Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why did "Ain't No Smoking 2nite" fail?

If you remember, there was going to be a "Non-smoking night" in Gemmayze in about 35 pubs yesterday October 28th. More here. Being a non-smoking advocate myself I asked several friends of mine about their encounters yesterday in several pubs in Gemmayze and their opinions. They said that most of them had people smoking inside although these pubs were supposed to be part of the "Ain't no smokin 2nite" campaign that was organized by Rotaract.

There were people smoking even in pub-restaurants such as Olio. You would think that they would be busy stuffing themselves instead of smoking.

A friend of mine even told me this: "There was also one pub that had a sign that said Smoking Friendly"

Another friend said only few of the pubs stuck to the campaign, one of them was Berlin. But the others allowed people to smoke.

There are several studies done around the world, in Europe and in the US, saying that banning smoking in public places has decreased the number of deaths caused by smoking! But why should we believe scientists right?

My favorite smoker's argument is this: "Why should I forbid myself from smoking, so what if I die 10 years earlier, at least I would've done something I enjoy!"

So basically, the 10 years prior to that when you have lung cancer is enjoyable?

There is a new article today suggesting that Lebanon must move to ban smoking, Syria did? Are they better than us?

What I don't understand is why do Lebanese people stick to rules abroad, but tend to be anarchists in Lebanon? And anarchist for what? For telling you not to smoke because it endangers your life and the life of the strange people that are beside you and you have no right to bother them?

Smoking bothers me as much as if someone was picking their nose or playing with their toes, so why should I be okay with them when they smoke? Bala 2arafkoun! I don't mind people smoking, I just do when it's a closed place and when I am eating, is it too much to ask for? some oxygen and to actually be able to taste the food?

Congratulations fellow Lebanese on one of your other lousy sense of humanity, logic and respect. Kudos! Ya3tikoun el 3afieh. I am glad I didn't go to Gemmayze because if I did and had found people smoking, I would've probably caused a scene.

Finally, why did those hypocrite pubs sign into this campaign if they were going to act like a cheating newly wed red-eyed husband?

Sign Petition to pass an electoral law to ban smoking in public places here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

24 October, International Day of Climate Action

On October 24, the International Day of Climate Action will cover almost every country on earth, the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history.
Big rallies in big cities and across the globe: mountain climbers on our highest peaks with banners, underwater demonstrations in island nations threatened by sea level rise, churches and mosques engaged in symbolic action, star athletes organizing mass bike rides—and much mroe

Every event will highlight the number 350—a big group photo will depict this important message, at end all photos will be assembled for a visual petition to change the negotiating environment as we head towards the crucial UN Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen in December of 2009

  Check here for an action near you, and maybe you can try and participate or take a picture and talk about it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Funny people

SPOILER! If you haven't seen it, skip this post and listen to Nina Simone.

So it was almost 1am when the movie ended yesterday, so I thought maybe 'cause I was very tired and sleepy I couldn't make out the moral of this movie.

We all know Adam Sandler likes to give a moral or lesson for people to learn at the end of his movies, and we all know his movies are never the same but there are always a lot of common things between them.

Starts off good, many laughs, audience was cracking up even though I know that many jokes were pretty American and people in Lebanon cannot possibly get them, but that is the power of stand up comedy live if the first two or three made you laugh, and then the jokes are coming out rapidly one after the other, you laugh at them all.

And then there is a twist, in the middle of the movie you get a clear idea of the lesson that they want you to notice it (it's not about money, and sex it's about family, etc.. remember his movie Click!?), it was pretty obvious. But then, and the dude with the thick voice says it anyway (You're one of the only persons who did not learn anything from a near death experience), they yell, then they fight, then they make up but each continues the life he had before but with some improved things.

I still don't get if there was more to it or not, I donno why.. so if you got it more than I did, tell me what you think.

Oh and the trailer is very different from the movie. The toaster joke didn't even appear anywhere in the movie.

