Lebanon Only Recycles 6% Of Its Collected Waste

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Pictures from NowLebanon

We don’t do enough recycling in Lebanon. In fact, out of the 4,200 tons of wastes collected every day, a maximum of 6% is recycled in the 44 recycling bins available across the country, according to estimates from the Ministry of Environment. The rest is either buried underground or dumped into landfills like the Naameh one.

I honestly don’t know if Sukleen is required by contract to provide further recycling bins or increase the recylcing percentage, but what I know is that 6% is very low and that we have a serious problem that showed clearly after the Naameh landfill was closed for a couple of days. There’s a lack of awareness among the Lebanese but more importantly a lack of initiatives from the government.

There are so many ways to make use of all this garbage, mainly by converting it to energy and I am sure there are tons of companies who would be willing to do this job for us. If we can transform our garbage to electricity, we could partially resolve the constant electricity cuts and find a decent replacement for generators. Oslo in Norway ran out of trash for example and is seeking to import some to generate power for the city. Of course I am not comparing both countries but I am just saying there’s a huge potential from turning garbage to energy.


Speaking of recycling, Syrian artist and entrepreneur Wissam Muases has been turning Almaza bottles into large green glasses, wine bottles into dark brown ashtrays and 961 bottles into candle holders in his Furn el Chebbak house. Ziad Abi Chaker, founder of the Green Glass Recycling Initiative, has also been trying to “tackle Lebanon’s lack of recycling capacity by reviving the glass blowing artisanship”. Of course these are shy initiatives but it’s good to support them and spread awareness on the importance of recycling.

You can read the original article on [Now].

Atayeb Lebnen

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I got the above “Atayeb Lebnen” gift basket on Christmas and it included virgin olive oil, Zaatar (Thyme), Sumac and honey. Since I didn’t move yet to my new house, I kept the basket at my parents’ house as my mom likes to try out local produce even though most of the stuff I’ve been getting in the past couple of years from NGOs and charities were disappointing. Surprisingly though, she called me a week later telling me that the olive oil tasted great and that it’s the best Zaatar and Summac she’s tasted in a long while and even asked me to get her some more (That was a first!). I tasted the Zaatar and the olive oil and both were indeed excellent.

I looked up Atayeb Lebnen online and found their really nice website that sells local produce individually or in baskets. There’s Thyme (Zaatar Baladi), Sumac, Extra Virgin Oil, Pine nuts, Honey and Arak Baladi. The prices are reasonable and the Thyme, Sumac and Pine Nuts come in different quantities. There’s also a description next to every product on how it’s made and in which Lebanese village. Needless to say, everything is 100% Lebanese.

Joun is a village located in the Shouf. Every year in autumn, the women of the village prepare their mooneh and store it in preparation for a long cold winter. In fact, you can find in Joun some of the best mooneh produce in the country! And this is where our thyme comes from. Just like it is mixed to be eaten at home, or to be taken in the early morning to the bakery for the manakish, the thyme has a homey and a homemade feeling to it. Mixed with high quality roasted sesame and freshly ground sumac, it is sure to give your manakish a taste you’ve rarely had before!


The website offers a next day delivery for 6$ which is also a reasonable cost and you can either pay cash on delivery or using a credit card. Knowing that I love Arak, I ordered some Arak Baladi to see how good it tastes.

You can check out Atayeb Lebnen’s products [Here].

Beirut At Night

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I don’t know why this short movie brought back so many awesome memories of partying in Beirut. I remembered when I used to go to Rai, 37 degrees, Pacifico, Barracuda, Hole in the wall and other great places in Monot. I remembered when nightlife was booming in Beirut and Buddha Bar was the place to be. It also brought me back to Element at Sodeco and the amazing live concerts they used to project on a huge screen after midnight. I remembered how Gemmayze started with a couple of pubs and nights then became the hottest street in Beirut. Treesome, Barbu, Torino Express, Cactus, Myu, Kayan, Joe Peña’s, El Gardel and Alcazar are some of the pubs and nights where I spent countless hours drinking and dancing till dawn. I remember the nights at Kahwit el 2zez and how I used to park on Charles Malek’s avenue and walk all the way down (and then back up) the St Nicolas stairs. I also remembered the very late night stops at B018 and the endless snacks at Zaatar W Zeit, B2B back when it was still good (Picasso yum!) or McDonald’s for some little delicious plain cheese burgers, or some hotdogs outside Basement.

Many things have changed in Lebanon but Beirut’s nightlife is still the best.

Review: Her (2013)

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I just finished watching Her and I already feel like watching it once again. An outstanding movie, a brilliant concept and an odd yet captivating love story. “Her” makes you think about where we are today in terms of human interaction and relationships and where we might be going with all this progress in technology. It makes you wonder on the importance of technology in our everyday life and whether we should embrace it or not. It’s a strange love story between a man and an OS yet it feels at some points much deeper than many other real love stories in other movies.

I loved every single bit of it and I highly recommend it!

Video Showing The Suicide Bomber’s Kia Driving Around Dahieh

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We may be able to take few precautions against booby-trapped cars but there’s nothing we can do when it comes to suicide bombers. One thing that caught my attention though is that it seems as if the car got passed a security checkpoint on its way. If the Lebanese Army or ISF don’t have the proper tools to detect explosives, a good idea would be to have some kind of reader that verifies the plate number and tells if the car is stolen or not. Whether the plate number is fake or the car is stolen, matching it against some secure online database would do the trick. In fact, I wouldn’t be too worried about making that list public since all medias have access to it (don’t know me how) and don’t hesitate in posting who the car belongs to few minutes after every explosion.

Of course that’s not the ideal solution for preventing bombings but it would help detect stolen cars and cut down the chances of a potential attack.

Escape From Paradise: New Awesome Game From GameCooks

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After Birdy Nam Nam in 2011 and Run For Peace in 2012, Lebanon’s GameCooks just released a new puzzle/adventure packed game called “Escape From Paradise”.

I downloaded it few days ago and have been playing it almost daily. It’s a really fun and challenging game and there are always new obstacles to discover. The graphics are also pretty impressive and the game is very quick to load and browse. The only thing I didn’t appreciate is that it asks you if you want to skip levels every time you die two times in a row.

Escape from Paradise is made up of 5 themed worlds each consisting of 30 levels. I am almost done with Le Dezex world and about to unlock the third world.

Here are few useful links to download and try out the game:

Escape From Paradise

Lite version: 1 world – 30 levels

Full version: 5 worlds – 150 levels and access to premium character skins

Escape From Paradise