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NOVEMBER 2010

SIDE STREETS

FASHION ANOTHER URBAN DIMENSION

COCAINE

THE WILD SIDE

OFFSIDE

HE’S A FAKE

OUTSIDE

YOUR SIDE

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BEAUTY TRENDS

+

INSIDE

PICK A LEADER

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

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emperor’s new clothes 108 112 116 118

82 NO WAY OUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN LEBANON

the final frontier

out +about

90 EXPANDING UNIVERSE SCIENCE 98 ROBOTS TECH

cultureclash

76 78 79 80

162 106

20 22 22 26 30 34 30 34

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SIDE STREETS OUR FASHION SHOOT MUKHI SISTERS ACCESSORIES SEQUINS OF TIME VIKEN THE RUN DOWN THE BIG 5 IN SNEAKERS

you + your country

MAKEOUT SESSION KISSES FROM RIVIERA RANT + RAVE POETRY IN BEIRUT

REVOCATION OF I POETRY KING OF THE CASTLE WHO OWNS BEAUFORT EVERY PIECE OF THE PUZZLE INTERVIEW WITH TESS GERRITSEN LOST IN SPACE ADNAN ELLADEN IS M.I.A. THE ART OF HYPNOSIS 1001 DREAMS EXPOSÉ ON THE WORLD EXPO ODD ONE OUT THE ILLUSIONIST KAREEN NAHAS OPENS DOORS HAYDA LEBNEN LEBS GET IN DEBT

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see, speak + hear no evil SOUND CHECK MUSIC READ’EM AND WEEP BOOKS WATCH OUT FILM PLAY NICE GAMES

editor’s opinion

14 SNOW DAY NOT THAT KIND OF WHITE POWDER


mon amour, mon ami 36 40

for him

45

PRACTICAL MAGIC HE’S A TRICKY ONE SHE’S TOXIC POISONOUS DAMES (LITERALLY) 20 000 LEAGUES

WASSIM EL ZEIN DOWN UNDER

mind, body + soul

56 60 52 52

HELP ME NOUR ADVICE LEAD, FOLLOW OR GET OUT OF THE WAY THE UPWARD CLIMB MATTHEW HUSSEY GETS TO IT TEN SUPERFOODS GOBBLE THEM UP

FML [F*CK MY LIFE] 102

SEASONS IN THE ABYSS BARREN H20

mirrormirror 67 68 54 54

DANCE WITH ME THE ESSENTIAL SPA REVIEW FRENCH KISS RED HOT LIPS SILKOR NOW IN BEIRUT HANDS RUNWAY NAILS

eat, drink +be merry

151 151 151

SLOW FOOD TASTE THE DIFFERENCE RESTAURANT REVIEW RISTRETTO CAFÉ FALL DINING RECIPES

take me with you

142

BEIJING AT TOP SPEED

TRAVEL

brainfood QUIZZ. DINGBATS. CROSSWORD. SUDOKU.

160

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publisher’s letter Hi Lebanon! It seems that we have been very naughty this month. Even RAGMAG has a jealous bone somewhere. We thought that if the whole world can go 3D then so CAN WE! Odette and Christian have been showing their muscles this month, they have proved to us once again that creativity can go beyond our expectations. WE’VE MADE IT EASY FOR YOU TO DECIPHER: YOU’LL NOTICE THE SMALL 3D ICON THROUGHOUT THE ISSUE ON PAGES THAT SHOULD BE VIEWED WITH YOUR 3D GLASSES.

It is art at its very best. I would like to thank Beirut Souks for allowing us the great opportunity to shoot on their turf. On the 7th of November, we will be walking the ‘Beirut Marathon’. Sorry no running! Walking is better than nothing. We are walking for a better future! We are walking to Stop Drug Abuse! My team and I will be walking the marathon to raise money. In the December issue we will be discussing organizations that help men and women with drug problems in Lebanon. We will be discussing the different methods and help offered. One organization will be chosen. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not aiming to raise millions here, however we are trying to show you that we are all able to do something for a better future. Every little helps. As usual please write in at publisher@ragmaglive.com

and give us your feedback. We just love hearing from you. I hope that you will enjoy this issue, just as much as I enjoyed being a part of it.

Gina Gabriel El-Fady Publisher

P.S. Meet my baby boy, Stefan, the sunshine of my life RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

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Publisher

Gina Gabriel El-Fady Editor in Chief

Fida Z Chaaban Managing Director Georges Yarack Creative Lead Odette Kahwagi Photograhers Christian Harb Odette Kahwagi Jason Zamora Teddy Habib Fatima Saleh Niserene Deghaili Rebecca Collard Josh Kehler Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Contributors Maher El-Alam Stephanie Aoun Danielle Biaz Bryan Borzykowski Jonathan Cainer Amal Chaaban Youmna Chagoury Alice Hlidkova Sarah Hourany Matthew Hussey Leslie Iddison Maria-Elena Kassab Imogen Kimber Chris Lambert Maha Majzoub Derek Malcolm J.E.N. Nour Obaji Aline Rahbany Adam Volk Sabina LLewellyn-Davies

Stylist Jony Matta Fashion Photography Assistant Alexandra Kahwagi Public Relations Coordinator Lea El-Alam Marketing Advisor Daniella Tayar Admnisitrative Coordinator Teddy Younes Printed by Raidy Printing Group

Media Representative NMS Zahar Bldg., 1st Floor Elias Sarkis Avenue, Achrafieh Tel: 01 326 005 Distributor Lebanese Distributor Company Hamra, Axa Middle East bldg. Tel: 01 368 007 RAGMAG is a division of Raycon s.a.l. Copyright RAGMAG 2010 All Rights Reserved.

ON OUR COVER PHOTOGRAPHY CHRISTIAN HARB MODEL KRISTINA | LIPS AGENCY KRISTINA IS WEARING: MORGAN DRESS, GS

Opinions expressed are based solely on personal opinion and expericence, not reflective in any way of RAGMAG, a division of Raycon s.a.l.

SUBSCRIBE TO

SPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION OFFER Per Issue 10,000 LBP 6 Issues 50,000 LBP 12 Issues 100,000 LBP

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RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

Contact us by phone or email to arrange your subscription subscriptions@ragmaglive.com Lea El-Alam 09 916 222 / 09 913 777 RAGMAG Alex Gabriel Building, Rue Colomn de Sahel Sahel Alma, Keserwan


Fashion status: Autumn Sparks

www.gs.com.lb RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

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editor’s letter

we’re

3-Dimensional Last issue was pretty sticky. We had a lot of fun with that one, and judging by the reader response it looks like you guys did too. It was a little on the risky side since no one in Lebanon has ever been as stuck up as the RAGMAG staff and readers! I kind of explained the different sides of RAGMAG last issue, hence this issue going all multidimensional. Thanks for sticking around to see November! You’re probably debating whether or not to put on the retro glasses that look like they came out of a cereal box. Well take my advice; you won’t really get the full benefit of the issue if you don’t. We’ve worked harder on this issue than any other, reason being the idea of 3-D itself got us all excited. Everything these days is becoming multi-dimensional. We wanted our fashion shoot to jump right out at you. I wanted to jump right out at you as well so Chris made that happen too! As this issue was going to print, I was sent information about a new amusement park in Ras al-Khaimah, UAE. The email said the park was 4-D. Wait a minute; I thought to myself, I’d once been told that the 4th dimension was Time. I looked it up as my curiosity had been peeked, and apparently the 4th dimension is no longer Time, but has become something altogether more complicated. The point is that 4-D is now used to describe a sensorial experience including rides with scent

PHOTOGRAPHY FATIMA SALEH

BECAUSE RAGMAG’S GOT SO MANY DIFFERENT SIDES

and touch. So not 4-D at all, but 5 senses. Well, we didn’t want to misrepresent things to you that way so when we looked at making a 3-D issue, we went all the way. We looked high and low for an artist suited to the 3-D issue. I spent part of this month in Canada so I busted my little booties and tracked down 3-D installation artist Adnan. See his multi-layered 3-D creations (but not his face) in Lost in Space. This issue even got a little spooky as I began trying to match the editorial to stuff that could go 3-D. Look and ye shall see. You’ll be surprised at how much of it is actually so much more fun in 3-D. In you + your country this issue RAGMAG looks at domestic abuse and the options (or lack thereof) that abused women have in Lebanon. The truth is we were mostly dismayed, especially when we found out that the “yearly donation” from the government was 2 years behind. You all know I love getting your mail as much as ever. Write to me RAGMAG readers about what you liked and what you didn’t at letterstotheeditor@ragmaglive.com Follow me on Twitter: @fidachaaban

Fida Z Chaaban

Editor in Chief

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 11


letters to the editor We want you to win RAGMAG readers! The first reader to tag a picture of themselves out + about with the issue AND wearing the 3-D glasses wins a spectacular gift certificate. As usual RAGMAG is happiest when

RAGing letter we I felt compelled to write to you upon finishing reading your glorious mag from cover to cover during a short trip to Beirut last week! As a fashion PR and total global magazine junkie, I read mags for a living and it is rare that I come upon one that devour as I did yours. I found it smart, fun, classy, sassy, edgy, cool and above all well written and researched with beautiful imagery but perhaps most important was the depth of subjects covered and the sensitivity with which they were handled. I particularly enjoyed reading the article on being gay in Lebanon. I have many gay friends who travel the world for both business and pleasure and who would love to visit Arab countries but for many reasons mostly understandable, do not go as they fear the reaction their presence may provoke in more conservative countries. That said a couple of my gay friends have just returned from a holiday in Beirut and had a wonderful time and could not praise the people, the food, the city or the culture more highly so thank you for telling it like it is and I for one cannot wait to return to Lebanon to see more of the country and soak up a whole lot more of your eclectic culture and of course scoop up another copy of your wonderful magazine! How’s that for letter of the month! Rosie x Rosie Harkness

SCREEN SHOTS OF THE MAKING OFS FROM YOUTUBE We spend a great deal of time preparing the fashion shoots each issue. Since we want RAGMAG readers to be as involved as possible, we thought we would bring you behind the scenes. Check out Sami Harb’s video montages. Sami has put together both September and October video shorts for our fashion shoots. You can watch them on youtube.com or straight from our Facebook pages.

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our readers talk back. We love your emails, and your Facebook comments. Scribble on our Facebook wall, email letterstotheeditor@ragmaglive.com or tag our pictures to win with RAGMAG.

EDITOR’S NOTE We appreciate your feedback, Rosie! As a thank you we will be sending you future issues directly to you in the UK. Your attention to the Gay Lebanon article pleased us immensely as RAGMAG supports equality for all in Lebanon. Come back and visit Lebanon again soon!


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 13


melt

SNOWMEN dON’T aLWaYS

WHY THE WHITE STUFF STILL MATTERS

When discussing a club in Toronto or Montreal, the terms snowstorm and blizzard are often tossed around. This isn’t in reference to Canada’s winter wonderland, it means the club is known as a cocaine hotspot. In Beirut, the drug is supposedly big, but I have yet to see evidence of such although the speculation is rampant. I personally don’t think cocaine is a big issue here, but I do think people like to pretend it is. (Friends of mine who have ventured into the Great White Way here in Lebanon tell me I am dead wrong, and it is very common.) I spent a considerable amount of time in Beirut nightlife this past summer, and did not see it once. I haven’t seen anyone doing it, nor have I been made aware that certain places are known for it. Lebanese regularly say things like did you see so and so on TV… she was so coked-up. Or refer to certain big politicians as coke-heads.

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editor’s opinion

BELOW: PABLO ESCOBAR

The life and times of a man who is largely considered the catalyst

behind Columbia’s bloody run on the

world stage still has a huge market as is proven by the recent indie success of The Two Escobars.

But this is all conjecture and rumours, 2 things Lebanese excel at, as we all know. (Keep in mind that I am not encouraging it, and that I do think addiction is a difficult and terrible thing. But that is not the reason I am writing about it.) I am writing about the factors of why coke persists in pop culture. Why is the subject so pervasive? Usage has declined worldwide according to most anti-drug organizations. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) yearly World Drug Report states that

“Coca cultivation in Colombia decreased by 58% between 2000 and 2009, mainly due to large-scale eradication. At the same time, it increased by 38% in Peru and more than doubled in the Plurinational State of Bolivia”. But for a drug that is supposedly decreasing in popularity, I certainly hear a lot about it. From documentaries to usage

in print publications, it seems cocaine is everywhere. It is undeniably still considered high in glam factor in popular media. The official heyday of cocaine is over, and yes it’s so 80s, so then why is the topic still on everyone’s lips? Maybe because coke and money are inexorably linked. According to the UNODC, “the value of global cocaine

retail sales in 2008 were still higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of 123 out of 184 countries for which the World Bank provided estimates for the years 2007 or 2008.” With startling figures in the high billions, it’s no wonder people picture high rollers sniffing coke with greenback. Why does the word instantly dictate attention, and those affiliated with it still garner interest? Perhaps because people like a little danger with their morning coffee or perhaps it is because coke is affiliated with living the fast life and big spenders. Unlike weed that suggests

dingy basements and ineffectual people, coke suggests movers and shakers and partying until the crack of dawn in dimly lit VIP rooms. Take Pablo Escobar, the undisputed cocaine patriarch. Escobar personally has no less than 10 documentaries made solely about him. From his business acumen to his wealth, to his Robin Hood reputation for helping the poor of Medellin and other areas of Columbia, he is one hell of a crowd draw. The amount of films that discuss “El Señor” in one way or another are countless, not to mention every other form of media including twitter. As an experiment I searched Pablo Escobar on Twitter for a week and 3 to 4 tweets of his name daily are commonplace. The man has been deceased for 17 years. Almost 2 decades later there are still books and movies emerging. The life and times of a man who is

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 15


Major league cosmetics guru

Christian Dior has also

been accused of capitalizing on the

sexy nightlife reputation of cocaine.

ABOVE: CARLA BRUNI, FRANCE’S FIRST LADY RIGHT: DIOR ADDICT AD

largely considered the catalyst behind Columbia’s bloody run on the world stage still has a huge market as is proven by the recent indie success of The Two Escobars. The movie details Pablo Escobar’s involvement in soccer and Columbia’s national team skyrocketing to quick fame and success with the infusion of drug money, specifically that of Escobar and other Columbian cocaine drug lords. The “narcoterrorista” is shown from various angles, hero or murderer depending on who is asked, but mostly the movie is an intimate portrait of his ability to turn the white stuff into billions of dollars. Picked up by sports station ESPN, the film itself made its debut at the 2010 Tribeca and Cannes Film Festivals closely followed by other festivals worldwide. People who can barely recognize Columbia on a map are familiar with “El Patron”. Cocaine fuelled celebrity then and still does now.

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France’s unlikely first lady, former model and self styled chanteuse Carla Bruni, nearly created an international incident with her song Tu Es Ma Came. The lyrics in French roughly translate to, “You are my drug. More deadly than

Afghan heroin and more dangerous than white Colombian.” The international

uproar shot Madame Sarkozy’s third album to infamy with press like the Telegraph and even the highbrow Economist taking note. Columbia’s ruffled feathers were expressed best by their foreign minister, Fernando Araujo, who said that as this was the view expressed by the President of France’s wife, it was hugely inappropriate and even “hurtful”. The view expressed by Madame Sarkozy may have been out of bounds but it didn’t hurt her record promotion whatsoever. People who had never heard of Madame Sarkozy were logging on to youtube to hear a song that probably wouldn’t have reached an international audience otherwise.

Even the very mention of cocaine translates into press, both for individuals and multinational companies. Major league cosmetics guru Christian Dior has also been accused of capitalizing on the sexy nightlife reputation of cocaine. During the launch of Dior Addict lipstick, their print advertisement campaign depicted a euphoric looking model with her face pressed against a mirrored surface and surrounded by iridescent specks of white. Anti-drug and advertisement watchdogs leapt all over the campaign declaring that the French fashion and cosmetic house was using the term Addict paired with imagery that glamorized hard drug usage. Christian Dior did not weigh into the debate and continued to use the campaign. It is hard to say whether or not it contributed to the success of the already legendary house as their sales would have been stellar anyway. From fashion to fashion models,


editor’s opinion

cocaine is still a buzzword and gives a notorious edgy legitimacy to rocker chic. Kate Moss was splashed all over the United Kingdom’s Daily Mirror and dubbed “Cocaine Kate” when pictures of her indulging in the white powder were leaked. She quickly lost her contracts and then a short while later, grossed even more money than before the drug debacle. Her notoriety got her picked up by bigger brand names and landed her more lucrative contracts shortly after the media blitz. A flurry of celebrities and performance artists rushed to her defense when really she should have been a social leper, and Vanity Fair’s cover asked if she could make a comeback. Clearly she could and did. Currently in collaboration with reputable Longchamp, Kate’s career is none the worse for wear despite being the supermodel bad girl. Keeping company with misbehaving

rocker Pete Doherty reinforces Kate’s druggy reputation and she continues on unapologetically, reaping high paying contracts late into her 30s when most models of her stature are defunct or retired. Narco-football, narco-terrorism and now narco-tourism: La Paz, Bolivia hit international newsstands when Route 36, the “world’s first cocaine bar” was located. This is probably not the world’s first cocaine bar, but instead the first openly operating cocaine bar. Route 36 is known throughout South America to backpackers, people one would not normally associate with coke. There are no mob bosses at Route 36 and no celebrities, just plain old hostel-hitting people from all over looking to take a walk on the wild side. Many of the tourists hitting Route 36 are just that, tourists, taking pictures outside to prove

they’ve been there for the straight laced people back home. This too is proof that the everyday person finds the drug an exciting idea. And that is probably what keeps the coke market at the forefront of news and gossip, both abroad and here in Lebanon. After all, the proof is in the pudding: I’m writing about it, aren’t I?

BELOW: KATE MOSS AND PETE DOHERTY. RIGHT: CARLA BRUNI.

From fashion to fashion models,

cocaine is still a buzzword and

gives a notorious edgy legitimacy to rocker chic.

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 17


cultureclash

revocation of the

WORDS BY ALINE RAHBANY

I am walking backwards On the stairway of life I am stripping off The layers of my skin Slowly, one by one With each goes a memory An experience A failure, a triumph Sometimes just a sensation

‘l’

As I am pulling off The dust that accumulated On my spirits and on my soul I was hoping I could see once more The shape of the person in which I was born The original, clean self Unharmed, untouched, undressed With no imposed thoughts With no social constructs Peeling layer after layer Yet the skin is still thick How far did I go in tainting myself? Is there any way back? Is that what they call the revocation of the ‘I’?

18 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010


RIAD TAHAN ET FILS Joailliers

Kaslik, Rue Principale - Tel: 09 639034 | Tripoli, Rue El Mina - Tel: 06 440379 | Tripoli, Rue El Tell - Tel: 06 629040

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 19


cultureclash

King castle

of the

BY IMOGEN KIMBER

PHOTOGRAPHY REBECCA COLLARD

Loftily surveying one of the most contentious areas in the world - the disputed Golan Heights, the Shebba Farms in Southern Lebanon - sits the Beaufort Castle. The Beaufort castle is extraordinary in its ability to remain a fortress of significance despite its construction being in the 12th century. Despite its near dilapidated state it is one of the few medieval castles is still considered a military prize. After ten years in a state of disarray its restoration and reconstruction has finally been commissioned. Until recently the castle has stood as a symbol of power in the region. It remains to be seen whether the restoration of the castle represents the restoration of peace.

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She who rules the castle rules the land

It is an “emblematic landmark of who’s ruling the region,” said Jean Yasmine, Directorate General of Antiquities Project Manager of the Centre for Development and Reconstruction (CDR). Inscribed in stone on the ruins of the castle, amongst the tangled weeds and the hillocks, is the name of Al Zaher Baybars. The Mamluk Sultan was not ignorant to the relevance of this castle and in stamping his mark upon it stamped his mark in history. Over the ages this has not changed. Conquering armies have known this for centuries and have fought tooth and nail to place their flag in the highest turret of this castle. From the Crusaders, to Salah al Din, back to the Crusaders,

the Knights Templar and then to the Mamluks who held the castle for centuries until Fakhr al Din and then the Ottomans. Seizing control of the castle in their invasion of South Lebanon, the Israeli army ousted the Palestinian Liberation Organization from Beaufort in 2000. While this was used as a launching pad for the PLO to send missiles into the Galilee in Northern Israel this was still just a mediaeval castle, not Downtown Beirut or the airport. At the time the operation was covered by enthusiastically by Israeli television and has since been preserved in the film ‘Beaufort.’ And their exit from the castle was a landmark in their exit from occupying the South.


Conserve or Preserve

The CDR are the functioning wing of the Ministry for Cultural Affairs, meaning they put the projects that the Ministry commissions into practice. Yasmine has been working on this project, which he clearly passionately supports, for ten years, now. It has only been this year that the project has finally managed to procure the funding that it needs and get under way. The majority of the funding has come from the Kuwait Fund, who just like Yasmine sees significance in the project thanks to its cultural unification. With layers upon layers of construction from every era and every civilization that passed through the castle, it is a living testimony to military architecture. Defining between reconstruction and restoration Yasmine is adamant that the castle will be conserved, hence represent as far as possible all eras of the castles. “We will restore it as

a testimony of all the ages. We will even,” said Yasmine, “preserve the

Israeli fortifications.” The idea is that visitors can garner a full picture of the marauding armies, and hence get a fuller picture of Lebanese history.

To the South

“One of the messages of the castle is to let everybody understand it as his castle. Today it is open to all of Lebanon and stands as a symbol of victory from when the Israelis were removed,” explained Yasmine. Those leading the reconstruction see it in some ways as a unification tool for the Lebanese. It will “improve the feeling of belonging,” Yasmine said reinforcing his point. For the residents of southern Lebanon the symbolic nature of the restoration of the castle is even more resonant. Time and time again, as the castle has been taken it has been about re-possession and rejecting invading conquerors. Yasmine referred to the castle as the

“stratification of occupancy.”

The Kuwait Fund see Lebanon’s

cultural heritage as a “wealth that can be utilized,” said Resident Representative Dr. Mohammed Sadeqi. Investing in heritage provides an opportunity to encourage development which can have a knock-on effect in many sectors, such as encouraging tourism and consequently furthering infrastructure developments. With archeological sites all across the country from all ages it can provide a source of unification. For one the castle should be a “major magnet in the South,” suggested Yasmine. The construction itself will provide a major injection on funds with a total of $3 million already promised and the hopes for another $2 million. Labour and resources will be provided locally, which is a boost before the project is even complete. Sadeqi sees such projects as ways to “reserve migration” away from the metropolis, particularly Beirut. Whether the re-building of the castle shows some faith in stability may or may not be the case. For Sadeqi this is a “sign of confidence in an area where there is conflict.” While others remain to be convinced

The Beaufort castle is extraordinary in its ability to remain a fortress of significance despite its construction being in the 12th century.

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 21


cultureclash

figuring out

the art of

hypnosis

Artist Roy Adzak once said, “Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us.” I was covering the debut Middle

East, North Africa, and South East Asia (MENASART) fair in Beirut last July when I understood what he meant. The revelation came to me in the form of a strikingly bold and different artwork. I didn’t know whose it was. I didn’t even know what it was. I was arrested by the sad eyes of a stunningly gorgeous girl and her statuesque body that appeared frozen in time. Like the rest of the canvas, she was covered in detailed Arabic Henna patterns. Her bare flesh was painted in blue; so was the upper half of her face. Her surroundings were tinted in earthy brown and green. The eye pattern was everywhere, seemingly guarding her against evil.

22 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

“Is that a painting or a photograph?” I asked the man who stood next to the artwork, without masking my bewilderment or thinking about my question. “This is photographic art,” he said. The nametag on his shirt read Renaud Bergonzo. He was the director of Acte2 Galerie Paris, the gallery representing the mysterious artist. “Can I meet the artist?” I said excitedly, the list of questions I wanted to ask racing through my head. “I’m afraid the artists are not here,” said the Frenchman. I walked away with my tail between my legs, feeling like a little girl whose mother deprived her of one of those gigantic lollipops we were never allowed to eat without offering an explanation logical enough for a sixyear-old. I continued with my coverage of the show returning every 15 minutes

THE BARE TALENT OF ‘ONE THOUSAND AND ONE DREAMS’ BY MAHA MAJZOUB

or so to the girl in blue. Maybe the gallery director was lying to me, I thought. Maybe he didn’t want me to meet the artists because he thought I was too clingy.

