For the 10th successful year in a row, the BLOM Beirut Marathon, the biggest annual event in Beirut, will hit the streets on November 11, 2012.
This year, the event is filled with new races, and a major change in the tracks of both the 42.195km and 10km. As for the Marathon relay race! A Team of 6 people, from a corporate/ organization, running a set of 10K/5K/1K
The cherry on top is the Run with Mom 1Km race, be sure not to miss the fun by participating or even watching this awesome race.
To try and ease the pressure for all new fresh marathoners, Blom Shabeb cooked up this secret recipe of tips and tricks, to help you prepare for the Big Run!

Don't skip on breakfast. Too many marathoners skip breakfast on race day, choosing to go for just a cup of coffee and/or some sports drink. You need more than that. Have a simple, high-carb breakfast; bananas or energy bars are good picks.

Do take precautions against friction. During a marathon, every moving body part that can irritate will do so. And nothing is more irritating and painful than skin rubbed raw. To prevent this, make sure your shoes, socks, and clothing have no raised seams that will rub against the skin. Also, use Vaseline or something similar in key locations, including your armpits and inner thighs.

forget the sunscreen. Marathoners sometimes don't think about the fact that they're in the sun long enough to get sunburned. This is particularly true if you finish in an hour, which takes you into the high-sun time of the day, and lip balm! Trust us, it helps!

overdo your warm-up. It makes sense to not warm up much before a marathon. After all, you want to save energy. But you'll actually run more efficiently if you first loosen up your leg muscles; warm-up just to the point of a very light sweat.

keep an even pace. This is possibly the oldest and most important of marathon strategies. You have to run so slow that it feels like you're holding yourself back, later it feels so good when you're going strong and passing people!

keep anything for the last minute. You might notice that your shoelace is beginning to come untied or that a pebble has taken up residence in your left shoe! These things don't go away on their own, and the sooner you deal with them, the better you'll fair over the distance.

Do take advantage of the aerodynamics.
Draft off someone! Hey, it works for Lance Armstrong. The drafting effect isn't as strong in running, but it's still there. Just be decent about it and don't follow too closely, or better yet, agree to take turns leading so you're working together with this person.

charge the hills. The goal in marathon running is to maximize your efficiency. That's why drafting works. And it's why running hard up the hills doesn't work. From an energy perspective, you gain more speed by putting your effort into the flats than the hills. When you're on the hills, just relax. Don't worry about those people who are passing you. You'll get them back later

your homework. A little research always helps! You can talk to runners who had participated in last years Beirut marathon; they might provide you with few pointers about the course and possible difficulties.

Don't get stressed out. Relax. Don't panic if you feel a little sluggish in the days and hours leading up to the marathon. Most importantly, trust your hard work and enjoy the day!

You can pick up your marathon bibs at the expo at Biel, this will help you get a closer look and inside tips for the marathon.

One of the possible ways to enjoy your college life is to participate in extracurricular activities which are available for students; sports, art, culture, foreign languages and other choices are awaiting you to sign-up. Although it all sounds very interesting and could feel as a break from your daily studies, you have to be careful and selective to avoid burn-out. BLOM Shabeb advises you to the following tips:


  • Review the list of clubs and activities at your school. Ask your friends who already have enlisted to make a right decision.
  • Make a revision of your interests. Maybe you want to discuss the book you have just read with someone? Or do you want to play soccer with your peers? Do you want to make new friends?
  • Divide your time so that you should not do something at expense of your education.
  • Get informed about the activity you are about to choose to make sure you don’t drop out after the first couple of weeks.
  • If you don’t have time to work out or to hit the gym, consider sports. This would be a great way to learn a new activity (tennis, basket-ball...) and to stay fit.
  • Inform your parents about the activities you take participation in so that they should not worry about you.
  • Choose those activities which may be useful for you in future.


  • Miss classes to participate in activities
  • Use the activities as the main excuse of why you fail to prepare your homework.
  • Squeeze it in between your academic courses, you need to be in full focus, not tired physically and intellectually, it is an extra activity not a major course.
  • Skip it and go hang out with your friends at a coffee shop or the cafeteria just because it is not as important as your studies. This too is a commitment.
  • Give up at the first try because other students taking the class seem more advanced; they may have had previous training or background knowledge on the subject, but nevertheless, you are all in the same class together!
  • Resign to peer pressure and take up an activity because your friends are in it and they pushing you to sign up with the ‘’come on it would be cool if we were all in the group!’’. This would end up as both a waste of time and money.

Finally, whichever activity you choose, BLOM Shabeb wishes you all the luck and congratulates you on keeping your agenda full and enriching, after all, this activity can only add to your skills!
A big number of people have a fear of public speaking and do not know the proper methods to be used to deliver a successful speech. These tips provide you with advice on how to deliver your message clearly and strongly.


Do decide what the purpose of your talk really is.

Do prepare a talk that will fit within the time limit you're given.

Do show some enthusiasm and energy.

Do speak loudly enough to be heard by the entire audience, even those in the back row.

Do clearly define any term that may not be familiar to your audience.

Do answer questions as briefly as possible.

Do remember that "I don't know is a perfectly good answer".


Don't distract from your message by including too much details.

Don't forget that any lecture is a performance; you must work to get your message across.

Don't keep jumping back and forth between your slides.

Don't start to change a slide, then stop halfway.

Don't fidget nervously in front of your audience.

Don't start sentences with "so" or end them with "right?" or "OK?".

Don't apologetically introduce a topic with "just real quick", "briefly", or similar words.

Don't use a question as an excuse to bring up the dozen slides you cut out of your talk in order to meet the time limit you were given.

Don't go rummaging through your slides to answer a question unless it is absolutely necessary.

Don't hold "private conversations" with questioners in the front rows.

As summer is getting close, people have the urge to get tanned. Because of the fast results of tanning beds and their easiness, they are becoming one of people’s number one choices to get a tan. If you plan on choosing tanning beds, follow these dos and don’ts effectively!


   - Only use reliable tanning systems; tanning bed, tanning booth, stand up tanning units, sun tanning bed, and home tanning beds

   - Always wear UV protective eye wear in a tanning bed

   - Get your base tan first by following advised tanning bed schedules

   - Moisturize after sun tanning bed use, especially after showering to keep skin's moisture levels high


   - Avoid daily use of tanning beds - allow your skin to develop a tan naturally

   - Do not use perfumes, deodorants, or any type of make up before tanning, as they can increase the possibility of harmful sun burns

   - Waxing before indoor tanning bed use may cause inflammation, redness or prolonged irritation

   - Try not to shower immediately after tanning; if possible wait 3-4 hours, then apply a high quality moisturizer.

People often have trouble behaving the right way during their dates. But there are a few dating basics that remain tried and true, so follow these do’s and don’ts while you make your way through the dating game. 

Pay attention to your date
Make eye contact, listen and respond appropriately. Don’t talk on your cell phone, text your friends or wonder about how much he/she makes. Ask questions and show you’re interested

Show off your personality, especially your sense of humor
Don’t pretend to be someone else – he/she is dating you because he/she wants to get to know you. And please, please don’t act stupid

Be courteous
Men, compliment her on the way she looks. And women, be ready on time and thank him for holding open doors

Be honest
If there is no chemistry, don’t encourage him/her. If you like him/her, let him/her know you’d like to see him/her again. (But try to avoid seeming desperate – you know: “Can I see you again? How about next Thursday? At eight? Nine?”)

Don’t talk about your last relationship. 
This can be threatening, and it is also just poor manners. Your date will take it as a sign that you haven’t gotten over your last lover. Do you want to listen to him/her talk about his/her
ex-girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband? 

Don’t talk too much about yourself
It’s great to answer his/her questions and tell him/her your interests, but remember to ask about him/her as well. Get to know each other but don’t turn it into a monologue about yourself.

Don’t take calls on your cell phone or text people
See above. It’s just plain rude.

Don’t lead him/her on
If you don’t like him/her or don’t feel any connection, don’t pretend you can’t wait for him/her to call so you can see him/her again. This can be difficult, I know, but it is much classier to tell him/her you’d rather just be friends than to lie and humiliate him/her.

Don’t be pretentious
Women, don’t act like you are too good for him or too good for wherever he takes you, even if it’s some place you wouldn’t normally be caught dead. A classy girl always makes people feel comfortable. And who knows, you might enjoy yourself at that bowling alley.

As you may know, sunburn is not the worst thing that could befall you during the heat of summer. Heatstroke is a very common condition that many suffer from due to long, unheeded exposure to the heat of the sun. The main symptoms of heatstroke are hyperthermia (an abnormally high body temperature) accompanied by a complete lack of sweating. Obviously, we’re suffering in this heat wave as much as you are, but we decided to share our knowledge with you so you can avoid having to deal with a temperature of 42 degrees in this heat… Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts mean to help you deal with the heat and come out of it unscathed.


Don’t get overexposed to sunlight

The sun is not at its closest position to Earth during summer, but that doesn’t prevent it from causing damage to your skin in particular and your body in general. When not causing sunburn, the sun’s rays will cause your skin to become dry. The body’s reaction in that case would be to direct more water to the skin, depriving other organs and causing your blood to thicken. This causes your heart rate to increase, and the amount of blood reaching your brain to decrease, thus causing some functions, including the temperature control centers, to shutdown. That is when heatstroke begins to set in. You can avoid all these unsettling symptoms by standing in the shade.


