DAY I ARRIVED in Beirut I was collected at my hotel by Huda Baroudi, a
cheerful woman who had offered to show me around. It was a lazy Sunday,
grim and gray, and I was jet-lagged. But her eyes were shining and she
was eager to take me to the Bechara el-Khoury Mansion, a 19th-century
villa that long ago — before it had been abandoned, pillaged and finally
shelled during the civil war — was one of Beirut’s grand residences.
I settled into the passenger seat of her S.U.V., Ms. Baroudi, an
influential designer of textiles and furniture, propelled us at high
speed toward what looked like a four-way stop. Beirut’s streets are
narrow, potholed and anything but straight; a car was approaching
rapidly from the opposite direction, but Ms. Baroudi seemed unconcerned.
the last moment, the other driver swerved to let us pass. I was unable
to speak, but Ms. Baroudi laughed sweetly. “I looked into his eyes,” she
explained with a smile and a shrug. “And I could see that he would
yield the right of way.”
Protesters stormed Iraq's heavily fortified Green Zone over the
weekend, for the first time since its concrete barriers were erected
more than 13 years ago to separate US security forces and Iraqi
elites from the rest of Baghdad. The unprecedented breach has created an "accelerated meltdown" that "could be
both a local catastrophe and a signature blot on Obama's foreign policy
record," David Rothkopf, the CEO of the Foreign Policy publishing
group, said on Monday.
Ever since ISIS overran the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in
June 2014, much of President Barack Obama's dealings with Baghdad
have revolved around formulating a cohesive strategy to halt the
jihadists' momentum in Iraq and Syria.
It has been a battle that, as The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe pointed out, "is predicated on having a credible and effective Iraqi ally on the ground in Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi."
In 1996, Christine Sfeir decided to introduce Dunkin’ Donuts to Beirut. It
wasn’t an easy sell. Not only had her home country of Lebanon been
through a civil war less than a decade earlier, but the foods she was
trying to push—doughnuts and American-style coffee—were alien concepts.
Fast-food franchises themselves were uncommon.
Now the 42-year-old Ms. Sfeir has what may be an even tougher
mission: to bring her own Mediterranean-food franchise to the U.S.
Preparing American palates for shawarma and authentic Mediterranean
hummus has meant huge investments in promotion and market research. “I’m
passionate about Lebanese cuisine, and I want to take it all over the
world,” says Ms. Sfeir. It has “been very challenging, but we are
determined to make it happen.”
aerial footage was apparently shot Saturday afternoon, showing two
large, successive explosions caused by missiles at a militant base in a
rugged area on the outskirts of Arsal. The army identified the area targeted as Wadi al-Aoueini, saying a number of militants were killed and wounded in the attack.
The clip then cuts to a scene from the same site after the smoke began to clear showing an individual running. The footage also shows another site where about two dozen artillery shells struck a nearby valley.
An eating regimen that incorporates foods that are part of the
Mediterranean diet just got even more confirmation that it may be good
for your health.
In a study published Sunday in
the European Heart Journal, researchers found that people with heart
disease who ate more food associated with the Mediterranean diet —
things like olive oil, fish, whole grains, and nuts — had fewer major
heart problems than those who ate fewer of those foods.
To reach that conclusion, the researchers asked 15,000 people what
they ate every day, and based on their responses ranked them as either
more in line with a Mediterranean diet or a western one. The Mediterranean diet
is modeled off of foods commonly eaten in countries on the
Mediterranean Sea. It's typically high in fruits and vegetables, fish,
and whole grains like whole wheat and brown rice. In contrast, a western
diet is characterized as higher in refined grains, sugar, and deep
As Armenians across the
world commemorated the 101st anniversary of the 1915 Genocide, we
visited Bourj Hammoud in Beirut, where Armenians fleeing the horrors in
Anatolia built new lives.
It is Sunday, April 24, 2016, and Beirut’s
chaotic Dora roundabout is at its frenetic best. Lebanese taxi drivers
shout destination names, while Ethiopian women in white scarves make
their way to church. Diverse groups of women from Ghana, Togo and the
Philippines pick through clothing racks at discount fashion shops while a
group of Kurdish men sip coffee on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, a Sri
Lankan restaurant continues its lunch service unabated, serving up hot
rotis and fish curry to its clientele of South Asian migrant workers.
With the Syrian civil war at its doorstep and Hezbollah
waging an active militant campaign within its borders, Lebanon is in
dire need of a stronger and more capable military. Today, reports
surfaced that Russia has expressed a willingness to help Beirut develop
one, though the military aid Moscow has to offer will almost certainly
come with strings attached.
Lebanon has been searching for military assistance since
February, when Saudi Arabia withdrew its $4 billion aid package to the
Lebanese security services. The move was largely a punitive measure in
response to Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil's failure to
condemn Hezbollah for attacks against Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
That punishment stung. Lebanon has relied heavily on foreign patrons
such as Saudi Arabia, the United States, France and Syria to finance its
defense and security budget since its independence in 1943. These
patrons have in turn used their funding to gain influence in Lebanese
politics. As Beirut struggles to reconcile the country's competing
factions and fill the presidency, which has been vacant since May 2014,
its external financiers will play an increasingly important role in
shaping Lebanon's political future.
