Category Archives: Events

Distributing Gifts To Kids In Need And Spreading Joy: What Christmas Is All About

Posted By :

emo3

Christmas is all about joy, family and children, but it’s also about living the Christmas spirit and giving to the needy. It’s about remembering those who cannot afford to buy gifts, those who don’t have enough money to set up a Christmas tree or even to invite the family over for dinner. It’s about putting a smile on the face of a child who has never celebrated Christmas or received a gift.

I know it’s hard for most of us to imagine Christmas without a tree, decorations, food and gifts but a lot of poor families cannot afford all that, and I believe we should all get used to helping needy families during this season and all year long if possible.

truck

There are many ways that you can help, many charities that you can support and many initiatives that you can help promote and that I will be blogging about of course, but one of my favorites this year in Lebanon is LeMall’s #TurnChristmasAround campaign. LeMall basically got a huge Christmas truck, teamed up with “Teach A Child” and “Joue Club” and they are touring around the country visiting different schools and bringing Christmas to the kids who can’t have it.

A friend of mine joined them yesterday in their first stop in a school located North of Lebanon and shared with me a lot of heartwarming pictures. He told me some of them had never received a gift in their life and there were no words to describe how happy these kids were.

xmas1

The truck will be touring from December 14 till December 18 and I am doing my best to try and join them in one of the visits to capture these children’s reactions. Since I’ve gained a bit of weight lately, I could even dress up as Santa lol! If you are interested in joining, you can track the truck on their [Facebook Page] and join them. There are planned stops in the North, South, Zahle, Keserwan, Achrafieh and Zouk.

Let’s try to make Christmas merry and real for those in need this year.

111

Did You Like This Year’s Christmas Tree In Beirut’s Martyrs Square?

Posted By :

GOPR0475_1449903259303_high

Yesterday was the official lighting of the Christmas Tree in DownTown Beirut. This year’s tree is much nicer than last year but I still don’t find it appealing to be honest neither during the day or at night. I don’t like the ornaments nor the small trees placed around it.

Martyrs Square is one of the most visible areas in Beirut and there’s a huge space around the tree that could have been used to come up with a much nicer and richer decoration but for some reason no one’s interested in pulling a Christmas Decoration like the one in Jbeil for example.

20151212_085031

20151212_085033

GOPR0472_1449903259303_high

Annahar

patyl1 via Patyl

Jbeil (Byblos) Unveils Its Christmas Tree And It’s Even Better Than Last Year!

Posted By :

jbeil8 Lighting Up The Christmas Tree – By Michel Kosseifi

Last year’s 97-foot-high Jbeil Christmas tree was featured in the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian and was truly one of the most beautiful trees we’ve seen in Lebanon, but this year’s decoration is even better and the work done by the Jbeil Municipality is quite impressive!

I didn’t have the chance to visit yet but until then, enjoy these pictures from yesterday’s launch. Here’s also a [video] you can watch.

jbeil9 via LiveLoveByblos

jbeil2 via StudioTechnoMix

jbeil1 via StudioTechnoMix

Here’s how the new design was explained:

expl

I love that they kept the old tree and placed it near the sea castle.

jj via BrandonIdeas

Christmas Decoration At ABC Achrafieh: Magical As Always

Posted By :

20151118_174506

ABC Achrafieh revealed their Christmas decoration last week in the presence of Nadine Labaki, who was appointed as ABC’s new CSR Ambassador, and the CCCL children. ABC is “Home For Christmas” this year and the decoration is stunning as always.

Enjoy the pictures and try to pass by and check out the decoration before it gets really crowded in December.

IMG-20151118-WA0032 Nadine Labaki unveiling the Christmas decoration.

20151118_172305

20151118_171433

IMG-20151118-WA0034 ABC CEO Robert Fadel and Nadine Labaki with the CCCL children.

20151118_172105

20151118_172542

20151118_172554

20151118_171533

Continue reading

Lebanon’s 72nd Independence Day

Posted By :

google Google celebrating our Independence day with a doodle

Here’s a nice roundup of some of the Lebanese ads, videos, posters, caricatures about Lebanon’s Independence that were shared in the last couple of days.

DSC لبنان_بدمي via Donner Sang Compter Lebanon

Diwan Food always unites us

Sony Lebanon I love this! via SonyLebanon

Almaza Keef ma kenet b7ebbak, bi beertak b7ebbak. Via Almaza

Continue reading

The Lebanese National Anthem Set As a Ringtone For All Mobile Users

Posted By :

alfa Alfa set up a huge Lebanese Flag to celebrate Lebanon’s independence

Try to call anyone on their mobile today and you will notice the national anthem playing as a ringtone. This was set by the Telecom Ministry and both Alfa & Touch to celebrate Lebanon’s independence. It’s a nice move but I hope it won’t last more than 1 day because it gets annoying especially if you make a lot of calls during the day.

Speaking of celebrations, Fairouz will celebrate her 80th birthday tomorrow, one day before Lebanon’s independence. In case you missed it last year, here’s a [beautiful animated video] about Fairouz.

fairouz

Leave The Beirut Marathon Alone

Posted By :

marathon

I’ve been hearing a lot of attacks on the Beirut Marathon in the last couple of days, and how it’s portraying a fake image of Beirut and it’s a waste of money. A lot of people were complaining about the fees as well (40,000 LL for the fun run) saying that it’s a rip off and should be free. To be honest, 40,000 LL is indeed expensive but most of the tickets that are sold are usually sponsored by banks, NGOs and companies and most of the runners end up paying nothing or as little as 10,000 LL to participate so this is really not a big deal.

As for the Marathon itself, I really don’t understand why anyone would attack such a beautiful and successful event, especially after the BMA got promoted to be a SIlVER Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federation which is a major achievement noting that there are only 26 other exclusive silver races in the world.

This is what I wrote last year about the same topic:

I love the Beirut Marathon and everything it stands for. I look forward to it every year and I try to promote it in the best way possible as I truly believe it’s a great sporting event that all Lebanese should take part in. It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to organize successful marathons one year after the other and to attract more people, and the Beirut Marathon Association has managed to do all that and more. Moreover, BMA’s president May El-Khalil is an inspiration to many in Lebanon and around the world and she is one of the key reasons behind Beirut Marathon’s success and I highly respect and admire this lady.

The participants are running for unity, fun, glory, achievement, promoting wellness and healthy living, for causes and charitable organizations and more importantly for the benefit of Lebanon and all the Lebanese. Every year, we have new causes to run for, inspiring runners to look up to and new challenges to overcome.

The Beirut Marathon is something we should be proud of and take part in or at least encourage if we don’t like to run or walk.

cholera

The BMA has nothing to do with the garbage crisis but it’s a good occasion to spread awareness on this issue as well as others. If you don’t like running or think it’s a silly event, there’s no need to bash it and call it useless especially that it’s one of the very few things that still brings people together in Lebanon. We run for fun, for causes, for NGOs, for peace and most importantly we run together.

Last but not least, if you think that the Beirut Marathon is showing a fake image of Beirut, then you obviously haven’t been to Beirut recently.

14-Year-Old Lebanese Wins Apple’s WWDC 2015 Scholarship

Posted By :

Jake  el Mir Jake al-Mir is only 14 years old and has developed two apps already – Picture from the DailyStar

Jake al-Mir is a remarkable 14-year old Lebanese high school student that taught himself how to code at age 12. He came up with an app called “Emoji Escape” two years ago and was invited this year by Apple to attend its World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco thanks to his app on speeding and driving “NoSpeed”.

Jake is one of 350 students worldwide to qualify for a paid scholarship to the conference and presumably the only Arab participant at the event but I can’t confirm that. Some are claiming he is also the youngest developer to be awarded Apple’s WWDC 2015 scholarship, which is awesome news!

How does the “NoSpeed” app work?
app

Jake Al-Mir developed the “NoSpeed” app to tackle the problem of speeding and try to decrease car accidents especially in his home country Lebanon. The app functions even when the mobile phone is locked by sending the driver a notification whenever he exceeds the speed limit, therefore also helping people avoid speeding tickets.

Here are the key functionalities:
• Track the speed of your car and when it surpasses the speed limit it will send you a voice notification to slow down. IT EVEN WORKS WHEN YOUR iPhone IS TURNED OFF (IN BACKGROUND)
• Customize your speedometer with your favorite color
• Track your altitude while driving
• Benefit from the included compass
• Switch between MPH or Km/h mode

It’s a smart idea to send notifications when the phone is locked but I think there are apps that do the same thing already. However Jake’s app is different as it sends a voice notification that plays without the driver’s intervention. Of course I know for a fact that new cars have smart systems that allow drivers to set thresholds and get alerts for almost anything but I don’t know if they are linked to a mobile app.

Nevertheless, Jake is only 14 and is obviously very talented. I studied Computer Science and I don’t even know how to start writing an app while he has two apps on iTunes already!

Thumbs up to Jake for this awesome achievement and I hope we will see him working for Apple one day.

“NoSpeed” is available on the Appstore for $ 0.99.

KOHAR: Celebrating Armenian Heritage Through An Outstanding & Magical Performance

Posted By :

20151031_223240

I’m sure you’ve all noticed how the Forum de Beyrouth was beautifully lit up and transformed in the past few weeks to accommodate KOHAR’s performances. KOHAR originally started as an independent musical and cultural institution by Lebanese-Armenian, Harout Khatchadourian, also known as The Armenian culture patron, and grew to become “an important cornerstone in the unique musical rendition of Armenian alphabet and culture”. KOHAR is famous for its recordings of All Time Armenian Favorites and for their visually and acoustically appealing concerts.

20151031_221702

I’m not very familiar with Armenian culture to be honest (except for the food part), and I wasn’t really sure that I would enjoy listening to Armenian songs for 2 hours especially that I don’t understand the language, but a friend of mine got me tickets and insisted that I should attend and that I would love the show and she was absolutely right!

To begin with, I don’t remember the last time I attended an event as organized as this one. I left home early expecting traffic before the Forum De Beyrouth but there were none and we easily went in and parked. Everyone was seated on time, doors were closed at 8:30 as stated on the tickets and the show kicked off right on time. Moreover, the 15-min intermission didn’t last an hour like most concerts in Lebanon and people went back to their seats on time.

20151031_225008_HDR

Moving on to the concert, the setup was magical, the performances were outstanding, songs were presented with an amazing choreography and visual effects (3D Projections) and there was a great attention to details! Throughout two hours, 165 musicians, 16 solo performers and 15 dancers entertained an enchanted crowd and kept us asking for more. The whole experience was truly one of a kind and is highly recommended for any music lover and you definitely don’t need to understand Armenian to enjoy the show.

The only part where I felt a bit weird was when we were all handed flags of The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia and everyone stood and started singing and waving. I obviously couldn’t relate to the song or that part of Armenia’s history, but I did stand up and waved as well 🙂

20151031_204132

All in all, the story behind KOHAR is beautiful and inspiring and the concerts perfectly reflect the devotion and passion of the people behind it. The performances are over this year but I will make sure to spread the word and encourage everyone to go watch KOHAR next year.

KOHAR was founded in 1997 as an independent musical and cultural institution by the Armenian culture patron, Harout Khatchadourian of Lebanon, who along with his brothers, Shahe and Nar Khatchadourian, entirely sustain the activities of KOHAR and all its concerts in tribute to their parents; in memory of their late father Aram and in Honor of their mother KOHAR.

Here are few pictures and a couple of short videos from the show:

20151031_225043_HDR

20151031_204535

20151031_205831

Where To Spend Halloween [2015] In Lebanon?

Posted By :

Here are my five favorite Halloween events for the weekend. You can check out the full list of Halloween events and parties in Beirut [here].

1- Mix FM’s Decadeath: It’s hosted by DJ Rodge and is one of the biggest Halloween parties in Beirut every year. For tables reservations: Call 70999104.
zombie

2- Halloween in the TIME OF CHOLERA at Gardenstate: You can always count on Gardenstate for the best themed parties in town. For more info call: 71 075575
cholera

3- ARCADE APOCALYPSE at CosmoCity: Aliens have landed in Beirut to exterminate boredom and they’re already organizing parties.
arcade

4- THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE Halloween Party at Villa Paradiso: Party this Halloween for a good cause and help raise money for the Lebanese Red Cross. Reserve on: 03-555722 / 03-291321
halloween

5- Colonel Beer Halloween Party: Kick ass venue, great beer and awesome food. They are serving pumpkin beer for the occasion. More info: 03 743 543
haunted

There are also parties planned at Junkyard in Mar Mikhail, The Angry Monkey in Gemmayze and Uruguay Street. Bar 360 at Le Gray Hotel which reopened last week is also organizing a Halloween night. If you like pumpkin carving, there’s an event at Alice Edde Shop in Jbeil on Saturday Oct 31 2015 from 04:00 pm until 07:00 pm.