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MAGAZINE

Publisher Gina Gabriel El-Fady Editor in Chief Fida Z Chaaban Creative Lead Odette Kahwagi Managing Director Georges Yarack

Photograhers Odette Kahwagi Christian Harb Dave Kai Piper Jason Zamora Teddy Habib Selected images Shutterstock

Webmaster Youmna Chagoury

Contributors Stephanie Aoun Lara Ariss Liliane Assaf Jonathan Cainer Amal Chaaban Youmna Chagoury Rabih Feghali Maria Frangieh Alice Hlidkova Sarah Hourany Matthew Hussey Maria-Elena Kassab Imogen Kimber Chris Lambert Sabina LLewellyn-Davies Maha Majzoub J.E.N. Nour Obaji Jacques Tchabarian Adam Volk

@RAGMAGLebanon RAGMAGMagazine RAGMAG

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

Media Representative

Stylist Jony Matta Public Relations Coordinator Lea El-Alam Marketing Advisor Daniella Tayar Administrative Coordinator Teddy Younes

Printed by Raidy Printing Group

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

Roula Chamseddine | Account Manager Nada G. Farha | Founder-MD Jdeideh Chalet Suisse St 444 Center 3rd floor Tel: 01 87 16 63 Ext 103 nfarha@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

JUNE 2012

w w w . r a g m a g l i v e . c o m

ON OUR COVER SLASH Photo courtesy of EMI Arabia

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

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THE ENERGY ISSUE

16

EDITOR’S OPINION SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF LEBANON ENERGY CANNIBALS

EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES 62 ROCK STEADY WHITE SKULL

100 COPYCAT

REAL LIFE RUNWAY

108 THRICE IS NICE

MUKHI SISTERS OCCUPY IT ALL!

110 UNPLUGGED SOUND MACHINE OUR FASHION SHOOT

OUT + ABOUT 128 HYDROPOWER

BEIRUT BOAT SHOW 2012

130 A NIGHT AT THE RACES BEIRUT RACE CUP

CULTURE CLASH 28 FILM + FILTHY LUCRE RON SENKOWSKI

34 ENERGETIC LIFE FORCE

DAMIEN HIRST’S TATE EXHIBIT

40 SHORT CIRCUIT

SLASH

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INTERVIEW WITH NEIL STRAUSS

46 50 YEARS OF MUSIC + MAYHEM MICK JAGGER

50 RAW ENERGY

SLASH IS ROCK N’ ROLL

68 ENERGY CRISIS HAYDA LEBNEN

DOLLARS+SENSE 24 ENERGY CRISIS NATURAL RESOURCES

YOU + YOUR COUNTRY 20 CHANNELING ENERGY ROADS FOR LIFE

THE FINAL FRONTIER 66 GROWING MEAT SCIENCE 158 I, BATTERY TECH THE ENERGY ISSUE


THE ENERGY ISSUE

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110

FML 86 PUMP IT UP

OUR PUBLISHER GET’S HER ZUMBA ON

MON AMOUR, MON AMI 70 DRAINING HER ENEGRY MEN, RUIN YOUR RELATIONSHIP

80 25 HOUR DAY

SINGLE DADS NEED SUPER HUMAN ENERGY

MIND, BODY + SOUL 74 REVIVE YOUR MASCULINE ENERGY MATTHEW HUSSEY

78 HELP ME NOUR + RABIH ADVICE

82 UPWARD FLUID MOTION TEAM LEBANON

MIRROR MIRROR 88 LOOK GREAT FOR LESS EUCERIN

90 SHIPS AHOY MATEY! M.A.C.

92 MEN + WOMEN SEASONAL BESTS CHANEL IS YOUR SUMMER SOLUTION

EAT, DRINK + BE MERRY 134 ELECTRIC CUISINE CHEF YANNICK ALLÉNO

136 RESTAURANT REVIEW CRO MAGNON

144 PROTEIN PLUSSES RECIPES

TAKE ME WITH YOU 138 MANIC MARRAKESH TRAVEL

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SEE, SPEAK + HEAR NO EVIL SOUND CHECK MUSIC READ’EM + WEEP BOOKS PLAY NICE GAMES WATCH OUT FILM WORLD VISION BLOGS THE ENERGY ISSUE


A SUMMER TO REMEMBER This season it is all about the flavorful food and vivid entertainment at Amethyste Lounge with amazing fresh cocktails, live music and world famous DJs. Reserve on 01 357 357 amethystelounge.com

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

OUR PUBLISHER GETS HER ENERGY UP WITH ZUMBA. CHECK OUT HER EXPERIENCE IN THE FML SECTION! Welcome to our long awaited June Issue! We’ve got so much for our male readers, to keep them happy and satisfied whilst still giving our female readers the greatest present of all! Our long advertised (God knows we’ve done nothing but talk about it) one to one interview with Slash! You have got to love the MAN! Most importantly though, I am not sure that anyone other than our very own Fida Chaaban, will have done him justice by highlighting his obscurities whilst still making your imagination run wild. Slash!! We all agree that we love you and though I am sad I will not be able to make it to your concert at Byblos Festival, I am convinced that I will find a way to get your autograph. On behalf of RM and our readers we would like to thank Four Seasons Beirut, White Skull and Cesar G. Daoud Physiotherapy and Medical Beauty for the great rewards. Thank you to Slutterhouse, for gracing our Fashion Shoot. Your presence and talent has truly brought it out. Keep your letters and comments flowing to publisher@ragmaglive.com and talk back to me on twitter at @GinaGabriel1. We’re one of the few magazines that talk back and take an interest to what you have to say #ItsYourMagazine

Gina Gabriel El-Fady | Publisher

JUNE 2012

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EDITOR’S LETTER

THE ENERGY ISSUE

Because even RAGMAG needs a kick start once in a while

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e had mixed reviews about last issue, some of you absolutely raved about it and others not so much. We got shout outs for a few articles, namely my FML where I went product-free for a few days and Sarah Hourany’s ever-popular Hayda Lebnen column. Raya Haidar’s comments about May’s issue lit up our Facebook pagethanks for the feedback Raya! Tweeps! Pinteresting peeps! Facebookers! I don’t know who to address first. I’m going to go with RAGMAG’s first love: our Twitter crowd, simply because this is the issue I know they have all been waiting to get their hands on. As you all know, our big gift to you this issue was a comprehensive interview with one of the last great remaining rock icons: Slash! We brought him to you in a big way and now, the man himself is coming to Lebanon for the Byblos Fest! Look for our team in the standing section in front of the stage – WE WOULDN’T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD. I had a great time interviewing him in Amsterdam and I hope you’ll all enjoy reading the results. We were being tweeted off the hook the day I was scheduled to interview Slash, and some of your questions actually made it into the article #ReaderLove. I was a bit of a stalker and got him to hold up RAGMAG’s June cover for you all on my BlackBerry PlayBook. He was a great

JUNE 2012

sport and I owe a big thank you to EMI Arabia’s Emily Kidman and Roadrunner Records’ Morgan Thomas who facilitated the whole shebang. I think the biggest round of applause here should go to Gina Gabriel for giving Odette and I the freedom to chase down the best and brightest for RAGMAG’s covers. RAGMAG is what it is because Gina hasn’t buckled under the pressure to make it like all the other magazines out there. She is at the root of the mag’s identity and I speak for the whole staff when I voice my appreciation. It’s not easy being different, it’s actually much easier to cave in and fill the magazine with pages of junk that you don’t want to see. It takes a lot of energy to stand up for the material that Odette and I come up with, so big love for our fearless Publisher. (Thanks G!) We’ve got more surprises coming your way, so stay with us. This summer is going to be super exciting at RAGMAG, and we’re going to continue to give you #TrueTalk as our readers say on Twitter so often. Write to 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. Email me at letterstotheeditor@ragmaglive.com 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 RAGMAG regrets the misspelling of Le Cordon Bleu Chef Jordan’s name in our April feature.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

FOR OUR MAY ISSUE WE CONTINUED TO TALK TO YOU VIA OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMSPINTEREST, TWITTER + FACEBOOK. WE THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND PARTICIPATION AND HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO INTERACT WITH US ONLINE.

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND SCRIBBLE ON OUR WALL TO WIN, WRITE TO US AT LETTERSTOTHEEDITOR@RAGMAGLIVE.COM OR TWEET US ON TWITTER @RAGMAGLEBANON!

IF YOU’RE BRAVE ENOUGH TO TAKE A PIC WITH YOUR FAVORITE ISSUE, SEND IT OUR WAY VIA SOCIAL MEDIA OR EMAIL! RAGMAG- IT’S YOUR MAGAZINE! RAGMAG reserves the right to edit for clarity and content

CONGRATULATIONS TO THREE RAGMAG READERS! RAGMAG loves reader interaction so we paired up with the Four Seasons Beirut and ran an online reader reward via Facebook + Pinterest! We posted the teasers for the cool rewards on our Facebook page and Twitter a few days beforehand then we ran the competition. The Four Seasons awarded 3 RAGMAG readers a night out on The Roof! Congratulations to Najib Metri, Cyril Rouhana and Sam Mathia!

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


SKYSCRAPER A TASTE OF THE TOWN SUMMER NIGHTS ARE BACK AT THE ROOF!

GET CONNECTED @FSBeirut FourSeasonsHotelBeirut FSBeirut www.fourseasons.com/beirut Minet El Hosn, Beirut 01761000

The much anticipated re-launch of The Roof at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut marked the start of the summer season on May 17th. Guests were welcomed with champagne while they enjoyed the dazzling sunset from the city’s highest lounge bar at 119m, with wraparound views of mountains, sea and cityscape. This year The Roof comes into its own with an upgraded setup featuring elevated perches to make the most of the views, a private area by the pool and sunset-facing seats. The clubby, urban haunt serves up a delicious Asian tapas menu, an extensive drink list and live DJs spinning the latest tunes every night (except Mondays). Four Seasons Hotel Beirut is home to one of the city’s most iconic lounge bars: The Roof.

JUNE 2012

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SUCKING

THE LIFE OUT OF LEBANON ENERGY CANNIBALS RELIGION, POLITICS + THE ECONOMY

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are able to carry on as though nothing was amiss. Something is amiss, so please stop pretending that it isn’t, but my chief concern isn’t political nor is it religious. Yesterday, Hamra was pretty empty around 10pm –the pubs had no customers and the restaurants were empty save for a few waiters. Some of the shops were open, but I doubt they were moving any stock. All of this may sound “3adee” (normal) to you and you might negate this whole piece by saying, “mashee el7al” (vernacular Lebanese -kind of like saying “life goes on”).

It isn’t normal and it’s not a life goes on scenario. Our businesses are suffering due to ongoing shenanigans of religious-politicos. If you, citizen of this country, are the type who constantly laments the lack of fluid income you have, and tirelessly complain about low wages and the increasingly high cost of living in Lebanon, then you should be the first person to agree with me. Frankly, as far as politics goes, my opinion is that all of the politicians in this country need to step aside for those educated in the fields of law and econom-

PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOMEROS / SHUTTERSTOCK

oday is May 23rd Everything is business as usual (kind of). There are taxis honking outside of my apartment. There’s a group of labourers across the street building a new fast food complex and they’ve been working since 7am. There’s the lotto ticket guy trying to peddle tickets with little success. Yes, everything in Hamra is running as per normal: organized chaos. I’m not complaining, I just think that it’s seriously strange that people here are so used to turmoil and mayhem that they

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


EDITOR’S OPINION

ics. Why? Not because I think they’re all pimping their own agendas (sectarian or otherwise), and not because they’re basically the equivalent of gangs or borderline organized crime. (Although both of the aforementioned reasons are good enough to justify them all stepping down.) It is because a country that survives off of very few sources of income needs to have people who know how to maximize that income and have a purely economicbased agenda. Can you name any current party leaders that are economically-driven? I am saddened (and disgusted), by the tunnel vision displayed by both leaders and their ardent followers. The following is a list of some of the things that I feel need to be said about Lebanon’s status as a country. We are buckling under of the weight of internal strife.

1. Fact: Lebanon is a country that needs tourism to generate cash. Tourists don’t come to countries experiencing civil unrest. The GCC is a major source of tourism for Lebanon. 2. Less money flowing into the country means less jobs for everyone. If you

MY CHIEF CONCERN IS NOT THE DISPLAYS OF FANATICISM AND VULGAR REPRISALS, IT IS COLD, HARD CASH AND THE LACK THEREOF.