In limbo

“One Thousand and One Dreams # 11” was the name of the artwork that taunted me, and Yasmina Alaoui and Marco Guerra were the names of the artists who tormented me. But the couple was unapologetic about my anguish as according to their Website they “love to tantalize their audience” with their life-sized photographic series. And the pair has been at it since 2005 in their Soho studios in New York, creating the illusion that the bodies are painted rather than photographed.


“WE HAVE RECENTLY STARTED PRINTING ON CANVAS (...) TO CREATE TRUE, ONE-OF-A-KIND PRECIOUS ARTWORKS.” Guerra, who has been a photographer for 20 years, and has done everything from fashion to portraits, advertising, landscape, documentary, and fine art photography, usually begins by shooting a nude photograph in black and white. Alaoui takes it from there, adding her ink drawings to the portraits, and leaving the viewer dumb-mouthed.

“While Marco takes the photos, I usually stand back a bit from the shoot, in order to let Marco concentrate and create a magic and intimate atmosphere with the subject,” explained Alaoui,

originally from Morocco. “I usually do the edit and pick the image, so that the sensibility of the image is both feminine and masculine. The image then goes to postproduction, which usually takes about a month. I work on incorporating the pattern, creating light, shade, and magic.” Her partner, who hails from Chile, helps her during that process with his suggestions and fresh eye. Lastly, the images go for printing, mounting, and framing. The series, which amounts to 50

artworks thus far, 10 coming to fruition on average per year, was mostly shot between New York, Mexico, and Morocco. And the series keeps evolving. “We have different themes for every exhibit, and we are also refining the technique and making the patterns richer and more complex,” remarked Alaoui who with Guerra scooped the Christiania Arts Foundation’s “The New Classic Nude” Second Edition. “Originally, all the pieces were photographic prints, but we have recently started printing on canvas and painting an additional layer of patterns onto the canvas to create true, one-of-akind precious artworks.” Collaborating on different projects since their first encounter in 2002, Guerra and Alaoui’s main collaboration is “One Thousand and One Dreams”. “People are very curious and fascinated how we manage to work together and spend so much time around each other,” the pair concurred. “We both love it, which helps.” The work is much richer when the talents of two people ignite, making the work more powerful, according to Alaoui. Their art is inspired by two opposing worlds: The Thousand and One Nights, which is a collection of tales from the Middle East, and the magical surrealism of South American literature. The spellbinding pieces have to date been displayed in New York, London, Paris, Geneva, Berlin, Venice, Miami, Santa Fe, Hong Kong, Seoul, Monaco, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, India, Singapore, and Lebanon. An artwork

can fetch anywhere between $10,000 and $70,000.

Caught in the Middle

The entrancing effect of The Thousand and One Nights has been global, even in the conservative Middle East region just opening up to the art world and which might shy away from nudity. Guerra, admittedly the more romantic and spiritual of the duet, likes to say that the subjects are nude, not naked. Alaoui, the more technical and mathematical one, elaborated: “Our work portrays the human figure with respect and curiosity. So far our work has done very well in the Middle East;

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 23


AN ARTWORK CAN FETCH ANYWHERE BETWEEN $10,000 AND $70,000. it hasn’t been much of a concern. We have had many Arab institutions such as banks collecting our work.” The couple, who visits Alaoui’s family in Morocco several times a year, will be part of the first edition of the Marrakech Art Fair in October 2010, which is organized by the Art-Paris and Art-Paris-AbuDhabi group. Guerra’s fascination with Morocco runs deep. He has been photographing and documenting his vision of the North African state for the past eight years, and has just finished a photographic essay dedicated to women entering the streets of Tangiers at dawn, which he soon will be exhibiting. For her part, Alaoui, whose art education is in sculpture and has worked with all mediums, including clay, wood and stone carving, and who is self-taught in two dimensional art and

digital art, has her hands full with other things. “I am working on a few new concepts, which merge my passion for science into my artwork. I also have a new project, which deals with issues of tradition and globalization, for which I am using only traditional Moroccan crafts materials,” she said. The only kind of work the artists would take on is specific large scale events. “For example, we were asked by Adidas to create a piece for the Chinese Olympics, for which we photographed an Olympic diver. Also, we created a piece for a biennial in Haiti, which symbolized help and unity,” Alaoui noted. And if you ask them what kind of art they watch out for, the list will be long and as captivating as the twosome. “We like a wide array of art and genre, from classical masters to conceptual artists to street art.” They name Gerhard Richter,

Anselm Kiefer, Egon Schiele among their favorites. “Banksy street art is very smart, funny, and daring. Of artists we personally know, we love Jose Parla’s work, and Liza Lou, her bead sculptures are so incredibly intricate they literally make me cry when I see them,” Alaoui went on to say. They cite Manuel Alvares Bravo, Edward Weston, Sara Moon, Sheila Metzner, and Sally Mann among the photographers they enjoy. Enjoying one’s art is one thing, but following them for the rest of one’s life is another. That is what the art of Yasmina Alaoui and Marco Guerra has done to me. And that is why I’m beginning to understand what Roy Adzak meant www.onethousandandonedreams.com

24 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 25


cultureclash

the

illusionist KAREEN NAHAS IS NO FALSE PROMISE BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY ABOVE, LET TO RIGHT: MOVIE SET BACKGROUND, KAREEN NAHAS. BELOW: HARLEQUIN WALL WITH FAKE OPENING, THE ONLY WAY OUT OF HARLEM NY.

“Let’s go to La Piazza, we can talk, have a glass of wine and a cigarette, while I show you the murals I’ve been doing for them.” That’s the first thing Kareen Nahas said to me when meeting me in a non-smoking café in Monot, before offering me a ride on her Harley Davidson. The restaurant being around the corner, we walk there as she tells me more about herself. Kareen has lived her entire life in the US. She’s a New York School of Visuals Fine Arts graduate and she studied at the Institut Supérieur de Peinture Ven der Keelen Logelon in Brussels, the famous trompel’oeil school. When asked about what she does, she defines her work in her own terms: “Painting a trompe-l’oeil is giving a three-dimension aspect to a flat wall, floor or ceiling. It’s adding a

character, a soul to a lifeless piece.”

26 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

Kareen doesn’t have the reputation she got used to in the U.S., but her first year in Lebanon has brought her hope for the coming ones. “I needed to come back to Lebanon, to my origins. I wanted to, and the financial crisis didn’t exactly give me the choice. I’m very well settled now, I have a nice team, and I’ve been working on a few projects.” Two villas in Beit Meri where she’s restoring all the 20 yearold paneling, a hotel, a restaurant… Nothing compared to her biggest work, an all-glass façade building to restore from A to Z. But Kareen knows it’s only a matter of time before she starts working on bigger sites in Lebanon: “Lebanese people love the decor, whether it’s contemporary or antique, they love beautiful things. And I know I can provide them with beautiful things,”


she adds without any false modesty. She knows she is very good at what she does. What proves it is a trompel’oeil work she made for a competition back in the US. It involved the 10 best artists at the time, and everyone had to make a piece and sell it at auction once over. Kareen had bought a $50 planter and ended up selling it for the modest sum of 1200 USD. She achieved that by painting and making it look like a marble pot. When a jury member came to carry it, he overestimated its weight, and ended up on the floor. “That’s when I knew I was good at creating illusions. I had the recognition, right before my eyes.”

Painting is her thing; Kareen started when she was 5, with her grandmother, and that’s what she’s been doing ever since. Unlike other artists who sometimes struggle before being able to live upon their work, she had the chance to start working right after her Belgian graduation. Murals, marble, stones, gold leaves… name it and she does it, but her all time favorite is “faux boix” (imitation of wood): Kareen takes any material and makes it look like wood. “With it, I do something that makes people comfortable in their own homes. It’s a warm material, it gives a nice atmosphere to any place.” This hardworking artist, ready to work

nightshifts if it suits her clients will, wants her pieces to look like her: unique yet universal, uncommon but very welcoming. To her, the client’s lifestyle is as important as her piece: “A beautiful kitchen where there’s no food in the fridge and friends around a coffee makes no sense.” At the end of the day, she wants her clients to be happy, and it’s all that counts. However, she never does something she doesn’t like, and refuses to make the same piece twice. “My teachers gave me all the painting technique. The rest is just me. I travel, I keep moving, I go riding across countries. I see a multitude of landscapes, and the world inspires me.”

“PAINTING A TROMPE-L’OEIL IS (...) ADDING A CHARACTER, A SOUL TO A LIFELESS PIECE.” CLOCKWISE, LEFT TO RIGHT: GLAZED CEILING WITH GUILDED MOLDINGS, FAKE WOOD GRAIN (FAUX BOIS), FAKE MARBLE, TROMPE-L’OEIL CEILING.

KAREEN NAHAS +961 1 215 241 | +961 70 36 31 34 kareepaints@aol.com www.kareenpaints.com RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 27


cultureclash

ABOVE: ADNAN’S 3D TIESTO PIECE, SIGNED BY TIESTO.

lost in SPACE BY FIDA CHAABAN

ART PHOTOGRAPHY JOSH KEHLER INTERVIEW PHOTOGRAPHY FATIMA SALEH

ADNAN ELLADEN GIVES HIS FIRST INTERVIEW IN THE MIDDLE EAST EXCLUSIVELY TO RAGMAG. FIDA CHAABAN TALKS TO THE INSTALLATION ARTIST IN CANADA.

“This is a shot of me spray painting. A friend has that,” he says. Installation art’s new upstart doesn’t know where a lot of his work is. In fact, he isn’t even sure what has sold and what he has given away. “This one I donated to charity for a silent auction,” he says indicating a particularly vivid painting. “That one? Hmm that one I don’t even know where it is.” Adnan is unconcerned and seems to echo the artist sensibility of Creative Commons. This means as long as he is credited somewhere down the road, it is alright that his highly sought after pieces are making the rounds. The new installation wonder boy has collectors all worked up, and no one seems less impressed than the artist himself. His mediums range from 3-Dimensional renditions in plexiglass to acrylic on MDF or canvas and digital printing.

28 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

“I just recently began incorporating my digital art into my 3-D pieces. The result has been something… I don’t know. Like this one the concept was city skyline abstract. The words were written based on rising up.” The result is something worth considering. Even the mountings are worth the look, as

“the brushed aluminum hardware has the paintings mounted an inch from the wall,” he explains. “Most of my

paintings are mounted that way.” Like graffiti and installation artist Banksy, Adnan Elladen fights for his privacy. The difference between them? You know Adnan’s name and you know where he’s from. The similarity? He won’t let us show you his face. The only picture he would allow RAGMAG to print is of him in his spray painting gear. The Lebanese National refuses to have a picture of himself in print.


“THE ART BUSINESS, I DON’T KNOW. IT’S JUST DIRTY SOMETIMES.” He doesn’t have Facebook, and seems paranoid even as he speaks to me. Pulling on his hoody and drawing his face into his collar, it’s a miracle he is even sitting next to me. Born and raised in Canada, Adnan admits he has struggled. “The first 3 years I busted my ass,” he says. “I’ve

been really focusing on my art for the past 5 years,” he says explaining that

it was difficult at first to break in, and when he finally did, he was surprised at how things worked. “The art business, I don’t know. It’s just dirty sometimes. We had this big exhibition in Montreal and it was just crazy. One time this guy gave me an 8-ball of coke as a deposit.” His work ranges from the religious to the gaudy. He’s covered pop culture icons like Johnny Depp and Jimi Hendrix. Sharply defined Warhol-esque female renditions are a pointed contrast from the Koran inspired pieces that

have been snapped up by collectors looking to secure a few pieces before they become unattainable. “The reason why I thought to make

Koranic style pieces was because I didn’t see anything original. Nothing really different was out there. I bring a

different angle to Islamic art, a different interpretation even. It’s something so progressive.” The art is progressive, so much so that people are investing although the script isn’t even legible to them. The paints used in the 3-D plexi are exotic metallic paints but he also works with acrylic on canvas. Some of his pieces are free standing with suspension cables. Adnan has developed his own wire suspension system using aircraft cable and brushed aluminum hardware. “I’m moving into more industrial pieces,” he says showing me some of the plexi sculptures. The pop culture side has been his biggest draw to date. Icons like DJ phenom Tiesto have been immortalized in 3-D by Adnan. The piece signed by

Tiesto himself at a Montreal event has been sold to a private collector for an undisclosed sum. “It’s amazing what

I can do with this work. I showed up at the concert holding it, and some promoter just grabbed me and rushed us backstage. Before I knew it, Tiesto himself had signed it. It was crazy.” The famed NHL is even commissioning Adnan’s work. The Oilers Hockey team have asked for a 3-D plexiglass rendition of what is one of the most famous photographs in hockey history: Hockey maverick Wayne Gretzky skating in victory with the Stanley Cup up in arms. The piece is set to launch the opening night of the 2010 hockey season. Mos Def, another well known performance artist, was rendered in plexi and paint by Adnan. Same story, bring the work to the event, and next thing he knew Adnan was on stage in front of a screaming auditorium of people. “The DJ freaked out! He was screaming into the mic, ‘Show your face, man!’ and I was just hiding it, and then Mos Def came out and signed that one, too.” The Mos Def piece has also gone to a private collector, but again

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 29


LEFT: ADNAN’S PAINTING OF NOTORIOUS B.I.G., PLACED BEHIND SNOOP DOG DURING AN INTERVIEW ON MTV CRIBS.

screaming into the mic, ‘Show your face, man!’ and I was just hiding it, and then Mos Def came out and signed that one, too.” The Mos Def piece has also gone to a private collector, but again Adnan isn’t sure how it happened. The strangest moment in his career thus far? One day while watching MTV Cribs on TV, seeing his own painting of Biggie Smalls placed just behind Snoop Dog during an interview special. Adnan isn’t even sure how it ended up there, just that a quick exchange in Montreal with an R & B promoter ended with Adnan promising to follow up and handing over the artwork. Next thing he knew, his painting of the late Notorious B.I.G. was splashed all over the biggest music channels in

the world with world class rap artists in the foreground. “I never followed up. I don’t know who has it but it’s everywhere,” he says shrugging. Another example of the artistic ambivalence that seems to characterize him, Adnan seems to be okay with the fact that some of his most renowned work has gone uncompensated. “Lately I’ve moved away from imagery. But the

30 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

faces, the pictures of people… that’s what people want. But it’s not me,” Adnan says emphatically. “Another exhibition in Montreal was for Sneaker Pimps, a vintage 3-D shoe collection. They placed my 3-D Jordan. A guy from Nike seemed interested in it, and then I don’t know what happened.” What happened was probably that Adnan’s easy attitude and reclusive nature probably turned off the billion dollar company. In stark contrasts to many artists of the day, you really have to chase Adnan down to purchase his work. Even Banksy isn’t this odd, I think as I flip through Adnan’s portfolio. His multi-plane art in 3 Dimensions is his biggest draw. “The plexiglass is

my preferred medium but I started with paint.” He now mixes the mediums

using industrial items such as airplane cable and Manfrotto Autopoles with adjustable clips, allowing for the piece to change position and location relatively easily. “The multi-layered pieces take me a range of 50 to 100 hours depending on the size and complexity of the piece.”

As for his ideas, where does the 32 year old artist take his inspiration from? “Believe it or not, all the ideas

and concepts come from my background in automotives and autobody. Now my mind’s gotten kind of weird. I can’t stop visualizing different pieces and concepts. There’s a lot to do. Montreal really brought that out in me,” he says shaking his head. So what’s next for the installation artist? “I want to collaborate with Aerosol Arabic. He’s a graffiti artist from the UK. I want to turn some of his art into 3-D. We’ve talked about it and we’re throwing some ideas around.” Where is his next exhibition? “I don’t know… I don’t worry about that stuff,” he says almost as though he is surprised at the question. Not knowing when or where Adnan Elladen’s art will turn up is another thing he has in common with Banksy. It is hard to say whether the mystery factor has hurt or helped Adnan’s career, and the last person who seems concerned is the artist himself, preferring to remain oblivious to the particulars

Follow Adnan on Twitter @adnanelladen See his stuff www.adnanelladen.net


Lebanon: Beirut, Badaro Str. Bonja Bldg. - T e l : + 9 6 1 1 3 8 3 1 5 0 - F a x : + 9 6 1 1 3 8 2 2 4 3 - i n f o @ christianbonja.com KSA: Riyadh: Olaya Str., Facing Kingdom Center - Tel : + 96612937444 - Fax: + 96612938444 - Info-ksa@christianbonja.com Mozambique: Maputo, Hotel Polana - Tel: +258 84 8888999 - info@christianbonja.com RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 31 www.christianbonja.com


cultureclash

“She is better than Palmer, better than Cook... Yes, even better than Crichton.” - Stephen King

every piece

of the

puzzle BY AMAL CHAABAN

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR TESS GERRITSEN TOOK AN UNUSUAL ROUTE TO A WRITING CAREER. A GRADUATE OF STANFORD UNIVERSITY, TESS WENT ON TO MEDICAL SCHOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO, WHERE SHE WAS AWARDED HER M.D. WHILE ON MATERNITY LEAVE FROM HER WORK AS A PHYSICIAN, SHE BEGAN TO WRITE FICTION. SHE HAS WON BOTH THE NERO WOLFE AWARD (FOR VANISH) AND THE RITA AWARD (FOR THE SURGEON). IN ADDITION TO WORLDWIDE CRITICAL ACCLAIM, HER NOVELS FEATURING HOMICIDE DETECTIVE JANE RIZZOLI AND MEDICAL EXAMINER MAURA ISLES HAVE INSPIRED THE TNT TELEVISION SERIES “RIZZOLI & ISLES”.

In your book “Harvest”, part of the novel raises ethical questions about the haves vs. the have-nots and medical care. Do you think that as a society we face that even more so as income disparity rises?

Certainly in the U.S we are. The poor go without and only get care when they are desperately ill. What service you do have for the middle class, they can’t afford it. I agree, I think it is going to get worse before it gets better.

32 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

don’t really know what makes a person turn into a serial killer. Are they born that way from the beginning or is it by example. I think you can find instances of both. It does seem that criminality seems to run in certain families. There may be a genetic component to it because even people who are adopted out and not exposed to the same environment growing up. It’s hard to say, is it 50/50, is it 50/30? I think this is something we may never know.

“Body Double” touches on family, the ties that bind and nature vs. nurture. Where do you stand on that? Is it nature, nurture or a combination that makes a person?

Dr. Isles is at once a woman who is warmth and ice. Can you explain that dichotomy in her personality?

I think it’s very much a combination. You know, this is controversial, we

I think that people may give off different signals than they are actually


feeling. She has sympathy and she has empathy; she can feel for people. Yet on the outside she looks like an ice queen. It has to do with the fact that she is uncomfortable with people. She doesn’t know how to project warmth; she doesn’t really know how to be a social being. I think there is a touch of Asperger’s Syndrome in her. She doesn’t have the instincts for human interaction the way that people do. In more than one novel, Maura Isles comments that her intelligence is intimidating. Do you think that even now in the 2000’s, women need to hide their intelligence?

I don’t think women have to hide their intelligence but I do think that men are still intimidated by it. The statistics are still that women tend to marry men who have achieved a higher standard of living or men who have surpassed or equalled them in education. I think things are changing though and men seem to be more accepting of high achieving women.

“Keepsake” deals with murder and a thoroughly unhinged stalker. Do you think that in this age of technology, stalking has become easier?

Oh yes, it is easy to find someone on the internet and it is much harder to hide. I think that we have all become far too vulnerable. It is easy to get our credit card numbers; it is easy to find out where we were born. We can Google everybody. I think that privacy in today’s age is very difficult. In the afterward of “The Mephisto Club”, you talk about The Book of Enoch and evil. Do you think that the books of the ancients are telling us things that we are disregarding in the age of modernity?

That was what interested me. You know here I was reading a description of sociopathy, the Nephilim are clever, beautiful and charismatic and they become our leaders. They are also indescribably evil. That is a sociopath right there. I thought they are describing something that we are aware of but they felt that there was

a supernatural explanation for it. I was just running with the idea that sociopathy comes from one particular tribe and maybe they are all descended from one little tribe. In “The Mephisto Club” there is much talk about inherent evil vs. psychiatric/ medical solutions as to why people do the things they do. Do you think that we are too quick to discount inherent evil for an easier, more explainable solution?

I don’t think we know what the nature of evil is. I think a lot of people would even deny that evil exists. I get into this discussion sometimes in my book tours where someone will say that evil is a religious concept, that it is not a concept that should stand in the modern world. Well I am not sure that I agree with that. I am not sure that it is a religious concept, I just think that there are some bad people and I think that they are people who cannot be rehabilitated. They are just unable to feel emotion for any other human

‘I DON’T THINK WE KNOW WHAT THE NATURE OF EVIL IS. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD EVEN DENY THAT EVIL EXISTS.’

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 33


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‘ANYTHING GOES WHEN THEY NEED TO STAY ALIVE.’ being. They see the rest of us as victims or prey and you can’t change that attitude. In “Vanish” you showcase the problem of sex-trafficking and the desperate plight of the women caught up in it. Do you think it mirrors reality?

Oh yes, I think it mirrors reality. I based that book on a non-fiction book I had read called “The Natashas” and it was about the trafficking of Eastern European girls. I think what attracted me to the idea that this would be a good thriller was the involvement of American contractors in the whole trade. I wanted to make sure there was an American twist to it because I wanted to bring it into the United States. I think it was the idea that our own military contractors were so deeply

34 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

involved in this crime. I think there are thousands of girls who disappear, they just vanish from the earth and we really don’t know their story.

the other; she seems to feel an unholy glee in hearing about the mechanics of the murder. Is that our perception because that is how Rizzoli sees her or is she really that way?

In “Vanish”, Olena says “…the world is evil, there is no way to change it,” and then says, “Sometimes you have to be evil”. Is that her way of saying that the end justifies sometimes evil means?

I think that is up to the reader. I really just set her up to be taken either way. She is brilliant, she is beautiful; in another book she might be considered a heroine. In truth, you are right, she is right on that edge of being someone who could be a sociopath; she could be evil if she chose that particular path. She was there to make us understand that everybody has a little bit of darkness and little bit of lightness in them. I think we all could tip either way given the wrong situation. I really wanted Joyce to be on the edge and people not to know which way she wants to tip

I think that people in her situation, so desperate to survive may feel that the end justifies the means. There are certain circumstances that I can sympathize with that. Anything goes when they need to stay alive. Dr. Joyce O’Donnell is a particularly difficult character to like or dislike. On one hand, she is working in her chosen field with murderers and psychopaths and on


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 35


cultureclash

exposé on the world expo BY ALICE HLIDKOVA

WITH OCTOBER MARKING THE FINALE OF WORLD EXPO SHANGHAI, SOME NATIONS, BY FAR, FARED BETTER THAN OTHERS IN SHOWING THE PUBLIC WHAT A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE LOOKS LIKE.

