Did the IOC Reprimand Lebanon For Barring Israeli Athletes From Bus?

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libano

Few days after the Lebanese Olympic team refused to ride on a bus with Israeli athletes travelling to the Games’ opening ceremony in Rio, the International Olympic Committee reprimanded the head of the Lebanese delegation on Sunday and warned Lebanese delegation head Salim al-Haj Nakoula that they would not accept any other situations like the one according to [Haaretz] and [Jpost].

I couldn’t find any official link to the Olympic Committee’s response but I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened. Nevertheless, if that’s the case, they can take this warning and shove it up their asses. It is the organizing committee’s job to make sure such incidents don’t take place in the first place and keep Lebanon & Israel apart. The Lebanese Delegation has every right to block the Israelis because they will end up in trouble back home if they don’t, and the organizing committee as well as the Olympic committee for the Rio 2016 should have made sure these teams don’t meet.

Some people will tell me that these are just sports and that we should be competing against Israelis instead of boycotting them. I partially agree but until the Lebanese authorities decide to do so, don’t expect our athletes to go hug Israeli athletes because that’s the Olympic spirit. They’d end up in jail or even worse might not be allowed to come back home.

On another note, it’s pretty funny to hear an Israeli minister describe the Lebanese act as being “antisemitism pure and simple, and the worst kind of racism”. I recommend he reads more about the Israeli Apartheid to understand what racism truly means.

Updates On The Lebanese Athletes Competing At The Rio 2016 Olympics

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leb

Update (13/08/2016):
– Elias Nacif was disqualified on his opening game.
– Anthony Barbar ranked 50th in the heats and didn’t qualify.
– Mona Shaito lost on her opening game.
– Chirine Njeim runs tomorrow and Ahmed Hazer on the 16th.

Lebanon had a rather disappointing start to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Our Lebanese table tennis Mariana Sahakyanstar star lost in her opening game against a Nigerian player and is out. Ray Bassil, the world’s No1 female trap shooter, was hoping to clinch a medal but failed to qualify for the semi-finals unfortunately. Richard Mourjan, the first Lebanese canoeist to take part in the Olympics games, managed to finish both runs but ranked last. Our swimmer Gabriella Doueihy had an encouraging start but failed to qualify as well.

We still have a chance to grab a medal with our five remaining athletes:
Chirine Njeim (Female) – Athletics (Marathon Race)
Ahmad Hazer (Male) – Athletics
Elias Nacif (Male) – Judo
Anthony Barbar (Male) – Swimming
Mona Shaito (Female) – Fencing

Mariana Sahakyan (Female) – Table tennis (Out)
Ray Bassil (Female) – Shooting (Out)
Gabriella Doueihy (Female) – Swimming (Out)
Richard Mourjan (Male) – Canoe Slalom (Out)

You can check out their schedules [here]. I will update you as soon as we have new results.

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pingpong1

CardioDiagnostics: Cloud-based Heart Monitoring Powered by Microsoft

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sankra

Ziad Sankari was 17 years old when his father died of a heart attack. Ever since, Ziad has dedicated his career to cardiac care and has founded in 2012 CardioDiagnostics: an award-winning medical technology innovation company specialized in the R&D of breakthrough cardiac monitoring technologies.

CardioDiagnostics uses FDA-approved wearable devices that are 24/7 GPS-enabled heart rate monitors allowing for heart monitoring centers to communicate diagnostic and preventive information to patients in the United States and in Lebanon. Ziad has already won several awards and was recognized last year by US President Barack Obama as one of the emerging young entrepreneurs from around the world.

CardioDiagnostics is constantly evolving and now uses the Microsoft Cloud to transmit the patient’s cardiac data to a Cloud that’s made available to physicians anywhere in the world. Check out this nice feature made by Microsoft for CardioDiagnostics.

Lebanon’s Best Team Sport is Surprisingly Rugby League

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leb sport

The Independent surveyed the world rankings of the most popular team sports and came up with a map that shows which sport each country is best at. The team sports featured were football, rugby Union, test cricket, volleyball, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, field hockey, handball, netball, and rugby league.

Lebanon’s best sport was Rugby League as our ranking is 20th worldwide. Most people would think we’d be better ranked in Basketball but we are only 43rd while our Football ranking keeps getting worse and worse (149th).

The reason why Lebanon is so highly ranked in Rugby League is because we have experienced and talented Australian-Lebanese players on our National Team. In fact, our National Team managed to qualify for the second time to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup after defeating South Africa twice in a row.

If we look at other countries in the Middle East, Syria’s best sport is Basketball as well as Jordan and Turkey. Iraq’s best team sport is baseball, while it’s handball for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, and ice hockey for the UAE (huh?). Oman’s best sport is field hockey.

You can check out the full maps [here].

Thanks Mustapha!

Beirut Municipality Drops “Dog Ban” Proposal

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haters Photo Credits: Animals Lebanon

Beirut Municipality has dropped its proposal to ban dogs on sidewalks in Beirut and clarified that they will put in place regulations and procedures to improve safety and public hygiene, and that they will not resort to banning dogs from walking on sidewalks.

Animals Lebanon have been following up this issue from the start and a ‘Beirut S(h)it In’ was being planned to protest the decision but it’s no longer needed. The good news as well is that they will be holding meetings with the municipality in the coming week to discuss dog welfare and managing homeless dogs.

The municipality should sit with concerned NGOs and organizations for all matters related to the city and they should provide proper funding to figure out long-term solutions to pets and other matters. The municipality of Beirut is very far from the people and its reputation has been quite bad for years now but it’s never too late for a change.

