Archive | Lebanon

Lebanese restaurant in London evicted for allowing shisha

This is definitely not the kind of news the Syndicate of owners of restaurants in Lebanon would like to read about!

While these people are calling the Lebanese government to amend the anti-smoking law to allow special permits for indoor smoking following what “modern” countries do, check what happened to a Lebanese restaurant in “modern” London for allowing shisha at its premises.

MANAGERS of a Lebanese restaurant who persistently allowed customers to smoke shisha have been evicted from the premises.

In spite of warnings from the police and environmental health officers, Mezaziq, in Brackenbury Road, Hammersmith, let its customers flout the smoking ban and use shisha pipes in the basements.

Following pressure from the council and the police, the landlords evicted their tenants and the restaurant closed.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council leader for transport and technical services, Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, said: “Mezaziq has been evicted by the owner of the building following considerable pressure from the council.
Road Hug

“This illegal shisha café has consistently flouted the law by allowing shisha to be smoked inside the premises and residents have also complained about noise and antisocial behaviour.

“The council recently served an enforcement notice requiring the shisha club use to cease and we are delighted that the building’s owner has thrown out the people who ran the café.”

Earlier this year the restaurant and social club was rapped over the knuckles after the authorities discovered customers following the traditional Middle Eastern smoking custom.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council had also rejected its application for a late licence amid police and community concerns that it would become a shisha cafe.

Police believed that the absence of an application for an alcohol licence indicated the management wanted to set up shisha smoking facilities. Source

Thanks to Mustapha


Official list of the illegaly imported drugs

Najib from Blog Baladi posted today an official list of the illegally imported drugs by the Lebanese Ministry of Health which can be downloaded using this link.

I also noticed the website of the Order of Pharmacists in Lebanon is worth checking every now and then, since they regularly post memos issued by the Ministry of Health on fake or misadvertised drugs such as their latest memo on Energa, Starvex and many others.


OMT knows more than it should!

I got this SMS from OMT a few days ago informing me that my mecanique fees which are due this month can be paid at some of their branches.

While I know this makes one’s life easier, I can’t but wonder how did OMT know my mecanique fees are due this month? And how exactly did they get hold of my phone number? It’s clear they have a deal with the ministry of finance, but that doesn’t justify giving them such kind of confidential data for marketing purposes!

I’m sure some employees at OMT can make copies of these data, so don’t be surprised if you find them online anytime soon.


BRGR Co. opening in London

I was quite surprised to read about BRGR Co. opening its first outlet outside Lebanon in London, since we’re basically used to burger restaurants from the US and Europe coming to our region and not the other way around.

A new burger restaurant is set to open in London’s Soho next month, with the launch of BRGR.CO as the first site for the Beirut-based company.

BRGR.CO will use 28-day-aged beef from the Duke of Buccleuch Estate in south-west Scotland. Focusing on simplicity, the restaurant will serve a menu of three classic choices of burger: the 4oz, 6oz or 8oz with optional toppings of cheese or chilli-con-carne. A selection of traditional American-inspired sides, milkshakes and desserts will complete the menu offering.

The 55-seat restaurant will feature floor-to-ceiling windows as well as dark oak tables and chairs. A selection of character cow heads will be featured throughout the restaurant, which will be regularly auctioned with proceeds going to local London charities.

Located on Wardour Street, BRGR.CO Soho will be the first UK venue for the brand that operates two sites in Beirut. Source

It would be cool by the way if they also offered the Lebanese burger (the one that has the salad and fries inside it) on their menu there in London!!


A virtual tour inside Beirut City Centre

I just came across this video showing how Beirut City Centre, which is due to open in the first quareter of 2013, will look like.

Given how large the mall is, I believe it will cause massive traffic jams near its main entrances especially that the road there is so narrow.

Thanks to @MarieNakhle


4G soon in Lebanon

According to this article in Annahar today, telecom minister Nicolas Sehnaoui announced that live 4G tests will start on Novemeber 16 at Beirut Digital District, and the service will be commercially launched on April 23rd 2013 in selected areas.

It’s definitely about time we get 4G, but I admit I wasn’t expecting we will be getting the service anytime soon given how slow such projects go in Lebanon! I also hope its commercial launch is not going to witness the same mess that happened when we first got 3G.

