A Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Is Taking Place Tonight: Don’t Miss It!

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For those of you who are not working tomorrow or can be a bit late to work, a supermoon lunar eclipse is taking place on Monday morning between 3 a.m (Beirut local time) and 7 a.m. This is a very rare occurrence as the last supermoon lunar eclipse took place in 1982 and it won’t happen again before 2033. What happens is that the Sun will be directly behind us in respect to the Moon making the lunar surface appear red for around 60 minutes. The Moon will start entering Earth’s shadow at 3.11 a.m. (Beirut local time), reaching the center at 5.11 a.m. and exiting at 8.23 a.m.


If you want further information, check out these three useful links [iflscience], [shadowandsubstance] and [telegraph].

NASA will be covering the Supermoon Eclipse live as well with a live feed from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. I added an informational video by NASA on the Supermoon Eclipse and a couple of useful maps to show where the Supermoon Eclipse is visible and what we will be able to observe in Lebanon.




My First Ride In A LaFerrari

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ferrari ride

A month ago, I spotted a LaFerrari in Faqra and couldn’t help but share it on my Instagram. A week after, I get an email and a call from Ferrari Lebanon that there’s a LaFerrari ride coming up soon and that I’m invited to join. I didn’t even think twice before saying yes but I had to ask again if they meant a Ferrari or LaFerrari ride because going on a ride in this limited production hybrid supercar is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What is LaFerrari?

LaFerrari is not just any super car, it’s a limited production hybrid sports car that costs over a 1 million dollars and “boasts the most extreme performance ever achieved by a Ferrari production car and features the most advanced and innovative technical solutions” as per Ferrari’s own words. Basically, it’s the closest Ferrari road cars ever got to Formula 1 engineering and I was lucky enough to ride in one of them. In fact, there were two LaFerraris in that ride, which doesn’t happen quite often as there are only 499 units around the world (3 in Lebanon).

Just to give you an idea on how this Ferrari compares to the Ferrari 458 Speciale that I drove a year ago, LaFerrari has a higher top speed (350 vs 325), a considerably larger engine (6.3l vs 4.5l), has 12 cylinders vs 8 for the Speciale, and 366 more hp (963hp vs 597hp) which is insane!

The ride was awesome!

We left Beirut around 5:30 am to avoid any traffic and headed towards Tripoli. Both drivers were going easy when there were cars around and speeding on specific roads. The car has an insane acceleration and can reach 100 in less than 3 seconds and 200 in around 7 seconds. The ride was so intense that I barely spoke to the driver the whole trip as I was enjoying the engine sounds and taking pictures and videos. Of course our roads are really bad and it would have been more enjoyable to drive around a proper track but there is no such thing in Lebanon yet. If you are wondering if I drove LaFerrari or not, I could have asked but I didn’t because I was too tired (had a wedding the night before) and was not prepared to take this responsibility. LaFerrari is closer to an F1 car than a road car and I’m hoping I will have the opportunity one day to drive it or any Ferrari for that sake on a proper track, or even better in Ferrari’s HQ in Maranello.

I’m grateful once again to Ferrari Lebanon, especially to Marie-Claire, for this opportunity and it was nice to meet Scuderia Lebanon’s CEO at last. Big thanks to Christine as well!

Enjoy the pictures and the video I shared inside Chekka’s tunnel. I will share more videos soon.





What If Solidere Opens A Permanent Abou Rakhoussa (Flea) Market?

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Another Abou Rakhoussa market took place in Downtown Beirut yesterday, and while I still believe that it’s a diversion from the real problem at hand which is the garbage crisis of course, opening a permanent flea market in Beirut’s central district may actually be a good idea. Open food markets are always packed in Beirut Souks, the upper part of Solidere is practically empty now and it’s very easy to set up a market there so why not give it a try?

I say let’s have a flea market and let Chammas, Solidere and the Abou Rakhoussa people organize it together. People may actually look at it as a positive sign and go down in large numbers. After isn’t that what we all want? bringing Beirut back to life?

On another note, I never thought Beirut’s Central District was for the rich and I don’t think expensive restaurants and boutiques are the reason why Lebanese are staying away from the heart of the city. I remember the pre-2005 years when all the Lebanese used to go down to Beirut to eat, drink, smoke arguile, party or simply walk. You could spend as little as $10 and enjoy the night. I don’t want to dig further into this topic because it’s a very long and complicated one but Beirut has always been for all the Lebanese and no one can ever change that no matter how much they try.


