Monthly Archives: May 2011

Craving my mom’s crepes!

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I’ve eaten a ton of crepes in and outside Lebanon but yet I’ve always preferred my mum’s crepes over everything else. I don’t know how she does them but they are just awesome and I could easily eat up to five crepes and still want more.

Too bad I have to wait a few more weeks before I can have some since I’ve been watching what I eat and I can barely cheat except on special occasions.

PS: Just remembered I promised Mark to give him the recipe few months back. Sorry man!

Kitsch

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While I was in Lebanon last week I passed by this cute little place called Kitsch in Gemmayze. It’s like a small boutique that sold some random items as well as some clothes and it had a small coffee shop as well. Seemed pretty cozy.

More radio stations needed in Lebanon!

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I am not a big radio fan but since my cd box stopped working and the kit I got for my iPod stopped working as well, I’ve decided to listen to radio stations in Lebanon for a change until I get them fixed.

I don’t listen to arabic music so I did not bother switch to any of the Arabic stations. As for the English and French stations, I listened to Mix FM, Radio One, NRJ, Light FM and Nostalgie and none of them was good enough for me.

All of them, with the exception of NRJ, put commercials between every song or two which is very annoying. NRJ barely puts any commercials but they repeat the same exact songs all day long. I counted on my way back from Kobayat few weeks ago “Mr.Saxo beat” being played 5 times within two hours.

Added to that, none of the stations put good old songs from the 80s and 90s or even early 21st century artists. You barely heard Cold Play, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Radiohead, RHCP etc etc …

What we need is a radio station that plays without too many commercials just like NRJ and targets people between 20 and 35.

I guess I will be back to my iPod or CD Box very soon.

Pictures from Mazraat Yachouh’s horrific accident

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Two deaths and three injuries were the result of the accident that occurred yesterday in Mazraat Yachouh when a truck lost its brakes and crashed into four cars. One of those cars was my friend’s uncle’s car who was lucky enough to escape with minor damage to the car.

This is not the first major accident on that stretch of road and I wonder how many deaths are needed before officials make a move. Maybe they are waiting for a real tragedy like a bus full of children or elderly men and women?


This was a Honda Civic


No clue what that car was


The truck driver escaped

Thanks Cyril for the pics

My flight from Dammam to Beirut

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I travel a lot for work, mainly between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia but for some reason, I can’t seem to get used to the turbulence, it keeps scaring the hell out of me.

Last night, I had a flight from Dammam to Beirut @ 8:20 PM.

I got on the plane at about 8:00 PM. A couple of minutes later the electricity went out… I’m not very superstitious, but I don’t think the lights going out is a very good sign! It was funny coz some of the passengers started joking “n2ata3et el kahraba? Wselna 3a lebnen bi hal ser3a??” (Electricty cut? We’re already in Lebanon?)

The lights came back on about 10 seconds later. The boarding was completed and the captain asked the flight attendants to “arm doors and cross check”. As we started pulling away from the gate, the lights in the cabin were still flickering… It didn’t look very good

We had just started to taxi when all of a sudden the engines shut down! The captain then said “Cabin crew, disarm doors and cross check”. He then said that we were facing a small technical problem and that it will be resolved ASAP.

All of a sudden an ambulance and a firetruck parked right outside the aircraft.

Without electricity, the AC wasn’t working. Seeing as it was a cool 35 degrees with humidity, everyone was complaining about the heat. A weird looking truck parked right under the plane and started to pump in cool air. I had no idea such a truck existed to be honest.

And as we all know, all Lebanese people think they are knowledgeable in just about any topic. So a bunch of passengers walked to the front of the plane to share their experience and advice with the flight attendants… These are some of the comments I overheard:
- “Eh, ana sayra ma3e kaza marra, mesh awwal marra… walaw!” (This has happened to me so many times before.. come on…)
- “Hal meshkle akid khassa bel landing gear, ana 7assayt awwal ma tle3et 3al tiyyara enno fi shi ghalat..” (I’m sure this has to do something with the landing gear, I felt it the second I stepped on board)

About an hour and a half later, the “minor problem” was fixed (BTW, they didn’t tell us what the issue was). During that time, a couple of passengers stood up, gathered their stuff and asked to disembark. They were let out, but they had luggage checked in. So we waited for another hour for their bags to be located and removed from the plane

So we finally took off at about 10:45 PM. The flight was horrible to be honest, very turbulent, but after 4 glasses of Black Label, I felt like I was on a roller coaster and almost passed out

Getting a “Sejel 3adle” (Judicial record)

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I hate getting papers from the government, I hate standing in line like cattle waiting for some uneducated idiot to hand me a document I need for a certain procedure and I hate the worn down government buildings where the there are no elevators, where they take your signature in giant notebooks, where everyone smokes, where it looks like the last time they were maintained was in the 70s.

I travel to Saudi a lot for work, so every couple of months I need to get a Sejel 3adle from the government in order to process my visa.

Since I live in Beirut, I get my Sejel 3adle from the “Pierre Ghawi barracks” in Badaro. Just look at this building… it looks like it came straight from Lord of the Rings.

In order to get the Sejel 3adle, you need 2 stamps of 1,000 LL each and your ID. You stand in line and once you get to the counter you hand over the stamps and ID and you get the Sejel in less than a minute. But standing in line is an amazing experience. I used to try to get there very early in the morning as to avoid the long queues, but the line would always extend outside the building and around the corner. To add insult to injury, the AC units that hang outside the building keep dripping water on the people standing in line… Sort of a new-age Chinese torture, Lebanese style. So by the time you actually get inside the building, you’re sort of covered in AC water.

Then there’s always some person who knows someone and ends up cutting in line and I’ve seen that happen about 10 times till now. Last time I was there, the son of a colonel came in, said hello to the guy in charge and cut right in front of me. I was so pissed off that I wanted to snap his neck but I kept my cool, and then when my turn came the system shut down. I had to wait for an extra 30 minutes until the IT guys came in and repaired the problem.

I didn’t take pictures inside since I didn’t want to get in trouble.

However, here’s a tip for anyone who wants to get a Sejel 3adle: NEVER go very early in the morning, go around 10:00 AM. There are no lines and you’ll be in and out in less than 2 minutes.

This is the paper that is given to you in the end

The Beirut 48 Hour Film Project

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This is a cool competition for local filmmakers:

The 48 Hour Film Project comes to Beirut on the weekend of July 8th. Filmmakers from all over the Beirut area will compete to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours. The winning film will go up against films from around the world.

Enter today! Space is limited.

Visit the 48 Hour Film Project website [Here]

A small victory for Lebanese women

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Amendments on laws related to honor killings in Lebanon proposed by Kataeb MP Sami Gemayel on the 8th of May 2011 were accepted yesterday. This is quite the achievement as those laws were truly insulting to all Lebanese, not just its women.

The old law basically stated that if a man were to surprise his wife or one of his female relatives in bed with someone, and committed a crime against them, it would not be considered as a first degree murder but an “honor killing” and would receive a lower sentence. If you want to read more on the matter check [Here]

I don’t know why this didn’t get a lot of media coverage even though it is a major step forward in modernizing our archaic laws on women rights in Lebanon.

Nevertheless, congrats to all the Lebanese women!