Category Archives: Information

Lebanon, Colombia And India Have The Most Public Holidays In The World

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public holidays

According to a survey of 64 major economies by human resources consulting firm Mercer LLC, Lebanon, Colombia And India have the most public holidays out of the countries studied, while Mexico has the least. I am pretty sure Lebanon should be on top of that list since we always get more days on certain holidays like Easter and Adha for example.

Check out the full infographic [here].

Lebanese Red Cross Najat App Officially Launched

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rc1

I posted about the “Najat” app back in January and it was finally launched today. The app was launched by Alfa as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and is aimed at helping the Lebanese Red Cross locate people who call them for emergencies and is called “Najat” after Najat Waked, a loving mother who passed away few days ago on her way to the hospital as her family wasn’t able to guide the ambulance driver properly to their house. Najat could have been saved if she had made it 3 minutes earlier to the hospital.

Once you download the app, you are required to register your address (two addresses at the most) along with two phone numbers in addition to his personal number. This will help the Lebanese Red Cross Central Operations room to locate the address easily when receiving a call on its hotline 140. Moreover, all the Red Cross ambulances were supposedly equipped on an earlier stage with free navigation systems and 3G enabled tablets.

This is a great initiative and a much-needed mobile app in a country where we barely have any street names. You can download it for [Android] and [iOS].

Najat App

The Latest Updates On Civil Marriage In Lebanon

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BBt736pCUAAAwZA

I was reading Dalal Mawad’s post earlier today and unfortunately the latest updates on civil marriage is that there are no updates, and the civil marriages that took place in Lebanon are still not approved by the Ministry of Interior. We have all shown our support to the civil marriage campaign a year back but despite Pr. Michel Sleiman’s request and the pressure exerted on the ministry, nothing has changed and it doesn’t look like anything will anytime soon.

I’ve said it back in January 2013 and repeat it now:

I still believe we are far from legitimizing civil marriage in Lebanon due to many obstacles, mainly the influence of religious authorities and the lack of officials (MPs/Ministers/Politicians) brave enough to take the initiative.

We need a long-term strategy that consists of doing little things but the strategy isn’t there and there aren’t enough people right now to come up with initiatives similar to what Ziad Baroud did years ago, by allowing us to strike off our sects from our ID cards. As for the civil marriage Facebook page that went viral for some time, it’s still getting updates but has a website that doesn’t work.

Here’s a reminder on the steps to follow to get a civil marriage in Lebanon:
– Go to a mayor and fill in a request to strike off your sect from your ID.
– Submit the form at the personal status directorate of your region
– Get a proof of address (إفادة سكن) for you and your spouse.
– Perform medical tests for you and your spouse and get witnesses for your wedding.
– Afterwards, you need to post a memo on your new house’s door stating that you are getting marriage in a civil way and asking people to contest the marriage if they have a valid reason. Once done, you can go sign your marriage contract at your notary public!

Keep in mind that unless the Ministry of Interior approves the wedding, your children will face legal issues as you are still not considered legally husband and wife.

Here’s a summarized list of steps on how to have a civil marriage in Lebanon:

Step1: Strike out the mention of both Kholoud’s and Nidal’s sects from their respective IDs to prove before the law that they are not affiliated with a sect that forces them to marry before a religious court. They thus acquired the right to hold a civil marriage as per Article 60 L.R.

Step2: Obtain a form signed by the mayor proving that there are no objections to their marriage and put the marriage announcement up on a billboard 15 days before the wedding date to make sure that there were no objections to it. The announcement was supposed to be published in the Official Gazette or at least two newspapers, but in order to prevent any hindrances, Kholoud and Nidal just posted the announcement on the doors of their parents’ houses and on the door of their own house.

Step3: Obtain a legal document signed by a notary public after both parties chose the articles included in the marriage contract as well as a financial disclosure that guarantees the rights of each party to the marriage.

