Traveling Solo

Seven years ago , I took one of the greatest actions of my life, I traveled solo to Paris. I was in my early 20ies and i really enjoyed it! I booked a plane to start one of the best adventures of my life.
Through traveling, I was able to live out another culture and see the world through a new lens. I was able to adapt in new situations... 

Traveling opens your eyes and mind to so many different lifestyles and to the fact that there is a whole world out there to learn from.

Here’s a list of what solo backpacking has taught me:

  • I am a good friend to myself: My best friend used to say: "You travel alone because you are enjoying your own company, you are a good friend of yourself", and I guess she is right.
  • You are the same person: Your behavior-attitude etc.. are the same even if you are in a different land with strangers
  • I am solo but never lonely: You can create your own happiness & make new friends
  • Don't count on others, count on yourself only
  • Talk to strangers. They’ll teach you more than you could ever imagine.
  • How small me & my problems are in this big world
  • This big world is mine and I can discover it alone!
Travelling solo is not for everyone; but one should at least give it a try. Going places by yourself & doing things on your own give your trip more authenticity and ownership.

Must Try, because when you love the world, the world loves you back ;) 


During my visit to Beirut Art Fair, a nice Art work catches my attention and I was lucky to discuss this project with the artists behind it;  Gilbert Debs & Claudia Chahine, she explained the origin of the idea, and continues by saying Agoni is a scream, they wanted to shout out loud so everyone could hear it, the purpose is for them to feel the pain from its form and feel we are responsible of our society... watch this amazing documentary to learn more about this nice project.

Director : Nader Moussally
Creative Director : Shadi Kaddoum
Editor : Nader Moussally
Director Of Photography : Christopher Kechichian
Colorist : Christopher Kechichian
Location : Ounovis / Beirut Souks -Lebanon
Coordinator : Hala Moubarak
Music : Further Up Further In - Tony Anderson
Copyright © Nader Moussally

Beirut Invasion

"Beirut Invasion" is an art work by George Daou, showing an invasion of "The Egg"-shaped spaceships over the Lebanese capital! I just love this work and thought it is a great idea to share it! Hope you will enjoy it as much as i did!

 Through internet research you’ll find very odd labeling for this building. Among the local people it is commonly nicknamed ‘The Dome’ or ‘The Egg’. After closer investigation you‘ll find out this is not just an abandoned brutalist building, planned to function as a bunker or a water tank. Rather, it was planned for cultural purposes, namely to be a movie theater.The Egg itself was commissioned as part of a modernist set of buildings in 1965, designed by the Lebanese architect Joseph Philippe Karam (1923-1976) read the full article [here]

Interview with the creator of Noteholics

I  recently had a chat with Hadi Radwan creator of Noteholics site about how he got started, how he went about getting traffic to his website and much more…

1- Can you give me some information about yourself and your website ?

 I initially started my career as a financial consultant with an international company. After 5 years, I felt the need to go explore more interesting career opportunities. So I went to do my MBA in IE Business School in Madrid, one of the highest ranked in Europe. There i discovered my passion for entrepreneurship. I found out that if you confine your thinking to one box, you will limit your potential. So i decided to try whatever reasonable idea that comes to mind. Not caring if i fail or not. I started exploring several opportunities including Noteholics. In paralled, I launched my first restaurant last March, Minis Restaurant (, while continuing on Noteholics ( I am a very energetic person and like to explore and learn new skills.

Noteholics is an online marketplace for college students who want to buy and sell class notes and textbooks. After looking at the current college market and the current economic situation, I decided to create such a technological platform to help students get better grades and get monetarily rewarded for the in-class effort.

The website is very simple to use. Users sign-up and gets access to a dashboard whereby they can upload notes and sell them or buy notes directly from a marketplace section. Documents can be purchased either via a secure credit card system or through Tokens, which are sold with our partner shops. Our first partner, MINIS Restaurant, helps access the AUB market. Users who wish to sell the documents will receive 50% of their sales price for notes and 75% of the sales price for textbooks.

The website aims to improve the educational system and ensure that students have access to the best material to get better grades. Our team will review all the documents to ensure that the quality is maintained and no plagiarism occurs. Additionally, a user generated rating system ensures that students rate other students notes.

Since our start of operations, 3 universities are participating now, including AUB, LAU and Haigazian University. Our aim is to cover the whole Lebanese educational market.

2- How long did it take you to create the site?

 Noteholics took around 1 and half year to be completed and we are continuously upgrading and improving the user interface to ensure excellent user experience.

3- How the site was conceived and who started it ?

The idea for the website came while meeting a friend that was finishing his studies at AUB and he mentioned how tired he is of requesting notes from his friend to photocopy. Since he was the kind of person who likes to concentrate on his social life more than his educational, he had the need to rely on other people's notes when the exams arrived. Instantly, it struck me, why don't we have a website whereby students sell their notes to other students. After that I started researching and talking to people around. I also used my experience back then at AUB. It was obvious for me that such a website should solve several problems:

 a) Students who take notes are basically not benefiting from them except for the exams. What if they can sell them for a small fee?
 b) Students who don't like to take notes, can now pay for available notes and be ready in time for their exams without having to go copy from someone else.
c) A Marketplace for Textbooks online is very useful for students wishing to sell their old books or for students looking for used books at a convenient price. Accordingly, it was clear that the idea makes sense and so I started working on the development.

