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MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

SPECIAL

COMBINED

STARMAKER

BETTY

TAOUTEL

STAR POWER

SWEDISH

HOUSE MAFIA

EDITION

2013 HEALTH GUIDE

HOLIDAY

GIFT GUIDE THE ABSOLUTE BEST

FOR HIM + HER

FALLEN STAR

ANDY

WARHOL

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AXWELL, SEBASTIAN INGROSSO + STEVE ANGELLO FOR

ONE LAST TOUR

LODESTAR ISSUE

STARRING PIERRETTE KATRIB

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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Chronograph with date display, stainless steel bracelet and case water-resistant to 30 metres. CORUM automatic movement, COSC chronometercertified.

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MAGAZINE

Publisher Gina Gabriel El-Fady

Contributors Lara Ariss Liliane Assaf Celina Aoun Jonathan Cainer Amal Chaaban Azar Chidiac Rabih Feghali Maria Frangieh Alice Hlidkova Sarah Hourany J.E.N. Maria-Elena Kassab Imogen Kimber Chris Lambert Sabina Llewellyn-Davies Maha Majzoub Nour Obaji Jacques Tchabarian Adam Volk

Editor in Chief Fida Z Chaaban Creative Lead Odette Kahwagi Assistant to the Editor Youmna Chagoury Junior Graphic Designer Eliane Elias Photographers Odette Kahwagi Jason Zamora Teddy Habib Walid Hoyek

w w w . r a g m a g . c o

@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.

Selected images Shutterstock

Media Representative

Stylist Jony Matta Public Relations Coordinator Lea El-Alam Marketing Advisor Daniella Tayar Administrative Coordinator Teddy Younes Responsible Manager May Ziade Printed by Raidy Printing Group

RAGMAG is a division of Raycon s.a.l. Copyright RAGMAG 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Nada G. Farha | Cofounder-MD Jdeideh Chalet Suisse St 444 Center 3rd floor Tel: 01 87 16 63 Ext 103 nfarha@pinkodsal.com advertise@pinkodsal.com RAGMAG Alex Gabriel Building Rue Colomn de Sahel Sahel Alma, Keserwan Tel: 09 916 222 / 09 913 777 lea.elalam@ragmaglive.com

Distributor Lebanese Distributor Company Hamra, Axa Middle East bldg. Tel: 01 368 007

PER ISSUE 10,000 LBP 6 ISSUES 50,000 LBP 12 ISSUES 100,000 LBP DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

ON OUR COVER Pierrette Katrib dressed by Rami Kadi Photography Odette Kahwagi Makeup Elie Estephan

Contact us by phone or email to arrange your subscription subscriptions@ragmaglive.com 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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40

EDITOR’S OPINION 14 STAR SEARCH MISSING IN ACTION

EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES 104 COPYCAT REAL LIFE RUNWAY

102 TAKE THE FINAL FRONTIER CHALLENGE TAG HEUER IN SPACE

110 STARMAN TIMOTHY OULTON NEW DIGS IN BEIRUT

112 STARRY NIGHT

OUR FASHION SHOOT STARRING PIERRETTE KATRIB

170 ALL STARRY-EYED

SATISH BY ROULA DFOUNI

OUT + ABOUT 38 STARS ALIGN

POLY + NEMR + ANTHONY KHOURY OH MY!

40 SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA

BACKSTAGE PASS FOR ONE LAST TOUR

142 TASTY NUM NUM

BEIRUT COOKING FEST 2012

BACKSTAGE

PASS #ONELASTTOUR

SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH RAGMAG

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94 SEEING STARS JLO IN DUBAI

48 THE REAL SLIM SHADY EMINEM IN ABU DHABI

37 ARE YOU READY?

BRIT FLOYD IN BEIRUT

CULTURE CLASH 162 WHO’S YOUR LODESTAR? HAYDA LEBNEN

32 FALLEN STAR ANDY WARHOL

24 STARMAKER

INTERVIEW WITH BETTY TAOUTEL

18 BANNED BOOKLIST WE’RE OUTLAWS!

DOLLARS+SENSE 20 STARS + STRIPES FOREVER THE FEDERAL RESERVE

YOU + YOUR COUNTRY 22 WISH UPON A STAR

THE NAWAYA NETWORK GIVES KIDS A CHANCE

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DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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FML 56 EARN A GOLD STAR I WILL NOT TELL LIES!

MIND, BODY + SOUL 60 HELP ME NOUR + RABIH ADVICE

MIRROR MIRROR 82 LIQUID SMILE REVIEW GET BRIGHT WHITES

86 THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES

GUERLAIN SKINCARE + COLOUR

84 M.A.C.

FASHION DENIZEN CARINE ROITFELD

78 GET THE STAR TREATMENT KOTCH SPA REVIEW

90 THE ULTIMATE IN HOLIDAY BEAUTY ALWAYS CHANEL

EAT, DRINK + BE MERRY 138 RESTAURANT REVIEW INDIGO ON THE ROOF

144 GET A WARM TUMMY RECIPES 140 CHEF MITCH TONKS STARFISH TAKE ME WITH YOU 148 5 STARS FOR BARBADOS TRAVEL THE FINAL FRONTIER 54 THE MECHINATIONS OF STAR SIGNS ASTROLOGY UMM, YEAH!

52 BLACK HOLES + IMPLODING STARS

STARRY

NIGHT 112

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SCIENCE

JAN 2013 HEALTH + WELLNESS 72 1O FRUITS + VEGGIES YOU NEED TO KNOW

70 LARRY JACKSON

THE FITNESS ROUTINE

74 BALANCED DIET

WHAT TO EAT + WHEN

68 GET SOME SHUT EYE SLEEP HYGIENE

66 ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT GET POSITIVE!

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DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

Whether you’re excited that it’s the beginning of a New Year filled with promise and hope, or decorated your house straight after Halloween and are singing Christmas carols on your way to work every morning or maybe you’re like me: just dragging yourself slowly to 2013 not wanting to admit to yourself that the year has just zoomed by leaving behind a million things yet to be finished, not sure how you’re at the end of the year and trying to feed on other people’s happiness to feel the spirit of the festive season. In any case, we have a lot for you in this issue of RM! My thanks go to Pierrette Katrib for being a great sport. You were truly a treasure and you left a warm feeling with us to remember you by. For our reader rewards I would like to thank our friends at GS, Satish by Roula Dfouni, adidas, and the Spa at the Phoenicia Hotel. Big thank you to EMI Music Arabia for being one of our greatest supporters and for trusting us to do a great job. This month we were granted an exclusive Backstage Pass for Swedish House Mafia! I would like to congratulate all of the winners at the Time Out Beirut Nightlife Awards Ceremony at Music Hall last month. It was nice to know that talent and hard work is actually being recognized in Lebanon and not going unnoticed. It’s great to see the hospitality industry in Lebanon get a much needed boost. My warmest congrats on behalf of RAGMAG go out to Rony Abou Saab and Rabih Fakhreddine of Concepts in Motion for the well-deserved awards for February 30. I’d like to also congratulate the Alleyway Group’s Ziad Kamel, Patrick Cochrane, and Joey Ghazal for their Angry Monkey awards. Finally, my congratulations to Mazen Zein and Jad Matta of the Crystal Group for their Pier 7 award. Well folks! This month we’re presenting 2 issues rolled into 1. We hope that you will miss us, but we think we’ve given you enough to hold you over. I ( @GinaGabriel1) and the rest of my staff are waiting for your constant tweets. Please write to me at publisher@ragmaglive.com and tell us what you would like to see more of in the New Year. See you all again in February 2013. Lots of love from all of us and have yourself an amazing holiday!

Gina Gabriel El-Fady | Publisher 8 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

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DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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THE LODESTAR ISSUE


EDITOR’S LETTER

THE

LODESTAR ISSUE

BECAUSE THERE’S MORE THAN ONE POINT OF INTEREST

BACKSTAGE WITH SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA IN DUBAI

S

ting insanity- we received pictures galore on Twitter and we were even Instagrammed a few times! It seemed that the feedback can’t get any better and we hope you continue to shout us out on all social media platforms. We’re listening and we always talk back. Thank you for all the lovely November comments and we try out best to bring you something new every single issue. We hope you all enjoyed Sting’s concert and if you missed it, we’ve got coverage on our website- visit www.ragmag.co for that and more. Where do I start for this issue? One piece that I hope all of our readers will pay attention to is Youmna Chagoury’s interview with film and theatre luminary Betty Taoutel. I am also very passionate about our reviewer Amal Chaaban attacking the banned booklist. Read it because she tells you why you must read the books that are outlawed here in Lebanon. Please do check that out and spread the word about March Lebanon who are trying to remind you that we are censored here. Something a bit more upbeat for you all to take the edge off? The Swedes came and we went backstage! Yes, Swedish House Mafia in Dubai kicked off #OneLastTour and we were one of the only media outlets behind the scenes! We got an exclusive interview for you so check it out. We also did some post-concert coverage for the fans here in Beirut who weren’t able to watch Eminem’s “Recovery” in Abu Dhabi and Jennifer Lopez “Dance Again” in Dubai! In other news, our “Watch Out” column has evolved a bit. We decided to change over from DVD reviews to recent releases on the big screen. We felt that too many people were doing post-release reviews and not enough were doing new releases so there you have it.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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 letterstotheeditor@ragmaglive.com to send me your thoughts and opinions about this issue. 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 NOVEMBER ISSUE WE CONTINUED TO TALK TO YOU VIA OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS- PINTEREST, 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.

WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU SO KEEP IT UP!

OUTSTANDING OUTERWEAR The gift-givers at GS made this reader reward possible! 2 lucky guys took home McNeal outerwear to keep them cozy in chilly December. We held a social media contest encouraging our readers to share their wardrobe staples with us.

SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA IN DUBAI #ONELASTTOUR You asked and we answered. You said you wanted an exclusive interview and backstage images from the concert! Here they are chilling backstage in Dubai: Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell- the 3 DJs of Swedish House Mafia! Read the full interview in the Out + About section

GET YOUR OWN GS MUST HAVES! Hamra | ABC Achrafieh | Dbayeh | Galaxy Center Verdun Dunes Center | Tripoli | Saida www.gs.com.lb GrandStores @GSstores GSstores

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HERE ARE SOME OF THE GUESTS AT VINIFEST PICKING UP THEIR COMPLIMENTARY COPIES OF RAGMAG! IF YOU SPOT THE MAGAZINE ANYWHERE, WE’D LOVE YOU TO SEND US A SHOT! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR AT THE HIPPODROME. CHEERS, VINIFEST!

READER REWARD

WIN THIS! ONE LUCKY RAGMAG READER WILL BE TAKING HOME THIS WHOLE KIT N’ CABOODLE COURTESY OF ADIDAS. THEY KNOW THEIR WORKOUTS, SO THEY’VE PUT TOGETHER A FEW OF THEIR HIGH QUALITY SPORTSWEAR ITEMS FOR YOU TO COMPETE FOR. IN ADDITION TO THE ITEMS YOU SEE HERE, THERE ARE A FEW MORE GOODIES INCLUDED IN THEIR READER REWARD! TO ACCOUNT FOR DELIVERY DISCREPANCIES IN LEBANON, WE WILL BE RANDOMLY DRAWING FROM ALL OF THE ENTRIES WE RECEIVE. FAIR PLAY!

HOW TO WIN Email letterstotheeditor@ragmaglive.com your favorite workout: are you a yogi or a cardio-lover? Do you like pumping weights? Are you a runner? Tell us in 25 words or less. We’ll announce the winner on Facebook and Twitter.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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EDITOR’S OPINION

STAR SEARCH GONE GIRL LEBANON’S MISSING CITIZENS ARE GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

I

wasn’t invited to the press conference for this, nor was I asked to write about it. I found that strange since RAGMAG is heavily into community awareness initiatives both in print and on social media. The reason I decided to devote my op ed to this is personal, I’d rather not share it in the magazine. But it is a cause near and dear to me, and the minute I saw the ad campaign I requested more information and high resolution images to share with all of you. I have trouble looking at them, and they disturb me on a level that I find too private to discuss. That being said, let me give you more real information and cut my emotional reaction out of this.

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WHO OVER 17000 MISSING LEBANESE CITIZENS WHEN NOVEMBER 17TH 2012, MARKING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY WHAT THE NGO “ACT FOR THE DISAPPEARED” The ad campaign, undertaken by Grey Group, focused on the idea of “waiting”. Waiting for missing loved ones to return, and not knowing when and if they will in fact come home. The two most poignant images for me? That of an elderly gentleman alone in his room at night staring off into space and that of an exhausted woman seated at a set and empty table. I don’t think that anyone can misunderstand the messageyou are alone and fraught with worry and sorrow over not knowing the fate of your loved one. Now picture the families of 17000 Lebanese citizens all doing that very same thing. It is the banner of the salty tears, piercing heartache and tangible frustration of the countless members of 17000 Lebanese families.

I’m sure over 50 percent of people reading this article know of someone who has disappeared. They become ghosts in stories- he was taken and never came back… she was taken and no one ever figured out why or how it happened. These ghosts of the possibly-living haunt their families, friends, and neighbors. The government of Lebanon must act now. They must acknowledge that thousands and thousands of people live each day out broken from the inside out. There is anger and pain, there is fragmentation and disruption, and there are 17000 people unaccounted for and who will try to help them, free them, assuage the eternal questions? The void is everpresent and officials in power must be held accountable for their negligence.

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STAR SEARCH | LEBANON’S MISSING CITIZENS ARE GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Put yourself in the shoes of the victim’s family hoping for an answer from anyone or anywhere.

Where are you and when will you come back? Are you alive? Who has you? What have they done to you? Are you hurt? Are you suffering? Come home, we need you. Please come back. To clarify the stance of this NGO and who is behind the formation of the organization, I am presenting their description verbatim as stated on their Facebook page. “The founding members [of] ACT FOR THE DISAPPEARED are a group of independent activists unaffiliated with any political parties. The movement was launched during the two-day event held on the occasion of the International Day for the Disappeared on September 3 and 4, 2010.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

WHERE ARE YOU AND WHEN WILL YOU COME BACK? ARE YOU ALIVE? WHO HAS YOU? WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU? ARE YOU HURT? The mission of the NGO is to engage Lebanon’s youth and larger segments of society in efforts to address Lebanon’s past legacy of enforced disappearances and find a meaningful and sustainable solution to the issue of those who disappeared in the country since 1975. The mobilization continues to attract concerned individuals and associations with the hope of working together to find a meaningful and sustainable solution to the issue. Join Act for the Disappeared.”

Commenting about the Grey Group’s campaign in a press release, Marc Chalhoub, Chief Creative Officer of Grey Group said, “We wanted to create a campaign that could touch the war generation as much as the youngest one, who did not live it. We also worked around the idea of ‘the waiting’ in order to dramatize the painful moments that these families have been living daily for over two decades. Although the subject

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EDITOR’S OPINION

is about the disappeared, the main drama also relies on their families and how some of them have been torn apart, and this campaign is a sort of tribute to their enduring pain. This campaign is also a message to our government to take action and close this sad part of our country’s history once and for all.” The press release also said that Grey Group campaign included TV commercials, an outdoor billboard segment, and social media. The social media campaign on Facebook asked concerned people to demonstrate support by changing their profile picture to white and display the campaign visual as their personal cover image. “The campaign concluded with a gathering on November 17, the mark anniversary date of the first gathering of the families of the disappeared in Lebanon 30 years ago.”

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STAR SEARCH | LEBANON’S MISSING CITIZENS ARE GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

On February 24th and 25th, a roundtable took place as a subset of a project entitled “Lebanon’s unaddressed legacy: the missing and the families’ right to know”, funded by the European Union (EU) and the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon. The discussion focused on a draft law regarding “the missing and forcibly disappeared persons” and was organized by 4 bodies: Act for the Disappeared, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), the Committee of the Families of the Kidnapped and Disappeared in Lebanon, and Support of Lebanese in Detention and Exile (SOLIDE). Lebanon was requested to comply with the “International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance” by Am-

bassador Angelina Eichhorst, head of the delegation of the EU to Lebanon. The last session of the roundtable was a strategic talk about media campaigns and mass support for passing the draft law. This is it, it has come to pass. Everyone must listen. I cannot emphasize that enough. You must sign the petition on their website and you must actively ask why 17000 people are unaccounted for. If you can donate, any amount at all, there is bank and account information right here. There are a million unanswered questions that need to be addressed, and without the proper amount of media support and mass participation, the families of these people will never have closure. Act for The Disappeared also advocates the question of

the mass graves in Lebanon that is too vast to be explored here. A dark chapter of Lebanese history, the mass graves and the missing persons are directly linked. Be part of the answer, be part of the solution. Please help. “Enough Waiting. We Want to Know.”

YOU MUST SIGN THE PETITION ON THEIR WEBSITE AND YOU MUST ACTIVELY ASK WHY 17000 PEOPLE ARE UNACCOUNTED FOR

DONATE

VIA WIRE TRANSFER Audi Bank Lebanon - Beirut – Port Branch, Saifi Account Name Act for the Disappeared Account number 474403/461/002/033/05 Currency of account USD Swift Number AUDBLBBXXXX Iban number LB28 0056 0004 7440 3461 0020 3305

GET INVOLVED DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

www.actforthedisappeared.com Act4TheDisappeared @Act4Disappeared www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G Act4TheDisappeared

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CULTURE CLASH

GUIDING

LIGHT FIGHTING CENSORSHIP

MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS

Every month we feature interviews with global authors of note in our Culture Clash section. This month, we noticed that in “The Virtual Museum of Censorship” created by March Lebanon there were a few literary gems on the banned booklist. We had our book reviewer Amal Chaaban talk a bit about five of these banned books so you know why you should check them out- this way you know what you’re missing. Get to know more about March Lebanon and their archives on censorship on their website. www.marchlebanon.org

MarchLebanon

@MarchLebanon

The Satanic Verses SALMAN RUSHDIE

Why it should be allowed This book is a fictional foray into someone who is supposedly the Prophet. It is poorly written and had the book not been banned, it would have faded into the obscurity it so richly deserves along with its author- banning it only made it more famous.

From Israel to Damascus ROBERT MAROUN HATEM (AKA COBRA)

Why it should be allowed The writer is a man who lived through the entire civil war with one of its main players, the now deceased Elie Hobeika. While extremely self-serving and woe is me in nature, the book names names and would shake the foundations of the Lebanese political hierarchy to its very core.

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GUIDING LIGHT | FIGHTING CENSORSHIP

The Da Vinci Code DAN BROWN

Why it should be allowed While this book discusses a very controversial matter using fiction, it should be allowed if only for the interest in historical sites that it generates. Its numerous references to art, religious history and architecture make it easy to overlook the sketchy premise it uses for a plot.

From Beirut to Jerusalem THOMAS FRIEDMAN

Why it should be allowed Clearly the censor who was charged with reading this book didn’t as ostensibly it is accused of “portraying Jewish people in a favourable light”. This is one of the most comprehensive accounts of the civil war and its players written by a journalist who was in Beirut for a lot of it. He pulls no punches and no one is spared recriminations.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl ANNE FRANK Why it should be allowed This account of what life was like hiding from the Third Reich is a piece of human history that should be studied, not hidden away because of prejudice.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

There is no “prettying” up of any race here, only a moving, tragic account of a girl who despite all that was going on around her, was brave enough to write her fears.

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DOLLARS + SENSE

STARS+STRIPES FOREVER FEDERAL RESERVE?

WTF IS THE UNITED STATES

BY MARIA FRANGIEH

T

his issue, we decided to decode and dissect one of the most mentioned institutions in the world: the Federal Reserve of the United States of America. Here’s your official Dollars + Sense guide to the financial establishment and the implications of its monetary policy. After reading this, you should be able to discuss the ins and outs of the Fed and at the very least, formulate your own opinion of the economic fixture.

CENTRAL BANKS ARE CREATED IN NATIONS TO PROVIDE AN OFFICIAL LEVEL OF SAFETY, FLEXIBILITY, AND FINALLY, STABILITY OF MONETARY AND FINANCIAL SYSTEMS 20 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

WHAT ON EARTH?

The Federal Reserve, also known as the Federal Reserve System or “the Fed”, is the central bank of the United States. In other words, it’s the banker of the US Government or the gatekeeper of the US economy. It was created in 1913 by American Congress. Central banks are created in nations to provide an official level of safety, flexibility, and finally, stability of monetary and financial systems. The Federal Reserve System consists of a network of 12 Federal Reserve Banks (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco) and a number of branches under the general oversight of the Board of Governors.

CHECK ME OUT

The Board of Governors, located in Washington D.C., is responsible for overseeing the Federal Reserve System. The President of the United States with the confirmation of the Senate appoints the seven members of the Board for a mandate of 14 years. The appointments are staggered so that one term expires on each even-numbered year. The Federal Reserve’s responsibilities include a number of functions, one of the more important being supervising and regulating banking institutions to make sure they are safe places for people to keep their money and to protect consumers’ credit rights. The Fed conducts the nation’s monetary policy to help maintain employment, keep prices stable, keep

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


STARS+STRIPES FOEREVER | THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL RESERVE

interest rates relatively low and provide financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign central banks, including playing a major role in clearing checks, processing electronic payments, and distributing coin and paper money to the nation’s banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, and savings banks. In addition to all of that, the Fed also conducts research on the U.S. and regional economies and distributes info about the economy through publications, speeches, educational seminars, and websites. It’s important to remember that the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing prints paper money, while the Treasury’s U.S. Mint produces coins.

THE FED ALSO CONDUCTS RESEARCH ON THE U.S. AND REGIONAL ECONOMIES AND DISTRIBUTES INFO ABOUT THE ECONOMY THROUGH PUBLICATIONS, SPEECHES, EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS, AND WEBSITES

The Federal Reserve System can affect the interest rates through its monetary policy. The Federal Open Market Committee (FMOC) consists of twelve members- the seven members of the Board of Governors, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and four of the other eleven Reserve Bank presidents. FMOC has for a purpose to determine the nation’s monetary policy. During the 8 regular meetings scheduled each year, the FMOC takes important decisions on the federal funds rate, whether to change the target to keep it as is and also by how much the rate will change. Such decisions can either slow down or stimulate the economy. What is it worth if a price can be put on it? The New York Fed is the most reputable of all branches, it’s said that it holds the biggest vault in the world at an estimated $415 billion as of October 2011, employing approximately 2,700 people.

LIFESAVER

The Fed played an important role after the attacks of 9/11. “In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the New York Fed ensured that essential trading and payments operations, and other critical banking and financial activities con-

tinued in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center,” the Fed states. Another pivotal action where the fed was involved occurred after the 2008 financial crisis. The policy of the Fed was to keep interest rates at about 0 percent and run the “quantitative easing” (QE) program by pumping money into the economy, buying Treasury bonds and other assets. Such a policy may lead to inflationary pressures, however at that time many felt that adopting a Keynesianbased stimuli of the economy was the only reasonable option. (Learn more about Keynesian economics by reading our previously printed piece April 2012 Dollars + Sense column at www.ragmag.co.) An exit strategy was planned (the reverse of QE) but was never executed. The country embarked on QE3 and the Fed is still printing money to manage the 2008 financial crisis consequences. The now ongoing four-year recovery strategy of the Fed is questioned and certainly discussed. What’s your take on the Fed? Now that you know what it does and who it is, how do you see it affecting the global economy? Talk back to us by hashtagging #TheFed and tweeting it @RAGMAGLebanon.

BEN BERNANKE PHOTO © ALBERT H. TEICH | SHUTTERSTOCK

FEDERAL HALL PHOTO © BEN BRYANT | SHUTTERSTOCK

BELOW: CHAIRMAN BEN BERNANKE OF THE U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE SPEAKS AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, FEBRUARY 3, 2011 IN WASHINGTON, DC

YOU BIGTIME

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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YOU + YOUR COUNTRY

WISH UPON A STAR THE NAWAYA NETWORK GIVES KIDS A CHANCE BY IMOGEN KIMBER

Z

eina Saab holds a slight figure with wide sparkling eyes, something akin to a gazelle, with equal measure of energy, as she later proclaims she has “a fire inside of her.” It is this fire that Saab is spreading. This is what Saab does; she searches for passion or talent people have burning inside them and then helps them to fan the flames. She does this by being a connector and creating an NGO that will act as facilitator that brings together young people’s passions and giving them the opportunity to make those interests a reality.

YOUNG PEOPLE CAN SIGN UP TO BE A MENTOR, DECLARING EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THEY HAVE TO OFFER

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THE MIDDLE MAN Saab came over to Lebanon from the US where she was raised, leaving behind her job at the United Nations working on youth empowerment. She didn’t feel it was “hands on” enough so she plotted her move to Lebanon with an idea hatching in her mind of how she could do something that would “make a difference” in the country where her roots lay. It was when Saab met a young boy called Ahmed and a young woman called Rana in the summer of 2011 that she saw the pilot run of her project coming together. Her first step? Meeting 11 year-old Ahmed who was super enthusiastic about playing basketball but lacked technique. Saab realized he was missing the hoop simply because no one had told him to jump! This simple advice was enough to see him getting the ball in the hoop and

his whole game improved. Saab went on to connect Ahmed with the fitness club “Hoops” here in Beirut and organized weekly lessons. Rana was so keen to paint that she was drawing in her spare time using anything she could find. Saab arranged for her to have lessons which Rana threw herself into, but her circumstances meant that attending them was too difficult for her. Instead Saab arranged for a private teacher to give her lessons at home and she has improved tremendously. This is the essence of what Saab’s NGO will do but on a larger scale. She will take responsibility for finding both sides of the equation – young people who are somewhat vulnerable and lacking in resources but demonstrate potential will be matched with the individuals or organizations that have something to offer.

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WISH UPON A STAR | THE NAWAYA NETWORK GIVES KIDS A CHANCE

It certainly isn’t always the case or even the idea, that these young people will become artists or athletes. The point is that “next time Ahmed goes to try something, he knows that maybe he can learn to do it, that there is a way to get better,” and that “if I work hard I can achieve something. He was like a different boy- confident. Before he was trailing behind everyone and now he was part of the team,” said Saab.

SHE SEARCHES FOR TALENT PEOPLE HAVE BURNING INSIDE AND THEN HELPS THEM TO FAN THE FLAMES

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

INFLUX Saab is one of a slew of Lebanese to be returning to Lebanon from overseas armed with skills and goodwill. Aware of her contemporaries Saab has decided to incorporate this potential pool of resources to good use. Supporting the main project which will connect local young people with local businesses or organizations Saab is setting up a mentor scheme that will utilize skills from abroad. Young people (up to 35 plus) can sign up to be a mentor, declaring exactly what it is they have to offer – lessons in clothing design, landscape gardening, the list can be as wide as varied as the imagination allows. The scheme will take place over the summer when there is the highest number of Lebanese returning from abroad.

