Category Archives: Health

Deadly Sandstorm Hits Lebanon: Here’s How To Protect Yourself

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martyrs Wael Hamzeh / EPA

The American University of Beirut Medical Center published today few tips on how to protect yourself during the sandstorm. Five people already died and over 750 cases of asphyxiation or shortness of breath were reported so it’s important to stay safe and follow these health and safety tips:

1. Avoid going outside except when necessary. Avoid outdoor activities and keep your windows and doors closed.
2. Opt for air conditioning instead of fresh air, and make sure you do not open your car windows.
3. Use a mask or damp piece of cloth to cover your mouth and nose.
4. Avoid rubbing your eyes to prevent any eye infection. Rinse your eyes with water, and wear your eyeglasses instead of your contact lenses.
5. If you are allergic, start using antihistamines even before the symptoms start.

I would also add:

6- Avoid wearing contact lenses.
7- Drive carefully and more slowly. Pull over when visibility is low.

In case you experiencing severe trouble breathing, make sure to visit the Lebanese Red Cross (140) or contact your doctor.

sandstorm Source: AP

Beirut beach Source: AP

#UberRECYCLE Launched In Beirut: There’s No Excuse Not To Start Recycling Today

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Update: Here are the results of the campaign as shared by Uber.

I previously wrote a long post on ways to reduce waste and shared a list of Lebanese companies that recycle with all the information you need. I’m hoping that some of you have already started recycling and contacting these companies but for those who still didn’t, Uber Beirut just launched today in partnership with Live Love Beirut & Advanced Cars an initiative to encourage recycling by collecting on-demand recyclable wastes from Lebanese citizens from Uber.

All you need to do is select the UberRECYCLE Option from the app between 3pm to 8pm from July 29th through August 5th and a van will pass by to collect your bags and hand them to ARCENCIEL who will handle the recycling process. All pickups are free of charge so you have no excuse not to start recycling as of today.

Here’s how to divide your trash:
Blue bags: Plastic (i.e Water bottles, detergents, shampoo bottles, beverages…)
Black bags: Metal (i.e Tins, cans, metal caps…)
Pink: (or any other colur): Paper (i.e Newspapers, magazines, cardboard, boxes…)

If you wish to keep sending recyclable wastes to ARCENCIEL after #UberRECYCLE campaign ends, all you have to do is call 01/495561 ext 1413.


As I’ve stated in previous posts, we don’t need to wait for the government or Sukleen to start recycling and reducing waste and I’m glad to see some municipalities like Arssoun in Baabda Kaza already started doing that. We can put an end to this garbage crisis by sorting our own trash and contacting the tens of companies in Lebanon that recycle.

I’m sharing once again the list of companies that recycle in Lebanon:

Ziad Abi Chaker’s Cedar Environmental Initiative. You can read more about it [here] and contact him at the below numbers:

Office Phone: +961 1 389404
Mobile: +961 3 293222
e-mail: person Ziad Abichaker)
Address: Cedar Eco-Industrial Park, Abou Mizane, Bickfaya – Lebanon.

Here’s the full list that is being shared online:

Continue reading

NAFTTEE: A Lebanese Solution To Transform Trash Into Eco-Electricity

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NAFTTEE stands for “National Advanced Formula for the Transformation of Trash into Eco-Electricity” and is a registered trademark by Indevco whose CEO is Nehmat Frem. The project emerged after the last garbage crisis that hit Lebanon but has been there for quite some time . NAFTTEE “provides a green solution for waste treatment and channel the latter into a decentralized generation of eco-electricity”, so it basically sorts and converts trash into electricity. This is exactly what we need in this country, yet our dear government is still looking for new landfill locations and more innovative and corrupt ways to pollute the country.

I don’t have a lot of information on NAFTTEE but maybe municipalities and big cities should consider investing in it to reduce waste and generate electricity. Is it possible for them to do it without coming back to the authorities? Was NAFTTEE implemented anywhere in Lebanon already? Does anyone know anything about it?

