Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Real Christmas Spirit

As soon as December starts, you start feeling the Christmas spirit all over the country.
Some of us enjoy checking the decorations everywhere, buying gifts for friends and family, special dinners...
That was the reason of my Christmas spirit a couple of years ago.
What gives me the true heartwarming feeling is something called 'Tournée Père Noêl' or Tour of Santa Clause.

Who does that?
There is a scout group in Jounieh called GSS (Groupement Social Scout).
This group is composed of multiple units and each of these units focuses on different topics. One of these units is called 'Unité Service Social' which takes care of a large number of poor families and old people all year long.
These families usually have some very specific cases:

  • Very poor families.
  • Orphans.
  • Terrible parents.
  • Old and disabled parents...

Other than providing provisions, medications and support for old people, and organizing a 3 months full-time summer camp for all the kids of these families, on the 24th of December, at 7h30pm, this unit has a very sacred mission to do. That would be the ‘Tournée Père Noêl’.

What is it all about?
They gather in Collège des Apôtres - Jounieh, split into multiple groups, which each of them has one Santa Clause, and a specific region to cover.
This tour consists of passing by all these families, dancing and caroling with the kids. Then Santa gives each kid a couple of well-chosen gifts, after listening to him/her singing a Christmas song, while others put a pack of provision in the kitchen, if exists.

Seeing these kids happy, and the parents/grandparents (or other family members) shedding tears silently makes me come back each and every year to take part of this tour.
Even though they have the most horrifying cases, I'm always amazed by their happiness and thankfulness.

What can you do?
If you feel like helping, you can help by either donating money, or any provision unit.
For more info, visit their Facebook page, and you'll find all the needed details for a heartwarming Christmas.
They need us to keep this going and growing.

The look that makes me come back
 (taken from the website of @Krikorianm)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Joining our Angel... Myriam

While the play came to an end, Saint John (@BigDaou) stood up in the middle of the stage for his final speech, said a few words and... Silence! he completely forgot the script.
I was sitting in front, trying to control my laugh, when I hear a sweet and very loud laugh next to me... And that was Myriam! :)

This last Sunday, my good old friend Joe and I were remembering this funny moment that happened years ago, saying how funny her laugh was, and how funny Myriam is, and we both looked forward for the upcoming scout Christmas evening (Veillée de Nôel).
The next day, Myriam went missing, and you know the rest...

Anyone who knew Myriam can't but mention her faith, her smile and her amazing laugh.
What gives her parents, family and friends a bit of consolation, is their confidence that she's next to her creator, smiling peacefuly from up there.
When checking the video below, you'll have an idea of the amount of faith this family have.

I've read lots of articles, blog posts and comments about this heinous crime for the past few days, and I thought I'd share an opinion
First, Myriam was not raped! SHE WAS NOT RAPED, she fought it until her last breath.
Take a minute to read Liliane's post

Second, concerning the report on Kalam Ennas, I was there when they recorded it, and it was just after knowing that the murderer used to be in the Syrian intelligence (which explains his cold blood) and that he might escape somehow! 
All what the family was saying is that they will act IF and only IF he gets released somehow.
If he gets released, not only we should act against him, but also against the whole cabinet, the officials and the president, and R.I.P. our government.
Third, this is no sectarian crime, and the family knows that. He's just a psychopath that should stay alone in a prison for the rest of his life.
Since everyone is thinking about keeping a pepper spray or a taser gun with them, it is important that we all join Myriam, the Achkar family, friends and Patriarch Bechara Rahi for a mass in Bkerki, tomorrow (Sunday) at 10h00 am to pray for Myriam and shout for justice. For more info check this facebook event.
Myriam, May your soul rest in peace, we will never forget you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


After the success of the 'Missing Z Domination' campaign on Facebook and all related posts and comics, most of you knew that I was the winner of Zaatar w Zeit's competition, and the prize was a trip to London for 6 days + Hotel + Breakfast + Class A football game ticket!
First of all, a BIG thank you goes to Zaatar w Zeit for the beautiful prize and because everything was perfect there!

I can easily say that I went through all over London... Ok except China town.
From Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and London eye to London Bridge, Saint Paul's Cathedral and all around the amazing huge parks!
And since I was there on Halloween, I enjoyed the fully crowded streets of the Covent Garden, Oxford and Piccadilly circuses with all kind of scary/funny costumes, and I enjoyed the London Dungeon at it's best, plus a 5D laser ride!

And to make my visit perfect, I went to Stamford Bridge to watch the amazing Chelsea vs Arsenal game, that ended 5 - 3 (lucky me) for Arsenal unfortunately! (since I was a Blues fan back then... back to roots now ;) )

Enjoy the photos.