This project is needed in Lebanon where the public school system leaves many children lacking in a well-rounded education- it will also help create confidence in their intellectual abilities and enhance their willingness to try and achieve. The Nawaya Network’s mentorship program will give children the individual attention that they might otherwise be lacking. Saab has made a documentary style film that does a great job of explaining what the NGO is about. The film features both Ahmed and Rana, as well as a Palestinian rugby team and other examples that show how people just need the right opportunity to be able to succeed- watch it on their website The Nawaya Network officially launches in March 2013

GET INVOLVED www.nawaya.org TheNawayaNetwork

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@Nawaya


CULTURE CLASH

STARMAKER

BETTY

TAOUTEL

THE STRUGGLE OF PERFORMANCE ART IN LEBANON + HOW YOU CAN HELP HER WIN THE WAR

W

hen your play is showing at the Théâtre Monnot, the Beryte or the Théâtre al Madina, these are places labeled as cultural theaters. In people’s mind, going to these theaters is a synonym of boredom or having to over think to appreciate whatever is showing. That’s because there is a huge lack of theater culture in Lebanon. They don’t know that cultural theater can be as much fun as other types of shows; it will just try and bring out a message, something that might try to improve the way people think. It will just have no dabkeh here, and no song there.” Betty Taoutel, comedian, playwright and theater director, is inexhaustible on the subject of Lebanon’s performance art scene and the way it works. With what can be interpreted as a touch of sarcasm in her voice, she explains: “There is only one type of theater that works well for a long period of time in Lebanon. And ‘a long period of time’ is relative. These plays, more like cabaret shows- we don’t need to name them, are the ones that mix singing and making fun of politicians. They have one performance per week, in a small restaurant that can only seat up to 100. All of these shows pretend they’ve been working for a year, when actually, they would never be able to fill up a 300-seat theater, five days a week, for several months. People who enjoy these shows need to re-

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alize that there are other types of theater, there’s always been and there always will be! It is the kind of theater that makes a clean sweep at festivals! You can’t imagine our frustration when we’re abroad presenting our successful play, one that receives several awards, and then we’re back here and there’s absolutely no recognition of our work.” Betty’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed though and for good reason. Her newest play, “El Orb3a Bnoss el Jom3a”, that filled up the Théâtre Monnot for several weeks, is fun and easy to watch, slow without being boring, and it is both comedic and cultural. The play takes place on a specific Beirut street, in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone. The plot tackles the marriage and its difficulties, combining funny scenes and more serious ones. “Marriage is a universal topic, but when we juxtapose it with our habits and customs, to the very Lebanese [habit of] gossiping, it’s not a ceremony anymore, it becomes a festival, a carnival,” says Betty. “The fact that people run into debt because they have to please X and Y cancels the concept of getting married for the sake of marriage- to be with that specific person. We get married for the people, not for ourselves. We get married because cohabitation is not allowed; we get married because society pressures us. People don’t understand that marriage is not the solution, because in fact, marriage presents all the scenarios

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OPPOSITE PAGE : PHOTOGRAPHY WALID HOYEK

BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY photography walid hoyek + jason zamora


DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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CULTURE CLASH

STARMAKER BETTY TAOUTEL | THE STRUGGLE OF PERFORMACE ARTS IN LEBANON

OPPOSITE PAGE: BETTY TAOUTEL’S LATEST PLAY REHEARSAL ‘EL ORB3A BNOSS EL JOM3A’

“YOU CAN’T IMAGINE OUR FRUSTRATION WHEN

WE’RE ABROAD PRESENTING OUR SUCCESSFUL PLAY, ONE THAT RECEIVES SEVERAL AWARDS, AND THEN WE’RE BACK HERE AND THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO RECOGNITION OF OUR WORK” seen in the play.” Taoutel here discusses the different couples in her play and the dynamics of their situations. There are the fiancés that can’t get married because they can’t of financial constraints, the divorced man, the woman who has forgotten how to be anything but a mother, the senior couple who never had children. She is exploring concepts of solitude, doubts, and the dream of a better future. Betty’s take on the topic is exceptional- rather than focus on the wedding part of the marriage alone or vice versa, she intersperses these subjects, demonstrating how different people see marriage uniquely at stages of their lives and more importantly, at different stages of their coupledom. Her role in the play is that of a woman who’s been married for 15 years and who doesn’t share anything with her husband anymore. She only lives through her children, waiting for them at the bus stop day in and day out. “At some point in the play, I tell the bride-to-be, ‘Ma bet dou2eh ta3met el we7deh ella la tetjawwazeh’ [You only get to taste solitude after you are married.] We can be married, have kids, a family, and [yet] feel incredibly alone. Solitude has nothing to do with how many people you have around you.” Betty is married with four kids, “for 14 years, not 15,” she says smiling, forestalling my question about her personal experience with marriage and her inspiration. “Writing is generally inspired either by things we have experienced or things we have witnessed in our circle of friends. It is also the work of our imagination, but it does root in reality.”

“BEFORE THESE PAST TWO YEARS [SIC],

I HAD NEVER CLAIMED TO BE A WRITER. I HAD NEVER SIGNED MY PLAYS; I HAD ALWAYS STATED THEY WERE LOOSE ADAPTATIONS OF OTHER PEOPLES’ TEXTS”

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

Betty wrote and directed the play, as she did for her previous work, “Ekher Beit bil Gemmayzeh” but this is the first time she ever performs in one of her plays. “Originally, I am a comedian and a dramaturgic art professor at university and by force of circumstance, because my students presented their work at the end of the semester, I started directing. Over the years, I have worked with a lot of directors and I’ve always been an active comedian; I would give ideas concerning the play, the other actors, everything. My long acting career actually led me to writing and staging. Before these past two years [sic], I had never claimed to be a writer. I had never signed my plays; I had always stated they were loose adaptations of texts belonging to other people.” Betty has always seen theater as a collaborative work and just as she did in the past, she encourages her actors to contribute their two cents about the play they’re working on. “I started working on ‘El Orb3a Bnoss el Jom3a’ in February of this year. By April, we started scheduling meetings, reunions around the text every other week. As I was not writing in one go, I didn’t have the whole structure. During the meetings I would submit more ideas, show the actors the development of my writing and they would give me their opinions as well. They all participated in the evolution of the play.” Betty appreciates this work-in-progress method, as it is “very particular to theater. That’s how I used to work with my previous directors and that’s the way my professors taught me. As a director, I have my own working technique that is a patchwork of different techniques, inspired by people I’ve worked with. For instance, my comedy work is close to Jalal Khoury’s. For the emotions, I was inspired by Michel Jabr. Alain Plisson taught me classical theater and refined staging. I am strongly inspired by Roger Assaf and his direction. They all offered me the opportunity to go on stage with them, and all of them taught me something; I owe them a lot.”

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CULTURE CLASH

THIS PAGE: BETTY IN THE MOVIE ‘RUE HUVELIN’. STILL IMAGE FROM YOUTUBE OPPOSITE PAGE: TOP TO BOTTOM: BETTY TAOUTEL, RUE HUVELIN MOVIE POSTER

“PLAYING THIS WOMAN WAS

PSYCHOLOGICALLY EXHAUSTING. I COULD NOT PERFORM THE SAME SCENE MORE THAN TWICE” Having worked under the direction of several noted Lebanese and MiddleEastern directors like Hassan ben Jeddi in Morocco or Bassem ek Kahhar in Iraq, Betty’s acting talent has made her the sole element of Joe Kodeih’s “Matar Charles de Gaulle”, one of the first one-woman shows in Lebanon. “It tells the story of a young girl that went to France to get married, but the fiancé never shows up at the airport, and she’s just there, waiting for him. The difficulty of this kind of play is that everything is based on the actor’s performance. I had nothing to act with except my body, my voice and my body language. It’s very hard to juggle with one’s emotions as well.” She played a sort of modern day

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Dickens-like Miss Havisham. If this role was difficult, Betty reckons even more challenging was undertaking her role in Maroun Nassar’s 2011 film “Rue Huvelin”, that of a woman whose son was kidnapped and who lives with the hope of finding him one day. “Playing this woman was psychologically exhausting. I could not perform the same scene more than twice. Actually, even Mounir [Maasri, Film Director] wouldn’t let me. I remember one day on set, when the DOP [Direction of Production], after watching me try the first take, the second and the third of the same scene, got up, said, ‘I will not shoot this scene again! Over my dead body I will not shoot this scene again,’ and left the set.

That’s how exhausting it was. I was very proud to be offered this role though I am mostly known for my comic characters.” The movie received mixed reviews: there were those who thought it was a chef-d’oeuvre, and those who found it too politicized. Betty shrugs: “Well, the country is divided. There will always be a party that feels assaulted. I think the movie was not received in Lebanon as it has been abroad and that’s very unfortunate. There, they have the objectivity to appreciate a movie. Here, we are soaked deep in politics. Whether we like it or not, we are biased. And the quality of the movie suffered the consequences. But I think everyone should watch it anyway, because it’s Lebanese.” I tell Betty I used to be in a theater company when I was a teenager, and that I’ve always seen film as an inferior art, especially because there is no second take on a scene when you’re on stage. As Betty is an actor in both movies and plays, I’m surprised that she confirms my bias: “Theater is indeed superior. It’s the crème de la crème of the three categories: television, cinema, theater. Theater is the basis of an actor’s education. Outside Lebanon, an actor’s career plan is to end up on stage.” On the subject of Lebanon’s theater scene and the way it intersects with television presence, Betty gets all fired up: “Television offers a wider broadcasting [audience]. When an actor is seen on TV, the general public gets to see him. Sometimes, when people don’t see me on TV for a long time and run into me, they go, ‘Where have you been? You’re not working anymore?’ But I am working! You just have to go to the theater to see my work! You know, it is normal for actors to do both theater and cinema or television, it

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


STARMAKER BETTY TAOUTEL | THE STRUGGLE OF PERFORMACE ARTS IN LEBANON

PHOTOGRAPHY WALID HOYEK

“THE COUNTRY IS DIVIDED. THERE

WILL ALWAYS BE A PARTY THAT FEELS ASSAULTED [...] WE ARE SOAKED DEEP IN POLITICS. WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT, WE ARE BIASED. AND THE QUALITY OF THE MOVIE SUFFERED THE CONSEQUENCES”

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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CULTURE CLASH

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THE LODESTAR ISSUE


STARMAKER BETTY TAOUTEL | THE STRUGGLE OF PERFORMACE ARTS IN LEBANON

OPPOSITE PAGE: BETTY TAOUTEL DIRECTING HER LATEST PLAY ‘EL ORB3A BNOSS EL JOM3A’

“THEATER IS INDEED SUPERIOR. IT’S THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME OF THE THREE CATEGORIES: TELEVISION, CINEMA, THEATER” happens everywhere. The frustrating difference is that here, theater is the least promoted medium. I am not complaining, thank God my work is doing good, my plays fill up, I had 9000 spectators for my last play, but it’s nothing compared to what it could be if going to the theater was common in Lebanon. If a play could have 15 or 20 entries, can you imagine? How awesome would that be, to see a play fill up a theater for months!” If going to the theater was once the norm in Lebanon with the plethora of musical plays featuring Fayrouz, Nasri Chamseddine and Georgette Sayegh, “it has become an anomaly,” says Betty. “We do not educate our children about theater. I was a school teacher for many years and let me tell you something: they are not willing to let go of one hour of mathematics to take the children to the theater. That’s one thing. The second is the political instability of the country; for years during the civil war, the schools were only anxious about the programs and trying to get them done by the end of the year. Social and cultural activities, especially for kids, had disappeared.” Betty has personally experienced the consequences of said political instability. In 2005, she had staged two shows for school children: one at the Théâtre Monnot and a roaming performance, travelling from one school to another. She had sold both her shows by the time former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was assassinated “and all of a sudden, every single school called it off. Nobody dared taking the kids out, and very few schools actually had a stage to welcome the travelling show.”

“AMERICAN SENSE OF HUMOUR

DOESN’T REALLY APPEAL TO ME. [...] I THINK WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE SO MUCH HAPPENS EVERY DAY THAT WE REALLY DON’T NEED TO FIND OUR INSPIRATION SOMEWHERE ELSE” DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

When asked if she’s seen the recent Nadine Labaki play, Betty makes things clear before she answers: “First, this is not Nadine Labaki’s play, it is Jacques Maroun’s. Well, it’s an American play adapted by Jacques Maroun, and performed by Nadine and three other major actors: Talal el Jurdi, Nada Abou Farha and Elie Mitri.” Does it irritate her when people refer to the play as Nadine’s? “Honestly? Not at all. It’s just that theater is, as I’ve said before and as I’ll keep saying, a collaborative work. As for the play itself, I was not impressed by the content. Regardless of the actors, who are all very good ones, regardless of the direction which was developed. The problem was really the content of the play, the script but it’s very subjective: American sense of humour doesn’t really appeal to me. If you want my honest opinion, I think we live in a country where so much happens every day that we really don’t need to find our inspiration somewhere else. That being said, please go watch the play everyone, it’s good for the Lebanese scene and I’m sure you’ll have a good time.” Betty is the flag-bearer of the Lebanese art cause and tries to promote not only her work but everyone else’s work in Lebanon too. “One must watch every single Lebanese movie. Watch ‘Caramel’, ‘Bosta’, ‘Tannoura Maxi’, ‘West Beirut’ and all the Ziad Doueiri movies, all the Maroun Baghdadi movies, who really are pieces of art, all the plays.” Betty wants us to see Drama Therapist Zeina Daccache’s plays for the “courageous and amazing work she’s done with the prisoners,” and Ziad Rahbani’s work “for the laugh and the particularly lucid social criticism.” She wants us to get to know Lebanese theatre and film and then formulate our own opinions about the work that’s being done. Betty wants us to watch the old and the new of Lebanese performance art, because it might be the saving grace of our national heritage. It’s just another way of honing our critical thinking skills, and more importantly, giving Lebanese dramatists the audience and the regard that they deserve. Keep national dialogue alive using the medium of theatre and film. Raise your flag for the arts in Lebanon, beginning now and here, with Betty Taoutel and her comrades at arms

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CULTURE CLASH

OPPOSITE PAGE: ANDY WARHOL, MARILYN MONROE SCREEN-PRINT ON WHITE PAPER, 1967, 36” X 36” EDITION OF 250, SIGNED IN PENCIL AND NUMBERED WITH RUBBER STAMP ON VERSO BOTTOM: Q CONTEMPORARY’S “SILVER FACTORY”, PHOTOGRAPHY FADEL ITANI Images courtesy of Q Contemporary

STARGAZER Q CONTEMPORARY’S “SILVER FACTORY” A SHINING PROOF OF WARHOL’S LEGACY BY MAHA MAJZOUB

I

can’t pinpoint the first time I saw or read something about the big kahuna of Pop Art Andy Warhol’s “32 Campbell’s Soup Cans” whether the actual artwork or some trite reproduction of it. My memory also fails me as far as my initial spotting of Marilyn Monroe’s silkscreens. But I know I’ve seen and read about them more than I can count. So when I learned that Q Contemporary Gallery was showcasing Warhol’s original screen prints of the silver screen siren, I wasn’t exactly rolling around in anticipation. “Hasn’t this been hashed and rehashed already!” I said. “Really sweetie? You’ve actually seen a lot of Warhol’s original work up-close?” a friend asked bluntly. I wanted to mentally electrocute her. But in answer to her question: no, I can’t say that I have. I was overexposed to Warhol’s merchandise, but not his art, and if I’m not mistaken the same applies to the majority of my compatriots. So the art space was essentially offering us a chance of a lifetime.

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And then I saw her face! I’m a believer! Ten of Warhol’s vividly coloured screen prints of Monroe, based on a publicity photo from the film “Niagara” covered one of the gallery’s walls. On loan from the private collection of international art curator Emmanuel Javogue, the mammoth Marilyn was there to mark Q’s third anniversary to a backdrop of “The Silver Factory”, Warhol’s nearly mythical New York studio. It was there that the artist’s famed silkscreens were massproduced between 1962 and 1984. “It was the hip hangout for artsy types, amphetamine users and the Warhol superstars,” says Q’s owner and art collector Motaz Kabbani.

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Q CONTEMPORARY’S ‘SILVER FACTORY’ | A SHINING PROOF OF WARHOL’S LEGACY

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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BEIRUT

INSPIRING MEETINGS START WITH INSPIRING PLACES. Make every meeting a success at Crowne Plaza Beirut. CROWNE PLAZA BEIRUT TO BOOK CALL 961 1 754755 OR VISIT CPBEIRUT.COM 34 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co © 2012 InterContinental Hotels Group. All Rights Reserved.

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Q CONTEMPORARY’S ‘SILVER FACTORY’ | A SHINING PROOF OF WARHOL’S LEGACY

CULTURE CLASH

LARGE INFLATED FOIL BALLOONS, ‘60S INSPIRED FURNITURE, VIDEO PROJECTIONS OF FILMS SHOT ONSITE THE FACTORY AND A COLLAGE OF VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ARTIST AND HIS POSSE, THE LIKES OF EDIE SEDGWICK AND BOB DYLAN, WERE AMONG THE PARAPHERNALIA THAT MADE IT HAPPEN For five days, Q was a reincarnation of the decadent Factory: Silver paint, fractured mirrors, tin foil and all. Large inflated foil balloons, ‘60s inspired furniture, video projections of films shot onsite The Factory and a collage of vintage photographs of the artist and his posse, the likes of Edie Sedgwick and Bob Dylan, were among the paraphernalia that made it happen. And because a big part of The Factory was partying, Q kicked it up a notch on the opening night with velvet underground music, fast food, plenty of booze and a whole lot of reveling familiar faces, from parliamentarians to beauty queens. “Just like in Andy’s days, we tried to give our space ‘star potential’ as he called it,” remarked Kabbani. There was yet another uncanny commonality between Beirut’s Factory and Warhol’s they were both set in a time of turmoil. THIS PAGE: Q CONTEMPORARY’S “SILVER FACTORY” PHOTOGRPHY FADEL ITANI

When the decks stop spinning, you wonder how a single piece that repeats the image of a single person managed to pull off a show. But it is this very repetitiveness that makes it work. “Warhol used mass-produced images the way capitalist corporations mass produce consumer goods. Displaying the full 10-piece series focuses on the repetitive and commercial quality of Warhol’s work,” Kabbani remarks.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

Naysayers may suggest the Warhol thing has been overdone, but 25 years after his death the artist’s appeal and influence on contemporary art is undeniable. He is the one who helped blur the boundaries between high and low culture. And Q Contemporary is the gallery that helped us not just remember that, but also live it

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OUT+ABOUT

SHINE ON BRITFLOYD IN LEBANON

THE AUDIO-VISUAL EXTRAVAGANZA AT YOUR DOORSTEP

Pink Floyd fans this one is for you- we expect to see you all at the sound and light show of the year brought to you by Poliakov Vodka Lebanon! Waiting for a reason to really stimulate all of your senses? Look no further. Here’s just one sample of the Brit Floyd reviews on Ticketmaster: “Polished renditions, great special effects and lighting, all the favourites and more... cannot imagine anyone being disappointed. Will be back for the next concert by this excellent band.” Now we call that a rave! For those of you wanting more details about the A/V prowess, here’s another review: “Went to the Brit Floyd launch in Liverpool in January and I was really impressed. It was a huge production, the lights and lasers were visually

stunning and I loved the animation. Musically they were spot on- next best thing to the real Floyd! I’ve seen other Pink Floyd tributes but this was the best yet.” With such a cult fan base, anyone devoting their stage expertise to Pink Floyd’s musical catalogue better pay attention to detail and apparently Brit Floyd has pulled it off. As an extra bonus, and back by popular demand, Brit Floyd’s new show will also include a full, 23 minute show-stopping rendition of “Echoes”, taken from the classic 1971 Pink Floyd album, “Meddle”. On December 22nd we’re looking to see the faces of all our Crazy Diamonds shining under the spell of Brit Floyd. Get your tickets and see you at Biel, Floyd fans!

FAST FACT

For 2012, created by Brit Floyd musical director Damian Darlington, in celebration of the release of the brand new official Pink Floyd “Best Of” album “A Foot In the Door”, the performance will include all of Pink Floyd’s best-loved work in its entirety (as selected personally by the Pink Floyd band members themselves).

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OUT+ABOUT

THE STARS ALIGN IN BEIRUT

photography jason zamora

POLY UP CLOSE + PERSONAL

RAGMAG got out + about with a few of Lebanon’s real talents, headlined by Poly. Poly’s November 19th event at DRM in Beirut marked a few important landmarks for the singer’s career. For starters, Poly performed a duet with Adonis’ Anthony Khoury in Arabic, singing a mash-up of “Daw L Baladiyyi” and “Aman Aman”. Her first ever Arabic performance was a good fit for the singer’s persona considering both songs are hallmark hits of contemporary indie Arabic. If there is an Arabic genre that suits Poly, Adonis’ discography is top of the very limited list. The second reason this show was monumental? Poly has decided not to perform in Lebanon anymore. For her final curtain call, none other than Nemr Abou Nassar kicked off the show at 10pmleading to Poly trying to pull the comedian’s chain. Nemr proved to the crowd that you can’t prank a prankster, leaving Poly to begin her set with “Eating for Two”. Poly’s final call? Her tune “Princess Die”- perhaps serving as a reminder that the singer will no longer be concentrating on Lebanon as her primary stage. Poly, we’ll be tuning in from abroad, good luck!

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THE LODESTAR ISSUE


POLY TALKS BACK

TEN THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME BY PAULETTE MAROUN MATTA

1. I used to be a professional snowboarder, I applied to a snowboarding high school in Colorado called CBA. I wanted to score a Gold medal at the Winter X-Games and Olympics. 2. I learned English at the age of 12, at the time my first language was Spanish. 3. I attended 12 different schools and dropped out when I was 15 to go to London for music school. 4. There was a radio hit this year that was written about me, I can’t really say, so I’ll leave it up to your imagination to figure it out. 5. I D.I.Y.-ed my blond tips in a hotel room in Australia and filmed the whole thing. 6. It’s almost impossible for me to attend a concert with a female singer performing. 7. I wrote “Unclaimed Love” in 7 minutes. 8. I’ve never spent more than $100 on clothing or fashion items. 9. My dad is my manager and my mom was my first stylist. 10. My most viewed work is my least favorite.

P.S. 90 percent of my interviews do NOT portray me accurately

OfficialPoly DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

@FollowPoly

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PolyOfficial


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BACKSTAGE

PASS #ONELASTTOUR BY FIDA CHAABAN

STELLAR TRIO SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH RAGMAG PRIOR TO KICKSTARTING THEIR FINAL RUN IN DUBAI November 16th saw the beginning of Swedish House Mafia’s global “One Last Tour” in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We chilled backstage with the boys before they pumped out their signature style beats for the packed-to-the-rafters World Trade Center in Dubai. Brought to the UAE by Peppermint Experience, the decision to launch the tour in Dubai was announced shortly after their “Spot the Three Dots” teaser campaign went viral on social media. The Swedes are here! 40 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

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BACKSTAGE PASS | #ONELASTTOUR

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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BACKSTAGE PASS | #ONELASTTOUR

“THIS IS THE LAST THING WE’RE DOING, LET’S DO IT BIG”

W

atching the men of Swedish House Mafia recline back on the couches backstage preshow, you can see that they are just taking things easy. The very first question I ask the guys during our exclusive interview? Why Lebanon wasn’t on the list despite being a popular House music destination: “Beirut just doesn’t have the right facilities… our show in Beirut was amazing to do, but we’ve expanded to make sure we shut the VIP down,” meaning they wanted to give all of their fans a chance to see the supergroup rip it up before they disbanded. The trio of DJs formed a coalition in late 2008 and recently announced that they’d be continuing to work on solo projects, hence the title “One Last Tour”. SHM was ranked tenth on DJ Magazine’s “Top 100 DJ Poll” of 2011 and just recently, ranked second on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “25 DJs That Rule the Earth”. Their second place rank places them just after the undisputed master of all things turntable: Tiësto, the Dutchman who brought the word DJ into mainstream music psyche. Their collective albums as Swedish House Mafia are “Until One” and “Until Now” respectively, both chart-toppers and both getting ample club play.

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Why pull out of the game when they’re at the peak? “If we were not breaking up, we wouldn’t probably have gone on this big tour because before when we were together, we were doing the occasional shows,” said Axwell, born Axel Christofer Hedfors. We were doing our own stuff and we were doing the Swedish House Mafia show. But now when we said, ‘This is the last thing we’re doing, let’s do it big’. It’s not that more people wouldn’t come and see us; it’s that we wouldn’t go to all these places- this big tour. Now we’re putting everything else on hold to really go full in on this tour,” added the 34 year-old DJ (he’s turning 35 this month). Axwell, in endeavours separate from Angello and Ingrosso, has produced remixes for several megastars, namely Usher, Nelly Furtado, and even Madonna. Sebastian Ingrosso, the youngest of the 3 at 29 years-old adds to this: “We wanted a challenge!” Have the fans lost Swedish House Mafia for good now? “No!” All three negate this emphatically and Angello adds that their loyal fans should “keep their eyes and ears open for stuff.” What can the fans expect from the supergroup now that they’ve decided to go their separate ways? “Just follow the tour! We’re going to some amazing places,” says Axwell positively. “We’re not dead,” joked Ingrosso, demonstrating a bit of a superstitious side as he leans over to touch the frame of the wood table next

“OUR SHOW IN BEIRUT WAS AMAZING TO DO, BUT WE’VE EXPANDED TO MAKE SURE WE SHUT THE VIP DOWN”

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OUT+ABOUT

BACKSTAGE PASS | #ONELASTTOUR

OPPOSITE PAGE: SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA LIVE IN DUBAI LEFT: SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA ‘ONE LAST TOUR’ SOLD OUT AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN BELOW: SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA BACKSTAGE IN DUBAI

to him. Ingrosso’s personal pursuits include his own record label, Refune, and he has several DJ aliases that he mixes under. Who are the guys listening to these days? “I haven’t had the time to listen to other DJs in a while so I’m the wrong person to ask,” said Sebastian. “I listen to everythingProgressive House, I mean what is Progressive House? Who said that, that my label is Progressive House?” he added, rejecting the widely repeated music critic designation of Swedish House Mafia’s music. “I mean Electronic Dance is what I listen to mostly and what we produce,” said Axwell, speaking on behalf of the group. “I like Luciano a lot at the moment – yeah, he does something different, cool.” Having sold out shows, the Scandinavian DJs decided to add more cities to the “One Last Tour” list. So if tickets are still flying, why quit? “It’s not quitting as such,” said Axwell, “‘Cause we’ve always done individual things, managed other people – we have record labels and we have our solo careers so it’s not ‘quitting’. It’s changing into something

else.” Some controversy that surrounds the group regarding their July 7th, 2012 Phoenix Park in Dublin headliner event remains after the unexplained deaths of 3 attendees due to drug overdoses and various reports of fights and knifings at the venue. The show lineup included rapper Snoop Dogg and DJ Calvin Harris. “The thing is that it was a festival with many artists,” explained Axwell. “I remember when we just came- we were arriving at the venue and we saw the ambulances passing us when we were getting into the venue. I didn’t really get the full story afterwards, I don’t know what happened” said Ingrosso. “A lot of this fight thing [sic] was happening outside- these things happen outside movies, cinemas… do we blame the director of the movie? No. Things happen, I mean we were really sad but at the end of the day it has nothing to do with us,” he continued. The highlight of the global tour and most anticipated venue on the roster is New York city’s Madison Square Garden and then as well as two additional performances at the Barclay

“WE HAVE RECORD LABELS AND WE HAVE OUR SOLO CAREERS SO IT’S NOT ‘QUITTING’. IT’S CHANGING INTO SOMETHING ELSE”

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OUT+ABOUT

LEFT: SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA, ‘GREYHOUND’ OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: ‘GREYHOUND’ VIDEO STILL, SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA LIVE IN DUBAI, BACKSTAGE WITH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FIDA CHAABAN

Center, Brooklyn. This will be the second time the Swedes hit the Madison Square Garden stage in NYC and the show is expected to be a media blitz with maximum capacity sales. Just after the Dubai concert, the trio announced their Mumbai performance was cancelled at the request of Indian officials, due to the death of Hindu nationalist Bal Thackeray. Their verified Twitter account announced that they “are working on a new date in January. Please stay tuned.” What about the groupies that follow global DJs from place to place? “Bring them,” joked Ignosso. “We’re all married! I think there’s groupies in every music genre, no?” he added. For the first time during the interview Steve Angello speaks for the three of them: “They can’t get to us. No one can meet us backstage, just our friends and people we know.” 30 year-old Angello also produces music under several aliases and is the founding owner of Size Records who represent star DJs like Laidback Luke and Deadmau5. The guys share a laugh between the three of them saying, “You know, when we first started we imagined we had groupies! I guess we don’t re-

ally have groupies. Do you have any pictures of our groupies?” joked Axwell. “Maybe the worst thing we could do is sleep with a groupie,” says Angello seriously, looking back and forth between his spin-mates. The guys begin talking to one another: “We get a lot of stuff on Twitter saying ‘Marry me’ and the ‘I love you’ blah, blah, blah…” Here Axwell cuts off Ingrosso and says, “Wait, I only get the ‘Marry me’ stuff- you get, ‘I love you’?” The conversation turns serious for a bit as the guys admit in agreement: “Yeah, it’s okay but there are some real psychopaths.” The way they all laugh and joke with one another prompts me to remember that all the articles and interviews featuring the three often mention that they’re friends first and a supergoup second. Why does it always look like they’re having so much fun? The guys smile at each other and Axwell calls it like it is: “We’re living the dream- that’s the best answer.” As they stand up to shake hands and say goodbye, Ingrosso says on behalf of the group: “Tell Lebanon we are sorry we couldn’t come,” and they all look like they genuinely mean it

“THEY [GROUPIES] CAN’T GET TO US. NO ONE CAN MEET US BACKSTAGE, JUST OUR FRIENDS AND PEOPLE WE KNOW”

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BACKSTAGE PASS | #ONELASTTOUR

Once the Swedes hit the stage, the crowd nearly lost control. The playlist for the night included their recent club anthem, “Don’t You Worry Child”, “One” featuring Pharrell Williams, and smash hit “Antidote”. The crowd took control with a sing-along rendition of “Miami 2 Ibiza” (one of their best-known collaborations) with rap sensation Tinie Tempah. The big stunner of the show? The Swedish House Mafia remix of Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”.

