Category Archives: Shopping

Giving Away LeMall Gift Cards Worth $300 & A Chance To Fly To The U.S

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Summer is here and it’s the best time to start planning your summer trip! If you haven’t done any plans yet, LeMall has kicked off a cool campaign with ‎Wild Discovery‬ and is giving away 3 trips respectively to New York City, Orlando and Los Angeles. The rules are quite simple:

Visit LeMall Sin el Fil from May 20 to July 3, spend 50$ and win 1 of 3 big trips:
– 1 trip for 2 to New York City (Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building)
– 1 trip for 4 to Orlando (Universal Orlando, Magic Kingdom, Disney World)
– 1 trip for 2 to Los Angeles (Universal Studios Hollywood, the Griffith Park, Hollywood Boulevard)

In order to make things more exciting and increase your chances of winning, I am teaming up with LeMall and giving away 3 gift cards worth $100 each. That way, winners will get to shop for their upcoming summer vacation and maybe travel courtesy of Le Mall to these three magical destinations!

The rules are also quite simple:
– You need to follow LeMall & myself on Instagram.
– You need to upload a photo ( or use an existing one) that reflects a vacation mode and tag ‪#‎LeMalltoUSA‬ ‪
– Leave a comment on this blog post with your Instagram account.

Three pictures will be selected based on their originality and creativity. Deadline is June 15th.

PS: Two gift cards will be awarded here (& On Facebook) and the third one on Instagram.

Discover the Lebanese Wild Side: Book Your Outdoor Activites For 50% Less this Weekend

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We all tend to forget how breathtaking our country’s outdoor scenery is or we simply don’t know where to go because there’s not enough information provided online. The truth is, our country is perfect for outdoor activities and there are plenty of things to do from biking, hiking to camping, rafting etc. Last week, Jimmy wrote a post on where to go biking and I was mind-blown by the pictures he shared, but that’s just a fraction of what’s out there.

Yesterday at LeMall Dbayyeh, I was walking around when I spotted Lebanon’s water-ski champion Silvio Chiha standing behind a cool wooden stand and promoting outdoor sport activities and nature adventures. There were Eco-tourism and nature sport fairs around the stand as well and a discount up to 50% on the various activities was being offered as long as customers booked their activities on the spot. The idea is to encourage more Lebanese to engage in nature related activities and create awareness of Lebanon’s ecology and environment.

There are several cool activities to choose from and it’s definitely better if you are a group of 4 people or more. You can benefit from the special rates only this weekend, so drop by LeMall if you are interested. The stand is only available at LeMall Dbayyeh and stays open till 8pm.

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For those who have never explored Lebanon’s wild side, you are missing out a lot! Our country is a beautiful one and has a lot to offer.

Thumbs up to LeMall for this great initiative!

Visiting Tripoli’s Syria Street: Wheat Market Restoration & Qahwetna Cultural Café

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Almost one year ago, an unprecedented security plan has managed to put an end to the endless rounds of fierce clashes and restore calm between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighborhoods. Fortunately, we haven’t heard of any renewed clashes ever since but Syria’s street and more specifically Tebbaneh’s wheat market needed some serious renovation.

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A lot of buildings remain damaged there but the historic market’s restoration has kicked off and the first phase was completed a couple of months ago. I went to Syria’s street to check out the market and the new cultural cafe Qahwetna that was inaugurated recently.

Just to give you an idea on how bad the market’s condition was, here’s a picture showing the difference between the non-renovated part and the renovated one. Merchants were unable to open during winter and the roof was in a very bad shape.

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Now the walls have been replaced with white stone, and the market’s roof has been completely restored. I went for a walk inside the market, it was clean, everyone was extremely friendly just like they always are in Tripoli, I got offered Kaak and coffee like 10 times and I got to meet a couple of merchants who told me about their struggle when the Lebanese Army clashed with the Islamists inside the market.

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The wheat market is long and narrow and gets really crowded during the weekend. You can find almost everything there everything from food, clothes, accessories, movies, music and other stuff for extremely cheap prices. These markets are quite popular in Tripoli where half the population lives under the poverty line and especially in Bab el Tebbaneh, which is considered Tripoli’s poorest neighborhood.

