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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – December 7th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. A lot of Christmas related events are taking place around town so make sure to check them out!

  1. Screening of the play Johar Up in the Air
  2. Screening & DVD launching – The play Shebaik Lebaik
  3. Li Wei – Whisperings : Art Exhibition by Chinese Artist at Alice Mogabgab Gallery
  4. The Beirut Body Language Seminar
  5. Christmas Specials
  6. Beirut 60th International Arab Book Fair 2016 – معرض بيروت الدولي للكتاب العربي
  7. Badaro Magical Christmas
  8. Yogis granting a child’s wish with Ziad
  9. Marché de Noël a Bikfaya
  10. Christmas Rock Concert
  11. Recruitment Skills Workshop

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

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – November 30th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. I personally have been hearing some really good feedback about the play “Faran Inno” so I’m planning to go watch it this week.

  1. The Beirut Body Language Seminar
  2. Beirut Whisky Live 2016
  3. Recruitment Skills Workshop
  4. Faradan Inno – فرضاً إنّو
  5. Afternoon High Tea by the Blue House Tea
  6. Christmas Specials
  7. 3rd Beirut Design & Tech Meetup
  8. Beirut Chants Festivals 2016
  9. Roswell & Orchestra in a special concert
  10. Gingerbread Frosting at Le Bristol

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

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – November 23th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Make your choices wisely!

  1. Google AdWords Workshop @ BDD
  2. Unleash The Blogger Within – An Introductory Course
  3. 21-Days Holidays Survival Challenge
  4. FCM Free Connected Minds Conference 2016
  5. Let’s Recycle workshop with Racha Ismael at Beirut Is… Exhibition
  6. Pulsação, Live at Maracas!
  7. Tripoli Triathlon Grand Prix
  8. Where can I find a man like you, Ali? – Theater Play by Lina Abyad
  9. The Art of Handling People – Workshop with Chris & Kay
  10. Image Consulting Workshop

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

 

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OTV Prank Show Hits A New Low

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Lebanese TV stations produce all sorts of bad shows, but OTV proved hands down that it can easily outperform all other channels!

I just learned today about their “Haddeh Albak” prank show featuring a psycho man who pulls the silliest jokes on people and tries to make it exciting by threatening their life in the process. In one of last month’s episodes he literally humiliated a poor Syrian guy by stopping him in the middle of a Kart circuit and stripping him to his underwear. He then put a flag in his boxer and made him run around aimlessly.

I can write on and on about how fucked up that prank was, but instead I will just point a simple fact to show what a failure OTV and that silly show are. The episode has been online on YouTube for around 1 month now (October 22nd), yet people didn’t react against it until yesterday, this goes to show how little viewership they have among other stations… Similar outrageous segments from other TVs usually become the talk of the town on the very next day, but this one had to wait a whole month for people to even notice it! If this is not a clear indicator of how pathetic their productions are, then I don’t know what is!

Anyway I hope their management realizes how wrong that prank was and cancels the show altogether.

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The Authorities Just Noticed Amhaz, Sa7 El Nom!

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The owner of Amhaz cell shops, Kamel Amhaz, was arrested two days ago for illegaly smuggling more than 1.5 million phones with an approximate value of $45 million since the year 2000. And just like everytime a significant figure is put behind bars, some supporters blocked some roads near Beirut airport and in Baalbeck to protest his arrest.

However, while the protests are justified at a time where people hit the streets for the silliest reasons, the timing of the arrest is totally unacceptable. I know it’s always better late than never, but how on earth can the authorities wait more than 16 years to arrest such guy while everybody knew everything about his illegal business during the past years! Hell even I wrote a couple of times about getting smartphones from his shops. And it isn’t like Amhaz was operating from secret places, his shops are well know and one of them is even at a mall in Beirut.

Seriously, how can you brag about such accomplishment in the media and not lose credibility?!

On a lighter note, I wish getting people in jail was a simple as writing about them!

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – November 16th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Many cool events are taking place this week and my personal favorite are the movie screening at BDD, Salon du Chocolat in BIEL, and MEEN’s 10th anniversary concert!

  1. Beirut Cooking Festival 2016
  2. Cine Club at BDD: Movie & Discussion: The Pirates of Silicon Valley – Part of the GEW 2016
  3. Salon du Chocolat Beirut 2016
  4. Entreprenergy – Taqa Summit – Part of the GEW
  5. MEEN in concert – 10 years anniversary
  6. Beirut Art Film Festival 2016
  7. Spanish Film Week
  8. Les Musicales de Baabdath
  9. Gingerbread Frosting at Palais Sursock
  10. DiaLeb’s 6th Annual Fundraising Gala Dinne
  11. One Lebanon Concert – تيبقى الإستقلال عيد
  12. Kids United en Concert

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

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Lebanese Sevag Babikian Made it to The Stars of Science Finals

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Stars of Science is a reality show currently airing on MBC4 that aims to promote Arab innovators and entrepreneurs. 9 Innovators were competing this season for a share of $600,000 in seed funding and the judges qualified 4 of them to the finals among which was Sevag Babikian from Lebanon.

