THE SOVEREIGN NATION-STATE
AUTHOR ANDREW GROSS
NEMR ABOU NASSAR
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
THE VOICE OF LEBANON IN 2012
NEW WORLD ORDER
CHICK LIT TURNS SOFT PORN
WORLD CLASS GAMING
GLOBAL RESISTANCE GOES DIGITAL
+ How Your Privacy Ceased To Exist
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Publisher Gina Gabriel El-Fady Editor in Chief Fida Z Chaaban Managing Director May Ziade Creative Lead Odette Kahwagi
Photographers Odette Kahwagi Mark Evans Jason Zamora Teddy Habib Selected images Shutterstock
Webmaster Youmna Chagoury
Contributors Lara Ariss Liliane Assaf Jonathan Cainer Amal Chaaban Youmna Chagoury Megan Detrie Rabih Feghali Maria Frangieh Alice Hlidkova Sarah Hourany Matthew Hussey J.E.N. Maria-Elena Kassab Imogen Kimber Chris Lambert Sabina LLewellyn-Davies Maha Majzoub Beirut Octarine Nour Obaji Jacques Tchabarian Adam Volk
@RAGMAGLebanon RAGMAGMagazine RAGMAG
Opinions expressed are based solely on personal opinion and expericence, not reflective in any way of RAGMAG, a division of Raycon s.a.l.
Stylist Jony Matta Public Relations Coordinator Lea El-Alam Marketing Advisor Daniella Tayar Administrative Coordinator Teddy Younes
Printed by Raidy Printing Group
RAGMAG is a division of Raycon s.a.l. Copyright RAGMAG 2012 All Rights Reserved.
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ON OUR COVER Nemr Abou Nassar Photography by Odette Kahwagi Styled by Jony Matta Nemr is dressed by Pal Zileri
Contact us by phone or email to arrange your subscription firstname.lastname@example.org Lea El-Alam +961 9 916 222 / 9 913 777 RAGMAG Alex Gabriel Building, Rue Colomn de Sahel Sahel Alma, Keserwan, Lebanon
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NEW WORLD ORDER
28 EDITOR’S OPINION 14 IN MY NEW WORLD
THE TERMINATOR TAKES OVER
EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES 104 COPYCAT REAL LIFE RUNWAY
108 I’M MR. BRIGHTSIDE OUR FASHION SHOOT
HISTORIC BRAND LOUIS VUITTON LAUNCHES NEW ENDEAVOUR
OUT + ABOUT 150 IT’S A WIDE WORLD
OUTDOOR LEBANON 2012
50 SI TÚ TE VAS
ENRIQUE IGLESIAS IN LEBANON
CULTURE CLASH 46 WE’RE PROOF OF A NEW WORLD ORDER! HAYDA LEBNEN
32 THE UNLIKELY STATEMAN
INTERVIEW WITH NEMR ABOU NASSAR
28 THE SOVEREIGN NATION-STATE AUTHOR ANDREW GROSS
16 GLOBAL LANDSCAPE SKYSCRAPERS
STATESMAN NEMR ABOU NASSAR IS OUT TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK 4 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co
MARCEDES LOOKS AT THE REAL ISSUES IN LEBANON
DOLLARS+SENSE 20 GLOBAL CONCERN
WHAT ARE BASKET CURRENCIES?
YOU + YOUR COUNTRY 26 GLOBAL WANDERERS UNHCR + ART
THE FINAL FRONTIER 22 SHAPING A NEW WORLD SCIENCE 42 GLOBAL GAMERS #OCCUPY! TECH 52 WHATSAPP INVADES YOUR LIFE TECH
NEW WORLD ORDER
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NEW WORLD ORDER
34 MON AMOUR, MON AMI 60 OUT OF THIS WORLD AN ALIEN IN MY BED
MIND, BODY + SOUL 56 HELP ME NOUR + RABIH ADVICE 54 GLOBAL SHIFT MATTHEW HUSSEY 148 OLD WORLD SENSIBILITY THE BEKAA VALLEY BECKONS!
MIRROR MIRROR 76 M.A.C. MAGIC
BACKSTAGE AT ROCK OF AGES
78 FALL FANTABULOUS CHANEL MUST HAVES
74 HAIR GUIDE
70 SILKY SMOOTH AT SILKOR SPA REVIEW
EAT, DRINK + BE MERRY 142 RESTAURANT REVIEW CLÉ 140 CHEERS TOUT LE MONDE! NEW WORLD WINES
144 GLOBAL GOODIES BY LARA
TAKE ME WITH YOU 134 PARIS IS A GLOBAL CAPITAL TRAVEL
132 #VACAYINLEBANON VEER
LOUIS VUITTON 23 PLACE VENDÔME
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152 153 154 155 156
SEE, SPEAK + HEAR NO EVIL SOUND CHECK MUSIC READ’EM + WEEP BOOKS PLAY NICE GAMES WATCH OUT FILM WORLD VISION BLOGGERS
FML 66 UNDERWATER ANTICS AQUA SPORT
NEW WORLD ORDER
Beirut Souks 01-990409 - Achrafieh, Zahret El Ihsan 01-337337 AUGUST 2012
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At the Childrenâ€™s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL), we treat children with cancer for free. With 80% survival rate and sole dependency on donations, your support saves a childâ€™s life. All donations can be made to www.cccl.org.lb +961 1 351515 +961 70 351515 8 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co
CCCLebanon NEW WORLD ORDER
I got introduced to the great NEMR ABOU NASSAR a while back on one of his shows as part of a ‘let’s get Gina out of her gloomy homesick moods’ in Biel. Who would have thought that a couple of years later he would be gracing our August cover and turning my staff to his groupies. I have tried different ways to turn myself into a comedienne in response to him calling me, “Ya cutie ya Gigi” but to no avail - can’t beat that! All I have to say to him is keep Lebanon smiling and do what you’re doing, because you do it well! RM loves you. I would like to thank Le Gray Hotel for hosting our photo shoot with NEMR and on behalf of our readers, I would like to thank SILKOR for this month’s reader rewards. Keep your letters and comments flowing to email@example.com and talk back to me on twitter at @GinaGabriel1. We’re one of the few magazines that talk back and take an interest to what you have to say #ItsYourMagazine #WeLoveYou
Photography Alexandra Kahwagi
Gina Gabriel El-Fady | Publisher
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ORDER BECAUSE RAGMAG IS GLOBALIZATION PERSONIFIED
ou were all super in love with July. We don’t know if it was the magic of Hanaa Ben Abdesselem or the frank convo with Jihad Murr or a bit of both. We got a few shout outs for our contributor Amal Chaaban’s FML, you try being mute for 2 days in Beirut and let us know how your experience goes! Our fashion shoot last month got tons of oohs and aahs and we think you all echo RAGMAG’s retro-loving spirit. Thank you for the tweets, the Facebook messages and of course the pictures! Continue to send me your shots holding your favorite issue of RAGMAG, we love to receive them! This issue, we’ve got Nemr Abou Nassar. He is the only man brazen enough to tell you what’s wrong with Lebanon, and he’s willing to go on record. He’s kind of become a hero to our team, saying exactly what we’ve been thinking since our inception: we are a country that is forced via mass media to accept sensationalized crap because 5 percent of people think that’s what is cool. Guess what? It isn’t. To get the low down on Nemr and how he is changing public opinion one day at a time, check out the in depth interview and photo shoot in our Culture Clash section. Another great article? Author Andrew Gross gives you the lowdown on the status of the United States and the impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement. My third favorite piece this issue is a feature about skyscrapers. If you think
you know why global capitals are concrete jungles, you might want to read Alice Hlidkova’s take on city skylines. Height is might and this won’t be the first or last time you hear it. Find me on Twitter @fidachaaban and follow @RAGMAGLebanon for updates and reader rewards that are meant to thank you for being part of RAGMAG. If you think of something that deserves print space, my cyber door is always open. If you haven’t joined us on Facebook and Pinterest yet, we’re looking forward to seeing you on those mediums as well. You are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to rave, rant and yes, send theories of world domination. Finally I want to encourage you to subscribe to RAGMAG and make it a part of your life every month. We are the only magazine in Lebanon that talks back. We’re here because of the support and constant encouragement of our loyal readers. It’s Your Magazine.
Fida Z Chaaban | Editor in Chief
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FOR OUR JULY ISSUE WE CONTINUED TO TALK TO YOU VIA OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMSPINTEREST, TWITTER + FACEBOOK. WE THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND PARTICIPATION AND HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO INTERACT WITH US ONLINE.
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND SCRIBBLE ON OUR WALL TO WIN, WRITE TO US AT LETTERSTOTHEEDITOR@RAGMAGLIVE.COM OR TWEET US ON TWITTER @RAGMAGLEBANON!
IF YOU’RE BRAVE ENOUGH TO TAKE A PIC WITH YOUR FAVORITE ISSUE, SEND IT OUR WAY VIA SOCIAL MEDIA OR EMAIL! YOU’RE ALL SO PINTERESTING, SO PIN US. RAGMAG IT’S YOUR MAGAZINE! RAGMAG reserves the right to edit for clarity and content
We’re showing off some of the best images that our readers sent in via email and Twitter. Thank you to all of the readers who sent us tweets and emails of their copies of RAGMAG and especially to Zeina wearing her Reader Reward from White Skull.
WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU SO KEEP IT UP!
“I love reading RAGMAG! You really have a bit of everything, from fashion to health to spirituality! I also love the cooking recipes. I’d like to give thanks to all of your team!” - Rumi Hajj
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We’re a bit off kilter and likes attract likes. When you hear people saying RAGMAG’s staff is crazy, it must be true because we attract crazy readers, and WE LOVE IT! This is an excerpt from a hilarious email sent to out Editor earlier this month. READ AND ENJOY THE COMEDY:
‘BEING FIDA CHAABAN’ … IT CAN BE ANYTHING 1. Reality TV or Internet Show I want people to see what I see when I follow you around without you noticing. 2. Article “An Average Day in the Life of Fida Chaaban” (Lots of people will love reading that, starting with the 1000+ followers you have) 3. Podcast hosted by Fida Chaaban (Which I think RAGMAG should seriously start considering one. A lot of online active mags have podcasts: Empire Magazine and SPIN) 4. A Hashtag #BeingFidaChaaban with tweets like: a) Fida doesn’t need funk. Funk needs Fida. #BeingFidaChaaban b) Work hard, rock hard. #BeingFidaChaaban c) Fida is to RAGMAG what RAGMAG is to Beirut. #BeingFidaChaaban d) If Rock n’ Roll had a name it would be Rani. (byitla3li wi7di ana) #BeingFidaChaabanNot
OUR EDITOR RESPONDS I normally would not print a letter like this lest people think I am full of myself, but I found it so funny and tongue in cheek that I had to share it! Thank you for the laughs! On the note of Twitter and my own hashtag: people would quickly lose interest in what I was tweeting about and I’d lose all of my followers! On a more serious note: about the podcast idea, we’ve considered it on several occasions but digitally speaking, we don’t know if our readers are there quite yet! For those of you out there reading this, you can tweet at the magazine #YesPodcastRAGMAG @RAGMAGLebanon if you agree with our reader’s suggestion to begin podcasting. #ItsYourMagazine so let us know what you want!
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IN MY NEW WORLD THE HUMAN-MACHINE STRIKES BACK I
usually use this space to talk about current events, global or otherwise. Recently, an email to a member of government in Canada came to my attention. This is the kind of thing that you can’t make up, nor can you make much sense of unless you have quite the imagination and more than a little bit of patience. Since this issue is about realities, alternate or factual, I’ve decided to share someone else’s reality with you and that reality includes the human-machine, the CIA, the RCMP and finally the Vancouver Canucks (a hockey team). It takes place in the United States, Russia and Canadanow that’s globalization. The blacked out sections are personal information that I agreed not to disclose for legal and privacy purposes – you may recognize this particular sort of censorship from documents released about former U.S. President George Bush (who does not make an appearance in this letter). Otherwise, the fifth dimension is all there, so to speak. I hope you enjoy the writer’s reality and consider how different it is from yours or mine. This is, after all, a whole new world. LLAP, Fida
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Your question or comment for the MP: Vladimir Kornienko Mailing address: Front Room Cell (778) 840 2671 - not working now !!! P.O. Box 500, Surrey Main Surrey, B.C. V3T5B7 Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (some messages might be blocked by CIA) Dear Sirs. I have very dramatic situation and I really doubt that I can turn it into a legal plane. I am just trying to do my very best and inform all lawyers, police officers, medical personnel, media and ombudsmen. I believe people must know about these illegal technologies and be prepared to protect their human rights and privacy. There are also many moral, ethics and legal questions arise… Please read and share this information. We all heard about so called “Arabic Spring”. Revolutions in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria and sad result are well-known. Most people believe that Twitter, Facebook and other communication tools were used. Unfortunately I have different opinion about this matter. The situation is much more complicated and dramatic. It is handmade revolutions, and much more sophisticated technologies used then Twitter. I possess some information about this topic. It is cost me more than 10 years of life, property and definitely some health. I am human-machine operator, more precisely I am the candidate. I never saw it, but I feel it more than 3 years. Most aspects of this system are unknown to me, but I know how it affects human body and mind. Before I explain how this monstrous machine works, I’d like to say few words about myself and why I became interest of American intelligence. There is no need to explain which country benefit from these riots and what kind of natural resources influence such interest. In Russia I was a pilot-fighter, universal machinist and electronic technician. I grew up in Omsk , one of biggest industrial city in Siberia where tens of military plants are located. Siberia is the biggest source of oil, wood, gold and other natural reserves. Easy to understand that such place is no worse than Iraq or Libya. I came into focus of US intelligence when I lived in Seattle, and now more than 9 years later CIA and other organisations are destroying my life in Canada. I know history of Russia and I know national habits. I am absolutely sure that a riot in Russia will lead to a civil war, millions kills and very possible to nuclear war. Indeed, I don’t want such outcome and I generally don’t like people who send unarmed people against tanks. So, I said “NO”. So, now I’m homeless, government twice confiscated my property and it tortured me more than 3 years. Now, I have to explain how this human-machine works. As I realized it has two types: one bi-directional and other unidirectional, I have the bi-directional. I don’t exactly know how unidirectional system works except that all people feel fear, anger,
anxiety and they understand who is responsible for it. Obviously it is a national leader or a dictator. I can say more about bi-directional system, it is small chip inserted below the back of the skull. Operational officer brings a person in an unconsciousness condition and insert a small capsule in a person’s head. Since that area cannot be seen due to hair and the back side of skull, a person after wake up suspect nothing. An operator of bugged human can see what man is seeing and can hear what man is hearing. The operator also can control organs of human, all functions and understands thoughts of bagged person. The operator also can inspire some thoughts to the man or even command him/her. A strong minded person can resist such command, and weak minded person probably will not. Since almost all function of the human body is controlled by brain and the machine can confuse normal brain function, the operator can strain or relax any muscle of human and turn off any function of organs. He can increase or decrease whole immune system or just some cells. It causes mucosa inflammation or even death. The operator can control heart, reproductive functions, and cause serious pain in all body parts. A person can hear what the operator says or feel subliminal commands. It also causes human to feel anger, anxiety, fear, happiness or sadness. The operator also can cause to the person unmotivated laugh or tears drop. He can also affect eyesight, skin coloration or body temperature, which can leads to cold or fever. US government used me as test rat more than three years and for more than 6 month operators talk to me days and nights. Due to criminal activity of US intelligence I spent 8 months in the hospital, 11 months living in homeless shelter and more than 2 years I have been unemployed. I was laid off from Alpha technologies where I worked as a test technician. All my complains were ignored by RCMP and other authorities. Operators don’t let me sleep and continuously cause me a pain. Sometimes I slept only two nights during a week. I really don’t know why in such civilized and democratic country as Canada CIA can violate laws and with impunity torture people. That’s why I am asking for a public assistance!!! Please think about that next riot in Vancouver might happen not due to Canucks loss... Best regards. Vladimir Kornienko
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MAN-MADE ELEMENTS THE GLOBAL LANDSCAPE TODAY BY ALICE HLIDKOVA
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IN BEIRUT, POST-CIVIL WAR ECONOMIC RECOVERY SIGNALED A HIGH RISE GOLD RUSH THAT FORTIFIED ITS MEDITERRANEAN COASTLINE; AND IN DUBAI, ABUNDANCE OF NATURAL RESOURCES SUCH AS OIL AND GAS ERECTED THE WORLD’S TALLEST BUILDINGS FROM SANDY GROUNDS.
kyscrapers dress polycentric urban landscapes in tone and meter, such that the real beauty of its skylines is possible only when natural and man-made elements combine in proper order. Designing the aesthetic symbols of economic strength and modernity are often the result of national socioeconomic restructuring: In New York City, President Theodore Roosevelt’s New Deal gave rise to urban America with the uproot of Empire State and Chrysler buildings; in Beirut, post-civil war economic recovery signaled a high rise gold rush that fortified its Mediterranean coastline; and in Dubai, abundance of natural resources such as oil and gas erected the world’s tallest buildings from sandy grounds. High-rise construction boom trails after the growth of urban populations, and in spite of any economic recession, grows in scale without receding in importance. The Almanac of Architecture and Design published its annual Skyscraper Cities Ranking List, with a list of the world’s best skylines; Hong Kong, New York City, Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, and more global hotspots. One category criteria is height; city score equals the sum of all building structural height (in meters) after subtraction of the minimum of 90m (295 feet), for each building. Another credential is “Impressiveness,” or skyline breadth—the “wow” factor. Both determine the status quote for tall buildings, setting the precedence for the greatest cityscapes. AUGUST 2012
John Mullin, an urban planner at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, views tall ornaments as statements of power. “We build tall buildings because it has to do with symbolism—the bigger the building, the more prosperous the community,” he says, alarmingly, extending his concerns for security and terrorism after 9/11. “I don’t think cities like New York need any symbols now to prove their might,” he adds, warning that terrorists will find justification in destroying them. In place of the collapsed World Trade Center, in Lower Manhattan, a new tower arises, paving way for individuals to experience the site at large, where they can confront the issues of shared calamity, including the erosions of freedom made in the name of freedom, in full utilization of public space. Some planners favor urban sprawl for reducing the number of obvious targets, but most dislike the idea. Spreading out businesses and residencies horizontally often results in greater foot and car traffic, blocking entryways into the enormous self-supporting artificial construct. To solve problems of congestion, German civil engineers built a high-speed freeway around its low-rise sprawling cities. Dutch urban planners designed widened bike lanes and defunct Soviet leaders engineered efficient railways. In any case, expressions of disappointment jostle with varying degrees of enjoyment. The push for high-rises is at a standstill as the currency crisis bubbles away in Europe. Since Britain’s economy is sustained by historically low interest rates, building large construction projects pose a risky investment. Britain also imposes restrictive planning rules backed by the powerful heritage lobby that often results in construction delays. Public spending cuts add on risk, leaving investors reluctant to dip into their bank accounts.
‘WE BUILD TALL BUILDINGS BECAUSE IT HAS TO DO WITH SYMBOLISM—THE BIGGER THE BUILDING, THE MORE PROSPEROUS THE COMMUNITY’ Yet market confidence is restored in the Middle East and Asia. Taking advantage of less transparency and transaction fluidity, investors pay cash up front. “We will see more growth in Asian countries,” notes Kaiver Rangwala, an urban planner at Rangwala Associates in California. Speaking fondly of the relationship between tower compositions and skyline topographies, he ranks high-rises on their context; building position and function, and transit access. With endless study of tower clusters at the street level, Rangwala prefers functionality—a space of reflection and transaction on the midst of the city bustle—rather than freestanding décor. After mentioning some of tallest buildings in Taiwan and China, without forgetting to list mega-scale structures in the United Arab Emirates, he poses two questions on fossil-fueled urban trends: “How do we keep the lights on in these new buildings?” and “How do we retrofit aging towers for new users?” Ron Klemencic, Chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, leaves room for criticism. “We’re still going to need to go up. Our chosen way of life demands it,” he says. Increasingly, as cities struggle to accommodate demands for available places to play, entertain and flirt, and reminisce the past while enjoying the present, the ability for sound iconic footprints to organize urban life will bear new symbolic weight, changing environmental narratives and shifting visual consciousness. www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 17
HEIGHT IS MIGHT
SOME OF THE GLOBE’S TALLEST STRUCTURES KINGDOM TOWER Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 3,280 feet
BURJ KHALIFA Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2,717 feet
PING AN FINANCE CENTER Shenzhen, China 2,165 feet
SEOUL LIGHT DMC TOWER Seoul, Korea 2,101 feet
SIGNATURE TOWER Jakarta, Indonesia 2,098 feet
PETRONAS TOWERS Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1,483 feet
SKYLINE EYESORES F’UGLY AS SIN THE UGLIEST STRUCTURES GLOBALLY
THE RYUGYONG HOTEL Pyongyang, North Korea
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GENEX TOWER Belgrade, Serbia TRELLICK TOWER London, England CHICAGO SPIRE Chicago, United States of America OOSTERBAKEN Rotterdam, Netherlands ELEPHANT BUILDING Bangkok, Thailand TUNTEX SKY TOWER Kaohsiung,Taiwan KINGDOM CENTRE Riyadh, Saudi Arabia THE RYUGYONG HOTEL Pyongyang, North Korea
NEW WORLD ORDER
Ramadan Kareem Throughout the Holy month of Ramadan, treat yourself to our tailored Iftar buffet at Mosaic restaurant and our appetizing set-menu Souhour at Amethyste Lounge. Reserve on 01 357357
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CONCERN CURRENCY BASKETS PROS + CONS OF BUNDLING YOUR CASH BY MARIA FRANGIEH
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NEW WORLD ORDER
NOWADAYS THE MOST FAMOUS CURRENCY BASKET IS THE SDR (SPECIAL DRAWING RIGHTS) OF THE IMF (INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND). THE SDR WAS CREATED IN 1969 TO SUPPLEMENT A SHORTFALL OF PREFERRED FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVE ASSETS, NAMELY GOLD AND THE US DOLLAR (IMF, 2012 ).
A BUSHEL OR A BASKET?
fter the currency crisis in 1997 and 1998, many concerns appeared on the appropriate exchange rate systems for emerging and transitional economies. Flexible exchange rate, fixed exchange rate systems or currency baskets were suggested solutions to establish stability in global markets. As stated in the article about the Lebanese Lira in RAGMAG November 2011, the Lira is pegged to the US dollar under a fixed exchange rate regime. Many economists have argued that this was not a wise step as more than 40 percent of Lebanon’s trade was with Europe and therefore the best exchange rate policy at the time would have been to peg the Lebanese Lira to a currency basket not only to the US dollar.
A currency basket is a group of selected currencies with different weightings against which an exchange rate can be set. The weights of the currencies in the basket are allocated according to their importance in the country’s trade. If 30 percent of the country’s trade (imports and exports) are priced in US dollars, then the dollar will make up 40 percent of the basket against which that country’s currency is valued. The main motivation for authorities to adopt currency baskets is to minimize the risk of currency fluctuations.
LIVING IN THE NOW
Nowadays the most famous currency basket is the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) of the IMF (International Monetary Fund). The SDR was created in 1969 to supplement a shortfall of preferred foreign exchange reserve assets, namely gold and the US dollar (IMF, 20121). Initially 1 SDR= 0.888671 grams of fine gold or 1 USD. In 1973, after the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, the IMF authorities redefined the SDR as the basket of currencies that we know today, consisting of the Euro, Japanese Yen, Pound Sterling, and US Dollar. Before the Euro, the European Community Member states used the European Currency Unit, a currency basket, as the unit of account. The European Currency Unit was dropped for the Euro, a unique common currency. 1
After the financial Asian crisis in 1997 and 1998, many Asian countries were reviewing their exchange rate agreements. The choice of the authorities to peg their currencies to the US dollar proved to be erroneous, as their trade relationships were not just limited to the United States but also to Europe and other Asian countries. The Asian Currency Basket consists of the major Asian currencies, weighted against the US dollar. The Asian Currency Basket includes the Japanese Yen, the Chinese Yuan Renminbi, the Hong Kong Dollar, the Indian Rupee, the Singapore Dollar and the Taiwan Dollar. The weighting of the currencies in the basket is based upon the share of each country’s yearly Gross Domestic Product data as measured against total Gross Domestic Product for all Asian countries with tradable currencies (some exceptions apply). After the 2007 financial crisis and its long-lasting consequences, namely the resulting fluctuations in the currencies among others, a fixed peg did not prove to be a good choice for the Lebanese economy. A currency basket would represent a good option in the case where the weights are reviewed frequently to avoid any negative effects of such an exchange rate system
International Monetary Fund (2012), Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), March 30, 2011. Retrieved July 2012. www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 21
THE FINAL FRONTIER BELOW: CERN OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED ON JULY 4, 2012 THAT THEY HAVE DISCOVERED A PARTICLE AT THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LONG-SOUGHT HIGGS BOSON. ©CERN OPPOSITE PAGE: VIEW OF THE COMPACT MUON SOLENOID (CMS) TRACKER OUTER BARREL IN THE CLEANING ROOM ON JANUARY 19, 2007. THE CMS IS A GENERAL-PURPOSE DETECTOR, PART OF THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER (LHC), AND IS CAPABLE OF STUDYING MANY ASPECTS OF PROTON COLLISIONS AT 14 TRILLION ELECTRONVOLTS. MAXIMILIEN BRICE/© 2012 CERN
SHAPING A NEW WORLD CERN+THE GROUNDBREAKING
HIGGS-BOSON PARTICLE BY J.E.N.
