Sights and Sounds of Lebanon

Post by Mark

Doesn’t really show much since the heavy fighting started later in the evening. The machine gun fire has gotten louder outside my hotel room. I have the balcony door open so I can hear the outside sounds. So far I heard 2 stray bullets land on the street outside. I have no clue why the idiots are shooting skywards… [YouTube]

Thanks Saeed


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Gun Fire

Post by Mark

I am back at my hotel now and I have the balcony door open. I can hear heavy machine gun fire outside but it isn’t close, its in the next neighborhood. My hotel is located in Achrafieh which is on the edge of the Christian area where everything is pretty much normal. The lobby is filled with tourists who I am guessing are freaked out with whats going on outside. This might sound weird but the machine gun fire outside is pretty soothing. I guess hearing the gun fire in the distance kinda keeps me in the loop with whats going on and the fact thats its not close by is assuring.


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Lebanon-Syria-Kuwait

Post by Mark

I just bought a Jazeera Airways ticket from Syria to Kuwait that leaves on Saturday since the Beirut airport is closed. I now need to find a cab that will take me to Syria. My biggest concern is that the main road to Syria is blocked so I have to take another longer road that will take me 5 hours! That’s a plane ride from Kuwait to London!


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Stuck in Beirut

Post by Mark

Looks like I am stuck in Beirut. The airport is closed and doesn’t look like its going to open anytime soon if anything it looks like there will be a war with hezbollah. Now I am going to try and leave Lebanon through Syria. Sucks.


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Beirut Airport Closed

Post by Mark

As of this post the Beirut Airport is still closed because demonstrators have blocked all the roads leading to the airport. My flight is tomorrow so hopefully the airport will be open by then.


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Speed Racer Tonight

Post by Mark

Speed Racer

Speed Racer is getting released in Beirut tonight (two days ahead of US release) and even though there are demonstrations and strikes taking place at the moment the movies are open as usual. Hopefully it will turn out to be good since I’ve always been a fan of the original cartoon. Will post my feedback later tonight.

update: I just got back from watching Speed Racer. I was the only one at the premier I guess because of all the rioting and blocked roads today in Lebanon. The movie was over 2 hours long but it was pretty good. I was worried the style of the movie would turn out childish but it was actually cool. Its extremely colorful, like you need to be on acid to watch this movie kind of colorful. The races are action packed and super fast and my favorite character Racer X was really cool. Only thing disappointing is that they didn’t play the Speed Racer theme song as often as I would have hoped for. The movie should be watchable in Kuwait with only 1 scene that would probably be cut and its a kiss in the last scene of the movie.


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Massari in Marina Mall

Post by Mark

This video was shot when Massari visited Marina Mall. Its crazy, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people got hurt or trampled. [YouTube]


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Vodafone to Offer Apple’s iPhone in Ten Markets

Post by Mark

iphone

Yesterday Vodafone released the following press release:

Vodafone today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in ten of its markets around the globe. Later this year, Vodafone customers in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be able to purchase the iPhone for use on the Vodafone network.

Hopefully Zain will also sign an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in their markets which would include Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. I doubt Wataniya would get the rights to the iPhone since they are not located everywhere.


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Lebanon: Varouj Restaurant

Post by Mark

Varouj

Varouj is an incredible Armenian restaurant located in a tight backstreet of Bourj Hammoud in Lebanon. The place is tiny on the inside with only 4 tables and the restaurant is run by a father and son, the son cooks while the father takes care of the guests. Anyone who’s watched the Seinfeld episode with the soup Nazi will feel right at home in Varouj because the father is Lebanon’s version of the soup Nazi.

What makes Varouj unique other than the really good food is the character of the father. We were five people having lunch and we were ordering the cold appetizers when the father decided we had enough appetizers and walked away. He wouldn’t let us order any more. Then when he felt it was time he came to us and asked us what hot dishes we wanted and while we were ordering he again told us that he thought we had enough and walked off. We wanted frogs for example but he refused telling us we already had enough dishes. Then later he even decided to cancel one of our other dishes. So we ordered frogs again and again but he kept telling us we didn’t need it. The table behind us called the father and told him they wanted some soujouk and makanek (kinds of sausages) and he told them not now later. Its crazy. He also wouldn’t remove a dish from the table unless it was wiped clean.

Varouj

The food was delicious, we ordered: hommos, moutabal, fattoush, loubyeh, batata harra, labneh, tongue, spleen, kibeh neyeh, sheep balls, little birds, chicken liver, chicken wings, basterma, soujouk and makanek. All the dishes were the best I have ever tasted.

The way everything is priced is also interesting. Basically nothing is priced and there is no menu. You go in, you order what you want and in the end he will tell you how much you need to pay and you don’t even get a receipt. Our bill came out exactly 100$ but according to my friend if we had ordered less or more the bill would have still come out the same. If you are planning a trip to Lebanon this is a place you need to try if you want a taste of local cuisine. The best way to find the place is to ask a taxi driver in Bourj Hammoud to take you or give the father a call on 03-882933


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Charity Toy Drive

Post by Mark

I got the following in my email today:

The November Boutique is proudly announcing its first Charity Toy Drive! On the 9th of May (Friday) we will be accepting old* and new toys and books you may donate to benefit those families wishing to share toy joy with their children, who haven’t the fortune to afford such luxuries. This is our chance to share the joy and teach our children the value of sharing and the gift of giving!

There will be music at the event and all the children that contribute to the event will be given treats from The November Boutique.

We are looking forward to sharing this generous occasion with you.

GOD BLESS YOU

* please make sure all donated toys and books are in good condition.

11am – 6pm on Friday, 9th of May @ Karizma
for any questions please contact 7313310


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