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Butterflies swarm Lebanon's meadows in numbers unseen for 100 years
17 April 2019 - A vast number of migrating butterflies have swarmed across Lebanon this year after heavy winter rain in the Middle East led to an exceptional spring for wild flowers. The sheer number of Vanessa Cardui butterflies traveling from Africa to northern Europe caused admiring bewilderment, as millions crossed mountains, fields, villages, and cities. (more)

Tale of Palestinian food truck draws Hollywood star to Beirut
6 March 2019 - Entrepreneur Mariam Shaar's idea of using Palestinians' national cuisine to provide hope and opportunity for refugee women has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Shaar's project 'Soufra' -- which means a table laden with food -- drew the attention of Hollywood actress ... Susan Sarandon, whose documentary -- also called 'Soufra' -- was screened for the first time this week in Beirut. (more)

Lebanon's mountains offer cool refuge from Mideast heat
14 August 2018 - Whether during war or peace, Lebanon's high mountain ranges have long been a favorite refuge for Lebanese living in cities, towns, and villages along the Mediterranean coastline. (more)

Migrants in Lebanon seek to break stereotypes with new radio show
18 July 2018 - ... Lebanon's first radio show to be hosted and produced by migrants from countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Philippines ... [aims] to give Lebanese people a greater understanding about where migrants come from to create the tolerance and respect that local migrant rights groups say is lacking. ... a series airing on Voice of Lebanon, a popular independent radio station, [features] migrants talking about their own food and culture as well as the issues they face in Lebanon. The show -- whose name 'Msh gharib' means 'not foreign' in Arabic -- has been in the works since 2017. (more)

Ancient statues looted in Lebanese war returned decades later
12 January 2018 - A marble bull's head made 2,400 years ago for a Phoenician temple and looted during Lebanon's civil war arrived in Beirut on Friday (12 January) after American officials found it in the United States and sent it home. Located on the east coast of the Mediterranean, Lebanon was an important part of the classical world, home to the Phoenician civilization ... (more)

Conservationists strive to protect Lebanon's sea turtles
28 July 2017 - On Lebanon's beaches, endangered sea turtles have a human ally to help them in the face of myriad threats. Mona Khalil, 77, founded The Orange House Project in 2000 to protect sea turtles on the south Lebanon beach in el Mansouri from predators, pollution, and encroaching humans. There are two species of sea turtle that breed in Lebanon, the green turtle, which is an endangered species and the loggerhead turtle, which is classed as a vulnerable species. (more)

Lebanon: Film festival brings Chinese contemporary art to Beirut screens
2 November 2016 - The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg, a documentary to be screened alongside 44 others at this month's Beirut Art Film Festival tells how Sigg became the world's largest collector of Chinese contemporary art, gathering more than 2000 pieces. In 2012, he donated around 1,400 of them to the Mplus Museum for Visual Design, set to open in Hong Kong in 2019. He described the film festival, which is run in partnership with the Lebanese ministry of culture, and the British, Swiss, and other embassies, as 'an interesting initiative to cover documentaries about art so extensively'. (more)

Lebanon says to provide schooling for up to 100,000 more Syrian refugees
21 September 2015 - Lebanon is to provide schooling for tens of thousands more children this year including Syrian refugees, the education ministry said on 21 September, as the country tries to cope with the effects of the war next door. Lebanon is hosting the highest proportion of Syrian refugees -- 1.1 million in a country of 4 million people. (more)

Lebanon: Breathing new life into Lebanon's ancient art of glassblowing
24 April 2014 - Glassblowing, a 2,000-year-old tradition that dates back to the Phoenicians and got its early start in Lebanon, was on the brink of extinction here just six months ago. But thanks to an innovative new recycling project, the country's last glassblowing family has gotten more work in the past five months than the past five years combined. (more)

Lebanon forms government after 10-month deadlock
15 February 2014 - Lebanon announced a new government on Saturday, breaking a 10-month political deadlock during which spillover violence from neighbouring Syria worsened internal instability. 'A government in the national interest was formed in a spirit of inclusivity,' new Prime Minister Tammam Salam declared on live television. 'We want this new government to open the doors for a complete settlement and to get the country back on the train to stability,' Finance Minister Khalil told Reuters by telephone. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

