Friday, January 29, 2010

BetLZ News 1.29.10 #2

Global Warming (or is it more PC to say climate change these days?) is so hot and happening that even Osama (yes that one) is getting in on it! /BBC

Gen. Aoun is expected in Damascus on Feb 9th of next week (is it me or does he really pick the most memorable days to visit Syria? St. Maron day of all days?) /Naharnet


BetLZ News 1.29.10

The news for today:

Lebanon to Decide on Sale of Mobile Phone Companies by Year-End / Bloomberg

Debt-ridden Lebanon sheikh stages his own abduction / AFP

Occupied Lebanese Village Remains in Limbo / Wall Street Journal

Father of Plane Crash Victim Dies of Grief, 2 Bodies Handed over to Families / Naharnet

Video of the Ethiopian Flight Taking Off: Click Here


Arabic Sound Bite n° 5 - From the Archives

Remember this?

Vintage Ragheb Alama!

The song in called "3alamtini"

Great video--classic 90s, before all the cool high-techness of today's videos

Arabic videos were just cheesy corny lovefests, but also much more innocent

Here it is:


Thursday, January 28, 2010

BetLZ News 1.28.10

This post will be updated throughout today! Check back!

Ethiopian crash jet flight recorders found off Lebanon / BBC News

Lebanon Byblos Bank 2009 Net Profit Up 20% At $146.1 Million / Nasdaq

Spain takes command of UN force in Lebanon / AFP

Dazzling haute couture rises from Lebanon's ruins / Reuters

Lebanon's foreign domestic workers fight back at abuse / AFP


Déjà vu x 2!

Yesterday we spoke about how Zuhair Murad's dress worn by Miley Cyrus at the 2009 Oscars was inspired by Dior's 1949 Junon gown.

Well how about this Georges Chakra dress worn by American model/actress Jamie King?

Seems like Georges Chakra copied Zuhair Murad who copied Christian Dior...

Will the chain get longer?


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Announcing: BetLZ News! (The Pilot)

Announcing: BetLZ News!!! (Name subject to change if anyone can think of something better...)

It's going to be our Monday thru Friday summary of news that we think might of interest to you...

We'll keeep it simple and to the point,

And for today:

Q&A: A Saturday in Beirut / The New York Times

Lebanon Air Crash Wreckage, Black Boxes Elude Search / Bloomberg

South Lebanon: Cosmopolitan character and multicultural legacy / The Economic Times

Is there something we missed that you think we should include?? Let us know!


Déjà vu?!


Earlier we blogged about Miley Cyrus wearing this beautiful Zuhair Murad gown to the Oscars in 2009....

Look what we just found:

Looks a little familiar, no?

This gown is called "Junon" and was made by Dior in 1949 and was obviously the inspiration for the dress.

A little cheap if you ask me...

The Dior gown is now part of NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection

So, which do you like more?


Elie Saab Spring/Summer 2010 Paris Fashion Show

Check out the beautiful dresses from the Elie Saab Spring Summer 2010 Fashion Show that took place today in Paris by clicking here!

I want #6!!!


Li2mi Zgheeri (A Little Taste...) n°11

Lebanese Win Big at the 16th Annual SAG Awards!

We've seen these two before....

Dianna Agron from Glee is wearing another Leb designer this time, Georges Chakra. (We saw her previously in Reem Acra at the Golden Globes.)

And surprise, surprise--Marion Cotillard is back and looking beautiful in this short Elie Saab gown!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Lebanon Gets Artsy Revisited

We previously spoke about the up-and-coming Lebanese band Mashrou3 Leila

The band held their release party for their self-titled first album at a steel factory on the edge of Beirut last month. 1,000 fans bought the albums, which sold out completely, and hundreds were left without copies of the album.

Check out this article on the band and the show.






Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lebanese Tourism Sets Record High in 2009

According to the Lebanese Minitsry of Tourism, Lebanon received nearly 2 million visitors in 2009, which is approximately 50% of the Lebanese population--not bad, not bad. Check out an article from The Canadian Press below.

I hesitate to be excited--last time this happened is was 2005, and we all know what happened then....



Lebanon says 2009 was best on record for tourism with 1.9 million visitors

BEIRUT — Nearly 2 million tourists visited Lebanon in 2009, a record that exceeds even the glamorous years before the civil war when Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East.

In figures released to The Associated Press on Tuesday, the Ministry of Tourism said 1,851,081 tourists visited Lebanon in 2009, a 39 per cent increase from the year before. The previous record was 1.4 million tourists in 1974 - just before the disastrous 1975-90 civil war broke out.

Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud estimated the country's annual income from tourism at up to $7 billion, or about 20 per cent of gross domestic product.

The booming tourism sector is the latest sign of progress in Lebanon, a country that had become notorious for its years of kidnappings, car bombs and political assassinations. But Lebanon has seen greater stability recently, drawing once-leery foreigners to its snowcapped mountains and stunning Mediterranean seaside.

