Category Archives: Events

Baalbeck International Festival to move to an alternative venue

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Picture from Baalbeck Festival FB Page

The festival’s headline act, American soprano Renee Fleming, is no longer coming to Baalbeck as well. The organizers are not yet decided which venue to choose to replace Baalbeck. Unfortunately, the problem is not just the setting itself but eventually getting there after the latest problems in Arssal and Laboué.

Assi el Hellani, who was apparently denied visa to the US in the past few weeks, will be performing at Baalbeck along with Marcel Khalife and others. You can check out the full program [Here].

It would be interesting to know what was the reason for the visa refusal.

Lebanon’s renowned Baalbek International Festival, normally held in the town’s spectacular Roman ruins, is to move to an alternative venue in the face of a spillover of violence from neighbouring Syria, organisers said on Friday. “As as result of the security situation, we cannot organise the festival in the temple this year,” the festival’s press office said. “We are holding meetings with authorities to find another location, aware that it is very difficult to find a similarly wonderful setting.” [Link]

Red Bull King Of The Rock 2013

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Picture from Last Year’s Final

I’ve been playing Basketball for more than 10 years now and I remember going to the Streetball challenges that used to be held long time ago at the Forum De Beirut back in the late 1990s. It’s a lot of fun and Streetball (3 on 3, 1 on 1 ) for me is more fun than a 5 on 5 game.

If you guys feel the same, then you sure don’t want to miss out this year’s edition of Red Bull’s King of the Rock. It’s a 1 on 1 game and basketball in its purest form. Qualifiers kick off today and go on until June 2. The Final will be held at a cool place, the Old Bus Station in Mar Mikhael, Beirut on Saturday 8th of June 2013 at 8:00 PM.

I won’t be able to make it this year but I will get myself ready for next year hopefully!

You can check out more information about this event [Here].


Balamand University, Tripoli – May 21
Safra Marine, Safra – May 22
USJ, Sodeco – May 24
Mocean, Kaslik – May 25
Hoops, Beirut – May 26
LCU, Jeita – May 29
Hoops, Antelias – June 1
Anibal, Zahle – June 2

Registration starts at 4:00 PM
Games start at 5:00 PM

PS: There’s an Instagram competition that you can join as well. All you need to do is upload cool shots from the games or crowd and use the hashtag #KingOftherock and mention @RedBullLeb of course.

The Voice Tour 2013 At The Jounieh Festival 2013

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Update: Lana Del Rey will also be performing at the Byblos Festival on July 10th even though it wasn’t officially declared yet. [Source]

For all the Anthony Touma fans, The Voice Tour 2013 is coming to the Jounieh International Festival 2013 on Tuesday July 9 at the Fouad Chehab Stadium as stated by L’Orient LeJour. I didn’t see a mention of the concert on the Jounieh Festival website though.

I for myself am still upset I will be missing Lana del Rey’s performance at the Sky Bar in Beirut on May 30. Speaking of partying, I’ve been to White, Pier7 and Al Mandaloun these past two days and I can assure you the summer has kicked off to a great start!

Skydiving in Lebanon this summer

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Picture via Sports-Leb

Event Description: Skydiving
Concept: “Participation & Shows”
Location: Hamat Air Base, North Lebanon
Date: From the 9th till the 25th of August 2013
Daily Time: From 10:00am till 6:00pm
Altitude: Above 4,200 Meters
Jumps Participation: Open for Public “Lebanese & Foreign Participants”

Skydiving Ticket Price:
Tandem Jump with Photos & Video: 444 Euros
Extra Photos & Video: 111 Euros
Prices include: Jump Certificate, Local and International Insurance, TAX.

You can check out more details [Here] and contact the following number [+961 70 722264] if you are interested.

Here are few [pictures] from last year’s event.

Meeting Sir Richard Branson

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As mentioned in previous posts, Virgin Radio Lebanon is set to open on the 15th of May officially and Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, is coming personally for the grand opening.

Having said that, I will be among the lucky few to meet Branson a day before and ask him few questions. I still haven’t prepared my questions yet as it’s not easy to address someone like Branson but I am looking forward to it.

If you don’t know who Richard Branson is, you can read more about him on [Wikipedia] and [Forbes].

Awesome shots of Abdo Feghali at the Red Bull Drift Car Park Drift in Riyadh

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Abdo Feghali drifting around Georges on the track. You can’t get closer than that!

My friend and Lebanese Photographer Georges Daya sent me these two exclusive pictures this morning from the Red Bull Car Park Drift qualifiers taking place in Riyadh. The Lebanon qualifiers will start on June 15th [More Info].

I’ve never missed a Red Bull Car Park Drift so far in Lebanon. It’s always a great event and a lot of fun. What I am hoping for one day is to live the experience from inside Feghali’s car.


Georges and Abdo

Few words on the SMAs

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Picture taken by Nath Halawani

As you all know by now, the first edition of the Beirut Social Media Awards took place yesterday and I posted the list of winners earlier this morning. Needless to say, I am very happy that BlogBaladi won the Blog of the Year Award but that doesn’t mean the event was flawless.

In fact, there are few things that I felt I should comment on but not to the extent of trashing the event and labeling it a total failure. On the contrary, I thought it was relatively well organized and fun for a first time. I personally had a great time meeting face to face new and old members of the Lebanese online community, chatting with Minister Alistair Burt and British Ambassador Tom Fletcher, engaging in talks with fellow bloggers and tweeps and of course enjoying a fine glass of Ixsir white wine in the beautiful Phoenicia hotel. Mustapha from the Beirut Spring also came all the way from Ghana to attend the event. Too bad Gino was behind bars in Alcatraz and couldn’t make it.

Picture taken by Nath Halawani

When the names of the winners were being announced, there were a lot of people disappointed with some results including myself in some categories, but you can’t possibly please everyone after all and even if the judges, who had a 50% say in the final vote, made the “wrong” call, you have to respect their decision and agree to disagree. After all, they are all highly respected individuals and some of them are more than qualified when it comes to social media. In fact, I believe the smartest decision taken by the SMA organizing committee was making the judges’ vote account for 50% of the final result.


Moving on to Haifa Wehbe‘s arrival, I honestly thought it was cool enough for her to attend the event (even though I dislike her). What I did not appreciate though was her unprofessional and disrespectful behavior towards the organizers, the crowd and the other SMA candidates. She arrived 3 hours late, while the name of a winner was being announced, interrupted them and felt free to make a TV interview in the middle of the ceremony, and then made a meaningless comment (“Twitter is my Bodyguard”) when she was handed her award. But then again, this is Haifa, a celebrity in the Arab world and what happened was almost inevitable in any event or talent show or TV show or whatsoever. Like I said at first, she made an effort just like Ziad Baroud (Not to be compared though in terms of behavior) to show up while other less important media figures didn’t bother come and I don’t care if they had other plans because I am sure Haifa has a busier agenda.

The funny part is that I saw more people upset about Haifa’s appearance than myself even though half the crowd was lined up around her while the four final awards were being handed out, including the Blog of the Year award which BlogBaladi won. To be honest, I was more annoyed by Neeshan’s video than Haifa’s act.

Picture taken by Nath Halawani

Moving on to food and organization, events like the SMAs cost a substantial amount of money and it’s normal for sponsors to offer location or food and request bigger exposure but that doesn’t mean they will win and we’ve seen how Roadster beat Crepaway, Almaza won two awards (With 961 being one of the sponsors) and Alfa ended up with 0 awards. Let us not forget that there’s nothing in it financially for the organizers, so it wouldn’t hurt to appreciate what they’ve done and point out constructively the mistakes and ways to avoid them in next year’s edition.

For example, I think the judges and celebrities should be seated in an isolated area next year so that we avoid what happened with Haifa’s arrival. Added to that, the most popular categories that don’t include celebrities should be announced in the middle of the ceremony as some people got bored after 2 hours and left. A third and more important point is to re-assess the categories and modify/remove/add some based on the online community’s feedback.

Picture Courtesy of BeirutNightLife

As for the After Party, I have nothing to say except it was awesome! Rodge In The Mix is a great DJ and it was one heck of a party! To make things even better, we got the AfterParty CD in the RagMag goodies bag and I am playing it as we speak.


On a last note, I attended the SMAs to have fun and hopefully win something and I ended up having a great time and winning a tremendous award. I could go on and on pointing out minor details that could have ruined it for me but I believe everyone agrees that we were all there to have fun and create a buzz online.

Thank you all for the support, and see you next year!