Away From Politics

Tari2ak: The Best App To Learn About Real-Time Traffic Conditions In Lebanon

I get a lot of emails from people in Lebanon asking me to review their apps, and what I usually do is download the app, try it out and write about it if I think it’s a nice and promising one. However, I decided to sit and talk with the guy behind Tari2ak, Rami Khawandi, before posting because his idea is a very smart one and hard to implement so I wanted to know how he made it possible.

The Only Flag That Matters: The Lebanese Flag

Thank you Gab for the flag!

Why The Lebanese Army Should Not Negotiate With Terrorists In Arsal

I thought the pictures of the beheaded soldier were fake but unfortunately they turned out to be true. Sergeant Ali al-Sayyed’s body was handed over yesterday to the Lebanese authorities and his family. This is the most horrific crime against a Lebanese army soldier that we’ve ever witnessed and of and a proof that we should no longer negotiate with these terrorists.

"The Story" by Joe Bolton

After the life is lived
And the world is what it is,
There is only the story:

At Stevensport, the Sinking, River
Empties into the Ohio,
And the Ohio widens.

Or does the story perhaps precede
The living of it, as the new day
Seems to depend on the cock’s cry?

And do the dead and the unborn occupy
The same dimensionless dimension,
Or are they simply where they seem to be?

It would be easy enough to say
What happened, could you only
Bring yourself to:
______________A girl—
No, a young woman—who has lived her life
With old-time parents on a farm
On what the Indians once called the Dark
And Bloody Ground, and who
Has a perhaps somewhat imprudent appetite

Beirut to Nowhere

A motorway connecting Beirut’s hilltop to the port is piercing through one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods, destroying on its way a garden – the only remaining one of its kind – and a whole series of heritage residential houses dating from the 1920’s.
Via: Panos Aprahamian

DGGS vs Army National Guard: An ad theft indeed (UPDATE)

Seeing double? And considering each image is cut in half then you're seeing double-double (quadruple!)... Now that we go this out of the way, the new General Directorate of General Security ad (a product of a certain Phenomena which is no stranger to borrowing concepts) seems too close for comfort for the Army National Guard recruitment poster. I know that the US has just given ammunition to the Lebanese Armed Forces, so maybe a poster must have slipped among the goods.

Food on the Go: A Journey Around 11 Addresses I love

Who said to enjoy some good food you have to sit at a restaurant and order…? We tend to forget that some foods can be enjoyed on the go… In street food joints among others… Just a reminder to me and you that these bites have been prepared by hard working people who wake up »more...

Ultimate Lebanon Summer Guide 2014

I just got back from Lebanon a few days ago and here are my favorite places for 2014:

Wickerpark Music Festival 2014 Lineup

Wickerpark kicked off in 2011 and has been attracting more and more people every year. The festival has hosted over 30 artists and gathered over 5000 people over the past 4 years. Its aim is to promote local talent and create environmental awareness. The lineup for this year include:
- Mashrou’ Leila
- Scrambled Eggs
- How Sad
- Youmna Saba
- Charlie Rayne
- Flum Project
- Z the people & Al Jihaz
Tickets are for $20. For more info, check their website [Here].

UBER Beirut and Why I’m Never Taking A Taxi Ever Again

I’ve been obsessing over UBER all weekend, making random people download the app, for two good reasons: the concept is brilliant and the service is practically flawless.

A Walk Inside Horsh Beirut

Joelle from RacingThoughts had the opportunity to visit Horsh Beirut and take pictures, after a local NGO called NAHNOO got the permission to hold a picnic inside the park for 3 hours only.

Nicolas Amiouni Wins The 37th Rally Of Lebanon!

Nicolas Amiouni has officially won the Rally of Lebanon and has ended Roger Feghali’s 10-year run. It is worthy noting that Roger Feghali was out since day2 due to an accident. You can check out all the stages updates and pictures on [].
Congrats to Nicolas!

Palastain This Way …

I saw this picture on one of my friends’ FB page. I guess they just wrote it the way it sounds.
Thanks Lama!

