I was watching a TV promo on LBCI yesterday and I thought at first it was a new political show or some special report on Lebanon and the region but then it turned out to be Laila Abdel Latif’s show with Far7a wou Mar7a. Laila’s predictions were groundbreaking yesterday, storms and snow during winter (NO WAY!), political fights and reconciliations in Lebanon, earthquakes and other natural disasters, more trouble in the Middle East and other irresponsible and life-changing statements.
Nevertheless, what’s even worse than Laila and I’m not referring to her taste in clothes because she’s free to wear whatever she wants, are media outlets that spread dangerous and unverified rumors and don’t bother to rectify them and follow up on them.
Last week after the Maurice voice note went viral, I got a voice call warning of a suicide bomber in one of Beirut’s malls. Everyone got scared and started sharing the voice note and I’m still getting the same voice note two weeks later. People who spread such messages are more damaging than the bombs especially for the businesses mentioned and it is important for the ISF to deny all these rumors and track down the sources.
Another example is the below article which is obviously a joke but a sick one, because people might think that a suicide bomber was inside a Saida church even if the story details are hilarious and there are no official police reports on this matter.
Here’s the story:
“A suicide bomber wearing jeans with a bomb strapped around his waist was inside a Saida church obviously trying to blow himself up, but he was spotted making the cross sign the wrong way, so he panicked, left the church, got hit by a car but still managed to run away”.
Now I’m not sure if I’m missing something but a suicide bomber obviously dies in the process when he detonates his bomb, so why would he run away? And since when do people check if someone is making the cross sign properly inside a church? And does that mean there’s a suicide bomber roaming Saida streets now?
Such articles are even worse than click-baits and Laila Abdel Latif. They are meant to frighten people which is the last thing we need right now. So do yourself a favor and read properly before sharing such stories, broadcasting voice notes and scaring people around you.
Meeting Ken Block and the unveiling of Ford’s all-new GT supercar at the Dubai Motor Show were the highlight of my trip to Dubai earlier this month. It was my first time at the Dubai Motor Show and I would definitely come back a second time. The whole experience with Ford & Lincoln was great, the events were pretty awesome and well-organized, the team was very helpful and the Dubai Motor Show has all the cool and newest cars you could think of.
Going back to meeting Block, I’m a big fan of Ken Block’s Gymkhanas as they keep getting better and better. In the most recent one, Block was driving a monstrous 845 HP All-wheel drive 1965 Ford Mustang in the streets of Los Angeles and the video was insane! I’m hoping that I will go for a drift with him one day or experience how a Gymkhana is being filmed. He’s a cool and down to earth guy by the way.
I met Block briefly before the reveal of Ford’s all-new GT supercar which was one of the most anticipated cars at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show. The super-car is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with up to 700 HP. Ford is planning to take the GT to next year’s Le Mans race to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, and they’re hoping to dominate the sport just like they did in the late 1960s.
Here’s a list of my favorite cars from the 2015 Dubai Motor Show, starting with the Ford GT of course!
The Fenyr Supersport is W Motor’s second supercar and it looks really promising. I’m eager to see it perform on a track.
We have 1.5 million refugees in a country of 4 million people. That’s the equivalent of:
– Germany hosting 20 million refugees.
– America hosting 80 million refugees.
We are all aware of the situation but it’s very hard to compare the situation in Europe vs Lebanon. When Germany plans to welcome refugees, they allocate the needed resources to integrate them and naturalize them on the long run, while in Lebanon refugees came in because our borders were open for political reasons and no matter how long they stay here, we will always consider them as foreigners (look at the Palestinians).
On the other hand, saying that Syrians are fleeing to Lebanon for economical reasons is bull shit and claiming that they are taking our jobs is a myth. In fact, we’ve had a major shortage of Syrian skilled workers ever since the Lebanese authorities decided to impose visa restrictions.
I honestly have no idea how the country has survived economically this huge burden but what worries is that the Syrian crisis is getting worse and Europe will eventually stop receiving refugees (if they haven’t stopped already) which means that more will be coming our way. No one knows who’s fighting who in Syria anymore and every time a new country starts bombing, more civilians have to flee their cities.
I doubt any of the Syrian families want to stay in Lebanon living in shitty conditions, sleeping on the streets and begging for food and water. Even Lebanese are dropping their passport and trying to flee the country. No one wants to stay here but there’s no place to go.
