Category Archives: Events

A New 50,000 LBP Banknote To Commemorate The Lebanese Army’s 70th Anniversary

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50KLebArmy

Lebanon’s Central Bank announced few days ago that they are launching a new 50,000 LBP banknote to commemorate the Lebanese Army’s 70th anniversary. The banknote will feature the Lebanese Army’s Slogan on the front side with a soldier holding the Lebanese flag and the Army Martyrs memorial as well as the number 70 on the back. The new banknote should already be available in banks. The BDL has already issued a special bill for Lebanon’s Independence Day (with the famous spelling mistake) and the bank’s 50th anniversary.

I love the new bill and I think the BDL should donate all the money from people exchanging their old bills with this new one to the Lebanese Army.

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Giveaway: Two Golden Circle & Two Standing Tickets To Watch Chris Brown Live At Biel

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Winners are:
Golden Circle: Roxanne Samaha
Standing Tickets: Maya

I will email you details on how to collect tickets. Congrats!

MixFM Lebanon are bringing Chris Brown to Lebanon on July 29th to perform at Biel in what promises to be the biggest concert this summer. Brown is one of the world’s biggest R&B stars worldwide and has been compared to the likes of Usher and Michael Jackson, especially after the impressive tribute he did to MJ back in 2010 at the BET Awards.

I’m not a big Chris Brown fan but I do appreciate his talent and some of his music, and it’s always good to see him and other big names come to Beirut to perform live. Some of you may have heard rumors about Brown cancelling his show but Mix FM reconfirmed today that Chris Brown is coming to Beirut as scheduled and that the concert promises to be the biggest of 2015. I will never understand why some people try to ruin big events like that by spreading false rumors, as they are harming the economy and themselves at the end of the day.

In all cases, I’m more than willing to attend the concert just to prove them wrong, even if I don’t like the guy, and I’m giving away 4 tickets (two Golden circle & Two Standing Tickets) for all Chris Brown fans and readers of the blog.

All you have to do is answer the below question:

Which Chris Brown single peaked atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and spent five week at No.1?

Leave a comment on the blog post with the right answer and I will draw two lucky winners (two tickets each) by tomorrow morning. Tickets for the event are available on [Virgin Ticketing Box Office].

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.

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Jounieh 2015 Fireworks In Pictures

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Jounieh we arelebanon via WeAreLebanon

The Jounieh fireworks were as impressive as every year yesterday and the traffic to Jounieh in the evening was even worse than last year unfortunately. I was enjoying last year’s fireworks from a prime location, on the rooftop of Monte Cassino but I couldn’t watch them this year so I regrouped some of the best pictures I saw online and on the Jounieh International Festival Facebook page.

I will keep updating the post with new pictures and videos once they come out. If you have any cool pics or vids, I will be more than glad to feature them. Here’s the full schedule for the Jounieh 2015 festivals that kicked off last night with 7 minutes of Synchronized Fireworks along the coastal of Jounieh bay.

Update: Here’s a 30 second time-lapse of the fireworks.

Saturday July 4
Magida El Roumi Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Monday July 6
The Voice Tour Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Wednesday July 8
Jamel Debbouze Stand Up Comedy Show at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Thursday July 9
Johnny Hallyday Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Friday July 10, Saturday July 11 & Sunday July 12
Kids & Family Day
• Street Show Parade, kids playground and special entertainment, bicycles, roller blades, skateboards, for all the family and youth along the coastal area of the city

Wednesday July 15
Jessy J Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Haig1 via Haig Adventures

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11692650_10100144608955562_4625178854343332181_n via Bassam Karam

And this is how the roads looked like yesterday.

10492318_10152851787067096_866265389576570606_n Thank you Sophie!