Sunday Music

It doesn't feel like an October Sunday unless you have the flu, taking vitamin C, hearing ugly music coming from the neighbors' stereo, and then you overriding their music with Nina Simone's... not just any performance.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Maldives Cabinet held a meeting underwater

Why you wonder? Well the beautiful Maldives is being threatened to disappear underwater because the sea water level will rise from now till 40 years. Why might this happen you wonder? because of the recent negative effects of the "man made" climate change.

Can something be done about it? Yes, but we need the world leaders to take action.

Maldives along many other islands and ports and cities might be covered either all of it or parts of it by water (please check this post to know about these extraordinary regions).

President of the Maldives

So why did the President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed (who in my opinion is a hero) call for the cabinet to hold a meeting under water? Well they got our attention didn't they? People should become aware of climate change and its negative effects and learn what the number 350 means and why it is extremely important!

Enjoy more pictures here, wow the Maldives is a beautiful place, it would be a shame if it's gone in our time, and its people to become refugees.

What can you do to help with saving them and yourself? Contact IndyACT (Lebanese NGO), tcktcktck (take action), (international campaign) or simply me and I'll tell you where to go next.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And here is how my day started

While driving to work my stomach started hurting badly I even worried how am I going to even get out of the car and walk to the office, then I felt that am coming down on diarrhea, and I also wondered how am I going to make it to the bathroom, I was so much in pain. Anyway I went straight to the bathroom carrying my lunch box and bag, didn't even pass by the office. Later I felt extremely nauseous the kind where you feel you're going to throw up your soul, I hated it, I unlocked the door in case something happens to me someone would find me, but thanks to my OCD I knew that won't be before an hour till someone actually uses the bathroom in the morning, so I stormed outside with what strength was left in me, and as I opened the 4th door (yes that many doors!) I knew this is it, and bam I hit the floor and the first point of impact was my chin, now it's bumpy.

I don't know if I fainted or not, but I woke up on my own but wasn't able to move. Someone found me, called the security, who called a coworker and they all my colleagues were around me (thankfully they saw me on a chair and not on the floor like a complete idiot)... I hate looking so weak and my blouse was very wet, I was sweating so much...

Something like that happened to me 3 months ago but without the fainting yet with same amount of pain, so I think I need to have my blood tested, this is getting ridiculous.

So my boss and a colleague dropped me and my car back home, and I had a gift with me for my boss as it was boss' day, I gave it to him.

Have a grrrrreat weekend everyone! Mine started early :) bumpy but am better now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Are you going to do something about Climate Change?

- Don't recycle (it's a waste of time)
- Don't carpool (who needs to restrain themselves with other people in the morning)
- Don't mind fossil fuel, keep it burning (better economy)
- Don't be bothered to end CO2 gas emissions, in fact encourage it (will give you power over other)
- Don't encourage alternative energy (costs too much, bad for economy, waste of energy and human resources)
- 350 parts per million is a joke
- Don't reduce your carbon footprint (the more the cooler you are)
- Don't maintain green trees, chop them off and use their wood (+ they're blocking the view)
- Don't plant new trees (view of industrial factories with gray skies are more efficient these days)
- Don't save water, waste it even when unnecessary (can't you drink oil?)
- Don't try and keep the sea water level from rising (just scuba dive to see the Maldives...)
- Don't miss having refugees, we'll have climate refugees, (now that Palestinians are living happily ever after, we want more to take care of)
- Don't worry about having coral reefs die (it's not like they are important for the eco-system)
- Don't get upset when watching glaciers melt (what good are they for anyway)
- Don't be surprised from "weather" change (1, 2, 3 degrees warmer? It's no biggy, the warmer the sexier)
- Don't keep diseases from spreading (it's fine, only those poor people in poor countries get it, we're safe)
- Don't hope for your country to become carbon neutral
- Don't be sad when you see more species become extinct (dinosaur style)

And most importantly don't have children.

