Video – Lebanese Army Men Attack a Traffic Officer!

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This is Galerie Semaan intersection that gets quite jammed usually. I don’t know what was up with these army men to act above the law this way. I’m used to them and the ISF cars cutting us off on the road, but beating a traffic officer is fucked up!

via YASA

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Is Charles De Gaulle’s Residence In Beirut Set for Demolition?

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During the early days of the French Mandate for Lebanon, Charles De Gualle who was still a commander back then was among the army units that were assigned to Beirut at that time. He used to serve at the Grand Serail and was looking for a place to stay with his family within a close proximity, so he rented the first floor of a house owned by Elias Wehbe in Mar Elias.

Over the years, and despite being owned by people of Al-Hoss family, the house has always been known as Charle De Gaulle’s place because of a marble plaque fixed above the door saying “Here lived commander Charles De Gaulle. November 1929 – January 1932”. I even sometimes refer to it the same way when providing directions for someone to a nearby place.

The house has been vacant for many years now and is poorly maintained, but I was quite surprised yesterday to come across a photo by Khaled Hamadeh on twitter showing that the plaque has been removed, which could possibly mean that there might be plans to demolish it and I really hope it isn’t the case.

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With the current property prices in Beirut nowadays, I totally understand it might be unfair for the owners to be forbidden from bringing down the house to make way for a new building to earn some really good money, that’s why there should be a plan by the government or municipality to buy these old houses/building to either just preserve them or turn them into small museums. But then again, in a failed state it’s much easier said than done, so I really don’t want to be in the shoes of the current owners!

The second photo is taken by Ginane Bacho

Update:

The governor of Beirut Ziad Chbib posted on Facebook that the house owner removed the plaque because he was afraid that George Abdallah supporters might vandalize it. It is currently in the hands of the ISF and will be restored to its place, which simply means that the house is safe!

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Belghalat – A Satire Musical by Michelle & Noel Keserwany

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The famous Michelle and Noel Keserwany are collaborating with M Media on a satirical musical called “Belghalat”. The project is made of four episodes each criticizing a certain side of life in Lebanon through their witty songs.

Judging by the songs they made so far like Jagal El Usek, 3al Jamal bi Wasat Beirut, and Zaffatleh El Tarik, I highly doubt the upcoming series will be any less better than the previous videos.

The first episode will go online on February 15th, but I have no idea if the subsequent ones will be posted on a daily or weekly basis. Anyway, for now you can watch this teaser that M Media posted today.

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TSC Lebanon is Now Offering Children Free Fruits

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In order to encourage children to eat healthy, TSC Lebanon just announced on their Facebook page today that they will start offering each kid one piece of fruit to snack on while shopping with their parents. And for that purpose, fruit baskets will be available at the entrance of both TSC Achrafieh and TSC Signature (Beirut Souks).

The initiative is certainly not new as I have lately read about the same moves made by grocery stores in the US and Europe, still you can’t but salute TSC for it.

As a parent, I always find myself buying my 2 year-old son some biscuits to keep him busy while my wife and I do our shopping, but a banana or an apple would definitely be better for him.

Let’s hope they extend this offer to their other branches in Zouk and Jnah as I know a lot of parents are going to appreciate it!

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2016 Big Fat List of Valentine’s Ideas

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Valentine’s is only 4 days away, and this list from Lebtivity is just the right one for you in case you are thinking of planning something special with your significant other!

I divided the list into three sections, the first is for the ones who like to keep it simple with a dinner and probably like to spend the night over at some cool place, while the second is for those who instead prefer some unusual ideas for such a romantic occasion, and the third one is finally for the singles who would like to celebrate their celibacy on that day!

  1. San Valentino a Mario e Mario
  2. Valentine’s Stoplight Party at Rikky’z
  3. Valentine at Le Patio Hotel
  4. Golden Valentine’s Night with 25 % Discount at Golden Tulip Galleria Hotel
  5. Valentine at Phoenicia Hotel with Wael Kfoury & Ma fi Metlo Show
  6. Valentine at éByblos, Eddésands
  7. Valentine at Theatrum Jbeil
  8. Hollywood Valentine with Bruno Tabbal & Cynthia Karam
  9. Valentine at Shakespeare & Co
  10. Exquisite Romantic Dinner at Indigo on the Roof
  11. Valentine at The Peninsula
  12. Valentine at The Hangout Beirut
  13. Valentine’s at the Regency Palace Hotel
  14. In Love We Trust – Valentine at Warwick Hotel
  15. Valentine’s Eve 2016 at Bay Lodge with MARILYN & ZEE
  16. Valentine’s Special: Dine, Wine & Club Room at Midtown Hotel
  17. Valentine at Printania Palace Hotel
  18. Valentine at Four Seasons Hotel
  19. Be My Valentine at Riviera Hotel
  20. Valentine’s at Crowne Plaza Beirut- Hamra
  21. Valentine’s Eve at 1188 Lounge
  22. Valentine at Monte Cassino
  23. Valentine’s Eve 2016 at Jeita Country Club
  24. Valentines Night Dinner at Symposium Lounge
  25. Valentine’s Night at Les Grandes Arcades Bikfaya
  26. Valentine’s Eve at Deir Al Kalaa Country Club
  27. SAT Valentine at Benihana
  28. Valentine Fiesta at Le Royal Hotel & Resort
  29. Valentine’s at Byblos Sur Mer
  30. Valentine’s Dinner at Lamedina Cafe

