Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lebanese Girls the Most Beautiful or Lebanese Doctors the Most Skilled?

Now for some god unknown reason I was thinking about Heidi Montag last night and the disgusting thing she has done to herself.

If you don't know who the hell I'm talking about, go ahead and pat yourself on the back--you really shouldn't have any idea who this fame-whoring individual is--but just for this post's sake, I will briefly explain that she gained some fame on MTV's show 'The Hills' and then after getting a little notoriety proceeded to try to gain some serious celebrity by:

staging a fake wedding with her boyfriend,

writing a book called "How To Be Famous", and

even coming out with an album ("The Superficial"--perfect title if I ever heard one) that sold a total of 658 copies nationwide. Which, considering the tabloids and Perez Hilton and all that crap that gives her media attention, is unbelievably, ridiculously bad.

Anyway...Heidi's latest stunt is getting a boob job, and then getting 10 [plastic] surgeries in one day, making a once very pretty girl into a monster:

Heidi Montag Before (L) and After (R)

Point of all this?

Now I in no way endorse or support the Lebanese addiction to Plastic Surgery--I am completely 100% against it. 18 year old girls having nosejobs claiming "Oh I really needed it because I had a la7mieh in my nose and couldn't breathe properly" and then proceeding to get three more nosejobs so only a sliver of a Michael Jackson nose is left.

I find it extraordinarily sad and amazingly creepy when I am sitting in the salon in my grandparents house with my Lebanese female friends and family members and my mom and I are the only two the haven't had any work done...this is no exagguration sadly, a quite regular occurance (which also means I have to watch myself before I stare at Nawal al Zoughby on the TV and go: "I can't believe she did plastic surgery! She looked so much better before! How stupid!" and then turn around to stare and mart khaleh who has a nose job...)

No, no, I do not in anyway support this Lebanese 'marad'...but I have to say.....

Katia Harb Before (L) and After (R)

Haifa Wehbe Before (L) and After (R)

Elissa Before (L) and After (R)

Aline Khalaf Before (L) and After (R)

Pascale Machaalani Before (L) and After (R)

Nancy Ajram Before (L) and After (R)

Najwa Karam Before (L) and After (R)

Razan Before (L) and After (R)

May Hariri Before (L) and After (R)

.......Heidi Montag should've gotten her work done in Lebanon.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BetLZ News 4.27.2010

Ex-hostage John McCarthy thanks man who freed him / BBC News

"Beyond Beirut" Launched to Stimulate Rural Tourism / Naharnet

Lebanese news site says hacked by Israelis / Ynet

Lebanon 2010: Becoming Secular--Unlikely / Basil & Spice

UNIFIL donates 24 vehicles to Lebanese Armed Forces / Daily Star

Fadel Shaker Retiring / Al Bawaba

The luxury resort in the middle of a war zone / Robert Fisk

Lebanon to Hand Over Syrian Soldiers' Remains to Damascus / Naharnet


Batroun Panoramic View

A nice way to start off the day...

Yeh, I wish I was there too..


Source: Zeegrizzly

Lebanese held in Syria

Lebanese Military Judge Saqr Saqr gave his orders on Tuesday to authorities to hand over the remains of two Syrian soldiers found in the Beqaa valley in Lebanon sometime last week.

My question to you is: what is Lebanon getting in return? What about all the bodies of Lebanese citizens (soldiers and civilians alike) that are in Syria? What about all the living Lebanese that are rotting in some basement in some Syrian jail? Do we hear anything about these people? Does the Syrian government ever hand any of them over? Do we even hear our own Lebanese government ever complaining or demanding their release?

Judge Saqr should have issued an order to hold the remains with Lebanese authorities to use as leverage in negotiations to get Lebanese held in Syria.

Or are Lebanese only Lebanese and worthy when they are held in Israeli prisons and morgues?

The ones we got held in Syria are just on vacation, you know, taking a stroll around Damascus.

Shame on Lebanon and its government for neglecting its people in this manner.

We go to war with the Israelis to return Lebanese held in Israel, while we bend backwards for the Syrians with nothing in return.



For more information on Lebanese detained in Syria, please visit the following website: S.O.L.I.D.E. They have done an excellent job in keeping the story alive.

