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‘The Beirut’ restaurant ranked Toledo, Ohio’s best restaurant for 2018

A Lebanese restaurant in Toledo, Ohio was just ranked on the top of the Toledo Blade’s best restaurants of 2018 list.

‘The Beirut’ is located just 10 minutes from Downtown on 4082 Monroe Street, and “serves a variety of Mediterranean cuisine and a smattering of Italian fare in a casual [environment]”, the list explains.

The restaurant received a prestigious ‘5 stars’ ranking. The top honor for restaurants in the city was only given to one other establishment this year.

RELATED: Beirut’s Central Station Boutique named among ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’

The Blade described their frequent visits to the restaurant as “perfect” and said, “expect massive portions at moderate to slightly above moderate prices.”

The Beirut Restaurant was established in 1977 as a joint ownership with Labib Hajjar and Riad Abou-Arraj, according to its website.

To preview their menu or to learn more about the restaurant, click here.

Report: Lebanese Army bans its soldiers from playing PUBG video game

The Lebanese army recently issued a decree banning its soldiers from playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile, according to a report from Al Arabiya English.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG, is an online multiplayer game developed and published by the PUBG Corporation, where 100 players compete with each other to be the last player (or team) standing by eliminating all other opponents.

Al Arabiya reported  that Lebanese Army leadership issued an internal memo on January 4 to its soldiers prohibiting them from downloading the game or any similar games.

RELATED: Lebanese-Brazilian Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn arrested for misconduct

The memo cites the concern with communication with players all across the world that could include “the Zionist enemy” and indicated that “strict disciplinary actions [will take place] against the violators.”

PUBG is one of the most popular games in Lebanon and around the world, maintaining nearly 14 million users daily.

Lebanese actress Darine Hamze and convictions she will never give up on

Darine Hamze is one of the most well well-known daring actresses in the Middle East. She is known for taking on diverse and courageous roles on Lebanese TV shows and movies.

Darine spoke exclusively with Lebanese Examiner about what drives her everyday and the causes that keep her going.

How did you get started in the acting?

I was first introduced to acting during my early elementary boarding school days, at Sabis Ashwicke Hall, England, UK, when I was 8 years old. There I participated in all school plays and first discovered my love for acting. Which naturally lead to me studying drama acting and cinema in University and my MA was also cinema in the University of Westminster, UK.

What are some causes in Lebanon that you are passionate about?

Funny you ask that, since I have just founded an NGO called “Ibram” with a group of friends and family that works on crime prevention and youth empowerment. It is actually a kind of tribute to my father’s memory, since he was brutally murdered by (thieves) on the streets of Beirut. And I feel it is my responsibility now to follow up on this cause since it is very personal.

Hamze has performed in dozens of films where she is known for taking on challenging and complex roles. (Provided photo)
Hamze has performed in dozens of films where she is known for taking on challenging and complex roles. (Provided photo)

As you travel all across the world, what do you think of the Lebanese diaspora outside of Lebanon?

It saddens me actually to think of it, since separation is always hard experience to live. My brother is one of them, and I think almost every Lebanese family now has a son, or father or husband or daughter living abroad to find better living means. Unfortunately this hs been happening for many many years now, maybe it is the Lebanese’s destiny since our Phoenician ancestors.

What are some current or future projects you are working on that your fans should look forward to?

I have a new series that will be screening starting 2019, and am preparing for a new movie. There is also a lot of activities that I will be participating in for our NGO Ibram in Lebanon.

RELATED: Actress Shannon Elizabeth: I’m proud of the Lebanese side of my life

What would you like to say to the younger generation, that consider you a role model?

I say to them, follow your heart and intuition. Be true to yourselves, be creative and never compromise for your integrity cause that is what you will have at the end of your path. And do good not wrong, and be kind as much as you can, and stay courageous when things get bad around you, but know it is only a phase and everything passes.

Lebanon’s InterContinental Mzaar among 50 most scenic mountain resorts

The InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort and Spa in Lebanon was recently listed in the 50 most scenic mountain resorts by U.S. News & World Report.

