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Syria Street – Everyday Life Stories From Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh

Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh are two neighborhoods in Tripoli that got popular over the past 10 years for all the wrong reason.

Following the assassination of PM Rafic Hariri, the residents of the two neighborhoods got into more than 10 armed clashes mainly due to their division among different sects and having different political affiliations, and the rounds of violence eventually intensified with the start of the Syria war in 2011.

The two areas are separated by Syria Street, also known as Bab El Dahab, and it is a proof that while people in general think that their residents are vertically divided, they in fact share so much in common. Many of them run shops on both sides of the street, and they simply just rely on each other to get on with their lives. People from Bab El Tabbaneh go to Jabal Mohsen for good and services that might not be available in their area and vice versa.

What they also share the most though are their problems, concerns, and daily struggles. The residents of both sides suffer from poverty, bad living conditions, and lack of jobs which is unfortunately motivating their youths to search for any source of income even if it was coming from politicians in exchange of firing arms at their neighbors…

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Lebanon recently collaborated with photographer and filmmaker Brandon Tauszik who’s well known for GIF-based storytelling, in order to convey the real image about the people from both Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh. Brandon spent a week listening to residents from both sides and the result was some quite expressive visuals along with interesting stories from their everyday lives.

To explore more about this project, check SyriaStreet.com in hope that these two areas never take part of another rounds f violence, and that their representatives in the parliament stop abusing them every time they want to make some political gain.

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Beautiful Aerial Photos of Dahyeh by Mahdi Skafi

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I always enjoy watching aerial photos and videos from around Lebanon especially that some photographer and drone operators have been doing a great job exploring cool places around the country.

Over the last couple of years, I think I came across photos/videos from almost all around Lebanon except for Dahyeh due to it being considered a security stronghold for Hezbollah, so taking photos there is usually a big No-No and can even get you in trouble. But that was until I recently stumbled upon some photos taken by Mahdi Skafi with his drone over Dahyeh and Hadath, and found them pretty cool as they were taken at night with a long exposure.

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Mahdi also have a lot of other photos from various villages and villages and cities around the country and the ones below from Kfarsir, Tyr, and Sawfar.

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You can check more photos from Mahdi on his Facebook page.

And as hard as it may sound, I also feel curious about aerial footage of the Palestinian refugee camps be it in Shatila, Saida or Naher el Bared, as well as the Syrian refugee camps and conflict zones in Arsal and Jroud Arsal.

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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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Mount Lebanon time lapse video

I spent some time searching for time lapse videos shot in Lebanon but only found this one worth sharing, even though we have some really cool scenes around the country to experiment with. I actually thought I would find more with the number of photographers I have on my twitter and facebook timelines…

If you’re interested to make your own time lapse video, you can download one of the available applications to your mobile device and start experimenting with it. An application I’m currently toying with on my iPad is this one called Time Lapse Camera HD.

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Vintage photos from Studio Shehrazade in Saida

Our man in Beirut shared this really cool find of vintage photos obtained from an old photography studio in Saida, dating back to the 1960s. The poses and the objects people choose to pose next to look quite funny! But that’s probably the same thing that’s going to be said about our photos in 50 years from now!

Anyway, the collection contains photos for people of all ages, including Palestinian fighters, a body-builder, and even two women french kissing. You can check them all here.

It would be really amazing is those people come across the collection and identify themselves!

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Beirut then and now

via Facebook

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Hiking from Rachaya Al Wadi to Ain Ata

A friend of mine introduced me to Footprints nature club back in March and convinced me to go on my first hiking experience with them to cross the hills from Rachaya Al Wadi to Ain Ata.

It took us around 4 hours to finish the 11 Km hike. The hardest parts of it was whenever we had to go down hills, it might seems weird but during a hike you put more energy when going downhill than going up.

I’ll leave you with some of the photos I took, the mountain showing in the panoramic photo is Jabal Al Cheikh which is known for having snow covering its peaks for most of the year.


Starting from the souk of Rachaya Al Wadi


Jabal Al Cheikh


4 hours later, arriving to Ain Ata

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Photos from Mashrou3 Leila at Byblos International Festival

I think Mashrou3 Leila is the only underground band to make it that big by performing at Byblos International Festival!

Lynn Bizri was generous enough to share with me some photos she took when she attended their concert on July 9th.

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Ain El-Mrayseh by night

Taken last Sunday April 18th 2010. Ain El-Mrayseh is one of my favorite areas in Beirut, but definitely not on a Sunday afternoon!

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Lebanon Motor Show 2010 – The Photos

Few days ago I posted about the Lebanon Motor Show which is held at BIEL, downtown Beirut. So today is time to publish some photos from my visit!

I went there on Sunday evening, and there was a huge traffic on the entrance! So I advice you to go on weekdays, just don’t wait till the weekend (it ends on April 18th) because I’m sure it will be very crowded.

The show has 4 halls, 2 for showing cars, 1 for banks (where you can get good deal until the show ends), and 1 for car accessories. Overall it was nice and I recommend that you go check it out.

I leave you now with the photos I got, be careful if you’re a faint-hearted!

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