Archive for Activism

Smokeless cafes & restaurants in Lebanon

The Tobacco Control Program of the Ministry of Public Health is doing a great job! Here is a list of cafes and restaurants that went 100% smoke-free

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Arguile Cafes vs. Salim Slam Tunnel

Sitting in a place that serves Arguileh (waterpipe) is like sitting in Salim Slem Tunnel. Literally!

Tunnel Air Quality

The National Tobacco Control Program recently carried out an Air Quality test inside Salim Slem Tunnel to measure the level of pollution emitted by car exhausts during the busiest time of day. The machine used (called SidePak) manages to capture ultra fine particles. These tiny particles go deep into the lungs and are easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

According to the World Health Organization, humans should be exposed to 25 ìg/m³ (25 particles per million) of these particles or less, to be considered in a safe and healthy environment. One would expect that the notorious tunnel would host ‘off the chart’ measurements. The test result proved this case when it recorded a 429 ìg/m³ which falls into the “Hazardous levels” according to the WHO.

The surprise came after comparing this result with tests previously done in 15 restaurants that served Arguileh, in which the measurements averaged at 376 ìg/m³. Well into the “Hazardous” range, the average air quality result for these restaurants was very close to that of Salim Slem tunnel. Six of these restaurants even had higher levels than Salim Slem, with one reaching a maximum of 723 ìg/m³!

The difference between the two locations, is that in a restaurant that serves Arguileh, you sit for hours, while it takes less than a minute to pass through Salim Slem Tunnel (most of the time with windows closed). Read the rest of this entry »

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Green Festival Seattle 2010

What I saw in the Green Festival

  1. Auspen: The World’s Eco-friendly whiteboard marker
  2. E-cycle: a program that provides free recycling of computers and other electronics. Goodwill is partnering with them.
  3. Marcal: a company making 100% recycled paper products (tissues, napkins, toilet paper, ..) tissues and toilet paper with 100% recycled
  4. Canvas Dreams: a small company based in Oregon providing sustainable web hosting
  5. Sleeping Lady: a mountain resort in the Cascades. Their business card has flower seeds in it and can be planted
  6. Birchware: naturally green, 100% compostable cutlery
  7. Haymarket Books: a seemingly socialist/communist publishing house
  8. Fungi Perfecti: a company selling edible mushrooms. I’m definitely getting one of their products!
  9. Zipcar: who still owe me a $25 credit from my subscription started last year Didn’t they just get purchased ?
  10. Yes! Magazine: handing out calendars and past issues to people that subscribe (I did)
  11. 2012 Time for Change: a film by Joao Amorim, with some times to transcendental meditation 
  12. B Green: one of a number of companies selling organic clothing items
  13. Organic Consumers: a consumer guide to organic body care products
  14. Garden Cycles: an organization protecting the Washington forests from invading weeds and ivy
  15. Alchemy Goods: A Seattle company selling accessories (bags, wallets, ..) made of recycled bicycle tires Read the rest of this entry »

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Environmental Debate at AUB, with the Ministry of the Environment, the Green Party & IndyACT

The American University of Beirut, Faculty of Health Sciences Student Representative Committee and The Environmental Club organised an  Environmental debate, at AUB.
The theme of this debate is “The Environment: How Serious is Lebanon from Copenhagen to Beirut“,  held at the Issam Fares Hall located at the Facutly of Medicine of the American University of Beirut.
The event hosted the following speakers:

Summary of  institution’s environmental agenda/action plan for Lebanon.

Next, the Q & A session: Read the rest of this entry »

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Help the People in Haiti – Facebook Scam_

You probably saw that application on Facebook by now

You install an application, spend some time filling a survey, then get satisfied that you supported suffering people by donating some money to a charity with no name, no records, no credits…

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It is both sad and frustrating to read such an article:


It grows food in sand, powers homes and the sun and this year launches the world’s finest city-wide electric car system …

… Drivers will plug in their cars to recharge for several hours at home, work or at designated free car parks throughout the country … The electricity for the cars will come from solar technology being developed in the desert …

The praising article goes on:

… “we are smart because we know that we have to be to survive” … revolutionised the watering of agricultural crops more than 40 years ago … leading the way in a new technology that harnesses solar power for clean electricity production … One company was snapped up by the German industrial giant Siemens last year for more than $400 million … is developing a system to generate electricity from the pressure of traffic driving along roads…

But what about Lebanon? Here is where we stand: Read the rest of this entry »

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Cyprus Smoking Ban 2010

Following the steps of Syria and Turkey, Cyprus introduced a law banning smoking from public places:
Cyprus and Macedonia have become, with effect from January 1 2010, the two latest European countries to toughen up their smoking bans.
In Cyprus, the new restrictions ban smoking in public places including hospitals, schools, theatres, public transport including taxis and in private cars with passengers younger than 16. Also banned is advertising of tobacco products and the sale of such products to people younger than 16.
Breaking the ban means fines of 2000 euro for smokers and owners of places where smoking takes place in violation of the law.
Meanwhile, what is happening in Lebanon?
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Valets Parking in Lebanon

Since few people have a sense of community or respect public property in Lebanon, and since most are too lazy to walk 2 meters, our take today is on Valets Parking attendants.

Valets Parking in Beirut, Lebanon

Valets Parking in Lebanon

We do not consider the valets to be second class citizens, and we do not paint everyone with the same brush. However, some are really arrogant, and we do agree with the points that Liliane, Finkployed and Lamal raised:

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The Lebanon I Dream Of, by Pierre Dawalibi

A documentary film about the wreck of a country that we made for ourselves

50 personalities describe how beautiful Lebanon is and how ugly we have made it going through pollution, corruption, traffic system, giving solutions among which the near elections out of which we can make a big change.

The movie ends with hope for a better future if the Lebanese youth overcome their ignorance and fear and lead the way themselves to a new civil country.

Watch the movie for free on

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Fun(d) Raising Collects Toys for Underprivileged Children in Lebanon for Christmas 2009

Do you want to make a difference this Christmas, instead of wasting your money on 17 bottles of champagne every night?  One way is to support  the wish in the Fun(d) Raising hearts to “draw a smile on the faces of underprivileged kids who are not as fortunate as our little children, siblings and relatives.”


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