Category Archives: Critiques

Minister Bou Faour Issues New List Of Violating Restaurants And Supermarkets

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Dima Minister Bou Faour having lunch with Dima Sadek

Minister Bou Faour is still issuing new lists of “bad” restaurants and supermarkets and confusing the hell out of every Lebanese. I am no longer following up on this matter but I’ve noticed that the minister is now mentioning which restaurants are no longer bad. Unfortunately he hasn’t released yet a full detailed report on the whole campaign and we can’t track the progress on the ministry’s website or anywhere.

Here are some of the restaurants and supermarkets that were found violating in this new report and I’ve tried or been to:
Crepaway in Batroun (Chicken)
Main Street in Beirut (Marinated Chicken)
Relais Foch (Meat – Hamburger)
Karamna restaurant (Stuffed Chicken)
Place de l’Etoile (Chicken breast)
Ghalayini Snack (Lahm Baajine – Akkawi Cheese)
Malak el Taouk in Louaize (Mayonnaise – Taouk – Hamburger)
Rassifna in Kaslik (Hamburger – Kabab)
Shawarmanji in Zouk Mikhael ( Shawarma Lahme)
Lala Chicken in Zouk Mikhael (Kafta)
Awwad Chicken in Tripoli (Sawda Djeij)
Bakkar Chicken in Tripoli (Chicken wings)
Pomodoro in Zaitunay Bay (Chicken breast)
Classic Burger Joint (Hamburger)
St Elmo’s (Hamburger)
Karam Sur Mer (Soujouk, Makanen, Kebbet Samak, Shrimps)

The problem with this list and with any upcoming list is that we don’t know what’s wrong with these restaurants and how serious the violations are.






Let’s Forget What Fattoush Did And Focus On Bernadette Ojeil For Now

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I watched this video yesterday morning even before it went viral and was disgusted by what this judge and her husband have done. What they did was wrong on so many levels and you’d expect them to get arrested on the same day, but then I remembered that MP Fattoush almost did the same thing by assaulting a female employee at the Justice Palace and got away with it, and then his son attacked a journalist few days ago and also got away with it somehow.

I never lost faith in the justice system and I am confident most of the judges we have are competent and capable of assuming their responsibilities, but it’s time we see some actions and not just videos gone viral.


Is it Wise For Joumblatt To Tweet In Favor of Legalizing Marijuana?

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I posted almost a year ago that I am all in favor for legalizing marijuana in Lebanon but I don’t think it’s the right time to do so and we need to have a serious proposal done by a minister or MP, and by that I didn’t mean a random tweet! Legalizing Marijuana is not that simple specially with all the armed groups present in Lebanon and the ever increasing corruption.

In all cases, I still don’t think it’s the right time for such a move and I am definitely not in favor of dropping charges against hashish dealers and growers. It’s not responsible to ask for such a thing at a time where the country doesn’t have a president or an electoral law, not to mention that our neighbor is at war, terrorists are everywhere and the borders are not safe.

Cable Vision To Increase Distributor Fees By 70% Only In Achrafieh

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It doesn’t make sense that they only increase the prices in Achrafieh. Why Achrafieh and not all of Beirut? Something doesn’t add up in this story. Speaking of Cable Vision, I am paying a local distributor so far and didn’t get my own subscription, but I noticed that 90% of the channels are crap. I barely watch 7 channels out of the 86 I get and from what I was told, we need to pay extra now to watch the football games, which is the only thing I watch lately on TV.


Beirut’s Municipality Has $800 Million In Surplus

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Beirut’s mayor Bilal Hamad mentioned in an interview with Executive Magazine that the city has almost around $800 million in surplus and that they are spending money where it needs to be spent. Knowing that the interview focused on the mayor’s strategy to improve green spaces in 2015, it didn’t seem like a top priority for Hamad and I don’t expect to see any new parks next year in Beirut.