Monday, April 26, 2010

BetLZ News 4.26.10 - Part #2

Yeh..seems my publishing of today's news was a bit's round #2


Retrial of duo in Suzan murder begins today / GulfNews


Alwaleed Plans Rotana Share Sale Within Two Years / Bloomberg

Habtoor Hotels races ahead at 2010 Arabian Travel Market with renewed enthusiasm / AMEInfo


The Samir Kassir Award confirms its notoriety / Eurojar

Exhibition: AUB Ceramics Annual Exhibit / ArtAUB


Lebanon: Annual Report Published by Red Cross / ReliefWeb


Beirut - Feisty, Feasting, Fun / Lonely Planet

A little home improvement / TravelPod


BetLZ News 4.26.10

Woww....there's a lot of news today, so we're doing categories for your browsing convenience!


Young Lebanese demonstrate for secularism in Beirut / BBC News

Source: Lebanese Voices

Victims of harassment speak out in Lebanon / LaredoSun

Over 60.000 Armenians participated in Beirut procession /


بيروت عاصمة للموضة / Beirut Fashion Capital

Fabric Covered VW Bug / GreenMuze

A classic Volkswagen Beetle covered in reclaimed vintage fabrics was quite the hit at the recent Milan Design Week 2010. Created by Lebanese based designer duo Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, the festive Bojka Bug is covered in an array of colourful upcycled fabrics and tapestries.

The Bojka Bug was auctioned off on eBay for €1,004 (US$1,334) with proceeds benefiting children in Haiti via the Fondazione Francesca Rava.

War is hell (on art, too): Lebanese art of 'Convergence' at American University / Washington Post

Running Horse Gallery, Beirut: Counting Thoughts / Corrine Martin


UAE donates 10 aircraft to Lebanon army / SifyNews

Le Royal hosts prestigious event for 'The Leading Hotels of the World'/ AMEInfo


Why should Lebanon be your next Summer Destination / PR Leap


Evil eye lives on in Lebanese tradition / The China Post

The virginity industry / BBC News

Billy Bragg and BNP clash over St George's Day / The Guardian (Billy Bragg lets BNP know that St. George is Lebanese)

Beirut Genius Map / AppShopper


Lebanon is Gorgeous / Mark and Egypt

Join the 24/7 campaign (named accordingly because migrant workers work 24/7 = slavery) to fight for rights for Migrant Workers in Lebanon! Sign the petition!


Women's Nationality Campaign

The movement to grant women in Lebanon equal rights compared with their men compatriots especially when it comes to nationality issues has just gained some ground.

The council of ministers has just approved a law that allows men married to Lebanese women and their children the right to get permanent residency status in Lebanon. (Relevant law can be found here. Link is in Arabic, bullet point #12. You can also find a video explaining all this here.)

While the new law is a step forward for women and their rights in Lebanon, it still falls short of the full implementation of the law that should grant full rights to all citizens of Lebanon, including the right to transfer citizenship to spouses and children. We here at BetLZ have touched on this subject before, here, here, here, and here.

Albeit a small step towards full rights for women under the law, we congratulate the government for its courageous step in the right direction.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Beirut, I Love You (I Love You Not)

I just stumbled across this and I ABSOLUTELY LOVEEEEE it, you guys have to watch! it's a short film called "Beirut, I Love You (I Love You Not)"

Some of you will recognize the opening song--it's "Raksit Leila" by the Lebanese band Mashrou3 Leila which reminds me of the opening of the second "Flying Kebab" episode (see below) also the "This is Yasmine...Yasmine likes..." bit is inspired by Amelie (see clip below). The part after where we see the progression of Yasmine and Tarek's relationship (good to bad times) I recognized as from the short film with Natalie Portman in the movie "Paris, je t'aime" undoubtedly the inspiration for this movie's title (see below)



Beirut, I Love You (I Love You Not), a Beirut-ish tribute to Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Amelie Poulain, is a short film by “An Orange Dog Productions” about (fleeting) love & the little pleasures in life, all set and in relation with the very inspiring city of Beirut.

The film has already been selected in: – The Swansea Bay Film Festival – UK (2010) – The International Youth Film Festival – UK (2010) – The International Film Festival of Egypt (2010) – The Lebanese Film Festival of Montreal, Canada (2010) – The Creative Commons Salon in Amman, Jordan (2009)

Amelie Likes...

