The famous Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior III ship has kicked off its Mediterranean tour and its first spot is in Beirut. The Rainbow Warrior is a sailing yacht owned and operated by Greenpeace and is used in environmental protests or scientific excursions. The first ever Rainbow Warrior started sailing in the 1970s and 1980s before it got sunk by French Intelligence operatives in 1985; it was then replaced by the Rainbow Warrior II and then Rainbow Warrior III in 2011.
I had the chance to visit the Rainbow Warrior at Beirut’s port on Friday and got to meet the captain Peter Willcox and the crew. The captain’s story is quite an amazing one as he was on board when the boat was blown up by French military members in New Zealand in 1985, and also on the MV Arctic Sunrise when that boat was arrested by the Russian military in 2013 where he spent two months in detention. He has been sailing with Greenpeace for over 30 years now and received in 2014 a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK newspaper Guardian for his environmental activism. In 2016, he launched his first book titled: My Adventures in Protecting the Future of Our Planet. That’s his first stop in Beirut though.
The Rainbow Warrior is here to celebrate the beautiful diversity, culture and the good people of the Arab region. They will be hosting plenty of events and activities during their 5-day visit to Lebanon.
The RW will be celebrating the abundance of the Arab region. This region has beautiful diversity, culture, good people and humanity all baked by the abundance of the Sun. Why the sun? because the sun is our gift from God, and our region can benefit from it a lot for a greener future powered with solar energy by shifting away from the dirty fossil fuel!
Steve Wozniak is the first announced speaker at the BDL Accelerate 2016. Wozniak has long been overshadowed by Steve Jobs but he’s the man who single-handedly developed the 1976 Apple I and co-founded Apple with Jobs. [Wiki]
He will be speaking at Banque du Liban (BDL) Accelerate 2016 which is taking place on November 3,4 and 5. Last year’s BDL Accelerate event was a bit boring to be honest and speakers were very late on the day I attended so let’s hope this year will be more exciting with Wozniak showing up.
Saida, or Sidon, International Festival, which stopped organizing celebrations since 2009, is finally back this year! The festival will run for four days, starting with a touristic day on September 4th, followed by performances by Nancy Ajram and Guy Manoukian on September 16th and 17th and will end with a fun-filled event “Saida in Color” on September 25th. The festival will combine culture, tourism, and art in the most attractive, musical, and fun activities Saida has to offer.
This year’s slogan is “Let’s make it happen” as the city has been struggling for years and is in dire need of such a festival to showcase the real Saida and inject some activity to the local economy. I’m originally from Saida and it’s a beautiful city with a lot to offer. From the Sea Citadel to Khan Al-Franj, the Soap museum, the Debbaneh Castle and others, Saida, Lebanon’s third largest city and one of its most ancient ones, is rich with cultural and natural heritage. I will be writing another post on the things to do and places to visit in Saida.
The National Committee of Sidon International Festival has come a long way to bring back these festivals and I hope everything will go smoothly and peacefully.
For more information about the Sidon Festival, read [here].
Update: Ray didn’t qualify to the semi-finals but improved on her previous performance. She’ll get that medal in 2020. Third time’s the charm 🙂
Ray Bassil had a rather disappointing Olympic debut four years ago in London but she’s been training hard ever since, earning medal after medal and cup after cup and climbing to the top of the Trap Shooting World Rankings. Ray Bassil is today the world’s #1 female trap shooter and she might as well be Lebanon’s first ever gold medalist at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The official list of Student Academy Awards finalists is out and “Nocturne in Black” by Jimmy Keyrouz from Columbia University is among them. Jimmy Keyrouz is a New York based director and screenwriter. He completed his undergraduate studies in Filmmaking at the Institute of AudioVisuals and Cinema in Beirut and is currently a Screenwriting/Directing M.F.A candidate at the prestigious Columbia University School of the Arts. [Bio]
“Nocturne In Black” tells the story of a musician struggling to rebuild his piano in a war-ravaged Middle Eastern neighborhood. Keyrouz’s movie has already won Jury Selects at the Columbia University Film Festival, a National Board of Review Student Grant, the Caucus Foundation production grant, the Marion Carter Green Award and the IFP Audience Award.
Best of luck to Jimmy and the whole cast! The ceremony is taking place on September 22, 2016.
I had two regular tickets to Avicii’s concert yesterday but I couldn’t go so I gave them to a friend who was grateful at first but was furious this morning when I called him to see how the concert went. Apparently, the concert, the setup, the sound and video effects and Avicii were great but the organization was very bad whereas he had to wait for more than 2 hours before getting in. He told me some people just threw away their tickets and left. I noticed a lot of angry comments on the Facebook event’s page as well.
I don’t know why people had to wait for so long but from what I’ve heard, the entrance to the regular & teen sections was narrow so people were literally squished there while VIP ticket holders got the huge Biel entrance. Add to that never-ending security checks, Saturday night traffic and people not respecting the queues.
In all cases, someone owes these fans an explanation but I’m glad I didn’t go last night.
This year marks the fifth edition of the “Flying Lanterns” night (#نور_دربن), where Tripolitans gather to welcome Eid by lightening Tripoli’s sky with lanterns and collecting money to put less fortunate children back in school and help build libraries and schools. Over 1000 Tripolitans took part this year flying 1500 lanterns and collecting around 4 million Liras. This may seem like a small amount but it will help complete a library in Hay el Tanak (Tin Neighborhood), one of the most deprived areas in all of Lebanon with little-to-no infrastructure.
Photo Credits: Wael Al Jarrash
As you can see from the pictures, the atmosphere is quite amazing as more and more people are joining the event every year to light up Tripoli skies and brighten up a child’s future.
The Peking-Paris began on June 12 and #TeamLebanon has been doing great so far! Charbel Habib and Walid Samaha just crossed Mongolia yesterday after 8 days of off-road driving in one of the most adventurous and difficult routes of the Peking-Paris race. It took some time for the team to get used to the GPS system and they got lost on the second day but were able to get back on track and avoid penalties. Day 3 was one of the toughest for the Lebanese team as their GPS system broke down twice and they had to drive all the way back to the mechanics to fix it but since then, they’ve been scoring great times and are currently ranked #2 in their class and #34 overall.
Team Lebanon has already covered an incredible 3,684 KM through China and Mongolia and are performing very well despite having one of the smallest cars in the race. Here are few selected pictures that will walk you through their stunning journey since Day 1 and show you how challenging this race is:
Ready to go!
Camping on Day2
Fixing damaged roof stack
and taking a short coffee break
In the middle of nowhere.
#TeamLebanon will spend the next 13 days driving over 5000 KM across Russia. I will make sure to keep you posted with their updates.
The first ever F1 showrun in Beirut took place on Sunday the 22nd of May. I couldn’t make it but I compiled some of the best pictures and videos shared online to make you relive this unique and once in a life time experience.
The Red Bull F1 car made two spots at the Cedars and in Byblos before the showrun in Beirut.
Photo by Akl Yazbeck
Super Baby Brian and myself met Red Bull in Jbeil – Photo by Akl Yazbeck
Moving on to the Sunday event, it was an epic showrun! Here are some of the best pictures and videos.