More information on The Hybrid Electoral Law Proposed

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Picture taken from

For those of you, like myself, who couldn’t understand a thing about the new hybrid electoral law proposed, here’s a nice elaborate post on that matter posted on

There has been a lot of talk on a hybrid Proportional-Representation/ Winner-Takes-All electoral law in the past few weeks, and almost all the parties (PSP, Phalanges, Amal, Lebanese Forces) gave their proposals of hybrid laws in the electoral committees. The different hybrid draft laws are very similar to each other and mostly differ in the percentage of MPs elected by proportional representation (30%, 40%, 50%) but less in the constituencies’ boundaries (Small districts for the winner-takes-all seats and big ones for the PR seats). I’m going to review the draft law proposed from the Lebanese Forces. You can see the criteria of the law here.

It still looks a bit too complicated to explain to all the voters.


The Voice Tour 2013 At The Jounieh Festival 2013

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Update: Lana Del Rey will also be performing at the Byblos Festival on July 10th even though it wasn’t officially declared yet. [Source]

For all the Anthony Touma fans, The Voice Tour 2013 is coming to the Jounieh International Festival 2013 on Tuesday July 9 at the Fouad Chehab Stadium as stated by L’Orient LeJour. I didn’t see a mention of the concert on the Jounieh Festival website though.

I for myself am still upset I will be missing Lana del Rey’s performance at the Sky Bar in Beirut on May 30. Speaking of partying, I’ve been to White, Pier7 and Al Mandaloun these past two days and I can assure you the summer has kicked off to a great start!

4G service not yet working on mobile phones

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The 4G network will only support data at the moment to be followed by calls and SMS by end of June

I tried the 4G SIM on both the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Note2 and I couldn’t get a 4G sign even though I put the right configuration. I don’t know if I misunderstood Alfa’s official statement but they did specify a list of devices that work on the Alfa 4G network during the launch:

The devices that work on the Alfa 4G network are:
1- Lumia 920
2- Galaxy S3 (that supports LTE)
3- Galaxy Note 2 (that supports LTE)
4- LG Optimus g
5- iPad mini

Here’s an excerpt from the DailyStar:

Yet very few smartphones and wireless devices currently sold in Lebanon support the new network and accessing it will come at a high cost to consumers. Alfa CEO Marwan Hayek said at a news conference that 41,000 devices in the Lebanese market are currently 4G, or fourth-generation, enabled, including the Nokia Lumia 920, the LG Optimus G, the iPad mini, and compatible Galaxy S3 and Note 2 models. [DailyStar]

PS: On a side note, thumbs up to Alfa for their improved customer service!

ISF Bus going the wrong way

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Just when I started having hope when I saw a policeman wearing a helmet (see below), I spotted an ISF bus not only going the wrong way yesterday but driving recklessly (and stupidly by creating more traffic). Of course other cars followed him instead of staying in line.

I’m wondering if the Interior Minister and concerned parties are allocating enough time to teach these officers the law because they obviously don’t have a clue or just don’t give a damn, and I am not sure which is worse.


Babel Restaurant

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I was at G-Star Raw‘s launching party last week and I was having a little chat with their Business Developer Patrick Reytenbagh who asked me which Lebanese restaurant I would recommend for a lunch or dinner for a tourist coming to Lebanon. I had a lot of places in mind but he just wanted that one-place that would leave a great impression and a one of a kind experience and the only restaurant I could think of is Babel in Dbayyeh.

I looked through my previous posts and I was surprised to see that I’ve never reviewed Babel even though I’ve been there countless times. The only post I could find was one entitled ‘Lebanese Hospitality‘ showing how generous Babel is. Everything from the presentation, the architecture, the food and the service is unique and almost perfect. Even the toilets look great lol!

Until I write a full review, I leave with some of Babel’s specialties and this nice post by NoGarlicNoOnions. Babel is located in Dbayyeh.

The only thing that’s missing is a website for the restaurant as I couldn’t find any which is pretty weird.






Censored Painting at the 9th edition of JABAL exhibition at Le Grey Beirut

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Via Stop Cultural Terrorism

The artist behind this painting is Mohammad Saad and the painting above is a parody of 6 paintings:
Francisco Goya – The Third of May 1808
Theodore Gericault – Raft of the Medusa
Michelangelo – Creation of Adam
Raphael – The Deposition
Rembrandt Van Rign – The Anatomy Lesson
Frans Snyders – Dogs Fighting

To be honest, I didn’t think too highly of the painting but that’s not a reason to ban it, given that it was really banned since the spokesperson for JABAL, Ms. Zeina Antonios, told the painting was pulled because it was “too expensive for the show”.

On May 8, Fransabank launched the 9th edition of its JABAL exhibition at Hotel Le Gray to great success, with 18 of the 25 artists having sold their artwork during the launching event alone.

But one artist’s work – which appears in JABAL’s official catalogue – never made it to the actual exhibit. Mhammad Saad’s Farewell Beirut depicts Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (in addition to various other Lebanese politicians, including former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea among others) as a character in one of Michelangelo’s most renowned works, The Creation of Adam. [Link]

Meet 24-year-old Paul Salameh, The Lebanese developer behind the world’s #1 mobile kids game, Pou

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That’s quite an amazing story. I had no clue a Lebanese was behind Pou.

When Yahoo! paid 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio $30 million for news summary app Summly, one of our Wamda contributors wrote us, “I’m looking forward to the day when somebody on Wamda writes the Arab version of this story.”

The story of Lebanese developer Paul Salameh is almost that story. He might not be a teenager (he’s 24) and his app might not influence the future of media consumption, but rumors have swirled that he has been offered $20 million for its acquisition.

“He’s probably making around $30,000 day, by conservative estimation,” a local source told us, based upon estimates of downloads of the $1.99 iOS version and in-app purchases on its Android app. That’s a cool $1 million a month.

For what? Pou. Yes, that’s the name of his app, which resembles a colorful, mobile version of Japanese digital pet Tamagotchi. In Pou, players can feed, wash, and play games with a brown, triangular alien pet, which has turned out to be wildly addictive; the app made a global Top 5 Paid iOS Apps list last month, sees between between 260-320,000 downloads a day on Android, and has so far hit #1 in the iPhone kids games category in a total of 90 countries. [Wamda]

You can download Pou from the [Apple Store] or [Play Store]. To view the article’s full version [Here].

Thanks M!