February 2010

Apocalypse Now! (or Waiting for Godot)

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I can’t say I was disappointed the tsunami didn’t happen (or happened in the shape of a small splash on the shore). At least I got to sleep [ ๐Ÿ˜› ], and many people got their homes & business saved. In the hope this is the last natural catastrophe to hit this planet ๐Ÿ™‚ And the last time the media make a HUGE FAKE buzz. If only they were able to prevent the bigger disasters like Haiti’s…

Anyway, see you tomorrow with a BIG surprise ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sunday updates (+Fanart #10)

Yesterday, Saturday 27th February, I got the chance to give a presentation to the children of the Armenian Thorossian school in Bourj Hammoud. We talked about drawing, blogging, going after what you truly like doing in life. And we had a lot of fun! I only have this terrible photo that I took with my phone from where I was presenting.

In other news, yesterday was also the book signing of the illustrated Arabic poetry book Haltabees (ุญู„ุชุจูŠุณุŒ ุงุดุนุงุฑ ู…ู† ุณู…ุณู… ูˆุฎูŠุงุฑ), result of the collaboration between the incredibly talented David Habchy & Rania Zaghir. Mashrou3 Leila also sang the poems, and cucumbers & semsom were given away with the book. Beautiful combo & beautiful people! AND I got my copy signed! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I wish you a beautiful Sunday, and I can only tell you one thing: you’re in for a special surprise tomorrow!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So stay tuned! And while you wait, I leave you with Lhasa de Sela’s Desdeรฑosa.

Un, deux, trois. Deux, deux trois…

For better & for worse

Last week on my way to work, I bumped into the latest exotica campaign for mother's day. It showed a mother and daughter with huge ear, and the slogan was "For the good and the bar, thank you Mom". Oh my! Where have their chic visuals gone?

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Then few meters later, another, except this time mother and daughter have oversized noses. "Hmm.. Are they seriously profiling certain physical traits as BAD?"

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Class Setting. Lebanese Society 101. "In the look-obsessed country we live in, we often see scenarios as follows".

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This campaign reinforces the complexes a lot of young girls have about how they look. Now, they might start blaming their mothers for genetic inheritance, instead of them understanding that a big nose -ear is actually, NOT, bad.

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.If I want to associate their slogan with a visual, it would not be as funny. Billboard showing mother beating child.

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Or... HIV positive mother and daughter

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As you can see, there are far worse things a mother could give to her children than a big nose - ear. Things they, in fact, could never possibly thank her for. In all cases, I have one thing to say: Thank you Exotica for the good and the bad! ;) In the hope the next campaign will catch up!

You might say I am overreacting. However, the reason I am, is because I believe huge billboards have great influence on the large amount of people who cross them daily. Big corporations should thus think twice before shouting such messages at us. And I do know that “it got people talking about it”, but wouldn’t it be better if it also, on the way, got through a more responsible message?

Anyway, I just had to say what I think about this campaign, it’s been bothering me everyday when I pass by it. Now, back to music, here’s Sarah Vaughn’s Broken Hearted Melody. Have a wonderful day ๐Ÿ™‚

Defining Entrepreneurship #2

Web entrepreneur: I spend my days browsing "websites" in order to eventually get hit by a brilliant idea that has already been implemented 10,000+ times.

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Green entrepreneur: i know how to seize every single opportunity be it mountain climbing or scuba diving

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tech entrepreneur: i got an ipad before you!

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social entrepreneur: we used to call it PR but the terminology was changed to fit the entrepreneurship era

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Music entrepreneur: my latest clip "hobbak nar" was a revolution in the arabic music biz. i had the brilliant idea of bathing in corn flakes. it was the right thing to do, my song has been top 1 since.

Got more ideas? share away! :-)

[NB: This post (& the previous one) are criticizing the way theย  concept of “entrepreneurship” has been overused & abused on the web lately, in the Arab world specifically. Yet it does not deny in any way the existence of ย “true entrepreneurs” who work/have worked very hard and of whom we are extremely proud ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

The content of this post was “crowdsourced over a friendly chat in Cafe Younes.ย And that was today’s lesson in Entrepreneurship 101! On a lighter note, the whole “entrepreneurship” parodies happening on Twitter are extremely hilarious, thank you #Maniachi team for adding laughter to our feeds everyday ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll now leave you with the music of an artist I only discovered yesterday thanks to Raafat Hamze (who also happens to have great writings on his blog).

