Category Archives: Lebanon

Do You Know Anyone Who Doesn’t Like Abou Arab?

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kaak

There are probably two or three Kaak places on my way back home every day but I rarely pass by them. However, whenever I’m headed North, South or to the Bekaa, Abou Arab is a must-stop. It’s the first thing that comes to mind whether we are going on a road trip, attending a wedding, going to ski or to the beach, or just visiting friends.

I don’t know how Abou Arab became so popular but I can think of 5 reasons:

1- Their Kaaké is always hot and fresh.
2- Their Kaaké is delicious and fulfilling.
3- Abou Arab is very affordable (Kaak prices range from 1,000LL to 6,500LL)
4- Abou Arab branches are perfectly located, on both sides of the highway, whether you are headed North, South or to the Bekaa.
5- The staff is very friendly and the service is super quick!

The only downside is that Abou Arab is not the cleanest of places but that’s how most Kaak places are and trust me, you will forget that as soon as you taste their Kaaké 😀

My favorite are the Picon and Zaatar, Kashkawan and Zaatar and Labne with Zaatar. The chocolate is really good too. Sometimes I just order a plain Kaaké.

The Abou Arab branches that I’m aware of are located in Tabarja, Choueifat and Aley.

abou arab1

abou arab

Safety Measures At Jeita Grotto Were Never Good Enough

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jeita

On Saturday, an Egyptian tourist called Mina Ashraf Wadih died in the lower part of Jeita Grotto after he accidentally slipped in between a gap between the dock and the boat and fell into the freezing water. The Egyptian tourist was not provided with a survival vest and it wasn’t a “stampede” that led to his drowning as it’s clearly shown in the video below. At this point, I think the only party to blame here is Jeita Grotto’s management especially that the Grotto wasn’t supposed to be open apparently during winter but the Tourism Ministry should have also made sure the grotto is safe years ago.

egyptian

I’ve been to Jeita two years ago and the safety measures taken there were clearly not enough, especially in the lower part where they take you on a boat trip without life vests and there’s no one around to rescue you if you fall in the water.

There has always been a question mark on the company managing Jeita Grotto and I wish they had taken the proper measures before this tragic incident occurred but being proactive is not really our thing in Lebanon. In all cases, the Grotto is closed until further notice and the accident is being investigated.

Here’s a video showing the second the Egyptian tourist fell into the water. Start watching at Minute 3:30.

[YouTube]

Beware of Fishy Contractors Digging Up Your Neighborhoods

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IMG-20160123-WA0038

Update: The company who was digging is called Caporal and Moretti on behalf of the Ministry of Telecom. They came today and fixed the lines and everything.

A couple of weeks back, I was visiting a friend at his place and we were working on an online project when the internet went off for some reason. We tried resetting the DSL router but then noticed the landline wasn’t working anymore. At this moment, my friend remembered spotting few days ago a couple of workers digging up the street outside so he went to check out if they were still there and had anything to do it and soon realized they had cut some phone lines by mistake while trying to install a different cable. The workers had no costumes, no logo, no signs and they looked like they didn’t have a clue what they are doing.

IMG-20160123-WA0036

When my friend asked them who’s in charge, they had no answer but one of them stated they were Ogero contractors so we called Ogero (1515) to register a claim and tried to reach the 1516 hotline but no one was answering.

Few days later, an Ogero guy passed by to examine the phone line and it was working somehow, but when my friend asked him about the digging, he had no clue who was behind it. Then he went out to the street to check out the works but it started to rain so he left.

IMG-20160124-WA0009 The workers were kind enough not to cover the hole with garbage bags

The day after, the phone line stopped working once again and someone had closed the hole in the street as if nothing happened. My friend tried once again calling but the answering machine told him his claim was already registered (it’s based on ur phone number) so there was nothing he could do at this point except wait.

All in all, my friend is still without internet or phone for almost two weeks now because of a reckless contractor and he didn’t get any feedback yet from Ogero. Personally speaking, I’ve had previous issues with Ogero and they usually answer quickly but it looks like they have no idea who was doing what this time.

Morale of the story: If you ever spot random workers doing works in your neighborhood, check out who they are working for and make sure they know what they’re doing. Even if they are legit, they could be bazzi2 wou lazzi2 workers and not technicians, and could ruin things. Report them to Ogero or the municipality or the police if needed.

PS: I will update the post as soon as I have new information

Can Someone Explain To Me Why Nurseries Were Closed Today?

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sun

I can understand to a certain extent closing down schools because there’s a storm and roads are bad but why did our Health Minister decide to close down nurseries as well?? Parents usually take their kids to the nursery because they work all day and have no other place to leave them. What are they supposed to do in that case? Take a day off because the Minister said so? If we can’t drive our kids to the nursery, we should all stay home then.

I think it’s about time the government stops closing down schools and nurseries every time there’s a storm. I don’t remember my school ever closing down because of a storm and there’s nothing special about the recent storms that we witnessed in Lebanon. If They are worried about buses not being properly equipped to drive in such conditions, then they could ask parents to drive their kids on that day or let the school decide.

PS: For all students reading this post, you shouldn’t get too excited about all these days off because the school will probably end up bringing you on Saturdays to catch up :)

Who’s Going To Remove The Tons Of Garbage From Valleys And Mountains?