Anyway, you can read about Sehnaoui’s announcement here and watch him tonight talking about it in Talk of The Town on MTV.


365 Jours pour rester positif au Liban

I was informed about this new agenda called “365 Jours pour rester positif au Liban” (365 Days to remain positive in Lebanon) when the dear people at Tamyras contacted me a while ago to inform me that +961 blog has been mentioned in it, but I never knew what this agenda was really all about until I read Hay Khabriyeh’s post about it last night.

Can you stay positive for 365 days in Lebanon? Tamyras publishers took on the challenge to offer you exactly what you need to do it – an agenda filled with daily upbeat notes. “365 jours pour rester positif au Liban” includes all the constructive social initiatives happening in Lebanon, from cupcake box charity to save Lebanon heritage to Nasawyia, and also fun initiatives like Tchenchol, Pure nostalgia and Lebanese memes.

The idea of the agenda came to Tamyras publishing director, Tania Hadjithomas Mehanna, to counteract all the negativity that was building up around her, be it on social networks, in the news or in her personal circle of acquaintances: she decided to uncover the positive side of Lebanon. There are countless people, groups, NGO’s who haven’t given up, who still wear rose-colored glasses and still dream of a better Lebanon, doing their part to make it happen. So Tamyras staff did an intensive research, gathered the names of positive initiatives, from the humorous to the serious ones, came up with a funky design, and the new agenda was born! Source

Unfortunately I haven’t got the opportunity to get hold of a copy for myself and have no idea yet which day features +961, but I would appreciate it if anyone can send me a shot showing it! turned out I’m featured on March 18th in the agenda. Thanks to Patricia!

Anyway, The idea sounds fun, and I agree with Sietske that it makes a nice gift idea this Christmas! It will be available for sale at major Lebanese bookstores in addition to the “Salon du Livre Francophone” at BIEL which lasts till November 4th 2012.


Will Julian Khazzouh play in the Lebanese basketball league?

There are some things in this country that are meant to never be understood. Things like whether sports players who have earlier played in the Israeli leagues are allowed to play in Lebanon or not.

The basketball player you see in the photo above is Julian Khazzouh, a Lebanese who was born in Australia where he played for the Sydney Kings in addition to some other Europan teams and Israel’s Ironi Ramat Gan. He also recently joined the Sagesse squad and is supposed to start playing for them starting the upcoming season.

Now you all know it was made clear last year that foreign players who previously received a work permit in Israel are not allowed to play for the Lebanese sports club.

However, Julian Khazzouh used his Australian passport to play for the Israel team, but started using the Lebanese ID he already has when he came here, and practically the law doesn’t apply to him anymore since it just mentions foreign players!

Moreover, it’s very clear for the Lebanese that traveling to Israel or dealing with Israelis is against the law, yet the Lebanese Basketball Federation is still to this moment going in discussions to decide whether Khazzouh will be given a permit to play or not! How on earth is this a hard case to solve?!

What’s even more shameful than Sagesse signing this guy is reading people like Elie Mechantaf defending him!

“We solved the issue with the Lebanese judiciary, as he [Khazzouh] played in Israel with his Australian passport,” Sagesse’s former captain and current president Elie Mchantaf said.

“[Khazzouh] has now regained Lebanese nationality and the law does not prevent him from playing here.

“We are working lawfully regarding this issue, and I assure everyone that he will be present in Sagesse’s first game of the season,” he added. Source


Al Jadeed TV fires an employee while on maternity leave

Make sure to check out this video from Now Lebanon featuring an ex-employee called Shirine who used to work with the Chi.N.N team in Al Jadeed TV and went on a maternity leave after having a baby, only to be surprised with a phone call during her leave claiming that the Al Jadeed no longer needs her since the person who replaced her is doing the job well and for less money.

I was quite surprised with the story Shirine was telling since Al Jadeed TV is well known for their news reports focusing on malpractices such as the one they did, in addition to the fact that Chi.N.N is known for harshly criticizing the Lebanese society and political scene, and the least you would expect is for them to commit such mistake.

Still, I believe that the reporter Maha Hoteit, whom I deeply respect and have known during school days, should have also covered the other side of the story by interviewing the people in charge at Al Jadeed TV.


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