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Discover Vintage Lebanon and Beirut: In pictures

Is Nostalgia beautiful?

The history of Lebanon touches us for reasons that go beyond a vintage tramway gloriously making its way through the old city streets.

This overpowering sense of nostalgia has more to do with being aware of living in a country that has been stabbed in the heart over and over again, and has still managed to come out of it (albeit scarred) alive – as beautiful as ever and as celebrated as ever.

Nur Turkmani posted on Listomania this July 14, 2014

Call it poetic excess, but Lebanon has always reminded me of a fierce, immensely beautiful lady that has been shot at from all directions but still manages to make her way up – time and time again. Let’s take a look back at lady Lebanon. Isn’t she lovely?


Manara, (phare) 1933. (Image via Old Beirut)


Fairouz stars together with Ihsan Sadek in Henri Barakat’s 1967 hit ‘Safarbarlek‘. (Image via NOW Media)


Good day, fine gentlemen. El-Mina (the port), year unknown. (Image via Lebnan Online)


Beirut race track, 1920. (Image via Old Beirut)


Pierre & Friends, anyone? Batroun, 1893. (Image via Habeeb)


This one is just magical. Just magical. Beirut, 1960. (Image via Souar)


Beirut covered in snow, 1920. (Image via Discover Lebanon)


More pedestrians, less traffic. Old is gold. Martyrs’ Square, date unknown. (Image via Discover Lebanon)


AUB Beach, 1940. (Image via Al Mashriq)


A car driving past Byblos Bank, date and area unknown. (Image via Josebox)


A celebration of Lebanon’s independence on November 22 in front of the Parliament building, 1943. (Image via Al Mashri)


Hamra, 1970. (Image via Old Beirut)


Beirut’s airport, 1960. (Image via Old Beirut)


Beirut, 1972. (Image via Swedenburg Blog)


Sheep, men in suits, and sassy women. Rue Georges Picot, 1958. (Image via National Geographic)

This photo was taken by Thomas J. Abercrombie for the National Geographic and its original description read, “For variety, few cities can match Lebanon’s bustling capital. Part Christian, part Moslem, Beirut combines East and West, ancient and modern. Contrasts stand out vividly in street scenes such as this on the Rue Georges Picot.”

More Listomania

18 Essential Life Hacks for Living in Beirut

There’s nothing enchanting about the cramped streets, inescapable traffic, high cost of living, or the disorganized buildings of Beirut.

But there’s soul in this city, and that’s why so many people are drawn to it.

Nur Turkmani posted on Listomania this June 6, 2014

So how well do you know your way through Beirut?

This list represents a true test of your city living prowess. Here are some of our favorite life hacks for getting around Beirut, saving some money and enjoying yourself (use them before Beirut finds new ways to get you back).

Free Movie Nights at Metro

Every single Monday, Metro al Madina has a free movie screening. And every month, the films revolve around a new theme.

This month’s theme: Everything is Subjective. Check out the schedule below.

Monday, June 9
Red Satin

Monday, June 16
The Kit Kat

Monday, June 23
The 400 Blows

Monday, June 30
A World Not Ours

Serge DVDs For 1,000 LL 

(Image via M00ch Blog)

Think of it this way: instead of spending a huge amount of money at Virgin Megastore or wasting time using Lebanon’s Internet to buffer movies, you can take a trip down to Serge’s DVD store.

There are some other cheap stores around Beirut to purchase DVDs, this just happens to be our favorite. You’ll find Sergio’s tucked away among the bustling streets of Bourj Hammoud and, in addition to his insane collection of DVDs, most of the latest movies in the cinema can be found here a week or two after they come out.

Traffic Hack: The Sea Road

(Image via Daily Star)

Getting to City Mall (or past it) is always a conundrum due to the unnerving morning/night traffic.

Instead of taking the road from Dora to Jal el-Dib Highway, take the sea road and you’ll get there at a much quicker pace.

Traffic: Timing is Everything

(Image via Tumblr)

Traffic is most manageable from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. In fact, the road from Beirut to Tripoli takes about 50 minutes if you’re driving during these hours.

Side note: The absolute worst hours are early morning (particularly 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.) or during the evening (from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.).

Free Parking on Sundays

(Image via Animated GIFS)

Parking is free in Beirut everywhere on Sundays. You can also park for free at Beirut souks if you spend more than 50,000 LL at TSC, or if you get your movie tickets validated inside at Cinema City.

