Gas Prices Might No Longer Drop In Lebanon

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Update (20/01/2015): It appears that the government won’t be fixing any prices and the prices will drop by more than 1,000 Lebanese Lira tomorrow.

Gas prices have dropped by over 13,000 Lebanese Liras from last year until now in Lebanon, and they should normally continue to drop since oil prices are plunging worldwide. However, it appears that the Lebanese authorities and the concerned ministries want to put an end to this drop and set a minimum price for the tank. Moreover, there are talks that they might re-introduce a fixed amount that is related to internal distribution and governmental taxes and that was abolished by Gebran Bassil a couple of years ago.

Knowing that the prices are related to international market fluctuations, I don’t think it’s fair for the government to set a minimum price. If they want to compensate for the oil companies and gas stations’ losses, they should also set a maximum price and relieve the Lebanese from high fuel bills. If the government wants to take action and help oil companies by fixing the price of 20 liters of gas at 22,000, they should also prioritize the average citizen and set a maximum price.

On another note, I wonder if the drop in gas prices has anything to do with the increase in traffic lately.

[YouTube]

#Lebanon Has The Highest Per Capita Concentration of Refugees in The World: 257 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants

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The UN announced last week that Syrians have overtaken Afghans as the largest refugee population (aside from Palestinians) as they’ve fled to over 100 countries to escape war in Syria. They are more than 3 million refugees as of mid-2014 with almost 1.1 million registered refugees in Lebanon. Lebanon’s population has grown by nearly 25% ever since the war in Syria began in 2011.

Fortunately, Lebanon has started to impose visa restrictions earlier this year and I am hoping other measures will be taken to organize this whole mess and regroup the current refugees in decent camps.

Nutella’s Controversial Billboard

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nutella - Copy Picture via Rania el Khatib

People are apparently upset with the above Nutella billboard because it shows Christian names with the English version and Muslim names (Except for Sarah which is not Muslim) with the Arabic one. I don’t know if all the billboards are like this one but I agree that the way the names were depicted in this one is wrong, even if it wasn’t done intentionally. I wouldn’t make a big fuss out of it though but whomever did this should have been more careful.

It is worth noting that it’s common in Lebanon to have billboards in Arabic for areas like Tripoli and the same billboards in French and English in areas like Jounieh and Beirut.

Update: Here are all the Nutella billboards I found on my way to work today. I couldn’t find the one posted by Rania (shown above) and as expected, there are many versions in both Arabic and English. I am checking now to see where that billboard was spotted.

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Isn’t That The Old Elie Saab Logo?

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I first thought it was Elie Saab until I re-read and noticed it’s Saba not Saab. However, I’m almost sure Elie Saab had the same logo with the same font and different thickness for the first and family name. Too bad I couldn’t find it online to compare the two as it must have be long time ago.

Spotted in Zahle.

Roumieh Prison’s Notorious Bloc B Had A Barber Shop, A Server Room, A Coffee Shop And Women Clothes

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Kalam Ennas showed yesterday exclusive footage from inside Roumieh’s Bloc B and I can easily say this is one of the biggest scandals in Lebanon’s history. A whole building inside Roumieh’s prison that contains an operations room, servers and hubs, a library and a coffee shop, a school to train terrorists, LCD and LED TVs, drugs and women clothes etc …

I am glad that Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk ended this mess but someone should be held accountable for it so that it doesn’t happen again. After all, the prisoners are still there and corruption among officers as well. If you want to know the kingpins of the Islamist Floor inside Roumieh’s prison that were identified by the ISF, check it out [here].

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Beirut Among The 50 Unpredictable And Non-Clichéd Places To Travel To In Your 20s

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Beirut made it on EliteDaily’s List of The 50 Unpredictable And Non-Clichéd Places To Travel To In Your 20s and I actually agree on their description of Beirut as being a “great place to eat, explore and party”. Beirut is a great city to visit if you are in your 20s as you could rent a small apartment or stay at a cheap motel in Mar Mikhael, Hamra or Gemayze, explore the city during the day, enjoy the great food we have to offer and party and have fun at night.

I honestly believe Beirut totally belongs (in a non-cliché way) in this list. Check it out [Here].

The hidden gems of the world are becoming hot spots for tourists — so all the more reason to visit these places sooner rather than later.

There’s no better time to travel to these places than when you’re in your 20s. As we get older, the comfort and ease of guided tours becomes increasingly appealing, so explore the world now while you still have the energy.

The world’s greatest cities aren’t going anywhere; you have your entire life to visit them. Why not go to places where you can be your own tourist?

A Letter From Yves

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Yves deserved candles not bullets, he deserved birthday cakes and celebrations not a funeral. I didn’t know Yves, neither did many of us, but we all helped spread his story and ask for the arrest of his killers because we are fed up with thugs and criminals mocking justice and doing whatever they like. We forced some politicians to come out and deny covering for these criminals and we should continue to push until justice prevails. I believe in our juridical system and I am positive there’s a number of decent judges in this country but we need to keep the pressure on and make sure every murderer gets arrested.

Until then, my good friend wrote this beautiful letter that I thought is worth sharing:

So I woke up there, it’s such a beautiful and a calm place… The last thing I remember that I was partying with my friends and enjoying my time.
I didn’t realize where I was until two beautiful angels walked towards me and welcomed me to heaven and took my hand and asked me to join them.
They showed me my room, it looks small from the outside and I was surprised, is this really heaven everyone talks about? But when I walked in I was shocked by how huge it is from the inside.

The room had 4 windows, I walked towards the first one; I saw my mom, she was there crying while looking at my picture, I called her name “Mum, I’m fine, I am here not physically but you can close your eyes and there I am hugging you and telling you how much I love you”. I couldn’t see her that way, I looked away.
The second window showed my dad, my hero. I whispered: “Dad, I know how strong you are and whenever you will break down, I will take your hand and lift you up, the way you lifted me up every time I fell since I was a kid”

The third window showed my sister, that’s when I was speechless and I couldn’t say a word.

The fourth window got bigger the closer I got to it and when I looked through it, tears of happiness filled my eyes and I couldn’t stop smiling as I was seeing many people from Lebanon and around the globe supporting #JusticeForYves.

For a second I stopped there and looked at my friends and the people who did not know me and I smiled, there were people from all around the globe.
I’m here to thank you, I’m there in each and everyone of you.
I don’t want any of you to be Yves, Stand up for me and for you.
And as I was going to get some rest, an angel knocked at my door with a cart full of letters that are from you, prayers and pictures.
Thank you people,
Much love,
Yves.