I AM SADDENED (AND DISGUSTED), BY THE TUNNEL VISION DISPLAYED BY BOTH LEADERS AND THEIR ARDENT FOLLOWERS. JUNE 2012

think you are in an industry that isn’t negatively affected by the so-called “protests”, you are wrong. It is a trickle down situation and unfortunately, quite cyclical. 3. Bars, restaurants and shops reflect the nation at large. When they are empty, their employees get sent home. This is a microcosm of a cycle that anyone and everyone should understand: No customers = no profits = no employees = no paycheques = no money to spend. This is a vicious financial cycle that will hurt us all, no matter what sect you’re from and no matter where you work. 4. If I hear about burning tires and

closed roads, I do not leave my house. I promptly leave whatever social engagement I am attending and head straight home. I personally stop spending at that minute and so do most of the people I know. I am not injecting cash into the economy in times of civil unrest. 5. I have received cancellation emails of events scheduled to take place in Lebanon by 2 multinational companies based abroad who would have generated a good amount of revenue for both the venues and the media. Thus far, no alternative dates have been set. Again, a small example of a larger picture. 6. The media is being accused of sensationalizing the events. I hope that RAGMAG hasn’t contributed to this but there is no denying that things are not good right now. My chief concern is not the displays of fanaticism and vulgar reprisals, it is cold, hard cash and the lack thereof. 7. I know a fair amount of hospitality business owners and public relations people. They are afraid that this past week is just a glimpse of what kind of tough summer we’re in for businesswise. I am too. 8. I figure that most of the people who are free to protest and burn tires and block roads could care less about our economy. Instead, they care about their own agendas. If you support the mass madness, then you are just harming your own family’s health and welfare.

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EDITOR’S OPINION

PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOMEROS / SHUTTERSTOCK

THE IDEA THAT WE AS LEBANESE ARE OUR OWN BIGGEST ECONOMIC DETRIMENT IS DISHEARTENING.

9. The problem with this opinion editorial is that it will not reach the people who need to read this. If it happens to fall into the hands of the demonstrators (thugs and brainwashed sheep), then good. This message is for the people who are “protesting”: your family cannot live off of the $600 monthly salary you make? Imagine that $600 doesn’t exist and your family has to live off of nothing. That’s what will happen if you continue this stupidity because businesses are closing every day and the ones that are hanging on aren’t making any money. NO PROFITS MEANS NO JOBS. 10. If I sound upset and angry, it is because I am. The idea that we as Lebanese are our own biggest economic detriment is disheartening. Many people have posited that this is an external problem imported into Lebanon. I cannot say otherwise because one never knows. Whether or not it is an

external problem imported in is not the matter at hand. The matter at hand is that hordes of Lebanese participated in the hostilities of the past week. Internal or external, Lebanese citizens were part of the problem.

THE PROBLEM WITH THIS OPINION EDITORIAL IS THAT IT WILL NOT REACH THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO READ THIS. IF IT HAPPENS TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE DEMONSTRATORS (THUGS AND BRAINWASHED SHEEP), THEN GOOD.

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I am sad today. I am sad for the people who are trying to make an honest living. I am sad for those of us who contribute positively to Lebanese society and continue to suffer financially at the expense of those who are cannibalizing the economy every day. Business owners, RAGMAG supports you in your endeavours to keep the economy going and the cash flowing. We hope you have a successful summer and we’ll continue to do our part, promoting you and doing what we can to keep calm and carry on

THE ENERGY ISSUE


YOU + YOUR COUNTRY

CHANELLING ENERGY ROADS FOR LIFE BY IMOGEN KIMBER

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eina Kassem is a very brave woman. She has experienced what many would consider one of the worst things to happen to a human being, the loss of your own child, yet she talks openly about this and is working to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else. On October 19th, 2010, Kassem’s son, 17-year-old Talal Kassem, was heading to school like thousands of other teenagers. While crossing the road in Raouche at 7am, he was hit by a car (speeding at 120km per hour) and dragged along the road on the hood of the car. “Talal died straight away, even before an ambulance could get there, so no one could have done anything, but I asked myself, ‘What could I have done?’” said Kassem. To make sure there will always be an answer to this question Kassem started the organization Roads for Life.

LAWMAKERS

Bringing Talal’s friends together for a concert in the Roman amphitheatre in Zouk Mikael was the first fundraising event for Roads for Life. The day before Talal died, he shared a song with his mother, ‘Trinite’ by L’Algerino. Which Kassem explained is about the three most important women in the singer’s life: his mother; his sister and his girlfriend. “The concert wasn’t a memorial, it was because I wanted to hear L’Algerino singing Trinite. [Talal] gave me this song and I wanted to see if there is a message in it for me [...] and it was to bring Talal’s friends together.” This is why Kassem organised L’Algerino and Faudel, another of Talal’s favourite singers, to perform in Beirut.

TALAL DIED STRAIGHT AWAY, EVEN BEFORE AN AMBULANCE COULD GET THERE, SO NO ONE COULD HAVE DONE ANYTHING

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


Raising an incredible sum of money from the concert, Kassem was able to start Roads for Life in order to make roads safe. To do this, she explained, there needs to be action on every level – citizens, police, judge and jury – to change behaviour on the roads.

“Nobody should be above the law. Here you can make a call and...,” Kassem trailed off without referring directly to the ‘loopholes’ (basically corruption) that allow people to slip through. She believes that a system that presents no

Most people don’t drive recklessly because they want to hurt someone. Most people think they never will, but as Kassem pointed out, “He didn’t mean to do it, but what does this offer the family?”

THE MAN THAT KILLED KASSEM’S SON SPENT FOUR MONTHS IN JAIL. KASSEM IS FIGHTING TO CHANGE THIS LAW; SHE WANTS A SYSTEM OF POINTS ON THE LICENSE WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF THE LICENCE BEING REVOKED AND IN SERIOUS CASES, JAIL TIME.

Currently in Lebanon there is no punishment for killing someone in a car – it is not officially a crime but a felony. The man that killed Kassem’s son spent four months in jail. Kassem is fighting to change this law; she wants a system of points on the license with the possibility of the licence being revoked and in serious cases, jail time. In 2010, after Talal’s accident, Interior Minister Ziad Baroud re-introduced speed radars and road accident deaths are said to have dropped tremendously, yet this was not continuously implemented and the problem returned. It is implementation that is the biggest fight.

JUNE 2012

repercussions doesn’t deter drunk driving or speed. Not only does it not encourage a culture of responsible driving, she went as far as saying, it almost encourages people to drive carelessly.

A NEW ROAD

While Kassem and Roads for Life continue the fight for the law to be passed and the uphill struggle of changing people’s driving, in the meantime they are acting to change the response of the health services. Spending $175,000 a year on training, Roads for Life have taken on the immense task of reshaping emergency response across the whole of Lebanon.

What they are introducing is part of the answer to Kassem’s question – she wants to make sure there is always someone there who could save a life if it is possible. When a person has undergone a trauma there is a “golden hour” in which most believe it is the

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YOU + YOUR COUNTRY

crucial time to save the patient. To do this, strategies have been created for Emergency Room (ER) staff, but most hospitals in Lebanon were not following them. In the first sessions last year, 57 doctors were trained from all regions in Lebanon and at present they’ve reached 80 doctors. They have pledged for 130 doctors and hope to see growth in the future. Paramedics, the first on the scene, are to be given Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) training and nurses who would work in the ER are to be given Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses (ATCN). In all cases what this means is they follow a clearly set out procedure which should significantly raise the chances of saving a life. On October 19th, 2011, exactly a year after Talal Kassem was killed, Roads for

Life graduated the first round of medical practitioners. Considering that last year the Red Cross attended 11,161 injured people, 17 percent of whom were pedestrians, this training will affect a lot of lives.

SPENDING $175,000 A YEAR ON TRAINING, ROADS FOR LIFE HAVE TAKEN ON THE IMMENSE TASK OF RESHAPING EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACROSS THE WHOLE OF LEBANON.

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Kassem optimistically believes that the change in the law is just around the corner, but as she realistically believe that the struggle is “95 percent in the law enforcement.”

POST TRAUMA EDUCATION IS THEIR FIRST MISSION AND THEIR SECONDARY MISSION IS LOBBYING FOR SAFER TRAFFIC LAWS. IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT KASSEM IN HER WORK TO TRAIN MORE MEDICAL STAFF OR YOU SIMPLE WANT TO KNOW MORE PLEASE CONTACT ROADS FOR LIFE zeina.k@roadsforlife.org www.roadsforlife.org RoadsForLife +961 3189898

THE ENERGY ISSUE


JUNE 2012

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DOLLARS + SENSE

ENERGY

CRISIS

DOES LEBANON HAVE THE POWER? NATURAL RESOURCES + OUR ECONOMY BY MARIA FRANGIEH

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ormally natural resource abundance is negatively correlated with economic growth, but this relationship has always represented a conceptual puzzle. A country that is endowed with natural resources increases wealth and purchasing power over imports. In the case where a country has natural resources, it will use them to create investments; these investments will increase employment rate which will lead to additional income circulating in the economy, therefore more consumption resulting in economic growth. Venezuela is a good example in this case. The oil rich country has used the revenues to finance diversified investments and call this act “sowing the seeds of oil revenues”. In some cases, natural resources may have high transportation cost such as coal and iron. The physical availability of these resources in a specific country will give the country a competitive ad24 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

vantage, where the economy will benefit from the availability of this resource at lower cost. However this advantage has decreased today with the cheaper transportation costs and these economies can always benefit from this availability. GCC countries are well known for being rich in oil and gas resources: these economies were doing well before the latest financial crises. Their revenues are highly related to the fluctuations in the prices of oil and gas so when the price of oil increases, the revenues of these countries skyrocket and when the price of oil decreases, the revenues plummet. As a result the economic performance was volatile and highly dependent on the international demand for oil and gas. Therefore, diversifying the industries in these countries represents a good solution to stabilize the economy. Lebanon is famous for being a country of tourism. It has a varied landscape that is singular in the immediate region.

It has a unique climate, fertile soil, water, forests, and gas and oil that were recently discovered but yet employed. However, it is not richly endowed with precious stones, iron, steel, and other marketable naturally occurring resources. With the recent discovery of Lebanon’s offshore oil and gas reserves everybody is enthusiastic. However this is a double-edged sword as many other

DIVERSIFYING THE INDUSTRIES REPRESENTS A GOOD SOLUTION TO STABILIZE THE ECONOMY. THE ENERGY ISSUE


countries have demonstrated. Countries with rich oil and gas reserves have experienced low economic growth, higher levels of corruption, and in some cases civil war, notable examples exist in Africa and other areas of the world. This is due to the fact that the country will specialize in the production of oil or gas alone and will be under the mercy of the changes in prices of this production, not to mention the high level of corruption due to the large revenues from these resources. In the Lebanese case, where corruption is already high, and the country’s economy highly depends on tourism, oil and gas production can lead to more dramatic results. Such investments will not recruit Lebanese labor since there are very few Lebanese engineers specialized in the production of gas and oil. The income that will be generated will be channeled outside Lebanon when international labor is recruited.

Success stories do exist: Norway and Malaysia show that there is hope for the Lebanese economy. Lebanese policy makers need to learn from these cases to avoid being trapped in the curse of natural resources. The quantity to be produced, the revenues and how these revenues will be spent are essential questions that should be tackled. The production of oil and gas in Lebanon needs to be well monitored, and owned by the private and public sector at the same time. Such management will only be possible when corruption decreases.

THE PRODUCTION OF OIL AND GAS IN LEBANON NEEDS TO BE WELL MONITORED, AND OWNED BY THE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR AT THE SAME TIME.

WITH THE RECENT DISCOVERY OF LEBANON’S OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS RESERVES EVERYBODY IS ENTHUSIASTIC. HOWEVER THIS IS A DOUBLEEDGED SWORD AS MANY OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE DEMONSTRATED. JUNE 2012

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DOLLARS + SENSE

Many initiatives are being undertaken to limit corruption in Lebanon, such as implementing international standards or ratifying international treaties. It is true that the road is very long, but we will get there someday. Sadly, natural resources such as water, forests, wind and the sun are not being put to good use in Lebanon. Many acres of forests are burning each year; water, sun and wind could be used to generate muchneeded energy that is currently offered at expensive prices to the consumer. A revamp of old laws is needed to make such production by the private sector legal ones. Privately providing electricity in Lebanon is currently illegal, and changing this law can represent a very important opportunity for economic growth.

MANY ACRES OF FORESTS ARE BURNING EACH YEAR; WATER, SUN AND WIND COULD BE USED TO GENERATE MUCH-NEEDED ENERGY THAT IS CURRENTLY OFFERED AT EXPENSIVE PRICES TO THE CONSUMER.

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PRESERVING THE NATURAL RESOURCES IS A PRIORITY IN THE CURRENT TIME, RECYCLING, BENEFITING FROM THE WIND AND SUN TO PRODUCE ENERGY ARE SOME ALTERNATIVES THAT SHOULD BE PRIORITIZED. Since the production of gas and oil is expensive and still in its earliest stages, Lebanon can adopt another approach towards its natural resources. Preserving the natural resources is a priority in the current time, recycling, benefiting from the wind and sun to produce energy are some alternatives that should be prioritized. Every natural resource that is lost cannot be regenerated easily or may never be regenerate at all- they are not renewable resources, some of these

stocks are finite. Today, new ecological solutions are available via private companies: ecological houses running fully on wind and solar power and recycling systems are now available in Lebanon. NGO initiatives to increase awareness on the preservation of the environment are also playing an important role in this regard. The government has also helped providing credit facilities for solar energy products. Let’s hope for the best

THE ENERGY ISSUE


CULTURE CLASH

F AME FILM,

+FILTHY LUCRE

HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER RON SENKOWSKI AND THE CHANGING FACE OF MOVIE-MAKING BY FIDA CHAABAN

RON SENKOWSKI TALKS TO RAGMAG ABOUT HIS CURRENT AND UPCOMING PROJECTS AND HOW THE FILM INDUSTRY HAS EVOLVED. PRESENTLY HE’S WORKING ON THE PROPHET FEATURE FILM, A FILM ABOUT BEIRUT AND FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE AMONGST OTHER PROJECTS. THE 43 YEAR-OLD’S CREDITS SPAN BOTH TV AND MOVIE AND HE’S WORKED WITH SOME OF THE BEST NAMES IN THE BIZ. HERE HE SHARES THE WHAT’S WHAT ON THE STATE OF THE FILM INDUSTRY ECONOMICALLY AND ARTISTICALLY, AND FINALLY, HOW HE HOPES TO IMPACT THE GLOBAL PERCEPTION AND MINDSET OF LEBANON. 28 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

THE ENERGY ISSUE


OPPOSITE PAGE: PRODUCER RON SENKOWSKI AT THE GIBRAN MUSEUM IN B’SHARRE

Y

OU HAVE QUITE A LONG TV CREDIT LISTING. ARE YOU MORE COMFORTABLE WITH TV AS OPPOSED TO FILM?

When you look at IMDB you see mostly TV credits, but in fact I have a pretty deep level of experience with feature films. I was Michael Mann’s head of development for a long time and I wrote features for Adam Sandler, Quentin Tarantino, Barry Levinson. I wrote for all the major studios and worked on a number of feature films. When you write feature screenplays though, they oftentimes just go to studios and sit there. Forever. With television, things usually wind up on the air. For me it’s less about where a film or show finds distribution, be it TV or theaters, and more about the storytelling. Certain stories and types of shows are going to find their audiences in certain ways. I do think that you have to do projects that are viable: can you finance them and look your financiers in the eyes and tell them they will get a very good return on their investment? If you can’t do this with certainty, don’t make the film or show. Sure, there are still risks and without them we wouldn’t need people like me who love pushing boundaries, but you need to temper risk with preparation, skill and hard work. That’s why I surround myself with the best people I can all the time. In Lebanon I’ve found some amazing partners in the folks behind Shankaboot. Toni Oyry and Samara Kawas have become good friends and partners on a number of projects that are set to go forward in Lebanon.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU INTO FEATURE FILM?

I was supposed to go to law school. In fact I was so confused about my life and career that on the law school admission test I refused to answer the essay question and instead wrote about why I didn’t think I’d make a good lawyer. It had all this youthful dreaming stuff about laws of nature versus the laws of man. Unfortunately, the essay actually backfired and I was accepted to three of the top law schools in the world. This made it much harder for me to tell my parents that I was not going to go to law school and instead become a filmmaker. Yay.

IN YOUR TEDX TALK- YOU SAID GROWING UP YOU HAD IDEAS FOR MOVIES- AND THAT THE CHALLENGE IS NO LONGER ABOUT RESOURCES BUT RATHER ABOUT BEING RESOURCEFUL?

Today it is easier than ever to make films. The tools we need are available all around us. And this isn’t just for production, this is for everything: for financing, for distribution, for finding audiences. Today it is scary because if you have the heart and desire to make films there are no more excuses. You don’t need anyone’s permission to go after your dreams. You can begin right now, right this very minute. You can use your phone’s camera, you can shoot in HiDef even. You can build a free channel lineup on YouTube or use Tumblr or Facebook to spread the word. If something is good it will find its audience and your talents will be recognized. This is an amazing time to be an artist. We are drowning in opportunities.

TODAY IT IS EASIER ‘THAN EVER TO MAKE

FILMS. THE TOOLS WE NEED ARE AVAILABLE ALL AROUND US

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CULTURE CLASH BOTTOM OF PAGE: PRODUCER RON SENKOWSKI AND TEAM WITH MYGROUP’S NAEL NASR AT GIBRAN’S BIRTHPLACE

YOU ALSO TALKED ABOUT AUDIENCES BECOMING FRAGMENTED. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THIS?

It used to be that the big networks in the U.S. and throughout the world were the most valuable platforms for advertisers. Why? Because they had the most eyeballs watching the shows. Well, today, it’s more valuable to an advertiser to know they are getting their message to an audience that makes sense. If you are Lexus, you don’t care about advertising to a bunch of 18 year-old boys. You want an upscale audience, perhaps one that is watching the top show on Bravo or A&E. Because of this, the networks and other platforms are actually building niche audiences for which they, the networks, can demand higher rates for their 30 second spots. The drivers behind this fragmentation go beyond ad revenue. Each one of us now has a 24/7, always-on personal media channel. We watch what we want to, when we want to, and how we want to. We aren’t part of a mass audience, we are an audience of one or if we are leveraging our social media savvy, we are part of an audience that has found itself from the ground up. These audiences are taking shape and ever-shifting; they are local and they are global; they are fueled by the latest and greatest social tools at our disposal.

With the right producers and viable projects the risk is lessened and suddenly the risk-reward ratio becomes appealing. You will read every day about how the opportunities are in China right now for producers seeking film investments. Personally, I’m seeing the opportunities in the Middle East, in Dubai, Qatar and Lebanon. What creates this opportunity is an emerging economy, talent both in front and behind the cameras, and a tolerance for taking chances. Name a place in the world that has this combination of traits more so than the Middle East. And within this region, name a more potent crucible than Lebanon. There isn’t one, this is where it’s going to be happening for quite some time.

PERSONALLY, I’M SEEING THE ‘OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MIDDLE

EAST, IN DUBAI, QATAR AND LEBANON. WHAT CREATES THIS OPPORTUNITY IS AN EMERGING ECONOMY, TALENT BOTH IN FRONT AND BEHIND THE CAMERAS, AND A TOLERANCEFORTAKINGCHANCES

CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THE FORMULA FOR THE PROPHET’S FINANCING?

We raised equity from six investors, including Participant Media (“The Help” and “Contagion”), Doha Film Institute, FFA Private Bank, and MyGroup.

HAS INVESTING IN FILM CHANGED? PEOPLE SEE FILM AS A CASH COW AND IN THE PAST FEW YEARS IT JUST DOESN’T SEEM AS LUCRATIVE?

Right now investors are attracted to films because the alternatives just aren’t that attractive. They can make 4 percent before fees in other more traditional investments like telecom or biotech. This is fine for a core of stability, but to see greater return on investment there needs to be a bit of elevated risk.

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


THE CURRENT ROSTER OF TALENT FOR THE PROPHET IS CONSIDERABLE, IS THIS MAKING IT EASIER TO GENERATE THE NEEDED FUNDS?

The animation directors joining the Prophet are from around the world and have been chosen because of their visions and emotional engagement with the underlying literary masterpiece. We have around ten directors, each of whom will be doing a 5 minute part of the film -“On Love”, “On Children” and so forth. Many of these directors have been nominated or have won the Oscar for their work. Having them on board made the project quite viable and as a result the investors liked the story, the chances that this film will do well in the marketplace. The last director we added was Roger Allers of “The Lion King”. He came on board because Khalil Gibran’s book changed his life.

We could not ask for a better visionary at the helm of the film. He is working with the other directors to shape their segments into a cohesive journey that works as a feature film.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU HOPE TO HIGHLIGHT IN THE FILM YOU ARE MAKING WITH VARIOUS DIRECTORS IN BEIRUT?

Lebanese people are the most versatile and generous people in the world. Everyone who’s been to Beirut knows it- Beirut leaves a mark on you. Sure, for some who live in Beirut, it can be a love/hate relationship, but in the end love wins. Even the fact that the power goes out randomly, that’s awesomely romantic.

The first thing that comes to mind is that this film can update the associations people around the world have with Beirut. Think about history and the way global media has created a lasting image of Beirut as a place characterized by violence and war. Obviously, this doesn’t represent the unique heritage, incredibly rich culture and today’s modern Lebanese society. I’ve lived in many places and spent time in many countries and without question, the

EVERYONE WHO’S BEEN ‘TO BEIRUT KNOWS ITBEIRUT LEAVES A MARK ON YOU

ABOVE: SALMA HAYEK AT THE CANNES FESTIVAL 2012. HAYEK WILL CO-PRODUCE “THE PROPHET” WITH RON SENKOWSKI WHILE “LION KING” DIRECTOR ROGER ALLERS WILL TAKE ON NARRATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: RON SENKOWSKI PHOTO TEST - RON SENKOWSKI WITH HEAD OF INVESTMENT OF FFA PRIVATE BANK -JULIEN KHABBAZ - IN BYBLOS, RON SENKOWSKI AT THE GIBRAN MUSEUM SIGNING THE OFFICIAL REGISTER, RON SENKOWSKI WITH NADINE LABAKI, HELEN HUNT ON THE SET OF DECODING ANNIE PARKER

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CULTURE CLASH BELOW: GROUP SHOT FOR THE PROPHET- RON SENKOWSKI WITH SALMA HAYEK AND ROGER ALLERS DIRECTOR OF THE LION KING RON SENKOWSKI WITH AHMED MAHER - LEADER OF THE ARAB SPRING AND APRIL 6 MOVEMENT IN EGYPT

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


BEIRUT REALLY IS A PLACE ‘THAT MOST OF THE WORLD

KNOWS FROM THE NEWS, FROM IMAGES THAT AREN’T TRULY REFLECTIVE OF WHAT’S TAKING PLACE BENEATH THE SURFACE

WHAT IMAGE DO YOU WANT TO CONVEY OF BEIRUT?

Beirut really is a place that most of the world knows from the news, from images that aren’t truly reflective of what’s taking place beneath the surface. There is civilization here. By this I mean you get a sense of history just moving around the city. There are surprises around every corner. And I’m talking about more than just the surprise you get when everyone else around you ignores the stop signs or traffic lights. I grew up in Michigan, outside of Dearborn where there is a huge population of Lebanese. Signs are in Arabic, everything has a Lebanese character. It’s exotic and transporting. Now magnify this by a huge number when you come to the real place. For me the image is emotion. How do you show this? Through love and passion.

DESPITE NEW YORK TIMES COVERAGE OF BEIRUT AS “THE PARTY CITY”, MANY NORTH AMERICANS AREN’T AWARE OF ITS CULTURE AND NIGHTLIFE SCENE WHEREAS EUROPEANS AS MORE IN THE LOOP. WHY THE DIFFERENCE IN GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE?

Okay, I’m just hypothesizing here, but I blame the mainstream media that dominates North America. All that is shown are the images and stories that drive up ratings. Meaning we get the blaring headlines, not the nuances. We get the civil war. Maybe the New York Times talks about the high-life and the moneyboys and girls, but Americans really have blinders on when it comes to this part of the world. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. Paradise doesn’t need to be trampled. The Europeans are far more worldly in their outlooks. We all know Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East. It was a holiday destination for many in Europe. It was a French mandate. Plus, on a practical level, from Los Angeles, it takes a long time to get here on a plane. People in Hollywood don’t have the patience for 24 hours of travel.

I BLAME THE MAINSTREAM ‘MEDIA THAT DOMINATES

NORTH AMERICA. ALL THAT IS SHOWN ARE THE IMAGES AND STORIES THAT DRIVE UP RATINGS

MANY PEOPLE IN THE WEST SEE BEIRUT AS A WARZONE, WHAT WILL YOU PUT FORWARD IN THE FILM “BEIRUT : THE MOVIE” THAT WILL HELP THEM THINK DIFFERENTLY?

As soon as you spend even one day in Beirut and have conversations with people who live here, if you go into their homes, and get to know their families you come alive in ways you never knew. Here we see families gathering, cherishing one another, celebrating their closeness, rooting for one another. We see a buzzing, vibrant culture expressing itself in music halls and galleries. We see values being challenged and worshipped. We see passionate life being played out against a nature that embraces mountains and snow, sea and sand as well as man-made layers that reveal the genius of achievement in architecture and engineering. And then as the city puts you in to a trance it just as abruptly stirs you with a horrific half-shell hotel or other telltale sign of the dormant cancer of recent war. The film will amplify the reality that life doesn’t just go on, it triumphs in every imaginable way.

JUNE 2012

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE SCHEDULED FOR 2013 RELEASE?

