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My little sister was so joyous that James Blunt was coming to Lebanon, to be fair she’s happy when any artists comes to Lebanon even when she does not get to go to the concert. She went to her first ever live performance last month when Shakira was here. I asked her if she saw her from the place they were at , she said when she zoomed in with her camera into the stage she was able to catch a glimpse. Then I asked her if she knew that would happen and that she needed to stand in a crowd of screaming people for hours would she still have went, she said DEFINITELY.

Counting Down to James Blunt supporting Tamanna

So now, as you may have guessed she’s going to the James Blunt Concert on Monday and she’s really excited! She’s counting down the days and today she drew the artwork above to show her excitement and support Tamanna (I think the guy with the glasses is supposed to be James Blunt) .

As you may know, what is amazing about this concert is that it is organized to fulfill a child’s wish, and all the proceeds from the international signer’s concert are also going in support of many other wishes for children with terminal illnesses and improving their quality of life. So all of this is a fantastic international collaboration between Tamanna and James Blunt that enables everyone to help and support either through ticket sales, awareness raising, or simply wearing a white T-shirt.

 

You can also help by:

-Donating on the Tamanna website.

- Like and share Tamanna’s facebook page
- Follow & RT @TamannaLeb

- Raise Awareness about the NGO within your social network.

 

 

Also Check out Mohammad Hijazi’s and Marie Nakhleh’s posts about Tamanna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This week Smex Beirut was kind enough to invite all of us to their new offices to announce their plans for 2010 and socialize. I know the guys have cut out for them because:

Prince Charming: ” So what do these guys do?”
Me: ” Basically they teach NGO’s how to use social media for change and to reahc their target audience”
PC: ” Did not know you need to have training for that, isn’t it natural?”
Me: “well yeah , but most NGO’s don’t even know why they should have a website, leave alone, what they should post on it…and think of all the help and exposure they could get if they work on it using Funraising’s model…”

So below is their monthly newsletter, with their plans for the months to come. Obviously, SMEX is branching otu to reach greater audience and enable all citizens, which is even better. Social Media novices, get involved with SMEX

February 4, 2010 • Volume 1 •?Issue 3
SMEX Re-Launches with a New Website and Open Office Party

SMEX Re-Launches with a New Website and Open Office Party

On February 2, SMEX opened its offices to Lebanon’s growing social media for social change community to celebrate its relaunch as a full-time organization. Visitors were treated to a tour of the colorful offices, which include a social space for intimate events and screenings and a training room.

The open office coincided with a launch of SMEX’s new website and official registration of Social Media Exchange as a Lebanese NGO. We also took advantage of the opportunity to ask visitors what they want from SMEX in 2010. One suggestion: A workshop for parents and children on the responsible use of the Internet. What would you like to see? Let us know at ideas@smex.org or by calling 01-380-553.

Thanks to all those who made it, and for those who couldn’t, we invite you to pass by anytime.

Workshop: Social Media for Jobseekers

In February, Social Media Exchange, in collaboration with recruitment specialist Mary Roepke, will host Career Development with Social Media. Delivered in two half-day workshops, this training will introduce you to the world of social media for networked professionals and show you how the Web and social networking can help you reach your goals.

The workshops will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, and Thursday, Feb. 25. The cost for each half-day course is 60,000LL per participant, or both courses for 100,000LL. The course will be given in English.

For more information, visit our website or you can RSVP now.

NOTE: We will also be hosting two half-day workshops for human resources professionals on how to use social media to recruit better candidates and diversify their talent pools. Please get in touch at training@smex.org or 01-380-553 for more information.
Workshop: Basic Internet Privacy and Security

Have you had enough of computer viruses and malware? Are you worried about identity theft or what might happen if your Facebook details get into the wrong hands? Well, If you aren’t, you should be. SMEX is launching a pilot internet privacy and security workshop for select participants on February 15, 16, and 22.

The first two sessions will cover the basics you need to know to keep yourself and your data secure. The third session will take place a few days later and focus on troubleshooting and answering specific questions. All sessions will be given in Arabic. For more information about how to sign up for this free training, please email training@smex.org or call 01-380-553.

Screening: 10 Tactics for Turning Information into Action

English with Arabic subtitles.
On Sunday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m., SMEX will screen a 55-minute video on how to turn information into activism. Case studies from Lebanon and around the world are presented by activists working on a wide range of issues. The documentary, which was shot during the InfoActivism Camp, India 2009, is brought to you by the Tactical Technology Collective and was translated into Arabic by Rebecca Saab Saade at SMEX. Watch a preview. Activists and NGO representatives who attend the screening can purchase the DVD and companion toolkit for 15,000LL. Proceeds will go toward shipping taxes and refreshments. Please RSVP to let us know you’re coming.
***

That’s all for this edition of the SMEX newsletter. You can also keep up with our upcoming workshops and events on our calendar. We hope to see you soon!

