Want to build your dream home next to Obama’s?

Updated 15 November 2012
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Want to build your dream home next to Obama’s?

CHICAGO: Have you got a cool million or two and a burning desire to live next door to President Barack Obama? You may be in luck.
The empty lot next to Obama’s Chicago home is for sale.
“We reached out to the Obamas through his curator and the Secret Service to see if he wanted to purchase it first and they declined,” said @properties agent Anthony Rouches.
While it’s not been formally listed, Rouches said his clients are hoping to get $899,000 for the corner lot at 5050 South Greenwood Avenue, which they bought in March 2008 for $675,000.
“We’re just testing the market to see what kind of interest there is in it,” he told AFP. “There haven’t been too many presidents with a piece of land next to their house for sale.”
The house on the other side of the Obama home sold two years ago for $1.4 million, which was considered to be significantly higher than the market rate.
The empty double lot is currently being maintained by the Secret Service, which has also barricaded the street to prevent anyone but residents and their guests from entering.
Obama and his family rarely spend the night there.
Rouches noted the value will also be boosted by the fact that there are so few “buildable lots” in the historic Kenwood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.
He thinks it will likely end up being purchased by someone who wants to build a single family home, but it could also be a good site for luxury townhomes.
The empty lot has caused controversy for Obama in the past.
Tony Rezko, a former fundraiser for Obama and other prominent Illinois politicians, purchased the lot after Obama bought his home in 2005 and later sold Obama a portion of the land.
Rezko is currently serving time in prison on fraud and bribery charges as part of the federal investigation which led to the conviction of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges.
Obama was not implicated in the scandal.


Celebrities born in the Arab world

Updated 21 April 2018
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Celebrities born in the Arab world

Arabs love to boast of any famous person who was born and/or raised in our homeland (or have even visited it). To help you out at your next dinner party, here’s a list of A-listers that were born in the MENA region.
Lebanon: Keanu Reeves
The “Matrix” trilogy star was born in Lebanon’s capital of Beirut on September 2, 1964 to an English mother and Asian-American father. He barely lived in Beirut before moving around with his family until his parents’ divorce when he was just three years old, but hey, Neo was one of us for a while.
Oman: Isla Fisher
The “Confessions of a Shopaholic” star was born in Muscat, where her father worked as a banker for the United Nations, in 1976. The family moved to Scotland before heading to Australia, where Fisher spent the majority of her childhood before finding fame on Aussie soap “Home and Away.”
Morocco: Jean Reno
The “Leon: The Professional” actor was born to Spanish parents in Casablanca in 1948 and lived there until the age of 17, when he left to study acting in France. The glum-faced thesp went on to star in several blockbusters, including “Mission Impossible,” “Godzilla,” and “The Pink Panther.”
Yemen: Eddie Izzard
The British comedian, actor and writer was born to English parents in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. Izzard rose to fame in the 1990s with his surreal, good-natured stand-up, and has gone on to appear in a number of box-office Hollywood hits, including “Ocean’s 11” and “The Lego Batman Movie.”
Kuwait: Sanjeeda Sheikh
The Indian actress (pictured here with her husband Aamir Ali) was born in Kuwait in 1984. She moved to Mumbai to help a friend open a dance academy before landing the role of Nimmo in TV show “Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa” in 2005. Sheikh recently starred in the romantic drama series “Love Ka Hai Intezaar.”
Saudi Arabia: Melora Walters
The US actress, perhaps best known for her role as Wanda Henrickson in the Emmy-winning, Mormon-baiting TV show “Big Love,” was born in Dhahran in 1960. The well-respected actress is a favorite of acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, appearing in several of his movies.