Tag Archives: beirut

This Valentine’s is All About Gifts!

Valentine’s is around the corner & I have decided to gather some giveaways for you!

The first giveaway is an Honor i10 Lite – I am using it currently and the only comment I have about it is the emoticons. I am a fan of iPhone emoticons and Airdrop, since I have an iPad and MacBook – but the copy/past method never hurt no body (actually in that sense, androids are always better). PS: The front cam makes you believe you’re 10 years younger and makes you wanna hit on your son’s friends please – please don’t! This phone is only 200+ $ but acts like a 900$ phone (just like a young stud who behaves like an older mature gentleman – who does not exist nowadays!). Tag your friends in the post below to WIN – FYI I use a website to announce the winner – so i’t a fair game for all. 

The second giveaway is for GIRLS! NYX Cosmetics decided to sign a PETITION to get makeup instead of other cliche gifts on Valentine’s Day and is giving out a #PetitionForLippieLove box for girls who participate in the below competition:

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I am announcing another giveaway the next couple of days, so make sure you follow my instagram!

Goodluck!
M

Wanna Dinner or Go on A Round Trip to Adana?

Dinner in a fancy restaurant with two bottles of wine costs us around 240$ right?
So does a ROUND TRIP to Adana, Turkey with Nakhal and Cie / Wings of Lebanon

Departures of this shopping trip as they call it (since shopping their is so cheap comparable to Lebanon) is every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.

The fees include:
Air Ticket BEY/ADA/BEY with airport taxes
Hotel Accomodation
Transfers on arrival and departure

Things to do in Adana: 

1- Shop Shop Shop – Malls Malls Malls.
Prices are cheaper, especially the items on SALE;
It is actually a SALE there. 
2- Visit the giant central mosque
3- Watch movies outdoors (we couldn’t do this one unfortunately)
4- Drink Starbucks (American Coffee is for 1$)
5- Eat Kabab
6- Taste the Ayran
7- Visit the old bazar souks

Check out this video by Bilal Hax of our shopping trip there (I was super exhausted super sick with a projecteuron my forhead) sorry about that!  

View this post on Instagram

🔺Swipe ⬅️ ✈️ A shopping destination trip for $240 includes Tickets- 2 nights Hotel**** airport taxes, airport transportation, & Breakfast! @mayaacra @lebanontimes And myself had to check it out ourselves to believe it! Adana is where most retailers buy their brands at low tax cost, and because of current sanctions, it has become a shopping bonanza… Whether it is shopping for clothes, medicine shopping, or for beauty surgeries, things cost here WAY LESS!! 🇹🇷Don’t miss out on Adana Kabab for lunch & dinner, it’s only the best 😋 We had an awesome stay in @ramadaadanahotel, That provides shopping transportation for it’s guests😍 Book soon with @wings_of_lebanon or @nakhalandcie to get best deals. _______________________________ #adana #turkey #shopping #shoppingdestination #destinationshopping #wol #travelblogger #lebanesetravelers #lebanon #beirut #shoppers #lebaneseshoppers #travel #travelagency #vlog #videoblog #instatravel #lebanese #lebaneseinfluencer #travelmiddleeast #travelvlog #travelvlogger #cntravellertr #cntravellerme #nakhal #wingsoflebanon #fly #samsunggear360 #gear360

A post shared by Bill Hax ✈️ Travel Vlogger 360 (@eat.sleep.vlog) on

Enjoy it!
Much Love!
M

A Civil Marriage in Lebanon; Absolut-ly Almost!

A civil marriage happened only 22 km off the Lebanese coast Saturday noon, attended by the friends and family of Tarek Mallak (31) and Anastacia El Hajj (29) – and ofcourse the creators: the advertising agency, Interesting Times, and Fawaz Holding as the distributor for Absolut.

CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Husband and Wife.jpg

Instead of traveling to another country to celebrate their wedding, this young couple decided to celebrate its as close as possible to the land where they were born and raised, the land they love – the land that does not accept them falling in love.

The logistics of doing such a wedding is not easily replicable. The boat has to be registered in a separate country that accepts civil marriage, in this case in Cyprus. The minister had to be a Cypriot marriage officer.

CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Female Cypriot Minister_Wedding Ceremony

“When you enter international waters, you can then follow the law of where the boat is registered. This was our way of expressing that we all believe it’s high-time we bring civil marriage to Lebanese shores.” stated Rita from Interesting Times.

