Joseph Sader Case Brought Back To The Spotlight

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Joseph Sader is a Lebanese that has been missing since 2009. Sader worked as an IT Operations Managers for MEA and was kidnapped on his way to work near the army checkpoint on the approach to the airport. It’s such a weird case specially that the man has been working at MEA since 1982 and isn’t affiliated politically or anything, at least as per his wife’s testimony. Sader is married to Salma and has three children: Sofia, 23, Ralph 17, and Tina, 10.

The new Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi has vowed to resolve this case, and I truly hope he does and that this matter won’t get politicized because Sader’s family deserves to know what happened.


Will The Movie Noah Be Banned In Lebanon?

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UAE, Qatar and Bahrain have already banned the Hollywood film “Noah” because it contains scenes that are seen as offensive to Islam. I am not sure whether it will be banned in Lebanon as well but I highly doubt that it will get approved by the censorship bureau.

I wonder how long will it take us to realize that any form of censorship is wrong.

Update: Grand Cinemas told me on twitter that it will start showing on March 27th but they said it didn’t pass the censorship yet.

The Daily Beast Removed The Article On Lebanon Being The Worst Country To Go On Vacation

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Screenshot taken from Ginosblog

The Daily Beast had posted a list of the ten best and worst places to go on vacation last week, and named Lebanon the #1 worst place to go on vacation for Westerners right now. I have no idea how they came up with that list, but all of it didn’t make sense and for some reason the article was removed from their site now.

iPhone To Be Officially Released Soon By Lebanon’s Alfa Telecom

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According to 9to5mac, Apple is signing deals with new carriers worldwide and among them Alfa in Lebanon. Alfa’s CEO Marwan Hayek confirmed it in a tweet that iPhone will be soon officially released in Lebanon.

That’s definitely good news but we still have to see whether Alfa (and maybe Touch later) will offer reasonable prices and plans. I will try to figure out how soon the launch will be for those interested.

Update: I was told the launch will probably take place by end of March.

Thanks Sandro!

Lebanon’s Mayors Share Their Funny Stories

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There’s an ongoing competition on Gandour Unica’s Facebook page whereas mayors from all around Lebanon share funny stories from their hometown and upload them on the page. The videos I was able to view (as some are locked for some reason) weren’t that funny to be honest, except for the Rmeil mayor’s one.

The competition reminded me of LBCI’s Kalamanji show. It was a hilarious show and I wish they bring it back!

Old Beirut: Hôtel Excelsior & Les Caves du Roy Night Club

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Hotel Excelsior was one of Lebanon’s most famous hotels back in the 1950s and 1960s and its nightclub “Les Caves Du Roy” was one of Lebanon’s hottest nightlife spots. Excelsior was located next to Beirut’s Palm Beach Hotel in Ain el Mreisseh and was featured in several scenes from Georges Lautner’s 1967 film La Grande Sauterelle. The movie includes a scene “where Lebanese restaurant and nightclub owner Pepe Abed sits at the famous pool reading a newspaper”.


The Wilson Girls (3 English Girls) used to perform every night at Les Caves Du Roy and an old German band called Birth Control performed there as well. According to this article, Les Caves Du Roy was known for its crêpes and Chef Roulet’s famous L’escape Excelsior. The article says that the Shah of Iran may have visited the place.


After the hotel closed due to the civil war, it was apparently reopened shortly for one night during Bachir Gemayel’s era. There are a lot of untold stories regarding Hôtel Excelsior & Les Caves du Roy Night Club and it’s quite unfortunate that it has been closed and abandoned for tens of years now. I’ve never noticed where Hôtel Excelsior was exactly in Ain el Mraisse but I found it on Google Maps and gonna see if we can visit it.


All the info and pictures were taken from this [article].

This picture was taken by Charles W. Cushman back in 1965 from the top of the hotel.

Thanks Lea!

About That Video On Syrian and Ukrainian Refugees In Lebanon

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Picture via GlobalPost

I am sure you’ve all seen this [video] showing how Lebanese reacted when asked about Syrian Refugees in Lebanon and the possibility of having Ukrainian refugees following recent events in Ukraine and the Crimea region.

For some reason, whomever uploaded the video and most of the people commenting are labeling the Lebanese as racist and insensitive, and that’s the message being spread all across the social media networks. Knowing that there’s still racism in Lebanon, that’s not what the interviewed people said and that’s definitely not the message being sent out from this video. The Syrian Refugees in Lebanon is a very alarming and serious matter as they constitute almost 30% of the country’s population now, and are a huge economic burden on the Lebanese people and its government. That’s not a racist statement, that’s a fact that even the UN acknowledges and I don’t think there’s anyone helping the Syrian Refugees as much as the Lebanese are. Moreover, the Lebanese Online Community and a lot of NGOs and associations have long condemned all the racist acts against Syrian refugees and helped in promoting awareness on that matter.

After all:
It’s normal for public schools and universities to get overcrowded when you have a 1 million refugees in a country of 4 million.
It’s normal for Lebanese workers and local businesses to complain because they are competing with a cheaper labor force.
It’s normal for rent prices to go up when there’s more demand.

What’s not normal is for Lebanese to spread this misleading video and label their own people as racist and insensitive.

Moreover, whomever asked that question about Ukrainian refugees (Just Female Refugees) obviously meant it in a funny way even though I didn’t find it funny, but still the answers were not serious ones and cannot in anyway be compared to the first part of the video. This being said, stop sharing this video and report it if anything because it’s misleading and harmful to the Lebanese and Syrians. No one’s denying that there’s still racism in Lebanon but that’s not how you portray it and raise awareness on it.