Rabih K

WATCH: Actor Ben Stiller makes homemade chicken shawarma

American actor and comedian Ben Stiller made an appearance on the popular YouTube food channel Tasty to make chicken shawarma sandwiches!

He was joined by Ahmed Badr, a writer and former refugee from Iraq.

Stiller wanted to recreate one of his most favorite childhood dishes, he said.

The shawarma was broiled for 15 minutes and then added onto a garlic-sauced pita, where cucumbers, tomatoes and pickles were then added on top.

Actor Ben Stiller makes homemade chicken shawarma sandwiches on the Tasty YouTube channel. (YouTube screen grab)
Actor Ben Stiller makes homemade chicken shawarma sandwiches on the Tasty YouTube channel. (YouTube screen grab)

Shawarma, which has been around since the 19th century, is one of Lebanon’s most famous dishes.

RELATED: Pizza shop in California serves Lebanese garlic chicken pizza

The cooking video is apart of UNHCR’s Youtube series “#WithRefugees,” where the agency seeks to educate viewers about the global refugee crisis.

Click here for more information about UNHCR’s work.

WATCH: Ben Stiller makes homemade chicken shawarma sandwiches:

Lebanese banker buys Colorado Springs bank as part of U.S. expansion

The Chairman and CEO of Société Générale de Banque au Liban (SGBL) Antoun Sehnaoui has bought the Pikes Peak National Bank in Colorado Springs, according to a spokesperson.

Sehnaoui is new the chairman of the Colorado-based bank and plans to use it as a hub for expansion across the United States.

He entered negotiations for the acquisition two years ago as an opportunity to expand around the world.

“(It’s an) excellent opportunity based on the bank’s solid management under an experienced, professional leadership team,” Sehnaoui said in a statement.

Currently, the bank has three locations around the Colorado Springs area with total assets held at almost $89 million. The bank has about 30 employees.

Antoun Sehnaoui is also a film producer of over 40 films (imdb.com)
Antoun Sehnaoui is also a film producer and avid collector of the arts. (File photo/Imdb)

Sehnaoui was born in Lebanon in 1972 and moved to the United States during the Lebanese Civil War to study International Finance and Banking at the University of Southern California.

RELATED: British-Lebanese banker now executive vice-chairman of Swiss Bank UBS

He returned to Lebanon and set out to make the country “once again the banking, finance, media and tourist hub of the Middle East.”

Sehnaoui has been credited ten times as a film producer for Lebanese movies, including the Oscar-nominated foreign film The Insult.

Lebanese poker player wins PokerStar tournaments, takes home $700,000

Lebanese poker player Albert Daher recently won the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT €25,000 High Roller tournament and took home over $700,000.

The buy in for the event was about $29,000 and took place over two days in Monaco.

Coming into the final day, Albert was fourth in chips. After he was able to double his chip stack twice, he emerged with a $714,463 payout at the end of the event.

Albert Daher was the €25,000 High Roller Winner (pokernews.com)
Albert Daher was the €25,000 High Roller Winner (pokernews.com)

He was responsible for the two of the last three eliminations to happen during the final day and made a deal with the other two finalists to end the game.

RELATED: Casino du Liban expects $10M in profit in 2018

Daher also won the € 1,100 No Limit Hold’em – Hyper Turbo Freezeout event in Monaco just 4 days earlier.

According to the live poker database The Hendon Mob, Daher has won just over $3 million in lifetime poker earnings and is third on Lebanon’s all time money list.

For the play-by-play of what happened at the event, click here.

Chinese company to fund renovation of railroad from Tripoli to Syria

A Chinese construction company will soon submit a proposal to finance the reconstruction of a railway from the city of Tripoli to the Lebanese-Syrian border, the Daily Star reported.

Eliana Ibrahim, president of the China Arab Association for Promoting Cultural and Commercial Exchange, told the Daily Star the project was in the initial stages, and she could not name the company.

Lebanese Economy Minister Raed Khoury recently attended the Arab States Cooperation Forum hosted by China and received positive feedback about future Chinese investment in Lebanon.

Chinese foreign Minister Wang Yi met with several of his Arab counterparts, including Raed Khoury of Lebanon (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China)
Chinese foreign Minister Wang Yi met with several of his Arab counterparts, including Raed Khoury of Lebanon (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China)

The railroad would provide a route to transport goods from Syria to a port on the Mediterranean Sea and help solidify Chinese involvement in the region for years to come.

RELATED: Beirut’s airport to receive simulation technology from New Zealand

This comes three days after the President of China Xi Jinping pledged $1.6 billion in financial aid to countries in the Middle East, that included Jordan, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Jbeil District to ban all use of plastic bags by the end of 2018

The municipality of Jbeil will ban all use of plastic bags by the start of 2019, officials confirmed.

In a memo issued by the municipality, the local government has urged all supermarkets and retail outlets to replace plastic bags with eco-friendly alternatives by the start of next year.

The municipality is attempting to cut down some of its waste, and is urging other cities and municipalities to follow suit.

In the published memo, Jbeil Mayor Wissam Zaarour is asking the owners of establishments to replace plastic bags with eco-friendly ones (Facebook/Municipality of Jbail-Byblos)
In the published memo, Jbeil Mayor Wissam Zaarour is asking the owners of establishments to replace plastic bags with eco-friendly ones (Facebook/Municipality of Jbail-Byblos)

Many Lebanese environmental groups praised the decision, including Greenpeace Mediterranean global campaign.

“The Jbeil municipality got it right,” Julien Jreissati, a Greenpeace campaigner, told The Daily Star. “Our path out of this garbage crisis starts by reducing the amount of waste we produce.”