Alicé Anil’s report is a good reminder of the current crisis in Lebanon and that we need a lot of help from the Western countries but the comparison is a bad one in my opinion. The countries that should be ashamed of themselves for not welcoming Syrian refugees are first and foremost Arab countries.
A young pregnant woman was shopping in Furn el Chebbak, her water broke, people rush to help her out and she ends up giving birth to a …. garbage bag. The act was well executed and performed by #Tol3etRi7etkoun and they were able to shock and awe the bystanders but I didn’t quite understand the idea to begin with. Giving birth to garbage bags? What does that even mean and how is it related to the garbage crisis?
They are pointing out at the ongoing garbage crisis, the state of hospitals in Lebanon and other health care issues but showing a woman giving birth to a garbage bag was a bad idea in my opinion.
I laughed so hard at Joumblatt’s “Jean-Blat Van Damme” tweet yesterday and at his tweets last week following Russia’s drills in the Mediterranean that took Lebanon by surprise.
Nevertheless, I keep asking myself every time I see these tweets if we should be really laughing at them given the situation we are in and this man’s position or bashing him for taking things so lightly. But then again no one takes anything seriously in this country unfortunately so why should anyone? Two days ago, a municipality caused a 6-hour traffic on the Jounieh highway because they were burning garbage under a bridge and started a fire yet no arrests were made and everyone was too busy with the fake Jdeideh Christmas decoration the next day.
They say laughter is the best medicine yet I’m not sure how much it will help with all this garbage and diseases around us.
A spot-on ad by Lowe Pimo for ABAAD NGO. Lebanon has 0 female ministers in the current government and four out of the 128 MPs are women only. We need to see more Lebanese women in decision-making positions and working hard to get there, just like Nadine Moussa is currently doing.
Last year’s 97-foot-high Jbeil Christmas tree was featured in the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian and was truly one of the most beautiful trees we’ve seen in Lebanon, but this year’s decoration is even better and the work done by the Jbeil Municipality is quite impressive!
I didn’t have the chance to visit yet but until then, enjoy these pictures from yesterday’s launch. Here’s also a [video] you can watch.
Traffic is a huge problem during December in Lebanon and more specifically inside Beirut, and it’s almost impossible to find a parking spot inside malls like ABC Achrafieh & Dbayyeh, Citymall, Beirut Souks or even around them especially when Christmas is few days ago. That’s why I personally try to finish all my Christmas shopping as early as possible but finding a parking spot is always a hassle.
I’m always supportive of initiatives that reduce Christmas traffic and Virgin Megastore has just kicked off a very cool campaign offering free taxi rides with Allo Taxi to all customers who will purchase for an amount of $50.
All you have to do is the following:
– Order an Allo Taxi cab (Call 1213 or use their mobile app).
– Pay the taxi driver, get a receipt and present it at Virgin Megastore shops where you will get reimbursed for the full amount and given a “free ride”coupon back home upon purchasing for $50 or more.
So if you want to buy a gift from Virgin DownTown or usually shop at ABC for Christmas, you can order a taxi get everything you need, and enjoy a free ride back home without driving in traffic or worrying about finding a parking spot. The Free Taxi Ride Service is limited to 25,000 LL per way to any location withing Greater Beirut Region. If you live far away, you only need to pay the difference which is fair enough.
Christmas season has begun and Dbayyeh malls are already causing traffic, The Village Dbayyeh just opened recently, there’s a storm coming this weekend so the logical thing to do is of course to schedule roadworks in Dbayyeh from 25/11 till 7/12.
Now if you thought that this was a stupid move, wait till you read this headline:
“Avoid the Dbayyeh highway starting tomorrow!”
Why didn’t I think of that before? I’m gonna call work and tell them I’m off for the next couple of weeks because we were told to avoid the Dbayyeh highway. Of course you can always take the Jounieh –> Jeita –> Achkout –> Kolayaat –> Bekfaya –> Elissar –> Jal el Dib road. It’s a very nice road with a lot of beautiful sceneries, just make sure you leave your place at 4 am.
Okay, my rant is over. Enjoy the traffic and expect more “traffic-boosters” during December. Who knows? Maybe they will close down Achrafieh roads a week before Christmas, or close down roads on the way to Faraya right before NYE.