Category Archives: Lebanon

Origins of the Lebanese Dabké

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Picture from Kadmous

Here’s a nice post by on the similarities between the traditional Lebanese Dabké and old Phoenician Dance rituals based on Sir Gardener Wilkison’s studies on The Historic Illustrations of Dancing from 3300 B.C. to 1911 A.D.

Read the full article [Here].

Of the Phoenicians, we have some illustrations of their dance, which was apparently of a serious nature , judging by the examples which we possess, such as that from Cyprus representing three figures in hooded cowls dancing around a piper. It is a dance around a centre, as is also that from Idalium in Cyprus. The latter is engraved around a bronze bowl and is evidently a planet and sun dance before a goddess, in a temple; the sun being the central object around which they dance, accompanied by the double pipes, the harp, and tabour. The ASSYRIANS ( presently known as syrians of whom Syria Got its name ) , their neighbours , probably danced as much as the other nations, but amongst the many monuments that have been discovered there is little dancing shown, and they were evidently more proud of their campaigns and their hunting than of their dancing. A stern and strong people, although they undoubtedly had this amusement, we know little about it.


Open Letter From Lebanese Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud To British Ambassador Tom Fletcher

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tourists-leave-lebanon - Copy
Drawing By Sareen

It seems Karl wasn’t the only one who replied back to British Ambassador Tom Fletcher’s Open Letter to Lebanon as Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud posted a letter on his Facebook Page after Karl’s reply.

I have 3 things to say about this letter:

– “Love Lebanon, and No Other” is not meant to be as a monopoly. We should love our country before any other. I am not sure how the Minister made the comparison between exclusive agencies and this slogan but it’s a terrible one.

– I fully agree with the minister that our real enemy is Corruption and I ask him to step out of all political blocks accused of corruption, including his current block.

– I loved the “Freedom of Information Act” idea and I would support it fully but I doubt that the UK Ambassador or any Ambassador in Lebanon can help implementing it. The Minister should work on gaining the Lebanese people’s support on this matter before anyone else.

Open letter to Ambassador Tom Fletcher

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

I read your open letter and I read Karl’s remarks with interest , I am a minister in the Lebanese government , and I happen to be a British citizen due to the fact that I lived and worked in your country for years .

I know where Karl is coming from; I appreciate not only his excellent command of the English language, but also his pride which should be without prejudice. I do agree with some of his remarks but at the same time I agree with most of yours. ,.
In my country we find it difficult to share, we hate sharing, we love exclusive agencies. One of the Christian Maronite political parties came up with a motto “love Lebanon, and no other”. We love monopolies.

I have a lot of respect for your country. Great Britain received me, and many other foreigners with open arms, and we received all of what the country has to offer exactly like every British citizen .Furthermore I do not want to fall in the trap of comparison. I love Lebanon my country, I respect my people, I think like you we probably have one of the most interesting cultures in the world, but this will not stop me respecting and appreciating other cultures.
We in Lebanon, at this stage of our long history feel very vulnerable, and we have little space to maneuver when it comes to relations with other countries. This should be clear for everyone to see, Lebanon is not only about Lebanese living in Lebanon, we have a duty towards the Lebanese Diaspora, many of them with dual citizenship, living in other countries around us and overseas.
Mr. Ambassador, yes your help is needed, but let us concentrate on the one enemy from within, this enemy is holding us back and keeping us from achieving any growth, it is the real enemy, more powerful than any other:” Corruption”.

I have been watching all our friends specifically our friends from the free and democratic countries, trying to help through financing NGOs among other things. I think they can do more.
I would like to suggest, a new approach supported by the United Kingdom towards our members of parliament. We need to have a new law concerning the freedom of information. The law should be simple; anything to do with public money should be published on the internet with free access to all. This will also help any country to achieve more transparency, it is to a certain extent available in your country, but transparency in my country is still a luxury we think we can live without.

I call on you Mr. Ambassador to adopt my unloved orphan “ Freedom of Information Act “ and help us by lobbying with all your friends , and ours, to bring this dream to reality. We need all the support we can get to achieve this goal.
This law if passed and applied will radically reduce corruption and will make Lebanon the dream country it should and could be.

Fady Abboud

In Pictures: Discover Gemmayze by Achrafieh2020

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Discover Gemmayze was amazing today! Thousands of people in the streets, plenty of artists, lots of fun and activities and more importantly no cars polluting the air. I am still holding high hopes for the Achrafieh2020 initiative and I wish we could have monthly car-free days in several streets in Beirut and outside it.