Remembering Samir Kassir: Ten Years Already

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11428794_10155624076965497_1530574301337524088_n via Jad Ghorayeb

The 2015 Beirut Spring Festival was concluded yesterday with a stunning performance entitled “Beirut, the timeless city” “بيروت كانت وتكون” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Samir Kassir’s assassination. The open air unique performance took place at Martyrs’ Square where attendees experienced art in all its forms, from dance to music to poetry to light and image projections. Ivan Caracalla, Reza Aligholi, Talal Haidar, Beirut Symphony Orchestra, actors Gabriel Yammine, Rafaat Tarabay, Jihad Al Andary, Alecco Daoud, Khaled Al Sayyed, Fadi Rifai, Ali el Zein, Romeo El Hachem, singers Hadi Khalil, Yasmine Hadj Nasser, Tania Saleh, Faten Sidawi, Marc Reaidi, local bands and musicians Who Killed Bruce Lee, Fareeq Al Atrach, Saad Saab & The Oud Family, dancers from Totem Contemporary Dance Company and composer pianist Rami Khalife all made this commemoration “an artistic travel in time through the eyes of Samir Kassir and scenes taken and inspired by Samir’s book “Beirut”.

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When I think about Samir Kassir, I remember Gebran Tueni and how these two were the most inspiring and daring journalists during Lebanon’s darkest years. Samir Kassir was the first journalist I ever sat down with back in 2002 to discuss local and regional issues. I met with him right before the lecture and we sat outside the AUB cafeteria and talked for like an hour. I was already a big fan of his article and books and he never ceased to amaze me by the amount of knowledge he had and the way he was able to connect things. He was a calm and modest person but also charismatic and captivating in his lectures and speeches. You can never get bored listening to Samir and he’d always listen back and take you seriously.

Beirut misses Samir Kassir and the freedom of press and expression that he represented. Quoting European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst “Amid the absence of the freedom of media, there’s no presence for press, but for systematic propaganda”, and this is where Lebanon is headed unfortunately.

Here are few pictures from yesterday’s performance and there are videos being shared on the Facebook page [here].

samir via Jad Ghorayeb

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[YouTube]

Giveaway: Five Tickets To Watch The Amazing Yasmine Hamdan At O1NE Beirut On Sunday!

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Yasmine-HamdancJean-Baptiste-Millot Yasmine Hamdan – Source

Update: Winners of the Yasmine Hamdan tickets are:
Agnes Semaan
Amira Mourad

I will send you emails later on today on how to claim your tickets.

If you can feel the emotion, it’s for you. That’s what Yasmine Hamdan told Telegraph in one of her many interviews and she’s absolulty right. Her music is like nothing I’ve ever heard before as it mixes between traditional Arabic music and electro folk pop, add to that her wonderful voice and the playful use of various dialects of Arabic in her lyrics and you get music that is out of this world.

Who is Yasmine Hamdan?
Yasmine Hamdan is a Lebanese artist, singer and actress is now living in Paris. Hamdan spent her youth dodging wars between Beirut and Kuwait before she settled in Beirut, formed Soapkills with Zeid Hamdan, one of the first indie/electronic bands to appear in the Middle East and soon established herself as an underground icon throughout the Arab world. She was praised by the New York Times as “Arabic Music’s Modern Voice” (New York Times) and was described by NPR as “one of the most free-thinking and inventive artists singing in Arabic today”. Yasmine has been on stages all around the world, amongst them the Opera house in Australia, Olympia in France, Albert Hall in London, Haus Der Kulturen der Wel in Berlin, the Byblos Music Festival in Lebanon and she’s performing on Sunday 24th of May at O1NE Beirut: House of Entertainement.

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Who wants tickets to watch Yasmine Hamdan?

Yasmine’s concert is on Sunday at the exceptional O1NE Beirut and I have 5 tickets to give away. I will definitely be there with the winners and we might get the chance to meet Yasmine behind the scenes. All you need to win these tickets is answer the below questions:

1- How many albums did Yasmine produce with Soapkills?
2- Under which album is her song “Deny”?

I will draw 2 names (2 tickets each) by Wednesday night and announce the winners on Thursday morning. Another ticket will be given away on Facebook or Instagram so stay tuned. Tickets are available on Virgin TicketingBoxOffice for those interested.

