Category Archives: News

Gretta Taslakian (unjustly) banned from The Olympic Village

According to an article from L’Orient-Le Jour, Lebanese athlete Gretta Taslakian was banned from the Olympic Village in London for wearing the Irish team’s uniform during a training session and flew back to Lebanon on Tuesday.

L’Orient-Le Jour contacted Gretta who denied that she was wearing the Irish uniform and said it was simply a green Nike jacket. She added that she still has the jacket and it has nothing to do with the Irish team except the color maybe.

Now the interesting part is that Gretta’s coach, Vahé Abrahamian who is still in London, apparently informed the Olympic committee that Gretta was indeed wearing Ireland’s uniform during a training session and showed them pictures. I don’t have any of the pictures but why the hell would a coach do something like that? Why didn’t he simply inform her that she shouldn’t be wearing the uniform or a jacket of the same color?

Last but not least, so what if she wore another country’s uniform? Doesn’t that fall under the “Olympic spirit” slogan? I don’t recall that happening in any of the previous Olympics. Actually according to L’Orient-Le Jour, it may be the first time ever an athlete is banned for such a reason. They also pointed out on how the Kenyan runner Kemboi, winner of the 3000m race, wore the French uniform while parading around the stadium and no measures were taken against him.

Gretta is a great athlete and has won gold medals for Lebanon in Asian and Arabic tournaments and deserves much better than that!

Read the full article [Here]

PS: Antoine Chartier, president of the Lebanese Olympic delegation, did not yet comment on the matter.

Sheikh Ahmad Al Assir Reality Show: Season1 Finale

The Season1 Finale ended up with a pleasant surprise, whereas Sheikh Ahmad Al Assir decided to end the sit-in in Saida as a gift on the occasion of Army Day. Season2 is still under negotiation and Sheikh Assir has decided to join Twitter in order to keep all his fans up to date. [@Ahmad Al Assir]

For those of you who missed the previous episodes:
Season1 – Episode1
Season1 – Episode2
Season1- Bonus Episode

Lebanese blogger Jessica Ghawi among Batman shooting victims

Update: As it appears, she is Palestinian and not Lebanese.

Sportswriter Jessica Ghawi just missed being shot at a Toronto mall in June. When a killer opened fire in a Colorado movie theater, she was not so lucky. Jessica was only 24. [Link]

A tragic loss for her family and friends!

Eleven other people died in the Colorado shooting that occurred when 24-year-old James Holmes burst into the movie house and began shooting patrons, allegedly killing at least 12 and injuring 70. The number of casualties makes the incident the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. [Source]

Sincere condolences to all the victims’ families and friends.

Jessica had posted on her [Blog] on the Eaton Center shooting that she had luckily survived a few weeks back. May she R.I.P.

Update: Her brother has a blog and has been blogging about the incident in details [Here]

Ward Al Khal Scandal

[YouTube]

Update: The whole thing was a prank. Thank you Gilbert for the [Story]

Update2: LBC are saying it’s not a prank. Lol! [Link]

I saw this post earlier today in AlBaladOnline and on Plus961.com but I didn’t give it much importance at first. However I checked again tonight and I was surprised to see the video has been seen over 21,000 hits already even though it has been up for one day only.

I looked up the scandal in the news and Ward Al Khal has not yet commented on the incident and is refusing to talk to the press apparently. [ListenArabic.com] [ElNashraFan]

While looking for more info about her online, I found this interview with Mona Abou Hamze on MTV’s Talk of the Town show. The interview is labeled for adults only and forbidden for children under the age of 16 but I couldn’t understand why though. [YouTube]

For those of you who don’t know, Ward Al Khal is a famous Lebanese Actress and the sister of another famous Lebanese actor Youssef Al Khal. [Ward Al Khal's Website]

Lebanon in talks with easyJet and Ryanair

Authorities in Lebanon are in talks with low cost carriers including easyJet and Ryanair about starting operations to the country in a bid to boost a tourism industry that has been rocked by political turmoil in the Arab world, including neighbouring Syria, Tourism Minister Fady Abboud said in an interview with Arabian Business.

I really hope this happens, finally cheap flights from Lebanon to Europe!

“Indeed we are talking to Monarch Airlines, easyJet [and] Ryanair – we’re talking to all of them,” Abboud said in an interview from Beirut. “But Lebanon’s civil aviation will not give them the right to land – they say ‘yes you can come from London, but we want 25 extra flights to Heathrow’.”

Sadly because Lebanon is the center of the universe, it doesn’t look like it will happen. [Link]

The New York Times on censorship in Lebanon

In Beirut, the censors have banned “The Da Vinci Code” as anti-Christian and the TV series “The West Wing” as anti-Arab. The security directorate has broad powers in other areas, too, refusing permission, for instance, for the director Francis Ford Coppola to land his private jet in Beirut in 2009 because the engine included parts made in Israel; he had to land in Damascus, Syria, instead, and travel overland.

As Lebanese filmmaker Danielle Arbid nicely puts it, “Nothing works in this country except the censorship bureau,”.

Read the full article [Here].

Fauchon Paris opening in Beirut

The legendary Parisian market Fauchon is set to open in Gemmayze soon.

An institution of French gourmet excellence for over 125 years, Fauchon provides delicacies from all over France and the world for that matter, and is divided into different sections with a section for items such as preserves and exotic canned goods, another for breads, pastries and chocolates and another for items such as cheese, pate and terrines. [Link]

Fauchon already has branches in Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE. [Link]

Eatalians moved to Casper & Gambini’s

I noticed yesterday while passing by Kaslik that Eatalian has closed down and moved next door to Casper & Gambini’s. That’s actually a smart move as Eatalian wasn’t doing that well and Casper & Gambini’s branch is relatively big when compared to other Casper branches, add to that the fact that Olio Pizzeria opened across the street.

Anyway, I went down to check it out and have a lemonade. The place looks practically the same except they brought in Eatalian’s tables and chairs to replace the couches and cozy chairs on the right section of the restaurant.

Once I sat, I noticed Casper & Gambini’s was marketing its new light delivery menu. The dessert on the picture looked really delicious and I assumed it would also be available but as it turns out, it’s only for delivery. Isn’t it usually the other way around? Items on the menu are not available for delivery?

It’s not a big deal but I think it’s silly that you market light items or any items inside the restaurant that customers can’t have. It’s like “Excuse me, can I have this dessert on the picture? It looks delicious” and the waiter goes “I am sorry it’s only available for delivery”. The minted Lemonade was great by the way.