Away From Politics

Beirut Beer redeems itself in English.

Research credit: D.P.

Now that established that the Arabic version of Beirut Beer was close in spirit and expression to Pepsi, it seems they redeemed themselves with the English version which is more Whisky worthy (no direct corelation but reminds me of Chivas "live with chivalry" and Ballentine's "some things are worth doing" in terms of positioning and upscale tone of voice). "We've got what it takes" which is a better English adaptation for the Arabic line "ne7na adda".


I shall pack my bags and leave.
I don’t know where.
I don’t know why.
But I know that I shall not be here any longer.
I pile new absences atop my old ones;
I shall sniff them one more time, and disappear.
The terrazzo shall feel cold beneath my feet,
and the stale smell of the peeling blue walls shall
part ahead of my sadness. The flaps of the doorway
shall embrace me one last time.
And you, you shall not be there.

I tear myself out of my life,
and seek myself anew.
I shall renounce myself.
I shall hone my solitude.

(originally posted on October 11, 2003)

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 7 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

منهم أخجل دون أن أعرف أني أخجل منهم.. الغامض يتراكم على الغامض ليحتك ويقدح الوضوح وفي وسع الغزلة أن يفعلوا كل شيئ، في وسعهم أن يسلطوا البحر والجو علي، لكنهم لايستطيعون أن يقتلعوا مني رائحة القهوة ساصنع قهوتي الآن. سأشرب القهوة الآن، لأتميز عن خروف على الأقل، لأعيش يوماً آخر، أو أموت محاطاً برائحة القهوة...
تُبعِد الإناء عن النار الخفيفة لتجري اليد أولى إبداعاتها، ولاتكترث بالصواريخ والقذائف والطائرات. فتلك إرادتي: سأذيع رائحة القهوة لأمتلك فجري. لا تنظر إلى الجبل الذي يبصق كتلة نارية في إتجاه يدك. ولكنك لا تستطيع أن تنسى أنهم يرقصون هناك، يرقصون من النشوة. كانت سيدات القرنفل في صحف البارحة يرتمينَ على دبابات الغزاة في الأشرفية كان النصف الأعلى من نهودهن، والنصف السفلي من أفخاذهن عارياً من الصيف ومن المتعة، ومعداً جيداً لاستقبال المخلصين،

10 Guestlist Passes for DIXON at The Garten This Saturday!

DIXOOOOOON!!!!! Ok, I won’t lie, after Ten Walls (Mario Basanov), Dixon is the artist I’ve been looking forward to most this epic summer at The Garten.

Old Beirut City Map From 1911

By Wagner & Debes
This is an amazing map of Beirut from 1911, showing various places as they looked like at the break of the 19th and 20th centuries and shortly after the World War I. For those interested, the map is available for download in high-res and you can even have a printed copy delivered to you.
Thanks Mark!

Dfouni’s Super Quinoa Salad

If you like Quinoa, you should definitely try the one Super Dfouni makes. I’ve been having it almost every day for the past 2 months. It contains grilled Halloumi, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley, cranberries and almond. It’s home-made, fresh, delicious, filling and costs only 12,000 LL.

Beirut City Centre Checking Car Plate Numbers

I was at the Beirut City Centre on Saturday and I noticed the security people were using a machine to check car plate numbers. I’m assuming they are checking if the car is stolen or not, pretty much like what I’ve suggested in my Masrou2a App post.
I am hoping the ISF will implement soon a license plate recognition technology to track down stolen cars and maybe figure out where they’re setting up the cars with explosives or catch random car thieves.

Rolex Boutique Open In Jounieh

I posted about Rolex opening soon 3 weeks ago and it’s already open now. Here are a couple of pictures I took yesterday. I am still surprised they chose Jounieh souks as a location.


There was honking outside,
rare, but reminiscent
of other more vocal towns.

There was an image inside
of what you could see
in such a place.

There were footsteps and barking,
the sounds of my silence;
there was me nodding and moving,
if only for the sake of motion.

There is this never-ending floor
and you somewhere dying -
- are you breathing still?

There is this scar, refusing to heal,
itching like an absence...
If I hold my breath, would you feel it?
If I hold still, would anybody notice?

Somewhere else, something else,
If I leave this unfinished,
would -

(Originally posted on November 21, 2011)

Holidays Part 7

Playing backgammon on the Corniche (an old one, as you can see from the fence)

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 6 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

السماء تنخفض كأنها سقف إسمنتي يقع. البحريتحول إلى يابسة ويقترب. السماء والبحر من مادة واحدة. البحر والسماء يضيقان علي الخناق. ادرت مفتاح الراديو لأعرف أخبار السماءلم أسمع شيئا، تجمد(تشديد الميم)الوقت، جلس علي ليخنقني، مرت الطائرات من بين أصابعي إخترقت رئتي. كيف أصل إلى رائحة القهوة، كيف أموت يابساً بلا رائحة القهموة، لاأريد...ل اأريد، فاين إرادتي؟
 وقَفَتْ هناك على الطرف الثاتي من الشارع، يوم أطلقنا النداء المضاد لتزحف الخرافة علينا من الجنوب... يوم كورَ(تشديد وفتح الواو) الحم البشري عضلة الروح وصاح: لن يمروا... ولن نخرج... إشتبك اللحم مع الحديد وتغلب (تشديداللام) على علم الحساب العسير، فتوقف الغزاة على السور... هناك وقت لدفن الموتى وهنالك وقت للسلاح ، وهناك وقت ليمر الوقت على هوانا... لتطول البطولة، فنحن نحن أصحاب الوقت...

