Friday, December 02, 2011

From Lebanon, Happy National Day UAE

Today, I went on Facebook and Twitter as I do everyday since this is part of what I do, and I saw many posts & tweets from my friends who live in UAE congratulating UAE for their 40 years as today is UAE National Day. And they weren't only congratulating them, they were thanking them for everything it has given them and some even called it their second home. If I look further, maybe it would be a first home for some.

I don't think these people are hypocrites, not at all. These people sought an opportunity when it comes to careers, and these people sought stability, which Lebanon cannot seem to offer.

Before Lebanese rednecks come bash me, I love Lebanon, if I didn't I wouldn't have lived all my life in Lebanon and have this blog and please don't let me elaborate, I hope you're smart enough to realize it on your own. But, I did visit UAE 3 times already and I am going for the 4th time next week. And I saw it, I saw security, opportunity, order, every restaurant and shop and outlet and franchise you can think of, calm, no ugly political fights, no bickering, just people living their lives, I saw laws being applied, I saw clean roads, a metro system and great public transportation... I did not see many locals but that's up to them.

Lebanon has more than Tabbouleh, Dabkeh and Hommos of course. We have that coziness in our streets, the history, the old sense into it. However, my sole purpose of this post is that, 22 November was only 10 days ago, and did you see any Lebanese thanking Lebanon for security? stability? economy? career opportunities? great roads? While today, we see Lebanese expats living in UAE thanking UAE for giving them things Lebanon was not able to give them.

There will definitely be comments such as "Stop blaming the government and do something about it". Yes, we want to do something about it, and doing something about something starts with talking about it! So we are here to talk, to point things out and try to see how we can make a difference. Some say this can be done on election day in 2013, while we get to vote for new ministers who are qualified enough to transmit our voices to the parliament in a proper way and who are not there for the glamour and money of it. I agree... To vote for new ministers though, we need new good ones to run for candidacy.. I'd like to see bloggers and youth out there.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fete de la musique 2011


This is just a reminder that Fete de la musique 2011 is around the corner and will take place next Tuesday in Gemmayze, Downtown Beirut and Hamra. The program is taken from here, and you can keep an eye on their facebook page. So book your calendars, Fete de la musique is a must.

PLACE DES MARTYRS

20h00 à 20h30 Gabriel Abdel Nour (Pop arabe et classique)
20h40 à 21h00 Michelle & Noel Keserwany (Folk)
21h10 à 21h30 Belime (Electro pop)
21h40 à 22h10 Bruno Live! (Pop rock)
22h20 à 23h30 Dana Dragomir (Flute de pan)
23H40 à 00h25 Epic (rock)
00h35 à 00h55 Poly (Soul, pop, funk)
01h05 à 01h30 Mancer Dust (Rock alternatif)

JARDIN SAMIR KASSIR

20h00 à 20h20 Karim Kneizer (World Music)
20h30 à 21h00 Episode (Rock symphonique)
21h10 à 22h10 Samar (Electro Arab folk Jazz)
22h20 à 22h50 Band Audi (Rhythm and Blues)
23h00 à 23h30 Beirut Blues (Blues)
23h40 à 00h10 Plugged (Rock alternatif)
00h20 à 00h50 Rebellious Phoenix (Rock)

THERMES ROMAINS

20h00 à 20h25 Soukara (World music)
20h35 à 20h50 Stephy Sfeir (Folk)
21h00 à 22h00 Nahas Project (Fusion jazz)
22h10 à 23h25 Les Blérots de Ravel
23h35 à 23h55 Limelight (Rock alternatif)
00h05 à 00h40 Lazzy Lung (Rock alternatif)

SOUKS 
20h40 à 21h00 Akachic Field (World music)
21h10 à 21h25 Silent Movie (Soundtrack)
21h35 à 22h10 Sandmoon (Folk, rock)
22h20 à 23h20 Soweto Kinch (Hip Hop, jazz)
23h30 à 00h00 The Incompetents (Pop alternative)
00h10 à 00h40 Jammit The Band (Reggae)

