Author Archive | Rami

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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40 Art Galleries and Museums in Beirut With Their Locations

It goes without saying that Reddit has some pretty awesome content that can make even the most boring days more interesting. And for those with interest in Lebanese related stuff, there’s a fairly active subreddit (/r/Lebanon) with daily updates, vintage photos, interesting videos, and more…

One interesting contribution I came across today is a “cutural map” of Beirut by /u/EDBTZ0323 with locations for 40 prominent museums and art galleries in the city. I imagined it would be quite useful for art lovers and tourists alike and so I thought of sharing it here and you may check on this link.

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“Bebalee” Is An Insult to Fayrouz’s Career

Fayrouz’s new album “Bebalee” has been out for three days, but unlike her previous albums, this one is yet to make any buzz be it online or on radio stations.

I did listen to the album and was unfortunately quite disappointed. Adaptation of foreign songs using silly lyrics is the worst you can expect from an icon like Fayrouz, and the only one to blame is definitely her daughter Reema Rahbani who seems to have produced this album to just prove to her brother Ziad that she can actually create something regardless the quality or the artistic value. “Elak aw eli aw mish la shi, mish la shi, wala ayy shi” is exactly what you would in Arabic call saff 7akeh.

Fayrouz did perform songs with light lyrics in the past (e.g. Kifak enta malla enta) but in my opinion she never delivered something as mediocre as Bebalee.

I really hope she makes it up in the near future by working again with her son Ziad.

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Beit Misk – The First Smart City in Lebanon with Fiber To The Home Infrastructure

Beit Misk was pronounced over the last weekend as the first “Smart City” in Lebanon after Ogero enabled internet connectivity over fiber optics to the residents there.

Earlier this month Ogero announced it will be offering residential fiber connection to the people of Hamra and Achrafieh but it came as a no surprise to have the Beit Misk residents getting it ahead of everybody else since the project developers took a fiber infrastructure into consideration during construtions, which eventually made Ogero’s job easier to provide this service there.

Speed tests conducted by Chairman Imad Kreidieh during the launching event in the presence of minister Jamal Jarraj reached ~900Mbps which is quite impressive, and I believe it would be great if households there got >50Mbps connections.

Still, the ultimate challenge is of course to provide the same service to Beirut and the other major cities in Lebanon, and I really hope to see some tangible results in the near future.

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Foreigner Tries Swimming in Beirut, Gets Covered With Shit (Literally)

This cool guy, Georgie Fechter, is Masters of Dirt’s organizer and thought it would be a good idea to go for a swim in Ramlet El Bayda along with his friends while they were here in Beirut during the “BEASTS” event.

In the video you see him walking with excitement all the way from Raouche to Ramlet El Bayda despite a knee injury, and gets all cheerful once he gets to the water. However, moments after he starts swimming, a friend tells him the water tastes awkward and the two get back to the shore only to discover dead fish and pieces of shit everywhere… From there onward their reaction is absolutely priceless! 😀

Start watching at the the 2m08s mark.

I always knew the sea is quite dirty in Ramlet El Bayda by the way but I never knew it was really THAT bad!

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Mandatory IMEI Registration is Coming Back – Mobile Phones to Get More Expensive

I was at a mobile phone shop in Beirut yesterday when I heard some people claiming that the Ministry of Telecommunications is bringing back the mandatory registrations of mobile phones IMEI in a new attempt to fight smuggling of mobile devices. (*ahem* Amhaz…)

As soon as I came back home I searched a bit and found that the thing is unfortunately real as per the below report by MTV (thanks Techie Dad), and it is quite surprising that the ministry didn’t bother alert the subscribers yet about the new decision!

For those who don’t know, a similar decision was taken in 2013 by the telecommunications minister back then Nicolas Sehnaoui and was cancelled by Boutros Harb in 2014 due to how complicated the registration process was. However, unlike now, the ministry back then launched an awareness campaign to let people re-activate their old handsets in order to keep them from being banned on the network once the registration process is put into work.

The MTV report mentions the risks of duplicate IMEIs but the ultimate purpose for enforcing IMEI registration will definitely be fighting smuggling of mobile phones, all at the expense of making our lives harder with the registration process and of course increasing the mobile phone prices (since they will all be subject to import tax and VAT), instead of tightening the controls at the customs.

It isn’t clear yet though when this thing will be put into effect but this guy on Facebook claims it will be as of September 15th. Still, let’s cross our fingers and hope the ministry thinks it over!

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