A Lebanese American police officer has filed a lawsuit against the San Jose, California Police Department alleging racial discrimination, reported NBC Bay Area.
Officer Nabil Haidar, a Lebanese American and Muslim officer, said his fellow officers called him “Bin Laden,” “Taliban” and “Beirut Bomber” in the days and years following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Haidar hired a California law firm to represent him in his lawsuit against the city of San Jose, the police department and police chief. He also named five other officers.
NBC Bay Area reported that the alleged harassment “escalated to a new height” after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 to begin the Iraq War.
The lawsuit claimed that police officers allegedly said, “You’re not gonna blow up are you?” Haidar claims his fellow officers imitated his accent while saying, “I’ll kill you all.”
Haidar’s attorney said he decided to pursue legal action after he was allegedly harassed by a police sergeant at a meeting recognizing veterans.
“Captain, you forgot to mention Nabil. He is an ISIS veteran,” the sergeant allegedly said. “He was with ISIS for two years.”
“However, based on the claim filed by Mr. Haidar with the State Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and our subsequent investigation, we have not seen a basis for liability against the City,” City Attorney Rick Doyle said.
Marqet, the first blind-friendly supermarket in the Middle East opened Sept. 27 on Koraytem Main Road in Beirut, as part of a project launched by Lebanese non-profit Red Oak, a press release said.
According to a statement on the Red Oak website, this supermarket initiative coincides with their other recent projects aimed at bringing blind and visually-impaired persons to Lebanese museums.
The Youth Association of the Blind collaborated with Red Oak to train Marqet employees on how to support blind and visually-impaired shoppers during a two-day workshop, the release added.
Red Oak said employees at Marqet have been taught to support blind customers, walk them through the aisles, orientate them, showcase or describe products and help as they check out.
According to Marqet’s website, it’s a one-stop shop for meats, fresh fruits, vegetables and many favorite brands like: La Boulangere Bio, Oslo, Royal Gourmet, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Qi juices, Cocoa & Co. and more.
“Smell the aromas of fresh bread baking in our bakery with its organic section, run your errands supported by our friendly staff, sip a cup of coffee and let our staff handle your order or call us from the comfort of your home and we will deliver,” the site said.
Marqet is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday — including Sundays, delivery is available with no minimum order requirement and customers can find free parking.
An Irish soldier stationed in Lebanon returned home to Ireland to surprise his 8-year-old daughter. The special reunion was captured on cell phone video and posted to Facebook.
Daniel Downey is a member of the Irish Army based in Lebanon. His 8-year-old daughter Danni had not seen her father for several months, reported The Independent.
Downey interrupted his daughter’s dance class for a reunion to remember.
WATCH: Irish soldier stationed in Lebanon flies home to surprise daughter:
Danni’s aunt said the family spent more than four months planning the special reunion, The Indepedent added.
According to the Irish Army, more than 300 Irish personnel are currently serving the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon.
“The UNIFIL mission ‘Monitor, Support and Assist’ involves extensive mobile patrolling throughout the Irish area of operations, including ground-holding, monitoring the Blue Line and humanitarian operations,” their website said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray and several U.S. officials visited with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun at the country’s presidential palace in Baabda.
In a statement, Aoun said Lebanon was thankful for U.S. support to the Lebanese Armed Forces. He said Wray expressed his support to the Lebanese army for helping to fight militant groups across the country.
“Wray visited Lebanon to reaffirm the U.S. government’s commitment to the Lebanese-American partnership,” Aoun said in a statement released by the state-run Lebanese National News Agency. “They discussed issues relating to the close law enforcement and security cooperation between the United States and Lebanon.”
The meeting was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, and representatives from the offices of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
“Lebanon is a key partner on law enforcement, including the fight against terrorism and the preservation of cultural heritage through preventing antiquities trafficking,” Aoun added. “Director Wray’s visit highlights the importance that the United States places on its relationship with Lebanon, and our continued commitment to the security of both the United States and Lebanon.”
The U.S. has provided more than $1 billion in military assistance to Lebanon since 2006, according to the Associated Press.
Christopher Wray formally replaced former FBI head James Comey in September 2017.
WATCH: FBI Director Christopher Wray meets with President Michel Aoun in Lebanon:
A Lebanese American University graduate made history as the first female news anchor on a main news program in Saudi Arabia, reported The Daily Mail.
Weam Al Dakheel recently became co-anchor of Al Saudiya’s 9.30 p.m. bulletin, the main news program on Saudi Arabia’s state-run television network. She will work anchor alongside Saudi journalist Omar al-Nashwan.
Al Dakheel graduated from the Lebanese American University, according to her Facebook page. She was previously a reporter for CNBC Arabia and an anchor for Al-Arab News Channel in Bahrain.
