Lebanese Court Makes Historic Ruling Stating Same-Sex Relations Are Not Against Nature Or A Crime

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Good news for the LGBT community in Lebanon.

Judge Naji El Dahdah, of Jdeide Court, Beirut, threw out a case brought against unnamed transgender woman by the Lebanese state on January 28, 2014 but only published today. The transgender woman was accused by the state of having “same sex relationship with a man”. However, El Dahdah rejected the case based on accepting a previous ruling by the Lebanese NGO, Legal Agenda and Helem, which was as follows:

Gender identity is not only defined by the legal papers, the evolution of the person and his/her perception of his/her gender should be taken into consideration. Homosexuality is an exception to the norms but not unnatural therefore article 534 (which prohibits sexual relations that “contradict the laws of nature”) cannot be used against homosexuals, and therefore, technically, homosexuality is not illegal. [HuffingtonPost]

Here’s a link to the article in Arabic. [Legal-Agenda]



Three ReVa (Reverse Vending Machines) Installed At The American University of Beirut

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The ReVa machines are based on the 3Rs principle: Recycle, Redeem and Reward. They accept empty juice bottles and cans, soft drink bottles and cans and water bottles and give in return green coupons which AUB staff or students can exchange later on for free water bottles, Plat Du Jour or even free guest passes at CHSC.

This is a great initiative to help spread awareness and improve the recycling process at AUB. So far 3 ReVa machines were installed at Ada Dodge Cafeteria, Charles Hostler Student Center and AUBMC Cafeteria as part of the pilot program and hopefully the idea will spread to other universities and even businesses. Based on AUB article, the number of bottles placed inside the machines during the month of February reached around 9000 bottles.

Spinneys already has ReVa machines in all its branches.

Beirut On Ice 2014 – Ice Skating at City Mall Dora

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I was passing by City Mall a couple of weeks back and I noticed there’s an ice skating rink on the last floor. The ice rink is pretty big and could fit up to 60-70 people maybe. There are trainers to help out the first timers and trust me you will need one otherwise you will keep falling down. I remember when I first tried ice skating long time ago in the huge ice rink near Dream Park in Zouk Mosbeh, I kept hurting (my ass and back) for a couple of days after.

The entrance is for 25,000 LL but there are special discounts for students and groups. You can check out more information [Here].


LinkedIn to include new ‘Wasta’ section for Middle East markets

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Hilarious stuff from the Pan-Arabia Enquirer and the comments are as epic as ever! Read the full article and comments [Here].

In an announcement made this morning, the company revealed that the ‘Wasta’ category would be launched next month and would instantly allow its “10 million plus users across the region to update their profiles with important information about who they know, who they’re related to and any other influential connections that could improve their chances of getting a job”.

“Localisation is absolutely vital for us,” said LinkedIn regional manager Hisham Caterjee. “Our MENA clients need to show prospective employers key abilities such as having an important uncle or being the shisha buddy of a high ranking civil servant.”

PS: Pan-Arabia Enquirer is a satire website.

Register For The 2014 Raid Des Cedres Through the Rangers Events App

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The “Raid Des Cedres” is a yearly event organized by the Rangers Regiment and that I would love to go to one day (Target is next year). The race starts at the Cedars of Tannourine usually and ends in the Cedars Forest in Becharre. This year the Lebanese Army launched an app to register for the event and get to know about other activities they’re organizing throughout the year.

There are 3 types of races you can register to, the 45K, the 30K and the 18K. Download the app [Here].

Part from their mission to empower Military-Civilian interaction, The Rangers of Lebanese Army are organizing yearly sports events in Lebanon to promote the below objectives:
– Enjoy Lebanon’s nature
– Exploring Lebanon’s mountains and beauty
– Promote Lebanon’s touristic image by making the event as International on yearly basis
– Respecting and preserving nature
– Competing with spirit