Archive | Travel

Qatar Announces Visa Free Travel for Lebanese Citizens

Qatar just announced today waiving the visa requirements for Lebanese nationals as we have been added to the list of countries whose citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival to Qatar. (Source)

Given the large number of Lebanese expats in Qatar, this is definitely a good news at least for their relatives here. However, I can’t but find it odd that we were not granted this privilege by a gulf state until its neighbors started imposing a blockade on it…

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Beirut-Montreal Direct Flights Might Soon Become a Reality

According to a recent article, Air Canada seems to be currently focused on making direct flights possible between Montreal and Beirut.

“We started the regulatory process in 2003,” Rovinescu said. However, geopolitical events intervened, and the carrier itself did not have the right equipment to make the route viable. “We are now at the stage where it looks like we can put the pin in it,” he said.

Part of the challenge of operating the route is ensuring right-level security screenings in Beirut, Rovinescu added. Air Canada is working with its Star Alliance partner Lufthansa, which operates in Beirut, to learn how to address these concerns. Source

With more than 200,000 Lebanese now residing in Canada (as per Wikipedia), such direct route is much needed to help them avoid the tiresome layovers in the European or Gulf cities. And attributing the ban on Beirut Airport to security issues is in my opinion invalid since many airlines operate direct flights to European airports that have some pretty high security standards.

Back in 2012 there was some talks about bringing back direct flights between Lebanon and the United States but it never led to something serious, so let’s hope the efforts Air Canada is currently putting to make Beirut-Montreal route possible do not end the same way.

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Five Tourists Lip Synced Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You While Touring Lebanon

I just bumped into this video on YouTube showing five tourists who documented their journey around Lebanon in an unusual way. They compiled several segments of themselves lip syncing and dancing to the tunes of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You.

The best thing about the video is that it was shot using a smartphone with no pretentious acting or moves all while showing some nice places around the country, so not much energy was put into it but the resulting video was still pretty cool to watch.

Among the places that show are Raouche, Jbeil, Batroun, Saida Castle, Saida Old Souk, Harissa, and Baalbeck. I believe if this goes viral then it can easily become one of the best promotional videos for Lebanon!

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Touch Teams Up With Booking.com For Cashback Rewards

I’m a bit surprised this isn’t advertised much by “touch” so I thought it’s worth sharing with you.

Touch recently announced a partnership with accommodation booking website booking.com in order to let their subscribers benefit from 4% cashback of the reservation value on their touch lines whether prepaid or postpaid.

To benefit from the offer, all you have to do is to make your next reservations via booking.touch.com.lb or through touch’s mobile app.

Note that booking.com offers you a “Genius” status after booking 5 trips with them, which makes you eligible for a 10% off on selected hotels. That along with the 4% in cashback would save you some good money especially for long trips!

I personally make all my booking online and would definitely consider using this service when planning my next trip since I have a touch line.

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BBC Pop Up Are Coming to Beirut And Want to Hear Your Stories!

BBC Pop Up is BBC’s mobile bureau, it’s a small team that travels to different cities one month at a time to make documentaries.

They have previously been to several places like Russia and India and made some pretty interesting videos. The way they get inspired to make their stories however is different than other show, instead of deciding by themselves what to report on, they rely on suggestions submitted by the inhabitants of the place they’re visiting or other people who simply want to know more about a certain topic related the country they’re in.

Throughout the month of February, BBC Pop Up announced on their twitter account that they will be flying to Beirut, and in a country like ours with countless problems and so many awesome things at the same time, I bet they will have a quite busy month! From the refugee crisis, to waste management, messed up transportation system, our food culture, and cool places off the beaten track like little Armenia (Bourj Hammoud) and cities like Tripoli and Saida… there’s just so much to talk about.

You can submit your ideas to BBC Pop Up through their website or write to them on bbcpopup@bbc.co.uk.

 

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Follow Fadi Bou Karam As He Visits All The Lebanons in USA

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Fadi Bou Karam is a Lebanese photographer who’s currently in the US on an unusual yet cool quest to visit all the towns and cities called Lebanon there.

The number of cities he’s planning to visit are 43 and it will take him around 5 months to go over all of them. His starting point was Seattle where he rented a used caravan in order to save on hotel costs, and the closest Lebanon town to him right now is 1 week away in North Dakota. This massive road trip he’s doing should end in San Francisco around March 2017.

You can follow his news and the photos/videos he will be sharing on the blog he set up LebanonUSA.com.

His first post included a cool find from the 1950s about the late president Camille Chamoun who invited the mayors of 7 American towns called Lebanon in order to introduce them to the “real” Lebanon. Back then they spent two weeks touring the country and each one was given a small cedar tree as a souvenir on their way back to the US.

Wishing Fadi Bou Karam good luck in this fun quest! It’s hard not to envy people who go on such long trips by the way as I always dream of doing something similar in the far east!

via @ritakml

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