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Game of Thrones Board Games Available at JouéClub

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I was at JouéClub the other day when I noticed the Game of Thrones editions of both Monopoly and Risk were available there for 119,000L.L and 79,000L.L respectively. They’re a bit pricey but I guess the books and series fans will definitely love them. (I know I did!)

They’re unfortunately only available in French language, but I hope JouéClub gets the English ones too.

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Red Bull RB7 Meets Byblos and The Cedars of God

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For all of us who have never attended a Fromula 1 race yet, Red Bull made it up by bringing Carlos Sainz Jr. to burn some rubber in his RB7 racing cat at Beirut Waterfront. The event was unfortunately a bit dull for me as I couldn’t attend and watched it on TV instead which sometimes doesn’t give you a sense of how fast the car was going. I hope some professional videos will soon be available online, including some shots from an onboard camera would be cool too!

Anyway, well before the event, the Red Bull team took the RB7 for a photo shoot around Byblos and the Cedars of God. I found this set of resultant photos on motorsport.com and thought of sharing them here because they’re pretty cool.

I couldn’t find the name of the photographer by the way, so if anyone knows it please leave a comment to credit him/her properly.

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On Tripoli’s New Bike Lane

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I really hate to be a party pooper, but as I much as I like the city of Tripoli and love spending time there, I didn’t feel much excited about that new bike near the International Fair.

To start with, I personally love biking and I imagine a ride across Tripoli would be so fun to do since it’s a relatively small city with many interesting places to see, without forgetting the tasty stuff you’ll find whether from food and drink carts or small shops everywhere.

That being said, the initiative of introducing a bike lane sounds like a pretty good move and I hope it gets implemented in other areas around the city as well. But before we all get hyped can we question whether people will actually respect it or not?

  • Lebanese drivers barely acknowledge the existence of white lines on the road, and I don’t think an additional yellow one will make any difference
  • Whether designated to be place for cars to park or not, the right side of any street here is taken for granted as a parking space. It’s more like an unspoken driving rule and chances are cars will soon be parked all over that yellow line.
  • Moreover, even if we manage to clear that space exclusively for bikers, we will never be able to convince taxi drivers to stop using it to pick up passengers.

So yes basically unless we start respect the basic driving rules in Lebanon I see the new line totally useless. Until then, ride safely!

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – May 18th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. It’s gonna be a packed one with many cool events taking place this week from The Garden Show, to AUB Outdoors, Beirut Cultural Festivals and many others!

  1. Middle East Social Media Festival 2016
  2. The Garden Show & Spring Festival 2016
  3. Beirut Design Week 2016
  4. Retrieving Beirut
  5. Wines of Bordeaux: Tasting Course at Enoteca
  6. AUB Outdoors | The Big Race
  7. Beirut Cultural Festivals 2016
  8. Le Prénom – Piece de Theatre de Nadine Makdessi
  9. Another Night On Broadway By Roy Khoury
  10. SPRING Festival 2016 | Beirut
  11. Clement Francomme from Blockchainiz at BDD
  12. Sacoche Leather Works at Urbanista

Make sure to check Lebtivity.com for more options.

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Nescafé Acting A Little Naughty?

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Is it my dirty mind only or does this new ad by Nescafé get a bit suggestive towards the end?

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – May 11th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week for a little bit of everything for everyone!

  1. ‘The Moment’ by Milad Hadchiti – The Rerun
  2. Escape Games Beirut – The new smart fun activity!
  3. Johar… Up in the air- A Theatre play in Roumieh Prison May 2016
  4. 3azimetna Theatre Play
  5. Hike For CHARITY with Wild Adventures
  6. Beirut Vocal point presents The Beatles at Blue Note Cafe
  7. Postcards in Concert
  8. NAWF – New Arab Women Forum 2016
  9. Iceland: Aurora & landscape photography exhibition
  10. Rabih and the playmates at The Back door
  11. Celebrating Colors 2016

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

 

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Beirut Madinati – Some Things Are Easier Said Than Done

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Beirut municipal elections will take place this weekend and I’m definitely voting for Beirut Madinati against the traditional coalition of ruling political parties that has been winning since 1998 and did absolutely nothing significant for the city.

I honestly didn’t care much about Beirut Madinati’s campaign at the beginning and didn’t even feel curious to know their candidates assuming they’re a bunch of attention seeking activists, but later noticed how wrong I was after they unveiled their list and showed how serious they are about their agenda.

However, that doesn’t mean I see them as perfect as some people portray them on social media, not due to anything they did wrong, but simply because some points in their electoral program don’t make much sense to me.

Affordable Housing

With the skyrocketing prices nowadays, it’s no longer easy to buy an apartment in Beirut. I’m an authentic Beiruti, I was born and raised in this city and never imagined that I will be living anywhere else, but I was unfortunately forced to move to Aramoun when I got married due to the prices increase after 2006. So talking about affordable housing in Beirut definitely relates to my problem and thousands others like me. Beirut Madinati is addressing this issue by promising affordable apartments.

Now let’s get real for a moment, the real estate market in Lebanon is a free one and the set prices follow the rules of supply and demand. It’s quite simple, there’s a huge demand for apartments in this city and little supply of constructed units so it only makes sense for the prices to be high. The only way for the municipality to provide these affordable apartments is by financing their construction itself and sell them at cost price, and in order to satisfy half of the demand the municipality will eventually have to turn into one giant construction company.

