Lebanese Blogger Physically Assaulted for taking pictures of ruins

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Picture courtesy of Skyscraper City

I can’t believe they actually attacked him for taking pictures! WTF?

I saw a hole in the fence and tried to take a few shots. Nothing was visible but bulldozers. A man with a walkie talkie saw me and yelled that photos were prohibited. He sent me to the main door. There two men stood, one with greased hair, a white shirt and a metal cap visible in his mouth.

I asked if I could see the site and he refused. “This is private property, no pictures.”

“But this is our history. How can it be private property? There are ancient ruins there.”

He apologized and repeated that I could not access the site.

Another man appeared, easily the tallest on site with light, almost pale skin. He was built like a bouncer.

“You see this fence,” he pointed behind him. “This is private property.”

“I love history,” I said. “I think it should be shared.”

“You want history? Go look over there.” He pointed to the downtown area.

“I want to see what is here,” I said.

“Do you want to have coffee,” he asked, with a smile.

“Sure, but I want to see the ruins first.”

“There are no ruins!” he said, repeatedly. “There’s nothing to see here.”

The site door opened behind him and I tried to get look. “Close the door,” he shouted.

“What’s the secret,” I said. “Are you hiding something?”

One of the men standing behind him was radioing back-up. Soon “the boss” showed up.

He was wearing suit pants and a silky button shirt, slightly opened–gray or grayish hair. Clearly not the type to get his hands dirty.

“There is nothing here,” he said parroting the previous response.

“If there is nothing, than why won’t you let me see it,” I asked.

“Fine, you want to see? Look,” he pointed at the open doorway.

He ushered me inside and stood in front of me. All I could see was a big pile of dirt and rocks to my right. And in the distance, to the far left, I could see a foundation being laid.

“You see there is nothing,” the boss said.

“What about over here,” I said, pointing to the middle area that was not visible from our standpoint.

“Can I go over there?”

“Sure,” the boss nodded, hesitantly.

As I walked down the small dirt hill, an ancient rock wall structure appeared before me. The rocks were rectangular, dark, almost grayish from what I can remember in that moment. They were about 1-2 feet in length and carefully fitted together. I glimpsed a small team of men moving them out of place using a small crane. [Full Story]

CNN: Barbar one of the world’s Best Kebab Joints

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Picture from KevinInTheKingdom

I would have picked Kababji over Barbar.

Beirut is a cosmopolitan city where food standards are high.

When it comes to kebabs, Barbar is a Beirut institution. It’s a snack bar with branches throughout the city, but its flagship store is in trendy Hamra, where it takes up a whole block and overflows with customers night and day.

You can eat almost anything at Barbar and be happy, but the chicken shawarma is the tastiest pint-sized snack.

Marinated in spices including cardamom and cinnamon, the chicken is sliced off the rotating shawarma, laid in a piece of warm, fresh Lebanese bread with a smear of garlic paste and a pickle. [CNN]

Thanks C!

Skydiving in Lebanon this summer

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Picture via Sports-Leb

Event Description: Skydiving
Concept: “Participation & Shows”
Location: Hamat Air Base, North Lebanon
Date: From the 9th till the 25th of August 2013
Daily Time: From 10:00am till 6:00pm
Altitude: Above 4,200 Meters
Jumps Participation: Open for Public “Lebanese & Foreign Participants”

Skydiving Ticket Price:
Tandem Jump with Photos & Video: 444 Euros
Extra Photos & Video: 111 Euros
Prices include: Jump Certificate, Local and International Insurance, TAX.

You can check out more details [Here] and contact the following number [+961 70 722264] if you are interested.

Here are few [pictures] from last year’s event.

Meet Super Geek + 4G Commercial Launch on Wednesday

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Good Job Sareen!

This picture was uploaded yesterday night by Minister Sehnaoui on Instagram with the below text:

I introduce to you Super Geek. A young Lebanese Geek turned Super Hero He’s into high tech gadgets and would pick Star Wars over Politics any day His Mission is to lead the Young Lebanese Digital Lobby to instill change in Lebanon and the World In days to come we will all need to think and brainstorm together to create the Adventures of Super Geek Our fellow Geek @sareen_ak who drew this character to life will help us make this happen We will also need to work together to make Super Geek’s Mission a Reality Share Super Geek with the community so we can have all Geeks on board of our Young Digital Lobby

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I am still skeptical about this whole Lebanese Digital Lobby idea and I am not sure how Super Geek’s adventures will be appealing to internet users but I guess it’s a fun initiative for students maybe that can’t do any harm.

This announcement comes with another big event, which is the 4G commercial launch that is set for Wednesday 15th of May. The initial launch is for Limited Locations but will gradually expand to cover all regions. I don’t know whether people will be able to subscribe to the service as of the 15th as we just received few days ago dongles for the pilot phase which did not start yet and will last a whole month.

I will keep you posted once I activate my 4G dongle.

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Emirates to introduce shisha lounges onboard A380 fleet

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Picture from the PanArabia Enquirer

Before any of you starts commenting, this article was written by The Pan-Arabia Enquirer, the finest SATIRE from the Middle East, so it’s a totally made up story but I thought I mention it because the comments are hilarious and even funnier than the article itself!

DUBAI: Emirates has announced that it plans to trial new shisha lounges aboard its A380 fleet. In a statement released this morning, the Dubai-based airline revealed that the lounges would be available to business and first class passengers on several of its long-haul routes flown using Airbus’ superjumbo, starting from next month.
“Alongside unique offerings such as our Signature Spa and Onboard Lounges, with our new Signature Shisha Rooms premium customers will be now be able to relax amid luxurious surroundings with a traditional waterpipe,” the airline said in a press release.

“This new service will provide our Middle Eastern passengers with the sort of home comforts they’ve come to expect on our award-winning airline, while presenting those flying to the Middle East for the first time with the opportunity to sample one of the true tastes of Arabia before they’ve even landed.”

According to the statement, passengers will be able to pre-order a shisha from the onboard menu while at their seat and retire to the lounge after the main meal. [Link]

Here are some funny comments:

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This one is epic!
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The Pan-Arabia Enquirer website also went down yesterday for a couple of hours due to this article.

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Jokes aside, I am sure Lebanese would have loved to have a Shisha service onboard.

Speaking of funny articles, here’s another story that I am still finding hard to believe: A Saudi student living in Michigan was arrested yesterday by the FBI after neighbors saw him with a pressure cooker. As it turns out, he was cooking a traditional Saudi dish, the Kabsah. [Huff]

You can now visit the Lebanese Republican Palace in Baabda

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The President’s office – Picture taken from Presidency.gov.lb

A Press Release was posted on the Presidency’s official website where it was stated that the Baabda palace will open to visitors the first Saturday of every month starting June. Looking at the pictures, it is definitely worth a visit.

The first Saturday of every month, beginning in June, will be an opportunity for people to visit the presidential palace in Baabda. Visiting times will be from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Those interested in making a visit may consult www.presidency.gov.lb for further details.

At least three weeks are needed to process applications for a visit. [DailyStar]

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