Category Archives: Lebanon

Hayda “Mongolé” He Shouldn’t Work Here

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mongole

MBC did a stunt at one of Lebanon’s supermarkets and recorded how people reacted to a customer disrespecting an employee with special needs (both were actors). I loved how EVERYONE stood up for the employee and bashed the customer, and even told the arrogant customer to bag the groceries himself.

Watch the video [here].

PS: I wish people would stop use the term “Mongolé” in Lebanon because it’s demeaning and disrespectful. If you hear a friend or a family member using it, let him know it’s wrong to do so.

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Lebanese Police Cracking Down On Celebratory Gunfire

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celebr

The ISF launched a hashtag #بتقبل_تقتل asking online Lebanese users to report people firing guns in the air and endangering innocent people, and they’ve already managed to arrest 3 people in Beirut and Akkar. Of course we are all glad they are arresting people finally but I wish they would have taken preemptive measures before the municipal elections.

Launching hashtags and online campaigns right now will not bring back the innocent people who were killed or injured in the past few months or years even. The authorities have to be very strict about this matter as those who shoot guns in the air are criminals.

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sle7 via Sakkir el Dekkene

#BlogWaladi: Baby Brian’s First F1 Experience

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YAZ_2245 copy Photo Credits: Akl Yazbeck

Prior to the F1 showrun that took place a couple of weeks ago, The Red Bull F1 team made two stops in the Cedars and Byblos. Since I couldn’t take Brian to the show run given how noisy and crowded it will be, I thought of taking him to Byblos where a private shoot was taking place the day before.

I know he’s too young to understand what an F1 car is, but it might take years before we see an F1 car in Lebanon and he might not got the chance to sit in a real Formula 1 car so I had to grab that opportunity and capture the moment.

sleep Waking up

I headed to Byblos early in the morning, had breakfast with Brian at eBaladi and walked around in the souks while waiting for the Red Bull team to arrive. I had to make sure his clothes stay clean before the shoot but it was an epic fail. He spilled water on himself and on my man2oushe so I had to change his diaper and pants later on in the car. Trust me if there’s anything worse than cleaning bottles, it’s changing diapers in the car lol!

As soon as Red Bull got there, it took them almost an hour to bring down the car and decide on a shooting spot. Once done, I waited for instructions to take pictures with the car since no one was allowed to get anywhere near the car.

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Once we were given the green light, Brian & I got a couple of awesome shots with the car and I was even able to put Brian for a few seconds inside the car. He couldn’t care less of course but I’m sure he will look back one day and appreciate these pictures.

YAZ_2222 copy Photo Credits: Akl Yazbeck

YAZ_2240 copy Photo Credits: Akl Yazbeck

Next on the list is taking Brian and the wife to attend an F1 Grand Prix.

YAZ_2228 copy Photo Credits: Akl Yazbeck

Special thanks to the Red Bull Lebanon team and Red Bull for making that happen!

Sagesse Honorary President Says They Threw Holy Water On Riyadi Official

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abouna

I was actually defending Sagesse against the decision taken by the Lebanese Federation and I was hoping they’d file a proper complaint but this is just crazy. I can’t believe this guy, who happens to be Sagesse’s honorary president, is justifying fans throwing water bottles by saying the water is holy.

What was he thinking? I really hope he was joking.

It Took This Saida Resident A Decade To Realize He’s Living in a Synagogue

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Saida Synagogue

Most of the Lebanese Jews lived in Beirut but there were also communities in other cities like Saida and Tripoli. In fact, there were around 1,500 Jews living in Saida in the early 1970s according to Nagi Georges Zeidan, who memorialized Lebanon’s Jewish community by researching its history and creating a database. Unfortunately, the last Jewish family in Sidon, the Levy family, left in the early 1980s and the synagogue was abandoned and has become ever since a shelter for Palestinians refugees.

One of those refugees was called Jihad Al-Mohammed and I found his story, who was published on pri.org quite fascinating.

JIhad Jihad Al-Mohammed in his kitchen. He has a flat screen TV and a WiFi router where the synagogue used keep its Torah scrolls. Photo Credits: Rebecca Collard – via PRI.ORG

Jihad Al-Mohammed moved into the abandoned Synagogue in 1990 but it took him nearly 10 years to realize what this abandoned building was, despite the Stars of David on the wall and area being called “Haret al-Yahud” or the Jewish Quarter. When tourists started visiting his place and asking him questions, he finally realized what it was.

CROPrabbis Photo Credits: Jihad al-Mohammed

Mohammed considers the Synagogue as his home and has no plans to leave it anytime soon. He divided the building into different rooms and turned the main area into a living room. “Mohammed has photos on his phone of the many visitors he’s received over the years — from the US, Canada and Europe”. In 2012, prayers were said for the first times in decades in Saida’s Synagogue after two Rabbis visited the Synagogue. In 2015, Sidon’s Jewish cemetery got a face lift.

