See incredible photos inside the Mikati family mega-yacht

The Lebanese Mikati family own one of the most prestigious mega-yachts in the world, according to Forbes Magazine.

Chopi Chopi is a 262-foot yacht currently docked in southeastern France.

The beauty is valued at over $100 million, and features more than 20 cabins and luxurious space for 12 overnight guests and 33 crew members.

Chopi Chopi was built in Ancona, a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy. (CRN Yachts)
Chopi Chopi was built in Ancona, a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy. (CRN Yachts)

According to its builder CRN Yachts, Chopi Chopi is owned by former Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his brother Taha Mikati, who together own the Beirut-based holding company M1 Group.

VIDEO: Inside Chopi Chopi, one of the largest yachts ever built in Europe:

The brothers have a net worth of nearly $2.5 billion, and have investments in South African telecom firm MTN, fashion retailer Pepe Jeans and prime real estate in New York, London and Monaco, according to Forbes.

The mega-yacht is the largest built by CRN Yachts in its over 50-year history. (CRN Yachts)
The mega-yacht is the largest built by CRN Yachts in its over 50-year history. (CRN Yachts)

The brothers also founded Investcom in 1982, and sold satellite phones at the height of Lebanon’s civil war.

Chopi Chopi features an entire deck for the owner. (CRN Yachts)
Chopi Chopi features an entire deck for the owner. (CRN Yachts)

Chopi Chopi is the largest mega-yacht ever built by the Italian-owned CRN Yachts company.

See virtual map of Chopi Chopi docked at Port Hercules:

WATCH: Incredible Lebanese wedding proposal on a yacht!

Wedding season is here, and like other people around the world, many Lebanese couples are wasting no time getting hitched.

In a YouTube video posted by Ali Wehbi, Ali is seen taking his blindfolded girlfriend out on a boat covered in red roses.

When she took the blindfolds off,  Ali popped the question — “Will you marry me?”

His now-fiancée Maya said yes!

Ali proposed to Maya on a yacht in the beautiful Mediterranean sea. (YouTube screen grab)
Ali proposed to Maya on a yacht in the beautiful Mediterranean sea. (YouTube screen grab)

RELATED: Epic wedding entrance captures Lebanese and Assyrian cultures

The two celebrated and danced together on the backdrop of a beautiful Lebanese sunset.

Mabrouk to Ali and Maya!

WATCH: Amazing Lebanese proposal on a yacht:

PHOTOS: Best snapshots from iconic Jounieh fireworks display!

A group of photographers are being recognized for taking the best photos of the iconic fireworks display in the coastal city of Jounieh, Lebanon.

The fireworks celebrate the Jounieh International Festival, which aims to highlight the Mediterranean coastline.

The festival committee shared photos of the winners on Facebook. The winners are:

1st place: Bachir Mouawad

Bachir Mouawad won first place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Bachir Mouawad won first place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

2nd place: Georges Samaha

Georges Samaha won second place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Georges Samaha won second place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

3rd place: Georges Hanna

Georges Hanna won third place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Georges Hanna won third place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

4th place: Carine Assaf

Carine Assaf won fourth place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Carine Assaf won fourth place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

5th place: Jean Daoud

Jean Daoud won fifth place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Jean Daoud won fifth place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

Lebanese man plants cedar tree in town of Lebanon, Tennessee

A Lebanese photographer planted a cedar tree in the small town of Lebanon, Tennessee as part of his mission to visit every city named Lebanon in the U.S.

Fadi Boukaram told WKRN-TV he is on his second tour of U.S. cities named Lebanon. By his count, there are 47 total ‘Lebanon’ cities in the U.S., including in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Dakota and Oklahoma.

Boukaram said the journey was done as a road trip to explore America’s heartland and any potential connections to the country of Lebanon.

Fadi Boukaram visits towns around the U.S. named Lebanon. He posted a Facebook photo in Lebanon, Kentucky. (Facebook/Fadi Boukaram)
Fadi Boukaram visits towns around the U.S. named Lebanon. He posted a Facebook photo in Lebanon, Kentucky. (Facebook/Fadi Boukaram)

Surprisingly, Boukaram told the Nashville ABC-affiliate he found a connection involving a goodwill tour in 1955 from Lebanon to Lebanon, Tennessee.

“What’s interesting to me is the Vice Mayor, who went from Lebanon is actually Lebanese-American. His name was Frank Baddour and he was a dentist and a prominent citizen of Lebanon, Tennessee,” Boukaram said.

The photographer planted a cedar — Lebanon’s national symbol — in a community park near the town’s downtown area.

Boukaram said the town of Lebanon, Tennessee made a special impression on him.

“I started in California and this is the first big Lebanon I passed through,” he added. “I passed through two smaller ones before but they were too tiny, and the weather there is too hot to be able to grow a cedar tree. I love Lebanon, Tennessee. I spent a week here in 2017 when I first came and I just loved it.”