UNICEF #BackToSchool Campaign: Free Education For All Lebanese & Non-Lebanese Children

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All Lebanese and non-Lebanese children (aged 4 to 16) will be able to attend public schools for free this year. We are talking about 367,000 children, out of which 200,000 Syrians. The #BackToSchool (#كلنا_عالمدرسة) campaign was launched by UNICEF Lebanon and the Ministry of Education after they managed to collect $94 million from international donors and organizations.

I think this is very good news because any form of education is better than no education especially for refugee children. I know our public schools are not the best but they will provide a safe environment for all these children, a chance to socialise with each other and stay away from the street. More importantly, education is the best weapon against extremism and terrorism.

PS: If you already registered your child and paid the tuition, follow the below guidelines and you will be reimbursed.


Beirut River Garbage Wall

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Here are few pictures and a video taken at the landfill right on the Beirut River. Needless to say, the smell is horrible, garbage is everywhere and I even spotted someone living there. The authorities are supposed to remove all this garbage soon but what I don’t understand is why garbage is thrown so randomly and all over the place? Even if we’re having a garbage crisis, that’s not an excuse to throw garbage everywhere.










Six Things You Didn’t Know About The #Tol3etRi7etkon Guys

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I’m sure you’ve all read the detailed report on the #YouStink founders and how they are all part of one organization that is funded by the CIA, FBI, MI5, NSA, DIA, ABIN, MSS and tens of other NGOs and agencies. Here’s a list of things that the article failed to mention and that I’m sharing with you exclusively:

1- They have been fueling the violent events in Ferguson:

After the online storm that he caused due to his anti-religious comments, Assaad Thebian went off the radar for few days and was spotted in Ferguson leading the protests against the police.

2- They helped Mexico’s Most-Wanted Drug Lord escape prison:

Following their extensive field experience in building smuggling tunnels in Egypt, the #YouStink organizers were recruited by drug kinpin El Chapo and helped him escape Mexico’s most secure prison.

3- Greek Anti-Government Riots

An exclusive non-photoshopped picture showing one of the #YouStink members holding a Menapolis banner at the forefront of a protest in Greece back in 2011.

4- They are secretly employed by a chicken company:

Rumors have spread that Trella, also known as Imad Bazzi, has orchestrated all these protests as a marketing stunt for a new restaurant “Frarij House” that’s opening soon. The new snack specializes in chicken sandwiches and offer special delivery to protesters and discounted prices to riot police members.

5- One of the members was launching a gym soon.

Bazzi’s involvement in the fast food industry has caused one of the key founders of the #YouStink movement to resign few days ago due to a conflict of interests. Top-secret documents and reports stated that Bazzi had enough from this mysterious member, whose name cannot be revealed for security reasons, especially after finding out about the secret fitness trackers that he’s been distributing to protesters to measure their endurance and encourage them to join his newly open gym. Bazzi refused to comment on this story.

6- Getting Myriam Klink to presidency is their original plan

This explains why Lara Kay felt threatened and decided to protest on her own few days later.

All in all, I may not agree with #YouStink and all their demands, yet I cannot but laugh at all these fabricated stories and conspiracy theories. If these guys were truly funded by all these agencies, organizations and NGOs, they should be probably be fired for not doing enough lol!

20 Things To Do In Tripoli – Lebanon (Part2)

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Tall via Budkheir

I’ve finally managed to compile the second part of the “20 things to do in Tripoli” series that I started a month ago. Eid Al Adha is around the corner so it’s the perfect time to head to Tripoli enjoy the sweets, do some sightseeing or take a boat trip to Rabbits Island.

If you missed Part1, check it out [here].

Tripoli is Lebanon’s second-largest city and despite being one of its poorest, it is rich in diversity and is a beautiful city to explore. There are always new places to visit and new things to do and a sense of community in the city. I’ve been going to Tripoli for 15 years or more and I discover a new thing to do or a new place to visit almost every time so I decided to compile all these activities into two blog posts based on my past experiences and a little help from my good friends and Tripolitans Natheer, Hayat and Zaher.