GEMMAYZE

20h00 à 20h20 Charles (pop)
20h30 à 20h50 Valérie Abou Chacra (Pop)
21h00 à 21h30 Cheesecake (jazz-pop)
21h40 à 22h20 Jolly Joker (rock alternatif)
22h30 à 23h20 Tony Bayeh chante Zaki Nassif
23h30 à 00h00 Blue Band LB (Reggae)

HAMRA

20h30 à 20h50 Moe Kabbara (Folk)
21h00 à 21h30 Arcane (Rock progressif)
21h40 à 22h10 Hanna Barakat (Pop rock)
22h20 à 22h50 Elissa Boustani (Pop, soul, funk)
23h00 à 23h30 Nachaz (Rock, blues arabe)
23h40 à 00h10 Youmna Saba and Jade Balaban (folk)
00h10 à 00h40 Nasama (rock)
00h50 à 01h20 Pulse (Blues, rock)


ART LOUNGE / ELECTRO

21h00 - Ladybug
22h00 - The BCE
23h00 - ACIX
00h00 - Djette
01h00 - Jade
02h00 - Vanclode Jandam
03h00 – Ronin & Nesta

VJ’s: Labo Strongsky & Vj Mosig


EGLISE EVANGELIQUE CONCERT DE L’ECOLE DE MUSIQUE GHASSAN YAMMINE 
A 18H30 - A L’EGLISE EVANGELIQUE – CENTRE-VILLE
1ère partie : Chorale des Juniors, dirigée par Fernando Afara: Extraits de “Sound of Music” et des “Choristes” Ave Maria (Caccini) Sanctus (Fauré) Pie Jesu (Fauré) Prélude (Chopin) Alabanza (Pena) The Merry Widow Waltz (Lehar) Choeur des Gamins de « Carmen » (Bizet) Demande à l'oiseau (Saint-Saëns) La belle au bois dormant (Tchaikovsky) The Alphabet Mexican Clap bands 


2ème partie présentée par Karma Tohmé, Chantal Mailhac, Youmna Jreissati, Marc Reaidy et Bechara Moufarrej : Dolce Amor (Cavalli) O mio Bambino Caro (Puccini) Convien Partir (Donizetti) 


Monday, May 09, 2011

Tales from Beirut with Funk - Beige and Cotton Candy

This time, the story was written by Elie Milan. You might also know Elie Milan from his participation in the Ontornet Videos. Enjoy.

Pink cab - Taken by yours truly
البيج و غزل البنات
سارة: ماما , بدَك مني شي ؟ انا ماشية على الجامعة, الاستاذ نبيل ناطرني تحت.
الأم: أنتبهي يا ماما, قوليلو يسوق عمهلو, الله يساعد هالزلمي, أمرو غريب.
 سارة: (تبتسم) دخلك ماما شو قصتو هالأستاذ نبيل ؟ كان يعلَم بالمدرسة؟ أول مرة بشوف شوفير تاكسي بيقولولو أستاذ..
الأم: لأ, طول عمرو معروف بالأستاذ, من ايام ما كان مدير ببنك أنترا.
سارة: بنك شو ؟؟!
الأم: ايه, بنك أنترا, هيدا كان من أكبر المصارف, بس أفلس بأخر الستينات ... والتعتير على هالناس والموظفين, يا حرام... و منَن الأستاذ نبيل, ليكي حالتو كيف صارت, لوَن هالسيارة زهر و عمل شوفير تاكسي.
سارة: هلأ الأستاذ نبيل كان مدير بالبنك ؟! ... يللا أنا ماشية.
(بالسيارة)
سارة: بونجور أستاذ نبيل
نبيل: يا هلا بالأميرة, كيف الدرس والنشاط ؟
سارة : كلَو منيح...(بلهجة محرقصة) أستاذ نبيل, فيَي اسألك شي ؟؟
نبيل: أكيد
سارة: مظبوط انك كنت مدير بالبنك ؟
نبيل: صحيح, مدير فرع.
سارة: طيَب شو صار ؟
نبيل: كارثة يا عمَو, قصص كبيرة بين الدول, خربت بيوت الناس و خلَتنا نصير عالطريق, ما بقي عندي بهالدني غير بنتي نور.. وهالسيارة, رفيقة عمري هيدي! و كان الها أيام عزَ..لمن كلَ الناس تخلَو عنا , هالحنطورة بقيت وفيَة !! و نور... تقبرني شو هنيَة شو كانت تفرح بس تشوفني واصل عشيَة و معي كمشة غزل البنات.. حبيب قلبا غزل البنات. و شايفة هالسيارة؟ كان لونا بيج هيديك الأيام... بيج ,ههه, شو هاللون, كئيب و جامد. هونيك يوم أحد, جبنا بويا زهر و صرنا نلوّن هالسيارة, هيك أحلى, لونا بيفرفح القلب.
سارة (مصدومة): طيب و ما رجع مشي الحال ؟ ما لقيت وظيفة جديدة ؟
نبيل :  بتصدقي؟ مبسوط أكتر هيك عايش مرتاح , هلأ صحيح عجقة السير بتعمل أعصاب.. بس زبونات التاكسي أحلى من زبونات البنك, كبار و صغار , بلدي وأجنبي... و بعدني بقطاع الخدمات (يضحك). أوعى تخلَي الدني تغلبك يا بنتي, خلَيكي قدَا و أكيد بكرا أحلى.
سارة (تدفع): تفضَل.
نبيل: خلَيا علينا يا بنتي, بيكفَي تصبَحت فيكي, الله يكون معك.


