A friend of mine asked me a question the other day that was quite troubling: Are there any swimming pools in Lebanon that allow helpers or house keepers to swim?
The sad truth is that there aren’t any that I know of as that most beach resorts and private pools in Lebanon ban house keepers and nannies from swimming or getting anywhere near the pool. Their “pathetic” argument is that some clients are not comfortable with the idea of swimming next to a maid or even worse a “black person”.
Needless to say, this is a clear violation of human rights but the sad part is that the concerned ministries never bothered to look into these pool regulations. Few days ago, the Lebanese Ministry of Labor issued a statement warning private pool owners from such discriminatory practices and pledged to take the necessary actions but we all know it’s just cheap talk.
Every summer, it’s the same story and nothing is ever done. If the Labor minister or any other concerned minister are serious about their warning, I suggest they take their house keepers and helpers and confront these beach resorts face to face.
It’s a shame that we are even talking about this matter.
صدر عن وزارة العمل البيان التالي: “تبلغت دوائر وزارة العمل ان عددا من المسابح حظرت دخول العاملات في الخدمة المنزلية اليها، سواء كانوا مع العائلات التي يعملن لديها، او بصورة افرادية اثناء عطلتهن الاسبوعية.
ان وزارة العمل تعتبر قرار المسابح مس فاضح بحقوق الانسان، وهو ما تلفت الوزارة النظر الى خطورته، وستقوم باتخاذ الاجراءات القانونية الكفيلة بوضع حد لهذا الامر داعية اصحاب المسابح الى التراجع عن هذه التدابير اللاخلاقية واحترام حقوق الانسان ايا كانت جنسيته وهويته ولونه، محذرة بأنها ستتخذ الاجراءات المناسبة في حق كل من يتخلف عن ذلك.
ان وزارة العمل جادة في حماية العاملين والعاملات الاجانب المتواجدين على الاراضي اللبنانية بصورة قانونية، من منطلق تصميمها على احترام الوجه الانساني لهذه الشريحة، على قاعدة مكافحة كل اعمال الاتجار بالبشر ومكافحة التمييز بكل اوجهه لقناعتها بما التزمت به في شرعة حقوق الانسان والمواثيق والاتفاقيات الدولية ذات الصلة”.
There are very few documented jumps from the Raouche rock but apparently it was quite common back in the old days and people would do it to show off not to commit suicide. The below video is taken from a 1983 Lebanese movie called “عودة البطل” (Hero’s return) where a stuntman called Mohammad Itani dove from the top instead of the actor Mohammad Mawla. According to NostalgiaLB, Itani was used to jumping off the Pigeon Rock.
He definitely looked relaxed jumping off the Raouche rock.
A Beirut-based architect has created a bullet resistant Kefiyyeh made out of “para-aramid synthetic fibre – otherwise known as Kevlar – which is used in body armor like bulletproof vests to help guard the wearer against ballistics and other weapons”. Al-Kadi’s scarf, the K29 Keffiyeh 001, was hand-embroidered by a woman living in Ain al-Hilweh and made its debut during Beirut Design Week.
I am not the expert here but if you get hit by a bullet, the scarf is not that thick to absorb the shock even if it’s bullet resistant so it might still kill you. In all cases, my guess is Kadi did it just for the fun of it and is not planning any production soon. It’s a pretty nice idea though and a fine execution.
PS: Let’s just hope terrorists won’t get inspired from that.
The above picture was shared by Iman Kanaan yesterday with the below text:
Ok guys. I really need your support on this. I found this man on the street today in Beirut. He’s 84 years old and his son kicked him out of his house. He’s been on the street for three months now. He’s sleeping in the mosque at night. Seniors home, Dar el 3ajazi, refused to take him in because they need monthly payments. I can’t believe I’m seeing this in Beirut. I can’t believe what his son did and can’t believe that people passed him by for three months now …. [Full Text]
I can’t really confirm this old man’s story and based on previous experiences, things are always more complicated than they look. Nevertheless, this old man obviously needs help and at least 5 people asked me if I knew any homeless shelters in Beirut and I couldn’t think of any. That’s why I am asking you to kindly share names and contact information of NGOs or organization that take care of homeless people and/or provides them with a safe shelter.
There’s already an online fundraising campaign launched by Iman who has managed to move Jeddo Abdallah (the old man’s name) into a hotel for the weekend until they contact a shelter on Monday.
A generous donor donated his hotel stay till Monday
I will share whatever information I get with all the readers as there are plenty of elderly people still living on the streets and in need of safe shelter.
Micky Chebli is a Lebanese financier, humanitarian and accomplished athlete. He decided this year to celebrate his 50th anniversary by embarking on a journey from Paris to Beirut on a bike in an attempt to raise $300,000 to help three NGOs, Les Petits Soleils, My School Pulse & Oum el Nour, and to serve as a role mode for his children.
Chebli kicked off his journey on May 26th from Paris and arrived in Lebanon on July 2nd. He managed to collect over $100,000 which will be distributed to the three NGOs, noting that he covered fully the costs of his adventure (travel expenses, technical support, equipment, gear, and campaign implementation).
“My Pain is temporarily, saving a child is forever.” Micky Chebli
This is quite an amazing achievement, one that will surely inspire his children years from now and help save children in need. We need more inspirational athletes like Micky Chebli in this country.
A suited up old man sitting by the beach, listening to Oum Khaltoum, smoking his Ajami Arguile and not giving a damn what people think. It doesn’t get simpler than that yet sometimes the most simple things can bring the most happiness. He reminded me of the times I used to go to Byblos around sunset and just sit there, have a glass of wine or a beer and enjoy the view. I miss that!
Where’s the best place to set up a new landfill? Right on the beach of course. The Costabrava landfill was approved by the Lebanese government 3-4 months ago and residents of the area are literally suffocating from the smells. In fact, anyone who’s driving from Beirut towards Khalde will notice the horrible smells on the way. At some point, it’s even worse than the Karantina landfill.
Residents of the area are already complaining and things will only get worse.
According to Lebanon24, The Lebanese Ministry of Interior and Municipalities is preparing to launch new secure driving licenses that will reduce the use of stolen and counterfeit licenses. The new licenses will come in the form of a chip-enabled magnetic card that uses biometric identification.
I couldn’t find further info on this topic but we are definitely headed towards biometric passports (I will elaborate on this issue very soon) so I wouldn’t be surprised if driving licenses get a much-needed upgrade at last. On another note, what needs to be changed as well is the process to receive a driving license. Chip-enabled driving licenses may prevent terrorists from copying them but they won’t prevent stupid drivers, who got their licenses without taking any lessons or going through a driving exam, from causing deadly accidents.
This year marks the fifth edition of the “Flying Lanterns” night (#نور_دربن), where Tripolitans gather to welcome Eid by lightening Tripoli’s sky with lanterns and collecting money to put less fortunate children back in school and help build libraries and schools. Over 1000 Tripolitans took part this year flying 1500 lanterns and collecting around 4 million Liras. This may seem like a small amount but it will help complete a library in Hay el Tanak (Tin Neighborhood), one of the most deprived areas in all of Lebanon with little-to-no infrastructure.
Photo Credits: Wael Al Jarrash
As you can see from the pictures, the atmosphere is quite amazing as more and more people are joining the event every year to light up Tripoli skies and brighten up a child’s future.