Think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and swap out Greek for Gay. We’ve got a stellar cast taking shape with what looks to include Amanda Seyfried and Nikkie Reed, Jeanine Garafalo, Jeremy Sisto, Rebecca Gayheart, and others. It’s a talented group that is approaching the film in an unusual way. About 20 percent of the film will be improvised. It’s set in a cool house outside of Los Angeles over one weekend where there’s a wedding. The thing in the wedding is two guys. It’s like the guys on “Modern Family” if you’ve seen that. We address it head on, with lots of comedy

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CULTURE CLASH

DEATH BECOMES

HIM DAMIEN HIRST’S

ENERGETIC LIFE FORCE BY JEN

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I

f someone stumbled upon the exhibition of Damien Hirst’s works at Tate Modern in London and wasn’t up-to-date on the big names on the international scene, he/she may worry about the state of art. He/she may even question whether or not the works on display can even be categorized as art. And the reviews and buzz this exhibition is generating reveal this on-going debate. Regardless of whether or not Damien Hirst is an artist in the true sense of the word, he is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a massive marketing success. And the seemingly endless queue of people eager to see his work at Tate Modern is testament to this. Damien Hirst states: “We have been planning this show for so long I can’t believe it’s finally happening – I think I was avoiding looking back but now I’ve done it it’s exciting! It’s nearly twenty-five years of my life. There is something for everyone and I’m glad people will get the opportunity to see my work and judge for themselves.” Born in 1965 in Bristol in the UK, Hirst currently lives and works in London and Devon. He is one of the most internationally renowned artists to have surfaced from Britain’s 1990s art scene. Damien Hirst has a passion for Francis Bacon (1909-1992) which is evident in some of his work. One of the works at the exhibition is a 3D interpretation of a Francis Bacon painting and triptychs, something Bacon made great use of, appear. Damien Hirst in turn is an influential figure, inspiring Rachel Howard, a contemporary British artist, and Douglas Coupland, an American author. Despite this seemingly positive profile, he has been accused of plagiarism on several occasions and many of his works are actually the result of the blood, sweat and tears of assistants (though he made his early works), raising questions about the authenticity of his creations. This all adds to the debate about whether or not Damien Hirst deserves his fame. The art world is divided into two camps: those who think he’s a genius in a league of his own and those who think he’s overrated rubbish. And yet this hasn’t gotten in the way of his financial success. He is thought to be the richest artist alive and in 2010 his wealth was valued at around $350 million.

THE ENERGY ISSUE


LEFT: MOTHER AND CHILD DIVIDED (INSTALLATION VIEW) EXHIBITION COPY 2007 (ORIGINAL 1993) GLASS, PAINTED STAINLESS STEEL, SILICONE, ACRYLIC, MONOFILAMENT, STAINLESS STEEL, COW, CALF AND FORMALDEHYDE SOLUTION | TATE Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012 BELOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD 2007 PLATINUM, DIAMONDS AND HUMAN TEETH © Damien Hirst. All rights reserved. DACS 2012. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates For the Love of God will be on display in the Turbine Hall from 4 April to 24 June 2012.

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


THIS PAGE: THE PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY OF DEATH IN THE MIND OF SOMEONE LIVING 1991 GLASS, PAINTED STEEL, SILICONE, MONOFILAMENT, SHARK AND FORMALDEHYDE SOLUTION © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2012. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

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CULTURE CLASH

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


SMALL IMAGES: SYMPATHY IN WHITE MAJOR - ABSOLUTION II 2006 (DETAIL) BUTTERFLIES AND HOUSEHOLD GLOSS ON CANVAS | TATE © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2012. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates LULLABY, THE SEASONS 2002 (DETAIL) GLASS, STAINLESS STEEL, STEEL, ALUMINIUM, NICKEL, BISMUTH AND CAST RESIN, COLOURED PLASTER AND PAINTED PILLS WITH DRY TRANSFERS | TATE MODERN © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2012. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

BIG IMAGE: PHARMACY 1992 GLASS, FACED PARTICLEBOARD, PAINTED MDF, BEECH, RAMIN, WOODEN DOWELS, ALUMINIUM, PHARMACEUTICAL PACKAGING, DESKS, OFFICE CHAIRS, FOOT STOOLS, APOTHECARY BOTTLES, COLOURED WATER, INSECT-OCUTOR, MEDICAL TEXT BOOKS, STATIONARY, BOWLS, RESIN, HONEY AND HONEY | DIMENSIONS VARIABLE | TATE Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

The exhibition at Tate Britain, which runs onto large spinning circles), butterfly series until September 9th, is the first proper sur(collages made of dead butterflies) and fly vey of Damien Hirst’s work in the UK. Hirst series (“paintings” made of clusters of dead started to capture the hearts of fans in 1988 flies) adorn the walls. In and Out of Love and now is “one of the most important artis an installation with a room full of dead ists working today and has created some butterflies and a room wondrously brimof the most iconic works in recent history” ming with live butterflies fluttering around (Tate Modern press release). Hirst’s rise to and pupae holding new life. Crematorium, fame started when he thought up and ora massively oversized ashtray filled with ganized Freeze, an exhibition featuring his, cigarette butts and ash, reeks like a crowdfriends and fellow Goldsmith College stued Beirut bar in the middle of one of the dents’ work. And the rest is one giant leap rooms. Anatomy of an Angel sees a seeminto the limelight after another. The current ingly traditional sculpture of an angel with exhibition showcasbone and internal es over 70 of Hirst’s THE EXHIBITION AT TATE organs revealed most influential and BRITAIN, WHICH RUNS in parts. Immense infamous works. church stained While the curator, UNTIL SEPTEMBER 9TH, glass-like DoorAnn Gallaher, obvi- IS THE FIRST PROPER ways to the Kingously tried her best dom of Heaven is SURVEY OF DAMIEN to ensure the exhiactually a collage bition doesn’t have HIRST’S WORK IN THE UK of dead butterflies a repetitive tone, the (part of Hirst’s very nature of Hirst’s work is tinged with butterfly series). The incredibly famous recurring “images” and “themes” with one For the Love of God, a life-size platinum element being built on or reused over and cast of an eighteenth century human skull over again. covered with 8,601 diamonds, dazzles onlookers. The exhibition traces Hirst’s artistic development from his years as an art student The above may sound rather odd and to the present. Well-known works such random. But there’s more to Hirst than The Physical Impossibility of Death in the meets the eye. Potent themes permeate Mind of Someone Living (a dead shark sushis works. Life and death are locked in a pended in formaldehyde) and Mother and heated exchange where death is always Child Divided (a bisected cow and calf) are the winner. The theme of the cycle of life on view. Key vitrines (large class display recurs over and over again. Much of his cases with things inside them) abound inwork is a momento mori: a reminder of cluding A Thousand Years featuring a dead our mortality despite our attempts to procow’s head, some blood, live flies and an long life. There’s an evident love affair insect-o-cutor. Cabinets with medical packwith anatomy and the sciences which links aging, pills and surgical tools seem to be back to the obsession with death, the fraeverywhere. There’s even a recreation of gility of life and our futile struggle against Pharmacy (yes, a room that looks just like the inevitable. a white, clinical pharmacy with coloured So is Damien Hirst a true artist or an exmedicine boxes in cabinets). Many works tremely lucky fraud? Maybe you should folfrom his spot series (different coloured low his advice and judge for yourself spots on canvas), spin series (paint poured

JUNE 2012

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CULTURE CLASH

S

HORT CIRCUIT

Interviewing the Interviewer

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BY AMAL CHAABAN

AMAL CHAABAN TALKS TO NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

NEIL STRAUSS Neil began his writing career at the age of 11, when he wrote his first book and mailed it to a dozen publishing companies. He never received a response. Unfazed by rejection, he kept writing, almost to the point where his life was consumed by it. He became a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and a staff writer for the New York Times. After going undercover in a secret society of pickup artists, he finally started leaving the house, then wrote a book about it called “The Game” that became a New York Times bestseller. He wrote a few other bestselling books too: “The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell” with Marilyn Manson, “The Dirt” with Mötley Crüe, “How To Make Love Like A Pornstar” with Jenna Jameson, and recently, “Rules of The Game” and “Emergency”. His latest bestseller, “Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead”, collects the 228 best, craziest, and most soul-baring moments from his adventures with musicians, celebrities, and icons while writing cover stories for “Rolling Stone” and “New York Times”.

@neilstrauss neilstrauss http://www.youtube.com/user/manofstyle www.neilstrauss.com THE ENERGY ISSUE


Y

ou once asked Jay Leno “Do you ever have a distaste for someone you’re talking to, and you have to keep it in check while interviewing that person”? Now, I am asking you the same.

I think I have never had a distaste for anyone I was interviewing only because usually I just have a lot of curiosity about the people that I have interviewed. I have had distaste for people that are interviewing me. I think it is because I am always trying to understand them. I am never judging them, I am just trying to understand them. It doesn’t matter if I agree with them or not as human being and as artists. I think if someone is interviewing me and they are either A) not understanding me or B) judging me, that is when I get the distaste because that is the exact opposite of what I try to do. The creepiest biography you co-wrote was easily Marilyn Manson’s. Did you find it as creepy to write as some of your readers likely found it to read?

Yeah, I remember hanging out with those guys thinking I was going to die one night. There are points where I thought I would die; there are points where I thought people would die. It was a unique experience to be that deep in with that band at that time. You see me in disguise in some of their tour videos. There is so much creepy shit in that book. Marilyn Manson is a performance, but he is not an act. Having written “The Dirt” with Motley Crüe, does any excess by rock stars shock you anymore?

Two of the new things I am working on definitely take it to the next level of shockingness. Jenna Jameson’s book “How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale” caused quite a stir among the more conservative of the population. Did you expect that sort of reaction?

I guess so. I think every book I have done has gotten some sort of reaction or been banned in some places. Every book I do, someone tries to censor and then I have to fight for it. I guess if you are offending someone or people have emotion about it, you are doing something right.

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CULTURE CLASH

Recently, it came to light that Jason Trawick will now be sharing conservatorship of Britney Spears. Having interviewed her and seen her highs and lows, what do you think of this?

I don’t get that. I just feel bad for her. I don’t know, this guy may be good for her. I guess I would hope he has her best interests at heart. I know when I met her that she just had no one and nobody was in her corner. They were doing what was in their interests and not in her interest and it was just heartbreaking. You have been writing about and interviewing celebrities from all genres for years. What do you think of the current crop of people who are famous for nothing?

My guess is that the culture will always have people famous for nothing. They get forgotten about quickly. There are always people who are famous for nothing. I don’t think they are famous for nothing, I think they have skills. So Paris Hilton is great at being Paris Hilton. She fills a void in our culture. I mean how great is it for guys everywhere that here is one of the most famous women in the world and they actually have a shot at sleeping with her. She is out there in the clubs every night dancing on tables and groping guys. What I like about people is that they are themselves, I would rather someone be famous for doing nothing if they are great at being themselves. What’s always true is that the first generation is the renegade and paves the way for the next. Paris Hilton paved the way for Kim Kardashian. Some of the people you feature in “Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead” have incredibly large egos. How do you deal with that when trying to interview?

People with the largest egos are the best. People with the greatest insecurities are the worst. Someone with a large ego is just going to show you who they are because they think they are the greatest shit in the world, so someone with a large ego doesn’t realize how ridiculous they sound. On the other hand, it’s the people who have the smallest egos who are the worst interviews because they have so much fear. They don’t show themselves. Korn talks about wanting to be loved in your excerpt with them in “Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead”. Do you think all celebrities in some way want or need the love of the public?

Oh for sure, for sure. I think there are some artists who don’t. I kind of believe P.J. Harvey when she says she doesn’t. Some artists don’t but most do, [because] kind of like Lady Gaga says “That’s what drives you to do your stuff and make it exist.” Even Marcel Duchamp, the artist, says that the artist doesn’t exist in except in relationship to the public. So I think there are two sides to it. When speaking about your interview with The Strokes, you titled that section “The Worst Interview Ever”. How did you finally get that piece put together?

I think that the lead singer felt bad because he got shit from his manager. For the Rolling Stone, like if you are a musician, you dream of your cover on Rolling Stone, like you have made it if you get that cover.

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Have you ever been in an interview and gotten a response that made you think, “Man, this guy is fucked up”?

I think when “?” [the artist’s moniker is “?”] of “?” and The Mysterious started talking about how he was a Martian and how he was from Mars but don’t call me Martian because that’s racist. It was like fucking genius because it is one thing to say you are from Mars but if you are writing a script and you have a guy who is from Mars, never in a fucking million years are you going to think he is going to get upset if you call him a Martian. That is why I write non-fiction because you just can’t make that shit up. As a journalist, you interviewed many interesting people, but don’t you think interviewing Mafioso about their music was going a bit too far for safety sake?

Oh God, you don’t even know what I am doing now. That was nothing compared to the shit I am doing now. I can’t tell you but one project I called the FBI to make sure it was safe to do and they said it was mostly safe and another project this guy threatened my life. I don’t know if I have a fucking death wish or what I am doing but I gotta stop, I want to have children. One I am not even putting my name on, it will be out this summer but I am not even putting my name on it. It is so dark, I had to go to a couple of different printers to get it printed.