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Beit Mery Picture by Joelle Boutros

The picture above shows the “Garbage valley” in Beit Mery (or Monte Verde, not sure). The municipality, just like many other municipalities around Lebanon, has been illegally dumping trash in the valley for months now. What they’re doing is a crime against nature and against the residents, and the worst part is that the government won’t be removing any of that trash anytime soon.

So the question is: who’s going to clean our mountains and valleys from this trash? And who’s going to hold responsible those who are illegally dumping their trash? And are the authorities doing anything to stop these people from polluting further?

Byakout Source

Let’s also not forget that our beaches are filled with garbage as well. Last weekend, a beach cleanup was organized by Recycle Lebanon in Nahr el Kalb and they are planning other cleanups. But needless to say, that won’t stop those who are polluting our coast.

beach

Let’s hope we will get answers soon because the health and environmental risks associated with this ongoing garbage crisis have already reached an alarming level.

18 Old & Recent Pictures to Celebrate AUB’s 150th Anniversary!

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150 year Picture by Gino Raidy

I compiled a list of old pictures of the American University of Beirut from 1890 until today to celebrate its 150th anniversary. I found old photos from 1890, 1907, 1910, the 1920s, 1930, 1942, 1953, 1969, 1971 and 1980 all from three main sources [OldBeirut], Life and AUB. I also added a couple of recent pictures.

I always miss AUB and try to visit it every now and then. I miss hanging out with friends near Bliss, on the green oval or the cafeteria stairs. I miss running around from one class to another, I miss walking around the campus on rainy days, I miss having lunch breaks at Universal Snack and buying snacks from Abu Naji. I miss some of my teachers but I will never miss exams or studying at the library hours before an exam 😀

AUB will celebrating 150 years all year long. They are asking old students to share their AUB stories and organizing several events. Check them out [here].

AUB Assembly Hall 1890 AUB Assembly Hall 1890

AUB in the 1910s AUB in 1910

1914 old beirut AUB – 1914

AUB Assembly 1920 AUB in 1920

AUB 1920 AUB in 1920

AUB OLD non AUB Biology Classroom in the 1920s | Copyright Library of Congress

AUB 1930 AUB in the 1930s

1942 AUB AUB Medical Gate 1942

AUB 1950 AUB in the 1950s

1953 aub AUB Main Gate 1953

AUB MC 1969 AUB MC 1969

bliss 1980 Bliss Street in the 1980s

And here are few recent pictures of AUB:

AUB New mindingthe Green Oval – via Mindingthecampus

Zaha Hadid The famous Zaha Hadid building at AUB

AUB trees AUB 2011 – Source

AUB cats AUB Cats are awesome

AUBStairs I hated these stairs!

And a beautiful picture from the sky:

aub overview

A Scandal in Beirut in 1976–A Dream Come True in 2016

Posted By :

ele

On January 18, 1976, Beirut experienced a major blackout for a total of 20 minutes due to the ongoing fights. A 20 minute blackout was considered a scandal at the time even though the country was at war, and the story was mentioned in most newspapers.

Can you imagine how the Lebanese would react if the current goes out for only 20 minutes these days? They would probably panic at first, then they would hit the streets singing and dancing Dabke and offering Baklawa for a week.

This is the sad reality we are currently living, and I don’t expect the electricity situation to get better anytime soon.

The screenshot shown above is from L’OrientLeJour archives and was recently shared by one of my favorite FB pages “La guerre du Liban au jour le jour“. Check it out as they have an endless number of awesome old footages and articles.

PS: If you want 24/7 electricity, you can always move to Zahle 😀

#UpForSchool: Three Brothers Rapping To Help 1 Million Refugees Go To School

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band

We are currently witnessing the world’s worst refugee crisis in decades and the victims are first and foremost the children. Millions of refugee children are unable to attend schools and end up on the streets leading a catastrophic lifestyle which poses many risks on their physical and mental well-being.

I never tire of repeating that any form of education is better than no education especially for refugee children and education remains the best weapon against extremism and terrorism. Providing a safe environment for these kids is essential to help them grow up normally and focus on acquiring a good job and building a happy family rather than resorting to violence and extremism.

kid

There are plenty of ongoing campaigns to help these refugees get the education they need and the latest is a pretty cool one as it focuses on three talented young brothers, Samir, Abdulrahman and Mohammed, who arrived in Lebanon four years ago and love rapping. They’ve been rapping about their struggle and the Syrian People’s struggle and are sending out a message that every child has potential but it cannot be realized without an education.

The campaign aims at giving hope Syria’s Young Talent by signing the petition at upforschool.org or even taking action if you are willing to.

Check out the video, sign the petition and help spread the word!

PS: The petition will be taken to world leaders at the the Syrian Donors Conference in London in February.

[YouTube]

The Only Horoscopes You Should Listen To

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taleta2 Iza Mich el Tanen, el Khamis.

A friend weirdly emailed me horoscopes yesterday and told me that I should read them. Of course I was about to delete them at first but then I noticed there’s the La Libanaise des Jeux logo on the bottom and they turned out to be hilarious! I posted a couple of them, check out the rest on their page.

I also found and shared a couple of old ads posted right before the horoscopes that are also quite funny!

Jadi

saratan

boat1

Thank u Richy!