Some of My Favorite Yasmine Hamdan songs:
1- Deny:
[YouTube]

2- Beirut:
[YouTube]

3- Yasmine Hamdan singing Mohammad Abdel Wahab
[YouTube]

Just to understand how complex Yasmine’s music is:

If it’s not really “world music”, it’s certainly not mainstream pop. “I don’t define my music geographically,” she says, “whether it’s Middle Eastern or international. If you can feel the emotion, the music’s for you.” While she feels proud of the changes wrought by the Arab Spring, she feels sceptical of the term itself. “Things happened and are happening very differently in Cairo, Tunis, Libya and Syria. The Arab world isn’t one reality.” Indeed, the fact that she lives in Paris, where she is married to Palestinian film director Elia Suleiman, suggests a degree of alienation from what is happening in the Middle East. “Islam itself is in a complex period. I learnt the Koran as a child. When I read the Koran or hear it read, the images and the poetry, the sound of the language is very inspiring. There are many positive values that come with a Muslim upbringing. But when religion becomes about rules and hierarchies, when it starts to feel like a prison, I’m not interested.”

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.

#Achrafieh2020: I Want Every Sunday To Be Car-Free

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Every time Achrafieh 2020 organizes a car-free day, I get more convinced that Lebanon needs a car-free day at least once every month. On Sunday, thousands went down to Mar Mikhael to have fun, have a drink and grab a bite, walk their dogs, dance, play with their kids and enjoy the sun. More importantly, a wall of remembrance was placed in the middle of the street on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide where people shared their thoughts and showed support.

I went down to Mar Mikhael around noon when things were still relatively calm, sat at Radio Beirut and enjoyed a couple of drinks with friends. Around 2, the streets were already packed and you could barely walk among the crowds. The atmosphere was amazing, the pubs and restaurants were packed, kids were having fun and there’s music everywhere you go. I walked around for a couple of hours checking out the different stands, tasting all kinds of foods specially the Armenian ones and greeting friends and random people I meet. I even shared a Nutella crepe with a Sukleen worker who was taking a break.

I’m not sure why I enjoyed this car-free day more than others, but the crowds were amazing, the streets were packed and the day was just perfect! I really believe we need more car-free days like this one and I hope every Sunday will become a car-free day in Beirut and everywhere else in Lebanon.

Here are some of the pictures I took and you can find plenty on Achrafieh 2020’s Facebook page.

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Salma Hayek Is In Beirut For The Prophet’s World Premiere

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Salma via LiveLoveBeirut

Hollywood star Salma Hayek arrived to Beirut a couple of days ago and visited yesterday the museum of Lebanese-born poet and philosopher Gebran Khalil Gebran in Bcharreh. Salma is here for her movie “The Prophet” world premiere which will be held at Cinemacity in Beirut Souks.

The premiere will be a private event and few people were invited to attend. If L’Orient Le Jour’s info is accurate, the projection of the movie will be followed by a private dinner for 300 people at La villa Rose at ESA. I was actually eager to watch the movie tonight but I guess we will have to wait till Thursday when it’s officially released. The Prophet is based on Gebran Khalil Gebran’s masterpiece and will feature a voice cast including Salma Hayek as Kamila, Liam Neeson as Mustafa, John Krasinski as Halim, Alfred Molina as Sergeant, Quvenzhané Wallis as Almitra and Frank Langella as Pasha.

PS: Salma Hayek will be with Marcel Ghanem on Tuesday.

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In Pictures: More Than 100 Lebanese Men Walked In Heels Against Violence

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More than 100 men, including myself, wore heels today and walked a mile in support of #Kafa and in an attempt to raise awareness on violence against women. LBCI, Future TV, OTV, Al Jadeed, Al Arabiyya, Al Hurra, Skynews Arabia, Reuters, MBC.net and other media outlets were there to cover the event which is pretty cool. MTV didn’t show up which is weird.

