Category Archives: Music

Let’s Help Out Achrafieh’s Street Musician

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Update: His name is Maroun Nachef and is known as The Seller of Songs. Here’s an old article with more details about Maroun. Thank you Alexis!

I was once told about an old man who sits on Sassine Square and plays the Oud but I never really met him until today. He was sitting in the middle of the square with a hat in front of him to collect tips and a banner on his right that basically says that he’s unemployed, he’s playing the Oud and singing to earn few bucks and he’s willing to attend parties and events. I think this is the first time I meet a street musician in Beirut and I thought of a way to help him out:

– If anyone is getting married or planning an outdoor event this summer, invite this old man to play at the event and earn few bucks. It’s a pretty cool and original idea and it would help him earn few bucks. I will share this post with all the agencies that I usually work with and I hope they will consider my request.

Until then, make sure you leave a good tip if you spot him on Sassine Square.



Thanks Cynthia!

Let’s All Remember Women Rights In Lebanon Because Of Chris Brown

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Ever since I posted about the Chris Brown giveaway, I’ve been receiving comments from people telling me that I shouldn’t promote him because he beat his ex-gf Rihana and that would send a wrong message to all those who are attending the concert. Added to that, surprisingly shared an article on why (and I quote) “attending Chris Brown’s concert would be another slap in the face to all the woman who have suffered at the hands of husbands, boyfriends and fathers in this country? And a slap in the face to all the hard work that KAFA has been doing to combat these societal problems?”, then asked to boycott Brown’s concert and make “this disgusting guy “khalas” in Lebanon “Forever”.” (I have no idea what this last sentence means by the way).

I’m at loss for words to be honest. It’s as if we got bored of boycotting artists because they’ve been to Israel so we started coming up with new reasons to boycott them. In fact, maybe they are right, maybe we should no longer tolerate the likes of Chris Brown and pressure the Lebanese authorities to halt all concerts this summer and stop all artists who may pose a threat to our society or could negatively influence the young and innocent generations, even if this means harming our economy and causing major financial losses to Lebanese companies. Maybe we should start a new movement and make Rihanna’s insightful song “Bitch Better Have My Money” its anthem.

I say we should boycott any artist who at some point in his life:
– Drank too much alcohol and got drunk.
– Used illegal substances.
– Cheated on his wife or gf/bf.
– Posed naked in front of the camera.
– Didn’t properly use hashtags on Instagram.
– Used the F*** word in a concert or during an interview.
– Was fined for speeding or parking illegally.
– Answered his cellphone at the theaters.
– Didn’t call his mother on her birthday.
– Didn’t visit his grandma on Christmas.
– Burned $100 dollar bills to light up his cigar.
– Smoked an Arguile.
– Had a Chicken Shawarma without garlic.
– Claimed that Hummus is not Lebanese.
– Denied the fact that Lebanon is the center of the Universe.

And the list goes on and on …


In all cases, I heard rumors that Riri will join the movement soon but she’s currently too busy partying with Chris Brown and helping him out with his new house.

Note: I am in no way trying to compare what Chris Brown did to speeding or shawarma. He s a terrible human being who served time for what he did but that’s not the point here. What I’m referring to is how we barely make any effort when women are abused in Lebanon but get all excited when it’s about Rihanna. Our government has been refusing to pass a law to protect women for years yet we don’t boycott them or hold them accountable. When NGOs call for demonstrations to stop domestic violence hundreds only show up. Let’s set our priorities straight once and for all.

Giveaway: Two Golden Circle & Two Standing Tickets To Watch Chris Brown Live At Biel

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Winners are:
Golden Circle: Roxanne Samaha
Standing Tickets: Maya

I will email you details on how to collect tickets. Congrats!

MixFM Lebanon are bringing Chris Brown to Lebanon on July 29th to perform at Biel in what promises to be the biggest concert this summer. Brown is one of the world’s biggest R&B stars worldwide and has been compared to the likes of Usher and Michael Jackson, especially after the impressive tribute he did to MJ back in 2010 at the BET Awards.

I’m not a big Chris Brown fan but I do appreciate his talent and some of his music, and it’s always good to see him and other big names come to Beirut to perform live. Some of you may have heard rumors about Brown cancelling his show but Mix FM reconfirmed today that Chris Brown is coming to Beirut as scheduled and that the concert promises to be the biggest of 2015. I will never understand why some people try to ruin big events like that by spreading false rumors, as they are harming the economy and themselves at the end of the day.

In all cases, I’m more than willing to attend the concert just to prove them wrong, even if I don’t like the guy, and I’m giving away 4 tickets (two Golden circle & Two Standing Tickets) for all Chris Brown fans and readers of the blog.

All you have to do is answer the below question:

Which Chris Brown single peaked atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and spent five week at No.1?

Leave a comment on the blog post with the right answer and I will draw two lucky winners (two tickets each) by tomorrow morning. Tickets for the event are available on [Virgin Ticketing Box Office].

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.


