Peter Kassig in Beirut
That’s just terrible news! I was really hoping that Peter Kassig would be released soon. I’ve been following up on Kassig’s story for quite some time and this man has done a tremendous job in helping refugees specially in Lebanon.
He came to Beirut in the spring of 2012 and decided to stay here and help out the Syrian refugees. He was only 24 when he founded the humanitarian group Sera (Special Emergency Response and Assistance), aimed at providing medical training, supplies and treatment in areas too difficult for other humanitarian organizations to operate in. He also changed his name from Peter to Abdul Rahman. I remember reading about Abdul Rahman on the Lebanese blog Hummusforthought who was a friend of his before he got captured in October 2013.
His humanitarian work made headlines all over the world, but it wasn’t enough for IS to free him. Here’s an excerpt from the letter he wrote to his parents while in captivity:
“I am obviously pretty scared to die…I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through,” Kassig wrote in the letter. “If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.”
Bar Tartine will be opening in the next couple of days somewhere near Mandaloun cafe in Dbayyeh if I am not mistaken. I love this place, specially the fresh morning baguettes and the desserts, and it perfectly makes sense for it to open in Dbayyeh as its only two branches are in ABC Achrafieh and Mar Mikhael.
Public schools in Lebanon can accommodate up to 300,000 students and there are 275,000 students expected to enroll in the 2014-2015 academic year. The remaining 25,000 are usually allocated to refugees however there are 400,000 Syrian refugees wishing to enroll in public schools next year, which means that the majority of Syrian children in Lebanon will be left out of school and with no education.
In order to help us cope with this catastrophic situation, British Ambassador Tom Fletcher announced during a tour of one of the public schools in Beirut’s suburbs that the UK is donating almost $50 million dollars for schools and related projects in Lebanon. This will help over 400 public schools accept further Syrian students and will allow every child in Lebanon to have a set of textbooks.
Education is the strongest weapon against terrorism and extremism and it is our responsibility to help out these vulnerable Syrian students.
This young Syrian boy never went to school. He fled his country when he was four, and enrolled in school in Lebanon as a kindergarten student last year. This year, he was not allowed to enroll in school. Even though he can’t read or write, while the rest of the children were drawing the cliché smiling suns and square houses, he chose to redraw words he saw on the walls around him. He drew from right to left, like Arabic, but it was the months of the year in English. Picture by Gino
No one’s breaking the Lebanese government and when we had the chance as Lebanese to say no, only few of us went down and got beaten up while trying to say no to the extension. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt for politicians to eat the crap we’re apparently eating everyday according to our Health Minister lol!
By the way and speaking of Kim Kardashian, let’s just keep in mind that her ugly plastic ass made the headlines around the world while the Rosetta mission was making history by landing on the surface of a comet. This is very similar to what’s happening in Lebanon lately, whereas we ignore important topics and get distracted by silly things or come up with silly things to promote noble causes but end up forgetting all about them (Just like that Ice Bucket Challenge).
This #Telhassotize reminded me of the “Strip for Jackie” campaign. Where is Jackie anyway?
Karen Shammas was competing in the Sambo competition and won a silver medal after beating Korea and Syria in the quarter and semi finals respectively. As for Nacif Elias, he won a bronze medal in Jiu Jitsu after winning 3 games out of 4. [Sports-961]
Nacif has won a silver medal for Lebanon as well at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon back in September.
Congrats to both athletes!
Joseph Safra is presumably the richest banker in the world and is the top ranked Lebanese in the world’s richest Arabs list.
The Safra Group bought the Gherkin for a bit over 1 Billion Dollars.
London’s Gherkin skyscraper has been sold to investment giant the Safra Group in a deal reportedly worth £726m. BBC News spoke to a consultancy firm ahead of the sale to gauge how much the capital’s iconic skyline might now be worth.
It is estimated that 10 of the buildings that make up the city’s world-renowned skyline could be worth more than £7.2bn ($11.4bn). [BBC]
I am sure you all saw the video of the Ethiopian housekeeper who tried to commit suicide in Salim Salam. Well the good news is that she did not die and is recovering at the hospital right now. Unfortunately though, we still don’t know why she decided to jump as her employer is denying the fact that he didn’t book an airline ticket for her to go back home.
As I mentioned earlier, this is all due to the Kafala system which should be dropped once and for all in Lebanon. Lebanese families should no longer be allowed to treat foreign workers as their slaves by confiscating their passports, refusing to pay them and keeping them in the house.
Once Berkotan recovers, she will go back home to her family.
Tens of female participants wore wedding dresses and ran the 10k to raise awareness on early and forced marriages in Lebanon. Here are some of the pictures that I found on Abaad’s Facebook page.
I am compiling pictures that I took today from the Beirut Marathon and will post them as soon as possible.
The Lebanese National Library is renovated and ready to open but it won’t unfortunately because the cabinet has yet to appoint an executive board and director.
Check out Habib’s comprehensive post on the National Library [here].
I don’t think we will have a new civil war in Lebanon and I strongly believe the Lebanese and the Army (Add to that the Lebanese Pot Farmers) will keep Da3esh away from here.
While the Islamic State and the Al Nusra Front lack the capacity for a full scale invasion, many fear their car bombings, kidnappings and beheadings might prove so destabilizing that the nation might once again spiral towards sectarian civil war.