60 Years Old Fisherman From Tripoli Is The New Loto Billionaire

This is definitely not the first time someone claims the grand prize in Lebanese lottery and I bet we all feel some envy every time someone does. But in the case of this man, Ahmad Dandash, I guess that you can’t but feel delighted it went for someone who really deserves it.

The 60 years old fisherman seems to have been going through some difficult times and was unable to afford helping any of his kids get an apartment until he scored the loto. Feel free to call it fixed or arranged, but the video and the whole thing is heartwarming.

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40 Art Galleries and Museums in Beirut With Their Locations

It goes without saying that Reddit has some pretty awesome content that can make even the most boring days more interesting. And for those with interest in Lebanese related stuff, there’s a fairly active subreddit (/r/Lebanon) with daily updates, vintage photos, interesting videos, and more…

One interesting contribution I came across today is a “cutural map” of Beirut by /u/EDBTZ0323 with locations for 40 prominent museums and art galleries in the city. I imagined it would be quite useful for art lovers and tourists alike and so I thought of sharing it here and you may check on this link.

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“Bebalee” Is An Insult to Fayrouz’s Career

Fayrouz’s new album “Bebalee” has been out for three days, but unlike her previous albums, this one is yet to make any buzz be it online or on radio stations.

I did listen to the album and was unfortunately quite disappointed. Adaptation of foreign songs using silly lyrics is the worst you can expect from an icon like Fayrouz, and the only one to blame is definitely her daughter Reema Rahbani who seems to have produced this album to just prove to her brother Ziad that she can actually create something regardless the quality or the artistic value. “Elak aw eli aw mish la shi, mish la shi, wala ayy shi” is exactly what you would in Arabic call saff 7akeh.

Fayrouz did perform songs with light lyrics in the past (e.g. Kifak enta malla enta) but in my opinion she never delivered something as mediocre as Bebalee.

I really hope she makes it up in the near future by working again with her son Ziad.

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Beit Misk – The First Smart City in Lebanon with Fiber To The Home Infrastructure

Beit Misk was pronounced over the last weekend as the first “Smart City” in Lebanon after Ogero enabled internet connectivity over fiber optics to the residents there.

Earlier this month Ogero announced it will be offering residential fiber connection to the people of Hamra and Achrafieh but it came as a no surprise to have the Beit Misk residents getting it ahead of everybody else since the project developers took a fiber infrastructure into consideration during construtions, which eventually made Ogero’s job easier to provide this service there.

Speed tests conducted by Chairman Imad Kreidieh during the launching event in the presence of minister Jamal Jarraj reached ~900Mbps which is quite impressive, and I believe it would be great if households there got >50Mbps connections.

Still, the ultimate challenge is of course to provide the same service to Beirut and the other major cities in Lebanon, and I really hope to see some tangible results in the near future.

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Foreigner Tries Swimming in Beirut, Gets Covered With Shit (Literally)

This cool guy, Georgie Fechter, is Masters of Dirt’s organizer and thought it would be a good idea to go for a swim in Ramlet El Bayda along with his friends while they were here in Beirut during the “BEASTS” event.

In the video you see him walking with excitement all the way from Raouche to Ramlet El Bayda despite a knee injury, and gets all cheerful once he gets to the water. However, moments after he starts swimming, a friend tells him the water tastes awkward and the two get back to the shore only to discover dead fish and pieces of shit everywhere… From there onward their reaction is absolutely priceless! 😀

Start watching at the the 2m08s mark.

I always knew the sea is quite dirty in Ramlet El Bayda by the way but I never knew it was really THAT bad!

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Mandatory IMEI Registration is Coming Back – Mobile Phones to Get More Expensive

I was at a mobile phone shop in Beirut yesterday when I heard some people claiming that the Ministry of Telecommunications is bringing back the mandatory registrations of mobile phones IMEI in a new attempt to fight smuggling of mobile devices. (*ahem* Amhaz…)

As soon as I came back home I searched a bit and found that the thing is unfortunately real as per the below report by MTV (thanks Techie Dad), and it is quite surprising that the ministry didn’t bother alert the subscribers yet about the new decision!

For those who don’t know, a similar decision was taken in 2013 by the telecommunications minister back then Nicolas Sehnaoui and was cancelled by Boutros Harb in 2014 due to how complicated the registration process was. However, unlike now, the ministry back then launched an awareness campaign to let people re-activate their old handsets in order to keep them from being banned on the network once the registration process is put into work.