Backstage images of Swedish House Mafia with RAGMAG’s Editor in Chief Fida Chaaban and images of Swedish House Mafia stage performance at the concert are courtesy of Ping Dubai. Check out comprehensive image and video coverage of the biggest events around on Ping Dubai’s platforms! www.pingdubai.com @PingDubai PingDubai

PingDubai

FOLLOW THE HANDSOME SWEDES ON TWITTER TOGETHER AND SEPARATE @SwedisHouseMfia | @SteveAngello @Axwell | @SebIngrosso

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OUT+ABOUT

THE REAL FACE OF

STARDOM EMINEM IN ABU DHABI THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE RAPPER TAKES THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES UNDER HIS WING RAGMAG got out + about for the F1 in Abu Dhabi and we held a steady countdown on social media until the start of the crowning glory event of the year: EMINEM LIVE IN CONCERT BROUGHT TO YOU BY FLASH ENTERTAINMENT. For his first Middle East performance ever, as part of Enimen’s “Recovery” tour based on the album of the same name, the rapper took to the stage in Abu Dhabi as the headliner for the 2012 Yasalam Festival.

Enimen After-Race concert at du Arena attracted an unprecedented amount of guests from across the Middle East and as far away as Europe. The rapper, notorious for dangerous stage energy, interacted heavily with the crowd surprising diehard fans. A rotation of some of his biggest recent chart-toppers, in addition to hits from older albums brought the audience to its knees. The rapper proved not only can he pack a stadium, but he can hold that entire stadium in the palm of his hand- with or without tricks like rapping Abu Dhabi into one song and having an Abu Dhabi tattoo flashed on the stage screen behind him. The Detroit native shouted out Dr. Dre and was accompanied by D12’s Mr. Porter in addition to his band including a female backup singer who performed vocals in several of his best loved tracks like “Love the Way You Lie”. Beginning the show in his hoodie, Eminem soon stripped down to a t-shirt, later sweating right through as his act gained intensity. Kicking off early in the evening, the concert lasted approximately an hour and a half with one encore performance, ending with “one shot, one opportunity”, causing pandemonium. The real Slim Shady finally stood up. And he made sure we’ll never forget it.

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THE REAL FACE OF STARDOM | EMINEM IN ABU DHABI

SELECTED IMAGES FLASH ENTERTAINMENT

THE RAPPER, NOTORIOUS FOR DANGEROUS STAGE ENERGY, INTERACTED HEAVILY WITH THE CROWD SURPRISING DIEHARD FANS. A ROTATION OF SOME OF HIS BIGGEST RECENT CHARTTOPPERS, IN ADDITION TO HITS FROM OLDER ALBUMS BROUGHT THE AUDIENCE TO ITS KNEES

D E C E M B E R -2 0J A1 2 N U- AJ RA YN U 2A 0R 12 Y 2013

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RAGGED LODESTAR FACTS STAR-SPANGLED BANNER

After the British Royal Navy ships’ bombing of Fort McHenry in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812, lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key penned the poem “Defense of Fort McHenry”; the four-stanza poem was then set to the tune of a popular British song (composed by John Stafford Smith). It was adopted as the national anthem of the United States of America- although only the first stanza is sung today.

25.12 .1896 The day that John Philip Sousa composed a patriotic march while sailing back to the US after a European vacation. First performed in Philadelphia on May 14th 1897, “Stars and Stripes Forever” was met with great enthusiasm and then dubbed the National March of the United States of America by Act of Congress. It is usually played after the President of the USA gives a speech whereas Hail to the Chief is played when he is introduced. Congrats to the new Chief- FOUR MORE YEARS!

IMAGE COURTESY OF THE JACKSON FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE

STAR-STUDDED Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote “We Are the World” as a charity song and managed to form a supergroup bringing together some of the most famous artists of that era under the name USA for Africa to raise funds to combat hunger in 1985 after the 1983-1984 Ethiopian famine. The song was then re-recorded in 2010 after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The original song actually followed in the footsteps of charity supergroup Band Aid, who famously had British and Irish artists collaborate on the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” in 1984.

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RAGGED LODESTAR FACTS

$4,000,000,000 The amount in American dollars that Disney paid for Lucasfilm. When the news broke about the purchase and a possible 2015 release of a seventh Star Wars flick, fans were torn between hoping for a good reboot of the series and fearing another Jar-Jar Binks fiasco. Disney is expecting to save about 20 million dollars a year by bringing Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) special effects giant firm in-house.

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN The top ten brightest stars in the night sky are ranked according to their luminescence to the naked human eye: Sirius (the dog star), Canopus (the helmsman of Menelaus), Rigil Kentaurus (Alpha Centauri), Arcturus (belongs to one of the oldest constellations), Vega (25 light-years away), Capella (little she-goat), Rigel (Arabic for Foot), Procyon (11.4 light-years away), Achernar (a bluish-white supergiant) and Betelegeuse (1000 times larger than our sun).

TWINKLE, TWINKLE

Imagine your partner giving you a piece of paper that says a star has been named after you. It might be a romantic gesture, but it’s too bad because the International Scientific Committee doesn’t recognize these “certificates”. You just forked over $50 for a giant ball of gas burning thousands of kilometers away, but the star you bought from a certain company or firm doesn’t actually belong to them, and they most certainly don’t belong to you. Next time people, choose flowers.

LLAP The day we decided to “boldly go where no man had gone before”, the day the world climbed aboard the USS Enterprise and met Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Lt. Commander Scott, Lt. Sulu, Dr. “Bones” McCoy, Lt. Uhura, Nurse Chapel to embark on a space journey that spanned 11 movies (number 12 is set for release in 2013) and 6 TV series. Created by Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek has amassed Emmys, Hugo and Academy Awards and never fails to set SciFi lovers’ hearts aflutter, be it in English, Klingon or through Vulcan mind-meld.

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THE FINAL FRONTIER

BLACK HOLES ARE NOT COMPLETELY BLACK. STEPHEN HAWKING PROVED BACK IN THE 1970S THAT THEY CAN ACTUALLY EMIT MODEST AMOUNTS OF THERMAL RADIATION

BLACK HOLES

+IMPLODING STARS BY J.E.N.

“CONSIDERATION OF PARTICLE EMISSION FROM BLACK HOLES WOULD SEEM TO SUGGEST THAT GOD NOT ONLY PLAYS DICE, BUT ALSO SOMETIMES THROWS THEM WHERE THEY CANNOT BE SEEN.”

I

n autumn 2012, astronomers spotted a new black hole in our galaxy. They noticed an X-ray star explosion near the center of our Milky Way galaxy and this was the tell-tale sign. Scientists were super excited. “Bright Xray novae are so rare… This is really something we’ve been waiting for,” stated Neil Gehrels from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Always a cool addition to any series or film set in outer space, but what exactly is a black hole? NASA describes a black hole as “a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny

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Professor Stephen W. Hawking

space.” Physicists John Wheeler (the man who coined the term black hole) and Kenneth Ford describe it more magically: “[The black hole] teaches us that space can be crumpled like a piece of paper into an infinitesimal dot, that time can be extinguished like a blownout flame, and that the laws of physics that we regard as ‘sacred,’ as immutable, are anything but.” Black holes can grow: it’s thought they can do this by either absorbing additional matter around them or by combining with other black holes, stars and the like. And they’re not completely black. Stephen Hawking proved back in the 1970s that they can actually emit modest amounts of thermal radiation.

Black You can holes evenaren’t pull visible a game to down the naked to the eye GamePad or to ifregular someone telescopes wants to watch since TV. no light Wii Tvii can escape is a cool from feature them.Nintendo So how do is scientists adding to know boost the they’re sexiness there?ofBy theusing confunky sole. Via tools thethat GamePad, can “see” youthe can effects interact of the withstrong your TV gravity to say pullrecord on nearby a program stars (they on cable don’t using act your like DVR. stars usually Some coundo). Black tries will holes enjoy come access in alltosizes; Netflix, some Amaare as zontiny Instant as 1Video, atom YouTube, and yet their and more. mass is Theincredible Miiverse is(as another large juicy as a addition. mountain according to NASA). Others are “stellar”, meaning much bigger with an awesome mass that can reach nearly 20 times that of the sun. And others are “supermassive” with masses as mega as 4 million suns. There are many black holes of all sizes in our galaxy (the Milky Way), and in the vast expanse of

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BLACK HOLES + IMPLODING STARS

space. Black holes are formed slightly differently depending on the size. The tiny ones most probably popped up when the universe began to form. Stellar black holes come into existence when a large star collapses or falls in on itself causing a supernova (a rather energized star explosion). Supermassive black holes most likely sprung up when the galaxy they are in was formed. Interestingly enough black holes are not static. They spin and this is what causes them to play around with the space around them. Contrary to the wacky fantasies of science fiction, black holes don’t roam around space devouring planetary bodies and stars. If something is near-

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by it will be affected and if a spaceship flies into one the end result won’t be pretty. But otherwise black holes are not an evil threat waiting to suck in the universe. Our green planet (or once green anyway) won’t get sucked into a black hole anytime soon. In fact the Sun isn’t even large enough to become a stellar black hole. Yet such scenarios make rather intriguing plots for films. If you ever fall into a black hole (the chances of which are rather slim), you would apparently feel weightless at first while you go into free fall. As you got closer to the center, this weightlessness would dissipate and be replaced by a rather intense pull. While you plummet you might be lucky

enough to see cool distorted images created by bending light. You’d even see the light outside the black hole. Then again you’d only experience this if you survive for long enough! While science now understands more than ever about black holes, the pursuit for knowledge is far from over. NASA had planned to launch a mission in 2014 to explore the warped space surrounding black holes and have a closer look at the magnetic fields near neutron star. Sadly the project far exceeded the $119 million USD budget and had to be axed. Given the intense pull of black holes, this won’t mark the end of studies as a science

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THE FINAL FRONTIER

WRITTEN IN

THE STARS ASTROLOGY THE OLDEST HOODWINK IN THE WORLD BY J.E.N.

H

ow many times have you read your daily horoscope or the annual predictions for you star sign (like the ones right here in RAGMAG)? How many mugs and accessories with your star sign symbol have you bought or been given as a gift? Astrology is engrained in today’s pop culture. Some swear by it while others think it’s just a form of fun and entertainment. The web is packed with info about star signs ranging from love compatibility to charts, zones and personality estimations.

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THE BACKGROUND

Astrology has been around since the third millennium BC. It links astronomy, stars and planets to our daily lives. It describes your character traits, relationships and future based on the position of celestial bodies on your date of birth (and even place of birth if you’re getting a personal astrology reading from a professional). Some cultures take astrology very seriously and it is an accepted “truth” while others regard it with a pinch of salt. Some ancient cultures developed extremely complex systems including the Babylonians, Mayans, Chinese and Indians. It attracted many Is-

throughout history different cultures have had their own system of astrology lamic scholars in 7th and 8th centuries AD. The most prominent Arab astrologer was Albumasar whose work highly influenced the field in medieval Europe. It’s interesting to note that throughout history different cultures have had their own system of astrology and some remained separate while others were molded, borrowed or influenced from other cultures.

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ASTROLOGY | THE OLDEST HOODWINK IN THE WORLD

RULEBOOK

What most don’t realize is that your star sign isn’t the only thing that is important in astrology. Your ascendant and midheaven are very central as is the other “house” (a division based on the place and time of your birth. There are normally 12). Your ascendant is basically the sign that happened to be rising on the horizon when you were born. Since this changes every 2 hours or so, even people born minutes apart might have a different ascendant. Your ascendant is what makes you who you are. It controls the way you look and your personality. It defines the image you have of yourself and shapes the way others

see you. Your mid-heaven characterizes your career and relations in the public sphere. Given that work, the profession we choose, and public ties pack a punch in today’s world, your mid-heaven is rather key.

SHIFTY STUFF

While it has always been widespread and popular, is astrology scientific? At first glance it has the guise of scientific with all the intricate calculations and charting involved. It’s based on scientific knowledge of celestial bodies… and yet the way it links this real science to worldly events and personality is the subject of debate. Understanding Sci-

“ASTROLOGY IS NOT A VERY SCIENTIFIC WAY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS. ALTHOUGH ASTROLOGERS SEEK TO EXPLAIN THE NATURAL WORLD, THEY DON’T USUALLY ATTEMPT TO CRITICALLY EVALUATE WHETHER THOSE EXPLANATIONS ARE VALID- AND THIS IS A KEY PART OF SCIENCE.”

ence (a website affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley), states: “Astrology is not a very scientific way to answer questions. Although astrologers seek to explain the natural world, they don’t usually attempt to critically evaluate whether those explanations are valid- and this is a key part of science. The community of scientists evaluates its ideas against evidence from the natural world and rejects or modifies those ideas when evidence doesn’t support them. Astrologers do not take the same critical perspective on their own astrological ideas.” So what is the draw of this non-scientific “science”? Maybe the answer lies in human nature. We’re always trying to “know ourself” and astrology provides easy answers through the personality traits linked to each sign. We’re also ever eager to know what the future holds and astrology claims to predict what the stars have in store for us. Astrology supposedly eliminates the gray areas and sheds light on the unknown. Or does it?

RHO OPHIUCHUS

THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

Changes in the Earth’s alignment have prompted some astrologers to reshuffle the dates of the signs… and to introduce a new one: Ophiuchus. There’s no agreement about this because of differences in Eastern and Western astrology and hence this 13th sign has sparked a debate. Ophiuchus’ symbol is a man carrying a snake. NEW DATES AND ZODIAC SIGNS WITH THE 13TH ADDITION CAPRICORN JAN. 20 - FEB. 16 AQUARIUS FEB. 16 - MARCH 11 PISCES MARCH 11- APRIL 18 ARIES APRIL 18 - MAY 13 TAURUS MAY 13 - JUNE 21 GEMINI JUNE 21 - JULY 20 CANCER JULY 20 - AUG. 10 LEO AUG. 10 - SEPT. 16 VIRGO SEPT. 16 - OCT. 30 LIBRA OCT. 30 - NOV. 23 SCORPIO NOV. 23 - NOV. 29 OPHIUCHUS NOV. 29 - DEC. 17 SAGITTARIUS DEC. 17 - JAN. 20

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FML [F**K MY LIFE]

GOLD STAR OF ACHIEVEMENT THE UGLY TRUTH SPEAK NO EVIL FOR RAGMAG

BELOW: RAGMAG’S EDITOR IN CHIEF FIDA CHAABAN BACKSTAGE WITH SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA COURTESY OF PING DUBAI

BY FIDA CHAABAN

I PROMISED MYSELF THAT I WOULD NOT TELL A LIE . NOT EVEN AN INFINITESIMAL, HARMLESS, WHITE FIB. NO MATTER WHAT

D

o you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” I put myself under oath. Or rather, this is what I asked myself before I entered into this foolish social experiment. Here’s the deal: we brainstormed my FML assignment and asked ourselves what the hardest possible thing is to do day in and day out? Then it dawned on me: it’s nearly impossible not to tell a lie. Wait, this doesn’t mean I’m some big pathological liar, it means that I observe societal rules like when I’m asked how I

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am or how my day was- these sorts of things. While they seem like harmless social niceties and must be observed in the name of decency and privacy, I decided to pursue a course of complete fib-free existence stemming from a combination of 2 things: the psychology of “Absolute Truth” and “Satya”. “Absolute Truth” psychology was coined a while back by some wacky practioner who taught his accolades to always answer any question (serious or silly), with complete honesty. “Satya” is the yogic philosophy of Ultimate Truth and is quite complicated but can be used in life as the appli-

cation of truthfulness- in thought, in deed, and of course in intention. So, I promised myself that I would not tell a lie. Not even an infinitesimal, harmless, white fib. No matter what. And here’s what happened.

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GOLD STAR OF ACHIEVEMENT | THE UGLY TRUTH: SPEAK NO EVIL FOR RAGMAG

PREDICAMENT ONE

“I ONLY SPEAK THE TRUTH” The Bollywood-inspired song from blockbuster musical “Moulin Rouge” became my mantra. When I felt weak, I would chant it. This came into play as early as day one. The first part of the first day was okay- I mean when anyone asked how I was I just said whatever I was feeling at that particular moment. It’s not that hard to say: “Actually, I have a major headache,” instead of, “I’m well thanks for asking!” First hurdle crossed, although I felt a bit like I was trying to elicit sympathy from random people- which I really didn’t like. The real problems didn’t start until later in the evening: I get a BBM from a frenemy asking me to join him for cocktails. My fingers quickly begin typing out a standard excuse and then I stop cold: “I only speak the truth,” I repeat resolutely to myself. I delete the message and think carefully, now what the fuck am I supposed to do? So

I decide to face the challenge head on and I tell him the truth: “I don’t want to go anywhere with you. My energy and your energy don’t mesh well.” I hit enter and wait with my heart pounding in my chest. He reads it, starts typing then stops. He starts to type again, then stops. What follows is one of the ugliest BBM altercations I’ve ever had. He dissects every word and attempts to ascertain why I consider him a frenemy, how long I’ve felt like this and why I’m being so rude. I’ve sworn to continue telling the truth and finally I just end the awkward and very heated conversation by saying: “I’m sick of explaining this to you. You have an abrasive personality and I’ve never wanted to hurt your feelings but today I’m trying not to lie.” He reads it and does not type out a response. As of now, he’s still on my BBM contact list and I’m not sure why he hasn’t deleted me. Maybe after reading this article he will.

PREDICAMENT TWO

“HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY” “So what did you think of Hala*?” I’m visiting my best friend and she has been raving about this Hala person for months. I open my mouth and clamp it shut and reflect on the evening mentally: I’d just spent the last 2 hours listening to Hurricane Hala chat up a storm about utter nonsense. Hala also spoke in a baby voice when she asked for things from across the table. “Hala was very immature and not the kind of person I could tolerate more than once every few months,” I say pensively trying to be both honest and delicate. “I knew you weren’t going to like her! Trust me, she’s a nice person. She just comes off like that in the beginning,” says Noura. Whew! I just insulted her close friend and she sucked it up and carried on business as usual. “Don’t worry we don’t have to go out with her again, you have lots of people to see while you’re here anyway,” she said reassuringly.

THE BOLLYWOOD - INSPIRED SONG FROM BLOCKBUSTER MUSICAL “MOULIN ROUGE” BECAME MY MANTRA . WHEN I FELT WEAK , I WOULD CHANT IT BELOW: STILL IMAGE FROM THE MOVIE ‘MOULIN ROUGE’

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FML [F**K MY LIFE]

GOLD STAR OF ACHIEVEMENT | THE UGLY TRUTH: SPEAK NO EVIL FOR RAGMAG

PREDICAMENT THREE

“RING TRUE”

Over the course of the next few days, I get the hang of this whole honesty thing. I lower the volume of my voice and express whatever it is I’m trying to say with very little emotion so it doesn’t come across as harsh and in-your-face. I sound monotone, use very concise words and I think carefully before I speak. I manage not to tell a single lie and I haven’t even offended that many people, not that I know of anyway. One problem presents itself over and over: several men who I’ve dated previously all decide to call during my FML “experiment”. Today’s fun call came all the way from Canada- he and I had dated for a few years and routinely keep in touch as friends. The problem here? I usually ignore all of his comments that irritate me and sometimes it’s damn hard to swallow the crap he dishes out. Confession: I always have to resist the urge to tell him where to go and how to get there because he is an arrogant

and self-absorbed asshole. So ring, ring. “Hello?” And then all hell broke loose. Despite the whole reining in my tongue and lowering my voice thing, I think I made myself pretty clear when I told him that, “This conversation is hideous. You’ve contributed nothing useful to my life- I really have no patience for you today.” FML for real. Did I actually say that? Yes, and I’m not proud of myself for doing so. I think I actually hurt his feelings. Another bad mishap with the phone? Someone new in my life managed to sound condescending -whether he meant to or not- prompting me to basically share how I felt. “I don’t like your comment. You’re being a douche.” Umm, rough much? Yes. There is one more stellar incident that stands out, and you’ll have to pardon the pun. When I got backstage at the Swedish House Mafia concert for the interview (check it out in Out + About), one of the 3 famous DJs com-

mented that I seemed stressed. “Of course I’m stressed! They’re saying I only have 5 minutes with you,” I say with my newfound frankness. “Well, don’t worry, you can have more time. Take all the time you need,” says Sebastian Ingrosso. Despite the major breach in interview etiquette, it actually paid off and I did get additional time with them!

“THIS CONVERSATION IS HIDEOUS . YOU’VE CONTRIBUTED NOTHING USEFUL TO MY LIFEI REALLY HAVE NO PATIENCE FOR YOU TODAY.” FML FOR REAL. DID I ACTUALLY SAY THAT ? YES , AND I’M NOT PROUD OF MYSELF FOR DOING SO After days of this experiment and more incidents like the ones I’ve mentioned, one more cliché about honesty seems in order: “the truth hurts”. But it still might be the best way to go -I feel like those completely crazy people that have no censor- and it is liberating! I do get a gold star, for sticking to my FML, if only to learn that you feel a lot lighter when you aren’t hiding so much of what you’re thinking. And that’s the truth *Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals

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MIND, BODY+SOUL TO ASK A QUESTION send your problems to helpmenour@ragmaglive.com

TO JOIN THE READER RESPONSE PANEL and give feedback to women across Lebanon, send your name, age, and email address to helpmenour@ragmaglive.com subject line: Interactive Panel We will contact you if you are chosen to participate.

help me

NOUR+RABIH BY NOUR OBAJI + RABIH FEGHALI

I have been in an on/off relationship for 3 years. During one of these “off” periods, I met a guy through family (both our families became very close recently). He was nothing like my boyfriend and I felt really attracted to him. I think it was mutual, but neither of us made a move. For my part, I didn’t want to complicate the familyrelationship. A few months after that, my boyfriend and I got back together and I forgot about my crush. I have recently been thinking about him a lot. Sometimes I tell myself to go crazy and go for it, other times I just think it’s a fantasy that’s going to fade with time. What do you think I should do? Fadwa, 34

“I think these mixed feelings have to do with your current relationship. You need to figure this out before considering going for the other guy. Ask yourself if you’ve been attracted to several people whether they resemble your boyfriend or not. If so, maybe that means you don’t really have feelings for you boyfriend, but you’re still with him because you’re a coward and don’t know how to leave him or because you’re afraid of being alone. The other guy shouldn’t be a replacement. You either want to be with your boyfriend or you don’t. What you do after you breakup (if you do breakup), is up to you and obviously the other guy.”

Annabelle, 22

“You should start by examining exactly what it is you want from your boyfriend. Being in an on/off situation is not fair to either of you and it sounds to me like you aren’t sure this relationship is going to work so you are casting your net wider to see what you catch. Before you make a move on this other guy; make sure his head is in the same space because you say you ‘think’ it was mutual.”

Nour’s Vote What would I do? I would give it a shot. There is something you need to know about always playing it safe: it sucks. If you are always going to stick with the safer route, you’re going to go through life with a great deal of unanswered questions. Nour is not a big fan of the “What if?” game. What if you never try with this new guy and what if you and your significant other part ways? What if you get transferred to Paris tomorrow? What if you lose $1000 in a bet? You’ll never know how your new job in Paris will go and you’ll never possibly win $1000 if you don’t try. Fear of the unknown is the biggest buzz kill around- do yourself a favour and carpe that diem, no matter how clichéd it may seem. At least I would. One final thing about this: Rabih, what’s with you and the planning all the time! You’re so damn calculating!

THERE IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ALWAYS PLAYING IT SAFE: IT SUCKS. IF YOU ARE ALWAYS GOING TO STICK WITH THE SAFER ROUTE, YOU’RE GOING TO GO THROUGH LIFE WITH A GREAT DEAL OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS. 60 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

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Rabih’s Vote If you’re happy with your boyfriend, then just forget about him and focus on what you have. If for some reason you are no longer seeing him, then I would say give it a try. But don’t contact him directly. Create opportunities for him to get in touch with you - this is always a better strategy. I’ve been having dreams (dreams, not nightmares) about my boyfriend cheating on me or dying. In real life, I hate being the victim and even when I am, I never show it. However, I’ve been thinking about these recurrent dreams, and I feel like it’s one of two things: him cheating on me or dying are the only ways for me to get out of this relationship because I’m a coward and I don’t know how to leave him. What do you think?

IT IS NORMAL TO FEEL VULNERABLE TOWARDS SOMEONE THAT WE LOVE - AFTER ALL, LOVE IS ABOUT LETTING GO OF OUR EMOTIONAL COMFORT AND SECURITY Sanaa, 31

“I think your subconscious is telling you a whole host of things you haven’t included in this question. I also think that if you are so unhappy and want out, you should put on your big girl panties and break up with this guy. The fact that you want out and yet stay in this relationship is so unfair to your boyfriend.” Rani, 25

“I think you have serious issues: confrontation issues, insecurity issues, an inferiority complex and most importantly trust issues. I suggest seeing a psychiatrist to help you overcome these challenges and then dealing with these spooky dreams will be much easier. As for now, look in the mirror and repeat: “I’m a confident sexy woman” and walk up to your boyfriend and tell him how you feel. Don’t tell him about the dream, it’s an invalid argument. If you can’t do that keep walking to the shrink’s office.”

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

Nour’s Vote What the hell are you smoking? There is no reason why you should feel like that at all. There are much easier ways to get out of this relationship or any relationship for that matter. You said it yourself, you are a coward. You know there’s an old religious adage that says, “God helps those that help themselves”, forget the first part of that and just help yourself. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who create their own prisons and acquiesce to situations that they are wholly uncomfortable with. Take action or suck it up. As for the dream part of this, many well-known theorists have posited that dreams are a reflection of your inner psyche, this may or may not be true, but you’ve already interpreted it on your own. Regardless of the accuracy of the reading, you need to get out of this relationship.

Rabih’s Vote It is widely known that there is some type of correlation between our dreams and our lives. My question to you is, are you unhappy with your boyfriend? Why do you want him to leave you? If you’re unhappy, just break up with him. It is normal to feel vulnerable towards someone that we love - after all, love is about letting go of our emotional comfort and security. If you love him, keep loving him, feeling this way is kind of healthy.

I went to India for a long vacation last year and fell in love with the country. I have been obsessing over it since then and I can’t get the idea of moving over there out of my head. My whole life is in Beirut, my family, my friends and most importantly my job, which I really love. I’m torn between staying here for it, or leave everything behind and start planning my move there. I have never done anything crazy and it scares me, but I’m unhappy here. What should I do? I’m scared of moving and being disappointed; I would have lost everything here. Rani, 25

“You have a few choices. Path 1- Doing what every other person did, going through the same life cycle your ancestors did, living in the comfort zone, and giving up to the fabric of society, and conforming to one culture. Path 2- Going on the craziest adventure in one of the world’s most beautiful countries. Breathtaking experiences. I say it is an obvious decision. PS. If you need a travel partner… I’m in.”

GOING ON THE CRAZIEST ADVENTURE IN ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTRIES. BREATHTAKING EXPERIENCES. I SAY IT IS AN OBVIOUS DECISION www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 61


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HELP ME NOUR + RABIH

TO ASK A QUESTION

send your problems to helpmenour@ragmaglive.com

TO JOIN THE READER RESPONSE PANEL and give feedback to women across Lebanon, send your name, age, and email address to helpmenour@ragmaglive.com subject line: Interactive Panel We will contact you if you are chosen to participate.

Nour’s Vote At the risk of sounding very “Eat, Pray, Love” here (and believe me when I say that I really don’t want to sound like that), you should throw caution to the wind and go. Again I find that if you don’t try, you won’t know if things will work or not. I suggest you read the rest of the column where I advised another reader to “carpe that diem”. There is a bit of a warning here for you though: vacations are vacations. Living and working and being in a place that you loved during a vacation is really not the same thing as going about day to day life there. You aren’t “leaving everything behind” (what’s with the drama?), and I can say this for a certainty. Most people will not disappear on you and if they do, they’re looking for the slightest reason or provocation so they aren’t consistent to begin with. As for your job, I’m a big fan of economic stability so maybe you should look for a new position in

whatever area of India you’re obsessed with, start applying and that way you have some sort of safety net. Nike had it right years ago: “Just do it”.

Rabih’s Vote Nothing is lost forever. Sometimes we are stuck in a bubble worrying about repercussions of our actions, we create these dramatic scenarios in our minds and hang on to them. No you’re not going to lose everything! You’ll go, experience something new and be happy. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll return, and everyone will happily welcome you back into their lives.

LIVING AND WORKING AND BEING IN A PLACE THAT YOU LOVED DURING A VACATION IS REALLY NOT THE SAME THING AS GOING ABOUT DAY TO DAY LIFE THERE

Is spanking considered pleasurable by most women? I want to introduce it into the bed routine with my girlfriend but she’s kinda traditional and doesn’t have much experience so would it be weird? What can I do to figure out if she’ll try it? Hana, 27

“Spanking, anal sex, oral sex, S&M, threesomes... it’s all the same. Some women like some things, others don’t. It’s not a rule. Your girlfriend might like some of your fantasies and loathe others. You could start by asking her if she’s into trying something new. Take it from there, and then talk to her about the spanking. Mention what it feels like for you and reassure her about it.”