Creating peace in Lebanon: One woman's story
30 June 2018 - Susan Hamza and her family live in Lebanon, a country that has survived a civil war, terrorist attacks, and invasion from neighbouring countries in recent decades. She and her husband learned Transcendental Meditation 45 years ago, and now she says, 'When I meditate I feel a sense of peace, a total absence of disturbance on the level of emotions, and that carries on throughout the day. It's now a time of my life when very little can disturb my inner peace.' Susan, who is head of the TM women's organization in Lebanon, believes that the peace-creating effects of TM provide great hope for the Middle East. Based on published research, she says, 'I am convinced that there is no other way to create peace but by having large coherence-creating groups practising Transcendental Meditation' and its advanced programmes. (more)

Middle East: The Maharishi Effect and the story of Baskinta
9 September 2013 - Since the 1970s, the Maharishi Effect--the influence of harmony and positivity produced when one per cent of the population practises Transcendental Meditation--has been repeatedly demonstrated. At a time when the Middle East continues to be a focus of tension, the story of Baskinta, a village in Lebanon, is a vivid illustration of the effectiveness of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes for creating peace, even at times of intense conflict. (more)

Lebanon: Report of growing interest in Maharishi's peace-creating technologies of consciousness
18 July 2013 - A conference called a World Peace Assembly was recently held in Lebanon, featuring extended group practice of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced technologies of consciousness, which participants reportedly found to be deeply restful and refreshing. Scientific research has shown that World Peace Assemblies and similar groups of advanced Transcendental Meditation practitioners create an influence of coherence and harmony in the collective consciousness of communities and whole nations. This phenomenon has been named by scientists the Maharishi Effect. In addition, translation into Arabic has recently been completed for the new 28-page, information packed brochure on Transcendental Meditation, Fundamentally Unique. (more)

Replications of Lebanon study showing decreased war deaths: Scientific research on the Brain-Based Approach to Peace
8 November 2011 - The results of a study of the Brain-Based Approach to Peace, conducted during the peak of the Lebanon war and showing decreased war deaths in Lebanon, were subsequently replicated in seven consecutive experiments over a two-year period, also at the height of the war. (more)

Lebanon: World Peace Assembly planned to create coherence and harmony
17 May 2011 - A special course will be held in Lebanon from 24 June to 3 July for people who practise Transcendental Meditation and the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, including Yogic Flying. In addition to knowledge of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Science, the course, called a World Peace Assembly, will feature extended group practise of these technologies of consciousness, which scientific research has shown to create coherence and harmony in communities and nations, including in the Middle East. (more)

Lebanon: Achievements of Maharishi's programmes recognized
26 January 2011 - The many fruitful initiatives of the national organization offering Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes in Lebanon in the past year were given recognition in a recent videoconference. During the conference the National Directors, Teachers, and practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation Programme from throughout Lebanon were commended for a wide range of achievements including new Arabic language websites, many articles and interviews in the news media, expansion of Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care, and a business plan for building Lebanon's Maharishi Tower of Invincibility. (more)

Lebanon: New inspiration to realize goal of building a Maharishi Tower of Invincibility
26 January 2011 - The initiative to build a Maharishi Tower of Invincibility in Lebanon is one of the most important priorities of the national organization offering the programmes of the Global Country of World Peace, said the leader of Lebanon for the Global Country in a recent national videoconference. (more)

Lebanon: Rising to be a lighthouse of coherence and peace for the Middle East
26 January 2011 - Establishing and maintaining large, permanent coherence-creating groups of meditators in Lebanon has been recognized as a top goal of organizations offering programmes of the Global Country of World Peace in the nation. The purpose of these groups is to practise Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying together twice daily, creating a sustained, powerful influence of peace and harmony in national consciousness--and fulfilling Lebanon's leadership role as a lighthouse of coherence, promoting invincible peace, prosperity, stability, and progress in the Middle East. (more)