World expositions are held every five years to give nations a chance to showcase cultural and architectural concepts in promoting a better future for both people and their environment. Promoting better cities and better lives, World Expo 2010, held in the Chinese city of Shanghai, brought many successes and shortcomings for its participants. The national pavilions, some of them extraordinary structures, are evidence of the lengths some nations are prepared to go to try to draw potential revenue. Visitors packed underneath a crimson dome at the India pavilion, where they watched a 360 degree holographic

36 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

projection of India’s rapid development from a rural to urban society. The holograms reflected against wall posters promoting space technology and pharmaceutical achievements. Australia, its pavilion in shape of a flowing red curtain, also fully demonstrated urban living with an innovative show depicting how its cities can become global centers, shown on rotating digital screens. Portugal Pavilion was dominated by a theater-sized screen which projected an energetic video illustrating the county’s growth related to the five elements of water, metal, wood, fire and earth. At the end of the viewing visitors had a chance to try national sweetened wine,


LEBANON SIMPLY TEASED ITS VISITORS WITH A VIDEO OF A FARE-SKINNED DAME WALKING THROUGH LEBANON’S HISTORICAL SITES OF BEIRUT, TYRE AND TRIPOLI Porto, and learn about its recyclable and environmentally friendly wine corks. Nearby, Czech Republic’s pavilion was a kaleidoscope of digital images bridging Czech customs with high tech inventions. On display was the “Nano Spider,” the Czech patent for nano textile, and a baroque statue taken from the Charles Bridge in Prague. Female visitors walked away with a special gift, a perfume concocted to represent their emotions. They then scurried to the Philippine Pavilion to refine their moods with live music and electronic performances. Fewer visited Iran’s exhibition which showcased their innovation

in technology and industry. The demonstration included several types of lasers which cut through thick pieces of metal. Visitors were also drawn to a nano technology video and a Iranian offshore drilling model. The highlight had been a laser harp for small children, which played a tune and beamed green lasers on touch. Pavilion of Nepal and Lebanon were one of the least successful at connecting with their audience. Nepal’s bland presentation included a walk up a round structure to a small golden statue of a Buddha, while Lebanon simply teased its visitors with a video of a fare-skinned dame walking through Lebanon’s historical sites of Beirut,

Tyre and Tripoli. Visitors weren’t sure of its significance to environmental sustainability and settled on its success as a fashion runway show. Nightfall brought the exhibitions to life with dramatic “Las Vegas” style cultural performance with a backdrop of lit pavilions. Though the crowd had been unimpressed with some individual themes, they were dazzled by the glaring displays. Chinese officials had not disclosed a crowd count, but it was estimated to be in the range of 70 million; making the Expo a successful demonstration of cultural and innovative proposals for future generations

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 37


cultureclash

HAYDA LEBNEN YA 3AYNEH BY SARAH HOURANY

In order to find the answer to this question, it would be useful to test if Lebanese APPLY two basic economic concepts: the law of demand and investment. Take our own personalized test entitled APP 101 (Applying Basic Principals 101) Lesson A Lebanese Freakonomics: Law of Supply and Demand

The most basic theory in economics, the law of SUPPLY and DEMAND, states that when prices go up the quantity demanded falls. Consequently, at lower prices, people tend to buy some goods as a substitute for the other more expensive products. 1. Will there be less demand for SkyBar if the price of their champagne bottle increases? 2. Will there be less demand for imported Range Rovers if the customs (Jomrok) fees are higher? 3. Will there be less demand for a good Monte Cristo cigar if the latter’s price climbs? The answer is NO. The already steep prices of all three pop quiz examples has already increased several times, and continues to do so. The funny part is rather than following sound principals, here in Lebanon, when the price skyrockets, so does the DEMAND. Lebanese get a failing grade for not understanding that increasing prices should make these things less desirable instead of more desirable not to mention ignoring the second principal of replacing the higher priced items with the more reasonably priced! APP 101-Quiz 1: F

38 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

ECON 101 (INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS) IS THE ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY OFFERED COURSES IN LEBANON. A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF LEBANESE STUDENTS ARE ENROLLED IN ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS PROGRAMS. IS IT A TREND OR DO YOUNG LEBANESE HAVE REALLY WHAT IT TAKES TO BE SUCCESSFUL ECONOMISTS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE?

Lesson B Lebanese Freakonomics: Investment

INVESTMENT is an economics term which involves the acquisition of capital goods designed to provide us with consumer goods and services in the future. Investment spending involves “a decision to postpone consumption and to seek to accumulate capital which can raise the productive potential of an economy”. Education is considered an investment from an economical point of view: people not only spend money to learn but also spend TIME and expect to be rewarded for that once they start working. But postpone consumption to accumulate capital? No way! Not in Lebanon! Accumulate loans to really be a consumer? This is the true Lebanese way. After all, kermel chou we have all these banks in Lebanon? Wa kermel chou we have car, wedding and home LOANS readily available? Before awarding another poor grade, let’s examine the Lebanese rationale behind buying a flashy car before a home, planning an unaffordable wedding and buying an expensive flat way out of your price range. 1. Car loans

How can you enjoy your ride on a Sunday afternoon in Kaslik if you are not driving a $100000 car? Imagine paying 30% of your monthly salary for a minimum of 6 years. But all that struggling with car loans is really worth it when the valet parks your car right in front of the café. Everyone coming in and out can definitely see what your debt looks like. You’ll be broke

but trust us; everyone admiring the car you can’t afford makes it worth every penny. 2. Wedding loans

Even if you have not yet bought a home, having a luxurious wedding is a must. Chu ghayrna a7san menna? Imagine the happiness you’ll feel when you’ve just finished paying off that exorbitant wedding loan and having your second child, simultaneously! The funniest thing is most of you read that last sentence and found it reasonable! 3. Home loans

How can all of your stuff possibly fit into a 120 m2 apartment when there is an incredibly easy 40 year loan? With that loan you can secure a spacious and luxurious 300 m2 place in the new high rise going up in Achrafieh! Do this so that once you retire, other than taking pride in your career achievements, you also revel in the fact that you managed 480 monthly payments by the ripe young age of 65! Besides, who said that the Investment function “I” is correct? It has a major flaw when it comes to the Lebanese practice: it ignores the Show-off (S) factor. Once S is inserted, “I” can only give positive results. Are you convinced? If not, blame either the Lebanese business and economics faculties for their weak academic programs, or the IQ of the student body for failing to apply the elementary theories of good sense. After all, when we say “business” in Lebanon, remember that we mean a sports car, a blackberry and a suit… Chou nsit enno “hayda Lebnen, ya 3ayné”?


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 39


cultureclash

40 things

I’VE LEARNED SINCE MOVING TO LEBANON BY DANIELLE BIAZ

*Reprinted with permission

1.

5.

2.

6.

I’ve learned that I can live without a car, central AC, internet at home or on my phone. I’ve learned that just because toume looks like mashed potato, it doesn’t taste like mashed potato.

AS I COUNT DOWN THE DAYS UNTIL I LEAVE FOR MIAMI, I’VE BEEN THINKING A LOT ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS I’VE LEARNED (A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MYSELF BUT MOSTLY ABOUT LEBANON) SINCE I MOVED HERE 9 MONTHS AGO. SO HERE THEY ARE. 40 THINGS I’VE LEARNED SINCE MOVING TO LEBANON. I’M PRETTY SURE THERE ARE MORE, BUT I THINK 40 WILL DO FOR NOW.

I’ve learned that a hairdresser is a man’s job, that it’s normal to smoke in a salon, and that “a brushing” means a blowdry. I’ve learned that it’s perfectly acceptable to wear six inch heels, low cut tops, curve hugging pants or short skirts to work.

10.

I’ve learned that I secretly wish my mom packed my lunch in a tupperware, even though I give my co-workers hell about it every single day (“So what did your Mommy pack for you today?!?! huh? HUH!).

11. 12.

I’ve learned that I will never be able to afford to buy property here.

3.

I’ve learned that I prefer to sit outside my apartment building and wait for the power to come back on, than climb up 6 flights of stairs.

4.

I’ve learned not to flush any paper down the toilet because it will clog the plumbing.

7. 8. 9.

I’ve learned that “Super nightclub” does not mean “really big nightclub”. I’ve learned that not liking kaak is a crime. I’ve learned that I still (and always will) prefer espresso to Nescafe.

40 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

I’ve learned that a Lebanese breakfast of labneh (with olive oil and mint), zaatar, foul, fetteh, halloum, fresh vegetables, arabic bread, and man’ouche beats an American breakfast of cereal, pop tarts, eggo waffles, or even (dare I say it) bacon and eggs ANY DAY.


13.

I’ve learned that it’s pointless to try and convince my friends to stop smoking when the habit is so deeply ingrained into society that no one cares about the potential side effects. (“Why do you smoke?” I ask. “It keeps me from eating,” she says. “But you’re killing yourself.” I say. She shrugs.)

21.

I’ve learned how to take criticism (the negative comments on this blog have helped me with that).

22.

I’ve learned that there is a Jewish community in Lebanon and that a synagogue is currently being restored in Downtown.

23. 24.

I’ve learned that you don’t go to SkyBar to dance.

30. 31.

I’ve learned the difference between fireworks and gunshots (finally).

I’ve learned that going to the bank never takes less than an hour, and that there is always a chance they closed your account but neglected to tell you about it.

32.

I’ve learned that there are more types of cheese than employees at the grocery store.

I’ve learned that I prefer to take taxis every day than to drive in Lebanon. I’ve also learned that honking is its own language.

I’ve learned that there is a very healthy gay scene in Lebanon.

14. 15.

I’ve learned to conserve units by miss calling people (annoying I know!) I’ve learned to always double check (or do my own research) before taking any medication that was given to me by a “pharmacist.”

25. 26.

I’ve learned not to expect good service when I go shopping. I’ve learned that it’s normal for parents to call their children (even if they’re in their 30’s) multiple times a day to ask them if they have eaten.

27. 16. 17.

33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38.

I’ve learned how to use a gas stove.

I’ve learned that there are no emissions regulations for vehicles or factories (and if there are, they are ignored), which is resulting in toxic levels of pollution in the air.

I’ve learned that soldiers don’t like it when you take pictures of buildings. I’ve learned to love listening to the call to prayer. I’ve learned that families take out loans to pay for their children’s wedding. I’ve learned that men wear engagement rings too. I’ve learned that I can’t blow dry my hair, run the AC, and do a load of washing at the same time – the power will cut.

I’ve learned that it’s normal to take 10 cigarette breaks, 5 coffee breaks, and then pull an all-nighter at work.

18.

I’ve learned that Twitter is a wonderful place to meet great people and make meaningful connections in Lebanon.

19. 20.

I’ve learned that the beach (although it should be) is not free. I’ve learned that you can get anything delivered to your house: food, groceries, dry cleaning, and even coals for your argeeli.

28.

I’ve learned that Lebanese people hardly ever stick to plans (unless it’s a tweetup!) so, it’s better to make plans last minute.

29.

I’ve learned that summers in Lebanon are as hot and humid as summers in Miami.

39.

I’ve learned that there is no sense in worrying about things until they happen, and to live every day like it’s my last.

40.

And lastly, I’ve learned to appreciate where I call home

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 41


out +about PHOTOGRAPHY TEDDY HABIB

rant + rave

BEIRUT’S UNDERGROUND POETRY SCENE BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES

It’s a familiar refrain among Beirut literary aficionados that poetry in the city has lost its voice. But, anyone grieving the absence of writing to challenge society, lament lost love, or express torment need despair no longer. On the first Wednesday of every month a poetry group called the BTWOP meets and lets loose prose and verse at Café Younes in Hamra. Picture a tight cramped space, a dodgy microphone and an electric crowd. BTWOP (Beirut-type Writers Open Performance) is a spin-off from the Open Mike Fridays, which used to take place at The Blue Note club in Hamra a few years ago.

42 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

“We needed a new venue, and a renewal by a new spirit and name seemed good with a change in coordinators,” says

founding member Michael James Dennison, assistant professor of English Literature at AUB (American University of Beirut). To date, the event has attracted hundreds of submissions from Lebanese, as well as other nationals, who meet in the name of word, heart, and soul and read out their renditions above the racket of coffee grinders. The Lebanese are well-known for their outspoken and exuberant nature, but apparently they are still keeping their versed talents hidden in the closet; apart from the BTWOP there are only

a couple of other poetry groups in town. A Francophone group meets regularly and there is also a Med Poets Society, founded by English language instructor Vicky Enea, which organizes lighthearted poetry reading events in order to raise funds for local charities.

“FOR POETRY MAKES NOTHING HAPPEN,” begins

a verse by British poet Auden’s In Memory of WB Yeats. So if poetry makes nothing happen what use is it then? The same could be said for any form of art; does music make happen or visual art? If they actually make anything happen is not clear, but


the power of words should not be underestimated. “Poetry is essential as

appreciation of the complexity of the moment. With its ambiguities it always challenges ‘one more thing besides’ by the experience in a fabric of imagery, sound, and rhythm. Thus, it does make things happen,” says Dennison. “An extraordinary appreciation of the amazing complexity of the moment.” The monthly meetings host around ten to fifteen verse readings, some just a few lines long, other cover pages and pages. The crowd of aspirant writers and lovers of verse, ranging from university students to business professionals, listen in awe or tedium depending on the

rendition. In all fairness, each reading is followed by a hefty round of applause. Once in a while, Omar Elkoton, an English Literature student at AUB, gets inspired to commit words onto paper. Tonight, he is here to read them out loud. He admits to being slightly nervous about exposure before a crowd of strangers, “But,

as I probably will never see them again who cares!” Elkoton recently

submitted one of his poems to the prestigious Kenyon Review, an international journal of literature, which publishes budding writers, in the hope of being recognized. Last month’s meeting coincided

“POETRY IS ESSENTIAL AS APPRECIATION OF THE COMPLEXITY OF THE MOMENT.”

with the launch of Dennison’s book of verse, Hamra Noir: A Series of Poems, an exquisite little limited edition publication. Antony Di Nardo, another regular contributor, launched a collection of his poetry in April entitled Alien, Correspondent. Maybe this group is a platform to launch budding literary geniuses to fame and fortune? Or, a place to slump into total dejection. So why do people expose themselves to possible humiliation in front of a crowd of perfect strangers? Forget angst and fame, according to one prolific participant, “The crowd is always

so supportive. Plus I can’t think of a better way to spend a Wednesday night!”

BTWOP (Beirut-type Writers Open Performance) First Wednesday Monthly Café Younes Neamat Yafat Street Hamra, Beirut. +961 1 347 531

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 43


mon amour, mon ami

she’s

toxic THE POISON UNCTION

LONG BEFORE LADY GAGA IMMORTALIZED POISON IN HER FEATURE LENGTH VIDEO FOR TELEPHONE, WOMEN WERE USING IT TO ACHIEVE THEIR MEANS. RAGMAG LOOKS AT THE MOST NOTORIOUS ALLEGED DAMES OF INTRIGUE IN HISTORY... “COME INTO MY PARLOUR SAID THE SPIDER TO THE FLY.” PULL UP A CHAIR, POUR A GLASS OF WINE, CHECK FOR ARSENIC AND ENJOY.

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RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 45


mon amour, mon ami

It happens. He stopped calling. Things were going so well and then POOF he was nowhere to be seen or heard from, like the Lebanese David Copperfield. You might as well have been watching the magic show at Casino du Liban. Then he reappears again and like pulling a rabbit out of a habit accuses you of any number of treasonous activities! You’re mystified and caught off guard, but you KNOW you’re blameless just like you know magic tricks are illusions. Read on for RAGMAG’s list of magic tricks that men throw your way, and how to pull back the curtain to deal with the charlatan that he really is.

the first couple of weeks together trying to prove otherwise. There’s definitely something wrong here: simply put the guy has emotional BAGGAGE. He has been through a slew of bad relationships and you are the unlucky next defendant on the list or he’s just an accusatory type of person. His leaps in logic defy all common sense, but he doesn’t seem to realize that even when you point it out because he believes his own tales.

1. MAKE BELIEVE

participate in this charade by giving him an alibi. Telling him you were with your aunt or that your phone was on silent is just enabling his bad behaviour. Instead, when he wrongly accuses you explain in a firm voice that he’s quick to judge and clearly WANTS to find something wrong with you. This will

For some men, innocent until proven guilty is the other way around. You walked into this relationship open minded and carefree. He did not. He is the type of man who thinks you are inherently deceptive, and you spend

46 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

MAGIC TRICK He calls and when you don’t answer, assumes you are out with another man and says so.

PULL BACK THE CURTAIN Don’t

have one of 2 results: • he will proclaim that your response means you are guilty, in which case drop him because he is beyond relationship rehab • he will realize that he was hasty and see the error of his ways, in which case he’s okay to continue dating

2. THE GREAT PRETENDER

Some men pretend to be more important or wealthy than they really are. Like Criss Angel, the TV magician that no one really cares about, he carries 3 phones and barks into them intermittently. He spends like a Rockefeller booking tables at White encouraging you to invite your friends. His job is mediocre so he suggests that he’s got “businesses” or hints at family money. Clues that this one is a big faker? The cuffs on his Armani suit are starting to look a little frayed and it’s all about credit, credit,


THIS PAGE, LEFT: EDWARD NORTON IN THE MOVIE “THE ILLUSIONIST” RIGHT: HARRY HOUDINI, ESCAPOLOGIST AND STUNT PERFORMER

credit my friend. His sleight of hand (AKA prestidigitation used by card sharps everywhere) when pulling out his credit card puts a master to shame. The problem is you really like him; he is actually pretty cool and funny when he isn’t doing the usual Leb show-off performance. You’re embarrassed when you shop as he picks up the nearest Dior bag and exclaims loudly, “Just $1500, that’s nothing! Get it, baby!” while the salespeople peg him for what he is: broke and in major debt.

MAGIC TRICK He encourages you to spend more than the typical Lebanese family makes in a month.

PULL BACK THE CURTAIN Don’t live like Paris Hilton. Explain to him that you aren’t in this for the cash crop. Point out all the reasons you like him and suggest he scale back his spending. If this doesn’t have the desired effect, then get out because his debt and self importance issues will drag you both down.

3. MASTER OF ILLUSIONS

This guy makes everything seem like it’s your fault. He was late picking you up and you missed your reservations so he pitches a screaming fit saying he knew you would take too long to get ready. You get into an argument because he deals you a latcheh in front of his friends. You call him out on it in private and he freaks out saying you’re too sensitive and that you can’t take a joke. Suddenly he’s mad at you and labels you difficult and even a ni2ah! He’s unreasonable and manages to flip everything on you. Before you know it, you end up asking him to forgive you and apologizing profusely as he hangs up on you 3 times in a row.

MAGIC TRICK Shifting the blame on you when you cannot possibly be wrong.

PULL BACK THE CURTAIN Try once to recap the situation for him in a calm voice. Explain and ask him to confirm step by step what happened only by his responding yes or no. When

your point has been made, if he still maintains the situation is your fault, end the conversation. Don’t call, don’t text and don’t believe his manipulative interpretation of events. Get out because he believes his own fantasies.

4. THE ESCAPE ARTIST

Like Houdini he can weasel his way out of anything! This guy could get out of the most serious lock and key relationship in a heartbeat. Next thing you know, the guy that was borderline in love has given you the cold shoulder, and he’s answering you with one word responses if at all. You talked nonstop everyday all day for a month, and now he’s not even responding to your texts. You really thought he was a keeper, and now he’s vanished into thin air! When he finally comes around it is to tell you that you did something (ie date another guy, lie, disrespect him) when you did not and can prove that it’s a misunderstanding. He doesn’t want to believe you and might realize

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 47


mon amour, mon ami

a little later that he was jumping to conclusions. Even when he does see the light, he won’t come back and admit he was wrong. He leaps on the first misunderstanding and gets out of the relationship like Houdini with those chains in a trunk.

MAGIC TRICK He hears you are out with a platonic male friend and accuses you of a secret rendezvous with a lover.

PULL BACK THE CURTAIN Try only once to clarify the situation. Trust us, you can beg and plead for weeks but this guy wanted out or he wouldn’t have pulled his getaway hoax. When he agrees to speak to you about it and doesn’t make good on his promise, don’t dwell. Move on because he probably has.

5. THE CONJURER

This is the “magical act of summoning spirits or using incantations or charms to cast magical spells”. This guy calls ghosts from the dead. When we say

48 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

ghosts we mean past mistakes. They don’t even have to be big mistakes, it’s not like you betrayed him. They can be as small as your offhanded comments that his pride wouldn’t let him get over. It can involve people like his sister who didn’t call you to say thank you for a lovely birthday gift and when you mention that it hurt your feelings, he reminds you that you didn’t call her to say 7amdillah 3al salameh. You even stop mentioning things that bother you or that he does wrong because he invokes the phantoms again reminding you of every minute thing you’ve done to displease him. By the time he’s finished running through the list of mistakes over your 2 years together, you are too mentally exhausted to bother fighting back.

MAGIC TRICK Making you forget the big thing he has done by reminding you of 10 small things you have done.

PULL BACK THE CURTAIN Explain that his eye for an eye mentality doesn’t work

RIGHT: CRISS ANGEL, AMERICAN ILLUSIONIST

when he compares apples to oranges. He wants to dredge up the time you forgot to pick up his dry cleaning? Put it in perspective: dry cleaning is not like yelling at you in front of your father. If this doesn’t work, get out because it won’t stop. Men given to magic tricks usually don’t change. RAGMAG knows it isn’t your fault and this list should help you remember that. No matter how good he is at pulling the wool over your eyes, stand your ground. Being an audience for his 2 bit tricks is like watching famous magician Uri Geller. Sooner or later your perspective will change and you`ll catch him in all his illusion splendour, seeing him for the impostor that he really is


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 49


mind, body + soul

THE LITTLE PILL THAT WILLED INVENTOR BAYER SCHERING PHARMA CELEBRATES THE 50TH BIRTHDAY OF THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL – A SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION THAT CHANGED SOCIETY FOREVER BY ALLOWING WOMEN TO BETTER PLAN FAMILIES, BOOSTING THEIR RECOGNITION AS EQUALS & ENHANCING WELL-BEING OF COUNTLESS COMMUNITIES GLOBALLY.

As the 20th century was concluding in 1999, the Economist called it its “most important scientific advancement.” Two hundred historians have also independently concluded that neither Einstein’s theory of relativity nor the nuclear bomb, nor even the power of computers and the internet have had a stronger impact on society in the 20th century than the Pill. The issue of family planning as a whole becomes even more pertinent in a 21st century Lebanon that finds itself with an ever growing number of currently over 1.1 million women in reproductive age – defined as those between 15-49 – in need of adequate access to education for themselves and their offspring, quality healthcare services and overall economic opportunities that don’t further deplete the country and the planet’s natural resources. On the bright side 58% of married women, the only kind officially and socially allowed to reproduce in the country, already use birth control according to health authorities estimates. Among them 13% are on the Pill. “The Pill is no doubt a medical breakthrough which offers women a highly effective reversible method of contraception,” said Dr. Abdallah Adra, President of the Lebanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “Different hormone choices, lower doses, new dosing regimens and benefits beyond contraception have advanced

the effectiveness of the Pill significantly when compared to its origins five decades ago,” Adra explained. “It’s also one of safest medications available because it’s one of the most extensively studied drugs on the market, perpetually monitored through clinical trials and surveillance programs.” “In commemorating the revolutionizing road from the research carried out in the labs of Schering in the early 20th century to crusades by women’s movements for a contraceptive which women themselves could control, Bayer Schering Pharma’s celebrating not only the Pill as a breakthrough innovation but also its lasting positive impact on the economic, health and social well being of one-half of mankind in particular, and humanity as a whole,” said Mr. Mohammed Ziwar, Regional General Manager, Bayer Schering Pharma Middle East. Economic studies have also shown that the biggest contributor to an increase in women’s life satisfaction was access to contraception. But the situation is still far from satisfactory. Figures from 2008 show that worldwide 63.2 million women aged 15−49 used an Oral Contraceptive, yet 80 million still inadvertently become pregnant every year. Of these unplanned pregnancies, 20 million risk abortion and 68,000 women die as a result of complications

LEFT TO RIGHT: DR. ABDALLA ADRA, PRESIDENT, LEBANESE OBGYN SOCIETY, PROF. DR. JOHANNES BITZER, DEP OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY, UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL BASEL, DR. ADEL ADLY REGIONAL HEAD OF THERAPEUTIC AREA WOMAN HEALTH MIDDLE

LEFT: MR. ZIWAR

50 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 51


out

no way

AS A FIST HITS DOWN UPON HER FACE, BLAME FALLS DOWN UPON HER SHOULDERS. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS AS MUCH AN ISSUE IN LEBANON AS IT IS ALL OVER THE WORLD. IN LEBANON FAMILY PRIDE AND PRESSURE ENCOURAGES SILENCE AS DOES POLICE ACCEPTANCE AND IGNORANCE. IN THE FACE OF AN ISSUE THAT IS THOUGHT TO AFFECT ALL ECONOMIC, CLASS AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS, IN THIS COUNTRY OF FOUR MILLION, THERE ARE ONLY TWO WOMEN’S SHELTERS THAT PROVIDE A SAFE HAVEN FOR WOMEN FACING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (AND OTHER ISSUES).

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN LEBANON BY IMOGEN KIMBER

Far from domestic bliss

In the serenity of the Ajaltoun valley sits the Maryam and Martha women’s shelter quietly surveying the gorge beneath. Inside is a place where women can stay from up to one day to one year. The stories are plentiful and varied: “A woman from Madagascar

came, [pregnant] with twins, but she left last month. She had a problem with her husband and was pregnant so she came and stayed for four months. After she gave birth she went back to Madagascar,”

explains Gharios Rizk, the Director of Maryam and Martha. “Now she has gone to Italy,” he continues, but how Rizk does not know. “She has false papers maybe,” he suggests. When Rizk refers to a ‘problem’ he is referring to some kind of abuse. Abuse is not limited to physical violence; it can also be verbal, sexual or the imposition of economic restrictions, and Rizk regularly sees cases of all of these. Some women have even reported being starved by their husbands.