Nour’s Vote

SPANKING, ANAL SEX, ORAL SEX, S&M, THREESOMES... IT’S ALL THE SAME. SOME WOMEN LIKE SOME THINGS, OTHERS DON’T DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

Rabih and I chose to answer this question because it is important to always encourage frank dialogue about sexuality. It is never a safe bet to generalize when it comes to what women find pleasurable. What one woman thoroughly enjoys, another might dislike immensely. There are 2 ways to figure this out with your partner: either ask her straight out or try to initiate it during foreplay. Just because she is “traditional” and seems inexperienced doesn’t mean that she’ll automatically find it weird. That being said, I suggest

talking about it first because she may not enjoy you springing the kinky stuff in bed, playing or not. As for Rabih’s response, it is so douchebag that I cannot even formulate a proper sentence about it. I’m the “reading type” and I have not read the book he suggests since all respectable reviewers (RAGMAG’s included) have dubbed it mediocre and some have even called it misogynistic. Don’t take his advice.

Rabih’s Vote Buy her the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” and tell her how it is the most talked about book (among women) in modern history. Once she’s done reading it, she’ll succumb to any “spanking” activity you wish to engage in. P.S. If she’s the “reading type”, she has most likely already read the book. In that case, you can go ahead and start- no other measure necessary. If she’s not a reader, wait for the movie to come out in a few months- and figure out a way for her to watch the uncensored version

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Nos soupes

sont de retour DOWNTOWN - ABC|DBAYEH| - ABC|ASHRAFIEH| HAMRA - KASLIK - MZAAR|KFARDEBIAN| - VERDUN CITY MALL - LE MALL|SIN EL FIL| - JAL EL DIB

eyedigits.com

SPINNEYS|HAZMIEH| - JBEIL - ZAITUNAY BAY

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MIND, BODY+SOUL

REVAMP FOR THE YEAR AHEAD AFTER OVERINDULGING IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON’S SINFUL PLEASURES, EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET BACK ON THE TRACK OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS. WE’VE COMPILED A FEW FACETS OF A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND BROUGHT TOGETHER SOME INTERESTING TIDBITS FOR YOU TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR ROUTINE FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR. THIS TIME, IT’S NOT ABOUT KICKING YOUR HABITS BUT INCORPORATING ACHIEVABLE POSITIVE POINTS INTO YOUR EXISTING ROUTINE TO HELP YOU BOTH RECOVER FROM THE PARTY ONSLAUGHT AND LEAD A HEALTHIER ALL AROUND LIFESTYLE.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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TAKING

THE POSITIVE SIDE OF LIFE SERIOUSLY BY MATHEW HUSSEY

MAKE IT THE RULE, NOT THE EXCEPTION

F

eeling positive about our lives is not always as easy as it sounds. Although many of us like to think of ourselves as optimists, when we become bogged down by the minutiae of everyday events, such as having to deal with our phone bills, responding to the needs and demands of our family and finishing our projects at work on time, we can easily find our mood at the mercy of the events around us.

When we feel like we don’t have control over our lives we can easily lose our feelings of positivity towards our future as well. But it’s during these times that controlling our outlook is so important. Because the truth is, it’s easy to be positive when the going is good. Anyone can feel optimistic when they have everything they need. People who are truly positive are able to retain this feeling when the chips are down. Through my years of coaching, I’ve noticed that it’s the difficult times that really put our character to the test.

IT’S EASY TO BE POSITIVE WHEN THE GOING IS GOOD. ANYONE CAN FEEL OPTIMISTIC WHEN THEY HAVE EVERYTHING THEY NEED. PEOPLE WHO ARE TRULY POSITIVE ARE ABLE TO RETAIN THIS FEELING WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN 66 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

So how do truly positive people keep it up during the tough times? I want to share 3 traits of positive people that I have identified throughout my coaching.

VIEWPOINT

One of the key things that sets apart positive people is the lens through which they choose to see the world. Ask yourself this question: Do I see the world as a scary place or as a playground? Do I see people as selfish and deceitful or is everyone really just looking for connection and a way to feel loved? The truth is that this is a selffulfilling prophecy; the world takes shape according to how we see it. One thing you can do right now is really think about the way you view the world, and choose to put on a new pair of lenses. If you see the world as fighting against you, life is going to feel like a constant, gruelling struggle. If you view it as a playground, you’re going to see the abundance of opportunities you have, even when life throws its worst at you.

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TAKING THE POSITIVE SIDE OF LIFE SERIOUSLY | MAKE IT THE RULE, NOT THE EXCEPTION

CERTAINTY

People who can maintain a positive outlook through the toughest times have what I call a feeling of inevitability. What we mean by that is a certainty that the results are coming. This isn’t wishful thinking or sitting on your hands hoping everything will turn out okay in the end, but rather an assured belief that if I do the right things, if I work hard, it will happen. Tell yourself: I will get the result I want. When we reassert that sense of control, we feel ten times better about our ability to direct our own future. By the way, all it

takes to get this feeling is 1 action right now. If you take that step towards your goal you’re going to start getting “the buzz” and instantly feel more positive about your life. So try this exercise right now– what are 3 activities I have been putting off that would instantly make me feel better about my situation right now? Write them down and remember, schedule it in and you can start getting motivated straight away. Don’t forget to intoduce a daily digest of positivity into every day.

STEPS

Fall in love with the process, not the rewards. Positive people don’t wait for results to feel good about themselves, they relish the process of achievement. When we are truly living a life we feel passionate about, it’s so much easier to fall in love with the work itself, instead of looking towards a glittering future where we will “someday” get to experience all of our happiness. Most people in life wait for an excuse to feel good, and equally they look for any reason to be miserable. When you find a passion and live it daily, you are going to find you can’t help but be optimistic about life. You’ll be filling your days with work and activities that are meaningful to you. And finally don’t forget to introduce a daily digest of positivity into every day.

YOU’VE GOT ONE CHANCE TO MAKE YOUR LIFE THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE, SO ACT NOWYOU WON’T REGRET IT We all have films, a piece of music, or even just inspirational quotes that uplift us in some way. Try a morning ritual of going onto YouTube and finding that inspirational video that gives you your daily dose of positivity, even if it’s just a cheesy movie soundtrack! RAGMAG suggests “Gangnam Style”! You’ve got one chance to make your life the life you want to live, so act now- you won’t regret it

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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GET SOME

SHUT-EYE THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP BY SARAH HOURANY

RESEARCHERS FOR YEARS HAVE STRESSED THAT SLEEPING THE PROPER AMOUNT OF TIME CAN DO EVERYTHING FROM BOOST IMMUNITY TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH 68 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

O

ne of the most important arenas of your healthy lifestyle is the amount of time your sleep and the quality of your sleep cycle. Researchers for years have stressed that sleeping the proper amount of time can do everything from boost immunity to improve mental health. The reverse, that of a disrupted or fragmented sleep cycle, can cause deterioration in your mental statemaking you less productive and weakening your mental acquity. It also negatively affects the way your body functions- this is especially relevant when looking at physical strength and overall health. Re-

searchers have also studied shift-work for decades and one conclusion keeps popping up: if you sleep all day and work all night (fighting natural human circadian rhythyms), you can shorten your lifespan.

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GET SOME SHUT-EYE | THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

GET AN EDUCATION

Giving accurate basic information about sleeping to both regular sleepers and people suffering from insomnia can be helpful. Information includes the explanation of sleep stages and phases, the sleep functions and effects, and sleep developmental changes. Establish an efficient and regular schedule of sleep: increasing the total time asleep or reducing the time spent in bed before falling asleep are pillars of insomnia treatment and can be useful for even those who already manage to get a good night’s rest. The first logical step is to preserve the existing sleep over a certain length of time and gradually increase it. This can be realized with the help of specialized programs that aim to help falling asleep rapidly, consolidate the time spent asleep, and create a stable and efficient sleep pattern.

MIND OVER MATTER

You may be able to relax physically, but what about mentally? What about letting go of all the tension and stress that has built up during the day? The most important thing to remember is that you should not try to force yourself to fall asleep. Meanwhile, try to ignore negative thoughts and keep your eyes open. Each time they seem to close, open them again until sleep takes over. Sleep is a vital process that exceeds the waking state in importance. During sleep the body rests and restores its energy levels. Achieving and maintaining a healthy sleep routine is the path to good physical and mental health, and a flailing one is detrimental to your well being. A restful sleep is a much needed recharge!

DON’T • Take naps during the day or engage in recovery sleep • Read or watch TV in bed DO • Go to bed when you are really tired. If you don’t fall asleep

within 20 minutes change rooms until you feel very tired again. • Set your alarm to wake up at the same time every day • Set a deadline for your activities or work 90 minutes before bedtime. Your body needs time to unwind. • Practise this 2 step relaxation routine in bed on a daily basis and at different times if possible.

STEP 1

Begin by breathing slowly and deeply.

STEP 2

Tense and relax your major muscle groups.

SLEEP HYGIENE TRY THESE EASY TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER SLEEPING PATTERN • Avoid eating heavy meals before bedtime. • Exercise during the day since fit people enjoy better sleep. • Moderate your use of caffeine, tea, sodas, and alcohol. The regular use of the latter disrupts your sleep pattern. • Have a comfortable bed and mattress and be sure to keep your room temperature moderate (not too hot and not too cold).

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STICK TO IT

THE LARRY JACKSON METHOD FOR FITNESS SUCCESS BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES

D

irection, Dedication and Discipline – 3 dirty words when it comes to physical and mental fitness. It’s a breeze if you have the direction of an expert trainer, the discipline to eat and train correctly each day and the dedication to stick with a fitness program. Larry Jackson, fitness trainer and founder of 3D Fitness, LLC, Louisville, KY, USA, puts the 3D’s into practice with his customized exercise and nutrition plan to help us weaklings achieve our personal fitness goal. Larry developed the 3D’s in his 3D Fitness training program: direction, discipline, and dedication, with his wife Charmayne Jackson, an IFBB figure pro and competition coach. “As a trainer I wanted to capture what I feel it truly takes to have a lasting transformation,” says Jackson. He’s looking out to motivate major transformations for his clients, not just physical but also mental and emotional enhancement. “It’s not enough just to work hard to try to achieve something; working hard with the wrong blueprint will just leave you frustrated, tired, and worn out.” Instead he points out the right direction for the path to the best fitness and nutritional strategies by providing strong motivation, and coaching on the importance of positive focus. “With a solid plan in hand, the execution of the plan moves to the forefront. The client becomes the critical player in this process. This is where it becomes essential to master self-discipline and dedication to the end goal.”

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STICK TO IT | THE LARRY JACKSON METHOD FOR FITNESS SUCCESS

Larry offers some very real tips for eating right and exercising right: “Mastering fitness discipline refers to eating clean foods and getting adequate exercise, consistently. Consistency is important for sustained success.” His top nutritional tip is to eat clean and drink plenty of water. Just stick with the foods Mother Nature provides and avoid eating processed food. It makes sense for the majority of our supermarket shopping to be done where the fruits and vegetables are located. And, drinking lots of water avoids dehydration -it increases the toxins in the body, slows your metabolism and accelerates aging- so aim for 1½ to 2 liters of water per day. As for fitness, Larry advises strength training and to partner up for success. “Strength training should be a part of everyone’s fitness journey. Often women are skeptical about strength training thinking it will make them too big. This is far from the truth.” Strength training is a key component in body transformation as lean muscle gained leads to more fat loss and improves the overall body image. And, partnering up with a fun training partner can provide motivation to train.

DIRECTION, DEDICATION AND DISCIPLINE 3 DIRTY WORDS WHEN IT COMES TO PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FITNESS For Larry, everything is possible with the right dose of dedication. Excuses like: “I have bad genetics”, “I’m too old to get into shape”, or “I just can’t follow a diet” are a sure way to stall any efforts at success and should be vetoed immediately. “Instead focus on all the positive aspects of training. Focus on making improvements every day. Focus on the new outfits you can begin to wear. Focus on getting off medication. Focus on your end goal and appreciate the journey along the way. It’s not a sacrifice if you learn to enjoy the process.” Get it? These are the 3D’s to stay on track to achieve the fitness goals you desire. All you need to do is to put them into action. This year, Larry will be launching an online video fitness training, so we can benefit from his 3D training program via the web 3d-fitness.com

LARRY’S STEPS TO SUCCESS 1. Understand that you are in complete control of your attitude, and your attitude is determined by your feelings. These feelings are produced internally, not externally. You are the only one that can choose how you feel. Take back your control. 2. Continuously remind yourself of why you want to reach your goal. 3. Visualize success as if you have already reached your fitness goal. Embrace that feeling of achievement. This feeling should now be your dominate focus. 4. Take inspired action every day. When you wake up, commit to doing at least one thing that day to move you one step closer to your goal. 5. Be thankful even before your goal is reached. Gratitude is often a magnet for more of the same. Give thanks to all the little achievements you make and be certain they will add up to your ultimate goal.

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RAGGED FLORA FACTS

BERRY BLAST Strawberries are a negative calorie fruit, which means the calories your body burns digesting and processing them exceed what’s in the fruit. Other negative calorie foods include pineapples, hot peppers, beets, turnips, spinach and garlic.

DEEP FREEZE Frozen fruits and veggies have all the nutritious value and flavor of their fresh counterparts, so don’t worry about adding them to your diet –it’s more convenient and helps circumvent seasonal limitations.

CHAMELEON

Carrots were purple in colour until the 16th century. Farmers in Holland started to plant more and more orange crops in honor of the Dutch hero, William of Orange. Carrots are chock full of Vitamin A, which helps your eyesight.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY Tomatoes, which are delicious in vegetable soup, green salads and other savory dishes, are actually considered fruit because they have seeds in the middle. Broccoli and cauliflower are vegetables, yes, but they’re also considered flowers.

NUIT BLANCHE Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee when you’re cramming for exams or racing to meet a deadline, try biting into an apple. Loaded with glucose, vitamins and fibers, this fruit is said to be more effective than caffeine when you need a quick wakeup jolt.

STOCK UP Sweet red and green bell peppers, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupes and, of course, oranges are all great sources of Vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron and contributes to building a strong immune system.

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RAGGED FLORA FACTS

SNACK TIME Bananas are loaded with potassium which helps lower blood pressure, and they’re considered a good source of Resistant Starch. It’s a healthy carb that helps boost your metabolism and keeps you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.

SECRET INGREDIENTS

CAMOUFLAGE

Juniper berries give Gin its unique flavor. Sour Morello cherries undergo a double distillation process to make Kirsch. The peel of the Laraha citrus fruit is the basis of Curaçao, Midori is made with melon, Limoncello with Femminello Santa Teresa lemons and you’ll need sweet and bitter orange peels to make Triple Sec.

The pineapple fruit is not really a single fruit, but rather a mass of individual berries fused to a central stalk. Besides, pineapples are not capable of fertilizing their own seeds and have to mature on the plant in order to become sweet.

DRAGON BREATH

Dragon fruit might sound ominous, but it actually tastes quite mild and can be found in certain supermarkets in Lebanon. Its seeds contain essential fatty acids, such as oleic acid, which our bodies need but can’t produce.

HEALING POWERS Lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment found in tomatoes, red carrots, red bell peppers, watermelon and papayas. This antioxidant is said to be a super-health food and could improve the state of patients with diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and even infertility in men.

SAY CHEESE Apples and strawberries clean your teeth naturally when you bite into them. Crush a strawberry to a pulp and mix well with baking soda, apply on your teeth for five minutes and reveal your pearly whites. Repeat treatment once a week.

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CHECKS

+ BALANCES GET YOUR DAILY DOSE

LEARN WHICH FOODS CONTAIN MUCH-NEEDED BODY BOOSTERS BY AZAR CHIDIAC

To better understand which vitamins and minerals contribute to your body’s health and well-being, we’re exploring which ones are essential for a comprehensive diet. The majority of us who maintain a healthy diet will have all the vitamins and minerals we require- if you’re eating a varied diet, vitamin and mineral supplements are probably not necessary. It’s important to note that if you feel you may have a vitamin or mineral deficiency (or if you suffer from any illnesses), you should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

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REVISITING VITAMINS Vitamin A helps cells reproduce normally, it also helps us keep our skin and hair healthy. Vitamin B6 helps form red blood cells and assists in the formation of genetic material. Vitamin B9 is also known as folate or folic acid. Vitamin B9 works with vitamin B12 in the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin B12 is essential for the proper formation of blood cells and nerve fibres. Vitamin C helps absorb iron, protects against infection and keeps blood vessels healthy. If you over-cook vegetables or boil them in lots of water you will diminish the vitamin C concentration. Vitamin D works with calcium to help prevent bones from thinning. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient with powerful antioxidant properties. Vitamin E reduces the risk of health problems from cancer to heart disease. It also plays a crucial role in promoting overall health and immunity by protecting cell membranes.

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


CHECKS + BALANCES | GET YOUR DAILY DOSE

REMEMBERING MINERALS

Unsaturated fats

Good sources of these fats are found in vegetable oils like sunflower, soya or corn, oily fish like mackerel, sardines and pilchards, olive oils, margarines (labelled high in polyunsaturates) and avocado.

Saturated fats

These fats are found in high quantities in meat, dairy products like full-fat milk, cheese, and butter, pies, cakes, chocolate, and biscuits.

Fibre

Fibre can be found in breakfast cereals, wholemeal or granary bread, fruit and vegetables, wholegrain rice, pasta, potatoes (especially if you eat the skins), beans, pulses and lentils

Protein

Protein may be found in meats and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and lentils.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A can be found in leafy green vegetables, liver, dairy products, prunes, and apricots. Excess levels of vitamin A can be dangerous during pregnancy.

Vitamin B 6

Vitamin B6 can be found in poultry, bananas, kidney beans, liver, bread, spinach and breakfast cereals

Vitamin B 9

Foods high in vitamin B9 include green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, liver, chicken and whole grain breads and cereals.

Vitamin B 12

Rich sources of vitamin B12 include meat, liver, fish, eggs, milk and oysters.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits and juices, green vegetables, potatoes, frozen peas and tomatoes.

Vitamin D

Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish (herrings, mackerel, tinned sardines, and pilchards) egg yolks, some margarine and fortified breakfast cereals.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E may be found in green leafy vegetables, bread and cereals, nuts, egg yolks, and vegetable oils.

Calcium

Calcium is found in dairy products, green leafy vegetables, canned salmon and brown bread.

Magnesium

Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, wholegrain cereals, brown rice, and nuts.

Potassium

Potassium is present in bananas, grapes, beans, prunes, raisins, milk, and vegetables.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus can be found in dairy products, meat, and fish.

Iron

Iron can be found in red meats, offal, fortified breakfast cereals, oysters, and fish.

Zinc

Zinc may be found in dairy products, meat, fish, wholegrain cereals, and pulses

Iodine

Iodine can be found in milk, table salt, and seafood.

Fluoride

Fluoride can be found in canned fish, tea, cooked spinach, and toothpaste. (And some tap water depending on which country you reside)

Selenium

Selenium can be found in cereals, Brazil nuts, fish, red meats, eggs, and cheese.

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Minerals are substances required by the body for a variety of functions. We need some minerals in larger amounts than others. These include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. Others minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, fluoride and selenium are also required but only in small amounts. Calcium is the main mineral needed for the growth, protection and strength of bones and teeth. Magnesium is present in all tissues including bone tissue. Magnesium is needed for bone, protein and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles and clotting blood. Potassium is a major mineral and is essential for the function of cells, including nerve cells. Potassium also helps with the proper function of the heart and kidneys. Phosphorus is an essential component of all cells and is present in bones and teeth. Iron is part of haemoglobin, the oxygen carrying component of the blood. People who have an iron deficiency tire easily, this is because their body is starved of oxygen. If you drink a glass of orange juice with meals it will help you absorb more iron. Zinc is essential for growth and to maintain fertility. Zinc can be supportive in the treatment of acne, athlete’s foot, brittle nails, the common cold, and even minor injuries. Iodine helps with the formation, protection, and function of the thyroid hormones. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and can help in the prevention of osteoporosis. Selenium promotes normal growth and development and is needed for proper immune function.

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OUT + ABOUT

YOU CAN GO

HARD OR YOU CAN GO HOME

BEIRUT MARATHON 2012 For the Beirut Marathon 2012, the official song was Mike Massy’s “Bi Beirut”. This year “Bi Beirut” was a torrential downpour with the runners soaked to the gills! Big RAGMAG love for those of you who braved the streets to complete the trek. Sponsors of the Beirut Marathon 2012 included every major media outlet and a who’s who roster of local businesses. See you next year, runners! photography teddy habib

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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MIRROR, MIRROR

GETTING THE

STAR TREATMENT EXPERIENCE A HAMMAM IN BEIRUT BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

A TURKISH HAMMAM IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART: I ACTUALLY SAW MANY DEAD SKIN STRANDS FORM AFTER JUST A FEW SECONDS OF SCRUBBING

H

ave you ever been in a Turkish Hammam? If so, then you know how good you feel after you’ve been scrubbed and rubbed and showered, but being in the same room as five others isn’t the ideal scenario when you want to unwind. Kotch (pronounced coach), the new wellness center in Beirut, has thought this through. At the heart of this new concept, a personal training program: whether it’s for weight loss or a tone-up, the training professionals create a tailor-made fitness program depending on your body and needs. To the founders of Kotch, well-being doesn’t end there so they added a spa section and a hammam room for one. Located on the Charles Helou Avenue, Kotch is nested in an old red house. The center is divided in two spacious training areas, a rest lounge, a massage and nail care room, and finally, the hammam. I remove my clothes and dress in my bathing suit before entering what they call the “Steam Room”. My Turkish therapist can barely speak English or Arabic, but he manages to explain the steps of my shower treatment.

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GETTING THE STAR TREATMENT | EXPERIENCE A HAMMAM IN BEIRUT

BOTTOM OF PAGE: KOTCH SPA LOBBY OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: KOTCH SPA MASSAGE ROOM

Seating me on one side of the entirely tiled hammam room, my therapist begins by rinsing my body at my feet and moving upward. He then rinses my hair and asks me to lie down on the elevated tile bed. The steam is turned on and I expect it to be this thick unpleasant steam that messes with your relaxation by irritating your throat and eyes, but not at all. The hammam steam is thin and all but invasive. The rinsing continues for a few minutes before I feel a scrub applied on my feet. As I try and look at my therapist through the steam, in vain,

I DECIDE TO RELAX AND ENJOY THE FEELING OF BEING “DEEPLY CLEANED” I decide to relax and enjoy the feeling of being “deeply cleaned”. In fact, the heat in which the bather (me) bakes for a whole hour of hammam opens the pores of the skin and the scrub serves to remove the dead skin buildup. Later, a deep rinse removes all of the residue and the accumulated gunk.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

I am scrubbed up and down, in and out. After my feet, legs, arms and back, my therapist finishes up with my face and neck. The skin being thinner here, he uses a smoother scrubbing glove. He is gently rubbing my skin and doesn’t skip an inch, even managing to get behind my ears. It’s a relaxing mo-

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MIRROR, MIRROR

GETTING THE STAR TREATMENT | EXPERIENCE A HAMMAM IN BEIRUT

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: KOTCH SPA HAMMAM, KOTCH SPA MARSEILLES SOAPS, KOTCH SPA MASSAGE

ment and the scrubbing, even though it can get rough at times, is never unpleasant due to the elasticity of the skin encouraged by the heat. That being said, a Turkish hammam is not for the faint of heart: I actually saw many dead skin strands form after just a few seconds of scrubbing. After the rough part is through, you are rewarded: try and imagine yourself floating inside a fluffy cloud. That’s exactly the feeling you get when the therapist literally soaks your body in soap. He first dips a cloth that looks like a pillowcase in liquid soap and water before gently running it above my body, barely touching it. Then he twists it in a certain way, blowing up the pillowcase, before firmly deflating it, releasing a large amount of soap on your body. The therapist

repeats the process several times until my whole body is covered with soap and gently rubs it in for the last skin cleansing step of the hammam. My hair is also showered while I’m seated. My therapist dries my body with a towel before applying a body lotion, leaving me with this feeling you get after you have run a cross country race and taken both a shower and a bath. Only ten times better

TRY AND IMAGINE YOURSELF FLOATING INSIDE A FLUFFY CLOUD. THAT’S EXACTLY THE FEELING YOU GET WHEN THE THERAPIST LITERALLY SOAKS YOUR BODY IN SOAP

HE TWISTS IT IN A CERTAIN WAY, BLOWING UP THE PILLOWCASE, BEFORE FIRMLY DEFLATING IT, RELEASING A LARGE AMOUNT OF SOAP ON YOUR BODY

PLUS POINTS AT KOTCH • PERSONAL It’s all about you, but if you want to train with a friend, they have packages that allow you to do so. • DIRECTION The trainers use weights and several types of exercise instead of just leading you to a treadmill and leaving you to your own devices. • CONDUCT Getting a Turkish hammam is basically having one grown adult showering another grown adult. The practioner at Kotch maintained the comfort level via friendly yet professional vibe . GET ALL SHINY + NEW KOTCH Charles Helou Avenue, Port Highway 01 442 626 | www.kotch.me DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013 KotchMe @KotchLebanon

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MIRROR, MIRROR

TRIED, TESTED +TRUE LIQUID SMILE WHITENING PEN BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

I have never believed in any type of teeth whitening other than the medical laser one, administered at the dentist. It gives amazing results but it’s pricey and I always feel like it may be harmful to my teeth. I decided to try the newly distributed Liquid Smile Professional Whitening Pen for many reasons, not the least of which was its inoffensive look: a pen with two ends –one is a brush, the other is a twisting tip to release the whitening gel into the brush for easy application.

HOW TO

1. Brush + floss. Dry teeth with tissue. 2. Twist pen to activate gel onto brush. 3. Smile wide, keeping lips away from teeth. 4. Paint a thin layer to the front surface of the lips. Relax lips after 30 seconds. For optimal results, I should be applying the gel at night before sleeping and refrain from drinking coffee, dark liquids, and (obviously) smoking. Of course, I only follow the first piece of advice. Actually, saliva flow decreases at night, leaving the gel on my teeth longer and allowing it to work at full concentration. Simply put, the Liquid Smile pen works when its Hydrogen Peroxide formula turns into activated oxygen and water when in contact with the teeth. The chemical transformation removes the colour molecules of the stains on your teeth, therefore making them whiter. Indeed, as soon as I apply the gel and wait the required 30 seconds with my mouth open, I can witness the change myself: the gel turns whiter, gets slightly thicker and tiny bubbles appear on my teeth. Since the whitening activity of the gel occurs the first 15 minutes into its application, I am not allowed to drink any liquid for that period of time and I am pleasantly surprised as the very mild cola flavor doesn’t increase my salivation process. I also encounter no discomfort from the gel, which suggests it is definitely not harming my teeth.

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OUTCOME

The next morning, I don’t expect drastic results as this is a treatment suggested for 4 to 10 days. That being said, after the first application, my teeth don’t look whiter yet, but they definitely look cleaner. 4 days into the treatment, my teeth are half a shade whiter which is an exceptional result giving my unhealthy drinking and smoking habits.

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


KNOCKOUT

SMILE

BY MAKE UP FOR EVER GET THE PRETTIEST POUT AROUND Now you know how to get bright pearly whites and once you’ve got them, you need to frame them! In comes MAKE UP FOR EVER’s new AQUA ROUGE, available in 12 irresistible shades. Take your pick from Nude Beige, Rosewood, Chestnut, Beige brown, Pink brown, Red, Burgundy, Raspberry, Dark Raspberry, Purple, and Light Rosewood. We’ve chosen our top four holiday shades that work with most skin tones. Long-lasting and waterproof lipstick with high pigment colour also have the added impact of unstoppable shine. For those of you fretting about bleeding, the AQUA ROUGE has you covered: colour within the lines stays within the lines. If you were at the Abu Dhabi Film Fest, then you would have seen a few celebs sporting the MAKE UP FOR EVER RANGE.

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MIRROR, MIRROR

M.A.C. +CARINE ROITFELD THE BIGGEST NAMES IN THE BIZ COME OUT TO PLAY FOR THE COLLAB OF THE YEAR

Carine Roitfeld’s smoky eyes were all the rage, before, after, and during her 11 year stint as the Editor in Chief of Vogue Paris. Currently, M.A.C. has hooked up with Roitfeld to recreate her look, and voilà there you have the limited edition collection that fashion and beauty fans globally will be clamouring to snatch up.

