A woman looks down upon central Beirut from the top floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, Beirut. Picture by Cormac Walsh
The Middle East sees its ranking fall in Mercer’s 2012 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey due largely to a drop in rental prices.The survey found that Beirut is the most expensive city to live in this year within the Middle East, moving up eight notches to number 67.
Mercer’s survey factors in the cost of living for 214 cities globally. The consultancy compares the price of more than 200 factors in each location, including housing, transport, food and clothing costs. [Link]
Beirut has become so expensive that even expats no longer can afford it. Maybe we should stop building 1000 square meters apartments for Arabs to rent/buy and start building reasonable flats with rational prices for Lebanese and the average tourist.
Two Lebanese government websites were hacked Saturday by a group aligned with the online hacking community known as Anonymous. The group Raise Your Voice (RYV) took down the websites of the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (omsar.gov.lb) and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (pcm.gov.lb).[Link]
Speaking of electricity, Lebanon Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said Wednesday evening that power blackouts â€œcould reach 15 hours per day. At this rate, the government will most definitely put an end to the hack attacks as no one will have electricity to hack in the first place.
The Foreign Ministry will establish a hotline for the Lebanese expats across the world to enable them to contact the Lebanese authorities in case of emergencies, As Safir newspaper reported on Thursday. [Link]
In fact, I am surprised that it took them so long to come up with a hotline with everything that’s been ongoing with Lebanese in the Arab world and elsewhere. Only yesterday Lebanese interpreter Helen Assaf was detained in Libya along with members of the International Criminal Court, due to an alleged threat to national security, which is probably not true and pure B.S.
I saw the part where they started arguing and Michel leaves but then I switched to football. It was weird because Michel is a funny guy but it felt like he went too far this time. However, someone told me it was all set up and he came back towards the end of the show. That’s a bit silly and desperate from MTV and Mona Abou Hamze to be honest.
The sad part is that what Michel was saying or hinting at has some truth to it. It’s definitely not Madeleine Matar’s songs that bought her the new Porsche Panamera. I have further details but I’d rather not share them.
The parents of a 3-month-old baby girl were arrested by security forces on Friday after her battered body was brought to a hospital in Beirut, Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour said. Almost all bones in her body were fractured when she was brought to St. Therese hospital in Hadath, he said. [Naharnet]
The sad part is that the baby was also beaten up and rushed to the hospital 2 months ago, but the parents said it was an accident and no one reported it to the Social Affairs Ministry or to the police.
For that sake, Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour urged hospitals to inform the ministry of similar accidents in the future. Too bad this poor baby had to die for us to take such measures.
You can watch MTV’s report on this incident [Here].
France on Thursday granted one of its top honours, membership in the prestigious Academie Francaise, to Franco-Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf, whose books seek to build bridges between East and West. Maalouf became the first Lebanese inducted as an one of the academy’s “immortals” — the 40 lifelong members tasked as guardians of the French language. [DailyStar]
Amin Maalouf was born in Beirut, but moved to Paris with his family in 1975 after the civil war broke out. His most famous novel is “Sakhrit Tanios”, or “The Rock of Tanios“, for which he received France’s premier literary award, the Prix Goncourt.
Update: Legally speaking, they are allowed to use such pictures but they are prone to lawsuits if the concerned parties find it insulting anyhow. This is what happened to Benetton’s ads back in November. [Link]
I like the posters but are they allowed to do that? Don’t you need permission to put photoshoped heads of states in your ads?