Monday, December 27, 2010

Shine at Hard Rock Cafe, not to miss!

Shine have been rocking Hard Rock Cafe - Beirut for more than 2 months now, and they will be there for the rest of this week. My advice is, if you haven't seen them already, you should!







Luckily we were at Hard Rock Cafe Beirut on it's 14th anniversary, the atmosphere was just too fun, too family like and I, for one, am really glad to have been part of it. There was free appetizers for all, and huge brownie ice creames for whoever's birthday it was, free welcome drinks, and real fun with Shine.

Shine played for Pink Floyd, Queen, Bon Jovi, U2, Guns'n'Roses (which I must admit, Claire rocked the floor on Sweet Child O' Mine), and many other classical's, with several guests as well.

The energy on these guys is amazing, jumping all over the place, interacting with the audience, Claire's voice is stunning, the selection of music is real nice..

These are few photos from my lousy iPhone. Again, do something different this week and go see them.

P.S. I think Shine will be heading to Dubai soon, so check them out if you're there. You can follow their news here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Social Media changed my life

This post will be crowd sourced.

 

First of all, I want you to know, that I am inspired by people all the time. When I did the travel blogging in Armenia, all  I can say is, my readers were on my mind the whole time, and every time I shot a photo I thought of you.

 

When I write a short story, or when I write about a sensitive topic or when I ask a question, it is YOU my readers who I actually long to read. I learn from you over and over again, and when I write a funny tweet (twitter status), all I look forward is making people laugh. And luckily I do, and makes me happy to know I am part of a small happiness the other person gets to feel.

 

Moreover, I love bringing people together and thus the recent tweetups (reunions) I have been organizing, and it puts a smile on my face to see that people meet and talk and discuss and maybe business opportunities can emerge.

 

So I shared my story. Can you share yours and tell me how Social Media changed your life? In 140, or okay.. 280 characters?

 

Photo source: www.abcey.com

 

Friday, October 08, 2010

Fairuz, a dream come true

Fairuz in Concert
With an orchestra of 27 musicians (violin, oud, drums, guitar, flute, saxophone, etc…), the very talented Michel Fadel on Piano, the Maestro, 10 in the chorus, and the white glowing Fairuz blew our heads away yesterday in Biel - Beirut.

A dream come true
I have always had a dream to see Fairuz live in concert, and Fairuz rarely ever has concerts in Lebanon, and only abroad and that always pissed me off. Once she came on stage after the orchestra mesmerized us with a beautiful music anticipating her entrance, everyone stood up… simple intuitive reaction. That’s what I did. Of course, an old man poked me asking me to sit down, I ignored him.. after the whole cheering finished, I turned back and said: "That’s Fairuz eh?"

Repertoire
She started with “Sallimleh 3alei”, and then… I did not see it coming so soon, she sang my ultimate favorite, a song which Ziad Rahbani composed for her “kifak inta”… I kept pinching myself thinking I was in a dream… It was simply.. majestic.

She sang 3oudak Rannan, Allah Kbir, Al ayil.. and a few songs from her new album such as “Eh fi amal”. This album, is exclusively available at the doors in Biel and will be available starting next week in the markets. I got myself the new album of course. And certainly, she came for an encore.

 

God sent
Fairuz in her white sparkly dress, with strong light always directed at her, she looked like she was God sent.

Fairuz is a DIVA... please media, use the word DIVA with caution and don't overuse it.

Diverse audience
Many celebrities and few politicians were present. One of them was Adel Imam, I was at a 6  meters proximity from him, as soon as he came in, everyone greeted and applauded. He arrived early, unlike many other Lebanese attendees (Please arrive early from now on?). Anyway, Adel Imam looked very welcoming and smiling. Great guy.

Also it seems like, many came from abroad, mostly from the neighboring countries and the gulf.

But where was Ziad?
Sadly, Ziad Rahbani wasn’t on the piano, they’re saying he was sick… Ziad Rahbani also cancelled his Beiteddine concert earlier in 2010 summer, I don’t know if he is still sick since then, if that’s the case… then… I hope he gets better soon, we need (want, are dying) to see him alive and kicking in his concerts again.

Strict rules and regulations
Phones, Cameras and Cigarettes weren’t allowed, which was a bit annoying (not for the cigarettes though :P). Some people did sneak them in, such as myself, but I couldn’t get good photos sadly.

Fairuz, thank you.. you made thousands of people happy last night.

p.s. People going tonight, make sure you get her to do a second encore! We only got one (Audience a bit pappazé). So yell, scream, woooo!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hamra Streets Festival

Walking in the middle of the street of Hamra was a dream come true. We had always wished the main street would be closed for pedestrians, ... [view full post here]


Hamra Streets Festival


View more photos and posts by Lebanese bloggers on this blog.


