Away From Politics

Is The National Library Opening Soon?

The Lebanese National Library is renovated and ready to open but it won’t unfortunately because the cabinet has yet to appoint an executive board and director.
Check out Habib’s comprehensive post on the National Library [here].

Qatar Launches Ambitious Nobel Prize Programme, Acquires Einstein For $10mn

The small, oil-and-gas rich, state of Qatar has concluded a $10mn deal to acquire the legacy of Albert Einstein in a bid to increase its number of Nobel Prize laureates. The deal is the first step of a an ambitious programme to increase Qatar’s historic contributions to science and will be followed by further deals to acquire Pierre and Maria Curie, Guglielmo Marconi, Max Planck, Enrico Fermi and many others.

Helvetic Zebra: the stripes that earned Station (even more) stars!

Photo credit: George Zouein and Nabil Canaan

The Islamic State Versus Lebanon

I don’t think we will have a new civil war in Lebanon and I strongly believe the Lebanese and the Army (Add to that the Lebanese Pot Farmers) will keep Da3esh away from here.
While the Islamic State and the Al Nusra Front lack the capacity for a full scale invasion, many fear their car bombings, kidnappings and beheadings might prove so destabilizing that the nation might once again spiral towards sectarian civil war.

Lurpak Billboard Looks Like A Shampoo Ad

I didn’t even notice that was a Lurpak ad until I saw Maria’s post yesterday. It does look like a shampoo bottle and ad.
via Maria

AUB Among The Best Five Arab Region Universities

The American University of Beirut was the best ranked in Lebanon, followed by the Lebanese University in 37th spot, Université Saint Joseph de Beyrouth in the 50th spot and finally the Lebanese American University which was ranked 52 out of 91 universities. The rankings seem pretty reasonable except for LAU which I believe should be at a much higher position.
You can check out the full list [Here] and the methodology followed [here].

Lebanon’s Top 20 Entrepreneurial Companies in Science and Technology

Rami Khawandi, the founder of the Tari2ak app which I posted about few weeks back made the list

ACs Not Working At The Beirut Airport

via Salma
My friend Salma tweeted yesterday that air conditioners are not working at the Rafic Hariri Airport and I’ve read a report a week ago about the same matter. I don’t know what the problem is but it’s a good thing winter is almost here.

Stay Baladi and #KeepWalkingLebanon

I took part in Johnnie Walker’s latest campaign #KeepWalkingLebanon and prepared a #Baladi inspired tweet to show my support. It’s a really cool campaign to show that you can’t put out the Lebanese spirit as it’s a fire that burns within us all. I hope you guys like it.
You can share your own tweets using the #KeepWalkingLebanon hashtag or just go [Here].

MTV Misspelled Messi’s Name

We are not talking about any football player here but one of the greatest footballers of all time. It’s Lionel not Leonel MTV!

God is of Lebanese Origin!

Omar Sharif, Mika, Salma Hayek, Terrence Malick, Paul Anka, and many many others are all international celebrities of Lebanese origin. But those big names are about to be eclipsed by the biggest personality of them all – God! According to the findings of a recent extensive investigation, God is also of Lebanese origin, a revelation that is bound to shock the world and increase the Lebanese people’s pride in their country.

Lebanese-Brazilian GP2 Driver Felipe Nasr Will Drive For F1 Sauber In 2015

I’ve already posted on several occasions about Felipe. He was quite impressive in GP2 earlier this year, drove for Williams at the Bahrain F1 GP and has been confirmed as one of Sauber’s drivers for the year 2015.

Brazilian-Lebanese Felipe Nasr to Drive Sauber F1 in 2015

Here’s a nice boost of serotonin today for all you petrolheads! Felipe Nasr, nephew of Amin Nasr, who is Brazilian of Lebanese descent, will be an F1 Sauber driver starting 2015! I’ll definitely pay more attention from now on to see how Nasr does!
source: BBC

Lebanon Now Officially a Failed State

On Wikipedia, the definition of a failed state is when a government: Can’t Distinguish Between Maya Diab and Angelina Jolie

Some Dubai-based website called anaZahra shared and sponsored a post on Facebook about Maya Diab with a picture of Angelina Jolie showing. Fi kteer chabah

Lebanese vs Lesbian Cuisine

via Rob DenBleyker
Make sure to read the comments as well lol!