Here are few selected pictures from today’s event:

Achrafieh2020 committee around MP Nadim Gemayel – via Achrafieh2020

Lebanese food stands all over the streets



Awesome paintings – Very Talented Artist

Le Chef in person

The Awesome people of Donner Sang Compter

Kaak Kaak

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A (Bloody) Car-Free Day In Tripoli

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Picture from ManalHamwi

I headed to Gemmayze today for the car-free day organized by Achrafieh2020 and everyone was having fun and enjoying their day, specially the children. Unfortunately though, the past two days have been also car-free in Tripoli due to the renewed clashes between Beb el Tebbane and Jabal Mohsen. The fights are getting worse every time and innocent civilians are paying the price every time. Nine people were killed (including 1 soldier) so far and over 50 were injured.

Students getting evacuated from school yesterday

Some of the pictures I am receiving are horrible and I’d rather not post them to be honest. All I know the Lebanese Army should either let the two sides kill each other and then intervene or storm both camps and kick these gunmen out of the city.

Sunni Muslim fighters stand with their weapons inside a building inTripoli, northern Lebanon
Picture taken from Reuters

No Electricity in Mansourieh For A Month Now!

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When I first heard the report and knowing how much MTV likes Gebran Bassil, I thought I’d ask my friends who live in Mansourieh first and it turned out to be true. They were getting 0 electricity hours for weeks and were living off the generators. As of last week things started to improve but the cable is not fixed yet.

Two questions I have to ask here:
1- I was told that a private company cut the cable by mistake or something like that. Why didn’t MTV do the extra effort and investigate the reason behind this delay? Why didn’t they contact the ministry or the municipality?

2- How come there’s no mention of this crisis anywhere in the news? I couldn’t find anything about it on the Minister’s Facebook Page or the EDL website as well.

On a last note and speaking of shortages, some parts of Keserwan are still without water due to the works in Sad Chabrou7. I have relatives who live there and have been buying water (Locally Not From Cyprus yet :P) for the past 2 weeks now.

Update: There’s apparently water shortage in MonteVerde as well, here’s why:


Gemmayze Car-Free Day: Full Program

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Here’s the full program for tomorrow’s Discover Gemmayze. This is a great event and a great initiative so I hope to see you all there!

PS: Don’t forget to use the hashtags #Achrafieh2020 and #DiscoverGemmayze in your tweets and IG Photos. I will be posting a lot of pictures on my Instagram @LeNajib and BlogBaladi’s Facebook Page.

Full Program:
Stage One Facing Tabkha
11:00 to 12:00 – DJ Marc
12:00 to 1:00 – DJ Kiks
1:00 to 2:00 – DJ Fouad
2:00 to 3:00 – DJ Chris
3:00 to 4:00 – DJ Rodge
4:00 to 6:00 – DJ Kiks/DJ MiniB

Stage Two Facing the Stairs
11:30 to 12:30 – ZUMBA With Pia Afif
12:45 to 1:15 – Elie Hajj’s Kids show for 1/2 hour
1:30 to 2:45 – Uprising (Band)
3:00 to 3:30 – Hip Hop Show
3:30 to 4:30 – Jack and the band
4:30 to 5:30 – Odd Man Out
5:30 to 6:30 – Joey & Co

Entertainement and Animations:
10:00 to 7pm – Painters exhibition near Chez Paul
12:00 to 4pm – Graffitis with Eps and M3allem
10:00 to 7pm – Wine Tasting – St Nicolas Stairs
10:00 to 7pm – Love Lock wall – St Nicolas Stairs
2:00 to 3:00 – 161st Live Painting with Bernard Renno – St Nicolas Stairs
10:00 to 4:30 – Games near the Red Cross
10:00 to 7:00 – Red Cross First Aid Classes – Red Cross Quarters
10:00 to 1:00 – Mime in all the street
3:00 to 6:00 – Stilt walkers and Laser man
1:00 to 2:00 – Fanfare
10:00 to 5:00 – Kid’s Corner near Santa Church and Corner of Dagher Villa
4:00 to 5:00 – Tribute to Maroun Naccache near Santa Church – Excerpts from “L’ Avare” de Moliere with Mike Ayvazian and Joe.

Lebanese Designers Marc Dibeh and Marc Baroud’s Wires Series Among The Best of Design Miami 2013

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The Wall Street Journal named Marc Dibeh and Marc Baroud’s Wires Series as one of five standout attractions from the annual exhibition of contemporary design, which is taking place in Miami between December 4 and 8.

Marc Baroud and Marc Dibeh, two well established Lebanese designers, are bringing forth a display of household items in a series titled ‘Wires’, where, quite literally, an industrial metal pipe is used to create each item; from a mirror, to a tray, to a series of differently designed shelves, this single tube of pipe is cut, bent, and melded into intricately curved shapes, thus cre- ating a minimalistic design that rids the eye of any excess aesthetic additions.

My favorite object by Marc Dibeh is the Love Bird. It’s a table-top lamp that has a sexy toy (Dildo) stowed in its side.

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You can read the full article [Here] and check out their works [Here].