Monthly Archives: December 2012

Zaytoun Official Trailer

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It looks like an interesting movie but I don’t know if it will be shown in Lebanese theaters.

Zaytoun is the story of the unlikely alliance between a 12-year-old Palestinian refugee and an Israeli fighter pilot shot down over Beirut in 1982. Their initial distrust develops into friendship as they make their way across war-torn Lebanon on a journey to a place they both call home. Zaytoun won the Runners Up Prize in the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, as well as playing in Official Selection at the London Film Festival and AFI Fest 2012.

Touch Christmas Offer

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I usually enjoy Touch ads but something about their last Christmas Offer radio spot is not right. In the first few seconds of the ad, some guy is bragging that he stopped at all the red lights this year and therefore deserves a gift. I had no clue respecting traffic lights is considered an achievement in Lebanon. Listen to it [Here].


Funnily enough, ignoring traffic lights was the first cause of injuries in car accidents in 2012 according to Yasa. I honestly think Touch should remove that part of the ad specially that they’ve been working with YASA on raising awareness among drivers in Lebanon.

Racism against Malagasy Workers

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A report on LBCI to raise further awareness on racism against domestic workers

Here’s an excerpt from a report by on women fleeing poverty in their country Madagascar to work in Lebanon, and the horrible experiences that they’ve been through here. It’s truly disturbing to read some of these stories and I wonder why can’t we do anything to change this stupid law and give all workers more freedom? In fact, if no one’s ready to make changes in Lebanon, countries like Madagascar and Ethiopia should follow the Philippine’s path by blacklisting Lebanon and forbidding their workers to go there.

Rentrée en septembre 2012 à Madagascar, Marie-Emmanuelle porte encore les cicatrices de ses blessures. Elle n’oubliera jamais le calvaire qu’elle a vécu au Liban. Comme elle, des milliers de jeunes filles y ont migré pour travailler comme domestiques, rêvant d’une vie meilleure. Agée aujourd’hui de 23 ans, la jeune femme n’en avait que 19 ans quand elle s’est envolée pour le Liban. Lorsqu’elle raconte ses rudes conditions de travail, sa voix fluette en tremble encore d’effroi : « Je suis partie pour aider ma famille qui est très pauvre. Mais une fois sur place, j’ai vécu un véritable enfer ! Je travaillais comme domestique pour huit familles différentes. Je commençais à 6h du matin et finissais à minuit. Je ne mangeais qu’un repas par jour. J’ai subi des violences. Mes employeurs m’insultaient et me battaient tous les jours ! Ils ne m’ont même pas payé la totalité de l’argent qu’ils me devaient », déplore-t-elle.

Des brimades. Des humiliations. Sandra aussi en a vécues au Liban. Partie à l’âge de 19 ans, elle a subi, durant trois ans, des violences sexuelles. « J’étais violée tous les jours par mon patron. Et ses enfants me battaient », raconte-t-elle. Elle réussit finalement à contacter des membres de sa famille qui l’ont aidée à rentrer. Seulement, le retour à Madagascar est loin d’être de tout repos. Les jeunes femmes sont rejetées par leurs proches, qui espéraient qu’elles rapporteraient beaucoup d’argent. C’est le cas d’Olivia qui a été abandonnée par sa famille. « Mes frères et sœurs ne veulent plus m’adresser la parole ». Elle aussi garde un souvenir amer du Liban, où elle a été incarcérée dans des conditions effroyables après avoir été accusée par sa patronne d’avoir volé les clés de sa voiture.

Il n’est aussi pas rare que des mineures âgées d’à peine 14 ans tentent également l’aventure. C’est le cas de Marie, contrainte par sa tante à aller au Liban. Une fois sur place, son patron l’a violée régulièrement. Elle tombe enceinte. Lorsqu’il s’en rend compte, il la chasse. Livrée à elle-même, la jeune fille accouche seule et jette son bébé du huitième étage d’un immeuble. Une affaire médiatisée qui a d’ailleurs ému l’opinion publique malgache. [Link]

Help Santa save Christmas! Fire his cannon at buildings and roadblocks!

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LebanonGames are inspired by the Lebanese daily life and created by Mercury.

SantaExpress is the latest game by Mercury [LebanonGames] where you get to help Santa save Christmas by firing his gift cannon over Beirut construction and roadblocks to deliver presents.

The game looks cool but I don’t think having Santa fire his cannon at buildings and over roadblocks in Lebanon sends the right message for Christmas. There’s also another game called “BadYear” where you have to shoot at protestors with fire extinguishers to keep the road clear. Not that I care, but it would have been a bit more appropriate if we had to extinguish burned tires without the need to kill the protestor lol!


3aja2it and Takkit are fun on the other hand!

If you want to give these games a try, click [Here].

Where to spend New Year’s Eve in Beirut?

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Update: I updated Phoenicia’s list after checking with them.

