Category Archives: Lebanon

What Are These Girls Talking About?

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girl

Child marriage continues to be a serious problem in Lebanon and the Middle East. Girls are generally more impacted than boys as they are not physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. Child marriage is also quite prevalent among Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and families seek to marry their teenage girls for protection or economic reasons.

Raising the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 is a must but is unfortunately far fetched in Lebanon.

A Sneak Peek into Roadster Diner’s New Menu

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RD

Roadster Diner just launched a brand new menu and I was the first to try it out on Saturday at their new Hazmieh branch. The new menu rolls out on Thursday and will contain over 30 new (and revisited) items, out of which I tried around 20.

Just to give you a brief summary:
– There are four new appetizers, three new salads, three new sandwiches, seven new burgers, one new platter and one new pasta dish and nine new desserts!
– A lot of the old items were dropped, including the 220 burgers, the all-fit menu, the onion rings and others.
– The presentation of the dishes has drastically changed and fits RD’s new look.
– Pictures of the items were re-added to the new menu.

Since this was just a tasting session, I will go through the items I tried and give you my first impression. Let’s start with the appetizers:

The “Legendary” Starters

1- Loaded Fries: Fries and cheddar with a creamy mushroom gravy served with ranch dip on the side. You can’t really go wrong there!
Loaded

2- Chicken Gravy Melt: (Freshly baked whole-wheat baguette loaded with char-grilled chicken strips, covered in warm mushroom gravy and topped with our melted cheese): I enjoyed the mix but it’s a bulky dish. I would rather have separate crunchy toasts with that mix on top.
Chicken Gravy Melt

3- Blooming Shrimp (Seasoned char-grilled shrimp): I’d rather order them as an add-on to salads or platter. The blooming chili dip was good.

4- Ranch Chicken Rolls (Also known as egg-rolls): I’m not a big fan of egg rolls but they were okay. I wouldn’t mind sharing them with someone.
Ranch Chicken Rolls

Fresh Crisp Salads

1- Kale Caesar (The old Caesar Salad revisited with fresh avocado and Kale): If you like RD’s Caesar, it just got better and lighter.
Kale Caesar

2- Kale Chicken Wasabi (Char-grilled chicken tenders coated with a wasabi sesame seeds on a bed of crisp kale, sprinkled with crunchy peanuts, tangy cranberries and tossed with sesame balsamic dressing): This is my new favorite salad at Roadster. I loved it!
Kale Chicken Wasabi

3- Red Rocket Caprese (A colorful mix of market fresh lettuce, red rocket leaves, basil, avocado and cherry tomatoes, topped with char-grilled chicken tenders and fresh baby mozzarella, tossed with basil vinaigrette dressing): I didn’t try that one.

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#PekingParis2016: Team Lebanon is One Week Away From Making History!

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Charbel Habib and Walid Samaha just crossed borders to Poland with their 1964 Porsche 356 C after driving over 5000 KM across Russia.

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They are still holding the second spot in their category and holding a Gold medal which means that they did not miss any of the set time targets placed by the organizers.

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They’ve been facing a lot of issues with the car just like everyone else but Porsche Lebanon and the mechanics has been very supportive and things are going well so far. The co-pilot Walid has been working day and night to do the necessary repairs along the way, which has helped enormously in keeping the car going. Yesterday was a big day for the repairs and #TeamLebanon will have to drive for six more days before arriving in Paris and making history!

walid Walid Samaha

The pictures and videos that I am receiving from the team are simply stunning. This is truly an adventure of a life time!

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Beach Resorts Are Not Allowed to Ban House Keepers & Helpers from Swimming

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teaser_31 Source: France24

A friend of mine asked me a question the other day that was quite troubling: Are there any swimming pools in Lebanon that allow helpers or house keepers to swim?

The sad truth is that there aren’t any that I know of as that most beach resorts and private pools in Lebanon ban house keepers and nannies from swimming or getting anywhere near the pool. Their “pathetic” argument is that some clients are not comfortable with the idea of swimming next to a maid or even worse a “black person”.

Needless to say, this is a clear violation of human rights but the sad part is that the concerned ministries never bothered to look into these pool regulations. Few days ago, the Lebanese Ministry of Labor issued a statement warning private pool owners from such discriminatory practices and pledged to take the necessary actions but we all know it’s just cheap talk.

Every summer, it’s the same story and nothing is ever done. If the Labor minister or any other concerned minister are serious about their warning, I suggest they take their house keepers and helpers and confront these beach resorts face to face.

It’s a shame that we are even talking about this matter.

صدر عن وزارة العمل البيان التالي: “تبلغت دوائر وزارة العمل ان عددا من المسابح حظرت دخول العاملات في الخدمة المنزلية اليها، سواء كانوا مع العائلات التي يعملن لديها، او بصورة افرادية اثناء عطلتهن الاسبوعية.

