Monthly Archives: May 2013

Lebanon has the world’s second biggest rise in cigarette consumption per person in 20 years

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I think we will easily top that list if Shishas were also included not just cigarettes. Hopefully after seeing these statistics, the government and more specifically the Ministry of Tourism, will consider allocating more money to enhancing and implementing Law 174.

The simplest thing that can be done is raising the ridiculously low cigarette prices in Lebanon.

Together, China’s 1.3 billion citizens plough through more packets than anywhere else. The average Chinese person smoked 30% more in 2012 than in 1990, ranking the country 11th by consumption per head. Lebanon and Myanmar saw even more dramatic growth (though a shift from illicit to official sales somewhat distorts those trends). [Economist]

via Mustapha

The Nathalie Fadlallah Effect

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I read the below paragraph like 3 times and am still wondering what got into the author’s mind to write such a thing? Like seriously who wants to read about horny and sweaty Lebanese policemen?

Maybe it’s better for media portals in Lebanon to focus on getting more detailed information from Tripoli and Arsal rather than give that much attention to a candidate who’s running without an electoral platform.

Fadlallah [High-Res]

Intekhabet.com

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[YouTube]

A nice initiative and by the looks of it, more money will be spent on the upcoming elections than on any previous elections held in Lebanon (If elections ever take place).

My favorite slogan for the Lebanese Elections is #2badMenno_IntekhibDoddo

Eight prominent bloggers from the Lebanese online scene are launching a virtual mock electoral campaign in retaliation to what they say is the mockery of an entire nation.

The bloggers Hanin al-Siddique, Ali Fakhri, Salim al-Lawzi, Imad Bazzi, Zeinab Abdul Satter, Omar Kabul, Fakher Salameh and Mahmoud Ghzayyel are behind this virtual campaign.

Tweeps, bloggers, facebookers are encouraged to visit the website www.intekhabet.com or otherwise tweet under the hashtag:

#Sell_Myself #Abi3_Nafsi [Source]

Romania beats former record holder Lebanon with a 5-ton flag

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I think we should hurry up and prepare to break Romania’s record and show them that we love our country more. After doing so, we can get back to killing each other in Tripoli, Arsal and all over Lebanon.

The Romanian flag covers three football pitches, topping the previous record holder in Lebanon.

A military brass band played as Prime Minister Victor Ponta and other ministers arrived in the village to view the flag. [Link]

Thank you Dany!

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism shuts down Ghost night club

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[High-Res] via LebanonFiles

The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism decided to shut down Ghost night club after it reopened less than a week ago, just like it did with Acid over a year ago. Of course no legal actions were taken against Antoine Chakhtoura for his wrongdoings and for violating the most basic human rights.

I had no clue it was the same person behind the two clubs. I am surprised to be honest that he didn’t file any lawsuit against Chakhtoura.

Things to do in Lebanon

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Picture by Ahmad Moussawi

I got an email from one of the blog’s readers last week asking me about things to do in Lebanon aside from the same old Baalbeck, Byblos, Jeita trips. I have to say that even though Lebanon is a great country to visit, there’s little information available for tourists and even Lebanese on how to plan a whole day and enjoy the beautiful and vibrant Lebanon.

I’m coming home in July and plan to show buddies of mine the Beauty and vibrant culture of Lebanon. Not looking for nightlife rather what to do in 7 days in Lebanon other than the same old Baalbek, Byblos, Jeita…

Of course you’d expect the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism to have a decent website to help out tourists but attracting tourists is apparently not a priority for them. TripAdvisor and similar websites are definitely more helpful in that case but they are missing out on a lot of information still, and scaring away tourists with these security alerts (see below), which are sort of justified to be honest, specially when Tripoli is one of the top destinations to visit in Lebanon.

Trip

This being said, I thought of a nice way to help out my friend and anyone coming for a visit this summer, by compiling all the activities I’ve done and places I’ve been to, and suggest many ways on how to spend a day in Lebanon.

I’ve already prepared 7 full-day activities all across Lebanon which are scheduled to be posted in the days to come. If you feel you can contribute to this series of posts, feel free to email me at najib@blogbaladi.com and I will gladly compile the information into a new post.

PS: This post and the upcoming ones are scheduled as I am on vacation with limited internet access.

Four Seasons Hotel – Beirut

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I was in Beirut over the weekend and on this trip I ended up staying at the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown Beirut. The hotel is located in what I think is one of the nicest looking towers in Beirut, right in front of the very popular Zaituna Bay and so I was really looking forward to staying there.

Right from the moment I stepped out of my rental I knew I was going to be enjoying my stay at the hotel. The customer service at the hotel was just better then any other I had previously stayed in before and I’ve stayed at many. The feeling I kept getting is that every single employee wanted to help make your stay better, and by every single employee I don’t mean just the reception staff or managers, I mean everyone from the valet guys, to the housekeepers to the waiters. I think its the words they use but you just get this feeling that you can ask them for whatever you want and they’d love to do it and that made me super comfortable in asking them for stuff which I tend not to do.

Other than the excellent service my room was also very comfortable. I had overpacked on this trip but there was more than enough closest space and drawers to accomodate all my stuff. The room wasn’t that big but the bathroom was with a large sink area, tub, shower room, toilet room and a makeup table. The room had a balcony that was big enough to fit a table and two chairs and finally there was free wifi in the room and the whole hotel. My favorite part of the hotel though would have to be the roof. During the day the roof is a cool place to swim and tan but at night it’s an open air lounge overlooking the Mediterranean sea and Beirut.

I do have two minor complaints though. The first issue the hotel really can’t do much about but the view from my room could have been better if there wasn’t a large sand lot right outside. I live in Kuwait so I would rather not see sand lots when I travel. Even though the hotel is right in front of Zaituna Bay, my room was more on the side and I could only see the marina if I was on the balcony looking left which was disappointing. The other issue I had was with their breakfast. It’s not a breakfast buffet and one of the things I look forward to the most in hotels is their breakfast buffets. At the Four Seasons they have a dried fruit, fresh fruit and cereal buffet but if you want any hot dishes you have to order them. The advantage obviously is your breakfast is made for you and so is fresh, but the disadvantage is it takes time to make and you also can’t just fill up your plate with whatever looks good like you would do at a regular buffet.

In the end though I had a really good time at the hotel. I generally don’t tend to spend much time at hotels but on this trip I was having all my friends come over so we could just chill out on the roof. The incredibly friendly service and the lounge on the roof made me really love my stay. I’d most likely stay there again once I’m done reviewing other hotels in Beirut. Here is the link to their [Website]