Category Archives: Information

World Cup 2014 Giveaway: Win 1 Of 2 Twelve Sports Watches For Your Favorite Team

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I unfortunately missed the launch of Twelve Watch in Lebanon which was on the same day as the Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico. It was the perfect occasion to gather football fans and launch the brand which is aimed at football fans mainly. In fact, Twelve represents the “Twelfth man” in a football-game which is of course the fans, and their watch collection is inspired by the jersey/country flags of football teams.

The people behind Twelve were kind enough to send me a Germany watch, which I found to be cool and original. The designs are nicely made, the watch doesn’t look cheap at all, is equipped with Ronda Caliber 505 and 515 and Swiss-made movements and is priced reasonably at $130.

You can check the whole Twelve Watch collection [Here].


Knowing that the World Cup is in a couple of days, I asked Twelve if they’d like to give away a couple of watches to the blog’s readers and they were more than happy to do so. So if you are into Football and want a watch for your favorite team, here’s your chance to win 1 of 2 Twelve watches.

All you need to do is answer these questions correctly:
- Which German Player is set to miss the World Cup after injuring himself in a friendly 3 days ago?
- What is the name of the World Cup Football stadium located located on the former site of the Vivaldão stadium in Manaus, Brazil?
- What is the nationality of the “sorcerer” that is claiming responsibility for Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury?

Please make sure you mention the team you support in the World Cup after writing down the answers.

I will announce the two lucky winners tomorrow morning.

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.

Official Exams Must Be Held On Thursday

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I don’t know what’s wrong with the Syndicate Coordination Committee but they are obviously not thinking straight and need to step down once and for all. I am sure that they have righteous demands even though I am against approving the new wage scale that they are proposing, but delaying official exams is a very bad move and affects the students first and foremost.

I fully support the Education Minister in keeping the exams on time and holding them with or without the SCC’s collaboration. If SCC’s argument is that standards must be followed in holding official exams, there are also standards to be followed in protesting. Speaking of official exams, maybe it’s a good idea to let a private company oversee them because we all know how things go during the Brevet and Baccalaureate exams.

The Syndicate Coordination Committee warned on Sunday Education Minister Elias Bou Saab against holding official exams without teachers and proper monitors, renewing its call on parliament to approve the new wage scale draft-law.

But the minister hit back later in the day, announcing that “there is a very high probability that the official exams will be held on Thursday.” He stressed that “no one intends to strip them (the exams) of the official nature in order to privatize them.”

“It is only for the education ministry to decide whether or not to hold the official exams,” Bou Saab underlined. Earlier, the SCC said during a press conference: “If parliament does not approve the new wage scale draft-law on Tuesday, then the official exams will not be held on Thursday.”

Parliament is scheduled to convene on Tuesday to address the draft-law amid concerns that lack of quorum will prevent the session from being held. The SCC added: “There are standards that should be adopted in holding official exams. [Naharnet]”

Lebanese Environment Minister Mohamad Machnouk Condemns Fencing Of Raouche’s Coast

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machnouk Source

As mentioned a month ago, there are plans to turn the Dalieh area near Raouche Rock to a private luxury marine, and fences have already been set up to prevent civilians from coming in.

Let’s hope the minister’s remark will incite the government and concerned parties to stop this project once and for all because it doesn’t look like anyone’s listening to those who have been protesting for weeks.

Via BeirutReport

Lebanon Among The World’s 10 Unhappiest Countries

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Iraq, Iran and Egypt are the unhappiest countries in the world according to a Gallup report. Lebanon ranks 10th.

Gallup measured negative emotions in 138 countries in 2013 by asking people whether they experienced a lot of anger, stress, sadness, physical pain and worry the previous day. Gallup compiles the “yes” results into a Negative Experience Index score for each country. The higher the score, the more pervasive negative emotions are in a country.

Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in each country, aged 15 and older, conducted in 2013 in 138 countries and areas. For results based on the total global sample, the margin of sampling error is less than ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. For results based on country-level samples, the margin of error ranges from a low of ±2.1 to a high of ±5.3. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Real Names of Lebanese Celebrities

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I stumbled upon this article today and was surprised by the real names of some Lebanese artists.