Flying Kebab - Episode # 2

Paris Je t'aime, Faubourg Saint Denis

(Skip to 3:35 for the part i'm talking about)


BetLZNews 4.23.2010

Report: Club Med cancels cruise call in Lebanon after protests from Jewish groups
/ USA Today

In Lebanon, the last of the first glass blowing artisans / Christian Science Monitor

Beirut festival puts young writers on the world map / CNN

Chateau Musar: wine from Lebanon / Telegraph


Lebanon - Beirut / Jac & Chalky's Excellent Adventure

Chapter Seven: Beirut, Amman
/ Travel Pod


Shankaboot - Lebanon's "First Web Drama"

Most of you have already probably heard of "Lebanon's first web drama" Shankaboot. It follows a poor young Lebanese boy called Sleiman aka "Shankaboot" who lives in Beirut and makes his living as a delivery boy on his 'moto'.

The series is really well made in my opinion, and the actor that plays Shankaboot as well as the extras in the series are great! The girl Rouweida however, in my opinion, really overacts everything...which can get pretty annoying

I personally love the extras the most--so typical Lebanese sometimes it almost seems as if they don't know they're in a series...It makes for a really nice, realistic effect--unlike the Flying Kebab series (more on this in a later post) which was great in the cinematography and music but pretty atrocious in the acting

Anyway, here is an article I recently stumbled across on Shankaboot, as well as all the episodes to date, enjoy!


Lebanon's 'Shankaboot' brings Arab drama online

By Natacha Yazbeck (AFP)

TAALABAYA, Lebanon — Driving through Beirut's maze of alleys can demand a certain death-defying flair. So it comes as no coincidence that the hero of the Arab world's first webdrama is a delivery boy -- and his noisy, trusty moped.

The online series follows happy-go-lucky Lebanese delivery boy Sleiman as he zooms through the streets on his "Shankaboot," a name invented for his scooter and title of the drama, delivering food, medicine, a gas cylinder or an oversized floral lampshade which he balances on his head.

"What we aim for is to keep the series close to ordinary, daily life, to the way people are on the streets," said Katia Saleh, producer of the first Arabic-language online sitcom.

Funded by the BBC World Service Trust in cooperation with Saleh's production house Batoota Films, Shankaboot pays tribute to aspects of Beirut overlooked on local television: quirky city residents, underage drivers, class, drugs and prostitution rings.

While films, music and television must first pass muster with Lebanon's general security, using the Internet as a medium has given Shankaboot unprecedented freedom.

As the online use of Arabic grows at record speed and more and more young Arabs gain access to the Internet, Shankaboot makes a change from the diet of Latin American and Turkish soap operas so popular in the region.

The script is witty and crude at the same time, echoing the everyday vernacular of the Lebanese rather than the polished Arabic of dubbed soaps.

"What's popular in the Arab world is Mexican and Turkish drama, and I think Shankaboot has appealed so widely to so many people first because it is well-made and second because it speaks to them," Saleh told AFP on the set in the eastern village of Taalabaya where the crew was shooting season two.

"It speaks their language."

While the Beirut cityscape is dotted with landmarks easily recognisable to anyone who has visited, director Amin Dora instead chose to focus on the city "as Beirutis know it."

"In season one, what I aimed for was to reflect the reality of life in Beirut," Dora said. "We avoided everything artificial. We want to show Beirut as it is."

The quest for authenticity also prompted Dora to cast first-time actors in most of the key roles.

"I think what really helped the authenticity come through was the acting, which is a direct reflection of the reality of the people of Beirut," Dora said.

Starring as Sleiman is first-time actor Hassan Akil, 17, who like his peers was attracted to the project's script and medium.

"I don't watch Lebanese television at all. I think it's totally fake," Akil told AFP on set. "I don't think I would have continued to play Sleiman if the script was fake ... But this is something else, and I'm proud to be contributing to it."

And even before its official launch in May, Shankaboot has already become a hit in the online world with more than 7,000 views and 5,000 Facebook fans, or "Shankaddicts."

"I'm very surprised - and happy -- with the series' success among Lebanese expatriates and foreigners," said Dora. "After the Arab world, most of our hits come from the United States.

"A major concern for us was download time, because we didn't want the viewer to give up on the downloading process," he said of the five-minute episodes.

The first season is made up of 11 episodes during which viewers meet the lovable Sleiman, the beautiful runaway Ruwaida and the enigmatic Chady, whose story is not unveiled until season two.

Sleiman and Ruwaida's lives become intertwined when, chatting on his phone as he speeds down the street, he knocks her over down as she emerges from a bus.

As the complex plot unravels, the series looks at issues of abuse, drugs, and poverty, dotted with generous doses of comic relief.

Season two takes Sleiman, Chady and Ruwaida to the eastern Bekaa Valley -- Lebanon's Wild West -- and introduces characters from rural life, far removed from cosmopolitan Beirut.

Actor Nasri Sayegh, who plays the dark, sinister Chady, said what drew him to the project was its loyalty to the reality of life in Lebanon.

"Lebanon's 'nakha,' its unique flavour, comes out on the screen ... In season one it was Beirut and in season two it is the Bekaa. You can see it, smell it, taste it," said Sayegh, 31.

"Sleiman is the main character," the actor added. "But the real hero is the city" -- from Beirut to the Bekaa and wherever else the noisy little Shankaboot takes the series.


Episode 1 - Delivery Interrupted

Episode 2 - Labneh on the Roof with Haifa

Episode 3 - A Fistful of Sandals

Episode 4 - Into the Spider's web

Episode 5 - Down to Earth

Episode 6 - Chantal Superstar?

Episode 7 - The Chrome Phone

Episode 8 - Undercover Chadi

For future episodes, check out the official site of Shankaboot here.


Monday, April 19, 2010

BetLZNews 4.19.2010

People are LOVING them some Lebanon right now...the good articles/reviews/blog posts keep coming in day by day, check out some of the most recent ones below along with some other newsworthy articles:

Stranded in Beirut, the Arab literary world takes wing / The Guardian (Thanks to the Icelandic Volcano, 39 of the best minds in Arab Literature ended up spending some more time in Beirut! A REALLY INTERESTING read!!!)

Four Seasons Spa-Beirut

AUB Mechanical Engineering Department issues statement warning about ineffectiveness of smoking and non-smoking areas / AlBawaba

Beirut is #19 on the TOP 29 Cities to live in List by of the judging categories?? Cost of an Ipod Nano, Vacation Days, Ration of Men to women, Cost of a Nissan 370Z, and Clean Air factor...

Beirut - like Nice but safer

Middle-eastern promise: Beirut / London Evening Standard

Insider's guide to Beirut / Guardian

Lebanese Prefer “Green With Envy” Maseratis Over Eco-Friendly Hybrids Cars / GreenProphet

Check out this AWESOME post with AMAZINGGG aerial photos of Lebanon by Clement Tannouri

Also--did anyone know that there was a winery in Batroun called Boteaux de Botrys?? Check out their very nice site here. Has anyone tried it? Is it any good?


Thursday, April 15, 2010

BetLZNews 4.15.2010

So...the news today is SUPER BORING!

This is the most interesting thing I stumbled across:


Glamorous Pro Shannon Elizabeth To Join World Team Poker’s Team Lebanon

April 15th, 2010 Author: S. Taylor

If an article in Pokernewsdaily is to be believed, then American Pie actress and poker pro Shannon Elizabeth will be competing at this year’s World Team Poker event, but not as a Team America player.

Instead, because of her father’s Lebanese origins she is eligible to partake in the event as part of Team Lebanon and so will be taking her place with fellow team members at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas on 19th May.

Born Shannon Elizabeth Fadal, the Hollywood actress rose to prominence after her appearance in the 1999 hit movie American Pie. She then went on to enjoy a successful acting career, starring in such films as Scary Movie, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Thir13en Ghosts. She also posed nude for Playboy and in 2008 was Maxim’s cover girl.
Elizabeth considers poker her “second career” and is considered by many as one of the leading celebrity poker players. She cashed four times at the World Series of Poker in 2006 and 2007, and finished 3rd at the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship in 2007 collecting $125,000 prize money in the process.

Despite previously stating; “I’m half Arabic, but I am 100 percent American,” it is doubtful whether Shannon Elizabeth would have made it onto a top tier American Team which includes such players as Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, Allen Cunningham, and Annie Duke.
Consequently, Elizabeth will be hoping to use her poker skills to forward the chances of Team Lebanon, which also includes fellow Lebanese pros Dany Georges, Freddy Deeb, Joe Awada and Mark Betor. Collectively the team has accumulated around $7.5 million in career tournament earnings.

In total, there are 16 countries competing at the World Team Poker event, all hoping to secure bragging rights for their country for a whole year. They are Armenia, Australia, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland, Turkey, United States, and Vietnam.

Source: Online Poker

Go team Lebanon!



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lebanese Culture on focus at Alliance Française NYC

Imagine my surprise when I received my monthly Alliance Française NYC brochure and a Lebanese Cedar with the word "Liban" underneath it was on the cover!

