Back on track

It’s been more that 10 days now since I last updated my blog, and that’s mainly due to all the projects I am working on completing at both work and university (no I’m not an undergraduate, I’m pursuing an MBA), in addition to taking a break and going for a 3 days beach vacation in Latakia (Syria), there’s some nice resort there called “Côte d’Azur de Cham” (funny name?), not that great but it is nice.

By the way, I found out that taking a break while you’re in the middle of numerous projects is a BAD idea, talk about time management!!

Anyway, here’s a panoramic photo that I took from my room. (Click to enlarge)

Côte d’Azur

Now that I’m back to Beirut (almost a week ago), I’m still struggling with my endless duties… wish me luck for the next few days!

P.S: If you were trying to reach my blog today then you probably have received an error connecting to the database. That was actually caused by an outage at one of my hosting company servers. So sorry for that, but it’s out of my control.

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Ain El-Mraiseh – After election

Today was the day, Michael Suleiman is finally a president or (فخامة الرئيس)!

And while the majority preferred to stay home watching politicians making out with the new president on TV, I chose to go to Ain El-Mraiseh for a walk on the corniche with some friends. It turned out to be a good decision, especially when some entertaining motorcades returning from the parliament and heading to Phoenicia Hotel passed by with bodyguards inside that are fully equipped with machine guns and aiming at potential threats, also known as “pedestrians”!

Anyway, for once everybody seemed to be happy and relieved, and once again they were congratulating each other… OK I will shut my mouth this time!

One thing that interested me in Ain El-Mraiseh was a bunch of guys jumping from the sidewalk into the sea, check out this photo of one of them (Click to enlarge).

Jump

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Downtown Beirut today

Decamping of the opposition from Downtown Beirut is an old news by now, and as you know people are back to going there again and filling almost every cafe and restaurant around the Nejmeh square.

So I went there today to see how does things look like now, and I was honestly surprised how fast the recovery phase was. Although there are still some business owners that are not done yet with the renovation work, but most of the almost all of the famous places are back into business again.

Here are some of the photos I took there.

Nejmeh Square (Click to enlarge)
Nejmeh Square

Full restaurants (Click to enlarge)
Full restaurants

In case you’re wondering about Buddha Bar, I think it will be re-opened soon since it’s currently being renovated. (Click to enlarge)
Buddha Bar

And finally, a silhouette of Riyadh Al-Solh statue. (Click to enlarge)
Riyadh Al-Solh

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I’ve been featured!!

As you might probably know, photography is one of my hobbies and I have posted few of the photos I took in a couple of posts a while ago.

Last week, ynoT from Shi Feshil said he will be holding a weekly post featuring a photo from Lebanon and he called his readers to send him their photos, so I did.

And guess what, I was happy to see my photo in this week’s post! The photo I submitted was taken nearly one year ago in Zouk old souk.

I’m actually thinking of making an online album here on +961 and upload all my photos to it, as soon as I get some time…

In case you’re interested, I rock a Nikon D40!

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I’m not a fool

Yeeha! Our dear leaders have finally arrived to an agreement in Qatar (يا فرحة قلبي)!! And the Lebanese blogsphere is all happy today!! What a perfect day… but NOT for me.

I encountered lot of people today telling me “mabrouk” (congratulations), they were actually congratulation each other because the leaders have finally reached a long awaited agreement, an agreement that has cost us a lot. No need now to list the very famous price list that is full of blood and shame.

That’s beautiful, just beautiful… I am amazed by how naive you people are, I envy those politicians who are literally “milking” each and every one of you until the last drop. You people are happy today and thanking your leaders because they have reached an agreement? Are you kidding me? Are you thanking them for granting you one of your RIGHTS? Living in a peaceful place is the least they can provide for you guys! There’s no justification to have all that amount of tension spread all over Lebanon.

And seriously, are you happy today because you have finally “earned” a peaceful summer? Happy that you will go to the beach knowing that there’s a President in Baabda? Guess what, you might have disregarded one of the news today, but the price of 20 liters of fuel has risen by 1000LL.