The resort was featured alongside worldwide favorites like the Gstaad Palace in Switzerland and Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado.

Located about one hour northeast of Beirut, the resort has over 135 furnished rooms and suites along with conference facilities and exquisite variety of dining venues, according to their website.

Related: Day3a of the Day: Faraya— a summer retreat and snow destination

Read the U.S. News full listing:

“Experience luxury amid snowy peaks at this InterContinental hotel less than 32 miles northeast of Beirut. Though you could easily spend your entire vacation skiing and snowmobiling in winter or hiking and rafting in summer, be sure to take advantage of the resort’s cinema, shops, heated indoor pool and kids fun center. Or, retreat to your Alpine chalet-inspired room or the on-site spa for a massage, facial or body treatment. When you’ve worked up an appetite, sit for a meal at one of six restaurants that serve everything from Japanese fare to Lebanese mountain cuisine to American classics.”

The InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort and Spa was named among the world's most scenic mountain resorts. (Facebook/InterContinental Mzaar)
The InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort and Spa was named among the world’s most scenic mountain resorts. (Facebook/InterContinental Mzaar)

To learn more about the resort and reserve your room for a future visit, click here.

WATCH: Massari, Maya Diab, and French Montana’s remake of ‘Nour El Ein’

Lebanese-Canadian singer Massari, hip-hop artist French Montana, and Lebanese singer Maya Diab released a remake of the Arabic classic Nour El Ein.

“Nour El Ein,” which translates to “the light of my eyes,” is the second collaboration between French Montana and Massari.

The 2018 remake has two English verses sung by French Montana and Massari with the chorus performed by Maya Diab.

RELATED: French Montana’s Lebanese music manager Tony Sal listed in Billboard’s ‘100 Power Players’

According to the National, the idea for the song came from the Lebanese music composer Hadii Sharara, who is also one of the most successful music producers in the Middle East.

Maya Diab, Massari and French Montana collaborated on their own version of the Arabic classic, "Ya Nour El Ein." (YouTube screenshot/Massari)
Maya Diab, Massari and French Montana collaborated on their own version of the Arabic classic, “Ya Nour El Ein.” (YouTube screenshot/Massari)

WATCH: Massari – Ya Nour El Ein (feat. Maya Diab & French Montana)

Beirut’s Central Station Boutique named among ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’

The Central Station Boutique Bar in Beirut was featured among “The World’s 50 Best Bars of 2018.”

The World’s 50 Best Bars is an annual listing of the finest bars and alcohol establishments around the globe. Central Station was number 27 on the list!

The bar got its name from the once-functional Beirut train station, which is located near the Central Station Boutique.

The Central Station Boutique Bar is known for its "ability to deliver some very creative drinks," according to the list. (Facebook/Central Station Boutique Bar)
The Central Station Boutique Bar is known for its “ability to deliver some very creative drinks,” according to the list. (Facebook/Central Station Boutique Bar)

RELATED: Lebanese winemaker produces pioneering blue wine

“The menu is an appealing balance of humor and flavour, with a nice emphasis on taking something that feels familiar and reimagining it with a contemporary edge,” the list said.

The bar is located on Armenia Street, Mar Mikhayel in Beirut and is open 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. 7 days per week.

“The space elegantly combines dark wood with quirky touches, such as the railway carriage wheels suspended from the ceiling, while a long, focal-point bar runs the length of the room,” the list added.

Learn more about the Central Station bar and The World’s 50 best Bars list at this link.

White House appoints Darrell Issa to lead Trade and Development Agency

President Donald Trump has nominated former Congressman Darrell Issa, a Lebanese American, to lead the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Issa will replace Thomas Hardy, who has been the acting director since President Trump took office in January 2017.

The USTDA was established to advance economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle income countries, according to the USTDA website.

Earlier this year, Issa announced he would not run for re-election, which set up a competitive campaign in one of California’s biggest swing districts.

The California Republican is currently the wealthiest congressman in America, with a net worth projected to be around $460 million.