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No color - no life - Toufoula PosterNo color - no life - Toufoula PosterNo color - no life - Toufoula PosterNo color - no life - Toufoula Poster

These visuals are truly amazing, they are down to the point, they convey the message, and visually communicate what the organization does. Just thought I’d share them with you, in case you haven’t seen them around.

Toufoula is a young Lebanese NGO that seeks to improve the life of terminally ill children in any way possible. One of their projects aims at decorating hospital rooms of the sick children. You can check out more about them on Toufoula’s website and while you’re at it, check their profile which has photos of all the rooms they’ve done.

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help fight children's cancer this christmas donaye to ccc

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bowling throw

My friends Social Media Marketing may still be fresh in the Middle East, but Social Media Activism is ON!

This Wednesday you have a chance to attend the first Fun(d)raising event that aims to raise money for buying toys for underprivileged children!

All you have to to is come to Link Antellias (starting 6:30 pm and seeping through) and indulge in bowling, darts, air hockey, arcades…. and much more. But , of course, you can go an extra mile and bring your own toys, which you are willing to part with, as well as craft materials and drawing supplies.

And all the procedes will go to funding Christmas gifts for needy kids. You can RSVP through the Funraising Facebook or Twitter events pages. If you can’t make it, you can still support the cause by Sporting a funraising banner on your site or blog, or donating some new or used toys to the little ones (pick up of the toys will be arranged :) .

But what is really remarkable about Fun(d)raising is the way this initiative has started and grown in literally three weeks, proving that online social activism and collaboration are a reality! Fun(d)raisers are a group of bloggers and other social media natives that came together through social media channels and a very enthusiastic call from Mireille to make it a reality. And anyone can join in and contribute with whatever he does best!

So come and bring your friends with you! If you can’t live without your internet connection, don’t worry, same will be made available on the spot, and you can provide full media coverage! Plus Funraising will be providing complete transparency, through blogging about all the contributions and documenting the donations.

I have been practicing, our swings this weekend, so come and face your fiercest bowling adversary! Would be great to meet all of you guys there!

P.S. I apologize for my online absence, though I am still active on twitter, anything needing creative exertions and work, is proving to be impossible. New developments in my life are emotionally draining, though all well worth it!

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I guess there was a high demand from clients for using plastic bags, as opposed to the paper bags. And I gave great Kudos to Souk Tayeb for researching greener alternative, but I would have still loved them to use Paper bags with a combination of eco-totes. But then again Consumer is KING!

 

souk tayeb returns to using biodegradable plasic bagssouk tayeb returns to using biodegradable plasic bags

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35 pubs and bars on Gemmayze Street in Beirut participated in the non-smoking night* that took place on Wednesday 28 October. Nevertheless, many of these establishments did not uphold to their promise to the organizing NGO, Rotaract, and were blazing with glittering buds and retortful puffs. I know I am late on the posting train** about that, but I have been analyzing it backwards and forward thinking: “What would’ve been done to make it a success and give non-smokers a night to ENJOY?”

One one of the pubs we passed had a 'bright' marketing ploy - an anti-campaign - "Smoking Friendly environment".

One one of the pubs we passed had a 'bright' marketing ploy - an anti-campaign - "Smoking Friendly environment".

The answer is very simple: Education, Promotion, Reward and Punishment!

Admittedly, all nights are busy in Gemmayze, and from my new born addiction to Dinner Dash I can now see how hard it is to cater to all the client’s needs. Nevertheless, on this special night an extra effort by the Ushers, Managers and Waiters in welcoming the guests and explaining the event their establishment is participating in would’ve gone a long way. Just Putting the leaflets on each table, would ‘ve served the purpose. For instance, the vile smokers in our restaurant did not know / have not been told that the night was a non-smoking night (or so they told us).  This is something Rotaract needs to educate all the pubs about for next year to avoid any mishaps.

A further step to be taken, is finding out who the smokers are and thanking them in advance for making this effort and providing a happy environment for all. Maybe some brochure or leaflet which included a thank you, the accomplishment they are making, ways to quit… would’ve helped if physical time was unavailable.

Now for reward. In my world a LOT is focused on giveaways, and promotional materials. What could help smoker’s through the night? Some nicotine patches and nicotine gum distributed at entry would have further enhanced the night’s theme and would’ve made any smoker beyond shameful to light up inside. and if smokers were to go outside for a smoke, why not thank them by a mini-desert or a free drink? Smokers could also be given extra privileges like a 10% discount for their next visit, or even faster service.

