Eagle Shot Down by Lebanese Hunters In Akkar

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نسر-عكار

These reckless hunters must be put in jail.

This photo depicting an eagle hunt down by two men who were identified as being residents of the northern district of Akkar has been circulating on the major social media platforms and provoking activists’ resentment.

In the absence of a hunting regulations in Lebanon, this ‘sport’ is taking place without any restrictions almost anywhere across the country and wrongdoings have alarmingly increased.

A law was drafted in 2004 to control the situation by allowing the hunting of some common birds only.

The said law includes the implementation of bird counts in some stopover areas and the administration of training to the hunters but the draft was put on hold following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. [Link]

Inside O1NE by Skybar (Abu Dhabi)

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The sunset theme

A few months ago I got a tour of O1NE in Beirut while it was still under construction. Back then the graffiti work covering the building was nearly done but the inside was just bricks and dirt. Even though while getting the tour I was being described how the interior would eventually end up looking like it was still pretty difficult to visualize. Fast forward and a few months later I’m in Abu Dhabi for the Formula 1 weekend. While still at the airport waiting for my bags to come out I starting chatting on Whatsapp with a friend from Lebanon. I was telling them I had just landed in Abu Dhabi for the weekend when they proceed to tell me to check out O1NE since it had opened the night before. I had no idea O1NE was opening in Abu Dhabi yet alone it was going to open before Beirut so I was caught a bit off guard. While still on Whatsapp I sent a message to my contact at Skybar asking him if he happened to be in Abu Dhabi by any chance for the opening and turned out he was.


Picture of O1NE Beirut exterior

That same night while heading to the F1 practice sessions I spotted O1NE on my way to the track. The exterior was practically identical to the Beirut one, a large oval shaped building covered with graffiti all around. I didn’t end up passing by O1NE that very night but I did the following evening.


[YouTube]

When I was first given a tour of the Beirut location they told me how their interior would be very special since it would be surrounded by blank white walls on which 3D video mapping would be projected. The idea was pretty simple, with just a click of a button they would be able to transform the interior from one mood to a completely different one and just like that change it again and again. I got to O1NE in Abu Dhabi that night early at around midnight and the first thing that grabbed my attention was the beautiful interior. Since it was still early and the music was still pretty chilled the interior had a beautiful sunset setting projected onto the walls as you can see in the video above. It was like nothing I had seen in a club before with the 3D video mapping covering the full 360 degrees of the interior. As the night progressed and the music started to speed up the wall mapping progressed as well.

Both interiors of O1NE Beirut and Abu Dhabi are going to be very similar with the biggest difference being the fact that Lebanon won’t have private rooms with balconies overlooking the club (for now). The private rooms in Abu Dhabi can hold around 50 people each which basically means you can hold your own party inside the already larger party taking place (think Inception). The club had a long catwalk stretching from one side of the club to another surrounded by a lounge area on both sides and a bar at the very end. You also had raised areas around the hall similar to Skybar Beirut with plenty of tables and seating.


[YouTube]

That weekend a bunch of different performers were coming in every evening, the night I was there Tyga and John Martin were supposed to be performing but Tyga missed his flight due to the shooting that took place at the LA airport. I honestly had no clue who John Martin was until he started singing and then I recognized his song. He was actually pretty enjoyable to watch and as you can see in the video above the crowd who were pretty much wasted were having a blast. Actually I just watched the video for the first time now since recording it and there are a whole bunch of interesting characters and things that take place in the background so pay attention.


Me acting too cool for the ladies in the back

O1NE Beirut is being targeted for a December 19th launch but the date is not official yet. I’m sure Najib will keep you guys posted on the exact launch date once it’s been finalized.

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Mir Amin Palace Hotel: A Perfect Getaway

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The Chouf is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful areas in Lebanon. It boasts the biggest Cedars forest in Lebanon, historical palaces built by the Emirs of Lebanon, most notably the magnificent Beiteddine palace, as well as beautiful old Lebanese houses, monasteries and attractions. It’s the perfect getaway from the city, the noise and the pollution and the Mir Amin Palace Hotel is the ideal place to stay when you’re planning a weekend in the Chouf.

The Mir Amin Palace was once a residence of the last Emirs of Lebanon back in the 19th century, and has been restored and turned into a splendid five-star hotel overlooking the Chouf Mountains. I went there to spend the weekend in September and I was completely blown away by the beauty of this palace, its historic courtyards, its room and suites, its spacious terraces and its great food and ambiance.

It’s really hard to describe in words how awesome this place is, so I will let pictures speak for themselves and add small captions below them.

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The road from the highway to Mir Amin Palace is well paved and surrounded by trees and forests.

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Entrance road to the Mir Amin Palace Hotel

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Entrance to the Mir Amin Palace Hotel

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After you check in, you step out to see this beautiful terrace

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Mir Amin Palace’s spacious rooms decorated with antique beds and furniture

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Walk around the palace and check its beautiful courtyards

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An Arabic lounge outside the hotel’s suites

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Hall Arcades

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What was once the residence of a Lebanese Emir

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View of the Palace from the pool

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Beautiful pool and a breath-taking view

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The Outdoor terrace

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Great Lebanese food

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and entertainment

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Overlooking the Chouf mountains

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Sunset

Overlooking the spectacular mountain valley view’s to the sun kissed terraces and the shimmering Mediterranean below, Mir Amin Palace Hotel Beiteddine Lebanon welcomes you to experience a tangible sense of history escaping from life’s stresses in the city.

This is exactly what this hotel offers its guests and more. It’s a great escape during the summer and I can’t wait to spend a weekend there during the winter with all the snowy mountains around us.

You can check out more details on the hotel’s [website].

Movember Lebanon: Grow Your Mustaches

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As you all probably know, Movember is an annual, month-long event (November) involving the growing of mustaches to raise awareness on men-related health issues, such as prostate cancer. This year, Movember Lebanon is trying to introduce this campaign to Lebanon and is basically asking people to grow mustaches to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

If anyone wishes to take part in this campaign, I will gladly upload their pictures on a separate post at the end of the month and share it with the people behind Movember LB.

Email your pictures to najib@blogbaladi.com and let’s help spread some awareness.

Q. Why is it important to detect prostate cancer early?
The best chance for cure is when the disease is found early, before it has spread beyond the prostate. The cure rate is well above 90 percent if it’s caught early.

In The Top 5 Reddit Hot Stories For Today: A sickening video of a man in Lebanon microwaving a cat

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red2
[Reddit.com]

Update: Cat was handed over to Animals Lebanon.

The video of the Lebanese guy who tried to put his cat in a microwave has made it as one of Reddit’s hot stories today. Even though the incident took place few days back and caused an outrage online, none of the two guys were fined or reprimanded for their act and the cat is still with its owner.

Thanks Rami

Lebanese Basketball Season Might Kick Off In December

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As you all probably know, the 2013 Basketball season still didn’t kick off in Lebanon due to the political bickering between the federation and the teams. However, it appears that all the parties have reached an agreement that will hopefully get the championship started in December.

The agreement states that few amendments will be introduced as requested by several parties and a letter will be sent to the FIBA to lift the suspension after getting all the teams’ approval. Moreover, the federation will resign as of next week and pave the way for new elections. The only matter that might stop the championship from kicking off is the Sagesse team as they are undergoing some serious internal problems that might see the Beiruti team dissolved and out of the competition.

Personally speaking, I think the biggest problem Sagesse has is that it is indirectly managed by Beirut’s Bishop Boulos Matar but let’s not go there for now. I want the Lebanese Championship to get back as this year’s championship promises to be one of most competitive in years.