Beirut, December and I – with pictures from A to Z

  • Assaad Thebian

  • This is the first time I write something for the blog about me directly and one of the few posts in English. Thought I spent less time than I usually do in normal times this month in Beirut, but still I had the chance to be entertained with what the city has to offer.
  • Other than the four days conference in Tyr with the Freedom Messengers Network (Picture A, B, C and D) with amazing journalists colleagues, which I had to leave before one day to participate in a friends’ birthday and went clubbing (Picture E & F ). Sleepless nights were terrible and participation in Beirut International Marathon on a cold Sunday made it worse.
  • Picture A: Celebrating Bilal’s Birthday

  • Picture B: Tyr Amazing Beach
  • Picture D: Working 😛
  • Picture E: With best ladies Maram and Wedo
  • Picture C: Participants of FMN
  • Picture F: Best people
  • In the Arab Bloggers Forum where I met genius people from all over the world and learned more about blogging and the internet. I hung out with the people in Harissa, Hamra and Monot. Many people were a real inspiration. Saed taught me about music, Noha taught me about del.ici.ous and endless session taught me more about tweeting on Twitter and learning about the SEO ( (Picture G, H & I). It was also time to post a new poem about Beirut (, and to criticize the Lebanese politicians who are now crumbling back to Syria’s lap after years of accusing the Syrian Regime with the assassinations in Lebanon (
  • Picture M: Malak signing her book
  • Then my news on the blog disappeared. Simply, I had little time to post anything especially that I left my laptop in work. But what was going on in my lovely Beirut?
  • “A part from Beirut” was a beautiful screening of three different short movies and a video installation By Nadia and Leila Hotait. I went to Zico House with my boss/friend since he is a friend of the two artists but I did not except that the show will be that interesting. One short movie talking about the life of a Palestinian prisoner who used to draw inside his prison and where his colleagues and their families used to smuggle crayons and bed and pillow sheets so that he might draw. Another short movie featured a poem that talks about some secret in the life of both girls. The third short movie dealt with the 2006 Israeli July war on Lebanon, where a Lebanese artist did not run to shelter like everyone else did but spent the bombing night covering her art pieces. The installation was on four screens, two inside Zico house third floor, facing each other and the other two on the close buildings outside. They featured floating bodies on water with no heads. (Pictures N and O)
  • Picture N: “A-part From Beirut” Banner
  • .
  • Picture O: Floating with no head

  • Later that night, Pippa was traveling and had a farewell dinner so we went over to her place and then I went with Kevin to catch a bus home, when that was not available because the driver decided to leave earlier (not on schedule) I won one more night in lovely Beirut. We went to the Corniche on AL Manara. There was a storm and the young people were trying to play with nature. They stood on the edge of the pavement, and whenever the wave struck hard they run backward. It was risky and Mother Nature won. Check (Pictures P and Q).
  • Picture P: Preparing for the wave
  • Picture Q: And here it comes
  • “Lakoum Hamra’okom wali Hamra’I” contest in which different photographers took pictures of life in Hamra street. Eighty of those pictures were finalist and the voting on them was launched on Facebook and in seven different cafes in Hamra before they were all grouped in one venue and a judiciary decision determined the five winners. After that a hot debate about the results was metered on Facebook and in the daily lives of the contesters. More news about the contest are on the following link on my blog ( and the results news featured by the amazing journalist Joheina Khaldieh ( and for the contest main website (
  • Volunteer work had its share, being a member in several NGO’s such as Aieserve (which I am not following my work in that much 😦 ) and Rotaract means you have some social events to take care off. Monday meant to do the following, attend a church Christmas ceremony and choral music, then a social dinner with the Rotaract members where you have to shock people with your 21 years old age. After that, a small pub gathering in Hamra because a very close Danish friend (Clara) is traveling and we had to have a proper good bye.
  • Family also has its share, not necessary the sisters but my cousins who I live with in Beirut. So everyone had his share, I went out with my cousin Nizar twice to smoke Shisha. Playing cards is also an old forgotten habit which I readapted for this month, winning three times in a row on three different occasions.
  • Then there must have been sometime for music, and Khaled EL Haber concert in UNESCO palace was the right answer. Enjoying time and giving a strong political message. The ceremony joined both the young supporters of UJDL (the Communist Party) and PYO (the Progressive Socialist Party). I could not help myself from laughing and feeling bitter when I saw that the PYO people who I had several arguments with before regarding my stand and theirs from the Palestinian cause. They have always accused me to be a “dreamer” since I believe in that cause, and they don’t anymore (last year) in contrary with what their main party principals’. Bottom line is that when the politics shifted, they did to. They were singing the songs of the Communist especially (Red Oak) which is a connotation symbolizing the red communist party, but less than half a year ago, the same people were singing the Lebanese Forces Christian Sectarian party songs. For me, many of the audience were just followers and hence I felt bad that those people gain profit in such a sectarian country were the political leaders can shift their views and no one is there to question them. What is worse is that people follow blindly. This is another discussion. But the evening was enjoyed (Pictures R, S and T).
  • Picture T: Lovely Audience 😛
  • Picture R: The whole band
  • Picture S: In Red Colors

