Beirut Ranked 41st In World Hotels Prices Index

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Based on an index compiled by Bloomberg, Beirut is in the 41st rank worldwide in terms of hotel prices. The average cost of a hotel room in Beirut is $173 as opposed to $273 for Dubai in second spot and $253 for Kuwait in the third spot. Other Arab cities that ranked in the top 20 include Doha in 13th spot and Riyadh in 18th spot.

If you look at the 5-star hotels in Beirut, it’s hard to find a room for less than 230$ but we have a lot of hotels in Beirut and Lebanon as a whole, so the average price per hotel room makes sense.

Check out the full article [Here] and the full list [Here].

Ellie Goulding Live At Biel On July 23

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10347244_10152039960067353_4911695336932501571_n via MixFM

I think I kept listening to “Lights” for a whole month once it came out and I still listen to it every now and then. I also like “Burn” and “I Know You Care” and of course “I Need your love” with Calvin Harris.

I am glad MIX FM are bringing her to Beirut as the lineup of foreign artists coming this summer to Lebanon kinda sucks. So far I am seriously considering going to Ellie Goulding and Stromae.

You can get tickets for Goulding [Here].

[YouTube]

Youssef Nassar’s The Exhibition Banned In Lebanon

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The General Security has apparently banned The Exhibition by Youssef Nassar, which is a short movie that was showing at the Cabriolet Film Festival in Beirut. The reason is that there are topless Lebanese girls in the 10 minutes long movie.

Here’s what Youssef said:

Just came back from Vienna, what a beautiful city, the culture, the people, it’s just so perfect. Well here I am back in Beirut, I turn my cellphone on, loads of messages about the screening of Cabriolet Festival tonight at Gemmayze. Well, apparently the General Security in Lebanon banned my film to be screened in Lebanon for good. I’m glad The Cabriolet team is being supportive in that matter. It’s 2014 already.. time for a change I guess

I will never understand how censorship works in Lebanon to be honest. So what if there are topless girls or some nudity scenes? Do you really think the American series all the Lebanese watch don’t include nudity and sex scenes? Make the movie suitable for those above 18 and give the people the choice to watch whatever they want!

Real Names of Lebanese Celebrities

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I stumbled upon this article today and was surprised by the real names of some Lebanese artists.

Here are the names listed in the article:

Sabah: Janet Feghali
Assi el Hellani: Mohammad el Hellani
Yara: Karla Berkachi
Melhem Zein: Melhem el Toufayli
Zein El Omr: Tony Hadchity
Elissa: Elissar Khoury
Fairouz: Nohad Haddad
Wael Kfoury: Michel Kfoury (Michel is cooler than Wael)
Walid Toufic: Walid Tutunji
Wadih el Safi: Wadih Francis
Hani el Omari: Toni Dani Maghamess (Drastic change!)
Alaa Zalzali: Ali Zalzali
Rami Ayyash: Rami Bou Ayyash

My 10 Favorite Burgers In Beirut

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WP_20140213_20_02_39_Pro The Raclette Brgr with Cheese fries at Brgrco

Since Burger Day was on May 28, I thought of sharing with you the list of burgers that I usually crave in Lebanon. The burgers were selected from restaurants, burger joints, diners and fast food chains that I’ve been to in the past years.

1- The Butcher’s Cut at Brgrco
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This 6 Oz Hussein Hadid signature burger is one of the best burgers I’ve had in Lebanon. I usually order it with mature English cheddar on top and cheese fries on the side.

2- Gourmet Burger at Eau de Vie – Phoenicia Hotel
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I wasn’t expecting to see a burger on Eau De Vie’s menu but their 50,000LL gourmet burger is quite amazing.

3- The Cheeseburger at Happy Prince – Mar Mikhail
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Happy Prince’s burger is a must-have and comes in limited quantities. Read my review [Here].

4- Swiss’N’Mushroom Burger at Classic Burger Joint
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Even though I find their burgers a bit bulky, the Swiss’N’Mushroom is a great burger and my favorite at CBJ.

5- Fit’N’Burger At Roadster Diner
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The Fit’N’Burger was introduced as part of Roadster’s light menu and is a great burger. It contains grilled patty, rocket leaves, grilled onions, grilled tomatoes, grilled fresh mushrooms and a Light Homestyle sauce. I couldn’t find a picture to be honest so I borrowed one from Roadster’s Facebook page.

6- Spiel Mozzarella Burger at Crepaway
e564b351dc4e6f95a54aac28d7ac8242 via Joelle

This has been Crepaway’s signature burger for years. It comes with a thick chunk of deep-fried mozzarella.

7- Shack Stack at Shake Shack
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The Shack Stack is a cheeseburger and a ‘shroom burger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShakeSauce. Get the awesome Shake Shack’s cheese fries as well.

8- Ferdi burger at Ferdinand – Hamra
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Meat patty, bacon and blueberry jam on top. Add to that a great bun and you have an awesome burger!

9- Cheese Burgers at McDonald’s
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I usually order them plain without the ketchup and onions and get McDonald’s BBQ sauce and dip them in it.

10- Big King XXL at Burger King
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That’s the only burger I have at Burger King.

I am sure there are other burgers that I should try but these are the ones that first came to my mind and that I’ve had quite a few times in the past years (Except the Eau De vie one). Of course I sometimes miss having these big bulky Lebanese burgers with coleslaw and fries but I can’t think of any decent snack that makes them these days. I remember a small place called Khoury Inn in Dekwaneh that made good Lebanese burgers but I am not sure if it’s still open.

