A “Racist” Lebanese Travels to Sri Lanka

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SriLanka
Sri Lanka

The sad part is that the “idiots” the author is talking about are still way too many in Lebanon. You can read the full article [Here].

Sri Lanka is a nationality, not a profession. This should be clear to everyone. However, in Lebanon, the situation is different. A “Sri Lankan,” here, could be from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, or the Philippines. The identity has become a synonym for domestic service workers. In Lebanon, it’s normal to hear someone asking her friend, “Which country is your ‘Sri Lankan’ from?” The question is full of ignorance, even hatred and irrational racism, pointing to a feeling of Lebanese superiority toward the people of Sri Lanka.

Those who ask it are ignorant that there is a full-fledged country called Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon and, in ancient times, Serendipity. It has a civilization which goes further back in time, ages before Christ. Yet the people who live there are reduced by some idiots here to the status of “servant.” Some are unaware that their favorite tea was grown, manufactured, and made famous by that people.

In fact, the issue goes beyond domestic workers. The moniker “Sri Lankan” in Lebanon refers to anything considered “lower.” One often hears Lebanese comparing a woman to a Sri Lankan, as a form of denigration.

The Gärten by überhaus

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[YouTube]

I was in Lebanon over the weekend and passed by The Gärten Saturday night for the first time. I have to say the place kicks ass, it has a large outdoor area with fake grass and lots of bean bags surrounding a center bar. Then you have a large open dome on the opposite end which is basically the dance floor surrounded by a slightly raised seating area.

The music was ridiculously good that night and the place even had arcade machines outside the toilets which you could play for free while waiting for your friend to finish. NeoGeo fans will love it with Aero Fighters 2 and Metal Slug being my favorite two games to play while being completely wasted.

Entrance was $25 and included a free drink. Parking was easy to find as well and cost LL5,000. The Gärten is located in Biel and only opens up on Saturdays.

Posted by Mark

Where To Go Hiking In Lebanon?

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PICT5477

Lebanon has a mere 225 km of coast line, much of which is neither free nor clean to enjoy. Compared to this, it has a lifetime of trails and walks to discover that lead through pristine natural landscapes of great diversity, passing through or near small villages and hamlets, rivers, orchards, places of heritage and of course, many local food delicacies. [NowLebanon]

NowLebanon, with the help of CVS (Club Des Vieux Sentiers) and LMT (Lebanese Mountain Trail), compiled a list of summer hikes that you can check [Here].

The Club Des Vieux Sentiers was founded back in 1971 and has been organizing hikes ever since. You don’t have to be a professional to join them as there are several hikes of varying difficulties offered. I’ve never been to any hike yet but I have a friend who goes all the time and uploads the most amazing pictures. The hikes are a great way to discover many parts of Lebanon we haven’t heard of, but more importantly switch off after a long week, meet new people, get some exercise and enjoy nature.

If you are interested in going on one of the CVS’s hikes, check their [Website] and [Facebook Page].

Nahrj_big

If you wish to go for something more extreme, you can try to hike the [LMT].

PS: If you don’t know what to bring or wear on a hike, there’s a hiking checklist and tons of information on the LMT website that you can check [Here].

Žydrūnas Savickas “Big Z” Coming To The International Strongman Challenge in Beirut

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20130715_074516-1 [High-Res]

I usually follow the World’s Strongest Man competitions and I remember watching Big Z win year after year. He’s the only competitor to have won every major strongman competition and he’s coming to Beirut for the The International Strongman Challenge that will be held in Dekwaneh at the Golden Body Club on Sunday 28 August 2013.

I’ve never been to one of those competitions, so I am gonna ask around see if we can meet this big guy and take a picture with him.

Pet Shop Boys concert was epic!

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On Wednesday I went to the Lana Del Rey concert which I thought was pretty boring but last night I went to the Pet Shop Boys one and it was just incredible. First of all just a little backstory, my first cassette tape I ever purchased was for Pet Shop Boys back in the 80s. They’ve always been one of my favorite bands ever even though I really haven’t kept up to date with their recent work.


[YouTube]

So anyway last night I got to the concert an hour early since I was hoping I’d be lucky enough to find a spot right in the front (I had the Golden ticket) and to my surprise the place was empty when I got there. I quickly grabbed a spot right in front of where the mic was placed and waited. There wasn’t an opening act for the concert but they were playing some pretty good music to get us moving. Then, the second Pet Shop Boys walked on stage the energy of the place completely changed. Even though the event wasn’t as packed as Lana Del Rey the people who did show up were true fans at least the ones who were standing around me in the golden ticket section. I was standing so close to the stage it was just unreal seeing them perform live and so up close. Neil Tennant was standing right in front of me and I was jumping up and down screaming wanting him to notice me.


