Our Silliest Record Breaking Attempt to Date

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Earlier last week, a friend told me that the organizers of BIAF (Beirut International Awards Festival) are planning to lay down the world’s longest red carpet as part of their 2-day event. The red carpet is expected to start somewhere in Hamra, then goes towards Achrafieh and all the way through downtown to Zaytouna Bay where the ceremony is taking place.

At first I was mainly concerned about the traffic jam this red carpet will be causing on a weekday. But after spotting parts of it on my way to work this morning, I think the traffic jam is absolutely not a problem compared to how hideous it looks!

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The thing doesn’t qualify as a red carpet. It’s barely a piece of red cloth, and it seems that some genius decided to lay it down last night and cars eventually ended up tearing it down.

The end result is needless to say, bahdaleh. I wish all the money that was put into this silly attempt to make it into the Guinness Book was allocated for something more meaningful, like helping Rozine get that liver transplant maybe!

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – July 27th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Many cool events are taking place around town this week, from concerts to festivals, exhibitions and even seminars, so there’s definitely something for everybody.

  1. The Walk of Legends with Coach Anthony Rizk
  2. CHANCE Annual Fundraising Party at Seven Sisters
  3. Live Weekends at Cherry on the Rooftop with Samer Maroun & Cinda Ramseur
  4. Le Festival de Sourat 2016 – Diner et Concert
  5. Flashback 2016 in Broumana
  6. Beer, Wine & Seafood Festival in Batroun
  7. Tribute to Zaki Nassif at Beiteddine Art Festival 2016
  8. Who Killed Bruce Lee LIVE at Biel
  9. Unleash Your Creativity
  10. Embrace the MYUsic
  11. Majd Shidiac Hosts: The Poetry Pot
  12. “Des Couleurs Jamais Vues” photography exhibition by Ghassan Abourjeily

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

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Please Help Rozine Get A Liver Transplant

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It aches the heart when you feel powerless about saving the lives of your loved ones, and this is exactly what Catherine Moughalian is going through right now after she learned she has to collect $200,000 in order finance a liver transplant for her mother Rozine.

Rozine was recently diagnosed with a liver failure, and due to her health deteriorating so fast she cannot wait until she finds a donor in Lebanon, so her daughter turned to the online community to help secure the necessary funds for a transplant outside Lebanon before the end of July.

Please consider contributing with whatever amount you can afford to help Rozine make it, some of us spend $50 over a couple of drinks in Beirut, so why not skipping a plan this weekend to help save a life instead?

You can donate through Zoomaal here.

My mom, Rozine Moughalian, is a 56 year-old psychologist and mother of two. She lives in Bourj Hammoud, an area that has been recently piled with garbage and darkened by black smoke from burning trash. In the last three months, my mom developed subacute liver failure, which doctors were unable to diagnose and suspect possible drug or toxin exposure. The condition developed quickly, and mom went from working three jobs two months ago to being hospitalized with a terminal condition today. She is currently in need of a liver transplant without delay (within the next two weeks).

It is an extremely difficult process to find donors and secure funds in such a short period of time. So, due to bureaucratic procedures and time constraints, she can’t receive a liver transplant in Lebanon and it was recommended by doctors that she be transferred abroad for proper assessment and treatment. We are currently aiming for transferring her to Iran or India, these being the cheapest options. France was also an option earlier but it costs double what the surgery would cost in Iran or India.

Mom does not have the money for such a surgery, and she doesn’t have access to free quality healthcare. We need to raise at least 200,000 USD by the end of the month to be able to fund her surgery or it will be too late.

I find it absurd that my mom won’t get to live out the month because we can’t afford the money or a donor. She has the right to access free medical care, she has the right to get appointments with doctors without wasta, and the right to be admitted into the hospital at the expense of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) without having to wait a day in the ER while we make the “right calls to the right people.”

In a country where our basic rights are not available, or only available to a select few, sticking together is more of a basic need than duty. If you feel you can donate, any amount will bring us closer to the goal of keeping my mom alive.

I understand if you can’t donate, but please share this message with people who you think can help, either financially or by pointing us to people who have had a similar experience and can help with procedures and logistics.

I urge you to gather your resources as I am gathering mine. Thank you for reading this.

