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Lebanese Chat: News, Events, Popular Culture, etc...

9103 Views 270 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  Phoenician Empire
I thought this thread would be a great addition to the Lebanon sub-forum. This way instead of getting off topic in other threads, here we have a place to discuss and debate in a civil manner issues of interest to the Lebanese community in Lebanon and around the world.

Anything can be brought up in thread really as long as it is appropriate; we can discuss popular culture relating to Lebanon and the Lebanese community.

Also, as always, non-Lebanese forumers are more than welcome.
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Well,good to hear that a lebanese girl made it on the show.But,i hated the american princess and i guess i'm not going to watch this one:D
Staracademy&superstar.those are the most popular,especially STARACADEMY.
by the way,have u been guys voting 4 joseph attieh in starac.3???????
Yes,right.that's what i meant:)
Sean paul(byblos festival)and deep purple(baalbeck festival),are coming this summer too.
Nadini said:
yeah Nawal El Zoghby has good songs but her looks are not quite nice. She was better before the plastic surgery. She ruined herself!!
*UofT* said:
Hey, I just wanted to Congratulate you guys on your new forum :cheer:

Go Lebanon!!
Thanx Uoft:)
yesssssssss,sean paul at byblos internation festivals.
Welcome aezzeddi:)
Lebanese-born NASA official to enter Order of the Cedars

BEIRUT: Lebanese-born Charles al-Achi, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, arrived Saturday in Beirut, where he will visit several Lebanese universities before President Emile Lahoud decorates him with the Order of the Cedars, officer grade.

A report published by Al-Balad daily on Sunday said that upon his arrival at Rafik Hariri International Airport, Achi addressed journalists, calling on Lebanon's youth to "work hard in order to achieve their goals," and adding that "everything is possible." Achi also expressed affection for his native country, saying: "Lebanon is always on my mind ... I am an American citizen of Lebanese origin." Born in Riyaq, Zahle, Achi left Lebanon in 1964 to study in France after receiving a scholarship from President Charles Helou.

Four years later, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics and a diploma in engineering from a French university before continuing to earn a doctorate in electrical sciences from the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). He eventually settled in California to raise his two daughters and has taught at Cal Tech for 30 years.

Achi has published some 230 papers on the subject of space exploration, and a small planet, "Achi 4116," was even named to honor to his contribution in the field.

Even as a renowned academic and scientist, Achi never forgot where he came from.

"My office is decorated with photos of Lebanon, as well as the Lebanese flag," he said.

The Al-Balad report said that Achi would visit Saint Joseph University's Ain Saade campus on Monday before the medal ceremony.

Achi is scheduled to make several appearances Wednesday, including a lecture at the American University of Beirut on "The Challenges and Excitement of Space Exploration."

On Thursday, Achi will visit the Lebanese American University's Byblos campus, followed by the Louis Wegman School in Beshamoun, the report said.
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Hey aezzeddi:)
He's asking"in which department does ur cousin work in hotel dieu?"
OK guys,
Today is may 25.(south lebanon liberation day).What do u want to say?and what does this day mean to you??

I just wanna say that this day along with april 26,lebanon has proved that it's a free country.and no matter what happened and happens,lebanon and lebanese will always be FREE.and it proves how unlucky the lebanese are to have such neighbours.
BBC back in Beirut after 15-year hiatus
UK media giant seeds bureau with 2 local correspondents

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) reopened its Lebanon Bureau this month after a 15-year break that began in the early 1990s. Two local correspondents - Kim Ghattas for the English news service and Nada Abdel Samad for an Arabic news service to be launched in 2007 - will cover Lebanon and Syria from the new downtown headquarters in Riad al-Solh square, occupying the same building as the Associated Press.

In a homecoming of sorts, one of the BBC's most seasoned Middle East correspondents, Jim Muir, will report regional politics from Beirut after an almost three-decade hiatus. The peripatetic, self-proclaimed "Arabist" moved on to stints managing the BBC's regional branches in Cairo and Tehran after "it went quiet in the 90's around the time of Taif."

"I reported all major events in Lebanon in the 70's and 80's, but I had to leave (for Cyprus) in 1980 because I was on a Syrian hit list," Muir told the Daily Star at Tuesday's reception at the new headquarters.

"When I first came here in 1975, I landed behind the Cinema Orient and could see immediately that Beirut was just so full of life, and then it became a battle field obviously. Now the country has come back to life, and the new downtown is a symbol of this," Muir said.

