Category Archives: Lifestyle

Cultural terrorism prevents Mashrou3 Leila from opening for RHCP in Beirut

I haven’t posted here in a long time but this grinds my gears so i’m typing again.

Context is here for those unaware.

Disclaimer in expectation of simplistic, partisan comments: I am not an Israel supporter, I am not a traitor of the Palestinian cause…yada yada yada

Seriously? Simply because RHCP won’t back down on performing in Tel aviv, you’re arrogant enough to be self-righteous enough to pressure the band from opening for them in Beirut? Are you forgetting the essential part of the story here? They’re performing in Beirut!!!

Whether you like it or not, Israel is a nation with an economy, a government, and an influence in today’s world as well as a diaspora (and hence consequences around the world) that far exceeds the Lebanese one.

(Update): The band is also to blame here as they may have caved a little too easily.

Many have tried before to use cultural sanctions as an answer to the Israeli government’s political and military actions without success. You, ‘activist’, are willing to deny an up and coming band with a great opportunity ahead, the chance to open for one of the greatest bands of the past twenty years because you don’t agree with the Israeli government?

‘Cultural terrorism’ is the word you’re looking for. I saw you, activist, request they cancel their Tel-aviv concert. I didn’t actually see you ask them to *choose* between Beirut and Tel Aviv. Even after they tweeted their “joy, pleasure and excitement at playing in Tel Aviv,” as well as their “great love for Israel.”

But of course you can’t ask them to choose. No artist would ever perform in Lebanon again if that was the choice offered to them. Every single artist you can name who’s ever performed in Lebanon, by the way, has also performed in Israel.  Every movie you’ve seen has been aired in Israel. Every series you’ve watched has been aired in Israel. Every product you buy is on sale in Israel…

Where is the logic?

But it seems, unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, you do have somewhat of a reach, to pressure the local band into pulling back. Despicable.

How would you have felt if Israeli activists had decided that Lebanon, being a ‘terrorist country’, they wanted to pressure them to boycott their concert in Lebanon?

Rhetoric question, i guess… not even really expecting this post to make a difference, but wanted to write it…

Why and how Restaurants in Lebanon should start moving to Social Media

Social media, mobile browsing and the utilisation of mobile applications on modern smartphones have seen a huge surge in popularity in recent times
According to tis infographic by Restaurant App Engines, there were 72% more smartphones sold in 2010 compared to 2009, and 87% of these smartphone owners use their phone to access the web. With such a phenomenal amount of usage, businesses can no longer afford to ignore these additional promotional avenues, and this infographic proves that restaurants are no exception.

While social networks are proving suitable tools to test new promotions or original ideas, this is not their primary mission. In fact, social networks offer the opportunity to bring something useful to your customers. Most of your communication actions should be planned around this idea.

OK now everything you’ve heard about social networking has come to convince you and you’re ready start this amazing “adventure”? Good idea. But you need to know how to do it and most importantly, what to say. Dear restaurants’ communication and marketing managers, here are some tips and examples to guide your communications on these networks and expand your virtual community.

1- Talk about the new features: new dishes, new recipes, new prices, new ingredients, new employees, new design…

2- Create exclusive content and be visual! Share your photos of mouthwatering dishes, videos of what happens in the kitchen, pictures of special events. In fact, images other than those on your website.

3- Encourage your customers to comment on the menu’s new items and give their opinion and recommendation

4- Tweet the sources that mention your restaurant

5- Talk about the celebrities who came to your restaurant, what they said, iwhat they ate and what they did

6- Tell funny stories that happened in your restaurant

7- Talk to your followers, ask the what they want to improve in your restaurant

8- Maintain a dialogue with your customers and potential customers and answer the questions they ask

9- Talk about future projects and plans for your restaurant

10- Push some special operations: Present the “Customer of the month” or ask your fans on Facebook to propose new recipes or dishes that can be considered as “Recipe of the month”

11- Turn your employees into trendy brand ambassadors

12- Increase your traffic by creating unique contests, distributing free stuff and promotions and by retweeting any positive feedback

13- Communication regularly and during peak hours (come on you know what are the peak hours for every social network… :p)

14- Messages such as “buy this or that” are not effective. Social media tend to focus on interactivity and there must be room for criticism. Express yourself on topics of interest to your community

15- Learn from the experts. Follow restaurants and private experts in your field to see how they build a community and agree that you have much to learn

Now restaurants like Crepaway and Roadster do it pretty well on their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, but maybe it’s time for them to take a step forward and start challenging the use of social media for their businesses?
The one rapidly growing technology everyone in the industry has an eye on is the mobile phone, as it isincreasingly becoming the portal through which consumers interact with the digital world. Gaining access to consumers as they go about their daily lives and being able to reach consumers at that crucial moment when craving strikes is the key to success. Who will be the first one replacing their call center for delivery by developing a mobile app ?