In solidarity,

Catherine Moughalian

If you have means of helping other than donations please contact me:

catherine.moughalian@gmail.com 961 3 098 817

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – July 20th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. I will personally be attending the Cine Club event at BDD and the the Summer Festival at Makdissi Street.

  1. Cine Club on the roof at BDD: Movie & Discussion – The Peaceful Warrior
  2. Yamal el Sham in Concert at Beiteddine Art Festival 2016
  3. The Walk of Legends with Coach Anthony Rizk
  4. Sunset Sundays at Cherry on the Rooftop
  5. Summer Festival at Makdessi Street
  6. Salon des Saveurs
  7. Ladies, Wine & Design Beirut – with Joumana Mattar
  8. Faraya On The Beach
  9. INTERNATIONAL DANCE WORKSHOP 2016
  10. ΛVICII in Beirut | prod by Poliakov

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

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We Need a Cheaper Version of Souk El Akel

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Even though Souk El Akel has been up for well more than a year now, I have only managed to go check it out a while ago in Beirut Downtown. And just like almost everybody else, I enjoyed the different flavors each stand was offering and loved how appetizing the food looked on display. The general ambiance also felt pretty nice with joyful people all around.

Raclette Burger in the making

Raclette Burger in the making

Still, I was surprised with a couple of things, first being the unreasonable prices that are definitely not suitable for street food, and second the fact that no one seems to be bothered about it.

$5.6 Pizza slices

I have the utmost respect for Anthony (the founder of Souk El Akel) and everybody in his team for the effort they’re putting to let people enjoy clean and appetizing street food in a cool ambiance, but if that comes at a high cost like a $10 burger or $3.3 popsicle, then you can no longer call it street food, and for such prices I’d rather be at some restaurant enjoying a seated meal. I’m totally aware though that some items include premium ingredients like salmon and Angus beef, but then again, when I want to go have a street burger or a sandwich, it doesn’t really have to be made of premium stuff, just make me something tasty!

$8 Waffles anyone?

I don’t claim to have toured the world, but I have tried street food in several places like the US, Thailand, Turkey, Singapore, and Malaysia, and the prices were always dirt cheap for some of the best flavors I’ve tasted! So I really don’t understand how people here feel indifferent about $10 quick bites and dessert. It’s either everybody is suddenly better off, or I’m simply a cheap guy (I doubt the latter though :P).

I tried these ice cream rolls in Kuala Lumpur last October for no more than $2. Now available as Frooza at the Souk for $8.

All in all, paying $30 for some appetizer, a sandwich, and a dessert is just too much in my opinion for a street food market. For all I know, the organizers and the vendors are free to set whatever price they want and people will probably keep coming because it’s a new and cool concept to Lebanon, but making room for cheaper bites certainly make Souk El Akel earn its name.

$9 Chicken and pork sandwiches

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – July 13th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Jounieh’s annual fireworks show is taking place this week and is not to be missed, just try to make it there early to get a good spot.

  1. Bellinis & Barbecue at Indigo on the Roof
  2. Broumana Street Event
  3. Roméo et Juliette by Ballet Preljocaj at Beiteddine Art Festival 2016
  4. Jounieh Festival Fireworks Night 2016 – Part of Jounieh International Festival 2016
  5. SEAL in Concert at Beiteddine Art Festival 2016
  6. All The Madmen – An Outdoor Movie Cycle at The Garten
  7. Eat Out For Life Campaign 2016
  8. DREAM 2016 – Development & Real Estate Annual Meeting
  9. Yoga & Breakfast
  10. Tour | Toxic Tour of the Beirut River

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

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – July 6th 2016

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Happy Eid to all of you! Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week to inspire your plans this holiday.