Do conserve your fluids

The heat causes your body to sweat and lose its water reserve, which as seen above is vital to the proper functioning of the body. In order to regain the lost water, you need to drink as much as you can. On a similar note, reduce your salt intake, as salt causes a drop in body water levels. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine as they are diuretics; compounds that cause a release of water from the body.


Don’t consume excesses of sugar…

… unless you’re planning on spending that energy in sports or other activities. You see, sugars give you a certain amount of energy that causes your muscles to function. If the muscles fail to function, the energy becomes heat and your body’s temperature increases.


Do keep your surroundings well ventilated

Another way your body temperature can be increased is by breathing in warm air. Knowing that the lungs constitute a large surface area of contact between your blood and the outside air, they allow a certain amount of temperature regulation. By breathing in cool air, you can help your body maintain an acceptable temperature ranging between 36.5 and 38 degrees. This shows the importance of properly ventilating your surroundings so that cool air is constantly circulating.


Do have cool showers

When you feel that it’s gotten way too hot for you and you seem on the edge of burning up, a cool shower will do you a world of good. We stress on “cool” because cold is strictly off limits. Large fluctuations in body temperature are as bad as Hypo- or Hyper-thermia. Cool showers let your body regulate by providing an acceptable range of temperatures according to which the control centers of the brain should operate.

It is totally understandable that you are extremely excited tonight; it is, after all, your prom and a “once in a lifetime” thing. Keeping that last statement in mind, remember that the last thing you’d want to do in such a situation is to ruin it. Fear not, for we have got your back. Here are you basic Do’s and Don’ts of getting ready for Prom:


Do abide by the dress code:

It is a special night, so you might as well take things a step further than usual and dress up special. Denim is definitely out of the question, so are shorts, baggies, tank-tops, and T-shirts. Sometimes, the school or university might go so far as to require you to wear a certain color to the certificate ceremony; that is a something to abide by unless you’re a real fan of standing out in a crowd, but it generally doesn’t matter since you’re going to be wearing those strange-looking robes.


Don’t over-/under-dress:

This tip concerns the commencement ceremony. Don’t over-dress because you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of other students, as well as parents and faculty members, lighting and sound equipment (which have a nasty habit of heating up), and a lot of stress. Sweat will ensue, but the less you dress, the less its severity. However, there is a limit to the amount of clothes you can skip on; that limit is pants and white shirt. Underwear is definitely beyond the limit; you may want to consider the unfortunate incidence of a slight breeze in such situation…


Do turn off your phone:

You know how you feel the urge to violently expel the person in the movie theater whose phone rang in the middle of the most epic scene in a movie? Well, in this case, you’re the movie, so imagine what people will want to do to you if your phone does happen to ring during the ceremony…


(Ladies) Don’t overdo the makeup:

Let’s reiterate the notion of sweat ensuing due to the presence of lots of people, machinery spewing out heat, and stress. Where does sweat come out from? That’s right: your skin. That means the excessive make up you spent hours upon hours applying will probably end up on the sleeve of your graduation robe. Keeping it simple is often the best choice.


(Guys) Don’t use hair-gel just yet:

There will be enough time for you to if your hair for the party, the commencement, usually doesn’t require any hair-gel… Also, keep in mind that the strange-looking hat will be on your head for about 4 hours; that is, 4 hours of that new hairstyle being totally covered and invisible. You might as well just skip on the hair-gel until you’re heading to the party.

Hiking has only recently begun to receive attention in the Lebanese community, though it has existed in its current form for quite some time, locally and abroad. This attention has caused the creation of tracks in many areas of the Lebanese geography specially for this activity, on the basis of their being the most efficient routes from the start to finish, while also taking into consideration the view along the way. Seeing as the weather at this time is quite appropriate for such trips, we have decided to provide you with this Do’s and Don’ts section specifically concerning hiking trips.


Do consult a guide

Hiking trips are usually organized weekly by outdoors activities groups which simplifies the process of preparing such a trip with friends. All you have to do is to contact the organizers and inquire about the requirements, length, and dangers, if any, of their hiking trips. By having a guide with you on the trip, you can avoid trespassing on someone’s property by mistake. The guide will also have a first-aid kit in handy in case anyone gets injured.


Don’t underestimate the trip

Remember that you will be hiking at a steady rate sometimes in the shade, and sometimes under direct sunlight. Your path will also take you uphill as well as downhill, so you will need to conserve your energy. The organizers’ website will usually provide you with a brief description of the trail, along with a map and an altitude assessment for particular areas. In other words, the hiking trip will test your survival skills, and so it is your duty to know if you can manage such an excursion or not.


Do dress appropriately

The event organizers usually provide a set of recommendations concerning dress code for hiking, but for the sake of simplicity, we will provide some pointers. Mainly, don’t wear sneakers or walking shoes as they provide little support for your ankles, which, under the strain associated with hiking, are in danger of breaking. Boots, on the other hand, are too heavy for such activities, and will drain your energy as you work hard to lift them. Your best choice would be to go for hiking shoes. Pants are more problematic; you can go for shorts and risk getting all kind of cuts and bruises from thorn bushes and rocks, or you can go for long, baggy pants, and sweat a whole lot.


Don’t waste energy

Namely, don’t goof around at the beginning of the trail and run about everywhere because no one will be willing to carry you near the end, when you’re exhausted. Also, no one will want to listen to your nagging or your repetitive questions of whether you’re there yet or not. Your bag will need to be as light as possible, again, in the hopes of reducing energy waste; so carry only what is strictly necessary for your trip.


Do carry supplies

Supplies in this case include anything that will restore your body’s spent water, glucose, and calcium, while also not weighing you down. Avoid anything that will melt or spoil in the heat, and try to keep the fluids cool so as to help reduce your body’s core temperature.

I'm going to buy my first car, what do I need to know?

Used car or new? What car is right for me? Where to look for used cars, what to look for when buying a used car? There are many questions you may have when it comes to used car buying process. In this article BLOM shabeb will answer to some of these questions and hopefully, make the used car buying process easier for you. There are many essential facts you should consider before buying your next car so you won't regret your decision for a moment afterwards.How

old is not "too old"?

We would not recommend buying an old car even at "bargain" price; no matter how many new parts you put into it, it will be still an old car that will need more and more repair later. Simply scratch out from your list anything older than ten - twelve years. Perfect choice will be three - five years old car because the price is greatly reduced and you will still have few trouble-free years. One important detail: 2000 is a model year, not the production year. The car produced in august 1999 may carry 2000 model year as well as the one produced in July of 2000. This is related to all cars and model years. To know exactly, look for the first registration date in the car history report.

What mileage is OK for a used car?

It is not recommended purchasing a car with a very high mileage, for example, 250,000 km (155,000 miles) and higher would be considered very high. However, "low mileage" does not necessarily mean it's going to be a "good car". Be aware of cars that may have undergone restoration after a serious accident or cars that haven't been property maintained, or cars that may have had their kilometer rolled back - nowadays they can easily 'fix' even electronic kilometers. When considering the 'mileage' count, it simply means that when choosing a car whether it has 60,000 or 80,000, it is not as important as the fact that it was well maintained and accident-free.
Don't be rude to a salesperson at the dealership. Regardless of the many stereotypes we share, many salespersons are genuinely nice people. Be persistent but not rude; treat them well and they will be willing to help you.

Choosing the right car

You won't get a good deal if you just browse from dealer to dealer without knowing what kind of car you are looking for. The first step - You need to decide what exactly you want. Do you need simple transportation to drive to work and back? If so, a small car would suit this purpose.
Do you want a car to be very economical? If so, you would want to select a car with a small engine. Don't expect to find a V6 or V8 engine or 4WD truck if you are looking for something really affordable. Once you've decided on what type of car is best suited for you or your family members, and you know what you want, check out the market, see what models are available, and see what fits into the price you can afford. Following this you will be able to narrow your search to just a few models. Then compare the reliability rating and read more reviews. Don't forget to check insurance rates, get the quote before buying a car.

In a few words…

Do ask someone knowledgeable to inspect the car for you; it may save you a lot of money. Don't buy a car after a serious accident - especially following a frontal collision. You wouldn't believe how many possible problems may arise later as a result of an accident.
Don't buy a car as soon as you see it. Take your time, test drive the car as long as you can. For example, some problems may only be caught when the engine is cold while other problems may only be discovered when cruising at highway speeds, etc.
Don't base your decision on what you have been told. "One Owner, highway driven" in fact, may be an ex-rental, heavily abused vehicle.
Don't buy a car if you have doubts or hesitate for one reason or another…if you don't have a good 'gut' feeling about it. If the engine seems too noisy or works as if it is in rough shape and sounds heavy, the transmission shifts harshly, some works needs to be done, something seems to be wrong with the papers, etc. - move on.
Don't buy a car if it needs some "minor" repairs. Often this will result in spending big money for repairs that never seem to end.
Remember, the gas prices keep going up, the ultimate choice would be to go for a gas-efficient car, and it’s good for the ecology and your economy!

Without giving it much thought, many choose to brand themselves with a tattoo or body piercing to express their personality, but today’s trend may be tomorrow’s regret. Tattoos are everywhere —but just because celebs like Angelina Jolie and Jay Z have put tattoos in the spotlight doesn’t mean you should get one too. If you’re REALLY eager to add a piece of body art, know what you’re getting yourself into. Parents are very strict about it because they know what they are talking about! And yes when you are older and have put teen years behind it is better to get your tattoo since you might- 99% will- have a change in what seems the number one passion of yours right now!