Nabil Majdalani, who has been working in Lebanon's restaurant industry since the 1970s, said his business grew about 15 per cent in 2009.

"This was the year when we saw the biggest number of foreigners at our restaurant since before the civil war," Majdalani said.

During the civil war, tourists simply stopped coming to Lebanon, scared off by the reports of Westerners being snatched off the streets of Beirut. A thriving tourism industry that lured Hollywood stars to the Middle East all but dried up.

The industry was just starting to recover some of its lustre when Lebanon's billionaire former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the power behind the multibillion-dollar postwar reconstruction, was assassinated in 2005 in a massive truck bomb in Beirut.

Then, in July 2006, Israel and Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in which some 1,200 Lebanese were killed and billions of dollars worth of infrastructure destroyed. Thousands of tourists and vacationing Lebanese expatriates were evacuated from the country because of the fighting.

And in 2008, Hezbollah militants swept through Sunni neighbourhoods of Beirut to briefly seize control after the government moved to curb the group's military communications network. More than 80 people were killed in the violence that followed.

But Lebanon has seen greater stability recently and formed a unity government last year. A key recommendation by The New York Times, which named Beirut as the top place to visit in 2009, helped boost the country's image.

Pierre Ashkar, head of the Hotel Owners' Association, said occupancy at international-standard hotels in Beirut averaged 76 per cent in 2009.

"This was one of the best years ever," Ashkar said.

Li2mi Zgheeri (A Little Taste...) n°10

Three Lebanese designers shined at the 2010 Golden Globes last night; newbie Georges Hobeika, Elie Saab and Reem Acra.

1. Georges Hobeika

Actress Julie Bowen from American TV Show "Modern Family"

2. Elie Saab:
British Actress Toni Collette

American Actress Heather Graham

American Singer Fergie

3. Reem Acra:

Actress Dianna Agron from American TV Show "Glee"

Not bad, not bad. My personal favorite in Toni Collette's Elie Saab dress...the Fergie Saab dress kind of looks like something someone wears to their high school prom...


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"We are not smiling"

"these is only one flag"

"we are not smiling"

and, in case you haven't noticed, I also made him sit on a lower chair.

Who comes up with this stuff, really?

I mean, you are a diplomat. Act like one!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Li2mi Zgheeri (A Little Taste...) n°9

We have a new Elie Saab junkie on our hands!

Marion Cotillard is a French actress best known for her role as Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose."

All the following pics are Elie Saab:


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jump of Death

So this video has been going around of a young boy jumping off the Corniche in Beirut. Except instead of landing in the water he hits the rocks on the side, he stays alive but his head is cracked open. He mother is watching it all happen.

The video then moves into the hospital (how they let ppl into the hospital to film this I have no idea) where you can see the doctor trying to push the two sides of his head together.

I'm told he died shortly after.

Very sad. Please don't do stupid things like this.

Watch at your own risk:


Dining out in Beirut # 1

Its been a while, but what better reason that our 1 year to get back into it?

Have kids? Want to eat out? Try Gruen, reviewed by Anissa Helou for the Financial Times

Restaurant review: Gruen, Beirut

By Anissa Helou
Published: December 12 2009 00:42 Last updated: December 12 2009 00:42

When young children ask to be taken out to eat, they usually want to go to a McDonald’s or somewhere similar. Not so in Beirut, where many of my friends’ children insist on going to one of the city’s grooviest restaurants, Gruen, the brainchild of Nayla Audi (who also owns the wildly popular Oslo ice-creams) and Maria Ousseimi.

The style is Californian but the inspiration Lebanese. I love Audi’s southern Lebanese take on grissini: long, crisp strips of spiced flat bread spread with za’tar – totally addictive; her delicious wraps are made with markouk bread (very large, thin flat bread cooked over a saj, a kind of inverted wok) and toasted with fillings such as scrambled eggs or mushy lentils, rice and caramelised onions (m’jaddarah). I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the pizza at Gruen is as good as you can find in Naples but it is not far off, except for the toppings, which again are Californian-style: speck and artichokes or roasted potatoes and rocket.

As for the desserts, my feeling is that they are the main draw for children, as is the extremely relaxed atmosphere, not to mention the large terrace outside where they can play to their hearts’ content. Apart from the list of 30 odd ice-cream flavours available at the counter, you can also order ice-cream sandwiched between two giant macaroons, the flavour of which changes daily.

A stylish restaurant, Gruen is just as much fun for children as it is for adults, who can combine a family meal with some great people-watching.

Gruen, Gefinor Center, Beirut, tel: +961 (0)1-737 344

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday BETLZ!

I just realized it's been a year since the inception of this blog. Not that that's important or that you needed to know that. Just saying.