Welcome to Stamford Bridge
41,801 fans! Including me.
The breathtaking Saint Paul's Cathedral. 
No photos inside. Yeah right :P
And the protesters outside
Tower of London
London Bridge
Wellington Arch
Buckingham Palace (after the changing of the guards)
The Chimes of Big Ben at 12 o'clock.

The wonderful leaning Big Ben!
الحرية والعدالة لفلسطين - Next to Big Ben

London Eye :) with the Aquarium penguin
From up there!

Saint James' Park

Amy Winehouse.

Obama next to the president :P

El Führer with something stuck in his nose.
Bruce Willis. Amazing details.

Hyde Park

Kensington Palace gardens.

For landscape photographers, Hyde park and Saint James' park are the places to be, especially in autumn.

I got a small conclusion from this trip:

  • London is a very beautiful, clean and organized city, and people there were very nice and respectful (when I was there at least). And just to mention, England doesn't have any independence day and was never occupied.
  • Lebanon is a very beautiful, unclean and disorganized country, and people here are very arrogant and mean (for my last 25 years). And just to mention, Lebanon has many independence days, and was occupied by more then 5 countries.

If you find this conclusion logic, then good luck!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Moaning: Ziad Rehbani

I was in Mojo – Hamra on Saturday watching “Georges Nehme and the band” (or “Band Jaze’e”).

These guys are amazing, and they master Ziad Rehbani’s songs!

While enjoying “Ya Zaman El Ta’ifiyi”, I realized that someone has to send the following letter to Ziad:

“Dear Mr. Ziad Rehbani,

Where are you?!

Seriously! You can’t just leave us!

We’re desperately waiting for one big classic concert! Just one more…


All your fans”

Like Liliane said, choose any country you want for your next concert, and we’ll be there! But please do!

Check this YouTube video, it might make you feel better.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Moaning: Embassies' rejections

It's been a while since my last post!
The reason is that I work in the IT industry, and I was rudely trying to meet my deadlines.
If you know about IT, you'd know that us and deadlines aren't best friends!

Each time I will have something to moan about, it will be posted on a Monday moaning euuh morning, to start your week happily! :P

This Monday moan is about most of the embassies that enjoy rejecting your application!
So, you apply online, get all the specified documents, and book an appointment.
You go there on time, take some photos, give some fingerprints, pay and leave.
After 10+ working days, they inform you about coming and picking up your result.
You open that envelop to find a big "REJECTED" .

You mentioned something in your application without signing a seperate paper about it.
Instead of calling and informing you about that missing document and giving you a couple of days to get it, they take your money and discard your submission. And to make it worse, you don't get any of your documents back!
They could've informed you about it before rejection and then, you'll only be the victim of your own crime.
All you can do now, is running from mayors to translators to studios to get all the documents again, pay again, and pray more!

I read once that the embassies make millions of dollars per year from applications rejections.... in each country.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How a Lebanese Conversation Starts

Each time, two Lebanese persons meet, this is how their conversation starts for around half an hour (and it gets on my nerves!):


P1: Hi

P2: Kifak?

P1: Mni7?

P2: Kello Tamem?

P1: Cava?

P2: meche l 7al?

P1: Bien?

P2: Good?


And it keeps going like this to cover all the “How are you” synonyms in all known languages until one of them surrenders (shame on him) and says:

‘Mni7 w enta?’

Common people! Listen to each other and try acting interested in knowing the answer!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lier 7?

Seriously, I’m still wondering and wondering about some of these newly opened roof tops or open air clubs!

Here is how it goes:

- You buy a land, basically in a strategic spot, which is logically “VERY EXPENSIVE”.

- You build a luxurious and pricey building (or open air space) in almost two weeks.

- You do some massive marketing campaigns, including radio ads, websites ads, Lebanese celebrities invitations…

- You organize huge openings where you invite everyone.

- Each weekend you bring some of the international stars for live performances (lately: Ke$ha, Alexander Stan, Adam Clay, …) including dancers, musicians …
By the way, rumors say that one of these artists got paid 200,000 $ for a 30 minutes performance!

The thing is, these clubs open two months per year, and some of these have to vanish before it rains or the place will be ruined!

Can you please explain to me how is this reasonably possible? Especially in an average country with mostly average people?


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Lebanese True Story

A friend of mine, who's a volunteer in the Lebanese Red Cross in Antelias (North Beirut), had an overnight shift this last Friday.
His shift finishes at 7h00 am, when he goes straight to work.

At 7h, he left the building to find out that his car was stolen from the parking next to the Red Cross center!

So the good guy Shady called the ISF (Internal Security Forces) immediately.

At 8h00 am, he asked someone in the ISF if they told their Information Branch about what happened?

And the answer he got was: 'We will tell them later on, it's still too early for them, haram!'

SERIOUSLY! these are the people we're trying to build a safe country with!