WHAT’S WHAT The collection includes the Full Face Kit available in JUNGLE CAMOUFLAGE or DESERT CAMOUFLAGE. It’s jam packed with everything you need to approximate Carine’s look. Four Eye Shadows, Cremeblend Blush, Eye Brows in Brunette, Kohl Power Eye Pencil in “Feline”, Fluidline in “Blacktrack”, 49 Lash, Two Mascaras: Studio Fix Boldblack Lash and Zoomfast Black Lash.

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To get the full look, get the Tropical Mist Lipstick (it’s a sexy translucent nude), Face and Body Foundation in C4, Mineralize Concealer, Nail Lacquer in “Undercover Nude” or “Underfire Red”, and Brushes 266 (small angle), 275 (medium angle shading) and 191 (square foundation). Three things in this collection make our heart go pitter patter: Brow Set in “Clear”, the Good Luck Star, and the Eyelash Curler. The Brow Set is hands down one of the most useful products in any makeup collection and the eyelash curler is the trick to get your eyes properly framed. You’ll see us sporting the Good Luck Star this holiday season, especially since it’s this issue’s theme!

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THE SECRET LIFE OF

BEES GUERLAIN’S

ABEILLE ROYALE BY LESLIE IDDISON

This innovative concoction blends scientific research with the height of luxury skincare. This serum focuses on the presence of micro-tears: tiny fissures that can be identified on the skin’s elastin fibers. These little rips weaken the elastin, causing the dermis to “sink in” resulting in localized reduction of substance or density. This leaves your skin creased and weakened. These microtears are the result of tissue damage produced by internal tension and stress, to which the skin is subjected every day. With the passage of time, the skin can no longer repair itself as effectively on its own. It is less able to “heal” its internal microdamage: wrinkles and loss of firmness settle in. This concentrate by Guerlain Research is a blend of exclusive elements that stimulate the skins natural self-repairing mechanisms. And if you didn’t guess from the name, you can thank bees for this decadent mixture; the serum uses three exclusive honey extracts and pure royal jelly.

DEMONSTRATED RESULTS •The skin regains its substance, feeling firmer and more dense •Wrinkles and deep creases are smoothed •The skin is given a visible lift, restoring the smooth contours of the face Dispense two pumps from the dropper into the palm of your hand. Apply to your face and throat in smooth sweeping motions, morning and night.

THE BEE

A GUERLAIN EMBLEM SINCE 1828

1828 Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain makes the bee his trademark. 1840 Guerlain creates “Almond and Honey Paste” as skincare and other products using honey. 1853 Guerlain dedicates the Eau de Cologne Impériale to Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. The bottle was decorated with gold-lacquered bees, symbols of the Empire. From that point on, he became the Royal supplier and appointed perfumer of the great European courts.

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MIRROR, MIRROR

A QUARTER

OF A CENTURY OF

IMPACT GUERLAIN MÉTÉORITES

HAUTE BEAUTÉ THROUGHOUT HISTORY

Created in 1987, Guerlain Météorites, are still one of the top selling products in the upscale cosmetics market. Rather than use conventional loose powder, these delicately scented, soft, multi-coloured pearls are a global makeup phenomenon. A mutlihued product, Guerlain has combined the different colours to create the ideal complexion: pink to add freshness, green to diminish redness, white for a brighter complexion, mauve to reflect light, gold and pearl to add luminosity and a perfect touch of radiance. Météorites are also mattifying and have customized corrective action. Météorites Perles are available in 5 formats: “Blanc de Perle”, “Harmonie Teint Rosé, “Harmonie Teint Beige” and “Harmonie Teint Doré”. This year Météorites turns 25!

STAR PRODUCT MÉTÉORITES VOYAGE

A pressed powder compact made of the blend of six corrective and light-enhancing colours to help you achieve a radiant complexion. Three corrective colours: green to cancel out redness, mauve to brighten, and pink to give your skin a pick me up. Three light-enhancing colours: white to enhance, champagne to reflect light and rose-gold to unify an olive skintone and warm-up a fair skintone. Girls on the go will want to pick up the light-weight Météorites Travel Touch, a no fuss and no muss solution.

HOW-TO GLOW LIKE A PRO Using a brush, apply the Météorites Voyage powder to entire face with circular movements, focusing on the curves of the face, to catch the light. For evening, maximize the illuminating effect by applying Météorites Perles all over the décolleté.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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The Phoenicia Beirut invites you to celebrate this festive season with glamour and style with a memorable stay and a rich program of entertainment and fine dining. Please contact our sales team to ask about our events and request our festive brochure. Tel: + 961 1 369100 email: phoenicia@phoeniciabeirut.com

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MIRROR, MIRROR

SEASON’S BEST

FRAGRANCES THE HOUSE OF GUERLAIN THIS YEAR, DAZZLE THE PEOPLE ON YOUR LIST WITH TRULY EXCEPTIONAL FRAGRANCE DEVELOPED BY GUERLAIN

GUERLAIN L’HEURE BLEUE 100TH BIRTHDAY EDITION BY BACCARAT AND GRIPOIX

Created in 1912 “L’heure Bleue” has notes of carnation, neroli, bergamot, aniseed and a powdery hint of iris and violet. The end drydown is sensual vanilla, benzoin and tonka bean. For this fragrance’s 100th anniversary, master glassmakers Baccarat and couture jeweller Gripoix teamed up to reinterpret Guerlain’s iconic “Quadrilobé” bottle, originally designed in 1908 for the fragrance “Rue de la Paix”. L’Heure Bleue is presented in a black leather box, and is hand-blown, cut, polished and engraved. The 490ml bottle’s Gripoix’s neckpiece consists of a “spray of violets made of crystalline glass paste set in fine 24-karat gold”. Meant to suggest a cloak of stars twinkling in the twilight, you cannot find a more romantic gift.

HABIT ROUGE TRAVEL EDITION Created in 1965, “Habit Rouge” by Guerlain was the first woody and spicy oriental. The historic advertising campaign for the original Habit Rouge is still one of the most impactful in history: a variety of images depict a mounted rider, in blurred lines, or attired in a red jacket with a black lapel and wearing a riding hat, allowing us to imagine its origins in a sport characterized by strict and stylish codes. For the Travel Edition made available this holiday season, the clean-lined glass bottle is enveloped in a topstitched travelling coat reminiscent of a saddlecloth, elegantly set off with a leather label.

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MIRROR, MIRROR

ONE

ENCHANTED

EVENING ÉCLATS DU SOIR DE CHANEL

Think Christmas and late night dinners. Think New Year’s eve, just as the clock strikes midnight. Think eveningwear with a side of champagne and caviar. Your ensembles for the multitude of holiday outings are meticulously prepared, and now you’ve found the colour collection to go with it. Éclats du Soir de Chanel has brought the majesty back to night makeup again with Creative Director of Chanel Makeup Peter Philips at the helm. “Rouge Noir”, long a Chanel favorite, has been reinvented for 2012’s evening soirées with touches of gold and bronze. The staple product in this exquisite lineup? Stylo Yeux Waterproof in “Grenat”.

LIP LOCK

When choosing lipstick versus gloss for evening, it’s important to figure out what look you’re going for before settling on a texture. Éclats du Soir de Chanel gives you the choice between matte lipstick and shiny gloss. Rouge Allure in “Velvet L’Impatiente” is part of the “rouge noir” look with a matte and luminous texture, and an intensity of colour. Meant to be matched to this season’s winner: Le Vernis in “Malice”, a truly striking shade of deep red-black laden with a delicate shimmer. For the gloss addicts, Chanel’s Lèvres Scintillantes is part of the Éclats du Soir in 3 shades: “Allégorie” transparent pink highlighted with silver, “Mystery” fresh pink, and “Intrigue” reddish-brown, to accentuate the natural colour of the lip.

ALL EYES ON ME

Look lively gals, we’re about to show you some true colour. Eyes have never had it so luxe.

HARMONIE DU SOIR QUAD

This palette contains 4 eyeshadows with high pigment levels to deposit pure and radiant colour. The collection’s exclusive creation, the 4 shades are a deep golden bronze, a plum red, a smoky taupe and a soft pink. Each eyeshadow is quilted to resemble a Chanel suit button and is stamped with the House emblem, a double “C”. Use this palette in a multitude of colour combinations, depending on your look, you’ll want to maximize the gold for the holidays.

OMBRES CONTRASTE DUO IN “NUIT-CLAIRE”

The classic duo of Nuit-Claire is perfect not just for the holidays but year-round. A deep black with reflective light shimmer is paired with iridescent beige. Use the former across the lid in varying degrees of intensity and the latter to highlight and add luminosity where needed. Black shadows are often used by makeup artists in lieu of liquid liner- allowing for a deeper and smokier eye in addition to filling in eyelash gaps.

ILLUSION D’OMBRE IN “APPARENCE”

This long-wearing eyeshadow presents ultra-shimmering shades of gold and bronze. Drawing on the inspiration of precious materials, Illusion d’Ombre is a cream-powder texture and should be applied in a translucent layer across the lid. 90 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


FLAWLESS FACE

This season, put Chanel’s complexion range on your must-have list. The Poudre Univerelle Libre in “Rêverie” is a translucent setting powder with a mixture of fine gold and silver particles. For your glow? Nothing but Joues Contraste in “Star Dust” will do. It’s flecked with iridescent gold for a subtle holiday sparkle.

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MIRROR, MIRROR

THE ONLY NUMBER YOU NEED CHANEL N°5 The holiday season is generally the time when symbols of true luxury and elegance come into play. This is certainly the case with Chanel’s limited edition seasonal collection for the cult-inspiring N°5. Since its inception, the fragrance that Coco Chanel describes as “a woman’s fragrance that smells like a woman”, is now available in two completely new formats: the 200ml Eau de Parfum and the fine bath soap, done in a retro curve shape reminiscent of the House’s earlier pieces. The hallmarked soap in the delicate shade of May Rose is perfect as both a gift for your loved one who appreciates fine scent and quality or as a little reward for you to ring in the New Year. The newest edition of the soap line, originally created in 1943, the N°5 bathsoap is presented on a translucent soap holder with the CHANEL insignia. Chanel fans, did you know the N°5 bottle is reflective of Coco’s view of Place Vendôme from the balcony of her suite at the Ritz? How very appropriate.

CUE THE MAESTRO

Master Perfumer, Jacques Polge, the creator of CHANEL Fragrances, describes N°5 as “an olfactory symphony played by a grand orchestra, with Ylang Ylang at the organ, Jasmine from Grasse at the violin and May Rose at the piano. The Aldehydes amplify the melodic line to the point of abstraction, creating the perfect harmony of the score.” The Eau de Parfum was developed in 1986 by Jacques Polge, as a fuller version of the scent. It’s brighter with citrus top notes and has a touch of vanilla in the base notes. TOP NOTES Tunisian Neroli Ylang Ylang from the Comoros Aldehydes MIDDLE NOTES Rose Absolute Jasmine Absolute BASE NOTES Sandalwood Bourbon Vetiver Bourbon Vanilla

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L’EXTRAIT THE ABSOLUTE PERFUME BY CHANEL Since 1921, the pure parfum has been the most sought-after piece in any collection of haute beauté. Created by Ernest Beaux, parfum versions of any fragrance are rare and often become collector items. The N°5 Parfum by Chanel is “composed with two exclusive raw materials: Jasmine from Grasse and May Rose”. N°5 PARFUM is presented in 7.5ml, 15ml, and 30ml formats.

TOP NOTES

Neroli from Grasse Ylang Ylang from the Comoros Aldehydes

MIDDLE NOTES May Rose Absolute

Grasse Jasmine Absolute

BASE NOTES Sandalwood Bourbon Vetiver Bourbon Vanilla

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OUT+ABOUT

STARS

COME OUT

AT NIGHT OOH LA LA LOPEZ JLO IN DUBAI!

The people at Done Events in the United Arab Emirates really know how to get a crowd screaming for more: JLo took center stage at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre! There wasn’t a calm face to be found in the thousands of people who showed up to see the Puerto Rican’s shimmy and shake. A few elements of surprise in the audio-visual realm caught the crowd off guard and gave the popstar the proper fanfare she’s known for. The La Lopez dancers, including boyfriend Casper Smart, wowed the crowd with a Michael Jackson style routine and even hoisted the Latina in the air, creating a human bridge! JLo talked about her obsession with finding love and even alluded to her fraught-with-controversy breakup with Latin megastar Marc Anthony. After the show, JLo made a brief appearance at the White X Beach Lounge situated at Rixos The Palm with Smart, lounging for a while before disappearing. The November 22nd concert was a completely sold out event and marks the first in series by Done Events to be followed by their December 8 Katy Perry and Usher double night in honour of the World Parachuting Championships. If you’re a rocker, then you’ll want to see Done Events bring the Stone Roses in February 2013 to Dubai as well!

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DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

Keep Yourself in the Loop www.doneevents.com www.ragmag.co DoneEvents @DoneEvents|

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IMAGES OF JENNIFER LOPER AND CASPER SMART ARE COURTESY OF PING DUBAI. CHECK OUT COMPREHENSIVE IMAGE AND VIDEO COVERAGE OF THE BIGGEST EVENTS AROUND ON PING DUBAI’S PLATFORMS!

@PingDubai

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NEW + NOW

WELL WORTH IT Dewar’s hosted a trade dinner at Abdel Wahab restaurant announcing the launch of its nationwide “Worth Doing” movement- dedicated to bringing awareness and a revival of Lebanese culture. The “Worth Doing” campaign blends the history and values of Dewar’s that are founded on 160 years of knowledge and tradition. True to its values, the Dewar’s “Worth Doing” movement is dedicated to reviving various aspects of Lebanese culture such as architecture, music, books, cinema, arts and design, which shape the identity of both the present and future. Recently launched via a Facebook page platform, the campaign invites people to post pictures, engage in dialogue, and to actively speak up about national heritage. The “Revived Heritage” tab on the page is devoted to pictures that showcase revived landmarks, people of note and all the things that make Lebanese culture what it is today. Dewar’s also created the “Endangered Heritage” tab as a call to action and awareness about endangered old houses in the country which can still be salvaged and renewed. The Dewar’s “Worth Doing” campaign then evolved into a television spot that featured a man refurbishing and reviving his old home, from the books to the music and the space. The film urged the public to advocate the movement and aimed to inspire consumers to identify what they believe is “worth doing”. For added inspiration, the movement has brought together three prominent cultural figures to drive the message forward and encourage public engagement: Marcel Ghanem, Roger Moukarzel and Jean-Marie Riachi. By working with a variety of partners and community groups, Dewar’s hope to ensure the survival of our heritage and support community action.

ROVING EYE Land Rover has given the LR2 a premium overhaul, delivering even better comfort, convenience and driving enjoyment. New colours, new exterior design features, upgraded equipment levels and the new lightweight and efficient petrol engine all contribute to make this SUV even better. Interior equipment levels soar to new heights in the LR2 with a host of fresh and exciting features including three new colour ways as part of a “Dynamic” theme, brand new centre console, 7-inch colour touch-

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screen with enhanced audio systems from Meridian and upgraded satellite navigation. Exterior design details have been revamped for an integrated and co-ordinated appearance, including more contemporary lights using the latest LED technology. The exciting news on the engine front is that the six-cylinder Si6 petrol is replaced by the turbocharged Si4, four-cylinder engine. Essentially the same engine used in the Range Rover Evoque, this lightweight Si4 produces more power than the Si6 yet is

more economical and sees a 14 percent reduction in CO2 to 224g/km. “The LR2’s equipment levels bring a more premium look and feel to the overall driving experience,” says John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. The LR2 scores 5 stars in the coveted Euro NCAP for occupant safety. As the most capable SUV in its class, the LR2 offers the durability and sure-footed all-terrain breadth of capability both on and off road that only a Land Rover can provide.

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SKY IS THE LIMIT

Heineken proudly hosted the avant-premiere of “Skyfall” on October 24th, the 23rd adventure of James Bond 007 in the longest-running film franchise of all time. As the main sponsor of the film, Heineken paid tribute to its ongoing partnership with the franchise and to this year’s milestone “50 years of James Bond”. The event was held at Grand Cinemas, ABC Dbayeh, where hundreds of lucky ticket winners, as well as Heineken’s own VIP guests, were privy to an open bar of Heineken’s Extra Cold draught and open food. Classic bond theme songs played as guests eagerly anticipated the showing only one day after the movie’s London red carpet premiere and one week before its worldwide release. Brasserie Almaza’s marketing director Mayssam Badri welcomed the crowd and remarked “It’s about time Bond swaps his old fashioned Vodka martini for a pint of Heineken, he’s an Englishman after all!” Heineken’s newly released must-see commercial “The Express” was also featured at the event, starring Daniel Craig as 007 and his beautiful new Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe. Once in the theatres, guests were prompted to “look under their seats” and went home with Heineken goodie bags to mark the occasion.

TIME TRAVEL In homage to Daniel Jeanrichard, held to be one of the founders of the watch industry in the Neuchâtel region, the 1681 collection is named after the year when Daniel Jeanrichard’s first watch was made. It reinterprets the history of traditional watchmaking in a contemporary style which, as the original watchmaker insisted, permits no compromise, either technical or aesthetic. Daniel Jeanrichard was born at the end of the 17th century at Bressel, in the Sagne Valley, and was initiated into fine mechanics at a very early age. By chance, he was brought a watch to repair. He studied this timepiece diligently and closely, took it to pieces and decided to make a copy. It was his first contact with watchmaking, which was rapidly to turn from fascination to a passion. Entirely self-taught, he subsequently began working on other timepieces. Little by little, he acquired the mastery of the technical operations needed to produce these creations. In 1692, he was described for the first time as a “master watchmaker”, the first in the region. In 1701 he employed his first apprentices, thus establishing the foundations of a regional tradition that survives to this day and finds its incarnation in the 1681 collection. These 1681 watches are “timepieces”, conserving the expertise inherited from the pioneers of watchmaking. Their hours advance at the rhythm of an automatic movement, the famous JR1000, developed by JEANRICHARD in 2004 after 4 years of research and development. In an effort to be environmentally responsible JEANRICHARD has developed packaging that clientele of the 1681 watch will enjoy using again.

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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NEW + NOW

STEP IN TIME On October 8th November, Sundial Ltd., sole distributors for Casio G-Shock and Baby-G watches in Lebanon, and under the patronage of Casio Timepiece Division, Tokyo, held their first Casio Timepiece Dealer Conference in Lebanon, at the Le Royal Hotel in Dbayeh. The conference began at with an

exposé by Casio Timepiece regional manager for the Middle East, Mr. Tsuneo Nagai, on the history of G-Shock watches and the future direction for the five flagship brands of Casio: G-Shock, Baby-G, Edifice, Protrek and Sheen. This was followed by a brief market survey and felicitations for dealer sales

achievements, by Sundial Ltd. CEO, Mr. Magdi Hallak. After the conference, the custombuilt G-Factory shop was unveiled, exposing the 5 flagship brands, for the benefit of the media and dealer guests. The conference ended with the guests being treated to an open buffet dinner, at the hotel restaurant.

Against Breast Cancer”. A contest was held to increase awareness- participants could head to any Promod store in Lebanon, take a photo of themselves in front of the store and send it to Hayatouki’s team to upload it in a specific album on their Facebook page and enter a draw to win. The lucky winner was Diana Garabedjian who won a voucher of $150 from Promod. All women are at

risk for breast cancer, and with age, risk increases. In Lebanon, researchers estimate around 1750 women are diagnosed yearly with breast cancer and 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at some time in her life. Woman above 35 years of age are encouraged to practise vigilance and undergo mammograms and monthly home breast self-exams.

PINK PARADE During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Promod-Lebanon and Hayatouki joined their efforts to launch a nationwide Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative in all Promod locations: Beirut Souks, Kaslik, Le Mall Dbayeh, Le Mall Saida, Le Mall Sin el Fil, and Tripoli. Pink ribbons were distributed to all customers in order to raise and enhance awareness and promote yearly prevention tests, show support towards breast cancer patients and spread awareness about the importance of breast cancer early detection. The awareness campaign aimed also to sustain loyal customers aged over 35, to sponsor local events to support breast cancer patients and to drive traffic to the stores. The Awareness Initiative was also promoted through various outlets such as window wrapping, stop sign in front of each shop and communication inside the shop bearing the campaign tagline “Together

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SAVORY SESSION A LABEL 5 WHISKY TASTING SEMINAR WITH MASTER BLENDER CHARLES MACLEAN

The leading consumer goods distribution company in Lebanon, G. Vincenti & Sons hosted a Label 5 aged 12 years Extra Premium Scotch Whisky tasting session at the Ayyam Gallery in Beirut Tower, Downtown. Scottish writer, whisky ambassador, consultant and master blender Mr. Charles MacLean and Area Manager of La Martiniquaise, Mr. David Rieu, were invited to reveal the secrets of whisky blending, distilling, fermentation and more, taking the guests on a journey to the very heart of the whisky industry. Mr. MacLean has published 13 books to date, including the standard work on whisky brands, Scotch whisky and the leading book on its subject, Malt Whisky, both of which were short-listed for Glenfiddich Awards. The guest list included media representatives, VIPs and whiskey lovers, who enjoyed savouring the different whiskeys offered at the event including Label 5 aged 12 years Extra Premium Scotch Whisky. They also took home a bottle of Label 5 aged 12 years whisky, along with a certificate of the successful completion of the Label 5 Whisky Tasting Session. LABEL 5 is renowned worldwide for its high quality and appreciated for its distinctive and authentic flavours, and as one of the best Scotch whisky brands globally, it is sold in more than 100 countries.

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

SOLAR SYSTEM

TAG Heuer TAKING THE FINAL FRONTIER TEST

If there is one thing RAGMAG loves, it’s space and science. Now pair that with horlogerie and you’ve got a winning combination. A bit of background for all you space-racers: The United States space program, code-named “Project Mercury” aimed at orbiting the earth kicked off on February 20, 1962, with Astronaut John Glenn piloting the Friendship 7 Spacecraft for three orbits of the earth. This came hot on the heels on the former U.S.S.R’s pioneer orbit the year before. On Glenn’s triple-orbit flight, one of his key pieces of equipment was a Heuer 2915A stopwatch. NASA had fitted the timepiece with a custom-made elastic band and strapped it to Glenn’s wrist, becoming the first Swiss timepiece in outer space. You can see John Glenn’s timepiece at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C., with a replica on display at TAG Heuer’s 360° Museum in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland.

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THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION TAG HEUER CARRERA CALIBRE 1887 SPACEX CHRONOGRAPH In honour of the 50th anniversary of the first Swiss watchmaker in Space and the first successful SpaceX mission to the International Space Station (ISS), TAG Heuer launches the Limited Edition TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph. Drawing on the spirit of John’s Glenn’s Heuer stopwatch, the Carrera case design is reinterpreted for 2012 with a stainless steel case. Bringing together the past and the future of space travel is the graphic at the 9 o’clock register that shows the lettering “1962-2012” and below that an image of the SpaceX Falcon 9 second stage and Dragon spacecraft in low Earth orbit. On the opposite side of the dial is the TAG Heuer logo and the lettering “First Swiss Watch in Space”. A limited edition of 2012 pieces have been made available, each

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individually numbered and engraved. When SpaceX made its record-breaking visit to the ISS in May 2012, the capsule took along the Carrera SpaceX Chronograph, marking the 50th anniversary of TAG Heuer being the first Swiss timepiece in Space and providing the ultimate test for TAG Heuer’s manufacture Calibre 1887 movement. After returning to Earth, it underwent a full series of tests to measure resistance to G-forces experienced during launch, rendezvous with the Space Station, re-entry and landing. With all functions operating normally, the trip to the stars demonstrates the reliability and accuracy of TAG Heuer’s Calibre 1887 movement under the most extreme conditions imaginable. Get yours before they’re gone!

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elie saab f/w 2012/2013

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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tory burch erica sequined mesh peplum top piaget haute joaillerie reem acra ss 2013

GOLD MINE

oscar de la renta 24-karat gold-plated ring

versace vanitas white watch

SNAKE ALONG

roberto cavalli gold-plated swarovski crystal snake bracelet

TAKE ME TO THE BALL

alexander mcqueen angel silk-jacquard dress

karl amber crystal and bead-embellished cotton collar

IN CHAINS

jimmy choo chandra chain-embellished metallic suede clutch

balenciaga ss 2013

christian louboutin very richie 120 swarovski crystal suede pumps Derek Lam Sequined cropped brocade pants

CONSTELLATION DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

emilio pucci crystalembellished star ring

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DECKED+ DRAPED

SPUR OF THE

PINKY SWEAR

chanel j12 chromatic powder-pink dial

piaget haute joaillerie

massimo dutti combined grey fur jacket

saint laurent ss 2013

salvatore ferragamo fw 2012/2013

tory burch abitha embellished wool and silk sweater

HEAR ME OUT

piaget haute joaillerie

stella mccartney iris wool-twill blazer

METAL MADE

WIND THIS WAY

versace twotone ring with embellishment

roberto cavalli sequinembellished mid-rise skinny jeans

givenchy boot

saint laurent arum lily gold-plated bracelet

tod’s for ferrari footwear

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stella mccartney falabella bouclĂŠtweed clutch

christian louboutin daffodile 160 suede platform pump THE LODESTAR ISSUE


salvatore ferragamo fw 2012/2013

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carolina herrera fw 2012/2013

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piaget haute joaillerie

tory burch brady printed fine-knit wool cardigan

CASUAL fw 2012/1013 burberry prorsum

HATS OFF

gucci leathertrimmed felt trilby

fw 2012/1013 dsquared2 valentino leather bow belt

iwc schaffhausen portuguese automatic edition dragon year

FREEWHEELING

sarah’s bag

burberry prorsum ruffled tweed skirt

YON SLEEPING SCOTSMAN

miu miu belted split-back wool sweater

alexander mcqueen tartan wool pants

SUEDE SAVVY

acne ace leather and suede ankle boots

gucci perforated leather skinny belt

HANDS DOWN

tory burch show gloves rockport shoes available at gs carolina herrera bag for men

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STARMAN Timothy

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This ain’t no David Bowie song, this is the newest addition to Lebanon’s design scene. With the collaboration of Lebanon’s Galerie Vanlian, Timothy Oulton opened his first Middle East showroom in Beirut. Furniture, bedding and lighting are displayed in the 375m square location, vibrant with eclectic items mixing vintage and modern styles. We set our heart on the Metro Room concept: a sophisticated lounge area design, combining classic finishes and detailing with 1940s industrial dark and polished pieces. The World Traveller Room features vintage trunks and travel memorabilia evoking an era of sea voyages. One exceptional item from the new Timothy Oulton showroom? The Saddle Chair. Inspired by a traditional horse saddle, this hand-finished and handstitched leather and wood piece with actual stirrups on each side is a statement on its own. www.timothyoulton.com

TimothyOulton

@TimothyOulton

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STARRY NIGHT THE ALLURE OF

SKYWARD ASCENSION STARRING PIERRETTE KATRIB

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ODETTE KAHWAGI ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHER ALEXANDRA KAHWAGI STYLED BY JONY MATTA MAKEUP BY ELIE ESTEPHAN HAIR BY ROGER GABRIEL D E C E M B E R -2 0J A1 2 N U- AJ RA YN U 2A 0R 12 Y 2013

DRESSED BY RAMI KADI ACCENTED BY SWAROVSKI

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

RAGMAG

RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR WOMEN

ALBERTA FERRETTI FW 2012/2013

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THE LODESTAR ISSUE


EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

RAGMAG

RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR MEN

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER FW 2012/2013

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RAGMAG

HOLIDAY

GIFT GUIDE THE ULTIMATE YULETIDE

SELECTION FOR HIM + HER 128 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

SINCE WE ALL SUDDENLY RUN OUT OF IDEAS AROUND THE HECTIC HOLIDAY SEASON, RAGMAG HAS COMPILED A SELECTION OF OUR BEST BETS FOR GIFTS THAT WILL PLEASE THE LOVED ONES ON YOUR LIST. WE’VE SELECTED A RANGE OF FINE QUALITY GOODS INCLUDING ELECTRONICS, COSMETICS, APPAREL, AND CULTURE MATERIALS SO THAT YOU HAVE A WIDE BEVY OF CHOICES TO PICK FROM WHEN MAKING YOUR SHOPPING LIST. SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM US TO YOU!

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


RAGMAG

01. BANDSTAND

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

THE BEATLES’ VINYL BOXSET WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS RELEASE FOREVER, AND IT’S FINALLY OUT: THE BEATLES’ 14 ORIGINAL STUDIO ALBUM REMASTERED ON 180GRAM VINYL. THE ALBUMS ARE SOLD INDIVIDUALLY, BUT WE LIKE THE 50,000 LIMITED EDITION BOX WITH THE 252PAGE HARDBOUND BOOK FEATURING PHOTOGRAPHS AND INFORMATION ABOUT EACH DISC.