Know what does that mean? 20 liters of fuel now cost you 30,000L.L or $20, are you still able to afford going to one of the resorts in Jiyyeh and Rmeileh? Or will you choose heading to somewhere nearby?

Forgot to tell that the inflation rate has increased by a massive 6 point in 1 month!!! Let’s disregard the increase compared to last year, it might make some of you faint. Are you still able to go party the way you used to do in the past years? Or will you choose to spend some additional nights in front of your TV? I am fully aware that NOTHING can stop a Lebanese from partying, but an empty pocket is guaranteed to get the job done (unless some bank comes up with a “Partying” loan).

Give me a break now… And you people are happy today because Geagea and Aoun are friends again? and because Hariri and Mohammad Raad are also friends again? Nasrallah no longer belongs to the axis of evil? Jounblat is no more an ugly zionist? Oh really?? What a relief!!

If you really think that bad things has finally come to an end, then allow me to tell you that you are making a fool out of yourself. What about sharing the ministerial posts in the upcoming government? And will the new government support the resistance or not? Are these questions easy to answer? Think well.

NO, I didn’t feel happier today, and I will probably not feel happier even on Sunday after electing Michael Suleiman as a president. Call me a pessimist, but you people are fools.

5

No Comment

The text on the left says: “While Lebanon burns, a new economy and society takes shape in the Gulf”. Loved the analogy! (Click on the cover image to enlarge).

TIME Magazine

Via Nihil Declaro

4

عمركن ما تتعلمو

If you think that was it and “they” will actually agree on something in Qatar, then your wrong, prepare yourselves for another round of pleasant events!

3

So is it over?

Today started with an Arab league delegation coming to to Lebanon to meet with the rival leaders in a trial to come up with a solution that satisfies everybody, seemed impossible for me. Anyway I didn’t follow up on what happening during the day though, but next thing I knew was Ghazi Al-Aaridi on TV declaring that the government has revoked its two measures concerning Hizbullah’s communication network and the head of the airport security. Let’s see if roadblocks will be removed now and the airport will be functional again.

By the way, did you hear all the shooting tonight after the government announcement?!

Recalling what happened in the past week, I think to myself – is it worth? Each time people need to “solve” a problem, there SHOULD be some killing involved, shedding lot of blood, and then funerals follow. Nothing can actually describe Lebanon’s current situation like this cartoon from LifeGeeked does.

Troubleshooting Lebanon

1

Footages of Halba massacre

When I first read what Darko had to say in his blog about the incidents that occurred in Halba and resulted in executing 11 SSNP (Syrian Social National Party) fighters by the Future Movement militia, I was saddened by the fact that what we thought was part of the past is haunting us again…

Today, videos of the massacre started circulating everywhere, and I was literally in awe watching the disturbing footages, I am not claiming here that SSNPers are angels, actually each party is guilty in the current crisis, but executing people (or fighters or militia or whatever you wanna call them) in such a brutal way, and then kicking and beating their dead bodies is JUST PLAIN INSANE!!

What irritated me the most was one guy telling the cameraman “Film me while I place my sandal in his mouth” (pointing at one dead body). How sick is that!! Anyone would call that massacre a war crime…

Despite all this, Future Movement are still denying being a militia! I just wonder what would they do when they officially declare themselves as a militia! I am not pro SSNP, nor pro Future Movement, but I sure am pro humanity!

If you wanna have a look at the videos (there are 3 of the already), I will be publishing links to them below, but download them on your own responsibility because they’re so violent. You may as well check the videos site as they were also published on YouTube.

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

Video 1 hosted on Plus961.com (I have uploaded the first video on my server just in case all of the links above expired, let people watch our shame even in 10 years from now!)

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Just listen: W Tmayali (Sway)

Have a break! Turn off the TV, and don’t listen to the news for the next 5 minutes. Instead, play this YouTube video, that’s one of my favorite Lebanese music. It’s called “W Tmayali” (“Sway” in English) from an album called “Sabah”  (“Morning” or “Sunrise” in English) and it’s composed, written and arranged by Nadim Mohsen.

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