Examiner Staff

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Amal Clooney attends American University of Beirut gala in London

Lebanese human rights attorney Amal Clooney looked glamorous Saturday while attending a gala dinner for the American University of Beirut alumni group in London.

The 40-year-old Lebanese-British barrister wore a burgundy sleeveless gown designed by Italian dressmaker Alberta Ferretti. It featured a ruched waistline and a beautiful velvet texture.

An invitation lists Amal Clooney and her father as guest speakers at an AUB alumni event. (WAAAUB UK Chapter/Facebook)
An invitation lists Amal Clooney and her father as guest speakers at an AUB alumni event. (WAAAUB UK Chapter/Facebook)

She accessorized the look with black pumps, diamond earrings and a silver clutch.

Clooney spoke during the WAAAUB Annual Gala Dinner held at the glamorous Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London.

WAAAUB stands for the Worldwide Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut. The alumni group has chapters in countries all over the world.

According to their Facebook page, the group was formed as a “platform to allow fellow AUBites in the UK and abroad to network and socialize while also raising funds to support AUB’s financial aid program.”

The Saturday program included remarks by Clooney and her father Ramzi Alamuddin. The ticket price was about $230.

Her father is from Baakline, a village in the Chouf district. He received an MBA degree at the American University of Beirut and was the owner of COMET travel agency.

Duo accused of stealing from 10+ churches in Mount Lebanon

The Lebanese Internal Security Forces have arrested two men in connection with multiple robberies of churches in Mount Lebanon.

Two suspects, identified only by their initials T.S. and H.S., were arrested Wednesday in Burj Hammoud, officials announced. They were born in 1990.

The duo allegedly confessed to taking money from church collection boxes to fund their suspected drug addictions, officials said.

Two men are accused of stealing from more than 10 churches in Mount Lebanon. (Lebanese Internal Security Forces)
Two men are accused of stealing from more than 10 churches in Mount Lebanon. (Lebanese Internal Security Forces)

Security forces believe money was stolen from churches in the following areas:

  • Jbeil
  • Chawieh
  • Bolonia
  • Ballouneh
  • Ain El Delbi
  • Jiyeh
  • Lehfed
  • Mastita
  • Bchalle
  • Zouq El Kharab

Officials added that marijuana and heroin were recovered from their vehicle.

“In response to the thefts, the Internal Security Forces Information Division initiated procedures to identify and arrest the two gang members,” a statement said.

The duo have a criminal history that includes theft and drug abuse.

Hariri to attend FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Moscow

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri will make an official visit to Russia to attend the opening ceremonies of the FIFA World Cup, Russia’s press service reported.

Hariri will reportedly visit Moscow from June 12 to June 14 and stay near the Luzhniki Stadium, where the World Cup will be held.

George Shaaban, Hariri’s advisor for Russian affairs, told news agencies he is setting up meetings with Russian leaders.

Russian president Vladimir Putin holding the FIFA World Cup Trophy at a pre-tournament ceremony in Moscow, September 2017. (Administration of the President of Russia)
Russian president Vladimir Putin holding the FIFA World Cup Trophy at a pre-tournament ceremony in Moscow, September 2017. (Administration of the President of Russia)

Hariri is planning to meet with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his visit, Shaaban said.

The tournament’s opening ceremony begins June 14, and will be followed by the first match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Lebanon has taken part in World Cup qualifiers since 1994 but has yet to appear in the finals.

The visit is Hariri’s tenth visit to Moscow. His last visit was in September 2017, Russia’s press service added.

RELATED: Report: Tele Liban to broadcast the World Cup in Lebanon for free

Anthony Bourdain visited Beirut twice — at very different times

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was a culinary rebel — a storytelling pioneer who managed to capture the beautiful relationship between food and everyday people.

Bourdain took risks, and connected to people of all kinds. He fell in love with Beirut, and was not afraid to visit again — despite experiencing the worst of Lebanon’s 2006 war.

The visionary chef was found dead in a hotel room Friday while visiting France. He was working on an episode for his award-winning CNN series, “Parts Unknown.”

Bourdain was 61, and he took his own life.

In 2006, Bourdain and his crew were caught in the crossfire of the 2006 Lebanon war. The crew was planning to shoot an episode of his “No Reservations” show when the war broke out.

They had to leave Lebanon, but it didn’t stop them from coming back.

