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خواطر نابعة من ذكرى عيد الاستقلال

حميد عوّاد* درب الاستقلال شقتّها عزائم أبطال عظماء استُشهد لفيف منهم بدءًا من عهد جمال باشا السفّاح مروراً بعهود سفّاحين جدد متعطّشين للدّم والسلطة والاغتصاب نذروا أنفسهم لإيقاد نار جهنّم. مواكب الشهداء تجلّت خلال محطّات صراع مرير مع أنماط من هؤلاء لصيانة استقلال لبنان والذود عن أرضه وحماية تنوّع ضفائر مجتمعه والدفاع عن كرامة أهله وحريّة قرارهم ورونق وئامهم. قيّض لأشباه “نيرون” ومصّاصي الدماء والسلطة والحرّية والثروة والأمان أن يتلذّذوا بتمزيق أجساد لفيف شهداء “ثورة الأرز” ومعهم كوكبة من ضبّاط ورتباء وجنود جيشنا وقوانا الأمنيّة البواسل، لكن رغم جلل الخسائر الدامغة لكلّ أيّام السنة وخيانة البعض وتخاذل البعض الآخر ما انطفأت شعلة الإيمان بصمود وتعافي وطننا في قلوب أبنائه الأبرار ولا بردت عزائمهم على إنهاضه من الكبوات.

Dark

Here, in this dark little space before sleep,
I take a look back at the day, limp with apathy,
and the days before it, the wide
yawning expanse of them...
I glimpse behind the purpose I made for it,
ill-fitting like an older sibling's,
and tenuous like hesitant sunlight...
What else are we to do, with this drudgery
of time making a mockery of us all?
What idols are we left with, now that
family and friends are only two more f-words?
The dark isn't dark enough, I can feel it in me.
It's not still enough, the scratch of my breath keeps it awake...
As if the gray creeping up my temples
wasn't sufficient delusion of adulthood--
just because I look it doesn't mean I'm ready.

Why Are We Lebanese So Easily Offended?

Lebanese flag shoes are being sold at some mall apparently to celebrate Lebanon’s Independence day. I am pretty sure this happens everywhere around the world with all types of flags, whether it’s a national day, a sporting event or any occasion. I remember seeing flip flops and even boxers with flags all over them during the World Cup, so it’s not big deal and it’s definitely not insulting or disrespectful to sell Lebanese flag shoes.
And I beg everyone to stop asking the authorities to censor stuff because this is the last thing we need.

Lebanon Celebrates Its Independence Day

via Kook Kreativ
Lebanon celebrates its 71st independence day tomorrow and some brands and agencies have already shared cool ads and posters. I will be adding more throughout the day but these are the ones that I loved so far.
Volkswagen Lebanon

Banque du Liban Accelerate 2014: 1500+ Participants, 50 Speakers And 25+ Startups Over Two Days

The BDL is organizing #Accelerate2014 and bringing over 50 startup industry veterans from all around the world to put “Blueprints for Success for 1,000 international entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals”. The list of speakers is very interesting and there are a lot of events, talks and competitions to look out for. I just got back from Dubai today so I missed out on the first day but I will be there tomorrow hopefully.

Haifa Wehbe’s Dress in Star Academy

I don’t like Haifa but she can do whatever she wants and wear any dress she likes. Those who don’t like such dresses can switch to Tiji or the Disney channel. Claiming that Haifa crossed the line and disrespected women by wearing a sexy dress is pure ignorance. I wish Arabs (men and women) would react the same way to daily violations and malpractices against Arab women instead of focusing on Haifa’s ass (It looks better than Kim’s ass that’s for sure).

