The Middle East’s First Official Apple Store Is Now Open In Dubai

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The first official Apple Store in the Middle East will officially open tomorrow to the public in the new Mall of the Emirates extension in Dubai, followed by a second launch at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. This is obviously big news for the UAE but also for Apple fans in Lebanon. I know a lot of people who prefer to buy their Apple products from the Apple Store itself, experience the official Apple retail experience and get the proper service and warranty. Moreover, the closest Apple Store to Beirut is in Europe right now and is usually expensive because of the Euro and taxes. Of course what would be ideal is having an Apple store in Beirut but we all know that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.

Apple store

My friends at were among the first to visit the Apple Store in Dubai and shared their experience. I’m sharing a couple of sneak peek pictures from inside the store and few things you need to know about the first Apple Stores in the Arab World.

– The last time Apple opened two stores in one day was back in 2001 on the same day in the USA.
– More than 150 products will be sold at the Apple Stores. The Apple TV and the Hermès edition of the Apple Watch are not available though yet.
– Apple will be hosting women-only workshops in the coming weeks besides the usual calendar.
– The store’s design components were done in partnership with Foster + Partners, the same team which designed the Apple Campus at its headquarters in California.
– There are two Genius Bars in the middle of the store in Dubai surrounded by self-watering trees.
– The two UAE Apple Stores will have over 150 employees who speak 40 languages and represent 30 nationalities.

I recommend you check out the full article [here] for more info.



Two Lebanese Artists Among ArtReview’s Top 100 Most Powerful Contemporary Artists in The World [2015]

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ArtReview, one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines, has placed Lebanese Akram Zaatari (Rank #80) and Christine Tohme (Rank #74) among the top 100 most powerful contemporary artists in the world. Zaatari was already on the list last year (Rank #94) while Christine is a re-entry.

Christine Tohme is a curator and the founder of Ashkal Alwan: the Lebanese Association for the Plastic Arts in 1993. She was recently “given the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence by Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies in February; and then, in September, it was announced that she was to curate the 13th Sharjah Biennial, in 2017”.

As for Akram Zaatari, he is a Lebanese video artist and curator and the co-founder of The Arab Image Foundation that contains more than “600,000 historic images of daily life in the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora”. Quoting ArtReview, “Zaatari’s solo show at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in the spring of 2015 demonstrated just how prolific the Lebanese artist is. Alongside the gallery displays – various relatively recent installation works that exemplified Zaatari’s formalist interest in archives and how media, particularly photography, is read in the context of changing histories and political flux – the institution also included a screening room with films from throughout the artist’s career”.

Zaatari is the one who discovered Hashem el Madani’s work and decided to partner with him and show Studio Shehrazade’s photographs to the whole world. It’s quite an amazing story that I wrote about almost a year and a half ago.

You can check out the full list [here].


Lebanon Is One Game Away From Reaching The 2017 Rugby League World Cup!

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We’re almost there! Our Lebanese Rugby Team beat South Africa 40-12 in Game 1 and now needs to secure a second win against South Africa on Saturday October 31st to qualify to the World Cup! This is amazing news and I’m quite confident we are going to make it this time. Lebanon was expected to play the home game in Dubai due to Lebanon’s security situation but it appears that both games will be played in South Africa instead.

The Lebanese team is mostly made up of Lebanese who play in the Australian league and includes 4 local Lebanese Rugby League Federation players: Robin Hachache, Ray Finnan (Immortals RLFC), Wael Harb and Toufic El Hajj (Wolves RLFC). Toufic also plays for AUB.

The first game was live-streamed on this [link] for those who want to rewatch it. I will provide you with the link for the second game as soon as it’s available.


Thank You Jeffrey!

The Truth Behind The 2 Tons Held At The Beirut Airport

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tun2 Inspired from a picture circulating online

Just like the pictures and videos garbage-flooded streets were apparently all fabricated, the largest drug bust in the history of Lebanon is also a big lie. The Saudi Prince was not smuggling 2 tons of drugs worth millions of dollars but instead 2 cans of tuna (2 طون) hence the confusion. The fact that Laila Abdel Latif didn’t predict these two incidents confirms these claims.

As far as the drug-filled boxes that were found, some parties are already accusing activists, saying that they placed the boxes of drugs to ignite a civil war and make Mohamad Machnouk look bad on his way back from Florence. Meanwhile, Netanyahu is confident the Palestinians smuggled these drugs through tunnels all the way from Gaza to the Beirut Airport.

Mohamad Machnouk could not be reached to comment on the story. An unknown source claimed that the minister has been spending so much time on Instagram and Snapchat that he exceeded his 3G consumption and had to turn off his smartphone.


Join The Protests #La2annak_Healthy

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7irak via Body Buddy Beirut

A nutrition center in Beirut is making use of the recent events and lack of electricity in Lebanon to promote its business. Being healthy is definitely an advantage when you are running away from tear gas canisters, water cannons and the riot police and not having electricity is a good excuse to take the stairs.

The “Feek Tdayen” banner below is messed up though.

tdawen2 via Body Buddy Beirut

But not as messed up as the new “wet club” in Maameltein lol!

20151023_172846 Thanks Michel!

UN Celebrating 70 Years Of Partnership With A Beautiful Tribute To Lebanon

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un 7 years

Sigrid Kaag, the UN Special Coordinator in Lebanon, Actor and Producer George Khabbaz, Michael Haddad, The Chehade brothers, May Khalil and the Beirut Marathon team, Graffiti/street artist Yazan Halawani, radio hosts Olga Habre and Gavin Ford, TV Host Paula Yacoubian, Fadi el Khatib, The UN troops, MEA Airlines hostesses, the Lebanese Red Cross and others took part in the beautiful tribute

Check it out:


blue phoenicia Phoenicia Hotel lit up its building in Blue to commemorate UN day and the 70th anniversary of the United Nations

Closing Open Manholes During Winter

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As soon as it starts to rain, roads are flooded with water (and garbage recently) in Lebanon and open manholes are no longer visible to drivers and pedestrians. Open manholes pose serious threat to commuters and the concerned parties (Ministry of Public Works and Municipality) rarely work on closing them during storms or at least putting warning signs around them.

Of course we as citizens can help prevent painful incidents by closing down these open manholes when possible and that’s what this guy did today. However I advise you to be careful when closing manholes and watch out for reckless drivers.



Thanks Yorgui!

Electricité De Zahlé Has Gone A Bit Too Far

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The EDZ (Electricité De Zahlé) online campaign has been a brilliant one up until their latest ad. I love how they are shedding light on Zahle’s lifestyle and issues in a funny way and how they are bragging about their 24/7 electricity but they should have left guns out of it. In their latest ad which was shared yesterday, they show a young man from Zahle pulling a gun just because he couldn’t find a spot on the street to pee.

I don’t really understand what’s funny about that and I personally don’t know anyone from Zahle who carries a gun around with him when he’s out. Whether it does reflect Zahle’s society or not, carrying guns in public is dangerous and reckless. Moreover, this ad couldn’t have come at a worse time especially after what happened during Skaff’s funeral in Zahle last week.

I’m still jealous though that they have 24/7 electricity and water. Maybe they should think of promoting Zahle as a safe city and encourage Lebanese and tourists to visit it.