Away From Politics

New ‘Happiness Blanket’ On Board British Airways

Well this is…innovative. British Airways has come up with a unique way to judge the satisfaction of its customers — the “happiness blanket.” It’s not just any blanket, of course, as its designed to determine the “meditative state” of premium cabin flyers, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. The blanket works by using neuro-sensors to asses levels of »more...

Le Pain Perdu du Balthazar

This is not a restaurant review since I came into Balthazar just for the Pain Perdu. It was 09:20am on a calm Wednesday in Beirut when we arrived to Beirut Souks, which felt like a haunted city since it was a parliament meeting day and all roads blocked. But this didn’t stop me from continuing »more...

Special Ramadan Treats: Star and Crescent-shaped Donuts at Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts are serving up specially designed star and crescent-shaped donuts, to mark the holy month of Ramadan. These special donuts are available across all Dunkin’ Donuts outlets in the UAE. “The holy month of Ramadan is a special time for all of us here in the Middle East. With our long history of being »more...

Off To Ayia Napa

I am currently in Cyprus and should be back on Sunday night. One of my closest friends is getting married next week so we’ve decided to go to Aiya Napa to celebrate his last single days in style. I’ll be online all the time but won’t be writing any posts before Sunday night or even Monday.
Until then, I’ll be posting pictures on my Instagram so add me if you aren’t already following me. [LeNajib]

حُب Love

(حبر على ورق ink on paper)

Samed to Palestine: " Why should I love again when I have your love? "

النص من أغنية "أنساك" لأم كلثومكلمات مأمون الشناوي

No Tourists Yet Electricity And Water Shortages During Summer In Lebanon

At the beginning of every summer in Lebanon, we are warned of water shortage and more electricity cuts. However things are looking much worse this year specially that we have over 1 million Syrian Refugees in Lebanon now. According to MP Qabbani, the situation is expected “to worsen in August and to hit bottom rock in September and October.”

Videos Of The Jounieh International Festival 2014 Fireworks

Here’s another video shot from the sea:
And here’s one from another angle:

Byblos 3D Mapping

I don’t know how I’ve missed that last year. Pretty cool 3D Mapping!

The Caliph and His Psychiatrist, Exclusive Transcript

In an unrivalled scoop we have managed to obtain a transcript of a conversation between Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his psychiatrist that reveals a hidden and complex side of the jihadi leader who recently declared himself Caliph. The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria who now goes by the name of Caliph Ibrahim reveals his anxieties about the establishment of the caliphate and the toll the pressure is taking on him. For security reasons our sources shall remain unnamed.

Lebanese Man Sentenced To 9 Months In Prison For Beating And Torturing His Wife

Tamara Harisi and her baby daughter
He should be jailed for 9 years not just 9 months but it’s better than nothing. However, I wonder who will protect the wife once the guy is freed from prison because even if she divorces him, he might still go after her. After all, he didn’t just beat her but he even tried to set her on fire but his lighter didn’t work fortunately.
Here’s what Tamara had to say [Video].

No More Free Night Traffic For Ogero DSL Users

According to this article, free night traffic is no longer be available for Ogero DSL internet users and will be replaced by a 2Mbps unlimited plan for 75,000LL (50$).

The Facebook experiment and the 300 Dollars an hour.

Facebook from the Tanaklogia by Tarek Chemaly

In case you have not heard, Facebook is under fire for "a vast experiment in which it manipulated information posted on 689,000 users' home pages and found it could make people feel more positive or negative through a process of "emotional contagion"." The sutdy was done in conjunction with academics from Cornell and the University of California.

Tripoli Cafe Open During Fasting Hours Hit By Grenade

It is not clear whether the cafe was attacked because it was open during fasting hours, but that memo that was approved by Tripoli’s mayor has indirectly contributed to this incident. Having said that, the least Tripoli’s mayor should do is arrest those who threw that grenade the soonest and threaten those who attack cafes of punishment.

Live Love Lebanon: Dans Mon Pays Que J’aime Tant, Il y a Pappaz et Silicon

Here are the lyrics:
Dans mon pays que j’aime tant
A Jal el Dib
y a plus de pont
Dans mon pays que j’aime tant
Au City Mall
y a plein de ponts
Dans mon pays
Il ya des gens
qui roulent trop vite
out trop doucement
Dans mon pays que j’aime tant
Il ya pappaz et silicon
Dans mon pays
y a de l’Embouteillage
Du Centre ville lal casino
Dans mon pays que j’aime tant
A Jal el Dib
y a plus de pont

انتفاضة القدس Intifada in Jerusalem

(حبر على ورق ink on paper)
انتفاضة في حي شعفاط في القدس إثر قيام مجموعة من المستوطنين الاسرائيليين بقتل الفتى محمد أبو خضير  
An uprisal in Shuafat neighborhoud (Jerusalem)- The aftermath of killing young Muhammed Abu Khdeir  by a bunch of Israeli settlers


(رصاص وحبر على ورق pencil and ink on paper)
محمد أبو خضير (17 عاما) كان ذاهبا لأداء صلاة الفجر في مسجد قريب من منزله في القدس عندما تم اختطافه على يد مجموعة من المستوطنين الاسرائيليين قاموا لاحقا بقتله و حرق جثته
Muhammed Abu Khdeir (17 years old) was going for the morning prayer in a mosque near to his house in Jerusalem when he was kidnapped by a bunch of Israeli settlers who eventually killed him and burned his body.

