Tag Archives | photos

Beautiful Aerial Photos of Dahyeh by Mahdi Skafi


I always enjoy watching aerial photos and videos from around Lebanon especially that some photographer and drone operators have been doing a great job exploring cool places around the country.

Over the last couple of years, I think I came across photos/videos from almost all around Lebanon except for Dahyeh due to it being considered a security stronghold for Hezbollah, so taking photos there is usually a big No-No and can even get you in trouble. But that was until I recently stumbled upon some photos taken by Mahdi Skafi with his drone over Dahyeh and Hadath, and found them pretty cool as they were taken at night with a long exposure.




Mahdi also have a lot of other photos from various villages and villages and cities around the country and the ones below from Kfarsir, Tyr, and Sawfar.




You can check more photos from Mahdi on his Facebook page.

And as hard as it may sound, I also feel curious about aerial footage of the Palestinian refugee camps be it in Shatila, Saida or Naher el Bared, as well as the Syrian refugee camps and conflict zones in Arsal and Jroud Arsal.


Red Bull RB7 Meets Byblos and The Cedars of God


For all of us who have never attended a Fromula 1 race yet, Red Bull made it up by bringing Carlos Sainz Jr. to burn some rubber in his RB7 racing cat at Beirut Waterfront. The event was unfortunately a bit dull for me as I couldn’t attend and watched it on TV instead which sometimes doesn’t give you a sense of how fast the car was going. I hope some professional videos will soon be available online, including some shots from an onboard camera would be cool too!

Anyway, well before the event, the Red Bull team took the RB7 for a photo shoot around Byblos and the Cedars of God. I found this set of resultant photos on motorsport.com and thought of sharing them here because they’re pretty cool.

I couldn’t find the name of the photographer by the way, so if anyone knows it please leave a comment to credit him/her properly.














That’s One Weird Car Accident in Hamra!

I just stumbled upon these car accident images on Yasa’s Facebook page. It took place in Hamra a while ago today.

Knowing how jammed the area is during the day, someone must have certainly been driving like crazy because it takes great effort to get 7 cars involved in an accident at a small intersection there.

Hoping no one got hurt!








Best Free Places to Bring Your Kids in Beirut


My little kid Malek is turning 3 in a couple of months, and ever since he learned how to walk we started adjusting our plans every weekend to make sure the places we’re going to are suitable for him to play around and have fun. But soon after we began searching and trying few places, we’ve came to realize that Beirut is quite unfriendly for kids simply due to the lack of open and green spaces.

There are very few public gardens around the city, and the well known ones like Sanayeh garden get super crowded on weekends that a kid can barely take a turn on the toys, which eventually makes you opt for some private playgrounds instead. So here are five outdoor places that I’ve found to be pretty suitable for toddlers and can be enjoyed during Spring before it gets too humid.

1. Horsh Tabet Public Garden


Among the public gardens in Beirut this one is my favorite because it doesn’t get as much crowded as others. It has a small playground at the lower level and open green spaces for kids to enjoy running around, not to mention that you can easily find a parking spot outside it.

2. Ramlet El Bayda


I never go swim in Ramlet El Bayda and I wouldn’t recommend it. But a few weeks ago I decided to take advantage of the beach being empty and took Malek for a walk there. I first thought we were going to spend no longer than 30 minutes before he gets tired but ended up staying more than 2 hours since he totally enjoyed playing in the sand. If you’re up to it then I recommend you do it while the weather is still relatively cool before it gets crowded with swimmers.

3. Baadba Forest


Ok this isn’t technically in Beirut but it only takes 10 minutes from Achrafieh to reach there. It is a private property owned by the Antonin Monastery in Baabda but accessible for public. You can go there for a small hike with your little ones and some kids bring their balls to play football in an area that serves as a small field.

photo via Hisham Nasr

4. Horsh Beirut


Horsh Beirut is unfortunately closed on weekdays and only opens for families on Saturdays only. Needless to say it’s pretty cool there and feels very liberating for the little kids due to its large area. If it only was open during the rest of the week though!

Photo via Beirut Report

5. American University of Beirut


I know The American University of Beirut isn’t a public place, but accessing it is free as long as you know someone who can admit you to it. And in a city where everybody knows everybody it shouldn’t be a hard task for you! A friend of ours got us in a while ago and Malek enjoyed it so much there. We first got into the green oval where he played for a little while before moving to the lower part on Ain El Mrayseh side where there’s a very nice and well maintained kids playground. And best of all it’s very secure, it really felt like an escape from Beirut.

Photo via AUB

No matter which place you choose to go, I highly recommend you go there early in the day as you might sometime have the whole place for you! We usually head to our destination around 10 which gives us enough time to enjoy almost any place before it gets too crowded.

Let me know if there’s any other place worth adding to the list!


Review – The 2015 Mini Cooper


Earlier this month I got a media kit about the new Mini Cooper 2015 models. And being a fan of Mini ever since I was a little kid, I thought of checking with Bassoul Heniene if they have a car available for a weekend test-drive, and luckily enough I was driving one following a few calls.

I actually got the traditional two-door hatchback. And the minute I picked it up I knew I’ll be in for a fun weekend. Just like all its predecessors, the 2015 Mini maintains a young cheerful look, and I was quite thrilled with its driving experience.