Have a lovely day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Making-of Meedan video

meedan video storyboard

I was approached by Meedan to design/animate a short video explaining the concept behind the website “in plain English” and “in plain Arabic”. A BIG thank you goes to the lovely Mohammad Kayali (from Hyperlink Podcast) who recorded the sound & translated the text to Arabic on a very short notice, and to SMEX Beirut for providing me with the flip cam to do the video recording. Here’s the outcome in English!

Meedan in Plain English from Meedan on Vimeo.

Go toย Meedan News & scroll downย for the 2 versions!

And on another note, what’s a Monday morning without some music! Here’s the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun.

In other news, this blog was happily selected to be Blog of the Week on Lebanon Aggregator because next week we’re turning 1 year old! So happy about it! Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great week ๐Ÿ™‚

Curiosity killed the cat

Finding some old video tapes

I can’t believe the DVD guy WATCHED the videos I sent him. Not only did he watch them, but he also had the guts to comment about the fashion & lifestyle of the 80’s and how we spent our time back then. Wlak at least don’t SAY that you watched them! Apparently he didn’t have much to do during the day. Lebanese & their curiosity.

Anyway, I just felt like holding a pencil and scribbling & here’s what came out ๐Ÿ™‚ Couldn’t possibly let you go to your weekends without a quick post!

Have a lovely weekend my darlings! And here’s Chick Corea’s “Love Castle” from his album “My Spanish Heart”.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The return of the kamikaze

Remember when I told you about the kamikaze phenomenon about a year ago?

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Well, I witnessed a highly enhanced version of it. On Dora highway. Which proves that our population is getting more and more enlightened.

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Presenting.. the kamikaze family! "Yalla mama, when I say go, we run!"

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.Go!

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Mother and children crossing highway

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.Mother pauses in middle of highway, wondering whether she should grab the papers dropped by her son. Cars around start panicking.

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.They eventually crossed the road. And the boy cried for his papers.

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.When will people wake up and smell the hazard of walking through a highway?

I was horrified to see a whole family crossing the highway (autostrade) by foot!! What was the mother thinking? Has common sense disappeared from humanity? She even had a “thinking break” right in the middle of the highway to contemplate whether she should take the papers dropped by her little kid! Suicidal! This is just beyond my understanding, and the scene has been replaying in my head for the last two days. It was that disturbing and does not make sense to me. Thought I’d start the week with some road awareness, we can never get enough of that! Road idiocy is born with humans apparently.

Here’s a song to brighten up your day by my very adored Nick Drake. “Time has told me”. And check the lyrics for extra beauty.

Have a lovely week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hospit(i)lity

Visit to my granma

Granma: "Let me get you something to snack on"

Granma: "here you go.

Thus, the altercation begins

Last time I put it in my bag, it was a disaster

Give up

Candy placed in bag.

Have another one

Why me? Why?

Forced eating

I’m sure most of you have been through the complicated process of “diafeh” (=offering a snack for your guests). Especially with older people. They assume you’re too shy to accept or that you would think they aren’t generous/hospitable enough if they accept your refusal from the first (or tenth) time. But what if yes meant yes and no meant no? Wouldn’t that be easier?

So, now that I have this out of my system, here’s a song for you my darlings! Enjoy, and have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚ [Madonna’s True Blue! 1986, from the year I was born]

[Sorry the player doesn’t show in RSS feeds ๐Ÿ™ I can’t upload music in here as my connection is TERRIBLE – yes, I knew today that Lebanon has the 5th worst connection in the whole wide world! Isn’t that amazing?]

Insurance comic

Commercial Insurance decided to spice up their car accidents booklet. They approached me to illustrate the opening page: explain the post-car accident steps through comics. Very cool to see comics being implemented for such serious booklets! The text was needed in French & Arabic, but I translated it to English myself just for you guys ๐Ÿ˜‰

Arabic:

Commercial Insurance Lebanon Illustration

French:

Commercial Insurance Lebanon Illustration

& home-translated English:

And before I leave you, here’s another Andy McKee (Drifting) since I got lots of positive feedback about his music ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Buzz off! (+fanart#9)

This guy has too much work, too many emails and an abundant inbox

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Sometimes, he gets distracted [by twitter birds]

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Well, nothing a CTRL + Q can't fix. Quit and focus back on work.

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Now, things will never be the same again...

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Google Buzz is IN your inbox and you can't quit it!

I will be posting weekly tech-related comics on InterativeME website! That was the first one that was posted yesterday. Now seriously, what do YOU think about this whole Google Buzz thing?

Before I leave you back to your busy days I want to share with you this beautiful fanart by Peno Mishoyan. Thank you SO MUCH Penig ๐Ÿ™‚ !!

And last but not least, here’s the song of the day, by an artist whose music has charmed me for the past few days: Andy McKee ~ Africa.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜‰