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Tag: Beirut

CBC investigation on who killed Rafic Hariri

CBC has just released today the 21st of November a months-long CBC investigation on Rafic Hariri entitled “Who Killed Rafic Hariri?”. The investigation, relying on interviews with multiple sources from inside the UN inquiry and some of the commission’s own records, found examples of timidity, bureaucratic inertia and incompetence bordering on gross negligence.

Among other things, CBC News has learned that:

  • Evidence gathered by Lebanese police and, much later, the UN, points overwhelmingly to the fact that the assassins were from Hezbollah, the militant Party of God that is largely sponsored by Syria and Iran. CBC News has obtained cellphone and other telecommunications evidence that is at the core of the case.
  • UN investigators came to believe their inquiry was penetrated early by Hezbollah and that that the commission’s lax security likely led to the murder of a young, dedicated Lebanese policeman who had largely cracked the case on his own and was co-operating with the international inquiry.
  • UN commission insiders also suspected Hariri’s own chief of protocol at the time, a man who now heads Lebanon’s intelligence service, of colluding with Hezbollah. But those suspicions, laid out in an extensive internal memo, were not pursued, basically for diplomatic reasons.

Read the full report of four parts on the CBC website here

(Click on the image below to enlarge)

Phone network involved in Hariri assasination - CBC

Phone network involved in Hariri assasination - CBC

Lebanese Red Cross creates world’s largest handprint painting on October 31st 2010

The series of record-breaking events continues in Lebanon with a new record set by the Lebanese Red Cross association. A 4,600-square-meter painted canvas was assembled at the Cite Sportive stadium in Beirut Sunday, breaking the Guinness world record for the largest handprint painting.

The Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) broke the record by creating the Red Cross emblem using handprints collected from various Lebanese regions. The former holder of the world’s largest handprint painting was China, with a 3,715.86-square-meter canvas encouraging youths to combat drugs.

World's Largest Handpring Painting by Lebanon - AP/Lebanese Red Cross

World's Largest Handpring Painting by Lebanon - AP/Lebanese Red Cross

Largest wine glass Guiness record by Lebanon on October 30th 2010

Organizers of a wine festival in Beirut poured around one hundred bottles of Lebanese wine into the giant glass, 2.4 meters high and 1.65 meters wide.

Lebanon managed to steal the 12 year-old record from Portugal and was officially confirmed by Guinness World Records adjudicator Liz Smith.

Organizers said winemakers from across the country had contributed their produce as part of a campaign to promote Lebanese wine — half of which they said is exported.

The wine glass may be a useful accompaniment for Lebanon’s other forays into culinary extremes. In recent years it has claimed the world’s biggest servings of kibbeh and tabbouleh, traditional meat and salad dishes, largest falafel and the biggest bowl of hummus.

Largest Wine Glass in Lebanon - Reuters

Largest Wine Glass in Lebanon - Reuters

Beirut, the supermarket of Plastic Surgeries

In Lebanon, having plastic surgery for the nose, lips, or even breasts is a very normal thing among young females. It has become a very lucrative market for plastic surgeons to a point it became the country where plastic surgery is practiced the most in the world!

Here is what Nora Awada - the subject behind the French documentary “Beyrouth, supermarché du lifting” - has to say about it:

Elles sont jeunes, belles … et la plupart sont refaites de la tête aux pieds. A Beyrouth, se faire retoucher les seins, le nez ou les lèvres par un chirurgien esthétique est presque un acte banal, dès l’âge de 20 ans. Le Liban est le pays où l’on pratique le plus d’opérations plastiques au monde, et tous les excès sont permis. Il y a même des modes : en ce moment, les clientes réclament le nez d’une célèbre chanteuse locale. Pour celles qui n’ont pas les moyens, les banques proposent des prêts spéciaux « chirurgie esthétique ». Si les Libanaises se livrent aussi fréquemment aux bistouris des chirurgiens, c’est parce que, dans ce pays, la concurrence est très rude pour trouver un mari : à cause de la guerre et de l’émigration, il n’y a qu’un homme pour cinq femmes. Mais revers de la médaille : cette dictature de la beauté crée aussi une pression sociale très forte difficile à supporter au quotidien.

Watch below the documentary (in French) by Nora Awada which was broadcasted on the French show 66 Minutes:

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Beirut featured in the Spring 2010 edition of Times Travel magazine

“Lebanon’s cosmopolitan capital is finally getting its groove back”. That’s how the New York Times Travel magazine introduces Beirut in their Spring 2010 edition.

Though it was once known as the Paris of the Middle East, ‘‘Beirut never truly lost its sheen,’’ says Gordon Campbell Gray, the British hotelier who finally opened Le Gray last November, having forged ahead even through the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. The Lebanese capital surely has a touch of Parisian glamour, but it also has a dash of Berlin (bullet-pocked buildings after a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990) and Miami (flashy night-life zones choked with Ferraris and S.U.V.’s). There’s a burgeoning gallery scene, world-class shopping — from avant-garde boutiques like IF to big-ticket designers like Marc Jacobs and Dior — and five-star hotels like the new Four Seasons and Le Gray. ‘‘The Lebanese have a spirit for living for the day, and it permeates every aspect of their life,’’ Campbell Gray says. ‘‘You really understand this when you head back to a Western city.’’