PS: I know for a fact NAFTTEE has been implemented in the state of Pennsylvania for several years now.


In Pictures: Hundreds Demonstrate In Beirut, Garbage Collection To Resume Today

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lil via Liliane Assaf

Around 1000 Lebanese demonstrated in front the Grand Serail in Beirut against corruption and the current garbage situation. I grouped some of the pictures and shared them here. Meanwhile, the government stated yesterday that garbage collection will resume on Saturday night after a temporary solution was reached to replace Naameh with other landfills whose location was not specified. I think we will soon find out where new locations are once locals start blocking roads like Naameh residents did.

Of course “temporary” is the solution to almost every crisis in Lebanon and it won’t take long before the temporary becomes final just like what happened with Naameh. Moreover, the government is still not considering recycling which is quite pathetic to say the least but again that’s not an excuse for municipalities and Lebanese not to start recycling and reduce waste.

ra4 via Ralph Aoun

ra3 via Ralph Aoun

ra via Ralph Aoun

lil (3) via Liliane Assaf

lil (2) via Liliane Assaf




Five Ways To Reduce Waste Until The Garbage Crisis Is Over

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The Naameh landfill is still closed, Sukleen stopped working, garbage is invading our streets and some idiots have started burning trash not knowing that it’s very dangerous for their health and the environment. The government failed today to reach a decision which is not surprising because the solutions offered are not feasible and Minister Mashnouq should have thought of a contingency plan before reaching this stage.

Everyone is blaming the government for the garbage crisis but I will not waste my time pointing fingers because 1) our officials are all useless and 2) we don’t need more waste. Of course tweeting and nagging online about garbage is also sort of useless, but what we can do is spread awareness and help people take action by reducing waste and not make things worse.

To begin with, I advise everyone NOT to burn trash and REPORT anyone who does that to the police because it adds to air pollution, create an unpleasant smell especially when burning plastic, rubber or painted material and can produce a range of poisonous compounds. Moreover, fire can spread to buildings and trees and damage public properties. Yesterday, several Ogero units got damaged because of these fires and Beirut’s Fire Departments stated that it “doused more 140 fires set on dumpsters across Beirut since Monday”.

How to reduce waste?

I know Lebanese will not start recycling all of a sudden but there are ways to reduce waste, so please read them carefully and try to apply them as of tomorrow morning.

1- Bring home less stuff, Buy only what you need and buy in bulk
Next time you head to the supermarket, think about what you need and how you plan to use it before you buy. Avoid buying unnecessary products or stuff that you know you will end up throwing away. Avoid individually wrapped items and buy in bulk the items (preferably recyclable) that you use regularly to save money and reduce waste.

2- Stop ordering food:
I know this will upset many restaurants but avoid ordering food for now. Cook your own meal, prepare your own sandwiches or ask your mother to cook for you. You will end pleasing your mom, eating healthier food and reducing waste.

3- Use clothes instead of paper towels in the kitchen, go paperless at work:
Whenever you’re cooking in the kitchen or cleaning, avoid using paper towels and use instead cloth rags. As for work, try to reduce the amount of papers you’re printing and use every side of a notebook. Reduce the amount of unwanted mail you get and choose to have your statements and bills sent to you by email.

4- Avoid plastic cups, bottles and bags.
You’d be surprised by how many plastic cups you throw away every day. Get your own mug to work and avoid using plastic cups. Also whenever you are shopping for stuff, try to buy a recyclable bag and avoid using plastic grocery bags. It won’t cost you a thing and some supermarkets offer them for free. As far as water is concerned, try to buy reusable water bottles instead of the plastic ones you throw away.

5- Give away or sell the stuff you don’t need
Don’t just throw stuff in the garbage. Check to see if anyone is interested in buying things you don’t need and seek NGOs and organizations that collect trash and recyclable stuff. I will post on all the companies that recycle in Lebanon to help you out.

