Category Archives: News

16 Lebanese Army Soldiers Released By Al Nusra Front, 9 Are Still ISIS Captives

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nusra4 Via Al Jazeera

Sixteen Lebanese soldiers were released today by Al-Nusra Front after a year and a half in captivity. The soldiers were freed in exchange for 13 prisoners and 5 women, including Saja al Duleimi, Baghdadi’s ex wife. Earlier today, The body of slain soldier Mohammed Hamieh was handed over to the Lebanese authorities. Nine soldiers are still being held by ISIS.

I wish we didn’t have to negotiate with terrorists to free our soldiers but what matters right now is that these soldiers are back to their families. Moreover, the Lebanese authorities should work on releasing the remaining 9 soldiers and take the necessary precautions to avoid future abductions in Arsal and its outskirts.

What these families went through was unbearable and unacceptable. I’m very happy that their wait is finally over and I hope that the fate of all the disappeared and missing people in Lebanon be clarified once and for all, especially those who went missing during the Civil war and are in Syrian prisons.


Will Lebanon Shutdown Its Airspace Or Not?

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Update: All flights will take off on time today but might take longer than usual, few airlines cancelled scheduled trips to Beirut.

Lebanon received an official memo from the Russian navy asking to shut down its airspace for the next couple of days but Transportation Minister Ghazi Zeaiter stated that Lebanese authorities have refused so far the request. MEA also assured that all its flights will take off at scheduled times on Saturday and that some flights might take longer than expected due to a change of routes.

Nothing is clear yet but Lebanon’s air traffic will probably experience some disruptions over the next three days due to the Russian military drills in the Mediterranean Sea.

Bringing air traffic to and from Beirut’s airport to a complete halt is disastrous to say the least, and we should refuse this request at all cost. I guess Putin can wait a bit longer before sending all these terrorists to God ๐Ÿ™‚

Beirut Hunger Strikers’ First Dish Is Mloukhieh

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I’m glad that the protesters have finally decided to stop their hunger strike. Their decision to go on an open-ended hunger strike was a brave one but badly timed in my opinion as it is a dangerous protest tactic that can result in death and should only be used as a last resort. They did prove however that the Environment Minister couldn’t care less about their lives (and our lives). In all cases, I’m glad all of them resume eating normally.

To end this post on a positive note, a woman called Jeanne D’arc Tarazian who lives in Dora overheard one of the hunger strikers say during the press conference that he woke up one day dreaming of a hot Mloukhieh dish, so she prepared a whole pot and headed to Martyrs Square asking for Hassan to serve him the Mloukhieh. How awesome is that ๐Ÿ™‚


Eleven protesters who have been on hunger strike for two weeks to urge the environment minister to resign declared that they would resume eating as a result of “pressure” from from police and other activists.

In a news conference Thursday from their protest site in Downtown Beirut, Waref Sleiman, the group’s spokesperson, said police told him after his detention one day earlier that he would only be released if he and the others end their hunger strike. He added that their deteriorating health conditions also influenced their decision. [DailyStar]

How Beirut River Looks Like These Days (Wel Kheir La 2eddem)

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maytham garbage via Maytham

If you are still wondering where all this garbage is going nowadays, go to the Beirut River and see what’s happening there. It took us years to get rid of the Karantina garbage mountain (technically it’s still there) yet we managed to build a new one within 3 weeks. The smell is already unbearable there and is becoming even worse as trash is piling up everyday. I wonder if the Beirut River Crocodile has decided to move out or not yet.

For those of you who still don’t know how our politicians got us into this mess, check out this great piece by [Matt Nash].


trash1 Picture by Greg Demarque for Executive Magazine


#ABCLebanon Has Signed A Zero Waste Act And Is Now Recycling

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I passed by ABC Achrafieh last week and noticed that they had kicked off a recycling campaign and replaced their old bins with new ones that separate recyclable from non-recyclable items. Moreover, I learned that ABC Lebanon signed a Zero Waste Act, which is an initiative aimed “at minimizing solid waste haphazard disposal and diverting the waste stream away from landfills”. ABC is expected to reduce waste by 80% in all its malls. Needless to say, businesses should have started recycling long time ago in Lebanon but it’s better late than never. I’m glad that ABC took this initiative and started recycling and I hope others malls and businesses will follow-suit and join the cycle.

It is worth noting that the Lebanese population has generated more than 2,040,000 tons of solid waste in 2014 . This is not the first environmentally friendly initiative ABC has taken this year as they turned they installed the largest private photovoltaic plant in Lebanon on ABCโ€™s rooftop two months ago.

We should all join the cycle! We should all recycle!

PS: I proudly took part in their online campaign and I’m willing to take part in any campaign that supports recycling.


AUB Serial Cat Killer Finally Identified

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I just got confirmation this morning that the guy who has been killing kitten at AUB has been identified and questioned by the AUB protection office. Based on what I’ve heard, the guy confessed that it was him and AUB has forbidden him from entering the campus and will be placing posters around campus just like the one below.

