Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – January 11th 2017


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. If you have kids then I highly recommend you go check the new play by Liliane Karam (Ton Amie Liliane) as I’m hearing some really good feedback about it.

  1. Cheese and Wine at Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue!
  2. Attitude of Gratitude funshop – Gratitude jars 2017 edition
  3. ULI JON ROTH – Scorpions Revisited Live in Beirut
  4. The Black Destiny For Mankind – Art Exhibition by Raffi Tokatlian
  5. Beirut Game Fest
  6. Queen of The Seasons – A play for the whole family by Lara Rain & Ton Amie Liliane
  7. Enchanted Reality – Art Exhibition by Aramé Art Gallery in Beirut Souks
  8. Serge Jamo chante “Les Légendes De La Chanson Française”

Make sure to check for much more options.

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Halabi Bookshop – The Modern Bookshop With a Vintage Twist

When I was a kid in the early nineties I recall it was hard for me to find a bookshop near my house that would regularly have my favorite magazines until my father once took me to Abdallah Halabi’s bookshop (Halabi Bookshop) in Jalloul Street. Ammo Abdallah had all my favorite stuff in one place back then, so it didn’t take long until I became a regular customer of his, and going to his shop every Saturday became a habit for me. Moreover, because he also had french publications available, my parents used to regularly pass by him and with time their relationship with him got more personal.

As I grew older though, I eventually stopped getting kids publication and got interested in a specific genre of book that I occasionally buy, however I never stopped passing by his bookshop to greet him whenever I’m in the area.

Abdallah Halabi and his daughter Lana before the renovation. There supposed to be a door behind them! Source

Knowing that Adallah Halabi had a thing for collecting books and publications, starting the 2000’s you couldn’t but notice his bookshop getting tighter every day until it seriously got full a couple of years ago to an extent where you couldn’t even tell if that place even had a door! Every time I passed by I used to see a hint of the vintage stuff he has like old Arabic issues of Superman, Loulou wa Tabbouch, Abir, and others… and always wondered what more interesting books he has piling up inside. For some reason though, I had a feeling the bookshop will close down for good at some point in time and no one will ever have access to the gem inside, especially that I never noticed an effort being made to at least organize the large collections he had.

30 and 40 Year old newspaper issues, not for sale

Fortunately, I was proven so wrong last summmer! Lana Halabi (Abdallah’s daughter) quit her job and put a massive effort into taking out all the old books and magazines stacked inside to properly organize them, in addition to totally renovating the bookshop with the help of her brother Karim. The result was a nice modern look with the old publications adding a vintage feel to the place. That along with some details here and there like a small cool attic, old accessories, and authentic treats they offer to their customer, made the place feel really unique and standing out among its surrounding.

Over the last few years, Al Halabi bookshop’s offering was mostly newspapers and weekly magazines due to the books being inaccessible, nowadays in addition to those you find old comic books in Arabic, French and English neatly hanged outside in addition to rare publication with some dating back to the 1950s and 60s, and they all tempt you to go inside and discover what more do Lana and her father have.

Halabi bookshop during and after renovation

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Lana and learned that the re-branding of the bookshop didn’t only rely on simply just renovating it, as they have been actively participating in book fairs around the city to showcase their big collection and spread the word about their business. I also asked if the old comics and books are limited to what they currently have which means no more will be available once they’re sold out, and I was informed that aside from all the stuff they still have but are not on display yet, they’re constantly communicating with collectors from several countries in order to get more issues and make them accessible to people in Lebanon.

If you have a thing for books in general I highly recommend you go pay a visit to Halabi Bookshop, first for the welcoming owners who will definitely have endless suggestions for you, and second for the cool feel the place has! Their collection is not limited to vintage publications only as they also have up to date stuff, so you will definitely find something to suit your preferences.

Halabi Bookshop is located in Jalloul street in Tarik El Jadida, and you can check their exact location here on Google Maps. They’re also available on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, so make sure to follow them to keep up with their news and any event they’re participating in.

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – January 4th 2017


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. In this cold weather, I’m tempted to go to Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue for some cheese and wine!