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Before leaving Tripoli, I dropped by Qahwetna, a cultural café founded on the former fighting line (Syria Street) between the two areas, where “events such as other plays, stand-up comedy gigs, rap sessions and other expressive art forms can find a platform in the neglected conflict areas in Tripoli”.

I had a coffee and another Kaake and got to meet the guys that are managing the cafe. Qahwetna is perfectly located and is a much needed space for young people to interact around peaceful ideas, have fun, and enjoy themselves.

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All in all, Tripoli has been suffering for years from development and economic deprivation despite being Lebanon’s second largest city and having all the necessary components to become a second economic capital. Almost half of Tripoli’s population is poor and lives under poor conditions and unemployment rates are high.

Tripoli and more importantly Syria’s street needs small initiatives like the Wheat Market restoration, the opening of a cultural cafe, cultural events like the one MARCH organized last year etc. We need to keep in mind that that the problems in Tripoli are not stirred or generated by fanaticism or extremism but it’s the lack of opportunities and under-development that is suppressing any hope for the youth, leading them to resort to violence.

cemetery Bab el Tebbaneh’s cemeteries

Don’t Throw Away Your Christmas Wrapping Papers & Greeting Cards!

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Christmas is here, everyone is out buying gifts and wrapping them nicely to put them under the Christmas tree, or getting greeting cards to send them to their loves ones. Unfortunately, most of the greeting cards are corporate ones and end up in the trash bin, just like gift-wraps that we all throw away.

This year, and due to the waste crisis that’s still ongoing, ABC Lebanon & Women Uprising are launching an initiative to promote re-usability and recycling of gift-wraps in an attempt to reduce waste during the holidays. A sticker just like the one shown below will be placed on every gift-wrap and a flyer inside the bag providing all the information you need on how to recycle these papers and get used to the recycling habits. Moreover, there are collection boxes set up at both ABC Dbayeh & Achrafieh where you can drop off your Christmas wrapping papers and greeting cards to be recycle.

We all visit malls countless times during the holidays to buy gifts and check out the decoration, so let’s make an extra effort once Christmas is over and drop off the gift-wraps and useless cards in an attempt to reduce waste.

PS: For those interested, creative workshops on how to reuse gift-wraps will take place at ABC I-Play in Achrafieh on December 28th and at ABC I-Play Dbayeh on December 29th from 4 to 7 p.m. for mums and kids.

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One Quote That Sums Up The AirBoard Hype In Lebanon

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lol By the hilarious OhMyJad

The air-board is a fun gadget but I never thought for a second it would become that popular especially that it’s very expensive ($800+). As it turns out, I was terribly wrong as it became a global trend and is probably this year’s most popular Christmas gift.

It’s all over the place in Lebanon as well. I see people using it in malls, on pavements, on public roads and almost every kid in Beirut Souks has one. The problem however is that there are fake ones being sold now and these are potentially dangerous for kids, not to mention that kids will become even lazier now.

I don’t envy parents who have to buy one for their kids this Christmas because I’m sure they will get bored of it very quickly. I remember when my younger brother once wanted a small electric scooter (that cost $500 back then) for Christmas then he ended up using for a couple of weeks only. Nevertheless, I recommend to buy it if you have to from authorized dealers or decent toy shops like Virgin Megastore or Mazen World.

All in all, I think Jad’s quote hilariously sums up the airboard hype.

Virgin Megastore Offering Free Rides To Christmas Shoppers

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Traffic is a huge problem during December in Lebanon and more specifically inside Beirut, and it’s almost impossible to find a parking spot inside malls like ABC Achrafieh & Dbayyeh, Citymall, Beirut Souks or even around them especially when Christmas is few days ago. That’s why I personally try to finish all my Christmas shopping as early as possible but finding a parking spot is always a hassle.

I’m always supportive of initiatives that reduce Christmas traffic and Virgin Megastore has just kicked off a very cool campaign offering free taxi rides with Allo Taxi to all customers who will purchase for an amount of $50.

All you have to do is the following:
– Order an Allo Taxi cab (Call 1213 or use their mobile app).
– Pay the taxi driver, get a receipt and present it at Virgin Megastore shops where you will get reimbursed for the full amount and given a “free ride”coupon back home upon purchasing for $50 or more.