(Approximate  translation to English.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tales from Beirut with Funk - The Ka3ke story

Ka3ke 3mol ma3rouf  - Photo taken by yours truly

كعك كععععععععك، صرخ بيّاع الكعك

تجاهلتو الست، بتكون عم بتفكر بل ريجيم تبعا.

كعك كعععععك، صرخ بيّاع الكعك هوي وعم يبعّد شوي شوي . كان صار شي ٥٠ متر بعيد وقت الستّ غيرت رأيا..

"كعكه!!!"... صرختلو الستّ. "كعكه!" عيطّت بصوت أقوى بس بطريقة إنو هي مش كتير عم تتعب عل موضوع

"نعم ستنا!" بياع الكعك جاوب، وبرم عربيّتو ١٨٠ درجه، وراح صوب البناية، صفّ العربية تحت البلكون وقال: "بدٍّك ياها مع سمّاء ستنا؟"

"لأ!" جاوبتو بكل ثقة، "بس جبنة "بيكون" عمول معروف!" بهل وقت، نزّلتلو السلّة من البلكون عندا، حطت فيا مصاري بحقّ الكعكه، ونطرت بيّاع الكعك يحطّلا الكعكه بمقابل هل مصريّات.

"تكرم عينك ستنا! أطيب كعكه لإلِك" ردّ عليها بيّاع الكعك.


English:


- Ka3ek ka3iiiiiiiiiiik! yelled the ka3k salesman.
The lady ignored him, she's probably thinking of her diet.
- Ka3k ka3iiiiiiiiiiiiiiik... and the ka3ek dude strolled away, about 50 meters before El Sitt changed her mind.
- "Ka3keh!!!"... The lady screamed! "Ka3kehhhh!" she yelled again even stronger but still doing it in a way where she appears as not trying too hard
- "Yes Mam!" The Ka3ke salesman, stopped his cart, turned it 180 degrees and went towards her building and parked below her balcony. "Would you like simma2 with it Mam?"
- "No!" she said with confidence, "Just picon cheese please!" meanwhile she lowered the basket from her balcony with the Ka3ke's money in it, waiting for the ka3ke dude to put it inside the basket in exchange for that money
- "You're welcome mam! The most delicious Ka3ke, coming right up" (literally) The Ka3ke dude answered.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Armenia: To Peace, recognition and prosperity

I took these photos last September, during my trip to Armenia, on that day I visited the Armenian Genocide museum, and the monument that was built to remember the martyrs.


The memorial building of the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide
The flame still burns for the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide
On my way there, of course, I saw the name of the village where my grand father came from.