Do go to a pro: Look at the place. Does it look dirty? Do you clearly see tattoo and health licenses? Do they take the needle out of a sterilized container? Do you see them sterilize everything down after a customer got out of the chair? These are big health issues and you obviously don't want to risk you health.
If you have any questions regarding the procedure...Do ask your artist! He is there to make sure all your tattooing worries are out of the way before you get your tattoo.

Do your research: Bring in various pictures or illustrations, (the internet is just filled with options) of what you want. If you love butterflies, explain what you like about each image. The artist can customize a unique design. It may take a few days if your request is complex. Find out what tattoo symbols mean. That Sanskrit or Chinese symbol might look real cool on your shoulder blade or ankle, but I don't think you'd be too happy if you found out its meaning was 'Bicycle pedal’!

Do know it will hurt: Getting a tattoo is painful, especially on areas with a lot of nerves, like your torso and lower back. The bigger and more complex the design, the longer it takes (and it might even take multiple sessions). Small tattoos usually take an hour or two.

Do be original: Avoid names, no matter how much you love her/him, your body is not a place card and you have no ring around your finger yet, ask anyone who had done it before and you will see the statistics for yourself!
Do be strategic: When picking a location for a tattoo, think about how you might not always want to show it off.

Do keep things simple: A small tattoo or one with two or three colours is the easiest to remove, as well as conceal; and simple piercings in the ear are classic symbols of style that never get out of style.

Do choose an appropriate location: Because outlandish piercings or tattoos in unusual and sensitive areas can lead to scarring and holes that never heal, you may want to think twice about where to place these items on your body. Also, think carefully about where you want it and how big it should be. A good tip is to place it in an area that can be covered by clothing traditionally worn in the work place. For example, a belly button piercing can easily be covered but shown off if you wish, whereas an eye brow piercing cannot.

Do take care of your tattoo: To avoid infections, wash your tattoo with warm water and antibacterial soap, and cover it with a healing cream and medical ointment. After the first week, it’ll peel like sunburn. Don’t swim or expose it to the sun for at least two weeks. Ask your artist for complete info about tending to your tattoo or do your research on the internet for extensive details.

Do ask about “removable” ink: There’s a new ink available that can be ‘lasered’ off in one session instead of the usual three to 15. Laser removal can cause scarring, plus it’s painful, even with local anaesthesia, and expensive.

Do remember what’s “hot” today may not be tomorrow: Today, the latest fad may be tribal or flower tattoos, but tomorrow’s trends may be different. That lip ring may not be so popular when you are a well established employee at a respected company.


Don’t administer self-piercings or tattoos: Attempting to pierce yourself or give yourself a tattoo is extremely dangerous and can lead to infections, serious health complications. If your friend offers a helping hand, please decline!

Don’t have a procedure in unsanitary conditions: Sterile equipment and supplies should always be used for tattoos and piercings. Look out for unacceptable conditions, such as the use of needles on more than one patient and technicians who don’t wear gloves. We cannot emphasize enough this crucial rule.

Don’t let an infection go: If you suspect any problems, or experience considerable redness or soreness, see your derma-surgeon immediately – it may signal a serious infection.

Don’t forget to ask questions: Tattoo shops can be intimidating, but you can’t be scared to speak up — it’s your body! Make sure you see them take the needles from a fresh package (dirty needles could expose you to hepatitis, HIV, and other infections). Alert your artist if you know you’re allergic to red ink, since you could get a painful, itchy, and potentially permanent rash from the pigments.


Few experiences are as exciting as being part of a band; fewer still are those experiences that are also able to teach you. Being in a band teaches responsibility, stress management, and leadership. But such benefits are only acquired when the band members work in harmony; when the band plays on its members’ strengths. Thus, we have compiled this Do’s and Don’ts section so as to assist you in your efforts to start a band, but keep in mind that these are not the keys to success; these are just the steps that will make the experience all the more enjoyable regardless of success or failure.

Do emphasize on creativity

Performing covers of famous artists’ songs is not as easy as it may seem; you may be able to play the whole song impeccably with your eyes closed, but it will sound bland and uninspiring if you don’t infuse your own style into it. After all, the audience surely has the original recording and will be better off listening to that if you’re not going to get creative with it. When it comes to originals, don’t be afraid to mix styles and create ambiences that reflect your backgrounds. You may not strike gold immediately, but at least you will make something you’d be proud of in the process.

Don’t follow trends

Originality always catches the eye (or in this case, the ear), especially when it comes to forming a band; you will need to show everyone out there that you are different, that you have something new to offer. It is worth remembering that Rock music in particular was all about not conforming to the rules of society, so what will it look like if you followed someone else's rules on what a band should be like?

Do respect your band members

A band is more like a second family than a group of friends or a collection of talents. You may be the most talented individuals out there, but if you can't stand each other, then there's no point in being in the same group, and it will definitely not work out for the best. Mutual respect is necessary for the longevity of any endeavor especially one as emotionally driven as music.

Don’t let egos get in the way

Once you have achieved the slightest amount of recognition, there will surely be one member of the band considered to be more famous than the rest. That member is usually the frontman, and it is a normal situation, where ego can cause disarray and countless arguments. Remember that the frontman's fame is directly dependent on the efforts of the whole group, and that same fame should be considered a thumbs-up to the skill of the other members.

Do set your priorities

Seeing as music is not technically a profession in Lebanon, it is difficult to talk about priorities when it comes to bands; many unimaginable talents have walked away from their bands to pursue their (generally unrelated) careers. However, in a perfect world, when you are part of a band, your priorities should be with the band, nothing else.

Finally! Your parents have agreed to let you own a pet; whether it is a cat, a dog, a rabbit or any other domestic animal, BLOM shabeb knows the responsibility that is about to enter your life. This is a beautiful step in your life and only you can make sure that your pet feels the same way too! There are two major categories in your decision, and we want to help you assume this responsibility so we have laid out the best made plan!

Step 1: Choosing a Pet

• Take your sweet time deciding on which pet... this is a very important decision, and the deciding part is a whole lot of fun.
• Carefully consider what aspects of your life are going to change with the acquisition of this pet, and especially reflect upon 
   whether you truly have the time, energy, situation and need for this animal.
• Determine what provisions you will need to shelter, feed and care for the pet, including the costs of such responsibilities.
• Consider a range of animals, not just the one you had in mind at first... you might find something that is even more  
   appropriate for you.
• Thoroughly research the animals you are considering.
• Carefully consider what is going to happen to it as it grows, and determine whether you are really committed to caring for 
  this pet long after its "cute baby phase."
• Talk with people who own or breed the type of pet you are considering.
• Consider checking with local rescue organizations to acquire a pet that really NEEDS you! We have many shelters in 
  Lebanon who would be more than happy to help you through.
• Determine if any health provisions or certificates are provided or will be necessary (i.e. vaccinations, etc.)
• Have its living environment (bed, cage, crate, etc.) set up before obtaining the pet.
• Determine exactly what the animal's diet has been, and try to approximate this same routine during the transition phase.
• Upon bringing the animal home, recognize that it is enduring a very traumatic experience: Be calm and extremely patient 
   with your new pet.
• Try to make it feel as secure as possible. Place it in the area where it will be spending most of its time, and allow it time and 
   space to get used to its new environment.
• Prepare yourself to embrace whatever experiences which will come with this new family member, for better and for worse...
   as in all relationships there will be some of both.
• Constantly keep in mind how much you wanted this pet, how you willingly accepted responsibility for its care and wellbeing,
   and how truly wonderful this creature is.
• Acquire a pet on impulse or on a whim.
• Acquire a pet as a gift for someone else. Pets are a huge responsibility, not something to be handed out like flowers. 
  Prospective pet-owners should go through all of the steps listed above in the "Do" section.
• Acquire a pet if your living situation is likely to dramatically change within a short period of time (hello teenagers!), possibly
  preventing you from devoting the time, energy and overall care your pet needs.
• Surrender to the temptation to acquire an unusually exotic pet, or a breed of dog that is known for its aggressiveness, you do
   not have enough training experience to control it.
• Allow any salesperson to bully or badger you into acquiring a pet you're not absolutely certain about.
• Acquire a pet because you "feel sorry for it" unless you are absolutely certain that its present living conditions are
   unacceptable and you are completely committed to either giving it a better home or finding one for it.
• Think that you must quickly purchase a particular animal because it is the one and only one of its kind; there are always
   more, and they are all special.
• Rush home with your new pet and invite the entire entourage to see it; allow it a chance to settle in.
• Hold and play with your new pet too much the first couple of days.

Step 2: Keeping it!

•Shower your pet with affection and patience.
• Spend quality time with your pet every day.
• Be firm but always loving in establishing rules of behaviour.
• Be quick to take your pet to the vet when something goes wrong.
• Allow your pet to be the type of animal it is; it is not human.
• Involve your pet in as much of your life as possible (walking to the grocery store, etc.)
• Ever, ever, ever hit your pet... and by this we don't mean a relatively mild smack to get their attention (which might be
   appropriate for some larger pets), but rather the strike that is meant to hurt. You know the difference!
• Take it for granted.
• Allow friends, acquaintances, or anyone else, to tease or abuse your pet.