A Higgs-Boson walks into a church, the priest says, “we don’t allow Higgs-Bosons in here.” The Higgs-Boson says, “but without me how can you have mass?”
his joke and many others went viral in July. Researchers got together to create a musical “sub-atomic” composition using data points from the Higgs-Boson experiments. People at cocktail parties suddenly wanted to talk about CERN, and the God Particle (check out older issues of RAGMAG for articles on CERN, LHC and Higgs-Boson, aka the God Particle). Academics and scientists were intrigued. Even the hipsters in Hamra, the cool cats in Gemmayze and chic crowd at rooftop clubs were talking about Higgs-Boson. So why is Higgs-Boson suddenly the life of the party? And how is it going to create a new world order? On the 4th of July 2012, researchers at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), home to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a massive particle smasher, announced that they were over 99 percent sure that they had discovered the elusive Higgs-Boson or God Particle. Professor Peter Higgs (the particle is named after him) was there all teary eyed and stated: “I would like to add my congratulations to everyone involved in this achievement… It’s really an incredible thing that it’s happened in my lifetime.”
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But how did CERN scientists stumble upon this particle which has been the focus of an intense hunt for around 45 years? The CMS research team noticed a “bump” in their data for a particle weighing in at 125.3 gigaelectronvolts (GeV). They dived in and crunched data until they came up with results. Professor Joe Incandela, CMS spokesman explains: “The results are preliminary but the five-sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle.” The Atlas research team also noticed something interesting. Dr Fabiola Gianotti, spokeswoman for Atlas, said, “We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of five sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV.” And so two experiments revealed that this new particle has a mass of around 125 GeV, with 1 gigaelectron volt (about the mass of a proton). Prof Rolf Heuer, director-general of CERN, said that this is “a historic milestone but it is only the beginning.” While the particle is tiny, the implications are massive, which is why confirming that this is the God Particle beyond a shadow of a doubt would mean the biggest discovery in years. Some of the main implications have something to do with the origin of mass, the
NEW WORLD ORDER
SHAPING A NEW WORLD
Standard Model, electroweak force and supersymmetry. The juiciest implication of all is that it could explain what there is beyond matter (which only makes up 4 percent of the Universe): dark matter and dark energy, thus shedding light on 96 percent of the Universe. The Higgs-Boson is the missing piece to solving the origin of mass. The particle is associated with a field (the Higgs field). “The Higgs mechanism is the thing that allows us to understand how the particles acquire mass… If there was no such mechanism, then everything would be massless,” explained Joao Guimaraes da Costa, a physicist at Harvard University who is also the Standard Model Convener at the LHC’s ATLAS experiment. If the particle found is indeed the HiggsBoson, then it confirms the mechanism and hence explains how things gain mass. And there’s more! Scientists could in turn uncover why each particle has the mass it does. In other words it’s the first step on a long journey of discovery.
The Standard Model is basically the most accepted theory in particle physics and within it all the particles have been found apart from the God Particle. This means this discovery is the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle and it also proves that the Standard Model is right. However if the new particle isn’t Higgs-Boson, then that would imply that particle physics would have to be rethought! If this particle is indeed Higgs-Boson, then we can finally explain how we can unify electromagnetic force and radioactive decay. And how all forces in nature are linked to a particle. For instance the photon is the particle for electromagnetism and the W and Z bosons are tied to weak force. And the Higgs field is what lets “the W and Z bosons have mass, and also unifies the electromagnetic and weak forces into the electroweak force.” Supersymmetry would also be explained. Supersymmetry states that all particles have a “superpartner” particle. If Higgs-Boson exists then supersymme-
THE JUICIEST IMPLICATION OF ALL IS THAT IT COULD EXPLAIN WHAT THERE IS BEYOND MATTER (WHICH ONLY MAKES UP 4 PERCENT OF THE UNIVERSE): DARK MATTER AND DARK ENERGY
try and even dark matter are viable. The $10 billion LHC’s very existence (and cost) would also be justified if this is Higgs-Boson. So far scientists are thrilled… but instead of calling it Higgs-Boson just yet, they are calling it the “Higgslike” particle. But this is a major finding regardless. And the fuss over the God Particle also had some comic relief. This groundbreaking discovery, thought to be the most important in over 40 years, was announced in a presentation using Comic Sans, one of the most unprofessional, ridiculous fonts ever. This created a vibrant discussion trended on Social Media platforms and makes one wonder what on earth was going through the minds of CERN researchers
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LEBANESE FILM MARCEDES EXPLORES BIG ISSUES ON A SMALL SCALE BY IMOGEN KIMBER
arcedes is not really a film about cars. Don’t be mistaken, in places it reads like a love letter to the Mercedes Ponton and is brimming with nostalgia, yet the true message of the film is captured in the quote with which the film opens:
“Sectarianism is another word for selfishness. Sectarianism is a sort of national betrayal. The country’s strength lies in the sects’ weakness.” Ameen Rihani, 1936
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Hady Zaccak’s ‘Marcedes’ tracks the history of Lebanon from before the beginning of the civil war to present day in the form of a hybrid between a documentary and a feature film. Despite telling this story of a human history there is not one person featured as a character in the film and there is no dialogue beyond the commentator, instead the protagonists in the film are Mercedes, specifically the iconic Ponton. Previous to making ‘Marcedes’ Zaccak had made several documentaries about sectarianism and the civil war in Lebanon but he “... was a little bit fed up with [using] people because people are bias, so I [thought] I am going to film a car.” Zaccak explained that representing any Lebanese person represents one sect and one mind set but by using an inanimate object he felt he could rise
above this. “I felt people were turning into ‘things’ ... when you are a thing you are clockwork and you are bias and you don’t think anymore, you refuse to think,” he said. Despite the civil war being over Zaccak sees people as still in the “spirit of the civil war,” meaning they hadn’t moved beyond sectarian differences. As the opening quote implies, the film demonstrates how any country, but specifically Lebanon will never succeed if it is torn apart by sectarian differences: “You can notice in the film there are three entities: the individual, which is the car, the family and the country. When you examine the evolution of [Lebanon] you will notice that the two weak parts relate to the individual and the country, but the strong part is the family... and this is why we have a weak
NEW WORLD ORDER
BELOW, TOP TO BOTTOM: MARCEDES CASTING, HADY ZACCAK
country and a weak city,” said Zaccak. An important note is that the quote from Rihani was written in 1936, before the civil war began. “We are always living through the same history,” said Zaccak. Through the constant references to the Mercedes as a family Zaccak is hinting to the dominance of the family, and therefore sect, in Lebanon: “You have to be related to the family to exist or you are inept. Although when you are part of the family it means you have security but it doesn’t mean you have a government,” said Zaccak. Above all else Zaccak argues there is hypocrisy (or at least contradiction), in claiming to be fighting for your country when in fact what you are doing is destroying that country.
THROUGH THE CONSTANT REFERENCES TO THE MERCEDES AS A FAMILY ZACCAK IS HINTING TO THE DOMINANCE OF THE FAMILY, AND THEREFORE SECT, IN LEBANON.
JUST AS THE WAR AFFECTED SOCIETY AND INDIVIDUALS WE SEE HOW THE WAR AFFECTED THE MERCEDES AND SHAPED IT, OR PERHAPS HOW THE WAR WAS SHAPED. As the film develops we watch the Mercedes family experience the war as the people did, we see Mercedes ‘corpses’ strewn across the streets, taking part in war and their change in life style as the war draws to a close, amongst the plethora of metaphors. Just as the war affected society and individuals we see how the war affected the Mercedes and shaped it, or perhaps how the war was shaped. Portraying all this using the car is a difficult feat, but what makes the film work is Zaccak’s skill in anthropomorphizing the cars. “I treated the cars as documentary material – there are no effects added in,” this allows them to seem more human he explained, “When the car is tired it is stopping, like an actor, so we kept this.” Also having a dramatic effect on bringing the footage to life is the impressive soundtrack which takes a scene with little more than a car and
brings them to an atmospheric climax. This is combined with an impressive array of archive footage, some of which Zaccak filmed himself in his childhood during the war. The other driving force that keeps the film entertaining is Zaccak’s sense of humour which is scattered throughout. Essentially ‘Marcedes’ gives a frank but nuanced look at Lebanon’s history presented in a truly original format
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YOU + YOUR COUNTRY
GLOBAL WANDERERS AN ARTIST’S ITINERARY UNHCR Uses Art as a Medium BY IMOGEN KIMBER
ven before the civil war Karantina was an area where refugees gathered for temporary shelter, and subsequently an area where refugees have been massacred. Now in Karantina, next to the port, with its industrial cranes, depots and the Sukleen headquarters, sits a small gallery,the Art Factum, it is here that the UNHCR introduced ten Iraqi artists to Beirut. The exhibition, ‘Itineraries,’ consists exclusively of the work of refugees.
Stories of refugees drum up images of tragedy and hardship, and more often than not this is true, but the aim of this exhibition was not to re-emphasise this well established image, instead it was to encourage the perspective that refugees are more than helpless migrants. As with other cross sections of society there is a range of talents and skills. The exhibition “highlights refugees as talented people; people in Lebanon are not aware of refugees in terms of being talented or as actually adding value, usually they assume they are just a burden,” explained Dana Sleiman, Public Information Associate at the UNHCR in Lebanon.
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In this case all of the artists are Iraqi refugees who are now based in Syria. There are more than a million Iraqi refugees in Syria; Iraqi refugees began flowing across their shared border with the invasion in 2003 and have continued ever since with few returning, and many being settled on a semi-permanent basis. The majority of the artists are graduates in fine art, many from the faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad, some of them to Masters level. The standard of art was clearly reflective of this and left no question as to whether these artists are talented or experienced.
While the motivation for the exhibition was to display talent and shift stereotypes and assumptions the material was still very focused on human experiences and relations and arguably life as a refugee. Waddah Mahdi used dark colours and silhouettes of people, keeping a sombre mood and creating a feeling of being a shadow of what you can be and a sense of confusion. Two paintings were titled ‘Refugee is too many’ and showed at least one adult trying to shepherd children; all as outlines it gives a ghostly, disturbed feeling, and demonstrates a lack of solidity or a space of their own.
For Omar Odeh his paintings are a reflection on his life and his ‘self’ but this of course has been dominated by being a refugee. “Many of the cultural accumulations, technical knowledge and everything going on around me, as well as actual responses toward what is happening around me,” said Odeh as he explained what his paintings were about and how they related to the theme, and that they “reflect my personality on the inside.” He also mused on the wider theme of the event saying that an artist is an artist in any circumstance but this does not mean it is easy, particularly from a practical sense. “The refugee artist does not have supplies and does not have encouragement, but we must continue,” he said, “the artist is in every place and time and must continue.”
FROM A VANTAGE POINT
come these so he can assist the children he is teaching. ‘Moving to Mars’ is an amusing but tough tale of a family relocating from a refugee camp on the Thai – Burmese border to England. All four films follow this theme of highlighting the struggles that refugees face as they leave the place that put them in danger and enter a new situation that is still fraught with problems and where many still maintain a feeling of displacement. Overall the UNHCR use art as a medium to promote both understanding and empathy for often unavoidable situations which completely transform refugees’ lives beyond their own control. At the same time, and just as importantly, UNHCR looks to challenge the assumptions as to what it is to be a refugee and what that means about an individual’s skill level or intelligence, essentially that it could be someone like you
Complimenting the art exhibition is the Vantage Points Film Festival, the first film festival to be organised by the UNCHR set to coincide with world refugee day. In slight contrast to the art exhibition the films are not by refugees but are shedding light on their lives. The Canadian film ‘Monsieur Lazhar,’ features an Algerian immigrant who is facing his own struggles but as a teacher in a Canadian school. He tries to over-
THE EXHIBITION “HIGHLIGHTS REFUGEES AS TALENTED PEOPLE; PEOPLE IN LEBANON ARE NOT AWARE OF REFUGEES IN TERMS OF BEING TALENTED OR AS ACTUALLY ADDING VALUE, USUALLY THEY ASSUME THEY ARE JUST A BURDEN”
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NATION-STATE Andrew Gross Examines the Flaws of the Establishment BY AMAL CHAABAN
AMAL CHAABAN TALKS TO NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR ANDREW GROSS EXCLUSIVELY FOR RAGMAG Andrew Gross has done a major in English at Middlebury and he has an MBA from Columbia University. He is a regular on the bestseller lists and has co-authored books with New York Times bestselling author James Patterson. The_AndrewGross |
Andrew Gross | www.andrewgrossbooks.com
I LIKE TO TAKE PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE THEY ARE POSITIONED IN THE RIGHT WAY AND BRING THEM DOWN TO THEIR ELEMENTAL FORCES OF SURVIVAL In your book “15 Seconds” you sketch a scene of collusion between law enforcement to hide a crime. Do you think that happens often in close knit groups of law enforcement?
Yes, I think it happens in any power structure where there is something to lose. As I recall in my book it wasn’t exactly covered up, someone was tossed off the Force, meaning my bad guy. Obviously it is part of the layers and layers of resentment meaning it is part of his motivations to move towards violence in life. I tend to think as an isolated question, sure. I think whenever there is a power structure that becomes threatened, there is an urge to bury it. The prior crime in “15 Seconds” involves a case of racial profiling. Do you think that happens more often after 9/11?
I can’t say that I am someone who is fit to answer that question in all honesty. I think that certainly racial profiling in the United States started out as more of an African American sort of thing and it still is if you live in New York City, they still feel that, but I would also realize it has morphed in a lot of ways into something that could be Middle Eastern. I don’t know, my own views on that aren’t completely defined so I would rather not say any more [on the subject].
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There is a sense of vigilantism that goes through “15 Seconds” in Vance Hofer’s actions. Do you think that as people lose faith in their governments we’ll see more of this?
I don’t really think of “15 Seconds” as a story of vigilantism, technically it falls under that heading I suppose. I don’t think it is about people losing faith in the government. I don’t think it is so much about the system, I think it’s that the system just walked away from him but the truth is it didn’t. He’s a loser and he put himself in those situations and it’s just an example of how someone can perceive the system failed them and betrayed them. It only reinforces a sense of anger and resort to violence that they may feel but I don’t think the system did let this guy down, I think he let himself down. In life, people get fired or tragedy occurs and some people just get in their victimness [sic] and then some people buck up and try to be stronger in life.
NEW WORLD ORDER
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THE WORST THING THEY CAN DO TO DEMOCRACY: TO HAVE IT BEHOLDEN TO MONEY, TO OUTSIDE INTERESTS Henry Steadman in “15 Seconds” seems to have it all with a healthy dose of arrogance and ego. What was it like to strip him down of all those things?
I guess all of my books deal with this model of this successful person who is in a high trajectory who sort of steps into forces that are sort of over his head or larger than him and then ends up in a snake pit. I guess it’s what I do as a novelist. I like to take people who look like they are positioned in the right way and bring them down to their elemental forces of survival. In that way, I always take an everyday hero or an everyday person and put them in these sorts of semi-heroic circumstances and see how they respond. It’s why my heroes are not professional heroes but regular people. In “Don’t Look Twice”, you discuss collusion between big business and government and go further by talking about how much money is poured into politician’s campaigns or pet projects by big business. Do you think that the dollar value, the sheer volume of those donations have an impact on how decisions are made?
Yes, I think if I remember the book well, it was really about corruption as related to the war in Iraq. It wasn’t so much about campaign stuff as it was about corruption even at a higher level about why a war was fought. I may have let my own personal stripe show a little more in that book than I normally would but I think [at that time] enough stuff came out about this sort of marketing of Iraq -and maybe how the administration then wanted to or were trying to make a 51st state out of it in a way- and I think that in a larger way that sort of corruption, and it’s obviously gotten worse in the United States since that book was written certainly in terms of the electoral process whether it comes from the left or the right, is the worst thing they can do to democracy: to have it beholden to money, to outside interests.
A couple of your books reference private security companies that resemble a well known real-world firm. Do you think these firms are part of what the new world order is going to be? The use of private security firms as opposed to just standing armies?
Yeah, I think there has been an element of which some of those aspects have been outsourced. They have become billion dollar operations. These sorts of consultancies on a security level are around on every aspect left and right so I think whether or not these companies behave efficiently, it only sort of looses private armies in volatile situations and anything can happen. We have also seen that even if someone is a regular trooper, crap happens so it may have nothing to do with the privatization of it, these sort of abusive things; it may be in our world, first of all these things come to light now where they may never in past years have come to light and I think that is a lot of it. I think these sort of atrocities or abuses on any level always took place, I just think that in today’s cell phone world, we are also in a world where one person dies in the Middle East it somehow makes news in the United States. 20 years ago, I don’t think that was the case so I just think in today’s world, the good news is every life becomes precious and the other news is that every life can be exploited through the media. I think these sort of things were always there whether in private or standing armies.
Since the crash of 2008, people have viewed Wall Street (and a little bit about how Wall Street is governed) with a jaundiced eye. Do you see this as being part of how the world will start viewing bankers as we go forward and more scandals are coming through?
I think it’s already late on that and I think the wheels are well under way. I don’t think there is going to be too many more books written about too many scandals because I think people have had about enough of it. I am not even sure it makes good reading or good journalism anymore because I think people feel completely polarized from Wall Street and feel that it’s a corrupt, rigged deck and if you’re on the inside you have a way to manipulate it, if you’re not, you’re dealing with short straws. I think of course, that sort of alienation or anger, I think it’s pretty clear that this country feels an intense resentment towards Wall Street but somehow in its own way, in its own DNA it is protective of it because in America you can point a finger at people who accumulate wealth if you think they did it dishonorably but they all still want to be that person.
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Since 2008, we have seen the rise of both the Occupy movement and Anonymous. Do you think that this is a sign of people no longer accepting the status quo?
I don’t know and I don’t want to make it bigger and broader than it really is. To me, the Occupy Wall Street movement was more of a farce than a real effective movement. I don’t know what it did, I don’t know what it was about and I don’t know what it was trying to do and I don’t know why it got so much media attention. Let’s face it, the media wants to build that stuff up. I am not saying it didn’t build on momentum but I think it built on the momentum the media fed it. That said, I justifiably understand. I don’t think there is a person on the planet that is more outraged about public service, well it wouldn’t be public on Wall Street but it is in a sense that they are entrusted with our money, that this sort of breakdown in honour and the let loose of greed. I don’t think there is a person more outraged about that than me but I wouldn’t want to stand behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. If that was the big cannon volley, we are in trouble. I live in New York, I know a ton of people who work on Wall Street
and I never heard one person talk about that except that it blocked traffic. It was a non-news story that the media somehow trumped up as a news story and then it fed it. It brought more and more people to it but the truth is what was behind it, I think is legitimate. It just to me never really organized into something that was effective civil disobedience. Some of your books deal with the many financial “crimes” of Wall Street not the least of which is credit swaps or layering and hedging their bets. Did you enjoy serializing those crimes in your books?
I enjoyed giving a dramatic space to what I thought was something, a very powerful force motivating me. I mean, I am still outraged that nobody has been prosecuted for the abuses [and] the meltdown in 2008. I think it’s outrageous that certain people are running around and probably never will be [prosecuted] and had golden parachutes with hundreds of millions of dollars in severance fees from their companies. I think it is outrageous that it is still going on with J.P. Morgan. I think it always will and I think it is outrageous that one of the
tenets of one of the people running for the office of the presidency in the United States is that this regulation needs to be cut back. I just think we don’t really get it as a people because we are basically entrepreneurial as a people. I am not sure that fairness, which is a word Obama is using a lot, is one that has ever really appeared to the American ethic. I don’t think we have ever really been a country that has operated on it. I think it is sort of like the carrot and the stick and I think Americans have always believed in the stick and we have always believed that
TO ME, THE OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT WAS MORE OF A FARCE THAN A REAL EFFECTIVE MOVEMENT [...] LET’S FACE IT, THE MEDIA WANTS TO BUILD THAT STUFF UP
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STATESMAN LEBANON’S MOST FORTHRIGHT REPRESENTATIVE
NEMR ABOU NASSAR IS OUT TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK BY FIDA CHAABAN
Nemr Abou Nassar has become a pretty hot topic in the last few months but he has had a strong fan base throughout the Middle East for years. We had originally slotted this feature for this past March and then decided to hold off for an issue that would better reflect his personality. You know Nemr as the comedian, we know Nemr as the social commentator who uses his comedy as a means to drive his point home. We’ve decided to bring you the Nemr that we know and respect: the voice of Lebanon in 2012. If we were going to choose a president for this challenged country, he would be the only candidate we back. There is, after all, no one else out there saying the things that the average educated Lebanese citizen is thinking. There is no one else out there to champion our thoughts and our causes. Finally, there’s just no one else out there that evokes the right mix of loving Lebanon and not being too blind to tackle and point out our country’s many flaws. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ODETTE KAHWAGI | LOCATION LE GRAY HOTEL BEIRUT, CIGAR LOUNGE
DRESSED BY PAL ZILERI AUGUST 2012
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o you want them to NOT produce a good product?” Nemr looks at me strangely and asks with emphasis, “Why are you calling them bullies! They’ve been the underdog forever? They made one phone!” This is the kind of thing you can expect to hear from Nemr Abou Nassar. He continues on to wax eloquent about the different companies that are frontrunners in the smartphone race and he even gives me statistics to back up his opinions. If you’re wondering why I chose to share that particular quote with you, it’s because it illustrates the way Nemr wins you over to his way of thinking: here’s his opinion and here’s why. He doesn’t stonewall you, no matter how petty the topic. Debate with Nemr on any point and you are guaranteed to walk away satisfied, not because you’ll always agree with what he has to say, but because the man knows how to frame an argument and he backs up his statements with fact. Name one politician that does this in Lebanon. Just one! This is one reason we’re pushing Nemr for president. Wouldn’t you want your leader to base his statements on fact and back it up with real material? The second reason is that he’s one hell of a straightforward guy and he doesn’t mince words. He isn’t afraid to call you (or anyone else) out on their bullshit. He may even do it on the air during his Mix FM show, like he did to various visible Lebanese personalities recently: namely TV Presenter Maya Diab and Model Myriam Klink. Can he change the way people
think? Nemr says that “there is nothing more powerful” than fighting with words. “People think the problem with Lebanon is politics and religion, people say, ‘Nemr you don’t deal with politics and religion cause you’re a coward’, they say, ‘Ahh you don’t want to get into problems’. My words sting much more than people who criticize politicians! People who criticize a politician are limited to that politician; people who criticize religion are limited to that religion. I’m a guy who comes in and criticizes the cause of our problems, not the effect. The effect and result of our problems is politics and religion, the cause is social factors. I’m the guy who talks about what leads to these problems and I address problems after establishing a premise of ‘this is not right’. I’m trying to heal the problem. I found the cancer, I’m trying to get rid of the cause. It’s a virus, that’s why you can’t cure it,” he says with emotion. And who is at the root of every Lebanese problem? “These politicians and religious figures are a virus. That’s why I say no politics, no religion, one love. I deal with the tougher issues, the stuff that needs balls to talk about.” He doesn’t support a particular party? “Nobody knows if I like this politician or that one. I’ll tell you right now- I fucking hate them all.” This is one extreme side of Nemr that the camera sees quite often. Unlike many Lebanese broadcast personalities in the arts, Nemr is very outspoken about the government and their deficiencies, and he doesn’t seem to care who he offends. Maybe this is not the most diplomatic standpoint, but definitely the clearest. You aren’t toeing the party line with Nemr, you are hearing the truth –perhaps for the first time ever!
‘NOBODY KNOWS IF I LIKE THIS POLITICIAN OR THAT ONE. I’LL TELL YOU RIGHT NOW- I FUCKING HATE THEM ALL.’
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‘WE HAVE AN EDUCATED BODY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE UNEDUCATED. [...] THE FUNDAMENTAL FLAW IS THAT YOU’RE TRAINING PEOPLE TO BE DRONES.’ AUGUST 2012
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BELOW: STILL SHOTS OF NEMR FROM YOUTUBE WITH JAY WUD, NEMR DURING HIS MIX FM SHOW
RAGMAG’s third reason for backing Nemr: he advocates being an autonomous person and so do we. In Lebanon, he says that “we have an educated body of people who are uneducated. The education system breeds people who are brilliant: they know subject matter but they don’t know how to utilize it. The fundamental flaw is that you’re training people to be drones. That’s the French system and I’m serious about that.” What he means is this: when you are trained to think inside your sociocultural box, you will never be able to problem-solve effectively and you also won’t be able to stop being a lemming. Nemr is all about going against the grain in this and everything else, leading me to wonder how someone who is this outspoken became famous in a country notorious for success via “wasta” (the Lebanese colloquialism for connections or a sort of nepotism). If he’s offending everyone in power, how’s he getting his airtime on TV and radio? “I’m the first guy who’s gotten to where he is without the help of family, politics or religion. You can be successful without wasta- I’m the example
of that. There is no big Abou Nassar is the world of movers and shakers,” asserts Nemr. “With the right willpower, dedication and sacrifice you can succeed in Lebanon. You gotta sacrifice! I didn’t get to where I am by fucking bitches and doing drugs. I lead a disciplined life. I’m dedicated, I work seven days a week! I have no vacations and I’m overworked and I’m overstressed but I’m having a fucking blast because it’s an adventure!” He continues on here to explain that he loves what he does so much so that he’s willing to put everything on the line to make it happen. “I took a risk, everything I had, because I believed in something. One man who’s done that right along with me is Roger Saad,” says Nemr, referring to the head of Mix FM, one of Lebanon’s top radio stations and event executers. Mix FM has backed Nemr for years and has continued to be a platform from which Nemr has launched some of his riskiest material –with no censorship whatsoever- making it a tricky situation to navigate for a broadcast network in the Middle East.