‘[HE] STARTED TALKING ABOUT HOW HE WAS A MARTIAN AND HOW HE WAS FROM MARS BUT DON’T CALL ME MARTIAN BECAUSE THAT’S RACIST. IT WAS LIKE FUCKING GENIUS’ THE ENERGY ISSUE


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CULTURE CLASH In “Emergency”, you often use the line “We make fun of those we’re most scared of becoming”. Can you explain that a bit more?

The thing that anyone mocks, the things that people mock and make fun of, why are those things so funny? Because somehow there is a sense that they threaten your identity. You’re scared of that. Like the guys who make the most gay jokes are probably the most scared that they are gay. I feel like what we mock is something that we fear in ourselves. The thing we make fun of the most, there is that fear that that could be them. What do you think of the rise of Anonymous?

I think it was bound to happen. The internet has become its own parallel universe and it’s going to have its vigilante groups and people trying to oppress others. You know, whatever we create, it becomes this microcosm of the universe. What drove you to write the book “The Game”?

Probably being the guy who was in friend zone with girls. There are elements in it that are disturbing and there is an element in it where if you ask me what the book it is about, I would say it is about male insecurity. I think that many genuine relationships have begun from a guy making up a line. I was in the airport a few days ago and a guy who was just going to his bachelor party. He was getting married and he used “The Game” and married the woman [he met]. There are definitely negative aspects to it but one positive aspect is that you definitely meet the shy guys, the nice guys who don’t have the security we talked about earlier. It gives them the confidence to work on themselves. Some of the people you chose to interview or feature were obscure in the North American sense of fame (Kazem El Saher). Why did you choose to write about them?

That’s what I loved when I was at the New York Times, the greatest part of my job was that I could just interview whomever I wanted or found interesting. I could write about these musicians from anywhere in the world. To me, it is more exciting to create a new story than just write about an old story. In your article “The Meaning of Life and The Secret to Happiness”, you write “The human animal is the only one that says “why me....” in regards to being unhappy or adversity. Do you think humans have a sense of entitlement? Do you think that it is generational?

I definitely think human beings have a sense of entitlement that is insane. The people I quote the most in “The Game” are people who say you have to work to get what you want, that the universe is not going to just hand it to you. No, I think we always think things are generational but they I find them cyclical. I think it is personalities. I think there is [sic] some people who whine and some who act. Some people are raised well enough to know you get more by acting

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You wrote a piece called “The Insidious Evil of ‘LIKE’ Culture” about social media conformity. Do you think people ‘like’ things just to be seen as conforming to current social norms?

I think the bigger problem is that social networking is what MSG is to food. The whole social networking culture tricks you into thinking you have significance and if that Facebook page is gone, what have you done.

In “Psychic Spies” you write, “This is not a conspiracy theory”. Given that you now know the government actually funded this program, how many other conspiracy theories do you think might be true?

Oh, I mean I think the thing is that the [U.S.] government does many preposterous things and there is no end to those things. Whether they prove the concept is different. Do they have programs that train psychic spies? Yes. Are they really psychic? No. Do they have programs for alien warfare? Probably. Is there going to be alien warfare? Probably not or who knows so I do think they have done preposterous things. What I do think is interesting is this whole chapter of U.S. government history of having psychic spies or penetrating Russian labs and drawing pictures of Nuclear Warheads. You know Jimmy Carter says that during his presidency, a psychic spy found a downed spy plane in Zaire. Then again, you walk into these things with no judgement and this guy sits you down and has you doing these things that appear to be psychic and your mind is blown. Two choices: this is a magic trick or this stuff is real?

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REVIVING

THE STONES BELOW: THE ROLLING STONES IN CONCERT AT RFK STADIUM DURING THE STEEL WHEELS TOUR IN WASHINGTONS D.C., ON AUGUST 4, 1994.

MICK JAGGER REFLECTS

ON UPS+DOWNS

W

hat have been your career highlights?

It was great to getting the band going the very first time because you start to be successful for the first year or first couple of years and you’re like all your little teenage dreams are, so to speak, coming true and you feel young and very ambitious and you’re starting to be successful – that feels really good, like getting your first job, doesn’t it? What about the bad times?

Bad times. There’re lots of bad times in a career, you know. The Rolling Stones have had a pretty long career and always there’s been good things and bad things. People die, you know. But I mean I guess most of the times it’s been pretty positive.

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What would you do if you had the chance to use a time machine?

It’s quite interesting, you know. Do you ever read history books about, “What if?” What if Napoleon had conquered Russia and then it wouldn’t be like… and so it’s interesting if you follow these books through to their logical conclusions but it’s not really interesting unless you can do that. You know it is easy for me to say: would have been nice if I had been a film director or a ballet dancer or an accountant. What would have happened? But you don’t know the answer. Do believe in fate?

I don’t. But the problem is that you’re not completely in control of your life when you’re young.

THE ENERGY ISSUE


‘YOU’RE NOT

COMPLETELY IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG’ CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ROLLING STONES RARITIES ALBUM COVER, MICK JAGGER ON THE COVER OF RPM MAGAZINE IN JUNE 1975, ROLLING STONE BEGGARS BANQUET ALBUM COVER, MICK JAGGER AND KEITH RICHARDS ON THE COVER OF ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE

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LEFT: MICK JAGGER AT THE 62ND ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS AT THE BEVERLY HILTON HOTEL ON JAN 16, 2005

‘THE ROCK BUSINESS IS VERY NARROW. IT’S LIKE A VERY NARROW POLITICAL PARTY WITH VERY FEW VIEWS IN IT’ Have you ever told your children to do or not to do something because of your experience?

You’re always telling and that’s what it is to do- it’s parenthood. What you do is giving parts of your experience to them. I mean, you don’t always save them from real life. Or you can use examples. That’s what you do with children all the time. Someone once said, “If you don’t advance, you’re dead”. So how far can you still advance after such big success?

You have to keep yourself from just repeating yourself. It’s very difficult to do in anything. Whether you’re a writer or a journalist or a painter. Especially the rock business is very narrow. It’s like a very narrow political party with very few views in it. And as soon as you’re striving it goes, “Oh no, wait a minute!” If you do a rock show with 25 half naked dancers, everyone goes, “Oh no but it’s awful, you can’t do that!” So the confines of it are very narrow and it’s very hard to keep anything interesting going within the narrow confines. So there are many, many conventions that you have to keep up. 48 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

THE ENERGY ISSUE


REVIVING THE STONES | MICK JAGGER REFLECTS ON UPS + DOWNS

Do you think that bands these days also have the chance of becoming as big as the Stones are?

I think so. I mean the only thing is it´s been going longer as a musical form. So rock music as defined by, let’s say four blokes playing in a band, was quite new in the early sixties. But now it´s 40 years old as you put it out. The whole idea and form is older now. So how many generations? Two? Three generations? So it´s like an old thing being handed down now. It´s probably more difficult to make such splash as it was, for that reason. You are over 60 years of age. Do you still like to party with the girls, drugs and rock n’ roll after every show?

No, you don´t want to party every night with the drugs and the girls and the rock n´ roll, but some nights you might… Are the hotel lobbies still as crowded with groupies as they used to be?

Well, some places are good. But it is not really where you look for your entertainment, to be honest

‘YOU HAVE TO KEEP

YOURSELF FROM JUST REPEATING YOURSELF. IT’S A VERY

DIFFICULT TO DO IN ANYTHING. WHETHER YOU’RE A WRITER OR A JOURNALIST OR A PAINTER’

Mick Jagger + the Stones to be Celebrated in eBook The Paris interview with Mick Jagger in 2003 is an excerpt from the eBook “The Rolling Stones – 50 Years | Views from the Inside – Views from the Outside” courtesy of The eBook People GmbH publishing house. The book is 2000 pages and will feature the 50th stage anniversary of the Rolling Stones and is to be released for sale in July. Credit: Patrik Mallberg / The Interview People | Paris in spring 2003, several weeks before the Stones kicked off their 2003 world tour. The interview has been edited down for RAGMAG and does not appear in its entirety. The full interview can be found in full in the eBook to be sold on amazon.com

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: “THE ROLLING STONES - 50 YEARS” EBOOK COVER, THE ROLLING STONES MORE STRIPPED ALBUM COVER, MICK JAGGER ON THE COVER OF RECORD COLLECTOR.

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


ASH RAW,

ROCK N’ FUCKING ROLL LIKE IT’S MEANT TO BE BY FIDA CHAABAN

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CULTURE CLASH

A

pril 12, 2012 I am sitting down to write this preamble 5 days before I interview one of the greatest rockstars in music history. I’ve researched every angle of the Slash’s life and even read his memoirs, a New York Times bestseller penned by rock-writer Anthony Bozza (a character in his own right, Bozza is probably the only writer that I could see doing Slash’s book). Be warned, like everything else about Slash, it is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for the weak of stomach. As someone who prides myself on knowing a great deal about pop culture, I can honestly say that reading Slash’s book left me incredulous. Real rock bands have hard-partying reputations; the saying sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll is rooted in fact, and it may as well have been written especially for Slash. His book and video footage give you more than a glimpse into the life and mind of a man who, despite not finishing high school, has become one of the best recognized faces in the world. There are a few things I need to get off my chest before this interview happens. The first is that I’ve always harboured the idea that Slash would be dead of an overdose by the time I rated high enough in the media world to get near him. Since the Grammy winner’s venture into sobriety, the self-professed former heroin addict, by all accounts alcoholic and sometimes cokehead, is now as healthy as a horse. He’s had a few brushes with STI’s (venereal warts and crabs) and his heart even stopped once for 8 minutes- a direct result of the drugs. He’s still ticking and I will meet him less than a week from now in Amsterdam. The second thing is that no matter how dirty you can get it, no matter how low you can sink, Slash can do you one better. Slash has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music such as the late King of Pop Michael Jackson and hybrid-crooner Lenny Kravitz, post GN’R he formed Slash’s

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Snakepit and Velvet Revolver to huge critical acclaim –even highbrow Esquire magazine was signing his praises. He has worked with music pioneers Stevie Wonder, Alice Cooper, and Ray Charles, to name but a few. His newest album Apocalyptic Love launched this past May, features Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators (released by his label Dik Hayd International). The 47 year-old musician (born Saul Hudson), who launched his self-titled first solo album March 2010, is said to detest the kind of grandstanding that it takes to sell and promote records. He isn’t a spotlight fan and claims to have been drunk and/or high during most video and photo shoots. I am not expecting a miracle out of this interview, and readers neither should you. April 14, 2012 Slash is inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Guns N’ Roses amidst a flurry of controversy – band mate Axl Rose declines the honour. April 19, 2012 I walk into

Slash’s room at the Sofitel Grand in Amsterdam and he is sort of reclined on the couch playing with his iPhone. The statuesque and model-like Morgan Thomas of Roadrunner Records introduces us and takes a few snapshots. I look frightened and Slash looks like he’s done this a million times. Morgan leaves the room and I begin by letting him know I’m going to start recording. We make small talk for a while, touching on the Middle East and his upcoming tour which may or may not include Dubai. “I wanted to do a show over there and it looks like there might be one, I’m not going to say what it is in case it doesn’t happen. I played there with Velvet Revolver,” he says wondering aloud at the year. As this article went to print, his headliner appearance at Lebanon’s Byblos Festival has just been announced. At the time of this interview, I had asked if he was willing to come to Lebanon and as the fates have it, he will. Did I manifest this? Possibly yes, since I have been eating, drinking and thinking Slash for the past 2 months. Slash seems easy-going when talking about touring in random cities, and in the West, Beirut is still considered a random city: “I’m the kind of person that likes

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to play places where if there’s an audience there that wants to see you, I can play in the most obscure places… We did that on this tour. One of the great things about being a solo thing is because I don’t have to answer to anybody; I don’t have to negotiate with the other guys if we can play this place or that place. Last year we played in Indonesia and it was fucking awesome! No one ever plays there, you know?” I have to admit this: the man is seriously attractive. I mean genuinely good looking with cut arms and a sexy charisma –and before you say a word about this, hang on because he’s married to Perla Hudson and is the father of 2 sons. Slash is sitting very close to me and I can really feel his energy radiating outward. Maybe this is why I get bold and ask if he ever thought he would be monogamous. Laughing, he says, “I’ve had, like any rock musician, my share of promiscuous activity. But I’ve always been a one-girl guy. From the time I was 13 I’ve had long term relationships and I’ve had in between of just dicking around.” Hold on a minute, “promiscuous activity”? Is it just me or is the man extremely well spoken? I begin to deviate from my list of prepared questions because Slash’s articulate speech and surprising mastery of language throws me for a loop. At this point, it’s clear that the voice of his biographical book isn’t Bozza, it is actually Slash. I suggest he’s an introvert and express surprise at his tell-all bestseller, isn’t it too private? “It’s actually not because I am very introverted. It’s sort of cool, there’s nothing in the book that someone doesn’t know. It’s very common knowledge and it’s not very private at all. It’s not digging deep- it’s very much surface stuff, there’s a lot of anecdotes. It’s a cool book, I’ve haven’t read it in a long time. The whole purpose of me doing the book was to clear the air about some particular subjects that were getting blown out of proportion on the internet so when I put the filler in I just put the whole rest of my story, I just put all the sort of very easy simple surface stuff. It’s not an exposé of very internal stuff,” he assures me.

