Saturday, September 12, 2015

Istanbul too busy and loud? Escape in two hours to heaven!

Istanbul is one of the culture-richest cities in the world, and for us Lebanese people, it's the perfect quick destination that requires no visa, direct flight, currently very affordable and a place that resonates with our own tradition and culture.


Either you've already been there, or have more than a week and think it's too much for one city (which I agree with); so here's a solution I highly recommend because I did that last week and really enjoyed it:

"Rent a car and drive out of Istanbul for few hours."

Our ride!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

9 tips to save money & have the best time in Santorini

Warning: Prepare for your eyes to hurt so badly from all the beauty that Santorini will shine upon you. Moreover, a distinguishing thing about Greek people is their hospitality and friendliness, best I have seen so far.

I was just in Santorini 10 days ago, so if you're worried about the whole Greece / Economy / EU issues, you will feel nothing of it in Santorini. In fact, it's less crowded than usual so more room for you, and with the Euro being so cheap, you're actually getting some really good bargains when shopping (they will drop the price for you). We had cash with us so we didn't need to use the ATMs (even though there was never a queue), and I used the credit card in few shops, and at the hotel and all was normal!

From Santorini with Lava - Fira Caldera View

Friday, July 10, 2015

Guidelines for traveling alone, Part 2: "How to make the best of your time"

Following the first part where I covered safety and comfort, today's post is going to be about how to plan your trip in a way that allows you to make the best of your time. This is also applicable for couples or a group of friends ;)

Taken in Budapest - June 2015

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Guidelines for traveling alone, Part 1: "Safety and Comfort"

I've been traveling a lot for work in the past few years which allowed me to add in a weekend here and there around business trips, and evidently I'd be alone!

 Often there has always been someone I know in the city I'm visiting but I happened to have to rely completely on myself twice in Cape Town and my recent visit to Budapest. So here are some tips that could help you should you decide to travel on your own:

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Top things to do in Budapest if you only have 3 days

I was in Budapest (pronounced Budapesht) for 3 days, when I first got there, after about an hour of walking I thought to myself, why am I here for 3 days, there isn't much to do. On my 3rd hour of walking (and researching while walking), I realized that 3 days aren't enough at all, nonetheless still a good start and you will be able to cover quite a bit. I couldn't do everything I am recommending below, but I would've if I had the chance. Here are some recommendations (and some are not just specific to Budapest):

Feet photo with Budapest - Paez

Friday, January 02, 2015

Berlin, the city that I cannot describe but will always try to

It's quite difficult for me to recover after Berlin. This city has something magical to it, it's not the pretty city of Paris, the musical city of London, the party capital of Ibiza or the old city of Vienna. In fact, it's none of those and all of those. Almost every person who has been to Berlin answers the "what do you think of Berlin" question the same way:

It has character.

Feet photos with Berlin - Converse

Friday, August 01, 2014

Tips & Tricks about making the best of your time in Croatia

After my trip in Croatia with friends this July, I learned a lot about what we should've done and how best to do it (optimizing for next time). Along the way, felt it would probably be beneficial to others who are planning to visit it to know them as well, specially that now there is a direct flight from Beirut to Dubrovnik for the summer.

Feet Photo with Dubrovnik - Converse

Monday, February 17, 2014

100 Arab Powerful Players - 2014 Edition

Who are the 100 most powerful arabs? What does power mean and how did Gulf Business assemble these results?

Power, according to Gulf Business, means everything. It's crucial for every business. Power translates into the influence needed to make things happen. It's the fuel that shapes people, plans and profits. This is the 3rd year Gulf Business run this, they assemble a team of expert from within Motivate's broad business division. Based on the events in 2013, and the power merit of those individual. Politicians and royalty have been excluded. The spheres of influence they looked at were the following:
  • Financial capital
  • Human capital
  • Expansion plans
  • Personal fame levels

Friday, January 17, 2014

Country of men

Inspired by this article by Yara Zgheib, adding a little bit to it.

I have been avoiding to write about this so I don't feel, because when I do, it will make these thoughts real. 

As a Lebanese expat, you don't leave because you want to. You don't leave because the world is out there and opportunities are waiting to be explored by you, you leave because you feel that whatever mass is around you is increasing in size, leaving you with no space to exist and pushing you out to the Mediterranean sea. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Help needed for Roger Dahan

Being in the US for a while now, we saw homeless people on the streets all the time. In Los Angeles, there is actually a neighborhood just for homeless people where they can literally install their tents or whatever form of habitat they have put together. It's too expensive to help these persons as they will always go back to the streets, municipality decided to make an area for them as it would be better to put them away from more popular shopping streets, that would affect the look of the street and the sentiments of tourists to spend.

In Lebanon, once more, it has proven to be a small village. My eyes filled up with tears when I saw this Facebook page created by few people who care about the homeless man Roger Dahan who usually walks around in Mar Mkhael and was found laying on a street corner with blood coming out of his head.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Governmentlessness, explosion-ful, terrorists and more sectarianism.

What I meant with the whole CEO post (posted 3 days ago): 
Ministries should be treated / behave as departments; at the beginning of every quarter, half of year and year, goals are set, and if they are not met over and over, consequences are due. It's about incentives and setting out goals, having the right team work on things with the right tools and support and taking responsibility for their own actions and being accountable for them.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

CEO to run Lebanon as a company

One day you were working for a company where you had to pay for your coffee there, another day you find yourself working for a company that has a “walking workstation”; a desk that allows you to walk on a treadmill while working to help you circulate the blood in your body and keep you fit and healthy.

When you reach a point where you see luxury redefined and experience first world problems (free burger restaurant closing at 3pm or free snack stand missing your favorite snack), one look back to “messy and deprived” home can give you an electric shock with high voltage. 
Source: Lara Sakr

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Freedom speaker or Karantina sex worker?

Observing Lebanon and mostly the online twittersphere the last couple of days one cannot but say something about it:
  1. Defamation and freedom of speech have nothing to do with one another. I understand that by removing this law you get to make fun of the president as you like, but really, what good will it do except for more satire lame shows on TV and funny frustrated tweets.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Time to zip it

The problem about me and blogging is not an emotional issue here. It can be easily rationally explained. Here's why:

News type of posts, obsolete now
For new readers, you probably don't remember the days when I used to blog about recent events and political news, back there were no twitter or facebook in the density used now and people didn't share and spread a word. So, I was one of the few bloggers who acted as the middle man for what's happening in the country.