Tag Archives: Beirut

A Social Media Love Affair

10 Mar

Or a love/hate relationship to be more accurate.

You see, I can’t quite decide whether I really like and embrace Social Media or whether I want to completely banish all SM applications from my life and go back to a simpler life.

As I have been busy designing “the Social Media Awards Beirut”, I got inspired to write a small ‘contemporary poem’ (?).

The-Social-Media-Awards-Design

Poke me

Write on my wall

Confide in me, tell me how you feel

O-v-e-r-s-h-a-r-e the details

Fill my newsfeed with your presence

kylie-confide-in-me

I have let my Firewall down for you

And my browser saved all your Cookies

To get you in my reach

So that you’re almost real

Follow me back, won’t you

I meant it when I “liked” that photo of yours

You look so beautiful on those Instagram shots

Your artsy views on things got me fantasizing

And your Pinterest Boards merge perfectly with mine

Lust

I saw you were downtown on Foursquare

I hope you don’t mind that I planned a trip there too

So I can see you from afar

Wearing that DIY bracelet you “Stumbled Upon”

You look even better than On-screen

In that familiar outfit,

And those shoes you just got yesterday.

You’re like a YouTube video coming to life

And I can’t but stand there

Wondering how real you are,

Holding a pack of your favorite candy

As I see someone step into the photo with you.

He holds your hand, smiling and romantic

Just like that photo you blogged on tumblr last night.

e97495d1770fbf61aafbd002bda4cda7

It all happened so suddenly, I’m puzzled.

I thought that status you wrote was meant for me

And our long chats meant something.

You cheated but you will never know

I killed you but it will never show

Because you’re made of pixels

And honey pixels can’t grow.

😦

BITCH

*Photos from “Vulgar Chic” on Pinterest.

 

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& JUMP!

10 Feb

As most of us fantasize about leaving their routines behind, breaking the habit, and coming out of the cage, some people go ahead and do it.

do it.

By some people, I mean Nader Diab and Imad Berro. Nader was with me in high school, the typical douche/bully high school molds you to be, now turned into travel guru and life teacher. I am utterly astonished by how that guy turned himself around, got a smashing body, a tan, and a winner’s attitude and rose above all the macho clichés.

The wonders of weight loss and tans.

The wonders of weight loss and tans.

With his buddy Imad, they started travelling around, exploring different countries, and together they started “Globe Jumpers”, a movement they are hoping would encourage the youth to go out there and explore the richness of our dearest Planet Earth.

Imad Berro being all exotic

Imad Berro being all exotic

I sat with them for a mini chit chat via facebook, here’s what they had to say:

How did the idea of Globe Jumpers come about? 

The idea of globe jumpers came to us as a pure coincidence: we met William, a writer and traveler and told him about our passion to explore the world. He was not only amused by our drive, but also suggested we go big with it. This is how we started assembling pictures of us jumping in different surroundings, different cultures, different continents; the ‘jump’ is the only consistent element in an ever-changing backdrop.

Jumping in Malibu Bay!

Jumping in Malibu Bay!

How many countries/cities have you travelled so far? 

It would be hard to count the number of cities we’ve been to due to the fact that we enjoy targeting remote areas, such as deserted islands, small villages and mountaineering adventures. We have visited about 40 countries in total: looking forward to doubling the number in the upcoming 2 years.

travel-inspiration-words

Does “Globe Jumpers” get in the way of your respective jobs?

No, it does not get in the way of our jobs simply because, figuratively speaking, we live two lives. We have a multitude of jobs from teaching at schools to working in hospitals. We use what we make out of these jobs to fuel our taste for adventure. All our day-to-day experiences help us build patience and gain knowledge, which become the building blocks of our travels.

Jumping over Chile

Jumping over Chile

What is your most prominent travel memory? 

In 2010, we took a trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The women there had to carry massive baskets filled with fruits on their heads and go sell them at the market, civilians had to shower outside while the youngsters found their form of entertainment in playing with pebbles and twigs. The houses were made out of clay, and the thought of these homes having to withstand weather changes only baffled us. We left Port-au-Prince having gained attachment to the city, along with appreciation for what we had back home. Devastatingly enough, a week later we found out about the massive earthquake that shook the area and took with it the lives and happiness of those Haitians. We still think about them all the time.

What is the most touching travel memory?

