Eurotrip: Barcelona; Camp Nou and everything else :p

As an FCB fan I was super excited to start our tour in Barcelona visiting the famous Camp Nou! To see the stadium live in front of me with the words “Mes que un club” written on the chairs gave me such an adrenaline rush! It was quite a busy day for all the workers there since Barca had a game the next day ( which they won btw) and everything had to be ready! The players were practicing in a near by village but unfortunately we couldn’t go and watch them!

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After this amazing experience we took the train and went to Sagrada Famili Basilica by Antonio Gaudi, wow such an incredible Gothic Architecture! You could just sit there and enjoy each part of this amazing piece of art!

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Park Güell was out next destination, it is a place where you can enjoy looking at the city of Barcelona from very high!

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Before ending the night having dinner in a restaurant on the beach in Barcelonetta we had the chance to see a very impressive show at Montjuic! It is all about water games and music! The shows start at 9:30 in the evening and end at midnight! It sure is a must see in the city!

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And of course the nice beaches, white sand and clear water. I was even lucky enough in Barcelona at La Rambla Del Mar, to meet my friend Lina whom I saw last time 2 years ago but this time she was accompanied by her husband and she was pregnant :)

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Three days and two nights in this big city gave me a certain idea of the culture! Certain areas would not give you the impression that your are in Spain yet in some other places you would totally feel the spanish vibe(more crowded) lThe people look a lot like the Arabs ad share many similar costumes! The food I did not like. I believe that Lebanese rock this side better! The people are helpful yet not as much as they were in South Of France! The streets are huge and off course clean and well organized!
At this end it is all about FCB :p

Eurotrip: Antibes and Cannes

Other then Nice and Monaco, we had the chance to visit Antibes and Cannes before leaving South of France.
We went to the old village on Antibes, and had a chance to go to a public beach right next to it! The “souk” there resembles much to the one in Jbeil!

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Cannes was bit different, you could feel the glam! We walked a long the Croisade!i noticed how people were dressed simply and with a bit or even no make up, most of them carrying some brand’s shopping bags! In Lebanon it would have different, If you go down to Zeytuna Bay, or Down Town Beirut women tend to be more well dressed with make up and hair fixed! Women here seemed for me competing for who is wearing more stylish clothes, yet each of them is different then the other yet so simple!

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EuroTrip:Nice, beautiful city!

Two months ago my cousins, my sister and I decided to go for a trip to Europe! It started as a joke but we actually made it! Our first stop is Nice, south France. After a transit flight in Rome, We reached Nice thursday morning! We checked in at the Hotel de Grand Aston ( great place btw, right in the middle of the city, wifi everywhere and sweet staff) and it all started! It is such a beautiful city, it reminds us a lot of Beirut! The architecture and the restaurants, not to mention the people seem to carry a Lebanese flair! Walking down the streets made feel that somehow I am walking between the streets of Asrafiyeh and Gemmayzeh! Les cafes trottoirs look like the ones in Jbeil!
I can surely say that the people are are extremely friendly, welcoming and helpful! We are not in a tour nor with a guide so we had to ask a lot before we reach our destination and there would be always someone helping us!
At night we left to Monaco to have a look at this city that is the talk of many! 45 min in the bus and we are finally there! Well personally I thought it would be a bit different a little bit more glamorous! The one thing that I truly loved there is the Casino! Amazing architecture, beautiful and huge building!We had a walk at the beAch and along the port which looks a lot like Zeytouna Bay yet ZB is much much better looking!we took the final train to Nice and came back to the hotel!Now we are getting ready to go to Cannes and enjoy the sea and the sun!
Any one of you have been here before? Any tips?

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Pictures taken at the Place Massena-Nice.

Making her cry…

” He makes her cry as often as he makes coffee in the morning!
Making her cry is as easy for him as making coffee in the morning!
Making her cry gives him pleasure as much as drinking his coffee in the morning!”
#drama #mishal2ad

If he only knew…

“It’s true that he makes me fell like a princess at times and that he is madly in love with me that he will never leave me yet sometimes I feel like Iam lost in his thoughts. To begin with he is no typical guy,he ha a very unique way of thinking and analyzing, no matter how disastrous something can be he manages to look ai it in a simplistic way!!

What really kills me is when I fail to understand what is going on in his head I ask him but I get ok as answer he keeps saying tha he is ok and there nothing to worry about! My heart aches when I fail to realize what is the matter!how painful is it to feel like the person u love is looking through you not seeing your eyes!something is missing that is what you are feeling and what makes things worse is the fact that you are clueLess you are talking to him on the phone you are sensing there is something wrong happening,yet he keeps ignoring it! You feel that you are losing him yet you are holding into him no matter what!

Could he possibly have lost feelings for me,did our relation began to bore him?is he feeling the same way as I am?

