ArabNet Developer Tournament in Lebanon

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For all Lebanese Developers and codes, the ArabNet Developer Tournament is taking place on October 26th at the Beirut Creative Cluster in Lebanon. Winners will get to represent in the ArabNet Coding Championship in Dubai and receive monetary prizes as well.

There’s also a Job Fair where you can meet with top local and regional companies and a Code Lab where you can discover the latest technologies in web and mobile development.

You can check out all the details and register [Here].

Lebanon

Last year, Lebanon won the first place at the Arabnet Development Tournament in Dubai.

#BreakingBarriersLebanon: Good Luck Mike!

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[YouTube]

Michael Haddad lost control of 75% of his body after a jet-ski accident 26 years ago and stays standing up with his two crutches and a 15-kilogram steel exoskeleton, yet despite all that, he’s preparing to walk 19 kilometers between the Cedars of Bcharre and the Cedars of Tannourine! Maghawir commander Chamel Roukoz will escort Mike every step of the way and for every step he takes, a Lebanese Cedar tree will be planted.

What an inspiring story and what a remarkable individual this Mike is!

Many thanks to Gino for sharing this story.

So, sounds simple. Walk 19 kilometers between the Cedars of Bsharre and the Cedars of Tannourine. A total of 60,000 steps. But, the catch is, Michael Haddad is paralyzed from the chest down. Only his upper torso, arms and head and neck are functional. He stays standing up with his two crutches and a 15-kilogram steel exoskeleton. Yes, you read that right. I had to double and triple check myself.

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Mike this afternoon, and I know this is going to sound cliche, but this man put my whiny self to shame. After a tragic jet-ski accident 26 years ago, Mike lost control of 75% of his body. In a country where the disabled are given virtually no acknowledgment, and faced with forever being ostracized from society, most of us would wallow in our despair and give up on life. Mike though, was the happiest, bubbliest, spunkiest person I have met in months if not years. [GinosBlog]

You can follow Mike’s progress on the hashtag #BreakingBarriersLebanon on Twitter and Instagram.

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UAE Could Become First Arab Country Whose Citizens Are Exempt From Schengen Visa

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Correction: It is not clear whether the vote was to consider UAE’s admission to the list of countries exempted from Schenghen or allowing them once and for all to travel to EU without a Schenghen. That’s why I corrected and added “Could Be” until I clarify this matter. From what I understood from this [article], there are still technicalities that need to be sorted out before UAE citizens can travel without using a Schenghen.

Every time I think of traveling to Europe, the thought of getting all the papers and setting an interview for the Schengen depresses me. I want to think Lebanon will join UAE one day but that’s not gonna happen in this lifetime, even though our passport is one of the best in the world according to the General Security (Ma hek?).

Congrats to the UAE and UAE Citizens!

The Civil Liberties Committee at the European Parliament (EP) has unanimously endorsed a proposal to add the UAE to the list of countries whose nationals are exempt from the Schengen visa requirements.

UAE Ambassador to the European Union Sulaiman Al Mazrouei described the EP’s move as an achievement for the UAE diplomacy and a reflection of the country’s strong ties with the EU.

“If implemented, the Schengen visa waiver would ease travel of the UAE citizens to the Schengen states. The UAE would be the first Arab country whose citizens are exempt from Schengen visa,” said Al Mazrouei. “Today’s vote is a huge step towards finalising legislative requirements and moving to negotiations and subsequent waiver implementation,” he added. [Source]

Haifa Wehbe Ambassador for Road and Security

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Let’s hope Haifa’s sister will stop blocking roads and causing trouble after this campaign. I also hope we won’t have more accidents from people looking at Haifa posters lol!

On a serious note, traffic accidents are still on the rise in Lebanon so any awareness campaign that might reach out to a bigger audience is more than welcome.

Haifa Wehbe was appointed on Friday as the Lebanese Communications Ambassador for Humanitarian issues, with a main priority of raising awareness among Lebanese youth against the use of mobile phones while driving.

The star will take part in an awareness campaign under the slogan “Don’t Text and Drive,” Agence France-Presse reported.

