Qatar Announces Visa Free Travel for Lebanese Citizens

Qatar just announced today waiving the visa requirements for Lebanese nationals as we have been added to the list of countries whose citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival to Qatar. (Source)

Given the large number of Lebanese expats in Qatar, this is definitely a good news at least for their relatives here. However, I can’t but find it odd that we were not granted this privilege by a gulf state until its neighbors started imposing a blockade on it…

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – June 21st 2017

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Don’t miss Fete de La Musique tonight at various places around town!

  1. Talk | Swiss Art Talks: Giovanni Carmine
  2. Fete de la Musique 2017 – Beyrouth, Liban – Full Program
  3. Escape Games Beirut – The New Smart Fun Activity!
  4. The Harmony of Chaos
  5. Somewhere | Backstroke – An Outdoor Movie Cycle at the Garten
  6. Blooming JUNE – Rural Lunches
  7. Rise Above Jounieh Festival Fireworks – View from Burj on Bay Hotel
  8. Fête de la Musique à Gemmayzé
  9. Mastering Social Media Workshop with Ralph Aoun at ESW
  10. Inner Harmony & Out Chaos

Make sure to check Lebtivity.com for much more options.

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Middle East Airlines Among the Least Environmentally Friendly Airlines

Earlier last week, London’s Heathrow Airport issued a list of 50 global airlines ranked according to how environmentally friendly they are, and our national carrier Middle East Airlines turned out to be among among the worst coming in the 48th position.

The airlines in the list were assessed based on 7 categories among which are arrival times, efficient landing approaches, nitrogen oxide emissions, and noise pollution. Therefore, this of course has nothing to do with travelers experience on board but rather with the footprint that airplanes flying out of Heathrow Airport leave on the environment.

The only two airlines that scored worse than MEA were Kuwait Airways and Israel’s El Al, while British Airways topped the ranking followed by Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways, Scandinavian Airlines System, Finnair and American Airlines.

You can check the full list here.

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Fayrouz Preparing For A New Album?

Fayrouz’s daughter, Reema Rahbany, has been posting a series of teaser-like videos on Facebook over the last 4 day all showing Fayrouz in a recording studio apparently working on a new single or album.

The videos have no caption or description but I really hope a new project is in the making. And if it is the case, then it would be interesting to know the musicians she is collaborating with. She usually works with her son Ziad Rahbany, but I recall he mentioned in one of his interviews that they were not on good terms over the last few years and I’m not sure whether they reconciled or not.

You can check all the videos on Reema’s Facebook profile.

On a side note I’ve never seen Fayrouz performing live, so I also hope a concert is in the making this summer because I really would like to see her on stage at least once before she retires.

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Awesome Trip Back in Time – Hadi Ramadan Retro Games and Consoles

I was recently looking to buy the original Game Boy (the one from 1989) and my internet search led me to an awesome retro games collector in Beirut called Hadi Ramadan.

I initially saw an ad by him for a used Game Boy on OLX so I contacted him and agreed to pass by his place to check it out, and judging by the other ads he was running on the platform I thought he was selling a few of his old stuff but boy I was wrong! When I reached the location he greeted me and showed me his apartment which has two rooms filled with all kind of consoles and games from the 80s and 90s! Nintendo NES, Super Nintendo, Family Computer, Atari, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, Game Gear, All kinds of Game Boy (original, color, advance, etc..) you just name it, a true heaven for retro gamers!

Hadi turned out to be an avid collector who constantly look for old consoles up for sale around the world and gets them to Lebanon with the help of his relatives. He also of course tries to make some extra money by reselling them here but his full-time job keeps him from properly advertising the stuff he has or even just properly organizing them for a suitable display, however he told me he has a plan to soon organize everything once and for all. But for the time being, if you visit his place prepare yourself to dig into several boxes to go through the available devices and game cartridges.

 

What I first thought would be a 10 minutes visit led into me staying over an hour with him going through the old consoles and he even showed me his own private collection. That guy has probably the coolest bedroom by the way with old games and gadgets all over the walls.

Now you probably are wondering about the prices and all I have to say is that he’s quite fair with his pricing. For example he’s selling the original Game Boy for around $50-60 (depending on its condition) which does not vary much from the prices you find abroad on eBay by the way. On the other hand cartridges sell for ~$10 but the price varies depending on the game rarity and whether it’s authentic or not. I personally got the Game Boy I wanted with 4 cartridges for a good price.

If retro gaming is your thing or if you just want to buy back a piece of your childhood then I highly recommend you get in touch with Hadi on 71-727302 and arrange for an appointment since he’s not always available. I embedded below a map showing his place which is located very close to the old airport road, but you can definitely call him for accurate directions.

He’s also planning to organize retro gaming exhibitions in the coming few months so you might want to follow him on Facebook and Isntagram to keep up with his news.

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – June 14th 2017

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. “On the silk road” exhibition at Bsous silk museum is opening its door today and I highly recommend you check as it takes you on an amazing journey through the private collection of the Silk Museum.

  1. Comedy Night Show: ON THE ROAD
  2. The Harmony of Chaos
  3. Fête de la Musique #OFF / Colonel Beer / Batroun
  4. Escape Games Beirut – The New Smart Fun Activity!
  5. Sunset Yoga by the beach & live music
  6. Blooming JUNE – Rural Lunches
  7. Raise Your Paw For BETA
  8. “On the Silk Road” Exhibition at The Silk Museum – Musée de la Soie Bsous
  9. Founders on a Boat
  10. Scottish Ceilidh Dancing

Make sure to check Lebtivity.com for much more options.

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Wall Dabke is Now a Thing?

It started with this video from Australia spreading on Facebook and now people want to imitate it and some as going as far as using the ceiling to dance upside down.

We earlier had Tirashrash and Jenno Notto, please don’t make this trend!

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Beirut-Montreal Direct Flights Might Soon Become a Reality

According to a recent article, Air Canada seems to be currently focused on making direct flights possible between Montreal and Beirut.

“We started the regulatory process in 2003,” Rovinescu said. However, geopolitical events intervened, and the carrier itself did not have the right equipment to make the route viable. “We are now at the stage where it looks like we can put the pin in it,” he said.

Part of the challenge of operating the route is ensuring right-level security screenings in Beirut, Rovinescu added. Air Canada is working with its Star Alliance partner Lufthansa, which operates in Beirut, to learn how to address these concerns. Source

With more than 200,000 Lebanese now residing in Canada (as per Wikipedia), such direct route is much needed to help them avoid the tiresome layovers in the European or Gulf cities. And attributing the ban on Beirut Airport to security issues is in my opinion invalid since many airlines operate direct flights to European airports that have some pretty high security standards.

Back in 2012 there was some talks about bringing back direct flights between Lebanon and the United States but it never led to something serious, so let’s hope the efforts Air Canada is currently putting to make Beirut-Montreal route possible do not end the same way.

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