Monthly Archives: September 2012

First Impression: The iPhone 5

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I was leaving the house this morning when I got a phone call from Xcite, a local electronics store here in Kuwait letting me know they received the new iPhone 5 and if I was interested in picking it up to check it out. Luckily traffic wasn’t that bad and I was over at their head office 15 minutes later picking up the phone.

The new iPhone 5 looks smaller than my iPhone 4s even though it’s taller. It looks very slick and slim while the iPhone 4s which I didn’t have a problem with an hour ago now looks pretty bulky sitting next to the iPhone 5 on my desk. I have the black iPhone 5 with me which is black all over including the side trimming which is what is also helping the iPhone 5 look smaller than it actually is.

Even though I was expecting the iPhone 5 to be light based on the reviews I read online, I wasn’t expecting it to feel this much lighter than the 4s. It’s really the first thing that grabbed my attention when I picked it up and it kinda feels like the phone is hollow on the inside. The second thing that grabbed my attention was the aluminum back of the phone. To me it doesn’t look or feel like aluminum but more like a plastic. I think it’s because I was expecting the metal to have some sort of texture which is doesn’t.

The iPhone 5 uses a new nano sim card which non of the Lebanese telecom providers have released yet. So right the now the only way to get the iPhone 5 working is by cutting up and sanding down your sim card to the size of the nano card. It’s not that difficult to do and you can watch the video below to see how.


Security situation improving in Lebanon

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I don’t want to sound too optimistic but I’ve been noticing an improvement in the security situation in Lebanon recently, especially after the ISF and Lebanese Army were given a sort of “green light” to go after kidnappers and criminals. We all thought the situation is going to explode after the Pope leaves but surprisingly the army & ISF are now raiding previously “forbidden” areas, freeing hostages and capturing all criminals and terrorists.

It started with Michel Samaha’s arrest after being caught carrying explosives from Syria into Lebanon, then the arrest of 3 members of the Mokdad family accused of kidnapping Syrian citizens in Lebanon (They are now facing charges of kidnapping and terrorizing people with the force of arms, as well as owning unlicensed weapons and explosives) and recently the arrest of a large bank robbery cell suspected of Plotting Attacks against politicians, judges and officers, as well as several criminals and groups behind kidnappings, crimes, thefts and other felonies.

I had posted two days ago about Youssef Bechara, the owner of Bechara Bakeries, who was kidnapped and taken to Dahieh where his family had to pay 400,000$ to get him back. Well one of the kidnappers was arrested yesterday and 380,600$ were given back to Bechara’s family. [Link]

Like I said at first, I don’t want to sound too optimistic but I think the security situation cannot but improve if there are no obstacles preventing the Lebanese Security Forces from doing their job to the fullest.

Lebanon Mountain Trail Short Film

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Here’s a great promotional film about the Lebanon Mountain Trail done by Dana Smillie.

For those of you who missed it, Caroline Brooks will be hiking the full length of the Lebanon Mountain Trail in just 17 days from Monday 24 September to Wednesday 10 October to raise money to support the AMAR International Charitable Foundation and Her Centre. [Link]

Caroline Brooks Trekking Lebanon’s Mountain Trail

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Caroline will be walking all the way from Qobayat (North) to Marjaayoun (South) in 17 days. That’s one heck of a trip!

If you wish to donate online, click [Here].

Caroline Brooks will be hiking the full length of the Lebanon Mountain Trail in just 17 days from Monday 24 September to Wednesday 10 October to raise money to support the AMAR International Charitable Foundation and Her Centre. The Lebanon Mountain Trail is the first long-distance hiking trail in Lebanon which extends from Al-Qbaiyat in the north to Marjaayoun in the south. It is a 440 km (275 mile) trail that passes through more than 75 towns and villages at altitudes ranging from 600 to 2,000 metres (2,000 – 6,500 feet) above sea level and usually takes 26 days to complete.

Caroline’s aim is to raise 20,000 pounds to be split equally between Amar Foundation and Her Centre. Amar Foundation is a charity working in medicine, health, education and basic need provision within refugee and other communities living under stress in Lebanon and Iraq. [Link]

Picture via GreenProphet

How can you help Caroline?

