Category Archives: Lebanon

ISIS May Have Killed Peter (or Abdul-Rahman) Kassig

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Peter Kassig 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.”

Tasting The New Tarboosh Flavors: Hazelnut And Strawberry

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I finally managed to find the new Tarboosh flavors after looking at more than 5 supermarkets and small shops. Supermarket Achrafieh didn’t have them, O&C only had the strawberry flavor only, TSC Zouk Mosbeh didn’t have any but Charcutier Aoun in Jeita had both. In fact, I only found the strawberry one at first at Aoun but asked the guy who went and got me a box of hazelnut from the storage room.

I have no idea why it was so hard to find them but I wasn’t disappointed at all, specially with the Hazelnut one. In fact I didn’t like the strawberry mix that much and doubt that i’ll have it again, but the Hazelnut is spot on as it really tastes good! I like it almost as much as the original one now. Hazelnut mixes better with the original than the strawberry and its after-taste is also much better.

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Books not Boots: UK Embassy Donates $50 Million To Public Schools and Educational Projects In Lebanon

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Tom Fletcher

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.

kid 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

Beirut’s Rose House (La Maison Rose) Is Opening To The Public

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British Artist Tom Young will be showcasing his work and hosting a series of events at ‘La Maison Rose’ or ‘The Pink House’ from November 19 till the end of December. Young had already transformed the abandoned ‘Villa Paradiso’ in Gemmayzeh into an exhibition venue last year and decided to do the same with the Rose House after his two month artist residency there. The exhibition will showcase 40 paintings that evoke the dreamlike nature of the house, and the dramatic contrasts at play in Beirut. A film about the process which led to the exhibition will also be screened. This is the first time that the Rose House is open to the public.

I think everyone should go visit the Rose House and encourage Young’s initiative to put this old Lebanese house on the cultural map and host more cultural and art events there. We need to preserve our heritage and stop demolishing these old fantastic Beirut houses to make way for skyscrapers and commercial centers.

PS: The BeirutReport originally posted about that.

manara rose house

rose house

Overlooking the lighthouse in Manara, Ras Beirut is an iconic 19th Century mansion, often known as ‘La Maison Rose’ or ‘The Pink House’. In April 2014, British artist Tom Young knocked on the door of the building. Having successfully transformed the abandoned ‘Villa Paradiso’ in Gemmayzeh into an exhibition venue last year, he wondered: perhaps he could paint here, and maybe do an exhibition about it.
Since then he has been making a body of work which will culminate in a self-curated, on-site exhibition called “At The Rose House”, which opens on November 18th and runs until the end of December 2014.
The resident of the house, Fayza El Khazen, offered Young studio space in the mansion over the summer. Her family had lived there for 50 years. Young discovered that she was leaving her home in the coming months. There was a sense of urgency to capture the last days of the house in its present state.
Young wondered about the fate of the building, concerned it may be demolished to make way for another high rise tower. He believes that art and culture have a role to play in protecting heritage and giving it a new lease of life. This place could become a gem on the city’s cultural map. So he contacted the new owners, the Jaroudi family, to propose his idea to use the house as a venue for an exhibition. They gave him their blessing for the project.
Young is intrigued by the artistic history of the house: he learned about the house’s role as a social magnet for the city’s cultural tastemakers since the 1960’s. El Khazin’s late brother, Sami was a famous painter and architect. Part of the exhibition will feature an installation of Sami’s paintings, honouring him and the memory of the family. Young sees his project as a continuation of the creativity which has always flourished in the house.

[YouTube]

A Kim Kardashian Inspired Lebanese Campaign To (Try To) Break The Lebanese Government

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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?

Roadster Diner To Donate A Full Working Lab To The Health Ministry

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Roadster Diner has re-asserted its commitment to food safety and quality and has decided to donate a full working lab to the Ministry of Public Health to improve their capabilities. Of course this is a good move but I am honestly quite surprised that the full report hasn’t been issued yet by Minister Bou Faour. We know nothing about the nature of the violations, the standards applied etc …

Instead of announcing few names every now and then, he should do it all at once and follow up in a month and that’s it. If his results are scientific and prove wrongdoings we all want to see how and where. As for Roadster, and despite being ISO 22000 certified, I think they should release reports showing their chicken is safe from the same laboratories the government is using.

[YouTube]