Dubai & Beirut pedal in tribute to Lebanese Cyclist Roy Nasr

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A day after the unfortunate accident that claimed the life of Triathlon Champion Roy Nasr near Safa Park, the cycling community in Dubai gathered at the Qudra cycling track at 5.30am to pay tribute to Roy. They all cycled wearing a black badge.

Similarly the Lebanese Cycling Community is organizing an open bicycle ride from Marina Dbayeh to Raouche on Thursday in tribute to Roy. The meeting point is in the middle of Marina Dbayyeh at 6pm and cyclists will throw flowers in the sea at the finish point in Raouche. You can check out more details [Here].

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To be honest, and I am almost ashamed to say that, but I haven’t heard of Roy until his tragic death and I was saddened by it, but what saddened me even more and upset me was a comment by Stephy, one of Roy’s relatives:

Roy is my uncle.. I’m glad one Lebanese said something about it… It’s funny how it is first page everywhere in Dubai and hardly mentioned around here, instead of being proud abt all his achievements as Lebanese, who, btw, always has competed and won raising Lebanon’s flag.
I’d also like to point out how we tried, many times, to include his news in the Lebanese media with no success… It was a big deal whenever he won anything in the UAE.. Also the UAE asked him many time to compete as an emiratee and he’ll be fully sponsored, but he never accepted.. Such a disappointing country, shame…
Roy is a legend, not only in sports but also in his work and career and an amazing person (quoted by so many)..
Thank you for posting this brief…

It’s a disgrace that a great athlete like Roy didn’t get noticed by the Lebanese media and never got the support of his native country. Roy’s funeral will take place in Lebanon Dubai on Tuesday at 2pm at St Francis of Assisi Church in Jebel Ali.

My sincere condolences to his family and friends once again.

Should We Arm Municipalities In Lebanon?

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A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during the country's municipal elections in Beirut
Source: Al-Monitor

I’ve mentioned on several occasions the need to give municipalities increased responsibilities to enhance security and lower the crime rate in Lebanon, and it looks like it’s finally happening now due to the latest bombings and events in Lebanon. I’ve also suggested “setting up few useful apps for citizens to submit reports almost instantly” before the Lebanese Army launched ten days later the LAF Shield.

However I have few concerns when it comes to arming Lebanese municipalities knowing that you just need a clean criminal record and barely any qualifications (Brevet sometimes) to become a member of the municipality police in Lebanon. Of course I am assuming there’s no “wasta” involved in the recruitment process but we all know that’s not the case. Added to that, there are few heads of municipalities who could exploit this opportunity to form their little militia and commit wrongful acts such as harassing foreign workers and refugees (Which is already happening) or picking on certain people for personal or financial reasons.

[YouTube]

Having said that, what I recommend is the following:

– Avoid arming municipality members and assigning one member of the ISF and/or another from the army to accompany the municipality police on their patrols or assist them on checkpoints.

– If it’s impossible to deploy an ISF or army officer for every town, one or two municipality police members should undergo a proper training by the ISF or the army and later on become eligible to hold a gun. Nevertheless, they should report to a joint unit formed of ISF and Army members for a specific area and not to the head of the municipality.

– If both are not plausible solutions, then the municipality members won’t be armed and will have to report any incident to a joint unit (ISF + Army) that should be able to interfere promptly.

What is needed the most now is money and equipment to allow municipalities to patrol their towns all day long and set up cameras and neighborhood watches. This will not only help prevent bombings and crimes but improve security on the long run and raise awareness among the town residents all across Lebanon. In that context, the Ministry of Interior should come up with a law that forces every town and village to allocate a certain amount of money for security-related equipment, training sessions, awareness campaigns etc …

As far as Syrian refugees are concerned, municipalities should assign specific areas in every town for these people and stop the illegal and racist curfew hours. After all, refugees are not leaving anytime soon and we need to figure out a way to co-exist, as well as monitor who’s coming in and out to detect any potential terrorist or troublemaker. Unfortunately, I think it’s a bit late for that but it’s better late than never.

On a last note, it is worthy mentioning that Minister Charbel did specify that there are plans put in place to enhance security, but I don’t have access to them, so let’s hope the concerns regarding arming municipality members were taken into consideration.

Two New Burger Joints in Beirut

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Marky’s: I’ve been hearing a lot about this place and specially their Poutine burger. I’ve been meaning to go but the place is in Sin el Fil, which is a bit far from me.

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Street Burger: This place opened recently in Gemmayze and has a 520g burger! I wish they upload some decent pictures on their Facebook page to see how these burgers look like but I like their concept so I am gonna give them a try. Their Animal Fries look delicious.

Act for Maaloula: Let’s play a game!

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Maaloula

I am sure whomever came up with this page had good intentions but creating a Facebook page and starting contest based on likes and a jury to help a town being taken over by Islamists/Rebels/Soldiers is a bit weird and sends out the wrong message. They should have simply encouraged people to submit entries and share them and that’s about it.

As far as I am concerned, the only way Lebanese could help Maaloula is by staying away from Maaloula.

Our part will be circulating and promoting all your creations across social media. The top contributors will be selected based on the following rank: 40% for the number of likes, and 60% based on our jury’s decision. The members of the jury will be announced soon.

What are the awards? For videos, you’ll see your video broadcasted on selected local TV stations in Lebanon. For articles and artwork, we will send in your submission for publishing by selected local newspapers and websites.