Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


History Repeating

My father passed away when I was 12 years old, and he was only 42. He succumbed to a brain stroke. He was having an afternoon nap. I was alone at home with him.

40 years later to the year, my mother almost died of the very same illness and in the same circumstances. I was alone at home with her, and she was sleeping. This time, I noticed and managed to call an ambulance on time and save her life. My Red Cross days training helped diagnose the symptoms and act swiftly.

She spent 12 days in hospital and ultimately recovered. God offered me a closure.

Three miracles happened in less than 20 minutes:
One, I was sleeping at her place, something I very rarely do.
Two, I woke at 06:00am, with no apparent reason. She had the stroke at 06:15am
Three, she fell next to her bed and I noticed. Had she had the stroke in bed, I would have not noticed at all and she would have died in one hour.

Everyone tells you that the day you become a parent, is the day when you realize the importance of parenthood, and understand why your own parents behaved the way they did with you.

I disagree.

You only realize the importance of parents the moment you loose one of them, or come too close to do so. Age does not matter, you might be 12 or 50, the feeling is the same, the trauma is the same, the fear is the same.

I know we all love and cherish our folks, but moms and dads are far more than people to love and cherish. When you think that you say the same thing about your dog or favorite pair of shoes, you understand how meaningless and clichés the words love and cherish are.

When I lost my father, I was a little too young to grasp the breadth of the damage. Life continued. I missed him and still do, but life continued.

Today is different. Today is about maturity and the way we look at our parents. Today is about looking at yourself in the mirror.

Today is about understanding the true meaning of a mother and father. Today I understood that it is not about need or protection, feeding or clothing, schooling or safety.

Today is simply about the tremendous amount of emotions and feelings behind the fact that you can still say a simple word: Mom… Without having to ask anything after you say it.

This post is dedicated to the moms and dads with children as old as I, where all can live in the simple bliss of calling each other “Mom”, “Dad”, “Son” and “daughter” without having to say anything else.



Long long time ago (No, I’m not Don McLean singing American Pie), the garbage guys used to pick the trash at 5 or 6 in the morning. Loudly enough to wake you up sure, but at least early enough to spare you the stops, traffic jams, stench and the sight of a turtle-lazy dude pushing trash bins like a geriatric.

Today, with the advancement of modern times, Sukleen chooses to clean the city at peak hours, ranging between 10:00 am and noon. And even better, they intentionally purchase trucks that don’t fit in our narrow streets. They leave the city clean of trash, and you of your sanity.

Why? you may ask. Humm Let’s see, we’ll try to explore the different plausible scenarios that force such a “clean-headed” organization to pollute our sanity.

Communication is the pillar of modern days, and Sukleen, who has chosen to use its trucks as communication vehicle, was compelled to perform its task at peak hours. So, when most of us are already going insane over traffic jams generated by Lebanese whom vision of a road is a prostitute working by the hour that they have to “consume” swiftly, Sukleen fills our sight with beautiful ads that speak about a clean green environment.

Fine, but here’s the loophole morons: Your trucks run on polluting fuel. When you create traffic jams, you pollute the environment far more than stinking trash. And for God’s sake, what’s the use of a clean environment populated by drivers with nervous breakdowns?

Sukleen is simply a sadistic organization owned by a sadist who enjoy the sight of a mile-long traffic jam halted behind a garbage truck in the narrow streets of Beirut. So, they hire foreign labor from countries where they sleep during the day and who do not speak one work of Arabic, purchase large trucks to make sure you don’t squeeze in between them and the side-walk and flee, and place more than 4 or 5 trash-collecting bins in strategically located over-crowded areas.

If this is the case, I wish they publicly admit it by changing the ads on their trucks to something like “Watch us clean your city” or “Build yourself a career, watch how we do it!”

The garbage-collecting company is simply dumb! It happens. You may be a large organization ran by morons. I mean look at our government!! Someone must have thought that you really don’t need a PhD to run a garbage-collecting company… Sure you don’t… I rest my case.

They simply want you to bask in the beauty of the nausea-inducing colored bins. Their super-duper marketing team philosophized that the money spent on repainting the bins using a vomit-inspired color palette should secure a return on investment. Solution: Make people slow down or stop for a time ranging between 10 and 20 minutes to appreciate the sight. It is probably the first multi-sensory advertising campaign in the country; the sight of trash, the smell of trash, the sound of trash… and the color of trash…

A week ago, I was driving down to Gemmayzeh coming from Tabaris. That road is already narrow enough, with cars parked on both sides leaving enough space to drive your car with your side mirrors folded. As I reach the entrance of that street, a Sukleen “large truck” makes it in front of me. As it starts to negotiate the street, it brushes two cars and comes to a complete halt when it hooks the third. And here we are, no way forward, and no way back because of cars that have already lined-up behind me. It took us half an hour to reverse all the cars back and take alternative roads.

