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33 Days – A Lebanese movie

33 Days is a Lebanese movie taking place in the summer of 2006 when Israel launched its war on Lebanon after Hezbollah succeeded in capturing two Israeli soldiers on the borders.

This is the second movie about the 2006 war after “Under the bombs“, and portrays what people who were resisting the Israeli invasion were going through in the town of Aita El Shaab.

However, since Iranians have contributed in its production, the movie has been banned from showing in Lebanon’s most popular theaters like Empire, City Mall, and Grand Cinemas ABC and is currently being shown at Planete Abraj, Concord, Las Salinas, and Saida Mall. What a shame!

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Hawa Chicken caught in the act

I just came across this photo by Cheyef 7alak of raw chicken parts spilled on the road from a truck belonging to Hawa Chicken, with a worker apparently trying to put everything back into the plastic containers.

Notice how messy the inside of the truck also looks. Anyway, one can only hope these parts didn’t end up getting sold to Hawa Chicken’s customers!

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Wranglers off-roading in Bhamdoun

A friend of mine loves to take his Wrangler on off-road trips whenever he gets the opportunity to, and from time to time goes with a group of other drivers to some area around Lebanon and all put their four wheelers to test in the field. They went to Bhamdoun last weekend and he came back with this cool video.

You can check more photos and videos from off-road trips in Lebanon on LebanonOffRoad.com

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Photos from the Cedars cigarettes factory

I always love to see how things are made, even the simplest ones, and so I found it cool that Executive magazine got inside the Cedars cigarettes factory located inside Lebanon’s Regie and documented in photos the process of producing that brand.

Cedars is to my knowledge the cheapest cigarettes brand in Lebanon since it’s the only local one, and is made from tobacco grown in the south of Lebanon, but is always mocked for its poor quality. Anyway, you may check the photos here.

Thanks to Michael Chaftari

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The many pleasures of Beirut

Right when we got bored of the numerous articles in The New York Times and other international journals about Zaitounay Bay, Downtown Beirut and always comparing the two places to a rising phoenix, comes this slide show by Newsweek to show the real pleasures of Beirut.

Jared Moossy, a photographer and also the author of this slideshow, unusually decided to shed light on the other side of Beirut and visit areas like Basta, Bourj Hammoud, the Cornish, and the pigeons’ rock. He’s definitely not the first one to write about these places, but it’s good to let tourists be more aware of these authentic areas. I mean it’s cool to have a dinner at the Beirut marina, but trust me it’s way cooler to have some authentic Armenian food at a place like Varouj in Bourj Hammoud, which I’ll soon be posting a review about.

You may click here to check the “pleasures” chosen by Newsweek.

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16 Governmental websites hacked today

Looks like the hack of 4 governmental websites last month was just a warm up. A group called RYV (Raise Your Voice) hacked 16 other websites today morning and left a message asking the government to solve its self-made problems, and encouraging the people to mobilize and stand up for their demands. You can check the full list  of websites here on Pastebin.

“We are RYV, short for Raise Your Voice, and we are simply a group of people who could not bear sitting in silence, watching all the crimes and injustice going on in Lebanon,” the group said.

It vowed to continue hacking the sites until the Lebanese people earn the rights they are asking for and until living standards are improved.

“We will not stop until this government’s self-made problems are solved, like the power shortage, water shortage, rise in gas prices and rise in food product prices,” the group said.

“We are RYV, expect us to break the silence, whether in the streets or on the Internet,” it said, stressing that “silence is a crime.” Source

The message of course speaks our minds (except that nobody is probably ready to mobilize), but I’m not sure how well was that message grasped by our dear politicians!

You can stay up to date with RYV’s latest news through their twitter and Facebook accounts.

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BRGR Co coming to Beirut Souks

I was passing by Beirut Souks last night and noticed BRGR Co will soon be opening there.

It will will be accessible from Patriarche Hoyek street, close to where Bershka, Stradivarius, and Pull & Bear are located.

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Flash mob commemorating the Lebanese civil war

An NGO called CitiAct conducted this flash mob at Hamra street on the commemoration day of the Lebanese civil war yesterday.

A couple of drivers pretended they’re fighting in the middle of the road when people around them suddenly started dropping dead, which pretty much resembles to the situation during the days of the civil war when innocent people were dying for the warlords who are now ruling the country.

Tenzekir w ma ten3ad… nshalla!

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BETA at risk of losing their location

I’m surprised this news didn’t make it to any of the local websites/newspapers. I actually just read on CNN that BETA (Beirut for the Ethical Treatments of Animals) is now at risk of losing their location because their neighbors no longer want animals to surround them.

“We have villas behind us and they are suing us. They want us out,” said Hesayne. “Now we have to find a land. The problem is nobody wants to have dogs around them.”

Hesayne and her colleague Sevine Zahran have lobbied the Lebanese government to increase its animal-protection laws. Lebanon is one of a few countries not signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), making it an easy transit point for wildlife smugglers, and it has few domestic animal-protection laws. Source

With all the problems the country is currently going through, protecting animals is one of the least of people’s concern I guess.

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Skiing and swimming in the same day

We’ve all heard a million times that in Lebanon you can ski and swim in the same day, but did you ever meet someone who really did that?

Alex Taylor, a reporter in The Daily Star, felt like confirming the myth a few days ago and actually went skiing at Mzaar in the morning, then drove around noon to Jbeil and hit the beach.

After a few runs, I’m feeling exhilarated, but a bit overheated and in need of a swim. It might be the booming tunes by Stereo Love and the Black Eyed Peas blaring from the lodge speakers or maybe subliminal messaging from all the billboards advertising vodka, but I’m feeling ready for another, world-renowned Lebanese pastime – to party. I take off my skis, intent on joining the snow bunnies drinking white wine at the lodge in their furry, Prada boots, but remember that I have a mission.

I’m off to Jbeil, following flashy Hummers driving down the mountain. As I descend, the temperature rises, as do the glorious smokestacks of the Zouk power plant just ahead. Beach, here I come. Source

And just like the article revolves around a cliche idea about Lebanon, it also has a cliche start and ending. For some reason, Alex started by comparing Lebanon to the rising phoenix, and ended it by telling that she still has to pay Skybar a visit to see the “real” Lebanon there (yeah right).

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