Paintball, as you may know, is a demanding activity; it requires those who practice it to have high tolerance to pain, and a healthy system able to endure the running, crawling, and general stress of this activity. Paintball guns use compressed CO2 to propel small balls made of a rubbery material, filled with different color paint, at high speeds; these balls will burst on impact. There are usually 2 teams (and 2 colors) on one battle field. Though the players are provided with protective gear, the pellets can still cause pain or general discomfort on impact. Thus, we have prepared this Do's and Don'ts section to help you properly prepare for an exciting game of paintball with your friends.

Do keep your gear on at all times

The high-velocity pellet will cause bruising if it contacts the skin, even if it was fired from across the room. Thus it is your duty to protect yourself, which you can do by donning the protective mask, body armor, and gloves provided at the entrance. During the “battle” no one will be able to hear or see that you're removing your gear for whatever reason and you will be vulnerable to any stray shot.

Don't shoot any person at close range

It is understandable that your finger will immediately go for the trigger if someone surprises you on the battlefield, but it is your duty to hold back the shot as, at close range, it will most likely cause serious injury and pain. Most organizers usually set a command that you can yell out at the other person when you encounter them at close range so as to avoid the scenario where one or more of you has to be sent to hospital.

Do listen carefully to the precautions of the organizers

No matter how long you've been going to paintball events, you will definitely not know more about it than the owner of the locale where you are holding the battle. You will need to hang on every word that is said to you as if you were being issued commands by a higher power. There are, of course, punishments to anyone who disobeys the rules of the organizers, but we're sure you wouldn't want to know what they are, right?

Don't aim at the head

Even though face and head protection is extensive at such events, there is always the risk of splatter, slipping, and breaking occurring accidentally. In essence, the mask could slip under the effect of the high-velocity pellet and scratch the face of the person in question; the ball could also shatter the transparent visor or splatter all over it. There is also the very likely scenario where paint would leak into the eyes and ears and cause irritation. For these reasons and more, try not to aim for your adversary's head.

Spring is blossoming telling us there are great ways we can put this great weather into use and adding some cheerful moral and healthy lifestyles in our agenda. BLOM shabeb wants you to channel your thoughts and summon your energy to make the best of this beautiful season. These are just guidelines which we hope can help you get inspired to put those winter blues and lazy attitudes behind!


 - Do grab a program or go through your country's events list and check the arts (theatre, expos, 
    musical  performances...) and enjoy going out in this nifty weather.

 - Do: Explore Lebanon’s wilderness. Looking to get off the busy streets of Beirut for a bit?
   Take a trip to one of these hiking trails to get some exercise and appreciate nature. 

 - Do: Take your work outside. Whether it is your homework, or workout take it outside if it’s 

 - Do: Take advantage of the beautiful weather, be creative, see what inspires you and go for
    it! Consider planting some roses and flowers, or maybe studying/reading outdoors, we
    have a lot of gardens with access for the public, go feed the ducks!

 - Do take advantage of the sun; we all need that vitamin D after those winter clouds!


 - Don’t: Sit inside watching movies. If it’s sunny, get outside! Save the lazy lounging for that
    rainy day (they do come), and go enjoy the outdoors. 

 - Don’t: Go anywhere alone. You might think it would be relaxing to go hiking alone to clear 
   your head, or a long run through an unusual place, but stop! If you’re not familiar with a
   certain area bring a buddy. 

 - Don’t: Forget to exercise. While nice weather may influence you to lounge outside on that 
   picnic blanket, don’t forget to work out and stay healthy! 

 - Don’t put on a T-shirt or light clothes, remember the weather is not ‘there yet’ this is the 
   best time to catch a cold!
- Don’t: Get discouraged by the few raindrops intermitting the weather, they are just saying






Last week, the Do’s and Don’ts section took on a relationship-related subject; it centered on what to do and what not to do when a young man meets his (for lack of more appropriate terms) girlfriend’s parents. This week, the other aspect of this subject will be presented, i.e. the girl meeting her boyfriend’s parents. It may seem at first as an issue demanding less attention than last week’s subject, but it is necessary to state that the premise for the meeting in this case is greatly different from that of last week’s. In this case the girl is generally invited to the boyfriend’s parents’ house and is expected to sit for a relatively long period of time with the family. What follows are some basic rules to help in making a good impression on his parents.

Dress appropriately

As always, this is the foremost piece of advice to give. Your looks are the first aspect of your self that the parents will notice and it is therefore necessary to express positive emotions like restraint, stability, and respect in the way you dress. Your comfort is, of course, to be taken into consideration; you will not need to wear an evening dress, but you should also not be too casual, we’re talking about jeans here. This evening is your chance to put on something you don’t wear every other day, so just go with whatever seems appropriate.

Give and take

Conversation is a part of any social interaction, and in this particular case, it is generally constructive. Here you will be able to show the more important aspects of your personality including listening skills, wit, and humor. This is also a great opportunity for you to learn more about your significant other as his parent’s will probably tell you things he wouldn’t usually mention. During these bouts of small talk, you will also be able to pick up subtle hints of the parent’s views of you.

Help around

Assuming you’ve been invited to lunch or dinner at the parents’ house, the mother will almost always extract herself from the room to prepare something in the kitchen or dining room. You ought to follow and expressly state that you want to help, at which time she will say no at least twice; you’ll have to show that you really can help while also trying not to be pushy and hardheaded. Besides showing off more agreeable aspects of your personality, this will give you time to personally know the mother, and will give the men time to discuss whatever it is they discuss on their own.

Be honest

This is another repeated piece of advice from last week’s article. You see, lying is a bad; so bad, in fact, that it counteracts everything you’d been trying to build since the minute you entered his parent’s home and everything you try to do afterwards. What’s more, it’s not only their respect you’ll be losing. There’s also the fact that mothers can see a lie from a mile away… Be honest; there’s no need to lie about anything, because in the end, everything will be bared and any fallacies will show.

Unlike the other sets of Do's and Don'ts we've posted so far, this one is purely directed towards males. Know that next week's issue will take on this same issue but from the female side. Now lets go ahead and introduce our subject: you've been going steady with this girl for a while now, you're both happy with each other, and you want to go out to dinner. Knowing enough about parents, it is safe to assume that the parents have set a curfew which greatly conflicts with your dinner reservation. This is the proper time to be introduced to Mr. and Mrs. girlfriend's parents, and here are the basic rules for such a meeting.

Do dress appropriately

First impressions, you ought to know, are really important. In fact, the first glimpse that your girlfriend's parents will get of you will determine whether you'll be welcomed with a positive or negative attitude. Accordingly, you are advised to dress quasi-formally so as to show that you mean business, that you're not playing games, and that you're not an unemployed tramp with patched jeans and muddy chucks... Baggies are not recommended, and neither are T-shirts. Don't overdo it either; you're not expected to come in a tuxedo and bow-tie.

Don't seem preoccupied

Being vacant, vague, or absentminded will generally induce negative emotions form her parents who will easily link these attitudes with a guilty conscience from your part. Engage both parents in conversation; interesting conversation, not small talk. Compliment them, but don't overdo it. Ask them what they do, even if you already know, and always show interest in what they're saying.

Do make your intentions clear

Inform your girlfriend's parents of the different aspects of your night out, including an approximate of your hour of return to which you will adhere unflinchingly. If you have dinner plans, make sure that by the time you ought to be leaving, they will know where the restaurant is, how you're going to get there (preferably by car, with you driving), and how much you'd love to invite them there some day. You'd better mean that last one because they've had more experience with lying than you have...

Don't brag

We could have mentioned this while talking about conversation, but it seemed much too important to skim over. No matter how important you are (or you think you are), you will completely refrain from stating your personal achievements. You need to show humility and restraint because those are greater markers of character than any other achievement. But most importantly, know that your treatment of their daughter will be the most accurate indication of your intentions and character.

Global warming, pollutions, carbon footprints...These words sound the alarm in each of us, and believe it or not, we are all culprits! BLOM shabeb has put together few simple and practical actions we can all take to help the ecology.

Don’t leave your car on
Every moment you spend ‘idling’ your car's engine means needlessly wasting gas, as well as wearing out your vehicle. Idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more gas than is needed for start-up.
Turn off your computer
Save energy and wear and tear on your hardware by shutting down your computer at night. You'll save electricity fees on your monthly bill, let alone the rewarding effects it has on the ecology.

Cool down!
It definitely pays to give a thought to your here heater and air conditioning, since most households spend up 50 to 70% of their energy budgets on heating and cooling. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you'll save between 1 and 3% of your heating bill. Do the same thing in reverse with air conditioning.

Cold wash
An easy way to clean green is to turn the dial on your washing machine to cold. Most loads don't need hot water, and 90% of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating. The higher the water temperature, the higher the cost to you and the planet!

Print and reprint
It's not that hard to print on both sides of the paper. But even though most software programs give that option, most of us still print only on one side of the page.

Simplify your life as much as possible
Only keep belongings that you use/enjoy on a regular basis. By making the effort to reduce what you own, you will naturally purchase less/create less waste in the future.

Replace Disposables
Wherever possible, replace disposable products with reusable ones (i.e., razor, batteries, ink cartridges (buy refill ink), food and beverage containers, cups, plates, writing pens, shopping bags, etc.)

Borrow From Friends
If you only need something temporarily, ask if a friend or neighbour would loan it to you.

Share with Friends
Share things like books, magazines, movies, games, and newspapers between friends and neighbours.

Replace paper towels with a special set of cloth towels/napkins (or cut up old t-shirts for dust rags) - store the used ones in a small container in your kitchen and just wash and reuse them.

