Monthly Archives: February 2013

A new Golf Course in Lebanon

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I’ve never been to the Golf Course in Beirut but I tried two Mini-Golf courses in Kaslik and Mansourieh. The problem with Beirut’s Golf Course is that few people know about it and it’s far, so hopefully by setting up another course in Roumieh, more Lebanese will start playing Golf. I would personally go give it a try.

PS: This is great news for Roumieh prisoners as well.

Plans to build a new course in the hills of Roumieh, 18km east of Beirut, are currently under negotiation. The Lebanese architectural and engineering firm Khatib & Alami is partnering with British golf architects Swan Golf Designs (SGD) with an aim to build an 18-hole course that will, in the words of a press release, offer “views of the capital city to the Mediterranean beyond” and “be set within the indigenous forest with holes sweeping through the valleys, making the most out of the changes in elevation that the spectacular location affords.” It will constitute part of a wider development also comprising residential real estate and a hotel. [Link]

Ripoff Report: Lebanese-Jordanian Amer Hazime

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According to the report, Amer Hazime lived in the Platinum Tower in Beirut ( Tallest building on the right of the picture)

I got this link today from a reader. It’s a report about a certain Lebanese businessman called Amer Hazime who’s been ripping off people by pretending to invest in gold and stocks. Ripoff Report is a worldwide consumer reporting Web site and publication, by consumers, for consumers, to file and document complaints about companies or individuals. There’s no guarantee that the reports are authentic or accurate, but while looking for his name online, I found his mention in a 2008 article:

“Poor Lebanon” is a much-loved preface to a litany of the country’s troubles. Parliament has been deadlocked for a year. A quarter of cabinet ministers are boycotting meetings. There’s been no president since November because quarreling lawmakers keep postponing a session to elect a replacement. In Beirut so far this year, 17 people have been killed and dozens wounded in car bombs, army gunfire on protesters and clashes between pro- and antigovernment groups. In south Lebanon, many fear new battles could erupt with Israel. It sounds like a disaster about to happen in a nation where a renewal of the devastating 1970s-’80s civil war is a chronic worry. But Amer Hazime doesn’t see it that way. While not exactly optimistic about the future, the young businessman – a Lebanese-Jordanian dual national – is shopping for an apartment in Beirut where he can live with his wife and daughter. “The security situation is deteriorating, the political situation is bad but I am looking to buy a flat. My wife is Lebanese and I want to live here,” Hazime said as he ate pizza one night at a crowded Italian restaurant in Beirut.

There are many like Hazime.

If the accusations are correct, I truly hope then that there’s only one Hazime.

On Feb 21, 2013, news got out in Lebanon that Amer Hazime, a well-known and rich business man living in Beirut has stolen millions of dollars from his friends and acquaintances, then ran away to Jordan or Europe (last seen in Paris, France)

He has stolen the money under the pretense that he is investing it in gold and stocks. He made a lot of money when gold prices were very high, but then continued to take money and invest it even though he was losing on ever transaction.

The reason why people trusted him is because he was always seen in expensive cars, living in expensive homes (last residence: Platinum Building in Downtown Beirut) and wearing expensive watches. His unsuspecting victims saw that he was making a huge profit and starting throwing their money at him without any legal contract / documentation.

If you are a victim of Amer Hazime, then please speak out and file a law suite so that justice can be served. Respond to the rip off report and make yourself heard. He is a home-wrecker and ruined the lives and reputations of everyone around him (including his family, who have fled Lebanon to Jordan)

If you ever come into contact with this person, do not trust him because he is a con artist. He goes around pretending that he is a pious Muslim, but in fact he is no such thing! If he were a real Muslim he would not be gambling and stealing! [RipoffReport]

Bikeathon 2013: Bike for peace

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Bikeathon Association Lebanon and Baldati.com are organizing the Bike for Peace event on April 14, 2013 in an attempt to promote cycling in Lebanon, create awareness to alternative transportation methods that reduce traffic and demand a friendly-cycling road environment.

A Press Conference will be held on March 5 at ABC Achrafieh to discuss further details of the event.

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I found out about this event by mistake on the Ministry of Tourism’s website and there was no mention on how to subscribe or where to check for further info. It wouldn’t hurt to promote such an event in a proper way and encourage Lebanese to join. It’s definitely better than throwing thousands of dollars on lousy promotional ads.

If tourists don’t want to visit Lebanon anymore, let’s encourage domestic tourism and organize events all across Lebanon that bring Lebanese together and benefit everyone.

Entrance fee for Bikeathon is 10$. You can check out more details [Here].

