Beirut River Solar Snake: The First Solar Farm In Lebanon

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Picture cropped originally taken from RitaKml

This idea was launched today by the Ministry of Energy and Water through the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (L.C.E.C). Rita has all the details on this project:

As shown in the first picture above, the idea behind the Beirut River Solar Snake is to cover the concrete structure, around 6 meter above river level, with solar panels and to generate, as a start, 1MW which will be linked to the grid via an inverter. The river will be covered with 20,000m2 of solar panel space in the first phase.

The final goal is to generate 10MW and in order to do so, 6.5km will be covered with solar panels. The money generated from phase 1 will be reinvested in the project to add add.

The maximum budget is set to a maximum of $4 million. But this cost is projected to decrease knowing that similar projects in Jordan cost around $2.3 million without taking into consideration the cost incurred by the structure.

Moreover, the French Embassy will provide Lebanon with a solar panel testing platform which will serve as a lab. This will also have educational purposes for all parties concerned including students. I see it as a mean to involve the population. The pre-qualification bid announcement for the Beirut River Solar Snake project will take place on 23 April 2013.

I don’t know much about solar farms but that’s the first time I hear about building one on top of a river. What happens if the river floods? How about the chemicals and garbage being thrown in the river? Doesn’t Nahr Beirut require maintenance? I don’t know much yet about this project but anything related to renewable energies is interesting so let’s hope it’s for the best.

Thank you Elie!

One Wig Stand: Make The Cut Campaign

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I got to know Loryne Atoui and her NGO OneWigStand from TEDxBeirut but then I met Loryne on two occasions, one of which was during the shooting of Min el Ekhir where she was presenting her idea.

We had a long wait ahead of us so she talked me through her initiative and I absolutely loved what she’s doing. As you all know, “hair loss comes as a result of cancer treatments and can be devastating to a woman’s self-esteem as well as emotionally distressing as they feel others will realize they are sick. Many patients report feeling insecure about their appearance during this time and isolate themselves from others as a result of this”. [Link]

The campaign will be running across Lebanon until June 2013 and the target is 400 pony tails. If you wish to help or donate, you can check out more details [Here].

From my part, I convinced my fiancée to make the cut and she gladly agreed to do so towards the end of June.


BlogBaladi on MTV’s Min el Ekhir

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When MTV first contacted me and invited me to be a guest on Min el Ekhir, I asked for some time to think this through not because I didn’t like the show, but because I don’t like public appearances. It doesn’t mean that I am shy as I’ve never had a problem talking to a classroom or a group of people, but I am not comfortable with being at the center of attention.

The show however was apparently one of the most popular ones in Lebanon, so it wasn’t an opportunity I wanted to miss, specially if it meant a bigger exposure for our blog and what it stands for, and my close friends all encouraged me to go, so I went and it turned out to be a nice experience. Of course once I finished shooting and left the studios, I thought of a zillion things I could have said better and stuff that I missed but I guess it will come with time and better preparedness.

I think the reason why it’s so successful is because the interviews are mostly short and fun and Pierre and the group of 6 professionals on the round table are cool people to talk to. From the interviews I’ve seen, they are straight forward and express their opinions honestly and criticize guests when they should. Gladly though, all 6 gave me a thumbs up even though only Roula is showing in the video.

The few comments I have on Min el Ekhir and that I heard from people who saw me yesterday was that the interview should have been longer specially that I am among the first bloggers to be featured on the show and that the topics were interesting and needed more time. That’s indeed correct and I wish I had more time to answer all the guests, specially Georges Harb, but the fact that I came up on MTV is good enough for now :-)