Category Archives: Information

How to make use of the St.Georges Cathedral Clock Tower?

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I had posted two days ago an update on the steeple and afterwards saw this nice report by LBCI on the controversy caused by the height of the clock tower when compared to Al Amine’s mosque minarets.

To be honest, those who are upset about the steeple’s height or are arguing on whether it should be as high as the minaret or not are showing a lot of short sightedness to say the least. We have tons of religious monuments in Beirut yet none of them is prepared to properly welcome tourists and this is wrong.

I’ve been to 4 or 5 European Capitals so far in my life and the old Churches and Cathedrals are key attractions here with kiosks, cafes and restaurants all around them, not Army Humvees and tanks.

The highest point in Berlin, the Fernsehturm or TV-Tower as seen from my hotel room – [@LeNajib]

I am currently in Berlin and one of the main attractions of the city is the TV-Tower, also known as the Fernsehturm, which attracts almost 1.2 million visitors every year. I waited on a Thursday for almost 3 hours for my turn to come, and then went up in an elevator almost 200 meters (in barely 15 seconds) and enjoyed a 360 degree view of Berlin.

I am not trying to compare both sites, but if someone had thought of making the steeple even higher and provided tourists with a chance to enjoy a 360 degree view of Beirut, instead of wasting time and money on making sure it doesn’t surpass the minaret’s height, then we would have had a point of reference for tourists in Beirut and a popular touristic site as well for foreigners and Lebanese.

Picture by Gino

Nemr Abou Nassar – LBCI Epic Fail

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That’s very disappointing to hear to say the least. I hope there’s a good explanation to what happened specially that LBCI is still for me the best TV in Lebanon.

As far as the event is concerned, I honestly haven’t heard about it until now, so I guess TV coverage did help in a way haha!

Mabrouk on the award Nemr!

Lebanese Immigrant Sami Samir Hassoun sentenced to 23 years in Chicago Bomb Plot

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The moment wannabe bomber tried to blow up Wrigley Field caught on video – via DailyMail

What was going on in this guy’s head to commit such an act? Luckily enough, he turned out to be a dumb terrorist (since nothing indicates that he was mentally unstable).

CHICAGO — A judge raised the specter of the Boston Marathon on Thursday as he sentenced a young Lebanese immigrant to 23 years in prison for placing a backpack he believed contained a powerful bomb along a bustling city street near the Chicago Cubs’ baseball stadium.

Everyone at Sami Samir Hassoun’s sentencing in a crowded courtroom in Chicago could not help but think of the bombs that went off a month ago concealed in backpacks on the East Coast, killing three people and wounding hundreds more, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman said.

Minutes before the sentence was announced, Hassoun, a 25-year-old one-time Chicago baker and candy-store worker, apologized for what he’d done in a five-minute statement. Crying, he asked the judge if he could address his family and friends, and then turned to look at them on a nearby bench. [HuffingtonPost]

It all makes sense now: He witnessed machete killings in Africa when he was young, so he decided to place a bomb in front of a pub and blow up half the city when he’s all grown up.

“I am sorry for the actions that I made and the shame I brought on you,” Hassoun said, struggling to keep his composure. “I promise I will become a better person … and make it up to you.”

The Beirut-born Hassoun blamed his actions in part on childhood trauma living in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. During civil strife there, Hassoun, then 11, witnessed machete killings from an apartment balcony, he wrote. [HuffingtonPost]

Meet 25-year-old Samir Hassoun

Remarks on the Fouad Boutros Project

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Check out this leaked video and the numerous remarks Raja Njeim, a member of the Association for the Preservation of Lebanese Heritage, gives about the Fouad Boutros Road.

There’s still a lot of ambiguity surrounding this project and whether it’s good or bad for Achrafieh, knowing that it was given the green light.

If what this man is saying is true, not only this project is harmful to Mar Mikhail and Achrafieh’s residents, but it will create a bigger problem and is practically useless.

I think it’s time Marcel Ghanem and Kalam Ennas dedicate an episode to debating the Fouad Boutros project and clarify this issue once and for all.

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Updated map of the Fouad Boutros project with added trees on both sides. via BeirutReport

Thanks Hany for the video

Update on the St.Georges Cathedral Clock Tower

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Picture taken in February 2012

I was asked by one of the blog’s readers if the steeple was done or not yet and I was able to get a one-week old picture shown below. As you can see, the steeple still needs few months to be completed and maybe more if they keep working at this slow rate.

I’ve always wondered about the reason behind building this steeple, and whether it was really to match Al Amine mosque’s minarets but I was never able to get a proper answer. I am also not sure whether it was Rafic Hariri who funded it or not. If the Church is funding this project, I think it would have been wiser to use the money and help the needy and poor.

Speaking of Al Amine mosque, and even though I find it beautiful, I never saw it fit with its surrounding and believe it should have been located somewhere else. Every time I look at it, I feel like someone rebuilt and restored Beirut in a certain way and then someone else just came and put the mosque there without looking around.

Most of Beirut’s religious structures (Churches, mosques) are well integrated with the surrounding buildings, except for Al Amine’s mosque.

Picture by Gino

Lebanon has the world’s second biggest rise in cigarette consumption per person in 20 years

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I think we will easily top that list if Shishas were also included not just cigarettes. Hopefully after seeing these statistics, the government and more specifically the Ministry of Tourism, will consider allocating more money to enhancing and implementing Law 174.

The simplest thing that can be done is raising the ridiculously low cigarette prices in Lebanon.

Together, China’s 1.3 billion citizens plough through more packets than anywhere else. The average Chinese person smoked 30% more in 2012 than in 1990, ranking the country 11th by consumption per head. Lebanon and Myanmar saw even more dramatic growth (though a shift from illicit to official sales somewhat distorts those trends). [Economist]

via Mustapha