Scientifically Proven – We’re Not Descendants of The Phoenicians!

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A group of scientists from the University of Otago and the Lebanese American University have recently succeeded at sequencing and analyzing the DNA obtained from the remaining of a 2500-year-old Phoenician called “The Young Man of Byrsa”. Their work is of good importance because we know less information about the Phoenicians that other populations, and this analysis will help uncover more about their culture and origins.

You can check the research details along with the results the scientists obtained here. What caught my attention the most though was the conclusion that modern Lebanese (47 of them to be precise) are not related to the Phoenicians! It is quite weird to be honest given how we pride ourselves with the Phoenicians being our ancestors, and the fact that they’re thought to have originated from here and expanded to the west.

I hope some other research soon reveals we also have no relation with the Arab world so we can dissociate ourselves from all the chaos around us!

photos via Modern Readers

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Review – Samsung S7 Edge and Gear VR

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I’ve been using an iPhone 5 for exactly 3 years now and recently started looking for an alternative. Among the current flagship mobile phones I was basically tempted to either get a 64GB iPhone 6s or a Samsung S7 Edge, still having never owned an Android mobile before, I didn’t want to get the S7 Edge and end up regretting it, so I thought of asking Samsung for a test unit and they were kind enough to send me one along with a Gear VR.

Long story short I’ve been using the S7 Edge for a couple of weeks now and totally loving it! In this review I won’t go all techy on you with specs and stuff, but rather describe how I found the S7 Edge fitting my needs as a blogger and someone who uses the phone camera very frequently.

Design

Plastic covers on older models of the Samsung S phones were the main reason that made me avoid them, they just made the handsets look cheap. This however has changed with the S6 and its rear glass which made it look more elegant, while the S7 Edge is a further enhancement with beautiful curves. The unit I got looked premium with the gold color on it.

The S7 Edge is also considered a compact phone. It is almost the same size of an iPhone 6s but has a larger display (5.5″ vs 4.7″), and this was made possible by minimizing the amount of bezel above and below the screen which increased the screen-to-body ratio by a great deal.

Screen

The QHD display on the S7 Edge is absolutely gorgeous! A friend of mine always bugs me with how good AMOLED screens are, but I honestly didn’t know they  were THAT good. Colors looked much more vibrant and made it hard for me to go back to watching media on an LCD screen.

Still, and even though it isn’t a deal breaker, the screen was a bit reflective for me when I was using it outdoors.

Camera

Having a 3 year old kid I always find myself using my phone camera whenever he’s fooling around. And for that, I really appreciated how quick is the autofocus in the S7 Edge camera. It also performs pretty well in low light.

Here are a sample of unedited photos I recently took. (Click on each photo for the original size)

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Usage

It’s not a secret Android wasn’t the friendliest mobile operating system. And being a longtime iPhone user, I really hate to say it but Android has come a long way in being much more user friendly. In fact, I found it easier for me to write a blog post on the S7 Edge than on my wife’s iPhone 6s.

Moreover, since Android is a more open platform, I found it much easier for me to deal with some files I usually need to upload to my server from time to time. All in all, Android is indeed more flexible if you’re a tech person.

Gear VR

I’ve never used a virtual reality headset other than Samsung’s, so I really cannot compare the Gear VR to other products.

I personally found the Gear VR very easy to setup, and the available 360 videos and images were quite entertaining. I was mostly interested in travel videos showing places from exotic parts of the world and I really enjoyed them, it was cool sitting on my couch and feeling like I was somewhere totally different.

The headset however felt bulky on me after 20 or 30 minutes of usage, so watching full length movies on it wasn’t my thing.

The Verdict

With a cool design, a stunning camera, and a sharp display, I really can’t ask for more. In fact, I’m honestly having a hard time returning the test unit! 😛

If you’re interested in buying the S7 Edge along with the Gear VR, the guy I usually get my handsets from is offering them both for $690. (Note that his prices differ from day to day)

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – June 8th 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. The opening week at The Backyard Hazmieh is absolutely not not be missed, I passed by the place two days ago and really loved the atmosphere. The Euro Cup combo at Caffe Mondo Phoenicia Hotel is also both cool and affordable for football fans!