El Dorado for Cool Finds at Cheap Prices

Most Lebanese would shy away from shopping at El Dorado because it’s not “prestige” enough but, in reality, most of the clothes there are from H&M, Bershka and other really popular brands.

The only difference is it’s much cheaper. You can find a lot of offers for clothes there that start from 3,000 LL.

Hamra Main Road
Hamra
Tel.: +9611751670
Tel.: +9611751669
Tel.: +9611751668

Imam Ali Mosque
Tarik el Jadida
Tel.: +9611858718
Tel.: +9611858719

Depot Vente For Vintage Clothes

(Image via Executive Magazine)

For those of you who don’t cringe at the thought of secondhand clothes, Depot Vente is where it’s at.

Dive into this vintage haven and look for deals that go as low as 5,000 LL.

Depot Vente
Badawi Street
Mar Mikhael
Mob.: +9613200620

Argile (Hooka) Delivery Deals

(Image via Tumblr)

Ordering argile to your house is, for some unfathomable reason, much cheaper than ordering it at the café.

You can get argile delivered for around 8,000 LL instead of smoking it at the café for 13,000 LL. That’s the deal for most (if not all) cafés that serve argile in Lebanon. Additionally, Tasty Café in Hamra offers argile for half the price during the day.

P.S.: Argile is unhealthy and no one should be smoking it (unless it comes with pretty feet).

Legal Indoor Smoking at February 30 

Again, we are not promoting the smoking of cigarettes, but if you are a smoker then February 30, the pub in Hamra’s Alleyway Street, has a legal loophole because of its outdoor patio area .

You can legally smoke there since it’s not technically considered a fully indoor area.

The Alleyway, 78th Street
Hamra
Tel.: +96176994405

Awesome Cakes at Mimi’s Cupcakery 

When it comes to birthdays, most people make their fancy orders at CupcakeryGustav or other super pricey cake places.

Mimi’s makes some REALLY awesome cakes (we’re talking about intricate designs such as a Spongebob hugging Winnie the Pooh on a cake) for prices as low as 40,000 LL.

Mimi’s Cupcakery
Sidani street
Hamra
Mob.: +96176738361

Maydaa Center, Facing Bank Med
Mansourieh
Mob.: +96176663577

Cheap Wine

You can order Rose wine for 4,000 LL at Bedivere in Hamra when you want a classy night out with some friends and wine tasting at Phoenicia isn’t compatible with your wallet.

Makdessi Building, Jean D’arc
Hamra
Mob.: +9613902909

Dollar Shots at Hipnotic Bar

This is for the nights when even happy hour doesn’t make your wallet happy.

Hipnotic Bar, located in Gemmayze, offers $1 shots every Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, they have an open bar for $10 on certain days of the week.

Gauraud Street
Gemmayzeh
Tel.: +96170794962

B2B’s Delivery Guys Deliver More Than Just a Picasso

In addition to a 24 hour delivery service, the peeps who deliver at B2B will usually pick up non-b2b menu items (like cigarettes) at 4 am for you.

Just leave them a little extra for the tip.

Matinee Movie Showings at a Discount

(Image via Tumblr)

For those who don’t know, matinee movie showings are movies that show in cinemas before 6 p.m. in theaters.

They are discounted to 8,000 LL rather than the 12,000 LL standard fare at most movie outlets in Lebanon, such as Cinema City and Grand Cinemas.

Food Hacks Galore

(Image via Tumblr)

— You can get a 20% discount on all of your meals from the dining menu at TSC in the evening.

— There is a 25% discount off food bill at Moti Mahal Monday through Thursday 3-7pm.

— For 4,000 LL only, you can enjoy the breakfast deal at Subway with their special 6″ steak-and-egg breakfast sub that comes with a coffee.

— 1,500 LL merry cream come at Burger King and McDonald’s: best ice cream value in town

— If you’re a student, you can get 20% off all meals at the Cottage Chic if you flash your Student ID card.

— Flash your Burger Addict sticker at Classic Burger Joint and get a free refill of fries

— You can still order St. Elmo’s Cookie when you’re eating at Cro Magnon Steakhouse in Zaitunay Bay.