52 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

The only other women’s shelter is the YWCA. Director Mona Khauli made it clear that, “Domestic violence is present

in every sector of society, of every social and economic background.” While domestic violence is across the board the women that end up in the shelters are invariably from disadvantaged backgrounds with a few from middle class backgrounds. For Rizk this is because “In Lebanon we don’t like to

declare things out right. The rich people will not admit to this as it is taboo.”

Suffering in silence

It is so common for people to make the retort; the first step is admitting you have a problem. In this case it seems that the first step is convincing everyone else that you have a problem.

“A woman is educated that she is always wrong,” says Mona Khauli from the

YWCA. For some women, Khauli claims that even if they were to go to their

own mother to complain of abuse it is quite possible the first question they will be asked is “What did you do to provoke him?” After a traumatic experience notorious for creating feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness this atmosphere of blame will induce a silent acceptance. “Few people admit it,” says Khauli. For many women they fear exposing their husbands will tarnish the reputation of the whole family, particularly the children, within the neighbourhood or society. Often women will end up in the YWCA as a result of healthcare workers spotting the signs from suspicious injuries. As one of the few ways of finding abused women the YWCA have taken to making posters and leaflets for health centres informing women of their rights and what steps they can take in the face of abuse, such as who they can tell.


you + your country

Lacking legal retribution

“But what did YOU do to provoke him?” is not limited to the traditional thinking of a mother, Khauli says that it is very common response from a police officer.

“If you go to the police they ask ‘What did you do?’” says Khauli.

In an attempt to highlight the massive gender discrimination on part of the police the YWCA held a meeting under the patronage of the Internal Security. Faced with the accusation of police corruption and mismanagement the representative of the Internal Security flat out denied this was the case. Two women promptly stood up and told their personal stories: one said she was turned away from a police station when she complained of domestic violence and the other was beaten by a police officer. Seemingly shocked and unaware of such behaviour the Internal Security representative promised that those guilty would immediately be investigated.

There is to be an increase in female police officers available for women to talk to at police stations, allegedly, but the number of female police officers is so low that this is not yet a reality. The government clearly realize the value of these projects as they direct women to both shelters. Usually the Ministry of Social Affairs makes an annual donation to the YWCA to assist with basic cost. They are currently two years in arrears of their payments.

Seeking solutions

Both shelters worked to try and assist the women that visit them in any way they can to make permanent changes in their lives. A problem that Rizk faces is that there are very few solutions. “If

she goes back to her husband she may come back to us with the same problem,” says Rizk, “This happens a lot.” Despite the abusive situation a woman will end

up returning so she can go back to her children. He has seen girls leave the centre only to return pregnant. One woman from a middle class background found herself thrown out on the streets when her husband decided he wanted to be with his new girlfriend. The husband was even said to be abusing one of his daughters. After spending time in the YWCA, and with their support, she took him to court. The court ruling was that she was to move back in. ‘It was in her advantage as she owned half of the house.’ The husband promised not to do it again. And this was ironically considered a success. While knowing how difficult it is to break a cycle of violence both of the centre’s initial reactions are to encourage reconciliation between a husband and a wife. Both women’s shelters also insisted that women’s rights in Lebanon are improving

ABUSE IS NOT LIMITED TO PHYSICAL VIOLENCE; IT CAN ALSO BE VERBAL, SEXUAL OR THE IMPOSITION OF ECONOMIC RESTRICTIONS

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 53


the final frontier

pushing the

Universe’s boundaries BY J.E.N.

WE ALL KNOW THE UNIVERSE IS VAST…BUT HOW VAST? WHAT SECRETS DO THE STARS, PLANETARY SYSTEMS AND SEEMINGLY ENDLESS DARKNESS OF OUTER SPACE HOLD? WHAT NEW REVELATIONS HAS ASTRONOMY UNCOVERED RECENTLY? ONE OF THE ANSWERS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO EXPAND HORIZONS.

RIGHT: GALAXY CLUSTER ABELL 1689

A team of modern day astronomers used a high-power lens to take a closer look at one of the largest galactic cluster known to man called Abell 1689. This cluster makes it home in the constellation of Virgo and is around two billion light years away. In specific, the study conducted by an international team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory headed by Dr. Eric Jullo examined the way light was distorted by Abell 1689 to calculate how much dark energy is in the universe. And this led them to discover that the universe will probably expand forever. To best understand this, an explanation of dark energy is in order. In a nutshell, dark energy accelerates the expansion of the cosmos and constitutes threequarters of the universe. Back in 1998, astronomers were extremely surprised to discover evidence that clearly indicates the universe is actually expanding at a faster rate than ever. And this expansion is driven by

54 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

dark energy, which also affects the slowing down and speeding up of this expansion. The universe is made of ordinary matter and dark matter. While scientists know what matter is, they are still puzzled about the true nature of dark matter (the Large Hadron Collider promises to unveil this mystery in the future- see the article in RAGMAG’s first issue). But the effects of dark energy and dark matter can be seen… even though they can’t because they’re invisible. This study, co-authored by Yale University’s Professor Priyamvada, was published in the Journal of Science and the findings have been widely circulated in the media because of their significance. To uncover how dark energy is spread through space, the research team used the Hubble Space Telescope to determine how light from distant stars distorts around Abell 1689. Because of Abell 1689’s immense mass, it looks like it warps space in line with

Einstein’s theory of gravity and hence light bends around the huge galaxy cluster, letting far away objects behind it be seen. Three main factors come into play to distort, or bend, the light: the mass of the cluster, the object’s distance, and dark energy’s distribution. Measuring cluster mass and the object’s distance was done with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope and dark energy distribution was accordingly calculated. Dark energy distribution is the key element here, since this is what informed the team that the universe will continuously expand. It is foreseen that the universe will eventually turn into a “cold, dead wasteland with a temperature approaching…absolute zero.” Absolute zero is a scientific term

for 0 K or -273.15°C, a temperature at which heat can no longer be removed. Thankfully this will take time and so we don’t have to worry about this happening anytime soon!


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 55


the final frontier

working

like a

robot BY J.E.N.

WELCOME TO THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF TELEPRESENCE ROBOTS

ANYBOT TELEPRESENCE ROBOT

It’s Monday morning and you’re getting ready for work. You don your finest business attire and make a move towards the office. Only your workspace can be anywhere since you now have a new ‘presence’ at the office. With the advent of ever more advanced technology, the conventional work environment is changing. A few years ago, telecommuting was the talk of the town, with people finding viable ways to work remotely while ensuring constant contact with the office. The internet (with email, uploads, downloads, chat, forums etc.) provided the ideal basis for telecommuting to present itself as a temporary or permanent option, breaking down geographical barriers. But now this trend has taken a step further. Welcome to the brave new world of telepresence robots.

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IROBOT’S PACKBOT LINE OF MILITARY-GRADE UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLES

Telepresence robots are currently ready to order from Anybots, WowWee, RoboDynamics and iRobot. But what

exactly is robotic telepresence and how does it work? RoboDynamics describe it as: “the ability to transport yourself to a remote location without going there. It is similar to video conferencing but whereas video conferencing gives you only a small window into the remote world, Robotic Telepresence gives you a presence, instantly transporting you there and enabling you to move around, look about, and interact with people, objects, and the environment as if you are actually there.” So basically the robot is you, with you controlling it, seeing through it and communicating through it.

Robots have long been used in lieu of real people for certain tasks such as clearing bomb sites, but introducing

robots into the actual workspace is rather novel. While no one is yet predicting legions of robots at the office and all the ‘real’ employees working from home, some believe that there will be some robots in the workplace. Why? Because telepresence robots save time and even money. You can potentially attend a meeting on the other side of town or the world and can check on your firm’s distant warehouse or factory without wasting a precious minute in traffic or on an airplane. Since firms are more conscious about corporate travel budgets and the like, buying say a QB Telerobot from Anybots for $15,000 could actually save money in the long run. And it could also help reduce pollution and road and air traffic. Trevor Blackwell, CEO of Anybots, uses his firm’s product on a regular basis and you can catch him zooming


WHILE WALKING INTO AN OFFICE AND BEING GREETED BY A ROBOT WILL TAKE MOST PEOPLE BY SURPRISE THE FIRST TIME, PEOPLE APPARENTLY GROW ACCUSTOMED TO ROBOTS VERY QUICKLY around the office in the form of a 5 foot 6 inch 35 lb robot that looks like a pole on wheels with a soup dish style head. Using his home computer’s keyboard, he prompts the robot to move from cubicle to cubicle, seeing which employees need assistance, are free to chat etc. Using a Wi-Fi internet

connection the robot sends him video modified basketball stand on a moving and audio input and he in turn can be base with a screen instead of a net. seen on a screen (on the robot’s ‘head’) Blackwell predicts extensive use of telepresence robots in the near future and can be heard in his own voice. While the robot doesn’t have hands, it and expects wide acceptance, like can point to things with its laser light. in the case of mobile phones. While seemingly practical, these robots For instance the firm’s receptionist do have a key technical challenge. sometimes works from home via a They require a very good internet robot and offers visitors drinks by pointing to the fridge so they can help connection, like WiMAX and 4G. This themselves. The robot can stay on the rules out certain countries and regions for the time being. If you can wait to move for up to 8 hours before the battery needs a recharge, which is just get your hands on your very own robot, but want something more affordable, enough for a standard workday. While walking into an office and being then you might want to treat yourself to WowWee’s Rovio. At $300, you’ll get greeted by a robot will take most people by surprise the first time, people your very own 6-inch ‘mini you’. apparently grow accustomed to robots With this new development, very quickly and hence the robots on human interaction and face-to-face offer make no attempt to look human. communication may need to be RoboDynamics’s TiLR looks like a mini redefined. But for better or worse?

CLOCKWISE, LEFT TO RIGHT: ROBODYNAMICS’S TiLR, ‘SPACE JUSTIN’, A SERVICE ROBOT IN SPACE, THE ORIGINAL ANYBOT, THE WOWWEE ROVIO CAMERA ROBOT ON WHEELS, IROBOT-LE FOR INTERNET TELEPRESENCE

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 57


twenty thousand leagues

under the sea WASSIM EL ZEIN LEAVES US BREATHLESS

BY FIDA CHAABAN

“Sharks… a mako shark. They’re very fast and very smart. They’re indigenous to the Indian ocean,” Wassim El Zein explains when I ask what form of sea life he appreciates most. The 34 year old Lebanese national is a Freediver. This means he does deep dives with no breathing apparatus. He says he’s been “swimming since [he] was a little shrimp.” It seems that Seamo (as he’s affectionately known) finds a way to bring water and sea creatures into every sentence, puns intended. Even his favourite movie, The Big Blue, involves water. He’s single because apparently he doesn’t “think mermaids really exist,” he says shrugging. He actually sounds sad as he says this. “I really love the

58 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

Red Sea,” he says with heat. He talks about the sea the way some men talk about a lover. So which is it: sea versus ocean? “I love both. The sea

feels more cozy and the ocean feels more wild,” he says using adjectives most men use when comparing 2 different women that captivate the same man. “It’s 2 different tastes… kind of like two different cuisines.” “The first time I jumped in, it was in the deep end of the pool. I dived off the board, it was so deep and I couldn’t swim! I used my sister as a ladder and I climbed up her. It was chaos,” he says laughing. From then on, it was full steam ahead for Wassim. He made sure he learned to swim and dive then turned to spear fishing which ultimately

became his main source of business. “I was introduced to spear fishing in Lebanon. I was always diving and I always had an interest in what was under the water. We used to go me and my friends, diving just with our masks. We used to collect toutia (sea urchins) and octopus by hand. One day I went with my father, this place called Balko Sports in Lebanon so I could get fins to swim faster. I look at the wall, and he had these guns hanging. The guy working inside explained they were for hunting fish. It took some ass kissing but I finally got it. It was love ever since, this is what I was born to do. It was interrupted by life; I didn’t get to do a lot especially when I was in Los Angeles.”


forhim

IMAGES COURTESY OF WASSIM EL ZEIN

The 34 year old Lebanese national is a Freediver. This means he does deep dives with no breathing apparatus. All that changed as Wassim returned from the States. All interruptions gone, his passion is reflected in the success of his business Hayaari Sub, makers of bespoke spear fishing guns and gear, as well as offering Freediving courses. Since a new wave of wanting to revive traditional customs of their grandfathers has hit the UAE, Wassim is doing just that: teaching the younger Emiratis to dive for pearls. Hayaari (7ayaari) is the Emirati word for Free Diving, used for the traditional Pearl Divers. He may not be Jules Verne but he does want to go pretty deep, especially considering he isn’t taking an external air supply. He discusses breaking his own personal best, “Every time I dive into the blue, I say there must be something if I get to a darker shade of blue. But then I get to the darker part and I only see an even darker more appealing shade of blue that is out

of my reach. This trip I am trying to get to that out of reach part I want to surpass my limits.” Wassim is going to attempt to breach his Failure Depth. This is a term used by Freedivers to explain the deepest they can go while not breathing. Technically, it’s “when you fail to push air from your lungs to equalize your mask or ears”. His current Failure Depth is a startling 44 meters. The current world champion is over 120 meters. “For awhile I was stuck. I’m going to learn a new technique of recalling air. Normal people can’t tap into those reserves. You suck the diaphragm into the ribcage and it releases air into the lung chambers,” Wassim explains before he takes off for his 2 week excursion in the Red Sea. A major risk for Freedivers is a Shallow Water Blackout. This happens when ascending after the Freedive is completed.

“Pressure compresses everything. It forces air into bloodstream and the air is sucked out and you shut off,” he explains. “A buddy meets you at 10 or 15 ft to prevent this. Thank God I’ve never had one, maybe because Poseidon is always watching over me,” he jokes. Wassim shows me a sketch of a Japanese Koi, special for a number of reasons including aesthetics and also that some varieties can live up to an astounding 200 years. “I’m considering getting this as a tattoo all over one side,” he says indicating the right side of his taut torso. The longest living Koi to date, Hanako (Japanese for “flower maid”), lived an estimated 226 years. Wassim El Zein may not live to be 226 years, but watching him breathe underwater does suggest the beauty, longevity and intensity of a trapped Koi long domesticated and dreaming of deeper, bluer waters

GO DEEPER AND DEEPER WITH WASSIM EL ZEIN

www.hayaarisub.com info@hayaarisub.com Abu Dhabi, UAE +9712 665 8220 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 59


FML [f*ck my life]

SEASONS

IN THE BY CHRISTIAN HARB

ABYSS

After the success of my beloved wife’s “Beautiful Garbage”, the RAGMAG team decided I should do a photo essay as well. Our Editor in Chief, Fida (who is never short of weird ideas), suggested I go diving and take underwater photos of ship wrecks. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Ship wrecks are far too deep as my diving instructor Mo explained, “Let’s go to Tyr. it would be better since you need more experience. Besides, you’ll find underwater ruins.” Once there, we went into the deep; it wasn’t quite as I expected...

I imagined great temples submerged, vast halls of palaces, only to find a dead reef. FML, Twice!! (a la Fifi). Though it was something one doesn’t experience everyday, it was very sad to witness the extinction of every life form that inhabibted the Lebanese reef. Our waters are dying. We barely encoutered a few fish. Some were sick, and the land appeared as if it was a post-nuclear war fallout zone.

Editor’s note Chris is an adventurous kind of a guy. When his turn for FML rolled around, I wanted something that could be captured in images since he is a photographer (He shoots a great deal of our covers). I had visions of ship wrecks and secrets. The only wrecks and secrets Chris found were a dying ecosystem and litter. Sad but true.

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHRISTIAN HARB


PHOTOGRAPHY CHRISTIAN HARB

MANY MEETINGS

MO FOUND A SEA URCHIN SHELL. RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 61


THE ESCORT

MO AND THE SHELL

REMORA FISH... IT STAYED WITH US FOR QUITE A WHILE.

SICK OF IT ALL

IT’S REALLY SAD TO SEE ANY LIVING CREATURE WHISPERING ITS LAST BREATH.

POST MORTEM

A CLOSER LOOK AT MO’S BELOVED SEA URCHIN SHELL.

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AN AMPHORA.


FML [f*ck my life] NYLON

PEEKABOO

THESE ARE ACTUALLY CALLED NYLON.

THE RUINS

THAT’S JUST TO SHOW HOW PEOPLE GREATLY TAKE AFTER THEIR SURROUNDINGS. “ONCE UNDERWATER, NOONE WILL KNOW.”

I THINK I GAVE MO A HEART ATTACK; HE TOOK ME FOR A GREAT WHITE.

PHOTOGRAPHY CHRISTIAN HARB

SEEKING LIFE

I’M NOT QUITE SURE WHAT MO FOUND HERE, BUT I THINK IT WAS LIFELESS... NOT EVEN CORAL RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 63


UPWARD CLIMB WORKING TOWARDS GOALS BY MATTHEW HUSSEY

There are volumes of books written about how to set goals, what your goals should be, how to divide them up into neat sections, and even specifying which glossy notebook has the best paper for writing them down on! But how can we make real progress towards our goals, so that we avoid falling into the dreaded trap of being the person who endlessly talks about what they hope to achieve “next year”? There are a few reasons people never follow through on their goals, and here I hope to present a few of the best lessons I’ve been taught over the years to make sure you never succumb to them.

“IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?” TIMING IS EVERYTHING

This is a handy phrase I have learnt to always ask myself when it comes to achieving even the smallest of goals. We all have that nagging voice that appears whenever we think of something we know we want or need to do that says “Well, you can always do it later, why bother now?” This voice is the enemy of progress. Believe me, there is no “later on”. When we put off starting until tomorrow, soon tomorrow becomes next month, followed by next year, followed by ten years. The only time you can be sure of having is RIGHT NOW. That’s why whenever my clients ask me “When should I get started on that plan I just made?” I immediately force the reply “If not NOW, then when?”. This phrase always reminds me that there’s no time like NOW to get started on something.

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mind, body + soul

THE BEST WAY TO MAKE YOUR GOALS ACHIEVABLE IS TO RIG THE ODDS OF SUCCESS IN YOUR FAVOUR.

“I’M TOO BUSY”

MAKE SUCCESS A SURE THING!

Previously in this section I talked about the difference between the “Urgent” demands in our lives, compared with the “Important”. A lot of the time, our biggest goals in life can take a backseat because they only fall under the category of the “Important”. Meanwhile, we spend most of our day responding to everyone else’s “Urgent” demands on our time, and eventually find ourselves more busy and stressed than ever without making progress towards the things that really matter to us.

One of the biggest mistakes we all make is setting goals that are so extreme, so demanding of us that the odds of us succeeding require almost super-human determination.

THE ACHIEVEMENT ROADBLOCK

Let me share a vital truth with you; it’s something I read years ago that has always stuck with me: Your inbox will always be full What this means is that from right now, until the day you die there will always be a pile of urgent demands on your plate. But far from being a depressing fact, this is actually liberating! Because it reminds us that “too busy” is an excuse that we will always have! It’s not going away. Yet all the time, we imagine a mythical day in the future where we will have nothing on our to-do list, and we tell ourselves that only then can we get moving on our biggest goals. The easiest way to avoid this trap is to schedule time for achieving your goals. If your goal were to write a novel, schedule an hour every day in which you switch off your email and phone, and no one is allowed to disturb you, even for “urgent” work emails. If you don’t give yourself this time, you will be distracted by the little things until the day you die.

This typically happens when people go on crash diets. What we do is set ourselves some crazy weight loss goal that requires a complete denial of any food, combined with 3 hours in the gym everyday. Now, although we have all the right intentions at the beginning we can’t possibly live our everyday lives with these demands on our plate, and so then what happens? We inevitably fail at some point, beat ourselves up, feel like we can’t do anything right and sulk off to order a takeaway pizza to make ourselves feel better! The best way to make your goals achievable is to rig the odds of success in your favour. You have to make the process manageable. In other words, you have to choose goals that work with your lifestyle, that you can break down into manageable daily rituals that will bring you to the desired result. It might feel like it’s going to take longer than that crash diet, but at least you’ll actually make real changes. I remember meeting with Keith Cunningham, a Texan wealth expert who summed it all up in one simple line: “Ordinary things done consistently produce extraordinary results”. What ordinary things could you do today?

RAGMAG brings you the best in selfimprovement. Matthew Hussey is one of the leading talents in behavioral change and success. As a Life Strategist he has founded two coaching companies working with thousands of individuals across the globe to show them ways of making dramatic shifts in their lives. Matthew’s success has been built on finding out what people want, and showing them how to make it happen in the shortest time possible. He is currently a weekly columnist for Now magazine, providing expert advice on dating and relationship issues for female readers. In addition, his coaching has been featured in the London Metro, Evening Standard, The Sun, The Independent, Men’s Health, Glamour magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Elle magazine. His seminars have recently taken him to New York where he ran a live event and an interview with Sirius radio, and will be taking him to Las Vegas later this year to speak about his methods. A highly sought after public speaker and executive coach, Matthew has consulted companies including Accenture, Virgin, Morgan Stanley, Weil & Gotshal, and CB Richard Ellis, as well as over 5000 individuals and organizations ranging from directors of FTSE 100 Companies, Universities, international investment funds, artists, and royalty.

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 65


LEAD,FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY BY SARAH HOURANY

HAVEN’T YOU EVER WONDERED WHY THEY LEAD AND WHY WE FOLLOW? THEY DISCOVER NEW PATHS AND SET THE LANDMARKS OF CIVILIZATIONS. THEY INSPIRE PEOPLE, MOBILIZE MASSES AND CREATE CHANGE. SO WHAT MAKES A LEADER? RAGMAG TAKES A LOOK AT SOME MAJOR LEADERSHIP THEORIES.

GREAT MAN THEORIES LEADERS ARE BORN NOT MADE

TRAIT THEORIES THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE

Great men arise in times of need; this is the core of the Great Man theory. When the going gets tough, the “Great Man” gets going and takes his rightful position. A study that analyzed people who were already leaders conluded that their capacity for leadership is inherent. The term “man” was used because at the time, leadership was thought to be exclusive to men especially those in the military. Napoleon Bonaparte is an accurate example of a “Great Man”. Not only did he emphasize the sense of national identity of the French and create the institutions they needed, but he also won many battles that saved France and expanded its territory. An exceptional leader and military genius of the day, he was able to win the Battle of Austerlitz though his army was outnumbered by the Russians and Austrians.

Similar to the “Great Man” theory, trait theories believe that some common inherited traits make some people predisposed to leadership. One major drawback of these theories is that the identified characteristics differed with studies. Moreover, many wondered why some people who possess these traits did not turn out to be leaders. Despite the controversy surrounding these theories, some frequent traits that appeared in these studies were energy, drive and ambition. Things like adaptability, aggressiveness, and emotional balance were also noted in leaders. Being extroverted and independent are as well as high measurements of integrity, and responsibility were predictable relevant measures. Leaders also

66 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

showed high stress tolerance, an objective and initiative nature. Social skills like strong interpersonal skills, popularity and talktaviness was found in common, and they all tended to exude self confidence and persistance. Testing also found intelliegence, good judgement skills, and verbal fluency very important as well as a high administrative ability paired with technical confidence. The late Martin Luther King, an inspirational speaker and leader, is perhaps one of the most famous people in history. His speech, “I have a dream”, is still considered one of the most influential of all time. He is highly ranked in all of the aforementioned traits, and continues to be drawn as an example.


mind, body + soul OPPOSITE PAGE, LEFT TO RIGHT: NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, MARTIN LUTHER KING. THIS PAGE: WINSTON CHURCHILL

BEHAVIORAL THEORIES LEADERS ARE MADE NOT BORN Given the difficulty of measuring qualities such as integrity, honesty, courage, subsequent studies focused on describing and measuring leader’s behavior. One of the main studies was the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ) from which researchers concluded that leader’s behavior falls into two categories: Consideration and Initiation of Structure. The first is related to the leader’s degree of attentiveness and consideration to his “followers” feelings and the second focuses on the effort a leader makes to organize, direct and structure his subordinates’ work. In sum, actions not mental qualities define leaders. Indeed then, through education and observation, people can learn to become leaders. In other words, leaders can be made as opposed to born. Bill Gates, one of

the world’s business leaders, dropped out of college but was able to succeed in an exceptional way through his own efforts. Focused and passionate, he inspired the employees of his organization (that became an empire) with an unconventional management style.

