Category Archives: Events

Does It Really Matter If We Say Faraya Instead Of Kfardebian?

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ski Picture via Ralph Saade

I was checking the Red Bull Jump & Freeze event details on Facebook and saw a post done by a member of Kfardebian’s municipality asking the admin to change the location from Faraya Mzaar to Mzaar Ski Resort Kfardebian or else the event will be stopped. I wasn’t surprised to see that post as Kfardebian’s mayor and municipality have been monitoring Facebook (and other channels) for quite some time and asking people to correctly tag their town instead of Faraya, but what I didn’t appreciate was the approach and the tone they’re using.

Legally and geographically speaking, the ski slopes are all located in Kfardebian not Faraya, but we’ve been saying Faraya since ever maybe because the name is shorter and easier to say. Nevertheless, Kfardebian’s municipality has every right to clarify this misconception but they should do it in a way that doesn’t backfire on them. After all, everyone who’s going to ski in Faraya is practically going to Kfardebian as there are no ski slopes in Faraya so there’s not really a competition between the two towns. This being said, I don’t think they should threaten to cancel events in public and the comments on that post show exactly what I mean. If all Lebanese start saying Faraya just to upset the municipality and they are already doing so, then all this work would go in vain. Ironically, when Yves Nawfal was killed in Kfardebian and one of the media outlets mentioned Faraya, it was Faraya’s municipality asking to correct the location.

Speaking of this unfortunate event, Kfardebian witnessed three tragic incidents this year that I believe need more attention from the municipality than wrongly tagged photos or events:

1- Yves Nawfal‘s murder highlighted the need for further security in Kfardebian-Mzaar. Police or municipality patrols should be scheduled maybe and I think the Lebanese Army checkpoint should be put back at the town’s entrance.
2- Melanie Freiha‘s ski accident and the imminent need of setting up medical Centers and clinics (or a helicopter) near ski resorts in Lebanon.
3- The unfortunate story of a young man who got beaten up for trying to clear the road for an ambulance. There should be better traffic management specially during weekends and an emergency plan to clear the way for ambulances.

All in all, I understand and support the Kfardebian municipality’s aim to clarify this misconception we all have, and I’ve learned to tag Kfardebian in my pictures, but I don’t think they need to be that aggressive about it and I urge them to look into more serious issues (with the authorities and concerned parties) to avoid tragic events like the ones that took place during the past few months.

kfardebian

Update: I added this old report that Zaven did on this matter and that explains where the Faraya-Mzaar name comes from.

[YouTube]

Red Bull Jump & Freeze Finally Happening In Lebanon!

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ballerina

I’ve been asking Red Bull for years to organize a Jump & Freeze or a Flugtag event in Lebanon and now that it’s finally happening, I won’t be here to participate in it! I’ve watched Jump & Freeze from all over the world and it’s a lot of fun. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, it’s as simple as that:
1- Form a team of 3 and dress up in the most creative costume you can find.
2- Make yourself a crazy little vehicle.
3- Slide down the Mzaar slope as fast as you can and pull a cool trick while jumping into the freezing pool.

Red Bull will be choosing 20 of the best teams to participate. You can read more about the rules [here] and apply using this [form]. Red Bull Jump & Freeze will be hitting the slopes of Mzaar Ski Resort in Kfardebian on the 1st of March 2015.

I will be in Barcelona that weekend so I won’t be able to make it, but I am trying to convince my brother to join in with a couple of friends and form the “Baladi team”. I already have few ideas for the vehicle and costumes.

[YouTube]

Beirut Marathon Officially One Of The 26 Exclusive Silver Races In The World!

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marathon

The BDL Beirut Marathon has been promoted to a SILVER Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federation after it met all the organization’s quality requirements. Becoming a silver label marathon is very difficult and requires the participation of elite athletes, performing doping tests, ensuring proper road closures and safety measures, as well media coverage and others. Noting that there are only 26 other exclusive silver races in the world, this is a major achievement for Lebanon and the Beirut Marathon people who have been working for four years to earn this award.

Needless to say, I am definitely a huge supporter of this awesome annual run as it promotes peace, unity, causes and attracts more and more Lebanese every year. I run the 10k usually and my goal this year is to complete the race in less than 1 hour.

Congrats to all the Beirut Marathon people, to the runners, sponsors and all the supporters!

Miss Lebanon National Costume From 2011 Till 2014 At Miss Universe

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pic3

It won’t be easy for Miss Lebanon to win Miss Universe anytime soon but since we have all these world renowned Lebanese fashion designers, it shouldn’t be hard to come up with a nicer national costume and have a chance at winning the Best National Costume award.

Sally Jreij’s costume was way too simple when compared to the [extravagant costumes] other Misses wore. Maybe we should let Madonna design the national costume for next year lol!

2013

2012

Here’s a sample of what other national costumes looked like:

aga

Hiba Tawaji Explains Why She Participated In The Voice France

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PS: In case the original link to Hiba’s performance is broken, here’s another one. [Hiba Tawaji At The Voice France]

When I first heard that Hiba Tawaji was participating in the Voice France, I was also surprised and did post that she doesn’t need to go to such a talent show with random judges to prove herself, but that I will be supporting her if she does. Hiba sees the Voice as an opportunity for her to prove herself in Europe and worldwide and she might be right. She wants to be there and we should support her not bash her now that she’s competing against other talents, and trust me not all of them are amateurs. (Check Battista Acquaviva for example).

Keep in mind that while Hiba is known in Lebanon and few Arab countries, most people outside have no idea who the hell that girl is. The worldwide exposure and acclaim she got from these few minutes on-stage in France is more than she could have ever achieved maybe and this is a big deal for every artist or singer. Moreover, I am pretty sure she’s not the first professional to compete in the Voice; After all, it’s a win-win situation for TF1 who’s getting viewers from around the world now and for the candidate who’s gaining exposure to new markets.

[YouTube]

Internationally-acclaimed DJ Jamie Jones At O1NE Beirut This Saturday!

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Jamie Jones

Jamie Jones was awarded the 2014 Best Deep House DJ and is ranked #12 on [ResidentAdvisor]. He performed at Burning man, Glastonbury Tomorroworld last year, he’s been hosting his own parties at Ibiza’s DC10 nightclub recently and he’s coming to Beirut this Saturday to play at the amazing O1NE venue in Beirut!

Check out his beats on [SoundCloud] and here’s a link to the O1NE [event].

[YouTube]

George Clooney Pays Tribute To His Wife Amal Alamuddin At The 2015 Golden Globes

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It appears that Amal was the star of the Golden Globes show even though she wasn’t nominated for anything. When asked on the red carpet what she was wearing, Amal ignored the question and pointed out that there’s a #JeSuisCharlie button on her purse in solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo murder.

Check out what Clooney said about his wife (Start At Minute 3:20) and The Guardian‘s spot on tweet below:

[YouTube]

PS: Here’s how Ellen DeGeneres reacted to Clooney’s emotional speech haha!

guardian

خلي_صوفتك_حمرا# (#‎khali_souftak_hamra‬): An Initiative To Help Refugees In Hamra

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syria-refugee-snow_2765819b

A campaign was launched to support the refugees affected by the Zeina storm in Hamra. Leb4refugees will be collecting warm clothes, wool sweaters, blankets and food this Saturday, January 10, 2014 in Kantari street, next to Haigazian University – Hamra. You can call +9613315500 or +96170 871 236 for further information and donate [here].

I think this is the perfect answer, even if unintentional, to counter the “Hamra isn’t Lebanese” article that was posted few days ago and was heavily criticized. We are having the worst winter storm in years and thousands of refugees are left without warm clothes, food or heating.

A Full [2014] List Of New Year’s Eve Parties Happening In Lebanon

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new year

If you are still undecided on where to celebrate the new year tomorrow, our friends at Lebtivity compiled a list of over 200 events that you can choose from with all the details needed. Check them out [Here].

Moreover, if you want to dig deeper and check events per area and even per budget, check out this great website [newyearlebanon.tel] that my friend Elie set up few years back. It shows parties in Beirut and outside Beirut and you can even look by budget.

Personally speaking, I hate going out to a restaurant or club on New Year’s Eve. I always prefer to rent a small chalet or an apartment in the mountains or go to some friend’s house and celebrate. This year we will be welcoming 2015 in Zahle!