  • Walking down Beirut streets, I saw Santa in a gas station along with Mickey Mouse. Let the picture talk (Picture U).
  • Picture U: Santa on Petroleum Station – Crazy
  • Christmas party at dinner was beautiful and my Secret Santa got me a charging lantern (Do I need it? I don’t know). But having some drinks with work colleagues is really precious. They are the best team to work with. Dima T, Dima S, Mounir, Maya, George, Sarah, Fatima, Patrick, Aly, Madona, Mu’taz, Lamia, Kevin, Sahar, Patricia, Joelle, Heba, Karem, Ramzi, Olivia, Geoge, Walid, Rita along with Nicholas and Yamen, my warmest regards.
  • University time means going to class and check up on friends, but then it means you have to see those friends outside class too. So Hamra street is again the target for a cozy dinner. (Warning: Don’t keep a camera in Girls’ hands, 100 pictures in 3 hours – it was crazy). The whole album (only the non censored ones and if accessible) could be found on this link: Only two of my best are: (Pictures V and W)
  • Picture W: Heba, Assaad, Nadine, Samah and Wedian
  • Picture V: Heba and Wedo

  • The dinner was instantly followed with some drinks in a close pub. The only thing I did not know will take place is a live electronic music show in some short pub basement. It was hilarious and I enjoyed my time. It lead to a report to be written for Hibr Lubnani and soon to be blog posted. (Picture X). Then it was a short dinner at Barometer with some other drinks (Almaza Beer ofcourse) and the best Liver and Fatouch in the whole world. Habeeb was kind to invite me to sleep over, the night did not finish before 5 AM, with two bottles of wine and some friends of both sexes showing up.

  • Picture X: At Danny’s Hamra – Live Electronic Music
  • The last four days were spent in the quiet mountains of the Shouf. Visiting relatives and meeting old friends was the daily routine stuff. Making it up for some old people I haven’t seen in a while and a Christmas night with chocolate gifts with my two sisters were the most splendid moments I enjoyed. Sleeping one night at Sari’s (one of my best friends since childhood) though we never seem to think the same way about political and social issues anymore was a good thing to do in last days of the year, especially that we aren’t meeting a lot in the last months. Then there was this small party which a friend conducted. I danced a little bit but I had to leave downstairs to the quieter floor and write a little. Two stories came out. I was also invited to Audi’s place (A lieutenant pilot in the Lebanese army and a very close friend who I really respect) where I enjoyed meeting some old friends and chatting with Hadi and Aed who recently came from Qatar and France. (Picture Y) This is the life in Beirut, working hard and going out, saying welcome back and Good bye.
  • Picture Y: At Audi’s smoking Egyptian Goza
  • I also participated in the live tweeting about Gaza on the one year memorial of the Israeli massacre when the Israeli troops bombed Gaza strip after Christmas Eve by one night. Tens of bloggers, activist and youth from all over the world started tweeting with #Gaza in their sentences to promote the Gaza cause and make it one of the Twitter trends. And it was a success. Although I only had my phone internet connection and short Mega Bytes in spare, but I tweeted like crazy. I will post a story about this event very soon
  • Even when I was in the Shouf, I couldn’t but take the medallion from around my neck and take a picture for it because it says” “There is no place like Beirut” (Picture Z).
  • Picture Z: It says "There is nothing like Beirut"

4 thoughts on “Beirut, December and I – with pictures from A to Z

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