Jbeil’s touristic sites have been neglected by the authorities and need proper maintenance and renovation.

Pierre Hachache Has Officially Gone Crazy Lol!

Check out what he had to say to the Lebanese soldier who defected the other day.
[YouTube]
and listen to his latest hit (NSFW).

A Walk in the Park


I had a lovely walk in the park this evening. It brought me back ‘home’.

They say that the first 15 years of someone’s life are instrumental to the formation of a person’s identity. After that, it doesn’t really matter anymore where you live or grow up; your comfort zone has been established, and you will forever feel most at ease in that society. 

Of Beirut or Fate

Somewhere it's been written.
Somewhere it's been decided.
I was born in war.
War is my fate.
I have never known Beirut without war.
I have never known Beirut without injustice.
I have never known Beirut without fear.
I have never known...
Will I die in my country?
Will I die in war?
Will I ever know?

I look at Beirut. She looks back. Envious.
Envious of freedom. Of opportunities. Of what if.
Envious of unspeakable possibilities.
And all I want is to go back.
To her chaos and ugliness.
To her carelessness.
To realize an unrealistic dream.
To give back the love she deserves.

Is love most romantic when it's unfulfilled?
Do I love you because you don't truly exist?

Achrafieh 2020: Discover Abdel Wahab & Sodeco On October 19

The car-free day in Sodeco and Abdel Wahab that was cancelled previously due to security concerns will take place on October 19 from 10 am till 7 pm.
I always look forward to these car-free days and I am definitely going next Sunday. See you all there!
Check out this [link] for more info.

Maya’s Epic Note To The Parking Ticket Guy

via MayaZankoul
That’s hilarious! Now we will wait and see if she gets a ticket or not.

#ToOurCountries By Faia And Rihan Younan

To Our countries was produced by a group of young people living in Sweden and originally from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.
Wars are still raging unfortunately in the Middle East and thousands of innocent civilians are getting killed everyday. Lebanon is still safe from a new civil war and we need to keep it that way at any cost.
[YouTube]

Living The Single Life In Beirut

[YouTube]
I am happily married because I chose to, but I’ve never understood the pressure that families and society in general here in Lebanon put on single women and men who don’t wish to get married or are just too focused on their career. Being single is not a bad thing and Jasmina Najjar tells us everything about living the single life in Beirut in this TED talk at LAU.
Jasmina is a good friend and the author of “Beirut Knights”, a book on Lebanese dating disasters. I started reading that book which is pretty fun but didn’t have time to finish yet. You can read more about the book and the author [Here].

Mercedes Benz: 48 hours in Beirut

Mercedes Benz posted on their website a nice “48 hours in Beirut” article where they went “through the mountains, sea and green between French, Arabic and English, into the night and beyond the day” and learned what Lebanon and Beirut are all about.
Check out this cool feature [Here].
Thanks Elie!

We Went Busking With Slavoj Žižek

Superstar Communist philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek once claimed that his lectures are more rock and roll than The Beatles in their heyday. We decided to put the idea to the test by taking the unkempt Slovenian philosopher busking and see how much money he can make by ad-libbing about politics, philosophy and psychoanalysis on the streets of London. The results will surprise you.
1 The ICA - post-superpower capitalist world order

Another Desperate Lover On The Jal el Dib Bridge (Tato will you be his gf?)

via Rita
Rima’s lover never got an answer and something tells me Tato will decline this guy’s offer as well.

Pine Nuts Shortage In Lebanon

Pine nuts prices have gone up by 40% in the past two years according to the this LBCI report. 1 pine nuts kilo costs now 100,000 LL which is quite expensive but not surprising given that pine nuts have always been pricey and they are not that available worldwide not just in Lebanon. Unfortunately in Lebanon, the problem is that there are no serious initiatives by the government or concerned ministries to grow more pine trees and we have hundreds if not thousands of pine trees destroyed every year by “intentional” forest fires.

Everything You Need To Know On Oil And Gas And Lebanon’s Strategic Environmental Assessment

Executive Magazine has been doing a tremendous job following up on potential offshore oil and gas activities in Lebanon and what the The Lebanese Petroleum Administration has been up to. The latest is a nicely summarized guide of the 900 pages strategic environmental assessment (SEA) related to potential offshore oil and gas activities that the LPA has published.

9 Must-Try Dishes In Beirut According To Don’t Believe In Jet Lag

The list doesn’t include only dishes and is not very specific but it’s a good recommendation for people visiting Beirut for the first time or looking to try out specialties here. Pine-nut Hummus, Kaak at Abou Arab, breakfast buffet at the Four Seasons, Em Sherif, Sea Bream Sashimi at Al Sultan Ibrahim, Sahyoun’s Falafel and Tawlet are great choices.
Maybe I should come up with my own list as there are so many things to add here. I’ll work on it and post it soon.
Check out the full list [Here].

Vinifest 2014: The Multiplicity of Wine

Beirut’s wine festival (Vinifest) kicked off yesterday and will go on till Saturday 11th of October 2014 from 6:30 pm till 11:30 pm at the Beirut Hippodrome. Last year’s edition attracted over 60 exhibitors and 23,000 visitors and this year promises to be even better, despite the bad weather. If you like wine and wish to sample some of the best wines in Lebanon, Vinifest is where you should be going.
I will be there on Saturday. See you all and cheers!

Sneak Peek: Divvy Mar Mikhael Where Sharing Is Caring

Divvy is a new restaurant opening soon in Mar Mikhael and it looks really cool. I passed by yesterday to check it out and learn more about the new concept they’re introducing as well as their food menu. Divvy is located on the main Mar Mikhael street right after Happy Prince which is the best place to open right now in Beirut. Divvy is all about sharing and its dishes are designed in a way that can be easily shared.

A Lebanese Harvest Dinner

Saveur.com posted yesterday the menu for a cozy fall dinner inspired by the home cooking of Lebanon. It included Fattet Hummus, Kafta bil Sayniyeh, Loubieh Bi Zeit, Tabbouleh, Zaatar Man’oushé and Ma’amoul bil Tamer.

Alleged Photo Two Innocent Lebanese Were Sued For

The above photo was apparently enough to unleash the wrath of the Lebanese Forces MPs against two Lebanese citizens, who carried it in a protest condemning the plans to extend for parliament, yet again, thereby violating the constitution and robbing Lebanese taxpayers of their right to vote for their elected members of parliament for the second time in less than two years.

Epic Fail: Who Wants an Iphone5 6?

I don’t know in which country this was taken exactly but it’s hilarious!

Lebanon Is In For A Harsh Winter

[Picture from sietske-in-beiroet]
Last year we heard the same thing yet we barely got a winter season. Let’s hope they are right this year as we desperately need it.
Usually swarms of wasps and bees are not seen as a good omen, but the large numbers spotted in coastal areas up north are being hailed by some as a sign of a rainy and snowy winter to come, something Lebanon desperately needs after a year of drought and low rainfall.

Ahmend Proposes To His Lebanese Fiance On A Starbucks Cup In Calgary

They should have a Starbucks-themed wedding.
Dania Melhem ordered her piping cuppa joe expecting to see her name scribbled in across the cup. But when her order was up and she turned her brew around she was surprised by the curly writing: “Dania, Will you marry me?”
Ahmend Rammay, her partner of about a year dropped down on one knee before she had the chance to process.

Silence before the Storm

No no, not some metaphor of the current political situation (although that'd be pretty accurate); we have an actual thunder storm heading our way, and the sounds and feeling of impending doom is just overwhelmingly beautiful.

Ello or work in progress

got my Ello invite a couple of days ago.
Still not sure what to do with it.
Somewhat excited to work it out as it goes.

Qassem Suleimani Iran’s Shadowy Commander Who Has No Shadow

It was a hot summer evening in Tehran, as the scents of spices wafted through Tehran’s Grand Bazaar and the voice of the muezzin could be heard in the distance calling the pious for the evening prayer and something suitably mysterious and oriental about Persian carpets, a group of official-looking people were walking silently among the crowd.

Latizi La Terja3é Singer Just Released A Song For The General Security

[YouTube]
Firas Al Hamzaoui, the Syrian singer behind the “Latizi La Terja3é” hit just released a song praising the ISF. He has also a song called “Assabi3 Ijraiki” in case you’ve missed it.

Myriam Neaimeh The First Lebanese To Score In The FA Women’s Premier League!

Myriam joined Newcastle United a couple of years ago and has scored in their last game against Guiseley AFC Vixens. I don’t think we ever had any Lebanese playing in the FA Women’s Premier League so congrats to Myriam! I tried looking for a video but couldn’t find any.
Myriam plays in the FA WPL league, which comes right after the FA WSL which is the highest league.

A few months

A few months ago someone sat across the table from me. He asked me a silly question, like what was my favorite book or something. I squinched trying to remember, and I did. It was a book I had read many, many summers ago lying between the light blue sheets in my bed in Africa. I realized how much of what I am today is the product of who I used to be when I lived in Africa. A lot of my favorite things belong there...

The Golf Club In Beirut Pays 1,100 LL Annual Rent

[YouTube]
I once asked if anyone can go play Golf there and I was told we need to get an invite. Has anyone been there already?

Global South Launches ‘Best White Saviour’ Award

From Bono to Al Gore, there can be no doubt that white saviours are great. Sadly the Global South has done little to acknowledge the greatness of white people over the recent decades, claiming it was busy with the challenges of post-colonisation, nation-building and fending off hunger. These are poor excuses however and a wide coalition of Global South governments, NGOs and ordinary people are now attempting to rectify this historic omission by launching the ‘Best White Saviour’ award this year.

First Look: The New Apple iPhone 6

I got to try out the new iPhone 6 last week and I am really glad that Apple decided to go for bigger screens. The iPhone 6 looks huge when compared to the iPhone 5 and 5s and even though some iPhone users may disagree, I think Apple did the right thing by making the screens larger. The iPhone looks and feels great and the screen resolution is quite impressive. It’s also curvy and more comfortable to hold but it’s also easier to drop now. The camera is great as always and the phone is a bit faster than the iPhone 5s. The battery life is also slightly better.