— You can order one pizza/pasta and get another pizza/pasta for free from Pizza Dela Casa. The prices of the pizza or pasta are not more than 15,000 LL and PDC is open till really late hours at night.

— 15% off students’ meals at Bedivere from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 15% discount on meals at Casper & Gambinis if you flash your Student ID too.

A Haven for Book Nerds

(Image via Tumblr)

The Jean D’Arc Bookstore, Book Bazar, is a tattered and torn old shop that sells books for prices that go as low as $2. The last time I was there, the woman at the cash register gave me three books for 12,000 LL.

And no, they weren’t just any books – we’re talking about ultimate classics written by Nietzsche, Voltaire and Jane Austen.

Hamra Book Bazar
Sidani Street
Hamra
Tel.: +9611740072

The Public Library

You don’t have to spend big bucks at Antoine to read a book. Located in Beirut next to the Monnot Theatre, the public library has been open to the public for over 6 years.

It has an extensive collection of books, newspapers and magazines in three different language (English, French and Arabic) for people of all ages with a particular focus on the arts.

Click here for a comprehensive list of public libraries in Lebanon.

Free Beaches

(Image via Sietske in Beirut)

$40 dollar entrance to Edde Sands? No, thank you.

If you don’t care too much for VIP beds and bikini clad girls walking around in nine inch heels, then there are some (unfortunately few) beaches around Lebanon with free or relatively cheaper entrances.

Although it is quite dirty and has a MUCH higher ratio of men to women, the Ramlet al-Baida beach is one of the few beaches with more sand than rocks.

In Batroun, the Pierre & Friends beach is free during the weekdays and is quite a lovely place to take a dip if you don’t mind rocks.

Additionally, the beaches in Batroun are relatively cheaper than those in Jbeil or Beirut with entrances that go as low as 10,000 LL during the weekdays (Bonita Bay, for instance).

In Anfeh, which is a beautiful village five minutes away from Chekka, the “Ta7t l Ree7” beach is open to everyone and a great place for a barbecue with friends.

And last but certainly not least, the public beach in Sour!

Have you attended AUB?

Nur Turkmani posted on Listomania this Apr 15, 2014

From the worst of horrors to the almost-peed-in-my-pants-from-laughing moments, if the below stereotypes are familiar to you, you know you went (or go) to AUB.

1. You felt like a boss when you got your acceptance letter
(image via tumblr.com)

This is particularly true if you’re an Arab – AUB has, and hopefully will continue to be, one of the most prestigious universities in the Middle East. And just admit it: you were beyond ecstatic when you got the email informing you of your acceptance.

You tried to keep your cool, but even your parents bragged about it to their neighbors and friends who responded by rolling their eyes, forcing a smile and saying, “Ahhh, your child is at AUB? Yih, smallah, smallah. Allah ywaf2oo”.

2. Registration: The Horror
(Image via tumblr.com)

When it’s registration period at AUB, you are bound to find students pulling out large chunks of their hair or screaming loudly in hallways about their hatred for the university (unless, of course, they are the lucky 2% that got the courses they wanted).

Every student wakes up early during registration period to ensure a spot in a course they really need, but lo and behold, one minute past eight and you come to the realization that seniors have filled up all the courses. You breathe quietly, and try to control your anger.

3. Starbucks who? Abu Naji’s coffee all the way
(Image viatumblr.com)

When you’re an AUBite, $6 for coffee is a privilege not everyone can afford. Having Nescafe from Abu Naji or Epi D’or then becomes your daily ritual and your day doesn’t feel quite right without it.

4. All-nighters happen every other week
(Image via tumblr.com)

Particularly if you’re an engineer or pre-med student, pulling an all-nighter isn’t some strange occurrence that only happens in the movies. It becomes a living, breathing reality every other week.

5. The Green Oval on sunny days ❤ 

(Image via aub-graduat.blogspot.com)

There is nothing more relaxing than napping on the Green Oval when the weather is nice. Although it is dominated by the hipsters these days, on sunny days you will find a ton of different people napping, enjoying a bite or reading a book.

6. Chemistry stairs – damn you!
(Image via akdn.org)

The Chemistry stairs should simply not exist. It is, in fact, so bad that a day will not go by in AUB without hearing at least ten complaints about how unbearable these stairs are.

It is even worse when you have one class on the lower campus, and another on the upper campus right after.

