Let’s Go Kidnap some Turks!

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turkey pilots
Two Turkish Pilots were kidnapped outside Beirut’s airport 3 days ago – Picture from Al-Akhbar

Hayat Awali, also known as 7ajje Hayat, is the spokeswoman for the families of the pilgrims and has stated yesterday that “the detention of one of their family members [Mohammad Saleh] is a political move, and that in response to that, a large group of the relatives of hostages in Azaz are heading to Beirut streets and any Turk seen there will be kidnapped”.

Skip to Minute 0:52

Ya hek Logic Ya bala!

Minister Charbel said that the “pilots are doing well” but then stated and I quote “the most important thing is that we find their location, make sure they are safe, and ensure their release”. How did he know they are doing well?

Having said that, the families of the kidnapped pilgrims have every right to get their relatives back but I really hope that they learned the Mokdad lesson and didn’t have anything to do with the kidnapping because it could only make things worse.

Speaking of bad things, Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud said “the abduction could be the last nail in the coffin of tourism”.

Forget the kidnappings, bombings and other “minor” incidents and come to Lebanon!

Kleiat: An Alternative to Rafic Hariri’s Airport?

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The need for a second airport in Lebanon is becoming imminent year after year and the latest kidnapping of the the two Turkish pilots is yet another proof that the Kleiat airport has to be turned ASAP into a second civil airport.

In terms of cost, MTV made a small report on the airport and stated that $90 million dollars were needed to renovate the airport, while Annahar estimated the cost of rehabilitation at $45 million dollars back in September 2012. Either way, both numbers seem very reasonable.


Lebanese Detroit Doctor Gave Chemo to Patients Without Cancer

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Dr. Fata is due in court Tuesday and his bond has been set at $170,000. If convicted, he might face up to 20 years in jail. Having said that, I don’t think 20 years will be enough to repair the damage he’s done in the past two years.

I mean seriously! What the hell was going through this guy’s mind to do that?

Here are few excerpts from Medscape.com (Thanks Nicole)

“This oncologist and other employees also reported that Dr. Fata ordered intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for patients whose antibody levels did not warrant the therapy. One nurse practitioner (NP) told federal agents that she pulled the charts for 40 patients scheduled for IVIG therapy and saw that 38 had neither low antibody levels nor a recurrent infection, which is another indication for the treatment. The NP consulted 2 other employees about the issue, and the 3 of them canceled the IVIG therapy for the 38 patients.

Dr. Fata’s employees had internally challenged other practices they considered unethical, such as fabricating cancer diagnoses in patient records to justify insurance claims for chemotherapy and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, according to interviews conducted by federal agents. Some employees quit over these issues. The employed oncologist, who had considered quitting, described working with Dr. Fata as “living with this hell.”

Dr. Fata has not yet had his day in court to refute these charges. “He vehemently denies all the allegations,” said Christopher Andreoff, the physician’s attorney, in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Fata ordered chemotherapy for all patients with advanced cancer who would not benefit from it, according to the employed oncologist interviewed by federal agents. “No other physician would do this and would let the patients die in peace,” the complaint quotes the oncologist as saying. In April 2012, the American Society of Clinical Oncology said that administering chemotherapy to patients with advanced cancer who would not benefit from it is 1 of 5 practices that oncologists must abandon.”

“The current and former employees paint a picture of a physician who was obsessed with administering chemotherapy, no matter the circumstances. “A male patient fell down and hit his head when he came to MHO,” the complaint alleged. “Dr. Fata directed [an NP] that he must receive his chemotherapy before he could be taken to the emergency room.” Dr. Fata’s order was carried out. The man eventually died from the head injury.” [Medscape.com]

And from MyFoxDetroit

A Detroit-area doctor has been charged with bilking the government of tens of millions of dollars by deliberately misdiagnosing patients with cancer and illegally billing Medicare for the treatment.

Dr. Farid Fata will remain behind bars until at least Tuesday as a third federal judge considers whether or not to grant him bail. He was arrested last week on charges he ripped off Medicare for millions of dollars by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn’t need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn’t apparent, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.

Fata owns Michigan Hematology Oncology, which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park. The government says the clinics billed $35 million to Medicare over two years.

Fata earned about $24.3 million in drug infusion billings directly to Medicare, “more than any hematologist/oncologist in the state of Michigan during that time period,” FBI agent Brian Fairweather wrote in the criminal complaint.

A magistrate judge had said Fata could be released from jail under strict conditions, but prosecutors appealed. They fear Fata will flee to his native Lebanon if released from jail, claiming he has access to millions of dollars to finance a flight. [Fox News]

A Visit To The Beirut River

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20130808_094731 [High-Res]

I contacted Animals Lebanon last week to see if they have any updates regarding the Beirut River crocodile and to ask them if we can visit the site and help them search for the crocodile. I was told that there’s usually someone there between 10 and 12 everyday and that anyone can pass by. Also and more importantly, I was informed that there are two crocodiles and not just one and that the second one is twice the size of the first.


So I took my brother and headed on Thursday morning to the Beirut River. The first spot that I went to was the one right before the slaughter house next to the U-Turn that takes you back on the Hazmieh highway. The two pictures shown above are from that spot but I didn’t find any crocodiles there. There were 3 men looking as well for them but with no luck. I asked them if there’s another spot to look at and they told me to go inside the slaughter house and head towards the end where they once spotted one of them.


I went inside the area where the slaughter house is located and there was no one at the door. As soon as I got to the second spot, I opened the door to go down and almost fainted from the smell. I always wondered why people are not visiting the crocodile site and thought they were scared of them, but believe me the smells are scarier than the crocodiles.



