Why is Electoral Fraud Being Treated so Lightly? Buying Votes is a Serious Crime

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Update: LADE Report is out. 801 violations, bribes, fights at polling stations, military men voting illegally, delegates pressuring the voters etc …

Last Sunday, 647 violations were reported in Beirut and the Beqaa including three documented bribes made to voters. Yesterday, almost 600 violations were also reported in Mount Lebanon and a couple of videos of electoral fraud were shared online.

The person who was paying for people to vote in Zahle got arrested last week, and yesterday another arrest was made but is that enough? Who asked this specific person to pay voters? Where did he get the money from? Are there other people bribing voters as well?

In Zahle, the list that was bribing voters lost but yesterday the “Karamet Jounieh” list who was caught bribing voters won by a tiny margin. Assuming both lists were bribing voters, which was probably the case, shouldn’t these votes be cancelled? Is it enough to just arrest one guy? Was there any investigation? Where’s the official report?

I think it’s outrageous that electoral fraud and bribes are being taken so lightly, especially when it’s that obvious. The rule should be simple: if any candidate or delegate is caught bribing voters in a specific polling station, all votes related to this candidate or the list he belongs to should be annulled. Claiming that it was one isolated case is basically insulting our intelligence and even if it’s just one case, it should be enough to severely punish the list or candidates in question.

PS: LADE will be holding a press conference at noon to discuss the violations that took place yesterday.

Lebanese Equestrian Marek Maitala Wins The 2016 FEI World Jumping Challenge Finals!

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The FEI World Jumping Challenge Final took place in Rabat (Morocco) between April 22nd and 24th and Lebanese Marek Maitala managed to win the top spot against 10 other participants. The competition is usually open to 20 riders, which are the 2 best-placed Category A from the 10 regional Zones and is held outdoors. [Official Results]

Marek is only 20 years old and has a dream of competing one day in the Olympics. This is already an incredible achievement and I’m sure that he can bring in more trophies if he gets the proper support and training.

Congrats Marek!


Everyday, Arab Women are Told Who They Can and Can’t Be!

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arab women3

I love this campaign. It’s basically a video portraying more than 20 Arab women coming from different walks of life to celebrate difference and uniqueness. Unfortunately, we are still very far from achieving gender equality in the Arab World and women in the Arab World and more specifically in Lebanon are still treated as second-class citizens and are still victims of abuse and domestic violence.

Check out the video:

48 Hours in #Beirut: I Love it!

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A couple from Dubai visited Beirut for a crazy 48 hours and compiled everything they did into 5 minute video. They explored Beirut by day and night (Zaitunay, Mar Mikhail etc …), took the Teleferique to Harissa, Jeita Grotto, Byblos Souks and ended their adventure at the one and only B018.

I know these are all cliché things to do but tourists enjoy them and a lot of Lebanese, including myself, still enjoy them from time to time. Visiting Byblos, Going to Harissa, partying at B018 are a must if you haven’t visited Lebanon.

I love how this couple shared their experience and I hope they will be back soon for another crazy 48 hours. There are so many different things to do in this country in 48 hours that you will always keep coming back!

Check out the full story [here].


Discover the Lebanese Wild Side: Book Your Outdoor Activites For 50% Less this Weekend

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We all tend to forget how breathtaking our country’s outdoor scenery is or we simply don’t know where to go because there’s not enough information provided online. The truth is, our country is perfect for outdoor activities and there are plenty of things to do from biking, hiking to camping, rafting etc. Last week, Jimmy wrote a post on where to go biking and I was mind-blown by the pictures he shared, but that’s just a fraction of what’s out there.

Yesterday at LeMall Dbayyeh, I was walking around when I spotted Lebanon’s water-ski champion Silvio Chiha standing behind a cool wooden stand and promoting outdoor sport activities and nature adventures. There were Eco-tourism and nature sport fairs around the stand as well and a discount up to 50% on the various activities was being offered as long as customers booked their activities on the spot. The idea is to encourage more Lebanese to engage in nature related activities and create awareness of Lebanon’s ecology and environment.

There are several cool activities to choose from and it’s definitely better if you are a group of 4 people or more. You can benefit from the special rates only this weekend, so drop by LeMall if you are interested. The stand is only available at LeMall Dbayyeh and stays open till 8pm.


For those who have never explored Lebanon’s wild side, you are missing out a lot! Our country is a beautiful one and has a lot to offer.

Thumbs up to LeMall for this great initiative!

When Eden Park Asks You To Redesign Their Famous Bow tie

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Eden Park were celebrating yesterday their 15th anniversary in Lebanon, and I was asked along with 8 of the country’s top artists, designers and bloggers to redesign Eden Park’s famous Pink Bow Tie, the brand’s logo and monogram.

I was hesitant at first given that I barely have any design skills, but I love Eden Park and a good friend of mine offered to help out. What I wanted to do was portray the blog or what BlogBaladi stands for through the bow tie. We thought of coming up with an animation first where a series of negative events are shown in the background and the bow tie would reflect the positive side of each, but then we decided to go for a hologram as it’s easier to execute and would look cooler. Of course it was challenging technically but I had the most awesome people helping me out. In fact I felt bad at some point because they were working harder than me to finish it so special thanks to Jimmy, Georges and Christina!


We ended up designing the hologram to show the Lebanese flag from one side and the blog’s banner. An iPad was placed inside the designated box and a dark plexi was used for the reflection. The hologram was perfect but there was too much light at the event so we had to move the box 2-3 times to let people see the hologram properly.


Luckily, things worked out perfectly fine and everyone loved the bow tie! If you are passing by ABC Achrafieh in the next couple of weeks, make sure to drop by Eden Park and check it out.

Many thanks to Eden Park and Kinda for this opportunity!

Here are some of the other designs on display:

poise design Poise Design

rita Rita Lamah Hankach

mukhi Mukhi Sisters

vanlian Vick Vanlian

After Two Years, We Finally Have a Lebanese President … in Brazil

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Michel Temer has officially become acting President in Brazil after the Senate suspended Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. The 75 year old vice-president of Lebanese origins “was a key figure in the recent upheaval”.

Who is Michel Temer?
– He has been Brazil’s Vice President since 2011.
– He is president of Brazil’s largest party, the PMDB.
– He has always been known as the “kingmaker, but never the king, having helped form coalitions with every president in the past two decades”.
– He outlined in a recent WhatsApp recording leaked in April that Brazil needed a “government to save the country”.
– He has family roots in the village of Btaaboura in Lebanon, where there is a “Temer Street”.

Temer is seen as as a potential savior for Brazil’s woeful economy. I am not so sure about that but at least Brazil has a president.

3a2bel 3anna 🙂

A Giant Lebanese Flag on Martyrs Square

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I spotted last week a huge Lebanese flag installed in the middle of Martyrs Square. I don’t know if it’s linked to the municipal elections or the upcoming Beirut Cultural festival but I felt like someone just saw an empty space and decided to plant a 15 meter long flag. Few years back, a similar flag was placed in Sin el Fil, then two others were placed on Sassine Square and facing the Saint Georges.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with placing large flags as they symbolize pride, patriotism and feeling of belonging for the Lebanese people but Martyrs Square doesn’t need a large flag right now. The square needs greenery, a small park, cultural activities. It needs to be brought back to life especially after months of riots and clashes between demonstrators and the police over the garbage crisis. The walls around the Martyrs statue also need to be cleaned and properly maintained.