I simply don’t see it feasible to do. Apartments are also so expensive in many other cities around the world and you don’t see neither municipalities nor governments intervening, on the other hand the transportation system is enhanced so that people can adapt to living in surrounding areas. And this brings us to the next point…

Transportation

Beirut Madinati wants to enhance the transportation system around the capital by introducing new bus lines and reorganizing the already operating buses, micros buses, and taxis.

This is seriously much needed in Beirut, and I would give up using my car during weekdays if there was a reliable system to get me in and out of the city. But I highly doubt the Beirut Madinati people have previously tried using public transportation and know how the buses around Beirut work because they apparently think their plan is going to be easy to implement.

Truth is that the transportation system in and out of Beirut is actually ruled by mafias. Those who use it know better about the clashes that happen between drivers over a certain line, and how the departure time of each bus is set deliberately by designated agents on the road in order to maximize the number of passengers. Needless to say, these mafias are backed by political parties, and everything that works the same way is very hard to fix. The ongoing case of illegal internet is the biggest example about that.

Do you seriously think the “van ra2em 4” gang is going to abide by any new system? Dream on.

Green Areas and Parking Spaces

This is not exclusive to Beirut Madinati, actually every candidate is promising more green areas and parking spaces around Beirut. Beirut Madinati is going the extra mile of promising a green space for each neighborhood in Beirut.

I seriously would like to know how on earth are we going to create a new green space in Tarik El-Jadida, Mar Elias, Ras El Nabeh, Basta, and other neighborhoods where there are barely any lot left that is large enough to accommodate a 150m2 apartment building. It would be good to support these promises with a map showing the locations of the parks to be.

As for parking spaces, I think it would be enough to just claim back the hijacked spaces from valet parking thugs in several areas of Beirut. That alone would be a major achievement for the new municipality.

I’m still voting for Beirut Madinati

Yes I do have some reservations over their electoral program, hell I even disliked some of their candidates, but I’m voting for them because I’m bored of the same party ruling the city for 18 years now with no significant achievements.

I’m voting for Beirut Madinati neither for an affordable apartment in Beirut, nor a better transportation system, I actually lost hope that things would get better in this corrupt country, I just want them to come in power because we have the right to try someone new and see how they are going to manage the available resources and proceed with new projects for the better of our city.

And you also have nothing to lose, it isn’t like the previous council did wonders to you, so give other people a chance and vote for Beirut Madinati.

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – May 4th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. The weather promises to remain good over the next few days for some outdoor activities like Marche aux Fleurs in Bikfaya or a trip to discover Baskinta, so make the most of it!

  1. IMPOSSIBLE “Be Part of the Magic” Show in Lebanon
  2. Venezia Cinema Beirut 2016 at Empire Sofil
  3. Marché aux Fleurs – Bikfaya 2016
  4. Recycling at Makan
  5. German Spring Market 2016
  6. Beirut International Tango Festival 2016
  7. CENTRICO – Grand Opening
  8. Baskinta Literary Trail with Adventures in Lebanon
  9. Let’s be confused on the fact we are not together but have official emotions for each other
  10. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, DVD
  11. Exhibition for a Cause
  12. Culinary Heaven – Horeca Night at the Titanic Piano Bar

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

 

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

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Yet another round of cool outing ideas from Lebtivity! We’re in for a long weekend so here my picks for you to inspire your plans.

  1. Spring Family Lunch Buffet & Easter Egg Hunt at Beit Wadih
  2. Escape Games Beirut – The new smart fun activity!
  3. Spring at the Roof Market – Citymall
  4. Cannes Coup de Coeur
  5. Easter at CityMall
  6. Nemr Abou Nassar New Stand up Comedy Show LIVE at BIEL
  7. Meen the Band Live at Publicity
  8. Jeane Manson en Concert au Casino du Liban
  9. SPRING Festival 2016 | Beirut
  10. Startup Grind Beirut hosts Majed Al Tamer (WSI)
  11. Arthur Satyan 4-day Jazz Master Class
  12. BIPOD 2016
  13. The Beirut International Jazz Day 2016

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

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Review – Beirut Fawq Al Shajara بيروت فوق الشجرة

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I recently watched “Beirut Fawq Al Shajara” written by Yehya Jaber and starring Ziad Itani, the same duo who brought us “Beirut Tarik Jdideh” a couple of years ago. And while the latter featured stories inspired from the day to day lives of people living in Tarik Jdideh, the new play focused on events that took place around other areas in Beirut. It might sound redundant at first, but trust me it isn’t. Ziad Itani delivered once again a solid performance without feeling fake on stage, and never failed to crack the audience up at the stories he was illustrating.

Beirut Fawk al Shajara follows the story of Fouad, a Beiruti influenced by his Turkish grandmother as a child, who manages to engage into relationships with many women of different nationalities as he ages while working as tailor. With each relationship we get introduced to some event that took place at a certain time in Beirut’s recent history in a humorous way.

What makes it all interesting is that despite the whole story being fictitious, the events Ziad Itani tells are all pretty accurate. So you’ll be laughing your heart our over the play duration but still learn a good deal from the recent history of the city. You are also guaranteed to be leaving the theater and for some reason humming “Oh lali 3ala Oh lala”!

All in all, and as a side note, I’m really satisfied about the plays Lebanese artists have performed over the last few years such as Venus, Ka3eb 3aleh, and Injazat 7ayat to name a few that do not speak to the audience in a dumb way the same way Lebanese movies and drama series mostly do.

Beirut Fawq Al Shajara is showing at Teatro Verdun (Dunes Center) on Mondays and Thursdays, with tickets selling for 35,000L.L. Needless to say, I highly recommend you go watch it!

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