Get Better Mo!

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That’s where my friend was sitting at the time of the Dahieh explosion

The last car bomb that took place in Beirut’s suburbs killed almost 30 people and injured hundreds. One of the injured happened to be a good friend of mine, who was getting a haircut when the car exploded few meters away from him. He had a near-death experience and got rescued by people he had never met before so I thought I share the story (after I got his approval) because it’s truly amazing.

Mohammad had just returned to Lebanon from a work trip and headed to a hair salon close to his place. On his way to the salon, he was chitchatting with a guy he had just met until each one of them went his way. Few minutes later, the explosion took place and here’s what happened:

When the blast happened, the whole shop was torn down (see picture above) and Mohammad was thrown away from his chair. As soon as everyone inside realized what happened, they found themselves trapped as fires were all around them. They started calling for help and as soon as they were spotted, few guys rushed to help them and break the wall on the opposite side of the hair salon to get them out before they suffocate to death. After several tries, everyone was brought out and my friend was taken on a scooter to the nearest hospital as it was impossible to get an ambulance anywhere near the site. He had bruises and cuts all over his body and needed more than 60 stitches (fortunately he had no burns).

He got out of the hospital two days ago but needs at least 3-4 weeks to recover fully. He learned later on that the guy he had just met on his way to get a haircut (They shared the same family name) had walked into a hair salon right next to his, and everyone inside that shop died instantly from the explosion.

Mohammad was “lucky” enough to survive this blast while 30 other innocent people got killed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things are improving in Lebanon but one can always hope that these terrorists get arrested before it’s too late, and that all Lebanese work on keeping trouble away from Lebanon and not the other way around.

Until then, I hope you get better soon Mo and join us for a basketball game!


PS: Both Pictures were taken by Mohammad, who is a part time photographer.

Lebanese National Kissing Day

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Potential Volunteers for the event (Couple kissing and posing: Picture from Riviera) – via Beiruting

A group of Lebanese are aiming to organize the “Lebanese National Kissing Day” and have started a Facebook Page for that purpose. The last time a “Free Hugs” day was organized in Lebanon, religious fanatics condemned it and stated hugs are meant at “spreading vice”.

Thanks Trella!

Lebanese Singer Elissa’s Remarks on the Roueiss bombing

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Elissa apparently upset a lot of Lebanese after her small speech last night concerning the Roueiss bombing. I looked up what she said and it doesn’t look as bad as people are saying. I think she wasn’t clear but that doesn’t justify the disgraceful comments on YouTube and on Facebook.

Here’s a summary of what she said and what she apparently meant:
“قالت انها ستفتتح الحفل بأغنية وطنية خصوصا بعد اللي صار (تقصد انفجار الرويس) وقالت هيدي اول مرة يمكن ما بستنكر وما تأسفت لانو اللي صار معن صاير علينا (بمعنى أن المصاب واحد) وقالت هني اهلنا ونحن كمقاومة لازم كل واحد يقاوم باختصاصو وانا شغلتي ازرع الفرح بتمنى اللي لازم يستنكروا يستنكروا ويساعدونا (وتقصد السياسيين السياسيين) لانو طفح الكيل، والله يرحم اللي راحوا ولبنان رح يبقى”.

Maybe she didn’t make herself clear but what I understood is that she doesn’t want to condemn the same way politicians do in this country, that we are all one and she wants to resist like an artist does. She also presented her condolences to the families.

In all cases, she should prepare her speeches better, and her tweets as well …

Fake Psy Live in Jounieh

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A friend just sent me this video showing the Psy cover artist performing at Fouad Chehab Stadium as part of the “Official Gangnam Style Tour 2013″. Funnily enough, Virgin kept advertising the guy as being the real “Psy” as you can see below.

Psy was due to perform along with Cheb Khaled who didn’t show up, Melissa and DJ David Vendetta.

Via ListenArabic

Update: Check out this interview with the event organizers where they state Psy is coming.


Epic FAIL: Cheb Khaled Didn’t Show Up At Fouad Chehab Stadium

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It seems yesterday’s “Cheb Khaled & Melissa” concert in Jounieh was an epic failure as Cheb Khaled ended up not coming to the concert and fans weren’t informed until the last second. It looks like the whole event was total crap as I’ve received a bunch of emails telling me how all the artists were singing playback, the music was really bad and the parking was for 20,000LL. A friend also told me people have been calling some local radio show and were pissed off and asking for a refund.

Honestly speaking, I don’t know why anyone would pay money to go watch Cheb Khaled, Melissa and David Vendetta. Cheb Khaled is 53 years old and has barely 2 or 3 decent songs, David Vendetta hasn’t produced a track for the past 4 years and I don’t know who the hell Melissa is.

In all cases, whomever organized that event has some explanations to do to the fans.

The event is in no way related to The Jounieh Festival

Update: Here’s a picture of the fake Psy who showed up for the “Official Gangnam Style Tour” and a link explaining what really happened. It Cheb Khaleb got scared and refused to come after the Beirut Bombing yet the organizers decided to go on with the event without informing the fans.


Works Halted Near Cedars Forest

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Culture Minister Gaby Layoun has asked the Internal Security Forces to stop all works near the Cedars Forest. In case you missed it, Former MP Gebran Tawk was apparently destroying a part of Bcharreh’s ancient Cedar Forest to set up an outdoor venue for his son’s wedding.

That’s definitely good news but I think the government should confiscate the land from Tawk for good.

LOrientLeJour also posted about that.

“I’ve asked the Internal Security Forces to stop all works there,” Culture Minister Gaby Layyoun told NOW over the phone. “It’s private land, but it’s protected,” he added.

Assad Seif, coordinator of the scientific departments in the Directorate General of Antiquities, explained the legal status of the land in more detail.

“The land [of the wedding site] is private land, but according to the management plan for the area, the land is part of the world heritage site and intended to be replanted [with cedar trees]. So, the [works] were done within the premises of the world heritage site,” Seif said. [NowLebanon]

Thank you Omar!