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Ahmad Kaabour – Tnein Tnein

I loved this clip by Future TV! It’s been a while since they last produced a video of this caliber. It reminded me of the jingles they used to make in the ’90s.

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Idiot of the day

This is terrible yet funny! According to LBCI,  some guy decided to fix his building’s overloaded sanitary sewer near Ballouneh last night by dumping some (too much) carbide into it, a substance that is sometimes used to make explosives, which unfortunately led to blowing up the sewer and part of the building!

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I just hope no one got harmed.

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Slashing internet prices in Lebanon is still not enough

Following the announcement of the ministry of telecommunications on their plan to lower internet prices and boost speeds last month, we all thought it would now be affordable for us to get the high speed connections we always wanted, and this was proven true after some ISPs started rolling out their plans with 4Mbps subscriptions for as low as $19.

However, it doesn’t seem like this sufficient for us to enjoy the newly offered packages. According to this excellent article by Matt Nash from Executive Magazine, the real problem now lies in the copper wires connecting our homes to the central offices. Apparently, these wires can handle transferring a maximum of 8Mbps given that you live near the central office in your area, and the speed of course decreases as the distance to your home increases.

This is in fact so bad that basically around 1/3 of internet users in Lebanon cannot get more than 2Mbps to their homes since they simply live too far away from a central office!

So I believe the biggest challenge facing the ministry right now is upgrading the existing infrastructure which can cost up to $1 billion if we decided to go for optical fiber. And until then, the maximum speed we are able to get will remain much less than what average users enjoy in other countries of our region.

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Video of Jounieh 2014 fireworks

For those who missed Jounieh’s fireworks show Friday night, I found the below video of it from MTV Lebanon. (Start watching at the 4 minute mark)

Also, make sure to check these 10 cool photos of the show compiled by Ralph.

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Ramadan Kareem

Wishing you all a blessed month! Do you remember this Ramadan series from the ’90s by Abbas Chahine?

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The lamest restaurant menu you will ever see

I came across this delivery menu of some fast food joint in Sin El Fil and went totally like WTF!!

Why are they showing a cleavage instead of the food they make? And what’s up with that salad that looks more like a vagina?!

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ISPs started rolling out their new DSL plans

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I’ve been waiting for the new DSL plans to come out ever since the ministry of telecommunications announced the price reductions last month, and I finally got an e-mail from IDM this morning informing me that my subscription has been upgraded from 1Mbps / 10GB to 2 Mbps / 50GB for the same price ($27.5).

This was indeed some great news since my speed has doubled and my quota has increased five times, however, I found it odd that users were not given the liberty to choose among the offered plans but will instead have to wait till the 1st of July to place their change requests. For example, I could have chosen to settle for the same quota I had before for $12 only, but IDM and other providers definitely look to keep their revenues the same so they are subscribing us to the plan that matches whatever we’ve been usually paying.

A friend of mine is also subscribed to IDM’s 4Mbps / 25GB plan at $77 and was upgraded to the unlimited 4Mbps plan at $82, whereas he could have simply chosen to settle for the same quota he previously had at $27.5 and spared a whole $55 a month!

So make sure not to proceed blindly with whatever your ISP gives you next months, but rather take a look at all their offered plans to choose what suits your needs, and chances are you’ll definitely end up saving some good money.

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8 Reasons to avoid Lebanon this summer

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I’ve been following the #LiveLoveLebanon campaign lately, and I really respect the effort the people behind it are putting to let the tourism industry flourish again. But let’s be honest for a second, would you really recommend Lebanon as touristic destination to a foreign friend of yours?

I mean I know we’ve got some cool places, but the touristic experience Lebanon offers definitely doesn’t come anywhere near the ones offered by several countries around us like Turkey, Dubai, Cyprus and Jordan maybe.

So just in case you were saving money for a summer vacation in Lebanon, here are 8 reasons why you should go spend it somewhere else.

1. Bad infrastructure

Commuting inside the main cities is guaranteed to get you stuck in traffic for hours, and planning long trips will cost you an an arm and a leg due to our bad public transportation system. Meanwhile, other countries have metro networks to make your life much easier!

And talking about bad infrastructure, you should probably know we still suffer from power outages here.

2. Expensive beach resorts

What’s summer vacation without beach? You probably have been to other countries and are used to the fact that beach is for everyone, but that’s not valid here in Lebanon. Access to beach resorts costs $30-35 / person. And don’t you dare to order a sandwich from their local restaurant, the bill will most probably knock you out.

On the other hand, nearby destinations have gorgeous public beaches where you can get your own food and snacks!

