Posts tagged Beirut

African Drumming at TEDxBeirut

Awesome performance at TEDx that took place in Beirut on November 2012.

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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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A Bike Superhighway in Lebanon?

While the Lebanese are busy following their respective political colors, people in London opened 2 new “cycle superhighways” in the city. The Barclays Cycle Superhighways is planned to be completed in 2015, while some routes are expected to be finished by summer 2011 and October 2012.

Here is the map of the bike superhighways, compared to the map of Lebanon using the same scale:

The Barclays Cycle Superhighways map, superimposed on the map of Lebanon

Highlighted on the map: Byblos on the North, Baalbek on the East, Jiyeh on the South, and Beirut on the West
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A new bike trail in Beirut

Beirut inaugurated its first bike trail a few weeks ago.

Although it is a small loop inside the city, and that it is only opened for a few hours on Sundays, it is nevertheless a small step forward towards a green and sustainable transport mentality in the ‘my car is bigger than yours’ society, and a victory for the bikers in Lebanon.

According to The Daily Star, this bike lane covers Tripoli Street of the Beirut Souks and Patriarch Howayek Street.

Here is an illustrative map for those who have no clue where those streets are

Beirut Bike Trail Map

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Learn Arabic in Beirut, with Saifi

Saifi Arabic Institute specializes in teaching the Lebanese Arabic Dialect, and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) to non-native speakers working, studying, visiting or just enjoying Beirut, Lebanon.

About Saifi

Saifi Institute offers flexible and customized group lessons for young professionals. It is active primarily in teaching non-Arabs, and Arabs who grew up overseas, to communicate easily in Arabic countries.  In addition Saifi is involved in developing the grammar, vocabulary and spelling for the Lebanese dialect to be taught in a coherent and systematic curriculum.
Saifi was opened in 2008 by Rana Dirani and now has a staff of three full time teachers, and several part time teachers.  Saifi Institute for Arabic Language is registered with the Lebanese Ministry of Finance, and operates according to labor and intellectual property laws in Lebanon.

Saifi History

Saifi Institute for Arabic Language was established by Rana Dirani in January of 2008 in one room with one teacher.  Rana, who has been teaching Arabic since 2000, and doing mental planning for Saifi since at least 2005, finally decided to start her own school when the opportunity arose to take a room at Rootspace a shared office-space.  In August 2008 Saifi expanded into is current location.
Saifi teaches people from all walks of life from all over the world – journalists, NGO workers, volunteers and even Embassadors attend Saifi Institute.  The school now has three classrooms and three teachers, and plan are underway for a new location.
http://www.saifiarabic.com

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Tips before Buying an apartment in Lebanon

Buying an apartment can be a long, complicated and frightening process, and it is important to be prepared. Knowledge is power when it comes to negotiating the difficult world of apartment prices, interest rates and mortgage loans. For a first time apartment buyer, there are many factors to consider before you buy. The more information you can gather before you start shopping, the better off you will be.
 

Every Situation is Unique

Every homebuyer will have a different set of circumstances, and it is important for the lender to consider those factors. Some homeowners may plan to move in a year or two, and they may be able to benefit from a variable rate mortgage. Others will plan to remain in their home for decades, and those home buyers may benefit from the stability of a fixed rate mortgage and its predictable and stable monthly payment.

Apartment-Metn It is also important for those buying a first home to factor in the additional costs of the mortgage when deciding how much they can afford to pay. Things like closing costs and the high price of private mortgage insurance can drive up costs and eat into funds that would otherwise be available for home improvements, furnishings and other essentials. In some cases sellers may be willing to pay some of the closing costs, and some lenders will be able to negotiate those closing costs downward. The key is to ask those questions before the closing date arrives, and to be prepared to search for a better deal if necessary.

First time buyers should also be on the lookout for any hidden fees. These small nuisance fees can add up to hundreds of dollars on closing day, so be sure to scour your paperwork for any such fees. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of any charge be sure to ask for a valid explanation. Again, an experienced real estate attorney can provide valuable insight into which fees are reasonable and which are out of bounds.

 

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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:
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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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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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Looking for roommates in Beirut?

Just a quick list of available apartments to rent in Beirut

Roommate is needed

Looking for a flatmate in Hamra

Ras Beirut

One bedroom available for rent near AUB and Hamra St

Roommate needed
Female roomate needed to share with two girls in a large apartment in Ain Al Mreisseh, one minute’s walk from the AUB girl’s dorms. The available room has a double bed, A/C and a small balcony.

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2nd Arab Bloggers Meeting

During the Internet Ideas Fair that was organised by the Social Media Exchange, Doreen Khoury talked about the 2nd Arab Bloggers Meeting that will be held in Beirut on the 7th of December. Doreen is the Program manager at the Middle East office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

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