#TweetLikeLebaneseMedia Gone Viral Today And The Tweets Are Hilarious!

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tweets

The amount of stupid and pointless online stories being published by the Lebanese media is increasing every day and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna stop any time soon as all they are looking for are more clicks. Of course there’s nothing wrong in reporting unusual stories as long as there’s decent content behind that title but that’s not the case. I once wrote about this topic and even came up with catchy headlines (also known as click baits) to explain what’s happening, but things have gotten even worse since then.

Today, the #TweetLikeLebaneseMedia went viral and I was laughing out loud while reading some of the tweets. I grouped some of them and added the ones I came up with few months back. Enjoy!

PS: The below titles were all made up so don’t go looking for them :)

Rare Footage From The Lebanese-Syrian Rally, AKA The Safari of the Middle East, In 1974

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Hinidi

This is quite an amazing old footage from 1974 back when we had a rally between Lebanon and Syria that looked a bit like the Paris Dakar. Lebanese Driver Joe Hindi won the rally that year against the likes of Hannu Mikkola who became World Champion in 1983, the famous Jean Todt who later became the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team manager and is currently the FIA president. I also spotted Sehnaoui (which I assume is Maurice “Bagheera” Sehnaoui) in that race. The rally was called “The Safari of the Middle East” and crossed most of the Lebanese and Syrian territories as you can see from the maps shown below.

It’s pretty amazing how things have changed from the 1970s between Syria and Lebanon, from the wars that opposed both countries, to the civil war, to the Syrian hegemony era and now war in Syria. I look at all these rally stages (Der Ezzor, Aleppo, Hassaka) and the first thing that comes to mind now are massacres and bombings unfortunately.

Let’s hope that we will get back to such peaceful times and we will have another Lebanese-Syrian rally one day. Until then, enjoy this amazing old footage!

Aleppo

kuwait

rally

Sehnaoui

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[YouTube]

via BeirutBrightSide

The Memorial: An Urban Act To Draw Attention To The 17,000+ Missing And Disappeared In Lebanon

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The Lebanese Civil War lasted 15 years from 1975 to 1990, killing more than 150,000 people and leaving some 17,000 missing. The government has done nothing to clarify the fate of the disappeared and missing people and their families are still waiting and fighting to learn of their loved ones’ fate.

We’ve already had an ACT to support these families, as well as movies and initiatives to support their cause, but nothing comes close to the “urban memorial” that Domaine Public Architects are proposing. I first read about the memorial in the DailyStar and asked the Domaine Public guys to provide me with further info and pictures regarding their project and it’s a pretty amazing one.

The urban memorial constitutes Phase 1 of a larger plan to revitalize the Beirut Waterfront by setting up The Memorial at first, followed by a cultural art park, a lighthouse square, a viewing platform and a sea park in the last phase. I will only discuss The Memorial for now until I have further information on the other phases.

The Memorial is urban space that will act as a platform to help the families of thousands of missing persons keep their cause visible and alive, and to also keep the faith that one day the fate of their beloved ones is revealed. Its aim as well is to help Lebanese in dealing with memories of their not too distant past and contribute to national reconciliation.

The Memorial will be set up on Beirut’s Corniche, a neutral public space that is embraced by Lebanese of various sects, economic background and political affiliations, and will expand into three sub spaces:
The Contemplation Room, which opens to the sea and the sky, slightly curving downwards to create a direct connection to the sea and the natural sunset.

The Collectibles Room, where families can place objects belonging to their loved ones.

The Message Room, a room for projection, movies and messages that will act as an interactive communication space within the memorial.

The memorial is meant to keep the cause of the concerned families alive as it display images of those missing on a curved glass wall. Whenever the fate of that person is revealed, his image is removed from the glass. The emptiness is an act of closure while the remaining images allude to the work left to be accomplished.

I honestly believe it’s a very important project, and the location they’ve chosen is ideal as it’s highly frequently especially by young people who will have a glimpse of the suffering that these families are still going through and realized the ugliness and brutality of war. I hope that it will be implemented one day, and I would love to see The Museum of Civilizations come to life as well one day.