  1. The Black Destiny For Mankind – Art Exhibition by Raffi Tokatlian
  2. Armenian Christmas Dinner
  3. Cheese and Wine at Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue!
  4. Enchanted Reality – Art Exhibition by Aramé Art Gallery in Beirut Souks
  5. Christmas Food Market by Fair Trade Lebanon – “Christmas Loves Apples”
  6. Queen of The Seasons – A play for the whole family by Lara Rain & Ton Amie Liliane
  7. Fridays SALSA NIGHTS at Nova Lounge
  8. Galette Des Rois – Cooking Class @ Nan’s Kitchy
  9. Free Spoken Arabic Conversation Sessions
  10. Toastmasters International Public Speaking Club – Pro-Toast meetings

Make sure to check for much more options.

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Assafir Newspaper Printed Its Final Issue

2016 is over and so is unfortunately the paper print of Assafir daily. The last issue was printed on the last day of 2016 with an editorial titled “The nation without Assafir”.

It was originally planned for the newspaper to stop operating in March 2016 due to financial difficulties but it continued publishing for a few more months after getting some support. Talal Salman, its Chief Editor, blamed the closure on the crisis currently affecting all media outlets (falling sales and decrease in advertising), but in fact I believe it is their failure to adapt to changing times that should be blamed.

Advertisers are currently spending more on digital channels, and Chief Editors can no longer expect their newspapers to survive unless they accept to adapt and provide good content through their websites, social media, apps and even blogs.

I personally used to follow some of Assafir’s editors and will definitely miss reading their articles, so I really hope they keep publishing on some online platform.

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20 Ideas for New Year’s Eve in Lebanon

Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. They’re all for New Year’s eve, so if you haven’t figured out your plans yet, you can get inspired from this list!

  1. New Year’s Eve 2017 – Junkyard Beirut
  2. New Year’s Eve at The Village Dbayeh
  3. New Year’s Party at Bar ThreeSixty
  4. New Year’s Eve at Gefinor Rotana
  5. New Year’s Eve at Gordon’s Cafe
  6. New Year’s Eve at Qortoba Baabdat
  7. New Year’s Eve at Indigo on the Roof – Le Gray Hotel
  8. New Year’s Eve at Raouché Arjaan by Rotana Hotel
  9. Gold Deluxe Eve – New Year’s Eve at Goya Beirut
  10. New Year Eve 2017 – Hanine at Nuit Blanche
  11. New Year’s Eve at Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue
  12. New Years party at l’appartement
  13. Souk el Akel: New Year’s Eve 2016 – 2017 at The Legend Venue
  14. NYE 2017 with Nemr!
  15. New Year’s Eve at Colonel Beer!
  16. C U NXT YEAR: 2017 Edition
  17. NYE 2017 at Playroom with Comedy Night Show
  18. New Year’s Eve at Bou Melhem
  19. New Year’s Eve at éCafé – Sursock
  20. New Year Eve 2017 at Mayrig

Make sure to check for much more options.

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Celebrate Talents Instead of Making Stupid People Famous!

Bimbos and attention whores never fail to make an occasion pass without trying to garner followers and likes on their social media platforms, and for Christmas time, it was of course mandatory to pose in skimpy red outfits because you know… there’s no other way to celebrate such occasion!

However, and despite the fact that everybody talk negatively about these SM figures, you keep seeing their followers count constantly increasing due to all the publicity they get on social network and especially Facebook. It’s like people follow their pages to just see how bad the next videos/photos will be, which motivate page owners to fart more content and the whole thing eventually gets other bimbos to get jealous, create pages, and do the same!

Unfortunately, the biggest losers out of this become the talented artists who produce really good content but fail to get the exposure they deserve because people are too busy monitoring Rola Yammout’s activity on instagram!

Sevine and Azizat Beyrouth are the best examples of talents that are not getting the attention they really deserve, and my latest discovery today was a girl called “Carla Chamoun” who has a beautiful voice and some cool videos on One:Sixteen’s Facebook page, yet for some reason the number of view she gets is incomparable to that of other silly videos..!

Here are a couple of my favorite videos of her.

Kifak Inta – Carla

In case you missed it! Carla in concert
Live Fairouz cover – Kifak Inta #carlainconcert

Posted by One:Sixteen on Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fly me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra

Here is another sweet cover from Carla – recorded live in 1 take.

