Monthly Archives: August 2010

Lebanon wins after Syrian withdrawal

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[Picture from]

It is not everyday that you hear about a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon. They usually enjoy staying here for long long long periods of time.

Nevertheless, The Syrian basketball team withdrew yesterday from his game against the Lebanese team in the Stankovic Asian championship tournament because of the insults and booing from the crowds.

The only thing i feel bad about is not being part of the game yesterday!

We’ve suffered God knows how many losses cause of cheating referees in games against Syria, Egypt, China and a long list of countries. The least we can do is support our team in every possible way when we are playing on home ground. And if few insults and booings are enough to make a professional basketball team withdraw from a game, then maybe the Syrian team shouldn’t have participated in the first place.

So in all, Lebanon won his second game after a victory over the Phillipines on Saturday, Syria withdrew and Bacho prevailed.

PS: For those who don’t know Bacho, he’s the guy in orange in the picture above and he’s been leading the Lebanese and Hekmeh crowds for over 10 years.

Trip to Baalbeck

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I went to watch a play called “Too much love … kills” by Ghassan Rahbani featuring Melhem Barakat in Baalbeck last thursday and i must say it was a very dissapointing trip. I enjoyed my friends’ company and all but the trip is just not worth it. The only thing that’s worthy visiting in Baalbeck is the temple and to be more specific inside the temple. Everything surrounding it and outside it is just disgusting. You feel like you’ve landed in Bab el Tebbeneh or worse.

I left Beirut around 5:30 and went by bus with Nakhal tours to Baalbeck. The trip took around 2 hours and a half and included a stop at Massabni in Zahle for a small snack. Once there, we have to walk all the way from the parking to the entrance and it is a very unpleasant walk. Lots of smells and kids selling corn and S7eeha B3albakiyye which is some sort of Lahm Baajine. It is usually delicious but when i saw the stands selling it and then wrapping it in newspapers, i didn’t feel like eating them at all.

At the entrance of the temple, i spotted a Hezbollah museum. I am quite sure it is illegal to place political stands near cultural sites but i wasn’t surprised to see one. It is quite impressive the things Lebanese do to keep away tourists.

Nevertheless, the amphitheatre is breath-taking along with the temples and majestic columns and you really forget all about the outside when you are in. The play was not the greatest i’ve seen. Ghassan Rahbani was trying too hard to impress and it was a bit messed up but it was enjoyable to watch still.

The way back was quicker and took around an hour and a half. Overall, one can easily go by car to Baalbeck unlike what most people claim but believe me it’s not worth it one single bit.

Sterile Father has four kids

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One of my lawyer friends who works in the courts told me the craziest story today.

Three months ago, a cab driver picked up a woman and her 2 years old child and drove them “home”, or what he thought was her home. Apparently, as soon as he arrived in front of some building, she asked him to wait a second until she goes up and gets money. She left her baby in the car and went up. The driver waited 15 minutes then half an hour then an hour later, he decided to go down and see where did the lady go.

He asked everyone in the building but no one had a clue of who she was. She had abandoned her child and fled. The driver drove back home and took the baby with him without calling the police. As soon as he got home, he told the story to his wife and three kids but the wife refused to believe him and called the police claiming her husband is cheating on her and stole some woman’s kid.

In order to prove his fatherhood, a DNA test and sterility test were performed on the father, and to everyone’s amazement, it turns out he can’t have kids !!! loool

So not only did the woman prove to be unfaithful, but a complete idiot as well for wanting to sue her husband in the first place, and as a result three unknown people have to pay damages for the father now.

Where are the tourists?

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In June 21, Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud said that the number of visitors to Lebanon has increased by 26.6 percent compared to this time last year, the National News Agency (NNA) reported on Wednesday. [Source]

Since then, we haven’t heard any updates on the number of tourists in Lebanon and to be honest, i think the numbers are going down and drastically. I’ve been going around and i barely see tourists or cars with Arab plates that used to fill the streets. There’s still traffic and all, but much much less than last summer.
Yesterday i was in Gemmayze around 11:30 pm and the street was barely crowded and few bars were filled. Either everyone is going to Skybar or something’s not working this year.

Having said all that, i find it hard to believe we are gonna set another record tourism season in 2010.

Massage "Extra"

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Here’s what happened to a friend of mine a week ago during her massage session at a popular spa which i will refrain from naming as per her request.

Note: All characters showing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance in names to real persons is purely coincidental.

Miss T. : Bonjour.

