Category Archives: Tourism

Alexa Storm In Pictures From All Around Lebanon

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Defying the Storm – Picture taken by myself @LeNajib in Beirut

If you have pictures you wish to share, send them to najib@blogbaladi.com

531997_10152055091636421_588920677_nEhden – Picture via Ehden Facebook Page

1458670_10152055375956421_1327384878_n Ehden – Picture via Ehden Facebook Page

1499546_10152056233766421_1233725045_n Ehden – Picture via Ehden Facebook Page

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Kfardebian – Picture via Kfardebian Facebook Page

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Kfardebian – Picture via Kfardebian Facebook Page

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Kfardebian – Picture via Kfardebian Facebook Page

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Kfardebian – Picture via Kfardebian Facebook Page

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Tannourine – Picture via OTV

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Arsal- Picture via RobertMardini

1506028_10151917332407917_1070197600_nZahle – Picture via Zahle Facebook Page

Zahle Zahle – Picture via Zahle Facebook Page

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Dahr el Baydar – Picture via DailyStar

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Baalbeck – Picture via DailyStar

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Syrian Camps

Byblos To Join The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Network

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Picture taken by myself: @LeNajib

By joining this network, The city of Byblos will receive the below:

1- Membership in a new network. 100 Resilient Cities is creating the 100 Resilient Cities Network, which will provide support to member cities, share new knowledge and resilience best practices and foster new connections and partnerships.
2- Support to hire or fund a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO). The creation of this innovative new role will help ensure resilience building and coordination is the specific responsibility of one person in a city government. The CROs will also oversee the development of a resilience plan for the city and be part of a learning network of other CROs as representatives to the 100 Resilient Cities Network.
3- Support to create a resilience plan that reflects each city’s distinct needs.
4- An innovative platform to provide tools and resources for implementation of the plan focused on four areas: innovative finance, innovative technology, infrastructure and land use, and community and social resilience from partners such as Swiss Re, Palantir, the American Institute of Architects, Architecture for Humanity, and the World Bank.

If you want to read more about The Rockefeller Foundation, click [Here].

The Rockefeller Foundation today announces the first 33 cities selected to join the 100 Resilient Cities network. The cities were selected from nearly 400 applicants across six continents. In applying for the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge cities were required to submit their visions, needs and plans to build resilience in a way that connects government, the private sector and civil society, and specifically addresses the needs of their poor and vulnerable citizens. The announcement of the selected cities will be made during The Rockefeller Foundation’s third annual Innovation Forum titled, “Building Resilient Cities.”

The other cities selected:
Alameda, California, USA
Medellin, Colombia
Berkeley, California, USA
Mexico City, Mexico
Ramallah, Palestine
Boulder, Colorado, USA
Porto-Alegre, Brazil
Dakar, Senegal
El Paso, Texas, USA
Quito, Ecuador
Durban, South Africa
Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bangkok, Thailand
Los Angeles, California, USA
Bristol, UK
Da Nang, Vietnam
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Glasgow, UK
Mandalay, Myanmar
New York City, New York, USA
Rome, Italy
Semarang, Indonesia
Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Surat, India
Oakland, California, USA
Veije, Denmark
Christchurch, New Zealand
San Francisco, California, USA
Ashkelon, Israel
Melbourne, Australia

Mir Amin Palace Hotel: A Perfect Getaway

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The Chouf is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful areas in Lebanon. It boasts the biggest Cedars forest in Lebanon, historical palaces built by the Emirs of Lebanon, most notably the magnificent Beiteddine palace, as well as beautiful old Lebanese houses, monasteries and attractions. It’s the perfect getaway from the city, the noise and the pollution and the Mir Amin Palace Hotel is the ideal place to stay when you’re planning a weekend in the Chouf.

The Mir Amin Palace was once a residence of the last Emirs of Lebanon back in the 19th century, and has been restored and turned into a splendid five-star hotel overlooking the Chouf Mountains. I went there to spend the weekend in September and I was completely blown away by the beauty of this palace, its historic courtyards, its room and suites, its spacious terraces and its great food and ambiance.

It’s really hard to describe in words how awesome this place is, so I will let pictures speak for themselves and add small captions below them.

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The road from the highway to Mir Amin Palace is well paved and surrounded by trees and forests.

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Entrance road to the Mir Amin Palace Hotel

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Entrance to the Mir Amin Palace Hotel

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After you check in, you step out to see this beautiful terrace

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Mir Amin Palace’s spacious rooms decorated with antique beds and furniture

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Walk around the palace and check its beautiful courtyards

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An Arabic lounge outside the hotel’s suites

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Hall Arcades

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What was once the residence of a Lebanese Emir

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View of the Palace from the pool

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Beautiful pool and a breath-taking view

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The Outdoor terrace

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Great Lebanese food

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and entertainment

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Overlooking the Chouf mountains

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Sunset

Overlooking the spectacular mountain valley view’s to the sun kissed terraces and the shimmering Mediterranean below, Mir Amin Palace Hotel Beiteddine Lebanon welcomes you to experience a tangible sense of history escaping from life’s stresses in the city.

