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13 Lebanese Among The 100 Most Influential Arabs Under 40 for 2016

influential arabs under 40

Arabian Business published their list of 100 most influential Arabs under 40 for 2016 and it included 13 Lebanese from different industries. Chaker Khazaal, a Palestinian refugee who used to live in Lebanon before emigrating to Canada, was named as the most influential Arab for this year.

Below are the Lebanese that were mentioned. You can check the full list here.

15- Maher Zain 34, Arts and Entertainment
21- Amal Clooney 38, Law
30- Rafi Demirjian 39, Business
39- Abdallah Absi 23, Technology
48- Nancy Ajram 32, Arts and Entertainment
66- Fahd  Hariri 35, Banking and Finance
76- Mahmoud Kabbour 37, Media
78- May Habib 24, Technology
81- Philippe Ghanem 35, Banking
84- Jihad Kawas 19, Technology
92- Diala Makki 32, Arts and Entertainment
93- Aya Bdeir 33, Technology
98- Myriam Fares 33, Arts and Entertainment

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It’s Official: Assafir Will Stop Publishing

Several people from Assafir confirmed the rumors we all heard last week about a possible closure of the newspaper. Sanaa Khoury, a journalist in Assafir, was among the firsts who announced it on twitter.


Assafir has been in print for 42 years now and was among the leading newspapers in Lebanon, so it’s definitely odd to see it closing down with its employees getting laid off. But then again, it’s only logical for the publishers to halt their operations if there’s not enough revenue.

Throughout my teenage years I got used to reading Annahar as it was my parents favorite, but that was up till 2005 when Gebran Tueini was assasinated and they then switched to buying Assafir. And although I personally enjoy flipping through the physical copy, I never felt the need to subscribe to a newspaper when I got married and moved out in 2011, mainly because I was staying up to date with news through the available news websites and feed readers.

This actually brings me to a related news on ministers Sejaan Azzi and Ramzi Jreige calling for support to media outlets suffering from financial difficulties. Times are changing, and any support a newspaper will be getting is going to be temporary in my opinion if people simply don’t feel like buying a physical copy anymore, just like stone tablets were abandoned for documentation hundreds of years ago. Moreover, the closure of a newspaper will not affect the culture in Lebanon if journalists kept expressing their opinions online because it’s the content that matter and not the medium. Publishers should simply adapt to the changing news consumption habits and act accordingly, and if the government feels like being nice then it should probably consider helping the laid off employees.

Photo via Al Arabiya


It was reported today that Assafir got some financial support and will keep publishing at least for the next few months. A press conference will be held by the management on Wednesday to talk about the issue with the public.

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Beirut Hippodrome in Danger of Closing Down?


I was a bit surprised to read this news on several news outlets reporting that Beirut Hippodrome is facing financial difficulties and is in danger of closing down due to lack of funding by the municipality of Beirut.

According to the report, the mayor of Beirut Bilal Hamad is reluctant to invest additional money in the racecourse because betting that is prohibited in Islam takes place there, which sounds quite absurd to me. Regardless if a religion prohibits a certain practice or not, if it is legal by the law then no one should be allowed to keep people from practicing it, otherwise it’s definitely a case of abuse of power.

Better yet, Hamad said he will authorize additional funds to Beirut Hippodrome only if it was turned into what he calls “Beirut Central Park” consisting of a golf course and a riding school. So he basically wants to shut down the racecourse and turn it into a second park just like Horsh Beirut where no one is allowed most time of the week.

If things continued to go downhill for the Hippodrome,  then it won’t be weird to read about some development company taking over it someday and starting some mega structure there, just like the resort that was planned in Ramlet El Bayda a couple of years ago.

At a time when we still can’t figure a permanent solution for our garbage, I know this is isn’t a priority but governmental institutions should really consider maintaining places like Beirut Hippodrome before they deteriorate further. I recently came across the below photo of the Sports City Stadium on Facebook and it looked absolutely awful, notice the missing seats in the stands area. We deserve a bit better than that for our tax money!


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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – March 23rd 2016


We have a long weekend ahead and these picks from Lebtivity should make it worthwhile! I recommend you go watch Aziza performing at the Blue Note Cafe based on the positive feedback I’ve been hearing lately, and if you’re feeling a bit adventurous then the Clue Club is the right place for you!

  1. Performance l La Pudeur des générations pré-digitales | Charbel Haber
  2. The CCCL presents “Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club ” in Concert
  3. JANNET Artaba Hiking with DALE CORAZON
  4. Souk El Akel – Lebanon’s Street Food Market
  5. Clue Club – Save the world
  6. Live Music at L’Osteria
  7. Sunday Brunch at Junkyard Beirut
  8. “Ingrid Naccour” and the Monday blues Band @ Taillevent
  9. Quiz Night at Walimat Wardeh
  10. Aziza (Tarab & Co.) Live at Blue Note Café
  11. Christina Haddad Live at Society Wine Lounge
  12. Easter at CityMall
  13. Social Media Manager’s Toolkit at BDD

Make sure to check for more options.

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Best Free Places to Bring Your Kids in Beirut


My little kid Malek is turning 3 in a couple of months, and ever since he learned how to walk we started adjusting our plans every weekend to make sure the places we’re going to are suitable for him to play around and have fun. But soon after we began searching and trying few places, we’ve came to realize that Beirut is quite unfriendly for kids simply due to the lack of open and green spaces.

There are very few public gardens around the city, and the well known ones like Sanayeh garden get super crowded on weekends that a kid can barely take a turn on the toys, which eventually makes you opt for some private playgrounds instead. So here are five outdoor places that I’ve found to be pretty suitable for toddlers and can be enjoyed during Spring before it gets too humid.