Reuse envelopes, wrapping paper and other paper materials you receive wherever possible

Create and use note pads from once-used paper.

Avoid Trash
Avoid creating trash wherever possible: when ordering food, avoid receiving any unnecessary plastic utensils, straws, etc. Buy ice cream in a cone instead of a cup, don't accept "free" promotional products, buy products with the least amount of packaging, etc. Every little bit of trash avoided does make a difference!

Shopping Bags
While shopping, if you only buy a few products skip the shopping bag. For larger purchases, bring your own. Fortunately, some establishments in Lebanon are currently using degradable plastic bags; nonetheless, others are promoting the eco reusable shopping bag available at a very low price!

Waste-Free Lunches
Pack a Waste-Free Lunch whenever possible.

Carry a mug with you wherever you go for takeout beverages, most coffee shops have no problem filling that mug for you!

The media has done a wonderful job of selling us on the attractiveness and benefits of buying "new", "improved", "special", etc. products. However, we already collectively own so much that we could all survive for quite a while on the existing products - if we just reused them a few times!

Garage Sales
Gather some of your friends, family or neighbours and plan a garage sale! This trend has become very common in Lebanon, it is a great way to reuse products, make money, and have more storage place!

Beauty Products
Many beauty products such as soap, lotion, shampoo/conditioner, and cosmetics are made with artificial fragrances and chemicals. Look for beauty products that are all-natural, made with herbal and flower extracts. Also look for beauty products that are packaged in recycled or recyclable containers, and that have not been tested on animals.

The Holidays
Being green all year round is important, but you should also be environmentally aware around the holidays. There is perhaps no time of year where more waste is produced, with wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and gift packaging. Be aware of the waste you're generating and try to reduce it as much as possible.

Some suggestions:
1. Instead of using metallic or glossy wrapping papers, which are toxic when burned, consider using fabric bags or recycled or recyclable paper.

2. Buy sturdy gift boxes that can be reused year after year.

Think Locally. Buying locally produced meat, produce, and dairy products helps the environment in many ways, and also helps the local economy. Why is buying locally a good idea? 

1. Since food has less distance it must travel, it doesn't need as much packaging or preservatives, reducing the waste produced and making the food healthier.

 2. Local growers are usually smaller operations and are less likely to use mass growing techniques, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and treating their animals more humanely.

3. You are purchasing directly from the grower, putting more money in his pocket and avoiding “middlemen” like distributors and shippers.

4. You are putting money directly into your local economy by supporting local farmers, which will help all businesses overall.

Keep Your Home in Green
Being conscious of various places in your home that can help or harm the environment is an important step to living green. Here are some ideas for keeping your home in good repair in order to reduce water and energy usage:

1.  Make sure all faucets and toilets are in good repair and don't leak. A leaky faucet or toilet can waste massive amounts of water every day.

 2. Install plastic window energy conservation kits to reduce the cold air coming in from the outside. You'll be able to set your thermostat lower and save money and energy while heating your house.

3. Make sure you turn off lights, air conditioners, radios, etc. when you leave the house.

4. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs rather than incandescent light bulbs in your light fixtures to save on energy while lighting your home.

Drive Intelligently
Living green does not necessarily mean going out and buying a hybrid car; you can reduce your energy and gas consumption without having to buy a whole new vehicle by being a conscious driver.

Carpool. If your drive to work or to college is above 15 minutes each way and at least half is in typical stop-and-go traffic, you'll save almost 10 percent of your monthly carbon emissions by carpooling. Not to mention the gas dollars you'll save and the fun you'll have sharing gossip with your friends.

Combine errands: As much as you can, combine your errands to reduce the amount of driving you're doing overall.

Use human-energy transportation: When you're just running out to the grocery store for a few items, try taking your bike or walking. You can carry a backpack, to put your groceries in to carry them back home. You'll also be doing something good for your body!

Take the bus: If you can take the bus to one of your simple errands. Paying the bus fare is a lot cheaper than paying for a gallon of gas!
There is an important fact to consider before going ahead with the rest of this Do’s and Don’ts section: being on a healthy diet is not synonymous with being thin; a person can be overweight and lead a healthy lifestyle, while a thin person can be living unhealthily. A healthy diet is one that allows the body to obtain the required amounts of the nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the organs. Below are a few pointers for those of you dissatisfied with their current diets and seeking a change for the better

Don't forget that nothing is easy

Maintaining a diet requires power of will and a lot of sacrifice; mainly, you will have to give up some things you deeply enjoy. There’s also the fact that you will have to take up some new habits, and learn to enjoy some foods you previously had an aversion towards. No one knows you more than you do, so take some time to ponder whether you think you can do this.

Don't be irregular but don’t deprive yourself or stop eating

The human body does not respond well to abrupt changes, be it in temperature, activity, or nutrient levels. On the off chance that a severe change takes place, your whole system could crash or respond with the opposite of the desired results. Thus it is not recommended that you suddenly start or suddenly stop your diet. Ease your way into the healthy regimen, and if you find that you don’t enjoy it, ease your way out.

Do stay away from fast food

Fast food is unhealthy, and there is plenty of proof to back that statement up. It is, however, lucky that most fast food places usually state on their shop signs, or imply via a mascot (running chicken, cow on a motorcycle, etc), or even via slogan such as “your food in 10 minutes, or you don’t pay for it,” that they are, in reality, a fast food restaurant. This way, you can just walk away and find another place to eat as soon as you see the sign.

Do study your options

There are plenty of healthy diets out there, though most of them are similar in that they include all the necessary nutrients; you need to figure out, mostly by looking around on the internet, which one is best for your taste. You will, of course, need to consult a dietician concerning whether the chosen diet is actually all-encompassing or not because, in the end, it’s your health on the line…

If all else fails, make your own diet

Again, you will need to consult a dietician to make sure that the diet doesn’t leave out any nutrients otherwise you could risk malnutrition even though you may be eating plenty of food…

Last week's Do's and Don'ts section revolved around some aspects to be considered before traveling. They were the things one ought to prepare, obtain, check, and study so as to make the transition from one place to another all the more bearable. This section considers the things to take care of as soon as you reach your destination, as well as on the long run. It is important to remind you that studying is not the only thing that you will do once you are in the host country; you will have to eat, drink, do laundry, pay bills, commute, and have fun, among other things.

Do know your way around

Whether you're living on campus, in a compound, or in an apartment, you will need to learn your way from your location to the main university premises, as well as the nearest shops and stores. The Internet will provide you with maps that will be helpful to guide you around the area; friends will teach you the shortcuts. You will also need to know your way around the university campus. Similarly, knowing bus routes and times will prove to be helpful in case you ever need to be somewhere too far to walk to.

Don't overspend

If you're relying on the funds you saved to be able to sustain yourself, you will need to plan a budget and stick to it. Finding a job on-campus (if it isn't allowed off-campus) will give you a certain breathing space, money-wise, but is not something you can always count on finding. At this point, your knowledge of your surroundings will come in handy as you frequent the shops offering the best prices. When it comes to sustenance, fast food may seem affordable, but its adverse effects on your body are extremely unpleasant; your best bet in this case is to cook your own food thereby gaining a new angle of control over your expenditures (food costs less if its ingredients cost less).

Do study

Remember that the reason you are traveling in the first place is to study; thus, there is not one thing that is more important than your studying, except food and drink (and these ought not take more than 30 minutes of your day). You will need to work on a day by day basis and never procrastinate as it will only make the studying more difficult for the day after.

Don't forget to have fun

Though we did say that studying should be your top priority once there, there is no point denying that you will need leisure time. Go out whenever you have free time, even if you don't feel like it, because you will surely need a change of scenery. Once a month or on holidays, organize trips to neighboring cities with your colleagues/classmates. If all else fails, a walk around campus can't hurt, and there are always new things to discover...

Furthering one's education abroad is the aim of many graduates in Lebanon and it is no surprise that many universities have struck up exchange agreements with universities in neighboring countries and around the world to cater to their students' goals. However, enrolling in a university abroad is not as easy as “get there and get started”; there are plenty of things to take care of before leaving your home country, before starting your classes, and before graduating. This first part of this two-part Do's and Don'ts section will be dedicated to preparing to study abroad, while next week, it will consider the things to do or not to do after getting there.


Do save money

This is not money for your school fees; this is spending money, which you will need in order to do your grocery shopping and pay your rent (if dorms aren't provided). You will need to save a lot of money if you're planning to stay for long at the country in question, but if you want a better idea of how much you'll need, you can go online and check the prices, then do the math according to the duration of your stay.



Don't fear the unknown

Leaving an environment you are comfortable with, to be introduced in another that is completely foreign, may seem to be extremely alarming. In reality, it truly isn't so. The best advice at this point would be for you not to be scared of getting introduced to something completely different because “different” is rarely ever bad.



Do perform the necessary research

Before even registering to any program abroad, you will need to have a good idea what type of accommodations are provided. Go online and look for rooms for rent near the university if dorms are not provided, search for maps to the nearest restaurants and cafés, inquire about means of transportation, etc. Gather all this information so as to have a better idea of what it will be like living and studying there.



Don't set high expectations

If you're traveling abroad to study, don't expect any more than exactly that. Expect that you will, in two or three years' time, have obtained a degree and a great amount of information; don't expect there to be a party every other day, or loads of fun, or a piece of cake... Similarly, don't expect that you will be scooped up by the particular country you are studying in as soon as you finish, since you will have to deal with the disappointment when something like that fails to happen; let it come naturally, let it surprise you...