Here’s a comprehensive list of the NYE events taking place in Beirut taken from Annahar and a list sent by one of the blog’s readers (Thank you Salem).

Four Seasons Hotel Beirut
6 course dinner including Laurent Perrier Rosé champagne at the Grill Room
Live band and DJ – 425 USD per person

InterContinental Phoenicia
Wael Kfoury, Fares Karam and Sara Hani
Gala Dinner – 3 course menu with open regular bar
400 USD, 500 USD, 600 USD, 700 USD and 800 USD

– Eau de vie
Gala Dinner
Cynthia baroud, brazilian dance show + DJ – 909 000 LBP + VAT open premium bar

– Café mondo
Set menu – Brazilian dance show + DJ
136000 LBP open regular bar or 164000 LBP open premium bar

– Mosaic
Entertainment: DJ, Brazilian Dance Show ,Belly dancer
Special New Year’s Eve Buffet
Price per person LBP 254,546 + Vat

– Wok Wok
Entertainment: DJ, Brazilian Dance show, International Band
Asian Specialities
Price per person LBP 245,455 +Vat

Melhem Zein and Ayman Zbib
3 course menu salmon salad, beef/chicken + dessert + open premium bar
200 USD, 300 USD, 400 USD and 500 USD

– Hemingways
4 course salmon + risotto + chicken/beef + dessert.
Live + DJ – 198 USD open regular bar, or 219 USD open premium bar

– Burj Al Hamam
Lebanese menu
One man show + belly dancer – 170 USD open regular bar, 195 USD open premium bar

– Mediterrannee
International Buffet – DJ
95 USD open regular bar, 115 USD open premium bar

Habtoor Hotel
– Emirates Hall
Saber El Rouba3i – 3 course Set menu – Starting 250 USD

– Dubai Hall
Dory Kassab and Brazilian Dance – 150 USD, 200 USD, and 250 USD

– Venezia
4 course Set menu, open premium bar
Duo band and DJ – 197 USD

– Le Ciel
5 course menu (foie gras, saumon, shrimps, sea bass, main course veel, dessert Mont Blanc)
Live music – 215 USD premium bar, 272 USD premium bar (table with a view)

– Jazz Bar
5 course set menu with Open premium bar
Life entertainment and DJ – 215 USD and 278 USD

Le Royal
Fares Karam and Roula Saad
3 course menu (salmon salad, main dish, dessert), regular bar
250 USD, 350 USD, 450 USD and 550 USD

Regency Palace
– Cesar palace
Blue comedy show (Fadi Raidy) – Paracho Band
International DJ – 250 USD and 200 USD

– Jad Ballroom
Saber El Rouba3i, Dina Hayek and Saad Ramdan – 200 USD, 300 USD and 400 USD

Pavillon Royal/ Biel
Ragheb Alama and Maya Diab
Dinner, premium bar and Cotillon – 300USD, 500 USD and 700 USD

Music Hall
4 course dinner menu, open deluxe bar and cotillion
Special entertainment with a special guest
300 USD at the bar
400 USD and 500 USD near the bar
700 USD near the stage

Usual entertainment + Melhem Zein
Gala menu (caviar, main course, Belveder, blue label)
350 USD at the bar
500 USD and 750 USD

B0 18
Premium open bar, Open finger food buffet catered by Cat & Mouth, Cotillions
Party Favors bags : Hats, glasses, 2013 goodies, New York party items,
New Year’s Eve in Time Square theme
125 USD Standing,
175 USD Bar,
250 USD Seated

Set menu with regular bar (wine, Whisky, champagne) – 300 USD

Al Dente
DJ with Singer
Gala Dinner with open bar and champagne – 285 USD

Band – Set menu: 250 USD

Le Stay
Set menu (6 course) with one glass of champagne – 350 USD

Al Mayass
20 courses including cold / hot mezze and the main course (Samke Harra) + Desert
Guitarist, Arabic DJ after 23:30 hours + Cotillon
Open regular bar + 88 USD

Violinist and pianist before midnight
Set menu with an Open premium bar
DJ after midnight – 140 USD

L’Avenue Du Parc
Singer with DJ and cotillion
4 course menu
Open premium bar with champagne – 225 USD per person

Set menu of 13 courses
No entertainment – 500 USD

You can check this great directory for NYE events in Lebanon sorted by location and budget. [NewYearInLebanon]

Meet Georges Daya

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g1 [High-Res]

In case some of you are wondering who took the four pictures I posted in the LG TV giveaway, it’s definitely not me. The guy behind these great pictures and many others is George Daya, a Lebanese talented photographer and a friend of mine.

What inspired me to use his photos as part of the competition was one specific picture he took of a street in Zouk Mikhael on the maritime road. I pass by this street everyday and I never imagined it might actually look decent in a picture. I don’t know how he does it, but I thought it would be nice to share his photos and let people see beautiful scenes from all around Lebanon.

If you want to check out Gio’s albums, click [Here] or visit his FB page [Here].