Sevag’s project is an Efficient Desktop 3D Printer that uses a robotic head to enhance the process of 3D printing by maximizing quality, while saving time, effort, and wasted material. Throughout the competition he wowed potential consumers during customer validation and was also the first in lab prototyping. He’s now a step away from winning and you have until November 17th 5PM to support him by voting on the Stars of Science website, hoping that he will be announced as the winner in the final episode on Saturday evening on MBC4.

You can also keep up with Sevag’s latest news by following his Facebook page.

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What Are These Excavation Works in Ramlet El Bayda?

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Many activists have been sharing photos since Thursday of excavations works currently happening at Beirut’s last public beach in Ramlet El Bayda but nobody was able to explain their purpose yet.

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of talk about the area being a private property and that a resort will be built there by Achour Development. However, right before the previous municipal council’s term ended last spring, it was announced that the municipality of Beirut will be claiming back the beach and surrounding land in order to keep it accessible to the public. News about the whole thing then eventually stopped circulating until these photos started surfacing online.

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Knowing that the “Byeirteh” list’s promise when they were elected was to keep Beirut for its people, I hope they were considering Ramlet El Bayda a part of the capital when they made their promise back then.

In all cases, I tried to reach both of Ziad Chbib (Beirut governor) and Jamal Itani (Beirut mayor) to know the purpose of these excavation works and will definitely post an update if they reply to me.

Photos via Lama Karamé and Joelle Boutros.

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Smartphones in Lebanon – Low Prices VS Genuine Warranty

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Back in June when I got my S7 Edge, I decided to save some money by getting it from Amhaz in Bir El Abed because the price they provide for smartphones and accessories are usually the lowest in the market ($630 back then) *cough no VAT and no tax cough*. However, for selling at such prices, Amhaz does not give you a receipt and the warranty you get only covers factory defects which seemed fair enough for me.

I previously got some phones for my friends and family from there and luckily never had any problem with the handsets so I never resorted to the warranty. But fast forward to last week, my phone’s screen suddenly started to show a pink and green tint then continuously flashing, so I immediately took it to Amhaz to have it checked.

I got a phone call the next day that the screen is defected and I can have it replaced for $350 (Edge screens are expensive), so I went to the shop and started arguing with a technician about the origin of the problem as he insisted the screen was damaged due to some shock, knowing that the phone was unscratched and I never dropped it during the last days of using it.

Long story short, I couldn’t convince him of having it replaced under the warranty so I sold him the phone as it is for $160 and got an S7 instead.

I’m not sharing my story with you to bitch about Amhaz customer service, but to rather shed light on the importance of buying gadgets and electronics from authorized dealers. Such dealers have direct contact with the manufacturers and can help you easily replace a handset if it proved to be factory defective. On the other hand, other shops get their stuff imported through alternative channels and should go through a hassle to send a defective item to its origin, which explains why the warranty they give you is very limited.

I will never know what was wrong with my screen, maybe it was factory defected or maybe I could have damaged it myself, but what I’m sure of is that I had a higher chance of repairing it for free had I opted to originally get it from CTC because I heard of so many stories where people were able to get their phones repaired at no cost. Needless to say, with dealers like CTC and others the cases where a service is provided for free are clearly defined and do not depend on the technician’s mood.

At a time when tech companies are always challenged to keep innovating and releasing new models, shit can happen with their new designs and you never know when you might end up purchasing a messed up device like the Note 7 and regret not having a valid warranty with it. I learned my lesson the hard way, but I urge you to learn from my mistake! I now believe a genuine warranty is worth a few tens of bucks when buying such expensive devices, and no don’t settle for “kafeilit ma7all”. When it comes to mobile phones, make sure you a warranty from CTC for Samsung phones, and from Gomobile for Sony, Alcatel, HTC, and Lenovo.

Phonefinity.net is one of the shops I recommend for smartphones with genuine warranty at a really good price.

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Lebanese Drama Series – Facial Expressions 101

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Lebanese drama series are basically known for the exaggeration in absolutely everything! From make up and hair design to sophisticated emotions and weird reactions that seem like they’re forced on the actors. And now just when you thought no one can get cheesier than Peter Semaan and Youssef El-Khal came Rami Ayach!

Blame it all on whoever convinced him he has what it takes to be an actor! I spotted him on LBC last night and his performance is horrible beyond words. These photos are all taken from a single scene where he was supposedly angry at the girl he loves. What’s the deal with all those weird facial expressions?!

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Yeah… this is basically how he’s conveying anger, this also serves as a reminder for me to keep switching channels every time I bump into some Lebanese series on TV!

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