Tag Archives: maya acra

1, 2, 3 Fly: Finally Paragliding @flylebanonparagliding

I finally did it: Paragliding over Harissa after telling myself I want to for over ten years – wow I am getting old

 

I cannot find the reason of why I did not do it before, but I would definitely do it again.

 

I have answered below some misconceptions about paragliding that I wish I knew before:

 

Misconception 1. It is boring, you just go down the hill and that’s it!

 

Actually, you don’t. The paraglider can move the way he likes, up down left and right. We actually went horizontally all the way to Harissa then stayed on top of the sea for quite some bit.

If you like Adrenaline and you fly with someone as good as Walid Medawar from @flylebanonparagliding you can get your own share of Adrenaline Rush with tricks like the 360 degrees we did.
Still, It is not sky diving. You are floating in space, but you can float the way you like; you can stay as much as you like; and you can go as crazy as you want to go

 

Misconception 2. It is so scary

 

Well, I’ve loved crazy rides ever since I was little but let’s just say that if you ever tried parasailing you might as well enjoy paragliding. But yes, paragliding is much more interesting and ‘free’ – you are not stuck on a pillar

 

Misconception 3. Flying with a professional is uncomfortable

 

It all depends who you are flying with. I flew with Walid Medawar for more than 24 minutes, and I was not bothered at all. On the contrary, I was lucky to fly with him because of his noticeable passion towards paragliding. The fact that Walid still enjoys flying after doing so for over 20 years made me enjoy it even more! He is interactive and caring – and somehow intellectual. I felt safe and in good hands. That is all you should feel when you’re flying up in space right?

 

Of course you are freer when you fly alone if you practice it well, but flying with a reputable paraglider is not bad at all – it actually keeps you company!

 

Misconception 4. The Take Off and Landing might get challenging

 

Just focus and listen. Even though I have wanted to do it for a while, I did not read any blog or book before going paragliding. I just listened to my instructor, and I did not face any difficulties.

In the take off, you just walk then run facing the wind that is blowing you back.

In landing, you just stand up when your instructor counts “3”.

I did both exactly as told & hey! I love it!

 

LESSON LEARNED:

Do everything you want to do before you’re fat, old, and annoying.

Note: Walid gave me a GoPro which took pictures automatically every 5 seconds. Check out the edited footage I took:

Enjoy the winds & the view – and my video 😉

With Love!
M

 

 

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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

Don’t Be Perfect! Saint Tropez

I recently collaborated with Saint Tropez, a new store in Zouk, on a look book with my very own photographer friend @kareem_nakkash and the magnificent makeup artist Mohamad Kobrosly @mdk.mua (scroll down)

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Throughout this blog post, you will read some of their empowering taglines – reflecting a culture that promotes a less perfect – more fun/ sparkling life.

Saint Tropez is a member of the retail group holding United Colors Of Benetton and Sisley in Lebanon, being so I directly could predict it is a “credible” brand of good quality. I realized my cognition was right when I checked their collection – perfectly designed for strong, independent, multitasking, and outgoing women, who don’t need a mini jupe to turn heads. Even though all the pieces are noticeably comfortable, the cuts are also very feminine.

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Saint Tropez is an international brand. The style and expression is feminine, sensual yet always “decent”. The sensual identity builds on and gives direction to the feminine core. Price position is affordable, medium-low price level, and this element is linked to the core “value for money”.

As mentioned on their website, Saint Tropez designs are for women, who want to feel fashionable every day. “We create the season’s must haves, the everyday hero and the perfect party look – accessible fashion for all occasions.”

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My favorite pieces are the bohemian red dress, the green and leopard sweater, the black & white outfit, and the white lace shirt.

Go ahead and check out their Trendy/ Comfortable, Strong/ Feminine collection!

 

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Much Love!
M

Elections 2018 : Afterthoughts

My thoughts after the elections 2018:

  • What will we do with all the billboards? A good idea is creating tents for refugees or giving them to Waste (the startup that creates furniture and bags from recyclable wastes/ billboards)

 

  • Will we get more women representatives in the parliament? A good idea is to have less female candidates but more powerful and credible ones, supported by other women who want to be involved with politics.

 

  • Can we please have more power in the civil society instead of having random humans and how about the civil society starts their marketing campaigns from now and not a month before the elections? These extremely sophisticated men with no charisma can never prove a point when discussing life-threatening issues with Hezbollah men. The civil society needs a better representation.

 

  • Voting for a political party because of fear of becoming minorities, will it ever stop? Having a secular system is far fetched but it is the only way we can evolve, especially that the parliament is hugely divided and lobbying is not letting any politician solve anything.

 

  • If you want change, can you vote next time? Change is not the future. Change was two days ago, but now it is the future again. In 4 years, will we have more people who really care about Lebanon?

