Maronite Patriarch Rai To Visit The Holy Land

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JER-Film-Stills-Sunset-Dustin-Farrell via JTA

The Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara el Rai has decided to visit Jerusalem as part of a papal delegation in May. According to Al-Akhbar, he will be the first Lebanese Patriarch to ever visit the Holy Land. Former Maronite Patriarch Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir had refused to accompany Pope John Paul II on his journey to the Holy Land because “there is a domestic situation that we must take into account. We have bishops that travel between Lebanon and Palestine, but taking into consideration the domestic situation, we preferred not to do it.”

I am not sure if the Patriarch needs any special permit to visit the Holy Land specially that the Maronite Church has a bishop there, so I guess we will have to wait and see how this goes. In all cases, I think it’s a bold move and I hope it works out.

Save The Music – Save The Cedars

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3000 years is the first track ever created using a rhythm extracted from inside a Lebanese cedar tree. This track is the focal point of the “Save The Music – Save The Cedars” campaign whereas you will be donating to preserving the Cedars every time you download the track.

I think it’s a really cool idea and the part I heard of the track sounds great but you need to have PayPal to download it, which doesn’t make sense as we don’t have PayPal in Lebanon.

Old Beirut Articles From The International Herald Tribune Archives

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To begin with, I am glad that Jad is finally back to blogging after a long absence as I’ve always looked forward to his posts and his “Looks like Beirut” certificates. In fact, that’s where I found this old article from the International Herald Tribune about Beirut that was originally published in 1964.

Here’s an excerpt from the article entitled: Beirut is Travel Hub of the Middle East.

Beirut, its capital, is the seething communications hub of the Middle East, where planes from every point on the globe touch down, linking four continents. The city is an anachronism in which fast-paced sophistication, and slothful, time-worn customs are crazily juxtaposed.

Ravishing skills and woolens from the best European sources are displayed in other shop windows; these destined to be made up into Paris copies by clever Lebanese tailors and dressmakers. To tempt one even more to buy, all items are attractively priced, because of Lebanon’s low import taxes.

There is a restaurant in Beirut which caters to every taste, be it French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese or American.

For fun and games in an elegant setting, there is the casino, a handsome complex situated ten miles from the city overlooking the bay of Jounieh, where one may dine, attend a movie or a concert, stay on for dancing at the nightclub, and finish the evening with a turn in the gaming rooms until the sun comes up over the Lebanon mountains. The New York Herald Tribune, April 30, 1964.

I did a quick search to see if there are other Beirut or Lebanon-related articles and found this one from 1939:

1939: Fight in Lebanon Over Cedars

BEIRUT – The cutting down of one of the famous 1,000-year-old cedars of Lebanon in order to make furniture for the Libano-Syrian exhibit at the New York World’s Fair has caused an uproar here. It is the young republic’s first international exhibition, and inasmuch as its ancient cedars are its foremost claim to fame in the outside world, the government decided to exhibit exotic pieces of furniture made out of one of the ancient trees, which are the feature of its unique and highly prized postage stamps, as well as the national crest.

Freedom of the Press 2014: Lebanon Still Partly Free

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Lebanon’s score hasn’t changed for the past 3 years and is still 53, which is a bad thing of course. Nevertheless, it remains the best country in the Middle East followed by Kuwait with a score of 59.

You can check out the full report [Here].

The Freedom of the Press report measures the level of media independence in 197 countries and territories. Each country receives a numerical score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free) on the basis of combined scores from three subcategories: the legal environment (A), the political environment (B), and the economic environment (C). For each category, a lower number of points is allotted for a more free situation, while a higher number of points is allotted for a less free environment.


Jal El Dib Residents Back To The Streets To Demand A New Bridge

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It’s been almost two years now that the Jal el Dib bridge got dismantled and there are still no plans to build a new one. Honestly, I think we need a bridge there, because while traffic has slightly improved on the highway, it has worsened in the inside roads and on the Nahr el Mot bridge.

In fact, I used to play basketball at Hoops Antelias but ever since it closed, I started going to V-club in Jal el Dib and it takes at least 15 minutes extra to get there. I either have to go from Antelias and take the inside roads to get there or go to Nahr el Mot bridge and go back towards Jal el Dib.

In all cases, let’s see what happens tomorrow because the Jal el Dib residents seem pretty determined and launched a Facebook page called “The Jal el Dib Revolution”.