Lebanese Karl Sharro And Patrick Baz Featured Among Time’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds Of 2014

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Here’s what TIME said about Karl and Patrick

The tweets from this account can be as satirical and cringe-worthy as they are on-point and timely. The bold musings of Karl Sharro, a prominent Lebanese-Iraqi writer and commentator on Middle East affairs who spends his days as an architect in London, are shared widely as regional news breaks and frequently provide a lighter tone to what can otherwise be a dark storyline. —Andrew Katz

As the Middle East and North Africa photo manager for AFP, Patrick Baz has his finger on the pulse of breaking news in one of the most complex regions in the world. His feed is a vital and often real-time source of the best photojournalism and reporting coming out of Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt. —Mia Tramz

If you haven’t followed yet Karl on Twitter or checked his website, you are missing out a lot as he’s one of the funniest and wittiest people you could ever read. Patrick Baz‘s Instagram account is a must-follow too.

Check out the full TIME list [Here].

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Pictures and Inspiring Stories From The 2014 Beirut Women Race

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I proudly took part in the Beirut Women Race last Sunday and ran the 5K in support of women and their rights in Lebanon. Almost 10,000 attended the event running for fun, for women and for official causes making it a successful and joyful one.

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Here are some of the inspiring stories that happened on that day and are worth mentioning:

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The winner of the 10k race was Aregu Abate with a new course record at 41:06. For those of you who are not familiar with Aregu, she’s not a professional athlete coming from abroad to participate, but instead a housekeeper who works in Beirut for the awesome blogger Sietske. Aregu ran for “all the nannies, housemaids and cleaning ladies, showing that change is possible”. I’d like to meet her and Sietske one day because their story is quite an amazing and inspiring one! Read it all [Here].

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One of the participants Rita, who’s on wheels, was assisted by her blind friend Liliane and they both completed the 10k.

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Another participant finished the whole 10k barefoot. I honestly don’t know how she managed that as it was very hot.

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One of the most inspiring stories from this race was Zena Mhanna’s, as she was running over all “that is dark and negative and painful in her life”. I’ve read her story like 3 times and cannot but admire this girl for her strength and courage. I hope she won’t have to face any difficulties or tragedies in her life anymore and wish her all the best!

Check out other awesome stories on Beirut Marathon’s website [Here].

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On a last note, MARCH performed a great stunt to raise awareness on violence against women that I posted about a couple of days ago.

PS: Pictures that aren’t mine were taken from Beirut Marathon’s Facebook Page.

Brazilian Football Legend Pelé played for Lebanese Nejmeh SC in 1975

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nejmeh 1975 pele Picture from AbdoGedeon

Pelé played a friendly game with the Lebanese team and scored 2 goals which were never included in his tally of 1281 career goals. Here are a couple of pictures and videos I found on this game that occurred a week before the start of the civil war. Brazilian star Bebeto also participated in a friendly game with Nejmeh back in 2003.

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[YouTube]

[YouTube]

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

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Check out these 40 maps done by Max Fisher for understanding the Middle East — its history, its present, and some of the most important stories in the region today. I found the above map interesting, showing how ancient Phoenicians spread from Lebanon across the Mediterranean. There’s also a map showing the Israeli and Hezbollah strikes in the 2006 Lebanon War.

The Phoenicians, who lived in present-day Lebanon and coastal Syria, were pretty awesome. From about 1500 to 300 BC, they ran some of the Mediterranean’s first big trading networks, shown in red, and dominated the sea along with the Greeks, who are shown in brown. Some sailed as far as the British Isles, and many of them set up colonies in North Africa, Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia. This was one of the first of many close cultural links between the Middle East and North Africa – and why Libya’s capital, Tripoli, still bears the name of the ancient Phoenician colony that established it.

Baabda Massive Fire: Another Reason To Fund The Civil Defense Units

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A massive fire destroyed yesterday a great part of the Betshai forest in the Baabda area. Residents claimed it was the biggest fire they’ve seen in years and some of them blamed the civil defense units and the authorities for their inefficient and late response. At this point, we are all to blame for what happened, because we are not taking the whole civil defense issue seriously.

These firefighters are volunteers who are very badly equipped (if equipped at all) and don’t get paid a penny for what they are doing. I am not saying they shouldn’t their job properly if they are volunteers, and I am sure they are doing their best, but don’t blame them when the authorities don’t give them their most basic needs to fight fires. They have old fire trucks, old equipment, no substances to fight the fires and sometimes barely any water.

The first thing that this government and the concerned ministries should do, even before electing a new president, is setting up a decent firefighting unit and making sure they are ready for the summer. Otherwise, more forests will get burned down (intentionally or not) and more ugly buildings will replace them.

Car Blocking The Dora Highway

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Annaharpic Picture via Annahar

Based on what Annahar posted, a woman driving a Mitsubishi locked herself inside the car and refused to move aside after her car broke down in the middle of the Dora highway. She stayed in her car until the tow-truck came.

There are two questions I have to ask here:
1- How did she end up like that on the highway? What the hell was she trying to do?
2- Why didn’t the cops show up and move her aside? She should be fined for that.