Because if you do have children, in 40 years don't feel guilty when your children look at you with disappointment, with depiction, because they know that you and people like you are the reason why the earth and the world has deteriorated, and especially because you could have done something when the time was right, but instead you were just too lazy to try and help prevent one of the most dangerous and serious "MAN-MADE" crisis... You didn't keep from the negative effects of Climate Change from happening. You were an irresponsible (dare I say human?) being!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Age of Stupid in Lebanon

The Age of Stupid is a new cinema documentary about this enormously ambitious drama-documentary-animation hybrid stars Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite as an old man living in the devastated world of 2055, watching 'archive' footage from 2008 and asking: why didn't we stop climate change while we had the chance?

You can watch the trailer here.

And the great news is: this movie that has been an amazing hit all over the world will be playing in LEBANON

Venue: Empire Sofil
25 / 26 Oct

Tickets sold there.

Comics on Ceramics by Maya Zankoul

If you like Maya Zankoul's drawings like me, or like drawing, or like drawing on ceramics, or feel like doing something different than movies or dinner or drinks, then check the poster for more info on the location and time!

And you can check Maya's post about it here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ain't no smokin 2nite in Gemmayze this Oct 28

35 pubs and restaurants in Gemmayze street are participating so far in the Rotaract campaign "Ain't no smokin 2nite". The event will take place on October 28th.

The below poster was designed by a fellow blogger Maya Zankoul

You can check the facebook event page here.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I just feel like I want to lay on the grass for 2 or 3 hours without anyone bothering me and without hearing a single noise.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Tripoli Trip-oli

Sunday, October 4th, a tweetup at Tripoli was born. Attendees were @sdarine, @MayaZankoul, @dashkoun, @larazankoul, @Beirutspring, @sunkentreasure6 and a friend, @ghassanb, @DanyAwad, @azzi, g, and yours truly.

The idea behind this tweetup was born after many of us Tripolians (trobilsiye) met on twitter, yes twitter I tell you (my newest addiction), and agreed on meeting in our city of origin. And luckily for us, more people joined.

The day started at Kasr El 7elou of Al Hallab. I, shamefully confess, that I broke my diet. I... ehhem... I love Znoud El Sitt. After I reluctantly didn't inform the waiter of my choice to eat them, @Beirutspring heard me and said, didn't I hear you order Znoud El Sitt, so I felt encouraged and ordered them.

After we ate, and talked, and @azzi tweeted some live photos, we went straight to the port of Tripoli (El Mina). We hired a boat, yes it was all for us, and went on a trip near the Islands of Tripoli, sadly the Palm Island (aka Rabbits Island) was closed. But @sdarine and I happily saw a turtle swim and disappear beneath the boat.

I didn't know that the water in Lebanon can be so blue until yesterday.

And this appeared to me like the New York City, Staten Island, but not much skyscrapers.

Afterward we went to an old part of the city of Tripoli.

And went straight to the old gold market (souk).

Then walked our way towards Khan El Saboun. And this is when the world of soap emerged, I was mesmerized by the beautiful scents.

And more soaps.

It was a short day because most of us had obligations to do, but it was really fun and enriching to meet the fellow twitteres. Moreover it brought so much memories to me, as I had spent months from my childhood there when there was a war in Beirut. Back then this old souk scared me, I didn't like it, but yesterday I saw it from a whole different perspective.

I think Tripoli is one of the cities in Lebanon that are so promising yet very underrated. It has one of the biggest ports in Lebanon, but I'm sure it can be much more depended on if the representatives of Tripoli in the parliament work on this. It can boost their economy, as well as on the Tourism level.

Check Maya Zankoul's post about this trip here.

For more photos check here

Friday, October 02, 2009

On the note of the negative effects of Climate change...

..these are 10 places to see before it's too late, take from

The ice sheets melt fast, the sea levels are rising, and the increase in storms and flooding becomes a serious issue. As scientists expect the sea level to rise around one meter (3.3 ft) by 2100, the global warming warnings sound more and more catastrophic. With such an increase in water levels many coastal areas around the globe are said to disappear under the waves.