Anthony Bourdain and his crew shooting an episode in Beirut. (CNN)
Anthony Bourdain and his crew shooting an episode in Beirut. (CNN)

“From the first day that I ever arrived in Beirut, it smelled like a place I was going to love,” Bourdain said. “(The war) didn’t change my opinion about the place. If anything, it hardened it.”

In 2015, Bourdain and his crew re-visited Beirut to document the city’s culinary culture and resilience.

His episodes always told stories beyond just food.

Bourdain was best at documenting the human condition, and he posed thoughtful questions that made him more of a journalist at times, than a celebrity chef.

Anthony Bourdain said he "fell in love with Beirut." (CNN)
Anthony Bourdain said he “fell in love with Beirut.” (CNN)

“He was embraced by the Lebanese and they embraced him back, and that was something that really got to him at that time,” said Ramsay Short, who appeared in three of his Beirut shows.

In fact, Bourdain loved Beirut so much, he once considered naming his daughter after the city, CNN wrote.

“It’s something of a miracle that (Beirut) works,” Bourdain said in his 2015 episode. “Sunni, Shii’te, Christians can all live in one city and through some kind of tacit understanding maintain what is one of the most liberal environments in that part of the world.”

WATCH: When visiting Beirut, Anthony Bourdain asks himself: “Am I wrong to love this place?”

He fell in love with Beirut, and his viewers fell in love with him.

Rest in Peace, Anthony Bourdain.

If you or someone you love might be at risk of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain: “I fell in love with Beirut”

WATCH: This old man from Lebanon has a 7-year-old son!

Suliman Al-Mul may be old, but he sure doesn’t act like it!

The incredible man from northern Lebanon walks two miles every day, cuts woods, cooks and takes care of his children.

And get this — he has a biological 7-year-old son!

Suliman Al-Mul is 125-years-old. (YouTube screenshot/First2Know)
Suliman Al-Mul is from northern Lebanon. (YouTube screenshot/First2Know)

Al-Mul is from Heker Hanin in Lebanon’s northern Akkar district.

The father of 12 was featured on the popular First2Know Facebook page for his exuberant personality and long life.

First2Know reported that he is 125-years-old, but there are no reports to confirm his age.

WATCH: This 125-year-old has more energy than most people:

His wife Samira told First2Know that he’s still got it!

“And he’s still looking at other women,” she said. “I’m not kidding, he’s still looking at them!”

“Long life, long life to me!” he exclaimed.

Al-Mul lived through many historic events, and was born near the end of the Ottoman Empire. He’s also smoked for 40 years.

Suliman Al-Mul has lived through major world events. (YouTube screenshot/First2Know)
Suliman Al-Mul has lived through major world events. (YouTube screenshot/First2Know)

He told The Arab Weekly that his secret to a long life is hard work, plenty of sleep and a varied diet.

Al-Mul believes his “magic tea” is also a big plus!

“This mixture can bring a dead person to life, with God’s will,” he said.

Visiting event planners call Lebanon a ‘fulfilling, enriching’ experience

Several international event organizers had great things to say about Lebanon during a tourism convention hosted at the Le Royal Hotel earlier this May.

The hotel gathered about 140 hosted buyers from 40 countries. Hosted buyers represent major corporations and organizations that host events and conferences around the world.

Many of the buyers said Lebanon is now at the top of their list for events. Their reactions include:

United Kingdom: “Exceptionally fulfilling and enriching.”

United Arab Emirates: “When you come here, your heart remains here.”

India: “Lebanon is truly an exotic experience.”

South Africa: “The people are unbelievably friendly and welcoming.”

Russia: “From the first minute in Lebanon, I am amazed by the very warm and friendly atmosphere here.”

Germany: “Lebanon is a bridge between the Middle East and Europe.”

France: “I’m fully in love with this nation.”

VIDEO: Event planners call Lebanon a ‘fulfilling, enriching’ experience:

The gathering was hosted by the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, which is hoping to promote the country as an international destination for meetings and conventions.

The gathering of hosted buyers was held at the Le Royal Hotel on May 10, 11 in Beirut. (Photo provided/Le Royal Hotel)
The gathering of hosted buyers was held at the Le Royal Hotel on May 10, 11 in Beirut. (Photo provided/Le Royal Hotel)

The ministry took the hosted buyers to key landmarks in Lebanon, including parts of Beirut, Byblos and Baalbeck.

Visit Lebanon was launched in September 2017 to put Lebanon on the map for international business tourism, company tours and major exhibitions.

