Penalty Reduction on Mecanique Fees Until February 2017


I rarely give any importance to the laws passed by the Lebanese parliament, but I know this one matters to lot of people and that’s why I’m sharing it here.

The parliament authorized yesterday a reduction on mecanique fee penalties for people who have not paid their dues over the past years. The reduction is expected to be up to 90% and you have until the end of February 2017 to benefit from it.

However note that the inspection centers are currently closed due to the transportation unions strike, so you might have to wait a bit before you can inspect your car and pay your dues.

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – October 19th 2016


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Movie buffs can enjoy a couple of film festivals happening this week, the ARTE Film Week and The Russian film festival which will both take place at Metropolis Cinema.

  1. Les Autres Bonnes – Piece de Theatre
  2. Beirut-New York, Book Release by Maya Zankoul
  3. Berytech Meetup Powered by GIST
  4. BDD Talks: Stress, Emotions & Healthy Lifestyle – “Ms. Amygdala: The Lady behind all our Problems” with Samer Taher
  5. KMC’s Pink Promise – Walk, Run & Bike against Breast Cancer
  6. 7e Semaine ARTE
  7. First Russian Film Festival in Lebanon
  8. Re-Mi Bendali In Concert
  9. Movie Night at Memory Lane – Every Tuesday
  10. Pain Free Workshop with Jean Shaar
  11. The Walk of Legends Motivational Firewalking Seminar

Make sure to check for much more options.

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Battlefield 1 Now Available in Lebanon and it’s Epic!

If you follow gaming news and are interested in first person shooters, you probably know that Battlefield 1 is due to be released on October 21. However, some retailers in Lebanon already have it on their shelves (some had it as early as last Saturday).

I bought it. I played it. It’s Epic.

This latest installment in the battlefield franchise takes you back World War I and lets you experience the dawn of all out war.

I played a few hours of the single player campaign and fought my way through a few online rounds and I can tell you this game is the most engaging, cinematic, and visually breathtaking first person shooter I have ever played, and I’ve played a lot.

The single player campaign tells the war stories of multiple soldiers spread over various locations during the first world war; and you can choose which story to play first. The locations are so visually pleasing that you’ll be spending some time just looking around you at the detailed environment of the Italian Alps and the Sinai desert (while aiding Arab rebels fight the ottoman empire) just to name a few.

The Bf1 multiplayer is as epic as you’d expect it to be. You are seriously able to wreck havoc with the tools at your disposal. The way weapons handle and their sounds are so genuine. Explosions are just eye candy. Having played the open beta, the retail version is much more polished with no bugs so far.

Now excuse me. I got an online match to play.

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Ton Amie Liliane is Coming Back For One Last Performance


If you grew up in Lebanon in the ’80s then Liliane Karam (AKA Ton Amie Liliane) must have played a good role in your childhood!

Back then kids shows were not abundantly aired like today so we used to eagerly wait for them on the available TV stations every afternoon, and among the shows and cartoon series I used to watch at that time “Ton Amie Liliane” was my favorite. I think the only other show that came close to it was “Kif W Leish” with DéDé in the ’90s.

A couple of days ago I came across this cool news on Annahar reporting that she is currently collaborating with her daughter Lara Rain to prepare for a new play that will start showing on time for Christmas on Platea theater Jounieh before moving to other Arab countries and Canada.

So if you have kids, let it be your excuse to go re-live old memories since Liliane will be performing some of her old songs, and it will also be an opportunity to let them get a glimpse of what we used to enjoy when we were young! I personally will get my little kid a ticket once they’re out for sale.

Bientôt, je chanterai cette chanson sur scène pour vous!
Décembre 2016 va être magique!!

A mon ami* …votre chanson préférée, et une des miennes aussi <3

Posted by Ton Amie Liliane on Sunday, October 9, 2016

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Where Does The Extra $1 Go?


If you’re subscribed to one of Touch or Alfa prepaid plans then you definitely buy a recharge card every 1 month or so.

You basically have two ways to pay for these cards, either electronically through mobile carrier websites and bank ATMs, or by physically getting them from mobile phone shops, and I personally always have a problem with the latter!

Everywhere in the world you’re expected to pay the price indicated on the recharge card whenever you buy one, except in Lebanon where you always have to add an extra $1 charge! So you basically pay 39,000L.L ($26) for a $25 recharge card for example, and some shops that feel like being competitive sometimes reduce the price to 38,500 or 38,000L.L.

All the sellers I’ve asked about that extra charge claimed it is their profit margin and that the price on the card is actually their cost price. But this isn’t logic honestly since bank ATMs sell the same cards at the published price and there’s now way they’re not making any profit out of it.

I know that an extra $1 per month is not going to make me poor, but seriously, and out of pure curiosity, who the hell takes it??

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Hala Wardé Selected to Design Beirut Museum of Art


Following an architectural design competition that was launched last year to build the new Beirut Museum of Modern Art, 13 designers were chosen by the jury to compete in a series of rounds and I just read on The Guardian that the Paris-based architect Hala Wardé was selected to design the new museum.

Wardé’s design comprises a 124 meters tower divided into a dozen 12 meter cubes that will house a library, several galleries, exhibition spaces, artists in residence and classes. The museum is set to open in 2020 and will be located on piece of land owned by the Saint-Joseph University opposite to National Museum in Mthaf.