Do prepare your notes and necessary paperwork

The last thing you'd want to happen would be to realize, after you've traveled, that you forgot a necessary official paper in your home country. For this reason, prepare all the paperwork you need and keep them, sorted, in the same folder, the location of which is known. Make a check list of everything you will need to have on you and double- or triple-check if you have to, to make sure that nothing is missing; better safe than sorry. Meet us next week for the second part of this Do's and Don'ts section where we examine studying abroad after arriving to the country in question.


The prospect of meeting your college roommate for the first time can be intimidating -after all, you'll be sharing a relatively small space with this stranger. Before you set foot in your dorm room, check out BLOM Shabeb’s list of dos and don'ts to help you sustain a healthy roommate relationship.

Do keep the lines of communication open: Talk about minor grievances before they become major issues. Your roommate might not be aware that something is bothering you unless you speak up.

Do set up rules with your roommate for entertaining, relationships, shopping, cleaning and finances.

Do create a budget and money management system to ensure bills are paid on time.

Do clean up after yourself: You may be thrilled that mom's not around to nag you anymore, but it's unfair to expect your roommate to make a path around your dirty clothes and expired food. Be courteous.

Do be willing to share your stuff: It's a great idea to share food, clothing, college supplies, etc. as long as you're both comfortable with it. Talk about what items can be shared, and what items are off-limits.

Do be mindful of your roommate's schedule: Respect their need for sleep, and don't hit the snooze 15 times before getting up in the morning. Also, if they need to study in silence, use your headphones.

Do be open to new experiences, cultures, and ways of life: Your roommate is not going to be exactly like you; be respectful of your differences.

Don’t assume anything: Even if you don't have a problem with overnight guests, there's a good chance that your roommate does. Set ground rules together, and always be willing to compromise

Don’t judge your roommate based on first impressions and what they are wearing when you first meet them. Even if they do not share your sense of trend, that doesn’t mean they are not as interesting.

 Don’t expect to become best friends: Everyone wants the dream roommate experience, but not everyone gets it. Adjust your expectations to be more realistic - respecting each other is a good primary goal.

Don’t gossip about your roommate: If you do this, you're just asking for it. You live in the same dorm. Whatever you say is going to get back to them, and you'll want to crawl under a rock when it does!

 Don’t cook smelly food or wear strong perfume: Your roommate might be sensitive to these smells or even allergic, and if the smell is in their room, they can't escape it!

Have you ever had a lunch/dinner meeting with a colleague whose manners were objectionable? Perhaps she pulled out a mirror to fix her makeup at the table, or he failed to cover his mouth while coughing. Such rudeness can destroy a colleague’s impression. Here are some practical suggestions to avoid shooting oneself in the foot at the table.

Dinner hosted at home:

  • Always respond to an invitation within a week of receiving it.
  • Dress according to the recommended (if any) dress code; never attempt to "out dress" the hosts!
  • Be punctual - never more than 10 minutes late.
  • If you wish to bring a guest as your partner, good dinner table etiquette demands that you should always check with the host first. If you are the one hosting the party and a guest of yours arrives with an unexpected friend, be polite & courteous with them, and speak with your inconsiderate guest at another time!
  • It is considered polite to take along a small gift, for your host and hostess. Flowers, chocolates or dessert are always appreciated.
  • Once seated, unfold your napkin and use it for occasionally wiping your lips or fingers. At the end of dinner, leave the napkin tidily on the place setting.
  • NEVER start eating before a signal from the host to do so.
  • It is good dinner table etiquette to serve the lady sitting to the right of the host first, then the other ladies in a clockwise direction, and lastly the gentlemen.
  • Whilst eating, you may if you wish, rest the knife and fork on either side of the plate between mouthfuls. When you have finished eating, place them side by side in the centre of the plate.
  • If the food presented to you is not to your liking, it is polite to at least make some to eat a small amount of it. Or at the very least, cut it up a little, and move it around the plate!
  • It is quite acceptable to leave some food to one side of your plate if you feel as though you have eaten enough. On the other hand, don't attempt to leave your plate so clean that it looks as though you haven't eaten in days!
  • Desserts may be eaten with both a spoon and fork, or alternatively a fork alone if it is a cake or pastry style sweet.
  • Good dinner table etiquette sometimes involves a degree of diplomacy when it comes to the host's choice of food! Even if you feel that you can do better, don't ever offer your criticism. If you feel unable to pay any compliments, at least remain silent on the subject.
  • Always make a point of thanking the host and hostess for their hospitality before leaving.

At a restaurant on business:

  • Dining skills play a major role in business. Business meals are often used to conduct job interviews, get to know a client or consultant, network with a colleague, or sign a contract. What you order, how you eat and what you discuss demonstrate your courtesy, poise and respect.
  • Turn off your cell phone ringer. This sends a message to your dining companions that the meeting at hand is your top priority. If you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table.
  • Steer clear of inappropriate discussions. Don’t complain or gossip about others, use profanity, tell inappropriate jokes, or reveal any information that’s too personal.
  • Be polite to the waiters and the restaurant staff even if they reflect bad service at any point.
  • Do not hold back on the tip, 10% of the total amount of the bill is the etiquette norm in Lebanon.
  • Your professional polish is on display. Never assume people won’t notice or will tolerate poor manners. Like it or not, people equate good manners with competence in business and poor manners with incompetence.

  • All round situations:

  • Don’t keep your dining companions waiting for more than a few minutes. Before you getup from the table, say, “Please excuse me for a moment.”
  • Don’t talk with food in your mouth. Chew with your mouth closed. Swallow before speaking.
  • It is not generally regarded as good dinner table etiquette to use one's bread for dippinginto soups or mopping up sauces.
  • Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite. The number one sinof dinner table etiquette!
  • Don't stretch across the table crossing other guests to reach food, salt or condiments.Instead ask a guest sitting close to pass the item to you.
  • Picking teeth or licking fingers are very unattractive! The only exception to the latter is wheneating meat or poultry on the bone (such as chicken legs or ribs
  • Don't forget to make polite conversation with those guests around you. Dinner parties arenot just about the food, they are intended to be a sociable occasion!
  • Seeing as it's prom season right now, we thought it appropriate to make this set of Do's and Don'ts about partying. You see, there are some very important rules when it comes to partying that you need to follow so that you have the appropriate amount of fun, while not causing discomfort to others. How can you cause discomfort? By being mean, naggy, drunk, or generally annoying...

    Do plan ahead:

    It may seem trivial, but planning ahead can make the difference between a fun party and a dull party; when you plan the party, or night out, you are better able to mold the event to everyone's liking, thus avoiding negativity throughout, and after, your night out with friends. Also, just before you go out, make sure, if it's a bit cool, that everyone has a scarf or sweater to avoid any adverse effects to alcohol.

    Don't overlook any details:

    There is a saying that goes “The devil's in the details.” Keep it in mind because any detail that you overlook can and will derail or utterly ruin your evening. Keep track of your expenses, your designated drivers, your drinks, and especially your friends. When you're really enjoying your night, there's no mood-kill as big as looking for a friend you lost; calling on the phone usually yields no results because a person under the effects of alcohol generally has a distorted set of priorities. Since we're on the subject of drinking:

    Do set a drinking limit:

    Setting a limit on the amount of alcohol consumed by everyone in the group will keep those present from getting intoxicated, thus keeping the evening within the ranges of enjoyment.


    If you want to drink, make sure that at least one person of the group doesn't, so they can safely drive the others back to their homes. If no one is fit for driving, call a cab, then pick up your car the following day, when you're sober. Again, DON'T DRIVE while under the influence.

    Don't start fights:

    Yes, we get the fact that your manhood may be put in danger by the comments some guy made about a girl in your group you barely even know, but really, is it worth ruining your whole evening? Wouldn't it be much easier if you just went somewhere else?

    Music has been around since the dawn of human history, and so (obviously) have musical instruments. They were basic at the time, consisting or crudely carved wind instruments and drums made of animal skins, but they have evolved as has the human race. Today, there are hundreds of types of instruments grouped under four main categories: string, wind, brass, and percussion instruments. There comes a time in every person's life, when they consider, even for a fleeting moment, the notion of taking up a musical instrument; accordingly, this set of Do's and Don'ts will plot out the basic set of rules related to learning to play an instrument.

    Do be original in your choice

    Originality, in this case, is used to denote your reason for choosing a particular instrument, and not the choice itself. Choosing to learn to play the guitar just because it'll make you look cool is a bad idea, whereas choosing to learn the violin because you feel you will be able to express yourself through it is originality at its best. Visit your local musical instrument store and look at what's on display, inquire about anything that catches your eye, and in this case try not to have any preferences. You will need lessons, of course, so inquire about any books that will help, or any teachers that are available.


    Don't take it up as a pastime

    If you do the necessary research, you'll find that most musicians are full-timers, and are very much dedicated to their musical careers. You, on the other hand, have something else to do when you're not practicing, but that doesn't mean you should be less dedicated to learning to play music. Thus you will need to set up schedules for work/study and practice, giving each its required time quota, otherwise, you will favor one over the other, or more probably fail at both.


    Do enjoy yourself

    Playing music is enjoyable, especially if you're doing it right. You will most probably become addicted to playing on your instrument of choice, owing to the positive effects that music has on the human body, but as long as you keep to your timetables (mentioned above), you can keep this “addiction” in check. Regardless, playing music is fun, it is a relaxing experience, and it is a getaway that you have around the house so, so take good care of it. Don't make it into some sort of homework or chore as that will suck all the fun out of it.


