The FBI are in da house!

I usually check the website traffic statistics on a daily basis to see how much unique visitors and pageviews am I getting. But today I spent some time checking some detailed reports that show more about my vistors such as which country they come from,what browser are they using, etc…

One of  the available reports show from which domains the visitors are coming, check the result I got!!

fbi-checking-plus961

As you can see, somebody reached +961 from fbi-agent.org! I wonder how did they land on my website… was it one my posts that usualy contain dangerous infomation?

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Cola Barbir! – Pink Taxis

banet-taxi

Hamra 3ayneh? Cola Barbir? Dawra? London????

These cute pink taxis will take you anywhere you want only if you’re… a woman (Talk about sex discrimation?), this is what “Banet Taxi” is all about, female taxi drivers in pink  Peugeot 206 cars serving women only OR women accompanied with their spouses.

The idea is not new in the arab world, a similar service is available in the United Arab Emirates, so Nawal Yaghi Fakhri (the owner of “Banat Taxi”) did not come up with something innovative, she actually even imitated the same color as in the pink taxis of UAE. However, I like what she did, good for her she was the first to introduce this service to Lebanon and take advantage of an unsatisfied need for the Lebanese ladies which is to let them feel “extra secure” when traveling from one place to another, not to forget the need of some ladies who like to use a ”

If you’re interested in Banat Taxi, you can contact them on these two number: 04/419006 or 70/286896. And remember, it’s for Women only!

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Lebanese movie HELP banned

help

Yet another movie ban, this time it is Marc Abi Rashed’s turn to have his movie “HELP” banned in Lebanon.

In brief, “Help” is the story of a teenager named Ali who lives in a van in Lebanon. His life suddenly turns upside down when he meets Thuraya, a prostitute living with a gay man. The movie has nudity and an excessive use of inappropriate words.

The reason of the ban is still not clear, at least to me. The movie was initially given the license to be shown in the Lebanese theaters on contdition that it will be restricted to viewers above 18 years old, later on he head of the censoring body was replaced and his successor withdrew the authorization! Some claim it is because the movie is too much for the Lebanese audience to accept, while others say that it is because the lead actress “Thuraya” who has appeared naked in the movie, and happens to be Joanna Andraos the daughter of the Lebanese MP Antoine Andraos, which might negatively affect his campaign in the upcoming election in June 2009.

In case authorities gace the license back to “HELP”, I believe it will make double the profits it was supposed to make before, becuase people will be eager to watch it after the fuss that the ban issue has created!

I leave you now with the movie trailer I found on YouTube.

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Graffiti in Hamra

As I was walking in Hamra on Saturday, I encountered a group of guys at the end of the Hamra street doing graffiti.

I had a small chit-chat with them and learned that they call themselves “the REK crew” (Red Eye Kamikazes), as they said they have been doing graffiti in the same spot for several Saturday and they will be there this week.

I found a couple of groups for them on Facebook, the first is Bombing Beirut ( bombing is just another term for doing graffiti), and the second is REVO Graffiti Crew.

I of course didn’t leave the spot without taking some photos! (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge)

hamra-graffiti_small hamra-graffiti-3_small hamra-graffiti-2_small

hamra-graffiti-1_small hamra-graffiti-4_small

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From Hamra to New York

hamra-street

Is it only me? Or do others also feel that Hamra resembles to New York? (Tsu2, I’m not out of my mind yet).

I used to rarely go to Hamra until recently when I got bored of all the other places like Downtown Beirut and Achrafiyeh, which are currently being heavily invaded by “wozziyyeh” teenage boys and girls especially on weekends!

Few weeks ago I went there in a hopeless attempt to find some new nice spot, and I was surprised by how beautiful Hamra is! Although I live in west Beirut, but since ever Hamra meant “traffic jam” to me, so I have always avoided passing by there. It isn’t like I have NEVER passed by Hamra before! But I’ve never passed and noticed the nice places I’m observing today.

The numerous neighboring shops, the cozy restaurants and cafés and the cozy streets, they all remind me of New York. I know that for some people there is no way to compare, but I have almost re-experience the same feeling I once had in New York everytime I go to Hamra for a walk.

