FAIL: OTV’s Lousy Take On Homosexuality

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Instead of tackling homosexuality in Lebanon in an objective and scientific matter, OTV decided to promote the show by asking whether homosexuality is a fashion trend or an illness. In order to be fair, I did bother and watch the show and while the doctors and Pierre Bou Saab were mostly spot on and made sense, the host kept asking the wrong questions and making wrong assumptions and over-generalizing.

Homosexuality is not a trend nor an illness and people don’t choose to become gay. While people are affected by environmental and social factors, almost everyone agrees that sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice, and even if it did, no one is entitled to judge others based on that or call it an illness. Moreover, I don’t know why she assumed that more Lebanese recently are rejecting this “weird phenomenon” as she calls it. There aren’t any studies or surveys to prove that and if that’s the case, awareness is much needed then. We shouldn’t portray gay people as being different or weird and we should help them in their struggle against ignorance and hatred.

On another note, the host didn’t even know what LGBT stands for and thought it was a cool term gay people use nowadays. She also said biosexual instead of bisexual in the first part (Between Minute 3:20 and 3:35) and the doctor corrected her. I’m glad she didn’t bring any religious people but the show didn’t send out the right message and promoting it the way they did was a bad move.

Here’s the [first part] for those interested in watching.

Terrible Fight During A Futsal Game In Lebanon

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If you thought fights that occur during basketball games in Lebanon are bad, then I recommend you check out this [fight] that occurred between two Lebanese Futsal teams.

Players and fans attacking each other, players going after fans, fans beating up a player, sticks and sharp tools being used and no one is even trying to stop the fight. Pathetic to say the least!

Lebanese-British Amal Alameddine Clooney Second Most Powerful Arab Woman

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The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015 list by Arabian Business is out and this year’s second place goes to Lebanese-British lawyer Amal Clooney. Amal is an activist known for leading numerous high-profile human rights cases and she made headlines all over the world last year after marrying Georges Clooney. I think this is the highest rank ever achieved by a Lebanese on that list which was topped once again by HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi.

10 other Lebanese women proudly made the list:
– Nayla Hayek
– Iqbal Al Asaad (Lebanon/Palestine)
– Grace Najjar
– Joumana Haddad
– Ayah Bdeir
– Nadine Labaki
– Nancy Ajram
– Fairouz
– Reine Abbas
– Hind Hobeika

Check out the full list [here].

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Brgrco Set To Open ABC Achrafieh By June (And The Raclette Brgr Is Back!)

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It only makes sense for Brgrco to open in ABC Achrafieh specially after its success in Beirut Souks. I’ve always preferred their main branch in Sodeco right next to L’Entrecote but it’s hard to find a parking spot so Beirut Souks is more convenient. Brgrco is set to open in June 2015.

On another note, the Raclette Brgr that you see below is back and is a must! If you are fasting, there’s the Falafel burger which is worth a try with some cheese fries.

Will We Ever See 5G In Lebanon?

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It’s quite depressing to see countries planning to launch 5G services in the next 3-4 years while we are still struggling with our 4G speed and data plans and of course the lousy DSL. I was lucky enough to access Ericsson’s huge booth at the MWC2015 thanks to a friend and got to see what a 5G connection looks like. We are talking about a speed hundreds of times faster than the 4G, reaching over 5000 mbits/s. Samsung has been doing some 5G tests as well and it looks like South Korea might be the first countries to adopt it.

Technology has a huge impact on every country’s development and needs to be handled more seriously in Lebanon. The technological gap between Lebanon and the UAE has already become a huge one and it will take many years to catch up. Of course I am not talking about implementing 5G but at least enhancing and expanding our 4G network and completing the switch to fiber optics ASAP.

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First Hands-On Look At The Samsung #GalaxyS6 And #GalaxyS6Edge

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Yesterday was the first time I attend a Samsung #Unpacked event and I personally enjoyed it. The event took place at the Centre de Convencions Internacional in Barcelona and it felt really good to take part in it, share the excitement and interact with the crowds. #Unpacked introduced the Samsung Galaxy S6 as well as the Galaxy S6 Edge which comes with curved screens as well as other cool accessories like the Gear VR. The two new phones were announced by Samsung’s CEO J.K Shin who claimed that no other phone can match the new S6’s, and I have to say the phones have some pretty impressive specs.