Remembering Samir Kassir

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10365783_684103304960399_1330478599074067916_n By Mazen Kerbaj

Samir Kassir was assassinated on June 2, 2005, in Beirut, when a bomb placed under his car was detonated. The tragic death of this journalist and writer was one of many attempts to silence Lebanese free thinkers, put an end to the Independence Intifada, and prevent Beirut’s winds of liberty from spreading across the region. Samir Kassir, who wrote Beirut’s history, has therefore become a part of this history.

The model of intellectual renaissance embodied by Samir Kassir during his life and at the moment of his death, through his articles and academic research, has placed him at the avant-garde of Lebanese and Arab opinion leaders who have paid their life to fight tyranny and lead their country to freedom and independence. [Source]

Lebanon’s Polluted Rivers: There Are Over 700 Illegal Dump Sites Throughout Lebanon

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The studies conducted by the Beirut Arab University and the Lebanese University researchers have shown high concentration of heavy metals, residue from olive oil production, dangerous bacteria and other toxins being illegally dumped in the Hasbani River in South Lebanon and the Lower Litani River Basin.

Our sea is polluted, our rivers are polluted, our crops are watered with sewers, our cities are polluted and we’re setting forests on fire to replace them with polluting buildings and industries. It’s looking bad but it’s never too late to do something about it. Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk said he will develop a plan of action to prevent pollution in Qaraoun Lake and the Litani River Basin so let’s hope he does it ASAP.

Lebanon’s rivers are alarmingly polluted with untreated sewage and waste, posing health risks for consumers who use the water at home and for farmers who irrigate their crops with it, local scientists warned.

The latest findings, which confirm the results of a slew of research on river pollution over the past decade, come ahead of the government’s unveiling of a road map next week to fight the contamination of the Litani River Basin and Qaraoun Lake.

Two new studies by Beirut Arab University and Lebanese University researchers show high concentrations of heavy metals, residue from olive oil production, dangerous bacteria and other toxins – evidence of untreated waste and illegal dumping in the Hasbani River in South Lebanon and the Lower Litani River Basin. [Source]

Lebanese Sam Ghobril’s Mingle App for iPhone

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I read that the app reached the top of the productivity apps list on the App Store but that’s for the Lebanese App store of course. Nevertheless, Ghobril’s app “Mingle” has been performing quick well worldwide as you can see in the below screenshot. It reached the #4 rank in the productivity apps list in France and #5 in the UAE.

Moreover, Mingle has got some pretty cool reviews from Tech Crunch and Minimal Mac among others. Sarah Perez from TechCrunch described the app as “a cleaner and less sluggish type of contacts application”. I don’t know if I would make use of such an app but it’s definitely worth a try.

Sam is still in high school by the way which is pretty cool!

You can check out Sam’s [website] and download the app [Here].

Mingle was built from the ground up to make connecting with your contacts faster, easier, and more enjoyable in every way!

Some of Mingle’s greatest features:

Super fast & intuitive interface
Numerous actions to fit your every need, from Phone to Twitter to Fantastical interactions
Custom actions, where the possibilities are endless

list

PS: Thanks Mustapha for the Appannie tip.

A Seal of Quality and Origin for Lebanese Olive Oil

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Olives_Lebanon_pic_1 Picture Via GreenProphet

I rarely share press releases but this one is quite interesting and a major step forward for the Lebanese olive oil production. As you all know, Lebanon is renowned for its sprawling olive orchards yet hasn’t been doing well in the olive oil market mainly due to the high cost of production, its inadequate quality due to poor processing and of course the competition with cheaper non-Lebanese oils.

This being said, USAID and LIVCD (Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development) launched an initiative aimed at developing a seal to certify the quality and origin of Lebanese olive oil. The project “aims to increase the productivity of olive trees by simultaneously lowering costs, standardizing milling and storage processes and creating incentives for the market to support Lebanese olive oil”. The seal will benefit the Lebanese olive oil sector by facilitating producers’ access to markets, while building consumer trust in both the quality and origin of the oil purchased. The LIVCD and IMC are expected to finalize and distribute the seal to certify producers, millers and bottlers, restaurants, and hotels in the coming months.

Key actors in the olive oil sector in Lebanon gathered on May 29th, 2014 to launch an initiative to develop a seal to certify the quality and origin of Lebanese olive oil. The initiative is spearheaded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded
Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) project in cooperation with the Mediterranean Institute of Certification (IMC). The event brought together seventy olive oil producers, mill owners, bottlers, exporters, and representatives from agricultural
cooperatives. The seal will benefit the Lebanese olive oil sector by facilitating producers’ access to markets, while building consumer trust in both the quality and origin of the oil purchased.

In her opening words, LIVCD Chief of Party Dr. Jane Gleason explained: “Lebanese olive oil producers are facing major challenges in selling their produce and accessing local and export markets because of competition with cheaper non-Lebanese oils. Much of Lebanese oil is of
inadequate quality due to poor processing. Lebanese consumers do not know for sure if they are buying oil of Lebanese origin, and if this oil is extra-virgin quality. The development and the promotion of the seal will open new opportunities for Lebanese olive oil and for
extra virgin olive oil processors across Lebanon. USAID and LIVCD hope to achieve these objectives, with support from private sector investors”