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As far as other synagogues in Lebanon are concerned, There’s Beirut’s Maghen Abraham Synagogue which was renovated recently and two others in Aley and Bhamdoun. There was one as well in Deir el Amar but it got sold in 1900.

Delphine Beirut Synagogue – Photo Credits: Delphine Darmency – via Raseef22

bhamdoun Bhamdoun – Photo Credits: Delphine Darmency – via Raseef22

You can read more about the Jewish worship places in Lebanon and their history [here] and [here].

Brazilian Company Building The Janna Dam Involved In a Massive Corruption Scandal

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While the first phase of the Janna dam construction was handled by a local firm, the second phase which should have started in 2014, consists of the construction of a dam that will enable the storage of up to 38 million cubic meters of water and was awarded to a Brazilian company (Andrade Gutierrez).

This same construction company, Brazil’s second-largest, “has just agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors for its alleged role in a massive corruption scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras and agreed to pay 1 billion reais ($286 million) to settle the allegations”.

Ironically enough, a controversial hydropower dam in Brazil being built by Andrade Gutierrez (AG) was pushed through, despite protests by environmental and social campaigners, by Brazil’s ex-president Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended recently over corruption allegations. The Belo Monte dam went ahead regardless of concerns about its environmental impact and economic viability, which is exactly what’s happening now with the Janna dam. Andrade Gutierrez is also involved in the World Cup scandal and is behind the controversial Amazonia Arena in Manaus.

These dams and stadiums were all built to serve the political parties in Brazil and were all overcharged. The total cost of the Janna dam is estimated at $200 million and works are ongoing despite several concerns raised and the lack of scientific reports to back its construction.

Another scandal in the making. Why am I not surprised?

Original Story via YouStink

VIDEO: Two Teenagers Torturing A Small Chick

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chick via APAF ( Animals Pride And Freedom )

Young and stupid. The school should reprimand the two teenagers as well as the person filming them. I can’t believe they are scouts. Nevertheless, I am totally against harsh punishments such as kicking them out of school. Someone should sit down and explain to them what they did wrong otherwise they will commit worse acts later.

Thanks Aly!

The New Roadster Branch Is Pretty Cool

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rd1

The new RD look and feel has been the talk of the town for the past three days. Some people liked the new look, some hated it while others said it’s a copy of Divvy restaurant. I refused to share the comparative pictures between both restaurants that were circulating online because I’ve never been to the new RD branch and I thought they were misleading.

Anyway, I passed by the Backyard this morning before Roadster even opens, looked around the new branch and personally loved it. The new look is actually pretty cool and a breath of fresh air. In fact, I don’t think the old RD would have fitted in this new venue because most of the shops open there have the same feel, and the same applies to the Village Dbayyeh. As far as the new logo is concerned, I’m still not very comfortable with it but what matters to be is that the food and service quality remain the same.

In terms of comparing it to Divvy (I love that place by the way!), I think those who are saying it’s a “copy paste” obviously haven’t been to Divvy or other diners. Divvy Mar Mikhail doesn’t look anything like Divvy at the Village so you can’t really compare the two to begin with, and most restaurants open at the Village and the Backyard have this urban industrial feel so again the comparison doesn’t stand. Still, I do agree that Roadster’s new round couches (RD had round couches since ever) and menu look very similar and RD should have paid more attention to these minor details especially that Divvy & RD owners were ex-partners.

On another note, I’m surprised that no one saw similarities with the Zaatar W Zeit branches that re-branded few years ago (notice the front facade and stairs), noting that ZWZ & RD belong to the same people.

All in all, what I care about mostly is the food and service quality to remain the same because I’m not there to eat the logo. In recent months, I found myself ordering more frequently from Deek Duke because it’s constantly evolving and introducing new items. At this point, Roadster should do the same and reconsider its portions and prices. In terms of delivery service, the quality has been dropping drastically for all diners and restaurants not just Roadster.

Here are few pictures of the new RD branch in Hazmieh:

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Six Measures To Be Taken Immediately After The Hekmeh-Riyadi Fight

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fight

1- Chris Daniels to be naturalized after proving that he has all the “Lebanese Machklaje” skills.
2- Riyadi and Hekmeh supporters to be banned and replaced by foreign supporters.
3- A spiritual summit headed by Ghayyath will be held to reconcile both teams.
4- Both teams will be allowed to change all their foreign players and local players and coach and management just because that’s the trend in the Lebanese Basketball League.
5- LBCI to introduce basketball drama to its Ramadan schedule.
6- The bottle of water that injured one of the Riyadi staff will be held in custody and interrogated.

To be honest, I am not surprised the series ended with a fight and the only party to blame is the Lebanese Federation and the concerned ministry. When a player misbehaves, he gets kicked out and suspended for at least 2 games. When fans misbehave the team gets penalized and the game goes on. It’s really that simple.

PS: If you want to watch the fight, start at Minute 17:45 [here].

PS2: In other news, the Lebanese National Team is almost out of the Asian Cup after losing today.