The area there between Mathaf and Ras El-Nabeh is one of my favorite parts in town and the new modern art museum will definitely make it more glamorous!




Photos are all via The Guardian

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – October 12th 2016


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. I personally will be attending the Geitawi Car Free Day since my kid is usually enjoying the car free events organized by Achrafieh 2020, if you have kids then I recommend you go too but make sure to arrive a bit early in order not to miss the kids animation.

  1. Discover Rmeil – Geitawi Car Free Day
  2. PechaKucha Night Vol.26
  3. Afternoon high tea with Japanese flute at The Blue House
  4. Puppet Party – “L’Elixir Du Respect”
  5. The Walk of Legends Motivational Firewalking Seminar
  6. Les Folies De Caprice presente Daly Gana
  7. 7e Semaine ARTE
  8. Bikeathon Baldati Jezzine 2016
  9. Sugar the sweet poison.Reduce your sugar consumption workshop
  10. Kids storytime + parents coffee
  11. Flamenco show Pepe Habichuela
  12. Seedstars Beirut

Make sure to check for much more options.

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Review – “Film Ameriki Tawil” 36 Years Later


Last night was the avant premiere for the highly anticipated Film Ameriki Tawil and I had the privilege to be among the attendees. Needless to say, it was really awesome to finally see the original footage of this play since I have always enjoyed listening to this masterpiece by Ziad Rahbani on the radio!

As in the case with Bennesbe Labokra Chou, M Media did a fantastic job by reconstructing several old videos in order to create this movie. However, unlike last year’s end result, Film Ameriki Tawil has a better image quality, looks much smoother thanks to the use of fixed cameras during the original recording, and has an almost consistent audio level and quality. So if you felt annoyed by the shaky image in “Bennesbe Labokra Chou” then I can guarantee this one is much more better and has much better scene transitions. In my opinion, this movie does more justice to Ziad Rahbani’s work than the previous one.


As far as the acting is concerned, I believe I would be stating the obvious by telling it was impressive. I mostly loved the authentic performance by Joseph Sakr, Ziad Abou Absi and Rafik Najem. Watching Sakr singing three time during the play/movie was alone a treat for me! So, to make a long story short, I highly recommend you go watch it and take older people like your parents with you because they’ll definitely get some good memories and laughs back! The official release date is set for October 20th, and for those who would like to get a sneak peak of it I have shared a beautiful video on Facebook of “Raj3a bi iznillah” with the whole cast dancing to it. (link)

However, as I recommended last year, do yourself a favor and delay booking your tickets a bit, Ziad’s diehard fans will naturally attend the early screenings and my opinion about them still stands, they’re annoying! One guy was sitting behind us last night and almost recited the whole scenario while the movie was playing.

On another note, I have a good new to whoever missed watching Bennesbe Labokra Chou last year, the guys from M Media will soon be officially launching their streaming service which will allow you to watch their productions for $5 per month (think of it as a Lebanese Netflix) and that includes Bennesbe Labokra Chou which will also be available for watching on their website.

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What’s All The Fuss About Automotive Inspection Fee Hike?


Have you ever been through the horrible experience of taking your car to one of the “mecanique” inspection centers in Hadath or other areas? The last time I went there 2 years ago I spent 6 hours there waiting in endless queues. The whole experience makes you pray for your car to pass the inspection not because you hate going to your mechanic, but rather because you want to avoid wasting another day over such silly task!

A while ago, it was announced that a new company called Autospect won the bid for running the existing inspection centers, and that part of its plan over the next year is to increase the number of inspection centers from 4 to 17 across the country which will help reducing the time needed to go through the inspection to 15 minutes, with the possibility to book your appointment online. This however will be at the cost of increasing the current fees from $22 to $33 out of which $5 are a new government tax.

Next thing we know, public transportation drivers started protesting the price hike by closing vital roads around Beirut every week or so. Disregarding how much I hate it when a group of people start blocking streets to make their points, I found their protests to be utterly weird.

Out of all the fuck ups in our country, this $11 or 16,500L.L  increase is seriously the reason why these drivers are wasting their precious time to organize these protests? I bet each and every one of these people earns more than that amount per day, but given how sensitive they are about such increase, how on earth can they afford sacrificing their income by going to such all day protests?

I personally think it must be one of two things, the protesters are either not public drivers but rather people who for some reason believe the new developments are not of their interests, or the transportation unions are simply controlled by some influencing figures/businessmen who didn’t win the bid.

Either ways, whoever is willing to reduce the inspection time to 15 minutes can take my money because I’m tired of finding a “simsar” each time I have to take my car to the Hadath center! Protesting against such progress is ridiculous, and no please don’t demand for the government to handle the inspection process instead!

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Banque Libano-Française is Getting a Cool New Headquarters in Saifi


Earlier this year Banque Libano-Française launched a competition to build their new headquarters in Saifi and at the end of the selection process it was announced that Norwegian-American studio Snohetta won with their “Magic Box” design.

The design looks cool and I thought it is worth sharing since the new building will be a landmark in the area. The chequerboard-pattern facades look nice, but what stand out are definitely the plant-covered terraces carved into the roof and walls of the building.

Regarding the exact location of the project, the competition page shows it will be built on a piece of land opposite to the Lebanese Emigrant statue.





Photos via Design Boom

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