Monthly Archives: September 2012

Heavy security measures around the French Embassy in Beirut

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AFP Photo

Security measures were bolstered outside the French embassy and near the ambassador’s official residence on Wednesday over fears of a backlash after the publication in France of cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed. Lebanese armored personnel carriers deployed near the mission and outside the Pine Residence in Beirut, where the ambassador resides.[Naharnet]

Personally, I am against such movies/cartoons but I am also against calls to ban them, at least in countries where freedom of speech is sacred. I don’t understand how such a silly and lousy movie could spark such violent demonstrations and even lead to the murder of an American ambassador in Libya.

Those demonstrations and riots are only damaging Islam’s image and turning the movie maker into a popular figure.

Having said that, I agree with Mustapha that “we need more, not less cartoons and videos that “insult” Muslims. Muslims need once and for all to be desensitized & grow thick skins”.

The best way to fight the likes of Sam Bacile and Charlie Hebdo is by ignoring them.

Horsh Beirut to open to the public for 2 weeks

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Picture taken by Horsh Beirut (via Flickr)

I have to partially agree with Beirut’s Beirut Mayor Bilal Hamad that the park should remain closed and well preserved if the authorities don’t have the resources to protect the park from being ruined by visitors or used for political ends. The problem is just like every else in Lebanon, you can get in by bribing those in charge.

A culture and arts festival will open the typically off-limits Horsh Beirut Park free to the public for nearly two weeks, organizers and the Beirut mayor announced Tuesday. Candy and popcorn stands and theater stages will be set up around the pine-tree-lined park for the festival, which starts Thursday and will run until the beginning of October.

Jazz and Lebanese musical groups are scheduled to play and dance groups around the region are slated to perform. And there will be a daily bike trail through the park. [Link]

You can check the full schedule of the festival [Here].

Thank you Edward Maalouf!

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Edward Maalouf may not have won any medals at the Paralympic Games this year but he’s still a great athlete committed to his sport and country, and for that we should be the ones thanking him!

Edward has proven he had the potential to win medals when he clinched two in Beijing in 2008. What he still lacks though is proper support (mainly financial) to prepare for the next Paralympics or any upcoming championships.

For that purpose, I think we should start from now a petition of some kind or talk with some officials to provide the support needed for Edward. Any suggestions are more than welcome!

Here’s the letter he posted on his Facebook wall.

Dear FB friends.

As you know I didn’t came to the games just to participate, but I had a dream to reach. But this dream I wasn’t able to realize it, due to many reasons and the biggest one the finance side and the absence of the support of my country during my preparation. To prepare for the Paralympics it need 4 hard work years and preparation, many things should be done, many things to be managed, and all this I was doing it alone. Athlete should concentrate on his training and his races but in my case It was different.
I want to congratulate the guys who won, they deserve it, they were in good shape and they brought our sport to higher level, and to compete these guys now we should work much more harder, but nothing is impossible in life if you put all your effort and you believe in yourself, but sure you have to be realistic in life.

I want to thank you all for all the support that you show, that meant a lot for me.

Now time to take rest from all the stress and the hard time that I had and I will keep you updated with what I am intending further to do.

Thank you !!!

Magnolia Bakery opening at ABC Dbayeh

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Magnolia Bakery is a bakery opened in 1996 at 401 Bleecker Street, on the corner of West 11th Street in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The bakery is known for its famous dessert treats, including its cupcakes and old-fashioned Depression era icebox cakes. [Wiki]

Magnolia’s first non-US branch was opened in Dubai back in 2010, with the second one expected to be Lebanon’s branch. They are also planning to open in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Morocco.

You can check their website [Here].

New Wages scale approved by the government

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Infographic on the new wages scale prepared by Abir

I was almost sure that PM Miqati will reconsider the increase in salaries for the three top presidential posts of the country, the ministers and the parliament members but instead the government passed the law as it is, which means we just added $1.2 billion for our state treasury to cover. [Link]

I believe it still can get rejected in the parliament but I am not sure about that. Nevertheless, it’s really ironic how Lebanese don’t feel concerned with this raise while they organize huge protests to support Syria or Palestine or to denounce an Anti-Islam movie.

Nahr el Kalb decoration for the Pope’s visit

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A friend sent me this video of the lights and poster that were put on Nahr el Kalb’s entrance to welcome the Pope during his 3-day visit that ended on Sunday. I wonder what went through their mind when they set up the flashing lights; I bet they were like “This is a very dangerous turn where loads of accidents happen every year so let’s blind the drivers for a couple of days, yostoflo kermel el Baba walaw!”