The day we went to the Dominican Republic. A woman called Ramona hosted us, gave up her bed and shared the couch with her son; she also protected us with her only mosquito net, saying that she was used to the bites but that the insects could end up hurting the newcomers.

The next day we had the great honor of meeting all her family member a nice “arroz y pollo” typical Dominican dish. Meeting people like this, you can’t but be humbled and touched; we feel like humanity exists the most in less “civilized” corners of the planet.

Jumping over "La Laguna Esme", Argentina

Jumping over “La Laguna Esme”, Argentina

Tell me about your most spiritually enriching experience?

“March 2012, Patagonia, Chile”, the day we discovered meditation.

It was the third day of a weeklong camping expedition, and we met a wise Japanese man named Yoshi. He spoke nothing but Japanese, but that didn’t stop us from conversing with him via body language. Meeting Yoshi gave a spoonful of Japanese culture that we had never witnessed; since then we started incorporating meditation techniques into our travelling experiences. This has enabled us to become one with nature and appreciate our surroundings, environment and our instinct of survival considering the fast rough climate changes we are bound to experiment. Glaciers become more majestic, mountains sharper, rivers more refreshing, and trees more alive!

the Torres mountains in Chile

the Torres mountains in Chile/ Photo taken by the Globe jumpers themselves.

Do you have a message to convey through your Facebook page?

We want to be the first Lebanese youngsters to jump around the world.

We would like to inspire others to take a walk in our shoes, or in this case, our hiking boots; the world has a lot to offer in ways a tour guide can’t. Motivating others to do the same is what we would love to see happen: Traveling opens you up your mind, develops your tolerance and understanding to others.

While travelling, do you ever see concretely the effects of “Global Warming”? 

For the first years of our travels, our main focus and excitement was targeted on exploring till we hiked up the mount of Kilimanjaro where the snow on top is known to be eternal.

We were dumbfounded by the massive glaciers but shocked to learn that they had once been even grander. “Within the decade there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro”.  A local once said.

Also, visiting the “Descente de la Lesse” in Belgium (a 7 hour rapid river kayaking), the trees in the forest had lessened; the rivers had narrowed, limiting the only source of living for certain populations.

at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

What is your ultimate ambition when it comes to “Globe Jumpers”?

As globe jumpers, our ultimate ambition is to travel the world and take on nature with the most adventurous challenges possible. Most importantly, we do this while carrying the Lebanese passport and Flag: it is important for us to represent our country and spread the real image of Lebanon around the Globe; one of cultural richness where religions and ideals cohabitate.

If you wish to connect with the guys personally or try to hit on them (all the single ladies), you can join their Facebook page and stay up to date with their latest activity. Who knows, they might have us jumping with them one day!

Jumping over Huttington Beach state park

Jumping over Huttington Beach state park

WE WANT MOAH JUMPIN’ JUMPIN’ a la Beyoncey

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I am Carrie Bradshaw (for a day)

10 Jan

A while ago, Time Out Magazine Beirut asked me to write their fashion column, and ever since I felt like Carey Bradshaw, minus the tutu.

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My assignment was to go meet a stylish Lebanese man, by the sea, in Zaytounay bay: Joey Ghazal, who happens to be one of the few male fashionistos in town.

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We sat down for a talk, over fresh orange juice (because it was too early for Cosmopolitans) and here’s how it went down.

“I think men in Beirut barely take any risks when it comes to fashion. There is a lot of repetition and a predictable wardrobe for the typical Lebanese guy.”  Says Joey when I ask him about the style credentials of the local boys.

“I like to experiment” – adding colorful bracelets to his otherwise classic outfits of rolled up jeans, rolled up simple shirts and boat shoes seems to do the trick; a hint of color to the nautical palette he dearly favors.

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“Working by Zaytounay Bay has definitely influenced my style”. With nothing on St. Tropez, Monaco and other bling-bling waterfronts, the women of Beirut come here dressed to the nines, risking having their stilettos stuck between wooden decks. “Women in Beirut know what they want when it comes to fashion” because what’s a city without an (over)dose of glamour?

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Joey is very keen on reflecting the identity of the restaurants he manages, subtly setting the dress code for his customers. When he is in New York style steakhouse, CRO-MAGNON, Ghazal does the whole “chinos, blazer, simple shirt, brown belt and shoes look” which never fails to exude laid back chic while adding colorful scarves for a twist: “after all, we are on the Mediterranean, and a monochromatic palette doesn’t fit our surroundings”.