CONTINGENCY THEORIES THE ABILITY TO LEAD DEPENDS ON PARTICULAR FACTORS No leadership style is effective in all situations: the person’s ability to lead depends on a number of factors most of which are related to the particulars of the situation, adding to it the leadership style as well as the behaviors of the followers. Numerous are the examples that confirm this theory: think of how many leaders succeed at particular times and then make the worst decisions at other moments and

how many leaders were worshiped yesterday and hated today. Winston Churchill, for instance, through his experience and courage, successfully led Britain through World War II. However, Churchill did not appear to be the leader that Britain needed during peacetime. In fact, after the end of the war, he was less popular and successful and strongly criticized for his domestic politics. There are indeed thousands of leadership definitions, theories and studies. According to the image we draw of a leader, specific to our needs, we unconsciously follow a teacher in school, a manager at work, a parent, a priest or sheikh or a political leader. Whether being devoted followers is beneficial or not is a debatable topic but you, loyal follower, should keep this question in mind: will you always stay behind?

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 67


RAGged 3D facts Game on, literally!

3D sex games are the newest gaming internet rage. The games arrive with attachments that are made to fit the male genitals. They also primarily feature female characters that are customized and programmed to do what the male player wishes. (RAGMAG is NOT impressed.)

WHEN in ROME The Ancient Rome layer is the first historical city in 3D to be added to Google Earth. Rome in the year 320 AD is recreated for you by the geniuses at Google “at the peak of its development with over a million inhabitants”. According to Google Earth, the model is comprised of 6700 buildings with 716 unique textures.

{270

The physical size of the Ancient Rome model in MB data. With Lebanon’s slow internet, we aren’t sure if that would work for us! Luckily, there is a 3D youtube version.

Up Close + Personal The Stewardesses, a rated R (self-rated X) soft porn film is the most profitable 3D film until the present day. Opening in 1970 in only 800 theatres, it grossed $27 million which is approximately $114 million USD in today’s currency. It cost only $100,000 to make.

5000 The numbers of usergenerated videos with YouTube’s new 3D tag.

You’re so SILLY

Film reviewer guru Robert Ebert hates 3D. He deems it “unsuitable for grown-up films of any seriousness”.

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GO BIG OR GO HOME

The largest IMAX cinema in the world is in Sydney, Australia which features a 354 m2 screen.

{

200,000

Approximately the number of 3D stills you can view on Flickr, a photography website.

Get REAL PopArchitexture 3D Digital + Paper Architectural Modeling will build you a scale model of anything on Google Earth 3D starting at $99 USD! The price climbs for more complicated models.

(6 x 4) + 1

FACE OFF

7 Facial expressions per subject were performed in front of the 3D face scanner. All except the neutral expression has four levels of intensity: happiness, disgust, fear, anger, surprise and sadness. The formula (6 expressions x 4 intensity levels + 1 neutral) created 25 instant 3D expression models for each subject totaling 2500 3D facial expression models to be accessed.

A 3D facial expression database (BU-3DFE) database has been created by Binghamton University in New York State using 100 subjects. The BU-3DFE database is available to the research community to help with studies that were previously limited to 2D pictures, and could possibly have skewed results.

You Sicko

A poor 2D-3D conversion, (explained as a last minute upgrade to 3D) can actually cause “bad headaches and nausea within a few short minutes� according to experts at JVC Professional, a camera company.

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 69


mind, body + soul To ask a question,

send your problems to helpmenour@ragmaglive.com

To join the reader response panel and give feedback to women

across Lebanon, send your name, age, and email address to helpmenour@ragmaglive.com subject line: Interactive Panel. We will contact you if you are chosen to participate.

help me

Nour BY NOUR OBAJI

RAGMAG BRINGS YOUR REALITY CHECK TO YOU. SEND NOUR YOUR QUESTIONS, AND EACH ISSUE SHE DOES HER BEST TO GIVE YOU SOUND ADVICE. THE ONLY INTERACTIVE ADVICE COLUMN IN LEBANON, EACH QUESTION IS ADDRESSED BY READERS BEFORE NOUR WEIGHS IN ON THE MATTER.

“I met a great guy. We have chemistry and he’s cool. He’s smart, good looking and successful. Only one problem: he slobbers when we kiss. He licks my whole face! I hate it, and I don’t want to go any further because of it. I can’t wait until we stop kissing so I can wipe off my face and neck. How do I get him to stop without hurting his feelings?” Najla, 28

“Mr. Slobber! Stop mid-kiss and ask him why he’s licking you. That’s nasty! The only way to fix this problem is by being blunt.” Sarah, 30

“I think the solution is simple and just say, ‘stop slobbering’ or try, ‘I don’t like that, it grosses me out’. If you’re planning on spending more time with this person and want the relationship to grow you need to be honest and just say how you feel.” Julie, 25

“Oooh, bad kissers are the worst... I have dated and dumped bad kissers. The thing is, you can’t really do it without hurting his feelings so you need to kind of take charge of the kiss and manoeuvre it to what you want. Men aren’t psychic and definitely need guidelines so it would be good if you could provide that by simply moving to what you want and away from licky face.” Guy’s Vote “Once a St. Bernard, always a St. Bernard. Two words: Ditch him!” Rabih, 33 Nour’s Vote Oh wow, aren’t you in a tough spot! You like him. You have chemistry. And you can’t even kiss him! The panel was all for being straight up, our guy’s vote was to get out. Nour advises some delicate adjustments during the kiss fest (or lick fest as it were). Gently ease out of the uncomfortable licks, and say something to the effect of, “try this”. Then demonstrate your preferred kiss. Give it at least 2 or 3 tries. If he still doesn’t get it, and you are still interested in dating him, you’ll have to be more vocal and obvious.

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“I’m dating a guy who parties too much. He’s good in every other way. How do I get him to yihda?” Yasmine, 34

D., 28

“This is a sticky one. Contrary to Hollywood movies, you cannot change a man. If he was a partier when you met, then you should have kept in mind he would likely continue to be a partier. You can tell him you wouldn’t mind if he toned it down or you can strongly suggest he does but don’t be surprised when he either gets mad or doesn’t listen.”

“The guy definitely has a thing for you. It is obvious! Why would he want you to know these things in the first place? You can easily ask him what the deal is. In my opinion he is going to somehow hint to you that none of these girls are like you and that he has probably wanted you for a long time. If this is not the case (BUT I THINK IT IS), then he seriously just needs a girl’s advice as to why nothing is working out with him, and you for him, might be the right person to ask.”

Nicole, 32

“You should try a few times to not go out with him maybe this way he will understand that you can’t keep up with his pace. Or try suggesting a night at home with some DVDs and take-out and see his reaction to the plan. Hopefully he will enjoy spending quiet and cozy nights with you that are more intimate and for you, more relaxing.” Guy’s Vote “Every man eventually byihda. The benchmark age for the hadayen tends to be 35. If he’s over 35 and still parties like he’s 25, learn to party or find another dude.” Rabih, 33

Guy’s Vote “No, he’s not after you – and no, he doesn’t have a secret crush on you. He’s a guy and sees you as one of the guys. Just tell him straight out that you’re annoyed. He’ll probably get the message and stop. However, he’ll find someone else (probably another girl) to share his date stories with.” Rabih, 33

Nour’s Vote This one is a no brainer. He is not out of his stage yet. You cannot work or talk it out of him. Our guy’s vote echoes this, and we trust his judgement. The interactive panel is more optimistic than Nour on this issue. If he still thinks it is cool to party 3 nights back to back, chances are you are fighting a losing battle. Either hang in for the long ride until he gets sick of it, or cut your losses and keep moving.

Nour’s Vote He sounds a little like the cat who got the cream. This means he’s pleased to share his exploits, because they are exploits. Nour doesn’t know many men who like to rehash bad dates in detail or even good dates in detail. He sounds like one of those guys who likes people to know he has a date, and this is why he voices them out. You are probably not the only person he tells, so next time just say, “Okay lover boy, keep the story for a more willing audience! You and I have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy. If I don’t ask, you don’t tell.” That should keep his stories to a minimum going forward

“A guy friend calls me after all his dates to tell me how awful they are. I’m starting to get annoyed. How do I tell him politely to stop? And what’s his point?”

Every so often we get a question that makes us laugh. We had our guy respond because all the RAGMAG staff are BB addicts and can’t call the kettle black.

Lisa, 31

“I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about 4 months, the problem is his relationship with his Blackberry takes priority over ours. I really love him but I don’t think I can take much more! Three’s a crowd!”

“I think he just likes to gossip or he likes the attention of a female all the time. Tell him he’s fadyeh ash3’al and you really don’t care about all these dates he goes on. When he meets someone normal then to let you know, or if something really funny or interesting happens you would be willing to listen. In the meantime tell him to blog his dates and maybe someone would find it interesting and give it some attention.”

Rabih, 33

“Drop the boyfriend, date his Blackberry.”

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 71


ten superfoods! YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: WE LIKE TO FEEL OUR BEST AND WE WANT OUR READERS TO FEEL THEIR BEST, TOO. WE LOOKED FOR WAYS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN AND FOUND THESE 10 PROVEN SUPERFOODS TO HELP YOU IN YOUR QUEST FOR GOOD HEALTH. READ THE LIST, FIND OUT WHY AND THEN TRY RAGMAG’S FAVORITE WAY TO INCORPORATE IT INTO OUR DIETS!

WHAT

WHY

HOW

BEST WAY TO EAT!

Figs

High in Fiber High in antioxidant polyphenols Help keep your weight in check

Raw or dried

Raw off the tree in season to curb your craving for something sweet. RAGMAG’s favorite: Take a dried fig, add some brie and enjoy

Grapefruit

High in antioxidants and vitamin C, this citrus fruit will help keep your cholesterol down and prevent kidney stones

Raw as a snack or juiced for a healthy treat

Take a grapefruit and slice it up, add to salad to make a fresh tart mix. RAGMAG’s favorite: Squeeze the juice on chicken breast to marinate and enjoy the flavor mix

Leafy Greens

Jammed with vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals and fiber. These vegetables will help with everything from weight control to eyesight

Raw or steamed

Mixed with red wine vinegar or lemon juice, there are a myriad of ways to enjoy these greens. RAGMAG’s favorite: Steamed Kale mixed with a bit of sea salt and lemon

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mind, body + soul

WHAT

WHY

HOW

BEST WAY TO EAT!

Papaya

High in antioxidants and betacarotene, this fruit will help boost your vision and aid in preventing colon cancer

Raw or in a juice

Peel and slice the papaya and add to any leafy salad. Add as a side dish. RAGMAG’s favorite: as a snack during the day

Plum

High in fibre and antioxidant polyphenols, plums will keep your digestive tract healthy and fight against osteoporosis

Dried, raw and cooked

Take a ripe plum for a snack, or juice it into your smoothie in the morning. RAGMAG’s favorite: Blend into a sauce for duck or chicken

Pomegranate

This fruit is extremely high in antioxidants and antiinflammatories that will help fight arthritis progression and heart disease

Raw, cooked, and squeezed

Peel and take as a snack or blend it into your smoothie. RAGMAG’s favorite: Add the fruit to your salads for a tart taste

Chickpeas

This bean is full of fiber, copper, manganese and isoflavins that will lower your cholesterol, help control body fat and control your insulin

Raw, cooked, dried, and pureed

Take dried chickpeas as a snack or puree them into Hoummus. RAGMAG’s favorite: Make a chickpea and tomato salad with vinaigrette dressing

Almonds

This nut is a great source of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium that help keep your blood sugar stable and your cholesterol in check. It also helps maintain a healthy brain

Raw, dried, blanched and sautéed

Raw green almonds make a great snack during the day. RAGMAG’s favorite: Take blanched almonds, sauté and add to rice

Salmon

This underrated fish contains all of the Omega 3 fatty acids needed to aid in fighting heart disease and control cholesterol. Added benefit? Great for your skin and hair

Raw, smoked, barbequed

Smoked salmon is a great appetizer for any dinner. RAGMAG’s favorite: Salmon sashimi and sushi

Sweet Potatoes

Rich in vitamins A (438%!), C and B6, this tuber is an excellent way to control your starch intake, fight cold and flu viruses and control your sugars

Raw, baked or in a casserole

Cut up sweet potatoes, place on a baking pan and enjoy the result. RAGMAG’s favorite: Sweet Potato Pie

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 73


mind, body + soul

with me e c dan

The Essential Spa takes RAGMAG for a spin FOR MÖVENPICK’S ESSENTIAL SPA REVIEW, I WAS REALLY HOPING THEY WOULDN’T ASSIGN ME A MASSAGE. HOW MANY MASSAGES CAN ONE PERSON WRITE ABOUT? SO WHEN THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND I ENTERED THE HOTEL, WE WEREN’T EXTRA ENTHUSIASTIC. THAT CHANGED IN UNDER 5 MINUTES.

I was quickly asked to fill out the standard disclaimer and paperwork and then introduced to my Therapist Rima Chehab. She looks like the kind of woman used in spa commercials. She is tall, wears a lovely smile, and manages to move as though she is just one instrumental away from leaping into Swan Lake. She offers me a glass of cool infused water, and as they navigate me through the spa, I continue to steal glances at her. Did they bring this woman in for the day? I wonder if she a prop of sorts, a professional musical theatre performer; she really does have that kind of grace. I am made to understand that the massage itself is actually new to Mövenpick and Espa trainers from London, England came to

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Beirut specifically to teach this new massage method to their practitioners. I am a big believer in holistic healing and this new massage technique seems to incorporate basic principles of energy flow and chakras. I am encouraged to change into a robe and slippers and make my way back to the spa where Rima offers me sanctuary. No joke. I was about 12 hours away from a very complicated flight schedule and I would be out of the country and working on RAGMAG remote. 2 words: panic attack. After a short discussion, sensing my stress, she soothingly says, “Don’t worry, you can stay here.” And I think she actually meant it. Had I said, “Rima, I need to mentally regroup. I’m going to


forget everything and just sleep�, she probably would have brought me a blanket and encouraged a rest. She is that calm, and as I found out later, intuitive. She ushers me into one of 5 dim candlelit treatment rooms all named things like Purity and Serenity. The candles flicker to the left and right of me, and Rima sweeps elegantly through the hall. I can hear light instrumentals that sound like the precursor to a grand stage entrance. Snapping out of my reverie and trying not to see Rima as a prima ballerina but rather the LU graduate physiotherapist she is, I listen as she explains that a sensory test is in order to best determine my needs. I am encouraged to smell a number of different scents and indicate the one that I respond to best. I am not

surprised when she tells me I chose the

restorative body oil for my treatment. It

is used for extremely stressed people and even insomniacs. I am impressed that after even one deep inhalation I

am already feeling a bit less edgy. She describes the resistance oil treatment, perfect for colds and how it acts as an immunity booster. The detoxifying oil treatment also sounds promising, but since your senses determine which massage oil will be used on you, just go with the flow. This is quite logical since your body speaks if you listen. Rima waltzes over and adjusts temperature in the room, the blanket, and carefully drizzles the restorative oil along the length of my torso. And then suddenly it begins. She is doing a sort of modern dance and I am the stage surface. It seems her whole body is involved in giving me this massage, and she is moving much like a wave. The strength of the massage is doing a great deal to loosen the hard shoulders and the painful knots through my neck cords. Intuitive, she moves up and down my arms even and spends more time on my wrists and hands, leading one arm at a time, and turning it similar to a ballroom style turn.

PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA

SHE IS DOING A SORT OF MODERN DANCE AND I AM THE STAGE SURFACE.

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mind, body + soul

THE KNEADING MOTION CONTINUES BUT NOW THE WARM STONES ARE BEING USED TO WORK MY FLESH LITERALLY TOP TO BOTTOM.

Then yet another surprise: a smooth bevy of heated volcanic stone is introduced. Hot volcanic rock? “They are Native American,” Rima explains. The kneading motion continues but now the warm stones are being used to work my flesh literally top to bottom. Rima is still doing a modern dance and explains which movements encourage energy flow. All I know is I have never had a massage that feels like I am part of a complicated dance production that gives lovely feelings all over, but makes me do none of the work. “Espa embraced Balinese massage and incorporated their own Dosha,” Rima says softly as she draws almost her entire arm span down my body and back up again. This truly feels like I am part of an artistic movement experience and the air around her practically begins twinkling. I begin to question how Rima’s scientific background meshes with a holistic spiritual one. She explains that all the movements make scientific medical sense, but she only learned to feel energy gradually. She admits to a prior sceptical mindset and is now a firm believer in the energy and chakras that Balinese massage acts on.

Rima’s Top 3 ESPA Products “You’ll feel the difference immediately.” Facial Foaming Cleanser 150 ml Sea algae, yucca extract, vitamin E and honey are just some of the ingredients in this cleanser. Essential Tea Tree Gel 55 ml Essential oils of lemon, tea tree, thyme and evening primrose are all used to balance the skin and decongest. Refining Skin Polish 55 ml Revive a dull skin with this exfoliator that gently clarifies, refines, and renews with one product.

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It’s true we always suggest to the spas that they should book me in for what they consider their speciality… something they have that no one else does. I found out what that was during my visit to Mövenpick’s Essential Spa: the Balinese Massage. A ballerina dancing you with art and grace to the brink of spirituality, a clearer mind and reworked body


THE OUTER LAYER interior design practice & inn innovative architectural material

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 77 6th oor Antelias Commercial Centre Beirut Lebanon t: +9614 521442 m: +96170 339555 www.theouterlayer.net info@theouterlayer.net


mirrormirror

smooth

operator

THE LATEST BUZZ ABOUT

BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES

Hair removal has come a long way since the days when women in Ancient Egypt depilated their bodies with a sticky paste of bees wax to avoid fleas. In ancient Rome, wealthy women removed their body hair with pumice stones and tweezers as having hair down under was considered quite uncivilized. Centuries on, we are still obsessed with removing unwanted fuzz. There are now loads of options, but laser hair removal still seems to be the most permanent one. But many of us are put off by horror stories of women ending up scarred for life. For this very reason, if you decide to take the plunge avoid discount places and get treated only by a trained technician at an established facility.

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LASER HAIR REMOVAL

There are several types of laser for hair removal. The latest laser treatment to hit the clinics is the LightSheer Duet recommended to those seeking a fast and comfortable treatment with low risk and high value, according to Dr. Amal Rachkidi. Dr. Rachkidi is the corporate medical director for the Silkor medical center, the first to bring this treatment machine to the Middle East.

“I RECOMMEND THE LIGHTSHEER DUET TO MY PATIENTS BECAUSE IT’S FAST, IT’S VIRTUALLY PAIN-FREE, AND IT’S PERMANENT. THE REALLY GREAT PART IS THAT IT IS FAST AND EFFICIENT.”

Laser treatment seems to work best on people with fair skin and dark hair, but these days there are options for everyone. So how does it work? Laser hair removal is done with equipment


just feel a slight stinging, while others suffer real hurt during laser. Do you have to suffer to be beautiful? Apply topical anesthetic before the treatment to help alleviate pain. Some centers also use a double-cooling system, which is said to minimize discomfort. One question still remains: is laser safe? “Of course it is safe. Our technologies have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the US ministry of health and are supervised by trained board certified doctors,” says Dr. Rashkidi. She recommends a specific aftercare regime according to skin type, to protect skin from sun exposure during this period even though burns and swellings are rare. So get smooth!

THE NUMBER OF SESSIONS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE THESE RESULTS VARY FROM PERSON TO PERSON DEPENDING ON MANY FACTORS SUCH AS AGE, SKIN TYPE, HAIR COLOR, HAIR TEXTURE AND HORMONAL BALANCE

PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA

that emits laser beams; the pigment in the hair follicle absorbs the laser light and converts light to heat. Laser doesn’t make the hair fall out on the spot. The heat damages the follicle and it impairs the capacity of hair to grow, causing it to eventually fall out. Some people are lucky and their first laser hair removal session permanently removes all unwanted hair, but, it is more likely that a number of sessions are needed. The number of sessions needed to achieve these results vary from person to person depending on many factors such as age, skin type, hair color, hair texture and hormonal balance. And the dreaded pain? Some people

3.2 MILLION TREATMENTS LATER… Bright spotlights, a red carpet, frown free beauties, pink champagne, an outdoor dance show, and even a Russian bear were there for the inauguration of Silkor Holding’s new corporate headquarters at Saifi Village, Beirut, Lebanon, last month. Since the opening of its first branch in the Abraj Center in Furn el Chebbak, Lebanon in 1997, Silkor has come a long way. It is considered to be the MENA region’s leading chain of laser hair removal, laser medicoaesthetic and skin treatment services. Silkor centers have performed the highest

number of treatments in the Middle East, a record 3.2 million and the brand name has become synonymous with laser hair removal.“ I have overheard ladies saying – we are going to do Silkor! ” says Lara Darakjian, executive director, board member, Silkor Holding. There is no stopping this dynamic lady and her team. With just 2 employees in 1997 to 250 in 2010, there are now seven centers all over Lebanon, as well as several Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, KSA, Greece and Cyprus.

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mirrormirror

kiss

french HOW TO GET PERFECT RED LIPS

BY LESLIE IDDISON

NOTHING GETS ATTENTION OR SEDUCES THE SENSES QUITE LIKE A PERFECT PAIR OF RED LIPS. THE COLOUR RED DEMANDS AN IMMEDIATE REACTION AND HAS SOME VERY CONTRADICTORY ASSOCIATIONS; IT MEANS “STOP!” WHEN ON STREET SIGNS BUT “GO!” WHEN ON YOUR MOUTH. IT CAN STAND FOR ROMANCE AND PASSION OR DANGER AND POISON. RAGMAG SHOWS YOU HOW TO GET ALL RED, RED WINE! THE BEST LIP PRODUCTS (AND MAYBE EVEN THE BEST KISSERS) ALL COME FROM LA BELLE FRANCE. RAGMAG SUGGESTS IF YOU CAN’T FIND ALL THESE PRODUCTS IN LEBANON, HIT UP YOUR NEAREST DUTY FREE!

CREATING THE PERFECT ROUGE BOUCHE!

1. Prep your Pout!

A gentle exfoliation of your lips and lip contour will ensure silky smooth smooches and prevents peeling, dead skin from ruining your lipstick application. Massage a small amount of a gentle exfoliator all over your lips and around the edge of your mouth. Rinse well. WE LIKE Clarins Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Gentle Exfoliator

2. Moisturize Mama!

Dab on a hydrating lip balm to keep your lips looking soft and supple. Lip colour adheres better to a moist mouth. Use something emollient, with a non-greasy texture. WE LIKE Roc Enydrial Lip Balm

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3. Prime Time!

4. Walk the Line!

WE LOVE Guerlain Lip Lift!

WE LIKE Lancôme Le Lipstique Pencil in Rougelle Le Lipstique Pencil in Spiced Apple

A good lip primer is an essential step to ensure your colour stays put. It will also dramatically improve the wear of your lipstick, eliminating the need for touch-ups. Apply a thin layer of the primer all over the surface of your lip and above the lip line to prevent the lipstick from bleeding into the tiny cracks around the mouth.

RAGMAG doesn’t follow a lot of “beauty rules”. That being said, we are firm believers in using a lip pencil when you wear red lipstick. Choose a soft pencil that glides on smoothly. Now is the time to make sure the shape of your mouth is perfect before applying your lip colour. This step will further prevent your lipstick from bleeding.

INDUSTRY INSIDER TIP

Guerlain LipLift is a red-lip must have. As an added benefit this lip primer also slightly increases the volume of your lips!

5. Paint the town RED!

Experiment with different shades and textures to find your perfect red lipstick. There really are no rules here; if you feel great in it, you’ll look great in it.

Be confident in your colour...otherwise it will look like your lipstick is wearing you! Applying your lipstick with a lip brush ensures a more precise application.

SOME OF THIS SEASON’S BEST PICKS Christian Dior, Serum de Rouge #850 Rouge Serum Lancôme Colour Design Matte Red Haute Guerlain, Rouge G de Guerlain #22 Greta comes in its own mirrored compact...C’est Magnifique!

TIPS

• Red lipstick on a gentleman’s collar? Sexy. Red lipstick smeared all over your teeth? Tacky. Be sure to double check the mirror. • In a hurry and don’t have time for this labour of love? Get Glossy! A sheer red gloss will give you a similar effect without the fuss. WE LIKE Christian Dior Dior Addict Ultra Gloss #856 Little Red Dress

RAGged RED Facts • Just seeing the colour red can make ones heart rate increase. • 50% of men will be intimidated by a woman wearing red lipstick. What about the other 50%?