WITH THE RIGHT WILLPOWER, DEDICATION AND SACRIFICE YOU CAN SUCCEED IN LEBANON. YOU GOTTA SACRIFICE! I DIDN’T GET TO WHERE I AM BY FUCKING BITCHES AND DOING DRUGS. I LEAD A DISCIPLINED LIFE. I’M DEDICATED, I WORK SEVEN DAYS A WEEK!
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Why does he keep trying in Lebanon when he has succeeded in the U.S.? Doesn’t he want to grab his passport (Nemr is a dual citizen of Lebanon and the United States) and head for the nearest airport? “Lebanon is: marry someone with a passport and get the fuck out. I’m not criticizing that –everyone has the responsibility to make sure the person they love has the best opportunity- but some of us are brave enough to put it all on the line. And that might catch on. I like to think my work has made this place a bit more liveable.” And it has. He’s given tens of thousands of people an outlet for their frustrations. Through both his comedy and his more serious tangents, Nemr has been the vehicle through which many people felt “fashit khili2”, the Lebanese colloquialism for getting it all off of your chest. You hate the fact that some of Lebanon’s best known entertainment figures are little more than trussed-up dolls? He’s said it. You can’t handle the power outages and rolling blackouts? He’s gone there too. You’re sick of the terrible telecom service? He launched a Twitter campaign that garnered thousands of retweets. He isn’t afraid
and that is to be commended. Why does he even bother, I wonder, isn’t he sick of being the champion of a country who will kick you when you’re down? “I believe in my country because quite frankly, I believe there is a huge amount of potential here, more than anywhere else. The problem is there is also a rampant amount of stupidity. My country is plagued by the dumbest people on the planet. I have people here that are so stupid that I would rather piss on them. And these people are in every key position: be it in politics, in media, in religion! But, as long as I’m here, then I’ll always know that there is at least one person who isn’t an idiot. I’m not the only one either, I believe there are a quite a few people like me. There are a lot of club owners like that, a lot of business people like that, the problem is this is a game of survival and dexterity and you need to be able to last.” He talks about winning over the sociological challenges and how he addresses them: “The war is won by winning many little battles. I’ve won many battles. I grew up here, worked here and rose to fame here. Then went to the U.S., succeeded and came back. I came back and had my purpose.”
‘I BELIEVE IN MY COUNTRY BECAUSE QUITE FRANKLY, I BELIEVE THERE IS A HUGE AMOUNT OF POTENTIAL HERE, MORE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE. THE PROBLEM IS THERE IS ALSO A RAMPANT AMOUNT OF STUPIDITY. MY COUNTRY IS PLAGUED BY THE DUMBEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET’
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I WOULD NOT RAISE MY KIDS ANYWHERE ELSE. I BELIEVE LEBANON IS A PERFECT MIRROR OF WHAT LIFE REALLY IS. IT’S A BATTLE AND YOU HAVE TO BE FIT TO SURVIVE THAT’S MY BELIEF.
What about the residuals of the Lebanese Civil War? This seems to be everyone’s fall back excuse for the uncivilized behavior in the streets every day. Nemr reflects before he answers that “30 years of civil war is not undone in 30 years, it’s undone in many generations. I try to speak about that process and hopefully it will work out.” And the infrastructure that’s lacking and buckling under the weight of its citizenry? He takes the silver lining here and I reluctantly agree when he explains that “this is what’s great about Lebanon, it teaches you to appreciate things like power. Think about it, you’re getting electricity through a current with wires from a central place. Louis C.K. said, ‘We live in the most ungrateful generation’. I’m paraphrasing here but he’s like ‘People will complain they made us wait for 45 minutes at the airport for my plane. And then what happened? You took part in the miracle of flight –going into the air and staying there on a seat- you were in a seat in the sky?’ I’m just saying it helps you put things in perspective,” says Nemr. Will he start a family here? “I would not raise my kids anywhere else. I believe Lebanon is a perfect mirror of what life really is. It’s a battle and you have to be fit to survive –that’s my belief. It makes men out of boys and women out of girls.” He’s right, on my last visit abroad I was perfectly thrilled about the smallest conveniences like electricity and 24 hour hot water. Growing up in a country that does have all these amenities constantly available
is rarer than I thought and living in Lebanon has taught me more than a few lessons of gratitude. Nemr makes no bones about putting things like this into sharp relief- you don’t have power for your iPod? Wow, life is hard, there are starving kids out there. It might be his East meets West personality or it might simply be that Nemr is one of those people who takes a good, long look at himself and modifies the behaviors he finds flawed; after all change starts at home. Throughout this conversation and others with Nemr, I have thought that there is so much more that he could share and we could all benefit from hearing. When a man is bent on self-improvement, dedication to state and the improvement of said state, and finally, the voice of the people who are underrepresented in their homegrown mass media, he is a keeper. If he is willing to put the Janus-faced ever-changing, ever-static country before things like religion and self-promotion, then he is the champion we’ve been looking for. “This is a fightyou don’t throw a couple of punches and call it quits. But at the end I intend to emerge victorious and everyone else that has stuck with me will emerge victorious at the end.” Nemr has emerged victorious thus far and if he continues succeeding at being the only reliable mouthpiece for the educated youth of this country, he may very well find himself the last man standing. At least we hope so
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THE FINAL FRONTIER
WORLD CLASS GAMING BY MEGAN DETRIE
GLOBAL RESISTANCE GOES DIGITAL
IN [BIOSHOCK INFINITE], TWO FICTIONAL POLITICAL FACTIONS, THE LEFT-WING GROUP CALLED THE VOX POPULI, WHICH IS LATIN FOR “VOICE OF THE PEOPLE” AND THE RIGHT-WING FOUNDERS, ARE FIGHTING. POLICE, STRIKE BREAKERS, AND PARAMILITARY GROUPS, ALL MAKE APPEARANCES IN THE GAME.
hen the latest installment of the award-winning BioShock series is released in the fall, players may find the game reminiscent of the Occupy Wall Street protests that have taken over city squares across the US and world. The game “BioShock Infinite,” is due to be released in November. Set in 1912, in a floating US city called Columbia the game centers around former Pinkerton agent Brooke Dewitt, and his revolutionary AI companion Elizabeth as they attempt to escape Columbia. In the first moments of the trailer, Dewitt awakens to see a mural of George Washington, triumphantly clutching the Liberty Bell and the Ten Commandments. He stands on a banner that reads “It is our duty to guard against the foreign hordes.” Below him cower immigrants from throughout America’s history. In the game, two fictional political factions, the left-wing group called the Vox Populi, which is Latin for “voice of the people” and the right-wing Founders, are fighting. Police, strike breakers, and paramilitary groups, all make appearances in the game. When the trailer was unveiled last fall, the game came under fire for what many saw as heavy-handed correlations with the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement.
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But, its makers insist the game is taken from various political movements across the global history. Ken Levine, the creative director of Irrational Games, a US-based gaming company, told the Washington Post in November that the Vox Populi are an insurgent group based on Germany’s left-wing militants Baader Meinof, but also inspired by the Occupy Wall Street Movement. “I’ve been spending a lot of time watching Occupy Wall Street. The complaint is that they don’t have a consistent message. You can watch that, and this is a challenge I’ve had writing [the Vox Populi]. Leftist movements are always less organized… so Occupy Wall Street has been helping me because I’ve been struggling to figure out how the Vox Populi get to that point in the [game],” Levine said. Irrational Games is not the only gamers interested in using video games to delve into real world problems. Indeed, the Oc-
NEW WORLD ORDER
WORLD CLASS GAMING
cupy movement has inspired a handful of games. In November, US activists created the online game “Occupy The Game,” that asks players to “Collect money, water and the Constitution. Dodge the teargas, beanbags and flash grenades thrown by riot police. Don’t get arrested!” The same month, US’s National Public Radio (NPR) launched a very basic online game – “Occupy America: The Commemorative Game,” which allows players to roll the dice, and move across American cities, pithing tents. Governments have long utilized computer-based gaming to help train employees on national security. And, as the generation that grew up playing Pac Man become decision-makers and executives, gaming is being used from anything from flight simulation to disaster management.
In the last five years, “serious games” a genre of games that advocate social change - have gained some powerful backers. In 2010, US First Lady Michelle Obama launched a videogame challenge in partnership with the USDA that asked software developers, game designers and students to develop engaging games that help children eat better and be more physically active. The result was tens of games with names like Hungry Hiker and Pick Chow! geared towards school-aged children. In 2009, Sandra Day O’Conner, former US Supreme Court judge, started iCivics, a Web-based education project that offered free lesson plans and games about civics in America. Since its release in 2005, the United Nation’s Food Force game – which teaches about the logistical challenges of delivering aid in a major humanitarian crisis – has been
downloaded 6 million times. “The great thing about these games is that they reach people that would not necessarily engage with complex issues otherwise,” said Asi Burak, the co-president of Games for Change, which supports the making and distribution of games as an educational tool. Burak was the executive producer for the 2006 Peacemaker, a game that tackled the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Video games, Burak says, possess a compelling element that books or movies lack: They let the player become a different person. Peacemaker has an Israeli and Palestinian version, which Burak says, allows players a unique opportunity to engage fairly with both sides of the conflict. “At the end of the day, when someone finishes the game, and asks what did I take away from the game, and it’s got me thinking in a new way, or even it if changed my mind in the short-term, it’s a big deal because we live in a world where not many things can do that anymore,” said Burak.
GOVERNMENTS HAVE LONG UTILIZED COMPUTER-BASED GAMING TO HELP TRAIN EMPLOYEES ON NATIONAL SECURITY. AND, AS THE GENERATION THAT GREW UP PLAYING PAC MAN BECOME DECISION-MAKERS AND EXECUTIVES, GAMING IS BEING USED FROM ANYTHING FROM FLIGHT SIMULATION TO DISASTER MANAGEMENT.
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THE FINAL FRONTIER
In the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, and the Occupy protests, a new genre of serious video games are doing more than changing minds, they are helping activists practice resistance strategies, without risking real life consequences. Released last year in Beta, “People Power” helps would-be activists develop the principles of nonviolent strategy and civil resistance. Players make daily decisions as they try to build up a democratic uprising over the course of months, but each action carries consequences. Created by York Zimmerman Inc, with
the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, the game aims to give wouldbe activists an opportunity to learn strategies in a low-stakes environment. “People Power is a unique tool in the field of civil resistance because it allows people to bridge theory and book learning with experiential learning,” said Hardy Merriman, a senior advisor at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. “In real life, activists may not get a lot of chances to experiment with strategic and tactical planning, because the costs of a failed strategy can be quite high,” she adds.
The game replicates these real life difficulties - more strategy than entertainment, each turn equates a day, where you have a chance to win people and groups to your cause, but, if you take to the streets too early (without enough supporters or funds) you run the risk of crushed by the regime. Instead, players spend months growing a base of support and fundraising. Its producer, Steve York, admits it’s not a game for mass audiences, but offers important lessons for people interested in learning how to use non-violent resistance. “It’s not a recipe book,” he says, adding “What it does is teach you a way of thinking, a kind of mental and intellectual approach to engage in this kind of thing. So if you play the game, I think a lot of these scenarios cannot be played easily in a single night.” But, he adds, “it’s a kind of entertainment, but really, it’s an educational tool for those who would like to engage in the struggle.” Versions of the game are set to be released in Arabic, Spanish and Russian in the coming months.
“[POWER PEOPLE IS] A KIND OF ENTERTAINMENT, BUT REALLY, IT’S AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO ENGAGE IN THE STRUGGLE.”
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NEW WORLD ORDER
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VERY OLD NEW ORDER BY SARAH HOURANY
PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA
s the attempt to form a NEW WORLD ORDER obedient to the agenda of an elite few made up of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, in fact a reality? Yes it is. If you don’t believe us, we urge you to focus on the case of Lebanon where different internal and external key players combine to make sure that the country regresses on each and every possible index in the world. If you haven’t heard yet, Lebanon was recently classified as a failed state on the Foreign Policy and Fund for Peace 2012. The Failed State Index that assesses 178 countries based on 12 social, economic and political indicators. Ranked at 45th place, Lebanon will to have to make enormous efforts to get out of the top 50 list of unsuccessful countries. Bass, since we are severely brainwashed, yemkin we’re proud to be in the top places of random bad news lists? Enno it’s like we got used to being selected in international magazines as the best tourist destination for summer vacations or among the World’s top party cities. Ntaza3na. 46 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co
But analyzing the conspiracy theory behind Lebanon’s deteriorating conditions would be boring to you. This is sad but in many ways, not unexpected. We’re all so tired from the tonzir and te7lil, spamming our TV channels, radio stations and newspapers. But, evaluating the state of some crucial sectors can give you a very clear idea about wen kenna w wen sorna.
EVALUATING THE STATE OF SOME CRUCIAL SECTORS CAN GIVE YOU A VERY CLEAR IDEA ABOUT WEN KENNA W WEN SORNA. NEW WORLD ORDER
EXHIBIT A PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION At the dawn of the 20th century, Lebanon inaugurated a tramway for public transportation. Undeniably, this was a superb initiative that made the life of the Lebanese people much easier. But good things in this country are not allowed to last. The decent public transportation system was, unfortunately, eradicated. Today we’re left with 3 less than stellar choices: 1.TAKE AS BUS OR A “SERVICE” This option entails the following • Risk your life by standing on the highway waiting for a random bus/taxi to appear- inta w 7azzak- la2ano having bus/taxi stations is too mainstream. • Be ready to STAND kel el tari2 while the driver 3am birab7ak jmile enno talla3ak because there’s no places left.
• Accept the fact that you may die at any point la2anno el driver will jeopardize the life of his passengers just ta ydawbil 3an his competitor w yol2at zbounet ablo! 2. RIDE A BICYCLE OR A MOBYLETTE Men el ekhir, whether you are just an environmentally-friendly person equipped with all the safety measures from A to Z, or just another wazwaz driving 3al rasif or 3aks el ser, the result would be anonymous: rah yed3asouk. So save yourself the pain of feeling like you’re about to be trampled among crazy drivers and jump to options 1 or 3. 3. BUY YOUR OWN CAR It is true that driving a car in Lebanon would shorten your life by an average of 10 years, but sometimes this might be your only choice. On the bright side, you will learn the newest versions of the infamous Lebanese msabbet, discover your wild side, and unleash you inner monster. Life at its best!
EXHIBIT B ART + CULTURE Previously, we’ve celebrated icons like Fairuz, Wadih el Safi and the talented Rahbani Brothers. Today, we have a bunch of Nana, Nouna, Nina, Nanou w
mouchta2eton using music videos to promote their bodies across the Arab World. Played 50 times on the radio daily, some songs like “Il3ab Il3ab”, “3abbouta”, “3antar”, “Wawa A7” proudly symbolize the era of 2al 2in7itat el fanni!
EXHIBIT C RELIGION Prior to 1975, Lebanon rarely knew what Ta2ifiyeh was all about. Lil 2asaf, today, people are not classified 7asab their religions only, bass according to their mazehib as well. 3anjad 3anjad, whenever they talk about appointments in the civil sector, we feel as though we Lebanese are anwe3 khodra or fwekeh. No really,“3ayzin wahad Chi3e bi hal markaz” w “na2esna ba3ed wahad Marouneh bi hal wizara” looks a lot like “3ayzin kilo batata” w “3ayzin tnen kilo banadoura”. That was just a small sample proving again that a New World Order does exist, well in Lebanon at least. Facing this disastrous situation, you can either rebel against the so-called elite ruling the country for decades. Or you can just give up, nagging desperately: chou fine a3mol? Ma hayda Lebnen ya 3ayneh! It is YOUR choice
RISK YOUR LIFE BY STANDING ON THE HIGHWAY WAITING FOR A RANDOM BUS/TAXI TO APPEAR- INTA W 7AZZAKLA2ANO HAVING BUS/TAXI STATIONS IS TOO MAINSTREAM.
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RAGGED NEW WORLD ORDER FACTS NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM This Latin expression means “New Order of Ages” and has been featured on the reverse side of the US Great Seal since 1782 and on the back of American one dollar bill since 1935. It originally refers to the dawning of a new age for the United States of America as an independent nation. Statesmen such as Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill used the expression New World Order to speak of the shift in power balance after WWI and II.
CONSPIRACY 101 A conspiracy theory states that important social, economic or political changes in our world are due to plots largely unknown by the general public and are in the hands of secret groups or organizations. “Conspiracy theory” was a rather neutral term before the mid-1960’s but now indicates paranoia in people who see evil everywhere. There are some conspiracy theories that were proven (Nixon being behind the Watergate break-in and cover-up) but most of them remain widely unfounded and unproven, such as the exsiting Bilderberg Group’s intentions.
According to conspiracy theorists, that is the number of people who control the world population of 6 Billion. These conspiracy theorist have twisted the New World Order and some claim that governments of the great powers along with heads of international movements and bigshot entrepreneurs are a superclass that runs things on our planet in a constructive but self-interested effort to retain full supremacy in all walks of life.
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NEW WORLD ORDER
GLOBAL GROUP In the Baha’I faith, the New World Order refers to a set of teachings given by the founder of the religion, the Baha’u’llah. These principles include a spiritual and material world commonwealth established on certain values that include world peace, equity, human rights, the eradication of extreme wealth and poverty, a universal language, diversity of culture and possibilities and benefits that cannot be comprehended today, only generally outlined. Abdul Baha’
LIVES When Antonin Dvorak visited the USA (or the New World) between 1892 and 1895, he was so inspired by Native American music and AfricanAmerican spirituals that he decided to write a symphony that embodies these two cultures. This ninth symphony (or Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World”) premiered at Carnegie Hall in December 1893 to thunderous applause and remains Dvorak’s most popular piece even though music experts say it has more elements of his native Bohemia than American influences.
The New World Order, or nWo, was a wrestling stable in the WCW (World Championship Wrestling) and the WWF (World Wrestling Federation); it started as a storyline of a gang of unsanctioned wrestlers trying to take over and control the WCW. The nWo angle is considered to be the most successful angle of modern-day wrestling and ran from the late 90’s until the dissolution of the WCW in 2001, with a successful reboot in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) in 2002.
The street in Miami, Florida that Pitbull (AKA the self-styled Mr. Worldwide) refers to in his first big hit from his 2009 album “Rebelution”. The song is officially titled “I Know You Want Me” but mostly referred to as Calle Ocho. His latest album, “Planet Pit” clearly refers to his “global” persona (and yes, we are being sarcastic). The globetrotter recently performed in Lebanon, reportedly “pointing his package” at ladies in the audience.
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SI TÚ TE VAS MIX FM BRINGS THE LATIN LOVER TO LEBANON DURING SUMMER’S STEAMIEST MONTH
Opening with one of his best loved songs, “Tonight I’m Loving You,” is one way the Latin singing sensation made sure the crowd was on fire from the get go. Another way to get 15000 people at the Beirut Waterfront to really go wild? Doing a shot of vodka on stage! The son of Julio Iglesias proved that using his pipes is no small matter as he belted out chart-toppers like Bailamos, Dirty Dancer (with Usher and multi-platinum rapper Lil Wayne projected on screen), and Heartbeat (with Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger also projected). The best part of the night? 21 year-old RAGMAG reader Johnny Boghossian got pulled up on stage! Johnny, thanks for tweeting those videos at our team, we felt like we were right up there with you doing the renditions of Enrique’s “Maybe”, “I Like How It Feels” and everyone’s favorite ballad, “Hero”. Enrique Iglesias owned this town the very minute he landed and we can’t wait to see the King of Latin Pop make it happen again!
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NEW WORLD ORDER
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THE FINAL FRONTIER
DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT’S UP WITH
WhatsApp? PRIVACY+TELECOM DON’T MIX IN TODAY’S WORLD BY MARIA-ELENA KASSAB
n today’s world, “Do you have WhatsApp?” is one of the most commonly asked questions. The global phenomenon is an instant messaging application (like the BlackBerry Messenger) that any phone user can acquire for free, and it has taken Lebanon by storm. And since we Lebanese people must tell everyone where we are and what we’re doing and expect others to follow suit, WhatsApp is the newest topic on our minds at RAGMAG. WhatsApp Messenger (WAM) routes messages through your phone number to any of the contacts on your phone. It allows you to send messages of unlimited length, media (pictures, videos, sound recordings…) with very low network usage. You can create groups to chat with multiple contacts, change group icons and your own statuses and discover which of your contacts are also WhatsApp users. For those of you resisting the urge to experiement with the app, here’s the low down: When you have someone’s number on your phone, you are automatically privy to the information of whether or not they are on WhatsApp. You can enter any random phone number and if that person has WhatsApp, you can message them directly. Whatsapp also tells other users when you were last active, if you are online and if you’ve read the messages they’ve sent you. And while I’ll admit that I’m a WhatsApp user and I’ve saved a lot on SMS messages and useless phone calls when the lines are iffy –which they regularly are – I can’t stand the fact that people can now send me a message and demand to know why I didn’t answer when I was clearly online when I received it. WhatsApp has its uses and advantages but I cannot stand it when people use it just to send messages like “Chou?” and “What’s up?” Send something worth sending or don’t bother me. Nayayers claim that WhatsApp has truly helped destroy personal boundaries. People often abuse what is given to them
freely –SMS tends to get expensive when you send a million texts a day whereas WhatsApp doesn’t charge you for how many messages you send. People expect you to be available to reply 24/7 and no longer understand the concept of “metime” or “no-phone time”. And on the topic of phone apps that frustrate people more than they help, why not talk about True Caller? This is an app, developed by True Software Scandinavia AB, that you can link to your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to “see who the unknown caller is before answering” and supposedly helps you avoid unwanted calls. You can also search for people worldwide. Welcome to the online 411 or Yellow Pages. You can literally enter any phone number anywhere in the world and they tell you who that person is. Doesn’t it remind you of the SMS service in Lebanon where you could send someone’s license plate number and get the person’s name? While we acknowledge the benefit of a worldwide Caller ID and Number Search service (the app helps you block spam calls), we can’t help but find this a little bit creepy. So what about you, readers? Are you WhatsApp abusers or True Caller addicts? Let us know!
PEOPLE EXPECT YOU TO BE AVAILABLE TO REPLY 24/7 AND NO LONGER UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF “ME-TIME” OR “NO-PHONE TIME”.
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NEW WORLD ORDER
CHAMPAGNE, CAVIAR AND POPCORN AT THE MOVIES.
7 SCREENS + LEBANON’S FIRST VIP THEATRE
GRAND CINEMAS NOW OPEN AT ABC DBAYEH Entertainment will never be the same again. www.facebook.com/GCLebanon | www.grandcinemas.com AUGUST 2012
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RESHAPE YOUR WORLD + KEEP CONTROL BY MATTHEW HUSSEY
WE SPEND OUR LIFE TRYING TO KEEP UP EVERY IDENTITY, RUSHING BETWEEN PRIORITIES AND TRYING TO BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE, ONLY TO GET TO THE END OF IT ALL AND WISH THAT WE SPENT MORE TIME DOING WHAT WE REALLY WANTED.
very single human being in the modern world experiences the same ultimate tension. This tension was elegantly summed up by Dr. Faye Miller of TV’s “Mad Men”: “In a nutshell, it all comes down to what I want versus what’s expected of me.” It’s easy to get bogged down in life when we feel like we are living in someone else’s world. We can spend so much time and energy conforming to what society expects of us. Society tells us that we have to both do and have it all, and we burn ourselves out trying to be Mr. or Mrs. Everything: the ambitious careerist, the family man, the perfect parent, the gym fiend, the party animal, the jet-setting adventurer, the sartorial fashion-expert, the popular friend, the well-read intellect, the charismatic extrovert, the deep private thinker, the guy who keeps up with all the news…When will it ever end? And so we spend our life trying to keep up every identity, rushing between priorities and trying to be all things to all people, only to get
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to the end of it all and wish that we spent more time doing what we really wanted. Now I know that what people expect of us is important, but we have to think about whose expectations we are living for. Most of us are doing all of this not for our loved ones, but for strangers. We are living in a world that is controlled by the expectations of people unknown to us. There is a way to live so that we don’t strain under this constant anxiety of society’s expectations. Here are a few ways that we can start building a world that works for us.
WE GET STUCK IN A RUT IN LIFE WHEN WE GO INTO AUTO-PILOT MODE, IN WHICH WE JUST GO THROUGH THE ROUTINES. NEW WORLD ORDER
MIND, BODY+SOUL LET GO Let go of what truly does not matter. What identities are you holding onto that you could really do without? What hours are you currently committing to things that have long since ceased to bring you any joy? Now, grab a pen and scribble down everything that turns you on emotionally and creatively. Ask yourself how many of these things are a part of your everyday life right now. If they’re not, why aren’t they? SEEK STIMULATION Give yourself an instant hit of something you’d love to spend more time doing. If it’s reading, go and buy yourself three new books (not related to work!) and just give yourself the gift of time spent reading on the weekend. Many of us allow others to dictate our time for us. We get stuck in a rut in life when we go into auto-pilot mode, in which we just go through the routines; we work, come home, instantly put the television on, and sit slumped over until we get
tired and fall asleep. Whatever your pattern is, find a way to break it. Even doing this in little ways will re-assert your mental control over your world.
joy, give to others or work towards that would make you look back at this year as though it were an artistic masterpiece in the art of living?
LIVE + LEARN Sometimes it’s hard to shake up your world. Seek out new people to re-invigorate you. Try new things without your regular friends as comfort. Find a new skill you want to develop and go it alone. It might be cooking, a creative writing class, acting, or joining a tennis club. If you go it alone, you’ll get the benefit of exposing yourself to a whole bunch of new people who share your passion and can open up your world again.