Caroline will be needing a suitable accommodation along her trip, so if you happen to know anyone who lives in any of the villages she will be passing by, or know of anyone / any guesthouses that might be willing to host Caroline for the evening, you can contact Rima Baasiri on 03 600 631.

Here’s the list of villages she will passing by:
23/09 Qbaiyat
24/09 Tashea
25/09 Qemmamine
26/09 Sir ed Danniyé
27/09 Ehden
28/09 Bcharre
29/09 Hasroun
30/09 Tannourine el Fawqa
01/10 Aqoura
02/10 Hrajel
03/10 Kfar Aaqab
04/10 Mtain
05/10 Ain Zhalta
06/10 Barouk
07/10 Jezzine
08/10 Kawkaba Bou Arab
09/10 Hasbaiya

Walk with Caroline
For those of you who wish to join Caroline on a particular journey, you can contact Farah Haddad in Lebanon on 03 116 275. Here’s the trek itinerary:

Monday – 24 Sept – Qbaiyat – Akkar el Atiqa – Tashea 20km (moderate to difficult)
Tuesday – 25 Sept – Tashea – Fnaydeq – Michmich – Qemmamine – 21km (moderate to difficult)
Wednesday – 26 Sept – Qemmamine – Kfar Bnine – Sir ed Danniye – 30km (moderate)
Thursday – 27 Sept – Sir ed Danniye – Ehden – 23km (difficult)
Friday – 28 Sept – Ehden – Wadi Qannoubine – Bcharre – 19km (moderate to difficult)
Saturday – 29 Sept – Bacharre – Hasroun – 19km (moderate to difficult)
Sunday – 30 Sept – Hasroun – Tannourine el Fawqa – 20.6km (difficult)
Monday – 1 Oct – Tannourine el Fawqa – Aqoura – 18.8km (moderate to difficult)
Tuesday – 2 Oct – Aqoura – Afqa – Lassa – Qahmez – Hrajel – 38km (moderate)
Wednesday – 3 Oct – Hrajel – Kfar Aaqab – 18.2km – (moderate to difficult)
Thursday – 4 Oct – Kfar Aqab – Baskinta – Mtain – 39km (moderate)
Friday – 5 Oct – Mtain – Falougha – Ain Zhalta – 40km (moderate)
Saturday – 6 Oct – Ain Zhalta – Barouk – 22km (moderate)
Sunday – 7 Oct – Barouk – Jezzine – 34km (moderate)
Monday – 8 Oct – Jezzine – Rachaiya – 39.5km (easy to moderate)
Tuesday – 9 Oct – Rachaiya – Hasbaiya – 24.5km (easy to moderate)
Wednesday – 10 Oct – Hasbaiya – Marjaayoun – 15.6km (easy to moderate)

Rafic Hariri London mansion worth 300 million pounds

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Picture from TheSun

The seven-story pad in Knightsbridge, London, has been valued at 1,300 times the price of the average UK home. The 60,000sq ft residence is the most expensive to go on the market in Britain yet. It has several lifts, underground parking and a decor rumoured to contain millions of pounds worth of gold leaf. The property is also said to have a large swimming pool and an industrial-sized kitchen. It is one of the largest single homes in the capital and is twice the size of the mega-mansion Roman Abramovich considered building nearby. [Link]

The stucco-fronted property, initially built as four separate homes, was owned by the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The Guardian also talked about it [Here].

3am fakkir ekheda 3al Isken …

Lara Kay & Pierre Hashash on LBC’s Ahmar Bi Khat L Aarid

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Last night was the first time I watch Ahmar Bi Khat L Aarid for more than 10 minutes simply because Malek Maktabi was hosting Lara Kay and Pierre Hashash. Lara Kay was a complete joke (as usual) and I think Pierre Hashash said everything that needs to be said on Lara Kay and other issues in Lebanon. This guy may look like he’s just having fun and fooling around but he’s smart. For those of you who don’t know who Pierre Hashash is, he is the one who killed JFK. [Pierre Hashash killed JFK]

Watch Lara Kay starting Minute 17 and Pierre Hashash starting Minute 44.

Lara Kay claims there’s a message behind her song; If you can’t find the message, add another “Dislike”

Pierre Hashash’s latest rap song