Nadine Labaki’s upcoming movie “W halla’ lawein?”

Nadine Labaki’s second movie “W halla’ lawein?” (Where do we go now?) is set to be released next month. You can watch a short preview of it and an interview with Nadine at BBC News.

The director-actor says she drew inspiration for the film, her second, from the events of May 2008 when violence in the streets gave rise to fears of a possible civil war.

The women of the movie are driven to consider all kinds of measures to try to stop the men in their lives picking up a weapon and joining the violence.

I like her first movie Caramel back in 2007, and I guess I’ll be watching this one as well.

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Thousands of old photos of Lebanon and the middle east

I just came across a great website called “The Fouad Debbas Collection” featuring thousands of old photos and postcards from Lebanon and the region collected by the late Fouad Debbas, who according to the website used to run the lighting business of Debbas family.

The collection is really amazing and well organized, you can browse it by country, era, period of time, photographer, and even by photo orientation. I’ve seen some old collections before, but this one is unique.

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Lebanon can now shop online

Lebanon finally got itself a real online shopping website! Mizalla.com

Mizalla, who launched their service just today, are promising to be an online mall where business owners can setup their virtual store to sell their goods online (check their “Businesses” page), which means the range of available items (mainly electronics) is expected to expand.

I’m still not sure how do their prices compare to the market but I’ll make sure to let you know about it. Meanwhile do check their website, it’s really worth a shot.

Update:

I compared prices between Mizalla and Khoury Home, and they were both selling TV’s and surround systems at the same price.

However, you can get some computer accessories like external hard drives and SD card for a cheaper price at  PCandParts.com. For example a Seagate 1TB external hard drive is selling for $132 at Mizalla, while it sells for $112.2 at PC and Parts ($102+vat).

Still when it came to digital cameras, PC and Parts turned to be a bit more expensive.

So prices are very close to what’s available in the market.

Update 2:

It’s better to buy SD memory cards from PC and Parts. 16GB cards class 4 are priced at $41.8 from PC and Parts while class 2 16GB cards are priced at $37.5 from Mizalla. Note that class 4 cards are twice as fast as class 2.

I’ll stop the comparisons as I guess you now have an idea.

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Beirut city center to be demolished in the few coming days?

I just saw this post on Facebook about the possibility of demolishing Beirut City Center (also known as “the egg”) over the next few coming days.

“The egg” was designed by Philippe Karam in 1965 and served as a cinema for a short time before the eruption of civil war in Beirut. For some reason it survived the demolition works during Beirut’s central district reconstruction in the 90’s and remained standing until some artists started using it in the last few years to exhibit their work inside it. And now, rumors has it that it will demolished very soon.

I’m not sure I’ll be sad to see it going, though if it were to me I would have renovated it instead, but I’m certain it will feel awkward to pass by the martyr’s square and not see the egg laying there at the end of the street.

Thank you @SeenKaf

Update:

Solidere denied any plans to demolish the egg anytime soon. They even claimed they’re against the demolition and that the dome will be integrated in the new design.

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Wine tasting in Lebanon

I stumbled upon this article in The Daily Star this morning about wine tasting in Lebanon mentioning companies that organize tours to wineries in the Bekaa valley and the north, in addition to the most famous wineries to visit.

A visit to one of these places will definitely offer something different and more cost-effective than the overrated night life experience and overpriced beaches in Lebanon for both locals and tourists.

Where to go:

Chateau Ksara

Open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours and tasting sessions are available without an appointment, although it is recommended to call in advance. Appointments can also be made for tours of the wine-making process. Contact: +961-1-200-715
Website: www.chateauksara.com.lb

Chateau Massaya

For vintage aficionados, Massaya offers tasting of library wines no longer available on the market, for which calling ahead is preferred. Open Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the summer months. Opening hours are shorter during the winter. Contact: +961-8- 510-135
Website: www.massaya.com

Chateau Kefraya

A visit to Chateau Kefraya’s 430-hectare grounds incorporates the winery’s Treasures Room, which includes wines dating back to the chateau’s late ’70s beginnings. Guided visits are available every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact: +961-8-645-333
Website: www.chateaukefraya.com/

Chateau Musar

Lebanon’s most-loved wine export, Chateau Musar is created in the cellar of a 17th century castle in Ghazir, Mount Lebanon. Tasting sessions and tours can be arranged by appointment. Contact: +961-9-925-056
Website: www.chateaumusar.com.lb

Photo via CD Traveller.

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Even our hundreds years old trees are now for sale

This is a shame.

An 800-year old olive tree has been planted in a residential and business project in Abu Dhabi, the developers said in a statement Monday .

The olive tree, originating from Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast, has been planted at Rawdhat, located beside the Old Airport Road , overlooking the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Reem Developers said.

You definitely can’t blame the developers, they can afford anything if they have the money for it. But who the hell approved exporting this tree from Lebanon? It isn’t like we have an excess number of these!

Via @samiaonthemove

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Just Married!

Is that enough explanation for the lack of posts on +961?

I actually got married on July 1st and I’m currently spending some time (AKA honeymoon) at probably one of the best places on earth. Phuket, Thailand.

See you in a while! 🙂

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Lebanon getting free WiFi in public parks

I know it’s hard to belive, but the news is true! The ministry of telecommunications is teaming up with the Association of Banks and Sodetel to bring free WiFi to 11 public parks in Lebanon (mainly in Beirut) during working hours.

  1. Herch Beyrouth on a surface of 30.000 m2, knowing that its total area is 330,0000m2
  2. Sanayeh- René Mouawad (22,000 m2)
  3. Sioufi (20,000 m2)
  4. Ramleh Bayda  (10,000 m2)
  5. Manchiyeh- Tripoli (10,000 m2)
  6. Bourj Abi Haidar (7,000 m2)
  7. Talet el Khayat – Moufti Hassan Khaled (5,000 m2)
  8. Abou Chahla (5,000 m2)
  9. Yassouhiyé (4,400 m2)
  10. Saint Nicolas (2,200 m2)
  11. Basta Tahta (2,200 m2)

Sioufi will be the first park to have the free WiFi starting today when ministers Nahas and Sehnaoui launch the service.

It’s a great initiative indeed. But given the current internet speed in Lebanon, I highly doubt the service will be really usable by the people. I mean we’re barely able to make use of the internet at home, let alone a shared public bandwidth!

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Cheyef 7alak – Honoring Lebanese douchebag drivers

LBC International started a cool new website called “Cheyef 7alak” aimed to track irresponsible drivers. The idea behind the initiative is very simple, whenever you spot some bad driver/biker/pedestrian, take a photo of him/her and upload it to their website or Facebook page, and leave it to them to publish it and give those douchebags the attention they’re seeking!

Given the quality of our driving here, including myself (yeah I won’t pretend I’m the prefect driver here), I’m afraid they’ll get overloaded with photos very soon!

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Fête de la musique Lebanon 2011 schedule

Here’s the schedule for Fête de la musique this year which is taking place as usual in Downtown Beirut, Hamra and Gemmayze. I’m personally looking forward to watch Band Audi, Wled El Balad, and Youmna Saba & Jade Balaben.

Place des martyrs

20h00 Gabriel Abdel Nour (Pop)
20h40 Michelle & Noel Keserwany (Folk)
21h10 Belime (Electro pop)
21h40 Bruno Live! (Pop rock)
22h20 Dana Dragomir
23H30 Anixa@Labex (Funk disco)
23h55 Epic (Rock)
00h35 Poly (Soul pop funk)
01h05 Mancer Dust (Rock alternatif)

Thermes romains

20h00 Soukara (World music)
20h35 Stephy Sfeir (Folk)
21h00 Nahas Project (Fusion jazz)
22h10 Les Blérots de Ravel
23h35 Limelight (Rock alternatif)
00h05 Lazzy Lung (Rock alternatif)

Souks de Beyrouth

20h00 Akachic Field (World music)
20h30 Rabih Rihana Trio (Jazz rock)
21h10 Silent Movie (Soundtrack)
21h35 Sandmoon (Folk rock)
22h20 Soweto Kinch (Hip hop jazz)
23h30 The Incompetents (Pop alternative)
00h10 Wled El Balad (Rock)
00h50 Jammit The Band (Reggae)

Jardin Samir Kassir

20h00 Karim Kneyzer (World music)
20h30 Episode (Rock symphonique)
21h10 Nadine Khouri (Folk rock)
21h50 Samar (Electro folk jazz)
23h00 Band Audi (Rhythm & blues)
23h40 Beirut Blues (Blues)
00h10 Plugged (Rock alternatif )
00h40 Rebellious Phoenix (Rock)

Gemmayzé

20h00 Charles (Pop)
20h30 Valérie Abou Chacra (Pop)
21h00 Cheesecake (Jazz pop)
21h40 Jolly Joker (Rock alternatif)
22h30 Tony Bayeh chante Zaki Nassif
23h30 Blue Band LB (Reggae)

Hamra

20h00 Purple Sea (Trip hop)
20h30 Moe Kabbara (Folk)
21h00 Arcane (Rock progressif)
21h40 Hanna Barakat & group (Pop rock)
22h20 Elissa Boustani’s band (Pop soul funk)
23h00 Nachaz (Rock blues)
23h40 Youmna Saba & Jade Balaben (Folk)
00h10 Nasama (Rock)
00h50 Pulse (Blues rock)

Scene Basement (souks de Beyrouth)

21h00 Ladybug
22h00 The BCE
23h00 ACIX
00h00 Djette
01h00 Jade
02h00 Vanclode Jandam
03h00 Ronin & Nesta

VJ’s :
Labo Strongsky & Vj Mosig

Eglise évangélique

18h30 Ecole de musique Ghassan Yammine

Schedule via Agenda Culturel.

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