Photo-Blogging contest in Beirut

Are you a photographer who blogs or a blogger who likes to photograph? Then this challenge is for you!

Spreadminds (which seems to be a really REALLY great agency) is looking for 27 interested participants to take part in a mini-photography contest exclusive to the Lebanese online community. Be the first to take part and have your photograph featured at the launch of Mosaic: Ashrafieh International Photography Contest on October 29, 2010.

Each of the 27 of the participants will be given a disposable camera of 27 photos (color) to shoot with for a week and upload onto the Mosaic blog by October 27, 2010.

The photos can be taken anywhere within Ashrafieh, including the following neighborhoods: Gemmayze, Karm el-Zaitoun, Monot, Sodeco, Sioufi, Jaitaweh, Fassouh, Sursock, Mar Mikhael and Sassine.

Open subject and feel free to get creative with how you take your shots! Upload as many of the 27 photos that you like for consideration with your name and blog URL. Photographers who take part in the challenge will still be eligible to take part in the main contest, but not with the submissions for the challenge.

Voting: Once your photo(s) have been uploaded, get as many of your friends to vote on your picture. 75% of voting score will go to number of Facebook votes per photo.

Signing Up: First come first serve – so the first 27 photo-bloggers to sign up will receive the disposable cameras to start shooting. Email us your name, contact information and blog URL if you’d like to take part to Loryne at loryne@spreadminds.com

Fashion Daze Beirut – Positioning Beirut through fashion?

From September 16 until September 19, local and international emerging Fashion designers and photographers join their talents to re-interpret Beirut in a raw forsaken urban space within Souks Beirut, that will be exclusively revealed for one weekend. Their work will be discovered through a series of mixed media installations unfolding into moments of Beirut.

Fashion Daze changes the face of Beirut for a whole 4 days through fashion; exposing Beirut’s vernacular and glamorous culture to the world.

Creating moments of Beirut through fashion…
Celebrating Beirut glamour through urban artistic languages…
Fashion, creativity, music, cocktails, workshops…
This is what Fashion Daze is all about. Check out the teaser below

The event is brought to life by Aishti, Made For Beirut (Raya Tueny) and Solidere. Can’t wait to see what it’s going to be live 🙂

What is Made for Beirut ?

MFB is a fashion movement that situates fashion in a schizophrenic city that is in constant (re)construction. “We stitch vernacular with glam; we sew; we emphasize authenticity.” MFB is a collaboration amongst people who love Beirut. It is a call for action. It is the platform that will allow change to happen.

For more information you can check out the Event on Facebook or follow the Fashion Daze Beirut blog.

week&groove – Wouldn’t It Be Bad

This week’s track is Wouldn’t It Be Bad by Lady Gaga vs Kesha vs The Beach Boys. Snubbing the Gaga-Ouh-La-La would be highly hypocrite during this era we live in. DJ Clive$ter is my official Mash-Up-Chop-Pop messiah who definitely knows how to turn some cheap-processed Happy Cow squares into a kinda fancy aged Gorgonzola Di Buffala. How about some old Beach Boys tune melted with two of the most aired songs from the past months? Whether you adore or despise the original tracks, the end product will leave a certain mark on your beautiful neck.

wecangroovecozallroadsleadtorhum

Wouldn’t It Be BadLady Gaga vs Kesha vs The Beach Boys

week&groove’s mailing list is elastic. To be added, please send me your email addresses and the ones of potential groovers you may know.

Interested groovers, send “I wanna groove” to weekendgroove@zalum.net

week&groove is a weekly ritual brought to you by bruzdesign

week&groove encourages you to purchase the albums of the artists you like.

Meet BeirutRestaurants.com

I have just discovered this website, a resourceful online directory for restaurants in Beirut city. It is, without any doubts, the most updated database for restaurants around, and has a diverse selection for residents or tourists visiting Lebanon.

So if you are looking for any information on any restaurant in Beirut, you can find it there. It offers a ranking of the best 10 restaurants, pictures and detailed description of each restaurant as well as a service of localization accessible through Google Maps.

Watch this video if you want to know more. Badeeh Abla is the managing director of Beirutrestaurants.com, talks about this great project.

Kibot is my new pal

I love this guy!!

Kibot is fun, smart, creative. You can check out his adventures on his blog!

Here are some of my favorites:

kibot-kibotflu1

kibot-pimp

kibot-green

kibot-rehab