How Ford Put The New Mustang On Burj Khalifa’s 112th Floor

I was at the event yesterday and it was pretty amazing, but I was wondering how they moved the car that high. As it turns out, they moved it in parts and assembled it on the top. They couldn’t use a helicopter because the area is too narrow and dangerous for such a stunt.
I will write a full post soon on this whole experience as it was a thrilling one.
[YouTube]

#ShareACokeSawa Campaign In Lebanon

This campaign has been running for quite some time abroad and it’s now in Lebanon. It’s pretty fun as you get to replace the Coca-Cola name with personalized names like Habibe, Abou el Zolof or 3abssoun
They didn’t give out information yet on how we could order these customized bottles but you can check for updates on their Facebook page if you are interested.

Israel is in a trap of its own making

Doubtless, it was a shock to many Israelis that the Spanish parliament recognized the state of Palestine – well sort of – on the day that two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in Jerusalem, killing four people. But even if the parliamentary resolution was a watered down version of an earlier proposal, Israeli officials should read the writing on the wall: They are losing the battle of narratives in their conflict with the Palestinians.

Independence ads start trickling


Photo: GHM


Research: GHM

Independence day ads (Nov.

Hariri tribunal needs to recapture lost momentum

Last week, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is trying suspects for the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, allowed prosecutors to present evidence on the deteriorating relationship between Mr Hariri and the Syrian regime in 2004-2005.

Defence lawyers described the decision as a major expansion in the Hariri trial. That’s not surprising. Until now those indicted have been five members of Hizbollah, all accused of participating in the crime at the operational level. The initial indictment prepared by Daniel Bellemare, the Canadian former prosecutor of the special tribunal, made no mention of Syria.

Tarboosh Movember: Early detection is key

I haven’t seen a lot of Movember awareness campaigns this year in Lebanon. I loved the Tarboosh one though. Alfa also has some competition including taking pictures with a mustache. Movember is an annual, month-long event (November) involving the growing of mustaches to raise awareness on men-related health issues, such as prostate cancer.

In Dubai For The Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Show

I got invited to attend the reveal of the new Mustang 2015 (#MustangRises) which is taking place today near Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This is the first time I actually get invited to attend an event outside Lebanon and I am loving every single bit of it. Dubai is great, the Address downtown hotel where I’m staying is the best here, and most of the events are taking place in cool venues.
I can’t believe it’s my first time in Dubai as I’ve been planning to come here forever. Too bad I have to come back on Thursday so I won’t be able to explore the city properly but I will be back soon for sure.

Is GTA 5 for PS4 Banned In Lebanon?

I was surprised to read that GTA V is not being sold in Sony stores in Lebanon, specially after I had received a message from my PS4 guy that it’s available. I already booked my copy and should pick it up as soon as I get back to Beirut, so I am not sure if it’s really being banned.
In all cases, it would be nice to know why because GTA 5 for PS3 wasn’t banned.

GTA 5 for PS4 BANNED in Lebanon


After hearing rumors that GTA V’s PS4 release was banned in Lebanon, I called the Sony stores in ABC Dbayeh and ABC Ashrafieh and got confirmation that they’re not gonna get it, because “el dawle mana3eta” (the government banned it).

3 Things Abou Faour Needs To Do


6 days out of 7, I am a harsh critic of the Lebanese government and its institutions. But, on that 7th day, I look for a public sector or institution that’s actually doing their job, and try to support what they’re doing. It was hard trying to classify Health Minister Wael Abou Faour’s recent actions into good or bad though, and for several reasons.

"You have a nice face" Exclusive Leaked Transcript of the Iran Nuclear Talks

In an exclusive scoop that no other media outlet has been able to achieve, our website has obtained a leaked transcript of the Iran nuclear talks involving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a negotiation session held this week in Vienna.

Ivy Reviews: Cannelle’s Finest Desserts


When it comes to local patisseries-shops Cannelle is an institution. Not only has it mastered the art of the classic French pastry it’s also managed to add its own signature touch along the way.

Justice Minister Rifi On The Arrest of Bearded Lebanese

It’s great to hear that Rifi is against arresting people for just having a beard, but this goes beyond Tripoli and concerns non-religious people who just like to grow a beard. Clear instructions should be given to all security forces to treat respectfully any (unarmed of course) suspect and apologize to those held by mistake.

