Two Lebanese dead in Malta boat accident

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Last picture of the group on the small boat taken by the yacht’s skipper – via DailyStar

That’s quite an unfortunate incident. According to TimesOfMalta, the sea was calm when the group left but there was a sudden change in weather later on with winds reaching up to force six.

The French-Lebanese couple, Elias Chmouni and Sandrine Godet, left behind a five-month-old son (Simon) and a three-year-old daughter (Clara).

Chmouni was one of five tourists that were reported missing after the boat accident. His wife, and their 14-year-old son as well as a French couple accompanying them were also reported missing after the accident.

The accident took place on the evening of May 12, when the group set sail from Tunisia on a private yacht, called El Pirata, to celebrate Chmouni’s 49th birthday.

But the celebration turned into a nightmare after Chmouni and his wife Sandrine Godet decided to go to a restaurant at the nearby Xlendi Bay. Instead of sailing there onboard the El Pirata, the group took a small boat and set sail to the bay at around 8 p.m. [DailyStar]

Lebanon’s oldest church found?

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I hope they don’t end up destroying it just to replace it with a hotel. I am not counting on Gaby Layoun for that though.

In addition to the possible Roman gate and road revealed in a previous post, the Landmark site dig (which could be replaced by a 5 star Jean Nouvel hotel) seems to be full of treasures.

Among them are what some archeologists believe could be the remnants of a 4th-5th century Byzantine Basilica.

In these wide shots we can see a number of large white-ish mosaic floors, thought to have belonged to the Basilica:

Great coverage on that story by Habib from the Beirut Report. Read more [Here].

More information on The Hybrid Electoral Law Proposed

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Picture taken from

For those of you, like myself, who couldn’t understand a thing about the new hybrid electoral law proposed, here’s a nice elaborate post on that matter posted on

There has been a lot of talk on a hybrid Proportional-Representation/ Winner-Takes-All electoral law in the past few weeks, and almost all the parties (PSP, Phalanges, Amal, Lebanese Forces) gave their proposals of hybrid laws in the electoral committees. The different hybrid draft laws are very similar to each other and mostly differ in the percentage of MPs elected by proportional representation (30%, 40%, 50%) but less in the constituencies’ boundaries (Small districts for the winner-takes-all seats and big ones for the PR seats). I’m going to review the draft law proposed from the Lebanese Forces. You can see the criteria of the law here.

It still looks a bit too complicated to explain to all the voters.


The Voice Tour 2013 At The Jounieh Festival 2013

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Update: Lana Del Rey will also be performing at the Byblos Festival on July 10th even though it wasn’t officially declared yet. [Source]

For all the Anthony Touma fans, The Voice Tour 2013 is coming to the Jounieh International Festival 2013 on Tuesday July 9 at the Fouad Chehab Stadium as stated by L’Orient LeJour. I didn’t see a mention of the concert on the Jounieh Festival website though.

I for myself am still upset I will be missing Lana del Rey’s performance at the Sky Bar in Beirut on May 30. Speaking of partying, I’ve been to White, Pier7 and Al Mandaloun these past two days and I can assure you the summer has kicked off to a great start!

4G service not yet working on mobile phones

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The 4G network will only support data at the moment to be followed by calls and SMS by end of June

I tried the 4G SIM on both the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Note2 and I couldn’t get a 4G sign even though I put the right configuration. I don’t know if I misunderstood Alfa’s official statement but they did specify a list of devices that work on the Alfa 4G network during the launch:

The devices that work on the Alfa 4G network are:
1- Lumia 920
2- Galaxy S3 (that supports LTE)
3- Galaxy Note 2 (that supports LTE)
4- LG Optimus g
5- iPad mini

Here’s an excerpt from the DailyStar:

Yet very few smartphones and wireless devices currently sold in Lebanon support the new network and accessing it will come at a high cost to consumers. Alfa CEO Marwan Hayek said at a news conference that 41,000 devices in the Lebanese market are currently 4G, or fourth-generation, enabled, including the Nokia Lumia 920, the LG Optimus G, the iPad mini, and compatible Galaxy S3 and Note 2 models. [DailyStar]

PS: On a side note, thumbs up to Alfa for their improved customer service!

ISF Bus going the wrong way

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Just when I started having hope when I saw a policeman wearing a helmet (see below), I spotted an ISF bus not only going the wrong way yesterday but driving recklessly (and stupidly by creating more traffic). Of course other cars followed him instead of staying in line.

I’m wondering if the Interior Minister and concerned parties are allocating enough time to teach these officers the law because they obviously don’t have a clue or just don’t give a damn, and I am not sure which is worse.


Babel Restaurant

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I was at G-Star Raw‘s launching party last week and I was having a little chat with their Business Developer Patrick Reytenbagh who asked me which Lebanese restaurant I would recommend for a lunch or dinner for a tourist coming to Lebanon. I had a lot of places in mind but he just wanted that one-place that would leave a great impression and a one of a kind experience and the only restaurant I could think of is Babel in Dbayyeh.

I looked through my previous posts and I was surprised to see that I’ve never reviewed Babel even though I’ve been there countless times. The only post I could find was one entitled ‘Lebanese Hospitality‘ showing how generous Babel is. Everything from the presentation, the architecture, the food and the service is unique and almost perfect. Even the toilets look great lol!

Until I write a full review, I leave with some of Babel’s specialties and this nice post by NoGarlicNoOnions. Babel is located in Dbayyeh.

The only thing that’s missing is a website for the restaurant as I couldn’t find any which is pretty weird.