The BBC has continued to report from Lebanon despite the closure of its Beirut offices through a combination of local and visiting journalists. Its new Lebanon desk will be bigger than the Amman office, where it has a minimal presence, but smaller that the regional hub in Cairo, and - depending on the security situation - its branches in Baghdad and Jerusalem. But Simon Wilson, the editor of the BBC's Middle East Bureau, aims to expand the networks' Middle East operations eventually.

"My ambition in the future will be to open a bureau in Damascus for the Arabic News Service, but at the moment this is the appropriate size for covering the two countries, and if there is a big story other regional correspondents can come to support Nada and Kim," he said.

Wilson acknowledged that the timing of the decision to reopen the BBC's Lebanon desk was influenced by the political developments following former Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination and the Syrian withdrawal, though he is careful to emphasize that "we never completely left."

"This is a big vote of confidence in Beirut and our team here," Wilson said.

"We think Lebanon is at a crossroads right now, politically, socially, and geographically."
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Beirut plans law to help owners preserve special old homes
Legislation includes financial aid
BEIRUT: A new law proposed by the Ministry of Culture offers financial incentives to buy, sell and restore buildings officially designated as "heritage sites," a solution that may save endangered Lebanese architecture while opening a potentially lucrative niche in the real estate market. The proposed law seeks to address the concerns of property owners and conservationists, who have long complained that the government gives no compensation for buildings it deems too culturally valuable to be altered or torn down.

"Its very easy for the government to say 'this is protected,' but then the owners of the property can't do anything but sell it as a house when it's worth millions of dollars as a property," explained Dmitri Anid, a real estate agent based in Beirut.

"Maybe they love the house and would like to see it preserved, but there's a financial matter," he said.

The law, which was submitted to the finance minister in April, would make property owners who restore protected buildings exempt from all construction-licensing fees and 50 percent of the value of evacuation and moving out fees.

They would also be exempt from property tax and registration fees when renting or selling for a period of one to 10 years, "depending on the value of the house."

The law would also provide for the creation of a national restoration fund outlined in the budget law of 2003 by adding 2 percent to all building licenses. The fund would be available to the owner of any building under protection to assist in the costs of restoration.

In addition, owners would be able to charge tenants 15 percent of any personal expenses incurred by the restoration.

In cases where the owner is unable to undertake restoration, the Culture Ministry would reserve the right to carry out the necessary construction. The cost of restoration would appear as a debt on the building's registration papers to be paid out of any profits from the sale of the house thereafter.

The proposed law, however, must be approved by the finance and justice ministries and the council of ministers before it can be voted on in Parliament.

The debate between developers, homeowners and 'heritage activists' has been escalating since the end of the Civil War when the rebuilding process threatened to demolish many old buildings.

Mounting concern led the High Council of Urbanism in 1993 to commission a group of architects to conduct studies of each area in Beirut and come up with a "heritage list" of buildings to be preserved, according to Toufic Yannieh from the Culture Ministry.

"There were about 1,016 houses after the first inventory, and then they added some to complete certain clusters and streets - it was done comprehensively, not building by building," said. "It was a good study that could have preserved a whole area."

But the original list encountered strong opposition from homeowners, who could not afford to renovate their newly protected buildings, and from developers, who wanted to build on land they occupied.

A second study was commissioned to assess the physical condition of each house individually and assigned them classifications from A to E: A being the best preserved and E the worst. The council then removed all buildings classified as D or E from the list, breaking up the cohesive clusters and reducing the heritage list to just 220 structures.

The lack of area preservation led to an overall devaluation in the market value of traditional structures, according to Fadlallah Dagher, an architect and member of the heritage preservation group, Association pour la Protection et la Sauvegarde des Anciennes Demeures.

Infrastructural problems associated with old neighborhoods, like sewage and parking, were compounded by the fact that most of these areas are close to the city center where the highest building rights are, creating a strong incentive for developers to build as high as possible on those properties.

"Developers were allowed to build with no respect for context," Dagher said. "If there were a plan to enhance the whole surroundings, of course there would be a market for old houses."

In addition to a lack of comprehensive urban planning, cumbersome inheritance laws that allow properties to be split among numerous heirs makes transferring properties difficult, stifling a burgeoning real estate market.

Recently, however, the success of neighborhoods like Gemmayzeh, with its "old Beirut charm," has demonstrated the market value of renovated buildings, and spurred demand from Lebanese who would like to see them preserved.
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Hey lebaneseangel,how r u?seems everybody is busy.Well,going to lebanon,not confirmed yet.
YESSSSSSSSS,i'm with :
yes,right lebgurlbut why can't u vote??????????the new law will allow the 18 years old pple to vote :D
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