Google honors late Lebanese feminist, writer Anbara Salam Khalidi

Google celebrated the birthday of Lebanese feminist and author Anbara Salam Khalidi Saturday with a Google Doodle — a temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepages in the Middle East.

Khalidi, one of 12 children, was born on August 4, 1897 in Lebanon.

She is best known for challenging the status quo in an era when educating girls was considered controversial.

Google Doodle celebrates the life of Lebanese feminist and author Anbara Salam Khalidi. (Google)
Google Doodle celebrates the life of Lebanese feminist and author Anbara Salam Khalidi. (Google)

Khalidi’s father, a deputy in the Ottoman parliament, encouraged her to attend a school in Beirut, and travel to Egypt to further her progressive values.

Among her other activities, Khalidi is known for being the first Muslim woman in Lebanon to publicly abandon the veil in 1927 during a lecture at the American University of Beirut.

Khalidi's book, "Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist" is available on Amazon in a translated English version. (Amazon)
Khalidi’s book, “Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist” is available on Amazon in a translated English version. (Amazon)

She translated many globally-known pieces of literature into Arabic, and wrote memoirs about her life as an early Arab feminist.

Google wrote:

Through her activism, translations, and writing, Lebanese feminist Anbara Salam Khalidi greatly advanced the cause of women’s right in the Arab world.

Khalidi was born into a prominent Lebanese family in 1897. As a result of her family’s status, Khalidi was allowed a very unique opportunity for Lebanese women in the early 20th century—to travel through the Arab world in pursuit of worldly education. Her studies abroad were truly transformative, as they enabled her exposure to different languages and cultures through readings and travels.

Her travels changed her own relationship with personal freedoms. As a Lebanese noblewoman, Khalidi wore a full-face veil through her adolescence. At 15, she travelled to Cairo. The relative freedoms of Egyptian women helped inspire her progressive stance towards traditional Lebanese norms, including abandoning her traditional face veil. In 1927, she lectured at the Women’s Renaissance Society with her face uncovered despite the controversy that ensued.

Khalidi was dedicated to advancing women’s rights through education, and wrote to the press about the repression faced by Arab women. She also translated Homer’s classics into Arabic, so that others could benefit from her education abroad. At 81 years old, Khalidi published her memoir, later translated to English under the title ‘Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist.’

Today’s Doodle highlights how Khalidi used the written word to spread her message of equality.

Happy birthday, Anbara Salam Khalidi!

Beirut named in world’s top 15 cities by Travel + Leisure magazine!

Beirut was named in the world’s top 15 cities Tuesday in a list released by the New York-based Travel + Leisure magazine.

The magazine ranked Beirut as the fifteenth best city in the world with a score of 87.04 out of 100.

The score took into consideration the city’s landmarks, culture, cuisine and friendliness, among other categories.

Beirut was named in the world's top 15 cities. (Travel + Leisure magazine)
Beirut was named in the world’s top 15 cities. (Travel + Leisure magazine)

“Jaw-dropping architecture, distinctive restaurants, a rich array of cultural offerings, and intriguing shops are a must,” Travel + Leisure wrote in the article. “A teeming street life, a friendly population, and a harmonious relationship with nature are equally essential.”

Magazine readers voted for their favorite cities from November 2017 to March 2018. The combined votes helped determine the list of world’s best cities, Travel + Leisure added.

FULL LIST:

  1. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
  2. Oaxaca, Mexico
  3. Udaipur, India
  4. Ubud, Indonesia
  5. Kyoto, Japan
  6. Florence, Italy
  7. Luang Prabang, Laos
  8. Hoi An, Vietnam
  9. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  10. Charleston, South Carolina
  11. Mexico City, Mexico
  12. Cape Town, South Africa
  13. Rome, Italy
  14. Istanbul, Turkey
  15. Beirut, Lebanon

In a previous article about the rankings, Travel + Leisure said its readers were drawn to Beirut despite Lebanon’s instability and challenges.

“Beirut’s food is unsurpassed,” said one fan, while another added: “The nightlife is the experience of a lifetime.”

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.

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.”

VIDEO: Beautiful timelapse captures sunset in Jounieh

A beautiful timelapse posted on YouTube captured the sun setting from the coastal city of Jounieh, about 20 kilometers north of Beirut.

The camera angle overlooks a part of the Jounieh Bay and Mediterranean Sea from Harissa, and shows the sun slowly disappear behind the clouds.

WATCH: Beautiful timelapse captures sunset in Jounieh

Jounieh is known for its seaside resorts and bustling nightlife.

Once a quiet town, the coastal city has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lebanon, according to Lebanon.com.

Timelapse video shows the sun setting from Jounieh. (YouTube screenshot)
Timelapse video shows the sun setting from Jounieh. (YouTube screenshot)

Many high-rise buildings, hotels and resorts are located in Jounieh, and upscale restaurants and stores are plentiful in shopping districts.

There are plenty of beautiful locations to watch the sunset in Lebanon — and Jounieh certainly ranks high on any list!

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