Common sense says… Hehe. Look at me, speaking of common sense in Lebanon… Forget it. Probably the business of cleaning the streets is more important than my business in branding consultancy. I must have gotten my priorities wrong.
My one million dollar question is: Who’s going to clean the city of companies and people like that? But then again, what’s the rush?

© 2011 Ibrahim Lahoud

Creative Commons License
SUKLEEN, MOVE OUT OF THE F*****G WAY!! by Ibrahim N. Lahoud is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at htt://


[RTB] 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 7,800 times in 2010. That’s about 19 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 67 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 148 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 11mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 2nd with 277 views. The most popular post that day was Of driving and drivers. Another nail in Brand Lebanon coffin.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for hospital sign, hospital branding, ibrahim lahoud blog, brand lebanon, and ibrahim lahoud.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Of driving and drivers. Another nail in Brand Lebanon coffin November 2010
27 comments and 1 Like on,


The Pale Blue Dot June 2010


Care before cure. Hospital branding in a heartbeat August 2010


Lebanon, the Internet and literacy September 2010


Facebook, the good, the bad and the ugly profile pic! September 2010



I had to warp the year with a blog entry. I still ask myself why I had to do it and still do not have the answer. Usually the things we do for the last time every year tend to help us wash away the miseries of that year and usher new beginnings… of more misery.

So, for a change, this entry will be about the things I learned this year. Not all these are good, as a matter of fact, most are not. But we know by now that to learn, we look at what not to do rather than what to do, or at least that’s what I thought…

So Here’s what I learned this year, in no particular order.

I learned that some people are so meaningless that the only importance they earn is the one they give themselves.

I learned that politics were created by those very same meaningless people to try to rally more meaningless people to hold a wild “importance party”, with both meanings of the word “party…

I learned that in Lebanon, being nice is translated as being lame, and being mean as being smart.

I learned that we still can’t tell the difference between a smart guy and a wise guy.

I learned that a tribunal is more important than bandwidth.

I learned that a tree on the border is more important than electricity.

I learned the price per head in an election campaign is more important than price of gas and bread.

I learned that when blogging around the world is to educate, in Lebanon, it’s just to vent.

I learned that Twitter does help make good friends… unlike Facebook.

I learned that when anywhere else in the world people debate whether they should live to work or work to live, in Lebanon our choices are die for work or work to die.

I learned that you’re evaluated based on your cellular phone and your license plate numbers.

I learned that we camouflage our differences behind the word “diversity”, and our hatred behind the word “consensus”

I learned that you can’t mix religion with politics. I also learned that we never learned that one.

I learned that we rely on our history only to brag, and never to change.

I learned that “baseless rumor” is not English. Every rumor has a base.

I learned that losing a friend is as bad as how strong that friendship was.

I learned that family is the real essence of friendship, and that’s why we love to consider friends as family.

I learned that Lebanese will never learn to read their memories; but just to state them.

I learned that if you do not love what you do, you will never do what you love.

I learned that where it takes two to tango, it takes much more to make a nation.

I learned that we forgot that “holiday” comes from “Holy” and “day”.

I learned that the amount of knowledge you possess is measured by the amount of knowledge you give.


But what I mostly learned this year was that everything I learn is still a drop in the ocean of what I ignore.

Enjoy your Holy Days.



Lebanon Burning

13% of Lebanon green spaces are left.

13% but we have an International Tribunal.

13% but we have police officers in nicely colored patrol cars racing on the city streets and scaring citizens.

13% but we have a government, where ministers blame each other over their own ministry’s related responsibilities but… we have a government.

13% but intentional arson still gets away with it.

13% but equipping a useless police force with fancy four-wheel drive model of the year cars is more important than equipping the civil defense and firefighters.

13% but deputies and ministers still get paid all their benefits and keep an escort after they leave public service or even die.

13% is left and we’re still arguing over whether Canadairs should be purchased or not.

13% left and it takes days to get helicopters to come to help.

And I claim not to be a patriot… while all our patriots are running the country.

We are what we have always been, a bunch of neanderthals who do not have a micron of esteem for anything that does not carry a brand tag. Maybe Armani, Dolce & Gabbana should start planting trees and brand them… Maybe then, we would protect them.

