Category Archives: Lebanon

A Suggestion To Park Meter Lebanon

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20130619_121324

I spotted one of the Park Meter officer fining a car the other day and I bought from him a Park Meter prepaid card that you can use on machines. As I was giving him the money, he was complaining on how this car has been parked for more than 2 hours without a ticket and that its driver never showed up. Honestly speaking, I agree with the officer but I wonder why Park Meter doesn’t set up prepaid cards dispensers so that people can buy these cards when needed. Most of the time, people don’t have coins and supermarkets and small grocery stores get pissed when someone asks for coins.

Prepaid cards are currently sold at Libanpost offices currently or with Park Meter officers if you ever find them.

Lebanese Minister of Transportation Wants To Ban #UBER

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uber

Update2: Uber Beirut confirmed that these claims are not true and that business is running as usual.

Mustapha shared me with me this morning an article from Annahar stating that Uber will be banned in Lebanon after complaints by the taxi syndicate. Uber Beirut launched back in July and has been offering an excellent service at competitive prices. I personally used it at least 6 times so far and I have nothing to complain about.

As far as the ban is concerned, I honestly find it unfair and there are three things that I didn’t understand:

1- How are the Lebanese authorities going to ban Uber from all social media channels? How does that work?
2- Didn’t the ministry approve Uber’s business in Beirut before they launched? I don’t think they just launched the service here without any prior approval.
3- Can’t the ministry agree with Uber on using taxi drivers? or get its drivers a proper taxi license plate?

By the way I just checked the app and it’s working normally.

Update: Here’s a one-month old [article] about the same issue in the Daily Star. Thanks Elie!

Lebanon Wins Galactic Discovery Competition – MENA Region

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gala

My friends from Uf Chou Laziz just informed me that they won the international Land Rover Galactic Discovery Competition for the Middle East North Africa Region! The winning team members are Wajid El Hitti, Sam Nassif, Samah El Hakim and Nicola El Hakim and they won a 6 days wildlife travel adventure to Botswana in Africa in mid-2015. The video was shot in Lebanon of course.

Congrats guys and I hope you go to space one day!

[YouTube]

Beirut’s Municipality Has $800 Million In Surplus

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Hamad

Beirut’s mayor Bilal Hamad mentioned in an interview with Executive Magazine that the city has almost around $800 million in surplus and that they are spending money where it needs to be spent. Knowing that the interview focused on the mayor’s strategy to improve green spaces in 2015, it didn’t seem like a top priority for Hamad and I don’t expect to see any new parks next year in Beirut.

Here’s a summary of the interview highlighting the important points raised:

– Saint Joseph University agreed to repair the Mar Nicolas Garden in return of the strip of land granted for 99 years by the Beirut Municipality.
– Horsh Beirut won’t be open to the public before securing the services of a firm that can maintain, secure, manage and execute the master plan set for Horsh.
– There are still no plans to renovate the Hippodrome.
– There are plans for a park in Martyrs’ Square in downtown which includes an underground parking space that can fit up 1000+ cars.
Beirut is Amazing project is still pending and the execution drawings should be completed in 2015.
– The Fouad Boutros project is still pending awaiting the environmental impact assessment.
– Sidewalks and infrastructure will be renovated and repaired in Hamra, Sassine, Rmeil, Medawar, Karantina and Mar Mikhael before the end of year.
Beit Beirut should be open at the end of 2015. I wish I could believe that as I’ve been hearing the same thing year after year. Hamad said that this is costing the municipality $20 million dollars.

To be honest, I expected Beirut’s municipality to have better plans in regards to green spaces. If it’s money they are worried about, $800 million dollars in surplus is more than enough to consider opening a couple of parks here and there. Moreover, a good way to promote green spaces would be to force construction companies to build parks and maintain them for 10 or 15 years for every skyscraper they build. It’s a win-win situation for the municipality, Beirut residents and even the company in question CSR-wise.

PS: I wish Matt would have asked him about Beirut’s ugly Christmas tree.

Read the full interview [Here].

Remembering Gebran Tueni

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Gebran_12_12_2005_by_sdaouk Picture via sdaouk

Every year, we remember Gebran Tueni while Lebanon takes a step back in freedom and liberty. We need journalists like Gebran to influence the Lebanese youth and guide them in the right direction but unfortunately there aren’t any. We’ve lost la crème de la crème with Gebran Tueni and Samir Kassir and it doesn’t look like we will ever recover from this huge loss.

The only thing I can do through this blog and will keep on doing is remind people of what Gebran stood for and defended the most, that is freedom of speech. Keep in mind that freedom is ALWAYS more important than security and above all considerations. Keep this Benjamin Franklin quote in mind as well as it reflects the reality we are currently living in Lebanon:

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Don’t Mess With Lebanon’s Call Of Duty Clan

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leb cod2

I am a huge Call of Duty fan and I’ve been playing it for years offline and online on my PS3 and PS4 (Advanced Warfare). I never joined any teams online and just played random games but it’s good to hear that we have a highly active and impressive online COD Lebanese clan. They’ve reached 3 times Maximum level in Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops 2 and Ghosts and they are the only Lebanese clan to win platinum division clan wars.

They celebrated their fifth anniversary at Roadster and Sony World Lebanon handed them a couple of gifts. If you are interested in joining them, check their facebook page [Here].

I wish I had time to join their team but I can barely play two hours per week on my PS4 lately. I will stick to finishing COD Advanced Warfare campaign before the end of year.

wow

The Wall Street Journal Features Jbeil’s Christmas Tree

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byblos The 97-foot-high Christmas tree at the entrance to Byblos, Lebanon, north of Beirut, shown on Nov. 25. The tree is covered with 2,500 gold-colored iron leaves.

The Byblos Christmas tree was featured in the Wall Street Journal as part of Christmas trees from around the world, and not the most beautiful Christmas trees in the world. There’s no doubt though that the Byblos tree and decoration are gorgeous.

Check them out [here].

Originally posted by Glamroz

AC Milan Captain Franco Baresi In Beirut For The “Sports For Peace” Project

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baresi_beirut via @ACMIlan

Italian former captain Franco Baresi visited Beirut recently to kick off the “Sports For Peace” Project. I didn’t hear about it anywhere in the news here but I found this article in Italian that says that the initiative kicked off in March and that it reached almost 1450 Lebanese and Syrian aged between 6 and 17.

Franco Baresi was Italy’s captain in 1994 and is one of my old time favorite football defenders.

È stato inaugurato oggi a Beirut il Centro sportivo di Btekhnay restaurato dall’Alto Commissariato Onu per i Rifugiati alla presenza di Franco Baresi e di Rocco Giorgianni, segretario generale di Fondazione Milan. È stato raggiunto così un obiettivo fondamentale di Sports for Peace, il progetto avviato da Fondazione Milan nel marzo scorso e che ha coinvolto finora circa 1450 ragazzi e ragazze siriane e libanesi compresa tra i 6 e i 17 anni .

Baresi

Thanks Roy!