2014 Good City Index: Beirut Among The 50 Most Inspiring Cities in the World

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Beirut

The GOOD City Index includes a list of 50 cities from around the world that best capture the elusive quality of possibility. Beirut was ranked 9th in 2013 and is in 10th position this year. The report describes Beirut as a city of possibility, in various fields such as civic engagement, street life, connectivity, green life, diversity, work and life balance and others.

I know that things aren’t at their best in Lebanon, but we have to keep hoping for the best and keep pushing for change despite all the obstacles. More importantly, we need to defend our liberties and freedom of expression because without them, Lebanon would be lost forever.

You can check out Beirut’s profile [Here].

The last bastion of the liberal Middle East, Beirut is where the rest of the Arab world comes to let their hair down. While there is much more to the city than drinking cocktails on the beach, the fact that one can even do that legally is an important aspect of life in Beirut. More importantly, Beirut is one of the region’s only cities where people are free to embrace secularism, gay rights, and free artistic expression. Residents of Lebanon are constantly reminded that they are living in the midst of ongoing regional and political turmoil. However, this uncertainty has done little to slow Lebanese-funded construction. Nor has it impacted infrastructure, park development, or partnerships with cities like Geneva, London, and Paris aimed at making the city a better place to live. In 2014, Beirut’s startup scene thrived: Displaced Syrian artists established new studios in the city, the arrival of Uber ameliorated the city’s notorious traffic problem, and green activists proved Horsh Park could be a place for tolerance. Clinging to its outlier status in a region of uncertainty, Beirut will continue to be a beacon of possibility.

Huge Accident In Jeita Because Of A Sukleen Truck

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Update: Sukleen called me and it is the municipality that decides the location of the bins and how often Sukleen can pass by. The Jeita municipality should change this location ASAP because it doesn’t make sense.

Back when Minister Ziad Baroud started issuing speed tickets, I wondered why he didn’t put any radars between the Jeita roundabout and Sheile because that’s where most of the accidents happen there and it’s always due to speed, and it’s next to his house. Moreover, there are a lot of entries and exits there so it would make sense to place speed bumps or signs to let people slow down.

None of these measures were taken and accidents are still occurring. To make things worse, I’ve witnessed in the past couple of months two accidents due to this Sukleen garbage bin which is placed on the highway. I don’t know who decided to put the bin there, but the Sukleen truck parks there every night blocking the right side and surprising drivers. Of course drivers are not supposed to be speeding but that’s the worst place to put the Sukleen bin and it has to be relocated.

Luckily enough, no one got hurt.

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Hospital غير مطابق

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inside hospital via BintJbeil

This is probably a fake picture but it cracked me up. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if it really happened in Lebanon. I wouldn’t be surprised of anything happening here anymore.

Update: The hospital stated that it is fake but no one can prove it I guess. I couldn’t find the picture anywhere else on Google.

ISIS May Have Killed Peter (or Abdul-Rahman) Kassig

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Peter Kassig Peter Kassig in Beirut

That’s just terrible news! I was really hoping that Peter Kassig would be released soon. I’ve been following up on Kassig’s story for quite some time and this man has done a tremendous job in helping refugees specially in Lebanon.

He came to Beirut in the spring of 2012 and decided to stay here and help out the Syrian refugees. He was only 24 when he founded the humanitarian group Sera (Special Emergency Response and Assistance), aimed at providing medical training, supplies and treatment in areas too difficult for other humanitarian organizations to operate in. He also changed his name from Peter to Abdul Rahman. I remember reading about Abdul Rahman on the Lebanese blog Hummusforthought who was a friend of his before he got captured in October 2013.

His humanitarian work made headlines all over the world, but it wasn’t enough for IS to free him. Here’s an excerpt from the letter he wrote to his parents while in captivity:

“I am obviously pretty scared to die…I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through,” Kassig wrote in the letter. “If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.”

Tasting The New Tarboosh Flavors: Hazelnut And Strawberry

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I finally managed to find the new Tarboosh flavors after looking at more than 5 supermarkets and small shops. Supermarket Achrafieh didn’t have them, O&C only had the strawberry flavor only, TSC Zouk Mosbeh didn’t have any but Charcutier Aoun in Jeita had both. In fact, I only found the strawberry one at first at Aoun but asked the guy who went and got me a box of hazelnut from the storage room.

I have no idea why it was so hard to find them but I wasn’t disappointed at all, specially with the Hazelnut one. In fact I didn’t like the strawberry mix that much and doubt that i’ll have it again, but the Hazelnut is spot on as it really tastes good! I like it almost as much as the original one now. Hazelnut mixes better with the original than the strawberry and its after-taste is also much better.

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