02. FRONT ROW

COLDPLAY LIVE 2012

GET YOUR HARDCORE FAN-FRIEND COLDPLAY’S FIRST CONCERT FILM AND LIVE ALBUM IN NINE YEARS THAT DOCUMENTS THEIR “MYLO XYLOTO” WORLD TOUR– SEEN BY MORE THAN 3 MILLION PEOPLE SINCE JUNE 2011. AVAILABLE IN DVD/CD, BLU-RAY AND DIGITAL FORMAT.

03. SURROUND SOUND BRIT FLOYD CONCERT TICKETS FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR, THE OFFICIAL PINK FLOYD TRIBUTE BAND, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PARTY MAVERICKS AT POLIAKOV VODKA LEBANON, WILL PERFORM IN LEBANON ON DECEMBER 22ND. GET 2 TICKETS BEFORE THEY SELL OUT AND TAKE YOUR BESTIE TO SEE “A FOOT IN THE DOOR”! GREAT AUDIO AND VISUAL PERFORMANCE. TICKETS AVAILABLE AT ALL VIRGIN MEGASTORE BRANCHES.

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RAGMAG

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

04.

TECH TIME BANG & OLUFSEN BEOPLAY A8 FOR ALMOST A CENTURY NOW, PEOPLE HAVE GONE TO THE DANISH EXPERTS OF SOUND FOR THE COOLEST HIGH TECH PIECES IN TERMS OF QUALITY AND DESIGN. AVAILABLE IN BLACK AND WHITE AT THE B&O STORE IN DOWNTOWN BEIRUT, THE BEOPLAY A8, AN MP3 SPEAKER DOCK WITH AN IPHONE5 DOCK CONNECTOR, HAS A WALL AND CORNER SOUND SETTING FOR AN OPTIMIZED SOUND PERFORMANCE.

05.

PICTURE PERFECT LEICA X2 EDITION PAUL SMITH CAMERA LIMITED TO 1,500 UNITS AND DESIGNED BY FASHION DESIGNER PAUL SMITH, THE BEAUTIFULLY STYLED LEICA X2 FEATURES AN APS-C FORMAT, PROFESSIONAL CMOS IMAGE SENSOR WITH 16.5 MEGAPIXELS, NUMEROUS SETTING OPTIONS FROM FULL MANUAL CONTROL TO AUTOMATIC FUNCTIONS.

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RAGMAG

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

06. NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT TAG HEUER MERIDIIST SAPPHIRE SPECIAL EDITION 1860

TRANSLATING HOROLOGY CRAFTSMANSHIP TO MOBILE COMMUNICATION TOOLS MEANS YOU END UP WITH THIS SLEEK, SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL CONSTRUCTED CELL PHONE. GET YOUR HANDS ON ONE BEFORE THE LIMITED 1860 PIECES SELL OUT!

07.

AYO TECHNOLOGY SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB2 OUT OF ALL THE NEW TABLET LAUNCHES, WE’RE KEEN ON THE GALAXY TAB2 BY SAMSUNG. IT HAS EVERYTHING: AN 8GB MEMORY, A 7.0” PLS LCD CAPACITIVE TOUCH SCREEN, A 3.15MP CAMERA, SMILE DETECTION AND BASICALLY EVERYTHING YOUR TECHIE COULD WANT IN ONE DEVICE. FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS GOOD DEED, UPLOAD YOUR PICTURE ON CTC/ SAMSUNG’S FACEBOOK PAGE- THEY’LL DONATE $1 TO NGO ANTA AKHI SAMSUNGCTC

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RAGMAG

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

08. LEAVING ON A JET PLANE LUGGAGE TAGS BY ALBER ELBAZ FOR LANVIN

09.

IN CELEBRATION OF ALBER ELBAZ’S 10 YEARS OF DESIGNING FOR LANVIN, THE HOUSE HAS CREATED A SERIES OF ACCESSORIES. OUR FAVORITE? THE WHIMSICAL SKETCHED “FACES” LUGGAGE TAGS! GET THEM FOR THE LOVED ONE IN YOUR LIFE THAT’S ALWAYS ON THE MOVE. THEY’LL EVEN MAKE IT EASIER TO FIND SUITCASES AT THE AIRPORT!

IN THE BAG SARAH’S BAG SARAH’S BAG NEVER FAIL TO SURPRISE US WITH EVERY NEW LAUNCH AND THEIR CHRISTMAS COLLECTION MAKES NO EXCEPTION. WE LIKE THE ENVY SUMMER TWIST AND THE MANHATTAN SUMMER TWIST, BOTH IN GREY WITH EXTENSIVE HAND BEADED DETAIL. IT’S ALWAYS HARD TO FIND AN EVENING BAG IN JUST THE RIGHT SHADE THAT GOES WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING, AND SARAH’S BAG HAS NAILED IT.

10. CAST IN STONE

SATISH BY ROULA DFOUNI MADE OF UNCUT AND UNPOLISHED BLACK AND WHITE OXIDIZED SILVER, USING COLOURED AND BLACK ROUGH TOURMALINE, THE SATISH COLLECTION BY ROULA DFOUNI IS THE RIGHT GIFT FOR THE OUT-OFTHE-BOX THINKER ON YOUR LIST. IT’S ROUGH AND UNUSUAL, JUST THE WAY WE LIKE IT.

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RAGMAG

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

11. LITTLE LADY

MUKHI SISTERS LADYBUG EARRINGS GET THESE UNUSUAL LADYBUGS FROM THE MUKHI SISTERS “BABY ROCKS” COLLECTION. TARGETED AT KIDDIES AND MADE OF GOLD WITH ENAMEL, WE THINK THEY’RE COOL ENOUGH TO WEAR OUT ON THE TOWN FOR ADULTS TOO. AVAILABLE IN 4 COLOURS: PINK, BLUE, GREEN, AND RED.

12. PRETTY LITTLE THINGS

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO MINIATURE PREZIOSE PENDANTS SALVATORE FERRAGAMO JEWELS ADDS THREE NEW PENDANTS TO THE “MINIATURE PREZIOSE” COLLECTION, INSPIRED BY FOOTWEAR CREATED BY THE DESIGNER FROM THE ‘30S TO THE ‘60S FOR WOMEN LIKE MARILYN MONROE AND CARMEN MIRANDA. THE DESIGNS IN GOLD AND DIAMONDS ARE WHIMSICAL, ADORABLE AND STILL MANAGE TO BE ELEGANT.

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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

13.

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON COFFRET BLEU + PYJAMA BLEU BY LANVIN FOR DAYTIME, WE LIKE THE BLUE LANVIN BOXED SET WITH A BLACK CALFSKIN BELT THAT YOU CAN ADJUST AND PERSONALIZE WITH THE INTERCHANGEABLE BUCKLES. AN ESSENTIAL IN ANY MAN’S WARDROBE! WHEN THE NIGHT HAS COME, SLIP ON THESE SILK PAJAMAS. AVAILABLE IN MIDNIGHT BLUE WITH BEIGE, FIR GREEN OR AUBERGINE PIPING.

14.

CITY SMART MINI BY PUMA COLLECTION COMBINING DESIGN AND FUNCTIONALITY, MINI AND PUMA COLLABORATE TO BRING THE PERFECT GIFT FOR PEOPLE ALWAYS ON THE MOVE. WE LIKE THE SPORTY YET ELEGANT BLACK LEATHER EFFECT BAGS, SUITABLE FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.

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RAGMAG

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

15.

SPEED OF LIGHT ADIDAS ORIGINALS BY PORSCHE DESIGN IMAGINE TOP QUALITY ADIDAS PRODUCTS PAIRED WITH ICONIC PORSCHE ELEMENTS: GET THE ADIDAS ORIGINALS BY PORSCHE DESIGN COLLECTION! ANY PIECE FROM THIS STELLAR RANGE WILL MAKE THE FITNESS CRACKHEAD ON YOUR LIST HAPPY, BUT WE ARE BIG FANS OF THE TRENDY PORSCHE 917 SHOE. IT’S INSPIRED BY THE CAR’S REAR ENGINE WITH THE LEATHER STRIPS AND THE TOUCH OF RED ON THE TONGUE.

16.

OUTSTANDING OUTERWEAR MEN’S SPECIAL EDITIONS BY ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA WE LIKE THE GIFT SELECTION FOR MEN BY ITALIAN DESIGNER ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA. COMBINING FINE LEATHER, CASHMERE, SILK AND SILVER, THEY CATER TO THE ELEGANT MEN ON YOUR LIST. THE BLACK LEATHER GLOVES ARE BOTH USEFUL AND ATTRACTIVE AND CAN BE WORN BOTH WITH DRESS AND REGULAR COATS. THE ENTIRE COLLECTION IS EASY TO MATCH AND GIVES GREAT LONGEVITY, A COLLECTION OF GIFTS THAT LAST.

17.

LET’S GET GOING! TUMI SPECIAL EDITION ALPHA BRAVO CAFÉ FOR THE JETSETTER ON YOUR LIST, TUMI HAS ISSUED 2 SPECIAL EDITIONS: THE BRAVO KNOX BACKPACK AND THE BRAVO EVERETT ESSENTIAL TOTE. EVERYONE, AND WE REALLY MEAN EVERYONE, SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE TUMI PIECE IF THEY TRAVEL MORE THAN THREE TIMES A YEAR. MAKE THEIR TRAVEL TIME BETTER WITH TUMI’S ROOMYINTERIORS AND DURABLE EXTERIORS. A GUARANTEED WIN.

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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

18. TREMENDOUS TIPPLE POMMERY CHAMPAGNE

BRING ONE OF OUR TWO VRANKEN POMMERY CHAMPAGNE FAVORITES TO YOUR CHRISTMAS DINNER. POMMERY PRESENTS SEASONAL CHAMPAGNE AND WE’VE CHOSEN WINTERTIME BLANC DE NOIRS TO PAIR WITH TRADITIONAL WINTER MEALS BY A WARM FIREPLACE. GO WITH THE GOLD POP VINTAGE 2002 BOTTLE OF GRANDS CRUS CHARDONNAY AND PINOT NOIR, WITH THE DISCO WRAP TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR!

19.

SUPERIOR SERVICE VERSACE MEETS ROSENTHAL HOME COLLECTION BRING A TOUCH OF BAROQUE TO YOUR CHRISTMAS DINNER WITH THE BRIGHT CHRISTMAS HOME COLLECTION BY VERSACE. A DINNER SET, CUPS AND MUGS, TREE ORNAMENTS… ALL IN BRIGHT RED WITH GOLD AND WHITE GEOMETRICAL PATTERNS, A VERSACE SIGNATURE.

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RAGMAG

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

20.

JUST FOR U U NESPRESSO MACHINE “WHAT ELSE?” FOR THE COFFEE LOVER IN YOUR LIFE, WE’VE FOUND THE PERFECT GIFT: THE SLEEK AND SOPHISTICATED NEW NESPRESSO MACHINE, U. THE MINIMALIST DESIGN FITS PERFECTLY IN A CONTEMPORARY ROOM AND THE QUICK 25-SECOND HEAT UP SUITS PEOPLE IN A HURRY. WE ALSO LIKE THE PIXIE- IT’S A MINI-ME FOR THE NESPRESSO FANATIC WITH NO COUNTER SPACE.

21. BOLD BLEND AWAN TEA

TO WARM UP YOUR CHRISTMAS EVENINGS, AWAN TEA SHOP PRESENTS DECORATED GIFT BASKETS. WE LIKE THE SEASONAL BOX WITH THE DECEMBER STAR TEA AND CANDLES. MIX AND MATCH YOUR FAVORITE BLENDS FROM INDIA, CHINA, KENYA AND LEBANON FOR A ROUND THE WORLD TRIP. WE LIKE TO PAIR A SELECTION OF TEAS WITH ONE OF THE TRADITIONAL YIXIN CLAY POTS OR THE FUNKY CAST IRON ONES.

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STAR LIGHT STAR BRIGHT

LE GRAY HOTEL’S INDIGO ON THE ROOF BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

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n my family, Christmastime has always been that time of the year when we would eat out more than usual, dress up and treat ourselves by going to a fancy restaurant. For our December restaurant review, I wanted to share the family tradition with you, and so I tried Indigo, Le Gray Hotel’s rooftop restaurant. Upon entering the restaurant, I spot an open kitchen facing the entrance hallway. Having a kitchen visible to every client coming in the best proof of the hygiene standards followed by the restaurant. Pleasantly surprised by the first impression, I head to our table. Located on the 6th floor of the Beirut Downtown hotel, Indigo on the Roof is entirely flanked by bay windows; wherever you’re seated, you get a surreal view of the bustling city. Facing the beautiful floodlit Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, we peruse the menu. A lengthy list of entrées make it very hard to chose, but we finally decide 138 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

on the house specialty: Pan Seared Sea Scallops with creamed leeks that melt in your mouth, and the creamy and wellseasoned Italian Burrata cheese. Indigo offers appetizing pasta and risottos as main courses, but we are immediately taken by the Thai Baked Seabass in banana leaf, served with fragrant rice and sesame-glazed green vegetables. The fish is cooked through but not dry, and the Asian sauce accompanying it give it a spectacular taste. As for the grain-fed Black Angus fillet, I order it mediumwell, and that’s how it arrives: tender, lean and well-dressed. The stuffed tomato and grilled zucchini side order don’t really have their place on the plate, but do not diminish the dish in any way. We are full by the time we finished our main courses, but the desserts menu is too appetizing for us not to have a bite. We order the Dessert Tasting plate to share, with orange crème brûlée, roasted pineapple with coconut sorbet, warm

rhubarb and apple tart with vanilla ice cream. The detail that makes the dessert perfect? The use of real vanilla bean- not run of the mill vanilla extract. These tiny black dots in the creamy ice cream and the crème brûlée put Indigo on the Roof on my to-go-to list this holiday season. THE + With elegant and modern furniture, Indigo keeps it simple. The best setting is actually the view all around the restaurant. + SERVICE It is the highlight of the dinner. The waiters pour just the right amount of wine in your glass (which never empties), help you chose your dishes and are available whenever we need them, without being intrusive. + SETTING

THE – The Cantaloupe melon and rocket leaves made it tastier, but the Wagyu Bresaola slices didn’t meet our expectations

- BRESAOLA ENTRÉE

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Indigo on the Roof Restaurant & Lounge | Le Gray Hotel Central District, Beirut 01 972 000 www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 139 indigo@legray.com


EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

OPPOSITE PAGE: IMAGES FROM ‘FISH’ BY MITCH TONKS, PUBLISHED BY PAVILION LEFT: MONKFISH COOKED AS OSS BUCCO, ONE OF CHEF MITCH TONKS’ SIGNATURE DISHES

starfish BOTTOM OF PAGE: SHRIMP ON TOAST

CHEF MITCH TONKS LEARN A THING OR TWO ABOUT

SEAFOOD BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES

THE FORMER ACCOUNTANT IS LISTED AS ONE OF THE “TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL FOODIES” BY HOTEL AND CATERER MAGAZINE

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hef Mitch’s credentials stretch further than a fishing line. Renowned for his radical career change, the self-taught chef and fishmonger grew a small shop in Bath into a chain of restaurants, Fishworks. His list of UK awards include “Best Fishmonger”, “Best London Seafood Restaurant” and “Best Fish Book in the World Gourmand Awards”. The former accountant is also listed as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Foodies” by Hotel and Caterer magazine. Brought up in Weston-super-mare, a UK seaside town, Tonks admits that he “lived and messed around on the sea so seafood was always of great interest. My grandmother used to cook everything and anything she could get her hands on and I think that is where my cooking interest really started.”

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He moved to Bath where he worked as an accountant but over the years lost interest in his job. “I was fed up with two things, driving up and down the motorway to work in finance as an accountant and not being able to get decent fresh fish in Bath. I literally just thought I’m going to change all this and become a fishmonger.” His friends and family tried to talk him out of giving up a stable job and venturing into the relative unknown, but after much trial and error he set himself up as a fishmonger. “It really seemed to strike a chord with local people in Bath who couldn’t have been more supportive of what I was trying to do.” Now into the kitchen. A signature dish of Mitch’s is monkfish cooked as osso bucco and fried hake with oregano and chili breadcrumbs, a dish he prepares

at his Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth which opened in 2008 on the banks of the River Dart- specializing in local fish cooked over a charcoal fire. His personal favorite dish is bouillabaisse and lobster calderetta made in the Balaeric islands or a piece of fresh fish like red mullet simply grilled over the coals with olive oil, lemon and oregano. And he has clearly brought the funk back into

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the British national dish, fish and chips, with his RockFish Seafood & Chips opened in June 2010 offering fish and chips served in fancy surroundings on a waterfront. And as a regular on the BBC’s TV series “Saturday Kitchen”, Mitch has become somewhat of a celebrity in the UK. Chef Mitch has devoted five books to his lifelong passion. His book “Fish”, described by reviewers as the “definitive guide” and the “fish bible”, features advice on seasonality and sustainability,

tips on how to prepare your catch, and of course fantastic recipes. “Don’t think there was a real plan to write books but I worked with a great publisher in Bath at Absolute Press who have become good friends on my first book and it went from there,” he says. “I guess chefs are always asked for recipes and people like cookbooks, whether to use them to cook or just for inspiration or to look at the photography. I have shelves full of cookery books at home, it is great relaxation just to go through them.”

Lebanon will be in for a treat next year as Chef Mitch has been invited to St. Elmo’s Brasserie at Zaitunay Bay to be guest chef for an evening. In the meantime, get inspired with his books: even those with only the slightest interest in fish or cooking will find them fascinating especially with their beautiful food photography and scenic shots

AS A REGULAR ON THE BBC’S TV SERIES “SATURDAY KITCHEN”, MITCH HAS BECOME SOMEWHAT OF A CELEBRITY IN THE UK DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

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CHEFS COOKIES

+COCKTAILS BEIRUT COOKING FEST 2012 STARS TOP NOTCH FOODIE ENTERTAINMENT BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES

OVER THREE DAYS FIFTY EXHIBITORS AND SIXTY EVENTS ATTRACTED THOUSANDS OF VISITORS WHO CAME TO MEET LOCAL STAR CHEFS, SAMPLE FABULOUS FOOD AND OLIVE OIL, AND DISCOVER CULINARY TOOLS “

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his year the festival is even bigger and more diversified. New this year is a Wine Boutique gathering wine producers and the Cooking Festival Boutique which gathers home made delicacies not available in the shops,” said Randa Dammous Pharaon, project manager, Hospitality Services (founders of the festival), struggling to be heard over boisterous banter from a live cooking demonstration. “We expect around 1,500 visitors daily this year due to the good feedback from the last edition. Food lovers appreciated the diverse program of events as well as the exhibitor products on display.”

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Judging by the crowds gathered at Biel’s pavilion this was indeed the place to be on a November afternoon in Beirut. In its second edition now the Beirut Cooking Festival has built up a reputation for offering the general public the chance to meet the country’s top culinary stars, as well as participate in workshops and master classes. And, of course, sample delicious tidbits offered by exhibitors. The Libraire Gourmande saw food writers sign their latest releases, including “Lentils” by Claude Chahine Shehadi and Maria Rosario Lazzati. The Londonbased chefs, featured in RAGMAG November 2011, flew in from the UK to sign copies of their book packed with photos and recipes devoted to the humble pulse. “Today we already have cooked one of our recipes, Lentil and Tomato Farrotto, and the public received it well.” And a small crowd gathered around Joanne Sayad, author of “Gotta Love Lebanon”, keen to get their hands on a signed copy of her book.

It was hard to miss the Sofil Catering stand where a team of chefs were preparing an unusual combination of cheese baklawi with basterma. The open mic where foodies requested culinary tips went into overload. And, to show that good food can also be lean and fair, Maya Masri, marketing manager, Fair Trade Lebanon, had set up a stand “to show people what we do. We help to link farmers with buyers internationally and local.” Get socially conscious and buy local to support Lebanese farmers. Walking past colour-

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THE BEIRUT COOKING FESTIVAL HAS BUILT UP A REPUTATION FOR OFFERING THE GENERAL PUBLIC THE CHANCE TO MEET THE COUNTRY’S TOP CULINARY STARS, AS WELL AS PARTICIPATE IN WORKSHOPS AND MASTER CLASSES ful food mixers, gleaming stainless steel pots, shiny cutlery, and heart shaped cocktail skewers there was more food for thought on the floor where Paroisse de Jeita, a nonprofit association, was selling handmade marzipan sweets to raise funds to support their initiative to buy medicine for those in need. “It’s been great to discover all the organic products and to see that profits go towards initiatives such as the YMCA,” said Laura Krisko, who bought a jar of pickled green beans from Lebanese Natural Foods.

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The real stars of the festival were the chefs. On the opening day Ero Glicerio, executive chef, Yabani restaurant, demonstrated how to make a crab salad and beef teriyaki, as well as avocado and crab maki, surrounded by a captive, all female, audience. Taking notes and watching in fascination as the tiny chef sliced and rolled with fervor, making maki magically easy, visitor Tanya Abi Nader commented “I’ve never made maki before so this is really interesting. And, I enjoy the interaction with the chef.” The workshops offering tips on setting seasonal tables along with floral demonstrations and course in etiquette were a hit. “I want to show how easy it is to set up a lovely table to impress guests using simple items like rosemary, olive branches and cherry tomatoes,” said Rania Nader Bechara from Idée Events Design and Styling, just one of the professionals at the show. It’s the season for Lebanon’s olive oil to be harvested and pressed and the daily tastings by experts showed novices how to detect the attributes and defects in olive oil. A space was also devoted to the country’s star export: wine. The

day saw the launch of Chateau Florentine, a new wine from the Chouf region. “This event is a good platform to introduce our wine to the general public. We are currently selling to hotels and restaurants,” said Pascale Saliba, marketing assistant, Chateau Florentine. Joseph Khoury, operations manager, The Roaster SAL, showed a few ladies in waiting how to make a lovely cup of tea introducing an Earl Grey and lavender blend and Dragon Eye oolong tea with tiny slivers of peach to spice it up, while recommending tea for its health benefits. Ravi Thapar, ambassador of India, toured the show with his wife Sharmila, keen to lend Lebanese businesses his support. The festival took place just a couple of weeks after a blast in the heart of Beirut injured hundreds of citizens. “This festival showcases the Lebanese spirit. The soul of Lebanon is business and entrepreneurship and this needs to connect to other countries and markets.” Sahtein! The Beirut Cooking Festival took place at Biel from 8-11 November 2012

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

A HOT MEAL Get a Warm Tummy In Four Courses 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 selection of four winter recipes to warm you from the inside out. For more great ideas, check her out on the web http://www.bylara.me @laraariss

bylara

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laraariss

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PREPARATION TIME 15 MINUTES COOKING TIME 60 MINUTES SERVES 2-4 LEVEL EASY

BEETROOT SALAD

INGREDIENTS • 4 beetroots skins on, washed • 250 ml water • 2 oranges, peeled, segmented • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced • 120 g crumbled feta • 30 ml sherry vinegar • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 200°C. • Combine beetroot and water in a roasting pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until beetroot is tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. • Peel beetroots. Quarter each beetroot to make chunks. • Combine beetroot, orange, onion, feta, vinegar and oil in a large bowl, and gently toss until just combined. • Serve salad on top of reserved beetroot leaves.

TOMATO SOUP

PREPARATION TIME 10 MINUTES COOKING TIME 20 MINUTES SERVES 4 LEVEL EASY

INGREDIENTS • 15 ml olive oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 700ml tomato pasta sauce • 4 cups chicken stock • 140 g dried star-shaped pasta • 1 zucchini, grated • 100 g gruyere cheese, grated • 4 slices toast

METHOD • Heat oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. • Add sauce and stock. Bring to boil. • Pour pasta into soup and stir until well combined. Return soup to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered for 3 minutes. • Stir the grated zucchini into soup and cook for 2 minutes or until pasta is tender. Season with salt and pepper. • Sprinkle cheese over toast and place under hot grill for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. • Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with cheese on toast.

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BEEF + GNOCCHI

HOTPOT PREPARATION TIME 20 MINUTES COOKING TIME 2 HOURS SERVES 4-6 LEVEL EASY

INGREDIENTS • 15 ml olive oil • 1 kg beef chuck steak • 400 g mushrooms, halved • 1 red pepper, deseeded, cut into 1.5cm pieces • 800 g can diced tomatoes • 185 ml water • 70 g tomato paste • 500 g shelf-fresh potato gnocchi • 2 shallots, ends trimmed, thinly sliced • 30 grams chopped fresh parsley • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind • Sour cream, to serve

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METHOD

• Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer to a large stockpot. • Add the mushroom to the frying pan. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Transfer to the stockpot. • Add the red pepper to the frying pan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the capsicum softens slightly. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. • Place the beef mixture over medium heat. Add the tomato and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender. • Stir in the capsicum and tomato paste and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. • Use tongs to transfer the beef to a chopping board and shred finely. Remove and discard any excess fat. • Return the beef to the stockpot and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. • Cook gnocchi following packet directions or until tender. Drain and add the gnocchi and shallots to the hotpot, and stir to combine. Combine the parsley and lemon rind in a bowl. • Top the hotpot with the sour cream and parsley mixture and serve.

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PREPARATION TIME 15 MINUTES COOKING TIME 50-60 MINUTES SERVES 6 LEVEL EASY

BAKED APPLES +BURNT SUGAR CREAM METHOD

INGREDIENTS • 6 large Pink Lady apples • 80g fresh dates, pitted, chopped • 60g chilled butter, chopped • 25g flaked almonds • 2 tablespoons brown sugar • 1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh zest • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind • 160 ml fresh orange juice • 80 ml water • 4 whole cloves • 300 ml whipping cream

FOR THE TOFFEE • 100 g firmly packed dark brown sugar • 60 ml water

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• Use an apple corer to core apples, leaving base intact. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the flesh to create a slightly wider cavity. Cut a horizontal slit around each apple to prevent the skin from splitting during cooking. • Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the apples upright in a baking dish. • Combine date, butter, almonds, sugar, ginger and orange rind in a bowl. Divide among the apple cavities and press down firmly. • Pour orange juice and water into the dish and add the cloves. • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the apples are tender. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. • Meanwhile, prepare the toffee: line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Cook the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and cook without stirring for 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside until the bubbles subside. Pour over the prepared tray and set aside until set. • Use a rolling pin to smash the toffee into small pieces. Place the cream in a bowl and fold in the toffee. Serve with the apples.

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TAKE ME WITH YOU

THE FIVE STARS OF

BARBADOS BY ALICE HLIDKOVA

ISLAND CLUSTERS ANCHORED IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND THE CARIBBEAN SEA BELOW THE FOOT OF NORTH AMERICA AND ABOVE THE SHOULDER OF SOUTH AMERICA BAKE IN THE SUN ALL YEAR ROUND. THE CARIBBEAN ISLANDS IN THE SHAPE OF AN ARC EXTENDING FROM THE ATLANTIC COAST OF FLORIDA TO THE WATERS SURROUNDING VENEZUELA ARE GRACED BY EXPANSIVE BEACHES OF SOFT PINK AND WHITE SAND BLEACHED BY THE SUNLIGHT AND NOURISHED BY CORAL IN WHICH MANY OF THE WORLD’S RARE TROPICAL FISH LIVE.