4- Where do you see the site going in the future?

 The website has great potential for the future because it addresses several needs that the students face. It also has a very beneficial effect on the whole education system because it affects the financial freedom of certain people and improves the level of education through collaboration and sharing of notes. Furthermore, by creating a marketplace for notes and textbooks, students can set their own prices and thus disrupting the current monopolies / oligopolies of photocopying centers that charge high prices. We are currently in three universities only and are constantly thriving to add more and more universities. Our plan is to expand to cover all universities in Lebanon. Our aim is eventually to launch the website regionally but that is in the upcoming 3 to 5 years.

5- What has been one of the biggest challenges getting the site to where it is today?

Initially, the biggest challenge was getting the technical aspect of the website to work as designed. We had to hire external developers with experience in order to launch the website without any bugs. We currently face two big challenges:

a) To ensure that enough notes, lecture materials, and textbooks and that takes time to build because people are generally impatient. They check the website and if they don't find what they are looking for, they will not come back again. Accordingly, we are paying up to $10 for students to upload their quality notes.
b) Building our user database is a very hard task especially that the concept is one of its kind in the whole Middle East.
 We want to collaborate with all Universities in Lebanon to improve the education experience and make sure that students add value to each other. Our system ensures that if a student uploads professors' lectures or materials or any material not written by them, the system will not allow them to profit from others' work. Any copyright violation is prohibited and users will be banned to use the website. Our team manually checks all uploaded notes. We also encourage others to report any illegal activity on the website.

6- Do you have anything else you would like to add to our interview?

 I want to keep pushing the website and the whole idea to student and hope they embrace it. I hope such an idea will reach people in whole Lebanon and show them that Lebanese People are Entrepreneurs by nature and not to give up on their dreams or ideas.

Thank you Hadi again for taking the time to be a part of my Q&A. I have enjoyed sharing more information about you and your website. Best of luck to you now and down the road!

Lebanese man goes nuts in Sydney airport

Old but Gold
Typically Lebanese :)

Beyond letters

Can you guess which four Arabic letters these are?

Master calligrapher, Samir Sayegh takes Arabic letters beyond the formal aesthetic of Arabic calligraphy. He presents them as universal forms and signs in which meaning emerges from the relationship between lines. Over the course of his distinguished career, Sayegh has exhibited across the Arab World and in Europe, and has also created works for buildings and mosques. He was a lecturer at the Architecture and Graphic  Design  Department of the American University of Beirut from 1993-2007. Sayegh is also a critic, poet and author of several studies and articles on contemporary and Islamic art.


like any other museum in the world, THE BEIRUT NATIONAL MUSEUM have its own app.
 NATIONAL MUSEUM OF BEIRUT is an application developed by Ourjouwan in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Lebanon / Directorate General of Antiquities. Created and compiled with careful regard to reflect the rich heritage of the museum.
Designed for ease of use on all mobile devices, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF BEIRUT Application is free of charge. Online since 2014, this Application provides information about a selection of the National Museum of Beirut collection:
By chronology
By type of objects
By location
An audioguide, in three languages, offers explanation about fifty masterpieces of the archaeological collection on display in the National Museum.

You will find a sign, a QR code, near the artefacts which are part of the course of this tour. You are kindly requested to direct your phone toward the sign displayed near the selected objects and the explanation will automatically start.
If you haven't visit the Museum yet, it is time to download the app.

Beirut Art Fair

I was invited to attend the opening of Beirut Art fair and i enjoyed it!
Organized by Cedralys SARL since 2010, BEIRUT ART FAIR, with a focus on the ME.NA.SA ART, has established itself on the regional and international art scene with its unique positioning and in synergy with the collectors’ interests.
This region of contrasting cultures, which extends from Morocco to Indonesia, can now count with the presence of established artists and emerging stars in the art market.

BEIRUT ART FAIR enables to discover new artists, inspired by their heritage and their history turmoil, creating their art work away from the globalization buzz, fashion trends and the star system.
I was lucky to discover indian artists at The Indian pavilion “Small Art is Beautiful – Dharma”, curated by Fabrice Bousteau, that puts in the forefront small format works. Must see!!!

BEIRUT ART FAIR is open until Sunday September 21, 2014 from 3:30 pm till 9:30 pm. 

Don't miss it!

Thank you Hala Moubarak and Mirrosme for the invitation.

Street Musician

I love seeing passionate people that really commit to what they do. This guy was so into playing, I took this small video with my phone, check it out
Spotted in Rome.

A Lebanese Archive by Ania Dabrowska

Diab Alkarssifi’s lost archive of Lebanese and Arab photographs is brought to light in a new book by Ania Dabrowska.
"When artist Ania Dabrowska started working with Diab Alkarssifi, a homeless Lebanese man in London, she made a startling discovery. He was a compulsive photographer with a hoard of unseen pictures from his homeland" Via: The Gardian
I am big fan of vintage photos, and following Arab image foundation activities since 2009.
Can't wait for the book launch!
This great work is supported by Book Works and Arab Images Foundation. 
Read more about the project [Here]