Category Archives: Critiques

Was a Pokémon Go Player Arrested in #Lebanon?

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People have been sharing since yesterday a story about a Lebanese Pokémon Go player that got arrested for playing the game near the General Security HQ in Beirut. Apparently the guy was looking for a rare Pokemon near the building when security guards spotted him and arrested him. He was interrogated briefly then released (after he got laughed at).

I tried digging out the source but I couldn’t find any reliable one and the security forces didn’t issue any statement on that incident, so it’s probably fabricated but I am confident we will hear about arrests due to Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go mania has officially hit Lebanon and hundreds of people attended the first meeting up last week. Just look at the video below:

PS: I personally played it for two days and lost interest.

The Perfect Answer To This Tasteless Article On Lebanese Beach Resorts

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Almost every sentence in this [article] objectionable or vomit-inducing. I really hope they don’t pay people to write such crap. At first, I wanted to write a lengthy reply but then I found the perfect answer.

So here we go:

To the person who wrote that piece,
– If you truly believe all beach resorts are insanely expensive in Lebanon
– If you are bothered by the “string” and the hot girls in bikinis
– If you have a difficulty ignoring showoffs wou jame3it el “Big Champagne”
– If you have a problem with beach resorts that don’t allow kids
– If you don’t like listening to music or having a DJ entertain you on the beach.

Here’s what you need to do. It’s free of charge, the water is bubbly but there’s no champagne, there’s no music, no girls in bikini and the food if you find any is for free.


Lebanese Stuck at Turkey’s Istanbul Airport, Lebanese Embassy Not Answering

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Update (16/7/2016 8PM): Minister Bassil urged Lebanese consulate and embassy in Turkey to do the necessary to help the Lebanese stuck there. Embassy got in touch with the passengers according to LBCI.

A group of Lebanese are stuck at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport since yesterday following the failed military coup that took place. One of the passengers is saying the Lebanese embassy in Turkey is not answering their calls and the airport staff closed down the restaurants and left them alone at night with other passengers. Turkish airlines should have resumed their flights by now but MEA announced it will resume its flights tomorrow.

The Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs should get in touch with these passengers instead of tweeting at them to use the hotline and get them back to Beirut ASAP. This is unacceptable!

Here’s a link to the original post.


The Price You Pay For Water & A Red Bull Can At Beirut’s International Airport

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red bull

A bottle of water and a red bull cost 14,000 LL at Cafematik at the Rafic Hariri airport, while they barely cost 3,000 LL anywhere else. The above bill was shared online and went viral, forcing the Ministry of Economy & Trade to issue a statement saying that they sent a group to the airport to investigate.

It’s normal for airport prices to be more expensive than street prices but in that case, it’s an obvious case of monopoly abuse and there’s probably one company licensed to operate, similar to the airport parking lot case that’s been making headlines for the past few weeks.

I personally never buy anything from Cafematik. I’d rather starve and get dehydrated than buy a bottle of water from that place. The concerned ministry should set a cap on the prices especially when it comes to bottles of water. The ideal of course would be to set up free water stations for travelers beyond security but Cafematik would go broke in a couple of months.

Let’s wait and see what the Ministry does following its investigation. On another note, this whole story reminded of Farix’s hilarious take on Cafematik.

Jounieh Fireworks Were Great Yesterday, But I Didn’t Enjoy Them

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Patrick Pharaon JIF2016_2 Photo Credits: Patrick Pharaon

I look forward to the Jounieh fireworks every year, and I think it’s a nice tradition to kick off the Jounieh International Festivals but I didn’t enjoy them this year for two reasons:

– They were scheduled on a Thursday night which is a big mistake. People driving back from their work were stuck for hours in unnecessary traffic. I spent almost 3 hours to get from Achrafieh to Jeita and I almost missed the fireworks because of traffic.

– The fireworks were stunning but the show was were very similar to last year’s. Since money is no issue, they could have synced the fireworks with a song for a change.

Jihad Asmar JIF2016 Photo Credits: Jihad Asmar

Patrick Pharaon JIF2016 Photo Credits: Patrick Pharaon

Light House 919 JIF2016 Photo Credits: Light House 919

Chiha JIF2016 2 Photo Credits: Elie Chiha (Chi7as)

Beach Resorts Are Not Allowed to Ban House Keepers & Helpers from Swimming

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teaser_31 Source: France24

A friend of mine asked me a question the other day that was quite troubling: Are there any swimming pools in Lebanon that allow helpers or house keepers to swim?

