Gambling Sites being blocked in Lebanon

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Picture from Al-Akhbar

It was brought to my attention that gambling and poker sites are no longer accessible in Lebanon. I looked up a bit online and tried opening some websites and they weren’t accessible indeed. The decision to block the gambling sites was apparently taken by the Ministry of Justice as stated in the text below, noting that it’s not an official statement.

I woke up Saturday, June 15 and could not open my Pokerstars client. A few other sites were unreachable either. After contacting my ISP, they informed me that they are blocking access to online poker sites as requested by the ministry of justice.
On Sunday, June 16. Only one site was officially functioning, Starsofholdem. Owned by a Lebanese, hosted in Costa Rica and operated by Stars of Holdem Group @ London – United Kingdom. As the info shows on their website.
I contacted StarsofHoldem support and they assured me that the online restriction in Lebanon will not affect their operations because THEY PAY TAXES TO THE GOVERNMENT!!!!

I know for a fact that gambling in Lebanon is illegal outside the Casino du Liban but I had no clue it included online gambling as well.

Some of the popular gambling sites that got blocked are:
bwin (This one opened though on my connection)

Thanks Rob

Lebanese-Canadian women caught trying to smuggle $59K in their bras

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Border Crossing Fee
US Borders – Picture from FoxNews

“A pat down found “a bulky mass” in her bra that led to the pair’s hidden cash”. Haha!

U.S. border agents say they caught a Canadian woman and her teenage daughter trying to cross the border with $59,000 hidden in their bras. The complaint says border agents detained Moura El-Asmar and her 16-year-old daughter at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel on their way to Detroit Metropolitan Airport for a flight to visit relatives in Lebanon.

Agents found $15,300 in El-Asmar’s purse. [Link]

The Art of the Brick at Discovery Times Square, New York

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Nathan Sawaya is a Lebanese-American artist who builds custom three-dimensional sculptures and large-scale mosaics using LEGO bricks and is the man behind The Art Of The Brick exhibition. I am a big Lego fan and this guy’s work is just amazing!

THE ART OF THE BRICK, an exhibition by artist Nathan Sawaya, is a critically acclaimed collection of intriguing and inspiring works of art made exclusively from one of the most recognizable toys in the world — LEGO® bricks. The Discovery Times Square exhibit will be the world’s biggest and most elaborate display of LEGO® art ever and will feature brand-new, never-before-seen pieces by Sawaya. Don’t miss the show named ‘One of CNN’s Ten Global Must-See Exhibitions.’ [Link]

13DTS0000_AOTB_450 x 316px_r2

For those interested, the exhibition opens on June 14th 2013 and will be on display until January 5th 2014. It will be “the world’s biggest and most elaborate display of LEGO® art ever and will feature brand-new, never-before-seen pieces by Sawaya.”

You can check out more information about the exhibition, the artist and the tickets [Here].

Thanks Hady!

The Average Cost Of A Beach Outing In Lebanon

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Picture via NowLebanon

Every time the summer is here, we are reminded that the beaches in Lebanon are becoming for the rich and that the entrance fees to beaches and pools are even more expensive that the previous year, yet somehow we have new resorts opening every year and the beaches are getting more and more packed.

We know for a fact that people are not getting wealthier in Lebanon, so it’s either people are willing to spend a big portion of their salaries to go for a swim or the numbers are exaggerated. I think that while entrance fees are unbelievably high at certain resorts, there are a lot of cheaper alternatives and free beaches that few of us know of.

K-Lynn Fashion show at C-Flow Beach Resort

However, this doesn’t justify the outrageous prices that we have to pay for beaches that are illegally occupied and exploited. The numbers are scary and there doesn’t seem to be a proper way to resolve this issue except setting up high taxes on these properties and forcing their owners to pay substantial amounts of money to cover our debts (Or in Lebanon’s case, go into some of the politicians’ pockets who will reinvest them in some of these illegal beach resorts they “own”).

Picture from Al-Akhbar

Many Lebanese are fed up with this reality but that’s one of these issues in Lebanon that is very hard to tackle as there are way too many parties involved.

The ministry estimates the total area of intrusions in this region to be more than 2,247,884 square meters (m²). They include 1,651,707 m² of reclaimed sea, and land facilities taking up to 162,383 m². Mount Lebanon’s share of aggressions totals half that of the country’s coastline. [Link]

R.I.P Lama Yassine

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Lama Yassine
Picture from RagMag

Lama Yassine met many of her friends last week as if she knew she wouldn’t see them again — the 31-year-old Lebanese woman died in the early hours of Saturday morning in a car crash.
Described by her friends as someone who loved life, Lama died on Saturday at 4.30am when her car suddenly veered off course and hit the central reservation on Al Khail Road. [Link]

I was asked by few people in the last couple of days whether I knew Lama Yassine or if she’s a famous person since everyone’s been mourning her online. Even though her face does look familiar, I only know many friends of her but Lama was apparently very loved by her family and friends. Lama Yassine’s body will be flown to Lebanon for the funeral.

Sincere condolences to her family and friends.