7. Nicely’s numbering will forever be confusing
(Image via tumblr.com)

Your first year at AUB will be spent trying to understand the odd-even arrangement of rooms on campus. You will also only figure out where room 108 Nicely is located on the last day of your senior year.

8. You’ve had a crush on at least one of your professors

(Image via newsfeed.time.com)

C’mon, admit it. There’s something about our professors, they’re charming, smart and good-looking. You can’t help but have a crush on one or two of them.

9. Math 201

(Image via polybloggimous.com)

Everyone who has taken this course likes complaining about it, even if it’s not half as hard as other Engineering or Economics courses.

It has just become a thing to say: “maaaan, 201 shi kteer”.

10. Eng 203/204 courses are worse than your major courses

(Image via wayneandchristina.wordpress.com)

Last time you checked, the courses were described as introductory courses that were simply meant to help you write a proper research paper. You signed up and thought to yourself, “Woohoo! No exam for this one!”

Now, you wish you had an exam in place of the loads of papers, presentations and critiques you have to write before the semester ends.

11. You join 20 clubs, and end up in one
(Image via tumblr.com)

When it’s Club Day, you become overwhelmed with the plethora of awesome clubs (How could you not join the Astronomy Club or the Hiking Club?) but later on in the semester, you realize you ain’t got time for that shi* and end up missing all the meetings.

You promise yourself that next year you will manage your schedule to better accommodate your extracurricular activities. This, in fact, never happens.

12. AUB Outdoors/AUB’s Got Talent

(Image via aub.edu.lb)

Forever the coolest events of the year.

13. Ultimate nightmare: moving in and moving out
(Image via tumbler)

For every dorm student, having to pack and unpack when the semester is over is the worst thing ever. I mean, we finished our exams, what more do you want from us? Can’t I leave my stuff in the room, please? PRETTY PLEASE?

14. The cats.

(Image via reddit.com)

A cat once gave birth in a students’ dorm. Enough said.

15. 9 AM classes on MWFs?

(Image via wired.com)

This is the infamous rush hour at AUB – feared by many.

16. Rainy days: a big no-no
(Image via tumblr.com)

When it rains, you just know that the entire way from Main Gate to Bliss will be overflowing with umbrellas and people pushing past one another to get through.

17. Your summer is saved by AUB’s Beach

(Image via Al Mashriq)

A free beach in summer is everything you have ever asked for.

18. Jafet during exams: don’t even bother.

(Image via alternatehistory.com)

Let’s just say tables in Jafet are probably booked two months prior to finals. I mean, how is it possible that for three days straight there has not been a single free table?

19. French power
(Image via tumblr.com)

Oh, yes. You will hear French being spoken at the American University of Beirut much, much more than English or Arabic. You will eventually get used to it and maybe pick up a sentence or two by the end of your final semester.

20. The worst/best exams are in SLH

(Image via create meme)

There’s something about this hall that is sweat-inducing and nerve-racking, and no one really knows what it is. And you always know that if your tummy growls in SLH, everyone will hear it because it’s just that crowded.

On the upside, if there are no proctors, it will be the best exam ever.

21. Business students are stereotyped as dumb
(Image via tumblr.com)

Business students are actually some of the smartest people you’ll meet. The stereotype on looks is not out of place though – OSB looks more like a fashion show than a Business building.

22. Pre-meds really do hate each other
(Image via tumblr.com)

This one right here ain’t no stereotype. It gets to the point where calculators are stolen, glasses are broken and tears are shed.

23. Engineers speak in a weird dialect

(Image via tumblr.com)

Friends from the Engineering department always come up with really weird terms to describe things like “I failed” which, to them, becomes “tajjaytu” or “I studied well” which becomes “barashtu”.

They’re also the loudest, usually – which is quite ironic since you’d expect them to be part of a nerd collective.

24. You avoid getting into debates with Politics/Philosophy students

(Image via tumblr.com)

They’ve read too much and know too much, so before you open your mouth to say, “the women of this century are so superficial!” and notice one of them lurking around the corner, you remind yourself that you are not prepared to hear long arguments quoted directly from Toni Morrison’s books.

25. Fall back parties
(Image via tumblr.com)

This is when you realize AUB might not be the nerd haven you thought it was – the entrance in itself to these parties is enough to make you realize there is a hidden partying culture here. It’s very exclusive. And you love/d it.

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