Micky Chebli Cycling For Life: 4000 KM, 180 Hours of Cycling & Over $100K Raised

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Micky Chebli Photo Credits: Patrick Baz

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).

mk1 “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.

You can check out more details on [Beirut Marathon] and [CyclistOfLife]

Happiest Man in #Beirut

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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!

Enjoy 🙂

Thanks Dyala!

It’s Summer Season: Authorities Move Landfills To The Beach

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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.

Here’s a report done back in April by GreenArea:

And another more recent one by AJ+:

PS: Someone should tell AJ+ the first 2 pictures used are old and not from Costa Brava.

Enhanced & More Secure (Biometric) Lebanese Driving Licenses?

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1 via Lebanon24

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.

loool Bayometric? Lol

Tripoli’s Flying Lanterns Night To Celebrate Eid

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Photo Credits: Natheer Halawani

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.

tri3 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.

tri2 Photo Credits: Aya M. AL Sayyed

tri1 Photo Credits: Sima Hilal

Tri5 Wael Jarrah Photo Credits: Wael Al Jarrash


Beirut Third Most Expensive City To Live in The Region, After Dubai & Abu Dhabi

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The Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey 2016 is out and Dubai topped MENA Cities as the most expensive location for employees working abroad. Beirut ranked as the third most expensive city regionally and the 50th most expensive city in the world.

Mercer’s survey includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. The survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city, and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US$. [Article]

Top 10 most expensive cities to live in the MENA region:
1- Dubai
2- Abu Dhabi
3- Beirut
4- Riyadh
5- Manama
6- Doha
7- Cairo
8- Muscat
9- Kuwait City
10- Jeddah

Of course what’s worth looking at is the quality of living that is associated with this high cost of living. Beirut ranked in that report 180th worldwide and last in the MENA region.

Top 10 ranked Arab cities in the 2016 quality of living report
1- Dubai (75)
2- Abu Dhabi (81)
3- Muscat (107)
4- Doha (110)
5- Kuwait City (124)
6- Manama (133)
7- Riyadh (164)
8- Jeddah (165)
9- Cairo (171)
10- Beirut (180)

Here’s Why It’s Safe To Walk At Night in Lebanon

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I can’t stop laughing every time I read this [story]. The sad part though is that it’s no longer that safe to walk in the streets at night as a lot of girls are being harassed and the cops are barely doing anything to catch these offenders.

On another note, it’s perfectly safe for a girl wearing a skirt to walk at night in Dubai and there are pubs and night clubs just like Lebanon now.

Lebanese Sarah Beydoun, Founder of Sarah’s Bag, Receives The 2016 Oslo Business for Peace Award

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Sarah [Photo Credits]

The Oslo-based foundation “Business for Peace” grants every year the Oslo Business for Peace Award to up to seven honourees “in recognition of their individual and outstanding business-worthy contribution to the building of trust, stability and peace”. The honourees are selected by previous Peace and Economics Nobel prize winners.

This year, Sarah Beydoun, the founder and creative director of Sarah’s bag, was granted this prestigious award and became the first honoree from the fashion industry. Sarah started her business in 2000 and has created a line of luxurious bags and accessories handmade by underprivileged women, prisoners and former female prisoners under the name “Sarah’s bag”.

Here’s what Business For Peace said about Ms. Beydoun:

Ms Sarah Beydoun, Lebanon: Ms Beydoun is the founder and creative director of Sarah’s Bag. This internationally successful company has a business model that includes social rehabilitation for underprivileged women who learn valuable skills and earn an income as well as a sense of dignity and empowerment. By following her heart – both for fashion and women at risk – Ms Beydoun has created a robust business despite the difficult circumstances in the region.

[Barakabits] spoke more in details about Sarah’s business and this award.

And here’s more about the Business For Peace foundation:

The Business for Peace is an Oslo-based foundation that works to redefine the notion of success in business and to promote an evolved form of capitalism. This endeavour is manifested by recognising exceptional individuals who exemplify the concept of being businessworthy. That is, applying one’s business energy ethically and responsibly to create value for all. An independent committee of Nobel laureates in peace and economics selects the Honourees from a pool of nominees put forward by our global partners in the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce. By facilitating this process and promoting these individuals, the vision is to unlock the positive power that lays in business to the benefit of peace and prosperity. [Source]

Jennifer Nkuene Riria of Kenya andTore Lærdal of Norway were also named the 2016 Business for Peace Honourees. This year’s Oslo Business For Peace Summit theme will be “The Opportunities for Business to Act as a Problem Solver in Society”.

Looking Back At All The Germany – Italy World Cup & Euro Encounters

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Ger Ital

I’ve been supporting Germany since 1990 and it was painful seeing them lose to Italy on so many occasions, especially when Die Mannschaft had the better team.

1962 World Cup in Santiago, Chile

West Germany drew against Italy 0-0 in the group stage at the 1962 World Cup held in Santiago.

1970 World Cup in Mexico:

I’ve seen highlights from this game tens of times. It’s known as the “Game of the century” and ended with Italy defeating Germany 4-3. Beckenbauer was leading the German team.

1978 World Cup in Argentina:

Germany met Italy in Group A and drew 0-0.

1982 World Cup at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid:

Italy convincingly defeated Germany 3-1 in the final game.

Euro Cup 1988 in Germany:

Germany failed to win the Euro at home and lost to the Netherlands in the semi-finals. Rudi Voller, Jürgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthäus & Andreas Brehme were on the team. I found the full game [here].

Euro Cup 1996 in England:

Matthias Sammer led Germany to their first European title as a unified country. Sammer is one of the greatest defensive midfielder/sweepers in the history of football and was my hero as a teenager. (I always used to play defense or a defensive midfielder in football).

2006 World Cup in Germany

Germany failed once again to win the World Cup at home and lost against Italy in the semi-finals. They had a strong squad but Klinsmann’s defense wasn’t good enough and Italy managed to score twice. The first goal was an amazing shot.

2012 Euro Cup in Poland & Ukraine

Germany played a weak game against the Italians but I have to say Balotelli was a bit too lucky also.

And of course there’s the 2016 epic quarter final that took place yesterday and saw Germany end the Italian curse once and for all!