Here are some more pictures of the project:

The memorial lifts 50cm above the sidewalk to create an 85 meters long public bench. It hence becomes a bench of unity, a bench that brings people of different beliefs, confessions and political ideas to sit side by side united and contemplate on their shared history and ultimately the future that binds them. as the bench lifts, it allows the sunlight of the setting sun to filter into the memorial space below as a spiritual gesture. The bench is etched creating circular recesses that collect rainwater. As the Beirut sun emerges from behind the clouds, the bench dries up and a series of circular pockets retain the rain, a succession of miniature water pools is what remains.

Week30: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

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Jounieh Flying over Jounieh – by Sara el Dana

You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [here] if you like.

Beirut Flying over the parliament – by Micho el Khoury

sunset Beautiful sunset – by F.Rostom

Ehden In love with Ehden – By Eli77

Dbayyeh Dbayyeh sunset – by JoseDaou

Cedars A walk in the Cedars forest – by Sacha el Aref

Busy From the sky – by Antoun Hayek

Leaked Speed Radar Schedules In Lebanon

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IMG-20150624-WA0009

I’m not sure how accurate these schedules are but everyone’s been sharing them over the past few days. They indicate where the ISF will be setting radar speeds gun and at what time. As you can see, chances are you will get fined if you’re speeding at night (between 9pm and 2am) which makes sense.

Needless to say, these radars should not be secret and the aim is not to surprise drivers speeding and fine them but to help raise awareness and encourage Lebanese to drive slowly. I think the ISF should make these schedules public and keep the speed radars working all day.

IMG-20150624-WA0010

#LoveWins In Lebanon Too?

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gay via Mahmoud Ghazayel

The picture above was taken in Lebanon back in 2006, however it’s not a gay parade but an anti-government demonstration led by the opposition back then. Needless to say, the parties who were organizing this demonstration (and those against them for that sake) probably had no clue what these colors stood for and would have never considered demonstrating in favor of same sex marriages.

In fact, we still live in a country where people from different religions cannot marry that easily, where civil marriage is almost considered a crime, where anal exams are used to charge men with homosexuality, where women are still being abused and tortured by their husbands, where homosexuality is portrayed as being a trend or an illness and where you are mistaken for a devil worshiper (whatever that means) for holding Friday the 13th parties.

We are still a long way from achieving equality in Lebanon but we will get there eventually as progression is inevitable. We need more awareness campaigns and further action to change our obsolete laws and achieve equality for women and for the LGBT community among other things. I’m sharing once again a Lebanese TV campaign against homophobia, probably the first of its kind in the Arab World.

#Lovewins always.

[YouTube]

white-house-rainbow The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after today’s historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Washington – via Newsweek

Ramadan In Tripoli Through The Lens Of Natheer Halawani

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D7K_4826-001 Another mass iftar held by a bunch of activists and well-doers in town. The iftar gathered people from both religions to share iftar on a same table in a one-of-a-kind event where everybody contributed to the table. Mosques and Churches announced Maghrib prayer, the time to break the fast, in an out of this world audio-visual scenery.

I was finalizing this post with my friend Natheer when I heard about the terrorist attacks in Kuwait, then in Tunisia and France as well. It’s quite tragic to hear about such unfortunate events during Ramadan and on a Friday, a holy day for Muslims, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families & friends.

These terrorist attacks unfortunately remind us of the two blasts that shook Tripoli back in 2013 killing over 40 innocent people, but Tripoli and its people defeated terrorism by promoting peace and bringing together its residents. One example is last year’s mass Iftar at Se7it el Nour where Mosques and Churches announced Maghrib prayer together and everybody took part in preparing the food.

Tripoli is a beautiful city, and Ramadan in Tripoli is a very special time of the year. That’s why I asked my talented friend and photographer Natheer Halawani, who happens to be from Tripoli, to share some of his best Ramadan pictures from the past couple of years. I hope you enjoy them and I wish all my friends in Tripoli and all over Lebanon a peaceful and blessed Ramadan month!

D7K_1496 A curious child busy exploring the tiny world at his feet instead of performing prayer as advised -most probably- by his father or whoever that brought him over to the mosque, during a mass prayer known as ‪Taraweeh‬, performed every Ramadan eve after the last of the 5 main daily prayers. Taken in Ash Shukr Mosque.

D7K_1276-002 Vivdly colorful ornamets are one of the most eye-catching Ramadan attractions, with warm lights and islamic symblos more than often. Taken in Mina.

D7K_1416 The Minarets of a newly-built mosque in Tripoli. Taken in Mina.

D7K_1595 Muslims grew a fond habit of listening to the Quran Reader of a the mosque prior or after any major prayer. Taken in Ash Shukr Mosque.