The journalist set a milestone in the conservative country, known for its tight restrictions on women. Saudi Arabia only recently lifted its widely criticized ban on female drivers.
Following Al Dakheel’s first broadcast, many Twitter users expressed their support for the promising future of female journalists in Saudi Arabia.
“This is big from Saudi Arabia,” wrote one Twitter user. “(She is) confident, focused (and) beautiful.”
WATCH: Weam Al Dakheel anchors the main 9:30 p.m. news broadcast in Saudi Arabia:
The American University of Beirut is among the top 50 universities worldwide for producing the most employable graduates, according to 2019 rankings released by education researcher Quacquarelli Symonds.
AUB was ranked 45 in the list of top 50 universities around the world for employability.
The top five universities include:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
The University of Sydney
The new ranking marks the third year in a row AUB is listed above every accredited university in the Arab region.
“AUB’s continued dominance in the QS ranking of graduate employability is evidence of AUB’s success in achieving its mission of producing outstanding graduates,” said Lokman Meho, director of AUB University Libraries.
No other Arab university ranked in the top 50. The King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals ranked 251-300, and the American University in Dubai and American University of Sharjah ranked 301-500.
The research measures the proportion of graduates in full-time or part-time employment within 12 months of graduation.
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Two of Brazil’s main parties have nominated candidates of Lebanese descent for the country’s upcoming presidential election in October, according to an article by The National.
Fernando Haddad, former mayor of São Paulo, is running on one of the largest political movements in Latin America — the left leaning Workers’ Party.
Haddad was previously the running mate of presidential candidate Lula da Silva. He is widely expected to become a presidential nominee after Lula’s candidacy was denied by the Supreme Electoral Court due to his conviction for corruption crimes.
Geraldo Alckmin, chairman of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, is also a candidate for Brazil’s highest office. He previously served two non-consecutive terms as governor of São Paulo.
“Mr Alckmin, seen as a candidate for the business community in a country reeling from a crime epidemic and poverty, may have his work cut out but he is vying to replace Michel Temer, the incumbent and another politician of Lebanese heritage – his parents emigrated from the town of Btaaboura in northern Lebanon in 1925,” The National wrote.
Lebanese descendants have called Latin America home since the late 1800s. They immigrated to Latin countries in two waves, most prominently after the collapse of the Lebanese silk trade.
“Should any of them be successful, they would join a long list of other children of Lebanese emigrants who have made their mark on Latin American politics, joining the recently-elected president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Beníte and Argentina’s First Lady Juliana Awada,” The National reported.
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Reconsider travel Lebanon due to crime,terrorism, and armed conflict.
Do not travel to:
the border with Syria due to terrorismandarmed conflict
the border with Israel due to the potential forarmed conflict
refugee settlements due to the potential forarmed conflict
U.S. citizens should reconsider or avoid travel to certain areas in Lebanon because of the threats of terrorism, armed clashes, kidnapping, and outbreaks of violence, especially near Lebanon’s borders with Syria and Israel. U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should be aware of the risks of remaining in the country and should carefully consider those risks.
U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Lebanon should be aware that consular officers from the U.S. Embassy are not always able to travel to assist them. The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice.
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Lebanon. The potential exists for death or injury in Lebanon because of the attacks and bombings perpetrated by terrorist groups. Terrorists may conduct attacks with little or no warning targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.
The Lebanese government cannot guarantee the protection of U.S. citizens against sudden outbreaks of violence. Family, neighborhood, or sectarian disputes can escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with no warning. Armed clashes have occurred along the Lebanese borders, in Beirut, and in refugee settlements. The Lebanese Armed Forces have been brought in to quell the violence in these situations.
Public demonstrations can occur with little warning and could become violent. You should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings. Protesters have blocked major roads to gain publicity for their causes, including the primary road to the U.S. Embassy, and the primary road between downtown Beirut and Rafiq Hariri International Airport. Access to the airport may be cut off if the security situation deteriorates.
Kidnapping, whether for ransom, political motives, or family disputes, has occurred in Lebanon. Suspects in kidnappings may have ties to terrorist or criminal organizations.
U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Border with Syria
Since August 2014, deadly terror attacks have occurred in border towns along Lebanon’s border with Syria, as have episodic clashes between the Lebanese Army and Syrian-based violent extremist groups. A 2017 Lebanese Army offensive expelled ISIS militants from territory along Lebanon’s border with Syria. The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanese-Syrian border region. The U.S. Department of State also warns U.S. citizens of the risk of traveling on flights that fly over Syria, which include some flights to Beirut.
Border with Israel
There have been sporadic rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into Israel in connection with the violence between Israel and Hizballah: the last reported incident was in 2014. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid this border area.
The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to refugee settlements, where violence has resulted in shootings and explosions.
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