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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Transnational Tides and the Future of the Arab City – October 2-3, 2009

yale arab alumni association

Under the Patronage of His Excellency
Mr. Ziad Baroud, Minister of Interior and Municipalities

The Yale Arab Alumni Association with the support of the Yale University Council on Middle East Studies and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy at the
American University of Beirut invites you to attend

Transnational Tides and the Future of the Arab City
A conference on urban sustainability

October 2-3, 2009
American University of Beirut

Keynote address by Mr. Talal Shair
Chairman and CEO, Dar Al-Handasah

Special video address by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri
Director, Yale Climate and Energy Institute
Chairman, Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Purpose of the Conference:

Our aim in organizing this conference is simple: to harness the potential of the Arab metropolitan network to build a sustainable, integrated regional future. “Transnational Tides and the Future of the Arab City” seeks to identify best practices and innovative strategies which globalizing Arab cities, governments, and institutions need to consider in order to improve urban welfare and sustainability. It features experts and decision-makers from the fields of urban planning and development, energy and communications infrastructure, environmental sustainability, higher education, sociology, culture, public policy, and public health. The conference program thus uniquely pairs academics and intellectuals with urban development stakeholders and practitioners, with the aim of yielding intelligent, implementable results.

About the Yale Arab Alumni Association:

The Yale Arab Alumni Association is a special-interest group for Yale alumni and affiliates with an active interest in the Arab World. It was established with the vision of connecting and engaging its global membership to advance Yale-Arab relations and stimulate dialogue on issues of importance to the Arab Middle East. A six-person Executive Board, under the guidance of an eleven-member Advisory Board, administers the organization. The Yale Arab Alumni Association is a not-for-profit incorporation registered in the state of Connecticut (USA) and is in the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization.

You can check this link for the official website of the event, and you may click here for the registration details.

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Lebanese bloggers meetup at T-Marbouta


It’s all over the Lebanese blogsphere now… Yesterday night I went to T-Marbout along with several Lebanese bloggers to meet with Philippe Couve, Pierre Haski (, and Eric Scherer from Radio France Internationale.

The meeting purpose was for the French journalists and bloggers to get to know more about the Lebanese blogsphere and its status. We discussed several issues such as why blogging isn’t very popular here in Lebanese, and why do some bloggers post very frequently when things heat up in Lebanon and then dump their blogs when everything calms down. They were also interested in knowing if anyone of us had a problem with the authorities because of some content (I wasn’t surprised with that question, at the end we’re an Arab country!).

In addition, while discussing the Lebanese people in general, we all agreed that they hate to read and write, they’re just good at grasping already processed information. Which explains why they’re all active on Facebook, and very few of them thought of starting a blog. Lazy nation!

w heik..! by the end of the meetup I was glad I had the chance to finally meet Maya Zankoul & Tarek Chemaly.

Here’s a list of the bloggers who were there:

And finally, here’s what others have posted about the meeting:

Maya Zankoul
Tarek Chemaly
Samer Karam
Pierre Haski
Hummus Nation (a blogger I really would like to meet someday!)

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Bachir Gemayel memorial


It’s been 27 years now since Bachir Gemayel has been assassinated, and every year I can’t help but wonder what could have happened if Bachir lived and remained as a president for Lebanon..?

Israel wouldn’t have invaded Lebanon, the Lebanese civil war could have ended earlier than 1990, a Beirut – Tel Aviv highway could have been created (similar to Beirut – Damascus highway!)… and for some reason Rafic Hariri could have lived!

What do you think?

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Facebook Beauty Salon?

Ah no, it’s FaceLook beauty salon!

Facelook beauty salon

Photo taken at Bourj Abi Haidar – Beirut.

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Shou ya ashta?

I saw this on the front of a mini-bus 2 days ago in Tarik Al-Jadida, Beirut. I am sure the driver is “Shou ya ashta” style!

mini bus

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Zouk electricity factory pollution

A friend of mine sent me the below photo today asking me to publish it on the blog.

This is an insane environmental crime! I pity the Zouk inhabitants who have to breath these toxins every single day. All politicians know very well that these factories need to be replaced as soon as possible, and they all go on TV to talk about the problem but none of them suggests a solution. Screw you Lebanese parliament members, I am proud I did not vote to anyone of you.

zouk electricity factory pollution

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Exhibition – Surveying Brummana

The Department of Architecture and Graphic Design at the American University of Beirut & the Municipality of Brummana cordially invite you to an exhibition of students’ works:


Monday September 7, 2009 at 15h00

At the Meeting House
Main Entrance, Brummana High School


Day 1: Monday 07/09/09
15h00: Welcoming note
Dr. Walid Khoury, Brummana High School principal
15h15-15h40: Overview of Brummana’s evolution
Naji Assi and Walid Bakhos (ARCH241 instructors – AUB)
15h40-16h15: Presentation of case studies
ARCH241 students
16h15-16h35: Typologies of surveyed houses
Antoine Fischfisch (ARCH241 instructor – AUB)
16h35-16h50: Open debate (Q&A)
16h50-18h00: Exhibition

Day 2: Tuesday 08/09/09
10h00-18h00: Open exhibition
16h00-18h00: Walking tour of the surveyed neighbourhood

Day 3: Wednesday 09/09/09
10h00-18h00: Open exhibition


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World’s largest Kebbe plate


The small town of Ehden in north Lebanon gained an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records on Saturday for producing the largest ever kebbe — a dish of minced meat and cracked wheat.

To create the giant circular 20-square-metre (215-square-foot) kebbe they had to mix 120 kilos of mince, 80 litres of olive oil, 80 kilos of cracked wheat, five kilos of salt and a mere kilo of pepper.


My favorite restaurant in Ehden is “Al-Ferdaws”, they make the best Kebbe there! Although it’s full of fat and cholesterol, but very tasty! 😀

What’s next? World’s longest Markouk & Labneh sandwich in Chtoura?

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Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan Kareem to all the readers! :)


Photo is from Sunken Treasure 6 blog.

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