RELATED: Wind Power industry in Lebanon industry attracts bids from 40+ companies

The memo’s release comes just two days after Starbucks announced it will stop using disposable plastic straws by 2020 in a effort to eliminate some of the 335 million tons of plastic waste produced globally every year.

Lebanese-owned WHITE nightclub ranked in world’s top 20!

Lebanese-owned nightclub WHITE Dubai ranks as the twentieth best club in the world, according to an annual list released by DjMag.com.

WHITE Dubai was the only club in the Middle East to rank in the top 50.

Originally founded in Beirut in 2006, the nightclub expanded and opened a location in Dubai on the Meydan Racecourse Grandstand Rooftop in 2013.

WHITE Dubai was listed as among the top nightclubs in the world. (WHITE Dubai)
WHITE Dubai was listed as among the top nightclubs in the world. (WHITE Dubai)

Founded in 1991, DjMag is a British magazine for electronic dance music fans and DJs. The magazine releases a list of the most popular nightclubs in the world every year.

On Thursday’s, WHITE is home to the Bizaaar, which plays a mix of local genres. On Friday’s, the club plays music from international house and tech-house stars like Claptone and Dubfire.

RELATED: Study shows 40% of Beirut sleeps less than six hours

The club can fit 2,500 people and has been the venue of recent performances by Rick Ross, Sean Paul, Jason Derulo and Wiz Khalifa.

To view the current full list of the best clubs in the world, click here.

Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut wins award for ‘Best Luxury Hotel’ in 2018

The Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut has been named the ‘Best Luxury Hotel’ in 2018 by MEA Markets, a monthly investors publication based in England.

Four Seasons received GCC Enterprise Award, which honors the accomplishments of “innovative entities and individuals” across the Middle East region.

Four Seasons Beirut is just a one minute walk from Zaytounay Bay (Booking.com)
Four Seasons Beirut is just a one minute walk from Zaitunay Bay (Booking.com)

The luxury hotel has several nearby gourmet restaurants, a spa room and a rooftop pool with a 360-degree view of the Mediterranean sea, mountains and city.

Rami Sayess, the hotel’s general manager, said the hotel staff has worked hard to develop its luxurious brand in the region.

“I am delighted to receive this accolade on behalf of the team at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut,” Sayess said. “This recognition belongs to each and every one of them for all that they do to make the Four Seasons brand an iconic symbol of luxury.”

RELATED: This hotel suite in Broumana costs $80,000 per night!

The hotel is located about 20 minutes from the Beirut airport, near Zaitunay Bay along the Beirut Marina.

To find out more information about the hotel, click here.

British-Lebanese banker now executive vice-chairman of Swiss Bank UBS

British-Lebanese banker Paul Raphael is now an executive vice-chairman of the Swiss multinational investment bank UBS, a source told finews.asia.

According to the website, UBS said it was discussing options to terminate Raphael earlier in the year but he made a comeback. He will now be Head of Europe and Emerging Markets for the company.

The 56-year-old banker is fluent in Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Spanish and English. Raphael received a bachelors in Economics from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Raphael is now the head of Head of Europe and Emerging Markets at UBS Wealth Management (finews.com)
The latest move marks a dramatic shift from news reported earlier this year (finews.com)

Paul Raphael previously served as a managing director for Credit Suisse and Merill Lynch. His experiences include Chairman of Central Europe, Middle East and Africa & Head of IBD for the Asia-Pacific Region.

A spokesman for UBS did not confirm or comment on the story.

Sleepless in Beirut: Study shows 40% of the city sleeps less than six hours

A sleep expert at the American University of Beirut Medical Center estimates that nearly 40 percent of the 2 million people living in Beirut sleep less than six hours every night.

While this is common in other Arab countries, associate professor Hassan Chami says this could be more common in Beirut than any other place in the region.

“I have good evidence based on my surveys that about 40 percent of Beirutis sleep less than six hours, which is a shocking number,” Chami said.

RELATED: Lebanon: ‘Best party place,’ says guy who visited every country

Chami believes these numbers are problematic and can lead to sleep deficiency. He believes the sleep deficiency among Beirut residents is approximately one third higher than the rate in the United States.

Lebanon has one of the most active nightlife activities in the region (POSH Club Beirut)
Lebanon has one of the most active nightlife activities in the region (POSH Club Beirut)

Sleep specialist and researcher Neil Stanley said the number of people who are short on sleep is high, and it’s a problem.

“In the past, people would have taken a siesta (Nap) in the Gulf, which allowed them to stay up at night,” Stanley said. “But that doesn’t happen anymore… People are still living like that but are missing out on the afternoon nap.”

Soccer star Mohamed Salah vacations in Beirut as World Cup continues

Egyptian soccer player Mohamed Salah and his family arrived in Beirut late Friday for a vacation, reports said.

According to the daily newspaper Al Liwaa, Salah, his wife Maggie and their daughter Makkah will be in Lebanon for three days. They will also meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri during their trip.

Salah is staying at a hotel in downtown Beirut, but the exact location is not being released for security purposes, the newspaper added.

Salah was recently dumped out of the World Cup tournament in the group stages after his team lost all three of their matches and failed to receive any points to advance to the round of 16.

Mohamed Salah plays for the Egyptian National team (Express and star)
Mohamed Salah plays for the Egyptian National team. (File photo)

However, Salah led the national team to their first World Cup since 1990 and managed to score two goals himself during the tournament.

RELATED: Man stabbed to death during World Cup argument

Salah is expected to be at Liverpool FC training camp in three weeks.

The team will be at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan on July 28 for their showdown with rival Manchester United.

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