REGISTER REWARDS To make sure we don’t let ourselves off the hook, we have to schedule in our stimulation. Create your new life bit by bit. That dream vacation to Paris? What if you booked it for six months from now, and were determined to make it happen no matter what? We always have to feed ourselves these incentives to keep ourselves inspired to move toward the things we really want. Oscar Wilde said, “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves”. I truly believe that we ourselves are the form of government that most affects the shape of our own lives. What laws are you going to prescribe yourself to create your brave new world?
ADOPT AN ART EYE It pays to think of our lives in chunks. How do you feel about this year? What would you need to do in the next six months to feel like this year was wellspent? Paint every year as though it’s a work of art. What can you achieve, en-
To find more of Matthew’s advice visit www.matthewhussey.com
WHATEVER YOUR PATTERN IS, FIND A WAY TO BREAK IT. EVEN DOING THIS IN LITTLE WAYS WILL REASSERT YOUR MENTAL CONTROL OVER YOUR WORLD. 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 Lon-
don Metro, Evening Standard, The Sun, The Independent, Men’s Health, Glamour magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Elle magazine. A highly sought after public speaker and executive coach, Matthew has consulted companies including Accenture, Virgin, Morgan Stanley, Weil & Gotshal, and CB Richard Ellizs, as well as over 5000 individuals and organizations ranging from directors of FTSE 100 Companies, Universities, international investment funds, artists, and royalty. For more information on Matthew Hussey´s worldwide coaching programmes visit www.matthewhussey.com
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MIND, BODY+SOUL TO ASK A QUESTION send your problems to email@example.com
TO JOIN THE READER RESPONSE PANEL and give feedback to women across Lebanon, send your name, age, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org subject line: Interactive Panel We will contact you if you are chosen to participate.
NOUR+RABIH BY NOUR OBAJI + RABIH FEGHALI
WHY DO YOU KNOW HE’S THE ONE FOR YOU? WHY CAN’T SOMEONE ELSE BE THE ONE? I PERSONALLY THINK THAT HUMAN BEINGS ARE INCAPABLE OF MENTAL MONOGAMY –MEANING YOU WILL ALWAYS ENTERTAIN OTHER (AND POSSIBLY BETTER) OPTIONS. I have been in a relationship for almost 4 years now. The thing is, it used to be really good, it was a strong relationship, we gave each other space and privacy, and we liked it the way it was. Lately, I have been tempted to cheat on him. I am losing interest in him, in our relationship. We don’t have anything to tell each other anymore, it’s the same conversations over and over again. I want to try and make it work, because I KNOW he’s the one for me, I believe in that, I just need to fight the interest I am taking in other people, and work on US. Give me a piece of advice on how to tackle the issue? Joanna, 21
“If you guys see each other daily as you mentioned above then it’s no surprise you ended up here. I think it’s better to be distant from him for a while or try something new together to heat it up again, in case you really want that. Cheating is not a good solution.” Amal, 37
“Long term relationships can be difficult because you fall into a pattern that is hard to break, it is comforting and easy. It sounds to me like you are having an early version of the 7 year itch and perhaps it is time to examine whether or not he is right for you. You may love him, respect
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him and think he is a great guy but that does not mean he is the one. If he was, the urge to cheat would be more like an admiration of someone attractive and that is it. Time to take a good hard look at what you really want. If it is him, then you need to have a talk with him about getting the spark back because you may not be the only one feeling this way.”
Nour’s Vote You seem to want to make this work and that effort is commendable. That being said, you may be erring on the side of caution in my opinion. I am not in the habit of passing judgment on people’s lifestyles per se, nor am I a big fan of preaching but a few things need to be said. I don’t agree with the deterministic attitude that this MUST work. Why do you know he’s the one for you? Why can’t someone else be the one? I personally think that human beings are incapable of mental monogamy –meaning you will always entertain other (and possibly better) options. He sounds like a P.O.P. scenario (Perfect on Paper) and for that reason you’re willing to wade through hell and high water. If it were me, I wouldn’t make it work, I would try out other fish in the sea and then maybe it would be much clearer to me mentally how much better he is for me than other people. But again, that’s Nour talking about Nour. How you deal with this is your business.
NEW WORLD ORDER
HELP ME NOUR+RABIH
Rabih’s Vote Why do you say he’s the one for you? If you’re bored after 4 years, how will you feel in 7 years? Or 10 or 20? This is completely normal. When a couple don’t share a purpose (like children for example), it becomes harder to keep things lively. Talk to him, find out what is going on with him, and try to find a common purpose. You say he’s the one for you, but did you ever ask yourself if you are the one for him? My husband and I just had a baby. It seems to me, he doesn’t understand that as a parent, his need to go golfing and partying with his friends should be reduced a bit. How do I make him understand that very simple concept? Jenny, 27
“You need to make it clear to him that you are both parents and both of you have the same responsibilities. Just because you gave birth doesn’t mean all the responsibility is on you! Being a parent is a two person job, it is time your man steps up and becomes a parent! Otherwise, you will have two kids to look after!”
HE NEEDS TO GROW UP. IT’S A VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD CONVERSATION AND IT GOES LIKE THIS: “HONEY, YOU AND I MADE THIS BABY TOGETHER. YOUR CONTRIBUTION DOESN’T END AT BIOLOGY. YOUR CONTRIBUTION INCLUDES A LIFELONG COMMITMENT TO SHOULDERING YOUR SHARE OF THE WORK NEEDED TO RAISE THIS CHILD.” BE FIRM AND STAND YOUR GROUND. AUGUST 2012
PLEASE DON’T GET MARRIED BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO. LIFE ISN’T ONLY ABOUT MARRIAGE. GO LIVE. Cristina, 24
“You sit his ass down and you tell him that he is a father now and contrary to what he believes, his role didn’t end during conception. This is a lifetime job that he has to man up to. Also keep in mind that he might be terrified or doesn’t know how to be a dad, kindly explain the intricacies of parenthood to him.”
Nour’s Vote He needs to grow up. It’s a very straightforward conversation and it goes like this: “Honey, you and I made this baby together. Your contribution doesn’t end at biology. Your contribution includes a lifelong commitment to shouldering your share of the work needed to raise this child.” Be firm and stand your ground. If you are capable of having a child, you are perfectly capable of speaking to your husband and putting your foot down. And please ignore Rabih.
Rabih’s Vote This is normal. Some men, although they may be ready to commit to a woman, are not necessarily ready to start a family. I’m assuming that maybe this “parent” situation was not planned? Anyhow, don’t worry, with time and age, he’ll succumb to the mundane routine you wish to sen-
tence him to. In the meantime, lighten up and let the dude enjoy himself – he’ll resent you if you don’t! Should I be in love with a person before marriage or do you believe love can develop? I am starting to think this way because after being in love (or what I thought was love) lots of times, we always ended up not suited for a commitment like marriage. But there are nice guys out there who I have TRIED to fall for but it hasn’t happened. Elena, 22
“If you get married to someone who you don’t love, the chances of falling in love with them after you tie the knot aren’t that good. Please don’t get married because you think you have to. Life isn’t only about marriage. Go live.” Maya, 32
“You can’t marry someone, for me, if you don’t love him. It’s better to be in love and then get married but to be honest there is no general rule. The idea that love fades after marriage is already there so why increase that risk that by marrying someone that you don’t love to begin with?”
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TO ASK A QUESTION send your problems to email@example.com
TO JOIN THE READER RESPONSE PANEL and give feedback to women across Lebanon, send your name, age, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org subject line: Interactive Panel We will contact you if you are chosen to participate.
WE ARE IN AN AGE WHEN MORE THAN EVER, PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO SEE THE VALUE OF A RELIABLE PARTNER OVER AN EXCITING, AND POSSIBLY TRANSIENT, ONE.
Nour’s Vote Love is a very relative concept. To some people, love is a feeling of warm regard for another and to others it’s a sweatypalm and butterfly-in-the-stomach kind of thing. Nour personally thinks the former has way more longevity and doesn’t fall prey to the ugly fluctuations that the latter does. It is really easy to fall for Hollywood ideas and believe that every prince is meant to sweep a likely princess off of her feet. Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with old school type marriages –take this with a grain of salt- devotion and a determined attitude can go a lot farther than electric kisses when it comes to a long-term relationship. That being said, should you marry someone who you force yourself to have sex with? Of course not. We are in an age when more than ever, people are starting to see the value of a reliable partner over an exciting, and possibly transient, one.
Make your choice according to what you want out of life. It is, nowadays, a luxury we as women are afforded. I say luxury because not very long ago, women were forced to “settle” for quality of life reasons (read: money). This is no longer the case, thankfully, so take full advantage of this and really think things through before making the leap. As usual, Rabih sounds like a misogynist so I suggest you just skip his vote altogether.
Rabih’s Vote In my opinion (and at the risk of sounding cheddar), when it comes to marriage you shouldn’t settle for anything less than love. Give it time, the right guy will come along when you least expect it. Please note that this strategy only works until you’re 35. Once you hit that milestone, just marry the next guy that’s willing to take you.
What is it about a woman that loves an outgoing man but when she’s with him she’s jealous of it? Nour’s Vote This is a tough one. I was dating someone who was super outgoing and extremely friendly. This was majorly important to me as I have dated too many difficult men in the past who never made my friends (especially male friends) feel welcome. This guy made everyone feel welcome and wasn’t easily threatened which was an ideal scenario for me. Not long ago, I met a girl who was surprised to find out he and I had dated during that timeframe because she said he “acted single”. When asked what that entailed, she said he talked to all the women present and was very friendly with them. She was quick to mention nothing inappropriate happened, just that he never indicated he was in a relationship. This doesn’t bother me at all, in fact, I find it refreshing. We aren’t together now but his friendly and outgoing side was definitely a plus in my opinion. Other women may not like it so much. Female friends of mine always asked if
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I was jealous and wondered how I could deal with someone who talked to everyone. The answer? Because I’m friendly, I talk to everyone and I don’t always announce to anyone who’ll listen that I’m in a relationship. Date someone that mirrors you and it should be smooth sailing.
Rabih’s Vote There are limits to how “outgoing” you should be once you’re committed to a woman. Don’t lose your “outgoing-ness” but learn to be sensible with how you interact with people, especially other women
DATE SOMEONE THAT MIRRORS YOU AND IT SHOULD BE SMOOTH SAILING. NEW WORLD ORDER
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OUT OFSEXTHIS WORLD WITH AN ALIEN BY BEIRUT OCTARINE
YOUR LIBIDO WILL PLAY TRICKS ON YOU… AND BY THE WAY, DON’T BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT SEX-TOYS WHATEVER IT IS “THEY” SAY.
n a boring day in Washington DC, I walked into by Mattel. “Not for me, I could never a friendly-looking sex-shop. I looked at every- climax with Barbie’s dildo!” The realisthing but never made it to the S&M area. I knew tic ones, complete with blue veins and I was really there to buy my first dildo. At the available in all ethnic skin-tones looked ripe old age of 24 and vastly inexperienced in really morbid, like real penises had that particular field of been chopped off fun, I did what every girl THE MEDIUM-SIZED DEVIL WAS A and dipped in wax… would do (I think), and TRANSLUCENT ELECTRIC-BLUE not for me, not ever! first picked up the biggest Then I found mine, silicone cock in the shop, WONDER THAT LOOKED LIKE IT one just right for me. however, like Goldilocks, COULD HAVE BELONGED TO AN The medium-sized I was appalled by the EXTRATERRESTRIAL. devil was a transsheer size of the monster. lucent electric-blue As the saleswoman approached me, I played it cool, “I’m just wonder that looked like it could have browsing, not sure what I want today,” I said, trying to find belonged to an extraterrestrial. The the exact same tone of voice I use at Zara or H&M. funkier look made it a bit less serious, They had all sizes, all colors, a true Benetton of cock. Cute, and slightly less scary. The silicone had tiny, silver ones that looked like bullets and which I learned, a strong minty, bubble gum smell. Like were called butt-plugs. “Not for me, not today,” I said with Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoes. This my best emoticon-like smile. The double-penetration ones I just might be fun after all! couldn’t quite figure-out… then there was a pink one with At the cash register, I didn’t even preglitter that was featured in Cosmo! It looked like it was made tend it was a present for a friend (obvi-
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NEW WORLD ORDER
MON AMOUR, MON AMI
ously, like any well-behaved Arab girl, my initial plan was to Then I turned off the light, it was enough ask them to wrap it for me) and I even mustered the courage to know my partner for the night was an to ask the saleswoman to add batteries so it would be ready alien. I went slowly at first… too slow. for immediate use! Really proud of myself, I cancelled all my I was gentle… again nothing, so I set afternoon appointments and ran home to play with my new my cock (E.T.’s cock… mine, ours) at acquisition. I already loved it, at last, a “man” that would do maximum vibration; I gave it stronger it exactly my way! wrist action… In my bedroom, I looked for It was not sexy. I some instructions online and I DIDN’T BOTHER TO was stark naked, read that I needed lubricant WAX MY LEGS BECAUSE I with my legs wide which I didn’t have. The online FIGURED MY SILICONE MAN open, alone in a fortutorial said I could also use oleign landscape with ive oil but that would have felt WOULDN’T MIND. a neon-blue silicone like treason. Olive oil is what goes on labne, olive oil is what dildo in my hand and a bottle of lube they produce at my father’s Mediterranean village, where we on the bedside table. Zip and zero. So I have great homegrown olive trees. That would not do… not turned on the TV looking for porn and at all. So I went out again and bought lubricant at the phar- found old “Friends” reruns. This was the macy… now I was in a hurry. Back home again, I took my end of the outer space visitor and me. time, I had a drink then a shower, and I did most things I I jumped back into the shower and enusually do before a date but I didn’t bother to wax my legs joyed the reassuring water massage of because I figured my silicone man wouldn’t mind. my old friend the showerhead. When it comes to DIY, sometimes simple works best. I can forget about aliens and toys, but I will never get over the grotesquely obscene minty silicone smell mixed with my own. Don’t beam me up, Scottie. I like earth better
I CAN FORGET ABOUT ALIENS AND TOYS, BUT I WILL NEVER GET OVER THE GROTESQUELY OBSCENE MINTY SILICONE SMELL MIXED WITH MY OWN. DON’T BEAM ME UP, SCOTTIE. I LIKE EARTH BETTER.
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FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TO READ OR NOT TO READ BY MARIA-ELENA KASSAB
Contributor’s Opinion While the prose sometimes sucks and the main character sometimes deserves a beating (pun intended), it was impossible for me to put the book down!
ot tonight, honey,” these words are familiar to was released in September 2011 and the everyone and often followed by “I have a mi- last part, Fifty Shades Freed, in January graine” or “I’m dead tired.” These days, how- 2011. The woman behind the phenomever, the sentence that follows is, “I’m reading”. enon is 49 year-old mother of two, Erika Don’t believe me? Ask the millions of middle- Mitchell. aged women who are devouring erotic fiction books like The book’s soaring sales have nothnever before, spurred by ing to do with publicDUBBED “MOMMY-PORN” the unimaginable success ity or a famous author; of “mommy-porn” phe- BECAUSE OF THE APPEAL IT HAS it was word-of-mouth nomenon, EL James’ Fifty FOR WOMEN OVER THE AGE recommendations that Shades of Grey. OF THIRTY, THIS BOOK IS MORE made the first volume The book in question sell more than 100,000 POPULAR THAN ACTUAL SEX started as Twilight fan paperback copies in fiction entitled “Masters WITH WOMEN THESE DAYS one week, which bests of the Universe”, originally published on fan fiction websites books by JK Rowling and Dan Brown. which got a little too many comments because of its sexual Dubbed “Mommy-Porn” because of the nature. James then pulled it off these websites and started her appeal it has for women over the age of own, FiftyShades.com, later renaming the characters Christian thirty, this book is more popular than Grey and Anastasia Steele and removed it from her website actual sex with women these days acprior to the book publication. The extended and re-written cording to recent polls. The poll goes Masters of the Universe was then split into three parts and on to say that women complain of ease, the first volume, Fifty Shades of Grey, was released as an familiarity, routine, lack of imagination ebook and a print-on-demand book by The Writer’s Coffee and plain old shyness in their sex lives, Shop in May 2011. The second volume, Fifty Shades Darker especially when compared to the book.
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NEW WORLD ORDER
Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of a young virgin, Anasta- The books have received mixed reviews sia Steele, who gets tangled up in the darkly erotic world of with some critics crying out in outrage older millionaire Christian Grey. Steele tries hard to be both at elements of abuse featured in the who she is (an innocent virgin with no previous romantic ex- book, only to be shot down by those perience and a hopeless romantic) and be whom Grey wants who praise it as an introduction to the her to be (his submisincreasingly-popular sive partner in what she WITH VIVIDLY DESCRIBED SEX world of BDSM. Some dubs the Red Room of SCENES AND ELEMENTS OF critics found the book Pain). With vividly de- BDSM, THIS BOOK ALSO HELPED to be empowering and scribed sex scenes and feminist success beBOOST THE SALES OF HARDWARE acause elements of BDSM, this women are now book also helped boost STORES AND SEX SHOPS free to read and disthe sales of hardware stores (just like the characters in the cuss these subjects. And critics have book, people use commonplace hardware elements for light added that while the prose is somewhat bondage) and sex shops (for handcuffs, whips and any kinky clunky and the author uses too many object named in the book). British idioms to let us believe that the main protagonist is American, the book is a page-turner and an easy read that would help women enrich their sex lives without guilt. So next time your friend is too engrossed in a book for your girlsâ€™ night out or when she zones out of the conversation to glance at the book in her lap, look at the spine: she might have fallen victim to the devastating charm of Christian Grey and his seductive world of pain and pleasure
SOME CRITICS FOUND THE BOOK TO BE EMPOWERING AND A FEMINIST SUCCESS BECAUSE WOMEN ARE NOW FREE TO READ AND DISCUSS THESE SUBJECTS. AND CRITICS HAVE ADDED THAT WHILE THE PROSE IS SOMEWHAT CLUNKY, THE BOOK IS A PAGE-TURNER AND AN EASY READ THAT WOULD HELP WOMEN ENRICH THEIR SEX LIVES WITHOUT GUILT. AUGUST 2012
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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES
SUMMER SENSATION EYEWEAR
Sun worshippers listen up! Look great and protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays with this selection of fantastic eyewear. Beaching just got shadier with this catwalk selection! This is our third sunglass segment and our last for the year- get ‘em while they’re hot!
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
PARIS HILTON IN VALENTINO SUNGLASSES
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NEW WORLD ORDER
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FML [F**K MY LIFE]
WATER WORLD G SPA TAKES RAGMAG FOR A DIP BY SARAH HOURANY
PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA
I HEAD TO THE LUXURIOUS “G SPA” LOCATED IN THE CENTER OF ACHRAFIEH WHERE COACH CHARBEL INTRODUCES ME TO THE THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF AQUA SPORTS.
very person I know has at least one close friend whose sole purpose in life is to tease them. I too have one of those friends: Selim. I’ve known him for more than 6 years and I swear that not a single day goes by without having to deal with his non-stop sa2ale. In fact, he thinks that I’m the typical “spoiled” girl who is generally too lazy to do any sort of sports. Truth be told, I can be a typical couch potato, and an annoying “je22it nom”, all the time. However, this all changed when I decided to sign up for Tae Bo classes more than a year ago. Selim had challenged me to do one month of continuous workouts without quitting. To his surprise (and mine), I’m still attending classes regularly, at least 2 times weekly. Injez! As happy as I am to have won the bet, I was bored of doing the same routine over and over. But ditching classes before finding a replacement was out of question. How can I face Selim’s teasing if I stop working out? Luckily, Fida offered me the alternative (without knowing though). She told me that I would be trying out Aqua Gym and Aqua Ride for the magazine’s August FML section. “Wear a bathing suit,” she said. “This can save the situation,” I said!
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Editor’s Note No matter what randomness I assign Sarah, she always answers with a positive remark and a sunny voice. Elena, Youmna, Amal, and yes even Gina, should all take note of this. #JustSaying
So I head to the luxurious “G Spa” located in the center of Achrafieh where Coach Charbel introduces me to the theoretical and practical aspects of aqua sports. He basically highlights the difference between “aqua gym” and “aqua ride”, explaining that the first includes the performance of aerobic activities in the pool while the second involves the use of sports machines in the water. He also notes that G Spa is the only place in Lebanon offering a combination of these two activities. Excited, I ask him to start teaching me quickly so I better understand what these water-oriented workouts really feel like.
NEW WORLD ORDER
RATHER THAN DOING REPETITIVE STEPS OF THE SAME EXERCISE WITH EXTENSIVE REST PERIODS BETWEEN THE SETS, THE CIRCUIT IS DESIGNED IN A WAY THAT ALTERNATE BETWEEN AQUA GYM AND AQUA RIDE SEQUENCES. He places the machines in a circle so we can start what he calls “an interval and circuit training”. Coach Charbel stresses that this type of training will maximize the number of calories that I can burn and make my cardiovascular system work hard by keeping me in constant motion. “Rather than doing repetitive steps of the same exercise with extensive rest periods between the sets, the circuit is designed in a way that alternate between aqua gym and aqua ride sequences. This would allow working on the opposing muscle groups,” he adds.
He then guides me through a 30 minute workout during which I do three sequences of aqua gym and three others of aqua ride, following the initial warm-up routine. What is particularly interesting about the session is that it was tailormade, designed to meet my specific needs (needless to say, I am a beginner!). Editor’s Note Miss Mary Sunshine, do you ever not enjoy the things I assign you? Everything is always coming up roses, even when we’re talking about an intense workout and a crash course in gym-training! If you don’t know Sarah, you might think she’s high when reading her FML experiences or in this case, running low on the O2.
The aqua gym sequences often consists of 1.5 minutes of repetitions performed in the water using a noodle or water dumbbells to do a whole slew of stuff: arm curls and arm extensions, chest flies, back pull-downs, leg presses or innerthigh squeezes. The aqua ride sequences incorporate repetitive movements using the machines, particularly bikes, that target both my lower and upper body. When compared to other workout classes, time flies by very quickly! At the end of the session, I felt happy and refreshed. Aqua ride is officially my new favorite activity.
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ONE OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF AQUA GYM IS THAT IT ACTIVATES YOUR BLOOD CIRCULATION AND THE OXYGENATION OF YOUR MUSCULAR TISSUE, GIVEN THE PRESENCE OF THE HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE 1.YOU LOSE CALORIES, BUILD MUSCLES AND TONE UP YOUR BODY. Charbel informed me that aqua gym sessions could vary in length between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours and can help you burn between 600 and 700 calories on average. Plus, by using your body’s natural resistance against the water, you build muscle and tone up your entire body. 2.YOU HAVE FUN. Routine can be easily avoided during aqua gym classes as the circuit can be redesigned periodically. The exercises can be altered and new accessories can be incorporated into the workout. 3.YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU WANT. You can decide whether you want private classes or group classes. You can also pick the level of difficulty you desire, depending on your fitness level. 4. YOU IMPROVE YOUR BLOOD CIRCULATION AND YOUR HEART’S ACTIVITY. One of the health benefits of aqua gym is that it activates your blood circulation and the oxygenation of your mus-
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cular tissue, given the presence of the hydrostatic pressure. Plus, it promotes a healthy heart as it increases its rate moderately, keeping it lower than when exercising on land.
and alleviates joint pain. It’s also beneficial for people in need of rehabilitation after surgeries. So if you suffer from any of these diseases, don’t hesitate to sign up for aqua gym classes!
5. YOU REMOVE ALL TENSION FROM YOUR BODY. You feel completely disconnected from the world while working out in the water. Besides, the water acts as massage therapy for the head and the back removing all the stress from your body.
9. YOU ENJOY A RISK-FREE ACTIVITY. Practicing aqua gym reduces risk of joint or muscle injury since the water supports much of your weight.
6. YOU DON’T SWEAT. Unlike the other sports, exercising in the water is sweat-free (well, at least you don’t feel like you’re sweating) and very refreshing.
Editor’s Note Sarah, you’re making even me want to try this out! If everyone walks out of G Spa’s facilities sounding like you, then I don’t know why we aren’t all attending the aqua series there with Charbel. Selim, you included. Sign us up, G Spa!
7. YOU DON’T FEEL JUDGED. There is no enormous mirror where everyone can see what you’re doing. Enjoy freedom! 8. YOUR BODY HEALS FASTER. Aqua gym is recommended for people suffering from arthritis and osteoporosis. Water reduces stress on the back
10. You prevent your own Selim from making fun of you!
Get High on H20 G Spa Elias Sarkis Avenue Achrafieh Beirut, Lebanon 01210220 email@example.com
NEW WORLD ORDER
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SILKOR YOUR SMOOTHEST SKIN YET BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY
his month’s Spa Review idea started with this obsession us women have when summer approaches: hairiness. Skirts get shorter and tank tops crop up, and all we care about is having hairless legs, underarms and bikini lines. I had an epiphany with RAGMAG’s competition rewarding readers with hair removal vouchers from Silkor, THE leading chain of laser medico-aesthetic services. I had to get it done too, and have it done by professionals. Upon my arrival at the Silkor’s Solidere branch, I’m taken to one of the laser hair removal rooms, where I ask my therapist J. a few questions about the process. The thing is, I’d had hair removal sessions a couple years back, but my hair just grew back. “You must have had IPL instead of laser. The first is temporary, even though the effect lasts
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much longer than wax, while the second is permanent.” Taking a look at my skin, she asks when the last time I went to the beach was. I’d just returned from an island vacation and my skin was burnt, so J. explains that she will have to lower the intensity of the laser so the heat doesn’t add up. Lowering the intensity means I might need more sessions, but if that’s the price for a healthy risk-free treatment, I’m willing to pay it. I lay back on the treatment bed with a machine on each side, while J. warms up the LightSheer laser. Handing my protective glasses, she tells me about Smart Cool, the air-cooler that blows 4° cold air before and during the treatment in order to anaesthetize the skin and reduce discomfort. After cleaning and shaving my already shaved underarms for the hair to be as minimal as pos-
sible, she draws squares to denote the hair-prone region. She then applies a gel to protect the skin and begins rolling the laser over the area. It doesn’t really hurt, rather it feels like tiny stings but the unpleasantness is eased by the cool air and it doesn’t last long. One underarm treatment took less than 3 minutes. J. explains that the laser reaches the hair follicles, not just the hair and that’s what makes it permanent. The laser light is converted to heat which destroys the follicle, preventing regrowth. After finishing my left underarm (which hurt a bit more than the right one apparently because it’s on the side of my heart), J. gives me a few instructions: apply Biafine on the treated part regularly and avoid sun exposure for a few days
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GOOD TO KNOW • The number of sessions needed to get rid of the hair varies from person to person. Lighter skin tones will need fewer sessions than darker skins, as the therapist can increase the laser intensity without fear of burning the skin. On average, 5 sessions are needed for underarms. • You can have hair laser-removed from all body parts without fear of damage to your skin or experiencing side effects other than the temporary redness. • Between sessions, it’s recommended that you shave regularly: the darker and coarser the hair is, the more effective and the less sessions you’ll need.
