“Matchbox” Short Movie by Chadi Younis

It boggles my mind how the social media scene works in Lebanon sometimes. A hint of Myriam Klink’s boob gets everyone and their mother talking about it, while this short movie barely gets any mention on the blogs.

BLOM Bank recently produced a series of 4 short movies revolving around the “peace of mind” theme (the bank’s slogan). So far two have been released, one by Philippe Aractingi about a Lebanese immigrant who returned to his homeland to follow his passion, and another by Chadi Younis about a little kid who had to let of his toy cars while escaping the Lebanese civil war. The latter honestly shook me to the core and totally won my heart with Samara Nohra’s performance, I highly recommend you watch it.

Two more videos by Leila Kanaan and Jad Aouad should also be released over the next few weeks on BLOM’s Youtube channel.

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The Problem With The New Red Light Cameras in Beirut

The traffic management center in Lebanon recently installed some red light cameras around Beirut in order to enforce traffic laws by automatically photographing people who run red lights or those who stop their cars on red AFTER the white stop bar. In their first tests, they unsurprisingly were able to record a violation every 8 seconds!

However, while the installation of these cameras is just logical in order to ensure the new traffic law is fully applied, you cant but feel that it is an ill-timed step… I mean let’s be honest, the majority of those who apply for a driving license show up on their test day to sign some papers and end up getting their license no matter how poor their knowledge about traffic laws is, and I really doubt most drivers are aware that you’re not supposed to stop the cars after the white bar on a red light. In fact, if you abide by this rule don’t be surprised to see people cutting you off and stopping in front of you…

The ultimate purpose for applying traffic rules is to reduce road accidents and avoid traffic jams. So it it were up to me, I would have allocated this project money to educate the masses and recruit additional police officers to ensure that the basic laws are applied. Till now, wherever you go in Beirut you see taxi cars and minibuses picking up passengers wherever they please on the road. Moreover, double parking is like norm everywhere… solving these two problems alone should guarantee making the traffic smoother all over the city. Let alone other problems caused by asshole motorbikers and pedestrians who insist on crossing the road no matter what color is the traffic light.

But then again, someone now thinks it is time to erect these cameras regardless of any other priorities, so brace yourselves, tickets are coming!

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Syria Street – Everyday Life Stories From Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh

Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh are two neighborhoods in Tripoli that got popular over the past 10 years for all the wrong reason.

Following the assassination of PM Rafic Hariri, the residents of the two neighborhoods got into more than 10 armed clashes mainly due to their division among different sects and having different political affiliations, and the rounds of violence eventually intensified with the start of the Syria war in 2011.

The two areas are separated by Syria Street, also known as Bab El Dahab, and it is a proof that while people in general think that their residents are vertically divided, they in fact share so much in common. Many of them run shops on both sides of the street, and they simply just rely on each other to get on with their lives. People from Bab El Tabbaneh go to Jabal Mohsen for good and services that might not be available in their area and vice versa.

What they also share the most though are their problems, concerns, and daily struggles. The residents of both sides suffer from poverty, bad living conditions, and lack of jobs which is unfortunately motivating their youths to search for any source of income even if it was coming from politicians in exchange of firing arms at their neighbors…

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Lebanon recently collaborated with photographer and filmmaker Brandon Tauszik who’s well known for GIF-based storytelling, in order to convey the real image about the people from both Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh. Brandon spent a week listening to residents from both sides and the result was some quite expressive visuals along with interesting stories from their everyday lives.

To explore more about this project, check SyriaStreet.com in hope that these two areas never take part of another rounds f violence, and that their representatives in the parliament stop abusing them every time they want to make some political gain.

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – February 15th 2017

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. The 8th edition of Arabnet is the most anticipated event over the coming days,  it will bring together over 1,300 corporate executives, marketing industry leaders, entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the latest trends in the digital sector.

  1. Les Voisins Du Dessus – Piece de Theatre au profit de CHANCE
  2. Arabnet 2017
  3. Kelkon Sawa – A theater play by Camille Salameh
  4. Italian Cuisine Festival at Casino Du Liban
  5. T2 Trainspotting Avant Premier
  6. Hoppalissa – Samy Khayath new play
  7. VIBES Band at DRAY Badaro
  8. The First Yoga pop up
  9. Cheese and wine at Al Murjan Palace Hotel – Every Frida
  10. LEFT ALONE IN A TERROR ACT SPECIAL SYSTEMA SEMINAR

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

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Calm Your Tits: Alcohol Prices Are Not Icreasing by 5 Times

Following MTV’s report about the suggested increase on tax for alcoholic products, people are for some reason believing that bottle prices are going to increase by 5 times, whereas if you listen well to the reporter then you will notice that it is actually the tax per 1 liter that is going to quintuple.

