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Lama Hajj 28 Dec 2018

The Best And Worst Of 2018: Lebanon’s Year In Review

A few more days left on the hefty price tag that was the year 2018. As we find ourselves hurling towards 2019, let us take a look back at some of the positives and negatives of the year.


Reopening Of Stunning Lebanese National Library

Established back in 1921, the national library housed 7 million books, 10,000 drawings, 20,000 maps, and 25,000 16th century editions. It was frequently bombed and looted throughout the Lebanese Civil War which led to its closing back in 1979. It was reopened on December 4, 2018.


Independence Day Military Parade Rehearsal Causes Horrific Traffic Jam

That one day we all got stuck in horrendous traffic due to an independence day parade rehearsal. And chaos ensued. And we all still have post-traumatic stress.


Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum” Nominated For Golden Globe

On the list of nominees for the Best Foreign-Language Film for this year was Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum”, the movie that garnered local and international attention.


Beloved Radio Host Gavin Ford Killed

The charming British host had been on air for as long as we can remember. For over 20 years, he was giving us laughs and getting us through traffic with his show, Gavin Ford in the Morning. May his soul rest in peace.


Rivoli Cinema Reopen In Tyre After 29 Years Of Neglect

Rivoli Cinema had been closed for 29 years and was then reopened on October 27, 2018. The cinema was renowned between the years of 1959 and 1988 for bringing film and theater to the coastal town – a space for culture to prosper and be exchanged by the sea.


AUB Queer Mixer Cancelled Following Pressure From Former Mufti

A Halloween Queer Mixer/Speed Dating Night, organized by the Gender and Sexuality Club at the American University of Beirut (AUB), was cancelled after it was publicly denounced by Dar El Fatwa and former grand Mufti Mohamad Rachid Kabbani.


First Blind-Friendly Supermarket In Lebanon

The local supermarket and gourmet store Marqet has upped the game by teaming up with the Lebanese NGO Red Oak to make Marqet the first blind and visually-impaired friendly supermarket in Lebanon, and even in the Middle East.


Siemens Offered To Fix Lebanon’s Electricity, Leb Gov’t Never Replied

“During the visit w/ our Chanellor [sic], I did offer to help improve the whole electricity value chain and have our team to come in and assess what’s best for the people. No response yet from [Lebanese] Government. Our door is open! Offer still good. Call Anytime!”


Meet The GEMS: Twitter Volunteers Cleaning Up Lebanese Beaches

A group of young people who met on Twitter have been volunteering to clean up Lebanese beaches on a weekly basis. Starting with only seven volunteers, they managed to pick up more than a ton of trash in just three weeks. They’re still going.


Lebanese Parliament Passes Controversial Waste Management Law

On September 24th, the Lebanese parliament approved the solid waste management draft law that had been widely opposed by many. The law permits the incineration of trash, a practice that many feel if not done right would lead to hazardous health and environmental effects. This comes after over two years of a trash crisis that the Lebanese government has not managed to solve.


The Garten Shut Down For Alleged Religious Indecency

Beirut Governor Judge Ziad Chebib ordered the shut down of popular nightclub The Garten back in May 2018 after a controversial set by psychedelic artist Acid Pauli last month in which he mixed a Quranic verse with music. Judge Chebib’s order claims the nightclub was “promoting material that offends religious beliefs”.


Lebanon Preparing To Legalize Medicinal Hash

In a meeting with US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berry shared that the parliament is preparing to “study and approve” legalizing the cultivation of medicinal cannabis; he made no mention of legalizing use of the plant.