SILKOR GOT SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY Congratulations to the three Silkor winners of our July “Girl + Guy Problems” social media competition, Rana Abou Alfa, Simon Abboud and Jessica Dazzle! In collaboration with Silkor, RAGMAG offered these three readers a $150 laser hair removal voucher each! We got both male and female readers to play with us in one of our now famous social media Reader Rewards, by telling us about their #GirlProblems and #GuyProblems. Here’s a (hilarious) sample of the comments we got! • “Girl problem #38 Guys want to use eyebrow tweezers for their non-eyebrow removal.” • “Guy Problem #6 Girls! Boyfriend-cut jeans doesn’t mean u can borrow mine… you will look retarded!” • “Guy Problem #2 The conspiracy theory behind girls going in twos to the restroom… They must be cooking up something fishy in there!” @SilkorTweets SilkorHolding Silkor
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FOR LESS NIVEA’S GOT YOUR BEST BET COVERED!
Get NIVEA SUN in spray or lotion format for full on protection. We love NIVEA SUN Moisturizing Sun Lotion SPF30. It’s easily absorbed and offers your skin immediate protection. With an advanced UVA/UVB filter system and a nongreasy water resistant formula, you won’t mind reapplying. Traces of Vitamin E give your skin a boost and the product’s formula also has hydrating properties!
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If you’re planning on getting a tan (healthy beaching dictates you don’t but we think you might not be able to resist), try out their Deep Tanning Oil with jojoba oil to hydrate. Post beaching, use NIVEA SUN moisturizing After-Sun Spray with Aloe Vera to soothe a sun exposed skin and rehydrate.
NEW WORLD ORDER
Skincare woes be gone! NIVEA VISAGE Anti-Wrinkle Q10 plus with Creatine hydrates and has anti-aging properties that won’t break the bank. The best part is that they’ve launched a daytime product for combination skins. You’ve got an SPF15 that still hydrates while refining enlarged pores. You can have it all in one simple step. Start by cleansing the skin gently, follow with a toner if so desired and finish with your Q10. There’s also a separate Q10 eye product available as the fragile skin in that area isn’t the same as the rest of your face. Get skincare smart with Nivea and reap the benefits!
We’re taking Nivea’s Deodorant Invisible for Black & White everywhere! The Invisible range is an anti-perspirant and offers antiodour protection but best of all, it leaves your wardrobe stain-free. Available for men and women in spray, roll on and stick formulations, all 3 formulas are alcohol and colorant free, and approved for use on sensitive skin by dermatologists.
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SMOOTH + SIMPLE
RAGMAG’S HAIR CARE GUIDE FOR SUMMER RECOVERY
REFRESH AND RECOVER YOUR LOCKS WITH RAGMAG’S TOP PICKS. AFTER SUMMER STRESSES ON YOUR TRESSES, YOUR HAIR NEEDS AN OVERHAUL. THESE PRODUCTS ARE SUITABLE FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN LOOKING TO REFURBISH THEIR TIRED MANES. READ UP AND GET GLOWING!
SPLURGE ON L’OCCITANE
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Pentagram of Power
The 5 essential oils in this range are GERANIUM to regenerate, PALMAROSA to boost microcirculation, BERGAMOT to invigorate, ROSEMARY to stimulate the scalp and CEDAR to energize. The products are all SULPHATE-FREE meaning you’re in for a gentle cleansing, have a UV screen to protect hair from the sun’s rays and are laden with grape seed extracts which are rich in antioxdiants. Bonus: THIS RANGE CONTAINS NO SULPHATES, PARABENS OR SYNTHETIC COLORANTS
L’Occitane’s Aromachologie is available in a HAIR MASK 250ML | GENTLE SHAMPOO 250ML/ 500ML | NOURISHING CONDITIONER 250ML/ 500ML Get Yours at ABC Achrafieh | ABC Dbayeh | Beirut Souks
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NEW WORLD ORDER
MUFE MAKES IT HAPPEN Maya Diab and MAKE UP FOR EVER have teamed up to pick the absolute best in their waterproof range for all the ladies who love a fix that won’t give. Maya Diab’s Special Edition Aqua Trousse includes • AQUA CREAM #13 A highly-pigmented, long-lasting waterproof cream which can be used on the eyes as an eyeshadow and on the cheeks and lips as a highlighter in a warm beige colour.
•AQUA LINER #13 Waterproof liquid eyeliner in a matte black. This is the product that makes an ultra-precise line achievable. •AQUA ROUGE #2C Liquid waterproof lipstick in the sexiest nude beige around. You can choose a matte or glossy finish. •AQUA LIP #2C Designed for flawless lips, the extremely waterproof texture of this rosewood shaded pencil can be used to reshape and enhance lip contour.
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ROCK OF AGES
We got backstage with Whitney James, Makeup Department Head for blockbuster film “ROCK OF AGES”! Whitney tells you how their iconic period look was achieved and dishes on some of her own M.A.C. staple products.
FILM FRENZY Q + A WITH WHITNEY JAMES MAKEUP DEPARTMENT HEAD “ROCK OF AGES”
Rock of Ages is set in Hollywood in 1987; how true to the time were you? Did you really follow trends of that year or did you also tweak it, incorporating today’s trends? I followed the period, but a larger time span. When we say the 60s, we all have a visual, but the truth is that is a decade. I was loose with the period of the 80s, in the sense that I pulled from the entire decade. 1980 was very different from 1989, when you think of music bands, let alone the general public. Musicians and actors usually set a trend, so I looked at bands and actors from Def Leppard to Boy George. From Donna Mills to Madonna. What are your top five makeup picks for getting the “Rock of Ages” look? I studied ‘70s and ‘80s rock band books, fashion books and films. I used the ‘70s looks for rockers (male and female) that were over a certain age, as most people hang on to their look from their “heyday.” The younger cast and extras I used the more modern ‘80s makeups, facial hairs and tattoos. When I met with Adam Shankman, the director, in the beginning, we spoke of layered looks, not just the north side of Sunset Blvd. Adam explained that he grew up on Sunset as his father was an attorney who worked across from the Whiskey A Go Go and that he remembered the business men being mixed in with the rocker crowd. 76 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co
What was your favorite makeup look in the movie? Can you tell us how to achieve this look to make it wearable? Julianne Hough had beautiful looks, more every day with a flair from the period. I didn’t want to go to extreme with the period, for fear it would come off as too garish. Julianne had clean looks, with some blue and green shadows, fun lip tones, and full brows. I utilized the fun ‘80s stuff, but without covering her innocence and natural beauty. Malin Ackerman had 2 distinct looks. She is a journalist when we meet her, all business. I tried to remember what the women that worked at fashion stores looked like, trying to play with their makeup and hair, but having to live within the constraints of being a professional. Once Malin’s character meets Stacee Jaxx, she is transformed and realizes her sexual self. Here she becomes ‘80s rocker chick, again without going over the top so we keep the beauty of Malin. NEW WORLD ORDER
Do you have any tips to achieve a perfect smoky eye and red lip? I think the perfect smoky eye is to put a light concealer or base on the lid and brow bone, then go over the lid with a light powder, maybe M.A.C Gesso or Vapour. Next, take smudge eye line and draw and extreme cat eye at the lash line, top and bottom, circling around the entire eye. Then, take M.A.C Espresso eye shadow and with an angle brush, go over the liner line. The powder is 1 shade lighter, so it not only sets the line, but also softens the black. Finally, use a small rounded brush with no makeup on it and smudge and soften all together. Lastly, curl the heck out of the lashes and double-coat mascara. For red lips, put a base coat of foundation on the lips. Line them and use brush for the colour, not directly out of the tube. This will give you more control. After one coat of lipstick, powder the lips and apply one additional coat. What is the one M.A.C product that you cannot go on set without? That’s a toss-up between Cubic powder blush and Lip Glass. The Cubic works on almost every skin tone. It’s my go-to blush, always. Lip Glass really pops the lip. I like C-thru. I use it over lip colour for that added sheen that really sells a smile.
WHITNEY’S TOP PICKS M.A.C. Eyeshadows in Gesso, Vapour & Espresso These highly-pigmented powders allow for even application and blend extremely well. M.A.C. Powder Blush in Cubic This is a great product for both the cheeks and face that is available in various formulas and can help achieve a bevy of different looks. M.A.C. Brush #266 Small Angle Brush Use this to create sharp, precise lines. This brush has fibres which are carefully arranged to form a perfect angle. M.A.C. professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules and are the makeup artist staple globally. M.A.C. Lipglass in C-thru Terrific gloss texture that gives a pop to any lip. You can use this alone or on top of another lip product.
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SCENTS FOR SUMMER FRAGRANCE SELECTIONS FROM THE WORLD’S BEST REGARDED HOUSE
L’EAU BOISÉE FOR HIM Striking + Singular
“Before me, the previous Guerlain perfumers travelled all over the world in an on-going quest to find the most wonderful raw ingredients for their perfumes. It is a job, a passion, and even an irrepressible need.” Thierry Wasser, Guerlain Perfumer For the fourth Guerlain Homme opus, Thierry Wasser employed all his talent as a “perfumer and scent explorer”. During a trip to India, he discovered a new essence of vetiver which gives L’Eau Boisée a powerful character infused with freshness.
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LA PETITE ROBE NOIRE FOR HER FLIRTY + FANTASTICAL
“Paris is my kingdom… I stroll through it at will. My light step leaves no eyes still.” The famous Guerlinade of Tonka bean, vanilla, iris and patchouli envelops this fragrance and enhances its carefully crafted notes. The essence of Parisian elegance, Guerlain has used Black cherry, almond, berries and fresh bergamot in their biggest debut of 2012. Worth mentioning is the combination of Bulgarian rose and the candied Turkish rose absolute with hints of liquorice and smoky black tea and anise. That’s not the only reason we’re completely taken by La Petite Robe Noire, we’re loving the impactful storyline behind this season’s must-have! The little black dress now has a personality all its own, and we’ve got Guerlain to thank!
Limited Edition Lovelies GUERLAIN’S AQUA ALLEGORIA LYS SOLEIA + TERRA SOLEIA Summer scent and sun-kissed skin meet in the limited edition Guerlain Soleia range. The bronzing powder for face and décolleté is made available in large size to allow for the best possible coverage and use. Get yours before it’s gone!
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Fantastic Fall Fare
LES ESSENTIELS DE CHANEL
Your autumn beauty routine will definitely include some of Chanel’s ESSENTIELS collection. OMBRE ESSENTIELLE, Chanel’s top quality eyeshadow is available in 5 shades for fall’s exclusive collection. NOIR an intoxicating black, COMPLICE a soft peach ideal for use across the eyelid. ÉCLAIRÉ is a sheer golden shade that can light up the eye area. FURTIF a romantic grey and INFINI, a silver that enhances dark tones. Pair these eyeshadows with STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF SILVER LIGHT or NOIR INTENSE, a rich carbon black. LUMIÈRE D’ARTIFICES in BEIGES can be used as both eyeshadow and a delicate illuminating blush. RAGMAG’s top choice of the eye selection is NOIR, an ultra-pigmented, matte and luminous black shade of eyeshadow that will add oomph to your fall nights.
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Chanel’s lip-loving range for fall includes ROUGE COCO in CARACTÈRE, a brown set off with a hint of violet plum. ROUGE COCO SHINE in CHIC is an almost transparent beige shimmering with fine golden sparkles. ROUGE COCO SHINE in PARFAIT is a tender pink with a touch of gold. LE CRAYON LÈVRES in AMARANTE customizes the violet-plum brown effects. ROUGE ALLURE EXTRAIT DE in TROUBLANT a violet-plum brown or CAPRICE, delicate pink touched with a hint of gray. RAGMAG’s top choice of the lip selection is LÈVRES SCINTILLANTES gloss in SWEET BEIGE! It’s a lovely neutral shade with a hint of sparkle. 3 shades of lacquer are made available by Chanel as part of their fall extravaganza: LE VERNIS in VERTIGO (nearly black with a heart of red pearly flecks), SUSPICIOUS (fun fuschia) and FRENZY (an elegant lilac-gray). Our top choice? The irreplaceable VERTIGO, it definitely swept us off our feet!
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MIRROR, MIRROR EXPRESS YOURSELF WITH CHANEL
EXPRESSIONS DE CHANEL 2012
Peter Philips, Creative Director of CHANEL Makeup, creates three mini collections dedicated to the eyes, in three colour expressions. Pair them up with our top mascara choices for your most impactful eye!
CHANEL INIMITABLE INTENSE is all about achieving length, curl and separated lashes. SUBLIME DE CHANEL WATERPROOF is a new waterproof and smudgeproof formula lengthens lashes and gives them a curve in high heat and humidity.
CHANEL LES 4 OMBRES has a bevy of effects matte, satiny or scintillating in 3 new shades: Coral Expression, Purple Expression and Brown Expression. CHANEL ILLUSION Dâ€™OMBRE gives metallic reflection for a laminated and accentuated finish. 2 new shades, Abstraction and Vision, are part of the Expressions collection.
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SUBLIME SKIN CHANEL SUBLIMAGE ESSENTIAL COMFORT CLEANSER
is ophthalmologist tested so you can use it for both eye and face makeup thus eliminating one step of your cleansing routine.
When Morning + Evening What
Gel texture that after massaging movements transforms into a silken oil texture with the delicate scent of linden, lily of the valley, cyclamen and violet over a base of woody, powdery and vanilla notes.
Step 1 Apply all over the face and eyes and massage gently to remove all traces of makeup. Step 2 Remove with a cotton cloth and rinse well with lukewarm water. Step 3 Finish with SUBLIMAGE LA CRÈME for face and SUBLIMAGE LA CRÈME YEUX.
Why Rehydrate and deep cleanse without stripping the skin.
CHANEL SUBLIMAGE LA CREME
in Texture Fine, a fine and light texture to fight all the signs of ageing. Apply a smooth even layer of the facial moisturizer. Follow with SUBLIMAGE LA CRÈME YEUX by tapping gently on your eye’s orbital bone. For optimal results, perform your steps morning and night. Simply Sublime!
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Lucky Number 7 Piaget, the illustrious watchmaking brand, recently opened its doors to its latest boutique in the GCC. Located at Avenue at Etihad Towers, in the heart of Abu Dhabi, it becomes the seventh boutique for Piaget across the GCC. While Piaget’s boutiques have always echoed the brand’s blend of grace and sophistication, this one goes a step further as it follows in the footsteps of Harrods in London and also of Zurich, Switzerland to become the third new boutique worldwide to open with Piaget’s latest architectural concept. Spanning 156 square metres, Piaget’s new architectural identity has been created by Christine Querlioz from Paris’ renowned “Atelier Sasha,” who is credited with covering the design and implementation
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of concepts for numerous prestigious clients in addition to Piaget. Conveying a discreet elegance that is sensed rather than seen, the new architecture pays tribute to the rich Swiss identity and legacy of the brand that has made it an inimitable signature in Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie since 1874. Mr. Philippe-Leopold Metzger, Chief Executive Officer of Piaget, highlighted the importance of its newest boutique in the Middle East market for the brand saying, “The opening of the first internal boutique for Piaget in the Middle East is a tremendous challenge. It will bring the brand closer to our end customers and give very important feedback on the desires of the local clients. The Middle East is more than ever a strategic area for Piaget.
The vitality of the domestic market and the sustained influx of tourists creates a significant potential for expansion.” A luxurious ambiance abounds as a façade that is covered in black, gold and blue Sicis mosaics welcomes visitors with a human touch of ingenuity and a reminder of the value of craftsmanship that rarely exists today. The harmonious combination of lightness and clarity in Piaget’s new architectural design highlights the alliance and distinctive nature of Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie, two skills that Piaget has acquired and mastered. Spread over two levels, Avenue at Etihad Towers brings to Abu Dhabi a new dimension of high-end, luxury retail with an array of prestigious international brands presented.
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Sky High Leading winemaker Château Kefraya has announced the creation of two new wines under the Château Kefraya portfolio, with the release of “Château Kefraya Blanc” and “Château Kefraya Rosé”. The announcement was made during a gathering at “Le Stay” in Beirut Central District that gathered the media and an exclusive guest list. These two exceptional wines will now join the renowned Château Kefraya red wine in the Celebration Wines category, also known as “Vins de Fêtes”. Château Kefraya has always produced wines of impeccable quality and the inspiration to extend the Château Kefraya range comes from the same vision to uphold a long earned heritage and craftsmanship in winemaking. Inspired by innovation, and in line with the motto of “Semper Ultra”, which in Latin means “Always Better, Always Higher”; the latest additions demonstrate Château Kefraya’s long standing commitment to craft the finest wines by combining advanced production techniques to blend the best grapes from each harvest. “We are delighted to unveil these two unique wines,” said Michel de Bustros, Founder & CEO of Château Kefraya. “We identified a niche in this category of wines and saw great opportunities for an exclusive Château Kefraya product range. This latest culmination of wines embodies our winemaking philosophy to balance nature, tradition and innovation to present a unique varietal character.”
After the huge success of the Porsche World Roadshow in 2010, Porsche Centre Lebanon s.a.l. held the second edition of this highly acclaimed program and offered a selective group of Porsche enthusiasts the chance to drive the entire model range following the windy and breathtaking mountain roads of Jezzine and Beiteddine. The team of the Porsche World Roadshow was in Lebanon from the 12th till the 19th of June and brought along not only the 991, Cayenne and Panamera cars but also the new Boxster, the latest in the Porsche model range
which was presented for the first time to the Lebanese public during this program. The event was organized by invitation only and drivers were given the opportunity to drive the different models to find out what makes Porsche so distinctive. The Porsche World Roadshow is all about safety and fun and is designed to highlight just how enjoyable driving a Porsche can be; Porsche-trained and certified instructors were here to offer advice and driver training. “Porsche represents outstanding performance excellence and innovation, and by getting the chance to
drive the different models, guests feel it firsthand and gain a thorough understanding of the brand’s products and its philosophy,” said Assaad Raphael, Chairman and General Manager of Porsche Centre Lebanon s.a.l. “The Porsche World Roadshow is the best mean to achieve this all in a fun environment with world-class instructors. This is an important event for us and it has been an absolute pleasure to offer so many guests the chance to see and drive the new Boxster for the first time in Lebanon in this exclusive and distinctive Porsche experience”.
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Hamra Hotspot American Eagle Outfitters Inc., (NYSE: AEO) a leading lifestyle apparel brand catering to women and men 15 to 25 years old, opened its second store in Lebanon on Hamra Street, the commercial heart of Beirut. The two-level store became AEO’s second in Lebanon – the first recently opened in Kaslik – and the fifteenth in the Middle East since the launch of the brand in the region in March 2010. With brick walls and wood paneling, the 812-square-meter store is designed to offer an authentic American ambiance which welcomes customers into a warm setting. Vintage wood panels, all-new tiled flooring and comfortable leather seating reflects the brand’s casual lifestyle. Complemented by a service-oriented shopping experience that American Eagle Outfitters is known for worldwide, the new store offers great fashion at affordable prices. At AEO,
As part of A Small World (ASW) elit™ Middle East gathering, elite members of the Lebanese society were invited on Thursday, June 28 to the final party from a trilogy of events which were sponsored by Stolichnaya®. These events kicked off in Istanbul during May at Billionaire Club, and moved on to Dubai in June, where the event was organized at Republique. The third and final party took place in Le Capitol Beirut and was hosted by ASW member Yunus Kasarci. A Small World is the world’s leading private online
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customers can find their favorite pair of jeans from a wide selection of fits and washes because denim is at the core of the brand. Special attention is given to creating a complete outfit by layering the most loved basics with stylish fashion pieces in each season.
community that captures an existing international network of people who are connected by three degrees of separation. Members share similar backgrounds, interests and perspectives. A Small World’s unique platform offers powerful tools and user generated content to help members manage their private, social and business lives. “We thank Stolichnaya and Gabriel Bocti SAL for their support and efforts in planning this gathering in Beirut. Hopefully, this end to our 3 events is the beginning to many more part-
nerships with Stoli that will take place in the future,” stated Yunus Kasarci host member of A Small World. This sponsorship is part of Stolichnaya’s efforts in supporting originality. “Being original is the best way to move forward and realize individuality. Bringing together this group of original and unique people emphasizes how much we value uniqueness and how we strive to allow everyone to achieve it,” said Rodrigue Ibrahim from Gabriel Bocti SAL, the exclusive distributors of Stoli.
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My Precious As part of Beirut Design Week (BDW), celebrating the wide bevy of Lebanese design ingenuity, the Mukhi Sisters were proud to present a wide range of their exclusive collections to guests, media and VIP attendees at their boutique situated in the Beirut Souks. “As part of our brand’s sensibility, we pride ourselves on artisan creations with precious gemstones and fine goldsmithery in original designs that have become symbolic of the Mukhi brand name,” said Meena. The “Contagious” collection was extremely well received; a range of personally-influenced signature pieces. “The contagious collection is one of our best known selections. The earrings and necklaces incorporate our personal affinities, and we hope that each piece conveys a message about the Mukhi Sisters,” added Zeenat. “Culturally inspired, the ‘Contagious’ collection can be referred to as ethnic, but we prefer to think of it as an extension of the Mukhi Sisters design ethos.” The boutique hosted hundreds of visitors on their #OccupyConversations event in honour of BDW and also was a co-launch event partnering with the renowned Zayan label, based in Dubai. “Mukhi Sisters specializes in inventive collector items that can be worn both daily and formally, but that’s not usual for fine jewelers. Actually, we use diamonds, rubies and other precious and semiprecious stones in addition to an out-of-the-box style to convey our eclectic outlook. That’s why Mukhi Sisters pieces occupy conversations- this is what we based our whole campaign on,” said Maya referring specifically to the Mukhi Sisters EverYours collection. EverYours is an emotional collection that reflects the special moments in a lifetime and the continuing evolving nature of the growing brand. Facebook.com/MukhiSisters | Twittter.com/MukhiSisters
Swiss Movement Swiss watch manufacturer Zenith has opened on one of Lucerne’s most prestigious streets, at no. 8, Grendelstrasse. This legendary firm is still located in the exact spot where its founder Georges Favre-Jacot first established it in 1865. To this very day, it is there that each Zenith timepiece is developed, produced and assembled, benefiting from expertise handed down and enriched for almost one hundred and fifty years. The Lucerne boutique features the new design Zenith has developed for its points of sale. The interior décor of the boutique picks up the same play on horizontal and vertical lines as the outside window, interpreting it in displays, counters and exhibition areas. A private space has been developed especially to welcome VIP clients. Georges Favre, the inventor of the concept of a Watch Manufacture, had the idea in 1865 of building spacious and luminous buildings in Le Locle, in the Swiss Jura, where the full range of specialized artisans involved in the making of the various movement parts could be brought together under one roof. Prior to this, these craftsmen worked independently, scattered between various small workshops: uniting them in one place would enable them to coordinate their work in order to improve the accuracy and the reliability of the watch mechanisms. To this day, the Manufacture is still located in the exact place where the founder built his first workshop, and its buildings are part of an industrial ensemble that UNESCO added to its list of World Heritage sites in 2009 under the title “Watchmaking town planning”. This is where all stages involved in production are still performed, which means that anyone acquiring a Zenith timepiece can enjoy the absolute certainty that it has been developed and produced from start to finish in the workshops of Le Locle.