Take a 15,000L.L wine bottle (750ml) for example, once the decision takes effect it should cost 15,600L.L. Therefore, unless restaurants and bars want to take this as an excuse to tremendously increase their prices, your bill should not be impacted much especially if you are ordering by the glass.

So calm your tits, bars will not go bankrupt and you will still be able to afford your favorite drinks.

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Wissam Kamal’s Datsun Ad – A Total Win!

I saw the new Datsun ad featuring Wissam Kamal and his father a couple of days ago and totally loved it! Knowing that Datsun was phased out in 1986 before launching again in 2013, they totally nailed it with their reference to the 80s.

On another note, I think it’s cool to see brands collaborating this way with people who got famous through social media such as Wissam. Kudos to that!

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Feel22 – Self Pampering Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is in less than a week, and to those looking to get their significant other a self pampering product, Feel22 is a new Lebanese e-commerce website to help you with gift ideas of that spirit.

From make up, to skincare, perfumes, and other beauty products, Feel22 has it all, and the reason I’m posting about it is mainly because my wife was quite impressed with their products selection, in addition to the fact that they have some brands that are pretty rare to find in the Lebanese market such as Sephora, so their catalogue is definitely worth a look.

I personally tried ordering from Feel22 and found the website to be very responsive. At checkout, you only need half a minute to create an account before you place your order, and they offer free shipping all over Lebanon within a day or two. You can also order items through a WhatsApp number if you like to with a cash on delivery option, and there’s a live chat support available throughout the day if you have any inquiries.

For those interested in trying their service, the awesome people at Feel22 were kind enough to provide me with a promo code for the blog readers to benefit from a 10% off any order. All you have to do is input the code PLUS961FEEL22 to get your instant discount.

Happy shopping!

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – February 8th 2017

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. They’re all related to Valentine’s day this time, so if you are single just pass on this one! 😛

  1. Valentine at Villa Linda Sursock by Le Bristol hotel
  2. Valentine’s Dinner at Al Murjan Palace Hotel
  3. Italian Cuisine Festival at Casino Du Liban
  4. Valentine’s at Feluka – Sporting Club
  5. Valentine With Asmara & Her Band at Le Bristol Hotel
  6. Valentine’s Celebrations at Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue
  7. La Folie Rouge – Special Valentine
  8. Valentine’s Restaurants Program at Phoenicia Beirut
  9. 12 Days of Love at Le Gray
  10. Sweet Suite Valentine

Make sure to check Lebtivity.com for much more options

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WTF Ad of The Day: Yeh! Frozen Yogurt

I have to admit, this is both genius and cringy at the same time! I’m guessing it started as an internal joke among their employees and somebody just decided to post it on their instagram! (they later removed it)

via Anis Tabet

Update:

And here’s another one they posted more than a year ago! (via Gino Raidy)

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Fishermen in Tripoli Caught Huge Inedible Sunfish and Sold it to The People!

Fishermen from Tripoli caught a huge Ocean Sunfish weighing more than 1000Kg this morning and people got outraged about it since it is a threatened specie of fish that feeds on jellyfish and poses absolutely no danger to divers.

In my humble opinion, I believe it is the authorities who should be blamed about such things because it seems like they allow anybody to go fish anything they encounter in the sea. It is true the Ocean Sunfish can be mistaken for a shark sometimes due to its dorsal fin, but fishermen should be educated enough about the species that should not be caught, and should also learn how to differentiate one from the other before given permission to work.

Aside from being endangered or not, fishermen should refrain from killing inedible species, and even if they did by mistake then they should get rid of it instead of selling it in the market, which unfortunately is not the case with this Sunfish! According to Wikipedia, it is not yet confirmed whether the Ocean Sunfish has some poisonous organs or not, so I wouldn’t take a chance trying to eat it. However, several photos on Facebook showed the fish being cut and sold at some fish market in Tripoli.

This is basically similar to witnessing a donkey or a sick cow being killed at the Karantina Slaughterhouse… I doubt such thing would go unnoticed and so should be trading this fish.

I just hope no one gets poisoned from consuming it, and I also the authorities invest a little more into educating the fishermen in order to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

Photos via Michel Bariche

Update:

As per the below memo, Governor of North Lebanon Judge Ramzi Nohra ordered the confiscation of this fish meat due to it being poisonous, in addition to ban killing such endangered species. Such memos and decisions are definitely better late than never!

via Animal Animals Lebanon FB Page.

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