• Light red shades are often associated with passion, lust and romance. Dark red shades may be associated with strength, willpower or malice. RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 81


mirrormirror

put your hands GET RUNWAY NAILS WITH RAGMAG

up

BY LESLIE IDDISON GET YOUR MANI READY FOR FALL WITH THIS SEASON’S HOTTEST HUES. NAILS ON THE FALL RUNWAYS RANGED FROM NUDE AND NEUTRAL TO EDGY AND INDUSTRIAL. CHECK OUT RAGMAG’S FAVOURITE SHADES AND DECIDE WHETHER YOU WANT TO SPLURGE ON OUR MOST LUXURIOUS LACQUERS OR SAVE AND GET THE LOOK FOR A WHOLE LOT LESS... EITHER WAY, YOUR TRENDY TIPS WILL BE THE TALK OF THE TOWN!

Nearly Naked

Eye Poppin’ Purples

WE SPLURGE ON Waking Up in Vegas by Deborah Lippmann Collection (available in UAE) Described as “the perfect putty-licious grey” this ultra versatile, barely-there shade will no doubt be your go-to colour this fall. We recommend filing your nails to a soft oval shape and layering on a couple coats of this luscious lacquer.

WE SPLURGE ON Paradoxal by Chanel The already die-hard Chanel addicts are hitting the beauty counters in search of this perfect purplish-grey. It’s the sophisticated side of purple; ideal for an evening out or lunch with your girlfriends...and they’ll all be asking “What is that shade?”

WE SAVE ON Cafe Au Lait Sally Hansen Complete Salon Enamel Barely-there but on a budget. This creamy nude shade is the perfect complement to anything in your wardrobe...or even if you’re going au naturel!

WE SAVE ON Velvet Voyeur by Essie This deep, dark purple is a fall staple. Scoop up this steal from Essie’s fall collection, if you can still get your hands on it. We recommend filing your nails to a soft-square shape to sport this gorgeous grape.

Midnight Metallics WE SPLURGE ON Black Sequins by Christian Dior This rich black with silver glitter is like haute couture for your nails! Wear this glam shade on short, square nails for a edgy rockinspired look. To-die-for on your toes too! WE SAVE ON My Private Jet by OPI Probably the most affordable private jet you’ll ever own! This is an industrial charcoal with some silver shimmer for added drama. Work it with your favourite little black dress or the skinniest jeans you have.

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Our Manicure MUST-HAVE

Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Top Coat No more waiting for your nails to dry while you’ve got things to do! When they say instant they really mean it. You can almost feel your polish hardening! Apply this top coat every other day to keep your manicure shiny and fresh and to prevent chipping and cracking. You’ll thank us for this one!


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 83


emperor’s new clothes

LIKE

CLOCKWORK BY GINA GABRIEL EL FADY

RAGMAG MET WITH GINETTE BOUZEID, THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF PERFECT TIMING, TO GET TO KNOW WHAT MAKES SMALTO WATCHES TICK.

LEFT TO RIGHT: SMALTO ANDREA LEATHER WATCH, SMALTO MONACO EVENT, GIZELLE BOUZEID, GENERAL MANAGER OF PERFECT TIMING

Francesco Smalto’s pieces are known for his “CREATIVE AUDACITY, INNOVATION AND MODERNITY” Perfect Timing was founded in 1946 as a family business, with an interest to sell watches and their spare parts. Years later with a lot of hard work, it has matured to house different brands of luxury watches, amongst which are the Esprit, Police, Lotus, Puma, Zeades and finally Smalto Timepieces, the latest addition to their family. Francesco Smalto’s pieces are known

for his “creative audacity, innovation and modernity”. His partnership with the Frank Muller Group led to the “new fashion watch venture”. The Frank Muller Group, leaders in Swiss Haute Horlogerie, designers and manufactures of high-end and extravagant timepieces recognized that whilst very expensive brands are still in demand, there was an obvious increasing demand of luxury designer fashion watches at competitive prices. This need was addressed in February 2010 when the Frank Muller group,

84 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

a leader in the world of Swiss Haute Horlogerie and Francesco Smalto, a leader in the world of fashion joined, together in the creation of Smalto Watches. In July 2010, a select group of distribution partners from all over the world previewed the first Smalto Timepieces collection in Geneva. In November 2010, 16 product lines and 150 models, including bold and sophisticated men’s styles and glamorous ladies watches – featuring Swiss Made movements with the flair and lifestyle that characterizes the Smalto brand, will be available for sale in fashion hubs worldwide including Lebanon. The collection debuts at competitive and affordable prices, ranging from USD 250 to USD 500. Ginette Bouzeid, General Manager of

Perfect Timing, discussed Smalto’s niche in the Lebanese Market: “Lebanon is a small country, with a limited number of people. One cannot deny that there

are a lot of brands and competition is very high, however we know that Smalto will find its customers. Smalto is a brand that is already going into the market strong and manufactured by the Frank Muller Group, a name that shows reliability. They have worked on every detail to give their customers a more than perfect product. A luxury watch at a competitive price, with the full and complete package from beginning to end that is fit to be compared with its competitors. Everything has been worked on to perfection from the price, the packaging, the display, the box, the bag, the attention to detail, the leather straps, the designed buckle and of course the engraved stainless steel case with the Smalto signature ‘S’. The perfection and completion given to Smalto Timepieces by the designer’s personal taste only add to the value of the watch.” So what are you waiting for? Get ticking, Smalto style.


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 85


emperor’s new clothes

sequins

of time Viken earns his stripes for his authenticity and classic, timeless glamour BY MAHA MAJZOUB

There are many things that ruffle Viken’s feathers these days. That many Lebanese designers copy one another and emulate Western brands is one. Middle Eastern women’s monochrome style and fear of finding their distinct fashion sense is another. Born Viken Seikeldjian, the designer has established a name synonymous with cuttingedge sophistication, simplicity, and timelessness since he catapulted into the fashion scene a decade ago. Viken’s flame for flying planes and becoming a pilot by vocation burned strong while growing up. However, his family background in the world of arts and design landed him in the haute couture lane. A fashion designer by day and an architect by night, Viken is not into the flamboyant shows particularly that his clients like his collections to remain under wraps – hence he shies away from sharing visuals of his latest collections with the press. Do not mistake him for a recluse or an eccentric just because he likes the party to stay private. Viken keeps abreast of trends. That is why his Fall-Winter 2010 collection includes a lineup of short

86 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

dresses but with a twist – such as a poofy mustard yellow trench-coat dress with a black ribbon or a black and green Charleston flapper dress. In his charming atelier and showroom in Saifi, RAGMAG discusses the pastel-pretty moments of being a fashion designer in the Middle East and the darker side of the story. What was it that made you feel you made it?

I never say that, because I always feel the need to reach new heights in fashion and design. Designers are never satisfied with what they have. But is there something that made you realize you’re special somehow?

Honestly, it is seeing the difference between me and others, and my clients’ remarks and criticism. I also don’t want to be commercial. In general, designers here follow the same style and similar ideas. Somehow very difficult and choosy clients end up picking me. And what is it like working with women?

It is very difficult, especially the women I work with. They are used to wearing French designers and top brands. I’m talking extremely sophisticated women who know fashion.


‘Most women here don’t have their own personality. Luckily, we’re sensing a change in the new generation.’ And that’s the woman you have in mind when you sit down to design?

Yes. There is no age bracket for the woman I design for. Fifty to sixty-yearolds are fairly easy because they are usually quite classic. It is difficult to dress those 25-40 years of age in haute couture with a touch of modernity because you’re giving her a look, not just selling her a dress. I have to work with a woman to develop the look that would transform her. I like to see her attitude change when she wears my dress. Shoe designer Sergio Rossi once said about his passion for designing heels that he loved seeing the attitude change in his mom and aunt when they wore heels. Your clothes are avant-garde and edgy in a way to appeal to a worldwide audience. Do you design for Middle Eastern women?

Yes, my clients are Middle Eastern as well as European. It is not easy for the Lebanese to wear some of my dresses because everybody looks the same here. In Lebanon and the Middle East, women are complete carbon copies. When a star like Haifa Wehbe styles herself in a certain way, everybody follows suit. Most women here don’t have their own personality. Luckily, we’re sensing a change in the new generation. So what is it like working in the Middle East and with Middle Eastern women?

You can acquire a great deal of experience working here. Women in this part of the world are very elegant and love haute couture. But they lack the confidence to find their own style. They always want to look safe. My clients like to take some risks and like to see me take risks. So how would you define your style?

It’s contemporary. After 10 years, I can

see my dress and love it and I can see my clients wear it, hence my successful vintage collection. I’m also very creative but very realistic. I don’t do anything non-wearable. What about your latest collection?

I have a big collection of short dresses this season – very young, very couture, and at the same time very simple, which is a challenge. It is easy to pile up on the sequins and embroidery and fabric, whereas doing something simple with a nice, clean cut, herein lies the challenge. Speaking of challenges, what are the difficulties of this business?

In general, being a designer and having your own showroom is not very easy. We have huge responsibilities. In Lebanon, there is no support. We should have a syndicate. The existing syndicate is passive. Everyone, including a simple tailor, can claim to be a designer. We don’t have a real reference. To be a fashion designer, there are set criteria of quality, standards, background, and creativity. The business is also are very commercial here. Everybody copies. When my design is copied, that means I’m successful in a way. But being inspired by a design is one thing, whereas doing an exact replica of it is quite another. And here you can’t take someone to court for stealing your designs. I suppose you’re not inspired by Lebanese designers then?

Lebanese designers copy European designers and don’t have their own style, vision, or the confidence to produce their own. I respect every designer in Europe or the West even beginners because they do their own thing. I wanted to apply this here but it is very difficult. I always try.

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‘It is ok to copy sometimes but as long as it is in your own way.’ It is ok to copy sometimes but as long as it is in your own way. Sometimes we copy unconsciously. Of course you should see what others are doing and be inspired. I look at everybody while preserving my own voice and style. What’s a standard collection like?

I don’t do big collections because my clients are selective and don’t like their dresses to be shown so they don’t choose from the dresses displayed to the public. They always want something very special for them. Now you understand why we’re very secretive. You’ve worked with lace, taffeta, chiffon, silk, everything… Do you have a favorite textile?

I don’t really have a favorite. It is about my mood. Sometimes I work with very cheap textiles and at others with expensive textile. It doesn’t matter whether it is silk or not. What matters is how you work with it. So will you work with shoes, as it is the big thing now?

No. I don’t like making shoes. We lack the proper finishing here, as making shoes is a very delicate, detailed business. What can you reveal about your upcoming plans?

I am now concentrating on furniture design and architecture, and working on a new architecture showroom. I think I will do my first exhibition in Paris. As for fashion, we’re working hard on our prêt-a-porter, which is doing very well. Our demi-couture collection is our version of prêt-a-porter, which is readyto-wear that we work on in couture style. For instance, I do my own prints with only one textile and add a touch of detail, making it very stylish and simple but there is something happening. Eventually, I hope to work abroad. It is very difficult to take the decision to make the move though. I like somewhere I can walk and take energy from people. Here, there is only energy in terms of nightlife, but not as far as creativity is concerned www.vikencouture.com 88 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010


RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 89


emperor’s new clothes

Keep it in the family THE MUKHI SISTERS MAKE JEWELRY A FAMILY AFFAIR BY STEPHANIE AOUN

Born in a world of dazzle and sparkle, Maya, Meena and Zeenat have grown up to intimately understand jewelry. With both parents being jewelers, a father hailing from India and a mother from Lebanon, the sisters have grown up in a household immersed in all that is jewelry, playing a central part in their future designs. Their mother is Effat Kreidie, the owner of renowned Effy’s Jewelry, and their father’s family, Mukhi, has been in the jewelry business since 1875. As children, while their friends were playing in parks, the Mukhi sisters were playing in diamond and jewelry exhibitions. With such a rich heritage, the sisters came together as the Mukhi Sisters brand in 2009. The Mukhi sisters create designs for women, men and babies.

Basically, there’s something for just about anybody. Most of the jewelry is casual, evolving with time to reflect the world we live in. Made out of gold, diamonds, semi-precious stones, the simple designs all have the Mukhi touch, rendering them memorable and giving them a personality of their own. “We pay a lot of attention to what our clients like and prefer when it comes to jewelry, it can be a style or setting.” The pros and cons of working together as sisters? “There is an obvious synergy between the Mukhi sisters. There are many advantages when working with sisters, like an endless list of advantages. The biggest challenge is to keep this bond and not let the materialistic part break this bond.”

MUKHI SISTERS ON Loving Thy Fans: “We love the fact that

we’re sharing people’s lives. There was this one couple who started off as boyfriend-girlfriend and the guy used to get presents from us. When they got married, we designed custom-made wedding rings for them.” Custom Creations:

“Our women love simple feminine jewelry and we aim to design the perfect thing for them. We want to provide them with THE piece they’ve been looking for. But the part that we love most is designing something totally us, totally reflecting our state of mind or whatever we’re crushing on at the moment. And when we see people choosing and wearing it, that makes us very happy.”

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emperor’s new clothes

FADE TO

BLACK FALL | WINTER 2010 AD CAMPAIGNS

WITH THE OVER-PREVALENCE OF PHOTO MANIPULATION, HIGH FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE AGAIN RETURNING TO BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY. AS SHOWN IN OUR SEPTEMBER ISSUE (GENIUS UNVEILED), AN INCREASING NUMBER OF MAJOR FASHION HOUSES ARE OPTING FOR COLORLESS AD CAMPAIGNS THIS WINTER TO SHOWCASE HIGH FASHION DESIGNS AND TIMELESS, DRAMATIC MODEL MOMENTS

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: HUDSON JEANS, GUESS, YVES SAINT LAURENT.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: BOTTEGA VENETA, PRADA, ALBERTA FERRETI, MAX MARA, ISABEL MARANT.

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mix’n

match

29.000 LBP NOAH TOP GS 115.000 LBP LEATHER JACKET GS

DIMENSIONS OF TEXTURE

85.000 LBP JEEPERS BEEPERS SUNGLASSES CREAM

165.000 LBP FOX STOLE T-SHIRT BIRDCAGE

67.000 LBP BRACELET BIRDCAGE

CHANDRA BAG BULGARI price upon request

657.000 LBP SANDRA J HANDBAG CREAM

180.000 LBP VELVET PANTS BIRDCAGE

130.000 LBP MAVI JEANS GS

99.000 LBP ANKLE BOOTS GS

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THIGH HIGH BOOTS LOEWE price upon request


emperor’s new clothes

LIMITED EDITION SUNGLASSES BULGARI price upon request

402.000 LBP JACKET BIRDCAGE

348.000 LBP LACE SHIRT BIRDCAGE

29.000 LBP NOAH RED T-SHIRT GS

400.000 LBP GEOX THIGH HIGH BOOTS GS

627.000 LBP KAYDEE HANDBAG CREAM

348.000 LBP LACE SHORTS BIRDCAGE

99.000 LBP BEST MOUNTAIN PANTS GS 247.000 LBP CLUTCH CREAM

280.000 LBP TAMARA JOY SHOES CREAM

GS ABC Ashrafieh, Dbayeh Victoria Center, Hamra Makdissi Street, Verdun Dunes Center, Chiyah Galaxy Mall BIRDCAGE Saifi Village CREAM Saifi Village BULGARI Beirut Souks MIX’N MATCH STYLED BY JONY MATTA | NOVEMBER 2010 RAGMAG

95


ANOTHER URBAN DIMENSION PHOTOGRAPHER ODETTE KAHWAGI

STYLIST JONY MATTA ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHER ALEXANDRA KAHWAGI MAKEUP MADONA CHIDIAC HAIR STYLIST ZAKHIA DAOU, SALON ROGER GABRIEL MODELS LIPS AGENCY 3D EFFECTS CHRISTIAN HARB

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MORGAN DRESS, GS, 145.000 LBP MORGAN LEGGING, GS, 45.000 LBP GEOX BOOTS, GS, 399.000 LBP GS BAG, 79.000 LBP

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ZARA GREY FUR, 189.000 LBP ZARA LACE DRESS, 169.000 LBP ZARA ANKLE BOOTS, 189.000 LBP

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ZARA DRESS, 129.000 LBP ZARA STILETTOS, 129.000 LBP ZARA HANDBAG, 160.000 LBP H&M SHOES, 99.000 LBP ZARA SHIRT, 39.000 LBP ZARA JEANS, 99.000 LBP ZARA JACKET, 220.000 LBP

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MASSIMO DUTTI VEST, 175.000 LBP MASSIMO DUTTI FLORAL SHIRT, 135.000 LBP MASSIMO DUTTI PANTS,125.000 LBP ZARA ANKLE BOOTS, 139.000 LBP

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H&M JACKET, 199.000 LBP H&M SWEATER, 99.000 LBP H&M JEANS, 269.000 LBP H&M SNEAKERS, 67.000 LBP

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H&M COAT, 300.000 LBP GEOX BOOTS, GS, 399.000 LBP

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MANGO CAPE, 159.000 LBP ZARA PANTS, 139.000 LBP

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ZARA BLAZER, 199.000L LBP MANGO WHITE SHIRT, 59.000 LBP ZARA PANTS, 139.000 LBP ZARA TIE, 49.000 LBP ZARA PANTS (MAN), 199.000 LBP ZARA SHIRT (MAN), 49.000 LBP H&M HAT, 55.000 LBP MASSIMO DUTTI COAT, 425.000 LBP

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H&M DRESS, 69.000 LBP H&M TIGHTS, 39.000 LBP H&M GLOVES, 69.000 LBP H&M HAT, 59.000 LBP GEOX BOOTS, GS, 399.000 LBP LEATHER LEGGING, 49.000 LBP H&M LACE TOP, 85.000 LBP

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GS SHIRT, 55.000 LBP GS HANDBAG, 89.000 LBP GS PANTS, 79.000 LBP

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MANGO PANTS, 99.000 LBP MANGO TOP, 95.000 LBP MANGO STILETTOS, 119.000 LBP H&M DRESS, 129.000 LBP H&M SCARF, 39.000 LBP ZARA PUMPS, 125.000 LBP

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MASSIMO DUTTI PANTS, 125.000LL MASSIMO DUTTI V NECK 115.000LL MASSIMO DUTTI SCARF 69.000LL MANGO STILETTOS, 119.000 LBP MANGO PANTS, 99.000 LBP MANGO TOP, 95.000 LBP

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emperor’s new clothes

theRUN DOWN

WHO’S WHO IN SNEAKERS BY STEPHANIE AOUN

YOU ALL KNOW THEM AND CAN DRAW THEIR LOGOS FROM MEMORY. YOU KNOW THEIR TAGLINES AND YOU WEAR THEIR STUFF. SO WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE 5 BIGGEST SPORT SHOE COMPANIES IN THE WORLD? READ ON FOR EVERYTHING FROM SUPERSTARS TO SUPER FEUDS IN THE WORLD OF SHOES.

01. ADIDAS NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE With so many yearly special editions and new releases this brand has come a long way in the footwear industry. It all began in 1920, when Adolf “Adi” Dassler, creator of this brand, made his first pair of shoes using the few materials available after the WWI. Today, the Adidas product range extends from footwear and apparel to accessories for all kinds of different sports. The key priorities are: running, football, basketball and training. Hip hop group Run-DMC recorded the song “My Adidas” for the album 1986 album “Raising Hell”. Lyrics include, “Now the Adidas I possess for one man is rare, myself, homeboy, got 50 pair.”

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02. NIKE JUST DO IT The company was founded in January 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. in 1978. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. The year 1984 saw the signing of basketball megastar Michael Jordan to an endorsement contract, followed by the 1985 release of his signature shoe, the Air Jordan. From then on athletes such as Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant began signing with Nike and the label continued growing and expanding into other areas. Soon the label was unstoppable with the powerhouse endorsement to prove it.

03. PUMA Little known fact for all you sneaker afficandos: Rudolf Dassler, brother of Adi Dassler, is the creator of Puma. After a feud between the two in 1948, Rudolf split from his brother’s company Adidas. He soon created his own firm and this was the birth of Puma. The town was split into a sort of mini Berlin. Brand loyalty became paramount for many residents, and there were stores, bakers and bars which were unofficially known as either loyal to Rudolf’s Puma, or to Adolf’s Adidas. The two brothers never reconciled, and although both are buried in the same cemetery, they were buried as far as possible from one another.

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02. CONVERSE IT’S CONVERSE FOR COMFORT The Converse Rubber Corporation was set up in 1908, a time when basketball was well on its way to becoming one of the most popular sports in America. Of course Converse immediately put itself to designing a shoe people could also wear when playing basketball. Despite all the research that went into the shoe it did not become really popular until 1921. A young man walked into the Converse Chicago sales offices one day complaining of sore feet. He begged and persuaded the Marquis Converse, the founder of the company, to design a shoe especially for basketball. This young man was Charles Chuck H. Taylor, player of Akron Firestones. He was so convinced of the Converse shoes that he joined the sales force and propagated them and the basketball game itself

03. VANS OFF THE WALL Vans is a unique brand that offers different designs of shoes. This sneaker is mostly popular among people involved in board culture such as skateboarders, snowboarders and the like. But, you don’t necessarily have to be a skater to enjoy these shoes. On March 16, 1966 at 704 E. Broadway in Anaheim, California, Paul Van Doren and three partners opened up their first store. The Van Doren Rubber Company was unique in that it manufactured shoes and sold them directly to the public. On that first morning, 12 customers purchased Vans deck shoes, which are now known as Authentic. The shoes which were made that day were ready for pick-up in the afternoon. The company continued to grow into the international label is it today.

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CHECK BY BRYAN BORZYKOWSKI

KINGS OF LEON Come Around Sundown

I’ve never quite understood what people see in the Kings of Leon. I get that they’re handsome young dudes from Nashville and that may be why some fans keep buying their discs, but they haven’t put out a decent record in years. At one time the group were gritty rockers, pumping out tunes that sounded like Led Zeppelin meets the Strokes. Those tracks, namely the ones on Aha Shake Heartbreak, were actually pretty decent. So it’s been frustrating to hear the group take a turn towards sappy pop in recent years. So far their most popular disc has been the anthemic, arena-friendly Only By The Night. And it’s too bad — the group has decided to copy that formula on their latest, and unfortunately worst record, Come Around Sundown. The disc is, to simply put it, boring. The songs are slow and sluggish, the riffs are bland and average and the group comes across as a sort of Coldplay-lite. It’s hard to believe these are the same guys who wrote Pistol on Fire. It’s difficult to pick one song that I like, but if I have to it’s Radioactive, the second tune on the record. The track starts off slow, but builds to a soaring and mildly infectious chorus with some decent harmonies. There are some other interesting moments — the poppy Beach Side is at least

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upbeat, and the Immortals has the most infectious opening riff of the record. But for the most part all the songs sound the same. Pyro’s snail’s-pace opening and sleepy chorus isn’t much different than Back Down South’s dreamy verses and repetitive refrain. This record feels like it was written by a band that’s become too comfortable in its own skin. The group needs to experience some failure or have some wild epiphany that shocks their system or we’ll keep getting phoned in material like this.


see, speak, + hear no evil

SUGARLAND

STEVEN PAGE

This Atlanta, Georgia-based country duo hit it big in 2004 with the multi-million dollar seller Twice the Speed of Life, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good. Their latest disc is an over-the-top pop record with obnoxious faux-reggae breakdowns and nauseating saccharine tunes. Stay far away from the song Stuck Like Glue.

It wasn’t a sure bet that Steven Page would have a career postBarenaked Ladies — he left the band last year — but his new solo album should prove any doubters wrong. The disc is full of fun BNLlike pop tunes about, says Page, love loss and new beginnings.

The Incredible Machine

Page One

LIL WAYNE

JASON MRAZ

It’s important to know that Lil Wayne did not write this record in prison, where he’s currently in solitary confinement. The songs are, apparently, from what was supposed to be The Carter IV; instead they’ve been released on this in-between disc. The disc has some bright spots, like opener Gonorrhoea featuring Drake, but in the end you can tell these tunes weren’t quite ready for release.

Blues singer Jason Mraz may have hit it big with 2005’s Mr. A-Z, but it’s his life show that’s always been the best part of his act. Fans will get to hear what it’s like when the Virgina-based guitarist runs through his smooth jazz and R&B influenced tracks in front of a live audience. The record is short, just five songs, but it’s good holdover until he releases his next record.