Nancy Ajram celebrates daughters’ birthday at Jeita Country Club

Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram hosted a birthday party Saturday for her two daughters Mila and Ella at the Jeita Country Club.

The singer posted photos of the fun on her Instagram account, showing the beautiful family celebrating the two birthdays.

Ajram’s most popular Instagram posts include photos of her daughters, 9-year-old Mila and 7-year-old Ella.

The birthday party was hosted at the SkyKids play area of the country club.

Nancy Ajram celebrates her daughters' birthday at the Jeita Country Club. (Facebook photo)
Nancy Ajram celebrates her daughters’ birthday at the Jeita Country Club. (Facebook photo)

Mila’s birthday was on May 16, while Ella’s birthday was on April 23.

The Jeita Country Club even posted photos of the two large cakes made for the special girls.

A Facebook album also showed the ‘Under the Sea’ birthday theme, featuring mermaids and sea creatures.

Ajram is married to prominent dentist Fadi El Hachem. Mila and Ella are their only children.

VIDEO: Dancers perform Lebanese routine during Argentina festival

A group of dancers performed a Lebanese dance routine during a festival in Argentina celebrating diversity and culture in the South American country.

The performers danced to Joseph Attieh’s song ‘Sodfi Gharibe,’ a love song meaning ‘A weird coincidence’ in English.

Dancers perform to Lebanese love song at a festival in Buenos Aires. (YouTube screenshot)
Dancers perform to Lebanese love song at a festival in Buenos Aires. (YouTube screenshot)

The dancers wore colorful dresses on stage with a backdrop commemorating the festival.

Buenos Aires Celebra was started in 2009 to celebrate the history and culture of other nations, and to showcase dancing, music, food, parades and art, according to its website.

Some of the other countries included in the festival include Greece, Russia, China, Italy, Ukraine and Ireland.

VIDEO: Dancers perform to Joseph Attieh’s ‘Sodfi Gharibe’

Lebanese tourist arrested for ‘insulting Egypt’ on Facebook

A Lebanese tourist visiting Cairo was arrested Thursday after posting an outspoken video on Facebook where she criticized Egypt and its president.

Mona El-Mazboh complained of sexual harassment and poor conditions in the viral video, which was deemed illegal by Egyptian government officials.

El-Mazboh was referred to criminal trial, and was ordered to be detained for 15 days, Reuters reported.

In the video, the Lebanese citizen specifically mentions an incident involving sexual harassment by taxi drivers and young men in the street, and complained of poor restaurant service during Ramadan.

Mona El-Mazboh responds to controversy in a second video posted to her Facebook. (YouTube screenshot)
Mona El-Mazboh responds to controversy in a second video posted to her Facebook. (YouTube screenshot)

She also called Egypt a “son of a b—- country,” and said she “hopes God sends (Egyptians) someone more oppressive than Sisi,” referring to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

After learning of the potential punishment, El-Mazboh posted a second video apologizing to “respectable Egyptians” for her comments. The video was posted to YouTube.

Her Facebook page could not be independently located or verified.

In a statement, the public prosecutor said El-Mazboh was charged with “deliberately spreading false rumours that are harmful to society and infringe upon religions,” Reuters added.

Egyptian rights activists claim the arrest was an intense crackdown of Internet censorship.

Officials: 15 tons of marijuana seized at Beirut paint warehouse

The Lebanese Internal Security Forces busted a large marijuana smuggling operation at a warehouse in south Beirut, officials announced.

During a raid Friday, security officials located several plastic paint buckets containing 15 tons of concealed marijuana.

Photos show the marijuana blocks recovered from a warehouse in Ouzai. (Photo provided/Internal Security Forces)
Photos show the marijuana blocks recovered from a warehouse in Ouzai. (Photo provided/Internal Security Forces)

The raid was conducted at a paint warehouse in Ouzai, a southern district of Beirut.

In photos released by security forces, the marijuana appeared to be masked in brown and white blocks.

The buckets were set to be exported outside of the country, officials announced.

More than 15 tons of marijuana were recovered. (Photo provided/Internal Security Forces)
More than 15 tons of marijuana were recovered. (Photo provided/Internal Security Forces)

Several suspected “gang members” were arrested, but officials did not reveal their identities or ages.

Security forces are still investigating, and will forward their findings to prosecutors for review.

This is not the first time the Internal Security Forces have raided a marijuana smuggling operation. The national police force of Lebanon frequently posts photos of their drug investigations on Facebook.

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