The MTV report mentions the risks of duplicate IMEIs but the ultimate purpose for enforcing IMEI registration will definitely be fighting smuggling of mobile phones, all at the expense of making our lives harder with the registration process and of course increasing the mobile phone prices (since they will all be subject to import tax and VAT), instead of tightening the controls at the customs.

It isn’t clear yet though when this thing will be put into effect but this guy on Facebook claims it will be as of September 15th. Still, let’s cross our fingers and hope the ministry thinks it over!

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The Day Batman Came to Beirut

I was on Reddit the other day when I landed on a thread about an issue of Batman from the 80s titled “A death in the Family” in which Batman pursues the Joker all the way to Beirut and the Bekaa valley!

The story is full of misconceptions about the Lebanese people and relates a lot to the politics back then (and unsurprisingly now as well). In the comic book, Batman and Robin go to Beirut and cooperates with a Mossad agent named Sharmin Rosen in order to stop the Joker from selling a nuclear missile to a “Shiia” terrorist group who intends to use it against Israel. They eventually succeed but at the expense of the Joker killing Robin and escaping to Ethiopia where he meets with Iran’s Khomeini and gets offered to become his ambassador at the United Nations (LOL?!).

Putting politics aside, especially if you Support Hezbollah, “A death in the family” is a fun read and is regarded as one of the highly rated Batman comics. If you are interested in checking it out you can do so in high resolution graphics on the below links:

Also check Claude El Khal’s post about the same comic book story here.

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Ogero is Now Offering Residential Fiber Connection in Hamra and Achrafieh

You’re so lucky if you live in Achrafieh or Hamra because Ogero announced two days ago that they started offering fiber connections there, and you can apply to the service by sending an email to thepeople@ogero.gov.lb.

I don’t imagine the procedure to be very straight forward because it certainly involves changing the wiring and Ogero didn’t provide any further explanation about that yet.

Anyway, while this is a big step forward for the residents in these two areas, you can’t but think about the big gap being created among the users of the same phone network, and you can clearly see it in the comments on Ogero’s page. Some can’t benefit from more than 1 or 2Mb connections and others can’t even have DSL installed at their premises, while others on the other hand are benefiting from open speed plans and now fiber connections…

And let’s not forget also the problems that need miracles to be fixed such as mine which has been trailing with IDM and Ogero for more than 5 months now. At some point I’m starting to think it will only be solved once I move to Beirut!

The solution for all of this is certainly an infrastructure overhaul, but given how slow our governments tend to be with fulfilling promises, I really hope we get to see this during our lifetime.

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#UberTOUR: Plan a Day Long Trip in Lebanon for $50

Over the last few months I’ve been relying more on Taxi Hailing apps such as Uber to get around Beirut especially when I’m out with my kid and don’t really want to care about finding a parking spot. The apps are quite convenient and frequently run promo codes, so you end up riding most of the time at a discounted rate.

A new offering by Uber recently caught my attention so I thought of sharing it here. In an attempt from them to promote tourism within our country, they’re offering what they call the UberTOUR between August 28th and September 11th which basically allows you to hire a driver for 7 hours to take you wherever you want around Lebanon for a $50 flat rate. You can also extend the trip for a maximum of 3 hours at $7.2/hour.

$50 might sound like too much for some, but when thinking about the gas price and the less stress you have to endure in weekend traffic, in addition to the fact that you can share the ride with a couple of friends, I guess it quickly becomes to sound very reasonable!

If you intend to use the service simply open the app during the above mentioned period and make sure choose to slide to “UberTOUR” to request an Uber and enjoy your next outing!

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Wissam Kamal to Host “Ridiculousness Arabia” on Comedy Central

I’ve been following Wissam Kamal on YouTube since the early days of his channel and have always loved the series he does such as “Lebanese Father and Son” and “Lebanese Ads: F**k Logic”. The guy solely relies on conveying fun messages instead of clowning around to make us laugh at him like Lebanese TV comedians do, hence why I have always wished to see him running his own show.

Earlier this year he earned some exposure when he appeared with on a hilarious ad for Datsun, and Comedy Central Arabia recently seems to have given him what he deserves by getting him on-board season 2 of “Ridiculousness Arabia”, which makes him the first Lebanese comedian to host a show on this international channel.

The show features viral videos from the internet that are usually failed do-it-yourself attempts at stunts, to which the hosts add their own mock commentary. It will start airing on September 3rd on Comedy Central Arabia which is part of OSN in our region so make sure to tune in!

You can follow Wissam on both YouTube and Facebook for new videos and updates about his work. Also, check the below interview with him and his dad on Min El Ekhir 2 days ago.

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