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n the southeast corner of the bowshaped formation the island of Barbados is uniquely formed from two oceanic tectonic plates. These monstrous plates came together over time pushing up the seabed to form the island while her neighbors are volcanic in origin. This explains why Barbados is relatively flat and hilly, with arable and tillable land while her sisters are consisted of mostly rugged mountains, with difficult conditions for agriculture. While the geology is interesting the island’s British influences are most notable. Great Britain established the colony in a democratic-style of government mod-

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eled on the British Westminster system. It headquartered the Royal Navy and Army and uprooted military buildings to function as defensive forts and communication towers. The old barracks and armorial bearings in the capital of Bridgetown, a nominated world heritage site, protected the city from possible invasions. In scope and beauty the monuments resemble the military footprint of Lebanon’s Saida. Anglican parish churches ornamented the island and construction of national banks boomed. Traditions of cricket, horse racing and polo celebrated the empire’s pastime. Despite the island’s British character,

Barbados is distinctively a West Indian nation with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery. Spanish slave-traders conquered it searching for labor to supply silver and gold mines of new Spain. Indigenous Amerindians known as Bajans took advantage of the trans-Atlantic trade by learning to cultivate their land. Today its citizens promote its ethnic composition by organizing cultural events. Volleyball tournaments and windsurfing competitions highlight traditions while golf and field hockey events offer exquisite food tastings. Street rallies and dog shows buzz with Bajan dialects. www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 149


TAKE ME WITH YOU

BOTTOM: PROMENADE IN BRIDGETOWN RIGHT: OLD STONE ANGLICAN CHURCH

OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: CRUISE SHIP DOCKED ON BEACH BACK OF THE WRECK OF THE BERWYN

Old Barbadian aristocracy reaped benefits of the sugar empire that carved a gentle trail of rolling fields cultivated for almost four centuries. St. Nicholas Abbey, the island’s oldest Jacobean house sits on a 400-acre plantation, towered by cabbage palms that give shade to its elegant curvilinear gables and ornamental detail. Dutch influenced architectural style is unusual for the island and reasons behind the four chimneys and fireplace remain unclear. Behind the wrought iron gates a steam mill long ago increased the production of rum sugar and molasses up ten percent. Bajan owners of the Mount Gay Rum Distilleries are still in business- one of the world’s oldest surviving producer of the spirit cover all stages of the production including refining and aging, blending and bottling. Mount Gay Rum supplies many carnivals including the Crop Over Festival which traditionally celebrated the completion of the sugar harvest. During festive periods the Oistins Fish

Market in the southern tip becomes a mecca for fishermen who run the show like mafia. Strong, dark men in dreads and gold teeth and chains slice steaks of blue marlin, kingfish, wahoo, dorado, swordfish, barracuda, and dolphinfish (mahi-mahi). They lecture in cordial British manner on the qualities of the catch: opaque eyes, fresh fish; bloody eyes, rotten fish, and sell shark oil jars for the immunity system. Islanders congregate in large groups on Fridays and line the fish stands equipped with sturdy grills, juicers and taps. Local staples: fried or grilled flying fish with cou-cou (a corn meal and okra pudding) and souse pudding (steamed sweet potato served with cuts of pork pickled in onion, lime and hot peppers). On one stage, young break dancers move to live Calypso and Reggae music. On another, older couples settle down to recordings of ballroom music. An hour past midnight policemen patrol stages, sending young boys home by foot. Most past

through St. Lawrence Gap where waterfront restaurants and nightclubs provide early morning entertainment. They join the last of crowds for night dips at Accra Beach to the east. Fun aside, Barbados thrives on tourism. Revenues from snorkeling and diving managed to break the island’s dependence on sugar. Whether stepping foot in submarines or aboard catamarans, each adventure promises swimming with fins or turtles and close-up peeks of sunken ships in coral beds. Diving company, Reefers and Wreckers, lead countless deep water excursions. Cruises from Bridgetown crowd the southwest coast dotted villas and their golf courts, made popular by American golfer Tiger Woods.

BARBADOS THRIVES ON TOURISM. REVENUES FROM SNORKELING AND DIVING MANAGED TO BREAK THE ISLAND’S DEPENDENCE ON SUGAR

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OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: RUM DISTILLERY, PEBBLES BEACH, GRAND BARBADOS RESORT

As tourism bites large chunks in the island’s economy, improvements in infrastructure and public transportation bring the developing nation to efficiency. Few recognize that Barbados is known to have one of the most dense road networks in the world—thanks to the British engineers! Development is discreet and reserved to prominent Bajans who own and manage many of the island’s facilities and enterprises. Beaches are kept off-limits to the construction industry. Competition has been eliminated for international fast food franchises. Only Kentucky Fried Chicken has made its mark in the local diet, McDonald’s has not.

THE ISLAND TAKES PRIDE IN THE UNSPOILED AREAS DOTTED ALONG THE EAST COAST. ATLANTIC WAVES CRASH INTO THE RUGGED COASTLINE BROKEN UP BY MAMMOTH ROCK FORMATIONS

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Interestingly, the global recession forced Barbados to rethink its future. Recent stagnation in tourism pushed for sustainability initiative in the north. The government mounted solar panels to bus stop and parking lot coverings across the island. Protected natural areas display new signage informing public of “green” pest control programs for the management of its tropical forestry. At Harrison’s Cave installations for sewage and recycling plants inside subterranean chambers upkeep the crystallized limestone caverns making room for new “eco-tours.” Up a long road the Farley Hill Park marks recycling bins along fruit trees on landscaped lawns atop a 300-meter cliff with commanding views of the hilly Scottish district. Bumping elbows with the Park, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve needs work. The relatively small and open compound owned by Canadians lost many of its species. Green monkeys, roosters, turtles, peacocks, Brockett deer, iguanas, and caiman alligators roam free but are left with little wiggle room. The island takes pride in the unspoiled areas dotted along the east coast. Atlantic waves crash into the rugged coastline broken up by mammoth rock formations. The famous “soup bowl,” or crashing surf is both a dream and

nightmare for surfers in Bathesda. Hikers take advantage of the many trails roping through cabbage palms and over beds of wild grass, moss and hibiscus. Each encompasses vast prairies and farmland or small jungles leading into the bays of Tent and Martin’s where a number of geological treasures extend throughout. Turning inland around St. Margaret Church along the unmarked path to Hackleton’s Cliff. The 300-meter limestone encampment conceals a moss covered graveyard and marks the edge of Scotland district to the west. The rugged beauties disappear slowly in the southern direction. Narrow roadways open to fields of mango and avocado, and breadfruit trees. In the distance perched on a cliff the Crane Beach hotel overlooks a beautiful bay of disrupted waves rolling in seaweed and white sand. An accessible elevator connects the bay to the hotel parking lot for convenience. A short drive from the hotel, shallow, crystalline waters that are turquoise and jade-hued all year round once again solidify the true island experience. One of the least exposed of the Caribbean islands, Barbados is a dreamland enriched by previous colonizers and nurtured by slaves who paved the convenient road to paradise

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CULTURE CLASH

LOSTIN

TRANSLATION INDUSTRY INSIDER PERSPECTIVE Y’all Have No Idea BY CELINA AOUN

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ranslators often face a backbreaking struggle from misinformed clients, friends and even family members who have persisting misconceptions about translators and the translation business. I find myself going back to my early college years in a futile attempt to debunk the myths and educate people’s perplexed minds about this undervalued industry. You think you experience ill-informed people at work? Try being a translator for once.

PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATORS TYPICALLY SPECIALIZE IN ONLY A FEW DIFFERENT (BUT RELATED) SUBJECT AREAS. THIS ALLOWS THEM TO STAY ON TOP OF CHANGES IN THEIR INDUSTRY AND KEEPS THEM ABREAST OF RECENT TERMINOLOGY AND CURRENT TRENDS

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10 COMMON MYTHS 1. Polyglot Problems

3. Ooh, You’re Interesting!

Shockingly, being trilingual in Lebanon does not come in handy for us translators. Sure we are all capable of mixing and matching or even speaking the 3 languages we have learned at school and acquired in college, but this does not mean that a person can translate with those languages. One needs to carry out a systematic study of the source language and its culture to be able to convey the same message.

If by “language people” you mean the executives of public and private sectors, then yes. In the business world, companies of all sizes are beginning to realize the importance of translation and are consequently augmenting their translation budget. Translation processes are one element of entering foreign markets and therefore generating growth and revenue. Also, a new report from Common Sense Advisory and Translators without Borders highlighted the growing need for translation in Africa and showed that a greater access to translated information can improve political inclusion, healthcare, human rights, and even save lives of the African population.

If you know more than one language, you can be a translator or an interpreter.

2. Tongue Twister

Translators can translate any subject matter as long as the material is in their native language.

We wish! Language is particularly complex which makes it difficult and almost impossible for us to be proficient in all its related subject areas and industries. This is why professional translators typically specialize in only a few different (but related) subject areas. This allows them to stay on top of changes in their industry and keeps them abreast of recent terminology and current trends. So stay away from the ones who often say they can translate anything thrown at them.

Translation people”.

only

interests

“language

4. Ready, Set, Go!

Translators can produce any translation of any word or document with little or no turn-around time.

Frequently, people and clients often believe that translation is a simple task that can be accomplished in the blink of an eye. Being a translator does not mean that we are walking encyclopedias or supernatural linguists with a cerebral

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LOST IN TRANSLATION | INDUSTRY INSIDER PERSPECTIVE

cortex that stocks bilingual dictionaries. You cannot judge a translator’s performance by how fast they’re able to find the correct translation of the most random word you can come up within a split second. We need sufficient time to produce quality translation.

5. Secret Service

Most translators translate books; most interpreters work at the United Nations.

This is a myth equal in error to that of #1. Literary translation and conference interpreting are two of the most prevalent specializations, but they don’t cover the industry’s market at large. While American military and defense budgets allot a great deal of dollars to translation -routinely allocating big budgets on language services for diplomatic and political purposes- some of the largest segments of the translation market are manufacturing, information technology, telecommunication, healthcare, and finally, legal and financial services. As a result, translators often work in these arenas.

6. Robocop

Machine Translation has replaced human translation.

Out and out false. Even creators of automated translation programs acknowledge that it is not meant to replace human translation. It’s really simple: a machine cannot identify cultural language influence (including idioms and slang), nor can it detect the related nuances. Only human translators can relate words to context in the case of

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

dual meanings and can replicate style and tone in order to deliver a cohesive, grammatically correct soulful product. My fellow colleagues, rest assured that our 4 years of college will not go to waste and we won’t be put out of our jobs by machines anytime soon or ever. Don’t believe me? Try pasting, “Orb3a bi noss il Jom3a” into Google-translate and see what you get.

pretation and interpretation is not translation. Just ask Google! Interpretation and translation are two closely related linguistic disciplines; yet they are rarely executed by the same people. On the surface, the difference between interpretation and translation is only the difference in the medium: the interpreter translates orally, while a translator interprets written text.

7. Moneyball

9. Times Are A-Changin’

Sure it can, and while you’re at it, please provide your translators with a pair of highly looped eyeglasses to help us zoom out the words required for translation- the kind jewellers use for diamond examination please. Many elements come into play when determining the cost of a translation job such as the technicality, the timeline and the number of words. The universal standard word count of an A4 page in translation is 250 words per page. This standard was set in earlier times, when most manuscripts were prepared on typewriters with fixed pitch (monospace) fonts. Even though times have changed, and many more fonts and text options are now available to the writer, the old guideline of 250 words per page is still the norm.

For most translators, translation is not a hobby. Sure we’re willing to do pro bono work every once in a while; however, we are also experts who need to make a living. Needless to say that the translation and interpretation industries add tons of new jobs to the global economy each year and is almost never threatened by political and financial instabilities. If anything we are a part of a much larger ecosystem that keeps global business rolling and international communication flowing.

An A4 page can contain up to 1000 words.

8. Psychic Alliance

Translators can also interpret.

If only I had a nickel for every time someone says, “Oh, translation? So you’re an interpreter.” I promise you I could buy a G6. Translation is not inter-

All translation will someday be free.

10. On the Clock

The lower the rate, the more experienced the translator and the faster the translated job gets done.

When you pay a ludicrous amount of money on a brand name dress or shoes, you are actually paying for the time, energy and effort that went into creating and delivering the high-end product. Bottom line is that professional translators have a set rate card that clients most often try to bargain on, unaware that when the price gets too low, the quality of the end product will be at risk. An inexperienced translator will most likely accept a low rate and even promise a fast turnaround time, but at what expense? Why waste time on double reviews and back and forth modifications on the end product while you can rest assured that you could get an uncompromising result from an unwavering translator.

GET THE JOB DONE Celina Aoun CEO & Co-Founder of Word For Purpose Translation, Copywriting, Editing & Proofreading Solutions www.wordforpurpose.com www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 155 +961 3 252 752


SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

CHECK

BY JACQUES TCHABARIAN

Propagandhi FAILED STATES Epitaph Records have always been known to harbor the thinking man’s type of Punk bands rather than wannabe hordes of not so challenging anarchists that are found on other labels. That is why most fans wondered why Propagandhi were never signed to the prestigious label, but now that it’s happened the band’s sixth album has found a home. One that is fit for their music, full of political and environmental awareness. This move seems to have enhanced both their music and lyrics -the overall sound of the album is more intense- with fragments of Skate Punk

appearing here and there, adding a wider range to their trademark melodic thrash. “Handron Collision”, “Dark Matters” and “Rattan Cane” are a great example of this vamped sound, benefitting from the renowned Epitaph production team skills. Lyrics wise, it is safe to say that the fire in the belly of these dedicated activists is far from extinguished, despite the cover artwork (a man with his head on fire standing on the edge of a cliff). The topics (environment, passive aggressiveness) aren’t shoved down your throat- instead they’re presented subtlety to allow you to pass your own judgment, and that is what sets Propagandhi apart.

MIKA THE ORIGIN OF LOVE First single “Celebrate” was a catchy dance-ish tune that propagated the return of the wonder boy to the international scene, a track co-writtren with Pharell Williams and Nick Littlemore of Empire of the Sun. This track also hinted that the new musical direction was deeper into Dance and Electronic sounds, which proved to be correct with the release of “The Origin of Love”. Yes, Mika had flirted with these styles on his previous albums but he has gone full throttle on his new one, working with Benny Benassi and Klas Ahlund (major collaborator with Swedish House Mafia) in addition to the aforementioned Williams/Littlemore combo.

Unfortunately bringing dance arrangements to the forefront of the music doesn’t really go well in the new scheme of things, the warmth and charisma of previous releases somewhat lacking in presence. You end up with a feeling that his witty lyrics are struggling with the music instead of complementing one another. Sure there are still quality elements, but the songs that work best seem to be the ones that stick to Mika’s more Pop sound, where his vocals seem to brighten up and gel well with all the instruments surrounding it (but please no more vocodered vocals for God’s sake). Mixed feelings for this one.

Leona Lewis GLASSHEART There is a lot riding on this new Leona Lewis album. For starters, her second album “Echo”, despite good sales was regarded as a no-risk exact copy of her first release “Spirit”. Second and more importantly, it has to prove that Simon Cowell protégés (she is a winner of one of the X Factor seasons) could sustain both critically acclaimed and listener approved offerings in the long run. Both Cowell and Lewis can breathe I would say, since this album, even though not a revelation in itself, could be both a crowd pleaser and critic-friendly to some extent. As in the review above, there is a characteristic move towards dance music

on this album too, Ms. Lewis going as far as flirting with Dubstep (as everybody is doing these days) on some of the tracks. But don’t let that fool you, underneath all that window display of electronics, her music is almost unchanged, splattered at times with interesting textures and bright compositions. These dancing moods do seem to fit well however with her diva persona and her vocals never sounded so bright and clear, which could be considered her weapon of choice on the album, especially since there aren’t enough songs that stand out. Let’s face it: this isn’t a work of art, rather a nice art book companion for your trips to the countryside.

Gary Clark Jr BLAK AND BLU You know how sometimes you’re searching for something on the net and it takes you somewhere totally different? And you know how it annoys the hell out of you? It usually annoys me too, except for a few times when the page you land on makes you discover something new and fascinating. That’s how I bumped into Mr. Gary Clark Jr about six months ago, and since then I’ve waited to introduce him to a wide audience for the little genius that he is. Imagine Blues mixed with The Stones, Black Keys and The White Stripes, but with a more muscular assault and a guitar sound that fuse together old school Blues and modern electric Blues Rock all together. You can feel my excitement 156 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

folks, cause although Clark Jr has four previously selfreleased records (which are very hard to get), this is his first one for a major label, which means, if an artist plays his cards right, better production and more room for experimentation. And we have a winning ticket here for sure. Even though his sound is deeply rooted in Blues, it is interlaced beautifully with Funk, Retro Soul and a healthy dose of Boogie and Slide Rock, generating songs that would make all the old legends of this style rest comfortably in their graves, knowing that the torch has been passed loud and clear. Do yourself a favor and get this album as an early Christmas present, you won’t regret it. THE LODESTAR ISSUE


read’em +

weep BY AMAL CHAABAN

The Twelve Justin Cronin

Why you should read this book Sometimes even those who are running the black ops programs can’t predict the outcome

In this sequel to “The Passage”, Cronin brings back some of our old favourites, fleshes out minor characters into major ones and introduces a host of new ones. The book opens five years after the fall of the first colony and it is a slow move from there. As opposed to “The Passage”, in this story time and action move more slowly; so slow in fact that sometimes it felt like suspended animation. On one hand, the slowing was good so that the reader could keep up with all of the new characters and the back/forth between timelines

(pre-viral and post-viral), on the other Cronin ran the risk of losing the reader all together with whole chapters of inconsequential information and descriptors. Fans who were eagerly awaiting this book (this reviewer included) will like it but recognize it for what it is ultimately meant to be, a bridge to the third and final installment in the trilogy. Make no mistake, this book is a must read if you are planning on moving to the third book: the final few chapters in this one is where the most significant action takes place.

Phantom Jo Nesbø

Why you should read this book Even dead junkies deserve justice Norwegian mystery author and Dagger Award winner Jo Nesbø was recently named the world’s bestselling crime author by the Guardian newspaper in the U.K. and it’s fairly apparent why. Phantom opens with a murder, a drug mule operation, and with tortured detective Harry Hole returning to Oslo from Hong Kong where he has been on a somewhat enforced sabbatical from his job as a police detective. Hole is back because someone he was once very close to is banged up for a murder that Hole can’t believe he committed. On his

return, he finds that the drug scene has changed, the major players have changed and the drug of choice is now a deadly new synthetic drug called Violin. Nesbø draws the nasty underside of Oslo with a deft hand and the book segues from scene to scene seamlessly. Fall into the scenes are made easy by Nesbø because the sparse yet still descriptive language is enough to capture the feel of the situation our characters are experiencing. This is the crime writer to read when you want gritty, dark scenes.

When the Cookie Crumbles Virginia Lowell Why you should read this book

Treasure hunts aren’t the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

When the owner of a local cookie cutter shop gets drafted onto a committee to celebrate her town’s history, she couldn’t have predicted what would happen next. Olivia Greyson loves the town and wants to see it shine but the committee she is on to help it do so is the planning committee from hell. Things go from bad to worse when the added complication of having an heir to the celebration’s centerpiece turns up. In the midst of

all the infighting and backbiting, the heir turns up dead and Olivia dons her amateur sleuth hat. This book is a light, fun read for days when you don’t want to delve too deeply into the world of fiction. The plot is loosely woven; the language simple and the characters are fun. Even though the mystery can easily be solved before the last page, it is well worth the time to relax and read. Take this one with you on a ski weekend.

Booky Wook 2: This Time it’s Personal Russell Brand Gross

Why you should read this book Intelligent humour is hard to come by

Fans of Russell Brand know his best kept secret. He is not only a seriously funny comedian and a good actor- he’s bloody brilliant. “Booky Wook 2” picks up where “Booky Wook” left off and is just as amusing. There are also little known tidbits in there like how Russell Brand was the first real “digital” star in the United Kingdom and how the good Mr. Brand managed to mess up an opportunity to be with the incomparable Kate Moss. Equally as interesting are Brand’s ruminations on fame and the effect it had DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

not just on his life but on the lives of those around him. He discusses at length a rape charge brought against one of his good friends (and defends said friend) as well as the several times he was called blasphemous though he is in fact quite spiritual. The most interesting thing about this book is his willingness to freely admit his mistakes and how he repeated them... Readers and fans alike will see a man who is at once sharp, funny, self-conscious and supremely confident.

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playNICE

SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

BY ADAM VOLK

Halo 4

Publisher Microsoft Studios Developer 343 Industries Platforms Xbox 360 He’s baaaaack. Everyone’s favorite silent-butdeadly alien ass-kicker has crash landed in one of the biggest video game launches of the year. Yes, Master Chief, the armor-clad star of the Halo first-person shooter series, has become an iconic character in the annals of nerd lore. Halo 4 marks more extraterrestrial executions, as Master Chief battles a new type of alien on the planet Requiem. The game is the first from fledgling developer 343 Industries after Bun-

gie, the original creators of Halo, separated from Microsoft a few years ago. Gamers, however, will be happy to hear that Halo 4 more than lives up to its predecessors, offering stunning visuals, a rock-solid storyline and a plethora of co-op and multiplayer head-to-head options. The game doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel, and it doesn’t need to. Instead, it’s the franchise formula taken to its next logical step, with Master Chief back in action and bigger, badder and better than ever.

Wii U

Developer Nintendo Back in the ancient 8-bit days of video games, the Nintendo Entertainment System was the undisputed king of consoles. Today, Nintendo finds itself jostling for supremacy against the likes of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Enter the latest weapon in the ongoing console war: the Wii U. The successor to the popular Nintendo Wii system, the Wii U boasts some improved HD graphical capabilities, a faster processor and a new “GamePad” controller which contains a full-color screen that offers an addition interface and even lets you play remotely in a different room. The system also includes a new, sturdier Pro Control-

ler for more hardcore gamers and is backwards compatible with most Wii titles and peripherals. Storage is surprisingly low (with only 8 GB in the Basic Set), a limitation that’s somewhat offset by the ability to use standard SD cards. The new system also includes a variety of additional online elements and a slick new interface. It’s really a more powerful next-gen console that offers some unique possibilities with the new GamePad. Unfortunately, with actual game titles few and far between at launch, it remains to be seen if the Wii U can live up to its novel concept or end up another casualty in the ongoing console war.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Publisher Activision | Developer Treyarch Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 In its first 24-hours of sales, Call of Duty: Black Ops II raked in over $500 million dollars, officially setting a new world record for the release of an entertainment product. So does the latest entry in the first-person shooter series live up to the hype? The answer is a resounding “yup.” The singleplayer campaign alternates between the Cold War paranoia of the 80s to a futuristic new Cold War between China and the U.S. in 2025. The story is actually surprisingly smart, not to mention offering up some polished visuals and a plethora of both

old school and new school weapons to choose from. Of course, what’s made the Call of Duty games so popular is their multiplayer component, and here the game once again delivers. With new “multi-team” games that allow for three or more individual teams, plus revisions to some of the series’ previous online imbalances, Black Ops II is more welcoming to noobs while also offering enough content to keep veteran players coming back for more. The end result is a game with the bullets, blood and body count to match its billion dollar reputation.

Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game

Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment | Developer Traveller’s Tales Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii Everyone knows that in Middle Earth there’s one ring to rule them all. Now, it looks like there’s one LEGO block as well. Using enough LEGO pieces to clog the fires of Mount Doom, the game takes players through the entire trilogy of films, featuring the full cast of characters and scenes (the latter of which are given a more family-friendly, slapstick twist). As a LEGO platformer, the game offers a familiar premise as you jump and bash your way through your enemies. Like other LEGO games, Lord of the Rings also offers a drop-in/drop-out 158 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

co-op gameplay option that lets up to fourplayers join in the orc-killing action. The game does, however, stand out thanks to some light role-playing game elements, letting players collect and access a growing inventory of items and weapons. The end result is both a loving homage to the blockbuster films and another quirky addition to the LEGO series. Will gamers of all ages love Lego the Lord of the Rings? Let’s just put it this way: does a Hobbit poop in the Shire?

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


watch out BY JACQUES TCHABARIAN

All release dates based on US theatre releases

Funsize | 90 mins Victoria Justice, Chelsea Handler |

Theater Release Date: October 26

When different movie companies work together to release a film, said film contains usually one storyline surrounded by other small side stories that don’t really interfere with the original plot. The collaboration of Nickelodeon Movies with Paramount Pictures on “Funsize” however sees the development of two different plots within the same movie, one aimed at the very young crowd of Nickelodeon and another at the teenagers of Paramount. Wren (Victoria Justice) is a High School Senior who has plans to go to the party of a lifetime on Halloween night. Her mother, played by the controversial and quirky Chelsea Handler (well played

there Paramount, trying to suck in some grownup viewers as well), wants her daughter to take her little brother trick or treating instead. In the process we have the separate stories kicking in: little boy in Spiderman costume becomes friends with convenience store clerk and gets kidnapped by Johnny Knoxville in the role of an utter nutter. While searching for her brother, she deals with her obnoxious friends and tries to make it to the big bash. This comedy is easygoing and there’s no major acting bravado, but if you have kids and teenagers at home, this flick isn’t a bad idea to engage them in some silly fun.

Cloud Atlas

| 163 mins Halle Berry, Tom Hanks | Theater Release Date: October 16

The most anticipated picture of the year has finally been released, not only because of its storyline but also for marking the return of one of the most creative directors of their generation: the Wachowski Brothers. Technically they’re now brother and sister since one of them underwent a sex change and is now known as Lana Wachowski. Regardless, it was a huge task making a movie that not only boasts an intricate and complex chronicle of human existence, but said chronicle takes the different characters through different time periods (rendering the task of make-up artistry an immense challenge). I can’t explain the plot of “Cloud Atlas”

Argo | 120 mins Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin |

Theater Release Date: October 12

It’s never an easy task making a movie about a historical event, the end result usually generating different opinions about whether the events depicted are accurate enough or if too much Hollywood creative license is used. A badge of bravery should be therefore awarded to Ben Affleck, as his portrayal of the American embassy attack by fundamentalists in Tehran during the peak of the Iranian revolution is handled with a master’s touch- bringing forward some hidden truths and exposing the errors and failings of both parties that were involved in that tragic event. In addition to directing the film, Affleck takes on the role of CIA Agent Tony Mendez, who

Sinister

comes out with the idea of putting together a fake team of filmmakers to get into Iran and rescue some American diplomats that have taken refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. One great element of the film is the fact that Affleck brings the viewer up to the mark of all the events that led up to the attack of the embassy, and shows afterwards the complexity of government bureaucracy which could result in the total failure of the rescue mission. Veteran actors Alan Arkin and John Goodman bring a heavy dose of ingenuity to the story further elevating Affleck’s picture to new heights. Easily one of the best movies of the year.

| 109 mins Ethan Hawk, Vincent D’Onofrio |

Theater Release Date: July 16th

Having reviewed a flop of a horror movie last issue, and being a fan of this genre of films, I thought I’d review another horror flick this month to give it some justice. Unfortunately, what the industry had to offer in this period (other than a passable “Paranormal Activity 4”) is nothing to be proud of. Having Ethan Hawk as the main character does give it some credibility, after all the man was born with facial expressions fitting for roles in Drama/ Thriller and why not, in this Alliance-released picture. The writers and producers of this movie seem to have scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with an original spook idea, ending up DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

in a few lines, but I can say the universal message derived from the movie is probably “be good to each other”. The A-List cast assembled for this project handles the subject in the most heartwarming and even career-defining way for some. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant and Jim Broadbent are a few of the actors that grace us with their presence in this ambitious movie. Some say the directors had in mind the thematic heaviness of Kubrick’s: “2001 A Space Odyssey” during the shooting process. With enough visual splendor and special effects to budget 10 small independent movies, this is an almost 3-hour ride in a really splendid galaxy.

with a haunted 8mm projector that plays gore material filmed by… wait for it… an ancient deity that goes by the name of Bughuul (take a moment for it to sink in). Quick close-up shots and speedy cuts can be found all over the place, reaching a nauseating apex halfway through the movie, with other cliché camera tricks not helping the viewer’s diminishing attention span (that should be climaxing around this time). Besides Hawk, there is no noticeable acting to be found here- the dialogue between the characters is average to the point that even the gum-chewing smack of the girl in the seat behind you seems a welcome change. You get my drift.

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THE LODESTAR ISSUE


SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

WORLDVISION BY LILIANE ASSAF

FOR THE DECEMBER LODESTAR ISSUE, WE ASKED LEBANON’S BLOG AGGREGATOR TO ROUND OFF THE YEAR BY DISCUSSING THE CURRENT STATUS OF BLOGGERS IN LEBANON NOW. THE NORMAL FORMAT OF THE WORLD VISION COLUMN WILL RESUME NEXT ISSUE.

WHERE DOES YOUR OPINION FIT?

H

ave you ever wondered if your opinion is important? If what you’re saying is new and can make people change their minds about something? When you barge into a conversation and make a statement about war, adoption, racism, a local TV show, a celebrity, freedom of speech, nail polish or Formula 1, does it matter? Are you saying something that hasn’t been said before, are you looking at the issue from a new angle? Is your voice to be heard? Does it matter? Do you matter? Many questions cross our minds on a daily basis, sometimes silly and sometimes meaningful. What do we do with them though? Do we ask out loud or just come up with our own analysis and stance? Many instances happen when you could be talking a lot but in fact

saying a little. It doesn’t really matter if you’re making a point at the wrong time to the wrong audience. This is usually your cue to remain silent and keep it to yourself. The blogosphere usually reflects daily lives of everyone, and of this bunch, a few turn them into a digital essay. In general, we have to build a society where each person has an opinion. In general, there are two or a maximum of three opinions for every subject: for or against and neutral/apathetic. People argue, discuss, provide facts or just debate skillfully, but eventually it’s hard to encourage people to change their minds. So why talk? Why blog? Just like in a community, you have the alpha male or alpha female, the ones who take garner all the attention- depending on the environment they’re in. Some deserve that spot, but in my opinion most don’t.

