Archive for December, 2012

Awesome gesture!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

free-bread

my son spotted this awesome picture on facebook and we'd like to end the year on this hopeful story - the sign over the bread bags says "whoever is in need of bread and cannot afford to pay for it, may take it for free!"

wish everyone thinks of the needy in 2013 and help them in any way or form they can, just like this thoughtful bakery in tripoli, northern lebanon.

Making an honest living..

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Shoeshine-boy

my best hobby in beirut is walking around the streets under the rain - though yesterday was dry, i enjoyed my walk around sassine square where i spotted this shoeshine boy - i thought this deprecated profession in much of western civilization has also disappeared from lebanon, but it did not!

it seems that many boys, especially those who left syria to find refuge in lebanon are trying to make an honest living through this old profession, so i decided to make a pit stop, polish my shoes & help at the same time - it's been ages since i've polished my shoes on the streets of beirut, actually my grandpa used to take me with him for that matter, long long time ago...

boot polishing is an honest profession, actually many celebrities and presidents started their careers as shoeshiners, like james brown the godfather of soul, malcom x, luiz inácio lula da silva later president of brazil, andalejandro toledo, later president of peru.

though the winds of change are bowing strong across this region, i am not sure this kid will ever make it to presidency one day - but at least he is not begging or stealing.. kudos brave kid!

Strangers in Beirut

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Starbucks-Sassine

every year we pack our stuff and head to beirut to spend christmas with the family, and every year we feel more disconnected with our home place.

i was doing some errands and by the time i reached my in-laws it was already 3:00 pm, which means power cut for 3 hours - everything seems to be chaotic in beirut except for the punctuality of power cuts, they never fail - since my in-laws live in the 7th floor, it was out of the question for me to take the stairs, so i went to nearby starbucks in sassine square, ashrafieh to kill some time.

i sat there drinking my coffee quietly, suddenly i bumped into an old friend from kuwait, she was there with her husband apparently for the same reason as they live nearby... a few minutes later, i bump into yet another friend from kuwait, who used to work with the other lady i had met a few minutes ago, purely by coincidence...

i finished my coffee, did some more errands, and then picked up my wife and kid and headed to the mountain to visit some friends who left kuwait probably 4 years ago, which made me realize that the only friends we see or bump into in beirut are actually friends from kuwait!

feels like we became strangers in our own town... not a good feeling..

Meet Awesome Q8 Concierge blog

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

q8concierge

a friend sent me this awesome blog called q8concierge, it is basically a very niche site that gives you tips on non-touristic things to do or visit while abroad, like this beautiful restaurant in mexico called el montero that combines antique and modern elements under one roof..

Montero

or this contemporary restaurant in roma, italy, called os club, meant to make you feel at home..

Os-Club2

or this amazing maldives cruise called dhaainkanbaa, named after sultana dhaain kanbaa the queen of maldives from 1384 to 1388 ad, known for her exceptional beauty and lifestyle of grandeur - the cruise is a new era in luxury safari boats and offers an out-of-this-world experience.

Dhaainkanbaa-Cruise

we wish q8concierge all the best, it is an amazing concept - not sure it will ever be mass, but i don't think the concept is meant to talk to a mass audience - good luck!

thanks for the tip ragheb.

Vinyl is back!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

vinyl-disks

since 2007 vinyl has been gaining popularity again and 2011 has seen a significant jump in sales versus a decline for cds, though the numbers are still shy, we can say that vinyl is back! at virgin megastores, there is a dedicated stand for vinyl, lady gaga's record is selling at 35 us dollars (2 records, 4 sides) - michael buble's record is selling at 27 usd (1 record 2 sides).

vinyl-disc-player

the vinyl's trend has also ignited vinyl record players sales - i found many brands at virgin's, teac, lenco and the above numark, selling at 378 us dollars - i've always loved vinyl, it is like a cult to me with its vibrant colored designs and the amazing sound quality - i found some interesting articles on this subject that you can read below:

the vinyl revival

vinyl may be final nail in cd coffin

the secrets of high-quality vinyl record

And here’s the killer…

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

avenues-killer

i received the killer's image on whatsapp, it seems he is just a kid, born in 1990 and without a nationality (bedoun) - after the fight over the parking spot, he headed to carrefour where he bought the knife, then followed the dentist and killed him!

i can't believe this! he basically planned his murder, it wasn't even in the heat of the moment! i don't understand this generation, guys this is not a video game, this is real life, a man is dead, he is not gonna wake up again and continue level 2!!! wake up!

