Category Archives: Lebanon

Snapchat’s Beirut Story: AUB, National Anthem, AUB, Ain el Mreisse, National Anthem, Fattit Shrimps

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Snapchat has been featuring towns and cities as part of the “Life” Snapchat Stories and Beirut got its own Life Snapchat Story yesterday. Life stories are prepared by Snapchat and are basically a compilation of snaps from Snapchatters at events and locations around the world. Anyone can see them under “Live” on the Snapchat application.

Beirut’s story was a lousy one to be honest, but I’m not sure if I should blame Snapchat or Lebanese Snapchatters. Maybe it’s a sign that we need better Snapchatters in Beirut 🙂

Here are some of the things we learned in this story:
– Beirut’s logo is a mosque for some reason.
– Beirut is all about Ain el Mraisse, AUB and Beirut Souks.
– Maamoul is a national dessert (which we feed to pets as well).
– Fattit Shrimps is a traditional dish (local secrets).
– We sing the National Anthem everywhere we go.
– There are clowns in Beirut distributing balloons to cars rocking Ali el Deek.
– Everyone speaks English in Beirut except that motorist with his “Assalam 3alaykoum” greeting.

There are few good snaps in this story, mainly the Dabke, Oud, Wara2 Arich but that’s about it.

PS: They removed the fattit shrimps today from the story.

Najwa Karam’s Message to All Working Mothers

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mbc via MBC1

This is not an April Fool’s prank and this is coming from someone who is not married and doesn’t have children.

نجوي كرم توجه رسالة لكل امرأة قد تراها بعض النساء صدمة #شط_بحر_الهوى

Posted by MBC1 on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Apparently I’m a Doctor & Professor At the Lebanese University

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I got an email yesterday from a Lebanese University student asking me for a recommendation letter. I thought at first the letter was for my brother since it said “Dear Dr” and he’s a doctor but it was actually addressed to me.

I replied and asked the student where he got my email from and he told me the secretary at the university gave him this address thinking that it was his professor’s email. Of course I informed him that the email is wrong but then I looked through my junk mail and found tons of emails (some of them seemed confidential) being sent to my address from the LU. I also got a happy birthday email back in September with the professor’s name written in the subject.

I am going to email them in a bit and ask them to correct all this mess but I have 3 questions here:

– Where did they get my email from? And how come no one noticed there’s a wrong email in that long list?
– Why are all the emails listed in the TO: field and not hidden in BCC: as they should be?
– Why isn’t there an online directory for students to look up their teachers’ emails? And how do they communicate usually?



Arabic Words & Phrases That We all Use & Don’t Understand

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tallat via Ousoul

“Tallat” el PC.
“Banchar” el Douleb.
A7welo “Bil loj”.
Badde “Chalimoune” lal Pepsi. (I never use that one lol!)
“Bandou2” hal sabe manno 3atil.
Ma ba2a ma3e “massare” hal chaher.
Kteer “Shob” el yom.
Hayde el benet “Sharm****”.
“Balafo” bi hal le3be.

We all use these terms but we probably never asked ourselves what they truly mean and where they came from. There are also tons of Lebanese terms that don’t even exist in the Arabic language and that we use daily. For example, “tallat” apparently comes from the English verb “tilt”, “banchar” is inspired from “puncture”, whereas “loj” which is used to describe someone wealthy and well-off originates from the French word “loge” (a small, separated expensive seating area in the auditorium for a limited number of people).

If you are curious to know their origins, there’s a Facebook page called Ousoul that sheds light on the origin of terminologies used in different Arabic dialects. I fell on this page by mistake after reading an article on the origins of 6 Arabic words we often use on Red Bull’s website.




Enough With Celebratory Gunfire!

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A 5 year old kid was hit and killed by a stray bullet from a funeral gunfire in Beirut’s southern suburbs back in June 2015. Yesterday, Bettina Raidy, an 8 year old girl, was struck in the head by a stray bullet and died.

I was watching MTV’s report on the poor girl and I couldn’t bear watching it to the end. I couldn’t imagine what her parents were going through and how devastated they are. They’ve been raising this young girl for 8 years only to see her get killed by some moronic gun-loving scumbag.

Not only should celebratory gunfire get banned but it should also be considered a crime. Guns should only be used in battle by the Lebanese Army or security forces, not for celebrations or during funerals in the street. Anyone who still thinks that emptying guns in the sky is part of our culture is a complete idiot and belongs in prison.

Guns have no place in a celebration of any kind and celebratory gunfire is destroying people’s lives and causing unnecessary tragedies. Not only do we need the authorities to take strict measures against these criminals, but people need to start reporting such thugs.

My sincere condolences to the family and all my respect to the father for his stand on celebratory gunfire.

#AddictNotCriminal: Lebanese Hospitals To Refrain From Reporting Drug Addicts To The Police

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The above statement was shared by Embrace Fund and translates to the following:

The Ministry of Public Health officially urges all Lebanese hospitals to refrain from their usual practice of reporting drug addicts to the police upon their arrival to the Emergency Department.

This practice discourages many young individuals from seeking treatment and in many cases leads to tragic consequences.

As stated in the memo below, the law mandates treating individuals suffering from drug addiction as any patient who has the right to quality care and respect of his/her privacy, without any stigma or discrimination. The law is also designed to encourage addicts to seek treatment and rehabilitation, rather than be criminalized or punished.

