VIDEO: Drifting with Abdo Feghali

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[YouTube]

The Red Bull Car Park Drift qualifier was pretty cool today and I finally got the chance to drift with Abdo Feghali. I don’t know why people get scared or start yelling during a drift. It was smooth and fun and I wish it took longer.

Tomorrow’s the big final and I am definitely not missing it! Until then, here are few pictures I took today:

PS: You can follow me on [Instagram] for more pictures and live coverage.

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Abdo Feghali drifting a BMW M3

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From Inside Feghali’s car

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Red Bull #GivesYouWings – Guys On the roof: Jump!

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Waiting for Dado to hop on

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At the Start

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Too many BMWs

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Special T-shirt for the occasion

O1NE Beirut

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In case you’ve been wondering what’s that huge pink building near Biel in Beirut, it’s O1NE, the latest Sky Management nightlife project and what’s going to be a true artistic landmark for Lebanon and the region. In fact, I visited the construction site few days ago and had a chat with one of the project’s managers who filled me in on details related to O1NE.

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As you can see from the pictures, the place is huge and based on what I’ve been told, 16 talented graffiti artists from all over the world came to Lebanon, despite the situation, to interpret the theme of Music on the 2,500 sqm wall. I met 3 of them including Karski (cool guy) while on site. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a graffiti this big so this looks very promising and I look forward to seeing the final outcome.

The nightclub is expected to open by the end of the year but that’s not official yet. The place is huge from the inside and will have some really cool features which I will mention in future posts once I have some pictures to share.

Until then, you can follow updates of this awesome graffiti work on O1NE’s Instagram account [Here].

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PS: For those interested, the artists involved in this project are: Karski (Art Director), Nase, SWK, Binho, Zedz, Telmo, Miel, Nash, Mr. Wany, Mr. Dheo, SATONE, Tasso, Roids, Bonzaï, Koan and Treze.

Three more Lebanese referees implicated in the match-fixing scandal

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Gary Low, the lawyer for the three Lebanese referees accused of accepting free sex – via DailyStar

According to Malaeeb, three Lebanese international referees resigned out of fear of being pursued legally outside Lebanon. Andre Haddad, Hadi Kassar and Ziad Bayrak thought it would be the smart thing to do after the arrest of three Lebanese referees in Singapore for accepting sexual services.

The funny part is that the Lebanese Federation still did not ban any of the 3 referees arrested in Singapore.

The Gemmayze Barber

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Picture from NowLebanon

He still has President Camille Chamoun’s picture in his shop. No wonder he lost hope in Lebanon if he had lived the golden years and seen what we’ve come to.

In 1965, at the age of 27, he finally opened his own barber shop. A lot has changed since then: “Gemmayzeh was different! Nowadays it’s all about pubs and cafes!” He is nostalgic for those days when everyone used to know everyone, regardless of their religion, and when Beirut was a prosperous city inhabited by a peaceful community.

When we started talking about the old, pre-82 Beirut a small smile crossed his face, he put his hand on his right cheek and started staring at the sky. When we talked about the Beirut of nowadays his smile disappeared. “I wish hope would still exist in Beirut,” he said. [NowLebanon]

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Picture from NowLebanon

The Full Story Of The Controversial Fouad Boutros Project in Achrafieh

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I have to admit I am always impressed by the studies and reports done by Executive. The Fouad Boutros Highway has caused a lot of controversy in the past few months yet no one bothered clarifying this matter to the public, and examining its pros and cons on Mar Mikhail and the overall traffic in Achrafieh.

Having said that, I strongly recommend you read the whole report [Here].

Executive took both sides to task, analyzing the likely impact the Boutros road would have if constructed. At the outset, it became clear that there were no real facts to deliberate on, because detailed project plans and impact studies were either hopelessly outdated, kept confidential, incomplete or non-existent.

Without such data, it is not possible to give a reasonable assessment of social impact or cost estimates, as well as the effect on traffic flow, business and air quality. It is worrying is this project was nevertheless put on the people’s doorstep.

At the forefront of opposition to the Boutros project are two conservationist civil society organizations, the Association for the Protection of Lebanese Heritage (APLH) and Save Beirut Heritage (SBH), and a newly formed group named after the two neighborhoods that will be most directly affected, the Civil Coalition Against the Hikmeh-Turk Link. They have succeeded in creating outrage and protest against what they describe as a highway project that will only make life worse for residents of east Beirut. Vigorously mobilizing media, the detractors have drawn enough attention to their case that MP Nadim Gemayel, one of the deputies representing Ashrafieh, tells Executive, “[Members of Parliament] will not accept [any action] if there is a huge opposition about this and if the residents [of Ashrafieh] are not beneficiaries of it.”

Civil society interests are to divert the use of the project’s state-owned land into something totally novel: a public park for Ashrafieh. According to Najat Saliba, chemistry professor at the American University of Beirut, particulate pollution levels along a congested Beirut thoroughfare range between two and 4.5 times the limits recommended by the World Health Organization. The park alternative would bring Ashrafieh rare things such as playgrounds, benches, grass, shrubbery and trees.

However, cancelling the Fouad Boutros link could just as well have the totally unintended effect of filling the neighborhood with more high rises, warns CDR’s Helou. If the land is not used in accordance with the original expropriation purpose, old owners will have the right to buy back their land at 75 percent of current market prices and offer them to developers at full prices, he says. “In no time, you will have buildings going up there.”