As it turns out, the month of May will be devoted to Lebanon at the Alliance Française NYC, and there are some truly AMAZING events--so if you are in NYC or have friends in NYC I suggest you go/let them is the info:

World Nomads: LEBANON
May 2010

World Nomads, FIAF’s annual exploration of transculturalism in the 21st century, is intended as a forum for dialogue between cultures. It returns this May for its third edition to focus on Lebanon, a country whose rich heritage has long captivated imaginations around the world.

All across the globe, members of the extraordinary Lebanese diaspora have broadened the cultural landscape and enriched international discourse. The powerful interplay between memory of homeland and life in new societies has shaped the work of important contemporary Lebanese artists.

World Nomads Lebanon presents a month-long series dedicated to some of the preeminent Lebanese artistic voices active in the fields of music, cinema, literature, architecture, theater, and the visual arts in the world today.

As with its previous editions, World Nomads Lebanon is created with luminary curators—thanks in particular to Rasha Salti—and presented in partnership with esteemed New York-based cultural organizations, which this year include Alwan for the Arts, Architizer, ArteEast, Kleio Projects, and PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature.



Opening Concert
Bassam Saba Ensemble
Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 8pm
Florence Gould Hall

**Literature **

Elias Khoury
Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 1pm
Le Skyroom

Rawi Hage
Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 3pm
Le Skyroom

Alexandre Najjar
Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 5pm
Le Skyroom

Meet the Writer... en français !
Alexandre Najjar
Monday, May 3, 2010 at 4:30pm
Haskell Library


Talk with Wajdi Mouawad
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

Staged Reading:
Wajdi Mouawad & Jane Birkin
Friday, May 21, 2010 at 7pm
Florence Gould Hall


Talk with Bernard Khoury
Thursday, May 6, 2010 at at 7pm
Tinker Auditorium

Public Space: Memory, Boundary, Catastrophe
Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

Modern Architecture in Beirut:
Reconstruction and Cultural Identity
Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom


World Nomads Lebanon: Cinema
Tuesdays, May 4–25, 2010
Florence Gould Hall

Around Town
The Calm After the Storm:
Classic and Contemporary Lebanese Cinema
Film Society of Lincoln Center and ArteEast

**Visual Arts**

Nabil Nahas
Cedrus Libani: Roots & Memory
Saturday, May 1–Saturday, May 29, 2010
FIAF Gallery

My Umi Said...
New Work from Lebanon
Friday, May 7–Friday, May 28, 2010
Kleio Projects

**Special Event**

An Evening with Carlos Ghosn
Monday, May 24, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

To see the site, click here
For the printable event brochure, click here



BetLZNews 4.14.2010


Kidnapped Syrian, Lebanese workers freed in Nigeria / AFP

Israeli court allows Arab Israeli to collect prize / AFP

Aramex reveals first hybrid bike / Arabian Supply Chain

Sixth sense / Hotelier Middle East (Interview with Campbell Gray on Le Gray Beirut)

Western Media keeps ruining Beirut’s image / Star Scene Daily Star

Endowed scholarship fund established in memory of Karim Habr / AUB News

Spring 2011 Bridal Runway: Reem Acra Wedding Dress Collection
/ Savvy Scoop


Beirut taxidrivers Part I: How this city works / Pepijn van den Wall Bake

Beirut street art continued / Pepijn van den Wall Bake (See our post on Lebanese Graffiti here)

Beirut / Confessions of a Vegetarian Shark

From a cool blog post that featured edible flags, I stumbled across ours:




This month marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. There has been an effort underway for years now to establish a memorial in his name in Washington DC that would be fitting of a man of his stature.

I would like to direct you to the following link so you guys can read more about the man whose legacy made a lot of things possible for a lot of people. The link has tons of useful information, and get this, it has a toolbar that one can download and when used donates money to the foundation!

Please consider helping out in any way possible you can. Whether that means spreading the word around by blogging or tweeting, downloading that toolbar or even donating money to the organization. They are not that far away from their fund raising goal and any amount small or large helps.

One last thought/idea: where's Lebanon's MLK?



Khaled el Haber - Share3 el Hamra / خالد الهبر - شارع الحمرا

For my <3 :



Monday, April 12, 2010

Lebanon Motor Show 2010!