Green in Summer

Greener parts of Lebanon You probably wonder where to find these green places in Lebanon. Because Lebanon is bone dry right now. Last winter was a dry winter to start with, and it hasn’t rained seriously since March. It is yellow and dusty wherever you go.  Yet some mountain areas are green, because giant aquifers inside the limestone still release water at a regular pace. Lebanon has a number of these giant aquifers.

School can wait

Some parents worry their kids won’t learn the language of their adopted country well enough. I tend to worry about the opposite. Many people ask me now whether my daughter is speaking Spanish yet. For the record, we lived in Spain for two months last year and five months this year so far.
I suppose if she had gone straight into kindergarten, then by now she would be speaking Spanish (after a fashion). She spends an hour or two once a week with a Spanish babysitter and she’s already starting to respond in Spanish. Surely I should be in a rush to help her learn Spanish as soon as possible, as young as possible. Otherwise she’ll already be behind the other kids when she starts school. Except that she won’t be starting school very soon anyway. Because it gets worse.

11 Signs You Were Raised by an Arab Mom

I would add the following points to Barakbits’s post:
12- You were not allowed to sleep over at your friends because they are strangers.
13- Your friends’ parents know all about your childhood’s most embarrassing stories because of your mom.
14- If a girl ever shows up to your house and your mom likes her, she’s the one.
15- You are reminded to go visit your teta all the time.
Of course there are plenty of other signs but those are the ones I thought of now. Maybe I should come up with a post related to Lebanese moms only.

You Can Play With Your Food… Sometimes!

Let’s play with our food… This teddy bear bread cutter from Japanese lifestyle site Tokyu Hands  is just too cute to avoid. The simple and quick tool allows you to turn a simple sandwich into something cute that would be great for little ones that are picky eaters. Included with the kit are one large »more...

Guess What’s Coming to Dbayeh?

Guess what’s coming to Dbayeh? Bar Tartine! Well the rumor has it that the one of Lebanon’s popular eateries is coming a step closer towards Metn area… The success of Bar Tartine has led to the opening of its second branch in ABC Achrafieh and now, if the rumors are correct and I hope they »more...

My Thoughts on Rifi’s Actions

Being an outspoken atheist means I get into a lot debates with annoyed theists over statuses. It’s funny how they forget that the “fundamental” elements of their faiths are chopping heads off, selling women into slavery and ethnically cleansing entire regions of the Middle East. But, hey! A status is just as offensive and bad, ok?!

Fadel Adib’s Wi-Vi (Wifi Tracker) And Ayah Bdeir’s Littlebits

As you all know, two Lebanese have made their way to the “35 innovators under 35″ list issued by MIT to hightlight the most promising inventors of the years. The first one is Ayah Bdeir who founded Littlebits back in 2011 and has been named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and one of Popular Mechanics’ 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream. She’s been also ranked the 9th sexiest startup CEO alive.

A Faux Pas From Ashraf Rifi

A “Safe” ISIS Flag to burn – via BeirutSpring
Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi has requested today to legally pursue a group of Lebanese who were seen burning a flag for the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) in Sassine’s Square, Achrafieh. I’ve never expected Rifi to come up with a statement. If anything, those who are raising this ISIS flag in Achrafieh, Tripoli and anywhere else in Lebanon should be the ones pursued legally and arrested.

CocoCommodore video art by Tarek Chemaly

Yesterday I promsied you the story of Coco, the parrot from the Commodore hotel, and today, I share it with you in video art format. Enjoy.

By the way, yes, the video is silent, I felt at this stage all the sounds were already inserted in other videos, and wanted viewers to insert their own soundtracks instead.

Amal, A Movie By Yasmine Ghorayeb On Domestic Violence and Marital Rape

Domestic violence and marital rape are still unfortunately very common in Lebanon and there are still no laws to properly protect women from abusive and possessive husbands. It’s hard to believe but a woman was killed each month in Lebanon as a result of domestic violence between 2010 and 2014.

