Unique Facts About Lebanon – Visit Paradise Lebanon



These 12 Incredible Ways To Add Joy To Your Life Are Absolutely BRILLIANT!


It is true that to some extent life is what you make. It would be very good if you try to look at ways to raise the level of happiness in your life.Joy can boost your productivity at work, increase chances of success  , help you improve your social relationships and helps you become healthier.

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Is the Size of Foreign Currency Reserves an Indicator of Economic Strength of a Country?

The amount of foreign currency reserves can be an important factor or signal of economic prosperity or power in a country, but not the only one. To illustrate, foreign currency reserves can help protect the value of local currency within a country especially in a developing country, but it is not enough alone to prevent depreciation of national currency against speculation or surprising events that may occur from time to time. However, good management of foreign currency reserves plus the overall general performance of national economy can be favourable or helpful in preserving the value of local currency as well as national wealth and savings. A Thriving and growing national economy can lead a country to form sufficient amount of hard currencies. For instance, South Korea, an East Asian country that is quickly industrialising and developing, has accumulated reserves reaching about 365 billion dollars in March 2016, which is praiseworthy in a country having recently a nominal GDP more than 1300 billion $. Foreign currency reserves can allow nations to borrow money or sell treasury bonds with less cost and higher credibility. In September 2016, South Korea could sell 10 year treasury bonds with interest rate 1.46 % just a little bit higher than % interest on US T-bonds, being currently considered as safe haven. Another example, Switzerland that has a population of almost 8 million, has owned in March 2016 foreign currency reserves of almost 607 billion $ (excluding Gold). This is no surprise as the Swiss banking sector is among the safest and strongest in the world. One example, UBS, one of the largest banks in Switzerland and even in the whole world, has managed in 2014 total assets of about 1,967 billion $. In general terms, Swiss GDP per capita or average annual individual income in 2015 has reached $ 75,550, among the highest in the world. Besides, its national Currency (Swiss Franc) is a safe haven. The Swiss Banking sector has helped historically in establishing infrastructure projects such as railways throughout Switzerland and Europe generally and so on. In conclusion, foreign currency reserves are part of financial resources that can help support national economy if well invested and correctly managed because they can support sustainable economic development and financial stability whether directly or indirectly.

Generally speaking, when foreign currency reserves expand in size, they could be one sign of positive economic events taking place. For example, from 2000 till 2008, Russia, which is the one of the largest exporters of oil and natural gas, had its foreign currency reserves increasing steadily after oil and gas prices climbed and prudent economic reforms were taken. Russian foreign currency reserves rose to a peak of 596.5 billion dollars in July 2008. The average annual income multiplied and increased dramatically during this period…Another example, Germany which is a great guarantor of the Euro currency (one of the reserve currencies of the world) has owned foreign reserves of almost 400 billion dollars in April 2016. Germany is the second largest exporter of goods in the world after China. The nominal GDP per capita of Germany has recently been estimated to be 3500 billion $ and GDP per capita reached about $ 42,000 recently. However, foreign reserves are not the only sign of economic prosperity. For instance, USA had foreign reserves of 120.4 billion $ in July 2016 less than Russia having 394 billion $ in July 2016, but this does not indicate that the Russian economy is larger or better than the US economy, for example. The US dollar itself constitutes the majority of the reserve currencies of the world, but the Russian Ruble is not considered a hard currency and is much less used in world trade than US dollar. In comparison, the US has the largest economy in the world having a nominal GDP of about 18,000 billion $ and a nominal GDP per capita about $ 51, 500 in 2015, whereas Russia had a nominal GDP of about 1,326 billion dollars and annual average nominal income of about 11,000 dollars in 2015. Russia has risen to become the 12th most innovative economy in January 2016 but the USA is reported to be the fourth most innovative economy in the world. It can be said that rules or norms have exceptions and special cases.

We go further to illustrate more about the issue of foreign currency reserves (not to mention Gold) and its correlation with economic development. China, becoming a middle income country, accumulated the globally highest foreign exchange reserves of 3,234 billion $ in March 2016 as a result of high economic growth 10 % annually for thirty years ( although economic growth slowed somehow in the recent few years ) . Moreover, China has a growing middle class in both number and average income due to economic and technological development on the one side.

On the other side, Chad in Africa owned in 2014 foreign exchange reserves of 1.08 billion dollars which is not high. Its nominal GDP per capita was no more than 1000 dollars in that year; this indicates that it is one of the poorest countries despite having oil and minerals in its national territories. (This is the case of some of the less developed countries whom we hope would progress and grow to have a better situation in the future).