Ivy Reviews: Casper and Gambini’s New Menu

I feel confident referring to Casper and Gambini’s as an institution in Lebanon today. It’s mastered the art of consistency and has managed to strike the perfect balance between wholesome high-end cafe cuisine and excellent service. So this post isn’t about how much I like Casper and Gambini’s that’s already been established, rather it’s a review of their recently launched new menu.

New Tarboush Flavors: Fraise Wou Bendou2

I thought these were Halloween ads at first for some reason. Did anyone try them out?

What MP Riad Rahhal Thinks Of The CMFA Activists

That’s a very disrespectful thing to say and he should apologize. Maybe we should start throwing our lawmakers in the bin like Ukrainians did.
Stoli Lebanon

Whatsapp’s Latest Update

Since people have been asking about Whatsapp’s latest update, here’s what changed: Whatsapp introduced the blue double check feature which means that the message has been read. So now one grey check means the message has been sent, two grey checks mean it’s been delivered and the two blue checks mean it’s been read.
So now you can’t pretend you didn’t read the message anymore lol!
Update: Here’s Stoli Lebanon’s funny take on this update.

Meet Lebanon’s Ninjas

This is apparently the new look of Hezbollah’s elite forces. I don’t know what these guys do exactly but I like the uniform and it does look like G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes as pointed out by Alex.
Speaking of Hezbollah and Ninjas, I found a track called “Hezbollah Ninja”.

Old Pan American Airlines To Beirut Ad

via Carole
Unfortunately, the slogan “Where East meets West” no longer applies.

Stolichnaya takes a punch at the parliament!

Research credit: G.M.

Our parliament has extended its own manadate! There, the members declared themselves so irrepleacable that we must endure more of their useless tenure until 2017. Stolichnaya Vodka decided to give them a piece of her mind - "hangovers" don't last this long.... Or to quote Trident gum "the flavor you can't get rid of"!

#No_To_Extension Trended But That’s About It

On Twitter, everyone is against the extension of parliament but on the ground only few activists tried to actually block the MPs.

Is Lebanese currency designed after the 25 Guilders note?

I have recently come across a very interesting theory: Lebanese current design was influenced by the 25 Dutch Guilders note (pay attention that Guilders have been discontinued in favor of Euros). The design above dates back from 1989 - Guilders by the way were notorious for their exceptional design. At first I dismissed the idea as being something not very worthy of attention - problem is - the more I looked at the current Lebanese notes the more I saw the similarity in terms of design.

VEA: A Better Use for Old Tires in Lebanon [Hint: NOT Burning Them]

The image above is almost an icon for Lebanon in recent history. Existential crisis? World Ward? Fight with your neighbor? Pissed Barca lost to Real? Let’s burn a tire! And even though I never really got the point or effectiveness of this act, I’ve come to terms with the fact Lebanese folks from all sects and walks of life will resort to this unhealthy, ugly and environmentally irresponsible act.

One Year After #IVYsBigReveal and A New Ambassadorship

It’s been one hell of a year for me.

Exotica as part of our collective memory

I am part of the generation that remembers Exotica, not as a florist, not as a wedding supplier, not as a landscaper, not as an advertiser, but more as a part our collective memory. I am talking of a different Exotica naturally, specifically an image frozen in time, the one above.
Which lead me to the one below taken from the packshot of the ad in question.

The iPhone 6 To Be Released Officially soon in Lebanon

According to 9to5mac, Apple’s next iPhone 6 rollout will include Lebanon among others and will take place on November 14th. Back in March, we heard that the iPhone will be officially released in Lebanon but these things take time so let’s hope it works out this time.
I will try to get further updates and will keep you posted.

Apocalyptic Storm Clouds Over Jounieh

Thumbs up for this great picture Rodrigue!

FAIL: Chamsine Backery Pastry

Chamsine is really good by the way. I remember we used to stop quite often at his branch on the Khaldeh highway on our way to the South.

For All German Fans In Lebanon: Die Mannschaft The Movie Will Be Out On November 13

I don’t know yet which Lebanese theaters will be showing Die Mannschaft movie, but I am pretty sure thousands of Lebanese fans will be looking forward to watching it and relive the last World Cup magic.
I will update the post as soon as I figure out more details.