The Beirut Report’s story featured on LBCI

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I believe you’ve all heard by now the story of the blogger who got assaulted for taking pictures of ruins at District S’s construction site in DownTown Beirut.

Well the story made it to LBCI News tonight and Habib was interviewed briefly on what happened with him. Added to that, he posted today a picture of what DistrictS was hiding.

Picture taken from the DailyStar

Preserving ruins is unfortunately a hopeless case in Lebanon.

Convicted terrorist deported to Lebanon after 26 years

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Picture taken from CTVNews

A convicted Palestinian terrorist named Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad, who once hijacked an airliner in Greece has been deported from Canada 26 years after he first arrived there. Though he is not a Lebanese citizen, Mohammad has “standing” in that country and had married a Lebanese woman, Kenney said. Lebanon agreed to allow him to return, but did not provide any assurances about his treatment, Kenney said, noting that it is “not a requirement.”

Why would we want him back in Lebanon if he’s a convicted terrorist? Funnily enough and as stated by the source, “the “endless appeals” were not what kept Mohammad in Canada. The fact that no country would take him made it difficult for Ottawa to deport him”. I hope they won’t count him as a Canadian tourist haha!

What’s even funnier is that the Canadian authorities who were working on deporting him for years took into consideration his health issues and sent him on a charter plane equipped with medical equipment, while the Lebanese authorities didn’t provide any assurances on the man’s health, noting and I quote that “it is not a requirement”.

Read the full story [Here].

Alfa Launches 4G network in Lebanon

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Prices proposed by Alfa: Is it me or are the new packages really expensive?

Alfa just launched the 4G officially and here are few details shared by Abir and from Alfa. Alfa is the 6th company to launch the 4G technology in the MENA region.

The 4G network will only support data at the moment to be followed by calls and SMS by end of June. I already tried to send an SMS this morning and it failed. The 4G coverage map is restricted to Beirut at the moment as shown below:

via @Alfa

The devices that work on the Alfa 4G network are:
1- Lumia 920
2- Galaxy S3 (that supports LTE)
3- Galaxy Note 2 (that supports LTE)
4- LG Optimus g
5- iPad mini

BB Z10 and Q10 are not currently supported and iPhones are pending licensing agreements. Sending SMS on #Alfa4G network is expected by end of June. Only the iPhone 5 model A1429 will be supported.

Timelapse of 30 Years of Human Impact on Earth

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You can zoom in to any spot on the planet and watch the same three-decade timelapse unroll. Try it [Here].

Since the 1970s, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey have been amassing satellite images of every inch of our planet as part of the Landsat program. Over time, the images reveal a record of change: of cities expanding, lakes and forests disappearing, new islands emerging from the sea off the coast of rising Middle East metropolises like Dubai.

Landsat images taken between 1984 and 2012 have been converted into a seamless, navigable animation built from millions of satellite photos. As Google wrote this morning on its blog: “We believe this is the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public.” [Link]

I took some screenshots of Lebanon and Beirut throughout the years.

Lebanon in 1984

Lebanon in 1994

Lebanon in 2000

Lebanon in 2012

The only major changes you can spot is in Beirut (Solidere) as you can see below. Otherwise, the green areas are shrinking.

Beirut 1984

Beirut 2000

Beirut 2012

Lebanese people do not queue

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(Photo courtesy of Joumana Haddad)

I always enjoy reading Joumana Haddad‘s articles. This one’s hilarious yet so true.

Lebanese people do not queue. This aversion to waiting patiently for their turn in anything, at any given time and place, is so common, so “natural” and innate, that you’d think it’s written somewhere in their genes: The Swedish are blond. The Chinese have slanted eyes. And the Lebanese don’t, won’t, can’t queue. It is a (para)scientific fact.

Every single day, I experience first-hand encounters with this phenomenon. Take yesterday for example. I was waiting in line for my turn at a payment desk in one of Beirut’s malls, and a guy suddenly appeared from nowhere, and headed directly to the cashier, completely ignoring my presence and that of three other women in front of me. Maybe we were invisible, because the stud didn’t even look our way. What’s worse is that the three ladies standing ahead in line were going to let him get away with it. But I wasn’t. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t: That’s the kind of things that are written in my genes. As soon as he stretched out his hand with the bill and credit card, I stepped forward and asked him to wait in line like the rest of us. He gave me one of those “you talkin’ to me?” looks, so I gave him the “you’re an asshole” look. When the cashier agreed with me, the de Niro aficionado had to surrender and go to the end of the line mumbling something about “crazy people.” What can I say? Guilty as charged.

Also yesterday, another similar scene in the evening at a hip restaurant in downtown Beirut. A guy (again) walks in, apparently without a reservation. When the hostess told him there is a half an hour wait for a table, his nerves (already pressured by his dire need to impress the 30-years-younger-than-him woman hanging at his arm) couldn’t handle it. He started screaming at the employee, and insulting the management of the place. “You don’t know who I am” seemed to be his favorite catchphrase, since he repeated it more than a dozen times before storming out. And yet no, the hostess didn’t know “who he was,” neither did the rest of us dining there.

Read the full article [Here].