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A Whole New World The official ceremony to unveil the new touch identity (previously known as MTC Touch) took place on June 19th at Blanchic Baabdat, under the auspices of the Minister of Telecommunications, Mr. Nicolas Sehnaoui. “This will be the last time I address you as MTC Touch,” stated Mr. Claude Bassil, General Manager of touch. “This occasion brings me 8 years back and specifically to June 2004 when our mother company Zain won the tender to manage MIC2 network, branded as MTC Touch for all those years”. Bassil continued by saying, “We wanted to pave the way for the people and our customers through our media campaign to introduce them to the new world of touch. The new identity of touch with its transparent, blue and turquoise color represents our optimism and openness to a new world of innovation with the main objective of providing the best to our valued customers”. Minister of Telecommunications, Mr. Nicolas Sehnaoui commented, “It is time for me to share with you my dream of a new world. In my new world, politicians do not publicize hatred and do not encourage divisions within the country. We are all united under the umbrella of the Lebanese army who represents us all from North to South and from East to West.” He continued, “In my new world, the internet is very fast. In my new world, no one hinders the work of the ministry of telecommunications and prevents it from executing its tasks. This is the first industry related dream that I aim to achieve.” Extending its support to the Lebanese community and particularly to active associations, touch, the leading mobile telecommunications operator and Zain affiliate in Lebanon, announced its full support for the summer camp organized by the Sisters of Charity at the St. Vincent Monastery in Brummana. The camp hosts more than 100 children experiencing difficult social circumstances. The two-week activities are fully covered and supported by touch. Commenting on this initiative, Ghada Barakat, Corporate Communications & Relations Manager at touch said: “We work relentlessly with established civic organizations contributing efficiently to improving the living standards of different social segments. In line context, the summer camp not only provides an entertainment atmosphere for the children but also provides them with an educational and intellectual value. touch’s support for such projects is steadfast and sustainable as we remain loyal to the values of our corporate social responsibility strategy.” The camp held by the Sisters of Charity at the St. Vincent Monastery, between the 5th and the 20th of July, includes a variety of activities for kids between 5 and 12 years old. These activities comprise educational and cultural programs, besides dedicating a considerable slot for fun and gaming activities in addition to three outings.
Hope Floats Oum el Nour – drug rehabilitation and prevention - celebrated “Hope Against Dope” during its annual fundraising dinner that took place in SkyBar-Biel on the 18th of June. Almost 400 individuals gathered to support a cause that has been dedicated to treating people addicted to substances for the past 23 years. Funds collected will be used to cover the expenses of addicted persons in the in-patient rehabilitation centers. Attendees also enjoyed the performance of ‘8eme Art’ throughout the night.
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Silver Screen The Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen hosted an evening event demonstrating its commitment to film and filmmakers. The Filmmakers Dinner, presented in partnership with Finch’s Quarterly Review and, for the first time, Mercedes-AMG, was attended by personalities such as Oscar winner Robert De Niro, actor Ewan McGregor and top model Karolina Kurkova. IWC Friends of the Brand such as “Grey’s Anatomy” star Eric Dane and gallery owner Tim Jefferies were also on the guest list. “For years now we have had a passion for film and filmmaking. We are happy to celebrate it with other like-minded individuals and friends of the IWC brand,” explained Georges Kern, CEO of IWC. “Every director tells a story with his films. At IWC, storytelling is the basis or, to be more precise, part of the DNA of everything we do,” emphasized Kern. For some time now, there have been close ties between the film industry and IWC Schaffhausen. Not only does IWC cultivate long-standing personal relationships with several international actors, film directors and producers; it has also produced a number of its own film projects with some of its Friends of the Brand. Aside from this, watches from IWC have been favourite props in countless Hollywood movies and US TV series. These timepieces “made in Schaffhausen” were worn by actors
Diageo Lebanon’s latest launch, Smirnoff® Espresso flavoured vodka, is a match made in heaven, playing to both the strengths of Smirnoff as the world’s number one vodka, and to coffee as the world’s number one beverage. The iconic positioning of Smirnoff No. 21 has inspired this new flavour variant. Try it with cola and an orange wedge as a great drink for a night out, or with hazelnut liqueur and a cold espresso for a perfect Espresso martini cocktail. The 1-litre bottle pack comes with neck hangers and leaflets with cocktail recipes to inspire diverse ways to enjoy Smirnoff Espresso. Brand Manager for White Spirits in Diageo Lebanon commented, “We are confident that Lebanese will love the Smirnoff Espresso variant as
with leading roles in the thriller “Wall Street”, in the major box office success “Ocean’s 13” and in the action comedy “RED”. They have also been favourites with some of the protagonists in the US TV series “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Private Practice” and “Gossip Girl”. At the after party, soul singer Aloe Blacc provided the evening’s musical highlights. Terry Gilliam, American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, was presented with the Finch’s Quarterly Filmmaker Award, created by producer and media entrepreneur Charles Finch, together with an IWC watch with an engraved dedication. “For years, Terry Gilliam has given us endless demonstrations of his extraordinary talent for film-making, both behind and in front of the camera. It is an enormous pleasure for me to present him with this award,” said Charles Finch. With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausenhas been producing watches of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces ofHaute Horlogerie at its finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design.
they are constantly looking for something new and different that they can discover and enjoy, especially since they love the flavour of coffee and adore cola. The activities we are planning for such an energetic Lebanese nightlife scene will bring to life this bold flavour and will attract new consumers to the points of sale who are motivated by the fantastic purchase opportunity. Vodka is the most popular spirit category in the world and it still has an enormous opportunity to reach its full potential in Lebanon. Through innovations such as Smirnoff Espresso, coupled with stunning activations that surprise and engage consumers, we will increase the vibrancy of this exciting category.” Drink Responsibly | DrinkIQ.com
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LOUIS VUITTON 23 PLACE VENDÔME
THE GLOBAL ICON LAUNCHES A NEW ENDEAVOUR
he historic Maison launched its first location dedicated exclusively to fine jewellery and haute horlogerie on July 3, 2012 with the Maison’s nod to fine craftsmanship and architecture. The fine jewellery workshop is situated under the roof of an elegant townhouse built in the 17th century. Architect Peter Marino employed a combination of light rosewood panelling and Havana leather to honour the House’s newest endeavour saying that, “Every piece of jewellery tells a story. Accordingly, the décor must fade into the background to make way for dialogue and the dream that it inspires in the visitor.” A veritable who’s who of guests were on hand to inaugurate Louis Vuitton’s newest digs just a few metres away from 4 rue Neuve des Capucines; celebrities and a global coterie of luminaries toasted the launch. It’s worth noting that 4 rue Neuve des Capucines is the address where in 1854 Louis
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Vuitton established his very first store. Yves Carcelle, CEO of Louis Vuitton said, “We are delighted to be opening our first store devoted to jewellery and watchmaking in Place Vendôme in Paris and we feel a great sense of pride that our first haute joaillerie workshop will be housed in this historic cradle of fine jewellery expertise. Here, our craftsmen will be able to express the full extent of their talent and produce exceptional pieces that will delight our clients.” In honour of the House’s newest artistic venture, L’Ame du Voyage, (the Spirit of Travel) Louis Vuitton’s fine jewellery collection, designed by Lorenz Bäumer, sees its third interpretation in Paris. This new collection has been conceived to recall a stroll along the famous route that would have led the young Louis Vuitton from the Arc de Triomphe to the Tuileries Gardens – with wonderful discoveries en route – and finally to the Place Vendôme
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: LORENZ BAUMER, PRINCESS CHARLENE DE MONACO, AND YVES CARCELLE, LOUIS VUITTON PLACE VENDÔME FACADE, JORDI CONSTANS, LOUISE BOURGOIN, AND YVES CARCELLE, ZHANG YUQI, KIRSTEN DUNST. OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: LOUIS VUITTON STORE INTERIOR, LOUIS VUITTON PLACE VENDÔME FACADE, NATALIA VODIANOVA AND ANTOINE ARNAULT, CATHERINE DENEUVE AND SOFIA COPPOLA.
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CAPTURING CORNERS ORNAMENTING THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT
photography mark evans
photography assistant dave kai-piper photographic editing dave kai-piper styling matthew moxham makeup samantha mercer hair laura kulik + ria kulik models laura brown + kate waldron stockist flannels, house of fraser, www.fatzk.com, topshop
left: vivienne westwood shirt day birger necklace oasis earrings miss selfridge rings opposite page: prada dress, available from flannels manchester day birger necklace, day birger cuff faulk socks lk bennet shoes cristina adami dress kg shoes fatz k bracelet
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cristina adami dress kg shoes fatz k bracelet
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cristina adami dress kg shoes fatz k bracelet opposite page: elisabeth connor dress kg shoes fatz k necklace
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laura (blonde) wears religion dress dune shoes kate wears religion dress day birger necklace faulk socks dune shoes natalie armid hat bracelet stylistâ€™s own opposite page: vivienne westwood shirt topshop leggins cavala shoes day birger necklace natalie armid hat oasis earrings miss selfridge rings
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Roberto Cavalli ss 2013
MIX N’ MATCH REAL RUNWAY RAGMAG SHOWS YOU HOW TO REPLICATE THAT RUNWAY TREND! SEE OUR TAKES ON HOW TO MAKE THE READY TO WEAR, ACTUALLY WEARABLE
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VALENTINO STUDDED LEATHER BRACELET
WHITE LIGHT CHANEL TIMEPIECE J12 GMT WHITE CERAMIC
THEYSKENS’ THEORY SAFAA METALLIC TEXTURED-LEATHER SKIRT DIANE VON FURSTENBERG LYTTON METALLIC CRACKED LEATHER BOX CLUTCH
DION LEE RESORT 2013
MULBERRY METALLIC JACQUARD DRESS
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD RED LABEL CORSETED BROCADE-TAFFETA DRESS
BURBERRY PRORSUM SS 2013
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN ISOLDE 160MM IN NUDE LEATHER
YVES SAINT LAURENT STILETTOS
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FOLLI FOLLIE FIORISSIMO COLLECTION AVAILABLE AT DAMAS
CHLOÉ SS 2012 COLLECTION
VAN CLEEF PERLEE PENDANT IN WHITE GOLD
ARMED WITH ANGLES
EMILIO PUCCI PRINTED JERSEY DRESS
NOAH DRESS AVAILABLE AT GS
CARTIER CLASSIC FEMININE HANDBAG
RAG & BONE ADELINE PANELED SATIN AND LEATHER DRESS
CAROLINA HERRERA SS 2012
SHAPE SHIFTER TIBI COLOR BLOCK BRUSHED SILK DRESS
YVES SAINT LAURENT
TIFFANY YELLOW, PINK AND BLUE SAPPHIRE COCKTAIL RINGS WITH DIAMONDS IN PLATINUM
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YVES SAINT LAURENT MULTI-TONED BAG NEW WORLD ORDER
Ohne Titel ss 2012
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I’M MR. BRIGHTSIDE OPEN UP MY EAGER EYES RETRO RAVE + FUTURE FLASH
Photography by ODETTE KAHWAGI
Assistant photogapher ALEXANDRA KAHWAGI
Styled by JONY MATTA
Makeup by ELIE ESTEPHAN | Hair by ROGER GABRIEL Model IVANNA
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BALMAIN BLAZER | HUDS JEANS, PLUM BALMAIN STILETTOS
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OPPOSITE PAGE: LGB TOP, PLUM | LGB PANTS, PLUM LANVIN HANDBAG EARRINGS STYLIST’S OWN MICHAEL KORS WRAP BRACELET THIS PAGE: ISABELLE MARANT DRESS BALMAIN STILETTOS AGATHA EARRINGS
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ALEXANDER BAUTHER DRESS | LANVIN COLLAR NECKLACE | BALMAIN HANDBAG | ISOT STILETTOS
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OPPOSITE PAGE: BALMAIN TOP + JEANS ISABELLE MARANT BRACELETS THIS PAGE: DRESSED BY ISABELLE MARANT VINTAGE STORY BAG MICHAEL KORS WRAP BRACELET AS NECKLACE
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OPPOSITE PAGE: LANVIN TOP + SKIRT | BALMAIN STILETTOS | ELSA OF ITALY STUDDED CUFF ABOVE: BALMAIN BLAZER | HUDS JEANS, PLUM | BALMAIN STILETTOS
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ABOVE: ISABELLE MARANT DRESS | BALMAIN STILETTOS | OPPOSITE PAGE: TOTAL LOOK BALMAIN
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OPPOSITE PAGE: BLAMAIN T-SHIRT | MICHAEL KORS WRAP BRACELET AS NECKLACE ABOVE: TOTAL LOOK BALMAIN
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ABOVE: BALMAIN BLAZER | HUDS JEANS, PLUM | TANK TOP STYLIST’S OWN OPPOSITE PAGE: LGB TOP, PLUM | LGB PANTS, PLUM | LANVIN HANDBAG | LIMITED EDITION PRADA SNAKESKIN STILETTOS MICHAEL KORS WRAP BRACELET | EARRINGS STYLIST’S OWN
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OPPOSITE PAGE: TOTAL LOOK ISABELLE MARANT EARRINGS STYLIST’S OWN THIS PAGE: DRESSED BY ISABELLE MARANT VINTAGE STORY HANDBAG MICHAEL KORS WRAP BRACELET AS NECKLACE
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RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR MEN
ETRO SS 2012
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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES
RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR WOMEN
BASIL SODA FW 2012 COUTURE
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RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR MEN
PAUL SMITH FW 2012/2013
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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES
RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR WOMEN
ELIE SAAB FW 2012 COUTURE
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VEER BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY
or a much needed summer #VacayInLebanon, I spent the weekend in the newest beach and pool resort in the country. If you haven’t been to Veer Boutique Hotel & Resort yet, you won’t know what you’re missing! I was slightly dazzled by the look of the venue. A tall black glass building on the Kaslik seaside road, with a symmetrical ‘V’ logo screened on four large digital billboards, each positioned on what seemed to be a Veer bungalow. Once inside, my best friend and I are taken to Villa n°2, this was not a bungalow, but a poolside villa, with its private outdoor Jacuzzi, an aquarium pool for the four villas, room service all day and most of the night, a complimentary bottle of champagne, and snacks for up
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#VacayInLebanon IT’S YOUR TIME
to ten people. The villa makes it really easy for you to get used to a luxe lifestyle, getting pampered from dawn to dusk in this modern duplex. We start our weekend with a tour of the villa: the ground floor is the living area, with a huge white leather couch, an embedded plasma screen, a bar and a Nespresso machine; dark wood stairs take you up to the bedroom with a whole wall made of bay-windows, with a direct view on the swimming pool and the beach. To their advantage, Veer did not give their villas a “tropical” and “exotic” atmosphere. Instead, they played the luxurious-minimalist setting card because they “wanted to be different from any other resort in Lebanon. How can you stand out if you’re just a copycat?” says Hagop Tekeyan, owner of Veer.
VEER DID NOT GIVE THEIR VILLAS A “TROPICAL” AND “EXOTIC” ATMOSPHERE. INSTEAD, THEY PLAYED THE LUXURIOUSMINIMALIST SETTING CARD BECAUSE THEY “WANTED TO BE DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER RESORT IN LEBANON.” NEW WORLD ORDER
TAKE ME WITH YOU Different they are, with the contrast of material and colors between the cold steel and glass and the warm flora surrounding the villas. The pool structure looks like nothing else you might have seen: 3 islands float on the main pool, the middle one being a bar and the two others, floating decks with beds and Jacuzzis, giving access to private underwater rooms. “These rooms are not available yet, even though they are already constructed. We need to know how people will react to them first, and fix a few things before opening them, maybe next year at the big launching,” says Tekeyan. I say why wait! Some Lebanese go to Dubai in order to try this at least once in a lifetime, and Veer makes it possible on our own ground!
Why have a soft launching a year before the official one and what we should expect for 2013? “The big black building is a hotel, with 33 upcoming suites,” he says. “We will have a gym, a spa, and 5 other villas by the beach. We’re also working on these underwater rooms, and on the restaurants, and winter sports activities. We’re far from done, but we wanted to show what we had already achieved and give the Lebanese a cool place to hang out this summer.” Tekeyan is being humble about his resort. Veer is beyond “cool”; the music is not too loud, the staff makes rounds of free fruits and juices and the food alone is worth the $35 entrance fee. The Sunset Bar offers top-notch sandwiches, burgers, salads and pizzas to enjoy by
the pool or at their terrace, with a view on the Mediterranean. The villas have a private rooftop lounge overlooking the pool, the perfect spot for a drink at sunset. The best thing about the Veer villas is that you can rent them for the day or overnight, and you get up to 8 invitations so your friends can meet you there. Veer caters to sun, fun and parties; it sure gives you the time of your life
“WE’RE FAR FROM DONE, BUT WE WANTED TO SHOW WHAT WE HAD ALREADY ACHIEVED AND GIVE THE LEBANESE A COOL PLACE TO HANG OUT THIS SUMMER.” Veer Boutique Hotel and Resort Kaslik Seaside Road 09222623 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.veer.com.lb VeerBoutiqueHotelandResort @Veer_Lebanon
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ABOVE: PANORAMIC VIEW OF PARIS OPPOSITE PAGE, BELOW: THE RITZ HOTEL IN PARIS
own the long corridor of the Hôtel Ritz Paris, antique jewels and heavy furs sparkle inside display cases. The most fashionable and posh must endure the temptation walk upon entering the famous bar, where King Alfonso of Spain ordered a Dom Pérignon champagne laced with expensive cognac served with a dozen strawberries. Established American author F. Scott Fitzgerald exchanged many drunken words with fellow writer Ernest Hemingway while the more sober Irish poet Oscar Wilde disapproved the fast elevators and the dim-lit bedside lamps. The Ritz bar, in the free and easy era of the 1920s, set the mood for bizarre requests. Hemingway and Fitgerald’s wife Zelda hailed a late-night cab, an old Renault for a four-hour
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joyride into the French countryside. The journey soon came to an end when the French oil used to power the car ruined the engine with Hemingway insisting on the local product as a way of pledging national allegiance. Captain Wills, owner of England’s largest cigarette company, requested for his custom Rolls Royce to be shipped at the crack of dawn from his English estate. Others placed orders for their wild animal pets, bejewelled slippers and rare caviar.
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TAKE ME WITH YOU
A GLOBAL CAPITAL
PARIS BY ALICE HLIDKOVA
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TAKE ME WITH YOU Parisian hotels inspired hordes of songwriters, novelists and actors. In lobbies they engaged in noisy squabbles, and in restaurants the clamour of the crowd only grew after a few rounds of drinks. The uproar would catch the gaze of ladies in silk gowns trimmed in ermine and mink. Staff did its best to satisfy the whims of its clientele, treating the regulars as members of some elitist club. After the Ritz lost its romantic aura in the wake of the 1930s Great Depression, fashion designer Coco Chanel and literary critic Marcel Proust moved in. Chanel fell deeply in love with its deluxe amenities, choosing an opulent suite as her spiritual home and refuge from the haunts of Germany. The refugee life suits many intellectuals to this day. Actors on the run from political puppeteers and poets and philosophers in exile mill around before heading to the St. Germain district. Along the Boulevard St. Germain, known as the “Soho of Paris,” intellectualism spills beyond any hotel culture. Cafes along the curving Seine River bring the light of conversation over unfinished plates of salmon and tuna tartare. The small eateries once served as an arena for debate. French painters, from Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso to Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, discussed new developments in the Impressionist style over baguettes and espresso. Half-full and
ALONG THE BOULEVARD ST. GERMAIN, KNOWN AS THE “SOHO OF PARIS,” INTELLECTUALISM SPILLS BEYOND ANY HOTEL CULTURE.
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restless with ambition, they headed to École des Beaux-Arts to study technique and perfect craftsmanship. Art students today sell their famous works reproduced again and again at a cheaper rate than booksellers, gallery curators and design shopkeepers. The new center of Parisian artistic and cultural life is Le Marais. A royal favorite under Henri IV and Louis XIII the dazzling quarters fell to ruin after the 1789 Revolution. But the 1960s pushed for restoration and today the old Medieval and Renaissance apartments hug the renovated squares. The city’s famous monuments had their fix. The Louvre received a glass pyramid for its entrance, showing an unhurried ambience of the place—the feeling that one has entered
ABOVE: OUTDOOR CAFE IN LE MARAIS LEFT: PLACE VENDOME BELOW: BOULEVARD ST. GERMAIN OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: THE LOUVRE, PALAIS DE JUSTICE
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TAKE ME WITH TAKE MEYOUWITH YOU
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: JEANNE D’ARC GOLDEN STATUE, THE MOULIN ROUGE, NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: ALEXANDRE III BRIDGE, THE EIFFEL TOWER.
another luxurious estate of winding staircases, crystal chandeliers and marbled sculptures in action. The Eiffel Tower is coated in a new layer of paint every couple of years. The walk from ground level to the first is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Pace speeds up with the lift to the third level for an aerial view of the city, quite enchanting in the evening, and slows with silent footsteps inside the Notre Dame Cathedral during evening mass featuring Mozart. For its 150th Birthday celebration, the French gothic church will erupt with the sound of bells and musical compositions, followed by announcements from religious and political figures anticipating restoration efforts.
FOR ITS 150TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, THE FRENCH GOTHIC CHURCH WILL ERUPT WITH THE SOUND OF BELLS AND MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS, FOLLOWED BY ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL FIGURES ANTICIPATING RESTORATION EFFORTS.
Most guests will listen. Others will escape into the skirts of Moulin Rouge for a treat of expensive cabaret and overpriced wine. And a couple will be embarked on a drunken dance back to the Ritz for a reunion. In black suits and silk ties, they represent a particular era explored by coming-of-age romantics highlighted in the film “Love in the Afternoon”, starring Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn, which was partially
filmed there. On July 31st, the pinnacle of all luxurious hotels will come under the sizzle and axe. French architect and designer Thierry Despont, who was responsible for renovation of the Carlyle in New York and the Dorchester in London, will oversee the unprecedented two-year makeover. He promises to preserve the landmark’s old-world elegance and by adding a tunnel to connect the underground parking lot, highclass society will have a chance to run rather than lounge comfortably
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VINI LEARN THE DRILL ABOUT LEBANESE WINES BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES
he term “New World” comes up a lot in conversation these days... that’s if you’re into wines. Used to describe wines that are produced in so called new wine producing countries, such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa or Argentina, countries that began producing wine in the recent centuries, compared to the Old World wine produced in Europe for several millennia. The terms New World and Old World also come up when describing a style of wine or winemaking practices. The Old World philosophy stems from a sense of place, the “terroir”, in determining a wine’s quality, whereas New World places more weight on the varietal grape character, believing that best practices can iron out any “terroir” imperfections. Lebanon has been employing grapes for thousands of years now and wine growing traditions date back millennia. “Lebanese wines are not New World wines: wine was made in this region of the world since 9,000
years,” says Hady Kahale, General Manager and one of the founders and partners of IXSIR wine, referring to references in Hugh Johnson’s book on the History of Wine. However, Kahale’s wine is ‘new’ to the market; it entered in 2010. And, last year, the Batroun winery won a new order award, the 2011 Green Good Design award for its eco-sensitive architecture and was selected by CNN International as one of the 12th greenest buildings in the world. M i c h a e l Karam, a local wine enthusiast and author of Wines of Lebanon, a book which put the spotlight onto Lebanese wines internationally, and Lebanese Wines 2011, a guide listing over 200 vintages, puts his country’s wines into the ‘New World’ category, preferring not to call them ‘old’ despite the country’s undisputed ancient wine making traditions. “To call Lebanon’s wine an ancient world wine would not be a very smart marketing strategy. Old World wine refers more to countries like France, Germany, and Italy,” says Karam.
THE TERMS NEW WORLD AND OLD WORLD COME UP WHEN DESCRIBING A STYLE OF WINE OR WINEMAKING PRACTICES.
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“Lebanese wine belongs to the new generation of wine producing countries who have been at it seriously for just the last 30 years. I would say that we can lump Lebanon with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.” Lebanon may have been producing wine for 7,000 years, but the modern industry can be traced back to 1857. And, the wine sector has just been booming during the last decade. In 2000 there were only about 20 wineries but today this figure has doubled as the major wine producers, Musar, Kefraya and Ksara are joined by relative newcomers Ixsir, Massaya and Wardy, among others. The amount of wine Lebanon produces though is still tiny, turning out a mere 7 million bottles annually compared to a world production of around
34 billion bottles last year. France alone produces about 4 billion and even our little neighbor Cyprus produces about 35 million bottles. While the term New World is often used condescendingly by some wine experts who narrow-mindedly believe that the Old World wines are superior, most experts will agree that old is not necessarily better. It’s fair to say that the New World has been producing its fair share of outstanding tipples. And even the old school winemakers are waking up and taking on a New World attitude. In France, a country which has the reputation for being arrogant about its terroir and age-old winemaking traditions, certain winemakers are not so snobbish anymore about their traditions. Some are slapping edgy labels onto their nou-
veau wines, like Thierry Boudinaud’s Fat Bastard Chardonnay with its trademark hippo and Arrogant Frog by Domaine Paul Mas which features a beret wearing wine guzzling frog. Such wines have been a real hit and are selling by the million showing that it certainly pays to have a New World attitude. And, our very own New World wines are taking the international market by storm. Last month the IXSIR Altitudes Red 2009 won the Grand Gold Medal Award at the “Selections Mondiales des Vins” in Canada, an award given to just 10 wines this year from 1,806 entries from 35 countries. Hats off to a wine from the New World… or the Old World?
WHILE THE TERM NEW WORLD IS OFTEN USED CONDESCENDINGLY BY SOME WINE EXPERTS WHO NARROWMINDEDLY BELIEVE THAT THE OLD WORLD WINES ARE SUPERIOR, MOST EXPERTS WILL AGREE THAT OLD IS NOT NECESSARILY BETTER.
