Monthly Archives: April 2012

Beit Misk, the Lebanon we dream of …

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[Picture by BeirutNTSC]

Beit Misk offers Electricity 24/7, Water 24/7, Solar Heating, Gas Piping and Fiber Optics, basically everything that the Lebanese people dream of. Too bad though that a very small minority of Lebanese can afford to buy a house there.

However, and like Tarek stated, I don’t think the Lebanese are ready for such a change. I mean can you imagine no “moteur”? no blackouts? slow internet? no water? Lebanese would lose it if there’s no element of surprise and all their basic needs are met.

Welcome to Third World Lebanon, where electricity has become a privilege for the rich only.

[Picture from]

Is it illegal to draw Graffiti in Lebanon?

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For those who missed this story today:

Two young Lebanese men have been detained for daubing graffiti on Beirut walls in support of the uprising in neighboring Syria, their lawyer and fellow activists said on Saturday.

Fadi Tawfiq, a writer and rights activist, said Ali Fakhri and Khodr Salameh were detained on Friday night for painting the flag used by rebels in Syria and “The revolution continues” in a district considered supportive of the Damascus regime. [Source]

Graffiti is accepted as long as it does not involve drawing on someone’s property or damaging public property. I’ve rarely seen decent graffiti in Lebanon, however most of them were on old deserted buildings or old walls. Having said that, and regardless whether you consider Graffiti to be an art or pure vandalism, I strongly believe our security forces should dedicate more time to catch criminals and terrorists rather than go after activists drawing on walls.

The good news are that both activists were released few hours ago after Prime Minister Najib Mikati got involved personally, following a massive online pressure on him, mainly on Twitter. I am glad that he chose to resolve this issue on the spot rather than ignore it like most politicians and officials do.

Here’s a footage of the small protest that occurred in the afternoon asking for the release of Ali and Khodr.

So, I finally updated my iPhone software …

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I attempted updating my iPhone4’s software to iOS 5.0 three months ago but it was disconnecting every time with my WISE 512Kb connection. I had to wait until I got my 1Mb DSL connection and I was finally able to upgrade to iOs 5.1 this morning. It took me 3 or 4 attempts but it finally worked!

DSL so far is proving to be much faster than WISE. In fact and since I still have my WISE connection until the end of the month, I will attempt downloading the same file at the same time and see how long it takes using each connection.

Unluckily for me though, it seems that the Apple is experiencing some technical difficulties as I am unable to download anything from the App store neither from my iPhone nor from iTunes on the laptop.

Update: AppStore and ITunes are working now.

The 400 Million Dollar Fattoush

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[Picture by Kalyn’s Kitchen]

If you wish to know why Lebanon is ranked number 134 out of 182 countries in the Corruption Index report of 2011, you just have to read this piece of news:

“The government is considering how to grant a minister $400 million to compensate the closure of his stone-crushing plant,” referring to State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nicolas Fattoush. [Naharnet]

$400 million dollars to a man who has corruption written all over his face in every business he invested in, including the Jeita Grotto. Regardless of his political allegiance, it is unacceptable that the government pays him that much money, specially that his stone-crushing plants are illegal!

That’s the first time I wish that it was some silly Guinness World Record about Fattoush set by the Lebanese I was posting about.

Religious Marketing by Kelee

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First Communion is a traditionally important festive occasion for Catholic & Maronite families in Lebanon and is usually celebrated in the month of May.

Kelee, a shop in Zouk Mosbeh that sells gifts and gadgets for all occasions, is drawing attention by keeping Incense burning in front of its place for a few days. That ought to get him few extra customers especially that almost everyone living in that area has to pass in front of the shop to head to Beirut or Jbeil.

However, Kelee should have executed its idea better as the incense burner is badly placed and looks cheap. One might think it’s the Jean & Jean shop or nearby garage wishing everyone a blessed first communion. Garages in Lebanon are very religious as we all know.

Cedar Tree at Birstall, Leicester

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[Picture by Reo Bongers]

I had some work today with an Englishman, and as we were talking about Lebanon and places to visit, I mentioned the Cedars forest. He knew of course what it was but it turns out that they have in his hometown back in Leicester the biggest Lebanese Cedar tree in all of Europe.

I did some research and found out the symbol of Birstall, the village where the Cedar tree is located, is a Cedar tree. The original and beautiful tree stands in Roman Road. It was once in the grounds of the now demolished Birstall Hall. [Wiki]

Looking at the size of that Cedar tree, it’s been there for more than 30-40 years if not more.

Dog frightens Sidon bystanders, policeman to the rescue

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A dog roaming the Corniche of the coastal city of Sidon for nearly an hour frightened bystanders early Thursday morning before a policeman subdued the animal and took it away.

Sidon Municipality Police arrived at the scene and were about to sedate the animal using a stun gun. However, a policeman from the Internal Security Forces who is a longtime pet owner was able to calm the dog without using force and put a chain leash on it.

Hard to believe no one tried to shoot it or run it over. Even the cops were planning to use a stun gun and not real bullets. I’m impressed. [Link]

Average Daily Viewership Share in Lebanon for 2011

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According to IPSOS STAT Beirut, LBC has the highest average daily viewership share in Lebanon for the year 2011 with 38.4%. I was surprised to see Al Jadeed in second place and shocked to read that 11.6% still watch Tele Liban.

Here’s the full list:
LBC 38.4%
Jadeed: 35 %
MTV 28.7%
OTV 25.4%
Future 16.7%
NBN 12.3%
Manar 12%
TL: 11.6%
Future News: 10.9%

Those stats are taken from Habib Battah’s post entitled “The myth of Lebanese television news”. It’s an interesting article which you can check out [Here].