The above steps don’t require a government decision but individual efforts from each and every one of us. I will start implementing these tips and I hope you do the same to help reduce waste, encourage recycling and protect the environment and Lebanon for the generations to come. Recycling can be achievable and I’m asking around to see how we can help municipalities start recycling the soonest.

Update: Here are the companies in Lebanon that recycle with all the information you need. Please make good use of this list and share it with all your friends.

Most of you are already familiar with Ziad Abi Chaker’s Cedar Environmental Initiative. You can read more about it [here] and contact him at the below numbers:

Office Phone: +961 1 389404
Mobile: +961 3 293222
e-mail: person Ziad Abichaker)
Address: Cedar Eco-Industrial Park, Abou Mizane, Bickfaya – Lebanon.

Here’s the full list that is being shared online:

Continue reading

Support DSC Lebanon To Eliminate Blood Shortage In Lebanon!

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People rush to Donner Sang Compter when they need blood for a friend or relative but they seem to forget that such a service comes with a financial tag. Donner Sang Compter is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that links volunteer donors to patients in need of blood since 2010. DSC was able to recruit more than 15,000 blood donors, 250+ committed volunteers and was able to save more 50,000 lives in the past 5 years, which is quite remarkable!

DSC introduced the mobile blood bank in 2014, a bus equipped with world-class technologies and specialized in receiving people who want to donate blood. The bus teams up with a medical team from one of Lebanon’s hospitals and goes around different areas, universities and companies to encourage people to donate in a safe, healthy, confidential and comfortable way. That way, hospitals meet their blood demands until it is their turn again to take the bus.

dsc bank

The bus that DSC is using is old and needs a lot of rehabilitation from the inside such as new donation chairs, new equipment, maintenance, electricity, lighting and other stuff. For this purpose, Donner Sang Compter are crowdfunding the renovation of the mobile blood bank to organize more drives and eliminate blood shortage in hospitals!

DSC are in need of $30,000 and they’ve collected so far $5000. They still have 32 days left to crowdfund the remaining amount and need everyone’s support. If you can’t support with money, share the news on all social media networks and reach out to your friends and family for help. If you know any organizations or corporations that are willing to donate the whole amount or donate a bus, please let me know and I will hook them up with Donner Sang Compter.

DSC is one of the very few NGOs in Lebanon that’s doing things right and making a change. They are always there when we need them so let’s show some support this time and make this happen!

Spread the message and donate as little as 5$ to make a difference!

[Donate] here.


Lebanese Young Entrepreneur Ziad Sankari Recognized By US President Barack Obama

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I met Ziad Sankari back in 2012 as we were both speakers at TedxLAU. I remember very well sitting right next to Ziad and asking him about CardioDiagnostics as it was a brilliant idea and by far the most interesting talk we had that day. Ziad has been relentlessly working on his idea since then and his efforts finally paid off as he got invited to the White House two days ago as one of the emerging young entrepreneurs from around the world. Ziad Sankari’s work was recognized by US President Barack Obama who introduced Ziad to the whole world (Yup you heard me right!) and explained how CardioDiagnostics, a heart monitoring technology, “is improving the way we respond to cardiac attack incidents which will have enormous ramifications not just in places like Lebanon but potentially all around the world”.

Being recognized by the US president is a huge deal as it provides a unique opportunity to attract investors and I am positive that Ziad will go very far with his idea and I wish him the best of luck!

Check out Obama’s speech [here].