I can call the Hamra area as “Little New York”… and no, once again I tell you that I’m not out of my mind yet!

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Live webcams from Lebanon

tabaris

Did you notice what I recently added on the right under “Eyes of Lebanon”?

It’s a drop down list containing various locations in Beirut and the surroundings, when you choose location and click “Check Area” a new window will open containing a snapshot taken by a webcam positioned at that location, and the snapshots will auto refresh every 30 seconds, even if you kept the window open.

It’s not a new idea, the service is actually available via the LBC Group website through a service called “Eyes of Lebanon“. There you will find the very same webcam locations, except that the location links are spread on a dedicated webpage. So I thought of using my scripting skills and gather all these links into one drop down list that would fit in my sidebar, and let the readers check them out!

The webcams can be very beneficial sometimes when you need to check if there’s traffic congestion at one of the available areas. (Actually that’s their main purpose!)

P.S: If you would like to publish them on your website as well, I will  be glad to provide you with the script I wrote. Just contact me on rami[at]plus961[dot]com

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Riad Salameh honored in NYSE (Video)

In reference to the previous post, here’s a video showing Riad Salameh rinigng the bell in New York stock exchange when the stock market opened on Monday morning. Don’t expect too much from the video, it’s just about some ding ding ding! But I thought of sharing it with you.

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Somebody got it right in Lebanon!

The governor of the Lebanese central bank Riad Salameh will be honored on March 2nd at New York’s Wall Street by ringing the bell when the stock market opens next Monday morning. This kind of honorary celebration is only hosted for elite economic figures in the world.

This comes as a reward for his achievements and strategic decisions through the global economic crisis. And thanks to him, banks in Lebanon had one of their best financial years!

Below is what the Los Angeles Times wrote about his success story during the crisis:

Throughout history, men braved the odds to perform great feats. Outmatched generals snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Titans of industry gambled on bold innovations to reap jackpots. Athletes tested the limits of human endurance in quests for glory.

Riad Toufic Salame, the governor of Lebanon’s central bank, is not one of those men.

Instead, the silver-haired banker became a hero by playing it very, very safe. In 2005, he defied pressure from the Lebanese business community and bucked international trends to issue what now looks like a prophetic decree: a blanket order barring any bank in his country from investing in mortgage-backed securities, which contributed to the most dramatic collapse of financial institutions since the Great Depression.

So as major banks in America and Europe were shuttered or partly nationalized and thousands of people in the U.S. financial sector were laid off, Lebanon’s banks had one of their best years ever.

Read the full article here.

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OpenSesame BarCamp-Lebanon

In their efforts to promote “Openness”, a group of people are oprganizing “OpenSesame BarCamp-Lebanon” in Beirut on February 28, the event will be held at the American University of Beirut.

(If you’re wondering what a BarCamp is, check Wikipedia’s explanation about it)

Through this event forums are provided to discuss open source technology initiatives (like Linux, Apache, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, OpenOffice, OpenSocial, etc), collaborative problem solving, Creative Commons and intellectual property in Lebanon and the region, open business models, Arabic on the web and collaborative sites (like Wikipedia, etc), and more.

Technology developers, entrepreneurs, students, lawyers, teachers, artists, bloggers, journalists, product and graphic designers, and anyone interested in social, political, or economic development, are all invited to participate in this event.

To get more info on this BarCamp, check its official page, it has all the details on how to sign up, what topics will be discussed, and who’s coming as well.

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Abou il moulouk w Mazeij!

Sunday afternoons are more fun than ever now! Thanks to LBC of course, who has lately started to broadcast the horse races held at the Beirut Hippodrome.

The stars (as I recall) are Abou il moulouk, 3anid, Sa2alouneh 3leik, Miskiin, and Mazeij! And the competition reaches its peak when they all arrive to “kou3 il mathaf” or “beib il saba2″, and then suddenly Mazeij bishidd 7alo w byousal teineh!

Seriously now.. shu allah 7eiklo Khaled Moujaes y3alli2 3a heik 2osas… :D

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