This is yet another brilliant art work by Ali Rafei. We all love Lebanon but it takes a lot of effort (and sometimes taking meds) to keep loving it.
I once compiled Ali Rafei’s best art works into one post, check them out [here].
The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015 list by Arabian Business is out and this year’s second place goes to Lebanese-British lawyer Amal Clooney. Amal is an activist known for leading numerous high-profile human rights cases and she made headlines all over the world last year after marrying Georges Clooney. I think this is the highest rank ever achieved by a Lebanese on that list which was topped once again by HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi.
10 other Lebanese women proudly made the list:
– Nayla Hayek
– Iqbal Al Asaad (Lebanon/Palestine)
– Grace Najjar
– Joumana Haddad
– Ayah Bdeir
– Nadine Labaki
– Nancy Ajram
– Reine Abbas
– Hind Hobeika
Check out the full list [here].
It only makes sense for Brgrco to open in ABC Achrafieh specially after its success in Beirut Souks. I’ve always preferred their main branch in Sodeco right next to L’Entrecote but it’s hard to find a parking spot so Beirut Souks is more convenient. Brgrco is set to open in June 2015.
On another note, the Raclette Brgr that you see below is back and is a must! If you are fasting, there’s the Falafel burger which is worth a try with some cheese fries.
It’s quite depressing to see countries planning to launch 5G services in the next 3-4 years while we are still struggling with our 4G speed and data plans and of course the lousy DSL. I was lucky enough to access Ericsson’s huge booth at the MWC2015 thanks to a friend and got to see what a 5G connection looks like. We are talking about a speed hundreds of times faster than the 4G, reaching over 5000 mbits/s. Samsung has been doing some 5G tests as well and it looks like South Korea might be the first countries to adopt it.
Technology has a huge impact on every country’s development and needs to be handled more seriously in Lebanon. The technological gap between Lebanon and the UAE has already become a huge one and it will take many years to catch up. Of course I am not talking about implementing 5G but at least enhancing and expanding our 4G network and completing the switch to fiber optics ASAP.
This is a mobile by the way
Yesterday was the first time I attend a Samsung #Unpacked event and I personally enjoyed it. The event took place at the Centre de Convencions Internacional in Barcelona and it felt really good to take part in it, share the excitement and interact with the crowds. #Unpacked introduced the Samsung Galaxy S6 as well as the Galaxy S6 Edge which comes with curved screens as well as other cool accessories like the Gear VR. The two new phones were announced by Samsung’s CEO J.K Shin who claimed that no other phone can match the new S6’s, and I have to say the phones have some pretty impressive specs.
Samsung’s CEO J.K Shin announcing the two new phones
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
I will begin with the specs that are similar to both the S6 and S6 Edge:
1- Plastic covers were dropped and replaced by a metal frame and Gorilla glass back. The metal is supposedly 50% stronger metal than competing smartphones and shouldn’t bend
2- The battery is smaller and no longer removable (so no SD card slot). It should last longer however according to Samsung due to the new processor. 10 minutes of Fast Charging will allow you to use the phone for 4 hours. Both devices charge twice as fast as the iPhone6.
3- Display is 5.1″ Quad HD super AMOLED (577pi). Better colors more pixels and a gorgeous screen.
4- The processor (Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz, Octacore ) is much better and uses less battery. The phones are equipped DDR4 3GB RAM.
5- The front camera is 5MP while the rear one is 16MP OIS equipped with f1.9 aperture for better low light results. Camera launch time is 0.7 seconds only. Here are some of the camera features: Quick Launch, Tracking AF, Auto Real-time HDR(Front & Rear) , F1.9, Low Light Video(Front & Rear), High Clear Zoom, IR Detect White Balance, Virtual Shot, Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Pro Mode, Selective Focus.
6- The #GalaxyS6 and #GalaxyS6edge come in five colors: White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz and Green Emerald.
7- Galaxy S6 comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB, Galaxy S6 Edge in 64GB and 128GB.
8- There’s also Wireless charging which is a built-in feature.
As for the #GalaxyS6edge, it will be the world’s first dual-edge display smartphone, which means two curved side screens that will allow you to quickly check and answer call, messages or emails. The Clear View option will also allow you to determine who’s calling you based on the color .
Once the event was done, we got the chance to check out the new phones and try them out for few minutes. I held both phones to see if they were comfortable to hold given their ultra-slim design and I was pleasantly surprised by their grip and feel specially the S6 Edge. The camera on both phones is fantastic, they are very quick and responsive and the side screens on the S6 Edge are very easy to use.
As a first impression, I liked the new S6 but I’m honestly in love with the S6 Edge. What I didn’t appreciate was the fact that there are no SD card slots anymore and I am curious to see if the battery life will indeed improve with the new processor as this is a crucial feature. Otherwise, S6 is a huge improvement from the S5 and the S6 Edge might be the next big thing. Of course this is a very quick first impression post and I will definitely write a longer and more detailed post once I get my hands on the phone for a proper review.