Joey refers to his moods and the occasion to put together his signature outfits. As it is important not to be over or under-dressed; he always takes the fresh, gentlemen approach with a tasteful attention to detail, “Adam Levine meets Mad Men’s Don Draper”

I finish off the interview with a snap of his outfit.

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Peachy right?  

For moah fashion trend hunting, check out my Pinterest board:

And read the full article in the new first issue of Time Out Beirut style (@StyleBeirut), in which you’ll find all the go-to addresses to update your style destination database!

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Ashrafieh My Love

20 Oct

When I was in New York, a couple of people hadn’t heard about Lebanon, didn’t know what/where Beirut was.

Perhaps because “people in the US don’t have maps” [SIC]

But the truth is Lebanon is a country, the country I live in; the home I call mine.

However, somehow, in the back of my mind, I don’t take Lebanon seriously… I think in a way, we all don’t. We think that one day we will ‘flee because the country is not for us’.

But if i hear myself, I just said not for US; WE. PLURAL!

You get the point,

If WE don’t belong here then why don’t WE change that?

I don’t talk politics. I hate politics. Politicians are the mafia of the soul (read Osho’s long but PRECIOUS view http://tinyurl.com/8vr8lh5)

I talk humans and emotions.

What would you feel if on a random Friday, your neighborhood was bombed, and innocent people were killed, and many were wounded?

Why is it any different if this happened in Ashrafieh, Pakistan or America?

I urge you to realize that You, me, WE are to blame. And we are the solution.

So don’t be ludicrous with the blames, fingers and same patterns. Rise above the silliness people- and for Fuck’s sake stop following those politicians- Write down your solutions on paper. We could use some ideas

Correspond with me via gimmemoah@gmail.com

Send Ashrafieh some luvin’ tonight, it is after all Beirut’s darling.

Now’s the time to see the stars.

Picture from Dani’s Pinterest, here

Check out one of the well written, detailed posts about what happened yesterday:

http://stateofmind13.com/2012/10/20/the-lebanese-hurt/

Love and Light

Try a little Compassion

14 Oct

Today, as I was driving to work, and the first fall clouds hit the still warm Beirut weather, a woman was crossing the street, an umbrella hanging from her bag, waiting for someone to let her pass.

At that moment, It really hit me, how vulnerable we are as humans.

A little drop of rain and we are in dire need of protection. Just like we all need to eat (previous post), we ALL need protection/shelter: We all need each other.

As I stopped my car to let let the lady cross, she hastily threw herself to the other side of the road so that she doesn’t stand in my way and thanked me apologetically, as if expecting me not to stop, her umbrella almost falling from her bag.

Cars were honking/passing me all along that fraction of a minute I dared to pause to allow a woman in her forties to get to work on time, using the not so good Lebanese public transportation, or probably just walking on her feet, a balancing act with all those motorbikes coming the opposite way of the traffic (as if you haven’t done enough)

at this rate, your chances of surviving as a pedestrian are close to null.

I don’t know what triggered that, but this scene made me cry. Weep even.

I don’t know why I get those outbursts of compassion sometimes, à la Mean Girls,

but It really saddens me how much we don’t care about each other.

A vulnerable woman, who needs protection from the rain, can’t rely on her fellow humans to cross the street safely.

As I went to Yoga class today, I was reminded that we are all one – we are made out of one energy- so open your hearts people.

open your hearts and arms, trolls.

This isn’t a sermon; instead look at it as a slap in the face so that next time you remember to be more loving. And if you don’t then I’ll slap you.

Sit there for a moment, and feel yourself fill up with love. Release a little compassion into the world (sounds like a quiff), we could really use some. I know that we all have anger, and stress doesn’t help, but anger and compassion are the same energy – it’s up to us to transform it.

even in Beirut.

People of the city, for God’s sake stop honking, and let pedestrians cross, even if you’re late and REMEMBER (excerpt from an OSHO talk)

Your neighbor is just a form of you; your enemy is also a form of you. Whatsoever you come across, you come across yourself. You may not recognize because you are not very alert; you may not be able to see yourself in the other, but then something is wrong with your vision, something is wrong with your eyes. COMPASSION is therapeutic.”

Love thy neighbor as thyself?

We’re all in this together, even people who think color blocking is IN this season, this one’s for you:

http://danielleabisaab.blog.com/2012/07/16/were-all-in-this-together/

Maybe you should also listen to this song:

It feels so sexy to be kind; we already agreed that kind is the new mean.

