Monthly Archives: December 2011

Machroub Madroub

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It seems to me that Lebanese are more worried about getting food or alcohol-poisoned this year than paying 200$+ for an NYE party. Some friends and colleagues I’ve talked to booked their NYE party in restaurants and pubs where they knew the owners, in order to make sure the alcohol being served is not bad.

“Mna3rif Sa7ib el ma7al. Ma binazzelna bda3a madroube”

“3al 2aleele mna3rif el owner. Binazzelna Vodka mazbout”

“Sa7ebna el owner. Ma be3tal ham tkoun el 2aneene madroube 2awou fi chi bil akel”

Watch out what you’re drinking and make sure the bottle is sealed. To stay on the safe side, drink Almaza. Nazzalo el Chatawé!

How to prevent accidents on New Year’s eve

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Even though I am all for promoting awareness on the dangers of drunk-driving, I don’t think it’s enough and I strongly believe the Lebanese authorities and more specifically the ministry of interior with the help of few NGOs should take things to the next level.

Why is that? Because the person who’s been drinking will not realize he cannot drive back home. On the contrary, and out of personal experience, you feel very self-confident under the effect of alcohol and start racing on the highway thinking you’re Schumacher.

What should be done? The answer is plain and simple.

1- Instead of deploying ISF and army men on highways and key spots, deploy them near night clubs and restaurants or at the entrance of Gemmayze Street for example and run alcohol tests randomly.

2- Ban all cars from driving back from Faraya or the Cedars or any popular NYE destination on New Year’s Eve except for emergencies. Coordinate with the local authorities and municipalities to let the ban run smoothly.

3- Deploy one or two NGO members (or touristic police) at nightclubs and restaurants to ensure drunk customers are not allowed to drive back home. Force owners to provide alternative taxi services at decent rates.

4- Deploy random checkpoints every 30 minutes on the highways to intentionally cause minor traffic and force drivers to slow down. This could prove frustrating but it’s better than hearing about deadly car accidents.

5- Penalize heavily drunk drivers causing accidents. Jail them for two days if needed. This should send out a clear message to other drivers.

6- Deploy few checkpoints on roads leading to Bhamdoun-Aley, Bekfaya, Faraya, and other mountain roads. Many accidents occur while people are in a hurry to get to Faraya or Zahle or the Cedars or Bekfaya etc ..

7- Penalize restaurant, pub and nightclub owners serving bad alcohol. This should be done all year long and not just for one night. Bad alcohol will knock you out after a drink or two.

Those measures may seem harsh, but given the conditions of the roads and the incompetence of the ministry of public works and most municipalities, there’s no other alternative to stopping accidents in Lebanon especially on New Year’s eve.

Bomb in Kaslik?

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MTV: A blast targeted the Senses health club and spa in Kaslik, causing material damage

Future News: An explosion shook a nightclub in Kaslik, causing material damage only.

I just read this news on Naharnet. Why would anyone target Senses in Kaslik? Even though the blast only caused material damage, its timing and location are worrying.

Let’s just hope it’s some personal matter not more.

Update: According to VDL radio, the bomb explosion at the senses club was due to a personal dispute between the investors.

Update2: According to the same VDL radio, the explosion could be resulting from a gas leak and not a bomb.

Snowmobile Fun

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I finally got around to putting together this video I shot last week when I was in Lebanon. I rented a snowmobile up in Mzaar near the ski slopes from a company called Highland Club. It costs $100 for an hour but they have better deals on longer journeys. For example they can take you from Faraya to the Cedars and back for around $400. That’s a 3 hour trip each way and comes to around $65 an hour. If you’re interested in taking out a snowmobile you can call them on +9613860867 if you want to do the Arz trip or just head up near the slopes and stop by any of the snow mobile places there. [Vimeo]

Lebanese in NASA

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Marcel Ghanem’s host yesterday on Kalam el Nass was Georges Helou, who happens to be the director of the Spitzer Science Center, and director of the NASA Herschel Science Center. You can read more about him [Here] and his work [Here].

There are 2 other Lebanese which I know of that work for NASA, Charles al-Achi, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Joseph Geagea who happens to be Samir Geagea’s brother.

Bet & Win: Qaeda or no-Qaeda in Lebanon?

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I hear the Brits will bet on the craziest of things and that the gambling industry in the UK is massive. Well I see here a new business opportunity for us Lebanese to place bets on hot issues such as the latest one: Is there Qaeda or not in Lebanon? 10$ per bet.

Odds are against Defence minister Ghosn as he insists there is Al-Qaeda.

Prime Minister Mikati, Minister of Interior Charbel & ex-MP Wi2am Wahhab denied any Al-Qaeda existence in Lebanon.

Other potential bets:
– How many “2ah” will Haifa say in her next song?
– Who will win a mud wrestling fight between Elissa & Haifa?
– When will Saad Hariri come back?
– Who will win a boxing game between Alloush & Chaker? Or Wi2am Wahhab and Walid el Moallem?
– What will be the highest price for an NYE ticket in Lebanon?

Even though I set this post to be under “humor”, I think a betting website on such things will work great in Lebanon, and the fact that most officials in Lebanon have rarely facts to base their statements on will spice things up.

Zaitunay Bay

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Before describing my visit to the bay, I keep asking myself why is it called Zaitunay (زيتوناي) ? How is that the English translation of زيتوني or even زيتونة?

Anyway, I finally visited Zaitunay bay on Monday night and I loved the place. As you can see from the picture above, It’s a very nice place to take a walk and enjoy a fine dinner. I didn’t try any of the restaurants there yet but you can read about them [Here].

Not all restaurants are open yet. The ones that caught my attention are Croc Magnon, a steak house opened by the same people behind Brgr Co, St. Elmo’s which is a seaside brasserie, Salmontini a seafood restaurant, and Classic Burger Joint which was pretty packed.

During winter time, I don’t think many people will be walking on the Zaitunay bay as it’s getting very cold, however in summer time the bay promises to be packed at all time. The wooden dock is relatively small right now but there are plans to extend it as you can see [Here].

On a last note, ladies going in high heels will have a hard time walking on the wooden dock.

NYE rehearsal party

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” Only an exclusive few will realize the greatness of this event and take immediate action to be part of it. The World’s #1 DJ Armin Van Buuren accompanied by the biggest ever selection of international performers and the most extravagant and high-tech setup for the one and only NYE’s eve pre-party of the decade at Biel”.

I stopped listening at “pre-party”. I don’t know about others, but why would I want to attend an NYE-1 party? What’s the point of celebrating NYE a day earlier? And how will I be able to attend another NYE party the next day? Are Pre-NYE parties popular around the world?

I heard there’s an NYE-2 party in Lebanon as well but I forgot where it was.