ان وزارة العمل تعتبر قرار المسابح مس فاضح بحقوق الانسان، وهو ما تلفت الوزارة النظر الى خطورته، وستقوم باتخاذ الاجراءات القانونية الكفيلة بوضع حد لهذا الامر داعية اصحاب المسابح الى التراجع عن هذه التدابير اللاخلاقية واحترام حقوق الانسان ايا كانت جنسيته وهويته ولونه، محذرة بأنها ستتخذ الاجراءات المناسبة في حق كل من يتخلف عن ذلك.

ان وزارة العمل جادة في حماية العاملين والعاملات الاجانب المتواجدين على الاراضي اللبنانية بصورة قانونية، من منطلق تصميمها على احترام الوجه الانساني لهذه الشريحة، على قاعدة مكافحة كل اعمال الاتجار بالبشر ومكافحة التمييز بكل اوجهه لقناعتها بما التزمت به في شرعة حقوق الانسان والمواثيق والاتفاقيات الدولية ذات الصلة”.

A Bullet Resistant Kefiyyeh (Head Scarf) by Beirut-Based Architect Salim al-Kadi

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kefiyye

A Beirut-based architect has created a bullet resistant Kefiyyeh made out of “para-aramid synthetic fibre – otherwise known as Kevlar – which is used in body armor like bulletproof vests to help guard the wearer against ballistics and other weapons”. Al-Kadi’s scarf, the K29 Keffiyeh 001, was hand-embroidered by a woman living in Ain al-Hilweh and made its debut during Beirut Design Week.

I am not the expert here but if you get hit by a bullet, the scarf is not that thick to absorb the shock even if it’s bullet resistant so it might still kill you. In all cases, my guess is Kadi did it just for the fun of it and is not planning any production soon. It’s a pretty nice idea though and a fine execution.

PS: Let’s just hope terrorists won’t get inspired from that.

You can read more about it [here].

How Can We Find a Shelter For This Old Man in #Beirut?

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old man

The above picture was shared by Iman Kanaan yesterday with the below text:

Ok guys. I really need your support on this. I found this man on the street today in Beirut. He’s 84 years old and his son kicked him out of his house. He’s been on the street for three months now. He’s sleeping in the mosque at night. Seniors home, Dar el 3ajazi, refused to take him in because they need monthly payments. I can’t believe I’m seeing this in Beirut. I can’t believe what his son did and can’t believe that people passed him by for three months now …. [Full Text]

I can’t really confirm this old man’s story and based on previous experiences, things are always more complicated than they look. Nevertheless, this old man obviously needs help and at least 5 people asked me if I knew any homeless shelters in Beirut and I couldn’t think of any. That’s why I am asking you to kindly share names and contact information of NGOs or organization that take care of homeless people and/or provides them with a safe shelter.

There’s already an online fundraising campaign launched by Iman who has managed to move Jeddo Abdallah (the old man’s name) into a hotel for the weekend until they contact a shelter on Monday.

Abdallah A generous donor donated his hotel stay till Monday

I will share whatever information I get with all the readers as there are plenty of elderly people still living on the streets and in need of safe shelter.

Micky Chebli Cycling For Life: 4000 KM, 180 Hours of Cycling & Over $100K Raised

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Micky Chebli Photo Credits: Patrick Baz

Micky Chebli is a Lebanese financier, humanitarian and accomplished athlete. He decided this year to celebrate his 50th anniversary by embarking on a journey from Paris to Beirut on a bike in an attempt to raise $300,000 to help three NGOs, Les Petits Soleils, My School Pulse & Oum el Nour, and to serve as a role mode for his children.

Chebli kicked off his journey on May 26th from Paris and arrived in Lebanon on July 2nd. He managed to collect over $100,000 which will be distributed to the three NGOs, noting that he covered fully the costs of his adventure (travel expenses, technical support, equipment, gear, and campaign implementation).

mk1 “My Pain is temporarily, saving a child is forever.” Micky Chebli

This is quite an amazing achievement, one that will surely inspire his children years from now and help save children in need. We need more inspirational athletes like Micky Chebli in this country.

You can check out more details on [Beirut Marathon] and [CyclistOfLife]

Happiest Man in #Beirut

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A suited up old man sitting by the beach, listening to Oum Khaltoum, smoking his Ajami Arguile and not giving a damn what people think. It doesn’t get simpler than that yet sometimes the most simple things can bring the most happiness. He reminded me of the times I used to go to Byblos around sunset and just sit there, have a glass of wine or a beer and enjoy the view. I miss that!

Enjoy 🙂

Thanks Dyala!

It’s Summer Season: Authorities Move Landfills To The Beach

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lf1

Where’s the best place to set up a new landfill? Right on the beach of course. The Costabrava landfill was approved by the Lebanese government 3-4 months ago and residents of the area are literally suffocating from the smells. In fact, anyone who’s driving from Beirut towards Khalde will notice the horrible smells on the way. At some point, it’s even worse than the Karantina landfill.

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Residents of the area are already complaining and things will only get worse.

Here’s a report done back in April by GreenArea:
[YouTube]

And another more recent one by AJ+:

PS: Someone should tell AJ+ the first 2 pictures used are old and not from Costa Brava.