Do you know Syrian Checkpoint Stories?
The first country P.J O’Rourke visits in his book “Holidays in Hell” is, naturally, Lebanon. His trip takes place during October of 1984 and he notes that ‘Syrian Checkpoint Stories’ are the ‘Polish Jokes’ of Lebanon. Not that I really understand what a Polish joke is, but we had Swede jokes in Norway and it can’t be too far away from the idea. And just to bring it into context: From 1976 to 2005 Syria occupied Lebanon and set up checkpoints manned by the Syrians almost everywhere.
If the Syrian Checkpoint Stories were as popular as P.J says or whether he was over exaggerating in order to make Lebanon fit better with the title of his book is hard for me to say since I probably arrived to Lebanon when the Syrian Checkpoint Jokes had become immensely outdated and out of fashion.
Here is the Syrian Checkpoint joke P.J wrote in his book. If you remember any others from the old days or some relating to today’s checkpoi... [more]
– How I forced the Norwegian Army to know where their uniforms are being made.
How I got there: Some years ago I got a phone call from Norwatch, an NGO investigating Norwegian investments abroad as well as their ethical responsibility towards the workers. Their mission was to go to China to research the factories where the Norwegian Army’s uniforms are made and they needed a photographer. Two weeks later I was on the infamous bullet train riding 400 km an hour into Shanghai alongside Erik who leads these investigations.
Our Misson: Our job was going to be to check up on the factories where they produced Norwegian Army uniforms and investigate the working conditions. Erik, the lead journalist on the investigation, had been working on this project for a while from Norway but had come to many dead ends. That’s why he decided he had to go to China and che... [more]
Will the African Whistleblower lead Zimbabwe to democracy?
Dictator of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe (89), has promised a reward of $300,000 to anyone who can provide the location of an anonymous blogger who’s been creating quite a stir in the country by exposing damaging details from high-level party meetings, allegations of voter fraud, and embarrassing gossip. He then gives private phone numbers for his fans to harass the officials in question. Now everyone wonders if the African Whistleblower will be able to effect the upcoming elections that are scheduled to be held at July 31st.
Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 33 years, and many expect him to delay or rig the elections or even stay in power if he loses.
Mugabe, who became poisoned by power very quickly, has lead the beautiful country to both disaster and bankruptcy. Financially he achieved a new world record in inflation when the Zim Dollar hit 132 million % inflation some years ... [more]
– Risky business, you may say. Other say extreme Bored White Man Syndrome.
Safe, stable, and boring lives, filled to the rim with paperwork (yawn), have caused white males to set off to challenge themselves and do stuff — such as climbing the highest mountains, trekking across our frosty poles in bitter solitude, or go beer hunting with their bare hands — just to confirm to their egos that Yes! I am a Man!, and life behind the boring desk can be a little more manageable. Personally I ended up crossing our oceans after I had hitch-hiked from the most northern tip of Europe to the southernmost creak of Africa.I am not alone in my unorthodox quest for kicks. A Polish friend of mine went on holiday in Somalia, not to mention my two buddies who rode a moped from LA to Buenos Aires. People have even been jumping down from space. Now that the Asians have joined in on the trend, ... [more]
My phone works again!
Being an actor and blogger has proven difficult without a phone, but a few weeks ago I finally got one again! Thanks to Adkom I am back in business.
Coming from a proper first world country where cellphones seem to grow on trees, I still can’t remember having bought a phone, ever. Usually I get my Dads old phone once his new one arrives or a friend will have an extra lying around. Nokia even sponsored me when I hitchhiked to Africa with their half a kilo top model, The Communicator.
I never got into smartphones until I tweeted Haifa, begging her to give me her old iPhone. Haifa was too embarrassed to reply to my blunt request, but fortunately my sister heard my prayers, or perhaps read them on Twitter, and gave me hers. Family (Love)!
So that makes the summer of 2012 when I got my first Smartphone! (except the one that got stolen after a week). The phone she gave me had already been stolen, tracked by the police, and given back to her and it was a bit ... [more]
Qatari Billionaire Wissam Al Mana, Husband of Ms. Jackson, fired Marte for unacceptable and improper behavior – (being raped?)
Earlier this week Marthe Dalelv was sentenced to 16 months in jail after reporting her own rape on a business trip in Dubai. Now she is stuck in desert city with no passport and even got fired from her job, by no other than Janet Jacksons husband, Wissam Al Manna billionaire and owner of the Qatari business Al Mana interiors where Marte worked.
After Marte reported the Rape to the police, she contacted her employer who suggested she change her statement to say that she had sex voluntarily. This could cause the case to be dropped, they told her. Another speculation is that the company prefers to back up the male coworker who committed the ra... [more]
“Wannabe Modern” Dubai shows Stone-Age Mentality
The number one tourist destination in the Middle East, Dubai, hits the news again with a PR stunt that will definitely make women wanting to visit the luxurious city state think twice.