We are not citizens, we are not Lebanese, we are not a population, we’re not a nation. We are simply packs of territorial wolves who instinctively and oh so awkwardly try to protect our immediate surrounding, pissing around to delimit our territory. Anything outside it is none of our business.

I have news for you, ministers visiting the devastated areas “will not” extinguish the fire! They will only gather popularity and good air time on TV.

Public figures complaining in the media about the lack of equipment are getting it all wrong: It is US who should be complaining. You, should be busy solving the problem.

I guess, our farsighted government foresaw the rain on Monday; they have vision.

Unfortunately, we are not as farsighted as you, but at least we’re “shortsighted” enough to see what is going on here and now. While you “try” to use your brain and end up overheating it, we use our heart and weep it dry at the sight of dying pinewoods.

For God sake, take the dark-tinted shades of your cars windows and look around you. Our 13% are also “your” 13%, and I promise you, no International Tribunal, no fancy patrol cars, no blame-throwing will ever bring it back.

If you love playing dictators, fine; but at least and for your own sake, help keeping us, your subjects, here to “rule” us, otherwise the whole country will become exactly like your brain cavity, just an empty desert.

We have burned to ashes 87% of our trees, some of which are only found in Lebanon. If we can’t save a tree, how can we save a human life?

©2010 Ibrahim Lahoud



In Mobile, Women rule Social Media [Via]

Thank you Brian Solis for the insightful post. The results are actually quite surprising.

Original Link:

Based on data collected and analyzed using Google Ad Planner, I recently discovered that in Social Media, women rule. Across almost every major social network, the balance was revealing and in some cases, profound.

Male: 43%
Female: 57%

Male: 48%
Female: 52%

Male: 41%
Female: 59%

Male: 45%
Female: 55%

Male: 36%
Female: 64%

Male: 41%
Female: 59%

Male: 43%
Female: 57%
Male: 45%
Female: 55%
Male: 34%
Female: 66%

Male: 43%
Female: 57%

Social Networks Go Mobile, Women Lead the Way

According to new reports, it appears that mobile counterparts paint a similar picture. Nielsen recently released data that shows that in mobile, women also dominate social networking.

At 55% women to 45% men, mobile social networking fortifies what we’re learning in social media in general.  Women also used their phones to tweet and friend 10% more than men.

Delving a bit deeper into social demographics, the 35-54 age group led the fray for active social networking via mobile devices followed closely by those 25-34.

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated with mobile online access accelerating to match the broadband connectivity we expect on desktop and laptop PCs. As each day passes, smart phones, such as iPhones, BlackBerries, Palm, and Android devices replace the standard cell phone, introducing new capabilities and experiences to the masses. Whereas voice was the primary driver for mobile phones, dedicated apps and online destinations are augmenting and enhancing everyday user activity.

Social networks are now among the catalysts spurring mobile interaction and only continue to grow in prominence as a hub for attention, discovery, and communication.  Facebook recently announced that of its 400 million users, 100 million actively engage through mobile platforms.

In early March, comScore published a report that documented triple-digit growth in Facebook and Twitter mobile access. The study found that 30.8 percent of smartphone users accessed social networks via mobile browsers in January 2010, up 8.3% from 22.5% one year ago. Note that these numbers do not represent access to Twitter and Facebook via dedicated apps, which is currently estimated at an additional 6 million.

Perhaps most notably, access to Facebook via mobile grew 112% over the past year  and Twitter mobile usage soared by 347%. In January 2010, 25.1 million mobile users accessed Facebook and 4.7 million connected to Twitter via their mobile browser. MySpace saw a 7% drop in mobile access, however it still attracted 11.4 million users.

For those active in social networks on behalf of businesses, please keep in mind that without a mobile strategy as well as content and engagement programs aimed at specific demographics and psychographics, you may be missing essential touchpoints for true engagement and collaboration.

One size does not fit all and there is no market for generalized messages. In social media, whether it’s mobile, desktop, or laptop, opportunity clicks…


Airline companies as nation branding ambassadors [Via NationBranding]

A wonderful article published on NationBranding

If there is a business market in which competing companies have traditionally been linked to their country of origin in an intrinsic, almost organic sense, that would be the airline sector.
For historical reasons, the national origin has often been very explicit in national carriers. In the past, most airline companies were created by the State […]

Continue reading…


May 2020

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,248 other followers


Top Rated

Follow me @ ebyking

wordpress stats plugin

Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
Reason To Believe by Ibrahim N. Lahoud is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at htt://

%d bloggers like this: