U.S. Embassy In Beirut Urges Americans In Lebanon To Avoid Hotels and Shopping Malls

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It seems the Americans know something we don’t know as I don’t recall ever reading a warning this specific from an embassy in Lebanon. Let’s hope they are just being extra cautious and those are all speculations.

If you’re wondering what could the worst-case scenario for Lebanon be this year, I suggest you read QifaNabki’s Levantine Dystopia.

Following recent bombings in Beirut and other instances of violence that have occurred in Lebanon in recent months, the U.S. government strongly urges U.S. citizens in Lebanon to exercise extreme caution and to avoid hotels, western-style shopping centers, including western-style grocery chain stores, and any public or social events where U.S. citizens normally congregate, as these sites are likely targets for terrorist attacks for at least the near term.

The U.S. Embassy further urges all U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon due to safety and security concerns. The current travel warning can be seen at this link: Travel Warning for Lebanon. U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks. The ability of U.S. government personnel to reach travelers to provide emergency services may be limited.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Lebanon enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, Travel.State.Gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for Lebanon, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. You can also read the Country Specific Information for Lebanon from within this website. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us onTwitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler App available through iTunes and Google Play to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut Lebanon is located at Awkar facing the Municipality, PO Box 70-840, Beirut and is open Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM, (961) (4) 542600 or (961) (4) 543600. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is (961) (4) 542600 or (961) (4) 543600. For further information, U.S. citizens may also access our website at Embassy in Lebanon. [Source]

Douaihy Sweets Commercial

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I think Douaihy should focus more on what makes them so special and stop pointing at Hallab (It’s so freaking obvious) in their ads. Plus they r giving Hallab free publicity and showing them as being humble and polite with Douaihy customers.

PS: For example, Douaihy Knefe is really good and I love their delivery package. Everyone hates waiting in queues to get Knefe and like it hot, so here’s something to work on as a commercial.

20 Pictures Of Al Sa’eh Library in Tripoli Before It Got Torched

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Picture via Natheer Halawani

A lot of people haven’t unfortunately heard about this decades-old library in Tripoli up until it got torched today, so I did some research and pulled out old pictures and information about the library and its owner Greek Orthodox Priest Ibrahim Sarrouj.

Al Sa’eh Library was founded in 1970 by the Orthodox Youth movement and consisted of a single room. Few years later, the library published around 10 books. In the early 1980s, they gradually started releasing Orthodox publications. In 1983, Samir Makhoul, Toni Boulos, Ibrahim Sarrouj decided to expand the library and bought the warehouse next to it.

Nowadays, the library has over 80,000 books (not copies), out of which 400 rare books. One of the oldest book in this library according to Father Sarrouj is one that dates back to 1817 written by an American Colonel and is estimated at around $3,000. Speaking of Father Sarrouh who’s a highly esteemed and respected individual in Tripoli, he has shown great interest in Islamic Studies despite being a Greek Orthodox.

The loss of this library is a huge one for Tripoli and Lebanon as a whole. I wish officials would have taken the necessary precautions to preserve it and protect it from the assholes who burned it down.

Sources Used for Pictures and Information:

[nggallery id=53]

Why The Lebanese إخراج قيد Is The Best In The World

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بالصور.. من هو منفذ التفجير الارهابي في حارة حريك؟
Pictures via Alalam

Not only does Lebanon have the best passport in the world, but our إخراج قيد is also one of the best ever because the Dahieh suicide bomber’s individual Status Record (اخراج قيد افرادي) was found intact even though the terrorist was blown to pieces.

What I am unable to understand yet is why a suicide bomber would be holding identification papers on him.


Father Ibrahim Sarrouj Historical Library, The Second Largest In Lebanon Set On Fire In Tripoli

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Father Ibrahim Sarrouj

What sort of people would burn a library these days? This is a shameful and alarming act to be honest. Al-Saeh Library had more than 70,000 books.

Unknown assailants on Friday set fire to a famous library owned by Father Ibrahim Sarrouj in the northern city of Tripoli. “Firemen are trying to extinguish the blaze that erupted in Father Ibrahim Sarrouj’s library in Tripoli’s al-Rahbat street,” LBCI television reported.

The torching of the al-Saeh Library comes after reports that claimed the father had published a book deemed insulting to Islam. Bashir Hazzouri, an employee at the library, was shot and wounded on Thursday in the old souks of Tripoli. Al-Saeh Library is considered one of the most renowned libraries in Tripoli and the second largest in Lebanon.

Sarrouj says the library contains more than 70,000 books. [Link]

Zero Gravity Day Hoax Shared by Lebanese Media

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Sir Patrick Moore, an English Amateur Astronomer and the man behind the greatest April Fool’s jokes of all time

There’s an article claiming that everyone who jumps in the air at exactly 9:47am today will experience a momement of weightlessness due to some race alignment of the planets, and that it will take 3 seconds to jump up and down. The news has gone viral yesterday and is being shared by few media outlets in Lebanon as well.

This is a hoax and probably the world’s oldest April Fool’s joke. Here’s the explanation:

This is merely a resurgence of an April Fool’s joke that dates back to 1976 by Sir Patrick Moore. Moore was an English amateur astronomer who rose to prominence as a writer and talk show host on the subject.

On April 1, 1976 Moore told radio listeners that at exactly 9:47am, Pluto and Jupiter would be in alignment, creating reduced gravity on earth at the moment the smaller planet passed behind the larger one. Moore told the audience that anyone who jumped at this time would briefly float in the air. Hundreds of listeners called in after the “event” to describe how they did in fact float at the given time.

Moore’s joke has been cited as one of the greatest April Fool’s jokes of all time. Although the hoax has resurfaced in 2013, the explanation – even the same time of day – Moore gave back in 1976 has remained unchanged.

Sir Patrick Moore passed away in 2012 at the age of 89.

Bottom Line
Zero Gravity Day is merely the resurgence of a hoax which dates to April Fool’s Day 1976. [Source]

If you insist on trying to jump on 9:47 and hoping to float, be my guest.

Al Jomhouriya posted about it

Yasa as well

PayPal Not Planning To Launch in Lebanon Yet

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PayPal launched in Egypt last year and Lebanon was supposedly next on the list. However, and as per their reply to Jad from the JRExpress, “there are no reasons per se why PayPal is not launching Lebanon, it’s just a matter of priorities”.

Dear Jad,
My name is Laurent Wakim and I am in charge of PayPal’s business in the MENA region.
As my colleague explained to you, when we announced the launch of PayPal services in Egypt in May, there was a misinterpretation about Lebanon’s launch. In 2012, PayPal decided to have a dedicated team focusing on the MENA region. As part of the priorities, expanding our geographic footprint is among the most important ones. That’s why we launched our business in Egypt.
Lebanon is an important market to us (and to me being Lebanese) however when PayPal looks at new opportunities, we need to prioritize them and they compete against other initiatives whether new products, new geographies, …etc. So while enabling Lebanon remains a priority for us, we don’t have any timeline that we can share. There are no reasons per se why PayPal is not launching Lebanon, it is a matter of priorities.
Thank you.
My best regards.