If you are still wondering who is Ziad and what’s CardioDiagnostics, here’s the full story:

Ziad Sankari started CardioDiagnostics in 2012. Ziad lost his father to a heart attack when he was seventeen and his family lacked access to proper healthcare. He decided to pursue his studies in understanding the electrical activity of the heart and how monitoring and analyzing that activity can save lives. Today, the company uses FDA-approved wearable devices that are 24/7 GPS-enabled heart rate monitors allowing for heart monitoring centers to communicate diagnostic and preventive information to patients in the United States, where the center has over 40 employees, and in Lebanon. In 2008, Ziad attended Ohio State University on a U.S. Fulbright scholarship. After returning to Lebanon, he was selected to pitch his idea at the 2011 Global Innovation through Science and Technology’s (GIST) Tech-I competition where he won first place. Through GIST, a U.S. Department of State funded initiative, Ziad received his first round of seed funding and traveled through various U.S. cities to expand his network, learn how to negotiate, and connect with mentors. Given his experiences, Ziad sees education as essential to successful entrepreneurship and to combat rising issues of poverty and extremism. He hopes to support other startups and build a high-performing educational system in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East that leverages U.S. expertise and connections to open a world of opportunities to younger generations. [Source]

Make sure to check out [CardioDiagnostics] for more info.

Here’s an interview with Ziad before the White House meeting:


Finally A Modern Hospital In Keserwan! The Keserwan Medical Center, An AUBMC Affiliate, Opening Soon

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KMC phase1

Even though Keserwan is one of the most populated districts in Lebanon, the hospitals there are all average or below average when compared to the ones in Beirut. I’ve been to most of them and they are all old and badly equipped, not to mention that some of them are dirty. I remember posting once about the unfortunate ski accident that killed Melanie Freiha and how the nearest hospital to Lebanon’s most popular ski resorts is 30 minutes away and is not prepared to welcome all sorts of injuries. Of course the hospital is not to blame here as the concerned ministries and the authorities should have considered long time ago opening emergency centers in popular touristic spots and ski resorts.

Having said that, it looks like the wait is over as the Keserwan Medical Center will soon be opening in Kfarhbab, Keserwan. KMC will be a major academic affiliate of AUB Medical Center in the North and will allow AUBMC to cater to a different segment of the Lebanese population in the mountains and north of Lebanon. What’s great about this hospital is that it’s located on the highway and easily accessible, and of course that it’s modern, will provide state-of-the-art medical care to patients and most importantly healthcare delivery in the area. Speaking of AUB MC, the AUB faculty of Medicine was recently ranked no.1 among university medical facilities in the Arab world, according to the 2015 QS Rankigns by Subject.

I passed by the KMC 3 months ago and a couple of buildings were already completed. I was told that it’s already open but not officially but I can’t confirm that. A friend of mine told me that the hospital should be fully operational very soon. If you have further info on KMC, please do share.

Here’s a small brief I found online and few pictures taken from SY Architects:

The center is located in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Lebanon, with an amazing sea view and rapid access from the main highway in Jounieh. The individual buildings of the Medical Center are designed according to the latest international scientific standards, with the purpose of providing both efficient and safe care. K.M.C Hospital architecture creates a comfortable space for nursing and treatment, thus contributing to a patient’s positive mental attitude, in an atmosphere of a healing environment, for spaces designed can affect both the physiological well-being of the patient.




Radioactive Sanitary Towels Seized At The Beirut Airport

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That’s just crazy stuff! More than half a ton of sanitary towels containing a radioactive substance were seized today at the Beirut Rafic Hariri Airport. The pads confiscated were all Chinese-made and delivered to Lebanon through Dubai. The news were reported by Reuters but they didn’t mention what level of radioactivity had been detected.

I think this is far worse than expired or rotten products and I hope the authorities will be able to trace back the source and see if any radioactive products are being sold in the market. We need to know the name of the company and who the hell is sending half a ton of radioactive sanitary towels to our market. On another note, this is the first time I hear about the Lebanese Atomic Energy Agency. I had no clue we had such a thing in Lebanon so I looked up a bit and found a website and the below info:

The Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission (LAEC) was established in 1996 with the support and collaboration of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Arabic Atomic Energy Commission, in order to promote the peaceful application of atomic energy in Lebanon. The Commission is the only institution of its kind within the CNRS. Recently through its operational arm a radiation protection infrastructure is being established. The Commission is currently involved in environmental and food monitoring programmes using state of the art equipment and techniques.