Life is Good

I Am Not A Human Being

SEAL

Commitment

It’s been four years since Seal, perhaps better known as Heidi Klum’s husband these days, releases a disc of original music. Not much has changed — he’s still singing airy soft rock tunes and focused adult contemporary pop. It’s not too exciting for newcomers, but old fans will eat this up.

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see, speak, +hear no evil

and

Ice Cold

Tess Gerritsen

weep read’em BY AMAL CHAABAN

Why you should read this book

Sometimes your winter can be spent in a dead heat

Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are back in this latest thriller by author Tess Gerritsen. The author takes us on a trip into backwoods Wyoming and the world of crazy cults. Ice Cold opens with Maura going to a convention for Coroners around the country. While there, she meets up with an old friend from college and makes a risky decision. The book starts out slow in the first few chapters lulling the reader into a sense of complacency

and then takes them on a warp speed trip. While Jane is out on a case, she gets a call from Maura’s erstwhile lover who advises her that he hasn’t heard from Maura. As the early chapters progress, the scenes flip back and forth between Jane and the now presumed missing or dead Maura. Set in the coldest season of the year during a snowstorm so real it makes you want a blanket, this book is red hot.

Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins

Why you should read this book

The end does not always justify the means

The conclusion to Suzanne Collin’s excellent series The Hunger Games ends not with a bang, but with a whisper that speaks volumes. The opening of Mockingjay finds Katniss Everdeen in a hospital bed in District 13, the rogue district that once fought the Capitol. As we are introduced to District 13 and its inhabitants, everything seems so gray. The drab district runs on schedules so tight, it would make a Swiss watchmaker weep with joy.

District 13’s President Coin (also the leader of the rebels) is a mirror image of the Capitol’s President Snow so much so that we aren’t sure at times just who the enemy is. Thrown back into battle, this time not just for their lives but for freedom from the Capitol, Katniss, Peeta, and Gale take a motley crew of soldiers along for the ride. When the end of the war finally comes, it is with grim satisfaction that the reader thinks “...and may the odds be EVER in your favour”.

Spoken From the Heart

Laura Bush

Why you should read this book

The Ladies of the East Wing are far more interesting than the men of the West Wing

To read Spoken from the Heart, one should try to set aside politics and read the book as you would any other. Laura Bush gives a fantastic insider’s view of life on the election trail and inside the White House. From her early days in Midland, Texas to her current home at the ranch in Crawford, Mrs. Bush weaves a tale that is engaging, heart warming and heartbreaking. She speaks kindly and fondly of her youth and time as a teacher in what were then called “minority” schools. Moving through the years quickly but with ample detail, she describes the horrors of watching 9-11 and Katrina unfold so

eloquently and articulately that the reader can almost see the events unfold. Very little of this memoir is devoted to renewing or defending George W. Bush’s time in office; it is all about giving the perspective from the inside. The best moments in the book come when she is speaking passionately about the many causes she spearheaded or supported that went largely unreported in the mainstream media. Spoken from the Heart is written with the grace and warmth that are acknowledged by many as hallmarks of Laura Bush’s personality.

The Lady in the Tower

Alison Weir

Why you should read this book

Political conspiracy has been around longer than political stability

Queen Anne Boleyn is one of the most recognizable women in history and almost guaranteed to arouse either a passionate loyalty or passionate hate (full disclosure: this writer falls in the passionate loyalty faction). Much reviled and maligned, the mystery surrounding the arrangement of her downfall remains. Historian Alison Weir (not to be confused with fiction author Alison Weir) investigates a long standing mystery from the Tudor era; the origins and author of a letter to King Henry VIII signed only “The Lady in Tower” asking for clemency. Weir centres the entire book around the time that King

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Henry decided he needed to be rid of Queen Anne Boleyn and had set his sights on Jane Seymour. However, unlike the many fictional novels out there, she does not focus on Henry himself, but on Cromwell, the Queen’s numerous enemies and their role in her downfall. Moving swiftly through the months before and after Queen Anne’s trial, Weir investigates not only who could have written the letter, but also how a state-sanctioned murder of royalty took place. Weir’s thorough findings make one long to go back in time and declare off with Cromwell’s head.


see, speak, +hear no evil

watchout BY DEREK MALCOLM

Release dates based on amazon.co.uk

Inception | DVD & Blu-ray

| 148 mins Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page Release Date: December 6 If you thought director Christopher Nolan’s memorytwisted 2000 cult masterpiece Memento was a mindbender, then hold on, Alice, cause this rabbit hole’s twice as deep. That’s not surprising considering Nolan spent 10 years on the screenplay for the film, which follows the real or not real (you decide) journey of Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his Ocean’s Elevenlike band of dream invaders: Arthur (Joseph GordonLevitt), Cobb’s longtime partner; Eames (Tom Hardy), a master of deception; Aridane (Ellen Page), a young architect gifted at creating environments; and Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a genius chemist who makes the potions

that help the team infiltrate deep within the mind. But whose mind and for what purpose? While Cobb’s usual gig is stealing ideas from the dreams of his subjects, this time him and the team are hired by a businessman named Saito (Ken Watanabe) to plant an idea deep into the subconscious of his main competitor, a billion-dollar heir called Fisher (Cillian Murphy). The idea? Surrender the company. Problem is, Fisher’s trained to defend when his subconscious is being hijacked so Cobb’s team must create the perfect dream within a dream within a dream, which, given Cobb’s own dark secrets, makes for a film you’ll want to watch over and over.

Sex and the City 2 | DVD & Blu-ray | 146 mins Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis Release Date: November 29 Let’s face it: Sex and the City should have shelved the Manolo Blahniks for good when the original HBO series ended in 2004. Granted, its jump to the big screen in 2008 was a surprise hit, but this time out it’s as flat as a pair of Keds. In this less-than-anticipated sequel, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), all feeling the sting of settling down, leave The Big Apple for some adventure and a (drastic) change of scenery in exotic Abu Dhabi. Like four very stylish fish out if water, the Middle East (Morocco

standing in for the U.A.E. city) culture shock presents many opportunities for humour (Samantha riding a camel!) and several awkward culture clashes for the sexy foursome (cleavage, cleavage, cleavage!). Throughout their adventure our appletinidrinking heroines (now encroaching on Desperate Housewives territory) learn to appreciate their city lives, families and husbands. However, if you find yourself longing for the fabulous foursome of the series’ days, just skip back to the film’s opening scene, featuring a larger-than-life wedding celebration for the ladies’ favorite gay pals Stanford and Anthony, complete with a rousing performance by gay icon Liza Minnelli.

Twilight Saga: Eclipse | DVD & Blu-ray | 124 mins Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

Release Date: December 6

Team Edward or Team Jacob? Haven’t taken sides yet? Might we suggest flipping a coin. Eclipse, the third film of the Twilight Saga, continues to explore the solemn plight of teenage-human-vampirewerewolf romance. Lovelorn Bella (Kristen Stewart at her broodiest yet) finds herself torn between the affections of her vampire love Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and the almost always-shirtless werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). When they’re not frolicking in fields of flowers, however, it seems they’re always ramping up for epic supernatural battles. And it’s a good thing, too, as revenge-driven flame-haired vampire Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard)

is going around Seattle putting together an army of powerful ‘newborn’ vamps hell bent on hunting down Bella. The situation forces an alliance between Jacob’s werewolves and Edward’s vampire clan to work together to defeat the bloodthirsty newbie’s and protect their human love. Meanwhile, Bella seriously contemplates her future, post-graduation of course, and explores the boundaries of her own human limits. Eclipse is directed by British filmmaker David Slade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy) and delivers slightly more bite than its predecessor. Special features include audio Commentary by Pattinson and Stewart, deleted and extended scenes a making-of doc and music videos.

Salt | DVD & Blu-ray | 100 mins Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor Release Date: December 13 Move over Jason Bourne, Angie’s in town. In this gritty spy thriller, Angelina Jolie vastly improves her standings in the race towards becoming America’s Best Top Action Hero by kicking some serious Russianoperative ass and successfully dodging the CIA, all while looking hot as hell. When we meet Evelyn Salt she’s normal enough – an American CIA agent, well respected by her associates and boss, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber), but who is also attempting to lead a normal life. Fat chance at that. While questioning a defected Russian spy named Orlov, he makes several outrageous claims, including one revealing a supposed

plot to assassinate the Russian President. The name of the assassin: Evelyn Salt. Denying the claims and concerned about the safety of her husband, Salt runs, fast, using her covert ops training to elude capture and prove her innocence. While Winter refuses to accept that Evelyn is a mole or a double agent, her past comes back to haunt her, eyebrows are raised and we find ourselves again asking, “who the heck is Evelyn Salt?” Director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Dead Calm) pulls out all the stops with furious chase scenes and fight sequences that prove that hell really hath no fury like a CIA agent wrongly accused, shot at and scorned. RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 121


see, speak, +hear no evil

playNICE BY ADAM VOLK

Medal of Honor

Publisher Electronic Arts | Developer Danger Close | Platforms Xbox 360, PS 3 The Medal of Honor series first cut its teeth as a down and dirty World War II shooter. Now, like long time rival Call of Duty, the series sets its sniper rifle sites on the modern era. But while most video games eschew historical accuracy in favour of Hollywood style carnage, Medal of Honor opts for a more realistic approach, dropping players straight in the middle of the war in Afghanistan. As a result the game has since been condemned by a slew of high profile western politicians, as well as a full scale ban on U.S.

NBA 2K11

Publisher 2K Sports | Developer Visual Concepts There’s no faster way to fire up a gamer than by mentioning sports titles, with fans almost foaming at the mouth for the newest annual release. Yet invariably, when the dust and trash talking settles over the Madden’s and NHLs, we’re left with games that are entertaining but only a marginal improvement over the previous year’s offering. NBA 2K11, however, may be one of the first sports games ever to not only live up to the hype but to exceed it on almost every conceivable level.

military bases. Controversy aside, however, Medal of Honor is a visually stunning and incredibly polished game, and while there is indeed plenty of explosive action to be had, the game also humanizes the grunts on the ground and paints a grim picture of the horrors of war. Of course, gamers are also notoriously disinterested when it comes to political correctness, meaning that despite the wishes of spotlight hungry politicians, Medal of Honor is likely to be a direct, high-calibre hit.

| Platforms PS 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii

With polished gameplay, incredible controls and visuals that make you feel like you’re actually stepping foot onto the court, 2K11 has to be played to be believed. Best of all, the game allows players to slap on their Nikes and play as his Michael Jordan himself in some of the all time classic games of His Airness’ career. The end result is arguably the greatest basketball video game of all time, and the next best thing to shooting free throws with Mikey in your own backyard.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Publisher Namco Bandai Games | Developer BNinja Theory | Platforms PS 3, Xbox 360 Set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of New York City, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is an incredibly ambitious game that manages to mix things up just enough to keep players interested. As a retelling of a classic Chinese legend, the game follows two protagonists: Monkey, a burly, yet incredibly agile ass kicker, and Trip, a tech-savvy young girl equipped with a slew of futuristic gadgets. Fate throws the unlikely pair together when they’re captured by slavers and manage to escape into what was once

Dead Rising 2

Publisher Capcom | Developer Capcom, Blue Castle Like Sarah Palin, Justin Bieber and the entire cast of Jersey Shore, zombies are creatures that just won’t seem to die, no matter how horrible they might be. Fortunately, there are games like Dead Rising 2 to satiate player’s bloodlust and pop cultural frustrations. The sequel to Capcom’s gruesomely satisfying zombie series, Dead Rising 2 once again offers players almost an endless number ways to butcher, maim, bash and blast the undead. This time out, players take on the role of a biker jacket wearing bad ass named Chuck, who is trapped in a shopping

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Manhattan; a world now overrun with vegetation and inhabited by bizarre robotic creatures. What follows is a satisfying cooperative combination of action and puzzle solving, as players - either alone or with a friend - use Monkey and Trip’s unique skill sets to traverse a world that is jaw dropping in its detail and beauty. It’s the characters and story, however, that will draw you in and keep your lazy, video game loving butt enslaved by your couch until the game’s satisfyingly explosive finale.

| Platforms PS 3, Xbox 360

mall brimming with zombies hungry for fresh brainwiches. Sure the story may reek worse than the hordes of shambling undead, but it’s the gameplay that will keep players coming back for more. Like its predecessor, Dead Rising 2 offers an almost limitless number of entertainingly sick ways to slaughter zombies. Of course, if the idea of reducing a zombie to a fine paste with a lawn mower isn’t exactly your idea of a good time, just remember: there’s always Justin Bieber. Some things really are worse than death.


unwindinstyle

Experience leisure & relaxation in the tranquility of Lebanon, at the newly opened One to One Hotel – Dhour Choueir. Situated between the mountain valleys, designed stylishly offering breathtaking panoramic views. Treat yourself at the 4star boutique hotel this season, rates starting from $100 including bed & breakfast! * Rates are subject to 10% VAT. * Monthly & Weekly rates are available.

6 • • • • • •

easy ways to book: t: +961 4 391270 f: +961 4 391269 res.dhourchoueir@onetoonehotels.com onetoonehotels.com via your preferred travel agent gds codes: Galileo: WV97619 - Sabre: WV100304 - Worldspan: WV74447 - Amadeus: WVBEYONE

dhour choueir

hotel

Dhour Choueir Square, p.o.box 28690 Lebanon t. +961 4 391270 f. +961 4 391269 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 res.dhourchoueir@onetoonehotels.com onetoonehotels.com

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take me with you

Beijing

AT TOP SPEED

BY ALICE HLIDKOVA

FROM DAWN WHEN CYCLISTS RUSH TO WORK, TO DUSK WHEN TAXIS SHUTTLE TOURISTS FROM IMPERIAL SITES, CHINA’S ANCIENT CAPITAL OF BEIJING IS CHANGING AT A FURIOUS, UNFETTERED PACE.

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TOP TO BOTTOM: THE FORBIDDEN CITY, ANCIENT BRONZE HANDLES IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY, BIRD’S NEST STADIUM

Protected by guards and white fences to control pedestrians,Tiananmen

is the largest open space square in the world. Beijing campaigned for its bid to host the Olympics under the banner “New Beijing, Great Olympics,” and soon Beijingers saw their capital remodelled in time for the 2008 summer games. Thirteenth century residential quarters - known as “Hutongs” - were demolished to clear way for construction of the China Central Television Tower and Bird’s Nest Stadium; structures which mark the modern metropolis of “new Beijing.” Though the ancient city is still being used as a playground for international architects, Beijing acquaints the traveler with an abundance of historical and cultural treasures incomparable to the rest of China. The gates of the Forbidden City, (Zijin Cheng), the enormous imperial palace in which the emperor, or “son of heaven,” was destined to spend his entire life, opened to the public in 1924. Crowds now storm into a series of empty pavilions; its dynastic wooden artefacts concealed behind glass walls. Ming and Qing emperors slept under protection of zodiac animals and faun marching on the eaves of each roof, beautifully restored ceramic tiles, denoting the rank the emperor inside. Their artefacts – wooden clocks, jade sculptures, and snuff jars – are stored in today’s Clock Museum, Hall of Jewellery and Treasure Gallery. Protected by guards and white fences to control pedestrians, Tiananmen is the largest open space square in the world. It now serves as the country’s political nerve and is often the center for university student protests. When the square is not used for political occasions, it is mobbed by Chinese strollers. The locals pay little attention to the ceremonious raising of the flag, and occupy themselves with spitting and photographing foreigners.

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take me with you

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: TIANANMEN GATE, COMMUNIST STATUES IN TIANANMEN SQUARE, CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION TOWER.

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TOP TO BOTTOM: SUMMER PALACE, DRAGON WALL IN BEIHAI PARK, THE SILVER INGOT BRIDGE ON HOUHAI LAKE.

Despite the city’s cultural and artistic progression,

the city breathes imperial harmony. South of Tiananmen is Beihai Park, one of four lakes divided by 14th century Ming emperors. Weeping willows dress “North” Lake, falling over a canopy of three-meter tall water lilies. In the backdrop, imperial gates marked with colourful dragons swimming in a sea of clouds, are not nearly as enchanting as the white stone sputa, Buddhist “dagoba” keeping watch on a nearby hill reminding visitors of Chinese tradition. The region of Houhai Lake is a different affair. Once occupied by communist elites, the lakeside is now flooded with Asian bars and tea houses permitting space for its jazz and rock musicians. For cyclists and strollers alike, Houhai is tough work; cyclists avoid collision with fruit stands while pedestrians duck behind refurbished gray-brick hutongs. Even with the renovations the pungent smell of sewage and bad tofu is unavoidable. Unfortunately, residents continue to dump trash into the streets. Orient yourself to the nearest drum and bell tower - a useful landmark for your departure - and escape to 798 Art District where western culture interrupts the eastern tradition. Together the Olympics and international auction powerhouses brought revival and new meaning to Beijing’s art scene. Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctioned Chinese imperial art while 798 galleries showcased Chinese contemporary art. Multimedia and performance art at minimalist designed art centers of Page Beijing and UCCA, display local gaudy and socialist pop art. Despite the city’s cultural and artistic progression, the city breathes imperial harmony. Inside Lama temple, religious chanters pray to large Buddha statues; at the sacred precinct of Temple of Heaven landmark, Chinese elders practice Tai Chi; and beside the Hall of Prayer, a wooden structure with a triple-eaved cylindrical tiled roof, Beijing Opera singers recite their songs. Little do visitors know, when lightning struck the pillars (a bad omen) causing fire, wood of such scale had to be imported from the United States.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: SACRED FIRE IN FRONT OF LAMA TEMPLE, EXHIBITION IN 798 ART DISTRICT, THE GREAT WALL.

Harmony was restored at another landmark, Summer Palace’s Hall of Benevolence and Longevity, where locals pray inside its many gardens. After prayer, they walk through The Long Corridor, a 700-meter covered walkway; its bowers decorated with elaborate landscape painting and pictures of character from Chinese history and literature. Taking precedence over any other landmark in China is the Great Wall. Its towers offer visitors a respite from city smog and a fetching view of surrounding terrain. For visitors too tired to descend the stairs, a toboggan is available at Mutianyu, while others may elect to spend the night inside the watchtowers of Jinshanling. Western influence may encourage the city to change, but the eastern tradition of ancient Beijing is held firm in the landscape; its permanence rising from mountain contours and snaking over distant hills

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eat, drink + be merry PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA

Café

Ristretto BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

Definition

1. A “café ristretto” is a short espresso. Smaller amount, better flavor. 2. A small breakfast and lunch place Location

Hamra Description

8 tables of 2 or 4 chairs, a wood and glass bar, so one can see what’s happening behind, a few magazines and newspapers, and coffee machines. The decor consists of a bamboo plant and a few copies of painters like Van Gogh and Peter Evans. It’s small, it’s simple and it offers one of the best breakfast menus in Beirut. The choice extends from the usual Western breakfast, made of eggs and bacon or sausages, accompanied by terrific buttered toasts and hash browns, greasy just the way we like it, to the sweet pancakes, or croissants, which

come in their French plain version, or a Lebanese version of zaatar and cheese. Open from 7am to 7pm, this breakfast and lunch offers a wide variety of food. Among the platters, salads and sandwiches, is their Ristretto burger, as simple as the place: a nice crispy bun, a tender patty, grilled tomatoes and coleslaw on the side, with a side of their homemade fries. Their American coffee is served in an individual coffee pot, enough to enjoy a hot fresh coffee that has not been prepared hours before. The Ristretto Café is usually calm in the morning, but it gets a little crowded at lunch time, with many of the AUB students turning it into their HQ. If you can’t get a table inside, there is a small terrace which, if quite noisy, is surrounded by high shrubs that shelters from the gaze of passers-by and put a little welcome greenery in the neighborhood

Among the platters, salads and sandwiches, is their Ristretto burger The + + Free WiFi Internet Access – a service becoming rarer and rarer +The warm reception - nothing like a smile from the waiter and the manager in the early morning to put us in a good mood.

The – - The food is a little overpriced – even if it’s good, it’s just a sandwich…

Ristretto Café Mahatma Ghandi St., Hamra Tel: 01 739 475

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eat, drink + be merry

moving into the

slow lane FAST FOOD IS ON THE WAY OUT BY SABINA LLEWELLYN DAVIES

Six years ago Chef Salvatore Toscana was the stressed out owner of a busy restaurant in Florence, Italy. His daily routine was to cook hundreds of meals without even giving a thought to the origin or the quality of ingredients used. One day, he decided to pack it all in. He decided that in order to live better you have to eat better, so he moved to a small village in Chianti, Tuscany, and opened a restaurant serving food which preserves local traditions. He also became an active member of the international Slow Food movement. Slow Food is a non-profit movement founded in 1989 in Italy by Carlo Petrini.

It came out of a protest by Petrini to resist the opening of a McDonald’s outlet near the Spanish Steps in Rome. He realized that American-style fast food was spreading all over the world,

132 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010

eroding traditional ways of eating. The solution, he suggests, is to shift to cuisine that is good, clean and fair, and grown mostly organically by local farmers. The Slow Food movement is catching on around the world now, creating

awareness for local food traditions and motivating people to think about their food choices. The philosophy is simple: rediscover the joys of eating and understand the importance of where your food comes from, who makes it, and how it’s made. Today the movement has over 100,000 members in 132 countries. And the movement is hitting the Middle East. “The term Slow Food is not

translatable in many languages. The idea is a Western concept whereas in Lebanon it is linked to traditions; but, these are quickly eroding as fast food pervades our


THE SOLUTION, IS TO SHIFT TO CUISINE THAT IS GOOD, CLEAN AND FAIR, AND GROWN MOSTLY ORGANICALLY BY LOCAL FARMERS. lives and the rhythm of our days becomes increasingly rapid,” says Rami Zurayk, Professor at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut. “[Slow Food ] is a social,

environmental and cultural approach that is deeply linked to societies that are still connected to nature.” Zurayk was active in the foundation of Slow Food Beirut in 2008. His book, From Akkar to Amel Lebanon’s Slow Food Trail, was published by Slow Food Beirut and the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. It takes the reader on a journey through Lebanon providing an insight into food production practices, biodiversity, and culinary habits.

“The idea was also to encourage readers to go and visit these small producers and share in the bounty of the earth from which they produce their products,” adds Zurayk.

The Sabaya Bakery was first brought to

my attention by Zurayk’s book. In the northern coastal village of Amchit, three Sabaya, (Arabic for young woman), the Zughaib sisters (who are actually not that young anymore), make marraya, a delicious almond and nut pastry in their modest bakery after their mother’s ageold recipe. Of course, not everyone has the time to head to Amchit just to savor a pastry, or to other rural villages for traditional products. For this reason, Slow Food Beirut founded the Earth Market in Hamra to create a commercial outlet for smallscale producers of quality food valuing traditional ingredients and seasonality. Every Thursday morning, in an alleyway off Hamra Street in front of Bread Republic, you can meet farmers and artisan producers who offer products

ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables to mouneh (preserves), cedar honey, aromatic herbs and specialty items such as olive oil soaps, as well as the scrumptious marraya. The benefits go both ways: customers get tasty quality local products and in turn the producers benefit economically and create awareness for their products. Hopefully, this will encourage them to continue age-old Lebanese food production traditions and to preserve them for future generations. “We come

here [to the Earth Market] every week to sell our pastries; some weeks business is better than others, but we have definitely benefited from attending the market,” says Lorenza Zughaib. “I meet people here who later pass by our bakery in Amchit. We are reaching out to more customers which has enabled our bakery to flourish.”

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 133


eat, drink + be merry

TOASTY TREATS

Fall Dining for

WITH CHEF MAHER EL-ALAM

THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER BRINGS WITH IT THE FIRST RAIN OF THE FALL SEASON. CHEF MAHER EL-ALAM AND RAGMAG THINK IT’S TIME TO COLLECT SNAILS (ESCARGOT) AND GET COOKING! WARM UP AROUND THE CHIMNEY WHILE ENJOYING A HEARTY NUTRITIOUS SOUP WITH BREAD, POTATO AND CHEESE.

