Monthly Archives: August 2012

A smoke-free Lebanon

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No more Arguile?

Law 174 will be implemented on September 3rd 2012 and will consist of including a “No Smoking” sign and prohibiting smoking in all public places. Somehow I don’t feel like anyone is going to take this law seriously plus if I understood correctly, it will include prohibiting arguile too not just cigarettes.

The campaign to enforce law 174 prohibiting smoking in closed public spaces is organized by IndyACT, Tobacco Free Initiative – TFI and in collaboration with AUB -Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) at the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Implementation of smoking ban in public places:
Enforcement will take place in the following places, but not
limited to: Governmental buildings, schools, universities, hospitals,
clinics, workplaces, banks, private businesses, malls, airport and
public transport & including the hospitality sector : Restaurants, Cafes, Hotels (20% of total number of rooms can be used by smokers), Bars, Clubs, theaters. [Law174] [FB]

Beirut’s Imaginary New Fire-Station

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Picture from Al-Akhbar

Isn’t it ironic how all this information is available to the public and no one can do anything about it?

Firefighters in Lebanon need substantial financial support to do their jobs properly and better salaries for a decent standard of living. That’s not too much to ask for individuals who are putting their life at risk to extinguish fires and save lives.

On 9 October 2001, the Municipal Council of the City of Beirut and the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) issued Decree No. 751, approving the construction of a civil defense barracks on Plot No. 2639. Clause 3 of the document states that “the costs of implementing the project are to be covered from the municipality’s share of the disbursements from the independent municipal fund.”

Twenty days later, the municipality issued a new decree, No. 817, ordering the transfer of 2,250 million Lebanese Lira (LL)($1.5 million) from the “budget replenishment reserve” to the CDR to cover the costs of building a fire-station on Plot 2639.

But a fire-station needs electricity. This dawned on the municipal council six years after it took its original decree. Accordingly, under Decree No. 555 on 6 August 2007, a request was made to Electricite du Liban to provide the site with an electricity supply. So the money was there and the electricity was there, courtesy of EDL. The only thing missing was the fire-station itself.

Abdul-Munim al-Arees departed, and fellow Future Movement acolyte Bilal Hamad was elected head of the municipality in the 2010 elections. Under his chairmanship, the council discovered that Plot 2639 would actually be more suited to being a “cemetery for deceased Beirutis from the Sunni and Shia Muslim sects” than a fire-station.

Read the full report [Here]

When Hunger strikes …

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I was picking up some Manakish from Furn Beaino yesterday around noon when a middle-aged man walks in and asks the owner if someone came and ordered 4 Zaatar, 4 Lahm Baajine and 4 Jebneh in the past hour. The owner answers him back that no one had placed such an order today. As it appears, the guy, who’s a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, had sent his two young kids ( a boy and a girl) to get Manakish an hour and a half ago and they still didn’t come back home so he got worried and went looking for them.

I felt bad for him especially with all the kidnappings that are happening and thought of helping him out before he told the owner on his way out: “I will go now but please if they come back to your place, hurry up with the order and don’t delay them”.

Seriously? His kids are missing and that’s what he can think of? The owner was speechless for a second and one of the customers started laughing.

Climb 4 Hope for The Nawaya Network

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The five climbers are:
Tarek Kabrit
Ziad Shaaban
Ayman Chalhoub
Ali Shahrour
Hussam Ziadeh

On the 19th of August 2012, 5 climbers from Lebanon and Jordan will climb Mount Kilimanjaro in an attempt to reach the summit in 10 days. By overcoming the challenges on the mountain they hope to demonstrate to all the youth of Lebanon that they too can overcome barriers in reaching their highest potential.

The team have chosen to support their cause through fundraising for The Nawaya Network and are looking for your support in helping them reach their fund raising goal of $5,000. The Nawaya Network is a non-profit dedicated to developing the talents of promising underprivileged youth in Lebanon (www.nawaya.org). The support of your donations to The Nawaya Network is a key element of the team’s success.

For those of you who wish to donate, click [Here].

To know more about Nawaya, click [Here].

ISF on fire

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This story was posted today in LebanonFiles:

Yesterday night, a 4×4 Lebanese police car caught fire in Burj Hammoud due to an electrical problem. As the car was NOT equipped with a fire extinguisher, the ISF officers had to stop cars passing by asking them if they had fire extinguishers themselves.

You’d think a fire extinguisher is important in a police car, but who has time to buy such useless items when there are gays to arrest and anal probe tests to perform?

Arab tourists fleeing Lebanon during Eid al-Fitr

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Beirut Souks (Picture taken yesterday around 9pm)

The few Arab tourists we had left for the summer fled or were evacuated by their embassies in the past few days due to the recent unfortunate events, mainly the kidnapping of Syrians and Turks by the Mokdad family’s “military branch”.

I went down to Beirut Souks yesterday and it barely took me 30 minutes from Jounieh to get there. I expected traffic at Dbayyeh with Le Mall now open and at Nahr el Mot (City Mall) but didn’t find any. Once I got to Beirut Souks, I easily found a parking spot and the Souks weren’t as busy as I imagined they’d be be. Even the “Man In The Mirror Michael Jackson show” event that was taking place at the Souks wasn’t completely sold out as there were a lot of empty seats.

Meanwhile, the random kidnappings of foreigners and Lebanese is still ongoing. All in all, I think this is the worst summer we’ve had in Lebanon for the past 10 years, even worse than the 2006 summer. That’s really sad specially with all the potential we have in this country.