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Showing posts from July, 2011

Crisis in the Horn of Africa

You may have seen the pictures of starving people in the Horn of Africa on your TV screens. We are all asking: how can this be happening again? Parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are facing one of the worst droughts for 60 years, and around 10 million people are desperately in need of food, clean water and basic sanitation. Join me in calling on world leaders to save millions of lives - today and tomorrow: Despite the urgency of the situation, most world leaders are responding too slowly. Immediate aid is essential. Yet at the same time we must not let them drop the ball on long term solutions as has too often happened in the past. Take action right now at: We can help stop starvation now - and stop the causes of starvation. Firstly, we need to make sure funding is provided to pay for urgent help that will prevent people from dying. Secondly, the

Welcome Ramadan this year with Istibaneh in Beirut

What is the "Istibaneh"? On the 29th of Sha’aban, the people of Beirut and the people of the heights surrounding the city used to gather on the shores of Al-Awzai, Ramla Al-Bayda, Al-Rawsheh, Al-Manara and Al-Somteya, with the purpose of identifying the al-Hilal, which is the inaugural sign of the Holy month of Ramadan. They took with them to these shores some food to spend the time while waiting for the sunset in order to spot the Hilal. Once they would spot the emergence of the crescent, canons would be fired on the hilltop of the seraglio (al-Sarai) declaring the start of the Holy month of Ramadan. What's happening this year? " Istibaneh " is taking place this year on July 30th, 2011 at Ein El Mraysseh Corniche facing the Mosque . The event is organized by three NGOs: Kitaf El Kheir Association (President Dr. Abla Bsat Jumaa) Sinno Family League : (President Mhamad Khales Sinno) Moultaka Chabab Beirut : (President Cheick Omar Chebaro) The event, wh

The July 2006 Lebanon/Israel War: My Story

This is a repost guest post by a good friend Hala Hassan which was originally posted at A Seperate State of Mind , a recommended blog by another great friend Elie Fares . Hear it from those who were there. A neighboring country at war, you sympathize. Innocent civilians torn into pieces under the wreckage of their houses, you shed a couple of tears. Frightened children and sick elderly begging for international intervention, you pray deaf ears listen somehow. But what if you were that citizen in that country, held up in your house, scared like you’ve never been, reciting every single prayer that ever crossed your mind for those bombshells to stop and those warplanes hovering in the sky to go away… Yes, it’s been 5 years since “July war”, “the 33 days war”, “the 6th Lebanese/Israeli war” or whatever they want to call it. But for that traumatized girl, it still feels like yesterday… To survive a war is one supposedly satisfying ending. Not to have lost a family member is considered a bl

DRM fails at marketing

Following up to my earlier " What's missing in Hamra " post and after the awaited reveler for the unfortunate teaser campaign (online and offline), it became apparent that this campaign is for a "clubbing" experience by the Democratic Republic of Music having free-entrance clubbing parties every Saturday. After getting reaction from many people online and in my office, everyone agreed that the "What's missing in Hanra" teaser campaign was inadequate for this campaign for many reason, primarily because Hamra is not lacking such "parties" especially that it is slowly becoming a new Gemmayze, Everyone was expecting something more meaningful from such a campaign like a public library, public garden or something that would benefit the general public. But this is not the bad part. After being criticized by many on facebook, they have failed to respond positively to criticism. In a facebook message sent to the attendees of the facebook eve

Feast for Change

On Wednesday July 13th, a bunch of tweeps and I had the pleasure of attending Feast for Change, the first official food & wine event in Lebanon by the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night-Clubs & Pastries in Lebanon that took place at Sursock Palace Gardens. The event was hosted under the patronage of Lady Sursock Cochrane who will donate a percentage of proceeds to her foundation for protecting natural sites and old buildings in Lebanon APSAD . The event featured around forty restaurants and drink vendors including attractions such as a live grill, chocolate fountain, ice-cream cart, cotton candy machine, and many other food and drink stops. The event also featured live performances with singers, opera vocalists and bands that made the event very light-hearted and interesting. I'm not going to express my admiration to the beauty of the venue, it was simple gorgeous. With more that 1400 invitees, the event was highly organized and the food was extremely del

What is missing in Hamra?

I have been seeing these posters all over Hamra and I am really curious to what they are about! Everyone knows how much I love Hamra so I am really excited to know what it is about. The event page on facebook says: There has never been something like this in Hamra. You will definitely want to experience it... HINT #1: There's no entrance fee HINT #2: It's not outdoors HINT #3: It's a nocturnal activity  Some people are guessing a public library, a theater or a cinema, free parking, a concert, etc... What do you think it is? Update: HINT #4: "Many of you expressed very valid hopes and wishes we all share for our home, cocoon, first and last love; our Hamra. But seriously, who'd campaign for parks/freedom of speech/benches/free parking/public bathrooms/etc etc... with an event on a Saturday night that starts at 10:00 pm and ends at 6:00 am Sunday morning? That was clear from the start, and we make no apologies to the misled. We all want our Hamra t

Mind Soup on paper again!

Mind Soup was featured again in this month's Communicate Magazine for the " What Lebanese brands need to know about social media " post. The magazine says: Just in case Lebanese brands might forget (and they usually need reminders in that matter), Mohammad again goes through the basic rules of how to smartly use social media. "Whenever the Lebanese get their hands on a new toy, they become very 'creative' and try to abuse that tool until it cannot breathe any more," he says. Too true. Thanks to @ FunkyOzzi  for the photo :)