1. Horsh Tabet Public Garden


Among the public gardens in Beirut this one is my favorite because it doesn’t get as much crowded as others. It has a small playground at the lower level and open green spaces for kids to enjoy running around, not to mention that you can easily find a parking spot outside it.

2. Ramlet El Bayda


I never go swim in Ramlet El Bayda and I wouldn’t recommend it. But a few weeks ago I decided to take advantage of the beach being empty and took Malek for a walk there. I first thought we were going to spend no longer than 30 minutes before he gets tired but ended up staying more than 2 hours since he totally enjoyed playing in the sand. If you’re up to it then I recommend you do it while the weather is still relatively cool before it gets crowded with swimmers.

3. Baadba Forest


Ok this isn’t technically in Beirut but it only takes 10 minutes from Achrafieh to reach there. It is a private property owned by the Antonin Monastery in Baabda but accessible for public. You can go there for a small hike with your little ones and some kids bring their balls to play football in an area that serves as a small field.

photo via Hisham Nasr

4. Horsh Beirut


Horsh Beirut is unfortunately closed on weekdays and only opens for families on Saturdays only. Needless to say it’s pretty cool there and feels very liberating for the little kids due to its large area. If it only was open during the rest of the week though!

Photo via Beirut Report

5. American University of Beirut


I know The American University of Beirut isn’t a public place, but accessing it is free as long as you know someone who can admit you to it. And in a city where everybody knows everybody it shouldn’t be a hard task for you! A friend of ours got us in a while ago and Malek enjoyed it so much there. We first got into the green oval where he played for a little while before moving to the lower part on Ain El Mrayseh side where there’s a very nice and well maintained kids playground. And best of all it’s very secure, it really felt like an escape from Beirut.

Photo via AUB

No matter which place you choose to go, I highly recommend you go there early in the day as you might sometime have the whole place for you! We usually head to our destination around 10 which gives us enough time to enjoy almost any place before it gets too crowded.

Let me know if there’s any other place worth adding to the list!

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


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Let’s hope the weather gets better over the next few days so that outdoor activities won’t be ruined!

  1. 7th Build It Green – Lebanon Annual Sustainability Solutions Conference
  2. Chinese Boxing Classes
  3. Pause – Art Therapy Group For Adults
  4. Beirut Unisports Festival – 7th Edition
  5. The Comedy Night Show 300 turbo
  6. Hiking in Arsoun with We Are Hikers
  7. The Blues Express at The Hangout Beirut
  8. Sunday Open Buffet at Arnaoon Village
  9. Moules et Frites – Cafe Margot
  10. Let’s Brunch every Sunday!
  11. Celebrate your Mother at Beit Wadih
  12. Special screening of the film “Pause” by Mathieu Urfer

Make sure to check for much more options.

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Abed Tahan Mother’s Day Ad Fail


Here’s what happens when your marketing department feels like it’s obligatory to capitalize on every single occasion regardless if your product or service actually relate to it or not, you’re guaranteed to look silly.

Nothing gets on my nerves as much as retailers promoting kitchen appliances and household items for mother’s day as gift ideas. Let alone pointing up that mommies actually desire food processors and fryers, it’s like Abed Tahan thinks of women as housekeepers only.

For this mother’s day, ignore these ads, and do your moms a favor by keeping them away from food processors!






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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – March 9th 2016


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week with a bit of everything for everybody. The Youth Film Festival taking place at Metropolis Cinema is worth checking out, and for a cool outdoor activity I recommend you make use of the good weather to go explore Arnaoun Castle with Vamos Todos this weekend.

  1. Metropolis Youth Film Festival 2016 – First Edition
  2. Mother’s Day Brunch – Fundraising for CHANCE Association
  3. Jazz Night with Arthur Satyan at The Hangout Beirut
  4. Choosing Your Major
  5. Saison de Musique de Chambre | Concert “Quartetto del Teatro di San Carlo – Napoli”
  6. Kirtan, Calming Chants in a Chaotic World
  7. Ma3 el wa2et… Yemkin – A Theater Play by Georges Khabbaz
  8. Mandala for Beginners Workshop
  9. Scene Scene 5 – the Revolution at Grand Hills
  10. Wind and Art Don’t Care About Border – Art Exhibition
  11. Arnoun Beaufort Castle Hiking with VT
  12. Lies & Likes – Theater Play

Make sure to check for much more options.

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Tiny Beirut – A Cool Tilt-Shift Video

tiny beirut

I found this cool tilt-shift video on Vimeo today with scenes from Beirut, Jounieh, and Byblos and thought it is worth sharing on the blog.

It was made by a photographer named Eirik Evjen and I personally found it quite nice for a change at a time when most of the viral videos lately showing parts of Lebanon are taken using drones.

You can check more of Eirik’s work on his website.

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – March 2nd 2016


These are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. I highly recommend you include “Liaisons Dangereuses” by Joe Kodeih in your plans for this week as I’ve been hearing a lot of positive feedback about it.

  2. The Power of De-Cluttering!
  3. Acoustic Pink Floyd Tribute with Durga McBroom
  4. Coma Ca Va? – Samy Khayath new Theater Play
  5. Talk | Spams, Spams, Spams, Wonderful Scams | Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
  6. Al-Bustan Festival 2016
  7. Drawing with Sacred Geometry // Workshop
  8. Disney In Concert: Frozen – Concert in Lebanon
  9. خبصة فنية | Open Art Day
  10. Mixing Colors, Weaving Emotions – art therapy group for children
  11. Liaisons Dangereuses – Theater Play
  12. KNOW English – Conversation Sessions

Make sure to check for additional options.

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