Just When I Thought I Was About To Get Fined For Answering My Phone

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IMG_20150529_200030 Source: HaigMelikian

I normally respect traffic laws and I’m not a reckless driver but I sometimes do check my phone when I’m stuck in traffic and the cars are not moving. I also don’t think it’s wrong to answer your phone (using speakers or ugly blue-tooth headsets) but I heard this is not even allowed in the new traffic law which doesn’t really make sense.

In all cases, I was driving from Adonis towards Kaslik last weekend and we were barely moving when I received a phone call that I had to take, so as I was about to pick up the phone and put it on speaker my wife notifies me that there’s a police officer on his bike passing right next to us, so I quickly gave her the phone hoping that he didn’t notice anything. As it turns out, there were two cops actually, the first one on the bike was texting or playing on his smartphone and the other was looking the other way. It’s definitely not the first time I spot cops breaking the law, but it would have been the first time that I am fined by a policeman breaking the law himself. I was wondering how I would have reacted to that if he truly had stopped me. Few hours later, I received the above picture via whatsapp.

Needless to say, we should still abide by the new traffic law and hope that everyone, including policemen and politicians, do the same. Things have improved drastically in the past couple of months but it’s still too early to judge success of this new law.

Week27: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

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Ammiqj Summer is back and Tawlit Ammiq as well – By PolSamuel

You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [Here] if you like.

Azadea Sanayeh garden was renovated one year ago – Photo by Saad

Beach1 Iris beach club – by Karim

Bekaa Beautiful Bekaa – by Sacha el Aref

Fishing Gone fishing – by Samer

tent Flying high – by Ahmad

Zahle Zahle Zahle Zahletna – by MishoRicha

A Lebanese Was Caught Beating A Woman In Public While Kafa Was Demonstrating Against Violence

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Kafa organized a demonstration yesterday in front of the National Musuem to end domestic violence against women and in support of the victims’ families, specially after the brutal murder of Sara al Amin a week ago. On the same day and in a different location, a man was caught on camera beating a woman inside her car. Al Jadeed are saying he’s an official and that the woman is his wife but I can’t confirm both. What’s sure is that he was beating her in public and no one intervened to help the poor woman, which brings me back to the post I wrote a few days ago on how Lebanese need to protect women being assaulted in public or inside their houses.

If I had seen this guy, I would have definitely rushed and kept him away from this woman and I am sure a lot of people would have done the same. I am not here blaming the guy who filmed the whole thing as it’s a personal choice after all, but we need to take action against abusive individuals and shame them while protecting the victim.

I will follow up on this story and see if this guy’s name is revealed since he’s an official and the head of a municipality according to Al Jadeed.

Walid Jumblatt And The Knefe Prank

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This is an old video where Jumblatt appeared on a famous TV show on LBC and was asked to call a random pastry shop and order two huge Knefe platters to be delivered within 5 minutes. I think Jumblatt should consider doing his own comedy show after he retires from politics as he’s quite hilarious on Twitter lately. Moreover, he’s been in politics since ever and is powerful enough to come up with jokes all day on other politicians and get away with them.

Yalla Walid Bek let’s do the Bek Show!

[YouTube]

Getting A Wedding Loan Is The Worst Idea Ever!

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20150527_074903-1 This is one of the many wedding loan promotions I see in Lebanon – I scratched the bank’s name because the post is directed to couples rather than criticizing banks that are simply doing what’s good for them

As soon as I set a date for my wedding 3 years ago, I sat down with my wife and wrote down the estimated costs of a big wedding in a budget planner. Even though I am not a fan of big traditional Lebanese weddings, I had no choice but to settle for one in order to please everyone around me. To be honest, I didn’t think it was worth getting into a fight with both families just for one day and I was fine with the big wedding as long a we didn’t exceed the set budget (and did few things my way). It was out of the question for me to pay for things I could not afford or even worse take a wedding loan! For me, a wedding loan is the worst possible idea any couple could apply for and I wish banks would stop giving young couples this option in Lebanon.

I can understand people applying for personal/car loans or getting credit cards, or borrowing money from their parents and I’ve done all of them and still have credit cards that I use in emergencies or when I run out of money, but I would never consider a wedding loan because it’s a terrible investment at the worst possible time.

Just to explain how bad wedding loans are for newly wedded couples earning average incomes and why they shouldn’t go for one (assuming that the average cost of a relatively big wedding in Lebanon is around 25-30k for 250 people):
1- You are taking 20K and 40K loans at very high interest rates (up to 50% of the original loan sometimes) to invite 300 people to eat and drink and look fancy and you are barely getting 50% of what you spent back in the wedding account.
2- You are starting your marital life with a heavy and unnecessary loan and the expenses will keep on piling up once you move to your new place. No wedding couple wants to start a marriage with staggering debt.
3- Speaking of expenses, and trust me on that one, they will double and triple once you are living on your own, so having an extra loan payment every month is a bad idea, specially if you are taking a house loan as well.
4- Even if you’ve been dreaming all your life of a big wedding, you won’t be able to please everyone no matter how much you pay, so pay as much as you can to make the best out of it. I’ve done a big wedding with a very reasonable amount by looking after every single detail and trying to get the best offers and I still regret some of the costs I had to endure.
5- Your family and friends will be happy for you no matter what you do with your wedding and even if you don’t invite them. They will drink and sing and cheer for you even if the venue is your own backyard, and that’s what matters the most.