Marte(24), the rape victim, was sentenced to 16 months in jail by those whom she reported it to under the charge of ‘having sex outside of marriage.” This happens to under-represented migrant worker women all the time everyday, then again it’s probably never reported anyways. Needless to say, we at 2FamousTV recognize this isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime case but it shows that Dubai boldly breaks Human Rights laws even with Norwegian citizens.At the end of a business trip in Dubai Marte woke up while she was being raped by a coworker on her Qatar-based company trip.
In Norway it is normal to report these things to the police and so she did, perhaps without knowing how this instituti... [more]
We were supposed to act in it!
As actors in the Middle East we know better than anyone that acting jobs in Music Videos do not grow on trees. They are as hard to find as jellyfish in the desert, so when super famous movie director and artist colleague Gigi Rocatti headhunted the whole 2Famous.TV Crew to act in the new video of The Incompetents, I wouldn’t be exaggerating by saying he made our day.
Gigi already made Adrian famous in the music video he made for Zeid Hamdan’s viral hit, General Suleiman, and Matias and Jørgen too when they collaborated on the music video hit for the Beirut Marathon (under). The shoot for the new video got postponed and postponed again, and then when it finally happened we where working on another project in Nepal and missed it!
– If you have never missed a gig in favor of finding yourself on a small mountaintop in the Himalayas, you have never really acted, or at least, you won’t make it very far a [more]
-And it´s not even a copy!
Overcrowded beaches, with hairy old men staring harassingly at women is a common sight in Lebanon. Seriously, freaks on the beach are getting out of control. In fact it is unusual for a girl not to be propositioned by some guy while shes enjoying her time in the sun.Luckily the Chinese have a couple of priceless fashion Items that just might save the day!
A combination of the Face-kini and the anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings should turn most guys off, although it might be a better wintertime solution, but then again maybe its no warmer than the normal burka. The ninja look you get from the face-kini alone is scary enough to make most guys choose another beach.
It used to suck when you realized that youre newly purchased items were actually copies made in China! One of the biggest advantages wi... [more]
– 2Famous.TV colleague, Russel Brand, soon to come to Lebanon!
2Famous.TV got a hold of the exclusive video where Brand challenges the hosts to talk about Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden and stuff that matters. It seemed like the hosts of the show had no idea who these iconic figures of our generation were. The subjects Brand wanted to talk about proved to be to difficult for the “journalists” who hadn´t even learned Russell Brand’s name before the interview.
But don’t worry, Russell Brand gets to call the main interviewer a “Shaft Holder” in the end of the show.
Coming to Lebanon? Our Colleague Russel Brand is reported to come to Lebanon during his up and coming world tour called the Messiah Complex, but we are still waiting for... [more]
OMG my dad is too cool for school!
A few months ago I got a phone call from my dad who was a bit more excited than usual. – “I am starting a TV-Channel,” he told me, “Just like you guys and 2Famous.TV! It’s an extreme sports channel on cable called FatStone!”
Oh my god, my dad is just too cool, I thought.Basically, my dad, Even, has been keeping up with 2Famous.TV and acknowledged how cost effective it is to run a TV-Channel, so he teamed up with his childhood buddy, entrepreneur and extreme sport guru Kjell Vagle to establish Fatstone.TV.
It is the first new TV channel to hit Norwegian television in 6 years, and they will focus on extreme sports such a... [more]
Can’t believe nobody got hurt!
Travelling in Nepal makes you experience so many wierd things you kind of get used to it. We often bumped into cows on the road and once during a motorcycle ride Adrian told Matias not to freak out, but that that they were being chased by a horse. You know, Nepal. It is weird and natural, and weird and natural stuff happens.
Still, it was a surprise for us when we got attacked by a baby Rihno. The Elephant in the end is the chillest one we have met so far.... [more]
– The last Colony in Africa.
– Where all young people have scars from the police.
While the rest of the Arab world has been speaking out against unjust dictators the past few years, the Occupied Saharawi people of Western Sahara continue to suffer in silence due to the iron fist of the Moroccan government.
But no matter how tenaciously the authorities portray Morocco as an ideal vacation spot, just south of the Bedouin towns and tourist beaches you will find the troubled occupied territories of Western Sahara. The highly underreported conflict is still ongoing and the UN released a special report about the human rights abuses done by the Moroccan government towards the indigenous people. I went there during Christmas some years ago, eager to figure out more about the occupation.