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Ray Bassil, The World’s No1 Female Trap Shooter, is Targeting Lebanon’s First Olympic Gold

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raybassil Photo Credits: CNN

Update: Ray didn’t qualify to the semi-finals but improved on her previous performance. She’ll get that medal in 2020. Third time’s the charm 🙂

Ray Bassil had a rather disappointing Olympic debut four years ago in London but she’s been training hard ever since, earning medal after medal and cup after cup and climbing to the top of the Trap Shooting World Rankings. Ray Bassil is today the world’s #1 female trap shooter and she might as well be Lebanon’s first ever gold medalist at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Ray Bassil spoke to CNN about her climb to the top and the obstacles she had to overcome in Lebanon mainly due to the lack of resources and financial support for Lebanese athletes.

Ray starts competing today. Best of luck!

#Rio2016: Lebanon’s Population is 6.2 Million According to NBC

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leb

The 2016 Olympic Games were formally opened in a beautiful ceremony earlier today and were broadcasted to an estimated audience of three billion. These are the first ever Olympics to be held in South America and more than 200 teams are taking part in these games among them the Lebanese team of course.

I missed the opening ceremony this morning but a friend sent me a screenshot showing the Lebanese team and how NBC displayed Lebanon’s population as being 6.2 Million. I wonder where they got this number from? They must have added the refugees or the Lebanese in Brazil. Lebanon’s current population is around 4.5 Million. On another note, our Olympic costume is quite ugly.

Lebanon is being represented by nine athletes this year in seven different categories. You can read all about them [here].

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Thanks Miche!

Aerial View of the Costa Brava Landfill

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costa1

The Costa Brava landfill looks bad, it smells terrible and it’s located at the worst place possible. People living next to the landfill should have been evacuated prior to its opening and proper measures should have been taken to contain the smell, which is worse than you could ever imagine. Also, setting up a landfill next to an airport poses a potential hazard to aircraft operations as it attracts birds and collisions with birds at low altitudes are very dangerous.

Kalamenass flew over the Costa Brava dump site and shared an aerial view of this new environmental disaster. Based on what they said, the landfill is only 167 meters away from the airport while the distance required is 13 KM!

costa

So instead of finding a viable and sustainable solution to the garbage crisis, the authorities have decided to set up a landfill next to the sea in order to pollute it further, make more people’s lives a living hell and pose a real threat to aircraft operations.

Lebanese Competing At The Rio 2016 Olympics: Names + Full Schedule

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Leb

There are nine Lebanese athletes competing in seven different sports at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics which kick off on Sunday.

Mariana Sahakyan (Female) – Table tennis
Ray Bassil (Female) – Shooting
Chirine Njeim (Female) – Athletics (Marathon Race)
Ahmad Hazer (Male) – Athletics
Elias Nacif (Male) – Judo
Anthony Barbar (Male) – Swimming
Gabriella Doueihy (Female) – Swimming
Mona Shaito (Female) – Fencing
Richard Mourjan (Male) – Canoe Slalom

Richard Mourjan – The First Lebanese Canoeist to take part in the Olympic Games

The youngest Lebanese athlete, Gabriella Doueihy, is 17 years old while the oldest is Mariana Sahakyan who’s 38. For those who wish to follow them, their schedule is as follows:

Saturday August 6 at 3 PM:
– Mariana Sahakyan – Table Tennis Women’s Singles

Sunday August 7:
– Ray Bassil: Shooting Women’s trap at 3 PM
– Gabriella Doueihy: Swimming Women’s 400m freestyle
– Richard Merjan: Canoe slalom Men’s canoe single

Tuesday August 9:
– Elias Nacif: Judo Men -81 kg Elimination Round of 32

Wednesday August 10 at 3:10 PM
– Mona Shaito: Fencing Women’s individual foil

Thursday August 11 at 7:02 PM
– Anthony Barbar: Swimming Men’s 50m freestyle

Sunday August 14
– Chirine Njeim: Athletics Women’s marathon

Tuesday August 16:
– Ahmad Hazer: Athletics · Men’s 110m hurdles


Chirine Njeim is the first lady to represent Lebanon in the Marathon distance

On another note, Julie Dib was officially selected for Rio 2016 Olympic games referee’s committee and will be the first Arab female official referee in Taekwondo at the Olympics.

I used the (really lousy) Rio2016 website as well as Google to figure out the schedules. I will keep you posted with results as soon as they are out. Lebanon has only missed 1 Summer Olympic Games back in 1956 (it was a boycott) but has yet to earn a medal since the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow.

Best of luck to all our athletes!

Beirut Municipality Wants to Ban Dogs On Sidewalks

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dogs Photo Credits: Achrafieh2020

Beirut’s Municipal Council met on Tuesday and issued a proposal to Beirut’s Governor Ziad Chbib to ban dogs, motorbikes and Arguile on all sidewalks on the Corniche Waterfront, as well as in Sassine and Horsh Beirut. They also requested that instructions are given to the municipal police to enforce these procedures “for banners and adverts to be erected informing residents and visitors of the new implemented procedures”.

I have no idea how the council managed to include dogs, Arguile and motorbikes in the same proposal. How is walking your dog harming others? I agree that dogs should be on a leash and kept under control but banning them is utterly stupid. In fact, such a decision only punishes responsible guardians and does not address the real problems that dogs and pets in general face in Lebanon.

On another note, the real problem on Beirut’s Corniche and other sidewalks are not dogs, but cars who double and triple parallel park there, as well as small coffee shops that offer car-delivery and cause loads of traffic. Arguile is also an issue but they can easily force people to smoke in specific places instead of banning it all together. As for motorbikes (and cars as well), they are already breaking the law by driving (and parking) on sidewalks and that’s something the police should be taking care of already.

PS: The valet parking companies are also breaking the law right in front of the municipality’s building in Beirut and are hijacking other people’s parking spots and not paying any fines.