Beirut is Amazing City Greening Plan

The “Beirut Is Amazing” project was launched a couple of years ago in an attempt to green up the capital. The plan is to improve and increase green spaces and provide Lebanese with more accessible and attracting streets.

Lebanon To Toughen Regulations On Unofficial Beauty Clinics

It’s about time the authorities decide to close down these beauty “mini-markets” spread around the country. I’ve heard of so many cases where patients sustained serious injuries in these parlors or even died in some case.
In response to the phenomenon, the Cabinet and the Health Ministry have recently put forward a draft law to be voted on by Parliament that addresses the issue.

U.S Military Assistance To The Lebanese Army

480 anti-tank guided missiles, more than 1500 M16-A4 rifles and mortars were delivered yesterday to the Lebanese Army in the presence of US Ambassador David Hale. The Ambassador seemed pretty confident that this is exactly what the Lebanese Army needs at the moment and said:

Roll Out the Ice Cream

The Kickball Ice Cream Maker is the ice cream maker one kicks, shakes, or rolls to churn a delicious frozen confection. Simply place cream, sugar, vanilla or other flavoring into the ball’s food-safe sealed compartment and ice and rock salt into a second compartment and start toe-flicking, back-heel kicking, or spinning the ball. It makes »more...

Total Super Stage Video Compilation – Rally of Lebanon 2014

Check out this cool [compilation] done by our friends at To be honest, I went to the event yesterday and it was a bit boring. The track is way too long for a super stage and the drivers were going easy on their cars.

Lina’s: Fresh Salads and Tasty Sandwiches

Lina’s has a new menu, well maybe it’s not so new but it was for me, since I haven’t been there in a while… The menu, printed with a hard cover, hosts 12 glossy pages  with beautiful mouthwatering images of their best sellers. The menu offers 15 choices of salads followed by 25 choices of »more...

Coco, the Commodore hotel parrot lives again.

Photo credit: Nick Waite

Photo credit: Nick Waite

Michael Kors Opens Its First Store In Beirut

I’ve seen the brand in malls like ABC but this is the first standalone store in the country. Michael Kors is now open on Fakhry Bey Street in the Beirut Souks area.
I checked the official Michael Kors website and the Beirut store is still not added.
American fashion brand Michael Kors hosted a party Tuesday night for the opening of its first store in Lebanon. Dozens of women wandered through the shop at the opening event, ogling walls of the brand’s popular solid-color handbags – or carrying their own – and eyeing cases of watches and eyewear.

14 Ridiculous Foods You Need to Eat Before the End of Summer

Original article published on 14 Ridiculous Foods You Need to Eat Before the End of Summer… And surely have a medical test afterwards. It’s time to whip out your grill and feast on all the magnificent foods of summer. Here are some ridiculous foods you need to eat before the end of the season. »more...

Feniqia: Byblos’ Jewel and the Place to Be!

I must say, every time I hear the word “Jbeil”, my eyes start to sparkle! Among all the hotspots in this enchanting city, one is definitely not to be missed.  Trust me when I say: If you haven’t been to Feniqia, you are missing out on a lot! As soon as you reach Feniqia, you »more...

Rayane Moussallem’s Great Documentary On The Intervention Of Politics and Religion In Lebanese Sports

I really applaud Rayane for compiling all these events and speeches and coming up with this great documentary. Politics and religion are ruining sports in this country and we are all to blame for that. I’ve been raising this issue forever and asking to keep politics and religion away from basketball and football in Lebanon but as long as we have a corrupt system and powerless federations, then there’s no hope in any change.

Colour Factor

That’s it: I’ve finally ordered my Colour-Factor Set. I can’t wait to start using it with my oldest. Created by Seaton Pollock in the early sixties, its a way of using 3D objects to represent the relationship between numbers. Pollock found it strange that so many kids hate maths and consider themselves bad at the subject. He wanted to overthrow traditional teaching methods which he blamed for putting pupils off maths. His new way was to teach maths using something other than numbers: a set of coloured blocks for making shapes which “behave” like numbers.