The official release date is set for April 10th and prices are not yet out but I heard the S6 will start selling at around 800$. Here are some of the pictures I took at #Unpacked
Here are a couple of pictures showing the Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6 side by side:
I am honestly sick of writing about Sagesse Riyadi games that end with a fight but I want to make one thing clear. Those who are arguing about who started the fight are missing a very important point. Fights do happen in all sports even in the NBA and players get suspended accordingly. It doesn’t matter if Stoglin hit Mahmoud first or not, they got engaged in a fight and should have been suspended immediately.
Having said that, the real problem are these IDIOTIC individuals who quickly join the fight and make things worse. There are cops and officials responsible for such incidents so let them do their job and stay away! I think it’s about time the Lebanese Basketball Federation forces teams to set up fences for the fans and make sure no one is allowed to step on the basketball court during a game.
Until then, enjoy the fights!
On a side note, I was honestly surprised by Ali Mahmoud’s reaction as I thought he was a rather calm and rational player but mistakes do happen and he might have lost his temper. Again it’s not a big deal as it happens in all leagues all over the world and players and teams get fined and suspended.
You can find these in Lebanon in case you didn’t know – Taken in Ammik by SergeSaliba
From the top – by Charbel Bouez
Janit Kartaba – by Rami
Mout Sheikh and Bekaa Valley – By SergeGaspar
Golden sunset – By Republicofsnowboarding
Zahle – by Wassim Said
I love these stairs! By d3lph1ne
The electricity problem in Lebanon is a very serious one yet we haven’t seen any significant progress in recent years. We have over a million Syrian refugees now, which means more electricity consumption hence more power cuts. Ever since I moved to my new house, I’ve been paying around $130-150 monthly for 10 amperes which aren’t even close to what we consume on a normal day. Take for example a regular working day where you get home tired and hungry after 2 hours of traffic, and just wish to heat up some food in the microwave and wash some clothes before you sleep. Once you turn the washing machine or the dryer on, you can’t use any other home appliance. Moreover, I can’t use my microwave if the electricity is off as it needs around 8 amperes to start and I would have to turn off the whole house just to start it. These are two silly examples on how the lack of electricity affects our every day-life and are nothing compared to the families who don’t have heating systems and have to rely on electrical heaters to stay warm and heat up the water. Of course I’m assuming you’re getting 10 amperes and not less as all generator owners tend to trick you. I’m lucky to have a decent guy run the generator.
This being said, Zahle’s move to provide its residents with 24/7 electricity is a huge accomplishment and a brave move against the generator mafia. We’ve all seen how the generator gangs demonstrated against EDZ’s initiative and even fired and damaged four transformers a couple of weeks ago. As a result and until the transformers are repaired, many residents will only get 12 hours of electricity and will be forced to pay generator owners for the rest.
Of course the government is to blame for everything that’s happening and the generator gangs are just filling a vacuum but corruption runs so deep in this country that politicians assign generator owners for certain areas and get paid monthly fees. The Economist wrote a long article on the Zahle incident and how bad the situation is. I personally believe we need more initiatives like the EDZ one to weaken these gangs and let people rally against them.
If some politicians and ministers wish to truly fix the electricity problem, they should start with their towns, cities and areas before tackling this whole mess. We need to decentralize this problem and any other problem as nothing will ever be accomplished otherwise. Zahle residents will not let generator owners win this battle because it concerns them directly and will significantly improve their lives and the city’s economy.
I’m on my way to Barcelona to attend the Samsung #Unpacked event and the Mobile World Congress #MWC2015. Samsung has invited me to the exclusive launch of their new Samsung Galaxy S6 so I will be live tweeting from both events and sharing pictures and posts on my Instagram and Facebook page. I will also be enjoying Barcelona and sharing my experience there. For those interested in following, here are my users and FB page:
If you have any questions or any requests from both events, do share.
PS: I honestly still can’t figure out why I should be using Snapchat but I am giving it a third try.
Isabel Roberts, who has lived in the area for 38 years, added: “These were lovely houses. People wanted these houses. They were lovely and clean. I mean you can see a house there in the middle of it. It’s like Beirut. It’s absolutely disgraceful.”
This is an excerpt from an article on a UK town called Country Durham, which was once a thriving mining community and is now a deserted town. Over 150 homes were left empty and the town now “looks like Beirut”. People have been unfortunately using this slogan for quite some time to refer to abandoned, destroyed or insecure places.
The use of the “Looks like Beirut” cliché was documented by a Lebanese blogger called Jad Aoun, who used to track down all articles and reports that used this worn-out slogan and send the authors “Looks Like Beirut” certificates “in recognition of the work done to keep the overused, worn-out, tired cliché “Looks like Beirut” alive” and where he’d thank them for their dedication to unoriginal comments.
A lot of people answered back and apologized to Jad but as you can see, the cliché is still alive and people are still using it in 2015 even though the civil war was over some 25 years ago.