Posted by One:Sixteen on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

And what better way to wish you a merry Christmas than with this medley!

A Christmas Medley by Carla

Now you can “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from the guys at One:Sixteen and Carla.
Carla in concert | UNESCO Palace, Beirut | Dec. 2016 |

Posted by One:Sixteen on Saturday, December 24, 2016

The likes of Carla, Sevine, and Azizat Beyrouth are the ones who deserve the serious exposure. I know it’s impossible to keep people from following the lives of star wannabes, but just try to make better decisions about the stuff that should be spread out on social networks.

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PM Hariri Vows to Make Internet in Lebanon 20 Times Faster


Speaking at the third edition of the Global Business Summit yesterday, Prime Minister Hariri claimed that one of the priorities he set for his new government is to increase the internet speed in Lebanon by 20-fold.

His promise is a bit vague to be honest and no further explanation was given for us to know what exactly is going to increase 20 times, is it the average internet speed that households are currently gettings (20 x 2Mbps) or is it the overall capacity provided to ISPs in order to enhance our connection quality?

We all know there was a plan by minister Harb in 2015 to overhaul the current infrastructure in order to allow us to benefit from better speeds, but the upgrade was set to be completed in 2020… and knowing that Hariri’s government is supposed to only serve until the next parliament elections in 9 months, I’m not really sure how is he going to fulfill his promise while slow-speed copper wires are still used to connect us to central offices.

Anyway, when it comes to internet, I prefer to remain a bit optimistic because we really need a better connection so bad, not only for personal use but because the infrastructure upgrade will definitely have a positive impact on our economy. And in all cases, no matter what the government plans are, I hope they start by getting rid of Abdel Menhem Youssef first!

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – December 21st 2016


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for the Christmas week. It was hard for me to limit the list to 10 events only, they’re all super cool and I imagine you will have a hard time deciding which ones to attend!

  1. Christmas Day Buffet at Raouché Arjaan by Rotana
  2. Christmas Day with Santa at Gefinor Rotana
  3. Magical Christmas Eve at Raouché Arjaan by Rotana
  4. Li Wei – Whisperings : Art Exhibition by Chinese Artist at Alice Mogabgab Gallery
  5. Celebrate a Christmas Eve with Friends at Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue!
  6. Beit Mery en Fête – Noël 2016
  7. Christmas Food Market by Fair Trade Lebanon – “Christmas Loves Apples”
  8. Enchanted Reality – Art Exhibition by Aramé Art Gallery in Beirut Souks
  9. Holiday Food/Toy Drive 2016
  10. Lunch with Santa at Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue!
  11. Marché de Noel a Harissa
  12. Cheese and Wine at Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue!
  13. Christmas Village – Beirut Souks
  14. Santa’s corner at The Village Dbayeh
  15. NEMR at TED
  16. Christmas Eve at Indigo on the Roof
  17. Christmas Lunch at Indigo on the Roof

Make sure to check for much more options.

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It’s Christmas and Lebanon is Calling!

In my humble opinion, Demco easily wins the best Christmas ad this year!

In the same spirit of the ad during they made for the US presiential elections, they’re still reaching out for the Lebanese expats to convince them of returning back to their home country following some breakthroughs like the election of a new president and the formation of a new government, and while the previous one was touching, the new ad reaches even deeper everyone of us.

We all have loved family members living abroad, and most of those are not even thinking of returning. But come to think of it, while we have a lot of reasons to curse this country everyday, we have a hundred more to love it! I personally had the opportunity to go live and work elsewhere, but I chose to stay here because I’m too attached to my city to leave it.

When I watched the ad I couldn’t but think of my brother who lives in the UAE and how much my parents and I would all love him to come live among us again…!

We all deserve to reunite with our loved ones, at least during the happy holiday season if not for a lifetime, because as the ad at the end says, it is simply not the same without them!

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Amazon Prime Video Now Available In Lebanon

Following the steps of Netflix, Amazon just widened the availability of its prime video service, making it available in more than 200 countries, Lebanon included.

If you like shows like The Grand Tour, you can now stream it from the comfort of your living room at just $2.99/month. Unless, you know, you are living in Lebanon and got a shitty internet connection, then you can disregard this story all together. Thank you very much!


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