So if you want to buy a gift from Virgin DownTown or usually shop at ABC for Christmas, you can order a taxi get everything you need, and enjoy a free ride back home without driving in traffic or worrying about finding a parking spot. The Free Taxi Ride Service is limited to 25,000 LL per way to any location withing Greater Beirut Region. If you live far away, you only need to pay the difference which is fair enough.

PS: You can call Virgin Megastore Lebanon for more details.

Geryes Bou Naoum In Jal el Dib: A Great Place To Buy Cheap Christmas And New Year Items

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If you are looking for cheap and decent items for Christmas or New Year’s eve, Geryes Bou Naoum is the place to go! I found out about this place three years ago and since then I’ve been going yearly specially for New Year. The confetti for example is ALWAYS cheaper than what you find in supermarkets or shops and there’s a large variety of almost everything. Bou Naoum is a wholesaler that is located in Jal el Dib near Odeon theater and McDonald’s; the easiest way is to take the main highway and take your first right after O&C Supermarket, once you reach the inside Jal el Dib Zalk road, go right and then take your first left after Odeon theater. Drive for 200 meters then you will see a small road that takes you to a huge hangar. It’s usually crowded around Christmas and New Year so try to park in the nearby parking lot or on the main street and walk up.

Don’t expect to see a nice shop as Bou Naoum is a wholesaler and the place is like a huge bazaar. The staff however is very friendly and helpful and it’s very easy to get discounts on almost everything.

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The Amazing Guillermo Forchino Collection Now Available At Virgin Megastores In Beirut

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I love figurines, specially the ones that are meticulously crafted and contain a lot of details, so you can imagine how excited I was while unwrapping my “Mr Barbecue” figurine by Guillermo Forchino that Virgin sent me as a gift. Forchino is an Argentinian artist born to Italian parents who creates comic sculptures with a lighthearted sense of fun and color. He has quite a large collection that includes boats, planes, motorcycles and cars and he has created in recent years a line of individuals in sports and a variety of professions that was named the “ Professionals Series”. The figurine I got is shown below and is almost 45cm long. As you can see, the details are amazing and the whole thing is just beautiful.

20141125_172614 “A good barbecue is hard to do!” explained Freddy to his two kids who listened mesmerized. “First, is to start the charcoal. Then the grill is heated so it can be easily cleaned.” The kids, charmed by the master chef, listened attentively. “Then, gently place the pieces of meat and sausage on the grill. Finally, and this is the most important, patiently wait for the exact moment when the meat is perfectly cooked, and then….there is nothing left to do, but to enjoy yourself!”

Price-wise, the figurines are quite affordable as the most expensive one costs around $280 which is a very reasonable price considering the amount of work and the size and weight of the object. The one I got costs around $235 but you can find smaller items that start at around 100 or $150. I am already considering buying my parents one of them as a Christmas gift and getting myself the F1 car.

You can check out his [website] for more info. The Guillermo Forchino collection is exclusively available at the Virgin Megastores store in Beirut.

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Khoury Home Doing A Black Friday?

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For those of you who don’t know what Black Friday is, it’s the Friday following Thanksgiving day in the United States and the busiest shopping day of the year. All major retailers in the US offer crazy discounts and promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. My brother is in the US so every year, I look up Black Friday deals and try to take advantage of all the offers and there are some really amazing deals!

Going back to Lebanon, Khoury Home is apparently organizing a Black Friday this week but they didn’t confirm it yet. Given how bad our economy is, a Black Friday would be a perfect boost to all retailers before the shopping season. I hope they consider doing it on a bigger scale and on a yearly basis.

My Luxury Outlet Special Sale Week

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I don’t know how many of you are familiar with My Luxury Outlet, but I know a lot of girls (and very few guys) who wait for this special sale week to go and buy stuff there. The only reason why I know about this shop is because it’s located on the Mar Nicolas stairs and every time I go to Gemmayze I see it. MLO is part of the Holdal Abou Adal group and is a multi-brand outlet store that sells luxury brands such as Lancel, Longchamp, Fratelli Rossetti, Kipling, S.T.Dupont and others. A friend was telling me yesterday how people go crazy over these sales and that once she saw a couple of ladies fighting over a bag.

I love S.T. Dupont wallets and I currently carry one, so I might as well pass by and see if I can find a new one at a good price. Maybe if I am lucky, a couple of customers will fight over a bag and I will film the whole thing haha!

Here’s a [link] to their Facebook page.

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