If he only knew what I feel when he acts this way, if he only knew how sometimes he crashes my heart just by sayin he is alright when there is something bothering him?if he only knew…”

This is how we cheer for sports in Lebanon :S

After 7 consecutive hours of nagging, I finally agreed to take my 14 years old brother, to watch the final basketball game of 9th Arab basketball tournament, Lebanon vs. Egypt. I picked up my friend Haitham, who himself isn’t a basketball fan, and headed to the Madina Riyadiya (where the game was held). We got there at the end of the 2nd quarter, but getting in wasn’t easy.

The army people at the door wouldn’t let us in, saying that it is full inside and no one can enter anymore, so I asked him if it is possible for my brother just to have a sneak preview, since he is leaving in a couple of days (its is true), after few minutes of non-stop talking, he finally let him in. Few minutes later, my brother goes up calling Haitham and I to follow him, and we ended up at the VIP section, that was packed as well. (zabat wasta ma3 el jayhsi :P)

So we get there and the first thing I hears is ” Allah w Nasrallah wel Dahyeh killa ” from one side, and “Allah w Hariri w Tari2 Jdideh”, from the other side, and off course there were a couple of Alis and Omars as well. I was shocked, we are here to watch the game while some others are only present to prove a certain irrelevant point, that makes completely no sense, I was disappointed.

That wasn’t it, some even reached the point to cuss the Egyptian president using the worst words you can imagine, I felt offended. Being there made me feel enraged, how can you people cheer for the same team yet you are cussing each other, how can you be so illiterate, uneducated, that you mix sports and politics. I wanted to shout at them, but they wouldn’t listen to me. It was like they came to watch this game just to prove a certain political point.

4th Quarter

These same persons didn’t mind dancing on the music that was played during halftimes, ” I wanna fly so high” made the audience stand up and dance, I believe some of them even took the advantage of this occasion to show some of their dancing abilities,ughhhhhhhhh…..”hayetiiii ma atyabooo” were also some of the words used by the crowds when a female reporter stood in the court to film her piece to cam, poor her :@

I decided to stand away from all the guys surrounding me, while Haitham was with my brother “taking care of him”. Because i was looking lonely and scared, one of the army guys called me up and asked me to stand next to him, at first i smiled and I said it is ok, but he insisted so i did go, finally a good view and now I was at the VVIP section, yeyyyy me: D

The VVIP section, where I was standing :P

Leaving all these “uncivilization” aside, it was a good game, even though it ended with the loss of Lebanon. It was nice to hear every now and then the crowd cheering for Lebanon, and screaming out loud when any of the Lebanese team members scores. People from all ages were there clapping, and shouting for their country, that was something not to be missed.

Here is a video I shot of the audience cheering for Lebanon :)

I love my Hamra :)

Today, Saturday the 11th, was the second day of the Hamra Festival! As usual I got there late, around 9:30, I saw a couple of stands here and there, one of them selling some handmade stuff, another with some food on it; cupcakes and so one…The first thing I did when I got there is signing up my name for the Nokia (X3 phone draw), and i only did that because I was dragged by my 14 years old brother who thought that its better to have 2 names in the draw, you know to increase his chance of winning, and he was right, I did win one of the 14 phones that were given away, and yes my brother took it :D

Anyway, it was such a pleasure to see Hamra main street full with people from all ages and classes, they were walking up and down the street with a smile on their faces enjoying the nice ambiance…All shops were open, and the cafes were loaded with those who chose to drink coffee or enjoy a muffin while the bands were playing!Some chose to sit on the side of the street and chat…

It felt like everyone was waiting for this festival to go out and enjoy their time…Hamra looked amazing today with all the lights, and the people roaming its street, it was joyful, a bit chaotic, yet security guys were present to make sure that there were no problem.  It is nice to see this street in particular car-free, I was able to walk all along without worrying about cars passing by, and kids were running all around and their parents had their peace of mind. When it was over, people didn’t leave right away, they chose to stay and enjoy to the maximum the street with no cars, they sat, chatted, laughed and sang!

Personally I enjoyed the most Ashekman, twin rappers who rapped for Beirut, and Amy Smack Daddy, a band that played some nice songs among which Beautiful Day by U2 and a Muse song.

I didn’t leave before buying 2eni ouheb al Hamra shirt :D

Tomorrow is another day, and Hamra’s festival last day, unfortunately I won’t be able to make it :s

I forgot my cam, so used my phone to take these pics which turned out to be bad :D :D

I <3 Hamra

Ashekman

Amy Smack Daddy

San Francisco: I fell in love…

Our next stop was San Francisco; a city that never sleeps, a city that is full of life, a city that you can easily fall for. The streets don’t look like any other ones, each corner has its own story that is ready to share it with you if you spare some of your time and actually listen to it. It is not fake; everything seems natural and easy going! The people here seem different as well, they don’t seem to have the same worries as the rest; they tend to have their own unique problems.

In the morning, on your way out, you smell the nice smell of coffee, and your eyes enjoy the scene of fresh backed cupcakes of different colors. You take the cable car to go from one place to another, but you don’t get bored, the scenery makes you enter a world of fantasies where everything seems peaceful.

It is not like any other city! All along the streets you can watch different performers playing music or dancing, trying to earn a living! The shops on each side are always busy, while other people appear to enjoy a cup of hot coffee in the cafes!

The weather was cold, yet we enjoyed each second freezing! We roamed the city streets, discovering the different pubs, (where we weren’t allowed in because some of us didn’t have an ID), and learning about its different aspects. The guys were able to spot a shisha café; you can imagine that a lot of our time was spent there, due to the strong request of some participants!

Pier 39 a place that you shouldn’t miss! I believe that it is the place where you can encounter the different traditions of this city and enjoy a delightful meal of fish and chips: D ( all the food tasted good in SF.) I bought some bead bracelets to always remind me of the beauty of the city!

In addition to that we went to Wikipedia where we met its lovely staff, the San Francisco Chronicles, Twitter and Google :) We enjoyed every moment, and I believe that i learned some new issues about the discussed topics related to new media.

Whatever I say, I wont be able to express my love to this city. {I (heart) SF}, I wanted to buy a shirt to express my love, but unfortunately all shops were closed. A city that reflects the thoughts of its residents, a city that gives you hope, that draws a smile on your face, and that makes you fall in love….

Our next stop…Washington DC

San Francisco by Hanibaael Naim

At the Twitter office in SF

At Google HQ in SF

I am in love...

This is L.A: Disney Land, to love or to hate?

When i say Disney, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is Mickey Mouse, or any other cartoon character…

Being in California, we had the chance to go and pay Disney Land a visit :) yeyyy us. We spent the whole day going around the huge city, getting “amazed” by all what we see! I, specifically, was looking for Mickey Mouse to take a picture with him , but unfortunately he was busy taking pictures with tens of other kids so i decided to go and do more useful things! At a certain point, i felt like a kid, going from one place to another, trying all games, looking for Disney characters and holding cotton candy in my hand! I was in a group of 8, Nada, Tala, Dany, Shaden, Mariam, Rand and Lina, we went around shoppig, taking pictures and most of all enjoying the scary rides! The roller coaster, Twilight Terror Tower, and many more, in other words i can say that we experienced Disney from all its sides. Mariam, a Lebanese participant, said that it reminds her a lot of Habtoor, “bas Habtoor arkhas w ahla”she said.

We all went home happy, and I was very tired but i didn’t forget to buy the Minnie ears and wear them in the bus on our way to UCLA hhehehehe

The next day in class we had a discussion about it and we watched a documentary about Disney, and no its not fun, happy as anything related to Disney should be, on the contrary i felt that it was aimed to demolish all the pretty annotations that come along the word Disney :s The documentary tried to show how this whole imaginary world is based on discrimination and racism, the bad guys are always Mexican or Arabs, and the good ones are always “white” , and how the Aladdin song diminishes the Arabs, ( it talks about Arabs coming from the desert…), and how women are always represented as week, dependent and waiting got their prince charming to save them out of misery.

After the discussion was over (during which i didnt say much because i was in shock of what i was hearing) I felt that this is a strong trial to destroy Disney world, i grew up watching Tom and Jerry all the time and I assure you, that didn’t affect my peronality, ot behavior. I didn’t grow up to be a woman who is looking for prince charming to rescue her, nor do i look at any other nation with disrespect. I believe that Mickey Mouse is a character that should be present at every household and not banned. Disney might contain some hidden messages, but let us not forget the good and joyful moments he brings to the kids hearts!

I might be a  little 2 biased to that fantasy world, but I spend many years of my childhood watching these characters and loving them. When i watched that documentary, I felt that a big period of my life has been distorted, I would love to see my kids, nieces and nephews watch Disney and enjoyed it as much as i did.

The question remains, shall we love Disney or get convinced by all negative thoughts and let go of it ?

I love it :)

Again this is only my personal opinion..

What do I think of Community Service?

I believe that Community Service is really important in anyone’s life, accepting the fact of  helping your community voluntarily helps you improve positively within your society. There are many similar activities in Lebanon, but unfortunately I never took part in any of them.

 I enjoyed cleaning the bay, the weather was nice, and when we were done we had the chance to sit in the sun, even-though it was a bit cold, we had fun. Off course we took a lot of pictures and we ate cotton candy, an some of us were late, the usual, but eventually we did it :P  From another point of view I think it would have been better if other people came along with us, others who we do not know; the interaction would have been better and we would have been exposed to some new aspects in the American society.

An hour later, we all felt tired and decided to stop, but we actually succeeded in filling a bag full of garbage! Mission completed!

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