D7K_1606 Elder Muslim resting after a lengthy Taraweeh prayer, the Ramadan-exclusive prayer that could extend to an hour or two in some cases. Taken in Ash Shukr Mosque.

D7K_2575 Adult males wrapping yet another fasting day in the coziness of a local, yet very famous, roadside coffee shop playing cards and smoking shisha/arguileh. Shot in Mina, Roumiyyeh Cafe.

D7K_2682 (2) The inside a traditional Ka’ak and bread bakery in the old alleys of the town during the month of ‪Ramadan‬. Musims find a pleasure having Ka’ak filled with cheese and grilled by the bakery’s wood-lit over over Suhoor, the act of eating a snack before sunrise when fasting begins. Taken in Bab Al Ramel.

D7K_4545 Child praying by himself behind adult males in a mosque. Taken in Tawjeeh Street.

D7K_4581 Elderly man with the help of a younger male removing the post-Taraweeh praying mats that were spread out in the street, local mosque being not able to accommodate any more worshipers. Taken in Mina.

D7K_4768 Worshiper performing Isha’ prayer behind an Imam in one of Tripoli’s biggest mosques.

D7K_4783 The Grand mosque, otherly known as one of the town’s pillars and most renowned landmarks. The mosque’s court looking empty as worshipers are inside busy performing their night prayers.

The all-time-famous Saha w Hana iftar, the Mass Iftar event that closed down the main roundabout in town, the one that happens to be the city’s south entrance, for a very good cause. The iftar managed to bring together a lot of people, whether muslims or not, for an event that provided iftar for orphans and poor individuals and families from all over town.

D7K_4867-001 Shot taken from the roof of a 13-story building during the mass iftar held at the Groupy Roundabout in Mina. Attendants of both religions insisted on lighting candles in both shapes of a cross and a crescent, in an unplanned move by the organizers. This turned into an attraction through the night. Taken in Mina.

My Pictures of Beirut, The Beirut We Love, Featured on CNN iReport

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20150622180740jpg-3629922_p9 Said Akl tribute in Gemmayze

I’m not sure if my Anthony Bourdain post got CNN interested in my Instagram account, but they asked me to send a couple of pictures that I took in Beirut and they got featured on CNN’s iReport which is pretty cool.

I wish I could have sent more pictures to show them all the complex elements that make Beirut a beautiful city. The old streets and houses next to the skyscrapers, five star hotels and rooftops, the vibrant nightlife 10 minutes way from refugee camps and security zones, the residential streets packed with pubs, bars and plenty of street food, and other things that make Beirut so special and so difficult to live in.

I know Lebanon has a ton of issues now, we don’t have a president, over 2 million Syrian and Palestinian refugees, terrorists at the borders, armed groups inside the country, corrupt politicians and a bad economy but that doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy our everyday life and make the best out of it, and more importantly speak positively about our country.

CNN iReport View from The Roof – Four Seasons Beirut

Al Rifai #AngelDrones Delivering Packages To Needy Families On Ramadan

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rifai

Ramadan is not only a religious occasion, but also a social and cultural one. It is a time to reach out and help those who don’t have a home or family to come back or don’t have enough to feed their children. This year, Al Rifai has decided to send out drones to deliver special packages to families and individuals in need and help them enjoy Ramadan. The drones, called Angel Drones, will be delivering packages throughout the whole month of Ramadan.

drone1j

Al Rifai has always been creative with its ads and campaigns. I love the idea, I just hope no one will report the drones to the authorities thinking they are Israeli lol!

[YouTube]

The 2006 Lebanon War Among The 30 Most Edited Wikipedia Pages Of All Time (20,173 times)

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wiki

The 2006 Lebanon War Wikipedia page is in the top 30 most edited Wikipedia pages and controversial topics with over 20,000 revisions, with the most popular ones being George W. Bush and World Wrestling Entertainment. It’s the only Middle-East related page on that list weirdly enough despite everything that’s been happening since 2006. Other pages on that list include The Undertaken, Adolf Hitler, Jesus, Michael Jackson, Roger Federer and others.

I think the main reason for that was the cyber war that Israel launched back then against Lebanon and Hezbollah and that turned into a global cyber-warfare between the US and its enemies.

Here’s the original link to the Wikipedia list of the most revised pages since its creation.

Thanks Basil!