And now for PUNISHMENT, shaming is a good punishment. And here I have a great story to tell you!

This weekend we came back home to some poop on near our flat’s entrance (which is also shared by our neighbors). What simply stepped over it and ignored it (I’m not cleaning that!). But what our two neighbors did was INGENIOUS, and I have to  give them so much credit for thinking of this! They wrote on an A4 the following: ” Please clean after your DOG, our entrance is not a TOILET!“***  and pinned it to the door. And when we came back in the afternoon, the poop was gone and the A4 was snatched from the door. Justice has prevailed!

The pubs and bars that participated in the event have benefited immensely from the free publicity and the extra amount of visitors who wanted to relax in a smoke free environment. But what about negative publicity? What about Rotaract binding them to some penal clause in case of breach and monitoring them more effectively? And a last word on shaming, what if those vile smokers from our story were faced off by the ‘metre’ after they lit up, who would have with a smile reminded them of the policy and offered them a desert / drink on the house  (had they been informed about the policy in the first place)? You see the reward – punishment (in our case shaming) – reward is a very effective and simple manipulation tool that or parents have used on us, and at heart we’re all children!

Dear Rotaract! Us non-smokers really need this night to be a full success next year!

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* You can check out The Star Scene photos of the Night

** Check out these great posts by Lilliane & Maya.

*** turns out one of our new neighbors has a dog :S

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AFDC Forest Fires Awareness Campaign

The Association for Forest Development & Conservation (AFDC) has aparently launched a new media awareness campaign aimed at reducing Forest Fires across Lebanon.

I like the fact that the girl is the photo is very natural and has green eyes, but I do not understand the Mona Lisa smile.

[Image published in 24:30 Magazine]

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On September 9, 2009, Animals Lebanon turned one year old I copndider their TNR project their major accomplishment , being an unprecedented initiative in Lebanon. Pioneering a Trap Neuter Return  ( TNR ) voucher program for the first time to Lebanon, the evryone in the comunity joined efforts to help stop suffering before it starts. An expert vet from abroad came to help train local vets on large scale TNR projects, and dozens of cats were saved from poisoning on a local university campus after they were all spayed and neutered. Moreover, their shelter has allowed to rescue more than 200 cats and dogs.

However that is not all, and more is to come. Animals Lebanon President Lana El-Kahlil says :   ”While we are proud of everything we have accomplished so far, this is just a small start and a tiny step to bringing about a culture in Lebanon that embraces animals… Expect much more from us in the coming twelve months – more community involvement, more uplifting stories that show why our work is so important, and many more animals saved.”

Visit Animals Lebanon website to find out how you can help their cause.

 

[Image via: Animalslebanon.org]

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You may have heard of BETA recently, in the buzz pertaining to the starved Lion Rescue in Lebanon.

Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( BETA) whose mission is to ensure that one day all the animals in Lebanon will get the chance to live the life they deserve because it is their plant too… Through education and direct action, BETA rescues stray and abused animals, while combating abusive pet shops and the illegal trade in wildlife.

Well now you’ve actually got a chance to enjoy yourself and help their cause at Beta’s Annual Gala Dinner. All Details Below.

 

Dine and Dance at BETA’s Annual Gala Dinner
Sursock Gardens
17 September, 2009
 
 

Dear friends,
A prestigious environment, delicious buffet, open bar & wonderful entertainers are waiting for you on September 17th at the Sursock Gardens for BETA’s yearly Gala Dinner. 
Enjoy helping our furry friends by attending this super event. 
 
Remove dresses & suits from your closets to spend a magical night. Your pets will forgive you if you spent just this night without them. After all you’ll be helping their friends.
 
Please go to contact@betalebanon.org to reserve your tickets or call at 03 23 33 82.
 
Thank you.
The BETA Team
 
 
Chers Amis,
Un cadre prestigieux, un délicieux buffet, de superbes animateurs et un bar ouvert vous attendent le jeudi 17 Septembre à Sursock Gardens pour le diner de Gala annuel de collecte de fonds organisé par l’Association BETA (Beyrouth pour le Traitement Ethique envers les Animaux).
 
Aidez nos amis les animaux en assistant à cet agréable événement.
 
Sortez vos robes et costumes de vos armoires pour passer un moment magique pour une cause humanitaire. Vos animaux vous pardonneront de les avoir laissé juste pour cette soirée. Après tout, vous aidez leurs amis.
 
Veuillez réserver vos billets sur le site  contact@betalebanon.org ou appelez le 03 23 33 82
 
En vous remerciant,
L’Equipe BETA
 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

  

Beta Gala Dinner Poster

 

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