Category Archives: Events

The Story of Beirut: A Spectacular Start To The Beirut Cultural Festival

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The Story of Beirut was the centerpiece of the May 17-22 Beirut Cultural Festival and the best possible way to kick off the first edition of these festivals. Using Nejmeh Square’s iconic clock tower as its focal point, the show took us back to the Phoenicians, then the Roman Empire, the Ottoman rule, the French mandate, our independence in 1943, Beirut’s glorious years in the 1960s, the unfortunate civil war and the reconstruction that followed, a moment of silence in 2005 and then a dazzling light show transported us to the 2016 all accompanied with beautiful musical compositions and mixes by Guy Manoukian.

CNN wrote a lengthy article today on The Story of Beirut. I will leave you with these pictures and a small video that I compiled from various parts of the show.

Thumbs up to everyone who made this possible and to the show’s art director Daniel Georr.

Tonight is your last chance to catch the show. You can look for tickets [here].

[YouTube]

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Here’s Why I Love Formula One

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I love Formula 1. Everything about this sport is fascinating and I hate it when I hear people telling me “It’s just driving around in circles”. Formula 1 is considered by many to be the greatest sport ever because it simply is. You have the best automotive engineers and teams using state-of-the-art technologies to build the fastest, lightest and most advanced cars for the world’s most talented drivers to drive around the most beautiful and demanding tracks in the world.

Even though I’ve been watching F1 for almost 20 years now, I’ve only been to one Grand Prix at Monza back in 2011 and the whole experience was simply amazing and out of this world, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard Red Bull are organizing an F1 showrun in Beirut!

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I am sure Formula 1 fans are as excited as I am about this event, but I want non-F1 fans to realize how awesome this sport is and what they are missing out on. I want them to know how hard it is to make an F1 car, how much time it takes, how demanding it is, the different stages involved from Design and R&D, Composites, Manufacturing and Assembly and other fascinating details.

I’ve teamed up with Red Bull to come up with this post 1) because I love Red Bull, 2) because Red Bull Racing won four successive Constructors’ Championship titles in the past 6 years with my favorite driver Sebastian Vettel and 3) because they are organizing the F1 showrun on Sunday.

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So here we go: How to make a Red Bull Racing F1 car?

What does it take to make one of the world’s fastest racing cars? How are they so powerful? How much time does it take to build one? How is the perfect design chosen? How many tests before a car is good to go? How many parts does an F1 car need? And how many machines are needed for the whole process?
Questions, so many questions! Here are the answers.

There are basically four stages in the making of an F1 car:
I- Design and R&D
II- Composites
III- Manufacturing
IV- Assembly

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Here are a few insights on what happens at the Red Bull Racing factory. The first two parts were already covered by Red Bull so I will elaborate on the last two which are Manufacturing and Assembly.

III- Manufacturing:
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Did you know a Formula 1 car typically takes only five months to design and develop? It takes over 300 designers, aerodynamicists and machinists to create one RB model. Yes, three-hundred, THREE-hundred! Every model created has a specific purpose.

The RB car is made from over 6,500 unique parts which include 100,000 components, 70% of which are machined in house. There are 20 programmable machines capable of manufacturing all parts of the car and the engineers running the machine shop have to constantly improve to reduce the manufacturing time while preserving the quality needed and making sure the parts are 100% reliable. Weight is the biggest challenge for any F1 team as they are constantly trying to make the car lighter and lighter. Quoting Christian Horner, the team principal at Red Bull Racing, the parts produced are pieces of art and the work being done is phenomenal.

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The RB car is painted in-house. The painting process is very critical as it’s not about aesthetics. It’s a performance element as the finishing needs to be smooth and building up paint on the car might increase its weight and slow it down or even affect the aerodynamics. An F1 car’s paint job may seem silly but it’s a very technical process that is often overlooked.

IV- Assembly:
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Assembling a Formula one car is similar to a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that needs to be completed in a record time with zero margin for error. The first build tends to take about a week and the planning process is even more painful than the assembly itself.

The cars are assembled in the “Race Bays”. Five chassis are prepared, one for each driver, two test cards and one kept in disassembly mode. Every manufactured or purchased component goes through a thorough inspection process and there are several state-of-the-art tools that are used to inspect the car and its different components without touching it. The tiniest mistake, we are talking microns, could cost the team disqualification or drastically affect the car’s performance.

All in all, Formula 1 has the best of everything: The technology, the cars, the tracks, the crashes, the drivers, the glamour, the rivalries. It’s probably the best sport you are not watching!

See you all on Sunday and let’s hope that one day we will have a Beirut F1 GP.

Beirut Cultural Festivals Kick off Tonight With A Massive Visual & Musical Tribute to Beirut

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The Beirut Cultural Festivals will be held for the first time this year from May 17th till May 22nd at Beirut’s waterfront area. The festival will kick off tonight with a tribute to Beirut itself, through a one of a kind visual and musical production entitled “The Story of Beirut” that “will recount in a distinctive and artistic way the story of our capital since the time of the Phoenicians and highlighting the long and glorious history of Beirut and its importance”. The show will feature an impressive 3D mapping production and an orchestra formed of over 70 musicians performing musical compositions prepared by Guy Manoukian.

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The “Story of Beirut” will be shown for the first 3 days, followed by a series of cultural, artistic, sports and entertainment activities that will be concluded on May 22nd with an the Red Bull F1 showrun, the first of its kind in Beirut!

I will be there tonight and at the F1 showrun on Sunday. If you want further information, check out the [Beirut Cultural Festival] website.

Discover the Lebanese Wild Side: Book Your Outdoor Activites For 50% Less this Weekend

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We all tend to forget how breathtaking our country’s outdoor scenery is or we simply don’t know where to go because there’s not enough information provided online. The truth is, our country is perfect for outdoor activities and there are plenty of things to do from biking, hiking to camping, rafting etc. Last week, Jimmy wrote a post on where to go biking and I was mind-blown by the pictures he shared, but that’s just a fraction of what’s out there.

Yesterday at LeMall Dbayyeh, I was walking around when I spotted Lebanon’s water-ski champion Silvio Chiha standing behind a cool wooden stand and promoting outdoor sport activities and nature adventures. There were Eco-tourism and nature sport fairs around the stand as well and a discount up to 50% on the various activities was being offered as long as customers booked their activities on the spot. The idea is to encourage more Lebanese to engage in nature related activities and create awareness of Lebanon’s ecology and environment.

There are several cool activities to choose from and it’s definitely better if you are a group of 4 people or more. You can benefit from the special rates only this weekend, so drop by LeMall if you are interested. The stand is only available at LeMall Dbayyeh and stays open till 8pm.

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For those who have never explored Lebanon’s wild side, you are missing out a lot! Our country is a beautiful one and has a lot to offer.

Thumbs up to LeMall for this great initiative!

Here’s Your Chance To Meet World Football Legends in Lebanon

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World football legends might be coming to Lebanon on September 10 to play a game at the Fouad Chehab Sports Stadium in Jounieh.

The final list of players and details of the event will be announced on May 5th during a press conference by the organizing committee. The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and organized by Arabica sports (part of Arabica Group TV network). The game might be played against stars of the Lebanese Football but that was not decided yet.

I’m sure all football fans, including myself, would love to meet these legends. I will update you with the final lineup as soon as it is announced.

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Speaking of Lebanese Football fans and Football legends, a Lebanese AS Roma fan called Bako Karnib got an exclusive chance to meet his idols at Trigoria. He traveled specifically To Rome to get a sight of the players he admires and, after watching the team draw with Bologna last Monday, spent hours each day outside the training ground to get further mementos of his trip.

PS: Thank you Figo29 for the great news and Fouad for the AS Roma story!

Beirut Marathon’s Typo (“Strat” Instead of “Start”) Explained

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I was earlier today at the Beirut Marathon Youth Race that was taking place in Dbayyeh and the banner at the beginning of the race said “Strat” instead of “Start”. I thought it was a typo at first but it turned out to be a stunt to raise awareness on kids with dyslexia. Ragheb Alameh unveiled the real banner at the start of one of the races.

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I really thought it was a mistake for a second and the comments I got on the picture I shared were hilarious. That’s a brilliant stunt to say the least.

[YouTube]

That was the first time I don’t run in one of Beirut Marathon’s races since it was for kids so I had the chance to meet the founder and president of the BMA and a role model for many Lebanese May El Khalil and our Lebanese Olympian Chirine Njeim, who’s the first Lebanese female to compete in the Marathon distance at the Olympics.

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Beirut Meets F1 on May 22!

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Earlier yesterday, LiveLoveBeirut shared a picture of a Red Bull F1 car spotted spinning in Beirut. The picture was actually taken from a Red Bull Showrun in Lima, Peru and it was just a teaser for the live F1 Showrun that is taking place in Beirut on Sunday May 22nd.

You heard me right! Beirut’s F1 Showrun is happening soon and it’s gonna be awesome! I’m a huge F1 fan so this is very exciting news for myself and all F1 and motorsports fanatics in Lebanon. F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr, son of rally legend Carlos Sainz, will take Red Bull Racing’s RB12 F1 car on a “tour”, starting from the Wafiq Senno Street, through the Meer Majid Arslan Street, all the way to Ahmed Daouk Street.

If I’m not mistaken, this road was actually part of the Beirut F1 Grand Prix that was suggested back in 1999 (I’m still trying to get my hands on the Beirut F1 track design). Back then, we lost the bid mainly due to political reasons but I’m still hopeful that we will get a city track one day in Beirut.

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Everyone will be invited to see the F1 car doing speed stretches, burnouts, donuts, and of course hear the awesome engine sounds (even though the old F1 engine sounds were much better) along the one-kilometer track.

Check out the [promotion] and stay tuned for further info.

Museums Night 2016: Visit Lebanon’s Museums For Free

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The Ministry of culture is organizing the 3rd edition of “Museums Night” this Friday the 8th of April from 5 PM till midnight. Museums will open at night and will be free for all visitors. I love the initiative as it sheds the light on the beautiful museums we have and encourages Lebanese to visit them.

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Here are the museums taking part in this event:

Musée Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock – Nicolas Sursock Museum
Address: Rue Sursock, Achrafieh
Opening Time: 6 PM till Midnight

Musée National de Beyrouth – Beirut National Museum
Address: Mathaf, Damascus Road
Address: 5 till 11 PM
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MIM, Le Musée des Minéraux – Minerals Museum
Address: Campus de l’innovation et du sport, Université Saint-Joseph
Address: 5 till 11 PM
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Musée de Préhistoire Libanaise de l’Université Saint-Joseph
Address: Rue de l’Université Saint-Joseph, quartier Monnot
Address: 5 till 11 PM
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You can check out more pics [here].

Villa Audi
Address: Rue St Nicolas, Achrafieh
Address: 5 till 11 PM
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Musée Archéologique de l’AUB – AUB Archaeological Museum
Address: Université Américaine de Beyrouth , Ras Beyrouth
Address: 5 till 10 PM

Musée de la Banque du Liban – Central Bank Museum
Address: Locaux de la Banque du Liban, Sanayeh
Address: 5 till 11 PM
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You can check out more pictures [here].

Musée du Savon – Soap Museum
Address: Rue Moutran, Saïda
Address: 5 till 11 PM
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Musée « Aram Bezikian » des orphelins du Génocide Arménien
Address: Byblos (Jbeil)
Address: 5 till 11 PM
jbeil armenien Picture Credits: L’orient Le Jour

Musée Pépé Abed
Address: Byblos (Jbeil)
Address: 5 till 10 PM

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You can find more pictures [here].

Musée ethnographique de l’Université de Balamand
Address: Koura
Address: 5 till 11 PM

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Free Shuttle service is available for museums in Beirut every 30 minutes at the below stops :

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#PaintUpNabaa: Reviving Nabaa With Love, Laughter And Lots of Colors!

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Nabaa is one of many overpopulated and underprivileged areas in Lebanon. This poor neglected neighborhood lacks everything from proper roads, electricity, water and internet. It also lacks green spaces but there’s a small gem in the middle of Nabaa that has been left out for years: The Dahr el Jamal garden.

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Dahr el Jamal garden is one of the very few, if not the only, recreational spaces in that area. It is equipped with a playground, basketball court and enough greenery that everyone, especially the youth and families, could benefit from. However it needs rehabilitation, cleaning and beautification and last Sunday, PaintUp did exactly that, by organizing a #PaintUpNabaa event to give the future generations that reside there a sense of belonging and a place to be proud of.

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PaintUp joined forces with schools and non-profits in Naba’aa, offered them girls at-risk youth workshops on non-violent communication and community engagement, as well as training on painting murals and graffiti and the outcome was a fun-filled day with loads of entertainment for everyone.

Live Love Beirut, C U NXT SAT, Beirut Green Project, Save the Children, L’Atelier, arcenciel.aec, Al Ahliyeh School & Recycle Beirut, Mad Visual by Chad The Mad, The Inse(k)t – C U NXT SAT and طنجرة ضغط – Tanjaret Daghet were all there to help and support as well.

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In total, 400 paintbrushes and 200 buckets of paints were distributed to hundreds of volunteers and some of Beirut’s coolest artists to beautify and revive Dahr el Jamal garden and fill it with love, laughter and a lot of color.

Here are more pictures from the event!

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