Hilarious Wedding Invite

(I removed the date and the venue)
I got this picture via Whatsapp and it’s part of a wedding invite in Lebanon where guests who don’t confirm before a specific date are asked to bring a chair and drink with them. While this may seem funny, a lot of Lebanese have a problem calling and confirming if they’re coming to a wedding or not for some reason.
PS: Congrats to the newly weds!

#Tripoli_Loves_Beer: Does It?

People have been saying that Tripoli’s mayor has banned all kinds of beer and alcohol publicity in the city, and some have started an online campaign using the hashtag #Tripoli_Loves_Beer to condemn this decision. Honestly speaking, I haven’t seen any official statements regarding this matter so I’m assuming some people decided to take down some beer ads, which happens elsewhere (unfortunately) in Lebanon as well.

Aizone has a hit on their hands.

I heard several comments on this ad already, "ugly" is one of them. However I tend to really like this one - the punk rock edgyness to it is undeniable. The over-the-top ambaiance, the in your-face-attitude all combine to make it very much the Aizone spirit (sure, you'd be shelling a lot of dough to appear as if you were a "rebel" and fighting the system, but then the concept of high fashion masquarading as street clothing is all about that).

Lebanese Pianist At Prague Airport Plays Beethoven’s Fur Elise in 12 Different Styles

Maan Hamadeh was waiting for his flight at the Prague Airport, so he found a public piano and decided to play 12 different styles of “Fur Elise” and the Titanic theme song. It’s pretty fun video and it has gone viral which is pretty cool!

Milton Glaser: I ♥ Earth

Milton Glaser

He gave us 'I ♥ NY', now Milton Glaser is putting his touch on a logo for global-warming movement, according to glaser the logo is " "symbolically, the disappearance of light" in addition he sees it as "(e)ither Earth is d

A Day like Today

These charades we make
to do and undo each other,
what for?

This life, a blink and then
hereafter.. what for?

The sun shines like rain never happened,
the sky is a sarcastic shade of blue,
and the breeze blows so delicately it's almost fake...

Sure, the swans spread their wings for food again,
and the irises are in bloom like winter didn't exist,
a masquerade of life, bold, shimmering and vain...

You'd think no one will die today,
no soul will crack, no one will find
the water inviting for more than a swim...

Life is never crueler than it is on such days,
never more callous, never more slanted;
the shadows are never darker than in stark sunlight...

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 5 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

صحت عصافير الجيران في السادسة صباحا. تابعت تقاليد الغناء المحايد من وجدت نفسها وحيدة مع بدايات الضوء. لمن نغني في زحام هذه الصواريخ؟ تغني لتشفي طبيعتها من ليل سابق، تغني لها لا لنا.... هل كنا نعرف ذلك فيما مضى؟ لقد شقت الطيور فضاءها الخاص في دخان المدينة المحترقة. كانت سهام الصوت المتعرجة تلتف على القنابل وتشير إلى أرض سالمة في الفضاء، للقاتل أن يُقتل، للمقاتل أن يقاتل. وللعصفور أن يغني... ولكني أكف عن طلب الكناية ،أكف تماما عن التأويل... لأن من طبيعة الحروب أن تحقر(تشديد وكسر القاف) الرموز، وتعود بعلاقات البشر والمكان والعناصر والوقت إلى خاماتها الأولى، لنفرح بماء يتدفق من ماسورة مكسورة على طريق لأن الماء هنا يتقدم معجزة من قال إن الماء لا لون له ولاطعم ولا رائحة؟ للماء لون يتفتح في إنفتاح العطش..

"Light at the end of the tunnel (and it wasn't the train)" video art by Tarek Chemaly

This is a new video art composed of 61 hand-animated frames on a digital platform. The joke goes “I saw the light at the end of the tunnel,
and it was the train” – so after several years of trials and tribulations, I am
hoping I now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that it’s not the

Still from "Light at the end of the tunnel (but it wasn't the train)" by Tarek Chemaly

Vice Report On The Islamic State

If you want to know what the Lebanese army was up against in Arsal, and what’s really happening in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, check out this amazing documentary by Vice. There are still 3 parts coming out very soon on their YouTube channel.

Fadi (Ba3ed) Ma Sa2at …

It looks like the teachers didn’t like the idea proposed by the Education minister to give passing statements to everyone and decided to correct the exams after all. This is definitely good news for the students.
Update: It’s not clear yet whether the teachers will correct the exams or not. I will keep you posted.


No compromise.

When the final curtain falls,
I will come down in flames.
No half exits,
No hesitant escapes.

