Most of you have probably heard about “Beit Beirut” or the Barakat building in Beirut, but only few know the woman who worked for years to save this iconic building and prevent Beirut’s municipality from destroying it. This amazing woman is called Mona el Hallak and she was just awarded a French medal of honor–the “Ordre National du Merite” by the French Ambassador in Beirut. Mona is an architect and an activist who has worked tirelessly to save Beit Beirut which will be turned into a museum, with help from French institutions. Mona began to campaign after she saw workers destroying parts of the house, she reached out to the media at first, then to politicians then to the Beirut governor Nicolas Saba at the time who froze the demolition process. She got Minister of Culture Fawzi Hobeish to suspend the demolition as well, tried to locate buyers for the buildings, compiled a file on the building and sent copies to architecture institutions around the world, made an appeal on the Cyberia website and spent years taking groups mostly foreigners to tour the site.
Once opened, Beit Beirut will be closest thing Lebanon has to a public war memorial, knowing that the house was a strategic spot for snipers during the 1975-1990 civil war. Fighter-built walls and other war traces will be kept and incorporated as part of the house.
I’ve been following up for years now on this project and the completion date has been changed twice already in 2013 and 2014. I have no idea why things are taking this long and I can only hope that it will be completed this year. In all cases, congrats to Mona and I hope her dream will come true very soon.
If you want to read Mona’s speech, check it out [here]. Check out as well this awesome read on Mona’s story with Beit Beirut.
The revamped Barakat building will connect to a new edifice built on an adjacent lot through a large spiral staircase, with both structures boasting state-of-the-art solar power systems. Just as the Lebanese themselves should be, says Haidar, the building will look firmly into the future while paying tribute to its past. “We are dealing with the building as if it is a war wounded that is starting to heal again,” says Haidar. “These traces cannot be erased, they are like scars.” The museum will have an auditorium for lectures and workshops for young people on issues relating to memory, history and war- issues Haidar says have not been addressed at all in Lebanon.
PS: It seems Miss Israel photobombed Sally’s selfie by taking her own selfie. This calls for a new hashtag #Incelfie
I just noticed people have been tweeting all day at Miss Lebanon Sally Jreij because of a selfie that included her and Miss Israel. I looked a bit and found that Miss Lebanon’s manager issued a statement where she says that she was being harassed by Miss Israel and that Miss Israel photo bombed her picture. If this is really the case, then the organizers should have taken action and avoided this whole mess.
In all cases, I think the statement Sally is pretty clear and she should report the picture and have it removed if it’s going to cause her trouble. Until then, let’s focus on more serious issues we have in Lebanon, like the two Lebanese army soldiers that were injured after Israeli troops tossed smoke grenades in Aita el Shaab today.
Update: Here’s what Sally told her fans apparently:
“To all my supporters and Lebanese citizens, I would like to thank you indeed for your continuous support of Miss Lebanon at the Miss Universe contest …The truth behind the photo: Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me).
I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself; suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media. This is what happened and I hope to have your full support in the Miss Universe contest”
I have no idea who’s behind this campaign. I’m assuming it’s a new gym or health center or dietitian maybe. It could be a Jujuba ad lol!
Eurosport shared a video of the Top 5 ‘forgotten’ Ballon d’Or winners and among them was the legendary Lebanese Football player Georges Weah. Of course we all remember Weah’s amazing goals when he played with Nejmeh and his controversial move to Safa club before he was signed by AC Milan in 1995.
On a serious note, Georges Weah is originally from Liberia not Lebanon for those of you who don’t know him, and is one of the greatest players of all time. As for this year’s ballon d’or, it belonged to Manuel Neuer in my opinion.
I don’t know how I missed that video. It’s hilarious! Watch it [here]. In other funny news, Lebanon’s drug lords say they’re ready to join the fight against ISIS.
PS: There’s also another Pierre Hashash [video] but it’s not as funny as the first one.
Syrian boy died from the cold in a refugee camp in Lebanon
Thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are facing a merciless winter and children are dying of cold inside camps. Many refugees don’t have the adequate clothing for this freezing weather and some were seen wearing flip flops only. In order to contain this crisis, a lot of NGOs are launching initiatives to collect clothes and donations to keep the refugees warm.
Meanwhile, Myriam Klink also decided to show her solidarity with those poor children freezing to death by posing in a bikini in the snow, an idea inspired from the Ice Bucket challenge that trended few months back. Of course it all makes sense (at least in Klink’s mind) and I would propose that she uses the hashtag #StripForZenaWhilePoorKidsDie or #FreezeToDeathInABikini to help more kids freeze to death while she collects Instagram likes.
That’s definitely a smart idea to gain few extra bucks but it’s not safe at all. Maybe he should get one of those small automatic coffee machines.