  1. Discover Gemmayze – Car Free Day
  2. Sustainable Green Building
  3. Dive Into Action Finale – Meet The Artists
  4. Opening week of The Backyard in Hazmieh
  5. Astrophotography Workshop
  6. Fishing Trip 101 / Initiation a la Peche
  7. Euro Cup at Caffe Mondo
  8. Une Journee Bkerzay
  9. Dim Dam Doum: L’anniversaire
  10. Shanti Escape | Two days of peace
  11. Global Wellness Day
  12. The Gärten presents Jamie Jones

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

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Generator Provider in Chiyah Offers Free Electricity During Ramadan

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While the owners of private generators are generally hated in Lebanon for forming cartels and making illogical profits sometimes from the government’s failure, you can’t but respect Ishtirak Al Nour’s gesture to provide free 5 Amperes electricity during the month of Ramadan for the people in Chiyah. He also has no problem if someone wants to subscribe for free during this month only.

Many poor families cannot afford paying for a generator subscription and will definitely appreciate being able to keep a fan turned on during the day to make Ramadan a bit easier for them.

Hat tip to you sir, whoever you are!

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Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – June 1st 2016

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Here are my picks from Lebtivity for this week. Make sure not to miss the Burger Festival happening on Saturday at Saifi village, in addition to the two film festivals taking place in Beirut Souks and at St. Nicolas Stairs.

  1. Lebanese Film Festival 2016
  2. Financial Integrity and People Governance Conference
  3. The Moment by Milad Hadchiti – Rerun for one more night
  4. Burgerfest 2016 at Saifi Village – Lebanon’s Burger Festival!
  5. Cabriolet Film Festival 2016
  6. Shape Your Career
  7. The 1st Beirut Design & Tech Meetup
  8. Byblos En Blanc Et Rosé 2016
  9. World Fair Trade Day 2016
  10. Fashion For A Cause Summer Sale 2016
  11. Dream Theater Night IV
  12. World Blood Donor’s Day by LRC
  13. Gala for Change 2016 – Fundraising Event for Animals Lebanon

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

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LC Waikiki is Finally Opening in Lebanon!

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Almost all those who have traveled to Turkey are probably familiar with the famous clothing store there called LC Waikiki.

I’ve been twice to Istanbul with my wife over the last couple of years and each time we went to LC Waikiki we ended up buying more than a dozen items each, we even got enough stuff for our little boy that had him covered for a whole year. The brand delivers products that are of seriously good quality at very affordable prices.

A friend sent me these two photos from City Mall Dora yesterday showing LC Waikiki are set to open their first branch in Lebanon. And while it’s definitely a great news, I really hope they expand into other places because City Mall is my least favorite shopping destination.

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Thank you Chady

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Cool 350Z Drift Video at Beirut Harbour

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I just saw this video of Xavier Massaad drifting a Nissan 350Z at Beirut Harbour and thought it’s worth sharing.

I’m not really sure when was it video shot, but Xaview definitely pulled some cool moves and aside from the ones made by Abdo Feghaly we rarely get any good drifting videos here.

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Pamela El-Kik Would Make a Good Translator

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Pamela El Kik delivered a speech when she appeared on Menna W Jerr three days ago to express how desperate is the political situation in Lebanon, but little did everybody know that her “moving” speech was nothing but a word by word translation of The Great Dictator’s final speech by Sir Charlie Chaplin without crediting him.

You can check the two videos below which are currently being extensively shared on Facebook and see for yourself.

Earlier in February, the Menna w Jerr team thoroughly discussed in the below segment how Rudolph Hilal ripped off The Ellen Show and how it shouldn’t have gone unnoticed by the staff at LBCI. I guess the same thing now applies to them, so it would really be interesting to see what are they going to say about it.

Update:

MTV Staff contacted me shortly after publishing the post to let me know that Pamela did in fact explain to Pierre Rabbat during the show that she was inspired by Charlie Chaplin, but the conversation was unfortunately edited out in order to keep the episode within its time limit which is quite absurd. They claimed that this segment will be uploaded tomorrow morning to make it clear to the people, and I will of course be adding it to the post here.

Pamela herself also explained the situation on her Facebook account.

Update 2:

Here’s a link to the original uncut segment.

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Horsh Beirut Now Open To The Public All Weekdays

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Following the opening of Horsh Beirut to the public for once per week last year, Nahnoo announced last night on Facebook that a decision was taken for the pine park to be open to the public all weekdays as of June 6th 2016.

I’m not sure whether it was the governor of Beirut Ziad Chbib or the municipality who authorized it, but it’s definitely a much needed step to let people enjoy this beautiful green space. I just hope the municipality will allocate enough and adequate personnel to ensure the cleanliness and security of Horsh Beirut, otherwise I’m pretty sure it won’t take long until people ruin it.

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Horsh Beirut will be open from 7AM till 2PM on weekdays, and from 7AM till 7PM on weekends.

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