Banning motorcycles in Lebanon

I just came across a news that made it for me! Our minister of interior affairs Ziad Baroud issued a statement banning motorcycles between 6:00PM and 5:00AM as of October 15th 2009. In addition to making it clear that motorcyclists gatherings are forbidden.

Lebanese motorcyclist

بارود يصدر قرارا بضبط سير الدراجات النارية ابتداء من 15 الجاري
أصدر وزير الداخلية زياد بارود قرارا ً بضبط سير الدراجات النارية في الأراضي اللبنانية المختلفة اعتباراً من تاريخ 15/10/2009، وطلب الى المديرية العامة لقوى الأمن الداخلي التشدّد في تطبيق القرار.

وسمح القرار بسير الدراجات النارية المسجلة أصولاً لدى هيئة إدارة السير والآليات والمركبات والمستوفية لجميع الشروط القانونية، اعتباراً من الساعة الخامسة صباحاً وحتى الساعة الثامنة عشرة، ويمنع سير جميع الدراجات بين الساعة 18.00 والساعة الخامسة من صباح اليوم التالي.

By the way, every time I see a motorcyclist performing stunts on the highway, I get the urge to hit him and watch him rolling on the asphalt! Yes that’s how much I hate you Lebanese motorbike owners!

Photo via flickr

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Freeze Balou’ Balaa! I will shoot you!

Today’s episode of “Freeze I will shoot you” is brought to you from a nice village called “Balaa” in Tannourine, located around 70 kilometers from Beirut. I went there 10 days ago with some friends under the guidance of Mireille (from Life Geeked), who showed us a lot of nice places in both of Batroun, Tannourine, and Laklouk. So Balaa was actually just a stop on a one day road trip.

Balaa is very famous for its 250 meters deep natural sink hole that  has been carved by water 160 million years ago! According to Mireille, a magnificent waterfall can be observed during winter and spring with water vapors rising up to the surface, so I’m definitely going to revisit Balaa again.

Moving to the photos…

Balou balaa 7

There’s a distance of around 300 meters separating the sinkhole from the main road, and yes you have to walk to get to it.

Balou balaa 1

And we’re gettig closer..

Balou balaa 2

And here we are! The photos actually do no justice to the location. What appears like a shade in the middle is actually is small waterfall.

Balou balaa 3

As you can see, the place IS dangerous, the edges are a bit slippery and you really don’t want to risk falling down.

Balou balaa 4

The bridge in the middle is reachable, and the below photo is taken from its top.

Balou balaa 5

Balou balaa 6

Yep, 250 meters deep!

The location is suitable for a picnic by the way, but camping is forbidden as per the ministry of environment.

My next destination will hopefully be ammiq.

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Walad Manshour


From Assafir Newspaper, September 30 2009.
Via Meiroun blog

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The new Kazouza in town!

I was at Idriss Supermarket (Hamra) few days ago when I noticed a new soft drink on the shelves, and the brand name is “Kazouza”. I’m sure you have heard the word “kazouz” before, referring to carbonated soft drinks, so here you go a Kazouza!


I personally liked the name and the design of the bottle. However, the producers claim to have existed since 1941, do you have any info about that? Darine from Identity Chef blog is also wondering about it!

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Achraf Rifi acting silly

Achraf Rifi

According to this news article, chief Achraf Rifi issued an “unusual” order to his force calling on them to vote in favor of Jeita Grotto for the seven natural wonders of the world.

“I gave orders to 23,500 police officers to cast their ballot in favor of Jeita Grotto so that they do their part as citizens and our entry comes out the winner,” General Achraf Rifi told AFP, in commenting on his written order.

Next week’s “unusual” order will be calling them to either join the Internal Security Forces group on Facebook, or become fans of his Facebook page.

Mr. Rifi, teach your officers how to respect us and behave well in the streets before giving them orders to do online voting!

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Majida El Roumi at the Francophone games

Majida El Roumi singing one of my favorite songs for Beirut “Ya Beirut” at the Francophone games opening ceremony. Great performance as usual!

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Francophone Games – Beirut 2009

50 Francophone countries are participating in the sixth Francophone Games, which will take place in Beirut from September 27 to October 6 2009!

50 pays francophones se regroupent à Beyrouth pour les 6eme Jeux de la Francophonie du 27 Septembre au 6 Octobre 2009!


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We left the aliens in awe!

So the aliens were visiting our country and I didn’t know about it until today via Maya’s Amalgam blog! I believe they came to see what a miraculous place is it here, a country that can survive without a president for more than 5 months, and is now going without a government even! Such country is absolutely worth a visit no matter what your home planet is, and yes we’re much cooler than you!

Here’s a video for witnesses telling Nishan on LBC TV how they saw the aliens at Dbayyeh highway.

And finally, the whole thing turned out to be caused by flying Chinese lanters! Sorry to disappoint you :). Anyway make sure to check the comments on the video above on YouTube, they’re pretty funny.

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Ministry of Tourism: Lebanon is the place to be

Usually you have 1001 reason to leave this country! (Electricity, water, mobile network, slow internet, Ammar Houri, etc…) But for some reason I find myself attached to it, and more precisely addicted to its capital Beirut.

Below is a nice short video found on Twitter promoting Lebanon and showing how charming this country is despite all its problems!

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Freeze Sodeco! I will shoot you!

I thought of a fun idea today which is to start a new series of posts called “Freeze, I will shoot you!”. Breathe, the thing has nothing to do with the shooting we’re used to in Lebanon, the idea is to go to some area in Lebanon (where else?!) for the purpose of taking some nice photos of the place  and then publish them in a blog post here. I’ll be also open to suggestions if you have some nice place in mind.

I will start today with Sodeco, one of my favorite streets in Beirut. The reason why I originally went there was to shoot the old buildings that still have marks from the civil war on the. I leave you with the photos.

Civil war marks 2_small

Facing Sodeco square, this building is currently being renovated by the municipality of Beirut.


Showing contrast between two buildings, one has witnessed the civil war and the other eventually didn’t!

Civil war marks_small

Civil war marks 1_small

Building renovation_small

Another building currently being renovated.

Building interior_small

Same building from the inside.

Building interior 1_small

Same building from the inside.

Towards monot_small

The street leading to Monot.

P.S: For some reason, the lightbox plugin on my blog (the image overlay thing) seems to be broken, so whenever you click on an image you will be taken to a new webpage instead of displaying it on a grey background. I promise I’ll be working on it today!

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