Table Setting and Decoration This recipe collection is straightforward and easy, but the table setting and decoration is really going to clinch this meal. Specialty items such as the escargot fork (a small fork made with two long, pointed tines used for eating snail meat) and the soup tureen are worth the investment since you will always reuse them. For a centerpiece, try putting neutral toned pebbles in a bowl matching your tableware, and leaving a couple of vibrant blooms on top with the stems cut off. Appropriate drink accompaniment is a crisp, chilled white wine. -

Big spoon Large soup tureen Soup ladle Soup bowls Bread knife Plates Escargot Forks Sauce bowl Bread basket Side serving plates Large goblets for wine Decorative desert bowls Small dessert spoons

134 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010


delectable

SPINACH SOUP

INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR 4 SERVINGS

•2 bundles spinach •1 large onion •1 carrot •3 cloves garlic •1 potato •5 coriander leaves •2 celery stalks

•½ cup olive oil •½cup fresh cream •4 cups water •vegetable stock •2 pinches salt •1 pinch white pepper

PREPARATION Clean and cut the spinach, allowing it to dry. Cut the onion, carrot, garlic, potato, and celery similar to the way you would cut French fries. Sauté them in a small pan.

Add the vegetable stock and the water until the mixture comes to a boil. Add the spinach for 2 minutes only, being careful not to over boil so that you preserve the nutrients.

Putting the mixture into the blender, blend well until you have achieved a nice green soupy texture. Finish by adding the cream, sliced coriander, and the salt and pepper. Serve soup with hot bread and cheese.

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 135


eat, drink + be merry

lebanese

ESCARGOT

INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR 4 SERVINGS

•40 medium sized snails •1 onion •1 clove garlic •2 laurel (bay) leaves •2 cinnamon sticks •1 lemon •Whole cloves •5 black peppercorns (whole) •3 pinches sea salt •water •1 cup lemon juice •200gr (ta7ineh) sesame paste •3 pinches salt (for the sauce)

PREPARATION

SAUCE

Clean the snails well in cold water salted with one pinch of sea salt. Ensure after cleansing the snails all are alive and are still able to move. Place them in a pan and add water. Boil well and proceed to change the water 2 additional times once each set has boiled, and reboil. This step should be completed a total of 3 times in all. During the third water change, add the last of sea salt, onion, garlic, laurel, cinnamon, lemon, whole cloves, and the black pepper. Reduce the heat gently for 45 minutes. Present the snails on a decorative serving plate. Arrange for the matching sauce bowl to be placed next to the dish.

Begin with ta7ineh sesame paste mixed with water. Add lemon juice and salt and combine until you achieve a smooth textured sauce.

136 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010


MOGHELEY

(cinnamon pudding)

INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR 4 SERVINGS

•½ cup rice flour •1 cup sugar •½ table spoon caraway powder •1 pinch aniseed •1 pinch cinnamon •1 pinch mahhlab •4 cups water •mixed nuts •shredded coconut •raisins •pine nuts •almonds

PREPARATION Put the rice flour in a pot suited to boiling. Add sugar, caraway powder, pepper, aniseed powder, cinnamon and mahhlab to the water and mix well. Place on the burner and set to boil very well until you achieve a concentrated mixture keeping in mind your desired texture. Place the boiled mixture in dessert bowls. Once the mogheley has cooled, put it in the fridge to chill well. Present the mogheley garnished with shredded coconut, raisin, baked pine nuts, mixed nuts, sliced almonds and cashews.

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 137


RAGMAG

astro

Zodiac forecasts FROM JONATHAN CAINER

November.2010

HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING JUPITER LATELY. THIS BEACON OF HOPE AND JUSTICE HAS BEEN BRIGHT FOR MONTHS AND STILL SHINES OUT ALL NIGHT. IF YOU’VE BEEN TRACKING JUPITER’S MOVEMENTS, YOU’LL KNOW IT HAS BEEN SLIPPING SLOWLY BACKWARDS SINCE JULY. IN NOVEMBER, IT CHANGES DIRECTION. SO TOO DOES VENUS. THE PLANET OF LOVE AND CREATIVITY IS TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN TO BE VISIBLE IN THE SKY RIGHT NOW - BUT IT, TOO, TURNED RETROGRADE LAST MONTH... AND WILL ‘TURN’ ON THE SAME DAY AS JUPITER. THIS MAKES THE WHOLE MONTH AUSPICIOUS AND NOVEMBER 19, ESPECIALLY SO... FOR ALL OF US.

CALVIN KLEIN

WINONA RYDER

SAGITTARIUS November 23 - December 21

If there is a God, why is there so much sorrow and suffering? If there is no God, why is there so much magic and beauty? So goes the old debate. As with all good arguments, there are powerful pros and convincing cons. There will never be an ultimate answer. Much will depend on circumstance, culture and belief. If there is a positive possibility in your life now, why is so much so difficult and draining? And, if all is doomed, why do you still feel such a loud drum of hope beating in your heart? In November, forget detailed discussion and invest your faith in a feeling. Reach for the best.

Scorpio

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

October 24 - November 22

Everything costs money. Everything takes time. Everything absorbs energy. Everything has a hidden drawback. You have known this your whole life long. Never, on Planet Earth, is life any different. Why then, should it suddenly start to seem frustrating and unfair? You are becoming conscious of something you never previously understood. You are seeing a familiar situation from a different perspective. You may feel you are losing your enthusiasm for something or someone, but you are actually just developing deeper wisdom. In November, with your eyes wide open, you will make the right choices. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

CAPRICORN

December 22 - January 20 Remember the Tower of Babel? The builders of this ambitious structure were supposedly put in their place by the Creator who rendered them unable to communicate. But, hang on... If skyscrapers were capable of taking people closer to Heaven, New York would be full of angels. Anyway, why make them all talk in different tongues, when even people who speak the same language rarely understand each other? It makes more sense as an allegory. We want to get close to Heaven, but as soon as we do, we realize life without struggle is bland. Try seeing November’s ‘unfair problem’ in that light. It counterbalances a great achievement elsewhere in your world. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

138 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010


January 21 - February 19

February 20 - March 20

PISCES

ARIES

Are you in danger of going too far? The answer is ‘probably’. But that, on balance, is better than not going far enough. There are points you need to prove, obstacles you need to move and changes you sorely need to bring about. If you overstep the mark, you can always retrace a few of those steps. If you don’t stride forward, though, while you have the opportunity, in November, you may not get the chance again for a while. Even at the risk of upsetting some people who’d prefer you to be less ambitious and more cautious, you have to trust your bravest instincts and impulses now.

‘I’m just a soul whose intentions are good, O Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.’ Your intentions undoubtedly are good... and they are not ‘paving the road to hell!’ If you are going to end up taking a journey in that direction, it is likely to be because of a misunderstanding. Either you are not fully hearing what is being said to you – or someone else is failing to grasp your point. It is important, in November, to ensure that no little twists and spins are placed on simple statements. Take what’s being said at face value. Say what needs to be said without embroidery. And don’t worry. All will be fine.

Relationships are like fridges. You have to keep stocking them up and sorting them out. You can’t let things just sit there forever. You are now conscious of something that seems to be ‘going off’. A situation is getting stale. This may or may not be linked to your love life but it is certainly connected to your love of life and your ability to communicate properly with an important individual. It is hard, though, to find fresh enthusiasm while you are struggling to cope with a difficult set of circumstances. Things may get briefly trickier in November, but then will come a delightful sense of renewal and relief.

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT

AQUARIUS

TAURUS

GEMINI

March 21 - April 20

CANCER

April 21 - May 21

May 22 - June 22

June 23 - July 23

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

LEO

VIRGO

August 24 - September 23

September 24 - October 23

Money, the experts tell us, is a form of energy. Energy, physicists inform us, can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed. And there are, in theory, no limits on that process. So why do so many of us feel this potentially infinite resource is scarce? Mystics often speak of ‘prosperity consciousness’. Think yourself rich; believe yourself to be entitled to wealth... Then accept opportunities to acquire it when they arise. Is that all you need to make yourself better off this month? Kind of! The planets promise an improvement in your state of mind and your rate of cash flow!

You aren’t ecstatic about some aspects of your current circumstances. In one area of life at least, you don’t like what’s happening, you don’t like what’s being said and you don’t like the way that nobody seems to be listening to you. You feel as if you are having one of those dreams where you open your mouth to speak, yet no sound comes out. You are making your points as clearly as you can but they are either falling on deaf ears or being patronizingly rebutted. Don’t waste time and energy with a futile argument. Bit by bit, in November, common sense will naturally prevail and your view will be understood.

They say, ‘Good things come to people who wait.’ They don’t, though, say how good those things will actually be or how long they will have to wait for them. Why are they so vague? Are they trying to hide something? Might the phrase be a ploy to lull us into a false sense of security, while others rush out and get those good things before us? I’m not trying to worry you! I’m just suggesting the need to question a recent decision to postpone a key plan. Why must it be put off? While Venus is retrograding through your sign in November, you’ll find ‘right now’, is a very good time to do most things.

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

They say the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result. They also say, though, that when you find a successful formula, you should stick to it. Which is the appropriate maxim for you this month? If you can’t immediately tell, it may be wise to wait until you have more information. Something is changing and you can hardly stop that. But nor need you fear it. Don’t fear, either, the apparent refusal of another situation, to budge at all. If it really needs to alter, it will. If it doesn’t, you will soon see this and you will understand why. And you’ll feel OK about it!

July 24 - August 23

‘How are you?’ ‘Fine, thank you. How are you?’ With this exchange, we ritually begin each encounter we have with each other. Is it any wonder that so often we go on to say nothing at all of any value? We do not tell each other what we really feel - or how we really are. We know that this is not really expected of us. The request is hollow. So is the reply. But then without a genuine exchange, how can there be a meaningful communication? You are beginning to grow tired of a pretence. You no longer feel inclined to assume something is OK because it looks sort of OK. In November, you’ll get closer to an important truth.

If there’s one thing worse than a problem you cannot solve, it is a situation in which there are no problems to be solved. This may sound like heaven - but after a while it turns into a kind of hell. Our problems make our lives interesting. Our difficulties keep us alert and inventive. When everything is too easy, nothing means anything. That’s why, unconsciously, we seek out problems in our lives. We are attracted to them and the people who may cause them for us! Watch for that in November. A little drama may be just what you need... but don’t go fishing for a minnow and end up catching a whale!

LIBRA

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 139


quizz ROUND #1

Entertainment 1. In which film and book would you find the character Passepartout? 2. Which actress, who appears in the comedy series “Friends”, also appeared in the film “Scream”? 3. Who sang the theme tune to the film 9 to 5? 4. Who starred as the character Rocky Balboa? 5. In which 1993 film did Robin Williams dress up as a woman? 6. Which cartoon character’s famous words are “Beep Beep”? 7. Who was the female star of the film Erin Brockovich? 8. I am a cartoon character, my favourite time of day is feeding time and my favourite food is Lasagna. Who am I? 9. In the “Dirty Harry” films what was Clint Eastwood’s character’s family name?

ROUND #2

ROUND #3

ROUND #4

Science + Technology General Knowledge 1. What is the chemical formula for sulphuric acid? 2. Who transmitted the first Radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean? 3. What was the World’s first high level computer programming language? 4. What element is present in all organic compounds? 5. What is classified by the A.B.O. system? 6. What do the initilas I.C.B.M. stand for? 7. How many prime numbers end in the number “2” ? 8. What is 70% of 70? 9. On the internet, what tracks your browsing habits? 10. In 1852 who invented the safety elevator?

10. What breed of dog is Scooby Doo?

Art + Literature

1. Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Apart from cars what is the most 2. commonly used four wheeled device? 3. On the sweets known as M&Ms, what do the letters M and M mean? Is it (A)Murries and Mars, (B)Mars and Mars or (C)Mortan and Murray?

1. Who wrote the book “Les Miserables”? 2. Who composed the ballets, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker? 3. Who painted the celing of the Sistine Chapel in Rome?

4. Who wrote the famous opera “La Boheme”? 4. In music what does the word Forte mean? Loud, slowly become louder 5. Who designed the famous Easter or softly? eggs that were originally meant for the Russian Royal Family? 5. In NBA basketball how high is the ring? 6. Who painted the Mona Lisa? 10ft, 10.1ft or 10.15ft ? 7. And, on what material did he paint 6. What was Barbie’s first career? it? Waitress, fashion designer or model? 8. Who wrote the “Lord of the Rings” books? 7. The gangster Al Capone was finally imprisoned for what crime? 9. Who wrote the play “Hamlet”? 8. Who developed the VW Beetle? 10. Which very short artist, who died at the age of 36, was renowned for his 9. The popular song “Alouette” is posters of the Moulin Rouge? about a bird, but what sort of bird is an Alouette? Is it a duck, skylark or eagle? 10. Which ear did Van Gogh cut off?

dingbats 1st, 2nd, 3rd GO X Is this telling you

Watch all games with this

SEASON IT

A LITTLE

S H O R Not quite tall T enough!

to have sex?

OH OHA French maid?

ABCDE MNOP VWXYZ FGHIJK QRSTU

Another name for Xmas...

ROUND#1 ROUND#2 ROUND#3 ROUND#4

FEELING

I’m not too healthy today!

IS IT

TOTOO

Lets work it out!

WEATHER

4 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10

1st of January 2000 was this!

Can I rent this?

1. Around the World in Eighty Days 2. Courtney Cox 3. Dolly Parton 4. Sylvester Stallone 5. Mrs. Doubtfire 6. Road Runner 7. Julia Roberts 8. Garfield 9. Callahan 10. Great Dane 1. H2SO4 2. Marconi 3. Fortran. IBM 4. Carbon 5. Blood Groups 6. Intercontinental Ballistic Missile 7. One 8. 49 9. Cookies 10. Elisha Otis 1. Fruit 2. Supermarket Trolley 3. Murries and Mars 4. Loud 5. 10 feet 6. Fashion Designer 7. Tax evasion 8. Ferdinand Porsche 9. Skylark 10. Left 1. Victor Hugo 2.Tchaikovsky 3. Michelangelo 4. Puccini 5. Faberge 6. Leonardo da Vinci 7. Pine Wood 8. JRR Tolkien 9. William Shakespeare 10. Toulouse-Lautrec

GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY - SEASON TICKET - A LITTLE ON THE SHORT SIDE AU PAIR - NOEL - FEELING UNDER THE WEATHER PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHER - TURN OF THE CENTURY - IS IT FOR HIRE?

140 RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010


crosswords 1

brainfood 2

3

4

5

6

9

10

ACROSS

7

11

12

14 15

16 17

18

19 20 21

22 23 25

28

26

24

27

29

30

31

32 33

34

35

36

37

38 39

40

41 43

44

45

46

47

48 50

51

52 53

54

55

56 57

58

59

61 62 64

63

65 66

69

67

68

70 71 74

75

76

72

77

78

80

83

81

82

83 84

85 86

87

90

2. Very small. 3. Female monks? 4. Four quarts make this. 5. Used to watch who you are talking to. 6. Doesn’t care either way. 7. Can be radio or ocular. 8. A large band? 9. Put in a new heart. 10. Native Gear. {Anagram} 12. Long chairs?

sudoku

15. Used for smelting. 16. A man’s purse. 19. They contain no air. 20. Do women have this instinct? 27. Adult Room. {Anagram} 28. Not logical. 29. A huge damn. 31. True Crust. {Anagram} 33. Some like to blow their own! 34. Very happy!

2

6 3 5

1 6 3 7 5 2 2 4 4 5 7 1 6 3 8 9 9 8

5 6 9 8 7 4 3 9 1 7 8 3 2 2 5 1 4 6

9 3 2 4 4 3 7 1 6 8 1 6 5 9 2 8 7

2 5 8 6 6 7 9 5 3 4 4 9 1 2 8 7 3

9 8 1 7 1 5 5 2 8 3 2 7 3 9 4 6 6 4

4 4 2 6 1 9 1 8 2 6 3 5 8 7 7 3 5 9

7 5 1 3 6 8 3 9 5 2 4 8 6 4 1 2

54. Not her? 55. Flea Trawl. {Anagram} 56. A metal before refinement. 57. Usually made from denim. 59. A noisy person? 62. A search engine? 64. Arm Ascent. {Anagram} 68. Didn’t win! 70. Becomes steam. 71. Lift up by magic?

EASY

4 7 6 1 5 4 9 6 3 7 9 4 6 8 9 6 4 2 3 3 2 3 8 5 9 5 3 4 7 1 2 4 3 8 9 6 6 5 2 9 8 7 4 3 7 1 5

36. A backward net! 40. Green Nag. {Anagram} 41. Associated with the lungs. 42. The amount! 43. Not a vegan’s favourite food. 44. Used to catch the wind. 45. Not a choice? 46. An embryo. 51. Works for a paper? 53. Work together!

8 3 9 5 2 8 4 7 7 1 6 4 9 6 1 5 3 2

1 8

7 2 6 8 4 1 2 6 4 8 7 9 3 3 7 4 9 3 9 5 5 1 4 7

4 3 2 6 5 1 4 2 1 3 5 4 8 5 2 5 9 5 2 9 2 6 3 6 7 1 4

4 6 1 5 8 3 9 7 2

1 2 6 7 4 5 8 9 3

6

3 2 8 9 7 6 5 4 1

5 9 7 4 2 1 8 6 3

2 7 3 1 9 8 6 5 4

6 4 9 2 5 7 1 3 8

1 8 5 6 3 4 2 9 7

7

8 5 4 7 1 9 3 2 6

7 1 2 3 6 5 4 8 9

9 3 6 8 4 2 7 1 5

8 9 4 3 6 1 7 2 5

7 3 5 8 9 2 4 1 6

9 6 2 1 8 4 5 3 7

4 5 8 2 7 3 9 6 1

3 7 1 9 5 6 2 4 8

2 8 9 6 1 7 3 5 4

5 1 7 4 3 9 6 8 2

6 4 3 5 2 8 1 7 9

72. A crane’s arm. 73. Looked over a document? 75. Found on a squid’s arm. 77. Difficult in Arabic or a car? 78. Digit? 81. Not theirs! 85. A type of tide. 88. Annoying little creature.

ACCROSS 1. PUNCTUATION - 11. NICHE - 13. RUDDER - 14. KNOWLEDGE - 15. FORGERY - 17. OZONE - 18. SQUIRREL - 21. XRAYS - 22. SCOOP - 23. ICE - 24. SENT - 25. YEN - 26. SUPREME - 30. NUT - 32. OUNCE - 35. PUTT - 37. PYREX - 38. REVELATIONS - 39. YEARNING - 41. PURR - 44. SYNCHRONIZE - 47. LUCIFER - 48. RUGBY - 49. GAMMA - 50. VALID - 52. GIVE - 57. JUVENILE - 58. NUMERICAL - 60. TEMPERATURE - 61. LENS - 63. FEUD - 65. UNIFORMITY - 66. ORGANIC - 67. SALIVA - 69. RICKSHAW - 72. JACKET - 74. MAMMALS 76. ESCAPE - 79. GABLE - 80. UNCLE - 82. KNEEL - 83. MEDIUM - 84. TILL - 86. TRUFFLES - 87. MONASTERY - 89. KALEIDOSCOPE - 90. ZODIACS

DOWN

2

88

DOWN 2. TINY - 3. NUNS - 4. GALLON - 5. VIDEOPHONE - 6. INDIFFERENT - 7. TELESCOPE - 8. ORCHESTRA - 9. TRANSPLANTED - 10. VEGETARIAN - 12. COUCHES - 15. FURNACE - 16. WALLET - 19. VACUUMS - 20. MATERNAL - 27. MODULATOR - 28. IRRATIONAL - 29. HOOVER - 31. STRUCTURE - 33. TRUMPET - 34. JOLLY - 36. TEN - 40. GANGRENE - 41. PULMONARY - 42. QUANTITY - 43. MEAT - 44. SAIL - 45. HOBSONS - 46. EGG - 51. JOURNALIST 53. COOPERATE - 54. HIM - 55. WATERFALL - 56. ORE - 57. JEANS - 59. LOUDSPEAKER - 62. GOOGLE - 64. SACRAMENT - 68. LOST - 70. EVAPORATES - 71. LEVITATE - 72. JIB - 73. SCANNED - 75. SUCKER - 77. SAAB - 78. FINGER - 81. OURS - 85. NEAP - 88. TIC

89

1. Pat Cut Union. {Anagram} 11. Your special place in life? 13. A ship’s steering aid. 14. A little of this can be a dangerous thing! 15. Fake. 17. O3. 18. He stores his nuts! 21. They see through your skin. 22. A reporters great story. 23. Great in a G and T! 24. Do you get this when on drugs? 25. Japanese money! 26. The overall leader? 30. Crazy or a tree’s fruit? 32. 1/16th of a pound? 35. A golf stroke. 37. Oven proof dish? 38. One of the books of the Bible? 39. Longing for. 41. A cat’s sign of content? 44. Join together in timing! 47. Is this the devil? 48. A sport or a school? 49. One type of radiation. 50. In date? 52. Donate. 57. Is this a delinquent? 58. Not alphabetical. 60. A high one can be dangerous! 61. A camera’s eye? 63. An ongoing fight? 65. They all have the same look. 66. Grown naturally. 67. A polite word for spit. 69. Chinese car? 72. A book’s cover? 74. They give birth to live babies. 76. Get free. 79. The end part of a roof. 80. Male Aunty? 82. Do this in church. 83. Not really the best! 84. Work the land! 86. Pigs find these. 87. A monks house. 89. It gives lovely patterns. 90. Fast moving rubber boats.

RAGMAG | NOVEMBER 2010 141


out +about

RAGMAG wants to be out + about with you.

Tell RAGMAG what’s up in Lebanon. We want to hear new sounds and see new places. You know of a cool place for us to try or a show we should see? Your band, bar, or event could be covered next. We just might drop in. Send us an email with the event description, location, and contact information to outandabout@ragmaglive.com

makeout RAGMAG’S SEXIEST DATE THIS SUMMER… PHOTOGRAPHY NISRENE DEGHAILI

WE GOT KISSED ALL OVER AT RIVIERA! RAGMAG PUCKERED UP FOR RIVIERA AT THEIR GOODBYE SUMMER KISSES À LA MODE EVENT SPONSORED BY THE PARTY PEOPLE AT ICE TROPEZ AND THE VIXENS AT JOUR ET NUIT. RAGMAG JOINED HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE GATHERED AT RIVIERA BEACH HOTEL FOR A FINAL FAREWELL THAT INCLUDED A 9 HOUR EVENT BEGINNING AT 10 AM! TOURISTS FROM ALL OVER EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA SPENT THEIR LAST DAY IN LEBANON KISSING RIVIERA GOODBYE UNDER A HOT SUN THAT SEEMED TOO BRIGHT TO BE FALL.

It’s hard for RAGMAG to believe the summer is over since the Jour et Nuit fashion show was so smokin’! Showcasing beach and bed fashions from their Spring Summer 2011 collection, Jour et Nuit heated it up just when it was supposed to be getting cool. Getting out + about has never been so much fun in the sun, especially since the crowd understood it was a shut up and kiss me kind of thing thanks to DJ Keano Gray. Keano Gray, Beirut’s current DJ sensation gave us the biggest kiss of all, spinning the best Beirut beats around. The Jour et Nuit show took place to the Riviera Beach Lounge Volume 1 CD. “We worked on it for 4 months. Next year we’re releasing Volume 2 produced by Red Production

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House,” said Koko B, producer of the company under which DJ Keano Gray is signed. Koko B describes their summer compilation as a “chill out lounge album, presenting Riviera’s new identity. The first ten tracks are exclusively produced by us, Mix Hunters,” says KoKo B the producer. “There’s an oriental influence: nay, tabla, guitars, and saxophone on the album.” And chill out we did as Koko B and Keano’s Beach Lounge compilation was given to each guest upon entry! See? A good lover brings you gifts, who says all the good dates are taken? Getting your own ready-made CD with the summer’s hottest hits is always a major plus, so thank you Riviera! As for surprises Riviera had that covered too. The Underground Fiesta

band played a number of Lebanese golden oldies that got the crowd up out of the pool and belly dancing like it was the last time they’d hear another Ziad Rahbani song. The announcer said she didn’t know we could dance like that to “Arabic music”! Says who? RAGMAG is pretty sure that if Lebanese love anything, its hearing Tony Hanna’s Yaba Yaba Lah, loud and clear.

We know Riviera has got pool party competition, but we can’t lie, it’s still the most happening daytime party this side of the Mediterranean! We’re sad the summer is over, but we’re happy it ended with steamy kisses in the sunshine. Mmmmwaaaahhhh Riviera. We’ll makeout with you anytime!


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ROBIN WRIGHT PAR PETER LINDBERGH

GERARDDAREL.COM

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RAGMAG 3D Issue | Nov 2010 | Issue #6