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'Glimmer of hope': Beirut seeks Christmas cheer after devastating year
22 December 2020 - Near the wreckage of Beirut's port, a charity is bringing Christmas cheer to a city hammered by a devastating explosion, rising coronavirus infections, and the worst economic crisis since Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war. The Solidarity Christmas Village, decked out with flashing fairy lights and glittering trees, has been offering visitors free entry to watch concerts and pick up drinks and snacks, lifting the mood of families who can't afford seasonal luxuries. (more)

The Beirut architect rebuilding families' homes for free
16 December 2020 - An architect and his team have been rebuilding houses for free, in the poorer areas of Beirut which were also some of the worst affected by the 4 August explosion, because of their proximity to the port. Joe Salloum ... has renovated 22 houses in Karantina, and built a new children's centre. (more)

Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks
12 May 2020 - Beirut-based designer Bokja specializes in making upholstered furniture with vintage fabric but the studio's workers now dedicate their time to sewing colourful silk face masks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Profits from the masks ... go to nurses on the frontline of Lebanon's fight against the disease. [Co-founder Huda Baroudi's] business is one of several that have converted production of items like furniture and clothing to masks. (more)

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)

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

Explainer: What's happening in Lebanon
16 October 2021 - At least six people were shot dead in Beirut on Thursday as demonstrations related to a probe into last year's catastrophic port blast prompted the city's worst civil violence in years. The latest bloodshed adds to the woes of a country suffering one of the world's worst ever economic meltdowns. Here's what you need to know about the Lebanon crises: (more)

Over 71 percent of Lebanon's population risks losing access to safe water - UNICEF
23 July 2021 - The United Nations warned on Friday [23 July] that more than four million people in Lebanon, including one million refugees risked losing access to safe water as shortages of funding, fuel, and supplies affect water pumping. 'UNICEF estimates that most water pumping will gradually cease across the country in the next four to six weeks,' a statement by the U.N. body said. Lebanon is battling an economic meltdown that has propelled more than half of its population into poverty and seen its currency lose over 90% of its value in less than two years. (more)

Tripoli, Lebanon's poorest city, on edge after curfew, protests
3 February 2021 - Lebanon's poorest city, Tripoli, was again racked by violent protests last week, and some politicians and experts warn that unrest could spread if more is not done to support people facing deepening poverty amid coronavirus restrictions. The country was already in financial meltdown before the pandemic struck, with national debt spiralling, unemployment high, and a tumbling currency stoking inflation. (more)

Dozens of Beirut clinics non-functional after blast
12 August 2020 - The damage caused by last week's deadly explosion in Beirut continues to hamper healthcare in the Lebanese capital. The World Health Organization (WHO) assessed 55 healthcare facilities in the city and found that half of them were 'non-functional'. Three major hospitals had to close and three more had to reduce their capacity following the blast. (more)

Beirut's accidental cargo: how an unscheduled port visit led to disaster
7 August 2020 - The chemicals that went up in flames in Beirut's deadliest peace-time explosion arrived in the Lebanese capital seven years ago on a leaky Russian-leased cargo ship that, according to its captain, should never have stopped there. (more)

A Russian ship's cargo of dangerous ammonium nitrate was stranded in Beirut port for years
5 August 2020 - As Lebanon's investigation into the devastating blast in Beirut continues, officials have pointed to a possible cause: A massive shipment of agricultural fertilizer that authorities say was stored in the port of Beirut without safety precautions for years -- despite warnings by local officials. Documents newly reviewed by CNN reveal that a shipment of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut on a Russian-owned vessel in 2013. The ship, named the MV Rhosus, was destined for Mozambique -- but stopped in Beirut due to financial difficulties that also created unrest with the ship's Russian and Ukrainian crew. (more)

What we know about the Beirut blast
5 August 2020 - A massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday evening [4 August], leaving at least 135 dead and thousands injured. The blast has been linked to a large supply of confiscated and potentially unsecured explosive material, stored in a warehouse at the city's port, close to populated areas. As world leaders and international organizations step in to offer assistance, local officials are also launching an investigation into the blast. (more)

Starved of dollars and drowning in debt, Lebanon's economy sinks fast
21 March 2020 - After importing medical supplies to Lebanon for 20 years, Hassan Hamdan shut his business in December. Sales were plummeting, clients couldn't pay, and the dollars he needed to buy imports had dried up. Now he drives an Uber. Businesses such as Hamdan's have been shutting at a rapid rate since a financial crisis exacerbated by months of political instability has brought much of Lebanon's economy to a halt. (more)

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)


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