People may now argue that public beaches DO exist here in Lebanon. But the question is, are they advertised to tourists?

3. How the hell do I get there?!

Ok, we get it, Balou’ Bala and Nahr Ibrahim among many other places are pretty cool. But how the hell can one reach them?! It is true that we have some hidden gems around the country, but well they’re just… very well hidden!

Unless you know someone here who knows his way around very well, you will most probably just stick to the main boring attractions. (e.g Zaitunay Bay, Hamra, Malls, etc…)

4. Overpriced restaurants and clubs

The trend for restaurants nowadays is claiming to use premium Angus beef to justify the inflated prices on their menus. Wait until they hear about the Kobe beef!

I truly believe we pay a lot of money here in Lebanon for mediocre service and food quality. On the contrary, and trust me on this, you get much better dining experiences in Dubai and Istanbul for less money.

5. Angry people everywhere

Most of the people here seem to be constantly frustrated or upset at something! We always have something to whine about. We whine about electricity, internet, politicians, traffic, world cup broadcasting rights, and then we take it all on each others when driving!

People elsewhere are happier because unlike us they don’t need to worry about basics like water and electricity, and therefore you don’t get depressed everytime you look at them!

6. No, you’re not scoring tonight

So you’re coming from one of the gulf region where Lebanese girls have the reputation of being so easy and you’re expecting to get laid with every chick you meet, right? NOT REALLY! Beirut is not the sin city you think it is, and it isn’t really easy to get laid around here.

If sex tourism is your thing, spare yourself the time and just book a trip to Pattaya, the mother of all sin cities!

7. Safety first

How the hell do you plan a trip to a country where explosions occur randomly?! And even if these explosions are thought to be limited to certain areas, WHY TAKE THE RISK?!

8. Organized chaos

Lebanon is nothing but a state of organized chaos. We cut off each others when waiting in line, we hate to stop on red signs, we let the valet parking people rule our streets, we block roads for no reason, and yet for god knows why we just love how things go around here!

For all of the above, just go put your money somewhere else and don’t let anyone fool you with talks about how good the nighlife here is, we indeed have an interesting nightlife scene, but it’s definitely not worth it. Lebanon is seriously so overrated as a touristic destination.

And finally, you as a Lebanese better stop wasting money on expensive restaurants, clubs and resorts, and I guarantee in a few months you will save enough money to go on a trip or two to some really cool places!!

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Lebanese shooting down their reputation!

This is a guest post by Abdallah Alaili, a good childhood friend of mine who currently lives in Europe.

Before starting this delicate subject , let me introduce myself, my name is Abdallah Alaili, I’m an Lebanese expat and entrepreneur, I have no interest in politics, have been living abroad for the last 10 years, and knowing that talking about such a subject is very delicate, I would like to emphasize there’s no hidden intention here.

Like any expat, I listen closely to what is said about my country, and the other day the name of Lebanon popped up on the screen for a subject that is not the standard Lebanese related news. Scientists were complaining that stork birds were being shot in Lebanon before returning from the migration journey, and that’s why their numbers are decreasing rapidly.

The Birds we are talking about, are those birds that you often see in cartoons bringing babies to parents:

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Europe having an average fertility rate of 1.59 children per woman, makes these birds symbolic and well loved, because they symbolize fertility, and it is considered a huge honor when they nest near your house.

These birds Migrate from Europe to Africa during winter, and most of them do that by flying above Lebanon, as seen on the map below:

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The scientists were trying to figure out, why these birds were being shot in Lebanon, and most importantly how (taken in consideration that they fly above the reach of a standard hunting gun).

Little did they know, that unlike civilized countries, in Lebanon anyone can go hunting without a license, in Lebanon hunting season is all year long and is not restricted on few species, and in Lebanon when birds fly too high for the standard hunting gun, hunters shoot them with the war grade guns (AK 47, etc …)! And yeah I forgot the most important, in Lebanon hunting is not a sport it’s just for the fun of killing poor birds!

This being said, I think it’s our responsibility as Lebanese Youth to educate, to push for strict hunting laws, and most importantly to forbid the use of war grade weapons (or at least in hunting)!

A last thought, I would like to address a message to these delicate human beings hunting the stork birds with AK47: What would you do if we had elephants or rhinoceros passing by Lebanon? Would you follow them with a B7?

You can connect with Abdallah through: Twitter, G+ , and follow his blog.

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Sanayeh Garden Renovation

Sanayeh Garden is currently being renovated by Azadea Foundation and is set to open again in May 2014 if all went as planned.

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