Check the featured article at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/28/t-magazine/travel-issue/28remix-beirut.html

Le Gray, Beirut - New York Times Travel Magazine Spring 2010

Le Gray, Beirut - New York Times Travel Magazine Spring 2010

On the Beirut synagogue

Lebanon was once home to a thriving Jewish community, but its estimated that there are now fewer than a hundred Jews left in the country. So it came as a surprise when the tiny Jewish community announced the rebuilding of one of Beirut’s historic synagogues.

Natalia Antelava from BBC reports on the Beirut synagogue in the video below:

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The ‘rebirth’ of Lebanon’s fashion industry

One by one, Lebanese designers are conquering catwalks across Europe. While many designers in Europe have faced problems due to the economic downturn, Lebanon’s fashion designers have had no shortage of work. They are thriving as the country profits from a year of political stability.

BBC correspondent Natalie Antelava reports below from Beirut on Lebanon’s bid to become the capital of the Middle East fashion world:

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Rami Eid: the man in the cube

Rami, hats off to you.

‘The man in the Cube’ is a project organized by The League of Independent Activists – IndyACT aiming to raise global urgency on the critical dangers of global warming and to urge world leaders to take fast and effective action against climate change in Copenhagen this year.

‘The man in the cube’ (Rami Eid) represents “the last man on earth” enduring a fierce struggle for survival against climate change effects. He will be living in a transparent 4 meter square cube on Ein El-Mreyseh in Beirut, Lebanon, for 3 days starting October 16th, 2009.

The ‘last man’ simulates the possibility of a dim future for mankind where we failed to act against climate change when we had the chance.

Follow the man in the cube on twitter and his personal blog.

Rami Eid, the man in the cube - themaninthecube.wordpress.com

Rami Eid, the man in the cube - themaninthecube.wordpress.com

via IndyACT blog

Beirut featured in Snoop Dogg’s “Thats Tha Homie” Official Music Video

“This is the party capital of the world”. That’s how Snoop Dogg described Beirut when he performed in the capital last August. He meant it when he said that, and the proof is that Beirut is featured in the official video clip of his new song That’s Tha Homie, which is from his new album Malice N Wonderland that is set to be released on December 8th, 2009.

Beirut and SkyBar got quite a bite of that video. Watch it below:

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“Beirut, I love you (I love you not)” movie by Orange Dog Productions

Beirut, I Love You (I Love You Not) is a short film by “An Orange Dog Productions” about (fleeting) love & the little pleasures in life, all set and in relation with the very inspiring city of Beirut. It is a Beirut-ish tribute to Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Amelie Poulain.

The movie was written, directed, and cast by Mounia Akl & Cyril Aris, both from Lebanese origin. In addition to Naim Jeanbart, from Syrian/Canadian origin, they formed the amateur film crew Orange Dog Productions. In addition to this one, their list of movies consists of Wife For Sale, I’ll Be Stalkin’ You, and Seducing Lola.

Check it out in the video below:

Canadian embassy in Lebanon now accepts immigration applications

Good news for the Lebanese wishing to apply for immigration in Canada. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced a couple of days ago that as of March 31st 2009, Lebanese nationals applying to immigrate to Canada may select the visa office in Beirut, Lebanon, as their main point of service.

The prelude of these enhanced services started with last year’s announcement which gave immigration applicants from Lebanon the option to have their interviews conducted in Lebanon rather than Syria. But now, applicants have the choice submit their applications to the Canadian embassy in Beirut, and have their files processed there.

But, Federal Skilled Worker applicants will need to submit their application elsewhere – to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, which is the process for all applicants in this class. Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsoring their family will continue to send their applications to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. On their application form, they will be able to select the office in Beirut as their primary point of service.

Check the press release on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
For a list of FAQ on these enhanced services at Beirut visa office, Click Here.
Visit the embassy website at www.international.gc.ca/missions/lebanon-liban .

Contact Address of the Canadian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon:
First Floor, Coolrite Building, 43 Jal El Dib Highway
P.O. Box 60163
Jal El Dib, Lebanon
Tel.: (011 961 4) 71 39 00
Fax: (011 961 4) 71 05 95 or (011 961 4) 71 05 93
Email: berut@international.gc.ca

Lebanese waiting in front of Canadian embassy - Associated Press

Lebanese waiting in front of Canadian embassy - Associated Press

The New York Times 44 places to go in 2009. Beirut is number one!

“With a recent (though perhaps tenuous) détente keeping the violence in check, the capital of Lebanon is poised to reclaim its title as the Paris of the Middle East”. That’s how The New York Times described Beirut which was chosen as number one place to go in 2009.

Its luxurious hotels, exquisite culinary scene, and crazy nightlife made it appear under the Luxury, Foodie, and Party categories.

Check the complete list at The New York Times travel website.

Downtown Beirut

Downtown Beirut - Norbert Schiller for The New York Times




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