The sad truth is that there aren’t any that I know of as that most beach resorts and private pools in Lebanon ban house keepers and nannies from swimming or getting anywhere near the pool. Their “pathetic” argument is that some clients are not comfortable with the idea of swimming next to a maid or even worse a “black person”.

Needless to say, this is a clear violation of human rights but the sad part is that the concerned ministries never bothered to look into these pool regulations. Few days ago, the Lebanese Ministry of Labor issued a statement warning private pool owners from such discriminatory practices and pledged to take the necessary actions but we all know it’s just cheap talk.

Every summer, it’s the same story and nothing is ever done. If the Labor minister or any other concerned minister are serious about their warning, I suggest they take their house keepers and helpers and confront these beach resorts face to face.

It’s a shame that we are even talking about this matter.

صدر عن وزارة العمل البيان التالي: “تبلغت دوائر وزارة العمل ان عددا من المسابح حظرت دخول العاملات في الخدمة المنزلية اليها، سواء كانوا مع العائلات التي يعملن لديها، او بصورة افرادية اثناء عطلتهن الاسبوعية.

ان وزارة العمل تعتبر قرار المسابح مس فاضح بحقوق الانسان، وهو ما تلفت الوزارة النظر الى خطورته، وستقوم باتخاذ الاجراءات القانونية الكفيلة بوضع حد لهذا الامر داعية اصحاب المسابح الى التراجع عن هذه التدابير اللاخلاقية واحترام حقوق الانسان ايا كانت جنسيته وهويته ولونه، محذرة بأنها ستتخذ الاجراءات المناسبة في حق كل من يتخلف عن ذلك.

ان وزارة العمل جادة في حماية العاملين والعاملات الاجانب المتواجدين على الاراضي اللبنانية بصورة قانونية، من منطلق تصميمها على احترام الوجه الانساني لهذه الشريحة، على قاعدة مكافحة كل اعمال الاتجار بالبشر ومكافحة التمييز بكل اوجهه لقناعتها بما التزمت به في شرعة حقوق الانسان والمواثيق والاتفاقيات الدولية ذات الصلة”.

It’s Summer Season: Authorities Move Landfills To The Beach

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Where’s the best place to set up a new landfill? Right on the beach of course. The Costabrava landfill was approved by the Lebanese government 3-4 months ago and residents of the area are literally suffocating from the smells. In fact, anyone who’s driving from Beirut towards Khalde will notice the horrible smells on the way. At some point, it’s even worse than the Karantina landfill.


Residents of the area are already complaining and things will only get worse.

Here’s a report done back in April by GreenArea:

And another more recent one by AJ+:

PS: Someone should tell AJ+ the first 2 pictures used are old and not from Costa Brava.

Here’s Why It’s Safe To Walk At Night in Lebanon

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I can’t stop laughing every time I read this [story]. The sad part though is that it’s no longer that safe to walk in the streets at night as a lot of girls are being harassed and the cops are barely doing anything to catch these offenders.

On another note, it’s perfectly safe for a girl wearing a skirt to walk at night in Dubai and there are pubs and night clubs just like Lebanon now.

The Problem Was Never Parking Tariffs in Beirut, but Valet Parking Tariffs

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parking fees

Beirut’s governor Ziad Chbib issued new parking tariffs for Beirut yesterday which were distributed as follows:

Blue Zone (Qoreitem, Manara, Ras Beirut, Serail, Raouche, Bab Idriss, Minet el Hosn): 3000 to 7000 LL
Green Zone (Mousseitbeh, Tallet el Khayyat, Wata): 3000 to 6000 LL
Yellow Zone (Achrafieh, Mar Mikhail, Hekmeh, Sioufi, Hotel Dieu, Mar Elias, Unesco): 2500 to 4000 LL
Red Zone (Bachoura, Mazraa, Tarik Jdeide, Bourj Abi Haidar): 2500 to 4000 LL

It’s definitely a good initiative but one that will be impossible to implement because of Valet Parking companies, especially in Beirut. When valet people book all the park meter spots and take over parking lots, they will simply tell customers there are no spots left and force them to give their cars to the valet and pay a minimum of 5000 LL. The only thing that needs regulation in Beirut and outside it are valet companies.

On another note, who do we report violations to? Do I call the ISF at 11 PM and tell them the parking guy made me pay 4000 LL instead of 3000 LL?

I’m sure the governor has good intentions but we all saw how his decision to ban illegally placed election posters was widely ignored. In fact, there are still posters hanging all over Beirut up until now, including those of the current municipality.

lbc tarifss via LBC