JUNE 2012

But the crazy binges, the recounts of orgy-like group sex and STIs that are mentioned? “It’s me, like come on, I’ve been in a rock band since I was like 15 years old! That’s like stuff that goes without saying.” I prod a bit further and it’s my turn to get shy as he puts me on the spot: “I’m very shy and if someone, like you, were to start detailing incidents, that would be very disconcerting,” he says laughing. He laughs again when I ask if he ever thought he would become a family man, “I mean no, I don’t think I ever really thought about it. I live very much in the now so I didn’t have long term plans for the future. So I never thought about it and then you know, you get into a serious relationship and I had been for a long time before kids came into it. But when she got pregnant I was 37 and I looked and thought am I ready for this? And I thought, okay we can do this, I can handle it because I’m very much in love with this person.” Where is Perla now? “Nobody travels with me. She pops in and out and brings the kids during summer break or whatever it is.” But she certainly tweets at him, and if you follow Perla (@PerlaFHudson) on Twitter, you’ll notice messages aimed directly at Slash every so often. He has over 1.5 million followers, does he ever read the tweets coming at him? “It’s really surreal, you know when you’re reading

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CLCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: GUITARIST SLASH AND MUSICIAN LENNY KRAVITZ PERFORM ON STAGE AT THE MILLER ROCK THRU TIME CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF ROCK CONCERT AT ROSELAND SEPTEMBER 17, 2004 IN NEW YORK CITY. (PHOTO BY MATTHEW PEYTON/ GETTY IMAGES) MICHAEL JACKSON & SLASH DURING MICHAEL JACKSON’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION - 2ND SHOW AT THE MADISON SQUARE GARDEN IN NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK. (PHOTO BY KEVIN MAZUR/ WIREIMAGE) MUSICIANS SLASH AND ALICE COOPER PERFORM ON STAGE DURING THE 2012 REVOLVER GOLDEN GODS AWARD SHOW AT CLUB NOKIA ON APRIL 11, 2012 IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. (PHOTO BY FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES) STEVIE WONDER, BONO AND SLASH PERFORM ‘ACROSS THE UNIVERSE’ FOR THE TSUNAMI RELIEF PERFORMANCE (PHOTO BY KMAZUR/ WIREIMAGE FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY)

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what people think of you…” he says trailing off. “It’s not something you don’t necessarily want to do. I put stuff out there and I might read the last 5 tweets but I don’t usually.” For the readers who tweeted at me prior to the interview about Slash’s top hat and guitar pick (@SamWahab) – the famous top hat was in another room and his pick was in his guitar case. I did get to look at his guitar and it really is a thing of beauty. Slash shows it to me and comments, “It’s insured. I had a bunch of guitars stolen from my house a long time ago. I managed eventually to get them back. Don’t even go there, it was an inside job. They took a bunch of stuff- top hats, guitars, other equipment. Anything that they thought they could get something out of… it was definitely for cash with that amount of stuff.” For the reader (@BeirutBeerBelly) who tweeted at me asking if Slash plays Guitar Hero: “I don’t like to read articles about me, see myself on TV. So playing myself on a video game…” He gets almost shy and continues, “I went into an arcade one time and these 2 kids were playing the arcade version and they had me on the thing… it was really awkward. They didn’t see me. I played Guitar Hero before I got involved with it but as soon as they put me on the box, I was like okay…” For the reader who tweeted (@ AcidBurn_TD) a question at me regarding the look of Slash’s eyes, he was wearing mirrored Ray-Bans but I could see through them due to our proximity and his stare is something out of this world.

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About his new album, he says that “for somebody who has no fucking idea what it is necessarily that I do, it’s a really great hard driving rock and roll record -very bare bones and raw. For fans of mine it’s probably one of the best records I’ve done in a while.” His best riff or song in his catalogue? “I don’t have one. You write music and you’re happy when you’ve come up with something cool and you move on. God, heaven forbid I only have one riff that’s any good… It would be easier for me to pick someone else’s riff.” This is something else worth noting about Slash, he is extremely modest. Who does he think is the best guitar player in the world? “I think still for rock guitar -even though he’s sort of a fusion guitar player- Jeff Beck. I think he’s the most innovative and tastiest and most interesting to listen to.” Here we offshoot into some of Slash’s best known collaborations and of course one of these is with Michael Jackson. “With Michael, we had a lot of synergy on stage for sure because Michael does his thing and he gave me the freedom to do my thing and it just worked; but Michael’s very shy and very sort of introverted himself so he just gave me complete freedom in the studio and he would go do his thing and then he would come back and check it out. We had a very professional, semi-personal relationship and I really liked him a lot, but we didn’t sit down and work out stuff and interact a lot in the studio. We did our most interaction on stage.”

THE ENERGY ISSUE


‘I ALWAYS SAY ROCK AND ROLL SHOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO FUCK OR FIGHT’

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Someone once told me that Slash is a real rockstar; he’s not like the new wave of pseudo-rockers running around with their Evian waters and eating at organic restos with manufactured sound. As I share this with him, Slash takes a minute before calling me out on my comment and gets seriously animated. “That’s a very judgemental thing to say but then when it comes to where rock and roll is right now, it has nothing to do with what they eat or what they drink or that kinda shit. Like what is rock? Are they making music that has any soul to it? Does it make you feeling anything? Does it generate some sort of emotion, you know what I mean? Does it have an attitude? That’s what sort of lacking in rock and roll at present, to me, because when I came out it was all about freedom of expression. It could have been aggravated and antagonistic kind of music or it could have been sex-oriented but it made you feel something. I always say rock and roll should make you want to fuck or fight… or something. So that’s what’s lacking in rock these days. It seems like a lot of kids are throwing on their guitars –but that’s a sign of the times too, you know? There’s no youth movement [in the West] – there’s nothing to rebel against. Everyone’s on their computers, it’s a very sort of bland time, maybe not politically. I’m talking about where kids are coming from. They’re not taking a stance on anything. They’re not seeing what’s going on around them. There’s no real…” Passion? Fire? I offer both of these to him and he agrees. “Yeah, it’s very bland. And that seems to come out in the music. So for me, I just do what I do. I do what turns me on and it doesn’t necessarily relate to what’s currently going on, but I’ve always been like that.”

SLASH BY NUMBERS 2

Slash was runner-up on Time magazine’s list of their 2009 “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009. Slash’s ranking on the list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine in 2011. The ranking of Slash’s solo in “November Rain” on Guitar World’s 2008 list of “The 100 Greatest Guitar Solos”. His solo in “Sweet Child o’ Mine” ranked number 37 on the same list. The ranking of Slash’s riff in “Sweet Child o’ Mine” on Total Guitar’s 2005 list of “The 100 Greatest Riffs”. “Out ta Get Me” made number 51, his riff in “Welcome to the Jungle” weighed in at 21, and “Paradise City” ranked number 19, totalling 4 hits in the same list. The ranking of Slash’s guitar solo “Paradise City” on Total Guitar’s 2006 “The 100 Hottest

65 6 1

3

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At this juncture Slash asks me how I ended up in Beirut and I am ready to scream: nobody fucking cares about me right now, this has to be about you! My time is ticking so I answer his questions as quickly as possible and go back to interview mode. I can’t waste my time with him, especially since I only have a few more minutes so I hope I don’t come across as rude. I cut him off and ask what it feels like to be REALLY fucking famous? Pausing carefully Slash looks directly at me with one of the most penetrating gazes I’ve ever seen and says evenly, “Fame for fame’s sake… I mean a lot of people are doing that these days. Being appreciated for what is it that you do is one thing and to be known for that is hugely flattering… To be identified as an individual for your own unique sort of thing and people don’t lump you in. But being just recognized and famous and walking around the street? I’ve never really understood what I was supposed to do with fame per se. I remember way back in the late 80’s 90’s [sic] when Guns N’ Roses first got big – we finally arrived at this place- and it was just empty. There was nothing about it that I could really relate to. The only thing about fame that makes it worthwhile is when you have an audience that appreciates you. When you go out and do a concert and they fucking really love you; that interaction from the people you play for and like I said before, that’s how I sort of gage success. The rest of it, you know I mean I can’t knock it for having arrived at a place where supposedly you’re successful, that’s great but I don’t relish the whole fame thing, you know what I mean?” And I do

Guitar Solos” list. His solo in “Sweet Child o’ Mine” placed at number 30 and “November Rain” clocked in at number 82 totalling 3 accolades. Slash’s riff in “Slither” placed as runner-up on Total Guitar’s 2006 “50 Greatest Riffs of the Decade” list. The riff he performed in “By the Sword” was ranked number 22 on the same list. Slash is named “Best Guitarist” by Esquire magazine with glowing references to Velvet Revolver. Slash is awarded the title of “Riff Lord” during Metal Hammer’s fourth annual Golden Gods awards. Slash is awarded a star on the Rock Walk of Fame with his star next to music icons Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix. Slash is ranked number 21 on Gigwise’s list of “The 50 Greatest Guitarists Ever”.

2

2005 2007 2007

2008

2010

Slash is the honouree at the Sunset Strip Music Festival. He is given a plaque dedicating August 26 as “Slash Day” by West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman. Slash performs at the Super Bowl XLV half time show. According to Nielson, it was seen by over 106 million people, “becoming the mostwatched program in U.S. television history”. Slash is honoured by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. They name him as an official selection to be awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Slash is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14, 2012 as part of the original Guns N’ Roses line up amidst a flurry of controversy regarding Axl Rose declining to be part of the proceedings and refusing the honour.

2011 2011

2012

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

ROCK

STEADY WITH

EDITOR’S PICK

MEN, WHO WANTS TO CHANNEL THEIR INNER ROCKSTAR? MAKE IT HAPPEN WITH THE NEW MEN’S FASHION RANGE FROM WHITE SKULL. WE THINK YOU’RE GOING TO BE WEARING WHITE SKULL’S SELECTION OF RINGS, MONEY CLIPS, BRACELETS AND MORE. ALL OF WHITE SKULL’S PIECES ARE MADE BY SILVERSMITHS IN 925 STERLING SILVER AND HAMMERED TO PERFECTION. WHILE THE RANGE IS MEANT FOR THE GENTS OUT THERE, WE’RE PRETTY SURE YOU LADIES ARE THINKING OF SPORTING IT FOR YOURSELVES, WE KNOW WE ARE!

WIN THIS WHITE SKULL WANTS TO DRESS YOU

LEBANESE GUYS + GALS TO WITH THIS WHITE SKULL HOOK BRACELET AT A VALUE OF $200, YOU’RE GOING TO EMAIL letterstotheeditor@ ragmaglive.com WITH THE FOLLOWING 2 THINGS 1. Send us the phrase “RAGMAG GETS ME ROCKING WITH WHITE SKULL” 2. Link us to your favorite rock song on YouTube To account for delivery discrepancies in Lebanon, we will choose 1 winner randomly, not the first person who emails in. Fair play, RAGMAG readers!

White Skull is available at Christina Debs Jewelry 116 Trabaud Street, Achrafieh, Beirut 01217116 TheWhiteSkull 62 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

THE ENERGY ISSUE


RAGGED ENERGY FACTS PHYSICAL

PHYSICS

Energy (from the Greek energeia, meaning activity or operation) is the ability to pull and/or push against the basic forms of nature along a certain path. The energy of an object, like its mass, cannot be created or destroyed but can be converted within certain limits. In the International System of Units, energy is measured in Joules (J) but can also have other units (think kilowatt-hours and kilocalories).

2 Type

YOU’RE SO

NEGATIVE In the early 1700’s, scientists noticed that metal gains weight by oxidizing; this was the first observation of negative mass. In theoretical physics, negative mass is the opposite sign of the mass of normal matter, which violates the principles and conditions of energy. This concept is used in some speculative theories such as the construction of wormholes.

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Physicians have determined several forms of energy, such as thermal, chemical, radiant, electric, magnetic, nuclear, elastic, sound, mechanical, surface and luminous energy which can all be classified as kinetic energy, potential energy or a mix of both. Kinetic energy is a function of movement whereas potential energy is a function of the position of a certain object.

73

The percentage of dark energy in universal mass-energy. In the fields of astronomy, celestial mechanics and physical cosmology, scientists agree that this hypothetical form of energy (dark energy) permeates all of space and contributes to the acceleration of the expansion of the universe. Although the physics of dark energy remain unknown, a 2011 survey showed that more than 200000 galaxies seemed to confirm the existence of dark energy. It is thought to be very homogenous, not very dense and only interacts with gravity.

THE ENERGY ISSUE


13-15 TAKE A

CHILL PILL You passed your test, you’re thirsty and you want to chill out. Why not grab an anti-energy drink? Instead of caffeine and sugar, which energy drinks use to boost you up, anti-energy drinks boast ingredients such as theanine and melatonin to help you relax. Sales of these drinks, which were launched in 2000, doubled between 2008 and 2010 and are expected to grow even more popular by 2014.