When the call comes around,
I’ll stay rooted in my place.
No hasty excuses,
No clinging to the earth.

I will take it as I find it,
I will gulp it as it is.
No syrup for me, thanks;
No god with a sweet face.

Tomorrow when I falter,
I will shatter with despair.
I will tell you where I have been,
I will leave without a face.

Tomorrow in the gallows,
When the sirens lose their voices,
When they tell you it will linger,
I will—enough!

Someday there will be none,
When tomorrow doesn’t come.

Meet Ajialouna: A Charitable, Social, Healthcare, Educational And Cultural Organization In Beirut

The first time I heard about Ajialouna was when they launched with ABC Verdun the Ramadan Festival few weeks ago, and when ABC donated over 10,000 pieces samples of clothes to Ajialouna to distribute them to families during Eid. Since I wasn’t able to make it to the event in Verdun, I thought I pay Ajialouna a visit and see what they do, specially after reading that it’s been around for 20 years now, and that it’s not only a charity organisation, but also offers public, medical, educational and health services for orphans, widows, underprivileged families and individuals.

Why Anthony Rahayel should decline Deek Duke prize

Source: Facebook

If I am writing this, it's both - to congratulate Anthony Rahayel (our fellow blogger at the excellent No Garlic No Onions) for his Milan trip win in the Deek Duke lottery - and to invite him to decline to accept the prize.

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 4 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

ما زال الفجر الرصاصي يتقدم من جهة البحر على أصوات لم أعرفها من قبل.البحر برمته محشو في قذائف طائشة.البحر يبدل طبيعته البحرية ويتمعدن.أللموت كل هذه الأسماء؟ قلنا سنخرج،فلماذا ينصب هذا المطر الأحمر الرمادي على من سيخرج وعلى مَن سيبقى من بشر وشجر و حجر؟ قلنا:سنخرج،قالوا:من البحر.قلنا:من البحر.فلماذا يسلحون الموج والزبد بهذا المدافع ؟الكي نعجل الخطى نحو البحر؟ عليهم أن يفكوا الحصار عن البحر أولا....وعليهم ان يخلو الطريق الأخير لخيط دمنا الأخير..ومادام الأمر كذك وهو كذلك..فلن أخرج.إذن سأعدُ القهوة

Is This Haifa Wehbe?

She definitely looks like her a lot. In fact, if that’s really her, she looked much nicer when she was young!
Speaking of Syrian commercials, here are my favorites:
Thanks Terry!

Saad Hariri is Back

This time it’s for real heh! Hariri’s been out of the country since 2011.

My Two New Favorite Desserts From Cannelle

Succes aux fraises
For those who like brownies as well, you have to try them out at Cannelle.
Macaron Cheese Cake

Aishti goes all Carmen Miranda

Composite image - Aishti ad and Carmen Miranda

Good news for Aishti, their site is now up, bad n

I’m still not ready to leave

I’m still not ready to leave, but dare not say it to anyone. There are words behind my eyes still maturing, still not ripe for utterance. I have made a habit of keeping things to myself, but every now and again they weigh on me. Sadness is like that, it begs to be shared, to be spread like a cold. But I am resisting the decadent temptation, this once.

My throat is ready to leave; it is charred with exhaust. But something in me lingers, not wanting to pack just yet. More things to fold within: these congested streets, my backache, unwrapped endings, and the hesitation of what’s to come—I’ll have to pack them all. But I’ll have to unpack them first: lay them on the bed, fold them one by one—I don’t have much room.

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 3 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

أريد رائحة القهوة،لا أريد غير رائحة القهوة.ولاأريد من الأيام كلها غير رائحة القهوة، رائحة القهوة لأتماسك،لأقف على قدميَ،لأتحول من زاحف إلى كائن،لأوقف حصتي من هذا الفجر على قدميها،لنمضي معاً أنا وهذا النهار إلى الشارع .بحثا عن مكان آخر كيف أذيع رائحة القهوة من خلاياي،وقذائف البحرتنقض على واجة المطبخ المطل على البحر لتنشر رائحة البارود ومذاق العدم؟صرت أقيس المسافة الزمنية بين قذيفتين.. ثانية واحدة... ثانية واحدة أقصر من المسافة بين الشهيق والزفير،أقصر من المسافة بين دقتي قلب ... ثانية واحدة لا تكفي لأن أقف أمام البوتغاز الملاصق لواجهة الزجاج المطلة على على البحر...

Destroyed MEA planes as art inspiration

Soon there will an auction in Doha which which include interesting Middle Eastern art, Ayman Baalbaki will feature among the lot with a work entitled Al Sharq Al Awsat (which means "Middle East" - but also refers to our national carrier Middle East Airlines).
Here is the work in question courtesy of Sotheby's:

Exclusive: ISIS internal memos from Lebanon

The following documents where retrieved from a building that was occupied by jihadis from the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) in Lebanon following the group's recent entry into the country. They paint a revealing picture of the group's operations there and the type of problems they faced with local recruits. Click on the images to zoom.