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La Clé to Your Heart NEW RESTO IS THE KEY TO CLEMENCEAU BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY
hen I first heard of Clé, the new Hamra/Clemenceau “it” place, I was browsing through my Twitter timeline, and saw a picture of a beautiful terrace, with a swing, a tree, couches and coloured cushions. I fell in love with the picture and stalked the resto-bar on Facebook for more information. I found a few other pictures that only made me more eager to try it. I took a friend on that Friday evening, and as we entered the renovated old house and walked on what seemed to be an authentic art-deco, mosaic floor, we were conquered. A square bar holds court in the middle of the spacious dining room, divided into several areas, all differently decorated. The floral wallpaper gives the entrance a 50’s Brit look and the high ceiling makes the room pleasant despite the low lighting. After a quick look at the indoor area, we quickly go out to discover the main attraction of the venue: its terrace. Beautifully arranged, ev-
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ery space of the terrace is used. The few stairs taking you down the patio are surrounded with couches, a few swings are displayed in corners, bar stools and regular wrought iron chairs give the terrace an eclectic look. I appreciated that Clé left the tree in the middle of the terrace and decided to work with the space; it’s encircled with a wooden bar and stools, perfect for seated drinks and tapas. The thing about Clé is that you can come any time of the day and find something to eat or drink, but the place is at its best in the evening. In addition to a menu that mixes different cuisines, mainly Asian and international, Clé also offers a wide selection of Tapas, these tiny munching plates to order with a crisp white wine in summer or a fruity red wine in winter. Starting our dinner experience with a Kir Royal, we decide on a smoked salmon entrée, a goat cheese salad, the grilled salmon and the mini-burgers platters. The main dishes were good, without
being exceptional, but we have to hand it to them: they had only been open for two days at the time of this review. The goat cheese salad however, with its ‘crotin’ served on a slide of grilled eggplant, was a pure delight, a perfect summer dish with its refreshing pesto and pomegranate dressing. THE +
+ SETTING + LOCATION The setting is different than anything else in the city and so is the food. + PRICE It’s an affordable place for a night out in Beirut, whether you’re going for drinks or for dinner. + PEACE & QUIET Clé is in the middle of a very busy neighborhood, yet even when seated outside, the street noises don’t reach you.
- SERVICE The waiters were very friendly
and knew the menu, but the service was still quite slow. This could have been due to their learning curve, again we visited after they had only been open for 2 days. Clé Café Bar Abdel Baki Street, facing Najjar Hospital Clemenceau 71200712 | email@example.com NEW WORLD clecafebar @CleCafeBar
2012 vous invite à l'exploration du merveilleux monde des accords mets & vins. En partenariat avec
En hommage à l’Espagne EMBAJADA DE ESPAÑA EN EL LÍBANO
l’Association Des Sommeliers d’Europe
Du 3 au 6 octobre dès 18h Hippodrome du parc de Beyrouth Vin & musique à volonté Renseignement: 01-280085 03-260986 Ticket Solo: 20000 L.L. Ticket Duo: 35000 L.L. Billets en vente à partir du 15 septembre 2012
www.vinifestlebanon.com www.eventionslb.com AUGUST 2012
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World Cuisine in a Cinch BY LARA ARISS
Each edition of RAGMAG Lara Ariss will present a meal in several courses that you can try at home. Lara trained at Le Cordon Bleu in London, England. For this issue of RAGMAG, Lara has chosen a few of her favorite global dishes. For more great ideas, check her out on the web http://www.bylara.me @laraariss bylara
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GREEN CHICKEN CURRY from Thailand
PREPARATION TIME 40 MINUTES COOKING TIME 50 MINUTES SERVES 4 LEVEL EASY
• Make the green curry paste: Dry-fry ground coriander and cumin in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring until fragrant. Bend process spices with chilies, paste, garlic, onion, lemon grass, and the galangal and coriander mixture until it forms a paste. Add oil to paste; continue to blend until smooth. • Heat oil in a large saucepan: cook 1/3 cup of the curry paste (reserve the remainder for another use) and about 2/3 of the chili, stirring, about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add chicken; cook, stirring, until browned. • Add coconut milk, sauce, juice, sugar and eggplants; simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes or until eggplants are just tender. • Add the zucchini, basil and coriander; simmer, uncovered, until the zucchini is just tender. • Serve curry sprinkled with remaining chili and green onion.
•1 tablespoon peanut oil •3 fresh long green chilies, copped finel •1 kg chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3 cm pieces •2 x 400 ml cans coconut milk •2 tablespoons fish sauce •2 tablespoons lime juice •1 tablespoon grated palm sugar •150 grams pea eggplants •1 large zucchini (150 grams), thinly sliced •1/3 cup loosely packed coriander leaves •2 green onions, chopped coarsely
For the Curry Paste •2 teaspoons ground coriander •2 teaspoons ground cumin •10 fresh long green chilies, chopped coarsely •1 teaspoon shrimp paste •1 garlic clove, quartered •4 green onions, chopped coarsely •10 cm stick fresh lemon grass (20 grams), chopped finely •1 cm piece fresh galangal (5 grams), chopped finely •1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander root and stem mixture •1 tablespoon peanut oil
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BIRYANI from India
PREPARATION TIME 20 MINUTES COOKING TIME 40 MINUTES SERVES 4 LEVEL EASY
INGREDIENTS • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil • 1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed • 1 large onion, sliced • 1l hot vegetable stock • 3 tablespoons hot curry paste • 1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped • Large pinch of saffron strands • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds • 500g basmati rice • 140g trimmed green beans, halved • 2 lemons, juice only • Handful of fresh coriander leaves • 50g salted roasted cashew nuts
• Preheat the oven to 220°C. Pour the oil into a large roasting tin or ovenproof dish and put in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat through. • Add all the vegetables to the tin, except the beans, stirring to coat them in the hot oil. Season with salt and pepper and return to the oven for 15 minutes until beginning to brown. • While the vegetables are roasting, stir together the stock, curry paste, chili, saffron and mustard seeds. • Mix the rice and green beans with the vegetables in the tin, then pour over the stock mixture. Lower the oven to 190°C. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the lemon juice and check the seasoning, then scatter over the coriander and cashew nuts.
WITH PINE NUTS + HONEY
PREPARATION TIME 20 MINUTES COOKING TIME 40 MINUTES SERVES 4 LEVEL EASY
INGREDIENTS • 25 grams pine nuts • 3 ripe pomegranates • 30 ml orange blossom water • 15 – 30 ml fragrant runny honey
• Place the pine nuts in a bowl, cover with the water and leave for 2 hours. • Cut the pomegranates into quarters on a plate so that you catch the juice. Extract the seeds, taking care to discard the bitter pith and membrane, and place in a bowl with the juice, drain the pine nuts and add them to the bowl. • Stir the orange blossom water and honey, cover the bowl, and chill in the refrigerator. Serve chilled or at room temperature. 146 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co
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DOWNTOWN ABC|DBAYEH| ABC|ASHRAFIEH| HAMRA KASLIK MZAAR|KFARDEBIAN| VERDUN CITY MALL LE MALL|SIN EL FIL| JAL EL DIB SPINNEYS|HAZMIEH| JBEIL ZAITUNAY BAY
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OLD WORLD SENSIBILITY BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES
he Ammiq Wetland area is a stopover for breeding and migrating birds enroute from Asia to Africa. Since 1997, the area has been managed by the NGO A Rocha Lebanon that aims to protect this site from over-extraction of groundwater and hunters. A variety of birds, amphibians and insects live here and over two hundred bird species have been recorded putting the marches among the world’s International Bird Areas. The level of water in the ponds of the wetlands has drastically diminished over the past few years. However, this year, the water level has been higher than usual due to the heavy rainfall during the winter months. The best way to discover the biodiversity of the wetlands is with the local ranger Faisal who has an incredible knowledge of the area and its wildlife. He is a native of the village of Ammiq, set on the eastern slopes of Mount Lebanon, a few meters above the wetlands. The village is ancient and ruins of old stone houses destroyed in an earthquake in the 1950’s remain scattered on the hillside.
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THE AMMIQ WETLAND RESERVE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SPOTS IN THE WEST BEKAA. ONE OF THE FEW WETLANDS LEFT IN LEBANON, IT IS AN OASIS OF MARSHES AND WILD VEGETATION, SURROUNDED BY ENDLESS FERTILE FIELDS AND VINEYARDS.
Faisal is constantly grinning to himself, I suppose living here in such gorgeous natural surroundings gives you a natural boost. In his company I take a walk through the wetlands and then on to the hills above to hike a trodden trail, passing pine and oak trees and flowing springs, and shepherds herding their goats. In dry weather tortoises venture out on the hills and Faisal’s watchful eye guides walkers not to tread on them. The reward for effort is an incredible farreaching view across the patchwork of the West Bekaa valley. And, if you have enough time and energy for a longer hike ask Faisal to take you further up to the Barouk mountain reserve.
NEW WORLD ORDER
On the way down the trail passes a herd of buffalos held in a farm by a Bedouin family, with the mum and kids in charge. I told them about the craze for buffalo cheese in Europe and the high prices commanded for the product. Why don’t they make it here in Lebanon, I ask? Most visitors to the Bekaa valley tend to come for a dose of ancient archeology, wine tasting and a pit stop in the town of Chtaura for a labne sandwich. Few venture beyond, maybe due to the negative opinion that the Bekaa has been drawing in of late. Ever since a group of Estonian cyclists were abducted while cycling through the Bekaa last year the region seems to have become a no-go zone for foreigners and Lebanese alike.
But, now, with the Baalbak festival season upon us once again, visitors are returning and it is a good time to discover the valley’s stunning natural resources before setting off for a festival act. And, if you are too tired to head back to Beirut, Faisal can provide a bed for the night with a hearty breakfast the next day, served up with his customary smile
THE AMMIQ WETLAND AREA IS A STOPOVER FOR BREEDING AND MIGRATING BIRDS ENROUTE FROM ASIA TO AFRICA. A VARIETY OF BIRDS, AMPHIBIANS AND INSECTS LIVE HERE AND OVER TWO HUNDRED BIRD SPECIES HAVE BEEN RECORDED PUTTING THE MARCHES AMONG THE WORLD’S INTERNATIONAL BIRD AREAS.
SINCE 1997, THE AREA HAS BEEN MANAGED BY THE NGO A ROCHA LEBANON THAT AIMS TO PROTECT THIS SITE FROM OVEREXTRACTION OF GROUNDWATER AND HUNTERS. Tawlet Ammiq opened in spring this year with a vision to celebrate the Bekaa’s food and traditions and to support small-scale farmers and producers. With this in mind its eco restaurant features local cooks using regional produce to serve unique traditional and delicious dishes. Not only is Tawlet Ammiq’s location superb, overlooking the fertile patchwork of the West Bekaa, it is also housed in one of the greenest buildings in Lebanon. It has solar chimneys, a green roof, and a solar energy system; also, all waste is sorted and recycled. The calm and serene setting has been designed by the resourceful Tawlet team and produced by local artisans and craftsmen with tables and chairs made from reused pallet wood. In a few months, the bed and breakfast facilities will be available for overnight stays. tawletammiq.com
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OUTDOOR LEBANON TAKES YOU TO THE
BEYOND BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES
EXHIBITION SHOWCASES THE ESSENTIALS OF LEBANESE OUTDOOR LIFE
n a hot and humid Thursday afternoon in June most Beirutis were considering how to escape town and head for the great outdoors. And what better way to bypass the stifling traffic than travelling by motorbike? So, it made sense for organizer IFP (International Fairs & Promotions) to partner with LAMA (Lebanese Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers Exclusive Agents) to bring Beirut the second edition of the Outdoor Lebanon exhibition, alongside Lebanon’s first-ever Beirut Motorcycle Show. The event was billed as the largest and most comprehensive exhibition for the outdoors and sports industry showcasing outdoor products and accessories for hunting, water sports, adventure sports and other outdoor activities. “I think that we are having an excellent exhibition. It is always a challenge to attract a lot of visitors, but, the response so far has been good,” said Fady Jreissati, vice-president of IFP, referring to the unstable security situation in the country which prompted a few exhibitors to pull out at the last minute. “As you can see the product mix is great all the same.” Over four days Biel became a temple of consumerism and the Lebanese public flocked to look in admiration at shiny ATV’s and motorbikes which dominated the exhibition. Maybe the great outdoors used to be associated with sleeping bags, rucksacks and tents…not anymore. Judging by the exhibits the Lebanese public demands more high tech items and all come with hefty price tag. PHOTOGRAPHY TEDDY HABIB
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NEW WORLD ORDER
‘THE RESPONSE FROM THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN GOOD. WE ARE HERE TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR TLB’S TOURISM PRODUCTS, OUTGOING AND INCOMING’
The exhibition showcased the latest motorbikes and hard riders were in for a treat with displays of Aprilia, Agusta, BMW, Ducati, Gilera, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, and Yamaha among others. A display of Vespas in candy colours was set up to appeal to the soft riders. Also, a selection of motorcycle spare parts, apparel, and accessories, including the latest helmets and clothing. Advanced riding skills are essential but few bike riders take the time to learn and practice with a professional instructor. Enter Johnny Haynes, senior riding instructor with the California Superbike School who was at the show to introduce his training program to take place this summer in Lebanon. “We have developed programs especially adapted to the local market,” he said.
THE EXHIBITION SHOWCASED THE LATEST MOTORBIKES AND HARD RIDERS WERE IN FOR A TREAT WITH DISPLAYS OF APRILIA, AGUSTA, BMW, DUCATI, GILERA, HARLEY DAVIDSON, HONDA, KAWASAKI, KTM, MOTO GUZZI, PIAGGIO, AND YAMAHA AMONG OTHERS.
For Ziad Abou Jaoude, product and sales manager, TLB Destinations, a local tour operator, it was the first time at Outdoor Lebanon. “The response from the public has been good. We are here to raise awareness for TLB’s tourism products, outgoing and incoming.” Well, the Lebanese tourism market could certainly do with a push with tourists staying away due to negative travel advisories by foreign governments. An energetic display of parkour was put on by a group of young guys aged between 16-23. Parkour is a discipline originating from France in which movement involves vaulting, rolling, running, climbing, and jumping. “We are about ten guys and girls and we perform on the streets of Beirut and at a school in Gemayel,” said one of the participants Mohammed Saad. Hunting is also high on the agenda of most Lebanese males seeking to head into nature. The exhibition catered
to them with several stands presented gleaming rifles and accessories. Hadith Taljeh from the Mercantile Trading Company, distributers of shotguns, set up a pop up shooting range for the occasion. “Come on give it a try,” and his skills of persuasion prompted by passers to stop and aim for the target. My pathetic score was nil out of five . Possibly the most delightful stand was the most basic one set up by the Scouts of Lebanon. Gilbert Khalil from the Sagesse Jdeideh scouts had put up a make shift camp, complete with utensils, tent, sleeping bag and firewood. “The Lebanese youth are still interested in joining the scouts but less than before,” he lamented. Outdoor Lebanon 2012 and the Beirut Motorcycle Show took place between June 20 to 24, 2012, at the Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center (BIEL)
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SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL
BY JACQUES TCHABARIAN
Smashing Pumpkins OCEANIA When “Zeitgeist” came out five years ago to broad disregard from the general public and music critics alike, things looked pretty dismal for Billy Corgan on the prospect of a new Pumpkins album ever seeing the light of day. Add to that the exit of the last existing original member, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, shortly after the 2007 release and Corgan’s continuous meddling in various side projects that left their most avid fans not hoping much for the future. Well, we’ve all been fools to doubt the genius of the main instigator of the gang, for what we have in now is an album so intelligent
and refreshing that it makes you want to pick up a guitar and restart your old high school band all over again. One listen to the album took me back to the same state of awe and admiration I felt upon the release of “Siamese Dreams” for what seems ages ago. Corgan delivers a full set of songs that are as consistent as they are gorgeous. From psychedelic opener “Quasar” and all the way to the defiant “Wildflower”, the listener is overpowered by a music that takes control of the senses and guides you into a cinematic ride of grand-guitar rock imagery with enough power and restraint to let you enjoy all the emotions it has to offer. A real refreshing gem in this hot weather.
Fiona Apple THE IDLER WHEEL IS WISER… And the award for the longest album title goes to… It seems that Fiona’s fondness for long titles hasn’t diminished over the years, her 2012 release containing no less than 23 words on the cover (you can Google the full name). What strikes you while listening to this album is the fact that there are no apparent radio-friendly singles to be found. Most of the songs are concentrated on her voice and piano draped with subtle percussions, lacking the tools for propelling the album on music charts. The human element is Apple’s gamble in these cohesive and solid compositions, each track making its way to your
subconscious like a quiet thief in the night, only to settle in your mind where they are received with complete abandon and aural bliss. The lyrics must be deciphered slowly and methodically, the music being the key to decoding tales of love, paranoia and other mishaps that plague the human condition. Don’t let my words make you feel like this is a modern day Greek tragedy, just one listen to “Every Single Night”, the subtle atmosphere of “Jonathan” (or any other track for that matter), and it will systematically lead you to this human plateau that I’m trying to describe. Haunting and beautiful music.
Flo Rida WILD ONES Originally titled as “Only One Rida Part 2” as a sequel to the 2010 release “Only One Flo Part 1”, the Pop/Rapper of the moment changed the title to “Wild Ones” as if anticipating the effect that his ready-made-for-radio tunes will have on the general population and on partygoers in particular. Who among us, willingly or not, hasn’t hummed the whistle sound of his addictive single “Whistle” or gyrated frantically to the beat of the Etta James sampled “Good Feeling”? More singles will follow for sure during the course of the summer since every song has a potential of being played loudly
in every club globally. Flo had the involvement of many enowned producers on different tracks, as with DJ Frank E’s production on the aforementioned “Whistle”. Rumor has it was originally intended for Katy Perry, but subsequently ended up on the “Wild Ones” album. Collaborations are also on the menu: “Run” (a loose interpretation of Bryan Adam’s “Run to You”) sees the vocal contribution of Red Foo of LMFAO while the title track is blessed with the appearance of songstress Sia. We all know that the impact of this album may not reach beyond the summer season, but hey, what a fiery summer it will be.
The Flaming Lips THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS Would you be so bold as to cover the whole of Pink Floyd’s iconic groundbreaking album “Dark Side of the Moon”? Would you? I wouldn’t personally, but the Flaming Lips would and did back in 2009. This illustrates what kind of freaks make up this collective of alter-geniuses lead by the brilliant Marc Coyne. The album reviewed here is predictably unpredictable. This luminary piece of Neo-Psychedelia tainted with Kraut and Noise Rock is not something I would suggest to the average Rock or Alternative listener, the combined compositions being really spaced out and incoherent sonically to the average person, but 152 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co
ultimately this being the beauty of this masterpiece where things are disjointed in an organized universe of logic and pragmatism, if there is such a thing. Neon Indian, Prefuse 73 and Tame Impala are a few of the bands who were invited by the Lips to toss in some of their musical thoughts, but the crowning jewel has to be 10-minute long Roberta Flack cover of “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” with vocals by Erykah Badu, one of the most exhilarating works of music I’ve ever heard. Let’s put it this way, if you are a fan of movies like “Lost Highway” or “Mulholland Drive” or any other David Lynch film, then this album is for you. NEW WORLD ORDER
weep BY AMAL CHAABAN
Two Little Girls in Blue Mary Higgins Clark Why you should read this book
Not everyone dances well to the tune of the Pied Piper
Two little girls are kidnapped from their bedrooms in the night with no sign of forced entry, and no clues left for motive or perpetrator. Only a babysitter that can tell the police that one of the men had terrible body odour. It is with this opening chapter that the story of Two Little Girls in Blue begins shaping a mystery similar to the locked door mysteries so popular in previous times. When the call comes from a man calling himself the Pied Piper demanding
ransom, a scramble of sorts occurs for the money but not everyone is dancing to the tune the piper is playing, specifically one marginally unhinged accomplice. Mary Higgins Clark is known for her skill in mystery writing and that reputation is reinforced in this book. It is a light, engaging read that is perfect for the beach or the plane because it immerses the reader so deeply that you won’t notice time passing. Pick this book up as junk food for the mind.
The Children of Men P.D. James
Why you should read this book
Fertility is not the purview of man alone The year is 2021 and humanity is now infertile. Beginning back in 1995, it was noticed that birth rates were dropping alarmingly and no one could understand why. The race was on in scientific communities around the world to find not only the cure, but the reason behind this cataclysm. Flash forward back to 2021 and P.D. James documents the results of the failure of science in a novel so gripping, you are left wondering what happens after you’ve reached the last page. Written in both
first and third person, the novel takes us into the life of Dr. Theo Faron and what happens when he becomes involved with a group of citizens unhappy with the current ruler. It is an insightful commentary on power, politics, chaos and the role fertility actually does play in the order of things. Particularly well-crafted are “The Omegas” though they make scant appearance in the novel. This is the book to read when you want to know what the world looks like without children.
The Age of Miracles Karen Thompson Walker Why you should read this book
Time and space are concepts we take for granted
On a bright, sunny morning people woke up and went about their business as usual. Coffee was poured, the news listened to with half an ear until the announcement came that the earth was gaining minutes and our rotation was slowing. Told from the perspective of a 12 year-old girl, this novel is an unvarnished accounting of what happens when the things we never thought to worry about come to pass. How do you adjust for the change in gravity, the suddenness of days that last for far longer than the 24 hour clock we have come to depend on like
religion and still cope with the rigours of everyday life? How do you adjust to sudden shortages in food and people who simply refuse to change off of the clock time no matter what consequences or to gravity that has more pull than ever? As a debut novel, the author is going to find this one very hard to top even if you were only going to take into account the voice of the narrator. It is a gritty, hard and unyielding story of things falling apart even as they appear the same. This is the must read novel of the summer.
15 Seconds Andrew Gross
Why you should read this book
Your entire life can change in less time than it takes to blink What can change in 15 seconds? You would think not much but Author Andrew Gross is out to prove you wrong. In 15 seconds, people can die and a traffic stop can turn into a nightmare. Let’s start by saying this book is one big, long adrenaline rush. From page one right up until the finale, there is a sense of urgency that runs through the book and it is this tactic that makes the book such a good read. The plot is layered and complex, and yes, even somewhat plausible if you stop to think about it. AUGUST 2012
Dr. Henry Steadman is a renowned doctor on his way to a medical conference when he is stopped by a police officer on what seems to be a routine traffic stop. Things get ugly fast and the next thing he knows, he is on the run. In a seemingly unrelated incident, a woman and her baby are mowed down by a young woman high on OxyContin. These two incidents set the stage for a read that will have you staying up all night in a race to figure out what really happened.
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playNICE BY ADAM VOLK
Publisher / Developer Dean “Rocket” Hall Platforms PC One of the great things about video games is how involved the community can be. Take “modding” for instance, in which tech-savvy PC gamers create their very own games based on modifications made to existing titles. The recently released game DayZ is one such example, as a “mod” of the first person shooter ARMA 2. Created by Dean Hall, who was inspired by his time serving in the New Zealand military, DayZ takes place in Chernarus, a fictional European nation now in the grips of an apocalyptic zombie outbreak. Players
take on the role of human survivors who must scavenge for food, water, weapons, and medicine while avoiding both zombies and trigger-happy players alike. Unlike most shooters, however, DayZ opts entirely for realism. Players can break bones, become sick, freeze to death, or die of hunger and thirst. Being killed also means losing all of your gear and having to create a character from scratch. It’s a nail biting experience that’s as much about human interaction as it is blowing away the undead. The end result is a zombie shooter that’s as smart as it is savage.
The Secret World
Publisher Electronic Arts | Developer Funcom Platforms PC The truth, in the immortal words of Agent Fox Mulder, is out there. In fact, just ask any conspiracy theory nut around and they’ll tell you that there’s a whole buttload of aliens, secret societies and supernatural creatures lurking in the shadows. That’s pretty much the premise behind The Secret World, a new Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game in which players take on the role of characters delving into our planet’s dark underbelly. Gameplay is similar to other MMORPGs as a blend of combat and exploration. The game
does, however, add a few unique twists by dropping the familiar class-based system in exchange for customizable abilities. The plot and the world itself are also refreshingly original and chocked full of things like vampires, the Illuminati and Da Vinci Code-style puzzles. That being said, the game can be a little glitchy at times, and having to use real world currency to purchase items reeks of publisher greed. Ultimately though, The Secret World manages to stand out as an original online world that will satisfy gamers looking for an X-Files fix.
Publisher THQ | Developer Vigil Games Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 With the economy in the crapper and Justin Bieber winning Grammys left, right and center, is it any wonder people think the End of Days are upon us? Fortunately, there’s plenty of post-apocalyptic video games to help prepare for Judgement Day. Take Darksiders II for instance, the sequel to the popular 2010 action shooter which puts players into the stirrups of one of the dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This time around, players take control of Death, who more than lives up to his name when it comes to leav-
ing a trail of dismembered demon corpses in his wake. The story is pure camp, dropping Biblical references and pop culture cheese in equal parts. Like its predecessor, the game is mostly a hack n’ slash affair, with some puzzle solving and shooting mechanics throw into the mix that borrow liberally from games like Zelda and Portal. That’s not to say the game is bad, just that it can get a little repetitive at times. Fortunately, Darksiders II is worth picking up, thanks to its gruesomely satisfying gameplay and polished visuals. If the end of the world is this entertaining, I say bring it on.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Publisher / Developer Nintendo Platforms Nintendo 3DS It’s ah-me, Mario! Yes, everyone’s favorite mushroom gobbling, Princess rescuing plumber is back - and in 3D! - as an all-new game for the Nintendo 3DS. As a direct sequel to the 2006 Nintendo DS title, the game once again offers a heaping dose of side-scrolling pipe-jumping action. In terms of gameplay, it’s the same fun and fast paced formula that’s been around since Mario’s first outing back in the 80s - and players probably wouldn’t want it any other way. In fact, nostalgic gamers will probably
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dig seeing a few familiar items thrown into the mix, including the return of the raccoon suit from Super Mario Bros. 3. The game also allows two players to play cooperatively at the same time, adding more depth to the experience. Visually, the game has been given a high level of polish, and the sound track and 3D elements are spot on and add to the fun. The result is another solid entry for one of video game’s most beloved high-flying, mustachioed, Italian stereotypes. Go, Mario, go!
