Monthly Archives: September 2011

Lebanese Wife Of Hannibal, The Libyan Dictator’s Son

When daddy’s one of the biggest baddest dictators around-you know your gonna be living large and that’s exactly what Ghaddafi’s son Hannibal 36,  and Lebanese wife from Akkar, Aline Skaff 31,  (who was the first lady to appear semi-topless on a Lebanese publication) did!

Those two sure looked like they were having a good time  in the photos that had just surfaced showing the couple flying on a private jet, bathing on luxury yachts on trips to Paris, Rome and Sharm el-Sheikh.

Sure an estimated 1/3 of Libyan’s live below the poverty line, that didn’t keep them from their superzealous globe-trotting affairs. Now, even though these photos paint an image of loving marital relationship, don’t be fooled, Libya and Switzerland experienced serious diplomatic tensions when Hannibal once beat Aline up until she fainted while in a hotel in Switzerland six years ago when she was pregnant. Thanks Aline, this will surely should bring about the right kinda tourism to Lebanon this year ;)

Goodbye 4 Cats, Hello Cheeta

Her name is Maya Diab and she has a show on the Lebanese Mtv called “ Hek Minghani” (This is how we sing).

Many of you may remember Maya from her all-girl band days with the 4 Cats (yes, you read that correctly, cats, as in felines).  I’m not sure when her current show comes on but I’ve caught a glimpse of it once or twice as I was randomly flipping through some channels. It was one of those things that are so irritating but you just can’t get yourself to stop watching because you can’t believe what you see, better yet, a friend tells me the show is a big hit!

Maya, the host, invites  artists onto her show and they start having singing competitions. Now all that is great, until you realize that the guest artists there are just stage props, they could be singing “Hal Seesan Shou Hilween” for all everyone cares, no one would even flinch an eye, this show is simply a set-up for the super vain Maya Diab to strut her stuff in front of the camera the entire time.   We all have moments of vanity but I’ve never seen anyone more in love with the camera in my life. The woman will literally start following it around until it focuses on her and then she’ll start over-performing until it becomes too painful but really funny to watch. And don’t get me started on her outfits, my jaw just drops with each outfit choice she makes.  If I were her I’d have a long one-on-one “talk” with the show’s stylist. Can you imagine what a field day the Fashion Police would have if they got wind of this? What do you think?

Where Do We Go Now? وهلّأ لوين

Many are calling Nadine Labaki’s latest film Where Do We Go Now?– a drama, indeed it is, but amidst the sincere real-as-can-be scenes that will leave you in tears and sniffles, you will sporadically burst out in laughter, as the movie captures the essence of EXACTLY what a remote Lebanese village would be like with everyday authentic characters many of us can relate to.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I have to say this, Where Do We Go Now?, carries a powerful message with the witty style, charm, song and dance that Labaki’s previous movie Caramel brought to us, set in a time when many Lebanese have allowed their sectarian differences to take front seat, mocking things some of us may hold so sacred, breaking taboos, at times even smashing a  statue of the Virgin Mary and ransacking a mosque with livestock- Yup this all seems so over-the-top and risky, but in its context,  it miraculously ( no pun intended) manages to offend no one ( until now at least.)

It’s about a group of women in a village, who come together and do whatever it takes to try to maintain peace and harmony between the Christian and Muslim inhabitants  at a time when sectarian strife erupts in surrounding Lebanese regions.

We all have preconceived notions and prejudices of people we perceive as “different” than us, this movie will call you out on all of these stereotypes and mock you until you laugh and cry, it will also bring you to the realization that the things that can bring you closer together are definitely more than the ones that take you apart. Go See It!

Check out my new favorite song called ” Hashish of My Heart”

Has The Lebanese Blogging Community Become Too Harsh?

We’re at an advantage right?  Every business in the country is looking to build a social media presence and even dishwasher detergents now have a group on Facebook.  The number of Followers you have is now a currency and employers are scrambling to recruit professional and accomplished community managers. Social media even has a week named after it!

The Lebanese blogosphere has a reputation that precedes it. Namely a good one.  We’ve had our fair share of media coverage and we’ve managed to really make a name for ourselves- some more than others. We’re tight-knit circle that makes up the Who’s Who in our sphere and we often rally around the same cause, retweet it, share it and link it.

Brands are constantly referring to us for our humble advice, PR reps are flooding our inboxes with invitations to promotional events and all they want in return is some publicity, ANY publicity!

We’ve become influential in our context.  We’ll eat at your joint and blog about it the next day. If it was a bad experience, we won’t hold back,  and it’s only right, if our readership wanted a paid review, they’d buy a magazine.

At times, our words have created accountability, forcing businesses to not only acknowledge consumer feedback but  to also cater to it.

Here’s the downside. We’ve also been known to get nasty- seldom with each other, mostly with online brands.  There have been a couple of incidents where we’ve managed to take the criticism from constructive to destructive. Sure businesses are really putting themselves out there when they go online- but does that mean that it’s all fair game?  I think so.  But many feel that we may be thinly treading the “D” word. Defamation. I’m not referring to any one incident in particular here (I’m notorious for my own online rants), but here’s the thing: has our viral “expertise” allowed us to become more quick to judge and merciless when things just don’t go our way or when we feel a business is conducting itself in the “wrong” way? Rather than speaking to them directly, we resort to naming and shaming, but again, isn’t that the entire point of blogging in the first place? What do you think?

A Message to Skinny Girls

Miss Lebanon At Miss Universe 2011

So much for fighting stereotypes. Has anyone bothered to look at Miss Lebanon Yara Khoury Mikhael’s  promo shots for Miss Universe 2011? Was it really necessary that she represents this country wearing a tacky leaving-nothing-to-the-imagination bellydancing outfit? *To be fair, the stylist made all the contestants dress in similar outfits so we know it wasn’t her pick*  Still though, blame the Trump people or organizers if you may, but the next time I’m asked by a foreigner if I belly dance because I’m from Lebanon what am I supposed to say? They’re right to think so.. take a look

Dumbledore the wizard called , he’s furious you stole his outfit.

Lebanon Learns To Stand In Line

That’s right, it’s about time someone called us out on this one.  How many times have you tried to stand in line only to have someone cut you off? How many times have you witnessed two dodos  almost knock each others’ smoke-stained teeth out because the concept of  “waiting” for anything just doesn’t sit well in the Lebanese mind.

Now Cheyef 7alak is out to“Track, capture & report irresponsible drivers who pride themselves on disrespecting the traffic rules and regulations.” 

But the naming and shaming doesn’t just stop on the streets, it seems this fantastic initiative plans on ousting all sorts of bad habits we’ve gotten accustomed to over the years, so if you thought you could get away with it, think again, you may just find yourself  publicly ousted on the site.

If I were you I’d  STAND IN LINE starting today!

Take a minute (or ten) to watch their new fantastic video