History: Morocco annexed most of Western Sahara in 1975, when Spanish occupiers retreated during Franco’s last years. ... [more]
One of the disadvantages of living abroad is that you are far away when your grandparents get sick. When my grandfather died, I was living in Nepal. My mum called me just as I was signing the papers to rent a Motorcycle for the first time in my life. I got angry I wasn’t there and I screamed “FEEEEEETTTAAAA” out loud as I’m known to do when things don’t go my way.
The guy renting the bike to me was a bit nervous after my outcry, but I already had the key in my hand. His fears were confirmed when he realized I had no idea how to ride a motorcycle and crashed it into three different people before I had even reached the road.Last week my dad called and told me my grandmother was sick. Really sick. In fact she was dying. Laila was my favorite. Not only as a grandmother, but as a person in general. She was so nice to everyone, she made saints look like sinners, and me... [more]
How I got there: I was really broke after I’d lived in Lebanon for 10 months when I received an email from an old friend who told me he was supposed to go to South Georgia to film an expedition, but had to cancel since he got sick. Finding a replacement for a 6-week expedition is extremely difficult but since he knew I was a sailor on previous trips and always up for an unplanned adventure, (LINK) he asked me if I could replace him. I was still conf... [more]
The Rohingya people are native to Myanmar but of a different ethnic group and therefore considered illegal immigrants. According to the UN they are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Many of them have to flee to neighboring Bangladesh where they live in Ghettos and Refugee Camps. I have always been very interested in refugees, and when I had to renew my visa when I lived in Nepal, I decided to check out the South of Bangladesh and a refugee situation I knew nothing about.How I got there: I took a plane from Kathmandu to Dokha, and then I went by bus to Chittargong, which is the second biggest city in Bangladesh and is famous for its Shipwreckyard. My preferences for a holiday might seem a bit weird in retrospect, but I have always dreamed of going to the shipwreck yard. It’s a huge beach where they take apart the biggest ships in the world, by hand.... [more]
St. Helena is one of the most remote places on earth, located basically in the middle of nowhere, west of Angola in the South Atlantic. With no airport it is the perfect hide out if you need to be cut of from the world for a bit. However, it is still hard to get there.
How I got there:
I ended up on St. Helena accidentally. Some years ago I had hitchhiked to South Africa from the North of Norway (I’ll write more about that trip another time.) When I finished the journey I just hung out in Cape Town for a while. That’s where I met Mr. Dan, at an afterparty. He told me he was travelling on a sailboat due to cross the Atlantic as soon as they found an extra crew and since I was so tired of the road, I thought I’d join them and become a sailor. I wouldn’t have to see road for weeks!
The next day I didn’t even remember Dan’s nam... [more]
We used to tweet anything, and then laugh about it and just say: Haha it’s just twitter, it’s not like it’s going to get us in trouble or really make an impact… Well those days are over now that a man was sentenced to 5 years in prison in Kuwait for what must have been the most extremely insulting tweet of all times.Although I haven’t seen the tweet, it is hard to believe that it could be so insulting it justifies 5 years behind bars. Let’s assume the tweet was fully loaded and contained all 140 characters. That would mean this very unlucky tweep got about 12.5 days in jail for every character. If he had written a letter he would have been gone for life!
Also, do you get longer sentences if you have many followers? Will the Emir pardon you if you have less than 30 followers? Not to mention how they are going to calculate sentences for re-tweets or favorite... [more]
It was already almost impossible for us at 2Famous.TV to get modeling jobs in Israel due to the lack of transportation and political problems between these places. And with the new rules against skinny models, it seems like the last air was drawn out of that balloon. At least for me.The Israelis have banned models with a BMI index lower than 18.5 in a national campaign to end models starving themselves and promote extremely unhealthy physiques. After a hard year of acting, with roles like a prophet and a kidnapped hostage, I have managed a light weight, but my BMI has therefore sunk down to somewhere between 18.1 and 18.4.
Jobs from Israel haven’t been an issue so far in my career and if this trend doesn’t, against all odds, spread north I will be untouched by the new rules. I mean if Israel is the first country to implement it, then we can be sure Lebanon will be the last, right? G... [more]
Even if the Lebanese are among the most beautiful people on earth, Lebanon has long been famous for boob jobs and plastic surgerys.
That doesn’t mean that we are not surprised to see that more and more people are discovering 2famous.TV with the search term “Mona Abou Hamzes feet”. And after some research we found out that Monas’ feet are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Lebanese foot fetish.For every year that 2famous graces the spaces of the internet, we publish a list of the most bizaare and surprising keywords people type into search engines and land on our website. This year the terms you searched for on Google et.al. astounded us a bit but took us to corners of the internet we had yet to explore. In fact, many of our readers fell upon us by searching for Mona Abu Hamze’s feet – a phrase we could not ignore.
Mona was fea... [more]
Very funny video from the festival!
