Vulture Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison After Refusing To Admit Any WrongDoing

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vulture Locals swooped on the vulture in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil – via The Guardian

I don’t have a problem with apprehending birds that have Israeli identification rings on them but to capture them on suspicious of espionage is quite ridiculous. Any headline is better than “Vulture arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of spying” or “Israeli “Spy Eagle” Caught In Lebanon” because such headlines really make us look stupid.

I’m sure Israel has all sorts of spying tools and could be using birds and animals as well (hard to believe tbh), but let’s report this the proper way and make sure we find a spying tool on that poor bird before accusing him of spying lol!

A vulture from an Israeli nature reserve has been captured in Lebanon on suspicion of espionage after flying across the border, Israel’s nature reserve authority has said.

Members of the Israeli public phoned the Israel Nature and Parks Authority to alert it to Facebook reports and pictures of a vulture with an Israeli identification ring and location transmitter captured by residents of the south Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil, a spokeswoman, Tali Tenenbaum, said.

“Reports passed to us show the vulture tied with a rope by local people who write that they suspect Israeli espionage apparently because of the transmitter attached to him,” the authority said. [Source]

Here’s what Colbert had to say about the “Spy Israeli Birds”:

PS: The title is obviously a joke.

20 Liters of Gasoline Cost Less Than 20,000LL Now!

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Gas prices are still dropping worldwide and 1 liter of fuel costs less than 1,000LL now in Lebanon, which is less than the average price of gasoline around the world (0.97 U.S. Dollar per liter).

Moreover, if we compare gasoline prices in Lebanon vs the Arab World, only GCC countries have cheaper oil prices than Lebanon, while countries like Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Syria have more expensive prices (Assuming this list is accurate).

There are talks about fixing the gas tank price at 25,000LL but I don’t understand the logic behind it. If the government wants to take action and help oil companies by fixing the price of 20 liters of gas, they should also prioritize the average citizen and set a maximum price but we all know this won’t work.

Till then, enjoy the low prices and start planning your winter road trips!

Gas Tank prices back in 2011 in Lebanon

World’s 50 Richest Arabs 2016: 19 Saudis And 7 Lebanese On The List

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Arabian Business have released their World’s 50 Richest Arabs list for 2016 and seven Lebanese made the list:

2- Joseph Safra (Brazil,Lebanon) ($12bn)
23- Najib Mikati ($3bn)
24- Taha Mikati ($3bn)
30- The Hayek Family (Switzerland,Lebanon) ($3bn)
43- Saad Hariri ($2bn)
45- Fouad Makhzoumi ($2bn)
46- Robert Mouawad ($2bn)

Joseph Safra gained 1 spot from last year to clinch the second spot behind Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Najib & Taha Mikati both gained 5 spots, The Hayek Family went up 3 spots while Saad Hariri went down 8 spots.

Saudi Arabia dominated the list with 19 billionaires, followed surprisingly by Lebanon (7), Egypt (4), then Kuwait, Syria and Morocco with 3 billionaires each.

You can check out the full list [here].

#BlogWaladi: Five Things I am Enjoying The Most As a Parent

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Brian will be 7 months old on February 1st, and every day is proving to be a new adventure for us. Here are five things I am enjoying the most as a parent so far.

1- Bath time:
This is my favorite time of the day! Brian loves being in the water and he’s quite relaxed and comfortable during a bath. Of course so far, he just lies down and enjoy the warm water but he’s starting to discover splashing, so baths are going to be a whole new kind of fun very soon!

2- Mornings:
wake up
Brian is a great sleeper. He started sleeping all night at 2 months and we usually wake him up in the morning to feed him, dress him up and drive him to the nursery. Since I’m an early riser, I’ve been taking care of him during mornings and it’s always fun watching him wake up every day, especially when he gives me this “Leave me alone” look. He’s going to have a hard time getting up to go to school lol!

3- Playtime:
Brian is almost 7 months old now and it’s becoming more and more fun to play with him. Whether it’s reading, singing, dancing (or making noises to encourage him to eat), tummy time, looking at the mirror, playing with dolls, toys and musical instruments or simply talking to him and making silly faces, I could spend the whole day playing with him and not get bored.


A small tip for new or future parents: There are tons of activities that are worth looking at online to help enhance your baby’s development and amp up your baby’s brain power. A lot of parents think that the baby is too young to understand any of these activities but they help enormously.

4- Sleep time:
Watching our baby fall asleep is also one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes we just put him to bed if he’s too sleepy, but if he’s still hyper, I lay next to him on our bed, read him a story, play him a song or just turn off the lights and watch him fall asleep. Of course when I go back from a hectic day, I end up sleeping before he does lol!

5- Photo-shoots

Of course I don’t mean by photoshoots the cliché ones where they make us all dress up in white and lie down on the grass or put cheesy backgrounds behind us. I’m doing the photoshoots by myself and I’m enjoying a lot taking candid pictures of Brian. Also, I’m finally making use of my SLR camera which I bought four years ago. Sometimes I spend 30 minutes just to take the right shot but it’s totally worth it.

PS: I never use Flash of course.

