Why Are These Car-Mounted Laser Cameras Roaming Beirut?

Over the past 3 weeks, I have encountered cars with roof-mounted cameras like the one above three times around Beirut, twice in Bachoura and once in Tarik El Jadida.

At first I thought they were some new radar guns used by the ISF but then I got a closer look and noticed their brand (Yaan), so I googled it and figured they’re in fact laser high speed cameras.

I have absolutely no idea why these cars are roaming the streets of Beirut, and I’m honestly quite surprised no one made a fuss about it yet especially that it is forbidden to take photos around certain areas in the city. A friend suggested they might be collecting images for Google Street Views, but I doubt it since Google usually uses 360° camera like this one.

If you have any information about these cameras please do share it in the comments.


Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – March 1st 2017


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Don’t miss the “Food for the Heart” tomorrow to support Brave Heart Fund which helps kids with heart diseases.

  1. Emotional & Self Management Training Program
  2. Kelkon Sawa – A theater play by Camille Salameh
  3. Oil & Gas Forum: Roadmap
  4. Food for the heart
  5. Special events | La Plume de Pierre Display
  6. Magic Futsal 2017 – Lebanon
  7. Women On the Front Lines Conference WOFL
  8. National Education Robotics Day 2017
  9. Customized PowerPoint Course
  10. Ultimate Frisbee: the non-contact team sport, running after a disc!

Make sure to check Lebtivity.com for much more options.


BBC Pop UP Published Their First Video From Lebanon

Remember when I told you that the BBC Pop Up team are in Lebanon for this month? Well, they published their first video and it’s about homosexuals in the country.

Over the last few years, some judges issued rulings in favor of gay people due to the fact that you simply cannot define what sexual acts really contradict “the laws of nature”, so the report discusses if this is going to offer a better future for the LGBT community in Lebanon.

P.S: The video contains some sexual content.


Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – February 22nd 2017


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. For some fun board games to enjoy with a group of friends, I recommend you go check Multiverse the new pop culture store in Hamra.

  1. Emotional & Self Management Training Program
  2. T2 Trainspotting Avant Premier
  3. Berytech Meetups Powered by GIST – February Edition
  4. Cheese and wine at Al Murjan Palace Hotel – Every Friday
  5. Kelkon Sawa – A theater play by Camille Salameh
  6. Queen of Hearts Wedding Fair
  7. Board Game Night At Multiverse
  8. Keshek Day
  9. Master Your Own Cocktails – A cocktail-making workshop
  10. Narcisse – Theater Play

Make sure to check Lebtivity.com for much more options.


“Matchbox” Short Movie by Chadi Younis

It boggles my mind how the social media scene works in Lebanon sometimes. A hint of Myriam Klink’s boob gets everyone and their mother talking about it, while this short movie barely gets any mention on the blogs.

BLOM Bank recently produced a series of 4 short movies revolving around the “peace of mind” theme (the bank’s slogan). So far two have been released, one by Philippe Aractingi about a Lebanese immigrant who returned to his homeland to follow his passion, and another by Chadi Younis about a little kid who had to let of his toy cars while escaping the Lebanese civil war. The latter honestly shook me to the core and totally won my heart with Samara Nohra’s performance, I highly recommend you watch it.

Two more videos by Leila Kanaan and Jad Aouad should also be released over the next few weeks on BLOM’s Youtube channel.


The Problem With The New Red Light Cameras in Beirut

The traffic management center in Lebanon recently installed some red light cameras around Beirut in order to enforce traffic laws by automatically photographing people who run red lights or those who stop their cars on red AFTER the white stop bar. In their first tests, they unsurprisingly were able to record a violation every 8 seconds!

