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Danielle Issa
175 followers -
Debonair
Debonair

175 followers
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One of the things I miss most about living in the US is Amazon.com. More than merely a marketplace, it’s a treasure trove that sells absolutely everything under the sun (and then some). Yes, folks. Amazon is life, and nowhere do you appreciate its existence more than in Lebanon, where it is sadly nonexistent.

However, I may have discovered a valid workaround to that problem, and it's called "On Your Way." Here's how it works. Locate an item on Amazon (or any recognized online store for that matter) that's either not available in Lebanon or carries an unjustifiably steep price tag locally. Submit the product link to OnYourWay.io, which pairs up your order, once approved, with a registered traveler flying in from the US, UK, or France. Said traveler will transport your item in her luggage and dispatch it to a central office in Beirut, who will then contact you to arrange pick-up or delivery. Shipping charges are quoted within 24 hours of your order request, as is a delivery estimate of 2-4 weeks. It's reasonable, it's up-front, and it's 100% legit.
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Two weeks ago, we baptized our seven-month-old son Stephen in the presence of an intimate few. The ceremony at St. Paul's Basilica in Harissa was beautiful and symbolic; the lunch reception at Le Gray's Indigo on the Roof, chic and idyllic; and the keepsakes by Golden Fingers, lovingly handcrafted with ornate detail. If my husband and I can readily agree to one thing, it is elegant subtlety, and we wanted Stephen’s first sacrament to embody that.
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Here in the Land of the Cedars, Ramadan is in full swing, and with it, the daily ritual of fasting for many a Muslim faithful. The wave of heat sweeping across the country surely doesn’t help with the dawn-to-dusk abstinence of food and drink, but careful planning and guided preparation can.

When it comes to inspiration surrounding mealtimes and hosting, Wesley’s Wholesale is your mecca. Explore table stations throughout the megastore decked with ingredients to stir the senses and get the culinary creative juices flowing.
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I still remember meeting you for the first time, in 1991, on my first conscious trip to Lebanon. I asked you whether you spoke English, but you shook your head, so we quickly fell into Arabic. We wore matching Where's Waldo? T-shirts my mom had got us from California. I saw you wield a fork with your right hand, and I was so envious that I trained myself to do the same, even though I am a lefty. To this day, I continue to grasp fork and spoon with my right hand because of you.
In Loving Memory
In Loving Memory
beirutista.co
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I often wonder how much different my life would be had I taken the job offer at Tesla in 2009. Back then, I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed grad student who craved adventure in an international setting. I fought tooth and nail to plant myself in Lebanon, when logic and sanity would have dictated otherwise.

The country's poor and ailing infrastructure paints a grim future for our progeny, and the polluted environment threatens to curb our lifespan and quality of life.

Can one ever truly justify living here when the opportunity to take flight abroad exists? Do our kids have a viable future in this shattered model of a country? Or has the sun already gone down on us? And will we continue to push our youth to pursue higher education and employment beyond our borders?

The longer I live here, the lesser I am certain of the answers to these unsettling questions.
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When was the last time someone took the time to buy you a card, jot a personal note inside, seal and address it in an envelope, and send it through the mail to you? How special did it make you feel? Nothing like a greeting card to inspire a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Call me sentimental, but I’ve held on to almost every single card I’ve received throughout the years -- and no, I'm not a pack-rat. I may not have the space to store all the gifts I’ve ever amassed, but there’s always room for a slender paper greeting card stashed in a box with its brethren. And any time I want to take a stroll down memory lane, I pull out that treasure chest from under my bed, ready a box of tissues, and proceed to re-read those beautiful cards and messages from bygone days.

In Beirut, Wesley's Wholesale Orange Label has an extensive collection of cards for every occasion and in every tone imaginable, from the sweet and cheerful to the sardonic and ruthless.
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Seven years ago, I was celebrating May 1, International Workers' Day, in a way completely different than today. May 2, 2011, marked my inaugural day as a full-time employee at one of Lebanon’s leading financial institutions. My first taste of Lebanese corporate life was in the capacity of “Strategy Officer” at a salary I will never be too thrilled to admit. 
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Arabic is one of the most artistic and complex languages in the world. In fact, some of its words and phrases are so lush with imagery and meaning that they bear no equivalent in any other language. Nuances and undertones inevitably get lost in translation, and rich idiomatic expressions are butchered altogether.

Join me on a linguistic tour of Arabic’s most untranslatable and lyrical words, expressions, and sayings. Don’t trouble yourself trying to unravel them to a non-speaker—just have pride in being part of something precious!
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The riddle has been solved. The puzzle is now complete.

Who and what were behind the enigmatic green Superman logo encasing a three-leaf bouquet?

Lebanon’s famous restaurant chain +Zaatar W Zeit owned up to the teaser. Last night, the brand tied all the loose ends by debuting a new “super-natural” wrap boasting spinach flatbread. Donning the color of lushness and fertility, the wrap happens to coincide with ZWZ’s signature hue – green.
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If you’ve ever made it as far as the “About Me” section on my blog, you know I prefer peanut butter to Nutella. Yes, to the great grief of many a pure-blooded Lebanese, I much favor my spread nutty than chocolaty. It just packs in an uncharacteristic boldness, a certain oomph, that easily trumps its cocoa-derivative counterpart.

With heightened consciousness surrounding what we eat and the public’s desire to consume “real food,” peanut butter has undergone a total makeover, in some cases chucking sugar altogether and in others, substituting in molasses. Here in Beirut, a 25-year-old engineering graduate student is producing her own line of homemade goodness, and it's called Sugar 'n Spice (though admittedly it draws on neither!).
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