I normally respect traffic laws and I’m not a reckless driver but I sometimes do check my phone when I’m stuck in traffic and the cars are not moving. I also don’t think it’s wrong to answer your phone (using speakers or ugly blue-tooth headsets) but I heard this is not even allowed in the new traffic law which doesn’t really make sense.
In all cases, I was driving from Adonis towards Kaslik last weekend and we were barely moving when I received a phone call that I had to take, so as I was about to pick up the phone and put it on speaker my wife notifies me that there’s a police officer on his bike passing right next to us, so I quickly gave her the phone hoping that he didn’t notice anything. As it turns out, there were two cops actually, the first one on the bike was texting or playing on his smartphone and the other was looking the other way. It’s definitely not the first time I spot cops breaking the law, but it would have been the first time that I am fined by a policeman breaking the law himself. I was wondering how I would have reacted to that if he truly had stopped me. Few hours later, I received the above picture via whatsapp.
Needless to say, we should still abide by the new traffic law and hope that everyone, including policemen and politicians, do the same. Things have improved drastically in the past couple of months but it’s still too early to judge success of this new law.
This is an old video where Jumblatt appeared on a famous TV show on LBC and was asked to call a random pastry shop and order two huge Knefe platters to be delivered within 5 minutes. I think Jumblatt should consider doing his own comedy show after he retires from politics as he’s quite hilarious on Twitter lately. Moreover, he’s been in politics since ever and is powerful enough to come up with jokes all day on other politicians and get away with them.
Lebanese Memes shared earlier today a short video of a Lebanese nun (probably abroad) playing the derbaké. She reminded me of the singing nun who won Italy’s the Voice last year and she should consider applying to the Voice because she’s pretty cool.
Funnily enough, some people didn’t like the fact that she’s a religious person trying to look cool and have fun. I wish these people would mind their own business and leave that nun alone because she’s already doing a better job (religiously speaking) by being a nun and dedicating her life to serving her church and helping people.
Check her out [here] and if anyone has a longer video, please do share.
This is an old funny video from 2010 that shows Hitler’s reaction when he finds out he couldn’t get a table at Skybar. I am sharing it because it shows how popular Skybar was back then and how it managed to stay the hottest place in Beirut ever since it opened. Everyone wants to go to Skybar and its closure this summer is a huge loss to the nightlife scene and Lebanon as a whole.
I truly hope its owners have plans to relocate to a different spot until they repair the damages caused by the fire.
There are things you can get used to in Lebanon, like traffic and reckless driving but some things just don’t make any sense and no matter how many times I see them, I can’t get over them:
Here are some of the things that annoy me on my way from Jounieh to Achrafieh every day:
1- All of Jounieh’s intersections don’t make any sense. They just cause more traffic.
2- The military base in the highly touristic ATCL area. Why don’t they relocate to a calmer and less crowded area?
3- The small adjacent road to the Dbayyeh – Antelias highway.
4- The ISF headquarters on the main Dbayyeh maritime road: Every time a car is entering the base, recruiting new people or holding an event, they stop traffic and it’s hell. Even the army guys like to jog on that maritime road for some reason blocking one of the lanes. Military bases should be in remote areas in my opinion for their own safety and our convenience.
5- The 200 bumps at the end of the Marina Dbayyeh maritime road. I’m eager to meet the guy who decided to put 6 consecutive bumps there.
6- The wasta shortcut road: This is what I call a traffic booster in Lebanon.
7- The unfinished Nahr el Mot bridge portrayed in the picture above. I also want to meet the engineer who designed the bridge to end that way.
8- People crossing the highway underneath the pedestrian bridge.
9- The very illogical Nahr el Mot main bridge in the middle of the road.
10- The Beirut Saifi (Kataeb) intersection where cars are coming in every direction.
I am going to label this post under “Humor” because this is an absolutely ridiculous list that makes no sense whatsoever and I’m quite surprised that the Telegraph and Time decided to share it without double checking some of its findings. Out of the 64 cities categorized as “extreme risk” in Verisk Maplecroft’s new Global Alerts Dashboard (GAD), there are 6 Lebanese cities: Beirut, Byblos, Aley, Baabda, Jounieh and Zahlé.
Noting that the rankings are based on “an online mapping and data portal that logs and analyses every reported terrorism incident down to levels of 100m² worldwide”, and that is based on the “intensity and frequency of attacks in the 12 months following February 2014, combined with the number and severity of incidents in the previous five years”, I am not sure how cities like Byblos, Aley, Baabda, Jounieh and Zahlé made the list while Tripoli wasn’t even mentioned. When was the last time you heard about an attack in Jounieh, Byblos or Baabda? The areas aren’t even close to conflict areas like Zahle is. Moreover, how is Beirut more at risk of a terror attack than Damascus?
Funnily enough, I was just praising Jbeil yesterday for winning the Arab Tourism Capital Title for 2016 and now it’s on some world’s deadliest cities list.
Update: I am going to email the Telegraph and Time and ask them to revise this article.
There’s a guy on Facebook called “Anthony Touma” who has been getting tons of messages and friend requests ever since Anthony Touma (the singer) won the 2015 edition of Dancing With The Stars. He doesn’t seem too upset about it as he’s been getting deliveries in less than 10 minutes. Check out what he wrote as it’s hilarious.
When I first read the title of this article, I checked the date to make sure it’s not an old post, then I read the whole thing 3 times just to make sure it’s not a satire post and I still can’t believe that someone, Robert Fisk in that case, would believe that “Beirut has the chance to revive its steam-age role as a key transit hub”, and that Syria’s relaunching is going to happen sometime soon and have a positive impact on Lebanon. I mean seriously? A Tunnel from Baabdat to Chtaura? A train from Beirut through the Bekaa, Syria and the Gulf and all the way to Europe? Who are we kidding here?
Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous, an Austrian politics professor at Notre Dame University in Lebanon and engineer by profession, told his Unesco audience that “railways are a regional, international issue because infrastructure development is one of the keys to the future of the Middle East”. Talking later, he was more specific. “The majority of the freight for re-launching Syria after the war will obviously go through Beirut. The Syrian port of Lattakia is too small. The reopening of the old Tripoli-Homs train line, which is still relatively intact, could be done quite quickly.
Now the funniest part is how Mr. Maalouf is “relying on the sheer frustration of the automobile-intoxicated Lebanese to bring back the trains”. Don’t get me wrong as I have the utmost respect for the Ecuador-born Lebanese filmmaker Elias Maalouf, but Lebanese have been cursing yet electing the same people for more than 20 years now, and they seem to be fine living without a president, without infrastructure, water, electricity or internet. They couldn’t care less about trains being renovated or turned into UN heritage sites and they are building houses and nightclubs all over them (unless the government paves a new road over the railway).
All in all, the poster below is the closest thing we will get to seeing trains in Lebanon again. Enjoy the [article] and keep dreaming Lebanon
There are three things that came to mind while watching this video:
1- Where are the cops on that road? It’s one of the busiest ones in all of Lebanon.
2- Why doesn’t he have a license plate on the bike?
3- Last but most importantly, who’s the guy filming all these stunts? Why doesn’t he try to film them as landscape?