Whether you believe all these climate change talks or not, it is worth taking a few secs to check out the list of the most immediately threatened places in the world...just in case.


1. The Maldives

The Maldives, the beautiful island country considered by many the paradise on earth, is the lowest country in the world being only 1.5 m above sea level on average. Therefore, it can be submerged by 2050/2100 due to the significant rise in sea level.

The Maldives. By muha...

The Maldives. By Photo-SG


2. Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak of Africa, is rapidly losing its glaciers. Since 1912 the ice cap covering the top of the mountain has lost around 80% of its ice. The scientists predict that the ice on Kilimanjaro will be gone by 2015/2050.

Mt. Kilimanjaro. By Picture Taker 2.

Mt. Kilimanjaro. By Stig Nygaard


3. Alexandria. Egypt.

The city of Alexandria, an ancient Egyptian hub and the country's largest sea port, is said to be inundated by 2100. The Nile Delta is subsiding by around 5 mm (1/5 in) per year. Also, other towns located in the Nile Delta, such as Arish City, Matruh City and Port Said, are under the threat from rising sea level.

Alexandria. By Argenberg

Alexandria. By mighty stina


4. Tokyo

Tokyo is only one example of many coastal cities at risk due to rising sea levels, violent storms and flooding. The city's temperatures increase five times faster than an average global warming rate and the annual mean temperature has risen by about 3°C (37°F) over the past 100 year.

Tokyo. Odaiba. By Timo Nurmi

Tokyo, Kachidokibashi Bridge. By Ian Muttoo



5. Great Barrier Reef

The most catastrophic scenario envisages the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world, to collapse within twenty years due to the high concentration of carbon dioxide in the water. The scientists predict that as the water gets warmer and warmer, the coral ecosystems around the world will start disappearing by mid-century or earlier.

Great Barrier Reef. By The.Rohit

Great Barrier Reef. By Maedi


6. The Columbia Glacier

The Alaska's Columbia Glacier, similarly to all glaciers the world over, has been melting at an increasing rate and it has thinned by around 1,300 feet (390 m) in some places over the last 25 years. Moreover, it is among the fastest moving glaciers around the globe and it is expected to retreat around 9 miles (14 km) in the next 20 years.

The Columbia Glacier. Alaska. By WordRidden

Columbia Glacier. Alaska. By tay-ha


7. Galapagos Islands

Home to amazing wildlife, the unique, remote islands of Galapagos can be seriously affected by the climate change due to their location. As the equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific are getting warmer and the sea level is rising, such Galapagos animals as the giant tortoise, marine iguana and Galapagos penguin as well as flightless cormorant, whose nests are susceptible to flooding, are under serious threat.

Galapagos Islands. Sea lions. By noam fein

Galapagos Islands. Marine Iguana. By mtchm


8. The Netherlands

About 60% of the Netherlands' population and about 27% of the country area are located below sea level. Such low-lying and flat countries as Holland are at greatest risk from the rising waters. To protect the seaside the Netherlands set up huge storm surge barriers - so huge that they can be seen from space.

The Netherlands. By irommanixs

Amsterdam. By MorBCN


9. The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea surface and shores are 1,385 ft (422 m) below sea level - it is the world's lowest point and also one of the saltiest bodies of water with the salinity of 33.7%. In contrast to the low-lying places that suffer from rising waters, the Dead Sea is evaporating, gradually losing its water. The water level is estimated to have dropped by 3 ft (1 m) per year from 1970. 

Dead Sea. By Mr. Kris

Sunrise over Dead Sea. By ePublicist


10. New York

According to the recent report prepared by the scientists of various research centers such as, among others, University of Toronto, the National Center for Atmospheric Research or the University of Bristol, New York may face a much faster rise in sea level than other coastal cities due to the local ocean currents, effects of gravity and water density. Moreover the city, is at great risk of hurricanes and flooding that can occur as a result of melting ice.

New York. By morrissey

New York. By kiki99