Lebanese-American Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announced he would not seek re-election in January. (File photo)
Lebanese-American Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announced he would not seek re-election in January. (File photo)

RELATED: Lebanese-American prosecutor runs for California State Assembly

The congressman’s book, “Watchdog,” mentions his travels to Lebanon during a time he traveled to locate buyers for land that his father inherited.

He said his trip to Lebanon was “a blessing,” and he met his grandfather’s brother and sister during the occasion.

Read the official White House press release about Darrell Issa’s nomination, here.

Lebanese music manager Tony Sal listed in Billboard’s ‘100 Power Players’

Lebanese music manager Wassim Slaiby, better known as Tony Sal, made Billboard’s 2018 list of “R&B/Hip-Hop 100 Power Players.”

The 38-year-old entrepreneur was born in Lebanon and currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife former Miss USA Rima Fakih and family.

He runs Sal & Co./XO Records, where he manages big name artists like French Montana and The Weeknd.

Slaiby married former Miss USA Rima Fakih in 2016. (Facebook/Rima Fakih)
Slaiby married former Miss USA Rima Fakih in 2016. (Facebook/Rima Fakih)

Related: Rapper Cardi B wears two dresses by Lebanese designers to VMA’s

Billboard wrote that Tony’s “Achievement Of The Year” was when longtime client Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye notched his third consecutive Billboard 200 No. 1 single.

“Seeing Abel take over that stage and knowing how much it meant to him was very special,” Slaiby told Billboard. He has been working with the artist since 2012.

The entertainment media brand also recognized the Lebanese entrepreneur’s philanthropic efforts to build a Ugandan hospital with artist French Montana that opened in March of this year.

Learn more about Tony Sal and Billboard’s list of Power Players at this link.

Ottawa names street ‘St. Charbel Way’ after Lebanese saint

One of the largest Lebanese communities in North America successfully renamed a section of Donald Street in Ottawa, Canada to St. Charbel Way, according to the Ottawa-based news outlet CTV News Ottawa.

The celebration included fireworks, speeches and a visit from the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, who entered on a horse-drawn carriage.

WATCH: Patriarch Rai enters on a horse-drawn carriage:

Rai was present to mark the occasion while he was on a ten-day tour of eastern Canada, where he visited other cities to meet with members of the Maronite Catholic community.

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi visits the Lebanese community in Ottawa, Canada. (Facebook/Maronites Canada)
Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi visits the Lebanese community in Ottawa, Canada. (Facebook/Maronites Canada)

RELATED: Pope approves Lebanon to list of ‘Christian pilgrimage’ sites

The day ended with a Lebanese heritage celebration mass and gala dinner.

WATCH: Unveiling of Saint Charbel Way in Ottawa, Canada:

The Lebanese community in Ottawa is one of the largest in Canada, and holds one of the largest Lebanese festivals in the world every year.

Lebanon to start drilling oil wells in Mediterranean Sea in 2019

Exploration drilling of oil and gas in the Mediterranean Sea will begin in 2019, Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil said in an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik.

The minister also held a news conference in Dec. 2017 announcing plans to begin exploratory drilling in 2019.

“If commercial drilling does not take place as we plan, we will continue the exploration of the oil fields,” Abi Khalil told the news outlet.

If the country begins successfully drilling for gas and oil, the Energy Minister said it could be used to fulfill Lebanon’s energy needs, or be delivered to Europe “by sea, through Egypt or via the Arab pipeline.”

Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil announced the plans to begin drilling oil wells in 2019. (Twitter/Cesar Abi Khalil)
Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil announced the plans to begin drilling oil wells in 2019. (Twitter/Cesar Abi Khalil)

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

Hydrocarbons, an early indicator if oil exists in an area, were originally discovered near Lebanon in the eastern Mediterranean in 2009.

In August of this year, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil asked his Russian counterpart to encourage Russian energy companies to take part in the upcoming bidding round of foreign investments.

Sputnik reported that tensions have grown between Lebanese and Israeli governments over territorial claims of the oil reserves.

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