Receptionist: Bonjour Madame, how can i help you?

Miss T.: I wish to confirm my massage session tomorrow at 4 pm.

Receptionist: Confirmed, anything else i can help you with?

Miss T.: Non, merci.

Receptionist: Tekram 3aynik Madame.

Next day at 4 pm, Miss T. arrives as scheduled at her massage session.

Receptionist: Bonjour Madame, please be seated for a second.

Few Minutes later, Monsieur Philippe arrives:

Monsieur Philippe: I’m afraid Madam that there was a confusion when taking your appointment; we can only accomodate you at 4:40 instead of 4…

Miss T. : This would be impossible as I’m on a tight schedule, there should be another solution.

Monsieur Philippe: Would you mind then, if a male takes care of it.

Miss T: Hmmmmmmmm, only if he was a certified physio-therapist.

Monsieur Philippe: Well of course, I myself will perform the massage on you.

(Monsieur Philippe joins Miss T and asks her to get comfortable and lie down on the massage table)

Monsieur Philippe: is this your first time?

Miss T.: Here yes but i usually have one session every month.

Monsieur Philippe: Oh i’m sure you’ll enjoy that session and come back shortly for more.

Miss T.: Great!

15 minutes later
(Monsieur Philippe starts massaging in a “suspicious” way certain upper private areas)

Miss T. : Is That supposed to be normal?

Monsieur Philippe: Please Madam, you are dealing with a pro.

Miss T.: Hmmmmmmmmmm. OK

(Monsieur Philippe gets too comfortable)

Miss T. (annoyed): What the hell do you think you’re doing?

Monsieur Philippe: What do you mean??? aren’t you pleased?

Miss T. (pissed off): I want to get the hell out of here and talk to the management.

Monsieur Philippe: But I AM the manager; anyway it was a simple a mistake and my hands slipped.

Miss T. (pissed off): Mistake my ass! And i thought that was a respectful spa.

Monsieur Philippe: Please calm down, i might get fired for this.

Miss T. (pissed off): I sure hope so.

(Miss.T ended up making a big scene in front of the entire management and cancelling her membership at the spa.)

The saddening part is that this was not some regular massage place or those so-called Anti-Stress centers that provide “happy endings” for those who pay for it, but a very expensive and known spa.

Anyway, thumbs up for Miss.T and i hope this employee gets fired.

PS: He apparently got fired two days ago.

Not everyone is aware that Lebanon and Israel don’t get along

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I was shopping online for a Kosmodisk. It’s a belt that apparently alleviates backpain. I chose the model and added to the shopping cart, but since Lebanon is part of the Axis of Evil, I couldn’t pay with my Lebanese credit card because of Paypal. Another problem was that they don’t deliver to Lebanon. So I sent an email to customer service asking about alternative payment and shipment methods. This is the answer I got:

“Dear Mr.,

I checked also with my colleague, who cares for web page and on this page also all payments go through Paypal.

Only thing which I can suggest and might work for you is that someone buys it for you in Israel (if this is possible at all), while this is the nearest country to Lebanon where Kosmodisk Active is sold:

I hope this will somehow work for you.

Studio Moderna SA
Via Ferruccio Pelli 13
CH – 6900 Lugano

[Full size]

No Smoking

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Lebanon, Beirut (CNN) — In Lebanon, you’re never far from the whiff of cigarette smoke.
In restaurants and cafes, on the streets, in the airport and even in elevators, Lebanese delight in lighting up. The World Health Organization (WHO) says Lebanon has one of the highest smoking rates in the world.

CNN’s Schams Elwazer reports

I would love to see a “No Smoking” Lebanon but I doubt that will ever happen in my lifetime. On a side note my favorite pub is featured in the video which is Torino. [YouTube]

Brilliant Beirut

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Brilliant Beirut, Article by Jonathan Ford, co-founder of PearlFisher, a design company.

Here are few excerpts:

In my third piece about the foreign creative influences that all designers should be aware of when looking for a fresh perspective, I’m going to talk about THE place that has left THE biggest impression on me recently: Beirut, Lebanon – a city with more texture than diamond-studded sandpaper.

Brands – some local – are emerging everywhere and there’s a healthy smattering of the home-grown reinterpretations of Lebanese cuisine, like Al Mandaloun, Cafe Blanc, La Plage and the very impressive Al Falamanki.

Art and design is literally everywhere. Old meeting new, East meeting West, all fusing together to create a mezze of image, culture and style that is on a fast track to make a global impression.