Lebanese Artist Akram Zaatari Among ArtReview’s Top 100 Most Powerful Contemporary Artists in The World

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zaatari

Akram Zaatari is a Lebanese video artist and curator. He’s also the co-founder of The Arab Image Foundation who contains more than “600,000 historic images of daily life in the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora”, and is the one who discovered Hashem el Madani’s work and decided to partner with him and show Studio Shehrazade’s photographs to the whole world. I posted about Studio Shehrazade back in February and it’s one of the most amazing stories I’ve covered so far.

ArtReview, which is one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines, has placed Zaatari among the top 100 most powerful contemporary artists in the world. Check out the full list [Here].

Zaatari, whose work involves a self-reflective examination of photography and documentary, has been busier than ever these past 12 months. His use of archival research and history as both subject and material, with a deft nod to the longstanding political turmoil of the Middle East, has won him curatorial fans far beyond his base in Beirut. Besides 2014 shows at Salt, Istanbul, and the Power Plant, Toronto, he had a survey at Wiels, Brussels, centring on the artist’s recurring motif of the letter. Last November he had a well-received exhibition of photographs and multimedia installations at Thomas Dane, London. That show included the 38-minute film On Photography People and Modern Times (2010), which, in part, is a portrait of the Arab Image Foundation, an expanding collection of over 600,000 vernacular and studio photographs from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora, which the artist cofounded in 1997.

_73042140_akramzaatari,twentyeightnightsandapoem,2014 Madani and Zaatari

Thanks Rami!

Lebanese Rodolphe el-Khoury Named New Dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture

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Rolphoe

It seems I missed out on yet another achievement for a Lebanese abroad, as Rodolphe el Khoury was named the new dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture back in May 2014. El Khoury is born in Beirut and has taught at Harvard University, MIT, University of Hong Kong, Princeton University and Columbia University among others. [Source]

Having said that, we now have Lebanese heading the school of Architecture and Planning at MIT, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture and the University of Miami School of Architecture.

Thanks Rula!

Lebanon Tops The List of Countries By Net Migration Rate

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migration

The net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the overall level of population change and does not differentiate between economic migrants, refugees and other types of migrants. Of course it’s not surprising to see Lebanon on top given the number of Syrian refugees entering the country everyday.

In terms of other Arab countries, Qatar came second, followed by Jordan in fifth spot, then Bahrain and UAE in 9th and 10th respectively.

The list was posted on Wikipedia and was taken from the CIA website.

Thanks Oday

Beirut Bar Association Removed Fattouche’s Name From Its List, Pharaon To File A Lawsuit Against Him

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fatouch

According to LBCI, the Beirut Bar Association has removed the name of MP Nicolas Fattoush from the list of lawyers, while Al Jadeed reported that Pierre Michel Pharaon has filed a slander lawsuit against MP Nicolas Fattoush before the public prosecution. Fattouche did ask for it specially about violating the client-lawyer confidentiality during his press conference and by insulting an employee of the Justice Ministry as well.

I think it’s time he apologizes for what he did and admits he’s wrong, but I doubt that’s gonna happen.

Samir Kassab Is Also Lebanese And Is Still Missing In Syria

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samir-kassab

We all want the kidnapped Lebanese soldiers to be freed, and it is a matter of utmost importance, but we should give the same importance to any Lebanese kidnapped in Syria, whether they are soldiers, journalists, activists or just normal citizens. Samir Kassab is a Lebanese and the Lebanese authorities should free him the soonest possible, specially that there are no politics involved here.

It’s been a year already and no one knows where Samir is.

One year after Lebanese cameraman Samir Kassab was kidnapped, his family still wakes up each day hoping that their son, brother, and fiance will return to them. “Since then, we have no confirmed information regarding his situation,” Georges Kassab, Samir’s brother, told The Daily Star. “We heard from someone who said they saw him together with his crew – though nothing is sure.”

Kassab was kidnapped with his Sky News colleagues Ishak Moctar, a Mauritanian, and a Syrian driver whose family asked that his name not be printed, while working near Aleppo on assignment last October. [Link]