More on the Match-fixing scandal that hit Lebanese Football

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Mahmoud al Ali – Football Player part of the National Team and one of the masterminds behind the match-fixing scandal

Few days ago, 24 Lebanese Football Players and two officials were charged of involvement in the match-fixing scandal that has been ongoing since 2006. The charges varied from a life-time ban and a $15,000 penalty to 1 season ban and meager penalty of $2000. Having said that, I still believe the charges aren’t harsh enough and the damage that these players caused to the Lebanese Football is irreparable.

Why am I saying that? Just check the match-fixing details as they happened that Al-Akhbar published yesterday! In fact I will make an effort and translate few excerpts into English to show you how bad this is.

First story is from the game that opposed Lebanon to South Korea back in June 2012 and that Lebanon lost 3-0. While thousands of Lebanese in Lebanon and abroad were cheering for their team, supporting them in every way possible, making Lebanon trend on Twitter, coming up with new songs and video clips on YouTube and encouraging the players one by one, two of our National Team Players were conspiring to make us lose 4-0 to earn some extra cash from a bet they had placed earlier.

لقصص التي لم تنشر سابقاً كثيرة وبعضها يصيب المرء بالصدمة وبالقرف في آنٍ معاً، اذ لا يمكن تقبّل فكرة ان الجمهور اللبناني كان جالساً على اعصابه امام شاشات التلفزة لمتابعة المباراة التي خسرها لبنان امام كوريا الجنوبية 0-3 في حزيران الماضي، في الوقت الذي كان ينادي فيه لاعب مدافع على زميله المهاجم بعدم التقدّم الى الامام بهذا الشكل بل العودة الى الخلف للمشاركة في المهمة بحيث ان «التعليمة» تقول بأنه يفترض ان يخسر لبنان بنتيجة 0-4 والوقت كان قريباً من النهاية.

Second Story is from the last Arab cup where Lebanon was facing Iraq. Lebanon’s best goalkeeper Abdel Samad was injured and due to miss the game but the coach allowed him to play at the last second. This last-minute change led 8 of the players/officials involved in match-fixing to try and convince Samad in the dressing room to concede 3 goals. Samad was enraged by their request and told them he’d never do such a thing. Iraq won by one goal.

والصمد نفسه عاش تجربة صادمة في كأس العرب الاخيرة، فهو عشية المباراة امام العراق أُبلغ بعدم خوضه للقاء قبل ان يبدّل المدرب الالماني ثيو بوكير رأيه ويعلمه باشراكه بدلاً من محمد حمود. هذا القرار خربط كل حسابات عملاء مكاتب المراهنات، فتوجّه ثمانية منهم الى الصمد خلال تبديله لملابسه طالبين منه المساهمة بخسارة لبنان بثلاثية نظيفة، فكان ردّ الحارس صارماً وقاسياً على محدثيه متوعداً اياهم بالاسوأ في حال كرروا طلبهم بخصوص موضوعٍ مشابه. وهذا الحديث جرى على مسامع اداري المنتخب فؤاد بلهوان الذي كان متواجداً بالصدفة في دورة المياه. ودورات المياه كانت مركزاً في بعض الاحيان لتوزيع الاموال، وفي احيانٍ اخرى باحات المطارات حيث سُدّدت المبالغ – المكافآت للمتورّطين.

I never followed closely Lebanese Football but never missed a chance to support the National Team, but after reading these stories, I don’t think I will ever watch any football game that includes Lebanese clubs or the National Team.

Respect to Roda Antar, Youssef Mohammad, Bilal Najarian and Ziad el Samad and to all the players who refused to betray their team and stood against other players fixing games and placing bets.

[YouTube]
I want to believe that the investigation was clean and thorough but I can’t

Hala Issam Fares won the French Lottery

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IMF, Patriarch& HIF

Lebanese Hala Issam Fares was reported yesterday to have won the French lottery worthy over 160 million euros.
That’s great news as she can buy herself now a private jet plane, a castle, an apartment in France, a Ferrari, a yacht in Monaco. Oh wait, she already has all those since her husband is a billionaire.

I guess she has all the luck one could ask for.

Tourist numbers still in freefall in 2013

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[High-Res] – Via ZiadKamel

The number of total arrivals for the month of January 2013 dropped 15% when compared to last year’s total, noting that the 2012 total had also dropped by 2% from 2011 [2012 vs. 2011].

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I don’t want to sound pessimistic but at the rate we are going, we should count ourselves very lucky if we reach 1 million visitors by the end of 2013.

Woman dies after Self-Immolation in Tyre

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That’s pretty messed up.

A 38-year-old woman died Wednesday after setting herself on fire in south Lebanon, security sources told The Daily Star.

The woman, the wife of a municipality policeman from the southern town of Jwaya near Tyre, poured gasoline over herself and set it alight, the sources said. They added that her move came after she discovered her husband’s intention to marry another woman. [DailyStar]