Out of the box ideas for Valentine

  1. Valentine event at Clue Club – Battle of the couples
  2. Be my Valentine: A Partner Yoga Playshop
  3. Lock your Love this Valentine at Beirut Souks
  4. Claude Barzotti Concert in Lebanon – Live at The Legend
  5. Bernard Sauvat en concert au Liban
  6. For you & her – Spa Escape at Movenpick Hotel & Resort
  7. Dine in the gallery
  8. Laugh on Valentine’s Eve: Stand Up Comedy Show, Valentine’s Edition
  9. Make your Valentine’s Day date an adventure
  10. VALENTINE SALSA NIGHT at Tiki Bar
  11. LOVE IS IN THE … SNOW – Overnight & Skidoo
  12. Valentine’s Night with a Violinist at Natureland
  13. Valentine in Arnaoon Village
  14. Valentine’s Eve at Al Hindi Restaurant
  15. Valentine’s at Tokyo Middle East – love, romance & sushi !

Valentine for singles

  1. Singles Night at Fertil this Valentine
  2. Valentine Speed Dating
  3. Le Souk “Valentine’s edition” – Traffic Light Party
  4. Love Yourself !
  5. Beirut Knights book signing and reading
  6. Speed Dating in Beirut – Dar Bistro
  7. Love yourself… Color your Life!
  8. Lovely Snowshoeing Day Arz El Rab
  9. “Forget me not” Valentine Exhibition
  10. Snow Rose Festivities
  11. Valentines for Singles at TWENTY TWO Pub Gemmayze

May other cool idea can also be found on Lebtivity’s dedicate page for Valentine.

For everybody else who hate this day, here are 5 ideas for you to also enjoy the weekend!

  1. VENUS
  2. Things I’M NOT – Dance Performance
  3. Pause – Art Therapy Group For Adults
  4. Law Workshops for HR & Business Professionals
  5. Al-Bustan Festival 2016
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Rudolph Hilal Rips Off The Ellen Show

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Just when you thought Lebanese TV shows can’t any worse, comes Rudolph Hilal and rips off Ellen Degeneres Show. The whole thing even seems to be orchestrated with his guests since they were exactly imitating those who appeared with Ellen, and what’s more baffling is that he didn’t even make any effort to come up with a new show name!

I personally don’t watch Ellen and wouldn’t have known LBCI’s The Show is no more than a copy-cat, so hats off to whoever compiled this video!

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The Funniest Moments in Lebanese TV

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Following Denise Rahme’s mistake on-air last week when she said “7imar” instead of “7iwar”, Tony Khalifeh collected some of the funniest goofs anchors made over the last 20 years, and I thought they were worth sharing.

The segments starts at the 33m55s mark.

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Transgenders in Lebanon

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I was quite surprised to come across this gallery of three Lebanese transgenders called Hans, Toy, and Sasha who agreed to pose for a photoshoot for L’Orient-Le Jour. I mean let’s be honest, no matter how much the media try to show that we have a liberated lifestyle here, we still live in a relatively hostile society that acts negatively towards gay people, let alone those who actually desire to transition permanently to the gender with which they really identify.

Upon searching a bit, I found that even Patrick Baz, the photographer who carried out the photoshoot, was also shocked with the courage these three people had to actually agree to go public. But according to his story, they only grew a thick skin after getting rejected by their families.

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Last month, Lebanese judge Jannet Hanna granted a transgender man the right to change his legal status in the civil registry. It’s definitely a good news for our juridical system to finally acknowledge that sex change should be a civil right for everyone, however the process was not straight forward for that man since his original request to fix his legal status after undergoing a sex change operation was first rejected by another judge but he appealed it. So given that not everyone is able to go through that procedure and get the same result, can you imagine the awkward situations these people experience every time they have to apply for some legal document? Granted, they get weird looks every time they go to their Mokhtar, at the airport, or event at military checkpoints!

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It’s 2016, and it’s definitely about time our society becomes positive about people who experience a mismatch between their assigned sex and their gender identity. Claiming that transgenders and people with different sexual orientation are spoiling our society is no longer a valid argument, because I’m pretty sure the Lebanese media along with us are accomplishing a really good job at doing that!

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What’s Your Excuse Now?

Back when the photo of some security officer on a Kaak motorycle started circulating online, the ISF claimed the officer was actually impounding it. I wonder what is their excuse this time!

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I believe this one was taken somewhere around Ramlet El Baida.

photo via YASA

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Little Free Library

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I was at Horsh Tabet Public garden with my kid last Sunday when I came across this cool box called “Little Free Library” by Arcenciel.

The purpose of this box is to promote reading among people by simply allowing them to take any book they want from it, and in the same way also add their own books to it, thus the sign on top that reads “Take a book, return a book”. Pretty cool, don’t you think?

Arcenciel’s initiative is part of an international movement going by the same name “Little Free Library” that encourages people to put up similar boxes in their neighborhood to exhange books among each other. And there’s no restriction on the genre of books that people can add to the box, which makes it interesting for you to check on the available books every time you stumble upon these little libraries.

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I tried looking up if other boxes are available in Lebanon and only managed to find an additional one in Tripoli. It would be nice to have more of these boxes at public places and even private ones like coffee shops maybe, where people would more likely be in the mood to read something.

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