Being in the USA I sadly could not go to the Auto Show in Lebanon (the 12th annual I might add after a 5 year break) but I thought I would gather what images I could from the internet and share with you

The show is running from the 9th to the 18th of April in Biel, Beirut with 250 exhibitors and the organizers are expecting 150,000 visitors and 15,000 sales!! Talk about some serious $$$

Thanks to JoesBox and CarMiddleEast for the images


OTV Lebanon Motor Show 2010

Lebanon Motor Show 2010

I know what my bf is thinking--"What does she know about cars?"--well you know what, i know which one is pretty or not! (I kid, I know more than the 'average' girl....)

He promised me he'd buy me a bugatti if I could tell him the specifications of its engine--oooo he's going to regret that!

The Bugatti Veyron Fbg for Hermes:

Start working on your liquidity baby!



BetLZNews 4.12.2010

Beirut's 39 Writers Under 39 / Asia Writers

Lebanon Motor Show 2010 / Middle East Online

Young Minds Shine Beyond Beirut / MidEast Youth

Glitz and glam eclipse hybrids at Lebanon car fest / AFP

Lebanon to drop tariffs on hybrid cars / The National

"A moving and graphic portrait of the people of war-torn Beirut in their day-to-day struggle to survive in the rubble and despair that war has brought upon them. Filmed shortly after the 1982 massacres at Sabra and Chatila, the film gives a vivid picture of the plight of these people and of any people who are too poor to escape the ravages of war."

Love the stereotypical Lebanese profiles in this commercial for Le Charcutier Aoun:



Thursday, April 8, 2010

BetLZNews 4.8.2010

Rival groups clash at Palestinian base in Lebanon / AP

A Lebanese initiative for energy savings / Eurojar

Blogs on Lebanon:

Beirut Panorama / ANNEKE GERLOFF

The DBD / Land of Ghosn



Some great [Lebanese] news!

What do you say to starting off the day with some EXCELLENT news??

I think it's a SPLENDID idea!

How about trying this on for size--a smoking ban in public plans in Lebanon is expected to take effect within a year--oh yes!! You can go ahead and read that again! This is somewhere on par with the Syrians forced to flee the country as in: "I never though I'd live to see the day when this would happen in Lebanon."

This monumental decision obviously occurred because we asked you to join the "Ban indoor smoking in public places in Lebanon" group on facebook two days ago--congrats guys! You did it! :P

Ok, so what are the details and the loopholes/catches you may ask?

- smoking banned in all public places within a year (according to George Saadeh, head of National Tobacco Control Program at a debate on the issue Tuesday at the AUB)
- ban would encompass all public spaces, including restaurants and cafes (and clubs i'm assuming??)
- ban affects not only cigarettes but nargileh and all other tobacco products
- ban will be enforced by fining violators: up to 50,000LL for an individual violator and 1 million LL for owners of establishments where violations occur
- smoking will be reduced
- you won't die of secondhand smoke every time you go out
- you wont come home with your clothes smelling like you've just escaped a burning building
- overall smoking in the population will decrease in the long run
- quite simply people will lead healthier lives

and what do we have for the cons?

- the only exempt public spaces from the ban would be outdoor spaces (how very French of us)
- Enforcement--take the Beirut Airport for example--smoking is banned indoors and yet right below the non-smoking sign is an ashtray.
- it still hasn't been enforced yet, no official legislation has been signed, so it's really just us trusting politicians, and yeh--i don't like the sound of that, so i'll believe it when i see it

Yeh...I would say the Pros outweigh the Cons...

Whats next? Ban on tobacco product advertising?? Health warning on cigarettes? Higher prices for cigarettes???

Read the Daily Star article here

So I want to be more cautious before I celebrate--because after all it is Lebanon--a place where optimists often have their souls crushed by 8-inch platform diamond-studded heels--but I can't help but smile :)

"Monsieur, tfee il sigara iza bit reed! Il tadkheen mamnou3. Merci"



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A good cause...

Good morning! (or if you're in Lebanon it's the afternoon...)

Received this email from BG this morning and thought it would be a good idea to share with the masses and hopefully garner some publicity for these highly admirable organizations:


Dear friend,

You are invited to visit about road safety, about school safety (Lebanese Association for School Safety Awareness), about fire safety (Lebanese Fire Prevention Committee), about food safety (Scientific Research Foundation) and about sport safety(Lebanese Association for Sports Injury Prevention).

All sites are in English and Arabic. YASA and LASSA have French also.

