Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cynthia will be greatly missed

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R.I.P

They say that you don’t need to meet some people in person to know they are special. Cynthia was one of those people. She’s an exceptional human being, one of the nicest, most cheerful, active and enthusiastic people I interacted with online. My only regret is that I never got to know her better or meet her in person. Cynthia died after battling cancer for few months.

Just looking at her Twitter TimeLine makes you realize how special she was to all her friends and followers.

Cynthia was born on January 19, 1990 and is from Ehmej, Lebanon where her funerals will take place today at 4pm.

R.I.P Joseph Ayat

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Thank you Sara for the pic

MEA pilot Joseph Ayat has passed away few days ago after a long fight with cancer. For those of you who don’t know, he was the pilot who got laid off by MEA after 30 years of service because he was undergoing cancer treatment. The incident prompted the majority of MEA pilots to stage a 48-hour strike.

This is definitely not the way he would have wanted his career to end. I hope MEA or the Lebanese Pilots Association will organize a small ceremony in his honor.

Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

PS: I couldn’t find any picture of Pilot Joseph Ayat online. If anyone has a picture please email it to najib@blogbaladi.com.

What to do with Ehab al-Azzi?

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A friend of mine sent me an article published in Annahar yesterday about a young Lebanese man called Ehab al-Azzi who claims that he had his left hand’s fingers cut off with a sword on Sunday in Tariq al-Jdideh by Sunnite extremists after they realized he was a Shiite.

I was hesitant to post about it at first because I felt his story didn’t add up, and as it turns out, he had fabricated the whole story to receive free health care from the Health Ministry.

Here’s what really happened:

He confessed that he suffered wounds on his hand after the motorcycle he was riding on the airport highway collided with two other motorcycles,” the statement read. It added that Azzi then had a fight with the riders when one of them stabbed him with a spear. [DailyStar]

What Ehab did could have been regarded as an isolated event in peaceful days, but fabricating such a story in critical times like that is very serious and could have ignited further sectarian clashes in Beirut. That’s why I believe he shouldn’t be thrown in jail for just a few days in order to set an example for others.

Last but not least, I have constantly critisized the Lebanese Media for their exaggeration and unprofessionalism in covering certain events. Having said that, and with all due respect to Annahar, but when someone tells you that he was attacked by militiamen in Beirut that looked like Afghans (I assume he meant Talibans), with one of them holding a big sword and threatening to cut off his head, you ask him if he’s been smoking some pot first.

And the winners of the Skyfall Avant-Premiere Tickets are …

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Comments #32 and #8. Mabrouk to Lea and Richard!

Check your email and answer me ASAP in order to get your tickets and DeekDuke Vouchers!

UPDATE: Winner of the two extra tickets is Rachelle!

YOU CAN STILL WIN 2 TICKETS!
Since a lot of people have participated in this competition, I was able to get my hands on an extra pair of tickets. This will be an extra chance for those of you who lost in the draw. All you have to do is answer the three below questions and I will draw from the first 10 entries only:

1 – In Skyfall, what will James Bond be drinking instead of his usual Martini?

2- Where was “the Living Daylights” truly filmed?

3- Who is the Queen of Klinkistan?


My favorite James Bond actor, Sean Connery

France Sentences Lebanese Prostitution Kingpin Elie Nahhas to 8 Years in Jail

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A French court Tuesday sentenced a Lebanese businessman in absentia to eight years in prison over a high-end prostitution ring operating at the Cannes Film Festival that had ties to a slain son of Moammar Gadhafi. The judge also slapped a 50,000 euro ($64,000) fine on Elie Nahas, a Lebanese who claimed to run a modeling agency employing young women recruited in South America, France and eastern Europe. [Link]

The prostitution ring was first discovered in 2007 and according to investigators, dozens of prostitutes had been recruited from the U.S., France, Lebanon and Venezuela, and the ranks included a Lebanese beauty queen and several successful American models.