The campaign will be plugged through social networks in order to draw the attention to the seriousness of phone use while driving and reduce traffic accidents caused as a result. [AlBawaba]

Here we go again: Beirut Among The 28 Official Finalists For The New7Wonders Cities

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I hope we will not go through this experience again and waste money over this scam. Jeita already lost in the N7W and 10 million dollars were wasted. In case you forget about this competition, here’s why N7W was a bad idea and still is today and here’s a study to back this claim.

Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders, announces the names of the 28 Official Finalists in the New7Wonders Cities campaign on 21 October 2013 in Zurich, Switzerland. They are, in alphabetical order:

Athens, Greece
Bangkok, Thailand
Barcelona, Spain
Beirut, Lebanon
Casablanca, Marocco
Chicago, USA
Doha, Qatar
Durban, South Africa
Havana, Cuba
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Istanbul, Turkey
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kyoto, Japan
La Paz, Bolivia
London, United Kingdom
Mendoza, Argentina
Mexico City, Mexico
Mumbai, India
Perth, Australia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Prague, Czech Republic
Quito, Ecuador
Reykjavik, Iceland
St. Petersburg, Russia
Seoul, South Korea
Shenzhen, China
Vancouver, Canada
Vigan, Philippines

Marky’s Philly Joint

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Ever since Marky’s opened, I’ve been hearing mixed opinions about it, whereas some people hated it while others loved it and told me they’ve had the best burgers ever there (even though it’s a philly joint). Having said that, I ended up visiting Marky’s last week with a couple of friends and to be honest I wasn’t that impressed.

Marky’s is located in Sin el Fil on the road leading to the Mkalles roundabout. The joint is relatively small and fits around 20-25 people. There are two parking spots in front of the place but you can easily find a spot there.

Here’s what we ordered:
– 1 Chicken Caesar Salad
– 1 “The Philly” Steak
– 1 Oklahoma Burger
– 1 Cheese Burger
– 1 Cheese Hot Dog
– 2 orders of Poutine fries

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First of all, I got the salad in a plastic box with a plastic fork and knife which I didn’t appreciate. I understand that it’s a joint but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a proper table setting. Even the soft drinks came in plastic cups.

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Marky’s chef takes pride in his poutine fries, and on how they are prepared using fresh French fries, the traditional and secret poutine gravy and imported cheese curds from Canada. That’s the first time I ever taste Poutine fries, so I enjoyed them but I can’t really tell if they are authentic or not.

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As far as the Philly steaks and hot dogs are concerned, my friend told me the Philly steak wasn’t as good as the previous time and the hotdog wasn’t appealing at all. I mean you expect cheddar cheese, corn and tortilla chips on a hotdog not lettuce and tomatoes.

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Moving on to the burgers, the bun was great and the burger presentation was great but my friend and I didn’t like the patty, which is what the burger is all about. The meat was way too greasy and oily and had a weird taste and both of us forced ourselves to finish the burger. Of course it doesn’t mean the quality of the meat is bad as a burger is a matter of personal taste.

To sum it up, I didn’t expect to dislike the place specially after all the reviews I’ve read, which is why I am going to give Marky’s another try soon with a bunch of friends and see if it was a one-time accident.

Limited Edition Elie Saab Bottle for Evian

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The Elie Saab Evian Bottle costs 6.99$ and you can order it [Here].

Now owned by French brand Danone, Evian is considered to be one of the finest packaged drinking water suppliers in the market. Their timely collaborations with big designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Issey Miyake, Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Paul Smith is perhaps the ideal gimmick to elevate their already premium quotient up by a few notches.

Joining the brigade for 2014 is designer Elie Saab, who has collaborated with the brand on a limited edition series of bottles that revolve around the theme of ‘Purity’. Purity of water meets purity of design and what you have is a clear glass bottle with delicate lace detailing that’s been intricately infused into the glass to represent Saab’s signature feminine style.

The 2014 limited edition Evian bottles by Elie Saab are now available for purchase at shop.evian.us, and at select restaurants and hotels, including Sofitel Luxury Hotels. [Source]

Thanks Sarhad!