 "Dyarbekir"

My Armenian origins are a pride to me as much as my Lebanese origins are. I never knew my grandfather, but I've heard of him. I heard he was strict and tough. Nevertheless, would you imagine someone having survived a genocide to be any less tough and strict?

Someone once told me, even though there is a lot of evil in this world, it is balanced equally with "good". Here's to peace, to recognition and to prosperity. Armenians you are everywhere... and those countries are lucky to have you amongst them.

Every year, thousands of people visit this place to remember their ancestors. And they all pass by this bench
Plaquette near the planted tree by the Lebanese President in recognition of the Armenian Genocide
Rape, violence, starvation... Armenian Genocide. 

Friday, April 08, 2011

Where to go when you visit Lebanon - Site 16: Saida

SAIDA (SIDON, SAIDON) is said to mean "fishing", and even today fishermen moor their boats in the small picturesque port. Sidon was the third great Phoenician city-state, rivaling Byblos and Tyre as a naval power. In Darius' time, towards the end of the 6th century B.C., it was the capital of the fifth Persian satrapy and a showplace of buildings and gardens. The town was conquered by the Crusaders after a famous siege lasting 47 days, then retaken by Saladin 70 years later.



Sidon Sea Castle - taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidon


I went to Saida almost 3 weeks ago, with these awesome guys and girls "Beirut Street Photographers" and well we shot photos :)


Below is a selection of a few photos I took in the old souk (market) of Saida.

Old Souk

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

O.M.G. Lebanon, Mabrouk for becoming #1

Ladies & Gentlemen, I am so honored and happy to announce to you that Lebanon has reached the TOP position (from the bottom) among all countries when it comes to Download Speed.

Let us put our hands together and unite in order to become the TOP position (from the bottom) in the Upload Speed as well, we are only one position away, only 0.01Mbps away! WE CAN DO IT!

Source: http://www.speedtest.net



Click on images to enlarge.

p.s. If you're not pissed off yet, read this: Hong Kong gets 1 Gbps internet for 26$/month (thanks Bilal for this link)

p.s.s. Do you realize how many companies work on an international level using the internet on a minutely basis? Can it be more obvious how this slows down our economy?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where to go when you visit Lebanon - Site 12: Zaarour

It's been a long time since I wrote a post in the "Where to go when you visit Lebanon" series, so today I will tell you about Zaarour. Luckily my friends dragged me by the hair to actually go spend our day off doing something useful.

On the way to Zaarour - Lebanon

Zaarour - Lebanon
Zaarour, located in Mount Lebanon right after Bolonia, is a small ski resort. It has many small apartments there, and right beside them the ski slopes. It's the closest ski resort to Beirut, which takes maximum of an hour. So it's a pretty cool location indeed in case you don't want to go as far as Faraya Mzaar or even Arz.

Zaarour Ski Slopes - Lebanon - February 2011
Zaarour - Mount Lebanon - February 2010

Zaarour - Mount Lebanon - February 2010

Sadly, there weren't much snow today, the ski slopes were closed, not that we were going to ski or anything, we just went there for a picnic! Moreover, some of the photos you see above were taken last February 2010 (much more snow and a sunny day). As for today's photos, check below.

What does it look like?

Free ad for Kefraya!
Red heart made of snow, inspired by next week's Valentine's day
But the most important part is Koukh el Sabaya. It is a must visit mini authentic Lebanese restaurant. It's run by a family, the female members of it (thus the word Sabaya in its name). They serve basic traditional Lebanese food and Manakish on Saj. In summer, they open their outdoor section as well. It's on the left on the way up to Zaarour Resort, just 5 minutes before.

Koukh El Sabaya - Outdoor section

Koukh el Sabaya - Outdoor section - February 2010

Koukh el Sabaya - Outdoor section - February 2010

Koukh el Sabaya - Zaarour

Boiling some tea on the "Soubia"

Best Labneh! Worth a million dollars!

Koukh el Sabaya - Zaarour
Hope you enjoyed today's trip.