Interior Minister Marwan Charbel standing on the wrong side of history!

A Lebanese policeman paves the way for Lebanon's Interior Minister Charbel in Beirut Reuters

Marwan Charbel apparently is determined not to sign Nidal & Kholoud’s civil contract even though the Lebanese Supreme Council of the Judiciary approved it.

I truly hope he reconsiders his position and approves it.

The Lebanese Supreme Council of the Judiciary approves Nidal and Kholoud’s civil marriage!

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Picture from NowLebanon

WhenHopeSpeaks posted early today that the Ministry of Justice approved the marriage registration of Nidal & Kholoud on Lebanese soil (Followed by a Zaghlouta) and NowLebanon also mentioned that the Lebanese Supreme Council of the Judiciary approves legalization of civil marriage in Lebanon.

It’s not yet 100% officially confirmed as I believe Interior Minister Marwan Charbel should have a final say about it but it looks like we’re heading in the right direction.

Kholoud
Kholoud posted on تزوجنا مدني … و عَ قبالكن Facebook page that their civil marriage was approved

In case you missed it, this is how Kholoud and Nidal pulled out a civil marriage in Lebanon.

Qatar stops issuing Visas to Lebanese citizens

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I read yesterday the below statement on Naharnet but don’t know the reason behind it nor if it’s official or not. Back in September 2012, rumors spread that Qatar halted visas for Lebanese Shiites due to Hezbollah’s stance but the Qatari PM quickly denied it.

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to MTV: The Qatari decision of halting issuing visas to Lebanese citizens is temporary.

Police Van overturns in Karantina

[YouTube]

The accident caused a huge traffic that stretched from the Dora highway all the way back to Jounieh. Added to that, a police adjutant, by the name of Hashem H (May he R.I.P), was killed and over 10 inmates were injured. When I first read the news, I thought I would be looking at an armored vehicle, not a Hino van with a custom-made box to fit the prisoners. If the container where the prisoners are kept is not designed properly to keep the van balanced, it could overturn very easily.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should buy armored vehicles for the police, but if we can’t afford them, we should be driving more carefully and slowly, because according to LBC’s report the convoy was flying.

armored_SWAT_truck

Ten Questions for Maxime Chaya

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Picture taken from NowLebanon

Check out Question No.6 below and the rest of the questions [Here]. That must have been a terrible experience.

6. And the worst moment?
That happened to be right afterward, on my descent from the summit. It was like an anticlimax. During my descent to High Camp, I came across a climber, unconscious and frozen from the knees down. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do. I stayed with that climber for more than an hour until I was ordered to leave him. He’s still up there.

New Traffic Law for Scooters in Lebanon

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It’s always a green light for them

I heard scooter drivers blocked Saida’s entrance yesterday to protest a motorcycle ban in the city and caused a huge traffic.

Added to that, they issued a statement asking for a new traffic law that fulfills some of their demands including:

1- Scooters should not, under any circumstances, abide by traffic lights. Whether it’s green, red or yellow, they should be allowed to pass.

2- Helmets should not be mandatory as they prevent scooters from taking a peek at hot women in their cars. Helmets are also not practical when they are smoking Arguile while driving.

3- The Wrong Way sign should not apply to scooters.

4- Protection should be provided to all scooters harassing women in their cars. It is no longer permissible for women drivers to speed away or cut off scooters without being punished.

5- Scooters can fit as many people as the driver believes is convenient.

6- No driving license should be needed to drive a scooter.

7- Car drivers should be more careful when they spot scooters zigzagging on the highway.

8- A scooter is allowed to take a whole lane (even the quick one) on the highway if he sees it appropriate.

9- A scooter can be parked anywhere and does not respect the park meter rules.

10- Whenever cars are involved in an accident with a scooter, the blame is 100% on the car (That’s already the case) and the motorist has to buy the victim a brand new scooter.

Beirut no longer the “Paris of the Middle East”

Beirut 01 View Of Downtown From Airplane Includes Platinum Tower, Holiday Inn, Al Amin Mosque, Grand Serail, AUB, Al Murr Tower
[Source]

If you are wondering why tourists are no longer coming to Beirut, that’s one way to explain it.

In a recent ranking on the quality of living, Lebanon’s capital Beirut, formerly known as the “Paris of the Middle East,” ranked 171st worldwide and 16th in the MENA region. The annual survey of the quality of living in 221 cities by global consultants Mercer looked at cities from a standpoint of overall desirability.

Within the MENA region, Dubai kept its ranking as the best city for overall quality of living.

Beirut is 98 spots behind the top-ranked Arab city. It is also 47 spots behind Amman and 30 spots behind Cairo, for example. This shows the work that needs to be done to improve the quality of living here,” Ghobril told The Daily Star. “It is simply not acceptable that the quality of living in 13 Arab cities is better than that is Beirut.” [Link]

Lebanon tops Drinking Countries in the Arab world

[YouTube]

According to this LBCI report, and based on a study by the Economist, Lebanon has the highest alcohol consumption per person in the Arab world with 2.23 liters per year.

That’s good news but old news as I remember reading about those stats two years ago. I tried looking for an updated report but couldn’t find any except this old one where you find the 2.23 liters.

Communicate Magazine Top 10 Lebanese Blogs

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Picture via Joe

BlogBaladi was among Communicate Magazine’s Top 10 Lebanese Blogs in their “2013 book of tens”. The supplement includes Top 10 of viral campaigns, copycats, local videos, blogs and other social-media related topics.

Other blogs mentioned (in no specific order) include:
- Beirut Spring
- A Separate state of mind
- Plus961
- Marketing in Lebanon
- Gino’s Blog
- Toom Extra
- Joe’s Box
- Broffessional Review
- Beirut NTSC

Communicate magazine can be found in most libraries.