Monthly Archives: October 2011

Accidents Dropped 40% During the BlackBerry Outage

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Looks like something good came out of the Blackberry outage even though I am a bit skeptical of those statistics. In fact, there’s no mention as to how many accidents occurr on a daily basis or how many occurred during those 3 days. Moreover, 40% seems like a huge percentage, but if we are talking about 6 accidents instead of 10, that’s nothing.

Officials in the country are reporting that traffic accidents plummeted 40 percent in Abu Dhabi and 20 percent in Dubai between last Tuesday and Thursday, when the BlackBerry blackout rolled through the Middle East. [Link]

It would be interesting to see if it had any effect on the accidents in Lebanon.

3D sucks

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I went to see my first 3D movie, the three Musketeers, the other day and I must say it was a rather disappointing experience.

The 3D glasses are not big enough and did not fit well and were annoying to wear. Also, anytime you turn left or right, or shift your eyes, you need to reorient them.

It could be that Circuit Empire in Kaslik doesn’t offer decent 3D sunglasses, but I think they’re all the same. Nevertheless, I am eager to go watch Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin, so I will give 3D another try at City Mall Cinemacity theathers.

J’ai fait un ‘Zouzou Ebba’

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I must say I never thought I would hear the term ‘Zouzou Ebba’ mentioned in an English or French sentence. Turns out I am wrong and it has become a term widely used even by “les gens chics”.

In fact, while enjoying Mzaar intercontinental’s open buffet on Saturday, I overheard a little boy telling his brother in English that he did a ‘Zouzou Ebba’ with his bicycle the other day on a dangerous road and his brother answered him back in French saying that ce ‘Zouzou Ebba’ etait facile a faire.

Maybe we should integrate the term ‘Zouzou Ebba’ to the Lebanese language. It could be used in sentences such as:

– He was pulling a ‘Zouzou Ebba’ before he crashed into a truck and died.
– ‘Zouzou Ebba’ believed to be the #1 cause of death for motorists.
– Lebanese government to fine anyone caught doing a ‘Zouzou Ebba’ 50$.
– Zouzous of Lebanon sue the Lebanese government for associating their name with the rather demeaning term ‘Zouzou Ebba’.

Beautiful Castle overlooking Faraya

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The last few times I’ve been to Faraya were during the night, which is probably why I did not see this castle.

It is on the road leading to Sad Chabrouh and looks like it came out from some fairy tale. It is still under construction though and there’s no road that directly leads to it.

I don’t know if they have this planned already, but I think it would look much nicer with lots of treets around it.

[High Res]

Meet Afif: Emperor of Lahm Baajeen

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I finally went to visit the empire of Lahm Baajen and its self-proclaimed emperor Afif. The place is small and is on the right side of the road just before you reach Faraya. It sells all sorts of Manakish but is famous for its Lahm Baajin man2ouche.

Aside from the Manakish, the owner of the shop, Afif, is well known for amusing his visitors with his funny stories, and has become popular after he showed on the LBCI program Kalamanji few years back.

Once we got in the place, Afif called one of his workers and asked him to come greet us. Apparently, everytime someone comes in, this guy has to come and say “Ya Hala ya Hala bil shabeb” or something like that.

After this weird yet amusing greeting, we placed our order and started listening to Afif. He was engaging in some weird talk with one of his customers on Maameltein and the Super night clubs before he looked at me and asked me if I was an NDU student.

Me: No I am an AUB student and I did my MBA at LAU.

Afif: Ahhh ya3ne ma bta3rif bil TTH?

Me: Mbala, 3anna yehoun bil AUB kamen.

Afif: Walla Walla, Fakkaret bil NDU bass. Aslan bta3rif NDU students aktar 3alam bile2o cheghel bil sou2.

Me: Le ba2a?

Afif: La2announ ma bye2e3do bil jem3a wou 3andoun kteer 3ale2at. Kelloun TTH wou ma ble2iyoun 2ella 3ande. Rou7 3al Cassino, White, B018 bitle2iyoun kelloun NDU.

Me: chou 3arrafak fiyoun kelloun?

Afif: Ana ba3refoun wa7ad wa7ad, wou ba3rif meen 3am yodhar ma3 meen wou meen tarak meen. Kelloun as7abe.

Me: Bravo mannak hayyin.

At this point, he switched the talk to another topic and I left with my Lahm Baajin man2ouche which was really tasty and worth the wait.

I recommend this place for anyone who’s planning a trip to Faraya.

Who’s killing innocent people in Lebanon?

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Two days ago, the body of a middle-aged man was found in the garbage in the Maameltein area. The body was burned and ISF were unable to identify it.

Yesterday, two middle-aged men were found shot dead under the Antelias bridge and in Jisr al-Wati Sin el Fil.

Early investigations did not show any link between the two murders but I must say I don’t recall hearing about such crimes in Lebanon in the past years. It’s like there are criminals on the loose stealing and killing in cold blood. Thank God we don’t have serial killers yet.

I know the ISF cannot possibly secure every single area in Lebanon, which is why I think municipalities should be better financed and empowered to secure their own towns and cities. Patrols should become more frequent and residents of every town should be encouraged to volunteer and help the municipality. I think there are few municipalities, such as Bourj Hammoud, applying this method and it’s working out quite well.

It is true that Lebanon has always been unstable politically, but we never had to worry about walking in the streets at night and it should stay that way.

Saddam Hussein’s ass for sale

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For those interested, you can buy a bronze buttock from the statue of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein collected by a British former soldier. It is expected to sell for around 10,000$.

I think the Iraqi government would claim back that ass and make out of it a monument for tourists and locals to kick. Read more about it [Here]

Raul Di Blasio at the Casino du Liban

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Anyone knows why Raul di Blasio’s concert has been postponed twice already? I was planning on watching it the first time but I was flying to Italy on the same weekend, but I just found out it got delayed few days back then and after that a whole month.

I think they might be having problems selling the tickets because there are still plenty available for October 15th and 16th shows.

That is quite surprising if you ask me. I thought people in Lebanon liked di Blasio. I wonder now if Tom Jones’ concert is gonna sell out. Can’t believe this guy is still singing!