Update on the St.Georges Cathedral Clock Tower

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Picture taken in February 2012

I was asked by one of the blog’s readers if the steeple was done or not yet and I was able to get a one-week old picture shown below. As you can see, the steeple still needs few months to be completed and maybe more if they keep working at this slow rate.

I’ve always wondered about the reason behind building this steeple, and whether it was really to match Al Amine mosque’s minarets but I was never able to get a proper answer. I am also not sure whether it was Rafic Hariri who funded it or not. If the Church is funding this project, I think it would have been wiser to use the money and help the needy and poor.

Speaking of Al Amine mosque, and even though I find it beautiful, I never saw it fit with its surrounding and believe it should have been located somewhere else. Every time I look at it, I feel like someone rebuilt and restored Beirut in a certain way and then someone else just came and put the mosque there without looking around.

Most of Beirut’s religious structures (Churches, mosques) are well integrated with the surrounding buildings, except for Al Amine’s mosque.

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Picture by Gino

Lebanon has the world’s second biggest rise in cigarette consumption per person in 20 years

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I think we will easily top that list if Shishas were also included not just cigarettes. Hopefully after seeing these statistics, the government and more specifically the Ministry of Tourism, will consider allocating more money to enhancing and implementing Law 174.

The simplest thing that can be done is raising the ridiculously low cigarette prices in Lebanon.

Together, China’s 1.3 billion citizens plough through more packets than anywhere else. The average Chinese person smoked 30% more in 2012 than in 1990, ranking the country 11th by consumption per head. Lebanon and Myanmar saw even more dramatic growth (though a shift from illicit to official sales somewhat distorts those trends). [Economist]

via Mustapha

The Nathalie Fadlallah Effect

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I read the below paragraph like 3 times and am still wondering what got into the author’s mind to write such a thing? Like seriously who wants to read about horny and sweaty Lebanese policemen?

Maybe it’s better for media portals in Lebanon to focus on getting more detailed information from Tripoli and Arsal rather than give that much attention to a candidate who’s running without an electoral platform.

Fadlallah [High-Res]

Intekhabet.com

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[YouTube]

A nice initiative and by the looks of it, more money will be spent on the upcoming elections than on any previous elections held in Lebanon (If elections ever take place).

My favorite slogan for the Lebanese Elections is #2badMenno_IntekhibDoddo

Eight prominent bloggers from the Lebanese online scene are launching a virtual mock electoral campaign in retaliation to what they say is the mockery of an entire nation.

The bloggers Hanin al-Siddique, Ali Fakhri, Salim al-Lawzi, Imad Bazzi, Zeinab Abdul Satter, Omar Kabul, Fakher Salameh and Mahmoud Ghzayyel are behind this virtual campaign.

Tweeps, bloggers, facebookers are encouraged to visit the website www.intekhabet.com or otherwise tweet under the hashtag:

#Sell_Myself #Abi3_Nafsi [Source]

Romania beats former record holder Lebanon with a 5-ton flag

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I think we should hurry up and prepare to break Romania’s record and show them that we love our country more. After doing so, we can get back to killing each other in Tripoli, Arsal and all over Lebanon.

The Romanian flag covers three football pitches, topping the previous record holder in Lebanon.

A military brass band played as Prime Minister Victor Ponta and other ministers arrived in the village to view the flag. [Link]

Thank you Dany!

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism shuts down Ghost night club

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[High-Res] via LebanonFiles

The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism decided to shut down Ghost night club after it reopened less than a week ago, just like it did with Acid over a year ago. Of course no legal actions were taken against Antoine Chakhtoura for his wrongdoings and for violating the most basic human rights.

I had no clue it was the same person behind the two clubs. I am surprised to be honest that he didn’t file any lawsuit against Chakhtoura.

Things to do in Lebanon

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Picture by Ahmad Moussawi

I got an email from one of the blog’s readers last week asking me about things to do in Lebanon aside from the same old Baalbeck, Byblos, Jeita trips. I have to say that even though Lebanon is a great country to visit, there’s little information available for tourists and even Lebanese on how to plan a whole day and enjoy the beautiful and vibrant Lebanon.

I’m coming home in July and plan to show buddies of mine the Beauty and vibrant culture of Lebanon. Not looking for nightlife rather what to do in 7 days in Lebanon other than the same old Baalbek, Byblos, Jeita…

Of course you’d expect the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism to have a decent website to help out tourists but attracting tourists is apparently not a priority for them. TripAdvisor and similar websites are definitely more helpful in that case but they are missing out on a lot of information still, and scaring away tourists with these security alerts (see below), which are sort of justified to be honest, specially when Tripoli is one of the top destinations to visit in Lebanon.

Trip

This being said, I thought of a nice way to help out my friend and anyone coming for a visit this summer, by compiling all the activities I’ve done and places I’ve been to, and suggest many ways on how to spend a day in Lebanon.

I’ve already prepared 7 full-day activities all across Lebanon which are scheduled to be posted in the days to come. If you feel you can contribute to this series of posts, feel free to email me at najib@blogbaladi.com and I will gladly compile the information into a new post.

PS: This post and the upcoming ones are scheduled as I am on vacation with limited internet access.