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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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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Lebanese civil war – The lighter side

We got used in Lebanon to jokes circulating over e-mails after big incidents, remember Fateh Al-Islam and the 2006 war jokes?

This time I thought there will be no jokes circulating since it is serious, and Lebanon is about to fall off the cliff, but hell no! We the Lebanese are always able to make fun of the situation AKA “وضع, ALTHOUGH this time the “joke” is on Lebanon and all of us.

I leave you now with some of the one liner jokes I have received over the last few days. (I am sorry if you can’t read Arabic).

خبر عاجل: أعلن الله (سبحانه وتعالى) انسحابه من الحزب
حزب الله يعلن إقتحام مبنى محطة سبايس تون و يجبرها على وقف البث لأنها تثير الحساسيات الطائفيه عند مشاهيدي المنار الصغير….
خبر عاجل: يستنكر حزب الله الاعتداء على تلفزيون المستقبل و يتهم السلطة
ادارة سوكلين تقوم بحملة نظافة تحت شعار ” النظافة من الايمان” و تشكر ملشيات المقاومة الاسلامية على مساهمتها
تبث قناة أنيمال بلانيت حالياً وثاقي عن إنقراض فصيلة فهود طريق الجديدة
مطلوب موظف لتلفزيون المستقبل يقول وششششش
عناصر حزب الله تشتكي من نوعية الدواليب لانها لا تصدر دخانا كثيفا و تحمل الدولة المسؤولية و تطالب السنيورة الغير شرعي بالتنحي
ميليشيات سعد الحريري تسيطر على مدينة ملاهي في بيروت و هناك مناوشات للسيطرة على قسم الأطفال في المكدونالد
خبر عاجل: إحتراق تلفزيون المستقبل بعدما نسي الشيف رمزي اللبن أمو عل النار
بيان صادر عن المعارضة: إذا تحت الشتي و حتلّينا بيروت … أيه كيف لو مشمسة.
خبر عاجل : فرقة الإسراء تسيطر على مسرح سوبر ستار و تقوم بأداء أغنية بري يا احلى قمر
تشكر قيادة الجيش الجهود التي تبذلها ملشيات المعارضة في حفظ الامن
حركة امل تسيطر على جميع مكبات سوكلين الخضراء و تدعي على من يرمي النفايات فيها
خبر عاجل جداً: نادي الانصار يسلم ملعبه لفريق العهد
فريق سوبر ستار يسلّم نفسه لفرقة الولاية النشاديّة
النداء يتجدد و لكن من عناصر حزب الله عن نقص في البزر الإيراني
مصادر صحفية تقول انّه لا تراجع عن القرارات الحكومية ونائلة معوض تقول انّ بنات بشري لا تتراجع
قيادة حزب الله تطلب من الجيش تسليم سلاحه حفاظا على امن المقاومة و السلم الاهلي
قوى المعارضة تستولي على وزارة التربية و تزور شهادة بروفية لسليمان فرنجية

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Give peace a chance

This photo you see above is shot by my friend Antoine Khater from All Day I Dream About Photography (ADIDAP) and titled “Give peas a chance”, he took it nearly 1 year ago on May 22 2007.

Antoine is another Lebanese blogger who feels disgusted of the current situation in Lebanon. For that he launched a campaign today to give peace a chance in Lebanon, and he’s calling to spread it across the Lebanese blogsphere, non-Lebanese blogs are also welcome to join! All we have to do is to copy a little piece of code into our blogs to add a ribbon on top of the page, and the ribbon will remain there until violence is stopped in the street of Beirut and Lebanon.

I hope keeping the ribbon will be for a VERY short period of time. If we were blogging back in the 1975 we would have kept this ribbon for 15 straight years!

Anyway, here is the code that you should insert in your blog (preferably in the header of your blog):
<script language=”javascript” src=”http://www.adidap.com/LebRibbon.js”></script>

I look forward to see it on other blogs as well, we are no more than bloggers and I don’t think we can demonstrate in the roads against war, and we don’t want to do that in the first place, but the least we can do is to unite and express our rejection for what is happening.

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