Lebanon: Maharishi Spa and Ayur-Veda expert tour draw hundreds during 2010
22 January 2011 - During 2010, Lebanon saw fruitful developments in Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care programmes, including at the Maharishi Spa in Beirut and in the distribution of Maharishi Ayur-Veda products. (more)

Lebanon: Many learn Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness-Based Education to expand
22 January 2011 - During the past year in Lebanon, many people learnt the Transcendental Meditation Technique and participated in residential courses for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes. Goals for 2011 include establishing a Consciousness-Based Education institution and a Maharishi Tower of Invincibility. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

TV interview with Lebanon PM full of odd moments
12 November 2017 - When Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation in a televised speech from Saudi Arabia last weekend, it stunned his country and created a mystery that lasted for more than a week. On Sunday, another TV appearance by Hariri was filled with bizarre moments. November 4 resignation triggered a political crisis in Lebanon, along with rumors about whether Hariri was under house arrest or being coerced to quit. Although he met with various ambassadors in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the days that followed, no one in Lebanon was really sure what was happening to him. A much-awaited live interview was done with Hariri on Sunday night by Future TV, a channel associated with his political party. It sought to dispel those rumors, but also raised some new questions. (more)

Reuters Exclusive: How Saudi Arabia turned on Lebanon's Hariri
11 November 2017 - From the moment Saad al-Hariri's plane touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday November 3, he was in for a surprise. There was no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a Prime Minister on an official visit to King Salman, senior sources close to Hariri and top Lebanese political and security officials said. His phone was confiscated, and the next day he was forced to resign as Prime Minister in a statement broadcast by a Saudi-owned TV channel. (more)

Hezbollah says Saudi declares Lebanon war with Hariri detention
10 November 2017 - Hezbollah's leader said on Friday that Saudi Arabia had declared war on Lebanon and his Iran-backed group, accusing Riyadh of detaining Saad al-Hariri and forcing him to resign as Lebanon's Prime Minister to destabilize the country. France became the first Western country to indicate that Saudi Arabia was holding Hariri against his will ... Hariri's resignation has plunged Lebanon into crisis ... Hariri's resignation is being widely seen as part of a Saudi attempt to counter Iran as its influence deepens in Syria and Iraq and as Riyadh and its allies battle Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen. (more)

Twin suicide blasts in Beirut's Shiite suburb kill 43
12 November 2015 - Twin suicide bombings struck a southern Beirut suburb that's a stronghold of the militant Shiite Hezbollah group on Thursday evening, killing at least 43 people and wounding scores more in one of the deadliest attacks in recent years in Lebanon. The attack was quickly claimed by the extremists Islamic State group, which is fighting in neighboring Syria and Iraq but has not had a recognized affiliate in Lebanon, though the tiny Mediterranean country has seen deadly spillovers from the civil war next door. 'Let the Shiite apostates know that we will not rest until we take revenge in the name of the Prophet (Muhammad),' the IS claim said. Thursday's attack shattered a period of relative calm in Lebanon. It was the first such large-scale bombing since mid-2014, and comes amid much political upheaval in the country. (more)

Islamic State carried out Lebanon cafe attack - minister
11 January 2015 - A double suicide attack that killed eight people at a cafe in the Lebanese city of Tripoli was carried out by the Islamic State group, the interior minister said on Sunday, contradicting a claim of responsibility by the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. Nohad Machnouk also said he expected more instability linked to the Syrian civil war that has been at the heart of repeated violence in Lebanon over the last four years. (more)

Rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon, drawing Israeli fire
13 July 2014 - Rockets were fired at Israel from southern Lebanon on Monday, drawing retaliatory artillery fire from Israeli forces, Lebanese security officials and the Israeli army said, in the third such rocket attack from Lebanon since Friday. An Israeli police spokeswoman said there was no immediate word of damage or casualties from the rocket fire. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The attacks from Lebanon have coincided with an Israeli offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip which Palestinian officials say has killed at least 160 people. Palestinian groups have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel from Gaza during the latest hostilities. injuries have been reported as a result of the three incidents across the Lebanese-Israeli frontier since Friday. The Lebanese national news agency said two rockets had been fired just after midnight in the latest salvo from Lebanon. The Israeli military said several rockets had been fired from Lebanon at western Galilee, one hitting an open area. 'No injuries reported thus far. The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) immediately responded with artillery fire toward the source of the fire,' the military said in a statement. (more)

