Monthly Archives: October 2010

Badna Nshouf el film! Badna Nshouf "Chou Sar"!

A friend of mine and loyal reader to the blog was attending the Awards Ceremony and closing film of the 10th Edition of the Beirut Film Festival that was held at Unesco in Beirut. She emailed me after the ceremony was over informing me that the closing film chosen by the committe was “I am love” by Luca Guadagnino, but the big surprise and the most moving part is when they announced that the movie “Chou Sar” for DeGaulle Eid won the Special Jury Prize.

During his thank you speech and i am quoting, he said that he was astonished to win a prize when no one saw his movie. This is where a lady from the audience stood up and shouted: ” badna nshouf el film”! and then everybody stood up and started applauding!

Chou Sar was banned in Lebanon by the ISF for inciting sectarianism.

Here are the full results of this closing ceremony.

Review: The Jasmine Room

There is no better business than opening up a restaurant or a snack in Lebanon, however the latest trend is to come up with a very fancy place that attracts customers but serves crappy or average food.

One of them is the recently newly opened Chinese restaurant called the Jasmine Room. It is situated on the Jal el Dib highway and looks very fancy from the outside. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while and finally went there with my gf on Saturday.

Unlike what is stated in this review, it does look a lot like every other Chinese restaurant and resembles a bit ChopSticks! It even has that large rounded table in the middle that rotates so that you can hold like your small buffet.

We were out on a Saturday night and found a table without reservation. The chairs were comfy and the tables were not too close to each others. While checking out the menu, i noticed on the first page set menus for 4, 5 and 6 people. They varied from 200,00LL till 400,000LL or something like that. I don’t know much about food menus but putting such big numbers on the first page of your menu can push customers away.

The menu list was very similar to every other Chinese restaurant, same appetizers (Shrimp dumblings, Spring Rolls etc ..) and hot dishes.

We ordered the following:
- Vegetable Spring Rolls
- A steamed rice bowl with corn (It didnt come with corn but the waitress said she can add corn to it).
- A sweet and sour chicken platter without the green peppers and onions that come with it.
- Noodles with beef platter.

Few minutes later, the spring rolls came and they were not good at all and small as well. The hot dishes then followed and with them came major dissapointment.

- Steamed rice came without corn. They were unable to drop few pieces of corn into the bowl. It is very demanding indeed.
- Sweet and Sour chicken came with the green pepper and onions. The waitress realized the matter as soon as she got to the table, so she apologized, went back to the kitchen, took out the onions and green pepper and came back with it. How did i know that? Simply because the chicken and the sauce smelled like onions and peppers still, but i did not tell her anything.
- The noodles platter my gf ordered was disgusting. Noodles were not well done and they had onions all over them. We asked them to take it back and we ended up not paying for it.

That was pretty much my experience at the Jasmine Room and i am quite sure will be my last one. I thought for a while that ChopSticks is no longer that good, but it is great compared to this one.

El 7ale te3beni ya Laila…

Lebanon “revealed” the world’s largest flag today (65,000 squared meters).

I read this piece of information and thought… “yeah? so what?”

What does the world’s largest flag do for me? Represent national unity? What unity?!

People are so casually talking about the “inevitable” civil war that’s about to hit us as if they’re watching the weather forecast and checking on the hurricane that’s coming in.

The difference is, you can’t stop a hurricane. You can hide or you can run. Meanwhile, we’re discussing a civil war.

We’re sending forwards and jokes about how the war is just around the bend. Is this emotional preparation for what’s about to happen?

While we are on that topic, what is about to happen? And why??

There is so much going on right now, but to get armed and prepare for a civil war? Really?? Like seriously… is that what we’re going to do? Seriously people?

Is it because the civil war worked out for us the first two times, let’s do it again? (Please DO note the sarcasm)

It truly hurts and stuns me to see how people seem to take it so casually, like “yeah… it’s just another war”

It’s a shame…

(Vent out session over)

The Fairouz concert

I attended the Fairuz concert on Friday. I haven’t been able to post about it earlier because it is quite difficult for me to describe in words because I believe there are no words that would do Fairouz any justice.

I flew in to Beirut from Kuwait on Thursday and you would be surprised to know that the majority of the people on the plane were flying to Beirut specifically for the concert.

As most of you know, it was RAINING on the night of the event. The concert was at 8:30pm, and when I got off the highway, down towards the port, there was sooooo much traffic. We knew that if were to stay in traffic we would never get to Biel on time. We managed to leave the area, go round and come from the other side. We parked near Plum and walked towards Biel in the rain.

We got to the venue, of course cameras and mobile phones were not allowed in. We found our seats ourselves (without the assistance of ushers who seemed to be MIA). The concert started at 9:20. Fairuz walked on stage and that’s when it hit me…. I was seeing Fairouz live!! THEN my view was blocked for the first 3 songs!!! They were allowing people to come in when Fairouz was singing!! The ticket specifically stated that if you were late you were going to have to wait for a break before you were allowed in. Not only was there the matter of having your view blocked, but ushers and people were talking all around us trying to find peoples’ seats and because they were initially MIA there were many people sitting at the wrong seats so they had to figure this out which lasted an additional song or two. This lack of organization was totally frustrating!

Once everything calmed down, Fairouz received my full attention and the feelings that overcame me are indescribable. Her presence on stage captures any audience and her voice… my goodness her voice! At first I was worried that I would not hear the Fairouz we know, with the voice we know, because of her age but she proved me wrong. Her voice is just as magical and captivating as ever, if not more. I was extremely pleased with the selection of songs chosen, and I loved the new songs that she sung. I did not want the concert to end. I wanted more… I thought to myself, if there only was a way that I can save my ears, my emotions, my thoughts from any pollution and just be able to save what I just experienced.

People started walking out of the concert during the last 15 minutes, when Fairouz was still on stage performing! I assume they wanted to leave early so they don’t get stuck in the crowd and traffic while exiting but I found that utterly disrespectful towards the people who were still there enjoying, and of course to Fairouz.

I am so glad that I finally got to watch the great Fairouz live in concert and it is an event that I will cherish for as long as I live, I however, pity the lack of organization that did occur at the event. Fairouz does deserve a whole lot more than this.

Prepare for war

We have been hearing a lot about speculations of civil war, now we have a date for when it is going to kick off.

Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai reported on Saturday that according to an unnamed diplomatic source, the attempts to stage a coup in Lebanon will kick off on October 16. [BeirutSpring]

Let’s hope they are wrong and more importantly, let’s hope the Lebanese won’t freak out and start invading supermarkets and gas stations!

Eat Pray Love

I went to City Mall yesterday to watch a movie and there was no place left except in Julia Robert’s new movie “Eat Pray Love” and “The Other guys“. I wanted the Other guys but we ended up watching Julia’s movie since some friends insisted on it. I love her movies usually but this one sucked really bad. I fell asleep like ten times during the movie and left before it ended.

It was really long and slow and “mfalsaf 3al fade” as we say here.