Monthly Archives: July 2010

Slow Internet is here to stay

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So much for this much expected internet cable that will enhance the download and upload rates and make our lifes better. Yesterday, there was a press conference at the Ministry of Telecommunications and the outcome was as expected, talks and talks and empty promises.

According to Matt Nash, a blogger on nowlebanon who attended the conference, Lebanon is still awaiting a response from Egypt indefinitly. It appears to me the Egyptians emailed us the response with a large attachment and our ministry needs few weeks to download it!

However, until we receive an answer, the government will increase in the next 18 months bandwidth at 42 Ogero central offices by 15 Mbytes, which is better than nothing.

On a final note, and this is addressed to Matt Nash, he seemed pretty upset by the addition of only 15 Mbytes and justifies his anger by giving the following example:

With a BlackBerry plan you get 50 megabits of free downloading per month. And that’s for one person, not the whole damn neighborhood. Good god.

Bandwidth rate has nothing to do with how much mbytes you are allowed to download per month. If the whole Achrafieh area has 500 users who presumably download at 512 Kps rate but can only reach 394 kps, adding 15 mbytes to the whole Achrafieh Bandwidth will allow those users to maybe reach the 512 kps as it is spread among them.

Win an Aston Martin Vantage at Beirut Airport

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Lottery draws on cars and bikes are held at the airport on a regular basis. The company in charge of this business calls them competitions but it’s pure luck. There are usually Porsches, Audis and Range Rovers to be won but this is by far the hottest car they’ve displayed.

There are 2400 tickets @ $135 / ticket.

Now the part they don’t tell you:

When you win the car, you still have to pay the customs duty. So in case you win the Aston Martin you better have 60 or 70K in your bank account if you want to drive it on the road. Apparently what happens is that when it is won, the winner is approached by brokers who try to convince him/her to sell the car at a cheaper price.

Kuwaiti plane fired on

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A Kuwaiti businessman’s plane is still being held for investigation by the Italian police in Napoli after it was fired at when leaving the Beirut Airport three weeks ago.

The plane is a Challenger 604 and was departing from the Beirut Airport when gun shots were fired at it causing several holes in the plane’s body.

Now here’s the funniest part of the story.

International investigators handling this case are claiming that Lebanese living next to the airport could have shot at the airport by mistake in post-game celebrations during the World Cup. [lebanonfiles]

If this turns out to be true, we should be very relieved to know that anyone can sneak in Beirut’s Airport and get on a plane without anyone noticing and that every plane is in shooting range from the airport’s nearby habitats.

Manakish Saj

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I just started my diet 5 days ago and I’m craving a million things. I love manakish in general but I prefer saj more, two things I can’t have anymore. Below are pictures of a zaatar and jebneh saj which I had awhile back at a snack in Bcharreh near the Cedars forest.

We’re not too happy

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According to Gallup World Poll, Lebanon ranked #73 in the list of world’s happiest countries. I wouldn’t say I am too surprised. The strange thing is the top 5 happiest countries are Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Netherlands which are located right next to each other. I guess there’s something in their water? [Link]

An example of good PR

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Najib posted last week about a London Taxi driver that was driving recklessly. Well London Taxi responded with the following comment:

Hi Najib,
This is Rabih Dib from London Taxi Company, we would like to thank you for your feedback and taking the pictures. We already found out the driver behind this images and we took all the necessary measurements.

Rabih Dib
Corporate Comnmunications Manager
London Taxi

Sporting Club Responds

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The other day I posted a video (check above) under the post titled “Racism in Lebanon” showing a couple trying to get their maid into Sporting Club only to be rejected. The PR manager has responded to that post with the following message:

Confusing racism with social discrimination is a CRIME.

Children posing as human right activists yelling wolf are many.

The Sporting Club swimming Center has a standing policy of not allowing in ANY maids, nanny’s, escorts, body guards, personal assitants,business men, politicians, embassadors, familes are welcome ALONE.

Moms who delegate the caring of their children to maids are not welcome.

Color of skin is God given and not for me or anyone to question.

Religion is each person’s refuge.

You and I practice daily discrimantion in our lives. for example, an office boy, a maid a porter a salesperson, etc,.. would not call by your first name, but you in turn would not address him/her as mam/sir, Khawaja, afandi, istez, beik, madam, sit so on….

when the last time anyone went to a wedding and took the maid along and sat her at the table next to him/her.

When is the last time a chauffeur was invited to have dinner or a drink in the company of his employers?

Why is it that the smallest (closet sized room) in the house is the maid’s room?

Show me Just one single person that does not practice social prejudice and I will be the first to enforce communist comaradery, Where we all wear grey (men and women). We are asexual and are all children of the state living with equal rights and performing equal duties.

McCarthy’ism eras of screaming communist at anyone you want to send to the electric chair, is over and done with.
Medieval day witch hunts are bed time stories for first grade children.

Kids playing with issues such racism can only make people aware that they may want to consider being racists instead of refusing racism altogether.

In any event, The Sporting Club is target to harrassment and name calling by indiviuals we have turned away at the door.

INDYact, mentioned 1 name out the 20 they claim to have interviewd ( any guessing why 😉 )?

Maybe they should hit on the military run and operated public clubs & beaches or are they too much of cowards to put in question the social discrimination the government practices.

INDYact, should call the ministry of tourism and ask why Indian business people were refused tourist visas to Lebanon this summer.

I would love to answer any questions anyone might have.

Racial and religious discrimination are repulsive to me.

Waleed Abu Nassar
PR Manager
Sporting Club Swimming Center,
Beirut, Lebanon