Thousands of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon forced to work - aid group
12 June 2014 - At least 50,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are working, often in dire conditions and for 12 hours a day, to pay for food and shelter for their families, aid organization CARE said. More than a million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon, making up a quarter of the country's population, having fled a civil war in its fourth year, which has left more than 160,000 dead. Only 50 per cent of Syrian refugee children in the region attend school, and only 30 per cent in Lebanon, CARE said. Children working as street vendors say they are earning less than $5 a day. Others work at coffee shops and markets, or on farms and construction sites. Some say they commute for hours on buses into the capital Beirut. In Jordan, where nearly 600,000 Syrian refugees live, child labour has doubled nationwide to 60,000 since the start of the war, CARE said this week. (more)

Fuelled by Syrian war, hostilities surge in Lebanon
18 March 2014 - Sunni Muslim demonstrators used burning tires to close key roads across Lebanon Tuesday to protest a blockade of their brethren by Shiite gunmen, officials said, as the country struggles to keep a lid on simmering sectarian tensions enflamed by the civil war in neighbouring Syria. In one of the most ominous signs, an AP reporter saw protesters marching among cars stopped at a Beirut roadblock and warning drivers with Shiite emblems on their vehicles that Sunnis would not be cowed by the powerful Shiite militant Hezbollah group. Lebanon, which is still haunted by its own 15-year civil war that ended in 1990, has been deeply polarised by the current conflict in Syria. Lebanese Sunnis largely support the predominantly Sunni opposition in Syria, while Shiites have backed President Bashar Assad's government. That dynamic has sent sectarian hatreds soaring in Lebanon. (more)

Lebanon rocket fire draws Israeli artillery strike
29 December 2013 - Rockets launched from south Lebanon struck northern Israel on Sunday and Israel responded with artillery shells across a border that has been largely quiet since a war in 2006. The cross-border fire, which caused no injuries on either side, coincided with heightened political tension in Beirut following the assassination on Friday of a former Lebanese government minister. It was not immediately clear who fired the rockets. South Lebanon is a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a Shi'ite Muslim group that battled Israel seven years ago and is engaged in Syria's civil war in support of President Bashar al-Assad. But Palestinian factions are also in the area. The strike, to which Israel said it responded with a barrage of shelling, came two days after a bomb blast in Beirut killed Mohamad Chatah, a former minister and leading adviser to Sunni Muslim former prime minister Saad al-Hariri. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a statement the military responded to the rocket strike with 'massive shelling toward the (rocket) launch area' and he threatened the use of 'even greater force' if necessary. (more)

Beirut blast: jolt from past and omen of dark future
20 November 2013 - Thirty years after the Lebanese capital gave birth to the modern suicide bomber, a killer has again driven his explosive-packed car towards an embassy in Beirut. Many Lebanese say they now believe their country is doomed to become the next battlefield for Sunni jihadists, looking for soft targets to inflict blows on the Shi'ite supporters of neighbouring Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. Tuesday's suicide attack against the embassy of Shi'ite Iran, claimed by a Sunni militant group, took violence to a higher level. It resurrected the tactics born in a previous generation's Lebanon war, which are now the signature of neighbouring states' violence. Lebanon may 'turn into a field of jihad -- as the terrorist groups call it -- as happened in Iraq and Syria,' said parliament speaker Nabih Berri. Widespread fears of what all-out conflict could do to Lebanon could be the best protection against escalating violence. But they are unlikely to halt attacks by shadowy groups on either side of the regional conflict. 'No one in Lebanon has the interest or stomach for large-scale military confrontations,' said Yezid Sayigh of the Carnegie Middle East Centre. 'But shadow wars are different because you don't need significant numbers, you don't need front lines, and it's easy to hit soft targets.' (more)


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