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!

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.

How to dress like a local in Beirut — for any occasion!

Fashion is a big deal in Beirut — and looking good can go a long way!

Whether you’re visiting Beirut for pleasure or business, here’s how to look fashionable for all occasions.

1. Business trips

For the guys, two-button suits in navy or black with designer belts and loafers are recommended if you are in town for business, Business Insider reports.

The Lebanese are big on designer brands, and bigger branded logos are always a plus.

Finally, don’t forget to accessorize! A nice watch, sunglasses and pocket square can make you stand out.

For ladies, a solid-colored dress looks classy and keeps you cool in the scorching sun.

Top it off with a nice designer bag or sunglasses, and you’re good to go.

Pro tip: Zara stores are a great place to shop for any business occasion.

2. Casual strolls

If you just want to walk the streets or go out with friends, a nice shirt with some designer jeans will do nicely.

Women certainly have a few more options to choose from. Nice jeans, shorts, skirts, a summer dress — pretty much anything goes.

But to stand out, don’t forget to accessorize!

RELATED: How to get ready for a day at the beach in Lebanon

3. Parties and clubs

It’s all about the skin at Beirut’s hottest clubs!

A crop top and skirt is a common sight at a Beirut club.

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Flashy dresses, heavy makeup and heels are also a dime a dozen.

For the guys, tighter dress shirts are always appropriate. If you have the build, don’t be afraid to show it off.

4. Formal gatherings

For fancier evening events and galas, CNTraveler recommends draped gowns made by local designers like Rabih Kayrouz or Krikor Jabotian.

Custom-tailored suits and designer names can be found at these men’s locations.

If you need to go shopping while in the capitol, check out Beirut Souks or your nearest shopping mall.

How to get ready for a day at the beach in Lebanon

It’s summer in Beirut, and there is no better place to spend the season than at one of Lebanon’s best beaches!

Here are some tips and tricks to make the most out of your time.

First, you have to pick the right spot! If you’re ready to spend big bucks, perhaps you can consider booking a chalet ahead of time.

Some of the best beaches in Lebanon are known for their luxury and proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Consider trying something new with:

Next, you need to figure out what to wear.

For the men: skip the board shorts, baggy fits and tacky patterns and stick with a stylish swimsuit with a solid or simple pattern.

Happiest bday @gracekouyoumjian ❤️ when clients become family!

A post shared by Anas Nabhan (@anasnabhann) on

Beirut.com recommends women try something a little different and uncomfortable!

Off-shoulder shapes and textured fabrication are all back in style for the summer.

And while on the way there and back, pick a nice summer dress or tank top to stay comfortable.

Like this picture🌴!

A post shared by N I M A (@nimacheble) on

Finally, don’t forgot to bring your shades and radio speakers!

If you’re into drinking, a nice cold pack of Almaza will do nicely in the summer heat.

Sometimes bada #almaza 🍻

A post shared by Rami Azar (@azarrami) on

RELATED: How to dress like a local in Beirut — for any occasion!

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