Coming from different religious backgrounds, these young love birds are the pioneers of An-Almost-In-Lebanon-Civil Marriage without having to lose their civil rights*. The thing is Lebanese people are getting civil married in other counties both ways and legalizing it is a win-win situation to the state and the couples in love. In addition to it being a way to express that Love should know no race, color, gender, or religion, it creates additional revenue to the Lebanese economy and minimizes the expenses of Lebanese couples.

 CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Birds Eye View of Wedding

‘Civil Love’ is a campaign that represents Absolut’s vision for a better, more open world. A world that celebrates human unity, diversity, champions openness, and promotes self-expression. It suggests that the best way to heal division in Lebanon is for the youth of different backgrounds to fall in love with each other. ‘Civil Love’ is the hope for a unified tomorrow in Lebanon.

 

Amen to that!
Keep falling in #Civillove!
M

 

* In 2013, a legal loophole allowed a few couples to marry civilly, but in order to do this, the couples had to erase all traces of their religion from their National Identities which led to a loss of civic rights. This act not only meant that the couples were criticized but it also cost them their right to vote, work in a public office, and meant that their child would be born with the same civic issues. This doesn’t seem suitable for a celebration of love and commitment and since 2013 there have been no civil marriages in Lebanon.

 

15 Minutes of Fame

Saturday was crazy. I joined the NOMAD EXPEDITION and discovered the beautiful virgin lands of Akoura, reached back from Beirut at 7:30 – and I had to make it to Qanat Alfa Alyaum Channel / OSN’s backstage of the show “Baddi Ra2yak” before 8:30 – Top Camera was 9 pm! Yes, basically they did both my hair and my make up in less than 30 minutes! (thus never mind how I looked!)

The question we discussed was the below:

Do you like to be famous? (from @badera2yak’s twitter) 
| Answers & results were as follows:
– Yes, why not (19%)
– Not at all (28%)
– I don’t aim for it, but I would be glad if it happened (30%)
– I don’t like to be in spotlight (23%)

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 4.43.01 PMSince Al Youm TV is a paid television, you won’t be able to watch the discussion online, however I will break down what we discussed below:

  • Fame might sometimes cause depression – especially when achieved quickly. We all know the ’15 minutes of fame’ – generally, what comes fast also goes fast.
  • Fame should not be an aim but a result of hard work and success – or else it might get disappointing
  • Fame in modern society is measured by the number of following an individual (or company) has therefore existing on social media is not only vital but inevitable 
  • Social media also provides a shortcut to fame 
  • Fame is responsible – meaning, every relatively famous individual has social responsibility of increasing awareness to good social causes which he should advocate whenever needed
  • A famous person doesn’t need to get his followers into his house – the panelists explained privacy of a household as “red lines” – however, this is definitely the decision of every famous person – some of them enjoy it (like the Kardashians) some don’t (like Nancy Ajram) 
  • Followers are (generally) not stupid and can sense when a person is genuine or fake – a fake life on social media can be easily spotted; fake profiles eventually cease to exist
  • No matter how strong social media is, traditional tv appearances still have a huge impact on shaping a celebrity’s prestige (media needs celebrities and vice versa)

 

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I am one of the people who added to the 3rd answer. Being famous is never my aim, however success is – if fame followed, I wouldn’t mind it 🙂

What are your thoughts about fame? 

Set A Goal, being famous is not one!
With Love,
M

#STOPTheBurning! Lebanon, SIGN THE Petition!

Sign The Peitition NOW!

I watched the screening of the documentary “An Incinerator for Beirut” last week;
Our government is planning to acquire an incinerator or two from Denmark, to deal with the waste issue. However for the time being we are burning waste out in the open or throwing it into the sea, Ziad Abichaker traveled to Danemak and investigated on spot what’s going on. Here’s a few things I learned while watching the documentary:

Before 1970, Danemark used to throw their garbage in the sea because they didn’t know any better, out of which they are still suffering till today the consequences – 40 YEARS LATER!!! 
Non-recyclable wastes and relatively small-metal wastes get burnt in full combustion chambers; recyclable wastes get recycled not burnt. Danemark do not have any procedure that decomposes huge metalic objects, nothing remotely close to “thermal disintegration”. A huge part of the burned wastes are used in the building of infrastructure, particularly the foundation of roads.
Danemak itself sends some of the recycled wasts to Norway (wastes that contain high dosage of toxic gases and metals like dioxine); Plasma is not applicable in Danemak and does not work efficiently on recycling household wastes. The most toxic residue of non-recyclable & metallic wastes is dioxine. We do not have any laboratory that tests for dioxine in Lebanon. The cost of such a factory costs around 1.5 million dollars.
According to the study of a professor in the American University of Beirut, we will be highly effected by the waste problem in Lebanon. Demographically, the radius effected extends to Achrafieh/Dora (40%) and Antelias (10%); consequences include genetic deformation. 