Anyone has a clue who that ex-Miss Lebanon might be? Here’s a list of the winners of Miss Lebanon from 1995 till 2005:
1995 Dina Azar
1996 Nisrine Sami Nasr
1997 Joëlle Behlock
1998 Clémence Achkar
1999 Norma Elias Naoum
2000 Sandra Rizk
2001 Christina Sawaya
2003 Marie-José Hnein
2004 Nadine Nassib Njeim
2005 Gabrielle Bou Rached

Update: Answer is Lamitta Frangieh, who was crowned 1st Runner-up at Miss Lebanon 2004 but participated in the Miss World 2005 pageant. Read more [Here]. Thank you Rami!

On a last note, The French authorities might want to consider hiring Liam Neeson to capture Elie.

Win Four tickets to watch Skyfall

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Update: Skyfall’s release has been delayed to November 1st in Lebanon but the avant-premiere’s date is still the same. The only difference is that, in case you win the tickets, you will be watching now an avant-avant-avant-avant-avant premiere lol!

The 23rd Bond Movie, “Skyfall”, will be officially released in Lebanese theaters on October 26 November 1st and promises to be one of the best Bond movies in years as the series celebrated its 50th anniversary. For that occasion, BlogBaladi will be giving away 4 tickets for Skyfall’s avant-premiere on October 26 at Grand Cinemas ABC Dbayyeh at 8 pm, courtesy of RoadsterDiner & DeekDuke.

So if you are a Bond fan and wish to attend the premiere, all you have to do is the following:
– Leave a comment on this post with a proper email address.
– Like BlogBaladi’s Facebook page [Here].

I will be drawing two winners at the end of the day, each receiving two Skyfall tickets and two DeekDuke vouchers worthy 30$ each!

Check out this cool challenge Coke Zero did to random train passengers to unlock the 007 in them for their chance to win exclusive tickets for the new James Bond movie SKYFALL.

Good luck to all!

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.

MTV’s بالجرم المشهود

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[YouTube]

We now have our own “Cops” show on MTV. I am surprised the ISF gave MTV permission to accompany them on raids and missions. I watched the first episode yesterday and this is by far the most interesting show on Lebanese TVs right now.

I have one worry though: All the criminals they are arresting should not be placed in Roumieh with all the scandals that have been unveiled there because they will probably be out the next day and all this hard work gone to waste. Lebanon needs a new Maximum security prison well monitored and guarded by professionals.

[YouTube]

15,000 low-cost tablets to Lebanese public school students

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Lebanon’s telecommunications minister signed a memorandum of understanding with leading firm Intel to provide low-cost tablet computers to Lebanese public school students. “The project aims to create multifaceted educational solutions and lay the foundation for long-term added value economic projects that will boost growth,” Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui said at the signing ceremony held at recently opened technology center Beirut Digital District. [Link]

Update: I don’t follow the tablets’ market that closely and I thought Intel-powered tablets aren’t that bad. However, after having read Mustapha’s post, I have to agree that while the initiative of getting affordable tablets to Lebanese public school students is good, distributing MANDRIVAs instead of iPads and Android-powered tablets is a bad idea as we are selling them worthless technology. Read BeirutSpring’s full post [Here].

The tablets will have both WiFi and 3G connectivity, along with some educational material and Intel’s business mentorship program. The pilot project will provide around 1,500 tablets to 10th and 11th grade classes in 15 public high schools across the country. According to Education Minister Hassan Diab, every public high school student should have a tablet PC by 2014.

This is a good initiative and should be followed by creating more free WIFI spots around schools and in major cities and public places. Also, Public School Students should be given free 3G subscription plans by Alfa and Touch.

InShape fair

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[YouTube]
Same horrible ad from 2011

This year marks the fourth edition of InShape, the health, beauty and fitness fair. It was originally planned for this past weekend but due to the circumstances and the explosion that took place in Achrafieh, there will be 3 additional days on the 27th, 28th and 29th of October 2012.

I originally used to go there to support my friends’ at the ShapeUp supplement store stand but I found out the exhibition is actually pretty interesting. If you like to know more about the event and exhibitors’ list, click [Here].