Category Archives: Lebanon

21 Stereotype-Exploding Facts About The Middle East, 5 From Lebanon

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It’s a fun read by BuzzFeed but the author apparently ran out of ideas towards the end.

Here are the facts where Lebanon is mentioned:

1. Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, and Morocco all have their own national beers.
2- Lebanese are obsessed with plastic surgery – 1.5 million surgeries per year in a country of only 4 million!
4- In Lebanon, you can ski in the morning and visit the beach in the afternoon. And take photos of the sights along the way.
19- One of the best-preserved Roman temples in the world is in Lebanon.
20- This is Lebanon…

U.N. Refugees Chief Antonio Guterres Warns Lebanon Could Collapse Under Syrian Refugees Burden

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Picture via UNHCR

Here’s a sum up of what United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour:
- Lebanon could collapse under the weight of the massive influx of Syrian refugees
- Without economic and financial support, and an increased effort to share the burden of Syrian refugees, “Lebanon [does] not [have] the possibility to go on with the present situation.
- Twenty-five percent of the Lebanese population today is Syrian.
- We have more Syrian students in Lebanese public schools than Lebanese students.
- Lebanon has serious problems with electricity and water, and largely because of this huge increase in population.
- The health system is totally overburdened, and the security implications of the Syrian crisis to Lebanon are absolutely dramatic.

This is old news to most of us Lebanese by now, and Lebanon is in need of a substantial help to cope with this humanitarian crisis. Aside from that, and instead of requesting to expel Syrian refugees or stop receiving them like some Lebanese officials have been doing for the past couple of years, the government needs to set up an emergency plan once and for all to cope with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and organize them into camps or proper settlements. This should have been done since day1 and even if things are out of control now, it’s never too late to have a plan and put an end to this chaotic situation because the Syrian war is not ending anytime soon.

Good News From Tripoli! KFC Opens Again ..

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Picture from TripoliLebanonNews

We haven’t heard good news from Tripoli for a long while now, but today KFC reopened its Tripoli branch after it got burned by demonstrators back in September 2012.

I know that’s not a big deal when compared to what’s happening there but at least few Tripoli residents will get to work there and benefit from this re-opening.

Thanks Mustapha!

Who’s Going To Be Lebanon’s Next President?

[YouTube]

I like the president-2014 campaign but I want whomever is behind this campaign to do more than just an online vote. They should try to organize debates between various presidential candidates, as well as start an online platform to connect citizens and members of the Lebanese online community with candidates and allow them to interact and ask questions. Special online forums and hangouts can be organized as well and reports could be taken out of these discussions to rate the candidates better.

They’ve already implemented a similar idea in Germany and it was a very successful experience, as it helps boost transparency and build a bridge between the people and the president, even if they are not the ones voting for a new one.

The Lebanese Labneh Scandal

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Joe Maalouf revealed last week during his show “7ki Jeliss” on LBCI that there are traces of Natamycin found in some Labneh products in Lebanon. These findings were based on laboratory test results conducted by UFAG, a well known lab based in Switzerland, and indicated that Dairy Khoury and Dairy Day milk products had traces of Natamycin, while Massabki Labneh had traces of sorbic acid. On the other hand, Candia and Taanayel didn’t show any traces of Natamycin or Sorbic acid.

Labneh

It didn’t take long before Dairy Khoury held a press conference and explained to the public that they are not doing anything wrong, but Health Minister Wael Abou Faour still referred the case to the General Prosecution and claimed that “adding Natamycin to Labneh is a violation of Lebanese standard specifications in the production of strained yogurt”. He continued saying that “there were no published studies on the public health effects of using Natamycin at the levels found in the labneh, particularly on children”.

I am no expert when it comes to such things, but based on what I’ve read, Natamycin is commonly used as a surface preservative for certain dairy products in Europe and the US, but should not exceed a certain amount. Having said that, the Health Ministry should redo the tests properly and make sure all Lebanese companies are respecting the standards set. Moreover, Maalouf should investigate not only the Labneh companies violating the law (If they truly are) but why the concerned ministry didn’t perform the necessary checks and approve of such products in the first place.