As mentioned in the Human Rights Watch, despite protests calling for an end to the garbage crisis, more than 150 dumps across Lebanon are openly burning trash at least once a week. Older people and children are most at risk. Doctors say the burning leads to respiratory illnesses and could increase the risk of developing cancer as a result of sustained inhalation of smoke. The government of Lebanon can and should stop the burning and manage the waste in a way that respects health and meets environmental standards.

Our parliament is finally considering a national solid waste management law that would ban the open dumping and burning of waste. Take action today and tell the government to #StopTheBurning! Sign The Peitition NOW! 

https://www.hrw.org/stoptheburning 

Having said that, every “recyclable waste” we do not recycle today is a step closer to getting cancer and having our genes deformed. Before just implementing the incinerator in Beirut, we should start by recycling our wastes! Again, those combustion chambers only burn NON RECYCLABLE wastes. Enough of thinking it’s nerdy or not-cool to recycle, RECYCLE NOW! 

 

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KASSER. RECYCLE. REPEAT. @KasserLebanon

Having a garbage epidemic did not really reshape our daily routines into being less violent towards our daily usage of everything. Solving the size of this issue starts with reducing, reusing, and recycling. When we reduce our usage of products, less items will go to waste. When we cannot reuse an old item – when it is completely retired, we recycle it.

It takes us a lot of patience to think of recycling our beer glass bottles – however it takes everything but patience, if we were to actually smash glass bottles to tiny pieces getting our rage out – instead of getting it out on the streets. Yesterday, I smashed an old phone, an old TV set, kitchen blenders, a lot of glass bottles…

– and I FELT GREAT!

Let’s support @KasserLebanon into getting the word out!
Basically the initiative is smashing out old unused items & sending it to recycling. Kasser will be arranging a lot of events and collabs so make sure you stay tuned with their socials.

They are very interactive on instagram and facebook, Follow them, DM them and they’ll answer! 😉

Also, here’s the team’s instagrams: @pedroskt @mariadoloresgebrael @gass13 @cyntttttt

With Love
Less-Stressed M

 

#MyVisionMyLife Collection of Hoodies @mayaacra

Motivation Hoodies; 10% of the overall proceeds go to Children Cancer Center.

You probably saw these posts (of the cover photo) on my instagram, their basic goal is motivating people to envision their future and achieve their goals, to believe in their inner beauty, to never let their insecurities and fears stop them, and to be faithfully strong.

The reason I started designing these hoodies though, is because I would really like to inspire others. The second reason is because I often go shopping and I never really like whatever I see. Hoodies with slogans like “Hate Mondays – Today’s Off, Go Back To Bed” is all I see and those do not really describe what I aspire to be – and what I believe life truly is: Life is about hustling, is about loving what you do and waking up every day to do more of. It’s about achievement, success, love, security, and strength.

And since I believe that Children with Cancer are the strongest and most inspiring people of all, this project is not solely for profit – since the profit is minor, 10% of the gross amount is given to charity – to Children Cancer Center. Since most of us really love to help, but we do not often have the time to, by buying a hoodie, you are inspiring whoever sees you wearing one, and you are somehow contributing a fair amount to the strongest kids in the world.

The Cost of one Hoodie is 50,000 LBP. (10% of whatever you buy goes to charity)

You can DM me on Instagram or Whatsapp me on 03366729 to Reserve Yours!

#YourVisionYourLife #MyVisionMyLife #mayaacra #mayaakra08

“7kita 3ala facebook w maraddit” is not a business approach

So is “Ba3atella DM on instagram w ma raddit”
Being A digital consultant, I find it often that people are interested in working with bloggers, digital influencers, or talents. Sometimes directors would find an actress so fitting for a specific role, that they send her a private message.

 

I also hear this often “I sent her a message on instagram and on facebook, she did not reply, she is probably sheyfeh hala”, while on the other hand there are numerous numbers of bloggers waiting for sponsors, for content, and there are so many talented actresses and models feeling unappreciated.