This is exactly what this hotel offers its guests and more. It’s a great escape during the summer and I can’t wait to spend a weekend there during the winter with all the snowy mountains around us.

You can check out more details on the hotel’s [website].

Zahlé First Arab City to be designated as a UNESCO Creative City

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[YouTube]

Zahlé joined the network in the gastronomy category.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Brazzaville (Republic of Congo), Zahlé (Lebanon), Kraków (Poland) and Fabriano (Italy) as new members of its network of “creative hubs” promoting socio-economic and cultural development worldwide through creative industries.

Brazzaville, designated “City of Music”, is the first African member of the Creative Cities Network, which was launched by UNESCO in 2004 to develop international cooperation among cities that have recognized creativity as a driver for sustainable development.

Zahlé, Kraków and Fabriano join the Network in the categories of Gastronomy, Literature, Crafts and Folks Arts, respectively. [UN]

Here we go again: Beirut Among The 28 Official Finalists For The New7Wonders Cities

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I hope we will not go through this experience again and waste money over this scam. Jeita already lost in the N7W and 10 million dollars were wasted. In case you forget about this competition, here’s why N7W was a bad idea and still is today and here’s a study to back this claim.

Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders, announces the names of the 28 Official Finalists in the New7Wonders Cities campaign on 21 October 2013 in Zurich, Switzerland. They are, in alphabetical order:

Athens, Greece
Bangkok, Thailand
Barcelona, Spain
Beirut, Lebanon
Casablanca, Marocco
Chicago, USA
Doha, Qatar
Durban, South Africa
Havana, Cuba
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Istanbul, Turkey
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kyoto, Japan
La Paz, Bolivia
London, United Kingdom
Mendoza, Argentina
Mexico City, Mexico
Mumbai, India
Perth, Australia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Prague, Czech Republic
Quito, Ecuador
Reykjavik, Iceland
St. Petersburg, Russia
Seoul, South Korea
Shenzhen, China
Vancouver, Canada
Vigan, Philippines

CNN Travel: Beirut Among the World’s Top Cities

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Downtown Beirut by Michaelallangrant, on Flickr

Condé Nast Traveler announced the winners of its 26th annual Readers’ Choice Awards two days ago and Beirut made it as one of the World’s best cities. It’s quite surprising to be honest to see Beirut on that list, specially after the past two years we had and the ongoing Syrian war. Let’s hope things will get better in Lebanon this year so we could improve on that ranking.

You can check out the full list [Here].

World’s best cities

The “Top 25 Cities in the World” list had refreshingly surprising additions and rankings — Paris came in at a lowly 22 while Bruges and Cape Town tied for 11th place.

Budapest and Florence tied for second, while the very top spot was seized by the colonial city of San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico, which took the crown from last year’s favorite of Charleston, South Carolina (which was tied for fifth this year).

Italy snapped up five of the top 25 cities, while Spain managed to take three.

Despite its slide in the global rankings, Charleston was still voted the top city in the United States for the third year in a row, for its “sand, sun, history, good food and friendly people.”

via Gino

The World’s Second Biggest Cross in Kobayat

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Kobayat, a Lebanese town located north of Lebanon, is set to inaugurate the world’s second biggest cross and Lebanon’s biggest cross on the 26th of October. The cross is 40 meters long and 20 meters wide and was made in Romania.

That means that Lebanon now has the largest cross and the second biggest cross in the world. I am not a big fan of these records but if it helps the town attract further religious tourists, then it’s a smart move. Speaking of records, we also have the biggest rosary in the world in Deir el Ahmar.

There are plenty of beautiful sites and monasteries to visit in Kobayat for those interested. If you don’t know much about this town, check out my previous posts:

Kobayat’s Wonderland
Trip To Kobayat [Part1] [Part2]
Graneroverde – Kobayat

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via Lebanonfiles

Beirut is perpetually partying or at war

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Picture taken Larrysc

I was out partying at The Gärten by Uberhaus in Beirut yesterday and I felt disconnected from everything happening in Lebanon. People there were relaxed, having a great time and enjoying the awesome music.

Conflict or couture? Either Lebanon is a terrorist-infested, war-ridden hell, or the Paris of the East. This article falls into a tradition of western coverage of Lebanon that reduces the country to a clash between barbarism and western-style liberalism, attempting to create a causal link between the two and ultimately failing to grasp the deep history and many layers of complexity in contemporary Lebanon.

Beirut is a labyrinthine web of religions, cultures, political parties and socio-economic strata, all of which are the result of centuries of various dominations, geopolitical struggles and socioeconomic crises. Anyone attempting to write about Beirutis’ reality today must understand and explain this context. [Full Article]