 

Finally, I hope those political parties who won actually plan a better Lebanon and not just a better future for his own grand children and children.

M

 

Keep Walking Jane

After the marvelous Johnnie Walker Lebanese campaign “The Resourceful Don’t Wait” and the great keepwalkinglebanon initiative, Johnnie Walker acknowledges – this time not only our local pain but – women starting this March launching Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker. Eventhough this is an american movement #MonumentalWomen, I am hoping we get those Jane bottles shipped here!

I’m sure everyone can’t wait to drink you Jane! 😉 jane-walker-350-2018

The Johnnie Walker Black Label “Jane Walker Edition” debuts in March to coincide with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day celebrations. In a multi-faceted attempt to support women in business, culture and politics, the company will donate $1 for each bottle produced to nonprofit campaigns like Monumental Women, a movement to erect a monument honoring America’s women suffragists in New York’s Central Park (there are currently 23 historical statues in the Park, none of which honors a real woman), and She Should Run, a group encouraging women to register and run for elected office.

Ref: http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/johnnie-walkers-transformative-jane-walker-campaign-will-support-gender-equality/

So both Lebanese Johnnie and Jane, keep walking 😉

M

Still Wanna Use Uber and Co?

Now that it’s out an Uber driver murdered Rebecca Dykes, a British diplomat in Beirut,  I am beyond shocked – and I feel the need to share this:

Around 6 months ago, I was contacted by Careem, another chauffeur driven car booking service operating in the Middle East, as an ‘influencer’ to promote their service on my social media:

I was riding with around 6 girls to Halat Sur Mer, the driver/ pilot commented that his boss doesn’t know he is a Careem chaufeur, so he doesn’t want to show in my posts. When I asked him where he works, he did not answer which got my girlfriends and I very uncomfortable.

Also, when he first picked me up, I recall he told me that I was more than 5 minutes late, so he turned off the map.

When we reached our destination at around 9 pm, I realized that I had left my wallet in his car. I called the pilot and told him that I need him to bring me back my wallet, he didn’t come back. Instead, he asked me to “order a Careem for my way back” . Not wanting to be rude, I agreed. I spent my whole night without a wallet. At around 1 am, I order a Careem. 5 minutes later it turned out, the pilot assigned wasn’t the same pilot who had driven me there. I cancelled the trip, and tried again. After 30 mins of trial and error, with my girlfriends and I waiting, I called the pilot and asked him to get my wallet right away. 

I called Careem’s marketing representative and apologized saying I don’t want to recommend this service to people who follow me. I deleted all the posts. The marketing rep told me it was my bad that I was late for pick-up, and couldn’t understand that I was actually more worried about the driver “turning off the map” and working “under cover”. 

25520044_10159704269960084_1563505195_nHowever, I still ordered uber sometimes both in Dubai and in Lebanon – since I thought it was an “international standard” service AND valet-fees-free. Now when I think about it; Even though most of uber pilots were nice and friendly, a lot of them were aggressive especially when it comes to “rating them a 5” or making them wait for 5 minutes – and by aggressive, I mean really aggressive. I have a rating of 4.88 on Uber, I had no idea that there was any Passenger rating till a rude pilot once mentioned that we both rate each other in a weird tone.

I also was once charged twice on my credit card for one Uber trip. I tried to contact the headquarters, the only way I could reach them was FACE BOOK MESSENGER – which is ABSURD! They promised a refund, I’m not sure they refunded my money. 

I remember when I was still in school, we had “3ammo George” my friends and I used to call. He was a dad, he was like our dad. We would call him at 5 am, he would get out of bed just to drive us all home. From THAT, to modern apps with complete psychos driving digital natives around the city,  is ridiculous! 

Being talkative and always questioning life, I ALWAYS asked every driver if he is both an Uber and Careem driver. 90% of them told me they were both, Uber and Careem drivers in Lebanon need to have a red plate/ public-driving license – so they’re limited and usually work with BOTH. It was a chance that this diplomat ordered an Uber, it could be either.

The reason I am writing this is to warn everyone, that I was NOW about to order an Uber (even though all of the above) to Mar Mkheyel, now I am just in shock and grateful I am ALIVE!!!!

Order a taxi from real reputable companies, NOT ON THE STREETS (my mobile phone was stolen from one of those once) “3ish ktir shouf ktir”; REAL COMPANIES who are always in contact with their supervisor, on walky talkies, THOSE!! Uber and such are just apps that take around 20%-30% of the fees you pay per ride. Even though they’re trendy and cool, they are simply NOT SAFE!

Or at least don’t ride with them before: 
1- Drivers cannot turn off maps!
2- Drivers are inspected especially for criminal records!
3- A 24/7 costumer service department answers complaints and not Facebook Messenger!

PS: Many UBER drivers were nice and extremely friendly and “fatherly”
Stay Safe Please!
M