Category Archives: Information

Arz Water

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arz

I spotted the new slogan on Facebook and I thought it was a new bottled mineral water brand but it looks like it’s been out for years. That’s pretty weird because I never spotted it in any supermarket. I’ve tried most of the brands we have in Lebanon and my favorite has always been Tannourine.

Two Lebanese-Australian Killed in The Malaysia Airline Crash in Ukraine

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crash

Update: According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two victims are Egyptian-Australian and not Lebanese.

Albert and Mary Rizk were on board of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down over Ukraine two days ago. 298 people were killed in the crash, including 100 of the world’s leading Aids experts who were flying to an international conference in Melbourne. Moreover, there were members of an Australian family on board who lost two other relatives when Flight 370 disappeared back in March.

Sincere condolences to all the families. It’s quite unbelievable that someone decided to shoot down a plane just like that and kill 300 innocent passengers. I really hope they catch whomever did this.

Two Lebanese nationals, holding the Australian citizenship, were among the 298 people on board the Malaysian jetliner that was shot down over Ukraine. According to Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5), Albert and Mary Rizk are among the victims who died along with dozens of others in the tragedy on Thursday. They live in Melbourne, Australia.

At a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines updated its nationality count of passengers, saying the plane carried 154 Dutch, 43 Malaysian – including the crew-, 27 Australian, 12 Indonesian, 9 British, 4 German, 5 Belgian, 3 Filipino and one person each from Canada and New Zealand. [Naharnet]

ISF Clarification Regarding The Highway Picture That Went Viral

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bike via YasaLebanon

I am sure you’ve all seen the above picture by now. As confirmed by the ISF, it is not a fake photo but a real one and there are reasons why the ISF motorist did not stop the young man.

Here’s what the ISF had to say about this incident:
- On 13/07/2014 one of the Baabda ISF motorists was on the Naameh highway, when a civilian started making stunts with his bike right next to him. The policeman ordered him to stop the stunts several times but the biker didn’t cooperate. That’s when the policeman tried to arrest him but the biker sped away and the policeman stayed behind for safety purposes.
- Necessary disciplinary measures were taken against the policeman.
- Baabda ISF branch is committed to the safety of the drivers and is constantly patrolling the “Costa Brava – Khaldeh” highway.

I think the policeman should have chased the young man or called for reinforcements, but I love the fact that the ISF actually investigated the matter and clarified the issue through its social media channels. I really hope they will keep on listening to what the people have to say and take actions, because that’s the only way to build (a much needed) trust between the police and the citizens.

isf

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab Asks Schools To Respect Religious Freedom

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This statement comes one month after the Sabis controversy and clearly states that Sabis School has to amend its regulations and cannot by law ban the display of religious symbols. Personally speaking, I’d rather see secular schools in Lebanon and I wish Lebanese students would learn to co-exist away from religious and political considerations. However, the problem with Sabis is that it made an exception for veils which doesn’t make sense coming from a secular school.

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab called on Lebanese educational institutions Thursday to respect freedom of expression and religious practice, a month after SABIS School announced new regulations banning crosses while allowing hijab.

“We call on… public and private schools…to adhere to the content of Articles 9 and 10 of the Lebanese Constitution,” Bou Saab’s statement said, “by not issuing any regulations, decisions or teachings that could violate the [students’] freedom of religion.” [DailyStar]

Meet Lebanon: An Iron Meteorite Found By NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

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pia18387_chemcam_lebanon

The massive iron meteorite is roughly two meters wide and might be the largest ever discovered on Mars. I have no idea why they called it Lebanon and whether it is related to our country or not. There’s a smaller piece that was found as well and dubbed “Lebanon B”.

It is worthy noting that the director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a Lebanese called Charles al-Achi. Check out [Here] other prominent Lebanese working for Nasa.

This rock encountered by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is an iron meteorite called “Lebanon,” similar in shape and luster to iron meteorites found on Mars by the previous generation of rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Lebanon is about 2 yards or 2 meters wide (left to right, from this angle). The smaller piece in the foreground is called “Lebanon B.” [Nasa]

Banned Anal Exam (Gay Test) Still Being Used By Police In Lebanon

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test of shame3

Even though this shameful “gay exam” was banned, some doctors are apparently still using it. I won’t bother explain against what happens during this exam because it’s outrageous, humiliating and is considered torture by the UN. Whomever this doctor is, he should be banned for life.

Lebanon needs to drop Article 534 once and for all and stop considering homosexuality a criminal offence in Lebanon. We need more than just exceptional rulings and banning anal exams.

Men suspected by authorities of being homosexual are still being anally “tested” in Lebanon despite a ban on the practice issued by health officials, it has been reported. Doctors from the Lebanese Order of Physicians have described the method of determining whether or not a man is gay as useless and akin to “torture”.

The test involves forcefully inserting an egg-shaped metal object into the rectum, which a 2012 Human Rights Watch report said “constitutes degrading and humiliating treatment” in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. According to the Lebanese Daily Star, however, a forensic doctor was hired in January by members of the police’s “Moral Protection Bureau” to determine the sexuality of five Lebanese and Syrian men accused of being gay. [Independent]

92% Of Lebanese Find It Unacceptable For The US To Monitor Communications Of Citizens

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surveillance

The American government has reportedly been monitoring communications, such as emails and phone calls, in the U.S and other countries. Pew conducted a survey asking people from around the world whether they find it acceptable or not for the US to monitor communications from citizens, American citizens, suspected terrorists and country leaders.

Here’s what the Lebanese had to say about that:
- 92% found is unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of Lebanese citizens.
- 76% found it acceptable for the American government to monitor communications of suspected terrorists.
- 77% found it unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of US citizens.
- 87% found it unacceptable for the American government to monitor communications of Lebanese leaders.

You can find other Pew polls [Here]. One interesting survey on the rise of Islamic Extremism in the Middle East revealed that 92% of Lebanese (the highest %) were very concerned about Islamic Extremism in their country.

Thanks Mark!

Lebanese Emilie Houwat Wins The First Edition Of ‘I am NatGeo Photographer’

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emiliehouwat via LorientLeJour

I Am a NatGeo Photographer is a reality show broadcasted on National Geographic Abu Dhabi. It features eight asipiring photographer from across the region competing in a series of challenges all over the UAE. “Their goal is to find that perfect photo until, in time-honoured reality-TV fashion, only one remains to be crowned the winner and see their work in the pages of the ­magazine”.

The first edition of this show has come to an end and it was a Lebanese photographer called Emilie Houwat who won. I haven’t seem the picture she took as I couldn’t find it anywhere, but I will update the post once I do.

Congrats to Emilie! You can check out her website [Here].