We are waiting [for] strong cooperation for safety promotion and injury prevention in the Middle East region.

Thanks in advance


P.O.Box 45-083



Tel: +961 - 5 - 452587

Fax: +961 - 5 - 952587




Though YASA is the best known, all these other organizations fall under the "YASA Group".

To join the facebook groups and show your support, click here:

- Lebanese Fire Prevention Committee
- Lebanese Association for Sports Injury Prevention
- Food and Agriculture Safety-SRF

And while we're at it, why don't we throw in some of our personal favorite Lebanese Causes on facebook that are not YASA-affiliated!

- All for civil marriage in Lebanon
- All for public transport in Lebanon
- Ban indoor smoking in public places in Lebanon
- Against Removing Beirut Gardens (I actually have no idea what the status is with this project--does anyone know?)

and OF COURSE--by FARRRR the most important:

I love Mika !



Monday, April 5, 2010

Lebanese Divas

The business of… Lebanese divas

Elissa, Nancy and Haifa are known for their music, acting and sex appeal. But for some, they also represent big business.

Lebanese divas are popular for many different reasons: their music, their acting (or sometimes, their inability to act) and, commonly among gentlemen, their sex appeal.

But some people love stars such as Haifa Wehbe, Elissa and Nancy Ajram for an altogether different reason: their money-making abilities.

Record companies, advertisers, marketers and promoters have all signed lucrative contracts with Lebanese divas. Here we take a look at some of the biggest deals – and how the singers themselves have raked in millions.

Stars 1

Elissa (pictured) is one of the best-known female singers in the Arab world – and is also one of the richest, with her wealth estimated at more than $33 million. Strong record sales helped her along the way: she was named the best-selling Middle East artist in 2005 and 2006, and has sold close to 18 million albums worldwide. She was also one of the first Lebanese divas to sign a sponsorship deal with Pepsi.

Stars 2

Fellow diva Nancy Ajram is just 26 years old (much younger than Elissa, who is 38), but she has already amassed a personal wealth of more than $16 million, mainly through album sales and commercials.

Haifa Wehbe (pictured), full of sexual suggestiveness, is the bad girl to Ajram’s ‘girl next door’. She first captured attention at the age of 16 when she won a beauty contest in South Lebanon; by 1996, she had appeared on over a hundred magazine covers. She is among the richest Lebanese pop stars, though the extent of her wealth is unknown.


Lebanese performers are celebrated throughout the Arab World – and consequently have high sales figures. For example, Ajram (pictured) has sold over four million albums in Lebanon and ranks as the third best-selling female artist in Lebanese and Egyptian music history.

Lebanon is one of the powerhouses of Arab music. While traditional folk music remains popular, modern music combining Western and traditional Arabic styles, pop, and fusion are becoming more and more popular.

Despite problems with piracy and illegal music downloads, the World Intellectual Property Organization says that Lebanon's music industry is mounting and could reach leading status in the region.


Ajram, Wehbe and Elissa have all signed high-profile advertising deals with international and Arab companies.

Elissa has worked with the likes of Pepsi, Lux, Lazurde jewels, Ray Ban and Samsung mobiles, in deals thought to be worth a total of $1 million per year.

Ajram has signed deals with Sony Ericsson, Damas, and Coca-Cola, while Haifa has worked with Pepsi, Chopard and Louis Vuitton.


In 2007, Elissa was chosen by French company Georges Stahl to create her own perfume, Elle D’Elissa – which we were told was the “first international perfume for an Arab artist”. She also worked with Samsung for the launch of a music-enabled phone that contained three of her songs.

One of the most successful merchandising deals was Nancy Ajram`s work with Sony Ericsson, which involved the launch of a special edition of Walkman series model W595i, which incorporates the star`s signature. The phone cost AED400 more than the same version of the phone without the star’s signature


Which of the performers charge the most to appear on stage?

This question was answered last New Year’s Eve, when all three Lebanese divas put on concerts.

It was reported that Elissa earned $130,000 for her performance, while Wehbe received $80,000 and Nancy got $70,000. Fans paid between $250 and $1,000 for a ticket to attend Nancy’s event, while Haifa’s fans paid $350 and $700 for a ticket.

-- Kipp Report

Who would've thought that Elissa charges more to perform than Haifa or Nancy? I mean I personally would pay to see Elissa and not Haifa but I thought Haifa would certainly be the highest grosser...Also--Elissa is 38?? Really?? It's a plastic surgery miracle!