This means that in the event of overdose, the hospitals will no longer need to report the cases to the police and will treat the individual as a patient not as a criminal. This is great news and a huge step forward as these individuals should get help and not be interrogated the second day.

Just to give you an idea on the systematic arrests of drug addicts in Lebanon (preventive detention) and the flagrant violations of basic human rights, I recommend you read this article published last year on Legal Agenda.


Here’s a small excerpt:

One of the major and critical obstacles is the phenomenon of systematically arresting addicts during preliminary investigations. A 2010 study of legal prosecutions conducted by NGO Skoun (Lebanese Addictions Center), showed that in 90% of cases the Public Prosecution Office arrested the addicts during the preliminary investigation.[5] The average period of administrative detention (which takes place before the case is referred to the competent public prosecution’s office) lasted 6½ days, which exceeds the maximum period of 96 hours allowed by law. In a more recent case (2013), a suspected drug user was detained for 20 days in the Antelias police station, a flagrant violation of Article 47 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The delay occurred on the pretext of administrative congestion within the Central Anti-Drug Bureau (which has investigative jurisdiction), and in the Baabda Palace of Justice (home of the Public Prosecution Office with jurisdiction to settle the case). The Central Anti-Drug Bureau merely sent an investigator to the Antelias police station to conduct the necessary interrogations with the detained suspect, but this did not result in his release. In fact, the suspect was only released after a long toil in which one request after another were presented to the Investigating Judge in Baabda.

13 Lebanese Among The 100 Most Influential Young Arabs in The World

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Arabian Business revealed its 2016 list of the most influential young Arabs in the world. The annual ranking reveals the 100 Arabs aged under 40 who are making a significant difference in the world, within their respective fields including science, arts, sport, business and government. The UAE dominated the list with 23 entries, following by Egypt (15), Lebanon (13 and Saudi Arabia (12).

The most influential Lebanese is Maher Zain, the world’s biggest Islamic music star. This is the first time I hear about this guy. Here’s the full list:

15- Maher Zain

Industry: Arts and entertainment
Country: Sweden (Lebanon)

21- Amal Clooney
Industry: Law
Country: UK (Lebanon)

30- Rafi Demirjian
Industry: Business
Country: Lebanon

39- Abdallah Absi
Industry: Technology
Country: Lebanon

48- Nancy Ajram
Industry: Arts and entertainment
Country: Lebanon

66- Fahd Hariri
Industry: Banking and finance
Country: France (Lebanon)

76- Mahmoud Kabbour
Industry: Media
Country: UAE (Lebanon)

78- May Habib
Industry: Technology
Country: UAE (Lebanon)

81- Philippe Ghanem
Industry: Banking
Country: Lebanon (Switzerland)

84- Jihad Kawas
Industry: Technology
Country: San Francisco (Lebanon)

92- Dialla Makki
Industry: Arts and entertainment
Country: UAE (Lebanon)

93- Aya Bdeir
Industry: Technology
Country: Canada (Lebanon)

98- Myriam Fares
Industry: Arts and entertainment
Country: Lebanon

Yet Another Environmental Disaster: Jiyeh Sea Filled With Garbage

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The old Lebanese proverb “أعمل منيح وكب بالبحر” should be changed into “يا بهيم حاجي تكب بالبحر”. As if Israel’s deliberate bombardment of fuel tanks in Jiyeh back in 2006 wasn’t enough to pollute the waters, some assholes (Lebanese) have been dumping recently large piles of garbage into the Jiyeh sea.


The discovery was made by a woman (Dr. Halima Kaakour) who usually swims there every morning and the underwater pictures and videos being shared are horrific.


Civil Defense volunteers worked on cleaning the waters for hours last Friday but it will take them days if not weeks to take out all the dumped trash.


Jiyeh’s coast is one of the most beautiful in Lebanon and some of Lebanon’s most popular beach resorts are found there.

Illegal Internet in Lebanon Explained

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I would add these one point to Farid’s spot-on video:
– The illegal Fiber optics cables that were installed between several regions were mistaken for rat metros, given that the rat population has been booming in Lebanon lately. So you can’t really blame the authorities here.

Watch carefully and help the authorities find more illegal networks!

Ma fi shi bye2ta3 3layna. #bigachievement

Posted by FarixTube on Monday, March 28, 2016


Valrhona Easter Contest 2016: Lebanese Pierre Abi Hayla Wins 1st Prize

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Pierre Abi Hayla, from LE NOIR Atelier Du Chocolat, took part at the Valrhona Easter Contest 2016 and won the first prize. His Easter egg, “Egstrate” (Egg + strata which means geological layer), consists of seven layers of chocolate and includes Valrhona’s four colors (white, milk, dark and Dulcey).


Valrhona is a French premium chocolate maker and is considered one of the best chocolate manufacturers on the planet. Valrhona focuses mainly on high-grade luxury chocolate marketed for commercial use by chefs as well as for private consumption. You can find Valrhona in high-end supermarkets in Lebanon.

eggs1 Eggs by Yoann Rolland (France) and Amanda Snouffer (USA)

If you are interested, check out the rest of the eggs submitted. They’re all handcrafted and are quite amazing!