During a Norwegian festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico, me and Mr Web disguised as Lebanese Radio reporters and interviewed the Americans about Norway. The audience are actually beeing interviewed for Norwegian Radio. It was a strange undercover mission and we learned a lot of crazy stuff about Norway.
This video is a part of a longer road movie from this Article.... [more]
Epic Roadtrip Movie Staring Webjørn Espeland from Nrk and Matias Nordahl Carlsen from 2Famous.TV
During the 6000 km road-trip along Route 66 we talked to homeless people, meet an ex-arsonist, pretended we were Lebanese working for Radio Lebanon, and shot big guns. America is just as crazy as I always thought it was. The roads are huge and there are plenty of burger joints. The beer is absolutely better than its reputation with microbrewery’s popping up almost anywhere. Even the criminals are friendly and welcoming and the police let us of with a warning when we were caught speeding. The media is crazy and the information people have about the Middle East is normally punchlines picked up from Fox News.
For me personally Hollywood was an enormous disappointment. When I went to Universal Studios to tell them I was ready to work, they wanted me to pay money to enter the area. God knows that would not have happened in Beirut. After that I tried to call Napoleon Dynamite’s Aunt. Twice. And she still didn’t pick up. But I did meet one of the most famous Leba... [more]
After 10 days and more than 2000 miles on the road we finally reached the Grand Canyon. The views are amazing and it is easy to understand why the site was considered holy by many Indian tribes in the area. The Canyon is so deep it is hard to spot the Colorado River in the bottom. During more than 17 million years this river has dug itself down and made the Canyon what it is today.
I put on my blue party suit and checked it out!
On our way down from the Grand Canyon we saw some Indigenous People w... [more]
Oklahoma comes from the indiginous language Choctaw and means red people. In this Native American trading post we only found a Mexican and souvenirs, made in china. We spent the night in Elk city before we crossed the border to Texas. Here are some pics from the trip.[more]
We’ve been driving for two days down Route 66 and already passed 2 different cities called Lebanon. Yesterday we passed Lebanon in Missouri so I had to take a look.
It was actually one of the nicer towns I have seen so far in the US, but the people there told me their city had no relations to Lebanon in the Middle East. Personally I find that hard to believe since the two names are spelled exactly the same… What do you guys think?
After Lebanon we left Missouri for a warmer and more exotic location: Kansas. We passed Joplin where a tornado killed 160ish people last year and destroyed parts of the city.
Then we entered Oklahoma and passed the village of Picher. ... [more]
I left Beirut on Saturday morning in quite a chaos. I haven’t been driving a car for a while now, mostly because of the crazy trafic in Beirut that seems to be way too dangerous for my liking. That was at least my excuse when I didn’t find my drivers license when I was packing my bag to do the good ol’ roadtrip along route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. I searched everywhere, seriously, but ran out of time before I had to jump on the plane, feeling like a total failure for not bringing my drivers license with me on the most epic road-trip of all times.
On the plane I became a bit nervous of what my friend Mr Web would say when we meet up to do the road-trip (that he invited me to do) with no drivers license. After a while the turbulence picked up and I got other things to be nervous about. The weather is actually quite frisky in America these days, ... [more]
Rumors say that Superman is about to leave his job as a journalist because of the ridiculous and unethical hunt for celebrity news gossip. According to USA Today, Superman leaves his job at the Daily Planet by yelling and shouting at his boss and co-workers. The Daily Planet was bought by a huge entertainment company and the journalists are being pushed into producing more commercial trash. Superman disapproves and quits.
This episode is supposed to be released tomorrow and the speculations about what Superman is going to do when he is Clark Kent have already started spinning around the globe. In the Middle East people think he might be planning to move here. He might be unemployed in the States, but there sho... [more]
I have a friend, his name is Mr. Web. Yesterday Mr. Web chatted me on Facebook and told me we’re going to do an epic roadtrip down the United States to document the hysteria before, during, and after November’s presidential election. For the longest time (or at least sice our last trip in June) he’s been talking about a roadtrip documentary while crossing route 66; We’ll start in Chicago and drive all the way down to Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’ve already got an American girlfriend and a few contacts in Hollywood (I’m looking at you, Leo! and I need more!) so I told Mr. Web I was in.
PHOTOS: One of our favorite Sunday activities is to gamble and get wasted at the horse races at the Beirut Hippodrome. We dont know anything about horses but the Almazas are 4000 LL so you have a good chance of making your money back if you partyed to hard during the weekend. Not knowing anything about horses we normally get advice from some of the oldtimers hanging out betting. The problem is that Arabic is so difficult sometimes we misunderstand and bet on the wrong horse anyway. But it doesen´t spoil the fun.
Here you can see some pictures from last Sunday at the Hippodrome![more]