Lebanon Mentioned At The 2016 GOP Convention

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Tom Barrack, the founder of Colony Capital and one of America’s richest businessmen, is a major fundraiser for Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency and he spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

During his speech, he spent a couple of minutes talking about his Lebanese origins and the ties to Lebanon and the Levant Culture. I’m familiar with Barrack and his business but I had no clue his grandparents were Lebanese.

PS: Those are the only two minutes worth listening to in Barrack’s speech as he spent the remaining 11 minutes praising Donald Trump.


If you want a quick recap of the GOP convention, watch John Oliver’s brilliant take on it:


10 Silly Guinness Records We Can Break At No Cost in Lebanon

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Since we have a talent for breaking silly Guinness Records, which include the biggest Hummus dish, the largest Lemonade cup and most recently the longest red carpet, here are ten records we can set at barely any cost in Lebanon:

1- The longest, most religiously diverse and chaotic queue at a governmental institution.
2- The biggest heart-shaped Shisha smoke cloud in the world.
3- The longest one-hand applause on an airplane while eating Knefe with the other.
4- The highest concentration of influencers/fashionistas/foodies/instainflueanistas per 1,000 inhabitants.
5- Most people swimming in a pothole while smoking Shisha with one hand and opening a champagne bottle with the other.
6- The largest number of convoy cars and bodyguards in a 50sqm public school.
7- The longest garbage-based bridge in the world.
8- The longest time honking a horn while cursing at other drivers while going the wrong way, wearing a seat-belt and smoking a cigarette.
9- Most policemen passed while performing an illegal stunt on the highway.
10- Most holy water cups thrown by hosts in a political TV show.

If you have other records in mind, please do share.

Texas A&M University To Honor Lebanese Jean-Claude Kalache, DOP at Pixar Studios

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JCK1 Photo Credits: [VentureBeat]

Jean-Claude Kalache traveled to the US in 1990 to continue his studies and earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in 1993 and a Master of Science in Visualization degree in 1997. Kalache got offered a job at the Academy Award-winning film studio Pixar and has been working as the director of photography ever since.

He was part of the team that produced Oscar winning movies such as Geri’s Game AK, “Toy Story 2”, “Monsters Inc”, “Cars”, “UP” which earned an Oscar in 2010 for Best Animated Feature and earned a Best Picture nomination, and he’s currently working on “Toy Story 4,” scheduled for a 2018 release. Kalache was nominated for a top achiever award and will be honored this year by the Texas A&M College of Architecture as an outstanding alumni.

This honor is the highest honor bestowed by the college to former students.

JCK I first wrote about Kalache back in 2012.

“He leads teams of artists and technicians who execute a film’s director’s vision,” said Tim McLaughlin, head of the Department of Visualization, in a nomination letter. “It’s both an artistic and technical task. He acts as a painter by depicting mood and character through the use of color and intensity, and as a technician by directing his crew through the language and tools of computer graphics.”

Thank you Patricia!

An Enlightening Report On The Great Famine of Mount Lebanon (1915–1918)

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The CMDR (Centre Maronite de Documentation et de Recherche) released a nice report on The Great Famine of Mount Lebanon between 1915 and 1918 that lead to the death of half of the population of Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate.

This is a crucial part of our history that is not elaborated enough at schools in my opinion despite being one of the worst foreign campaigns led by any regime against the Lebanese population. There’s plenty of unseen and rare footage in this video and make sure to watch till the end to see how Lebanese from all religions and areas and especially the expats joined hands to help those in need.





Updated List of Safe Beaches in Lebanon

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Assafir Source: Assafir via CNRS

I found a more recent report on the beach water quality along the Lebanese coast and a list of Lebanon’s most and least polluted beaches. The report was prepared by the Lebanese Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) and examined over 30 different spots throughout the last two years (till May 2016).