Seoul: Electricite du Liban (EDL) announced a plan on Friday to
increase energy production by 100 megawatts. EDL production was thus
1,600 megawatts, though the need was closer to 3,500 megawatts per day.
increase in output was achieved by raising the production capacities of
two Turkish power generating vessels that lie off the coast of the
Zahrani and Zouk power plants from 280 megawatts to 380 megawatts,
according to an anonymous source quoted by Al Jumhuriyyah daily.
to the newspaper, “experimental steps were completed and the increase
in production was put into implementation several days ago,” although
the daily raised a troubling point, namely that the initiative was only
tackled to renew the contracts with the working ships for another two
years while maintenance work in the Jiyyah, Zuk and Dayr Ammar plants
BEIRUT — Two senior Islamic State group fighters, including a leader
of the extremist organization, were killed in Lebanon Thursday, as the
country’s army carried out an operation targeting one of the militant
group’s “key posts” on the nation’s northeastern border. A third man was
Nayef Shaalan, who also was called Abu Fouz, was the
leader of the extremist group aka either ISIL or ISIS in the border town
of Arsal, long a stronghold of the militant group. During clashes with
the Lebanese army on the outskirts of Arsal, Shaalan and his “Syrian
escort” Ahmad Mroueh were killed, while ISIS’ regional security
official, a Syrian national named Moustafa Mousalli, was detained, the
army said in a statement.
Jordan - Jordan is permitting a popular Lebanese rock band to perform,
lifting an earlier ban imposed amid claims the group's songs promoting
religious and sexual freedom violate local customs and religious
Khalid Abu Zeid, a regional politician who initially
announced the ban against "Mashrou Leila," or Leila's Project, said in a
new statement that "we don't mind if this concert takes place." He
The indie band, known for songs about
controversial subjects, says the reversal comes too late for the Jordan
show to take place as scheduled on Friday.
Beirut: In the latest annual Pew Research Center survey, titled “The
Divide Over Islam and National Laws in the Muslim World,” pollsters
sought views as to whether the Quran should influence laws in 10
countries with significant Muslim populations, including Lebanon, where
surprising results reflected the country’s unique socio-political
configuration. While the poll found that half or more of
respondents in four countries — Pakistan, the Occupied Palestinian
territories, Jordan and Malaysia — said laws should strictly follow
Sharia, small percentages in Burkina Faso, Turkey and Lebanon wished to
see their legal systems altered.
In fact, only 15 per cent of
Lebanese Muslims preferred that the legal system strictly follow Sharia.
Another 37 per cent of Lebanese Muslims believed that the legal system
should include Sharia precepts but not follow them strictly, while 42
per cent were opposed to any such considerations. A majority of
Lebanese Christians (59 per cent) stated that Sharia should not
influence the country’s laws. But while that was probably expected, the
more interesting data was the significant difference between Lebanese
Sunnis — who are divided between supporters (34 per cent) and
challengers (37 per cent) — and Lebanese Shiites (56 per cent backers).
Hamed Sinno, 24, lead singer
and song writer of the Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila performs with the
band in the ancient Roman amphitheater in the Jordanian capital Amman.
The popular Lebanese rock band says Jordanian authorities have banned it
from performing again because its songs promote religious and sexual
freedom. (AP Photo/Diaa Hadid)
Jordan (AP) — Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock
band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied
kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent
region. The band Mashrou' Leila ("Leila's Project") is known internationally
for violin-laced pop music with catchy Arabic lyrics. Songs often tackle
controversial subjects such as corruption, censorship, state violence
and sexual freedom.
Jordan's Antiquities Department initially said it would not permit a
show at the Roman Theater in the capital Amman later this week because
it would contradict the "authenticity" of the ancient venue. However, Amman district governor Khalid Abu Zeid told The Associated
Press on Wednesday that the band's material "contradicts" the beliefs of
the three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
by: Claire Schaeffer-DuffyIt is a common paradox that one can find remarkable examples of
interfaith cooperation within the most sectarian, conflict-ridden
corners of the world. Such is the case with Adyan, a Lebanese foundation
promoting interreligious engagement in a region where religious
identities are often a source of division. Established in 2008, Adyan’s
educational efforts include courses in cross-cultural studies,
curriculum development in co-existence, media training, and annually
hosting a national day of interfaith prayer.
Adyan’s concept of “spiritual solidarity” undergirds all these
efforts. Adyan co-founders Fr. Fadi Daou, a Catholic priest and theology
professor, and Nayla Tabbara, a Muslim professor of science of
religions and Islamic studies, explain. This interview has been edited
for length and clarity.
Tabbara: The expression itself is not an invention of Adyan.
It is taken from the 1994 pastoral letter of the patriarchs of the
Orient, “Called Together in Front of God.” The document’s definition of
spiritual solidarity is “including the other in my prayer.”