In a nutshell, and unless you are just logging a diary of thoughts, if your aim is to influence your audience and dazzle them with your advanced opinion, make it new, don’t repeat others and don’t copy other people’s styles. If it’s not yours, then you will always appear fake and your writings and thoughts will always be regarded as attention seeking material. We already have billions of people with billions of thoughts and opinions, so make it count. Either show us something new, inspire us, make us laugh, make us ponder or just stay quiet, listen and learn. If you don’t have anything to add to the table this means you have given a lot and you need to start taking in before you voice your opinion again. That is my own observation of the blogosphere and the community itself. Being loud and being everywhere all over the place is not what is we seek for content, but learning and evolving is certainly worth looking for. Our aim as bloggers is not to gather fans and page views. We have a mission, believe it or not, and we have a big responsibility towards our audience, to bring something new, and add something valuable to the table and most importantly something true, true to ourselves and to our readers

www.lebanonaggregator.com Lebanon Aggregator

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

@LebAgg

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CULTURE CLASH

HAYDA LEBNEN’s

ONE+ONLY

GUIDING

STAR BY SARAH HOURANY

FOR ONCE, LEBANESE PEOPLE

AGREED 3A MOURACHA7 WA7AD FOR

THE COUNTRY’S LODESTAR POSITION AND FOR AN IMPRESSIVE PERIOD OF 31 DAYS

F

or a country “whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking”, and for a country whose society is “divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation”, Lebanon is making remarkable progress towards achieving national unity. For once, Lebanese people agreed 3a mouracha7 wa7ad for the country’s lodestar position and for an impressive period of 31 days. Although he is polite and loving w kaffo ndif w fat w abadan not tanned à la Maya, they unanimously gave him their support. To kids, it was not surprising at all, as they have always believed in miracles. But to the much older generation, it was indeed a zahira faride men naw3a.

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How could it not be w men jom3a bass ma 7adan ken tayi2 7adan, w ma 7adan ken tayi2 chi? Enno extended families stopped meeting upon major disagreements among their members. Typical disputes included X calling Y’s political lodestar an “2az3ar w mejrim” and Y describing X’s lodestar as “majnoun w baddo 3asfouriye”. Halla2 it is true that X and Y were not even born when their “za3ims” were taking the most crucial decisions in the history of Lebanon, but having political opinions wirathiye is a Lebanese tradition, ma tenso. This was reflected, w men jom3a bass, in the media. In fact, TV channels were not able to absorb the high levels of samm, la2mane and hypocrisy live on-air, especially when broadcasting “debates” featuring politicians from opposite political camps. Guest A would defend

MA JEBO SIRET RENOWNED PAINTERS, WRITERS, POETS, MUSICIANS OR OPERA SINGERS, BUT RATHER FOCUSED ON “MIN STYLO

A7LA, HAIFA OR MAYA?”

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


HAYDA LEBNEN’S ONE + ONLY GUIDING STAR

his magnificent and inspirational leader (who incidentally allegedly robbed millions of dollars through corrupt deals) while Guest B would repeat his political lodestar’s speeches like a parrot, even if it includes sentences such as “bayye aw2a men bayyak” and “kel chi bet2oulo byerja3lak”. In parallel, w men jom3a bass, local journalists were arguing over who should be elected Lebanon’s cultural lodestar. Of course, the heated discussions ma jebo siret renowned painters, writers, poets, musicians or opera singers, but rather focused on “min stylo a7la, Haifa or Maya?” Tabi3e, since public opinion can affect the media as much as it can be influenced by it. After all, it is not really hard to realize that there are two prevailing “styles” adopted by a large number of Lebanese women: black hair and blue

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

lenses à la Haifa, or dark tan and very thick eyebrows à la Maya. Similarly, w men jom3a bass, young Lebanese men were fighting during basketball and football games. The incident erupted when supporters A sabbo the sports lodestar of supporters B then quickly escalated into large scale violence involving rounds of techbi2 karase w 2anene w dareb bil 3asaye. Yes, this is exactly what “2al rou7 2al RIYADIYE” is all about, at least 3al Lebnene. For all these reasons, el tawefo2 that took place in December was closer to being classified as a 3ajibe then as a random event. Yes, Santa Claus did it. Loved by both March 8th and March 14th supporters, by the 8 year-olds and the 88 year-olds, and both by the rich and the poor, Santa was wholeheartedly voted as Lebanon’s Lodestar. He rep-

resents love, compassion, and fairness: three things Lebanese people need the most this year! Unfortunately, the dream just won’t last- once the big guy leaves, they’ll stop counting gifts and they’ll return to counting the wounded and randomly killed citizens yawmiyan instead. Ma huwe Santa bifell men mayle, w bte3la2 men mayle tenye, ma hayda Lebnen, ya 3ayneh!

LOVED BY BOTH MARCH 8TH AND MARCH 14TH SUPPORTERS, BY THE 8 YEAROLDS AND THE 88 YEAR-OLDS, AND BOTH BY THE RICH AND THE POOR, SANTA WAS WHOLEHEARTEDLY VOTED AS LEBANON’S LODESTAR

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Zodiac forecasts FROM JONATHAN CAINER

JONATHAN CAINER’S 2013 NEW YEAR FORECAST A 6 MONTH SNEAK PEEK INTO THE YEAR AHEAD

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THE LODESTAR ISSUE


JONATHAN CAINER’S 2013 NEW YEAR FORECAST | A 6 MONTH SNEAK PEEK INTO THE YEAR AHEAD

AMANDA SETTON

ANTHONY HOPKINS

SAGITTARIUS

CAPRICORN

NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 21

DECEMBER 22 - JANUARY 20

Everywhere you go in the next few months, you are going to be at the cutting-edge. No matter how you try to step back, you’ll find yourself in the thick of things. Though you can’t go very far wrong you may well go through phases where you think, “Why have I let this happen?” But that will be a bit like saying, as you find yourself riding a horse across a beautiful meadow, “This horse is going a bit fast, what happens if anything goes wrong?” Well, what happens if it doesn’t? What if you just have the most tremendously exhilarating gallop? Old emotional investments are starting to pay off. It turns out that your attempt to clear up old problems has helped you lay a firm foundation for future growth. You just have to remember that it is always right at the edge of chaos and order that magic happens. If we venture too far into the realm of chaos, all we get is chaos. If we go too far into the realm of order, nothing shifts. But right there on the border is a shoreline which belongs to neither element. That is where you are walking and as you do, you are able to get the best of both worlds.

When I say you have issues to face and problems to tackle, that is not me saying tough times lie ahead. It is me saying, “How brilliant! You get to tackle problems, face issues and do something useful about them.” You don’t really solve any problem until you know something about what is causing it. And, sometimes, tracking the cause can be a bit like unpicking a tangled web. It can take a while and if you don’t want to break the structure of it, you may have to proceed slowly and carefully. You have got to show some respect for the issues you are up against and the people you are dealing with. There are some brilliant people who will be of tremendous help to you in 2013. Soon you’ll experience the kind of transcendental exhilaration that only ever occurs to somebody when they have the courage to look into the face of something they feel scared of and say, “Right. Go on. Do your worst. I am not frightened.” With a combination of your faith in yourself and the rather wondrous support mechanism that begins to gather around you during the course of the coming months, you’ll conquer a fear that has long had the better of you and, in the process, improve your life at every level.

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

CHRISTINA RICCI

SIDNEY POITIER

AQUARIUS

JANUARY 21 - FEBURARY 19

PISCES

FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my forecasts lately, a series of seven alignments are being formed between Uranus to Pluto from 2012 and 2015, tolling like a bell, seven times, to wake the whole planet up to new possibilities. And that’s what’s going on in your life. Never before have you been so willing to experiment with new techniques and ideas, even if it means changing old-established habits. You’ve always been a person who isn’t afraid to explore and experiment. Right now, you’re especially willing to take the risks associated with fresh challenges and difficulties you weren’t expecting. Happily, the planets are intending to bless you with a sanguine disposition, natural inner-wisdom and a way to cope. Your year will indeed be challenging and stressful. But what is exciting about the coming months is your chance to go beyond the stress, and finally find feasible solutions to all problems. Your courage leads you to a point where your love life becomes sweeter and your financial situation becomes less worrying. Your creative abilities will blossom to the point where frankly, it doesn’t really much matter what else is going on because you know that what you are doing is right, and thus the right things have to occur. Which they will!

This year is the second in a series of years, in which the dominant astrological story involves a sharp right-angle between Uranus and Pluto. It is saying to the whole human race, “Pay attention. You all need to move forward.” That is why so much is changing. It is why we keep hearing about institutions that aren’t as credible as they used to be. Or authority figures who can’t be believed any more. Or scientific principles that have had to be redefined. And in a world that seems to be made of shifting sand, there is the question of who you are and what you need. Your cosmic gift is delineated clearly this year, by the Grand Trine between Neptune and Jupiter. They in turn, form an alignment with Saturn, which speaks of phenomenal strength. You are about to own and recognize your powers of healing: your ability to reach into the lives of others and bring warmth, support, comfort and reassurance. You can only do this through kindness, sensitivity and empathy. You can’t do it when you are grumpy, jumpy, concerned or confused. So you have got to work on those negative tendencies. That is what the year is about: overcoming problems so you can help others overcome theirs. The more people you help, the more you, yourself, will find healing and success.

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 165


JONATHAN CAINER’S 2013 NEW YEAR FORECAST

AMY SMART

DAVID BECKHAM

ARIES

TAURUS

MARCH 21 - APRIL 20

APRIL 21 - MAY 21

A series of intense alignments between Pluto and Uranus is now causing the world to wake up and start thinking, “Isn’t it time we changed?” Even if you’re not yet in the vanguard of this movement, you will find yourself there as the year passes. 2013, for you, is all about recognizing just what kind of a difference you can make, seeing how important you are and observing how, for all that your situation may have its drawbacks, you are deeply blessed. As part of your own process of moving on, you’re having to ask yourself how many of your biggest choices and decisions in life so far have been made on the basis of a fear? What might have happened if you hadn’t let fear lead you? What has stopped you from being as creative, inspired, successful and as happy as you have deserved to be? Even though you are naturally dynamic and assertive, you are not entirely immune to the desire to play it safe. For you, the year of 2013 is about overcoming the uncertainties and doubts that render you vulnerable to such compromises! This is the year you get to replace these with certainties and allow yourself to become more of the person you always knew you could be. This year, calculated risks leads to substantial rewards.

We live in a world where too many paths are trodden because they are the most obvious and too many experiences occur because people don’t have the imagination to invent alternatives. Yet you were born capable of being somebody significant, powerful and successful. This year, it becomes clearer that you have to do something about claiming that inheritance. It is also the year during which you have to work with others if you are to make that occur. You can’t do it on your own. One particularly important ‘other person’ is about to start playing a very big role in helping you become more of who you were always born to be. I am not necessarily saying, “It will be through someone you love that these fine things occur.” I’m simply saying that you are about to find that someone brings out the best in you. You in turn, will bring out the best in them. The upshot of all this will be a sense that the best, generally, is beginning to manifest. There’ll be less need to feel as if you must compromise, less insecurity to contend with and much more confidence. Emotionally, creatively, materially, you will achieve far greater strength and success. And, through the help of a very significant person, greater happiness and contentment, too.

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

ZOE SALDANA

TOM CRUISE

GEMINI

MAY 22 - JUNE 22

CANCER

JUNE 23 - JULY 23

For you, 2013 will be exciting and rewarding. Yet it will also be exasperating, difficult and exhausting at times. Jupiter has been in Gemini for some while and continues for the first half of the year to bestow its blessings upon you. All this gives you positivity, energy, insight and enthusiasm. But the real story of your year involves the alignments that take place between Uranus and Pluto and the way in which they too, align with Jupiter later this year as they call out to everyone on this planet, “Wake up and see that different things are possible.” If you try to hang on to the way things used to be, you may end up feeling frustrated, yet you ought to be inspired. Something in the way that you look at material security is changing in a way that you can only benefit from. But what you once thought were the right techniques for success, are now overshadowed by new realizations. Life is saying to you, “Think again, about where you sometimes allow a sense of guilt or overly pronounced responsibility to repress a creative urge that you ought to be exploring.” This is a year during which the lid comes off, the limits go away, the feeling of being quite so stuck disappears and you explore a very real sense of new freedom.

Some people seemingly love to revel in gloom. It is as if they wear their unhappiness like a coat that protects them from the elements. “If I’m already feeling rotten,” they figure, “Nothing can make me feel more rotten than I already feel. So I’m safe!” There have been times, lately, when you have felt able to identify with that logic. The coming months require you to look at how we have all got aspects of ourselves that we think we had better hide or repress. Yet if we don’t face what dwells in our shadow, somehow our shadow goes before us instead of behind us. What we don’t shine the light of our own understanding on becomes more intensified in its darkness. There is an aspect to your own personality that you have been preferring not to look at. When you occasionally find yourself in uncomfortable or frustrating situations, the tendency is to blame it on the fact that it isn’t your fault. I am not saying that it is... but isn’t it time we also looked at your own appetite for a kind of perverse mixture of pain and pleasure? You need to get to grips with that strange taste if you want to gain real power over yourself... and your destiny. It’s the way to grow stronger, even more attractive and highly successful.

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

166 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


A 6 MONTH SNEAK PEEK INTO THE YEAR AHEAD

RAZANE JAMMAL

RICHARD GERE

VIRGO

LEO

JULY 24 - AGUST 23

AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23

Sometimes we get so good at looking at the negative, we don’t even notice the positive when it is staring us in the face. But the story of your life in the next few months is of someone recognizing where their obligations begin and end. That isn’t to say that you will be walking away from anything. You may even soon decide to give more of your heart to a noble cause. But when you do, you will be doing it because is it what you want to be doing and not because of what you feel is being expected of you. You’ll break gloriously free. You’ll stop feeling like a victim of circumstances or a cog in a great machine. You won’t necessarily find freedom to go and live off nuts and berries in the forest but for the first time in a long time, you’ll recognize the difference between what is done out of inspired choice and what is done out of a sense of guilt. You will get the balance right. You will see what you don’t have to do and why it is okay. Through that will come such a renewed relationship with your own enthusiasm for life that the slight matters of improving your love life, sorting out your finances and attaining material success will pretty much take care of themselves.

In polite society we don’t show people aspects of ourselves that might be considered offensive. In answer, for example, to the question, “How are you?” we don’t say, “I’m miserable.” We don’t even say, “I’m feeling fantastic.” We say, “Oh, I’m fine thanks. How are you?” That kind of bland exchange characterizes the way in which so many people interact. I’m not saying that soon you are going to suddenly find yourself telling it like it is to everybody. But you are going to start talking straight to the people who matter most to you. People are going to tell it like it is to you and when they do you are going to hear them. When they say, “I’m fine, thank you.” You are going to say, “No, but really how are you?” You are going to take that information on board and help others see what is wrong. You will become less afraid of darkness, difficulty or the potential for loss or struggle. In gaining faith in what people can do when they stop living by outdated and meaningless protocols, you are at the forefront of a global wave of change. You will soon start to make choices that come from a very inspired emotional place, which will eventually lead you to a position of leadership, popularity and success.

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

GWYNETH PALTROW

DAVID SCHWIMMER

LIBRA

SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23

SCORPIO

OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22

Despite those endless jokes we hear about Librans being inclined to sit on the fence, you’re coming up on a time when you don’t just get off the fence, you take it down, pack it up and sell it - using the proceeds to buy something far more useful! You’re starting to set targets, attain them and then grow even more ambitious. All this takes place against the backdrop of the seven historic alignments between Pluto and Uranus which form between 2012 and 2015. The one next May will oblige you to look closely at a factor that is not as stable or as consistent as you wish it could be. You have got to stop wishing so much and start thinking, instead, about what practical steps you can take. Somebody needs your help to find sanity in what seems like disorder and chaos. To help them, you’ve got to trust your own discrimination. The world is full of people saying, “Believe in this. Follow that.” Already, you are inclined to think “Actually, no. I’ve got a better set of codes to uphold and values to pursue.” As you trust your own understanding, showing leadership and strength, so an important relationship that has an unstable element within it strengthens and becomes more rewarding. Your own relationship to the wider world becomes more rewarding and fulfilling, too.

You will soon start to realize how you are becoming so much wiser, more authoritative and influential. You’re going to manifest great strength while exuding the gravitas and self-restraint- which only a person who knows themselves well can manifest. You won’t start to look any older but you’ll feel, more mature and discriminating. This will enable to you to start feeling less like a victim of circumstance, more like a person in charge of their own destiny. You’ll also feel less as though you have got battles that you need to be forever fighting - more as if you know how to control what needs to be kept under control. You’ll feel able to save for what needs to be invested in and draw lines of exclusion around the irrelevancies and distractions that often eat your precious time and energy. As you begin to find the courage and the confidence to assert your choices, others will respect them too- and the world will begin to reward you for your wisdom. The alignments from Uranus to Pluto, plus the presence of Saturn in your sign, suggest you are going spend a lot of time applying strict discipline- but no, you are not going to find it hard. You are going to find it immensely rewarding at every level.

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

FOR YOUR IN-DEPTH PERSONAL GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, BASED ON YOUR EXACT DATE OF BIRTH

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

AND COVERING THE WHOLE OF 2013, GO TO WWW.CAINER.COM

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 167


BRAINFOOD ROUND #1

ROUND #2

Festive Time

ROUND #3

Science

1. On which feast day did Good King Wenceslas look out?

2. Frostie the Snowman

traditionally wears a hat but does he also wear a scarf?

3. Who said “God bless us

1. A change of DNA in an

1. Which famous Reggae singer

organism that results in a new trait is known as what?

died in 1981, at the age of 36, at the Cedars of Lebanon hospital in Miami?

2. The process of adding sulphur

2. Las Vegas is situated in which

to rubber to harden it is known as what?

4. In the song “Jingle Bells Rock” where do they dance? comes 5th?

6. What was the name of the boy in

Christmas” how many gold rings were given?

8. Does Rudolph have antlers?

10. How many reindeer did Santa have?

2. The Canadian postal service has

issued the post code HOH OHO to what location?

4. In Japan on which side of the road

disputed border between which two countries?

5. The Manhattan Project of

distance between a lens and its focal point?

6. What element has the atomic

6. In which US state would you find

number 16 and the chemical symbol “S”?

do they drive?

5. What did the Barbie doll get in 2000 that it didn’t have before?

6. According to the Bible on what day

the 1940s resulted in the development of what? the Everglades?

7. What acid is produced by

see the New Year?

Perkin’s character in the film “Psycho”?

“Jumbo” ice cream?

4. Shatt al Arab forms the often

5. What name is given to the

did God create “The Beasts of the Earth”?

7. You have a large bedroom and the

only light switch is a 4 meters from your bed. How can you switch off the light and be in bed before it is dark?

7. What was the name of the

muscles in the human body because of a lack of oxygen?

9. Which country/countries first

1. What was the name of Anthony

3. Which company manufactures

assassinated off the coast of which country in 1979?

substance that speeds up a chemical reaction but does not form part of it?

the “Home Alone” films?

7. In the song “The 12 Days of

3. Lord Louis Mountbatten was

4. What is the name given to a

5. Alphabetically which reindeer

Trivia

desert?

3. Who discovered X-Rays?

everyone”?

ROUND #4

History and Geography

brothers who are credited with building the first successful airplane?

8. An animal that eats both meat

8. Dubrovnick is in which country?

and plants is known as what?

9. What is the more common

9. Which mountain overlooks Cape

name for a cubic decimeter?

Town?

10. What metal is the most

10. Which Avenue, in Paris, runs

malleable?

8. Apparently a cockroach will not eat what sort of food?

9. Which designer produces his garments with the label JK?

10. In English we use what French

from place de la Concorde to Place Charles de Gaulle?

phrase which describes a private conversation between two people?

EASY

9 2

6 1

3

5

8 3

2 5

6 8 7 6 6 9 2 5 9 5 4 9 4 5 8 7 2 5

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

8

2 3 6

1 7

8

9

9 6 8

4 9

4 6

4 9 8 3

2

3 4 5 2

6 9

ROUND#1 1. St. Stephen’s Day 2. Yes 3. Tiny Tim 4. Jingle Bells Square 5. Dasher 6. Kevin 7. Forty 8. Yes 9. Kiribati (Christmas Island) and Samoa 10. Nine ROUND#2 1. A Mutation 2. Vulcanizing 3. Roentgen 4. Catalyst 5. Focal Length 6. Sulphur 7. Lactic Acid 8. Omnivore 9. Litre 10. Gold ROUND#3 1. Bob Marley 2. Mojave 3. Ireland 4. Iran and Iraq 5. The Atomic Bomb 6. Florida 7. Wright 8. Croatia 9. Table Top 10. Champs Elysées ROUND#4 1. Norman Bates 2. North Pole. (Letters to Santa) 3. Liban Jus 4. Left 5. Belly button 6. Fifth day 7. Go to bed during daylight 8. Pickles 9. Jamil Khansa 10. Tête-à-tête 1 3 9 3 2 9 5 6 7 2 1 8 6 4 8 7 5 4

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

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

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

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

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

168 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

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

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

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

8 2 3 1 5 9 4 7 6

9 7 5 6 2 4 1 3 8

6 1 4 7 8 3 5 9 2

4 5 7 8 1 2 3 6 9

3 8 1 5 9 6 7 2 4

2 6 9 3 4 7 8 1 5

5 4 2 9 3 1 6 8 7

7 3 8 2 6 5 9 4 1

1 9 6 4 7 8 2 5 3

8 3 1 7 6 2 9 4 5

9 6 4 3 8 5 7 2 1

2 7 5 4 9 1 3 6 8

3 2 6 5 1 4 8 9 7

1 8 7 6 2 9 5 3 4

5 4 9 8 3 7 2 1 6

7 5 3 2 4 6 1 8 9

4 9 2 1 7 8 6 5 3

6 1 8 9 5 3 4 7 2

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


DOWN

1. Unmarried men or a group? 2. Type of operation for children? 3. A Christmas bird? 4. Slaughter house. 6. Listened in? 8. Fun plays at Christmas? 10. Bing dreamt of this. 12. Christmas time. 14. It won’t hurt you. 15. A petrol company. 16. Do Christmas bells do this? 17. Can’t be read. 19. An old type of dynamo. 21. The walking dead? 22. Skin from the scalp? 23. Purify from foul air. 25. Wasteful. 29. An infantry man of the Greek army. 34. Throws nothing away. 35. It’s a drink not a fight! 36. Has nothing at all. 37. Watch. 40. Pompous. 41. Is it soft ice? 44. An old Naval punishment. 46. Someone who helped another. 49. Santa’s transport has none. 50. Bing dreamt of this. 52. Wanders off. 54. Butterflies are in this group. 55. A gift from a wise man. 57. Learning classes. 59. An otter’s home? 60. Chinese dominoes? 61. A reindeer’s horns. 63. A Christmas bird? 67. New and different. 68. Feeds. 69. Used for decorations. 73. It’s a gastropod. 76. Type of biscuit in the shape of a

man.

78. Did Mary ride a small one? 80. The number of Christmas days in

the song.

82. A one wheeled bike? 85. Santa’s car? 87. Gives up. 88. A special Christmas drink. 89. They donate the Christmas tree to

England.

90. An old Egyptian coin. 93. The written word?

ACROSS

the liver and kidneys.

26. Who was kissing

Santa under the mistletoe?

27. A little Irishman?

CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS

Santa’s reindeer? 32. He runs away from the law. 33. Pilot’s safety device. 38. Place side by side for comparison. 39. Not older! 42. Angry 43. A scout’s gathering? 45. In good working order. 47. A nasal discharge.

SONG

SONG

WHAT DAY OF CHRISTMAS?

48. A form of communication. 51. Cats. 53. Use. 56. A special cave on a Scottish

Island.

58. Disgusting. 62. A place for rides? 64. Some weapons can do this. 65. A witch’s curse? 66. A sickness or a soldier? 70. Busy. 71. Pamphlets. 72. Is this a quiet carol?

SONG

SONG

73. Incapable of being

undone.

74. Santa’s horse power? 75. Radiate with light. 77. An American Street? 79. Having the petals held

together by stamens. 81. Uprising. 83. They sing about zombies. 84. For storing beer? 86. Also called zinc spinel. 91. He drives a taxi.

A 1988 FILM

FROM THE BIBLE

SONG

SCOTTISH NEW YEAR?

HE STOLE CHRISTMAS?

BLUE CHRISTMAS - LITTLE DRUMMER BOY - THE HOLLY AND THE IVY - SCROOGED - AWAY IN A MANGER - I SAW MUMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS - THE THREE KINGS - 5th DAY - HOGMANAY - THE GRINCH

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

92. Very important. 94. Is this a quiet carol? 95. Horse talk? 96. Flawed. 97. Not working.

98. Jesus’ bed? 99. He takes advantage

of generous people.

ACROSS 2. CADAVER - 5. APOPLEXY - 7. TADPOLES 9. LOBBY - 11. RAPID - 13. HOHOHO 18. ZONE - 20. GARLIC - 24. HEPATORENAL 26. MUMMY - 27. LEPRECHAUN - 28. ELEUTHEROMANIA30. FIBS - 31. VIXEN - 32. FUGITIVE - 33. PARACHUTE38. JUXTAPOSE - 39. YOUNGER - 42. VEXED 43. JAMBOREE - 45. OPERATIONAL - 47. OZENA 48. SPEECH - 51. FELINES - 53. UTILIZE - 56. FINGAL 58. ABHORRENT - 62. FAIRGROUND - 64. MISFIRE 65. SPELL - 66. LEGIONNAIRES - 70. OCCUPIED 71. BROCHURES - 72. NIGHT - 73. IRREVERSIBLE 74. REINDEER - 75. EFFULGE - 77. BOULEVARD 79. CATAPETALOUS - 81. REBELLION - 83. CRANBERRIES 84. KEGS - 86. GAHNITE - 91. CABBIE - 92. URGENT - 94. SILENT - 95. NEIGH - 96. BLEMISHED - 97. DYSFUNCTIONAL - 98. MANGER - 99. FREELOADER

28. A frantic need for freedom. 30. Little lies? 31. A female fox or one of

DOWN 1. BACHELORS - 2. CAESAREAN - 3. REDBREAST 4. ABATTOIR - 6. EAVESDROPPED - 8. PANTOMIMES 10. CHRISTMAS - 12. YULETIDE - 14. HARMLESS 15. TEXACO - 16. JINGLE - 17. ILLEGIBLE 19. MAGNETO - 21. ZOMBIES - 22. DANDRUFF - 23. DEMEPHITIZE - 25. INEFFICIENT-29. EVZONE - 34. HOARDER - 35. PUNCH - 36. DESTITUTE - 37. OBSERVE 40. GRANDIOSE - 41. SNOWFLAKES - 44. KEELHAUL - 46. ABETTOR - 49. WHEELS - 50. WHITE - 52. STRAYS - 54. LEPIDOPTERA - 55. MYRRH - 57. LESSONS - 59. HOLT 60. MAHJONG - 61. ANTLERS -63. ROBIN - 67. NOUVEAU - 68. NOURISHES - 69. TINSEL - 73. IANTHINAS - 76. GINGERBREAD - 78. DONKEY - 80. TWELVE - 82. UNICYCLE - 85. SLEIGH - 87. QUITS - 88. EGGNOG - 89. NORWAY - 90. XERIFF - 93. TEXT

2. A dead body. 5. A fit of extreme rage. 7. Little frogs? 9. Hotel entrance? 11. Very quick. 13. Santa’s laugh? 18. An area. 20. A pungent onion? 24. Of or pertaining to

www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 169


STARS IN YOUR EYES SATISH BY ROULA DFOUNI

WIN THIS

We’re hanging out at the new Satish atelier. The accessories line has been around since 2008, but the showroom and workspace are all new. Now you can try things on and see Roula Dfouni in action behind the scenes in Mansourieh. We’re loving the mix of black and white oxidized Sterling Silver with semi-precious stones that Satish does so well. A lot of the Satish pieces can be mixed and matched, making them versatile and both day and night accessories. The stackable rings are sold separately, and created with your individuality in mind. One of our favorite pieces is the black oxidized Sterling Silver ring with rough mine pyrite. We like Satish so much that we’ve decided to include the line in our Holiday Gift Guide. Check out the affordable collection for yourself.

Our RAGMAG staff really wanted to keep these stackables for ourselves, but decided that since it’s the holidays our readers should have first dibs. One lucky reader will be taking home these 3 rings stacked and ready to go. How do you win? Since it’s the holidays, we want you to email letterstotheeditor@ragmaglive.com and tell us why you deserve a little gift to yourself in 30 words or less! Love, Santa RAGMAG

Get All Starry-Eyed with Satish Mansourieh, Metn 03 522 350 www.satishcreations.com 170 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co SatishCreations @RoulaSatish

THE LODESTAR ISSUE


w ww.georgeshobeika.com

DECEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013

www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 171



RAGMAG The Lodestar Issue | December/January 2012-2013 | issue #31