You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘beirut’ tag.
Last week some idiot completely blocked off my car and I had to take a taxi to work. By the time I got there, I had a nice acquired tobacco aroma from the driver, as expected! However, on my way back home, I had a very interesting encounter, that made me remember this photo I took in a Jordanian cab. When someone smokes in the car, or in any closed space for that matter, I always remember the techniques used to smoke fish & meats.
Anyway, the cab driver I was driving with on my way back home, though a smoker himself, ask his passenger not to smoke in the car and wait till he gets to his destination. Now that was an unexpectedly refreshing act as opposed to the usual cab drivers taking it as an opportunity to grab a free smoke and puff up in a good company 🙂
Have you ever taken a ride with any similar Beiruti cab drivers?
… and speaking of Beirut & Amman, don’t forget to attend Twestival Beirut-Amman this Thursday, March 25.
35 pubs and bars on Gemmayze Street in Beirut participated in the non-smoking night* that took place on Wednesday 28 October. Nevertheless, many of these establishments did not uphold to their promise to the organizing NGO, Rotaract, and were blazing with glittering buds and retortful puffs. I know I am late on the posting train** about that, but I have been analyzing it backwards and forward thinking: “What would’ve been done to make it a success and give non-smokers a night to ENJOY?”
The answer is very simple: Education, Promotion, Reward and Punishment!
Admittedly, all nights are busy in Gemmayze, and from my new born addiction to Dinner Dash I can now see how hard it is to cater to all the client’s needs. Nevertheless, on this special night an extra effort by the Ushers, Managers and Waiters in welcoming the guests and explaining the event their establishment is participating in would’ve gone a long way. Just Putting the leaflets on each table, would ‘ve served the purpose. For instance, the vile smokers in our restaurant did not know / have not been told that the night was a non-smoking night (or so they told us). This is something Rotaract needs to educate all the pubs about for next year to avoid any mishaps.
A further step to be taken, is finding out who the smokers are and thanking them in advance for making this effort and providing a happy environment for all. Maybe some brochure or leaflet which included a thank you, the accomplishment they are making, ways to quit… would’ve helped if physical time was unavailable.
Now for reward. In my world a LOT is focused on giveaways, and promotional materials. What could help smoker’s through the night? Some nicotine patches and nicotine gum distributed at entry would have further enhanced the night’s theme and would’ve made any smoker beyond shameful to light up inside. and if smokers were to go outside for a smoke, why not thank them by a mini-desert or a free drink? Smokers could also be given extra privileges like a 10% discount for their next visit, or even faster service.
And now for PUNISHMENT, shaming is a good punishment. And here I have a great story to tell you!
This weekend we came back home to some poop on near our flat’s entrance (which is also shared by our neighbors). What simply stepped over it and ignored it (I’m not cleaning that!). But what our two neighbors did was INGENIOUS, and I have to give them so much credit for thinking of this! They wrote on an A4 the following: ” Please clean after your DOG, our entrance is not a TOILET!“*** and pinned it to the door. And when we came back in the afternoon, the poop was gone and the A4 was snatched from the door. Justice has prevailed!
The pubs and bars that participated in the event have benefited immensely from the free publicity and the extra amount of visitors who wanted to relax in a smoke free environment. But what about negative publicity? What about Rotaract binding them to some penal clause in case of breach and monitoring them more effectively? And a last word on shaming, what if those vile smokers from our story were faced off by the ‘metre’ after they lit up, who would have with a smile reminded them of the policy and offered them a desert / drink on the house (had they been informed about the policy in the first place)? You see the reward – punishment (in our case shaming) – reward is a very effective and simple manipulation tool that or parents have used on us, and at heart we’re all children!
Dear Rotaract! Us non-smokers really need this night to be a full success next year!
*** turns out one of our new neighbors has a dog :S
Did you know that smoking in public places was banned in Syria?
And it is about time we stop chain smoking, or second hand smoking, in Lebanon as well.
Over 1700 have already signed this petition, but that is not enough, join in the forces!
