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Holidays Part 1

Playing backgammon somewhere in Zokak el-Blatt  I have gone on my annual Trek to the Motherland: I have to replenish my body and soul with energy in order to be able to deal with another year of Lebanon. It is a country of incredible beauty and wonderful people, but the place is a paradox. What you experience in Lebanon in one year, you experience in another country in a life time. The pace of living is so fast, yet so relaxed at the same time, that it drains your energy like no other place. And so I have gone to re-energize.

'Tropical Lament'

"It rains so long and hard here, I'm remembering
All the rain of my childhood, the pearls
Of hail I'd hold in my hands
After a storm.

This rain isn't going to stop
Until it's made a moat around me,
A grave the shape of a ring.
_________________________This rain
Is falling now wherever she is, who survives me;
It's soaking her clothes through to the skin,
Which used to be all fire.

When will it finally drown me?
Sometimes, remembering her hips, I feel afraid.
Sometimes I'm afraid she's gone—
That memory and music are all that's left of her.

But I'm tired of the rain's dark harmony.
I'm tired of everybody telling me:
Lift yourself up, never go down!

Ramadan Kareem

Wishing you all a blessed month! Do you remember this Ramadan series from the ’90s by Abbas Chahine?

beIN Sues TeleLiban For Airing World Cup Games

I am sure the issue will be settled somehow soon but it looks like beIN wishes to humiliate us some more before the World Cup ends.
beIN Sports has filed a lawsuit against the state-run Tele Liban for airing the World Cup games for free and without permission, TL announced on Saturday evening.
“beIN decided to sue the nation’s television channel TL over airing the World Cup matches,” sports analyst at the state’s network Ali Alawiyeh announced right before the Brazil-Chile game kicked off on Saturday evening.

“Bouss Ma Tkhafsh” Or The Henna Lipstick

I was checking out Lana’s blog and I saw this post about a lipstick called “Bouss Ma Tkhash” or “Kiss and Don’t worry”. Apparently it’s a lipstick that our mothers and the older generations know about and that you can use to kiss around without leaving any marks. I asked a couple of friends I know and they laughed and told me it was pretty commonly used back then.
Needless to say, I am not interested in it but I thought the story and the nickname were funny and worth sharing.

George Basha – Casting not all black and white

Mr George Basha, of Lebanese descent, described his difficulty watching Underbelly episodes that feature Lebanese characters performed by people who aren’t Lebanese.
"We’re one of the biggest multicultural countries in the world; let’s start showing it that way," he said.
The next Point of View forum is in August and will explore "myth making versus real stories" with filmmaker and academic Karen Pearlman.

Extending my best wishes to our Muslim brothers and sisters as they observe RAMADAN’s rituals and fasting


إخوتي الأعزّاء وأخواتي العزيزات، بمناسبة حلول شهر رمضان الذي تتألّق فيه وتتجلّى لدى المؤمنين فضائل التقوى والعفّة والإحسان والبرّ والصبر وصفاء التأمل ونقاء الضمير وذروة التواصل، أهديكم أحبّائي تمنياتي الطيّبة بالإبتهاج بوهج النعم المتجلّية خلال هذا الشهر الكريم والتزوّد بخميرة من البركات الدافقة والنهل من فيض الإلهام الهادي والمسدّد للخطى. كما آمل أن يساهم هذا المسح الروحيّ في انقشاع الرؤية واستدلال الحلول للمشاكل الشائكة لتثبيت السلام والأمان والاستقرار في وطننا الحبيب لبنان. رمضان مبارك.

ISIS, Islam and the human soul

Twitter dwellers were treated recently to a YouTube video of ISIS virtue and vice inspectors (“Hisba”) roaming the streets of areas under their control in Syria, lecturing shop owners about mannequins and Friday prayers, preaching morality the way they understand it, and then bulldozing Shia shrines.

A year ago Sharp Lemon also did Ramadan too!

Following what I just wrote about Anthony and No Garlic No Onions, Sharp Lemon chastised me for disregarding their effort last year. Point taken Patrick (Chemali, but no relation!).

I Am Driving A Lotus Tomorrow!

I am joining the Lotus car owners in Lebanon for a ride tomorrow from Beirut to Warde in Kfardebian and I will get the chance to drive one of the cars (Lotus Evora) which is pretty awesome!
I will be posting pictures on my Instagram [LeNajib] so follow me for updates!

No Garlic No Onions teaches everyone how it's done! (UPDATE)

What did just happen? A blogger - and a dentist at that! - just came up with the most interesting, captivating and brand-centric Ramadan ad. Yes, Anthony from No Garlic No Onions just wished everyone a Ramadan Kareem in what is - advertising and branding wise - a stroke of genius.

How to Recreate 36 World Cuisines With 3 Spices

Designed by the people at Data Dial and published by Kit Stone, this is an essential guide for any lover of cooking. You don’t need to struggle through recipe books to recreate your favorite cuisine – this graphic shows you the minimum you need to make a dish taste completely exotic. Be sure to share »more...

Meet the Lollypop Men

Lolly sticks. Boring aren’t they?  Why not turn them into little animated figures with lollipop heads? Meet the Lollypop Men Mold. This ice lolly mold by Just Mustard makes 4 figure-stick shaped ice pops that add more fun to your summer days. Includes one mold and 4 reusable sticks.

Ramadan Kareem from Beirut/NTSC

I thought this gigantic daf (tambourin) found in the window of a mosque downtown with the inscription "the full moon is upon us" was quite a fitting greeting for the beginning of this holy month - may it be a blessed one for those observing it. 