Photo taken by yours truly

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Hamra Streets Festival 10-11-12 September

More about the event in their facebook page here. Bloggers it would be great if you can spread the word, moreover when you attend snap some photos and publish them on your blogs and twitter :)
 
Hamra and Music, can it get any better?

Monday, August 23, 2010

No VISA with LISA


It’s so cute and lovely to feel like a terrorist
It feels quite awesome and civilized to actually be able to travel to a country without needing to be issued a visa, or simply getting the visa upon arrival to the destination airport.

One of my most annoying deeds is to actually apply for a visa, preparing dozens of papers including when you got off the potty and stopped wearing diapers, so the embassy in question tells you to bring another paper, or asks you annoying questions, where have you been, where are you going, what are you going to do there?

I understand it’s for security reasons, I do, but when you have been to the same country more than 5 times, and you’ve come back, and not bombed anything, this kind of shows you’re not a threat.

Utter waste of time, days off and patience.

Countries that don’t require VISAS from Lebanese
Anyway, over here you can find the visa requirements for Lebanese to all countries including those that do not require a visa (recently joined by Turkey) and those who can simply issue you one once you land in their country (such as Armenia, to which I will be going to soon, *happy dance*).

Other interesting countries that don’t require a visa from us Lebanese are: Bolivia, Ecuador, Haiti, Malaysia, Nepal, Maldives, Madagascar… Nice eh?

One of the things I used to envy when I see American movies, is when persons arrive to the airport, choose a random destination and immediately buy a ticket and go there. I always wished we can do such a spontaneous thing as Lebanese with only a Lebanese citizenship.

Hmmm, now this inspires me to write another post, about having more than one passport. Coming soon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where to go when you visit Lebanon - Site 11: Bolonia


Bois de Boulogne - Mount Lebanon - Lebanon

Bolonia is situated in Mount Lebanon, just after Dhour Shweir and just before El Mrouj, the name inspired by the French who compared it too much to their own Bois de Boulogne, which is full of tall pine trees and many of them. It's the nature we don't see that much of in Lebanon.

I took some photos along the way to Zaarour, it was foggy today, but definitely a beautiful breeze perfect for running away from the humidity and super heat that has been reigning over Lebanon the past weeks.

It's a great spot for photography walks where you can take photos of the houses there, they are beautiful, but unfortunately many of them are deserted (history, politics, war...).


Original color

And finally, an old house or shop that looks to be abandoned.

Bois de Boulogne - Mount Lebanon - Lebanon

Only sharpened (style inspired by a friend of mine)
Most importantly, don't forget to have this amazing combo of Pizza and Burger at Chez Chakour.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Gorillaz did an encore in Syria

In the history of concerts, I have never been to any concert in which the band didn't do an encore, they leave, we beg them, and they come back. You see, if we don't beg, it means they sucked! But Gorillaz didn't, they did wonderfully throughout the performance, at one people the audience booed. Read details here.

They performed yesterday in Damascus, and according to a friend of mine who attended the concert yesterday, they did perform an encore in Damascus' concert.

I personally agree with this comment, I think we were punished. Thus the no encore, more like the "plus moins". We are an epic fail sometimes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gorillaz and Boooooing Syria


Gorillaz
Even though I was not the biggest fan of Gorillaz, as soon as I heard that they were coming to Lebanon, I knew I had to see them and it would be a one time experience/opportunity thing. This is not just any rock or jazz band, it's Gorillaz!!!!


Their performance
The alternative rock, electronic, indie, hip hop, pop, rap... band seriously rocked the stage on Tuesday July 20 in Byblos. It was beautiful, even though a short performance with no "encore" :( , the vibes were amazing, and I cannot stress on how exhilarating it is to see the huge letters forming the band's name GORILLAZ in the back of the stage! The seats were full (and no one remained seated!), and the standing was more than full, I think there was more than 5000 attendees.


Music played
From the playlist, there was Stylo, On melancholy hill, Superfast JellyFish,  Kids with Guns, and my favorite two that were performed last Clint Eastwood and Feel Good Inc. What an amazing feeling to finally get to hear the famous laugh! HA HA HAHAHAHA...

White Flag and the Syrian orchestra
White Flag from their latest album "Plastic Beach" was performed with the collaboration of the Syrian Orchestra who in my opinion did a great job in the oriental intro of the song. They also performed a fully oriental piece just prior to White Flag. And... yes there was a huge white flag flapping around the stage.


I shot several videos, but the audio quality of my digital cam is very low, so unfortunately I cannot share them.

Boooooing the Syrians, seriously?
When the nice lead member of Gorillaz mentioned that they're very happy to be performing in Lebanon, everyone WOOOOOOed... then immediately afterwords he continued that they're also happy that they'll perform in Syria as well (trying to convey how happy they are that the Gorillaz are in the Middle East for the first time), people BOOOOOOed loud for about 4-5 seconds.... I was really really really ashamed. And to think the name of the song is White Flag, how ironic.