On another note, 35 bars & pubs in Gemmayze will be having a non-smoking day tomorrow, 28 October.
[Image Courtesy of Maya Zankoul’s Amalgam.]
What I love about Beirut is the Multitude of various cultural events that happen haphazardly and are free to the general public. For the second year the League of Lebanese Graduates from Greek Universities are organizing a Greek Film Festival at Empire Sofil, with a Free Entry. Isn’t that cool?
You can check the program below, but the names of the movies and the actors, would not say much to you:) The organizers are also promising round table discussions, and film critique at the event.
Wednesday 28 Octobre
20h:00 “HOUSE OF THE OLIVE TREES de Thouly DOSIOS”
20h:40 “THE MAN WITH THE CARNATION de Nikos TZIMAS”
Thursday 29 Octobre:
20h:00 “WHEN FISH FLY de Vilka TZOURAS”
20h:40 “THE FOUR SEASONS OF THE LAW de Dimos AVDELIODIS”
Friday 30 Octobre:
20h:00 “HAPPY NEW YEAR,MOM! de Irina BOÏKO”
20h:40 “EL GRECO de Iannis SMARAGDIS”
Saturday 31 Octobre:
16h:00 “HAPPY NEW YEAR,MOM! de Irina BOÏKO”
16h:30 “HOUSE OF THE OLIVE TREES de Thouly DOSIOS”
17h:00 “THE MAN WITH THE CARNATION de Nikos TZIMAS”
19h:05 “EL GRECO de Iannis SMARAGDIS”
21h:05 “THE FOUR SEASONS OF THE LAW de Dimos AVDELIODIS”
There has been a lot of criticism towards the reasons behind this Guinness record, but, as frivolous as they may be, I’d rather see Lebanon making the headlines on such lighthearted grounds rather than news of bombings, wars and terrorism. That is why, regardless of the stubborn competitiveness of the Lebanese Industrialists Associations I say: “Make Tabbouleh, humus, kebbeh… or anything you may, but DON’t make war!” And maybe we all should look at it that way.
Our country needs the extra positive promotion, now more than ever, and despite all of our political differences, food always brings the Lebanese together.
Yesterday, I passed by the Largest Tabbouleh, very shortly. I do not think Chef Ramzi was very proud of this Tabbouleh. The parsley was anything but finely chopped, and the remaining ingredients were floating inside the lemon, olive mix. Hence, I called it Tabbouleh Soup.
I can say that a lot of good ingredients went to waste, 1600 kg of parsley to start with. You can check out all the ingredients that went into the giant Hommos & Tabbouleh plates, as well as classical tabbouleh & hommos recipes here. What I did not understand how 1600 kgs of parsley plus 1500 kgs of tomatoes plus all the other ingredients, make for only 3000 kgs? Is there so much waste?
Some nice photos of the ‘making of ‘ on Star Scene.
Final Words of wisdom off the record
Waseet: It is great that you are planting trees, but its un-cool to distribute flyers, printed on virgin paper (without ecological certification) to promote it.
People: Littering is un-cool, even if you know there will be someone cleaning after you. Would you act like that in your homes?
I am developing a particular liking to the fact that not a week passes by, when there isn’t one or two twitter related events. Twiendships are formed on the basis of like-mindedness, and geographical coexistnce allows for the next step! I hope to see one day the extend twiendship goes as being a support system, but so far we’re having a great time, aren’t we?
Well this time we met over at Cafe Younes.
Then a small fraction of us went on to Pecha Kucha.
This is LaraZ taking her picture of the day! [that is how magic is born]
And let me tell you something, well you already know that, but I’m gonna say it anyhow – Maya in the comics is really Maya! I do not know how she does her magic, she has tremendous introspection to convey every bit of her, including her mimics ( yes really the body language of Maya the cartoon is Maya’s), onto her character. It startled me a lot this time around… it really startled me and I developed a new found fascination! So she’s really a communication artist!
Well anyway, here’s Maya’s take on all of this:)