Property consultants Cushman & Wakefield's 2015 survey of the world's most expensive streets in terms of rents for retail space ranked Beirut as the 48th most expensive retail location among 65 cities worldwide, the fourth most expensive city among seven cities in the Middle East & Africa region, and the third most expensive among five Arab cities, Byblos Bank ‘Lebanon This Week’ reported.
Each city is represented by its most expensive retail street. Beirut's global rank rose by two spots from 50th place in the 2014 survey, while its regional rank was unchanged year-on-year. The study evaluated retail rental prices between June 2014 and June 2015 in over 500 locations in 65 countries around the world.
BEIRUT--Lebanon's destructive civil war ended a quarter century ago. The capital has been rebuilt. New buildings are rising and shoppers throng luxury shops. Trendy young Lebanese fill restaurants and bars at night. Lebanon is the Middle East's only melting pot. Never has the region more needed a peaceful oasis.
However, the country is a sectarian volcano. Barely a generation ago Lebanon was torn apart in a bloody civil war which drew in America for a short time. Today cars race by buildings damaged still. Bullet pockmarks subtly mark many structures, including where I stayed.
The capital is but a short drive away from the Syrian imbroglio. A fourth of Lebanon's current population is refugees. The Shia Hezbollah movement acts as a state-within-a-state, confronting Israel to the south and anti-Assad insurgents to the east. Sunni radicalism is growing. The minority Christian community has broken apart, creating political deadlock and paralyzing the government. The country faces water shortages and power outages even in Beirut, where garbage has piled high since the July closure of the city's landfill. Warned the International Crisis Group: "today's dynamics bear an uncanny similarity to those that preceded the civil war."
BEIRUT, Nov 20 (UNHCR) – Syrian father Mohamad believes his life can be summarized by a worn out piece of paper. Carefully folded and tucked under a floor mattress, it details a growing list of debts.
Four years in Lebanon as a refugee have sucked his resources dry, and thrown him on the mercy of a good number of neighbours, relatives and friends.
"I wake up thinking about it. I go to bed thinking about it," the father-of-four said with his eyes fixed on the floor. "What can I say, we have lost everything, and now we are being forced to give up our dignity."
Mohamad's story is far from unique. Nearly 90 per cent of Lebanon's over one million Syrian refugees are today trapped in a vicious cycle of debt, according to the findings of a recent assessment of Syrian refugee vulnerability in the country by UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP.
Most refugees have not managed to free themselves from borrowings that started to pile up in 2014. Mohamad, who used to work as a truck driver in Syria until his home in Daraa was destroyed, is one of them.
Beirut: Lebanese, for the second time, are marking their 72nd Independence Day tomorrow without a president. It seems there is little to celebrate amid the crippling political paralysis that has gripped the country for nearly a year and a half now.
Lebanon’s institutions have been deliberately frozen by merchant-politicians who pretend to lead the country.
Under the grim circumstances, all official ceremonies have been cancelled.
Perhaps the most pressing issue is a continuing garbage crisis in the country since May 17 this year where political disagreements over landfills resulted in large pile-ups of garbage throughout the country’s streets.
Agriculture Minister Akran Shehayeb recently admitted the crisis was not yet solved due to “differences over the sharing of profits” and he made the desperate suggestion to start exporting the garbage as the only way out.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon said on Friday Russia was planning to carry out a three-day naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea and that Lebanese authorities were working on ways to avoid disruption to civilian flights taking off from Beirut.
Moscow, which is carrying out air strikes in Lebanon's neighbour Syria, sent an urgent telegram to Lebanese aviation authorities saying its manoeuvres would start at midnight (2200 GMT), the ministry of Public Works and Transport said.
The ministry had set up an emergency group "to ensure the continuity of takeoffs and landings at the airport, taking into account the maximum degree of public safety, it said.
Transport Minister Ghazi Zeaiter told Reuters earlier on Friday Lebanon had refused Moscow's request to divert civilian flights from over the area in international waters where they are planning to conduct the exercise.
Disputes between different groups of foreign fighters could undermine ISIS, according to a defector from the group who was interviewed by The Daily Beast.
The ISIS defector, who goes by the pseudonym Abu Khaled, spoke with Michael Weiss at length in Istanbul, Turkey, about ISIS and its internal operations.
According to Abu Khaled, although ISIS relies upon foreign fighters, its leaders still fear that those militants might not be entirely loyal and are concerned that ISIS could fracture along national or ethnic lines.
Previously, Khaled told Weiss, foreign fighters would be organized into battalions based upon their origin for ease of communication and control. But this practice has been halted following the dissolution of a 750-member-strong Libyan brigade, known as al-Battar, that was deemed to be insufficiently loyal to ISIS's overall hierarchy.
Vatican City, Nov 18, 2015 / 06:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Brazilian priest and a Lebanese scholar were awarded on Monday the 2015 Ratzinger Prizes, in recognition of their work in theology.
“With these two figures, the list of theologians who have deservedly received the Ratzinger Prizes is further enriched not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively,” Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said Nov. 16.
The two honorees were announced during a press conference at the Holy See Press Office.
Professor Nabil el-Khoury, 74, is a professor of philosophy and literature at the Lebanese University of Beirut and the University of Tubingen in Germany. He has translated the entire works of Joseph Ratzinger into Arabic, and has been involved in many theological projects and has authored numerous academic articles.Father Mario de França Miranda, S.J., 79, is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1955, and is a past member of the International Theological Commission. He has written many articles and 14 books, and has contributed to 31 other books. He has also served on the editorial boards of several magazines.
He has taught at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and at the Society of Jesus’ Faculty of Theology in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He has collaborated with both Brazil’s bishops’ conference and the Latin American Episcopal Conference.
Drones are to be banned from the airspace over the centre of Rome, during the Year of Mercy as a precaution against ISIS attacks.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said on Monday that drones will be banned from the airspace from December 8, as the Year of Mercy is due to attract millions of tourists to the Italian capital.
Addressing the Italian Parliament, Mr Alfano said that security would be tightened around any potential target, particularly around St Peter’s Square, he said: “Particular attention has been dedicated to the risk of an attack from the air, using drones.”
On Monday, Italy’s civil aviation authority, which had already announced a strengthening of security in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s attacks, said it had ordered airport directors to tighten measures further.
The House paused Wednesday night to pay tribute to the lives lost at the hands of the Islamic State terror group in Beirut, Lebanon.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., stood with members of the US-Lebanese Friendship Caucus, which he chairs, in the Well of the House to lead lawmakers in a moment of silence to honor the 43 victims who were killed when two suicide bombers attacked Beirut on Nov. 12.
“In addition to those lost in France on Nov. 13, and over Egypt on Oct. 31, almost 400 murders have been claimed by ISIS in the period of less than two weeks,” Issa said on the floor. He urged his colleagues to sign onto a resolution introduced Wednesday condemning the Beirut attack and pledging support for Lebanon.
Issa, whose grandparents were Lebanese immigrants, added that they also “urge the administration to do everything in its power to bring those responsible to justice.”
BEIRUT, Lebanon — It was a scene of chaos and confusion. Smoke filled the air and shattered glass crunched underfoot as the injured were raced away from the scene. Bodies lay strewn on the ground.
A bomb had just exploded on a busy shopping street in Bourj al-Barajneh, a neighborhood in Beirut's southern suburbs. It was early evening and the street was packed with people, some returning home for the evening, others meeting friends.
Adel Termos, a 32-year-old father of two, had been drinking coffee at a cafe on the street when the explosion happened. His story of heroism during the attacks has spread far and wide in Lebanon, and thousands have paid tribute to the man who may have saved hundreds of lives.
He survived the first bombing, and was standing about 100 meters away from where the explosion took place. This is when his neighbor, Hussein, saw him. Hussein had been helping the wounded and moving bodies at the site of the first explosion.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — How many bombs would have to go off in Paris before the next one would get the same reaction as a bomb in Beirut? Is it the frequency of horrific events that makes us numb to them, or the familiarity of one place over another that determines our response?
These are some of the questions being asked in the wake of two terrible terrorist attacks on two different continents.
Paris and Beirut are linked by history, culture and language. In what many consider to be its heyday — post-independence and pre-civil war — Beirut was commonly referred to as "the Paris of the Middle East." Now some are cynically, and half-seriously, calling Paris "the Beirut of Europe."
Yet two attacks carried out by the Islamic State just one day apart have revealed a stark difference in the way violence in these two cities is perceived. Not just by people in the West. Even within Lebanon, there's a difference in attitudes about domestic terror and attacks that happen abroad.
Forty-three people were killed when two suicide bombers detonated their devices in the middle of a busy market street in southern Beirut last Thursday evening. Just a day later, coordinated attacks across Paris paralyzed the city, and left 129 people dead.
The media coverage of the terrorist atrocities of Friday November 13 in Paris would seem to promote an almost mythical image of the Islamic State (ISIS). What humanity needs, however, is to demystify ISIS as a criminal organization. And that need is particularly important in my community – the Muslim community.
The vast majority of Muslims almost certainly (we do not have exact figures) feel moral revulsion and outrage about the violence perpetrated by ISIS. Indeed, Egypt’s top Sunni cleric, to name just one example, was quick to denounce the perpetrators of Friday’s “hideous and hateful” attacks.
However, the truth of the matter is that ISIS leaders and supporters can and do draw on a wealth of scriptural and historical sources to justify their actions.
Traditional interpretations of Sharia, or Islamic law, approved aggressive jihad to propagate Islam. They permitted the killing of captive enemy men. They allowed jihadis to enslave enemy women and children, as ISIS did with the Yazidi women in Syria.