20150301_193800 Samsung’s CEO J.K Shin announcing the two new phones

20150301_193233 The new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

I will begin with the specs that are similar to both the S6 and S6 Edge:

1- Plastic covers were dropped and replaced by a metal frame and Gorilla glass back. The metal is supposedly 50% stronger metal than competing smartphones and shouldn’t bend :)
2- The battery is smaller and no longer removable (so no SD card slot). It should last longer however according to Samsung due to the new processor. 10 minutes of Fast Charging will allow you to use the phone for 4 hours. Both devices charge twice as fast as the iPhone6.
3- Display is 5.1″ Quad HD super AMOLED (577pi). Better colors more pixels and a gorgeous screen.
4- The processor (Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz, Octacore ) is much better and uses less battery. The phones are equipped DDR4 3GB RAM.
5- The front camera is 5MP while the rear one is 16MP OIS equipped with f1.9 aperture for better low light results. Camera launch time is 0.7 seconds only. Here are some of the camera features: Quick Launch, Tracking AF, Auto Real-time HDR(Front & Rear) , F1.9, Low Light Video(Front & Rear), High Clear Zoom, IR Detect White Balance, Virtual Shot, Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Pro Mode, Selective Focus.
6- The #GalaxyS6 and #GalaxyS6edge come in five colors: White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz and Green Emerald.
7- Galaxy S6 comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB, Galaxy S6 Edge in 64GB and 128GB.
8- There’s also Wireless charging which is a built-in feature.

As for the #GalaxyS6edge, it will be the world’s first dual-edge display smartphone, which means two curved side screens that will allow you to quickly check and answer call, messages or emails. The Clear View option will also allow you to determine who’s calling you based on the color .

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Once the event was done, we got the chance to check out the new phones and try them out for few minutes. I held both phones to see if they were comfortable to hold given their ultra-slim design and I was pleasantly surprised by their grip and feel specially the S6 Edge. The camera on both phones is fantastic, they are very quick and responsive and the side screens on the S6 Edge are very easy to use.

As a first impression, I liked the new S6 but I’m honestly in love with the S6 Edge. What I didn’t appreciate was the fact that there are no SD card slots anymore and I am curious to see if the battery life will indeed improve with the new processor as this is a crucial feature. Otherwise, S6 is a huge improvement from the S5 and the S6 Edge might be the next big thing. Of course this is a very quick first impression post and I will definitely write a longer and more detailed post once I get my hands on the phone for a proper review.

The official release date is set for April 10th and prices are not yet out but I heard the S6 will start selling at around 800$. Here are some of the pictures I took at #Unpacked

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Here are a couple of pictures showing the Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6 side by side:

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[YouTube]

I Don’t Blame Ali Mahmoud Or Terrell Stoglin For The New Sagesse-Riyadi Fight

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I am honestly sick of writing about Sagesse Riyadi games that end with a fight but I want to make one thing clear. Those who are arguing about who started the fight are missing a very important point. Fights do happen in all sports even in the NBA and players get suspended accordingly. It doesn’t matter if Stoglin hit Mahmoud first or not, they got engaged in a fight and should have been suspended immediately.

Having said that, the real problem are these IDIOTIC individuals who quickly join the fight and make things worse. There are cops and officials responsible for such incidents so let them do their job and stay away! I think it’s about time the Lebanese Basketball Federation forces teams to set up fences for the fans and make sure no one is allowed to step on the basketball court during a game.

Until then, enjoy the fights!

[YouTube]

[YouTube]

On a side note, I was honestly surprised by Ali Mahmoud’s reaction as I thought he was a rather calm and rational player but mistakes do happen and he might have lost his temper. Again it’s not a big deal as it happens in all leagues all over the world and players and teams get fined and suspended.