The reason why the Zoughaib billboards are cut!


Image source Najib Mitri

Najib has asked a pertinent question, one that I have been asked previously by my advertising and graphic design students "why are the Zoughaib billboards cut?". Actually, the photo he took is one of the "good" ones, other are so blotched it's pathetic.

Why Are All The Zoughaib Billboards Cut?

I noticed today that all the Zoughaib billboards on my way to work (Like 3 of them) are cut but it looks like they’ve been that way for a while. I am not sure if it was done intentionally or it’s a huge mistake but it’s ugly and they should fix it.

Lebanese Football Doomed

Corruption, match-fixing, unprofessionalism and now exploiting and tricking young players. We have lots of talented footballers in Lebanon but the federation is not doing anything to promote this sport properly.
[YouTube]

The Silent Majority Speaks Banned In Beirut

The Iranian documentary “The Silent Majority Speaks” by Bani Khoshnoudi got censored in Lebanon because it is against the current Iranian government and could “undermine relations with another state”.
That’s all I have to say here. You can start laughing now.
Via StopCulturalTerrorism

Migrant Domestic Workers Deaths in Lebanon: More Investigation Needed

In three unrelated incidents, three Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon have died or been seriously injured in the last week. The Migrant Domestic Workers Coordination Consortium (MDWCC) and other civil society NGOs demand rigorous and serious investigations into the three cases and in all cases of Migrant Domestic Workers’ death or serious injury.

2014 Good City Index: Beirut Among The 50 Most Inspiring Cities in the World

The GOOD City Index includes a list of 50 cities from around the world that best capture the elusive quality of possibility. Beirut was ranked 9th in 2013 and is in 10th position this year. The report describes Beirut as a city of possibility, in various fields such as civic engagement, street life, connectivity, green life, diversity, work and life balance and others.

Huge Accident In Jeita Because Of A Sukleen Truck

Update: Sukleen called me and it is the municipality that decides the location of the bins and how often Sukleen can pass by. The Jeita municipality should change this location ASAP because it doesn’t make sense.

Epic Car Plate Spotted In Jounieh: 3ala Sale3te Betbale3te

via Yasa
I don’t even know what this is supposed to mean.

Hospital غير مطابق

via BintJbeil
This is probably a fake picture but it cracked me up. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if it really happened in Lebanon. I wouldn’t be surprised of anything happening here anymore.
Update: The hospital stated that it is fake but no one can prove it I guess. I couldn’t find the picture anywhere else on Google.

Week5: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

Colorful Beirut by Matteo el Khodr
You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram [Here]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [Here] if you like.
It will snow this Christmas – Picture by Haig Melikian

Spin doctor Abou Faour wags the dog.


Image source

The list of establishments which are non-conform (the now classic expression "ghayr moutabik") to standards which has been released by Lebanese Minister of Health Wael Bou Faour has caused a storm on all levels.

Road Trippin' Up North Part I

Qalamoun Main Street; rain is looming in the distanceHad to go up north this morning to buy some olive oil. Why not go across the supermarket and buy a bottle, you wonder? Only suckers by olive oil by the liter. Here in Lebanon, we buy our olive oil by the ‘tankeh’, which is slang for 20 liters. Actually, we buy more than just 20 liters; I think we’re going through some 60 liters a year if not more.

ISIS May Have Killed Peter (or Abdul-Rahman) Kassig

Peter Kassig in Beirut
That’s just terrible news! I was really hoping that Peter Kassig would be released soon. I’ve been following up on Kassig’s story for quite some time and this man has done a tremendous job in helping refugees specially in Lebanon.

Bar Tartine Opening In Dbayyeh

Bar Tartine will be opening in the next couple of days somewhere near Mandaloun cafe in Dbayyeh if I am not mistaken. I love this place, specially the fresh morning baguettes and the desserts, and it perfectly makes sense for it to open in Dbayyeh as its only two branches are in ABC Achrafieh and Mar Mikhael.