Why is Lebanon Acting Schizophrenic About Gal Gadot?

People at the censorship bureau don’t seem to be able to make up their mind about Gal Godot. Few years ago they had no problem with her appearing in movies like Fast & Furious, Batman v Superman, and Keeping up with the Joneses, until they suddenly decided to ban Wonder Woman back in May because she had the lead role in it.

Fast forward to nowadays, just as several magazines chose Godot to be on their cover for their December issues, the much anticipated “Justice League” also got banned two weeks ago because she was among its cast. I took the above photo for example at Librarie Antoine a few days ago and it’s obvious the authorities did not find anything wrong with a magazine having Gal Gadot as its main subject, so why not allow a movie starring her as well?

DVD rips of banned movies eventually end up flooding the market and it isn’t like superhero movie fans are going to miss seeing them, so it’s definitely about time the censorship bureau reconsider their role and the decisions they take.

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Top 20 Things To Do During Christmas Season This Year

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Beirut with decorations at malls and on most streets! And with so much happening around town these days, it’s definitely an opportunity for you to get with family and friends to do something fun. So here are 20 event suggestions from Lebtivity all happening over the coming days for you to get inspired.

  1. Christmas In Action 2017
  2. Christmas Concerts – Beirut Chants 2017
  3. Le Casting De Père Noël
  4. Santa & the Chocolate Factory
  5. Once Upon a December
  6. Sustainable Christmas Fair 2017
  7. Christmas Tree Lighting Concert
  8. Marché Solidaire de Noël 2017
  9. CINE – NOËL 2017
  10. Mike Massy Christmas Concert at Maghdouché
  11. Escape Games Beirut – The New Smart Fun Activity!
  12. Riyada Youth Winter Innovation Program
  13. CONCERTS DE NOËL
  14. Tripoli’s Souks de Tripoli
  15. Byblos Christmas Tree & Village 2017-2018
  16. DJ MARC Présente: Les Folies de Noël
  17. Christmas at the Villa 2017
  18. Afkart – Christmas Creations 2017
  19. A Baroque Noël at Stark Creative Space
  20. Christmas Village 2017 at Arnaaoon
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#LifeForLife – Help Abaad Change The Prison Sentence for Incestuous Rape

Abaad is a civil movement founded in 2011 that aims to achieve gender equality as an essential condition to sustainable social and economic development in region, and seeks to engage men in ending violence against women. Over the last period, they have been putting efforts to maximize the prison sentence for incestuous rape from 5 years to lifetime.

I personally never knew before seeing this campaign that the Lebanese law punishes such acts with a ridiculous 5 years in prison. Incest rape is probably the worst kind of sexual assaults and is guaranteed to ruin the life of the victim, so it is quite unfair for the perpetrator to be free in 5 years while victims are left with never ending emotional damage for their whole life.

What is also shocking is that as per Abaad, 49% of the sexual assault cases in Lebanon are committed by a close family member. Therefore, chapter 7 of the Lebanese penal code should be amended to at least change the punishment to a harder sentence if not a lifetime.

You can support Abaad have their voice heard by signing the petition on the campaign website here.

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Lebanon To Introduce Biometric Verification for SIM Cards?

Registration of SIM cards and mobile handsets is nothing new in Lebanon as you are currently required to present your ID card and have a photo of you taken on the spot when buying a new SIM, and handsets registration was introduced back in 2013 before getting canceled a year later.

However, it seems like the ministry of telecom is looking to up their standards of verifying SIM cards by planning to soon introduce biometric information which I find to be quite weird. I mean I totally understand using biometric checks for ID card or passports, but why would you want to do the same for something that is “mobile” in nature and can easily transferred from one person to another? The only logical explanation is that someone is simply arranging yet another corrupt deal. We’re nearing the end of year and they probably need to have their budget fixed… but then again, who are we to doubt their intentions! 😀

Anyway, what concerns me the most is why should we be forced to provide these critical information to two private companies who’s networks have been infiltrated by Israel a few years ago? (Anyone recalls the cases of Charbel Qazzi and Tarek Rabaa?) Such information about us should only be possessed by the government. And whoever thinks such measure will easily help identify suspect terrorists in the country is probably missing the fact that there a million other way to communicate securely other than using a SIM card…

In all cases, you can check this report by LBCI about the matter. If this thing gets into effect, you will be given a deadline to register your SIM at authorized centers, otherwise your phone line will be deactivated.

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The Only Lebanese Fashionista Worth Following on Instagram

Just like almost everyone else, I spend my fair share of time on Instagram everyday and I come across all kind of “influencers” in my feed. From entrepreneurs with inspirational quotes on every photo, to gym rats, foodies, and fashionistas who are the worst of them all! And I simply hate the latters because of their artificial photos and all the fake stories they try to create around them.

Forget all about their sponsored posts because we all whore ourselves nowadays, but some of the posts are just unbelievable. Breakfast in bed? Wine in the bathtub? Joyful 9 months pregnancy shots? Happy family photos with 2 years old babies standing still? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

Neither breakfast in bed nor wine in the bathtub are actually possible, chances are you will have breadcrumbs all over the bed sheets and soapy water in your wine glass… And don’t get me started about pregnancy and kids, the last couple of months during pregnancy are not all glam and glitter for women, and those family photos with happy toddlers in them are just a myth. Trust me, I’m a father of two little boys…

 

Thank u @dr_roy_moutran for always making me look beautiful ! You Rock !!! 🤜🏻

A post shared by Jenn Zee (@bloggerwanabe) on

So with all these “influencing fashionistas” around, I recently stumbled upon @BloggerWanaBe on Instagram which is a satirical account by Sara Zeaiter (AKA Jenn Zee) that aims to poke fun at all those fake photos and videos on Instagram. Some of her posts are actually quite hilarious and make you really wonder how much effort is put by other influencers into creating those “natural” photos and videos.

Judging by her posts and stories so far she seems pretty cool, and funnily enough she has all it takes to become yet another fashionista with a followers count that just keeps increasing… so I guess it will be hard for her to turn down sponsored deals in the near future! 😉

Anyway, make sure to follow her account @BloggerWanaBe because she seriously is the only fashionista worth following nowadays in Lebanon!

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Nemr Abou Nassar Set To Appear on Showtime Comedy Club

Nemr Abou Nassar is set to appear on Showtime Comedy Club tomorrow night (US time) in a special called “No Bombing in Beirut”.

The one hour performance tackles misconceptions western people have about us here in the middle east and was shot in both Lebanon and Los Angeles, however it was edited in a way to show people from both ends of the world laughing at the same jokes to prove that we have more in common than we would think. It is an absolutely great achievement for Nemr to be featured on Showtime and it’s great to see talents like him and Wissam Kamal making it big outside Lebanon.

The shows will air on Showtime tomorrow October 7th at 11PM Eastern Time (GMT -4).

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Bid Farewell to Long Queues at The Mecanique Centers

No matter how smart you try to be about timing your car inspection visit to the mecanique center in Hadath, it is almost always guaranteed to be like a trip down to hell. I personally utterly hate to take a day off for the sole purpose of waiting endlessly in long queues to get that stupid task done. And I dare call it stupid because all cars end up driving on the Lebanese roads regardless whether they pass or fail.

However, a new service by “Blink My Car” (the app that made car washing a tap away) seems to have found a workaround for that as it currently offers sending one of their officers to have your car inspected.

I got in contact with them and was informed that the process takes an average of 3 hours and costs 50,000L.L (in addition to the 35,000L.L inspection fees). To benefit from it, all you have to do is to request an appointments through the app and provide the officer with the car registration license.

Once your car passes you will of course have to pay the mecanique fees which can be done at Naf3a, Banks, and some certified centers, but if you wish them to pay it on your behalf then you can pay an additional 25,000L.L and also have one of their officers pay it within 48 hours.

I believe this is pretty convenient for employees especially those with strict working hours, and the service fee is both fair and absolutely worth it.

For those who are not familiar with the app, the cool people at “Blink My Car” were kind enough to provide me with a free promo code for people to try their car wash service when I was inquiring them about the mecanique thing. All you have to do is download their app (for either iOS or Android) and enter the code “plus961free” to benefit from a free wash. There’s no limit set for the code so feel free to tell your friends as well!

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9 Lebanese Startups Among The Arab World’s Top 100

Forbes Middle East released its list of the top 100 startups in the Arab World and Lebanon earned 9 spots with Anghami coming 2nd in the overall ranking thanks to $29M in funding. UAE based startup Fetchr was ranked 1st with a funding of $52M.

Here’s a list of the Lebanese startups that were mentioned (Full list available here):

  • #2 Anghami – Music streaming platform
  • #23 Scriptr – IoT application platform
  • #25 Falafel Games –  Develops and publishes massively multiplayer online games
  • #31 Sqwirl Lab – Startup studio
  • #39 Energy24 – Alternative Energy storage and generator
  • #65 Blink My Car – Car care app
  • #72 Risk+ Solutions – Financial intelligence and risk management solutions
  • #77 Loop – Electric scooter sharing technology
  • #85 Myki – Cybersecurity

With the all the telecom infrastructure upgrades we are promised, I hope we get to see even more Lebanese projects and startups in the coming years.

On the other hand, a similar list was also compiled by Forbes for the top 100 Arab companies and 4 Lebanese banks made it to the list (Bank Audi, BLOM Bank, Byblos Bank, and Bank of Beirut).

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Banque Libano-Française New Mobile App Commercial

It’s not everyday that Lebanese banks make funny commercials. This one was made for Banque Libano-Française’s new Mobile app (MyBLF 2.0) and the actress portraying the client is absolutely hilarious!

Make sure to watch the video till the end.

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60 Years Old Fisherman From Tripoli Is The New Loto Billionaire

This is definitely not the first time someone claims the grand prize in Lebanese lottery and I bet we all feel some envy every time someone does. But in the case of this man, Ahmad Dandash, I guess that you can’t but feel delighted it went for someone who really deserves it.

The 60 years old fisherman seems to have been going through some difficult times and was unable to afford helping any of his kids get an apartment until he scored the loto. Feel free to call it fixed or arranged, but the video and the whole thing is heartwarming.

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