Let me see y’all gimme some compassion-spread the word,

Pictures from this Pinterest board, check it out for moah Inspirational quotes, that will hopefully inspire you to be a better person. thanks Dani!

Hugs (for the pretty ones only)

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Are you brave enough to unleash your Peacock?

4 Oct

Finally, I get to come here, and actually be inspired to write about something that is dear to my heart: FASHION.

If you think Fashion is fickle, and it’s only about starving models + Ana Wintour, then you need to see the fashion doctor (or just gimme a buzz).

Krikor Jabotian’s intricate couture, is a living proof of the ART, craft and design process that go into designing one collection/dress.

Originally Armenian, Krikor was born and bred in Beirut – The Armenian influence is evident in his designs/brand image, with many references to Armenian art and artists, particularly Sergei Parajanov.
With a peacock as his emblem, sensitivity at the tip of his hands, Krikor creates airy designs, ones that float, breathe and freeze in a sudden halt to tell a story.
His father’s Jeweler’s background is behind the embroidery and ornaments implemented in an empiric manner, enough to please any aspiring “Fellini” Greek Goddess.
Expect a lot of nude, blush colors, and fabric; the result is statuesque, theatrical even – The Pieces are far from shy, and impose a lot of personality on the women wearing “nouvelle couture”(new couture), as Jabotian likes to call it. You will not go unnoticed, without having to flash a boob – yes please, ladies.

poudré

A lesson of class from Jordanian Royalty – seen here in Jabotian

demure Beauty Queen

 

In a scene that is more and more fastidious, Krikor has found his niche clientele alongside well traveled Arab women, fashion connoisseurs, talent hunters and BRIDES.

wonderful cake-like wedding dress

a carnation-like movement

 

couture for the little bridesmaids

Check out moah of his work here:
And on my Pinterest fashion board:
*If you would like to request photo credits, kindly email me: gimmemoah@gmail.com
Namaste!
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Cancer is not just a horoscope.

15 Apr

I have always wanted to be part of a good cause.

You might think being Mean is sexy in the game of power we succumb to in our daily lives, but I’ll allow myself to say that being good is sexier. Orgasmic even.

NICE IS THE NEW MEAN

-Try it.

When I was contacted by Leo Burnett a couple of weeks back, I was asked if I’d like to perform any kind of street art to raise money and awareness on Children who have cancer as part of a campaign for the CCCL (Children Cancer Center of Lebanon); I immediately said yes. I proposed the idea to my co-worker, Madonna – a graffiti artist and she agreed to do it.

We bought our Montana sprayers feeling as bad ass as ever and dragged ourselves (and each other) on a Saturday morning, out of bed at 9 am to be on Location at 10 am sharp. Madonna starts showing off her fabulous skill recreating the sketch first with chalk with everyone joining in on the fun of spraying later.

the wall before it was sprayed with awesomeness

This symbol represents the Cancer Star Sign, and NOT the 69 SEX position. Although we had a few remarks on the matter, but no it is supposed to be a symbol of a mother, breastfeeding her child, PERVERTS.

The message we want to convey is that while we are known for being intrinsically superstitious as a society, many of us review their horoscope every morning through any of the countless resources (or all of them combined for a more accurate forecast) on a daily basis.

What's your star sign?

Although I am not criticizing the science of astrology, we should remember that while we check if the stars are aligned correctly for us today as Gemini’s, Aquarians, Sagittarians, Leos, Libras, Capricorns and so on, some children live through cancer, The bad cancer, The one that kills and not the Star sign.

Proudly posing with our final artwork

Child Cancer can be completely cured, with enough money to proceed with the therapy.

So while you read your daily horoscope tomorrow, I hope you will give a thought to the Children who have Cancer, without having to be tragic about it, just send them your warm thoughts and good intentions. Well, it won’t hurt if you donate every now and then too.

Enough Angelina Jolie goes Gandhi for today. Watch the Stop motion animation to see the progress of the project (Thanks Ahmad for taking the awesome pictures!) .

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And the beautiful TVC by Leo Burnett:

I’d like to thank the PR team Aphy, Jen, Leti and Jimmy for making this fun; Diego and Tania for being empowering.

If you want to see the graffiti live, head to the end of Hamra (after Roadster’s) keep going till you see a parking lot. It’s there. Don’t forget to tweet me about it @GhPhilippe

We want more good causes!

Give Moah! X