    Don't forget that it is, in fact, really cool

    We did state that the effect on your coolness should not play any part in your choice of musical instrument, but after the choice has been made, and the lessons have been learned, there is not point denying that being able to shred some wicked tunes on a guitar, or play a masterpiece on a piano, or jazz out on a saxophone are some well deserved additions to your personal amount of cool. From your lessons, you'll learn to improvise and eventually to make your own music for whenever you want to start a band, or entertain some guests, or maybe, just maybe, impress a date...


    Some may think that not having to wake up early every morning, put on work clothes, and head to the workplace would be a nice slice of heaven, but it's safe to say they're not speaking from experience. Working from home can sometimes turn out to be the worst decision you ever make, unless, of course, you take into consideration what this Do's and Don'ts section has to say on the matter:


    Do set up a timetable:

    Setting a timetable is one of the best things you can do when working from home. It helps you keep track of your deliverables and deadlines, while also letting you be more organized. If you've held jobs before the current work-from-home gig, base your timetable on your daily activities at that previous employment. If not, you can improvise, but there's no point in making the timetable if you're not going to use it.



    Don't allow distractions:

    Most people working from home have trouble differentiating between their home and their workplace mentalities. This ultimately causes a drop in productivity because of two things: 1) People always have an aversion toward work, and 2) things to do generally always pop up when you're at home. The best solution is to force yourself to overlook these distractions, temporarily disconnect yourself from your surroundings, or just imagine being in an office full of noisy people, clutter, and general chaos.



    Do stick to your deadlines:

    Your employment duration depend directly on the quality of your work, and submitting your work late is generally taken to mean that you're doing an off-hand job. Your employers, often times seeking the best work, will generally frown upon off-hand submissions and thus your job is in jeopardy...



    Don't procrastinate:

    Procrastination is the action of leaving today's work for tomorrow, and it spells death to any employment opportunity. Everyone does it from time to time, but once you start working from home, it needs to stay at the minimum, because you're more likely to procrastinate there than anywhere else; what with the bed right there, staring at you, beckoning to you...


    Some operating systems are prone to malware and virus attacks via the internet as well as other media. These attacks can communicate personal information, including passwords, to users abroad who can use this information for their own advantage. In order to protect your files, your information, your computer, and, ultimately, yourself against such threats, you will need to secure your device. This set of Do’s and Don’ts was compiled so as to assist you in achieving such goals as the proper protection of user credentials against malware attacks.


    Do make regular backups

    Regular backups will allow you to keep track of all your files in case of an attack that causes loss of data. Such an outcome would be expected in the case of worms and viruses. Your backup should be all-encompassing, and should be stored on a removable device. This ensures that the data is inaccessible to any software that tries to obtain unsolicited access to your hard disk drive (HDD).



    Don’t install untrusted software

    Most malware agents are often disguised as other programs that are of use to the user; thus, it is up to the users themselves to be the judge when it comes to their own protection. Untrusted, shady application are more often than not malware. A trusted application from an untrusted source is equally as bad yet slightly more dangerous as it tricks you into installing the undesirable software that will expose your data.



    Do perform regular disk checks

    Some programs, such as antivirus software, allow the user to search folder by folder for any intrusions of foreign harmful programs into the computer. It is worth noting that, though the method used to detect breaches is accurate, these antivirus programs aren’t always effective at removing threats. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as searching online for the exhibited symptoms and determining the cause by trial and error.



    Don’t access untrusted websites

    As of recently, most websites have been required to have security measures for the protection of their servers as well as the users accessing them, but some websites still do not comply with these measures, while others clearly pose as a hunting ground for hackers and malware creators. Some web browsers, the applications used to surf the net, have a built-in protection system that denies access to these websites, but many don’t and they expose the user’s device to breaches and hacks. Your best bet is to steer clear of anything that seems fishy…



    Do install more secure web browsers

    The default browser provided in some systems is directly linked to that system’s core files and folders and thus intrinsically offers low defenses against security breaches. In order to avoid such attacks, download and install browsers more suited for the dangerous environment that is the internet, such as Mozilla’s Firefox browser or Google’s Chrome browser, both of which have built a reputation on their security measures.


    Halloween is the one day of the year where you're allowed to wear a mask and stop being yourself (or in some cases to take the mask off and be yourself for a change) all the while making sure you have as much fun as is socially acceptable. Getting invited to a costume party is easy enough; hey, you can even organize one yourself! The difficult part will be choosing your own costume and this is where this Do's and Don'ts will come in handy, as it will provide you with some valuable pointers that will make the choosing process much easier.

    Don't go for the usual choices

    Being original in your choice of costume depends largely on your definition of original: it could turn out to be something totally outrageous, something that no one will ever forget, and will probably earn you an everlasting nickname among those present, and it could be something relatively simple that just makes people laugh. In short, don't go for the usual pirate, or doctor, or nurse, or zombie costumes; create your own design, make it a composite costume if you have to.

    Do make a statement

    One thing is for sure, and it is that there will never be a lack of inspiration for costume designs. One way you could create your disguise would be to base it on a political, religious, social, or cultural statement, among others. Take, for example, an old wives' tale and spin it into something that is visually identifiable and understandable. You may also begin your design with a scientific theory in mind... Such designs will often turn out to be quite original.

    Do be smart

    Often, when trying to be funny, smart comedy is better and more entertaining than slapstick humor. In addition, a smart costume will draw the attention of a large number of people, who will attempt to ask for an explanation, which you will gladly give, thus engaging in a constant stream of conversation, ensuring, in the process, that the night does not turn dull.

    Don't go alone

    Agreeing with a friend to wear the same costume or either end of a two-part costume will generally gather much attention from the audience. The disguise does not need to have any basis in reality (conjoint twins that look nothing alike), it could be either part of a famous duo (yin/yang, Marge and Homer), and it could be a single entity requiring two sets of feet such as a camel...

    We have prepared this set of Do's and Don'ts so as to provide you, dear readers, with some much needed help to make you better drivers. Of course bad driving is such a big problem in Lebanon, that every single one of us has, or knows a very close person who, in turn, had a grave injury during a car accident where one or both parties had been driving badly. For once, we urgently ask you to pay much attention to the subject matter, as it is of great importance.


    Do have your seatbelt on at all times

    The seatbelt restricts your body's movement during an accident, thus preventing you from bouncing around, under the effect of tremendous G-forces, against the many surfaces of your vehicle's interior. You may believe that you are strong enough to be able to restrain yourself in the event of a crash, so we invite you try something: have someone drive, with you in the passenger seat, then try to keep your head from bobbing around whenever the driver accelerates or decelerates; the forces acting in that case are about 5 times weaker than those involved in a car crash. It is also worth reminding you that the seatbelt is the only thing keeping you inside the car if the windshield ever gets damaged, and that you'd most probably face a hefty fine if you're stopped without the seatbelt on...


    Don't get distracted

    Driving is an activity that requires not most, but all your concentration. As you may know, there are more lives involved in your endeavor to drive to work (or university, or the mall)  than just your own. Your bad driving could endanger the lives of others: pedestrians, bikers, drivers, and anyone in the general vicinity. Thus, all your attention has to be focused on the act of driving; while you're behind a wheel, every ounce of concentration you can muster has to be directed at properly navigating the streets and avoiding any kind of danger.


    Do keep both hands on the wheel

    Once your driving skills are properly honed, you may find yourself more comfortable around your car; that is acceptable as long as you remain prudent. Don't ever let go of the wheel, not even for a moment. And the only time you're supposed to have less than two hands on the steering wheel is when you're using the other to open a window or work the gear stick.


    Don't speed

    Just because your car can go up to speeds of 220 kilometers per hour doesn't mean you are allowed or expected to drive at these speeds on any road that isn't a deserted racing track. As a matter of fact, the faster you go, the less time you have to respond to sudden changes in your environment, and the more prone to accidents you become. Accordingly, you'll have to stick to the speed limits set forth by someone more skilled than you are at determining which speeds are safe and which aren't.


    Do act civilized

    People in Lebanon have a saying that goes “driving requires respect”. This does not mean that you should be respected because you can drive, but rather that, in order to be a better driver, you will have to treat other drivers on the road with respect. The previous statement means that you should adhere to some very important rules of behavior: don't cut across anyone, as it may cause them to swerve into someone else; don't pass someone from their right side as it is often a blind side and they could easily drive into you; when someone looks like they're in an uncomfortable position at an intersection, stop for them; and most importantly, go easy on the honking!

    Flu season in Lebanon is that time when you look around and notice that everybody is either puffy-eyed, or sneezing too much, or constantly sniffing. That time of year is almost upon us and everyone should take their precautions. Yes, it may seem too early for caution but “better safe than sorry”, right? After all, even if it’s not flu season yet, knowing that you’re well prepared and protected for when it actually gets here is a great feeling. Thus we have compiled this list of do’s and don’ts detailing what you need to know for your battle against the onslaught of viruses.

    Do wash your hands regularly

    The viruses that cause the flu and the cold are transmitted from person to person by contact and by air. You can’t possibly protect yourself against air, so you might as well do what you can about that contact aspect. If your job requires that you shake hands with lots of people, or use tools that others are using, find a way to periodically excuse yourself so that you may wash your hands before accidentally touching your nose or mouth or eyes and introducing the virus into your blood stream.


