Category Archives: Information

Zoomaal’s Must See Film Challenge

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zoomal

Zoomal is kicking off a challenge called “The Must See Film” to empower the film scene in the Arab world. This initiative aims at given an opportunity to filmmakers in the Middle East to present their project and get 1$ from Zoomal for every 1$ pledged by a funder. The rules are simple and explained below:

Geographical focus: Films must be directed by Arab filmmakers. We encourage everyone from the region to apply
Impact: The project needs to be innovative and/or pioneering. Where unique stories from the Arab World are highlighted. Stories that are told in ways beyond the traditional feature film are encouraged to apply.
Up to $25,000: Only projects that require a maximum budget of $25,000 will be allowed to apply in the challenge.
Not Zoomaal Prohibited: project must pass Zoomaal’s screening criteria that ban charity, religious, political, alcohol, adult, and tobacco projects, while focusing primarily on creative and sustainable development projects in the Arab world.

Based on previous challenges, matched funded challenges get 5 times more funding than normal sponsorships so this is a unique opportunity for all film makers to present their project and maybe get the needed money to finish their movie.

Check out more details [Here].

2014 Social Media Stats in The Middle East

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[YouTube]

Here are some of the interest statistics as compiled by Hussein.

- 40.2% of the total Middle East population accesses the web,
- 88% of this online population uses social networking on a daily basis,
- In the Middle East, 65% of online users are men, 35% are women,
- 36% of the Middle East of online users are aged between 18 and 24 years,
- Jordan has the highest penetration rate of social networks across Internet users: 88%,
- The smartphones penetration rate in KSA is 63%,
- Facebook is the most popular social network with 94% of the Middle East’s social media users are on it,
- UAE has the highest penetration rate for Facebook (44%),
- 6.5 million users from the Middle East are on Twitter: 3.7 million are active users,
- Arabs produce around 10 million tweets everyday,
- KSA has a penetration rate of 33% for Twitter. It is the highest penetration of Twitter in the world,
- LinkedIn counts over 5.8 million users from the Middle East,
- UAE has the highest LinkedIn penetration with 1.6 million users: A number that has increased by 45% in only 1 year,
- There are 258 million daily views of Youtube videos. 90 million of them come from KSA.

Beirut Municipality Finally Names Street After Said Akl

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The decision to name Beirut streets after notable Lebanese was taken last year and we finally have a street for Said Akl. Too bad he couldn’t attend the ceremony given his old age (he’s already 103!).

Beirut Municipality Saturday celebrated naming a street in one of its neighborhoods after Lebanese poet and writer Said Akl, to mark his 103rd birthday. At the Sioufi Garden in Ashrafieh, the ceremony unveiled the newly named street and the memorial plaque that read: “Said Akl Street, a century of giving, creativity, honest nationalism.” Akl, who was unable to attend the ceremony, recorded an audio message about his hopes of seeing Lebanon “return to its glory.” [DailyStar]

Off To Ayia Napa

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I am currently in Cyprus and should be back on Sunday night. One of my closest friends is getting married next week so we’ve decided to go to Aiya Napa to celebrate his last single days in style. I’ll be online all the time but won’t be writing any posts before Sunday night or even Monday.

Until then, I’ll be posting pictures on my Instagram so add me if you aren’t already following me. [LeNajib]

Lebanese Man Sentenced To 9 Months In Prison For Beating And Torturing His Wife

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wife Tamara Harisi and her baby daughter

He should be jailed for 9 years not just 9 months but it’s better than nothing. However, I wonder who will protect the wife once the guy is freed from prison because even if she divorces him, he might still go after her. After all, he didn’t just beat her but he even tried to set her on fire but his lighter didn’t work fortunately.

Here’s what Tamara had to say [Video].

A husband that beat his wife to within an inch of her life was fined LL20 million and given nine months in prison, Lebanese women’s rights organization Kafa announced Tuesday, the latest in a number of brutal cases involving spouse abuse.

Hussein Ftouni, 30, tortured his 22-year-old wife Tamara Harisi for hours June 7, leaving her with severe bruises all over her face and body.

The case is the first example of the courts using a new law passed in April aimed at protecting women from domestic violence, but Maya Ammar, a legal adviser for Kafa (Enough), told The Daily Star that the sentence was not enough for the crime committed. [DailyStar]

No More Free Night Traffic For Ogero DSL Users

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According to this article, free night traffic is no longer be available for Ogero DSL internet users and will be replaced by a 2Mbps unlimited plan for 75,000LL (50$).

Given that the prices were slashed by more than 80% and the quotas were multiplied by 10 times for some packages, I don’t think taking out the free night traffic will affect a lot of users specially that there’s an unlimited option now for just 50$. In fact, it might improve the internet connection between midnight and 7am as the free night traffic was killing it. What remains to be seen is how this unlimited package works and how the fair usage policy will be applied.

Moreover, a lot of areas in Lebanon still can’t get more than a 1Mbps connection, which sucks and makes the new packages useless for them.

Racing Park Mtein (RPM Lebanon): A New Karting Circuit In Lebanon

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Picture via Biser3a

I was told about this circuit a week ago and I just looked it up and found it on Facebook. Racing Park Mtein is expected to open within weeks from now and is presumably the biggest kart track in the Middle East.

Even though Mtein is a bit far, but we needed a new karting track in Lebanon and the circuit looks amazing. I can’t wait to give it a try!

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Picture via Biser3a

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