Tag Archives | cnn

Lebanon is Calling – DEMCO Properties Ad on CNN is Spot On!

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Following the election of a new president in Lebanon after 2 and half years of vacuum, the general mood among the politicians and people alike has been turning positive with hopes of a stable and flourishing future ahead, and this beautiful ad by DEMCO Properties that was showing every 30 minutes on CNN during their coverage of the presidential elections really nails it at restoring the Lebanese expats’ faith in their country.

The ad shows some accomplished Lebanese businessman in NYC getting an emotional call from his homeland (literally) to tell him that Lebanon is back again on his feet and needs his support to accomplish more and eventually secure a stable future.

Needless to say, the ad encourages Lebanese expats to never lose faith in their country and contribute in its recovery by investing more in it, however the most important message this is conveying is to remain positive (who would have guessed 1 month ago that we will elect a president on October 31st?!), I mean even if some expats don’t have some spare money to invest in Lebanon, watching this ad is enough to give them a warm feeling and an extra push to achieve more!

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Anthony Bourdain’s Episode on Beirut Was Disappointing

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So I finally managed to watch Parts Unknown season five finale on Beirut (via torrent download) and was quite disappointed.

The show is actually about food and travel, so I was expecting Bourdain to explore some of Beirut’s hidden gems but instead he went to Burj Al Barajneh refugee camp in the first part of the episode to learn more about the Palestinians living conditions here in the country. He then made several people speak about religious diversity and how the different sects coexist happily in Lebanon (especially Sunni and Shia these days!), and he later visited some Hezbollah supporter in Dahieh all while portraying the party as a mighty beast.

Moreover, he never failed during the episode to stress about the threat coming from the east, that is the Islamic state. So it was basically more about politics than anything else. I believe he could have simply aired some recent report about the political situation in Lebanon and spared himself a trip here.

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Beirut Will Be Featured in Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain Tonight

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Anthony Bourdain is back once again in Beirut to uncover more of the less known destinations in the city on CNN’s Parts Unknown.

The available photos show him at military the military themed bar Abu Elie, interviewing Michael Elefteriades and exploring Music Hall, as well as going on a tour with a group of motorcycle riders on the corniche.

The first time Anthony Bourdain came to Beirut was in 2006 and he was not able to finish his episode due to the 33-day Israeli war that broke out in July, so he later came back in 2010 and filmed it again. Back then he featured places like Pierre and Friends, Souk El Tayeb, Le Chef, Onno, Chez Maguy, and Falafel Sahyoun. I hope this episode features more places of the unbeaten path.

PArts Unknown airs very late at night our time by the way so you can catch the episode tomorrow morning on CNN’s website.

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Barbar among CNN’s best kebab joints

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CNN chose Barbar among their favorite Kebab joints in the world for the chicken shawarma it offers, and they got it right as Barbar’s shawarma is one of the best in town. Four other joints were chosen from Turkey, Israel, Greece, and Iran.

I once tasted the shawarma they do in Turkey at a famous place called Saray in Istanbul and thought it’s pretty awesome. The spices they use are a bit different I guess, and they serve it on a bed of bread with tomato sauce on top and yogurt on the side. It beats the Lebanese shawarma anytime!

saray iskender

Also, one country I believe is missing from CNN’s list is Syria, since they’re known for their good kebab too. A good friend once took me to a quite old and famous restaurant called “Al-Siddiq” in an area called “Al-Qanawat” in Damascus, and its shawarma was really out of this world. The portion you get there is pretty generous with a pita bread on top, and also tastes much better than our Lebanese shawarma. If only the country is not at war now!

Al siddiqPhoto via illaf.net

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Marketplace Middle East on Zaitounay Bay

Beirut’s Zaitunay Bay is one of the city’s latest development projects — a waterfront promenade dotted with high-end shops and restaurants.

So far the project has been a success but in Beirut, domestic and regional instability always looms. MME spoke to one of the developers about the fine line between business opportunity and high-risk investment.

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Expect more touristic reports about Lebanon on CNN

According to this article in Al-Akhbar today, the Lebanese ministry of tourism is planning to pay one million dollars to CNN for promotional reports and programs about Lebanon over a period of 2 months in order to boost the tourism sector after the number of tourists visiting Lebanon declined by 300,000 in 2011 due the instability in Syria.

The deal will include reports about Lebanon to be featured in “Quest Means Business” by Richard Quest, “World Business Today”, and a dedicated program called “Eye on Lebanon” for a whole week.

I hope this improves Lebanon’s image abroad for a change, and maybe stops people from comparing ever messed up place to Beirut!

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And so Octavia Nasr had to explain her tweet!

All hell broke loose after Octavia Nasr expressed sadness through a tweet over the death of a person she had great respect for, Sayed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.

“Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot..#Lebanon”

With all the criticism she got, Octavia had to explain what she really meant in a blog post on CNN blogs.

Mustapha from Beirut Spring, and Liliane from Independence ’05 wrote about the issue and explained that there’s a big difference between showing support and showing respect. I won’t go with repeating their words since I believe the Israelis know very well what the difference is, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah himself once said in one of his speeches that he respects the Israelis because they’re known for not leaving their injured and dead soldiers behind. Now do you think Nasrallah supports Israel?!

The thing is that the Israelis were just waiting for a small mistake from Octavia Nasr to start firing at her, which forced her to eventually explain herself in a blog post. If that shows anything, it’s how great is the Israeli influence over the world media in general and the US media in specific…

Update (2010/7/8):

She got fired…!!

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Beirut – The best party city

Check out this report by Cal Perry from CNN about the summer season this year in Beirut. So far this is the best summer after more than 4 years of continuous political instability that has started with PM Rafic Hariri assassination and ended with the 2009 elections 2 months ago, and Beirut is literally on fire with the countless events this summer, not to forget the booming nightlife everywhere in the country.

I loved how Cal Perry ended the report “This summer, the world is partying on the shores of the mediteranean”.

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