One of the TV reporters asked me if I was worried that the Lebanese society would make fun of me or other men for wearing heels. I told them that I couldn’t care less and don’t mind it as I’m doing this for a good cause, and if wearing heels would help raise further awareness on violence against women, then maybe we should do this more often. By the way the heels weren’t as annoying as I thought they’d be lol!

Here are some of the pictures I took and more will be added tomorrow on Walk A mile Beirut Facebook page.

PS: For those who didn’t understand the point of the event and started a hashtag against it (#المراه_مش_كعب_سكربينه), the idea is to put yourself in her shoes by literally wearing heels, not representing women by heels. I never thought I would need to explain the idea, that’s just absurd! In all cases, instead of wasting your time by trending a silly and pointless tweet, a good idea would be show up at demonstrations that promote women rights and raise awareness the way you see it fit instead of criticizing positive movements and initiatives.

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Echoes Photo Exhibition: 40 Pictures From The Red Cross Archives & 6 Lebanese War Photographers.

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Echoes: The voices behind the pictures is a photo exhibition organized by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) on the occasion of the 40th commemoration of the start of the Lebanese civil. There are 40 pictures being displayed for the first time and taken from the Red Cross archives and 6 Lebanese war photographers: Abbas Selman, Jamil Saiidi, Patrick Baz, Aline Manoukian, Marwan Tahtah and Hussein Baydoun.

The exhibition is taking place at Villa Paradiso in Achrafieh until April 26th from 10 till 10. I highly recommend that you pass by and see what the Lebanese went through during the war and the tough circumstances that these brave humanitarian workers had to endure.

40 years have passed since the Lebanese war erupted on April 13th. Its “Echoes” are still resonating today. They are the voices of families of missing persons, the disabled and weapon wounded persons and dispersed families. Forty stories will be told in an audiovisual exhibition organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Lebanese Red Cross. The exhibition will be displaying 40 photos from the Red Cross archives and 6 Lebanese war photographers.

map Here’s a map showing where the exhibition is taking place. You can spot Urbanista on the main Gemmayze street and there’s La Tabkha on the way up to Villa Paradiso.

Here’s a small video showing the exhibition:

[YouTube]

Here are some of the pictures I took:

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Controversial French Comedian Dieudonné Is Coming To Lebanon On June 3rd & 4th

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I know for a fact that a lot of Lebanese are fans of Dieudonné, either because he’s anti-Zionist or just because he’s controversial and funny. For those of you who don’t know who this guy is, Dieudonné was born in the Paris suburs in 1966, and is a famous and controversial French stand-up comedian and activist. He’s been fined in France several times for hate speech and was recently arrested for being “an apologist for terrorism” after he published a post on Facebook that expressed sympathy with one of the Paris gunmen. He popularized the “quenelle” gesture, a straight-arm salute, that was labeled by some people as being racist and a gesture of hatred. The French authorities even tried to shutdown his show calling it racist and anti-Semitic, but Dieudonné insists that his comedy targets everyone and that he’s anti-Zionist not anti-Semitic.

Dieudonné has become somewhat of a divisive figure in France and abroad, as some view his show as being “a danger to society” and an “incitement of racial hate”, while others believe that silencing him is an attempt to limit free speech. I’ve seen many of his shows and some are hilarious while others are truly shocking but that’s what he does, almost the same way Charlie Hebdo magazine did (not according to the French law), and I’m actually surprised that they are letting him come to Lebanon specially after the latest controversy.

In all cases, Achillea is bringing Dieudonné to Beirut as mentioned on their website and “Dieudonné En Tournée: La Bête Immonde” will be showing in Lebanon on the 3rd and 4th of June 2015 at Casino du Liban and tickets should be available soon for purchase in all branches of Virgin Ticketing Box Office.

PS: This is not Dieudonné’s first visit to Beirut as he performed in 2010 at the Music Hall in Beirut.

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