Stand Up Comedy By A Salafi Sheikh From Tripoli

That was surprisingly funny but I am not sure if it will help improve the images of Salafists in Lebanon and the Arab world.

Racing Park Mtein (RPM Lebanon): A New Karting Circuit In Lebanon

Picture via Biser3a
I was told about this circuit a week ago and I just looked it up and found it on Facebook. Racing Park Mtein is expected to open within weeks from now and is presumably the biggest kart track in the Middle East.

Where Are The Public And Free Beaches In Lebanon?

Tyr Beach – Taken from BeirutNightLife
I was in Ayia Napa a couple of weeks ago and all the beaches were accessible to everyone for free. You only had to pay in case you want a long chair, a towel or drinks. Unfortunately for us Lebanese, the majority of Lebanon’s coastline is privatized and entrance fees to the 250+ beach clubs can range from 10$ to 40$ or more.

Picture Of The Ballouneh Explosion (Not A Terrorist One)

Picture via Annahar
They are saying the explosion was caused by some substance in the sewers (or sanitary hole in that case) but the picture is terrifying. It’s a good thing no one got hurt.

Jamaa al-Yad and a project still relevant sadly.

أمن بالحجر تحيا
Believe in the stone you shall live

يا حافر حفرة يا واقع فيها

Where To Find Used Books In Beirut?

Al Sa2eh Library in Tripoli
If you are looking for places in Beirut that sell used books, here’s the list that AgendaCulturel came up with:

New MOT ad: The power of humbleness

I love the new Minstry of Telecom ad! I love that humble tone in it which recognizes how far we still have to go (compare it to all the other official braggish ads from other ministries and you will get my point). At least the ad admits "so we didn't make it to the moon" - using the moon footage landing with an astronaut putting a Lebanese flage there, only for this to appear with the shadow of a cameraman shooting. A little humbleness goes a long way as the famous Lemon ad from VW showed us!

Middle Eastern Artist Saint Hoax Uses Disney Princesses In Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign

Saint Hoax is a pseudonymous Middle Eastern artist, presumably from Lebanon. He/She came up recently with a series of disturbing posters called “Princest Diairies” to highlight the fact that many sexual abuse victims are abused by their own family members. For that purpose, she used Disney princesses like Jasmine and Ariel because she felt that it’s a visual language that her targeted audience would be attracted to.

Cool Lineup At The Summer Misk Festival

Gypsy music maestro Goran Bregovic, Salsa and Latin jazz master Yuri Buenaventura and Global House Sensation John Martin are performing at BeitMisk on July 10,11 and 12.

Telecom Ministry Ad

We are still under the sea level when it comes to the internet. The latest upgrades were more than welcome but there’s still a lot to do before we can start praising our internet speeds and packages.

Is "Achra Abid Zghar" a racial slur?

Achra Abid Zghar! Based on Agatha Christie's book "Ten Little Niggers" which itself is based on the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians" (for the American edition the title was changed into "And Then There Were None" just like the nursery rhyme now uses "soldier boys" instead of "Indians").

What To Do When You’re Ripped Off in Lebanon (Fake Sales, Bad Food, Sham Jewelry, etc.)

CALL 1739
I don’t always do this, but the Consumer Protection Bureau in the Economy Ministry in Lebanon does a pretty decent job.
I’ve had the unfortunate chance on several occasions to deal with them, and so have several close friends.
On one occasion, my friend bought a gold bracelet for his girlfriend. A week later, the bracelet got discolored, making it obvious it’s a knock-off. My friend reported it, and a week later, the fancy place in downtown Beirut issued him a check with the full amount he paid including taxes.
In my case, a promoter had lied about the act he was bringing in from abroad. The next day, he was interrogated by the police and all the ticket-holders were reimbursed.

Ivy Reviews: La Petite Maison Beirut

It’s true, over the past couple of years Beirut has been flooded with French Bistros, but the same doesn’t apply to authentic French restaurants serving gourmet French cuisine. In fact it may come as a surprise to know that there are a very few restaurants in Lebanon that specialize in serving French chic food, not the usual suspects that we see on almost every menu today and that’s what the renowned La Petite Maison Beirut brings to the table.

Looks Like Beirut.

A lot of lebanese living in lebanon or abroad always write bad things about Lebanon on the internet while foreigners who live here only write up the good stuff; weird right?