 

What should you do?
– Every blogger/ actress has contact information on their socials: Send them an email or call their personal numbers. Don’t just wait for a message on Facebook. That is you being unprofessional, not them being cocky.

 

– When not getting a reply, send a reminder after 3 days, then another one after 2 weeks.

 

– (If you still did not get a reply and you are still after this specific person) Figure out a medium. Think of a person who would know her personal number or email and contact that person.

– Contact Talent Agents and Agencies for assistance (they usually have contact information of talents)

Tips:

  • The new instagram links you directly to a person’s contact
  • Many professionals have their numbers put on LinkedIn
  • Bloggers that do not have a contact number on their socials probably do not want to be contacted (so if you are a blogger and aiming for sponsors and proposals, put it there!)
  • When signing deals and talking MONEY with the assistance of a talent agent or medium, ask for a meeting for the 3 of you together. Chances are big that some projects do not go though because the “person in the middle” wants a bigger commission or is not transmitting the right info about a specific activity

 

While mostly all businesses exist on facebook and instagram, both are still NOT BUSINESS platforms. You want to raise a complaint, send an inquiry, or ask for a favor SEND AN EMAIL, CALL THE NUMBER, and ASK FOR A F2F MEETING.

Goodluck!
Much Love!
M

Women, Homosexuals, and Artists as Politicians in Lebanon – @theKIPProject

… following my Not Your Ashta Blogpost..

I was happy to be invited to the KIP Project this year held at the American University of Beirut (AUB), since I was extremely sick for the past week, I could only attend it on the 1st of April (I missed the first day).

*Whereas all the panelists truly inspired me and scratched my head, I will only mention those who somehow triggered my senses more than others.*

Panel (Highlighting Discrimination through Art & Media)

One of the panelists, Bahaa Harmouche, is a creative director and works on the stigmatized HIV Positive outcasts in our modern societies – more specifically the homosexual HIV Positive people in the Middle East. He speaks on behalf of them saying “Accept Us and Love Us, we are not your enemy.”

Homosexuality is still an extremely controversial issue in the Middle East where all religions completely reject it as being un-natural and devilish. Individuals are living an internal conflict day after day, especially those who belong to extremely religious families. HIV patients – often persecuted by (somewhat) hypocrites that mainly engage in the same actions they did, but were luckier to not contract such a fatal disease – victimize themselves due to their little awareness, education, and luck.

“The gay society is already marginalized in our societies. The homosexual HIV Positives are even marginalized in the gay society itself,” claimed Bahaa during his panel.

It was definitely the first time I hear such a panel – a taboo, an unspoken battle, and a condemned group by even the minority sub-culture – a courageous topic to address.

Heather Jaber, an independent researcher, discussed the fact that homosexuals are often portrayed in Lebanese series as depressed, and are sent or exiled to other countries. While this portrayal of reality has its positive aspect where it shows that these individuals are unaccepted in society, other questions arise like: why isn’t the media showing us the successful happy homosexuals in Lebanon as normal characters living with us everyday – and are WE  giving them the option of either living with depression, committing suicide, or unintentionally sending them to extreme exile? Why is the sexual orientation the only layer a character is described with in Lebanese cinema and why is homosexuality the only artifact that is leading gay characters into depression?


Panel (Marginalized Groups in the Lebanese Political Sphere)


Carmen Geha and Krystel Tabet shared with us the findings of their research of the little engagments of females in the political life. “Politics is masculine” she said, “women are usually brought up in Lebanon to be honest, thinking about the benefit of the community rather than personal benefit whereas men usually possess more ego, aspire to be powerful and are more interested in politics.” Other reasons discussed were the patriarchy of sectarianism and the (debatably) little resources of women, their little effectiveness in national institutions, and their less availability (since they are mostly also mothers and house wives).


Reem Saab’s research highlighted a slight difference in the degree of political voting among men vs women (men are more likely to vote by 1.2% than women) yet a rather great-low representation of women in politics, due to lack of interest, lower chances of employment, and lower education levels.


Nada Anid, representing the NGO Women In Front, shared with us her findings of Lebanon being ranked 180/187 (in Women Parliament Representation) and 143/144 (in Women Governmental Inclusion). She states that a better Quota of women will only happen under one condition: Real Political Will.


In addition to the absence of a Feminist Block and the misconception of the role of politics, one can not but note that the seats in the Lebanese Parliament are barely fitting our politicians that are almost devouring each other for one seat, what if a WOMAN was to take that seat? Unfortunately, giving a seat to a woman is regarded as more of a gentleman act than anything else in the Lebanese government.