This is music people, let us leave our prejudice, stereotypes and complete and utter silliness out of it.

Gorillaz to play in Damascus on Sunday July 25th
People in Syria, ENJOY! You're going to LOVE it. It was one of the best concerts I've ever attended.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Where to go when you visit Lebanon - Site 10: Beirut



I had already written about Gemayze almost 4 years ago, and about Hamra here (such an authentic city) and here (where I compared it to Paris) a year ago or so. And now I want to extend to other parts of Beirut, which are Downtown Beirut and Raouche.

I have to admit it was the first time I see the famous Raouche Rock, and I have lived all my life in Lebanon only 15 minutes away from it. There are many restaurants that face the rock, which makes an exquisite view and ambiance, when I took this photo I was at BayRock Café.


Where to go when you visit Lebanon - Site 9: Beiteddine

Last Saturday I attended Pink Martini's concert. A month ago I did not know who Pink Martini were, but when Beiteddine Festivals announced their program, I got curious about them and heard pretty good feedback about them from my surroundings, so I downloaded several songs, listened to them and immediately fell in love with them.

This year, the stage is different, much bigger than last year's, this time it is facing north, and the sea, is on the left, even though it cannot be seen clearly, the sunset however is just beautiful, and this is something that we didn't get to see last year, as the stage was facing east, and the sea was behind us.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fête de la Musique 2010

The Fete de la Musique in Lebanon, that is highly anticipated by music lovers who wait for the Music festival, such as myself, every 21st of June, and which usually presents great artists and bands, will happen again as usual this 21st of June.


It will take place in Beirut, Downtown area, Hamra and Gemmayze. Stay tuned and keep checking this post, as I will add the full program here, so we can all organize what to visit and where.

It says that there will be a special "Event" in the DOME (Egg), some of the artists that will be performing there are: Fareeq El Atrash, The Incompetents, Zeid and the Wings, Ghazi Abdel Baki, Youmna Saba...

Updated: Here's the program on facebook.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Gorillaz at Byblos Intl Festival

I can't believe that Gorillaz are performing in Lebanon. I am so happy to see this. I had heard rumors, and thank god it's true. They will be performing in Byblos International Festival.

Another great news was knowing that Mashrou' Leila, who is a Lebanese band, is also going to be performing in Byblos. I am very proud of this! Especially that Byblos festivals attract mostly western tourists, therefore this will be a great opportunity for Mashrou' Leila to be exposed to the western world.



Check more on the festival here www.byblosfestival.org. Also check my older post on other festivals in Lebanon.

For purchasing tickets online, you can do so from Virgin's www.ticketingboxoffice.com

Reminder, Placebo are performing in Forum De Beyrouth on June the 9th. 

I am buying my tickets, TODAY :D

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mlita War Museum, Bloggers, Tourism in Lebanon

Did you hear about the war Museum in Mlita? This museum displays Hezbollah weaponry.

Meeting other bloggers
Yesterday, this subject was brought up over dinner in La Estancia, where I had the amazing privilege of spending it with Sietske & MarrillionLb (and his better half, as he calls her), Call it destiny or a mere coincidence that we ended up having dinner together, but all I can say is, I loved listening to them talk about Lebanon, about Europe, about the different cultures, life abroad, life in Lebanon, war, Hezbollah, political parties, work, how we perceive things in life. It was quite a night, and I only regret arriving to "La Estancia" beaten by exhaustion, but I still managed to listen and concentrate, and of course, enjoy the really delicious food and dessert at La Estancia.




Monday, May 24, 2010

Festivals - Baalbeck, Beiteddine and Byblos

3 B's
Anyone noticed that all three major summer festivals in Lebanon start with the letter B?

Programs announced or about to
Anyway, first of all Beiteddine is misspelled in the title of their website, why? Second, the programs of Baalbeck and Beiteddine have been announced and are now available on their websites. As for Byblos, the program will be announced on the 1st of June, so stay tuned to their website here.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lebanon prepares for World Cup 2010

Obsessed with the World Cup

Every 4 years, it's the same thing all over again. We, Lebanese, love enthusiasm, love supporting, love competing, love affiliating ourselves with a big football team out there. And what for? It might be a big psychological problem i.e. lack of affection, or never really having Lebanese team reach the world cup, or those might be post-war syndrome, etc... But the result? It's FUN FUN FUN.

During big games, there is no traffic. People gathered either in restaurants, coffee shops, pubs or the comfort of their own houses, over food, booz and lotsa nuts!

How do we prepare for the world cup? Take a look at the photos, and you will see there is a whole flag industry right there!

May the best team win (*coughs GERMANY coughs*)

Selling Flags



Placing small flags on cars