A Big Yes to a Skydiving Center in Lebanon!

SkyDive Lebanon are asking for the creation of a skydiving center in Lebanon for three reasons:
1- The weather is perfect for skydiving here (Low winds and blue sky).
2- High demand: Activity is booming and there’s no center in Lebanon and only 5 in the region (as opposed to 69 in France only)
3- A new tourist attraction.


Giveaway: Weekend for two at Pinea Campus


I’ve had the pleasure to meet the person behind Pinea Campus few months back and I totally loved his idea and promised to visit as well. Unfortunately though, I haven’t had much time lately but I thought it would be great to let the blog readers know more about this campsite and also have a chance to win a weekend for two and enjoy the stay.

Briefly speaking, Pinea Campus is a campsite located in Haitoura, Jezzine and surrounded by a large stone pines forest. For those of you who don’t know, Jezzine is one of the most beautiful areas in the South and among the few to have preserved its forests and nature.

Pinea Campus spreads on a 3,000 sqm land and can accommodate more than 50 campers throughout the summer season. All the tents are of the highest quality and visitors are provided with camping mattresses, covers & pillows and have access to bathrooms and showers. Tents can fit either 2 or 4 people.


Aside from camping, guests can enjoy a lot of outdoor activites such as ATVs, Skeet/Trap Shooting (Tiro), Mountain Biking and Hiking. Out of camp tours can be organized upon the campers’ request. For me, this is the perfect getaway from work and the city and I recommend you all give it a try.


Now the question you’ve all been waiting for: How to win the weekend for two at Pinea Campus?

The answer is simple:
1- Like both [BlogBaladi] and [Pinea Campus] Facebook Pages.
2- Leave a comment on the blog post.

You can also fill the Form on Pinea Campus’ Facebook page and mention BlogBaladi in the Referred By Box to enter another draw that entitles you to win 1 out of 37 prizes on Pinea Campus’ page.

Here’s what the weekend package includes:
- 1 night stay for 2.
- Traditional breakfast for 2.
- 1 Activity voucher for 2. (ATV, Mountain bike or Tiro)

For more info about the campsite, check out PineaCampus’ Facebook Page [Here].

Note: I will be drawing a name on Friday 15 at night. The prize is valid all through 2013.

Can Beirut become a city full of trees?

Picture taken from Al-Akhbar

I don’t see that happening anytime soon unfortunately as we won’t have any space left to build parks and gardens with all these skyscrapers popping left and right. What we need are more projects like Achrafieh2020.

We currently have nearly 393,000 square meters of green spaces in the 20 square kilometers of the megalopolis of Beirut, where 1.4 million inhabitants reside.

By comparison, for nothing is more telling than figures, a stop in some megalopolises in the world will show the extent of the disaster. First stop in Paris. In the capital of France, there are 5,550,000 square meters of green spaces in the city center, 450 in total, divided among 16 parks, 137 gardens, 274 squares, and eight promenades. This figure does not take into consideration the kilometers of sidewalk trees, a considerable surface area, and above all the two big peripheral woods of the French capital (created by Napoleon III in around 1850), the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes, which by themselves total 18,410,000 square meters. In total, Paris offers 24 million square meters of greenery to the 2.2 Parisians, whereas Beirut offers only 0.4 million square meters of greenery to the Beirutis. [Link]

Read the full article [Here].

Interior of the Lykan HyperSport


Carscoop posted pictures of the Lykan’s interior taken from a digital brochure they were able to get their hands on.


The Lykan has been launched for over a week now and according to W Motors CEO Ralph Debbas, they’ve received more than a hundred requests from around the world to buy one. Unfortunately and for some reason I can’t seem to understand, they only produced 7 out of which 1 was already sold.

A $200,000 limited edition Cyrus Klepcy watch comes as a gift to every buyer

You can check out more pictures [Here].

12,015 Lebanese voted illegally in 2009

[YouTube] – Leb Elections – A single detail can prevent you from voting

Elections are coming soon and the Ministry of Interior has launched a campaign asking all potential voters to verify their information and make sure all is in order. In order to do so, one has to visit the website [www.dgps.gov.lb] and verify his information.

That’s a very good initiative but funnily enough, it seems the problem is not really in people being unable to vote but in those who should are eligible to do so yet voted. In fact and according to Minister Charbel, there were 12,015 Lebanese who voted illegally in 2009. 12,015!!!

Who is not eligible to vote?
• Persons deprived by legal sentence of their civil rights
• Persons convicted to be permanently disqualified from public service at any grades or positions
• Persons disqualified from their grades or public service temporarily, until the end of the disqualification period
• Persons convicted of a felony
• Persons convicted of one of the following major offences: burglary, fraud, issuing of uncovered checks, breach of trust, misappropriation of funds, bribery, perjury, rape, intimidation, falsification, forgery, false testimony, immoral crimes as stated in the seventh chapter of the penal code, and crimes related to the planting, production and/or trade in illicit drugs
• Persons interdicted by court order until the end of the interdiction period
• Persons declared fraudulently bankrupt or those sentenced to sanctions stated in Articles 689 to 698 of the Penal Code
• Persons convicted and sentenced to sanctions stated in Articles 329 to 334 of the penal code
• Naturalized Lebanese individuals before the lapse of ten years after the naturalization decree is issued.
• Military personnel of various ranks

Interior Ministry wants me to use IE – Blasphemy!

Lebanese Singer Elissa on the Pope’s resignation


Pope Benedict XVI is almost 86 years old, had a stroke in 1991 that reportedly temporarily affected his vision. He fell in 1992 and 2009, and also had either arthritis or arthrosis, a similarly painful and debilitating joint condition. His doctor also advised him against taking any more transatlantic trips. [Source]

Here’s what came in his resignation letter:

Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.

However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. [CNN]


As you can see, his arguments are not convincing at all and very doubtful.

On a serious note, the pope’s resignation might pave the way for electing the first black pope in the Catholic Church’s history. Read more about Cardinal Peter Turkson [Here].

80% of historical landmarks in Beirut have been demolished

Picture taken from NowLebanon – Ottoman-style house in Beirut

Skyscrapers, malls and Shisha cafes are our new identity.

The cars are parked in a line adjacent to Ottoman and French-style buildings in Beirut’s Martyrs Square. A tramway surrounds the square, and people walk along the wide sidewalk of Foch Avenue. This is how downtown Beirut looked in the first decades of the last century, now preserved only in old pictures.

“My grandfather suppresses a tear when passing by what used to be Martyrs Square and the adjacent souqs,” says Pascale Ingea, from the Association for the Protection of Lebanese Heritage (APLH).

Lebanon’s post-war period has seen the destruction of most of the buildings that made Beirut the Paris of the Middle East. “This kills our identity,” she adds.

During the 1990s, the Ministry of Culture put together a list of historical landmarks in the country. The Direction Générale des Antiquités (DGA) included approximately 1,600 buildings in Beirut, most of them from the Ottoman period or the French mandate.

As of this year, 80 percent of the buildings on the list have been demolished, say representatives from both APLH and Save Beirut Heritage (SBH). There are many reasons for the mass destruction of heritage buildings, but the two associations cite the lack of enforcement of the heritage law by successive Lebanese governments out of corruption and lack of interest, as well as non-existent construction regulation. They also note that the DGA’s budget of around $3 million represents less than 0.02% of annual government spending. [NowLebanon]