NEW WORLD ORDER
watch out ADAM VOLK
Release dates based on amazon.co.uk
| DVD & Blu-ray | 131 mins Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Rihanna Release Date: August 20 If you need further proof that Hollywood has completely run out of ideas, look no further than Battleship, a brainless big budget film based on the popular board game of the same name. If you’re wondering how you could possibly create a screenplay around a game that involves shouting out random numbers and jamming plastic pegs into holes, congratulations, you’re clearly not a studio executive. The plot follows a hot-headed young naval officer who finds himself and his crew facing down a race of evil aliens during a fleet-wide
training exercise. Of course, to survive he and his fellow sailors will have to use both their wits and a crap load of ordnance from Uncle Sam (America, f*** yeah!). Along the way, the film is chocked full of various A, B and C list actors who drop cheesyone liners at a staggering machinegun pace. There’s also some pretty slick special effects thrown into the mix - but with a story that’s full of more holes than a sinking destroyer, Battleship delivers a direct hit of high-explosive Hollywood stupidity. KA-BOOM! Take that, cinematic art form!
The Hunger Games | DVD & Blu-ray | 142 mins Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth Release Date: September 3 Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, chances are you’ve heard of The Hunger Games, the best-selling young adult novels by Suzanne Collins. Now the first book in the blockbuster series has made its way to the big screen. The film follows the exploits of Katniss Everdeen (played by mega-starlet-in-training Jennifer Lawrence), a sixteen-year old girl living in the post-apocalyptic ruins of North America. Katniss soon finds her dystopian existence made even more intolerable when she’s forced to
participate in the Hunger Games, a Battle Royalestyle tournament which pits teens against one another for the amusement of an authoritarian regime known as the Capitol. Our plucky ponytailed heroine finds her loyalty divided, however, when she’s caught up in a classic teen love triangle. What follows is a surprisingly entertaining film, thanks to some solid performances and the impeccable direction of Gary Ross (who manages to keep the film sufficiently violent while also in the PG-13 arena). The end result is a solid film that delivers a tween angst arrow to the heart of the Twilight franchise.
Mirror, Mirror | DVD & Blu-ray | 106 mins Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Sean Bean Release Date: July 30 Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who had perfect pores and partied pretty hard with seven really short dudes. Okay, so a big screen retelling of the Snow White fairy tale isn’t exactly the most original idea. That doesn’t mean it can’t be told well. Enter Mirror, Mirror, a film that does a decent job of rehashing an all-too familiar story, but really stands out thanks to the lavish sets and style of director Tarsem Singh (perhaps best known for the films The Cell and Immortals). The plot is pretty standard:
Lily Collins stars as Snow White, a beautiful young princess trapped inside a castle by her pissed-off stepmother (Julia Roberts). Throw in the rest of the familiar story ingredients, including a magic mirror, the seven dwarves and Prince Charming, and you’re good to go. Disney this ain’t however, and while the darker and somewhat grittier story can drag a bit, visually it’s stunning. Mirror, Mirror is probably not the most original film you’ll ever see, but it’s also something you might enjoy watching happily ever after on Blu-ray and DVD.
We Bought a Zoo
| DVD & Blu-ray | 124 mins Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church Release Date: July 16th Pets are lot of work. You’ve got to clean them, water them and take them out to do their business. Now imagine finding yourself taking care of dozens of animals - big and small - in your own backyard. That’s pretty much the premise to We Bought a Zoo, the big screen adaptation of Benjamin Mee’s memoirs of the same name. The film follows a recent widower and father of two (played by Matt “Don’t Call Me Jason Bourne” Damon) who impulsively decides to buy an nearly bankrupt zoo. Our hero, however, finds himself dealing with AUGUST 2012
underfunded staff members, angry bears and his two emotionally distraught children. Fortunately, he gets a little help along the way from the head zoo keeper (played by Scarlett Johansson), who teaches him how to deal with lions, tigers and bears (can I get an “oh my!”) and of course, find love. The story is a little sappy at times, but director Cameron Crowe manages to create a relatively entertaining film that offers a sugary sweet message about the importance family and animals. And you thought feeding and watering your pet gerbil Stinky was a pain in the butt. www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 155
WORLDVISION BY LILIANE ASSAF
RAGMAG IS PLEASED TO GIVE THE ONLINE COMMUNITY SOME MUCH DESERVED PRINT SPACE. THIS IS THE TWELFTH INSTALLMENT IN A PERMANENT COLUMN DEVOTED TO BLOG REVIEWS. FOR THE AUGUST NEW WORLD ORDER ISSUE, WE ASKED LEBANON’S BLOG AGGREGATOR LILIANE ASSAF, TO CHOOSE THE 3 BLOGGERS WHO DEVOTE THEIR ENERGY TO BLOGGING ABOUT HITTING THE ROAD. GET CLICKING, PEOPLE!
There are countless trip advisors out there in the big World Wide Web, but why reach so far when we have travel tips and recreational activity guides inside and outside Lebanon right here in the Lebanese blogosphere? 3 bloggers have been chosen this issue for you, but first you are welcome to visit my own initiative to promote things to do and places to visit in Lebanon on my blog’s Visit Lebanon page http://blog.funkyozzi.com
BLOG TITLE Countless Little Things BLOGGER Marie Nakhle http://countlesslittlethings.wordpress.com URL
Marie Nakhle takes us on daily trips with her blog. If you really want to let go and visit a beautiful locale, listen to a good song, learn about a good book or feel like you’re enjoying a warm tasty coffee at a cozy café in busy Beirut, then Countless Little Things is the right URL for you. Marie doesn’t write long and tedious posts, they’re quick to browse and easy to digest. Enjoy the photos and videos she posts of festivals and concerts she has attended or a new place she has discovered downtown. If you’re into French music, you will also appreciate her recommendations. In addition to local festivities shared on her blog, you will find reviews about current lodges and auberges in Lebanon, as well as her time spent abroad vacationing (always accompanied by photos), interesting info and tourism tips. In addition to all this, Marie is very keen on cultural happenings and events, so tune in!
BLOG TITLE The Present Perfect. My Life in Beirut. BLOGGER Lindsay http://thepresentperfect.wordpress.com URL
This is a travel blog par excellence. Lindsay is currently sharing with us her time in Thailand and prior to this it was New Zealand. Not to mention the blog posts she shares after trips she makes with the Beirut Street Photographers. Lindsay is part of that group which means one of her hobbies is photography, meaning the images on her blog are all hers and are all a delight to view. Lindsay is not only a blogger and photographer, she’s also a runner and has participated in countless races all over the world which she shares on her blog as well. Lindsay comes from New York, as much as one wants to do travel blogging from Beirut about places they visit in the world, they can’t help but be caught but the Beiruti frenzy we all experience on a daily basis -she shares these incidents with us in a funny and lighthearted way- her frustration in the capital of Tabbouleh and Arguileh.
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SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL
BLOG TITLE If the Bag Fits: Travel Adventures BLOGGER Loryne & her friends http://Ifthebagfits.com URL
This is a different kind of travel blog. What I like about “If the Bag Fits” is that it includes several aspects of traveling (not just places Loryne has visited), including some descriptions and images. It has much more and a lot of added value in the sense that it is a go-to blog when it comes to traveling, how to pack, how to make the best of things and a lot more. The easy to browse (and well presented) blog allows you to check out different places quickly, with a short description of 1 place to visit in each country. Just click on this blog and look around; see the picture that calls out to you or the title and country that intrigues you. This blog is probably going to help you in an indirect way to plan your next trip. Loryne also started a Facebook page for this blog that shares really interesting and dream-inducing types of images, so make sure you check that out too.
BEST CUBE REVIEW
www.thecubelb.com @TheCubeLB | @beirutspring URL http://thecubelb.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/an-important-discovery/ This time I won’t share a review of a book but mostly a reminder of how we used to read and some tips by Mustapha Hamoui on how to make it more efficient to read nowadays with the many distractions around us. I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did.
www.lebanonaggregator.com Lebanon Aggregator AUGUST 2012
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BRAINFOOD ROUND #1
Science and Nature
1. What do the letters UPS stand
1. What is the largest country in
1. Where does the name “Blu Ray”
2. Cat Steven’s record “It’s a Wild
2. In which country can you see
2. What is the main difference
World” is used in trailers for what TV crime series?
3. What organ in the human
body has the same name as a punctuation mark?
the Angel Falls?
5. What English word is derived from an old French word meaning “Sour Wine”?
between a fish and a mammal beside the fact that mammals breathe air?
3. Which of Australia’s six states comes first alphabetically?
4. Erie, Superior and Michigan are
know as what?
6. In the book “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, who was the captain of the Nautilus?
7. What is the capital city of 8. What letter of the alphabet does
7. Staying with the book, what
distance is a league? 3, 3.5 or 4 miles?
8. What distinguishing feature does a Manx cat have?
9. Which Italian city is home of the
not appear in the name of any US State?
6. What is the largest key on a
6. Who won the 2008 UEFA
7. What is difference between a
7. How many times has Michael
world that is crossed by both the Equator and the tropic of Capricorn?
dynamo and an alternator?
10 What name is given to the study of poisons and venoms?
what hair product on TV?
came second in 16 F1 races but never won a championship? Champions League Final?
water comes in contact with the electricity and was the cause of death of many submariners during WWII?
10. What is the only country in the
10. Cristiano Ronaldo advertised
5. Who is the British F1 driver who
9. What gas is formed when sea
Asia and Africa?
Ducati motorcycle company?
5. Where in the body would you
Cup against which country?
of a Wimbledon Championship?
8. Xenophobia is the fear of what?
9. What sea has shores in Europe,
took place in 1981 against Trevor Berbick?
4. Who was the youngest male winner
2. Which famous boxer’s last fight
4. What is the Latin name for
find the Cochlea and the stirrup bone?
6. What is the largest country in
hold both F1 and Motorbike World championships at the same time?
3. Uruguay won the first soccer World
5. The Aurora Borealis is better
1. What is the name of the only man to
3. A polygraph is more commonly known as what?
3 of the 5 Great Lakes. Name the other two.
4. What is the most common colour used on the flags of countries? (beside white)
Schumacher won the F1 championship?
8. Who did Al Riyadi beat to win the 2006/2007 Arab Clubs Championship?
9. Which American cyclist won the Tour de France 7 times?
10 Who’s the youngest driver to win the F1 championship?
2 1 9
3 4 1
8 4 5 9
3 6 9 5 8
7 3 5 1
5 8 6 6 4 1
9 7 3 4 3 8 4 5
7 3 6 2
9 1 3
6 7 1 5 3 5 7 7 2 8 1 1 2 4 2 6 3 6 9 3 6 7 2 5 3 9
ROUND#1 1. United Parcels Service 2. Without a Trace 3. Colon 4. Red 5. Vinegar 6. Captain Nemo 7. 3 Miles 8. No Tail 9.Bologna 10. Clear Shampoo ROUND#2 1. Sudan 2. Venezuela 3. New South Wales 4. Huron and Ontario 5. Northern Lights 6. Cuba 7. Minsk 8. Q 9. Mediterranean 10. Brazil ROUND#3 1. Laser is Blue 2. The tail 3. Lie detector 4. Uterus 5. The ear 6. Space bar 7. A dynamo produces D.C. 8. Foreigners 9. Chlorine 10. Toxicology ROUND#4 1. John Surtees 2. Mohammed Ali 3. Argentina 4. Boris Becker 5. Stirling Moss 6. Manchester United 7. Seven 8. Sagesse 9. Lance Armstrong 10. Sebastien Vettel 1 4 1 3 9 9 7 6 2 8 8 6 4 3 7 5
2 6 5 7 6 2 3 4 9 5 4 1 7 3 8 9 8 1
8 5 3 8 7 4 6 9 5 7 1 3 4 2 2 1 9 6
9 7 4 1 3 2 1 6 8 3 6 8 5 5 2 4 7
6 2 8 6 5 7 9 5 4 7 9 3 1 1 8 2 3
3 8 4 1 2 5 8 2 1 3 5 7 9 7 6 6 4
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1 4 9 2 3 1 5 8 7 6 6 5 2 7 4 3 8 9
5 7 6 5 8 6 4 3 3 9 2 2 1 8 9 4 1 7
7 3 2 9 4 8 1 7 8 1 9 4 5 6 6 5 2 3
9 7 2 6 4 3 8 1 5
8 5 4 7 1 9 6 3 2
1 3 6 5 2 8 9 4 7
3 1 9 2 5 6 4 7 8
4 8 5 9 3 7 2 6 1
6 2 7 4 8 1 5 9 3
5 6 8 3 7 4 1 2 9
2 4 3 1 9 5 7 8 6
7 9 1 8 6 2 3 5 4
3 7 2 5 6 9 8 1 4
8 9 1 7 3 4 6 5 2
5 4 6 2 8 1 9 3 7
7 2 8 9 1 3 4 6 5
9 1 3 6 4 5 2 7 8
6 5 4 8 2 7 1 9 3
1 3 5 4 9 2 7 8 6
2 8 7 1 5 6 3 4 9
4 6 9 3 7 8 5 2 1
NEW WORLD ORDER
29 30 31
22. Gives a mental image. 25. They make electricity. 27. Middle Eastern man’s traditional
29. A state of perplexity. 31. Like the TEN COMMANDMENTS. 32. Annoying? 34. Gives up the throne. 35. A sailor’s bed? 36. Curved up in the middle. 40. Never been beaten. 41. At the front of the leg. 46. Schedule. 47. Sometimes found on motor cycles. 49. Burden with. 52. Formed with the absorption of
50 51 53
54 55 56 59
1. A noisy rock breaker? 3. A flower of the amaryllis family. 4. Relit. 5. Cut. 7. Drugs. 10. Rich? 11. Bosses, colloquially. 13. To approve. 14. Thought of a method or plan. 16. Skillful with his hands. 17. For computers or televisions? 19. Unaware of! 20. A book of knowledge? 21. Something that sends nerve
53. Not washed. 55. Overweight. 56. Seaweed. 57. Railway engine. 60. Has less hair! 63. Fertilized. 67. A kind of balance. 68. Holy, as in ground. 69. Reborn? 71. A female Gaelic Spirit. 72. Is this curly writing? 77. Said to be divided by a membrane. 80. Thrown out. 83. A factory can be called this. 84. Rock formed by a volcano. 85. To do with the thigh. 87. Has two different parts that do the
90. Compressed (As on a computer).
AN OLD POP GROUP?
USEFUL FACTS TO HELP US?
IT GOES ON AND ON!
FOR A BETTER VIEW?
IN THE USA?
95. Prepared for seeding. 96. Not set correctly. 97. Screams.
86. Dwelling on the
88. Forgave. 89. Little people in stories? 91. One type of current! 92. Has a split personality. 93. The study of organisms
and their environment.
94. Battles in war time.
IS IT ROMANTIC?
DOCTOR HOOK - GOOD INFORMATION - MOONLIGHT - FOR EVER AND EVER - MONKEY - BELIEVE EYE GLASSES - WASHINGTON - LISTEN TO ME
MAGTION MAOTION MAOTION MADTION
79. Make imperishable. 81. A tempting morsel? 82. Jesus’ place of
ACROSS 1. JUSTIFIED - 2. ABANDONMENTS - 6. OVERPRODUCE 8. WHACK - 9. OSTENTATIOUS - 12. TEMPORARY 15. LAUDANUM - 18. WHORE - 23. IMBECILE 24. WHITENED - 26. ICON - 28. LACQUER 30. PARANORMAL - 33. XANTHIC - 37. KERNEL 38. GOSSIPPED - 39. GYMKHANAS - 42. VIBRANT 43. HAGGARD - 44. GOURMET - 45. RIBALD 48. OBJECTIONABLE - 50. JUGULAR - 51. BANQUETTE 54. FATAL - 58. YOKEL - 59. GABARDINE - 61. EDIFY 62. KELVIN - 64. CALCULUS - 65. OPPOSE 66. CADAVER - 70. ORBIT - 73. SATURATED - 74. ZERO 75. FEISTY - 76. QUOTIENTS - 78. INDULGES 79. IMMORTALIZE - 81. BAIT - 82. CALVARY 86. MACABRE - 88. PARDONED - 89. GNOMES 91. EDDY - 92. SCHIZOID - 93. ECOLOGY 94. CAMPAIGNS - 95. FALLOWED - 96. MALADJUSTED 97. YOWLS
33. Of a yellowish color. 58. A gullible, rural area dweller. 37. The center of a nut? 59. Wool or rayon that is twilled. 38. Talked about personal facts about 61. Give instructions in morality. 62. A temperature scale. another. 39. Competitions for horses? 64. One form of mathematics. 42. Pulsing with life and energy. 65. Go against. 43. Looking old. 66. A dead body? 44. A connoisseur of food or drink. 70. A planet’s path? 45. A debauched person is called this. 73. Soaking wet. 48. Undesirable. 74. Nothing. 50. To do with the throat or neck. 75. Frisky. 51. A great feast. 76. The results of division. 54. Deadly. 78. Over eats or drinks?
DOWN 1. JACKHAMMER - 3. DAFFODIL - 4. REKINDLED 5. LACERATE - 7. NARCOTICS - 10. OPULENT 11. GAFFERS - 13. ENDORSE - 14. DEVISED 16. DEXTROUS - 17. NETWORKS - 19. OBLIVIOUS 20. ENCYCLOPEDIA - 21. NEUROTRANSMITTER 22. VIVID - 25. DYNAMOS - 27. ABA - 29. QUANDARY 31. DECALOGUE - 32. MADDENING - 34. ABDICATES 35. HAMMOCK - 36. CAMBERED - 40. UNDEFEATED 41. SHIN - 46. ITINERAY - 47. FAIRING - 49. ENCUMBER 52. ENDOTHERMIC - 53. UNCLEAN - 55. OBESE 56. KELP - 57. LOCOMOTIVE - 60. BALDER 63. IMPREGNATED - 67. COUNTERPOISE 68. HALLOWED - 69. REINCARNATED - 71. BANSSHEE 72. ITALIC - 77. SEPTATE - 80. REJECTED - 83. FACILITY 84. IGNEOUS - 85. FEMORAL - 87. HYBRID - 90. ZIPPED
1. Proved to be right. 2. Desertions. 6. Manufacture too much! 8. Hit someone? 9. Pretentious? 12. Not permanent. 15. Opium? 18. A lady of easy virtue? 23. A fool, (offensive use). 24. Bleached? 26. A religious image? 28. Varnish? 30. Supernatural.
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Zodiac forecasts FROM JONATHAN CAINER
IN AUGUST, MERCURY ENDS ITS RETROGRADE PHASE, ALLOWING MANY PEOPLE TO FEEL LESS AS IF THEY ARE WADING THROUGH TREACLE OR RUNNING UP ESCALATORS THAT ARE GOING DOWNWARDS. MY FELLOW ASTROLOGERS OFTEN TELL PEOPLE TO AVOID MAKING ARRANGEMENTS OR EVEN TRYING TO COMMUNICATE AT ALL UNDER SUCH AN INFLUENCE. IN MY EXPERIENCE, THE IMPACT OF A RETROGRADE MERCURY IS NOT SO SEVERE AND CAN EVEN BE HELPFUL TO THOSE WHO STRIVE TO UNDERSTAND A PUZZLING MATTER OR UNRAVEL A COMPLICATED KNOT. BUT THIS, PLUS THE ARRIVAL OF VENUS IN CANCER, WILL ENSURE A LIGHTER MOOD SOON SWEEPS THE WORLD.
August 24 - September 23 You keep looking out from the bars. There is a small patch of clear sky in the distance and you can also make out the leaves of a tree. What does freedom feel like? You have been without it for so long now, you can’t remember. Or so it seems. Actually, you are not trapped. You just seem to be very stuck in a situation that is, apparently, not yet ready to change. So much seems to be out of your own control. Where is your power in all of this? It is coming back to you this very month. Here comes liberty, relief and release. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
July 24 - August 23
Mercury is now spending a long time in your sign. That’s advantageous, in so far as it is allowing you to explore new economic opportunities. But Mercury has achieved this extended dwell-time in Leo by turning retrograde. Retrograde planets often bring impediment. A crucial process has taken longer than you wanted it to. You are waiting for a decision - and even if you are the only one who can make it, you wish you could just hurry it up. Here comes the best birthday present you could hope for. A brilliant breakthrough!
September 24 - October 23 I feel very honoured to be addressing you. I recognise that you are an important, influential person and I am flattered that you have found time in your busy schedule to consult this zodiac forecast. I trust that I will not let you down and that you will recommend me to your many powerful colleagues and companions. There. Is that obsequious enough for you? My tongue is only partially in my cheek as I say this. You really are about to go up in the world. And that’s really no less than you deserve. Enjoy the success that awaits.
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
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NEW WORLD ORDER
December 22 - January 20 There are times when we all question ourselves. ‘What if I have made the wrong choices? What if I have misunderstood someone or something?’ It is natural and healthy to go through such a process once in a while. But it can never be right to remain in such a frame of mind for too long. Lately, you have experienced more than enough angst. August brings a reassuring development. Things are moving in the right direction at last and they are going to keep on moving until they get you just where you need to be.
October 24 - November 22 Towards the end of August, Mars moves into your sign. That’s big. It is exciting. It is encouraging and auspicious. Why am I making such a big deal of it so far in advance? Well, because just before that happens, you are due to encounter a difficulty that you may find more than a little frustrating. You can let it be a big deal or ensure that it remains a storm in a teacup. Knowing how well things will turn out in the end should help you maintain the right sense of perspective. The journey may be tough but the destination will delight you.
November 23 - December 21 Whose help do you need? What are you relying on? How vulnerable will you be if some things don’t go according to plan? You really have very little to worry about. Such questions may plague you but then, that’s the nature of such questions! You don’t have to take them so seriously. Look at what is exciting you. Think about your big ambition. Be motivated and inspired by that. All is going to work out well, despite the drama that you have lately been caught up in and the brave decision that this now requires you to make.
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
January 21 - February 19 You are more popular than you realise. Whilst you may not be universally appreciated, there are some who admire you so much that they are prepared to go out of their way to help you. This is not entirely selfless. They recognise your talent. They figure that if they can assist you in reaching a better position, almost everyone will eventually benefit. They are right to think that, too. And you are right to think that in August, it is not just the planets that are cheering you on. Some very earthly angels are on your side too. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
February 20 - March 20 The world is full of people who are pretending to be what they are not. Some put on airs and graces. Others go to the other extreme and act as if they could not care less how they are perceived by the rest of the world. Both such stances are a little artificial. Of course, we are all sensitive. Of course, too, we all want to be loved. There is only really one big question for you this month: in August, can you get what you want and need, just by being yourself? The answer, as you are about to find out, is an emphatic, yes. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
April 21 - May 21 Confidence is a wonderful thing when you’ve got it. But rather like a ball-point pen or a TV remote control, it has an annoying tendency to slip out of sight and prove difficult to retrieve. You know you had it somewhere. It surely can’t be too far away. But even when you turn everything upside down, there is no joy. Indeed, there is rarely any joy when you turn everything in your world upside down - and rarely any confidence, either. So you will be glad to hear that, in August, there need be no more upheaval. Confidence will return.
May 22 - June 22 Ever since Jupiter entered your sign, back in June, you’ve been gathering momentum. Like a plane on the runway, you’ve had your engine idling in anticipation. But you have been waiting for clearance for take-off. You have been getting mixed messages from the psychological equivalent of ‘air traffic control’. ‘Go’ one moment; ‘wait’ the next. You are beginning to wonder if you will ever start to make the progress you so sorely crave. Mercury’s change of direction is your promise that in August it will happen at last.
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
March 21 - April 20 Shall we talk about the thing that’s really bothering you? You know, that problem, that issue, that obstacle. You don’t really want me to mention it, do you? You are hoping that if you ignore it, it will go away. Well, it will go away and whilst you can’t ignore it, you can pay it less attention than of late. But there is, first, one thing you must do. You already know what that is. So do it; it won’t be so bad. By the end of August, not only will you have forgotten the stress of this, you will be revelling in the many benefits that it has begun to bring. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
CANCER June 23 - July 23
Once a year, every year, Venus spends a few weeks in each zodiac sign. We all take it in turns to be blessed by the presence of the planet of love. Can you guess who is about to be the beneficiary of that rare astrological gift? That’s right! It is you! And your love life will not be the only aspect of your existence that soon begins to improve. Your powers of imagination and creativity are also being boosted, enabling you to become wealthier and more secure. Not everything will go perfectly for you, but a lot will! FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
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RECORD BREAKERS KEANE HEADS TO OUR PART OF THE WORLD We’ve seen a huge amount of tweets from people revving up for Keane’s highly anticipated October 13th concert at the Forum! To prep you all right and good, we’re about to remind you of their catalogue. If you’re a Keane fan, then you’ve already got all of their disks, if not, check these babies out! RAGMAG’s favorite Keane tune? “Somewhere Only We Know”. YouTube the live version performed by the band at Live 8. @keaneofficial |
Keane | www.keanemusic.com
RAGGED KEANE FACTS
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QUIN IS IN! Jesse Quin on bass guitar is the most recent band member, joining Keane in 2007. He also plays electric guitar and percussions, synthesises, and sings backing vocals.
9 LIVES Their debut album “Hopes and Fears” was released in 2004 has been certified 9 times platinum. Hope and Fears is reportedly the United Kingdom’s “9th biggest-selling album of the 21st century”.
EBONY + IVORY Keane has been called the “the band with no guitars” due to their heavy piano sound, with or without distortion.
BIG BREAK The band became widely known in the U.S. after opening for U2 in 2005 during their landmark Vertigo tour.
NEW WORLD ORDER
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