11- Visit The Old Train Station:

If you like trains and a bit of history, make sure to pass by the old railway station. The station is one of the oldest in Lebanon as it started operating more than 100 years ago and used to connect to Homs in Syria and Beirut’s central station in Mar Mikhail. Unfortunately, the station was abandoned in the 1970s by the Lebanese authorities and has become a museum ever since. In fact, it’s not exactly a museum as it’s not well maintained but there’s a local organization (The Mina Peace committee) that is planning soon a rehabilitation and beatification project for the train station area. I hope they revamp the station soon because there’s a lot of history in that place.

12- Old/Vintage Style Pubs in Mina:
Talk a walk down Mina and enjoy the old/vintage and new/modern style pubs where poetry nights and artistic gatherings are usually held. If we go back to the 60s, Tripoli had a vibrant nightlife with a lot of cafes, pubs and beach clubs open in the city but things have unfortunately changed since then. Currently, Tripoli’s nightlife is nothing like Beirut or other areas but there are still pubs mainly in Mina’s Dr. Raymond al-Labban Street (Minot Street) where one can order a drink and have fun with friends.

13- Old & New Fisheries in Mina:

El Mina occupies the location of the old Phoenician city of Tripoli and the harbor is the city’s most visited site. A good idea is to head there early in the morning and see the old and new fisheries where people gather to buy fresh and affordable fish. You can also watch fishermen working while having coffee and kaak in one of the many cafes.

14- Tripoli by Bike:
tripoli-lebanon-cycling4-600x450 via BikeRumor

Tripoli doesn’t have a bike trail but it’s one of the best ways to explore the city. You can roam the city, visit traditional and cultural sites, pass by the old souks and stop at local cafes along the coast. Café Moussa, which was recently rehabilitated by the Old Souk Committee is a must visit, the different markets (clothing, vegetable) which were also recently rehabilitated by Tebbaneh Youth Council after being damaged during previous clashes. There’s also the Hara Jdide and several other areas that were rehabilitated thanks to the initiatives of civic organizations and the increasing interest of civil society in preserving and the famous traits of their town.

There’s been a lot of events to help spread the biking culture, but it’s still not popular enough in the city, even though there’s a lot of traffic in Tripoli.

15-Public Gardens (King Fahed and others):

Tripoli is a densely populated city but there’s a decent number of green areas and public spaces, especially when compared to the ones in Beirut. The work of civic organizations is also here quite noticeable as they are rehabilitating old and abandoned public gardens and spaces like the one in Malloule (Youth in Tebbaneh) and a public garden in Abou Samra (Muslim Scouts). You will also find a lot of public gardens around the mosques and in the Tripoli Expo (Niemeyer’s Maarad).

16- The Cemetries:
cemetery via LuvLebanon

Cemeteries are usually well preserved in Tripoli and very well looked after, especially the British and French military graveyards in el Mina. There are even campaigns to rehabilitate and clean up the cemeteries, like the ones in Souk el Ameh by the Tebbaneh Youth Council. Most of the cemeteries are of course Muslim ones and you will find them in random places like in the Old Souks for example. There’s an organized chaos in these graveyards and around them that is a beautiful thing, to me at least.

17 – Places To Stay:

There aren’t that many places to stay in Tripoli, at least not to my knowledge but there’s one that comes highly recommended which is Beit el Nessim in Mina, and there’s another hotel called Quality Inn in Tripoli.

18- Damm w Farez, or Neo-Tripoli:

Damm W Farez is where you will find all the new fancy restaurants and cafes. If you want to grab a bite, smoke a Shisha or have a coffee, that’s the place to go. There are different cafes where you can relax after a long walk and the food is usually good at most of them. One of the famous cafes there is called Ahwak Ben Tafesh which serves good desserts.

19- Visit the Rabbit Islands/Palm Islands Nature Reserve:
The Rabbits Island is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site and has been chosen as a special Mediterranean Protected Area under the 1995 Barcelona Convention. The “Rabbits” name is attributed to the large number of rabbits that were grown by the French on the Island in the 20th century. These Islands are quite amazing and some areas are accessible during the summer for swimming and snorkeling. There’s a ferry boat that transports visitors to the Islands.

20- Al Hallab Qasr el Helou:

You cannot go to Tripoli without visiting Qasr el Helou, one of Lebanon’s most visited Arabic sweets shop. Lebanese from abroad and outside Tripoli go to eat there. Kasr el Helou was founded in 1881 and is the ideal place to taste all sorts of Arab sweets. My favorites are the Halawet el Jeben and Mafrouke.


Two of the online sources I’ve used in these two posts are [Tripoli-City] and [WeLoveTripoli].