Here’s a summary of the interview highlighting the important points raised:

– Saint Joseph University agreed to repair the Mar Nicolas Garden in return of the strip of land granted for 99 years by the Beirut Municipality.
– Horsh Beirut won’t be open to the public before securing the services of a firm that can maintain, secure, manage and execute the master plan set for Horsh.
– There are still no plans to renovate the Hippodrome.
– There are plans for a park in Martyrs’ Square in downtown which includes an underground parking space that can fit up 1000+ cars.
Beirut is Amazing project is still pending and the execution drawings should be completed in 2015.
– The Fouad Boutros project is still pending awaiting the environmental impact assessment.
– Sidewalks and infrastructure will be renovated and repaired in Hamra, Sassine, Rmeil, Medawar, Karantina and Mar Mikhael before the end of year.
Beit Beirut should be open at the end of 2015. I wish I could believe that as I’ve been hearing the same thing year after year. Hamad said that this is costing the municipality $20 million dollars.

To be honest, I expected Beirut’s municipality to have better plans in regards to green spaces. If it’s money they are worried about, $800 million dollars in surplus is more than enough to consider opening a couple of parks here and there. Moreover, a good way to promote green spaces would be to force construction companies to build parks and maintain them for 10 or 15 years for every skyscraper they build. It’s a win-win situation for the municipality, Beirut residents and even the company in question CSR-wise.

PS: I wish Matt would have asked him about Beirut’s ugly Christmas tree.

Read the full interview [Here].

Five Reasons Why SLCHI Is Funnier Than MafiMetlo

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Every now and then, I watch some of the old SLCHI episodes and they are always funny as hell. Sadly though, I don’t remember the last time I’ve laughed that much on a MafiMetlo episode even though the characters are all (almost) the same. Knowing that I still consider it the funniest Lebanese TV show, here are five reasons why SLCHI was funnier:

1- SLCHI had Fady Raidy. This guy is a genius and is irreplaceable. Fadi el Cherre2a, Pipo and every character he played were hilarious.
2- Abbas is funny but overdoes it most of the time. He’s very annoying when he keeps repeating the same thing for 3 minutes (specially Mr. Bakhil part).
3- Adel is still funny as hell despite what everyone is saying. The only problem is that the characters he is playing are stupid and very lame. Mafimetlo needs longer, wittier and smarter scripts. Also Wajdi wou Majdi needs to be dropped because it’s disrespectful and not appropriate anymore.
4- There’s so much material out there that Mafimetlo is failing to reproduce in a funny way for some reason. They should drop most of the weekly sections and reinvent new stuff every week. They should avoid reproducing old jokes that we all know and have seen a zillion times. Weirdly enough, their live shows are always hilarious so I am wondering if they are doing this on purpose on TV.
5- They need to hire new people and new characters. Moreover, they need to follow up on social media because that’s where all the action is happening and where they can find tons of jokes and funny stories.

Check this old [SLCHI gem] and laugh your heart out!

Dhour Choueir Celebrating Christmas

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Bringing Muslims to sing inside a Church or vice versa is probably the cheesiest thing to do but it works every time in Lebanon. I have nothing against it of course and I appreciate such initiatives as it brings people from different backgrounds together but I think the Lebanese people should be the one teaching our Muslim and Christian representatives how to work and co-exist together. Muslims singing Christmas songs or Christians singing Muslim chants will not get us a president, nor a proper infrastructure nor a decent electoral law to name few.

More importantly, it will not get us a fair and just law for women being abused by men and protected in a way or another by certain religious laws.

In all cases, I respect Minister Bou Saab as he has taken great care of his town Dhour Choueir and has done a tremendous work there. I just wish he’d extend this whole Christmas-Muslim partnership to be reflected in public schools and the educational system, and that he puts aside politics that are ruining Lebanese universities in few areas in Lebanon.


Congratulations Jounieh (Beirut?) , You Are One of The #New7Wonders Cities

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jounieh via New7wonders

I wish I knew the person who decided that this picture of Saint Paul’s Cathedral overlooking the Jounieh Bay refers to Beirut. Every time Beirut wins an award or is included in some list, they use the same Harissa shot that has nothing to do with Beirut.

If they need nice pictures of Beirut, I am more than willing to provide them tons of pictures and free of charge.