Lebanon’s safe beaches:
– Tripoli (facing the Arab University – Shokor Mosque)
– Anfeh
– Batroun & (Koubba/Batroun)
– Al Heri/ Chekka (Saleh beach)
– Jbeil & Fidar
– Maameltein (facing Casino Du Liban)
– Tabarja
– Beirut (Riviera – Ain al-Mreisseh)
– Tyr
– Naqoura

Lebanon’s most polluted beaches:
– Tripoli/Mina stretch, facing Abdul Wahab Island
– Antelias (Marina entrance)
– Manara and Ramlet al-Baida beaches

Assafir shared a useful summary of that report. You can check out the full list below as published by Assafir via CNRS:



Originally posted by newsroomnomad

Dewars Introducing the Scotch Egg in Lebanon

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scotch egg1 [Source]

Dewars Lebanon has officially launched The Scotch Egg Club a week ago that will take over Garden State on Monday on the 1st of August. I missed out on the launch but I’m eager to try out the scotch egg. For those who are not familiar with it, a Scotch egg consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried. The chefs at the events are flavoring the scotch egg with whiskey.

It’s not the healthiest dish to have but it’s definitely worth a try. I will let you know next Monday how it goes.


8 Stunning Pictures From Inside Lamartine/ Mezher’s Palace, Hammana

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La Martine Palace  3 Photo Credits: Jad Ghorayeb

The famous Mezher palace located in Hammana and overlooking the valley was once the residence of the famous French poet and statesman Alphonse de Lamartine. The Mezher palace was dubbed the Poet’s dream and quoting Lamartine* “surpasses in elegance, grace and nobility all that I have ever seen of its kind; It may be compared only to one of our most marvelous Gothic castles of the Middle Ages”. The 19th century poet went on to describe the surrounding Hammana valley as “one of the most beautiful views that men have ever beheld, an opportunity to paint the creation of God”, and that “painting or words can describe only one detail of the fairy like treasure with which the Creator endowed Lebanon. The greenery, the trees, the orchards and the forest are renowned, going down in succession and filling the valley with their riches…”.

Lamartine lived there with his wife, and his daughter Julia. In 1933, a French mission visited Hammana and placed commemorative plaque inside the palace in the room where the great poet had slept.

My friend Jad Ghorayeb was visiting the palace last week and was able to get inside and take some stunning pictures which I’m sharing. The Mezher palace is a private residence and its owners have kept its authenticity and beautiful appearance throughout the years.

The pictures are shared with Jad’s consent of course. Make sure to follow his [Instagram page] as he explores hidden gems from all around the country.

LaMartine Old Photo Credits: Amine Saad

Hammana Village of Ba’abda Kaza is located on the Western Lebanese Mountains’ chain at an altitude of 1200 m making it best as an ideal summer resort . The word “Hammana” may have come from the name of the Phoenician god of the Sun “Hammon” or “Hamman”. These two names are derived from the word “Hama” that means: The Heat Of the Sun.

Hammana was first full of Muslim Druze families but from the 16th and 17th centuries on wards, Christians flowed into Hammana at the invitation of Druze Leaders, coming as farmers, technicians, workers and craftsmen. The Mezher Muqqaddameen received them with open arms, giving them free pieces of lands , while Abu Hussein Mezher allowed them to build churches so to pray and practice their religion. Source: Baldati

La Martine Palace 6 Photo Credits: Jad Ghorayeb

La Martine Palace 2 - JadG Photo Credits: Jad Ghorayeb

La Martine Palace - JadG Photo Credits: Jad Ghorayeb

La Martine Palace  10 Photo Credits: Jad Ghorayeb

La Martine Palace  9 Photo Credits: Jad Ghorayeb

La Martine Palace  7 Photo Credits: Jad Ghorayeb

foutain la martine Photo Credits: Jad Ghorayeb

* Source: Voyages en Orient – 1835.

Facebook Shuts Down Adeela Page

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Update: Adeela is back

Adeela-عديلة page was taken down by Facebook for unclear reasons. Obviously someone must have reported the page but none of its content violates Facebook terms so this is pretty weird. I hope it’s just temporary because Adeela is hilarious!