[YouTube]

They played a mixture of new songs and classic 80s and 90s songs that were remastered so they wouldn’t sound out of date. The changes were very subtle and I actually want to try and find those remixes online. Whenever a classic song came out the crowd just went wild as you can see in the videos I’ve put up here. Sadly the sound in the videos isn’t that great since I was standing right in front of the speakers which overwhelmed the tiny iPhone mic. Also at one point I rant out of battery and space on my phone hence why the West End Girls video ends abruptly.


[YouTube]

Pet Shop Boys kicked ass last night and I can’t believe how old they are. I love them, 30 years later and they can still bring so much energy to the stage with their music and their never ending costumes. No exaggeration every two songs they were going backstage and changing into different outfits each one looking wilder than the other. Their two supporting dancers also did a phenomenal job as well. I’m so glad I went to the concert, it completely blew me away. For those of you who missed it you really missed out on a extremely entertaining and visually rich show. Hopefully they’ll come back again one day.

Posted by Mark

Help Zee Go To The New School in New York!

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Zeina is a Lebanese writer trying to raise money for her MFA in writing at The New School. It’s so cool that she got accepted there and she’s so close to her goal with 48 hours left so spread the message and let us help Zee make her dream come true!

You can contribute now by visiting this [Link].

I loved Zee’s take on Beirut, check it out: [Beirut, a bruised exotic]

My name is Zeina Abi Assy and I am Lebanese. I am often labeled as a graphic designer because of my degree, a copywriter because of my job, and a writer among family and friends because of my passion. I studied graphic design at the American University of Beirut and minored in creative writing non-fiction. I am a writer and I believe in the power of non-fiction work from this specific area of the world where realities are restrained.

I got accepted to study creative writing non-fiction at The New School, an incredible writing school in New York, and it is my every desire to go. I come from a part of the world where few are contemporary non-fiction writers, set aside women writers, where opportunity is rare, where stories remain unheard, they remain in the dark, tasteless, colorless and insignificant. But these stories are beautiful, they are distinct and they deserve a chance.

And we want to be remembered, we want our stories to have value, our time here, our lives, our culture, our fight, we need them to last, just a bit longer than ashes. And I want to take part in writing the untold story of Beirut, and of Lebanon.

Pieces of my heart still look the same as when they were born. Pieces like my love for my family and my homeland. Pieces that are still afraid of death. Pieces that will never understand war. Pieces that will always empower my words. I want these pieces in me to grow. Mahmoud Darwish once wrote “I was not born to live sunsets but sunrises”, although sunsets will forever move us, we need to see the sun rising, at least once, at least momentarily, at least for a change. Writing is my sunrise. The New School is my sunrise. New York will be my sunrise.

I got accepted but I don’t have the money to go.
I’m making this campaign to raise the money for my tuition fees, which is around $ 50,000.

Stoli’s Orgnl.TV Project

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Stoli

Even with all of the trouble plaguing the country, there’s no shortage of great existing and emerging talent in Lebanon, and I never miss an opportunity to promote these people either through the blog and social media tools or in any other way possible. Unfortunately, a lot of these talents go unnoticed due to the lack of exposure and capital as well as the lack of government incentive. Having said that and in order to help showcase these talents, Stolichnaya kicked off a worldwide campaign last year entitled ORGNL.TV that gave the opportunity for creative individuals to share their talents online and get the exposure they need.

To make things even better this year, the project evolved from last year and is now going after key bloggers and influencers to seek out local original talent and reveal their work whether it’s Art, Music, Fashion, Tech or Taste.

Knowing that I am not usually a fan of online campaigns or competitions, I agreed to get involved in this one because I thought I will be helping, if possible, to promote few local talents to get the proper exposure and who knows maybe let one of them win this thing and make his dream come true.

All you need to do to get into this competition is email me najib@blogbaladi.com before the end of July and share your work so I can post about it if it’s truly original and creative. A lot of people are already doing that with or without competition so there’s your chance to show your originality to the world.

music

You can check out samples of entries for each category [Here].

PS: The prize for the most original talent will be at first a major exposure through the highly popular Orgnl.TV website, as well as a trip to a Stoli international event along with the blogger (will share the details once I get them) among other things.