Now the sad news is that the Lebanese Police couldn’t arrest the guy apparently because there are no laws in Lebanon regarding animal cruelty/murder especially when the animals are not someone’s property. I couldn’t confirm yet that part but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Overall, it’s good that the guy was finally caught but something needs to be done before he starts killing elsewhere or maybe starts killing people. If he’s mentally ill, he needs to be submitted to a hospital and if he’s killing for fun, he needs to be put behind bars.

aub killer

Thanks Miriam!

Quote Of The Day: Assir Finally Lives Up To His Name …

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2012-07-04T143757Z_01_LBN01_RTRIDSP_3_LEBANON via Washington Post

Terrorist Ahmad al Assir was finally arrested today after more than two years on the run. He was caught flying to Cairo and using a fake Palestinian passport. A photo is being circulated online showing Assir without a beard but I can’t really confirm it. The good news is that he was arrested finally and is going to jail where he belongs.

Let’s just hope he won’t be “saved” by some politician like other terrorists were before.


Quote by Mustapha from BeirutSpring

Nobel Winner Malala Opens School For Syrian Refugees In Lebanon On Her 18th Bday

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malala via NPR

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist and the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was in Lebanon on her 18th birthday to open a school for Syrian refugee girls. The school was inaugurated in the Bekaa close to the Syrian borders and will welcome up to 200 girls aged between 14 and 18.

Here’s what she said during her visit:

“I am honored to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria. I am here on behalf of the 28 million children who are kept from the classroom because of armed conflict. Their courage and dedication to continue their schooling in difficult conditions inspires people around the world and it is our duty to stand by them,” Malala said. “On this day, I have a message for the leaders of this country, this region and the world โ€” you are failing the Syrian people, especially Syria’s children. This is a heartbreaking tragedy โ€” the world’s worst refugee crisis in decades.”

It’s great to see Malala visit Lebanon and I hope we will see more schools open for Syrian refugees in order to keep them away from the streets and the hands of terrorists. Only few days ago, I posted about Fares the little Syrian boy who used to sell flowers in Hamra and died in Syria and I got a couple of comments telling me that he didn’t die from an airstrike but he was a suicide bomber for Da’esh. I can’t confirm the story yet but it only proves that these children are the real victims of war and that they are being brainwashed and exploited by political and religious groups, which is why we need to keep them in schools and give them the proper education.

#EcoFriendlyABC: The Largest Private Photovoltaic Plant In Lebanon On ABC Achrafieh’s Rooftop

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ABC Achrafieh, the most beautiful mall in Beirut, is turning into the most eco-friendly one by installing the largest private photovoltaic plant in Lebanon on ABC’s rooftop. The installation will cover up to 4,000 m2 and will provide a capacity of 0.45 MW that is enough to power ABC department store, the equivalent of feeding up to 500 houses. By doing so, ABC will reduce its need for electricity and secure free renewable energy for up to 20 years. I love the initiative and I hope others malls will follow-suit in implementing eco-friendly solutions.

What is Photovolatic system?

A photovoltaic system (photo means light and voltaic means voltage), uses photovoltaic (solar) cells to directly convert the energy of light into electricity. This system is mainly used to reduce the need for electricity and replace the traditional polluting power generation options. While the initial cost of setting up such a system may prove to be high, even though it’s been decreasing year after year, “the operational costs associated with the conventional fuel mix (coal, oil, nuclear, natural gas) used for generating electricity are not substantially less than the โ€œfullโ€ costs associated with photovoltaic systems and, in many cases, exceed the costs of PVs”. More importantly, there are hidden costs to using conventional energy sources such as damaging the environment and increasing pollution that are crucial and need to be taken into consideration. [Read More]

That’s why more and more companies and corporations worldwide are investing in renewable energies as such solutions will pay off on the long run financially and environmentally. Speaking of smart eco-friendly solutions in Lebanon, The Beirut River Solar Snake is a similar project to ABC’s plant and consists of a photovoltaic farm set on top of Beirut’s river and aimed at generating 1.08 MWp to light up around 1000 houses. I’m not sure though if the farm is already operational or not, but we definitely need more government-drive initiatives such as the BRSS.

Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made up of at least 2 semi-conductor layers. One layer containing a positive charge, the other a negative charge. Sunlight consists of little particles of solar energy called photons. As a PV cell is exposed to this sunlight, many of the photons are reflected, pass right through, or absorbed by the solar cell.

When enough photons are absorbed by the negative layer of the photovoltaic cell, electrons are freed from the negative semiconductor material. Due to the manufacturing process of the positive layer, these freed electrons naturally migrate to the positive layer creating a voltage differential, similar to a household battery.

When the 2 layers are connected to an external load, the electrons flow through the circuit creating electricity. Each individual solar energy cell produces only 1-2 watts. To increase power output, cells are combined in a weather-tight package called a solar module. These modules (from one to several thousand) are then wired up in serial and/or parallel with one another, into whatโ€™s called a solar array, to create the desired voltage and amperage output required by the given project. [Source]


I was able to visit the roof last week before anyone else and took a couple of pictures that I’m sharing here. The official reveal will take place tonight at ABC so see you all there!

Photo 8-04-2015 6 49 35 pm Here’s another shot showing ABC from the top taken by Joseph Saba