LiveLoveBeirut & JoueClubLiban Distributing Gifts To Poor Children This Christmas

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After I posted the above picture on my Instagram and it got shared by LiveLoveBeirut and went viral, JoueClub teamed up with the LiveLoveBeirut guys and launched the #welivelove campaign whereas every child in need that you find in the streets will get a Christmas gift from JoueClubLiban.

Well Christmas is here and the LiveLoveBeirut guys along with JoueClubLiban are distributing gifts to children in the streets. Here are a couple of pictures shared today and more to follow.

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Should We Complain About Traffic During Christmas?

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largest Via Dan Khoueiry

Two days ago, I left Beirut around 5pm and got stuck for 45 minutes between Saifi and the Touch building in Karantina. I thought at first it was just traffic but cars weren’t moving at all but as it turns out the security forces had blocked the road apparently because some Iranian official was visiting. I don’t know who’s the genius who planned this visit but I think Lebanese are the priority not a foreign official. Once we got past Touch it took me an hour and a half to get past ABC and Le Mall in Dbayyeh and then the road was almost clear. Yesterday was probably the worst traffic I’ve experienced this year as it took me almost 3 hours to get from Beirut to Jounieh.

The main reason behind all this traffic are malls, shops and restaurants on the highway and cars cutting off others to get in the parking lot. This happens all the time not just during holidays but it gets worse during Christmas and even worse when it rains during the holidays. Of course it’s normal to witness traffic during Christmas and it’s been happening for years, but the only thing that bothers me is that no measures are ever taken to relieve traffic congestion. Companies, malls, businesses and on top of them the authorities can at least try to make things easier for the Lebanese. They could allocate further parking spaces near malls during this period, or provide shuttle services, or organize the entry to malls. So many little things can make a huge difference but no one cares and traffic keeps getting worse every year. Of course there are things that we can do as well as citizens, like getting our Christmas gifts early, avoid going to the malls during peak hours, carpool, walk instead of driving to nearby places, take more days off during the holidays etc …

All in all, I love Christmas and I hate nagging or complaining during this period, but I really want the authorities, businesses and more importantly the blog’s readers to take this into consideration and try make things easier for themselves and others. For example and since NYE is in a week, try to go buy your stuff on the 26th or 27th not the 31st this year and see how great it feels and how much traffic you can avoid.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Music 4 Sara El Khatib – The Coldplay Covers Edition

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musci4sara

Sara el Khatib may have lost her fight with cancer but she remains an inspiration to many specially after her brave Tedxtalk. Sara is still inspiring many and a group of artists are organizing a concert in her memory and to raise funds for children with cancer.

The concert is taking place on December 26 at the Forum De Beyrouth starting 7:30pm. You can find below all the details and book your tickets [Here].

MUSIC 4 SARA – THE COLDPLAY COVERS EDITION

Sara is more than just a 22 year old pharmacy graduate, she’s inspired so many, so we’ve come together, family and friends, organizers, promoters, musicians, DJs to give you a special place and time to celebrate this strong, will powered, Coldplay fan, happy, amazing Sara!

Date: December 26th, 2014
Location: Forum de Beyrouth

A documentary of Sara’s life by Clouds will be screened at 7:00 PM.

Hitting the stage at 7:30 PM with their own songs and covers of Coldplay:
WHO KILLED BRUCE LEE
SAFAR
BANANA ELEPHANT
BUTTERFLY with Tanya Rizkala & Mario Agostine from EPIC + Ralph Asfour

(not in order)

Followed on the decks by:
VANCLOD JANDAM
INSE(K)T
IMADJ

(not in order)

This concert will be hosted by:
OLGA HABRE
RABIH SALLOUM
TARA JANE

All funds will go to the Treatment of Children with Cancer.

After Restaurants, Supermarkets And Slaughterhouses, Beirut Airport’s Food Storage is Rotten

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lol airpot

Health Minister Bou Faour decided to close the food and medicine storage warehouses at Beirut’s airport due to the scary, horrible and unacceptable conditions there. Dirty floors, unsafe storage of the good and expired products (for more than 20 years) were found there.

