A Sunday afternoon indoors at Dar due to the threat of a storm, and associated humidity, and the momentary “Oh, it’s different, the ashtrays are gone.“ Feel free to laugh a bit, but after you’re done, also reflect on the disturbing statistics about smoking in Lebanon. What the lack of ashtrays on Dar’s indoor tables (you’ll still find them outside) denotes is Lebanon’s September ban on smoking in restaurants, pubs, bars, and other indoor spaces.  For the past two years I have gladly sat outside cafes simply to avoid thick smoke. Now, at least in some venues, indoor space can be enjoyed smoke free. Some businesses are quite pointed in expressing their stance that this ban is ridiculous and so, yes, for those who enjoying lighting up, it’s still possible to smoke indoors to your heart’s {dis}content. But for those who would prefer the opposite, options now exist.

For more info, take a look at this BBC article and this Daily Star piece.