However, while the installation of these cameras is just logical in order to ensure the new traffic law is fully applied, you cant but feel that it is an ill-timed step… I mean let’s be honest, the majority of those who apply for a driving license show up on their test day to sign some papers and end up getting their license no matter how poor their knowledge about traffic laws is, and I really doubt most drivers are aware that you’re not supposed to stop the cars after the white bar on a red light. In fact, if you abide by this rule don’t be surprised to see people cutting you off and stopping in front of you…

The ultimate purpose for applying traffic rules is to reduce road accidents and avoid traffic jams. So it it were up to me, I would have allocated this project money to educate the masses and recruit additional police officers to ensure that the basic laws are applied. Till now, wherever you go in Beirut you see taxi cars and minibuses picking up passengers wherever they please on the road. Moreover, double parking is like norm everywhere… solving these two problems alone should guarantee making the traffic smoother all over the city. Let alone other problems caused by asshole motorbikers and pedestrians who insist on crossing the road no matter what color is the traffic light.

But then again, someone now thinks it is time to erect these cameras regardless of any other priorities, so brace yourselves, tickets are coming!


Syria Street – Everyday Life Stories From Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh

Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh are two neighborhoods in Tripoli that got popular over the past 10 years for all the wrong reason.

Following the assassination of PM Rafic Hariri, the residents of the two neighborhoods got into more than 10 armed clashes mainly due to their division among different sects and having different political affiliations, and the rounds of violence eventually intensified with the start of the Syria war in 2011.

The two areas are separated by Syria Street, also known as Bab El Dahab, and it is a proof that while people in general think that their residents are vertically divided, they in fact share so much in common. Many of them run shops on both sides of the street, and they simply just rely on each other to get on with their lives. People from Bab El Tabbaneh go to Jabal Mohsen for good and services that might not be available in their area and vice versa.

What they also share the most though are their problems, concerns, and daily struggles. The residents of both sides suffer from poverty, bad living conditions, and lack of jobs which is unfortunately motivating their youths to search for any source of income even if it was coming from politicians in exchange of firing arms at their neighbors…

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Lebanon recently collaborated with photographer and filmmaker Brandon Tauszik who’s well known for GIF-based storytelling, in order to convey the real image about the people from both Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tabbaneh. Brandon spent a week listening to residents from both sides and the result was some quite expressive visuals along with interesting stories from their everyday lives.

To explore more about this project, check SyriaStreet.com in hope that these two areas never take part of another rounds f violence, and that their representatives in the parliament stop abusing them every time they want to make some political gain.


Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – February 15th 2017


Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. The 8th edition of Arabnet is the most anticipated event over the coming days,  it will bring together over 1,300 corporate executives, marketing industry leaders, entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the latest trends in the digital sector.

  1. Les Voisins Du Dessus – Piece de Theatre au profit de CHANCE
  2. Arabnet 2017
  3. Kelkon Sawa – A theater play by Camille Salameh
  4. Italian Cuisine Festival at Casino Du Liban
  5. T2 Trainspotting Avant Premier
  6. Hoppalissa – Samy Khayath new play
  7. VIBES Band at DRAY Badaro
  8. The First Yoga pop up
  9. Cheese and wine at Al Murjan Palace Hotel – Every Frida

Make sure to check Lebtivity.com for much more options.


Calm Your Tits: Alcohol Prices Are Not Icreasing by 5 Times

Following MTV’s report about the suggested increase on tax for alcoholic products, people are for some reason believing that bottle prices are going to increase by 5 times, whereas if you listen well to the reporter then you will notice that it is actually the tax per 1 liter that is going to quintuple.

Take a 15,000L.L wine bottle (750ml) for example, once the decision takes effect it should cost 15,600L.L. Therefore, unless restaurants and bars want to take this as an excuse to tremendously increase their prices, your bill should not be impacted much especially if you are ordering by the glass.

So calm your tits, bars will not go bankrupt and you will still be able to afford your favorite drinks.


Wissam Kamal’s Datsun Ad – A Total Win!

I saw the new Datsun ad featuring Wissam Kamal and his father a couple of days ago and totally loved it! Knowing that Datsun was phased out in 1986 before launching again in 2013, they totally nailed it with their reference to the 80s.

On another note, I think it’s cool to see brands collaborating this way with people who got famous through social media such as Wissam. Kudos to that!


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