The place is polluted beyond belief and the sad part is that I found people living there. I am not sure if they work at the slaughter house or are refugees from Syria (as I found a lot of Anti-Assad slogans on the walls) but no one should live in such a shit hole.


As far as the crocodiles are concerned, I spent a good half hour but didn’t find anything. The water is dirty and I am sure toxic as well and I honestly don’t envy the teams from Animals Lebanon and the Civil Defense for having to go there everyday.

I think the Minister of Environment should make an extra effort and provide the necessary for the local teams and maybe get a team of experts to locate the crocodiles ASAP and take them out of this river before it’s too late.


On a last note, It would be nice if the concerned parties do something about the slaughterhouse and the other surrounding buildings by at least monitoring who goes in and out and cleaning it up because I am confident the place violates every hygiene standard out there.

Roadster Still The Best Diner In Lebanon!

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Roadster’s Latest addition to their menu – The Route 66 Burger

I was reading NoGarlicNoOnion’s latest post “Dear Roadster: Wake UP and Smell the Competition!” and felt compelled to answer some of the stuff mentioned in the post because I’ve been a Roadster customer for over 10 years now and I can easily say no diner comes close to Roadster in terms of cleanliness, customer service, delivery service and of course taste.

I’ve had some very rare bad experiences with Roadster, but it’s wrong and ridiculous to claim that they need to up their game due to one or two isolated incidents, specially when you look at their competitors.

Here’s what came in the post and my answers:

I ordered some food to the office today – they forgot the dips as well as the packs containing the forks and knives. I am at the office… how did they expect me to eat my salad? Use my hands? No salt, no wet wipes and the chewing-gum, forget about those, they stopped putting them in the paper bags a long time ago, although the word Clorets is still stamped on them.

I’ve been ordering food from Roadster for the past 7 years, and in the past 3 months 2 or 3 times a week and I only had one issue lately with a missing salad sauce once (They brought it back within 15 minutes) and not more than 5 issues throughout the years. I have a friend who orders Roadster almost daily to work along with a bunch of his colleagues and always praised their punctuality and service.

They once had an issue with the Delivery Center in Beirut due to high demand (which we reported) and they fixed it by setting up 7 lines or more I don’t remember. They have an impeccable delivery service and I am sure most Roadster customers agree with me.

As far as the visit to Zalka Branch is concerned:

The place is too noisy. I mean really noisy. Clinging sounds of forks and knives echoing all over the place, intertwined with a wave of customers’ voices topped with loud annoying music.

All Roadster branches are crowded on weekends, and I am sure they were even more crowded during the holidays. Loud music is almost always put on during weekends and on Friday nights as well. There’s nothing new here as a lot of teenagers and kids go to Roadster in the weekend or during the summer when there’s no school.

Too many waiters and honestly for nothing. Each one throws the responsibility on the other. We would ask one waiter for one thing he would go and ask another and then another… This incident repeated itself several times that night…

I always thought Roadster Zalka needed more waiters.

Service is extremely slow. It took waiters an extremely long time to deliver the drinks, and refills, we each had to ask at least three times to remind them of our drinks…

Just like any crowded restaurant, specially if you guys went during the weekend or holidays, service is a bit slower but despite that, I’ve rarely experienced slowness in the service at Roadster. It could have been a hectic day that’s all.

The food has changed. Honestly! Not to the better, but to the worse… Mozzarella sticks which used to come all in one size now come in different sizes, most of which are small. The nachos looked really poor. Hardly any cheese on the plate and chips were too little for the plate… empty spaces all over the place. The chicken strips, well, there was hair inside so we stopped there… the Cesar salad’s lettuce was yellowish… The fries are much less than the usual. A lot of orders came late, some ate while others watched…

I am not sure how frequently you guys to Roadster but nothing has changed in the food. I regularly go to the Jounieh Branch during week days, and on Saturdays for lunch to the Downtown Branch, as well as the Zalka branch and ABC branches from time to time and food is still as good as always.

The music played was heavy rock. I mean please, I am not that old… but seriously the whole ambiance was very annoying. I asked the waiter to lower the volume or change the music several times with no luck. This type of music does not fit the place… It’s excruciating… to say the least.

Again this is not something new and that’s why I avoid going to Roadster on Friday or Saturday night because it’s packed with youngsters and you can’t really blame Roadster for that.

Let me just add here that one of the very few restaurants that actually take into consideration your comments is Roadster and being a very picky customer myself, I never had a negative feedback following one of my complaints. On the contrary, they once even bothered to explain why they replaced their regular forks with tiny ones after I posted about it and then brought back the regular forks. Moreover, they also improved their buns after few complaints from loyal customers, among other things.

Social Media wise, the are more engaged than any other business and it showed in the latest Social Media Awards where they clinched two awards even though Crepaway was a sponsor of the event.

On a last note, I am not saying Roadster is the perfect diner but they’ve been more consistent than any other diner in Lebanon, and they’re known for being the cleanest diner in town as well. That’s why people are ready to pay the extra buck to go there.

What happened to “Together Forever”

Together Forever goes both ways. You can’t dump Roadster and rate the place with a 15 over 100 due to two isolated incidents after being a loyal customer for more than 10 years.

Lebanon Overall Winner at Pan-Homenetmen Games

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Mabrouk to the Lebanese Armenian team!

The 9th Pan-Homenetmen games, which had brought together 650 athletes from 17 countries, concluded yesterday, Aug. 3, with the Homenetmen of Lebanon winning the overall title.

Homenetmen Lebanon secured the overall title by winning the chess, ping-pong, and track and field competitions; securing second place in the girls’ basketball tournament; and winning third place in soccer, boys’ basketball, and women’s basketball. [Armenian Weekly]