RIP Dr. Jaber Yussef

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

dr-jaber-yussef

though we're in lebanon for the holidays, we received this very sad news about this lebanese dentist who was stabbed to death by 4 saudis young men at the avenues following an altercation over a parking spot - we were sent this link on kuwaithere blog, and it is so sad to read the reason of his death!

we always complain about security in malls and raise awareness against violence, when are we going to see some security measures reinforced in public areas? this is a mall and this guy was killed publicly, in front of other people... it is so sad..

may his soul rest in peace and we pray god to give his parents the strength to get over this.

there is a video that you can watch on 248am, it is quite graphic.

iPhone 5 luring offers

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Viva-Zain-Watanya-iphone5

if you're looking for an iphone 5, you'll probably be lost in translation with all these offers from the 3 telcos - each has its own sales strategy that is quite different from the other competitor to offer you the same handset.

for instance, viva have a combination of offers allowing you to either get the handset for free or put a down-payment on the phone along with a monthly package - the lowest package you can get for an iphone 5 with viva is kd 10/month with 250 minutes of bundled usage and 1gb of bundled data - the 16 gb handset down-payment is 139 kd.

as for zain, they have included the handset price in the package with a minimum commitment of kd 18/month - however the lowest offer is kd 27/month with 300 minutes, 12 gb internet cap and pay as you go sms for the 16 gb handset.

wataniya telecom has a different approach, no free handsets or price inclusive strategy - their strategy is based on packages where you pay part of the handset tag price along with a monthly package - the lowest offer they have is kd 14/month with kd 240 down-payment for the 16 gb handset.

it goes without saying that the most luring hook is the free handset offered by viva - but then you have to go for the kd 30 monthly package with 1500 local minutes, 300 sms and unlimited data and you basically get the iphone 5 for free - this comes with a commitment to an 18 months contract, which is fine - but here's the trick, if you are a viva customer, even if you are an elite customer, you will be excluded from the offer even if you're renewing your contract! it seems that this generosity only applies in case you get a new line, which means they want to attract a handful of new customers and piss-off the majority of their existing loyal base... i don't get it, why upgrade me to an elite status for my loyalty and then forbid me from availing of such offers? why is a new customer being pampered and not me?

what to do now? my contract with viva has ended and i don't want to lose my number, nor buy a new one... so i either have to end my relationship with the telecom and move somewhere else, because they have put me in this corner in the first place, or buy my own handset with cash - but the question is, why do i want to pay cash when i'm surrounded with such lucrative offers!

for more details, you can read viva iphone 5 offers here, zain iphone 5 offers here and wataniya iphone 5 offers here.

Are you sick resistant?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

sick-of-being-sick

sick means different things to different people - some of our friends get into sickness mode the moment they start sneezing and look forward for their sick leaves, but for some reason my husband and i are very sick resistant, i mean our understanding of being sick is somehow unusual, maybe because we're so sick of being sick..

for us, having the flu, catching a cold, being beaten by a virus or having mild to average fever is normal - our lives continue as usual, we wake up early, take our morning shower, get out in the cold and face the cold until we end up crashing on the bed exhausted.

this week was unusual - my husband was sick over the weekend, however he went to work on sunday despite the fact he was still recovering - then he suddenly started having kidney stone attacks but it was business as usual - he spent the whole evening at the hospital, suffered a sleepless night but he was up on his feet at 5;30 am to be at work at 7:00, had to attend an event in the evening and came home around 9 pm exhausted.

on the other hand, he naturally passed me the flu as a couple of days ago, but for me life goes on too... today i even had fever and felt beaten all day long, i cannot breathe, have a splitting headache while driving on the streets hopping from shop to shop, taking the kids to school and doing various errands - tomorrow i have to be at school for the report cards, so whether i still have fever or not will not change my plans.

being sick for us means having fever that exceeds 39, not being able to stand on our feet or even open our eyes - how sick resistant are you?

What are you up to on new year’s eve?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

earth-cam

it's almost the end of the year, less than 2 weeks to go and people have already started booking their flights & planning their new year's eve - as far as we are concerned we'll be in beirut for a couple of weeks, as for the past few years' we've been spending it at home with the kids and family.

frankly, staying home is much better - we get the best food, best happy juice & best of all we don't have to drive anywhere & get stuck in traffic - we avoid crowded places, drunk drivers and celebrate without the hustle & bustle of the whole shebang.

if you're planning to stay home with your ipad, you can check new year's celebration around the world online through earthcam.com, not a bad idea!

so what are your plans?

Short-lived dream!

Monday, December 17th, 2012

43-billion

i read this hilarious story on arabtimes online about this guy who withdrew money from an atm and got this number printed on the receipt, kd 43 billion!!!!!

what's funny is that the guy went to his bank the next day and tried to play smart by asking to withdraw 1 million kd, the bank's manager was surprised as the guy's deposits are not even close to that number and had to explain that this was a printing mistake.

does anyone know how much money is kd 43 billion? it's much bigger than any bank's assets in kuwait, i mean the richest man in the world's fortune is around kd 18 billion, how can someone even think that this could be real money in his own account!

poor guy, what a disappointing morning he must have had..

Meet Dubai poop trucks!

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

this may be old news, but i've never seen it before!! i'm aware that dubai has no sewage system for all those  skyscrapers, but i've never imagined what it takes to take all that poop out of the buildings!

this is an old video, i guess it is dated 2009, but it gives you an idea of how many poop trucks it takes to clean-up! the guys inside the car are using some bad language, never mind, just look at the trucks' line-up! unbelievable! well at least kuwait has a better infrastructure for that matter..


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