    Don't get stressed

    Scientists have recently shown that the human reaction to stress is that of the fight-or-flight mechanism which is where the body shuts down unnecessary processes in favor of those that are necessary for the immediate survival of the person/animal faced with a predator. There are two unfortunate aspects in this mechanism: 1) people are rarely ever faced with a predator; the stress in most cases comes from a boss telling us that we have work overdue (it happens to the best of us), and 2) one of the “unnecessary processes” being shut down is the immune system. Keep that in mind the next time you’re given a deadline.


    Do sleep but don’t get lazy

    As was discussed in last week’s article concerning sleep, its absence causes all kinds of physiological problems, including problems within the immune system, which ought to be fully functional in case you’re hoping to fend off viruses. On the other hand, sitting around doing nothing is as detrimental as rubbing your face in a flu-doused tissue. Our advice: keep yourself busy; even if you contract the virus, as long as you keep yourself busy, mentally and/or physically, the symptoms will not appear and the disease may degenerate much faster than usual.


    Do take precautionary measures

    Precautionary measures include getting vaccinated, but not before getting the all clear from your physician, and consuming vitamin C either via fresh orange juice or effervescent tablets (juice is more recommendable as you can’t accidentally overdose on juice, but you can do so on effervescent pills). You may also go so far as to disinfect your house using antibacterial cleaning products just to make sure.


    One of the possible ways to enjoy your college life is to participate in extracurricular activities which are available for students; sports, art, culture, foreign languages and other choices are awaiting you to sign-up. Although it all sounds very interesting and could feel as a break from your daily studies, you have to be careful and selective to avoid burn-out. BLOM Shabeb advises you to the following tips:


    • Review the list of clubs and activities at your school. Ask your friends who already have enlisted to make a right decision.
    • Make a revision of your interests. Maybe you want to discuss the book you have just read with someone? Or do you want to play soccer with your peers? Do you want to make new friends?
    • Divide your time so that you should not do something at expense of your education.
    • Get informed about the activity you are about to choose to make sure you don’t drop out after the first couple of weeks.
    • If you don’t have time to work out or to hit the gym, consider sports. This would be a great way to learn a new activity (tennis, basket-ball...) and to stay fit.
    • Inform your parents about the activities you take participation in so that they should not worry about you.
    • Choose those activities which may be useful for you in future.


    • Miss classes to participate in activities
    • Use the activities as the main excuse of why you fail to prepare your homework.
    • Squeeze it in between your academic courses, you need to be in full focus, not tired physically and intellectually, it is an extra activity not a major course.
    • Skip it and go hang out with your friends at a coffee shop or the cafeteria just because it is not as important as your studies. This too is a commitment.
    • Give up at the first try because other students taking the class seem more advanced; they may have had previous training or background knowledge on the subject, but nevertheless, you are all in the same class together!
    • Resign to peer pressure and take up an activity because your friends are in it and they pushing you to sign up with the ‘’come on it would be cool if we were all in the group!’’. This would end up as both a waste of time and money.

    Finally, whichever activity you choose, BLOM Shabeb wishes you all the luck and congratulates you on keeping your agenda full and enriching, after all, this activity can only add to your skills!
    We all operate our daily lives depending on limited monthly or weekly budgets. BLOM shabeb offers you the chance to dig deep into your pocket at the end of each month and surprise yourself with some extra cash you could have wasted on tidbits!

    Do Take Advantage of Student Discounts *

    Students discounts are offered everywhere from restaurants to movie theaters. You can often get a 10 to 25 percent discount just by showing your student ID, so make sure to ask for any student offers at the places that you frequent.

    Do Pack Your Lunch

    College life is an unpredictable one, but your expenses don't have to be. Prepare your own food as much as possible. Eating out, even if you choose fast food restaurants, can put a big dent in your pocket and throw off your budget. It will reduce how much you save and how much you have to spend on your outings.

    Do Make Payment Schedules

    Forgetting payment due dates is easy if you are a newbie to having bills. I'm sure that you’ve heard about the consequences of missing a bill’s due date. To avoid late payment fees that could affect your budget, keep track of your payment due dates using a calendar. You can set up reminders in your phone or computer, or keep a calendar to remind you of when your payments are due.

    Don't Blow Your Pocket Money All at Once

    Going out and having fun is part of college life. Nevertheless, always be sure to manage your pocket money so that it lasts until the end of the month. You can try dividing your monthly pocket money by four for each week of the month, or by two for half a month. Dividing your money makes it easier to keep track of how much you spend and minimizes the risk of spending too much during a night out.

    Don't Get seduced by fancy window-shops!

    Try to refrain from impulsive shopping! These well decorated shops know very well what they are doing, it is up to you to resist that urge of buying clothes or accessories, which, we are sure, you don’t REALLY need right now!

    * Check out BLOM shabeb’s products for students that can give you an extra edge when trying to save a couple of dimes!
    With a lot of hard work, a little finesse and a bit of luck, and hopefully these tips will also help!

    Do Know Your Own Mind

    An old stereotype goes that teenagers are mindlessly following a leader even if it takes them right over the edge of a cliff. This might seem harsh, but in a lot of ways it can be correct. Few teens ever bother to sit down and examine their beliefs and opinions. When you have a few spare minutes, do exactly this. Know where you stand on current issues and hot topics, and don't be afraid to think your own thoughts. Know your own mind, or chances are good that someone will try to do it for you.

    Do Watch the Trends

    For more playful matters keep up to date on what is hot and what is not. Become a trend-spotter and incorporate some of these things into your own lifestyle. If everyone is wearing leopard print, invest in a new scarf. If the whole school is quoting Borat, see the film so you can too. If it becomes cool to listen to polka, consider adding a few tracks to your iPod. Not every trend will match your natural preferences, but few trends will be truly harmless even if you hate them.

    Do Branch Out

    Just as important as fitting in is finding the group of which you want to become a part. Branch out from your normal routine to go places and do things that you enjoy. When you make an effort to meet new people, and to meet them in locations that you are comfortable with, you make it much more likely that you will meet like-minded people. If you want to meet artsy people, go to a gallery. If you want to meet athletes, hang out at the gym. You can't become part of a group if you can't even find the group!

    Do Make a Few Investments

    Fitting in will require you to make a few investments, and not just the monetary kind. Sure you will probably need to splash a little cash to purchase some clothes and accessories to help you fit in, but you'll also need to invest time and energy towards finding and making new friends. This means that you will be taking these resources away from other areas of your life, so make sure that these new friends will be worth it.

    15 advices: step closer to being shortlisted

    • Be punctual
    • Do your homework, research your company
    • Be interactive, ask questions
    • Be specific NOT general
    • Be confident NOT arrogant
    • Make sure your answers directly reflect the questions asked
    • Discuss, do not recite
    • Be pragmatic
    • Show what you know
    • Relate to the job vacancy
    • Dress appropriately
    • Show your enthusiasm for the job
    • Relax and answer each question concisely
    • Use body language to show interest
    • Avoid asking questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made

    10 Golden rules for CV building

    • Be clear, specific and concise
    • Limit the number of pages
    • Make it brief BUT include everything that matters
    • Do not exaggerate or include false information
    • Remember: recruiter doesn’t know you (Let your CV tell who you are)
    • Do not put a picture on your CV but attach a separate one
    • Use same font throughout the entire CV
    • Organize your CV and add titles to the different sections
    • Use standard resume structure
    • Focus on relevant information
    There is an important fact to consider before going ahead with the rest of this Do’s and Don’ts section: being on a healthy diet is not synonymous with being thin; a person can be overweight and lead a healthy lifestyle, while a thin person can be living unhealthily. A healthy diet is one that allows the body to obtain the required amounts of the nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the organs. Below are a few pointers for those of you dissatisfied with their current diets and seeking a change for the better:

    Don't forget that nothing is easy

    Maintaining a diet requires power of will and a lot of sacrifice; mainly, you will have to give up some things you deeply enjoy. There’s also the fact that you will have to take up some new habits, and learn to enjoy some foods you previously had an aversion towards. No one knows you more than you do, so take some time to ponder whether you think you can do this.

    Don't be irregular but don’t deprive yourself or stop eating

    The human body does not respond well to abrupt changes, be it in temperature, activity, or nutrient levels. On the off chance that a severe change takes place, your whole system could crash or respond with the opposite of the desired results. Thus it is not recommended that you suddenly start or suddenly stop your diet. Ease your way into the healthy regimen, and if you find that you don’t enjoy it, ease your way out.

    Do stay away from fast food

    Fast food is unhealthy, and there is plenty of proof to back that statement up. It is, however, lucky that most fast food places usually state on their shop signs, or imply via a mascot (running chicken, cow on a motorcycle, etc), or even via slogan such as “your food in 10 minutes, or you don’t pay for it,” that they are, in reality, a fast food restaurant. This way, you can just walk away and find another place to eat as soon as you see the sign.

    Do study your options

    There are plenty of healthy diets out there, though most of them are similar in that they include all the necessary nutrients; you need to figure out, mostly by looking around on the internet, which one is best for your taste. You will, of course, need to consult a dietician concerning whether the chosen diet is actually all-encompassing or not because, in the end, it’s your health on the line…

    If all else fails, make your own diet

    Again, you will need to consult a dietician to make sure that the diet doesn’t leave out any nutrients otherwise you could risk malnutrition even though you may be eating plenty of food…
    Not sure yet if you want to be an engineer, a surgeon or a graphic designer?