Away From Politics

Britain’s Favorite Take-away Is Lebanese

A Lebanese Diner called The Cedar has won the title of Britain’s favorite take-away, after receiving the most positive votes from millions of reviews of more than 9000 eateries. The Cedar Chef and Owner Sami Khoueiry says all his recipes are 100% home made and approved by his mother.

8 Life-Changing Bills the Lebanese Parliament Buried in Drawers

1- Retirement Benefits Bill
We’re all going to get old. A civilization is only as good as its treatment to its elders. Of course, this doesn’t mean we let our lives get governed by old men in black robes, but it means we make sure our senior citizens have everything they need once they retire, from healthcare benefits and pensions and onwards.
2- Civil Status Laws Bill
The root of many of Lebanon’s problems can be traced back to Lebanon’s dependence on each sect’s personal status laws. This means everything linked to marriage, birth, death, inheritance, etc. is controlled by opaque religious courts with rarely any due process or rational thinking. We need a civil status law to equalize the Lebanese in the eyes of the law, regardless of their faith (or lack-thereof).

Ceci n'est pas un Tarboush

Oh the endless social media dramas! It seems a consumer found a nail in a product by Gandour, namely the Tarboush. The guy - John Kairouz, a trainer in human behavior and a Stanford graduate - plastered it all over the place. Gandour mishandled the whole drama completely both online and even on television bringing less than credible people to justify their case (a "facebook" expert and an insulting lawyer). I think the caricature I just did above completely "nails" it!

Women's roles played by Men!

Commercials tend to show women in provocative poses no matter what product is being sold, so Buzzfeed decided to recreate three of them with men. Via: Adsworld

Apparently the buzzfed team haven't seen the biscoleta silly ad yet !

Blue is the warmest color in Beirut.

It happened before (1, 2, 34 and 5), and here is another example of how Beirut - the uncompromisingly aggressive city - can mellow down and offers one a respite from a bad day with a poetic note.

Dubai The Only Arab City Among TripAdvisor’s 25 Most Popular Travel Destinations In The World

Let’s hope Beirut will get back soon on the tourist map.
Istanbul topped the TripAdvisor list followed by Rome, London and Beijing. Dubai ranked 17th. To check out the full list, click [here].

The Bayrut Express: eco-friendly style

Ziad Dagher is not your usual investor and The Bayrut Express is not your typical fashion store. Almost everything there has a story rooted in environment, recycling, eco-friendliness and - of course - style and fashion too. Dagher is trying to mix between fashion and environment and has managed, in just a few months, to attract a faithful clientele that wishes to distinguish itself while being environmentally-conscious.

Lebanese Parliament Approves The Employment of Civil Defence Volunteers

Civil Defense volunteers protested in a weird way today to claim their rights by swimming deep into the sea in Ramlet al-Bayda and threatening to drown if the parliament doesn’t approve their full-time employment. Some of them were rescued and hospitalized and the parliament ended up approving the draft-law for their employment.

Cookies’n'More: Maamoul Reinvented…

You are faced with two challenges a few weeks before Easter. The first one is to loose a few kilos before the big day to be able to enjoy some Maamoul without moderation… and the second is to find out where or who makes the best maamoul in town. Is it your mother? My mother? Is it this shop or that one? The only thing we’re all agreeing on is the fact that we can’t wait to indulge in these popular Lebanese sweets called Maamoul – in all its forms and fillings.

7 Ways To Own Your Online Reputation- Ivy Says for Entrepreneur Middle East

Whether you’re a brand, celebrity or professional in an industry; chances are you’re always looking for ways to improve your online reputation. I share seven tactics as part of my contribution to Entrepreneur Middle East’s April Issue.

Base Down Low [NEW SEGMENT]

It is with great pleasure that I announce the first dedicated segment to someone other than myself on this blog. I’m hoping to expand on these weekly posts by contributors I feel would go perfectly with the general content and attitudes of the blog. The segment is “Base Down Low” with my very good friend, Hollywood-based producer and DJ Base (Bassel Naaman) and will focus on all things music-related.

About The Gandour Tarboosh Controversial Story

Ever since I woke up this morning and people have been talking to me about that guy who found a metal nail inside his Tarboosh (Ras el Abed). I read the whole thread, including Gandour’s responses and claim that his story is a fabricated one.

Executive Magazine’s Guide To Lebanon’s Presidential election

Here’s a [cool guide] to the Lebanese Presidential elections prepared by Domhnall O’Sullivan from Executive Magazine.

Lebanon Among The Top 20 Countries With The Largest Flows Of Remittance Payments From The U.S.

Migrants to the United States are responsible for sending almost a quarter of the global total of intentional remittances. While the countries with the biggest flows are Mexico, India and China, Lebanon is in 14th position and sent over 1.5 Billion Dollars in the year 2012.
The map was done by Pew Research Center based on data from the World Bank.
Read the full article [Here].

Lebanese Driver Nicolas Amiouni Crashes Out Of The Portugal Rally

Picture via NicolasAmiouni FB Page
I couldn’t find any video of the crash but it looks like a big one from the picture above. I hope Nicolas’ fine!

Babies Trying Lemons for the First Time in Slow Motion

Someone got a brilliant idea: Let’s give babies lemon wedges for the first time— just like every single parent does in the privacy of their home—and record their reaction in slow motion so the entire world can laugh and go aaaaawwwwwww at the same time.

Why Blue Gold is starting to make sense.

Blue Gold book can be read here.

Since January 2007, Beirut/NTSC has been challenging established orders, shaking any status quo, and been bashing whomever needs to be bashed left and right (and center), oh, and my criticism is not for the faint of heart.

Love Cloud: What Happens in the Sky Stays in the Sky!

Have you heard of the Love Cloud? Imagine stepping into a plane all to yourself, only with your loved one, and find a comfortable custom cabin with pillows, cushions and blankets to relax on… fly high and enjoy the ultimate intimacy from above…Does that sound kinky or not? 

Nasma’s Awesome Lebanese Innovations

The Terrace at Beirut City Centre is truly a site to see. A number of restaurants, some of which are familiar, while others are totally new concepts to the country… and more others are opening… Nasma, relatively new, is a Lebanese restaurant where traditional food is introduced with a contemporary twist.

Ivy Reviews: Prune French Bistro

I just returned from a much needed 9 day stint in Europe, namely Paris and I can honestly say that I like (dine-in) French food in Lebanon more than French food in France and yes I’m generalizing.

Buffet Lunch and Dinner at The Movenpick Dead Sea Resort

I had to eat here four consecutive times during my trip to latest Jordan: Two lunches and two dinners… and believe me, it was good. The food was correct, the choices were varied and the different preparations which included cold mezzes and hot dishes were created using premium ingredients. I enjoyed the food…

Tosta Mista: Lisbon’s Famous Street Food at Jürgen’s, Bairro Alto

Walking through the tight streets of Bairro Alto, Hani a friend of ours who lived here for six months, was showing us around Lisbon’s nightlife district.  A few beers later, I asked him to take us somewhere where we can eat something unique and different. We then landed at Jurgen’s… “Have you tasted the local street food sandwich” he asks?
I knew he was about to introduce me to a one-of-a-kind creation.

Baskil Bicycle Festival In Beirut

From 23 to 27 April, Medawwar in Beirut is hosting the Baskil Festival, a celebration of everything the bicycle represents, from community, sustainability, sport and fun. There’s a fun ride on Sunday around the Medawwar area for those who like to bike.
Here’s the full program from Baskil’s Facebook Page:

Buzz New Commercial

I didn’t get any of the 5 Episodes Buzz came up with in their previous ad campaign and this new commercial is honestly lame.

Bar Tartine: A Unique Eatery Opens at ABC Achrafieh

Bar Tartine has finally opened to the public in ABC Achrafieh. We spotted their ‘opening soon’ sign a while back and couldn’t wait for the actual opening… 

Bachir Ice Cream’s New and Modern Packaging…

Exciting times, summer is here and with it comes time for yummy ice cream.
We were invited to my mother’s house for lunch when my sister walked in carrying a uniquely transparent plastic box full of colorful balls.  I was surprised to see that it was from Bachir – Lebanese ice cream brand that has been around for over 75 years…

Chef’n Hullster: Remove Core Tomatoes Quickly

You are going to want the Chef’n Hullster tomato corer and huller -The Hullster which has been specifically designed to core tomatoes quickly.

You’ll Be Missed Ramzi!

To be honest, I wasn’t planning on posting at all because I didn’t know where to start but I couldn’t sleep yesterday night after hearing the news and I’ve been thinking all day today about Ramzi, his family and his wife. I’ve been friends with Ramzi since 3 years and even though we’d mostly meet at events, I always had fun hanging out with him. He’s the kind of guy who’s always smiling and enjoying his time and was one of the best geeks you could ever meet.

Are You A Musician? Perform in La Fete De La Musique 2014!

So, over the years on this blog, I’ve discovered a LOT of you are amazing artists, musicians and performers.
Perhaps the funnest time in Beirut, where it’s really all about the music, and where alcohol and money are not an obstacle, and everyone just walks around Beirut to listen to beautiful, genuine music by Lebanese talents.

Snack Camera Lens Caps

I think these were made for me… Snack caps for my camera? Just came across these cute burger and donuts camera caps…
After a long day of zooming around and constantly shifting focus from one thing to another your camera lens is beat! Give it a boost with nutritious Snack Caps!

SMOC relies on the past to leap

Interesting how some ads come totally out of nowhere, SMOC (Saint Mary's Othodox College) came out with this interesting ad to indicate how much they rely on their past to leap into the future. It is a book coming out from an iPad. Simple, neat, and does the creative trick. The French and Arabic versions are less powerful so I am keeping to this one "the past forward" which strikes a better punch.

Getting Closer

And so the conflict creeps evermore closer. Today, a Dutch priest was killed in Homs, Syria. He was Dutch by origin, but had been living in Syria since 1966, and as such had lived longer in Syria than he had lived in Holland.

Picture taken from this blog post: 
For more details:

What’s the rush?

reading phase 1
It has been six weeks since my Beiruti began sounding out her first words. She is now surprisingly confident with short phonetic words following a simple consonant-vowel-consonant pattern. I have even thrown in a fair few simple four-letter words like FROG and CLAP, as well as plurals, like CATS. She is very methodical in pronouncing one sound after the other and it is just amazing to think that she is actually reading. Within limits of course.

Typically Lebanese!

I Like it  ;)

Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut
Director: Ali Ali
Production House: Intaj
The Production House Awards: Emerald Prize in the "Service Activity" at the MENA Cristal Festival 2014
 2 bronzes at the Dubai Lynx on March 12, 2014 in the Film Craft Category.