The Coolest Lebanese Nun

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Lebanese Memes shared earlier today a short video of a Lebanese nun (probably abroad) playing the derbaké. She reminded me of the singing nun who won Italy’s the Voice last year and she should consider applying to the Voice because she’s pretty cool.

Funnily enough, some people didn’t like the fact that she’s a religious person trying to look cool and have fun. I wish these people would mind their own business and leave that nun alone because she’s already doing a better job (religiously speaking) by being a nun and dedicating her life to serving her church and helping people.

Check her out [here] and if anyone has a longer video, please do share.

Giveaway: Five Tickets To Watch The Amazing Yasmine Hamdan At O1NE Beirut On Sunday!

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Yasmine-HamdancJean-Baptiste-Millot Yasmine Hamdan – Source

Update: Winners of the Yasmine Hamdan tickets are:
Agnes Semaan
Amira Mourad

I will send you emails later on today on how to claim your tickets.

If you can feel the emotion, it’s for you. That’s what Yasmine Hamdan told Telegraph in one of her many interviews and she’s absolulty right. Her music is like nothing I’ve ever heard before as it mixes between traditional Arabic music and electro folk pop, add to that her wonderful voice and the playful use of various dialects of Arabic in her lyrics and you get music that is out of this world.

Who is Yasmine Hamdan?
Yasmine Hamdan is a Lebanese artist, singer and actress is now living in Paris. Hamdan spent her youth dodging wars between Beirut and Kuwait before she settled in Beirut, formed Soapkills with Zeid Hamdan, one of the first indie/electronic bands to appear in the Middle East and soon established herself as an underground icon throughout the Arab world. She was praised by the New York Times as “Arabic Music’s Modern Voice” (New York Times) and was described by NPR as “one of the most free-thinking and inventive artists singing in Arabic today”. Yasmine has been on stages all around the world, amongst them the Opera house in Australia, Olympia in France, Albert Hall in London, Haus Der Kulturen der Wel in Berlin, the Byblos Music Festival in Lebanon and she’s performing on Sunday 24th of May at O1NE Beirut: House of Entertainement.


Who wants tickets to watch Yasmine Hamdan?

Yasmine’s concert is on Sunday at the exceptional O1NE Beirut and I have 5 tickets to give away. I will definitely be there with the winners and we might get the chance to meet Yasmine behind the scenes. All you need to win these tickets is answer the below questions:

1- How many albums did Yasmine produce with Soapkills?
2- Under which album is her song “Deny”?

I will draw 2 names (2 tickets each) by Wednesday night and announce the winners on Thursday morning. Another ticket will be given away on Facebook or Instagram so stay tuned. Tickets are available on Virgin TicketingBoxOffice for those interested.

Some of My Favorite Yasmine Hamdan songs:
1- Deny:

2- Beirut:

3- Yasmine Hamdan singing Mohammad Abdel Wahab

Just to understand how complex Yasmine’s music is:

If it’s not really “world music”, it’s certainly not mainstream pop. “I don’t define my music geographically,” she says, “whether it’s Middle Eastern or international. If you can feel the emotion, the music’s for you.” While she feels proud of the changes wrought by the Arab Spring, she feels sceptical of the term itself. “Things happened and are happening very differently in Cairo, Tunis, Libya and Syria. The Arab world isn’t one reality.” Indeed, the fact that she lives in Paris, where she is married to Palestinian film director Elia Suleiman, suggests a degree of alienation from what is happening in the Middle East. “Islam itself is in a complex period. I learnt the Koran as a child. When I read the Koran or hear it read, the images and the poetry, the sound of the language is very inspiring. There are many positive values that come with a Muslim upbringing. But when religion becomes about rules and hierarchies, when it starts to feel like a prison, I’m not interested.”

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.

#Achrafieh2020: I Want Every Sunday To Be Car-Free

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Every time Achrafieh 2020 organizes a car-free day, I get more convinced that Lebanon needs a car-free day at least once every month. On Sunday, thousands went down to Mar Mikhael to have fun, have a drink and grab a bite, walk their dogs, dance, play with their kids and enjoy the sun. More importantly, a wall of remembrance was placed in the middle of the street on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide where people shared their thoughts and showed support.

I went down to Mar Mikhael around noon when things were still relatively calm, sat at Radio Beirut and enjoyed a couple of drinks with friends. Around 2, the streets were already packed and you could barely walk among the crowds. The atmosphere was amazing, the pubs and restaurants were packed, kids were having fun and there’s music everywhere you go. I walked around for a couple of hours checking out the different stands, tasting all kinds of foods specially the Armenian ones and greeting friends and random people I meet. I even shared a Nutella crepe with a Sukleen worker who was taking a break.

I’m not sure why I enjoyed this car-free day more than others, but the crowds were amazing, the streets were packed and the day was just perfect! I really believe we need more car-free days like this one and I hope every Sunday will become a car-free day in Beirut and everywhere else in Lebanon.

Here are some of the pictures I took and you can find plenty on Achrafieh 2020’s Facebook page.