Old Beirut Metro Map

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This is a fictional map created by David Hury on his blog “Chroniques Beyrouthines” an old map showing how the Metro could have been in Beirut. Metros and trains are much needed in Lebanon to cut down on traffic and congestion in the cities but we won’t be having any of them anytime soon, even if we manage to extract oil.

While looking for pictures of old Beirut, I found this fictional Metro map from 2009 on MappingBeirut. It was created in order to “add another virtual layer to the psychological and physical labyrinth of the city, focusing on the ever-present demarcation lines that were splitting Beirut during the long period of the civil war, and its relation to the social environment in post-war Beirut.” You can check the full post [Here].

Metro Map1

Let’s see how long we’ll keep waiting for the train, or metro to come.


Tahkik on Akkar And The Indonesian Shipwreck

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The little kid’s answer on Minute 22:27 is heartbreaking

This week’s report by Claude Hindi sheds the light once again on the underdeveloped and impoverished areas in Akkar and the Indonesian ferry tragedy that killed 34 Lebanese, the majority being from Akkar. If you were still wondering what made these Lebanese sell everything they have and risk their lives to go to Australia, you won’t after watching this episode from Tahkik.

Lebanese are less happy according to the 2013 World Happiness Report

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Most of the Arab countries have a higher happiness index than Lebanon except Iraq, Palestinian Territories and Syria. I can’t say I am surprised specially after everything we’ve been through in the past 3 years.

Here’s the complete ranking list for Arab countries:
14- UAE
23- Oman
27- Qatar
32- Kuwait
33- Saudi Arabia
74- Jordan
79- Bahrain
97- Lebanon
105- Iraq
113- Palestian Territories (vs Israel in 11th spot worldwide)
130- Egypt
148- Syria

Check out the full report [Here].

The happiest people in the world apparently reside in northern Europe, according to a 156-nation survey published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Released Monday, the 2013 World Happiness Report ranks the happiest countries around the globe, with Denmark, Norway and Switzerland leading the pack. Among North American countries, Canada took sixth place, while Mexico (16) slightly outranked the U.S. (17). [HuffPost]

The yellow line indicates the period between 2005 and 2007 while the blue line indicates the period between 2010 and 2012.

Hammana Residents Protest Against Al-Qaisamani Dam Project

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Picture from NowLebanon

The protest took place 10 days ago on the Dahr al-Baidar international highway at the Falougha intersection and as usual, the reports coming from the residents and the ministry are conflicting. In fact, officials are saying there are no dangers presented by the dam but it seems hard to believe specially if you read some of the comments and arguments raised against the dam:

1- Why was the dam relocated from the Qaysamani area to Mghiteh which contains the Chaghour fall and is a protected area? Is it true that the dam construction will contaminate the Chaghour water, which is the key water source of Hammana?

2- Residents are claiming the potential risk of flooding will drastically increase if the dam is built. Also they will be getting less electricity.

3- Hammana mayor is against the dam and most of the protestors are claiming this project will only benefit the Kuwaitis (Who are funding the damn by the way). It seems someone wants to come up with a touristic project around the dam in few years time.

I think Minister Bassil should sit down with the town residents and answer their concerns if he’s that confident the dam will only be beneficial for them and doesn’t present any dangers. It doesn’t make sense that they protest and block the highway just to have fun.

The residents of Hammana in the Upper Metn region blocked the main Beirut Damascus road in Daher al-Baydar at the Falougha intersection to protest the establishment of the al-Qaisamani dam in the Falougha area , claiming it would affect their region’s potable water, MTV reported on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, schools had suspended classes and church bells were rung in protest, National News Agency reported. [Link]

Special To CNN: How Marathons Can Bring Peace By May El Khalil

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May El Khalil is the founder and president of the Beirut Marathon Association. The Beirut Marathon is taking place next Sunday.

(CNN)The sports world was shaken this past year by violence at the Boston Marathon, reminding us of the fragility of peace no matter the place and time. However, marathons in the United States, and the world for that matter, rallied bouncing back as they defied fear through running.

The drive to keep moving forward is at the very heart of marathon running, and nothing is better than large-scale sports events when it comes to helping people to overcome insecurities and fears together.

Peace is an emotionally charged word. It is something that everyone wants, and it is so elusive to so many. I come from Lebanon, a country that has seen more than its share of conflict and war, but it is also a country that embraces life and peace.

Many underestimate the power of sports to create real change in society. But in Lebanon, we have seen how sports, and especially running, can have a positive impact on individuals and ultimately on communities and countries. [CNN]