  1. The Peace Festival – Tripoli
  2. Summer Camps with Cranium – Tech & Robotics and/or Photography & Filmmaking
  3. Live Weekends at Cherry on the Rooftop
  4. Festival des Pêches 2016 – Bikfaya
  5. 6 Years Young! – Donner Sang Compter’s Anniversary
  6. The Merchants of Bollywood at Beiteddine Art Festival 2016
  7. Bekaa Fun Festival 2016
  8. NRJ Music Tour 2016
  9. DREAM 2016 – Development & Real Estate Annual Meeting
  10. Pink Floyd Night
  11. Afkart Zaitunay Bay Exhibition 2016

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

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New Parking Tariffs in Beirut

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Due to the disproportionate tariffs set by parking owners across Beirut, governor Ziad Chebib and the municipality recently issued a new decree setting the maximum fees you should pay for private parkings around the city after dividing it into 4 regions as shown above, and the new tariffs are as follows:

First region (Blue):

  • from 0 to 3 hours:
    3,000 L.L.
  • from 3 to 5 hours:
    4,000 L.L.
  • from 5 to 8 hours:
    5,000 L.L.
  • 8 to 10 hours:
    6,000 L.L.
  • from 10 to 14 hours:
    7,000 L.L.

Second region (Green):

  • from 0 to 4 hours:
    3,000 L.L.
  • from 4 to 7 hours:
    4,000 L.L.
  • from 7 to 10 hours:
    5,000 L.L.
  • from 10 to 14 hours:
    6,000 L.L.

Third region (Yellow):

  • from 0 to 3 hours:
    2,000 L.L.
  • from 3 to 5 hours:
    3,000 L.L.
  • from 5 to 8 hours:
    3,500 L.L.
  • from 8 to 10 hours:
    4,000 L.L.
  • from 10 to 14 hours:
    5,000 L.L.

Fourth region (Red):

  • from 0 to 4 hours:
    2,000 L.L.
  • from 4 to 7 hours:
    3,000 L.L.
  • from 7 to 10 hours:
    3,000 L.L.
  • from 10 to 14 hours:
    4,000 L.L.

As for covered parking spaces, the following tariffs apply:

First region (Blue):

  • from 0 to 3 hours:
    4,000 L.L.
  • from 3 to 5 hours:
    5,000 L.L.
  • from 5 to 8 hours:
    6,000 L.L.
  • from 8 to 10 hours
    7,000 L.L.
  • from 10 to 14 hours:
    8,000 L.L.

Second region (Green):

  • from 0 to 4 hours:
    4,000 L.L.
  • from 4 to 7 hours:
    5,000 L.L.
  • from 7 to 10 hours:
    6,000 L.L.
  • from 10 to 14 hours:
    7,000 L.L.

Third region (Yellow):

  • from 0 to 3 hours:
    3,000 L.L.
  • from 3 to 5 hours:
    3,500 L.L.
  • from 5 to 8 hours:
    4,000 L.L.
  • 8 to 10 hours:
    4,500 L.L.
  • from 10 to 14 hours:
    5,500 L.L.

Fourth region (Red):

  • from 0 to 4 hours:
    3,000 L.L.
  • from 4 to 7 hours:
    3,000 L.L.
  • from 7 to 10 hours:
    4,000 L.L.
  • from 10 to 14 hours
    4,500 L.L.

Note that the time is rounded up to the nearest hour after 10 minutes.

I’m not really sure how serious will the municipality be about obliging parking owners to abide by the set tariffs, but the chart will at least help you know whether you’re being ripped off or not!

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – June 29th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week.

  1. YALLA BYE ou mes trois semaines à Beyrouth
  2. Bellinis & Barbecue at Indigo on the Roof
  3. Arabian Nights at the Roof Market in Citymall
  4. Mind Surf Workshop by Wydner Coaches – New Seminar with Samir Zehil
  5. Entrepreneurship Week at AUB
  6. Europark 2016
  7. National Tabbouleh Day
  8. Voyage 2016
  9. Beyrouth, peut-être – بيروت، ربما
  10. Garage Sale on the Stairs

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

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – June 22th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. There’s many cool events going around town so make your choices wisely!

  1. CAMM Fashion Academy – Fashion Show 2016
  2. Book Signing “The Naked Diplomat” by Tom Fletcher
  3. Festival of Ramadaniyat Beirutiya 2016
  4. Elegant Traditional Iftars at Indigo on the Roof
  5. Clue Club – Save the world
  6. Music Festival – Zouk Mikael
  7. D’Amour et D’eclair – Chef MARIO Sahyoun
  8. Catan Lebanese Qualifiers
  9. Rock’n Donation: Overture
  10. Sunset Sundays at Cherry on the Rooftop

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

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