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.

Winner of the 3 tickets to "The Dinner Party" is

Okay, so I used "Hat" software, as I had already mentioned in the competition post, to pick the winner to "The Dinner Party" play, that will take place on April 29, 30 and May 1 in Babel Theater. To know more about the play, you can check their facebook page.

So, I added the 11 names that commented & got the answers right (all of them) as follows:


Then I clicked on Shuffle, and the list of names became like that:


And then I clicked on the Hat icon and then it randomly picked -->


Samar!!!

Congratulations to Samar Choujah (got the name from the URL in the comment), you won 3 tickets to the play for the April 29 show, 8pm sharp ;). Contact me so I tell you how to retrieve the tickets. Enjoy :)

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. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Win 3 tickets to The Dinner Party play

The Play
This blog was, still and will always be a support of arts in any form. So we are happy to tell you about The Dinner Party, which is a play that will be taking place in Babel Theater on April 29, 30 and May 1. It is directed by Zeinab Assaf and presented by "Haigazian's University Actors Club Members". For more info, check the facebook event page.

Synopsis:
Six people are invited to a dinner, but only one person knows why. As the guests arrive one by one, they start to realize that they all have something in common. The secretive, ambiguous, cryptic mystery is unraveled through a series of misunderstandings, passionate outbursts and other delightful dilemmas. And what does a tourist from South Lebanon have to do with all of this?

Competition
Answer the below questions correctly by Monday April 25 midnight, and a software will be used to pick the winner randomly. The winner will win 3 tickets to this play on its opening day (April 29).

Two questions:

  • When was Babel Theater founded?
  • The guests in the original "The Dinner Party" (that was done in 2000) were invited to a restaurant. Question is, where was this restaurant in this story located
Rules:
  1. Only those who got the answers right will be qualified.
  2. One entry per person.
  3. Provide a name.
  4. Be in Lebanon :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to organize a wedding with funk

Weddings in Lebanon are becoming a Production (Hat tip to Beirut drive by for this description). If you don't know this yet, I am so sorry that you live underwater, inside a mountain that is inside a cave that is underwater...

Okay, this is coming from the 30 year old single lady, who many might describe me as the bitter old maid (according to Lebanese tante standards).

First, this is a small recap on why I am not married yet (this is an older post, I was younger):

I am still single, I am 29 years old, the reason why I am not married (answering the people who look at me with pity in their eyes 'cause am still single) is (pick your favorite):
- I am just butt ugly
- I burp and fart and that ain't lady like!
- I am a lesbian
- I nag too much that nobody wants to marry me
- I can't have children
- I am abnormal
- I am so f*ckin' stupid and boring, even zuzu ibba doesn't wanna marry me
- Nobody ever proposed
- Nobody loves me
- I am too smart and too pretty and too sexy that many men feel intimidated by me and can't handle me.
- I was waiting for you all my life.
- In reality the guy I love died, a dragon came and bit his head off

Back to the Production. 
For me, there is a huge difference between "wedding" and "marriage". More and more things are becoming super - ficial. Yes, it's not only "ficial", it's superficial! I no longer sense the genuine intentions in the couple's desire to spend the rest of their lives together. Fine, a nice dinner, dancing dabke and enjoying a night with friends and family is really something to look forward to. But what makes me go "BLEH", is the bubbles!

What's with the bubble machine? the smog machine? the lights? the over-priced flowers? camera men (gazillions of them)? the zaffe? then the exotic white group that plays on tam tam, and the special salsa dance, then tango dance, and now bride or groom sing to the other (now that's cool if they have a nice voice), and then there is their special dance, and then the camera man tells them when to look at the cam, when to go in, when to smile, when to go crazy... 

The one that drives me the most nuts, is having the camera over at the bride's house: "Msikeh el champagne, w brome wirrebeh shwey sawbe, btisme, w 3mileh bi 3ayke heik O.o" etc... Yes, we all want to look back at this beautiful white day and see a nice photo of ourselves, but some things are getting blown so out of proportion it is just getting too tacky, too fake, and so unreal.

Anyway, this is dedicated to all those couples getting married this summer, if you are my friends, sorry you're going through this, and if you don't invite me to your wedding, I will ... be so sad.

... = not

p.s. this is all okay I guess when you can afford it :) what sucks is, couples are taking loans for this. Meh, right?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Meeting Kathy Shalhoub & her wicked hair

So after having the book "Life as a Leb-Neh lover" by Kathy Shalhoub sent to us thanks to Turning point books, I was determined to finish the book quickly, since it's been a while now all my time is spent behind a pc and online. And yey me, I finished it.

While reading it, I wrote a small review of the book "Life as a Leb-Neh lover" on The Cube, and to our luck Kathy got a pingback on her website, saw it and came and commented on the post. After some give and take, it turned out she was coming to Lebanon this week, and some of us Cubers, got to meet her last night (she really looks like the drawings in her book btw) during a tweetup we did for Micheline Hazou who is also a Cuber.

