Beirut – 2009 World Book Capital

As of yesterday, Beirut is the new book capital of the world.

BEIRUT: Culture Minister Tamam Salam is expected to fly to Paris next week to take over the presidency of the “World Book Capital 2009,” his media office said on Wednesday. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced in April 2007 the nomination of Beirut as the “World Book Capital 2009.” “Beirut should raise awareness about the importance of reading, books and publications all through 2009,” Salam addressed reporters during a lunch at Le Bristol Hotel in Ras Beirut. The official program of Beirut World Book Capital 2009 starts on April 25, 2009 and ends in April 2010. Beirut is the ninth city to be designated World Book Capital, after Madrid, Alexandria, New Delhi, Antwerp, Montreal, Turin, Bogot‡ and Amsterdam. According to a statement by UNESCO, the city of Beirut was selected “in the light of its focus on cultural diversity, dialogue and tolerance, and of its diverse and stimulating program.”

Source: The Daily Star

I believe minister Tammam Salam has to do double the effort here in Lebanon and the Arab world, as our people simply hate to read. I don’t know the average number of books an Arab reads per year, maybe half a paper? Could be!

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+961 getting new outfit!

Just started to install a new theme on the blog… hope nothing goes wrong!

Update:

I am almost done, everything went fine except for some compatibilty issues with Internet Explorer (I HATE IT!).
The main advantage of this theme is the 3 tabbed widgets to the right (Recent posts, Recent comments, and Archives), and they appear normally in Firefox, however I noticed they’re appearing under each other in Internet Explorer. I promise I will work on fixing it by tonight.

I will also restore the missing widgets (Beirut photos & Eyes of Lebanon) later today.

Still, I’d love to have your feedback, what do you think about the new theme? Anything to improve?

Update 2:

Woohoo! I fixed the tabbed widgets! They’re working fine on Internet Explorer now.
The contact is now gone for a while since its background doesn’t match the new theme. Gotta go find a better one.

Update 3:

Be careful what colors you choose next time you plan the change your website theme, I just got a question asking if I am a aounist since the color of “961” in the header above is orange!!

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Jad Sawaya to the parliament

Jad Sawa, the creater of Dana and many other “great talents” in Lebanon, is running for the parliamentary elections in Beirut’s first district… Shou hal feisid!!

jad-sawaya

If you’re interested, Jad published his electoral program here.

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Lebanese elections billboard wars – 3

The subject of the third post of the billboard wars series is FPM’s “sois belle et vote” billboard, which was the talk of the Lebanese blogsphere yesterday. Today I got two photoshopped versions of it, the first one being a reply from the Lebanese Forces, and the second one from the FPM themselves replying to the LF.

So, here’s the original one.

sois-belle

And that’s how the Lebanese Focrces replied.

sois-bete

Then the FPM thought of doing a remake, inspired from Walid Jumblat’s leaked video.

sois-jins

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Saint George – Manara – Hamra

Here are 3 new photos I’ve taken lately in Beirut, the first one was taken in the Saint Georges at night, the second is obviosly at Manara during sunset, and the last one was taken at a place called “Graffiti” in Makdissi street (Hamra). (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge)

saint-george manara-sunset

graffiti-hamra

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Pervert going online!

I was getting my daily dose of photography on flickr today when I stumbled upon this Lebanese pervert’s account.

The guy is using a Canon EOS 50D with zoom lenses, some photos are taken at 250mm, others at 400mm… so he does have some nice photography gear (like this one for example), which I honestly dream of having. However, he’s messed up enough to use such “classy” tools just to practice his perversion.

I hope someone busts him, shove his cam and lens up his rear-end, take a photo of it and post it on flickr!

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Lebanese ripoff

A few weeks ago I got this advertisement in my junk folder.

advertise-on-facebook

3anjad BRAVO! I believe it took them a lot of brainstorming to come up with the idea they’re promoting. “Advertising on your behalf on Facebook”, WOW.

These guys claim they can do what ANYONE else can do, that is using a credit card to post an ad for you on Facebook. As if we suffer of some disability that prevents us from posting an ad on Facebook on our own, and our brain cannot interpret the fields labeled “age”,  “gender” and “internet” that help us target a certain segment of users of Facebook, w AKID the buttons intended to generate reports showing the perfomance of our ads go way behind our understanding. Ya3neh alf l7amdilla allah ba3at hal 3alam ynawwrouna.

If you have a product to promote, just don’t use these guys, chances are they’re gonna rip you off, use your credit card instead and benefit from the experience of the people on the internet that have usef Facebook ads before (use google to find them), I did it and it worked for me.

… That’s unless you are running for the Lebanese elections, then do make use of their service because they’re ready to make special promotions for you as you can see below (snapshot from Al-Waseet newspaper), not to mention that you definitely deserve a ripoff at least once in your life.

advertise-on-facebook-1

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“Help” deserved the ban! – Movie review

Do you recall all the fuss that was made over the ban of Marc Abi Rached’s movie titled “Help”? (In which I have contributed!!)

help

Well, few days ago I was surprised to know that the movie is now being sold at the DVD stores in Beirut! So I went to Bourj Hammoud and bought it for 1,000 L.L ($0.66), though I am against getting illegal copies of Lebanese movies prior watching them in the theaters because I believe the Lebanese producers and directors should at least get support from the Lebanese audience.

Anyway, let’s move to watching the movie… just as the movie started playing, the license number obtained from the general security of Lebanon appeared, so I assume this copy is the one that was supposed to be shown in the theaters, and for some reason someone from within the general security decided to leak it out, and the result is of course Marc Abi Rached ending up being screwed twice! (banning it + leaking it)

The whole movie is a chaos, and the chaos lasts for around 1 hour and 15 minutes, it’s about a prostitute names “Thuraya” who is being tracked by a some business man to kill her but at the end gets saved by a teenager named “Ali”. And no they don’t get married at the end.

I think paying 10,000 L.L to watch “Help” in the cinema would have been a total waste of time and money. The story doesn’t make sense at all which made the movie more like an amateur x-rated video where a group of people got together just to show up naked, if the movie was just 5 minutes longer we could have seen Marc Abi Rached himself getting naked for the camera!!

It’s a cheap movie, or less than that, “akel hawa” maybe, and it definitely deserved to be banned.

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Lebanese elections billboard wars – 2

On the road to any area in Lebanon you will notice dozens of billboards promoting the different parties or candidates running for the election. And on my way to Saida yesterday I saw the following ones.

haraket-amal

That’s Nabih Berri on the left. Barri is trying to be original and is NOT imitating Barack Obama’s photos. Anyway, Nabih Berri is promoting unity between the muslims and the christians. 3a aseis ino noss Haraket Amal hinneh masi7iyyeh :D I’ll take hat as Berri being funny.

kawass

I dunno who that guy is, but the slogan is strong. Minimum ykoun shababouna la youstahan bihi! They did great in May 7th last year, and just today they killed 4 army soldiers.

hariri

The Future Movement is reminding us once again that they have not forgot their loss. Nothing new here, they’ve been making their followers live in an ongoing funeral for 4 years now! Min wein baddon yinso??

tayyar

… aw Orange Orange!

lf

Ok I’m convinced, and the Lebanese Forces followers are all civilized, I’ll keep it in my mind!

amal-kids

Last but not least, Haraket Amal is presenting to us the upcoming generation who will soon be roaming the streets with their motorcycles hinneh w 2eibbina. The ones who are currently “3am y2ibbouwa” will eventually become “kaweidir haraket amal”.

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Happy Easter

happy-easter

Happy Easter to all my readers! :)

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