Jounieh 2014 Fireworks

The Jounieh fireworks yesterday were even more spectacular than last year and I was at one of the best spots to watch them all on the roof top of Hotel Monte Cassino, which is a new boutique hotel right next to the Casino du Liban. I posted a couple of shots I took and you can find below more pictures taken from the Jounieh Festival Facebook page.

Ramadan Kareem from NoGarlicNoOnions

Ramadan Kareem from NoGarlicNoOnions. Wishing all of you out there, my friends and readers in Lebanon and abroad, a peaceful and holy month. Last year, MTV published a touching video which I still remember to date. IN such hard times the country is going through, let us unite and celebrate together. Peace and love to »more...

An appointment in Mosul: ISIS, the politics of resentment, and American adventurism in the 'Greater Middle East'

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"Death Will Come" by Cesare Pavese

Death will come and will have your eyes—
this death that accompanies us
from morning till evening, unsleeping,
deaf, like an old remorse
or an absurd vice. Your eyes
will be a useless word,
a suppressed cry, a silence.
That’s what you see each morning
when alone with yourself you lean
toward the mirror. O precious hope,
that day we too will know
that you are life and you are nothingness. Death has a look for everyone.
Death will come and will have your eyes.
It will be like renouncing a vice,
like seeing a dead face reappear in the mirror,
like listening to a lip that’s shut.

Ruins near Bank Audi cleared?

Credit: Rayya HaddadCredit: Rayya HaddadEarlier this summer I posted pictures taken by my photographer friend Rayya Haddad of the extensive ruins discovered near the Bank Audi building in downtown Beirut.

Annahar And DailyStar New Websites

Annahar and DailyStar got their websites revamped at last! There are still few things they could fix but it’s a major improvement from their previous websites, specially for Annahar!

CTSelfies make sense.

Yes, CTS knows its clients and is in touch with the market. I know it's obvious these days of speak of selfies (and I am not going to launch into a lecture about nacissism and selfies, but I guess this piece from Pan Arabia Inquirer sums it up - the print version of which contained not one, but two, Lebanese selfie takers).

The Rasmus In Beirut

via JimBeam
The Rasmus have landed in Beirut yesterday and are taking part in the Jim Beam Rock Music Festival tonight at La Marina Joseph Khoury in Dbayyeh. Nine Lebanese bands will take part in that festival as well:
The Wanton Bishops
Who Killed Bruce Lee
Jay Wud
Lazzy Lung
Meen – Lebanese Rock
The Coolcumbers

Wooden Bakery and the useless teasing.

Anyone who read Beirut/NTSC chronically (that would be about three people I guess :) ) would know I am not in favor of teasers and revealers.

La Creperie Opening Soon

via Bob
La Creperie is one of the most beautiful and authentic restaurants in Lebanon and is located on top of a cliff offering a breathtaking view of Jounieh’s gulf. The restaurant was closed for renovation a couple of years ago and is set to reopen very soon. I don’t have the exact details or how the place looks like now but I will update you very soon with pictures and information.
La Creperie is my favorite restaurant in Jounieh. I miss sitting on the balcony and enjoying their amazing crepes and meals.

Lebanese Fan Defects From Italian Football Team

I guess he’s a glory hunter, or as Figo would describe him, he supports whoever is winning and getting the results, while claiming they he has been supporting them before the inception of mankind. That’s a funny video nevertheless, I hope it doesn’t get him into trouble.
Check out the 8 types of FIFA World cup fans you’ll encounter in Lebanon and the 4 other types that my friend Mohammad added.

Discover Abdel Wahab Sodeco Car Free Day CANCELLED

The below statement was posted yesterday night on Achrafieh 2020‘s Facebook page. It’s quite shameful that they had to cancel it, but that pretty much tells us how critical the situation is.
Till next time.
Dear Friends, Supporters and Loyal Fans,
We are sorry to have to inform you that we have had to CANCEL “Discover Abdel Wahab Sodeco Car Free Day” which was supposed to be held on SUNDAY 29 June 2014.

The lamest restaurant menu you will ever see

I came across this delivery menu of some fast food joint in Sin El Fil and went totally like WTF!!
Why are they showing a cleavage instead of the food they make? And what’s up with that salad that looks more like a vagina?!

LBCI Celebrating News Anchor Dalal Abou Haydar’s Engagement

Here’s a happy event to counter the unfortunate incidents that took place yesterday. Dalal is one of my favorite news anchors on LBCI. Congrats and all the best!
via LBCBlogs

An energitic Adonis

Adonis Diaries has an energitic blog and you can see this obviously that he browses the Internet, a lot. His subjects are many from the American life style to new ideas via a well choosen subjects about the Middle East. Lebanon has a big part. A Lebanese PhD with an intelligent blog. Check it here.

Jim Beam Rocks Preps Almost Ready for Tomorrow!

The stage is ready.
The local superstars are doing their final rehearsals.
Rasmus just boarded their plane.
See you all tomorrow at La Marina!
RSVP here ^^

Lebanese Security Forces 3 – 3 Terrorists

Some background for people confused about how our security apparatus works, the General Security (Amen 3am) is mainly an intelligence agency, which also issues Lebanese passports, visas and residencies. It’s sort of like the Department of Homeland Security in the US, and with that, it means it does practically everything.

FASHAL – Nike, Just Do It?

Taken by Hamza Mekdad in Hamra