Anyway, Kathy (who is as nice & funny in real as she sounds in her book) was kind enough to sign the book. It is the first The Cube signed book, that will go into our library.


If you're interested in meeting Kathy & getting her signed book, she will be signing her book tonight in Librarie Antoine - ABC Ashrafieh from 5 till 8 pm.

All in all, all I can say is that after the whole thing started as a rant in a post, then moved to comments and twitter discussion, to have turned into an actual online book reading club, and now we get to meet book authors, is really something that puts a smile on my face :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

What puts a smile on your face in this crazy old country?


There are few things in life that immediately draw a smile on your face as soon as they happen. In Lebanon, there is this event, that gets repeated once every while, and it's the sudden smell of "Zaatar" from a near by bakery that fills my nostrils in the morning while walking. It just tells me immediately, you're in Lebanon, you're home.

And wherever I am coming from, and whatever amount of fun I had when I was outside the country, as soon as I get out of the airport in Beirut, and get in the car and start seeing the chaos, the crazy driving, feel the warmer weather, even though it is hellingly annoying, it still makes me just smile.

What else makes you smile in this crazy old country? Let's see what you got :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Even our Anthem, is not our own

Sadly, while checking twitter today, I saw Bilal Houri tweet something that immediately caught my eye.


It started when Ghassan Rabhany's friend Fouad Khoury was watching a documentary "Toute l'histoire" about the Moroccan country. Originally it was the anthem of a republic called "Batal El Reef", that was founded in 1921 and finished in 1926 after a Spanish - French attack.

The Lebanese anthem has very similar lyrics to the Reef one, and 100% exact same music composition.

Below is a report prepared by Rachelle Karam and broadcasted on the Lebanese TV channel "New TV".


I prefer traffic. Yes!

Okay, now lift that jaw up... I have a very convincing point.

Just when you think drivers in Lebanon cannot get any worse when it comes to manners, well think again. The last couple of days have been really slightly shocking for me, I mean, how shocked can you get really in this country?

I've seen drivers pull crazy stunts during my life, or just block your road even when their road is blocked instead of at least thinking "if am stuck, let the other dude/tte have an easy life", but NO! If I am suffering, then everyone suffers with me.

However lately, I am seeing people go completely nuts, risk their lives and the lives of others for seriously peanuts! PEANUTS! It's not worth it. Just arrive late, or leave your house a bit earlier (as my dad used to always tell me)
STOP CROSSING RED LIGHTS WHILE SPEEDING!

In conclusion, traffic is better, since, last time I checked, we only give out Driver's Licenses to human beings. Animals are not supposed to drive no?

Friday, April 08, 2011

Where to go when you visit Lebanon - Site 13: 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

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Scorpions and 30 Seconds to Mars in Lebanon

Dates announced
In case you missed it, and because I am a nice person, I want to inform / remind you, that we have two great bands coming to Lebanon (so far) this summer as part of Byblos Festivals (*winks, my favorite festivals).

The scorpions will be playing for two nights, on 6 and 7 July 2011, as for 30 seconds to Mars, they will be playing on July 16 (but their website isn't updated with this info yet), yet you can find it on their blog here.

Why should you attend those 2 concerts
I saw The Scorpions in Forum de Beyrouth in 1996 (yes I am that old), it was quite a good concert. However, I am not sure what they can deliver 15 years later, considering their age, but whatever, I know many fans who are really ecstatic with these news, and considering the repertoire they have, it will surely be a blast. After seeing Guns'n'Roses in Dubai last December and seeing how they rocked the stage, who knows? The Scorpions might really deliver!

As for 30 seconds to Mars, even though am not a huge fan, but considering the amount of rock bands we get in Lebanon (which is very little), sometimes you don't "choose" what rock band concerts to attend, you just attend any rock band that comes to Lebanon.

What about the other festivals in Lebanon
This is only when it comes to Byblos Festivals, there are still Baalbeck and Beiteddine Festivals (those 3 are the biggest ones, there are several other smaller ones across Lebanon), consequently we will definitely get other big names. 

Usually each festival gets around 8 to 10 different bands, singers, performers... Byblos Festivals usaully get such bands (younger audience), Beiteddine is usually the more authentic jazzy kind. And Baalbeck, is more Lebanese, but this is just the general impression, but they all get a variety of performances. So keep checking those websites, and I am sure you will find at least 2 to 3 events you can attend.

Why you should consider vacation in Lebanon
You can do much more in Lebanon, so a stay in Lebanon is really rich, from visiting historical monuments (we are rich in history), to clubbing and pubbing, to enjoying great food, great souks, authenticity in old villages and cities, beach resorts (the best), and great nature in our beautiful mountains! I will be more than happy to help you plan your stay in Lebanon (for free).