Body and Interior Design

I personally think what distinguishes the Mini from other hatchback cars is the playful design inside out. The 2015 model got some minor makeover especially with the taillights which no longer look very rectangular, but other elements such as the grille and oval lights remained unchanged. So there’s no dramatic changes here but rest assured the car will keep on turning heads on the street.

And to complement the body look, I found the interior to be trimmed with good materials. It actually looks appealing with some cool details like a ring of led lights around the central display that changes colors according to your driving style.

The base model I had included the following features: automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary audio input, Bluetooth, a climate-controlled glove box, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.



The driving position feels commanding with a wider viewing angle than other cars. However, while it felt relatively spacious up front, the rear seats seemed sufficient for children and short people. I also tried to mount my kid’s car seat but he ended up with his legs almost touching my back. But that was the two-door version at the end.

Driving Experience

It’s fun, so fun actually! I personally love to be in total control of the car when driving. That’s why I find some cars like Mercedes to be somehow boring. I mean regardless of the top speed you can reach with some cars, you feel like they’re guiding you and not the way around, but that’s not the case with a Mini. The comparison might sound a bit weird, but with control and fun I was having it felt more like I was playing with an RC car!

The Mini has three driving modes that you can choose from: Green, Mid, and Sport. The green and mid modes are fuel efficient and best suitable for driving in the city and when stuck in traffic. The sport mode on the other hand is much more fun, and you’ll get to feel how responsive the car becomes once you switch to it.

I was eventually driving in sport mode most of the time, and I can assure the turbocharged 1.5L engine did deliver! The car acceleration was pretty impressive and the whole driving experience was pretty thrilling due to the sharp handling and responsive steering you will feel, and that’s only the base model, so I wonder how S model or even the John Cooper Works will feel! Needless to say, driving back my original car didn’t feel very good!

It’s worth noting that the Mini has a start-stop function that automatically shuts down the engine when the car is not moving in order to reduce fuel consumption.

My Take

As I said before, it’s a fun car, but everything comes with a price. The model I had (1.5L two-door hatchback) is priced at $31,500 which is relatively high for a hatchback car… But is it worth every cent? Damn yes. Actually If I had that budget for a new car I honestly wouldn’t think twice before buying one. Feel free to call this review a biased one, but I just fell for the Mini!


Yohan Storm Damages Ain El-Mreisseh Cornishe


This Yohan storm might not be as intense and cold as Zina that Lebanon witnessed a few weeks ago, but it is sure bringing massive high waves and very strong wind.

These photos were all taken this morning by Tarek Hajjar and Bilal Soubra and show the damage caused to the cornishe in Ain El Mreisseh due to the high waves. I also heard on the news that part of Dbayeh maritime road close to Nahr El Kalb collapsed due to the storm.

On the bright side, fixing the barrier may now get the municipality a bit busy now and probably distract them from the possible removal of the the cool graffiti around Beirut.



RoadTripHacks – Helping you discover hidden gems in Lebanon


A couple friends of mine recently started a cool blog that I really recommend you start reading if you’re into discovering new places in Lebanon and enjoying its nature.

The blog is called RoadTripHacks, and with every post, Rony and Sonia either introduce you to hidden gems around Lebanese regions that you maybe never thought of visiting (like Baakline and Ammiq), or make you see some regular places like Saoufar from a totally different perspective through the awesome photo sets accompanying each post. All while taking the time to tell you how to reach your destination and providing recommendations on eateries and must check places.

So next time you plan a roadtrip in Lebanon, make sure you check their blog for some ideas. And you can also stalk them on Facebook and twitter.

This is also an opportunity to let you know that Rony has already started contributing to the blog here and will be occasionally writing.


Idiot of the day

This is terrible yet funny! According to LBCI,  some guy decided to fix his building’s overloaded sanitary sewer near Ballouneh last night by dumping some (too much) carbide into it, a substance that is sometimes used to make explosives, which unfortunately led to blowing up the sewer and part of the building!




I just hope no one got harmed.


A 110 year old Ottoman palace destroyed by fire in the South


Dar El Darwiche (or El Darwiche palace) in Zefta was unfortunately destroyed by a fire incident last week.

The palace is considered as a historic Ottoman heritage due to its architecture and the old antiques inside it, same as some of the palaces in Beirut like Al Daouk, Salam, Boustros, and Sursock.

Un incendie a ravagé dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi le palais historique Darwiche dans le village de Zefta, à Nabatiyeh (Liban-sud), rapporte l’Agence nationale d’information (ANI, officielle).

Les flammes ont détruit tous les meubles et antiquités historiques que le palais renfermait.

“Après l’avoir entretenu durant 100 ans, tout a été détruit”, a déclaré le propriétaire des lieux, Hussein Darwiche. Il a précisé que le palais avait été construit au début des années 1900 sur une superficie de 1.200 mètres carrés. L’édifice comptait 15 chambres.

Le palais contenait des trésors historiques remontant à l’époque ottomane. Le palais Darwiche était l’une des rares bâtisses historiques bien conservées dans le sud du pays. Source

Below are some of the photos I managed to find on Facebook through Rabih El Darwiche. It definitely sucks to see it all gone now, and I hope El Darwiche family will be able to restore it soon.

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