What can I say? Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

“What country is this in which meat and fish are mixed with medicine and trash?” he lamented, explaining that the warehouses’ floors were dirty, and that some food products like butter were stored inside garbage storage rooms.

“Disgusting!” was Zeaiter’s reaction to what he saw.

“The conditions inside the refrigerated warehouses are scary, horrible, and unacceptable. They threaten the health of humans,” he said. [DailyStar]

I Can’t Pay My Mecanique Because I Have Invisible Fines

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no fine

I went down to the bank to pay my mecanique fees today but the teller told me that there are fines that I have to go check at the Nef3a and pay first . I went to the ISF website to see if I have any pending speed tickets but didn’t find any. I don’t remember getting any speed ticket and I didn’t park anywhere illegal to get parking fines so I am not sure what this is about. I think I’d rather pay late fees than drive to Nef3a during this week.

In all cases, I think it’s about time we make this whole procedure online.

Unpacking My 20th Anniversary Edition PS4

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I picked up the limited-edition PS4 yesterday from Sony and opened it earlier today. It’s a beautiful console and a great tribute to the first PS ever. Remember you can still claim yours by joining the draw that I started last week.

Here’s what you need to do:

1- Follow SonyLebanon on Instagram.
2- Check the questions shown [here] and answer correctly under the original post not this one.

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The New Yorker On The Myth of Baalbeck’s Megalith

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as Photo credit: Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.

German Archeologists made an incredible discovery a month ago in Baalbeck when they found right next to the “Hajar Al Hibla” in Baalbeck, the world’s biggest ancient stone block. The stone is more than 20 meters long, weighs more than 1.5 tons and nobody knows yet who ordered a 3 million pound megalith to be delivered to Baalbeck or why it got abandoned.

The New Yorker dug deeper into this matter and mentioned few theories that could explain the size of that stone as well as some historical facts about Baalbeck, which is named for Baal, the Phoenician deity, although the Romans referred to the the site by its Greek name, Heliopolis. It’s quite sad though that the article ended on a negative note by mentioning the tensions between Syrian militants, Lebanese Sunni and Hezbollah in Baalbeck and its outskirts.

Check out the full article [Here].

Testimony to Baalbek’s flummoxing properties can be found in the 1860 diary of the Scottish traveller David Urquhart, whose mental capacities were “paralyzed” by “the impossibility of any solution.” Urquhart devotes several pages to the “riddles” posed by the giant stones—“so enormous, as to shut out every other thought, and yet to fill the mind only with trouble.” What, for example, was the point of cutting such enormous rocks? And why do it out there in the middle of nowhere, instead of in a capital or a port? Why were there no other sites that looked like Baalbek? And why had the work been abandoned midway? Urquhart concludes that the temple must have been built by contemporaries of Noah, using the same technological prowess that enabled the construction of the ark. Work was halted because of the flood, which swept away all the similar sites, leaving the enigma of Baalbek alone on the face of the earth.

Scholars today like to laugh at Urquhart, particularly at his alleged belief that mastodons transported the stones. (I didn’t see any reference to mastodons in his diary.) But archaeologists are still trying to solve the riddles that he posed. Margarete van Ess, a professor from the German Archaeological Institute, told me that the purpose of the investigation that turned up the new stone block was precisely to ascertain how the three temple blocks were transported, and why two others like them were left in the quarry. (One of these previously discovered megaliths, known as the Hajjar al-Hibla, or Stone of the Pregnant Woman, turned out to have a crack that would have impeded its transport.)

Van Ess added that the blocks were probably cut in much the same way as the masonry used in the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct in southern France, with each piece split from a larger expanse of limestone along natural fissures between the rock strata. Too heavy to lift, the blocks would then have been dragged from the quarry, probably using a capstan, a kind of human-driven winch—though the possibility of a sledge is also under discussion.