18 year old Alex Khazzaka joins the Lebanese Football National Team

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Picture of Alex with Barcelona player Andrés Iniesta – [Source]

Alex is originally from the town of Jdita and is still in school. He took part in a competition organized by Nike in Dubai in collaboration with FC Barcelona and was one of three players to make it to the final selection. The young man caught the attention of our National Team Coach Theo Bücker who asked him to join the team in their latest game against Thailand.

Speaking of which, Lebanon crushed Thailand 5-2 as part of the Asian Cup qualifications games.

Minister of State Panos Manjian is upset he didn’t get a raise

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After approving the proposed wage scale a day before its resignation, one of the government’s ministers, Minister of State Panos Manjian, got upset that the ministers and MPs did not get the promised raise of 4,300,000 LL each.

The funny part is the Minister of State technically has no ministry to run and is a position given to please political parties usually, so if there’s anything that should be done, we should be eliminating this ministry once and for all.

في الجلسة التاريخية لمجلس الوزراء التي أقر فيها تمويل سلسلة الرتب والرواتب، سُجلت مجموعة اعتراضات. وذكرت صحيفة “اللواء” أن وزير الدولة بانوس مانجيان اعترض على عدم زيادة رواتب الرؤساء والوزراء والنواب. وكأني به يساوي نفسه بسواه متخطياً ما يمثّله من طاقات وما يجسده الآخرون. [Link]

Champlain in concert

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You may have not heard of it before but Champlain is a Lebanese group and one of the very few Francophone Lebanese bands that writes and composes its own songs, which varies from rock, pop, funk to blues and jazz. They already have an album entitled “Permis de rêver”. Champlain has been around for quite a while and had a few lead vocalists including the Lebanese talent Anthony Touma who is very talented and one the favorites to win this year’s edition of the Voice in France.

[YouTube]
Il fait soleil sur la Tamise

Here’s a list of the band members taken from their Facebook page

Voix : Anne-Sophie Azzi, Anthony Touma, Eid E. Eid, Fouad Maroun
Guitares : Fouad Maroun, Jack Boutros
Claviers : Elias Kateb
Batterie : Roy Khoury
Basse : Walid Sarrouh
Arrangements :Christophe Haroun, Walid Sarrouh
Musique : Fouad Maroun, Roy Khoury, Walid Sarrouh, Christophe Haroun, Eid E. Eid, Jack Boutros, Anthony Touma
Textes : Eid E. Eid

Champlain will be in concert on the Palais des Congrès Dbayyeh, on Friday 05-Apr-12 at 20:30 pm. Tickets are available at all Virgin Mega stores and profits will go to the association INCLUDE.

Lebanese Army to close down Tabarja-Jounieh coastal road

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The Lebanese Army announced on its website that it will perform maritime maneuvers with the French army on Tuesday 26th and consequently will close the road between Tabarja and Jounieh from 7am till 12 noon . I am not sure if the highway will be closed or just the coastal road but either way expect a nightmarish traffic on that day, specially that Monday is a day off and everyone will be heading to Beirut from the North.

Knowing that Monday and Friday are holidays, isn’t it better to organize the maneuvers on these days? I am sure no one wishes a repeat of what happened back in November when the army closed down roads to rehearse for the Independence day.

Either way, I advise Zaatar wou Zeit to get ready for a busy morning.

lebarmy

Tamanna Surprise Charly at Le Mall with a trip to Barcelona

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Tamanna is a Lebanese non-profit association that grants the wishes of children with critical illnesses. They’ve granted 956 wishes since December 2005 and the latest one was giving Charly the opportunity to fly to Spain to watch Barcelona play and meet with Messi and the other players.

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I was there at the surprise Le Mall and Tamanna had planned for Charly and it was great to see so many people gathered for this occasion. Even though it’s a small wish, it helps the child and his family go through the difficulties that they are enduring. It could also significantly help the child combat his illness. Any child between 3 and 18 years with a critical illness, living or being treated in Lebanon, is eligible for a wish.Tamanna serves children without regard to nationality, religion, socio-economic, or cultural background. [Tamanna]

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I hope I will be able to help Tamanna one day and make someone’s wish come true. Until then, I will keep on praising and sharing on the blog the great work they are pulling. On a last note, such initiatives should help us all remember that despite everything that’s happening in Lebanon, we should take care of each other as a society.

PS: Make sure you watch the whole video. Some of the entertainers have awesome skills.

First Look at the 4G Pilot

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SpeedTest performed inside the Touch building on the 4G enabled device

After my post yesterday, I got an email from one of the winners of the 4G dongles who gave me further details on the pilot phase and the testing tools that he received.

Basically you will receive a detailed email from Touch Lebanon asking you to come to Beirut Touch Service Center and receive 4G testing tools (New Sim card + 4G enabled device) along with a feedback form. Upon activation of the 4G pilot, the user will benefit from 4G coverage in limited areas in Beirut with a 3GB data limit per month for a period of 3 months. If you exceed the 3GB consumption limit in the third month, the service will be deactivated.

Pilot launch will start on March 18th 2013 and end on June 18th 2013.

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The device you get is a Huawei Ascend P1 LTE which looks like a decent Android smartphone to test on. I assume you can use your own phone if it supports 4G.

You can see below a SpeedTest screenshot back when 3G pilot phase was launched in September 2011. The 4G Download and Upload speeds are almost 3 times as better but I expected the speeds to be much higher than that to be honest. I don’t have a 4G dongle yet but I am hoping to get one next week.

Many thanks to Mark for the pictures and information.