There are tons of other activities that I’m enjoying of course, but these are the ones I’m loving the most! The next post will be about the things I am not enjoying at all 😀

Do You Know Anyone Who Doesn’t Like Abou Arab?

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There are probably two or three Kaak places on my way back home every day but I rarely pass by them. However, whenever I’m headed North, South or to the Bekaa, Abou Arab is a must-stop. It’s the first thing that comes to mind whether we are going on a road trip, attending a wedding, going to ski or to the beach, or just visiting friends.

I don’t know how Abou Arab became so popular but I can think of 5 reasons:

1- Their Kaaké is always hot and fresh.
2- Their Kaaké is delicious and fulfilling.
3- Abou Arab is very affordable (Kaak prices range from 1,000LL to 6,500LL)
4- Abou Arab branches are perfectly located, on both sides of the highway, whether you are headed North, South or to the Bekaa.
5- The staff is very friendly and the service is super quick!

The only downside is that Abou Arab is not the cleanest of places but that’s how most Kaak places are and trust me, you will forget that as soon as you taste their Kaaké 😀

My favorite are the Picon and Zaatar, Kashkawan and Zaatar and Labne with Zaatar. The chocolate is really good too. Sometimes I just order a plain Kaaké.

The Abou Arab branches that I’m aware of are located in Tabarja, Choueifat and Aley.

abou arab1

abou arab

Safety Measures At Jeita Grotto Were Never Good Enough

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On Saturday, an Egyptian tourist called Mina Ashraf Wadih died in the lower part of Jeita Grotto after he accidentally slipped in between a gap between the dock and the boat and fell into the freezing water. The Egyptian tourist was not provided with a survival vest and it wasn’t a “stampede” that led to his drowning as it’s clearly shown in the video below. At this point, I think the only party to blame here is Jeita Grotto’s management especially that the Grotto wasn’t supposed to be open apparently during winter but the Tourism Ministry should have also made sure the grotto is safe years ago.


I’ve been to Jeita two years ago and the safety measures taken there were clearly not enough, especially in the lower part where they take you on a boat trip without life vests and there’s no one around to rescue you if you fall in the water.

There has always been a question mark on the company managing Jeita Grotto and I wish they had taken the proper measures before this tragic incident occurred but being proactive is not really our thing in Lebanon. In all cases, the Grotto is closed until further notice and the accident is being investigated.

Here’s a video showing the second the Egyptian tourist fell into the water. Start watching at Minute 3:30.


Beware of Fishy Contractors Digging Up Your Neighborhoods

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Update: The company who was digging is called Caporal and Moretti on behalf of the Ministry of Telecom. They came today and fixed the lines and everything.

A couple of weeks back, I was visiting a friend at his place and we were working on an online project when the internet went off for some reason. We tried resetting the DSL router but then noticed the landline wasn’t working anymore. At this moment, my friend remembered spotting few days ago a couple of workers digging up the street outside so he went to check out if they were still there and had anything to do it and soon realized they had cut some phone lines by mistake while trying to install a different cable. The workers had no costumes, no logo, no signs and they looked like they didn’t have a clue what they are doing.


When my friend asked them who’s in charge, they had no answer but one of them stated they were Ogero contractors so we called Ogero (1515) to register a claim and tried to reach the 1516 hotline but no one was answering.

Few days later, an Ogero guy passed by to examine the phone line and it was working somehow, but when my friend asked him about the digging, he had no clue who was behind it. Then he went out to the street to check out the works but it started to rain so he left.

IMG-20160124-WA0009 The workers were kind enough not to cover the hole with garbage bags

The day after, the phone line stopped working once again and someone had closed the hole in the street as if nothing happened. My friend tried once again calling but the answering machine told him his claim was already registered (it’s based on ur phone number) so there was nothing he could do at this point except wait.

All in all, my friend is still without internet or phone for almost two weeks now because of a reckless contractor and he didn’t get any feedback yet from Ogero. Personally speaking, I’ve had previous issues with Ogero and they usually answer quickly but it looks like they have no idea who was doing what this time.

Morale of the story: If you ever spot random workers doing works in your neighborhood, check out who they are working for and make sure they know what they’re doing. Even if they are legit, they could be bazzi2 wou lazzi2 workers and not technicians, and could ruin things. Report them to Ogero or the municipality or the police if needed.

PS: I will update the post as soon as I have new information

Can Someone Explain To Me Why Nurseries Were Closed Today?

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I can understand to a certain extent closing down schools because there’s a storm and roads are bad but why did our Health Minister decide to close down nurseries as well?? Parents usually take their kids to the nursery because they work all day and have no other place to leave them. What are they supposed to do in that case? Take a day off because the Minister said so? If we can’t drive our kids to the nursery, we should all stay home then.

I think it’s about time the government stops closing down schools and nurseries every time there’s a storm. I don’t remember my school ever closing down because of a storm and there’s nothing special about the recent storms that we witnessed in Lebanon. If They are worried about buses not being properly equipped to drive in such conditions, then they could ask parents to drive their kids on that day or let the school decide.

PS: For all students reading this post, you shouldn’t get too excited about all these days off because the school will probably end up bringing you on Saturdays to catch up :)