Perhaps these issues are disregarded in oppose to what our country is facing these days, however there exists a definite misconception of the role of politics.

Women and activists are less likely to consider politics due to the global interests/lobbies that do not appeal to the interests of such individuals. However, the KIP Project reminded all its attendees that politics is not about Russia, USA, France, or the Middle East, it is about our daily life struggles.

The representation of labor in the syndicates and unions has a direct effect on the rights of the practitioners of a certain labor force. The municipalities are responsible for the concerns of its citizens and we (and our votes) are to be blamed for the traffic jam we are stuck in every day. The government is held responsible for the tax, the double-electricity, and our endless expenses. Politics is not whether Iran and USA are on in “tsingof” or “TGIF” mode. Politics is the daily stress or distress we live with every single day.

The panel  (Art as an Alternative Catalyst for Change In Lebanon) featuring the Kesserwany sisters reminded artists that usually have no interest in politics to address social change in their own creative way. Yes, even artists are responsible for fixing Lebanon, no one is exempted – not the women, not the homosexuals, and not the artists. We are all in this together.

I hope one day all Lebanese People find this as interesting as the numerous pointless memes circulating our useless whatsapp groups,
With Love!
M

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From the book Louder Than Hearts Poems – Zeina Hashem Beck Winner of the 2015 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

Interesting Facts About Whiskey with Mr. Graham Coull

So, I got the chance (among with 14 other bloggers) to meet the Master Distiller at Glen Moray Himself Mr. Graham Coull, and be lectured about Glen Moray Whiskey and about Whiskey in general.

glen-moray-3Some interesting facts I learned: 

  • Scottish Whisky is only be made in Scotland (obviously but you know)
  • It is made of Water, Grain, and Yeast
  • Kinds of Whisky are Single Malt, Blended Scotch (and Blended Malt)
  • Whiskey is made of beer (Add Barley and Yeast, distill it twice to get Spirit, put it in an oak cask for 3 years)
  • If you mix 2 whiskeys of different ages in the same oak cask, the whiskey takes the age of the youngest (Say you put a 12 year old whiskey with an 18 year old = 12)
  • In Summer, the whiskey interacts more with the wood inside the oak
  • The use of a Narrow-From-The-Top tasting glass is so, so the taste is centralized, the aroma stays in the whiskey
  • No two whiskies are identical
  • To keep the taste of the whiskey, do not add ice (because it is water) Water Cools Down and changes the taste of whiskey
  • There is no specific age for a whiskey to be bottled; it just needs to be ready; different casks mature differently
  • When emptying a cask, Master Distillers keep a couple of liters inside to keep the cask moisturized between two generations.
  • The whiskey is much more intense if it is bottled in a brand new cask used for the first time, 50% less intense if it used the second time, 25% less intense the third time (usually casks are used for three generations)
  • Glen Moray works with 90,000 barrels a year (around 3 million bottles)

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How to Taste A Whiskey:

  • Hold it in the light, to start differentiating different blends of whiskey and their colors
  • Nose it, to know what to expect
  • Taste it

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What We Tasted:

Glen Moray:

The Classic Single Malt (6-7 years)
Taste: Malty Toffee Sweetness
I liked it, but you can definitely taste Barley in it, because it is young

 

The Classic Port Finish (40% alcohol)
Taste: Citrus, Apple, Pear, Cinnamon
I loved this one, I would recommend this whiskey to girls

 

Chardonnay Cask Finish
Taste: Unique, Spicy, Wine Flavor, Candy, Fruit Sweetness
I also would recommend this one to girls and not heavy whiskey drinkers

 

Peated Single Malt
Taste: burned turf, peat smoke, peated vegies
I would only recommend this one to a heavy smoker who stopped smoking and would want to feel some chimney, it’s too heavy I would imagine an oversized man drinking it on his porch while his wife cooks soup

 

12 Years Old
Taste: Sweatness, Dark Fruits, Red Berries, Vanilla, Oak Woody Element, Very subtle amount of smoke
This has more character, probably because it is 12 years old and that is the basic age of whiskey

 

15 Year Olds
Taste: Coffee bean, Cherry, Fruits, Bitter
I like this one more than the 12 year olds, it has more flavor
I would add to it 2 ice

 

18 Year Olds
Taste: TOO STRONG because it is 47.2% alcohol
You will need to add to it water