The age range of most energy drink-aholics. The first energy drinks were sold in medicine bottle-like cans in Japan in the 1960’s, but the industry has boomed since then. These drinks are particularly popular among young people and brands like Red Bull and Monster show up in young people’s fridges all over the world, especially when cramming for a test –you know you’re guilty!

NR-getic! Since it was first founded in France in 1981, this radio station has grown and now has stations in 21 countries. It prides itself on playing “Hit Music Only” and uses the same slogan and jingles in all broadcast countries to cater to its loyal international audience. NRJ (which sounds identical to Energie in French or Energy in English) hosts the NRJ Music Awards to honor popular musicians.

JUNE 2012

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THE FINAL FRONTIER

GROWING MEAT SCIENCE IS LOOKING FOR FOOD ENERGY ALTERNATIVES BY J.E.N.

T

he world is getting hungrier. With rapidly growing populations, less land that can be dedicated to agriculture and farming, and high food prices, scientists and governments are keen to find solutions before it’s too late. Some think creepy crawlies might be the solution. Some cultures already relish the crisp crunch and hearty flavor of worms, maggots, cockroaches. And so insects could be a viable addition to our menu, especially since they are high in protein and low in fat (making them great for the health conscious). They also are relatively easy to breed and farm (plus, unlike cattle, they don’t need much space). Not everyone can stomach this solution and find it to be a bit too leggy for their taste. Professor Mark Post has another solution: let’s grow meat in labs without having animals in the recipe. With $387,720 in funding and a year to come up with results, Professor Mark Post, head of the department of vascular physiology at Maastrict University in the Neatherlands, pulled off the seemingly impossible. Post is at the forefront of a novel trend of research to cook up effective ways of creating meat without animal farming. Muscle stem cells are the main ingredient in the process and if it is applicable on a wide

scale, it will revolutionize the way we get our food. Post clarifies: “we want to turn meat production from a farming process to a factory process.” Post’s dream is nothing new. Attempts were made by Willem van Eelen with stem cells for decades but to no avail. However in 1999, he got a patent for his idea. Three years later NASA become interested in experimenting in this field and Morris Benjamin from Touro College in New York actually managed to grow a fish fillet from a goldfish’s muscle cells. The fillet was marinated and fried but no one could try it because of laws that ban the eating of products created by experiments. NASA then pulled the funding since they felt other solutions might be more cost-effective and quicker. Dr. van Eelen appeared on the scene again in 2005, getting $2.58 million worth of funding from the Dutch government so he could try to grow meat in a test tube. To get the results he wanted, van Eelen divided the work up into several ambitious projects but they ate

PROFESSOR MARK POST IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF A NOVEL TREND OF RESEARCH TO COOK UP EFFECTIVE WAYS OF CREATING MEAT WITHOUT ANIMAL FARMING.

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GROWING MEAT

away at the money and hence a more modest approach had to be adopted. 2011 saw an anonymous philanthropist jump into the frying pan (rather than the band wagon). He contacted Prof Post and said he would pay him to create a hamburger from a Petri-dish. Since Prof Post was familiar with Dr. van Eelen’s work, he agreed while acknowledging that this was “likely the most expensive hamburger that we will ever see on this planet.” So how does the meatmaking process work? Stem cells are collected from a cow, chicken, lamb etc. (depending on what type of meat you want). Some scientists

believe stem cells from an embryo are best since they are the most “versatile” and one embryonic stem cell can ideally create tones of meat. Post begs to differ since it’s super difficult to control embryonic stem cells (i.e. to ensure they will become muscle cells and not

myosatellites can be taken from an adult cow for instance without killing the animal and these cells will definitely become muscle (and nothing else). The next challenge is exercise. For muscle to grow well, it needs exercise. Obviously muscle cells in a dish can’t do push-ups or go for a run and so Post had to find a solution. He has anchor points made of Velcro in the Petri-dish that pull on the muscle. Muscle is programmed to contract and so the muscle struggles to reduce the pull on it, working itself out in an attempt to become strong enough to assume its naturally contracted position. The result? Strips of muscle 2-3 centimeters long and 2 millimeters thick. Given the nutrients and oxygen available in the Petri-dish, the muscle can’t get larger, but Post has plans to create a system that can deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the growing muscle. The result? A nice thick piece of steak.

THE RESULT? STRIPS OF MUSCLE 2-3 CENTIMETERS LONG AND 2 MILLIMETERS THICK. another type of cell). This is why he opted for myosatellites, a muscle stem cell. The good thing about this is that

Post will be serving up his first burger by collecting many of the tiny strips and mincing them with seasoning. He’d love the chef to be someone famous like Jamie Oliver and the taster to be a celebrity. Why? Because he knows lab grown meat doesn’t sound appetizing and hence it needs the right sort of marketing to warm the public to the idea. Petri-dish burger anyone?

GIVEN THE NUTRIENTS AND OXYGEN AVAILABLE IN THE PETRI-DISH, THE MUSCLE CAN’T GET LARGER, BUT POST HAS PLANS TO CREATE A SYSTEM THAT CAN DELIVER MORE NUTRIENTS AND OXYGEN TO THE GROWING MUSCLE. LEFT: SCIENTIST MARK POST DISPLAYS SAMPLES OF IN VITRO MEAT OR CULTURED MEAT

JUNE 2012

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CULTURE CLASH

HAYDA LEBNEN’s

ENERGY-LESS 30s! BY SARAH HOURANY

BEFORE YOU SAY YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN NUMEROLOGY, WE ARE OFFERING YOU PROOF IN LEBANESE SOCIETY.

T

hough ridiculed by mathematicians, scientists, and skeptics, the use of numerology to predict how events will unfold according to the energy patterns of specific numbers stands on firm grounds. Before you say you don’t believe in numerology, we are offering you proof in Lebanese society. The number “30” predicts, with remarkable accuracy, a series of events that marks the life of Lebanese people, both men and women. While the number 30 announces the beginning of women’s long struggle in their search for a 3aris before it is socially “too late” (as we discussed in April’s issue), it also declares the sudden shift of men into lazy creatures. Now, if you ever witnessed this weird and annoying behavior among your brothers, friends or boyfriends, then what we are about to discuss shouldn’t surprise you at all. If you haven’t, then carefully examine what the magic number “30” is truly hiding! At 30, Lebanese men ditch the art of tochfit and teznikh that they practiced for years on Lebanon’s main streets, using sports cars malghoumeh with giant 4x4 with truck tires (for better vision from above).

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At 30, Lebanese men stop going to their football, rugby and basketball games. At 30, Lebanese men boycott their beloved gym in which they spent days and nights ykabro 3adalaton w y3edo their baby packs one by one. At 30, Lebanese men throw out their old pair of jeans, dirty running shoes and their big collection of concert Tshirts. Wait… Don’t allow yourself to get excited about the seemingly constructive “change” before hearing the rest of the story! At 30, Lebanese men decide to select the couch as their new territory. The teznikh bisir online (poke, friend request, Facebook message). The sports games become virtual (ESPN, Eurosports and a whole bunch of play station tournaments). The clothing style bisir “chemise et pantalon” -Eno henne 2abaduwa jadd, with a belt accentuating their newly developed kerech. Chu nsite eno “el rejel bala kerech, ma byeswa 2erech”?

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In brief, at 30, Lebanese men take the awkward decision to ykhatyero and constantly nag about it! What should you do? Vitamin injections? Ma bonsahik! Personal trainer at home? Ou3a tjarbe! The only thing you can do, dear, is adopt a sarcastic attitude. Responding to his nagging with tmoskhor replies can help you preserve your sanity and patience • Oh, you are feeling fat? I’m sure it is not the 5 sandwiches of Taouk you ate last night, or the kes of whisky and sahnen bzourat!

AT 30, LEBANESE MEN DECIDE TO SELECT THE COUCH AS THEIR NEW TERRITORY.

• Oh, you are feeling tired? I’m sure it is not the 10 DVDs you watched in a row over the weekend while lying in bed! • Oh, you are feeling lonely? I’m sure it is not the women you are NOT seeing, because the last date you had (in real life) was 3 years ago! (Bedna nkhafif Facebook eh?) • Oh, you are feeling angry? I’m sure it’s not the series of political/to2bir TV talk shows you are addicted to. • Oh, you are feeling stressed? I’m sure it is not the lack of exercise, because last time you went to the gym was… in your 20s! • Oh, you are feeling sick? I’m sure it is not the arguile yali ma betchila men temmak! Now that you’ve learned coping mechanisms for the energy-less men in your life, we leave you alone in the battle-

field. But as much as we hate to tell you this: the situation is only going to get worse. How do we know? The law of conservation of energy, habibe: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only change from one form to another”. Based on this solid scientific evidence, we know for sure that the energy they had before reaching their 30s will be gradually transferred to their tongues. So if it happens that you are dealing with a guy that was very athletic before he hit the big 3-0, we leave it up to you to do the math! One small remark, though, is that adding some extra Joules to the final result is a must. It’s not that we are breaking the laws of physics, but when it comes to talking and nagging, we always have a lot of spare energy. How come? Ma hayda Lebnen, ya 3ayneh!

OH, YOU ARE FEELING FAT? I’M SURE IT IS NOT THE 5 SANDWICHES OF TAOUK YOU ATE LAST NIGHT, OR THE KES OF WHISKY AND SAHNEN BZOURAT! JUNE 2012

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MON AMOUR, MON AMI

DRAINING HER BATTERIES MEN

TEN WAYS YOU CAN RUIN YOUR PERFECTLY GOOD RELATIONSHIP

1

2

RELIVE YOUR YOUTH Tell your partner (girlfriend or spouse) that you wish you were a teenager again. Tell her often and loud. She’ll be so thrilled that you want to revert back to not wearing pressed shirts and holding down a stable job. It may even remind her that you and your hoser friends used to smoke pot all the time. She’ll find this super attractive, especially since it kills your ambition, which ties in nicely to being a stoned teenager with no prospects and assets. This relates to number 2. SPONTANEOUSLY DECLARE THE DESIRE TO CHANGE CAREERS This one is especially good for men 30 years old and above. Tell your partner that your long coveted dream of being the next Tiesto needs to happen. Explain that your career as a successful professional isn’t fulfilling your “creative side” and doesn’t “nourish” your “artist’s spirit”. Amplify this by showing her pictures of your boy band from high school and relive your best frat house performances in an articulate play by play. Include the part about it being the “best keg party ever”.

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3

PUT YOURSELF FIRST… ALWAYS! Share your need to be self-indulgent. Do so in the following manner, “Babe, I know you think I’m being really selfish lately, but I need to do this for me, okay? Really, I need to put myself first.” Back this up by giving her examples of all the times you pissed her off royally, like agreeing to a guy’s trip when you already had plans to be with her. Ignore the voice in your head that tells you how much of a jackass you are. Oh wait, that’s her voice! See number 4 for more clarity on this.

4

TALK, TALK, TALK + DON’T LISTEN Tell your significant other that you are listening to her very valid concerns, and then promptly repeat the exact same thing you said that started the fight to begin with. Some examples of things you can repeat come from the previous 3 points: “I need to be selfish”, “I wish I

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was a kid again”, and “I want to work on my music” over again but reword them subtlety. Finish these statements off with something that shows you are listening: “I know you said you don’t agree but…” and redeliver your lines. Perfection!

5

REFER TO YOUR MOTHER WARMLY + CHANGE SUBJECTS WHEN THE INEVITABLE ARGUMENT ENSUES You can remind her how much your mother dotes on you. She writes on all of your Facebook pictures and loves when you tag her. Show this to your partner and share a chuckle over how much your momma loves you. When she reminds you that your mother is making her miserable, brush it off. We suggest you say, “But you know how my mom is, she just wants me to be happy.” This will also suggest that your partner is incapable of filling those cavernous shoes- no one can make you as happy as your mommy!

6

EXPECT YOUR PARTNER TO GIVE + YOU CAN DO ALL THE TAKING! Sharing is caring so when your partner does a mountain of considerate things for you, smile and say, “Thanks, Babe”. Show her how much thought you put into your gifts by giving her carbon copies of the souvenirs you bought for other people, and mention this a few times over. When her face turns an unbecoming shade of purple, don’t worry- she is just holding her breath so the curse words don’t come flying out. Then next week get her a gift and tell her it was because you were a moron the first time around. Forget to give her a card with the second gift, so it looks like you are even less sensitive than she first thought.

7

FUCK OFF WHEN SHE NEEDS YOU When she is sick in bed at home, BBM (or Whatsapp) her often and tell her what a great time you’re having at Caramel Club in Dubai. Tell her how packed the place is and how

much you’re having to drink. This will let her live vicariously through you. Then tell her how your friends are all drunk off their asses and incoherent and that you’re taking this party to a whole new level! Forget about asking if she’s alright, no one needs reminding that they’re not feeling well. Instead, tell her to go to bed because it’s too loud at the club for you to call her and say goodnight. Presto, you’re golden!