The poor Shady did some investigations on his own around that parking to see if there are any cameras or any witnesses, but none has been found.

And now he's desperately waiting for the thieves to call him, knowing that the ISF will do nothing!

If you don't know the usual car stealing process, it goes like this:

1. They steal your car

2. They use it in some ‘legal’ businesses (yeah right!)

3. Call you and sell it again to you (but less than its usual price! They are good guys after all!)

4. You bring the money and head to 'Britél' (somewhere in Bekaa), give them the requested amount and get your half-wrecked car back.

The ISF know where the stolen cars are, but can't do anything about it... Since the gang has its back covered.

Shady man! Keep on Surviving!

PS: Britél = Bretelle (or shoulder strap) in a Lebanese ‘bad’ accent ;)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Connect the dots

A teacher gave her 8 years old students the usual 'connect the dots correctly' test to solve it as one of their holiday homework which should take approximately two to three weeks.
Below is the test:
Most of the students matched the dots correctly except one student.
It took him around four months to finish his homework and it was all wrong!
His name was Najib.
Kindly help Najib finish his homework before he gets a zero.

PS: The characters in the above story are a figment of my own imagination and are not related to reality in any way ;)
Meanwhile keep on Surviving...

Monday, May 30, 2011

KSA's FC Barcelona

Last week, my good old friend Elie (@AccidentalTweep) was in KSA and he was so happy telling me that he bought me an FC Barcelona iPhone cover, or at least he thought he did.
Below is a photo of the cover:

Did you notice anything weird?
If you didn't, check the 'original' logo of FC Barcelona:

Maybe that's for another team or something! ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

World Heritage Day in Lebanon

If you didn't know, The 18th of April is the World Heritage Day, or the international day of monuments and sites.This was designated by UNESCO in 1982 in response to a proposal by ICOMOS (International Council Of Monuments and Sites).
Each year, a theme is selected to help focus the celebration and promotion of cultural heritage across the world.
This year's theme is The cultural heritage of water.

As for Lebanon, the Ministry of Culture, in association with the "International Council of Museums", the "National Heritage Foundation" and the "APSAD" association will be celebrating this day by the opening of all museums in various Lebanese regions for free to the public for four days (Thursday 18th till Monday 22nd of May).
As for the archeological sites and Nature reserves, free access will be granted starting from the 19th until the 22nd of May.

The Archeological sites includes:
  • The archeological valley of Nahr El Kalb.
  • Beiteddine Mansion
  • Municipality of Beirut
  • Cathedral of St. George's Roman Catholic
  • Church of St. George Maronite
  • Al Omari Al Kabir Mosque
  • Prince Assaf Mosque - Downtown Beirut,
  • Castles of Majdal Anjar, Anjar, Baalbek, Niha, Sidon, Tripoli, Tyre and Byblos, in addition to the sites of excavations in central Beirut.

The Nature reserves includes: (by the way this is the first time that Nature reserves participates in this event)
  • Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve
  • Ammik - Bekaa
  • Horch Ehden
  • Tyre
  • Palm Trees island (Jazeerat Al nakhel) - Tripoli
  • Bentael
  • Tannourine Cedar Nature Reserve
I would've loved to see Jeita in the above list as part of the New 7 wonders campaign (if you didn't vote yet, hurry up!).
Anyway, benefit from this to plan a special weekend to visit some of the places that you have never seen in Lebanon. :)
( Source: Lebanon Files )

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Z Mystery Revealed!

The mystery is finally revealed!
The Z Liberation Cell are no thieves!
They were just calling for a change!
And Zaatar w Zeit's heroic reaction made it all happen:
  • The re-branding is on.
  • A new logo is released.
  • And a whole new concept with a whole unique experience to be introduced.
To have a brief real/unreal idea of what happened, check the following comic strips:
  1. The ZwZ Mystery Revealer Part I.
  2. The ZwZ Mystery Revealer Part II.
  3. The ZwZ Mystery Revealer The happy ending.
Most of the photos in these comic strips were uploaded by ZwZ fans on a Facebook page called Missing Z Domination and I can easily say that these guys are CREATIVE! check the rest of the photos on the same page.
You can check Zaatar w Zeit's official revealing video here (Loved it).
You will be noticing the changes soon, and of course it will begin from where it all started:
The Zaatar w Zeit's first branch in Sodeco :)

Taken from Plus961

Monday, May 9, 2011

Today's 16 Google doodles

Today is the 76th Birthday of Roger Hargreaves, and this time Google decided to manipulate between 16 doodles each time you refresh the page.

So basically Google decided to create 16 doodles for Mr. Hargreaves and didn’t custom any doodle on Easter day.

A big thanks to Marie (@MarieNakhle) who got me all the doodles : )