Some may argue that a couple may need to take a loan in order not to delay the wedding, but that’s not a valid excuse as they can plan a small wedding or maybe organize a wedding abroad and invite their direct families only. Again I’m not trying to judge anyone here and it’s a personal decision after all, but a couple being behind before even kicking off their new life together will affect every decision they make together and could prove detrimental to their relationship. All in all, if your parents insist on having a big wedding, ask them to help out with the wedding expenses like I did and if they can’t, I advise you to prepare a wedding with whatever money you have and make sure to take into consideration your honeymoon expenses because that’s the best part of a wedding (at least for me).

The Coolest Lebanese Nun

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nun

Lebanese Memes shared earlier today a short video of a Lebanese nun (probably abroad) playing the derbaké. She reminded me of the singing nun who won Italy’s the Voice last year and she should consider applying to the Voice because she’s pretty cool.

Funnily enough, some people didn’t like the fact that she’s a religious person trying to look cool and have fun. I wish these people would mind their own business and leave that nun alone because she’s already doing a better job (religiously speaking) by being a nun and dedicating her life to serving her church and helping people.

Check her out [here] and if anyone has a longer video, please do share.

Uber Now Available In Jounieh

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After launching back in July in Beirut, Uber is now live in Jounieh and its coverage has extended to the following areas: Baabda, Mansourieh, Zalka, Jal El Dib, Cornet Chehwan, Aoukar, Mtaileb, Bayada, Zouk Mosbeh, Adonis, Kaslik, Jounieh, Adma, Tabarja etc …

I use Uber whenever I have plans in Beirut as it saves me the trouble of finding a parking spot because I will never give my car to the valet. The drivers are friendly and drive safely, the trips are smooth and the cost is the same as other taxi services if not less. I’m glad they finally extended their coverage to Jounieh because I live there and I sometimes don’t feel like driving all the way to Beirut, specially when I’m going to drink and party.

For those of you who didn’t try Uber yet, the app is available for [Android] and [iOS]. You can test out the service by entering promo code “HelloJOUNIEH” which grants you 2 FREE uberX rides up to $20 per trip.

I read on their blog as well that they are offering free rides valid through Sun, May 31st at 11:59pm on all trips beginning beyond Nahr El Kalb tunnel ONLY (Jounieh side).

PS: I will be doing soon a review of all online taxi services available in Lebanon. I’ve tried so far Allo Taxi, Uber. There’s still Careem on my list. If you know others, please do share the names.

Hitler’s Skybar Drama

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skybar

This is an old funny video from 2010 that shows Hitler’s reaction when he finds out he couldn’t get a table at Skybar. I am sharing it because it shows how popular Skybar was back then and how it managed to stay the hottest place in Beirut ever since it opened. Everyone wants to go to Skybar and its closure this summer is a huge loss to the nightlife scene and Lebanon as a whole.

I truly hope its owners have plans to relocate to a different spot until they repair the damages caused by the fire.

[YouTube]

Pictures Of The Skybar Beirut Fire

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A big fire broke out around 2am today at Skybar Beirut causing some major damages. I’m not really sure what happened as I was unable to get in touch with anyone yet but I read in the Daily Star that it could be due to an electrical short circuit.

Skybar was scheduled to open next week but I’m not sure they can fix all this mess in time. I will keep you posted as soon as I have updates but I’m sure we will be partying there this summer :)

PS: I’ve shared a status earlier on Facebook and I will repeat it here. Making jokes out of this sad incident is like shooting yourself in the foot. Even if we don’t like the place and think it’s for the fancy people (which is not the case), Skybar Beirut is an international touristic attraction that everyone wants to visit and enjoy. Skybar has shaped and revolutionized ‪#‎Beirut‬’s nightlife scene.
More importantly, tens if not hundreds of families will be affected by this fire not just the party goers so think about that before making silly jokes.

Update1: Skybar probably won’t be open this summer unfortunately. I am not sure yet if they will relocate to another place.

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PS: I don’t know who took the pictures above. MTV has more pictures [here].

What Does This Flag Remind You Of?

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This is the flag of the Trucial States, which were a group of sheikhdoms in the south eastern Persian Gulf and signatories to treaties with the British government and later on became the United Arab Emirates in 1971. As you can see, the flag is pretty much the Lebanese flag without the Cedar tree.

flags-of-trucial-states1

I looked up the meaning of the flag, and while the red was a traditional color, the white was imposed by the British in order to distinguish friends from pirates in the sea and the seven-pointed star referred to the 7 sheikhdoms. I can’t really confirm if the flag was inspired from the Lebanese one but the star was added in the 1960s, which is around 20 years after the Lebanese flag was declared.

trucial-states

via Sultan