Another case that proves that foreign currency reserves can be one indication of economic power (but of course not the only one) is that United Arab Emirates held about 85 billion dollars as foreign currency reserves. However, this country has a sovereign Wealth Fund of 792 billion dollars, most of which they accumulated from natural oil but they were successful at economic diversification such as industry, tourism ( especially Dubai ), commerce, real estate and other services. UAE has formed one of the largest sovereign wealth funds or investment funds in the world diversifying and managing their investments in many countries and sectors as a way of preserving their wealth for present and future generations to obtain economic security and financial return from such investments, which are much more advisable, safer and wiser than keeping all their wealth as foreign currency reserves at the central bank. Moreover, UAE has one of the highest average salaries and wages in the world. The list goes on and on about the amount of foreign exchange reserves or foreign currency reserves in relation to economic strength, development and flow of funds both to and from an individual country.

In Conclusion, foreign currency reserves constitute one sign of economic strength and prosperity especially when such reserves are well managed and protected from exchange rate fluctuations. Generally, but not in every single case, if a country has development in various and multiple economic sectors , its foreign currency reserves will grow gradually but it would be preferable if it invests some of its wealth in diversified and high quality portfolio of securities, treasury bonds of high ratings, blue chip equities, infrastructure projects , and productive sectors like agriculture and manufacturing.

   Refrences :

– Eljoumhouria newspaper

– internet sources

What Other People have May Seem Better than what You have

There is a saying that: “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence “. Sometimes, you view what others have as better than what you have (although it might not be really better in some ways). Besides, everything has pros and cons (advantages and disadvantages). Rather than only noticing that others posses better than what you have, wouldn’t it be better to make self-development? Definitely, it would be much better if you try to improve what you already have, whether physical properties or mental abilities. It could be learning new skills, seeking creative constructive ideas, studying to obtain a new certificate or experiencing new things. Likewise, if necessary, why wouldn’t you water the grass in your garden if needed? For sure, it would be a better idea to cultivate and even fertilise your garden to make it as good looking as your neighbor’s garden. Be always happy with what you already have in the present with ambitious plans for the future to make things better and better day after day.

You may wish you had as much money as millionaires or famous high income celebrities worldwide. But, if you examine their personal lives more deeply and wisely getting to know more about them, you will notice they may be busier than you. Being more concerned about their work and wealth, they may have a less peaceful life than an ordinary person sometimes.

Grass is always greener on the other side
Grass is always greener on the other side
Source: From Flickr user jurek d.
Original: https://flic.kr/p/oKankD

You have not put yourself in his or her place to see what his or her real personal life is. You desire what you do not possess sometimes. In some cases, if you receive what you desire, you will find it to be something normal or ordinary. For that reason, be thankful for what you already have. You may have blessings more than you think.God blessings are greater and more abundant than the whole universe although they are sometimes hidden.

If creative and visionary, you could discover that you have something which turns out to be a treasure. A small idea could turn your passions into riches. I was reading a short story from a book written by a famous Lebanese writer called Gibran khaleel Gibran. In the story, a village man owned an old statue but did not care about it. One day a wise man from a nearby city asked him if he would sell it for a silver coin and the country man agreed to sell it happily saying it was of no value. After a while, the villager came to the city to buy things he needed. He saw a group of people gathering in front of a shop and paying to enter. The village man entered the shop to find the wise city man receiving 2 silver coins from each person coming in to see an old monument which he found to be exactly the same one he sold for only 1 silver coin. You can conclude sometimes that things which you think are useless could turn to be a source of income. It is possible that the villager could have sold that old sculpture for dozens of silver coins had he known its importance and value. As I read in a book, riches and wealth can be found in human thoughts and minds more than in gold mines and diamonds.