Here are the names listed in the article:

Sabah: Janet Feghali
Assi el Hellani: Mohammad el Hellani
Yara: Karla Berkachi
Melhem Zein: Melhem el Toufayli
Zein El Omr: Tony Hadchity
Elissa: Elissar Khoury
Fairouz: Nohad Haddad
Wael Kfoury: Michel Kfoury (Michel is cooler than Wael)
Walid Toufic: Walid Tutunji
Wadih el Safi: Wadih Francis
Hani el Omari: Toni Dani Maghamess (Drastic change!)
Alaa Zalzali: Ali Zalzali
Rami Ayyash: Rami Bou Ayyash

Lebanon’s Polluted Rivers: There Are Over 700 Illegal Dump Sites Throughout Lebanon

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The studies conducted by the Beirut Arab University and the Lebanese University researchers have shown high concentration of heavy metals, residue from olive oil production, dangerous bacteria and other toxins being illegally dumped in the Hasbani River in South Lebanon and the Lower Litani River Basin.

Our sea is polluted, our rivers are polluted, our crops are watered with sewers, our cities are polluted and we’re setting forests on fire to replace them with polluting buildings and industries. It’s looking bad but it’s never too late to do something about it. Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk said he will develop a plan of action to prevent pollution in Qaraoun Lake and the Litani River Basin so let’s hope he does it ASAP.

Lebanon’s rivers are alarmingly polluted with untreated sewage and waste, posing health risks for consumers who use the water at home and for farmers who irrigate their crops with it, local scientists warned.

The latest findings, which confirm the results of a slew of research on river pollution over the past decade, come ahead of the government’s unveiling of a road map next week to fight the contamination of the Litani River Basin and Qaraoun Lake.

Two new studies by Beirut Arab University and Lebanese University researchers show high concentrations of heavy metals, residue from olive oil production, dangerous bacteria and other toxins – evidence of untreated waste and illegal dumping in the Hasbani River in South Lebanon and the Lower Litani River Basin. [Source]

A Seal of Quality and Origin for Lebanese Olive Oil

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Olives_Lebanon_pic_1 Picture Via GreenProphet

I rarely share press releases but this one is quite interesting and a major step forward for the Lebanese olive oil production. As you all know, Lebanon is renowned for its sprawling olive orchards yet hasn’t been doing well in the olive oil market mainly due to the high cost of production, its inadequate quality due to poor processing and of course the competition with cheaper non-Lebanese oils.

This being said, USAID and LIVCD (Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development) launched an initiative aimed at developing a seal to certify the quality and origin of Lebanese olive oil. The project “aims to increase the productivity of olive trees by simultaneously lowering costs, standardizing milling and storage processes and creating incentives for the market to support Lebanese olive oil”. The seal will benefit the Lebanese olive oil sector by facilitating producers’ access to markets, while building consumer trust in both the quality and origin of the oil purchased. The LIVCD and IMC are expected to finalize and distribute the seal to certify producers, millers and bottlers, restaurants, and hotels in the coming months.

Key actors in the olive oil sector in Lebanon gathered on May 29th, 2014 to launch an initiative to develop a seal to certify the quality and origin of Lebanese olive oil. The initiative is spearheaded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded
Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) project in cooperation with the Mediterranean Institute of Certification (IMC). The event brought together seventy olive oil producers, mill owners, bottlers, exporters, and representatives from agricultural
cooperatives. The seal will benefit the Lebanese olive oil sector by facilitating producers’ access to markets, while building consumer trust in both the quality and origin of the oil purchased.

In her opening words, LIVCD Chief of Party Dr. Jane Gleason explained: “Lebanese olive oil producers are facing major challenges in selling their produce and accessing local and export markets because of competition with cheaper non-Lebanese oils. Much of Lebanese oil is of
inadequate quality due to poor processing. Lebanese consumers do not know for sure if they are buying oil of Lebanese origin, and if this oil is extra-virgin quality. The development and the promotion of the seal will open new opportunities for Lebanese olive oil and for
extra virgin olive oil processors across Lebanon. USAID and LIVCD hope to achieve these objectives, with support from private sector investors”

New 3G/4G Plans Go Into Effect Today

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photo (1) My wife’s 3G plan got upgraded from 750MB to 1.5GB

If you are an Alfa or Touch user and your cycle ended yesterday, then your 3G/4G plans were updated as of today. Otherwise, you will have to wait till your cycle ends and not July 1st to get the new plan. That’s too bad as I’ve exceeded my quota by some 400MB this month and still have to wait till June 8th. As for the DSL rates, they will go into effect on July 1st.

If you haven’t heard about the new DSL & 3G rates introduced a couple of weeks back by the Telecom Ministry, check them out [Here].