In some ways, you are responsible for creating the life that you like. It is known that for good things to come, they should live in your mind first, so start to believe and act to the best of your ability so that your life can be as good as you wish. Now, I will talk about my personal experience. I am from Lebanon, which is a country in the Middle East just on the Eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon is a country known for its pleasant moderate climate and wonderful nature, where beaches are close to mountains. Lebanon has been mentioned in the Holy Bible several times and has different religions. It has a lot of artists, thinkers and writers compared to its population size. Lebanon is rich in cultural heritage being a crossroad where many civilisations passed and intermixed. Its cuisine is rich and its food tastes good. Moreover, my country has a great robust banking sector. I hear and see people from other countries like Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt saying that Lebanon is nice. Despite all these blessings found in my homeland, I thought of moving to a more politically stable country with a higher average income compared to Lebanon considered a middle income country. Many times, I dreamed of migrating to Canada being a well developed country with prosperous economy, but then I thought that Canada has a generally cold and sometimes even freezing weather in some districts especially in the winter. Despite the fact that Canada has high working salaries and amazing living standards, I realised that as a new comer to Canada, I would have to pay part of my income there to either rent or buy a new house. In my country, I own a house and few pieces of land. There is a saying in the Arabic language: “Contentment is a treasure that stays forever” which means appreciating what you have is itself an everlasting treasure. In addition, if you look through the blessings of God, you find them to be unlimited and countless. I found out that we, the Lebanese or at least some of us, are not the only people on earth who think of migrating outside our country for one reason or another. Some people from other countries like Egypt, Syria, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Philippines come to Lebanon to work to get higher income compared to their mother country. With all modesty, I say that even in years of stability in their countries, some Syrian and Egyptian people say that they dream of working in Lebanon.

I found out through research on the internet that even in well developed and advanced countries like United Kingdom about 5 million UK citizens have left their country to some other countries from 1990 till 2016. Likewise, millions of Italian people have migrated to different countries abroad. These are just few examples of cases where man can view “the grass greener on the other side of the fence” as said in English.

Consequently, instead of thinking of leaving my country, I would stay in my homeland near my family and try to improve my situation in many areas of my life as much as possible. I noticed that if I improve my personal situation, I can help others in my country improve their lives directly or indirectly. Many are the ways by which I can improve my well being. It could be through going to work earlier in the morning to be more productive and efficient. Maybe, it is through being kinder to other people and more positive in life. Another good way would be to obtain more constructive ideas and actions or increase education and knowledge. Practising some sports and meditation moderately is a very good idea to help me feel better. In short, if I want my native country to become a better place to live in, I should start myself to become a better person (even if I am just an ordinary citizen). Every person constitutes a part of one’s nation or state and can be a source of inspiration for others to make sustainable development.

Anyway, it would be preferable and more useful if you try to shift your mindset and energy to attain higher level of success while remaining humble. You are, like any other human being, capable in various ways to achieve prosperity if you use your God given abilities. Each person is born equally to other people but with different talents and abilities, which if he or she believes in and makes the best use of, may progress. Many are the examples of children coming from poor backgrounds become heroes. A good example is Thomas Edison, who used to sell candy and newspapers in the train to earn the cost of buying equipment and material for his laboratory. He tried many experiments before growing into a brilliant famous inventor. In conclusion, do your best and leave the rest. When you take care of yourself, God will take more care of you.

Benefit from opportunities as much as you can whenever they are present. Hopefully, the benefit and improvement will show gradually whether slowly or quickly. There is a saying:” Rome was not built in one day”. Take enough time and give adequate effort to build up step by step whatever you seek. For instance, if someone owns a house or an apartment better than yours, you shall persistently try to work as hard and good as he does to build or buy a better house if you want. (Remember that if someone has more money or larger house, it does not always guarantee that he is happier than you because happiness comes mainly from inside more than from outside). You can create your own happiness, contentment, enlightenment and prosperity. Always be grateful to the universe and the creator of the universe while doing your best to achieve your goals and fulfil your dreams. This makes more sense and gives more hope than just noticing that some individuals seem to be very lucky compared to you.

Mirna Hanna, the Iraqi child prodigy

When people think about Iraq, they remember Saddam Hussien, ISIS, suicidal attacks, bombs, terror and fear. But after every night comes a sun shine and after every winter comes a spring.

Mirna is a beautiful child who chose singing to tell the world that her country was once beautiful and that the Islamic State’s voice isn’t the only voice in Iraq. She chose to sing and speak up on behalf of all the free minds of the Iraqi people. For that, ISIS threatened her dad that they would kidnap her if she didn’t stop singing.


Lets put that into perspective!

So at its current state, and unfortunately in Iraq now, its enough for anyone to disagree with ISIS to have himself as a target for their terror. You don’t even need to disagree with them, you just have to be different!  After all, what did the Yazidis do to deserve slaughter, rape and slavery; but you can’t argue reason and common sense with the dark minds of the Islamic State, you can only hope to run away or fend them off.

Mirna Hanna challenged ISIS by her voice, by being beautiful and the biggest sin of all, being different (i.e. She is Christian). So she had to leave Iraq and she currently resides in Lebanon.

To read more about Mirna Hanna, click this link:

Mirna Hanna – ميرنا حنا

But for now, lets hear her sing:



God Bless you and your family, keep singing, the world loves you. Your free and beautiful voice will be the end of ISIS.