WHEN HER FACE TURNS AN UNBECOMING SHADE OF PURPLE, DON’T WORRY- SHE IS JUST HOLDING HER BREATH SO THE CURSE WORDS DON’T COME FLYING OUT.

SHE’LL FIND THIS SUPER ATTRACTIVE, ESPECIALLY SINCE IT KILLS YOUR AMBITION, WHICH TIES IN NICELY TO BEING A STONED TEENAGER WITH NO PROSPECTS AND ASSETS.

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MON AMOUR, MON AMI

8 9

LIVE THE MORNING AFTER, RINSE + REPEAT! The next day, call her at 2pm and tell her how hung over you are. Tell her you don’t remember what happened, and that you passed out in your clothes. Tell her the party was so good that you and the guys are all going for a late lunch to talk it over. Ask her how she’s feeling and when she says she is a bit better than yesterday, give her an encouraging, “Good, Babe” and tell her you’ll call her later. Don’t call until much later, and when she seems to be giving you attitude, don’t worry- it’s just the flu talking! DO ONE THING RIGHT EVERY DAY… THUS KEEPING YOU IN HER GOOD GRACES You screw up often, but if you do one thing right every day, she won’t break up with you. In fact, she will point out how good you are at that very moment, and you can use that to defend yourself every time she tells you off. You can also use the best friend card here. Say,

“At least I’m not like Yousef, who’s a complete asshole,” to remind her how much better you are than your friends. They’re a bunch of apes and by comparison, you’re a monkey- cute and mischievous! You see the benefits here? We’re not pros at this for nothing!

10

SORRY IS FOR SUCKERS Finally, the ultimate way to mess things up: don’t apologize! Ever! Never say you’re sorry until she drags it out of you tooth and nail. Make sure she has to berate you soundly, repeating your offenses for hours on end, until you apologize. This indicates to her that you are “thick-skulled” her words, “brave and unrelenting”, your words. When she goes all crazy on you, smile and tell her how she reminds you of that crazy girlfriend in the movies. Better than that even? Tell her this relationship isn’t “easy” anymore and that it’s becoming “a lot of work” at which point her head will spin like the girl from the Exorcist. You win!

Men, if you are guilty of any of the above, you’re screwing up in the major leagues. If you want to try and salvage the mess you’ve made, then you had better shape up or ship out. Your partner does not have an inexhaustible supply of energy, and we see that battery light flashing

THE NEXT DAY, CALL HER AT 2PM AND TELL HER HOW HUNG OVER YOU ARE.

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JUNE 2012

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MIND, BODY+SOUL

RENEW YOUR MASCULINE ENERGY

THE MAN LIST BY MATTHEW HUSSEY

PEOPLE CAN SMELL A REAL MAN FROM A MILE AWAY

B

eing a man isn’t something we are taught in school. Some cultures have tribal rites of passage, which officially mark the transition from boyhood to being a full-fledged man. Unfortunately, the rest of us just have to sort of figure it out for ourselves. Many men feel lost now about what masculinity means; many of us have become so used to being told to be gentle and sensitive that we forget just how to go about expressing our masculine energy. Being a man isn’t something we do now and then, it’s an ethos that is carried in the way we live and carry ourselves through the world. People can smell a real man from a mile away (not literally, a real man never overdoes it in the cologne department!). If you want to be someone people look up to as the model-male, read the list below, get it done, get empowered and start feeling like you can drag an express train with your bare hands:

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CALL THE SHOTS Take a look at any group of friends getting together for an evening out, and the chances are they will dither and waste half an hour trying to make a decision about what to do. Not you, because you’re a man. A real man eats decisions for breakfast (along with eggs – real men maintain a balanced diet). Weak men, on the other hand, are constantly deferring the big decisions to someone else. They shirk responsibility because they are afraid of saying the wrong thing, or because they are too timid to risk saying something the rest of the group disagrees with. Start becoming one of life’s leaders. Likewise, if you are on a date, always know what you want to do next. If your date asks where you want to eat, just say, “I know the best Chinese resto in town! We’re going,” then grab her hand and lead the way there.

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BECOME THE LOUDEST VOICE IN THE ROOM A sure sign of a timid man is being too quiet. Timid men try to blend in the background so that they don’t take up to much space or intrude on other people. Look, I don’t want to convince anyone be the obnoxious frat boy here, but if you want to feel immediately more masculine it’s time to make your presence known. The most alpha male in any room is usually defined by his voice. He will speak loudly without restraint, because he knows that what he says is worth listening to. DARE DEVIL I don’t care what your idea of terrifying is, the important thing is that you charge into fear and come out smiling. Do a skydive, ask out a woman, quit your job and start the business you’ve always dreamed of. Think of ideal men in popular culture: James Bond, Don Draper from Mad Men, or any film star-

ring Bruce Willis. These men are never overwhelmed when they face intimidating situations; they feel the fear and boulder straight through it. Someone wise once said: First you do the thing that scares you, then you get the courage. Become a man of courage. KEEP YOUR WORD A man is as good as his word. Whenever we make a promise, we have to deliver and then some. Women find it irresistible when they call up a man and say, “Honey, did you book that trip yet?”-you can nonchalantly reply, “We’re flying out of here on August 15th. You better have your bikini ready.” Women love it when a man can be relied upon to take care of things. Then when you get home, march straight up to your partner, look deep into her eyes and say “God, you’re so sexy right now”, then pull her towards you for a huge, sexual, Hollywood-style kiss. Just for extra man points.

LEAVE THE PARTY WHENEVER YOU WANT Stick to your purpose. Be unwavering in your individuality. Don’t be controlled by the crowd or let peer pressure tell you how to spend your time. When you want to leave the party to get some work done, you leave. You don’t make excuses and apologies for living your values. A man is someone who lives his purpose every single day and cannot be diverted from his direction. When you take this responsibility for living your life on your own terms, you’ll feel like Superman, Elvis and the Incredible Hulk combined. Tape this to your wall, make it your program for the next month, and you’ll be able to move mountains, and what’s more, as Rudyard Kipling observed, “You’ll be a man my son” Want more? Go to www.matthewhussey.com/blog

WHEN YOU TAKE THIS RESPONSIBILITY FOR LIVING YOUR LIFE ON YOUR OWN TERMS, YOU’LL FEEL LIKE SUPERMAN, ELVIS AND THE INCREDIBLE HULK COMBINED. RAGMAG brings you the best in selfimprovement. Matthew Hussey is one of the leading talents in behavioral change and success. As a Life Strategist he has founded two coaching companies working with thousands of individuals across the globe to show them ways of making dramatic shifts in their lives. Matthew’s success has been built on finding out what people want, and showing them how to make it happen in the shortest time possible. He is currently a weekly columnist for Now magazine, providing expert advice on dating and relationship issues for female readers. In addition, his coaching has been featured in the Lon-

JUNE 2012

don Metro, Evening Standard, The Sun, The Independent, Men’s Health, Glamour magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Elle magazine. A highly sought after public speaker and executive coach, Matthew has consulted companies including Accenture, Virgin, Morgan Stanley, Weil & Gotshal, and CB Richard Ellis, as well as over 5000 individuals and organizations ranging from directors of FTSE 100 Companies, Universities, international investment funds, artists, and royalty. For more information on Matthew Hussey´s worldwide coaching programmes visit www.matthewhussey.com

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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 SUGGEST YOU KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT AND SUCK IT UP. I DID. SOONER OR LATER HE WILL GET SICK OF HER ON HIS OWN” My problem is that I am kind of friends with this girl because I have to be. We’re friends with all the same people and she recently started dating a close friend of mine. I don’t like her for a few reasons: her personality seems fake and she is kind of dumb. I don’t want to sound rude but I hate talking to this girl when we are out. Am I wrong to tell my friend that I don’t want to be out with them and that I think she’s fake? Do I have to keep up the fake-friendship? Amal, 36

“To begin with, you don’t ‘have’ to be friends with anyone. It is enough to be polite and civil in company, no one is telling you to make this girl your BFF. In addition, you should stay out of her relationship with your friend. It is none of your business and presumably your friend meets your idea of intelligence or he would not be your friend. I think that in the event you choose to stick your nose in where it doesn’t belong like some scheming mama who thinks no one is good enough for her precious baby, you are going to cement the impression you give in this question of being a first class jerk and a snob.” Sarah, 24

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dumb, he will dump her eventually and even if he doesn’t, that’s his problem not yours. You are always going to come across people in your life that you can’t get along with, you just have to control how you feel about them.”

Nour’s Vote Nour has been in this situation. The Interactive Panel all attacked you soundly, but I agree with you –walks like a duck, talks like a duck… I suggest you keep your big mouth shut and suck it up. I did. Sooner or later he will get sick of her on his own (I’m basing this on what I’ve seen with my own best guy friend) and then you’re off the hook scot-free.

Rabih’s Vote Don’t voice your opinion. From experience, I can tell you that chicks like her don’t last in relationships. Be courteous at all times and avoid being passive-aggressive. Keep the peace... que sera sera. I want plastic surgery badly! I know that it sounds stupid, but I hate the way I look. I feel fat and I know that I’m bigger than most girls. My friends are all skinny and they are always showing me new diets and stuff like that. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how I can afford liposuction and how I can do it without people knowing. What do you think of this and what are my options?

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MIND, BODY+SOUL Stef, 32

Nour’s Vote

“This is a very difficult question. You say you feel fat and you know you are bigger than most girls. Well, I have to tell you, we are our own worst critics. Having spent my life being hypercritical of myself (more so than my critical family even), I can tell you I know how you feel. I don’t know that surgery is the answer because I think your self-esteem needs work and that needs counselling. No amount of surgery will make you feel beautiful if you don’t think you are and no amount of liposuction will make you thin in the long term if diet and exercise are not a part of it. My advice to you is before considering surgery, consider changing your lifestyle to include cardio, better food and if need be, hire a dietician to help you get started. Surgery can sometimes be the answer but it is risky and expensive.”

I am not a fan of plastic surgery. You also might notice that RAGMAG is plastic surgery-free. We don’t cover it and we don’t encourage it. That being said, it is a scientifically proven fact that how you look affects both your state of mind (self-confidence and social navigation) and your professional advancement (you are more likely to be overlooked if you are not “attractive”). I say go for it –if and only ifyou have tried everything else. Regarding the logistics: there are loans available for this in Lebanon (although I don’t agree with this), and as for public opinion, plastic surgery is widely accepted in Lebanon and the Middle East. Besides, who cares what people think? At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live in your skin, not them. I was truly tempted to delete Rabih’s answer, but it’s his column too- my apologies in advance.

Nisrene, 27

“Do whatever you think would make you feel better, but honestly there is nothing worse than lying about it. 1) It shows you know? Everyone will notice and they will ask you and you will lie and they’ll know you’re lying. 2) There is no shame in plastic surgery, EXCEPT when you lie about it. Then it’s just pitiful.”

Rabih’s Vote Your only option at this point is to stick to launch a healthy diet/exercise regimen. Plenty of free plans are available online. There is no place in this society for fat people (let alone fat women... you can gain the weight later after you’re married) – do what you gotta do – and don’t wait any longer.

“I SAY GO FOR IT –IF AND ONLY IF- YOU HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE”

JUNE 2012

No matter how much I try, I can’t seem to get further in life. I know you probably hear this all the time but I really work so hard and I never get chosen for important things at work or promotions. I tried to talk to my boss and he just closed the subject after a few excuses. I think it might be because of my personality. I’m not so popular at work and I was very shy at school. At work everyone is friendly to me but they never include me in plans that aren’t part of our job. What can I do?

Nour’s Vote I know I should give a pc (politically correct) answer but the truth is some people have that special something that makes other people want to hang out, and some don’t. It’s clear that you are slightly diminutive but that shouldn’t be a reason for your co-workers not to reach out to you. I think that you need to work on your personality –look for social cues that other people give off- preferably dynamic ones. Nour is known to be quite social and engaging but this is a learned behavior, not an inherent one. I worked very hard on my personality and continue to do so. Think about this. Rabih and I see this completely differently- no surprise there!

Rabih’s Vote There’s only one way out of this: change jobs. Find a different company that would appreciate your hard work and truly value what you have to offer. This time around, you’d be starting with a fresh slate so impose yourself and mark your presence from day one.

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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

GUY’S CORNER “I THINK IT’S PERFECTLY OKAY FOR A GUY TO DO SO ONLY IF IT IS ONCE IN A WHILE AND YOU HAVE A LARGE DISPOSABLE INCOME.” Every time me and my girlfriend go out with her friends I end up picking up the bill for everyone. I don’t mind but it’s expensive. Going out in Lebanon costs a lot and it’s okay if it’s once in a while but it’s happening every weekend. If I say something to her she’s going to think I’m cheap but I think she should realize on her own how expensive this is getting. What do I do? Youmna, 22

“I think she’s just someone to whom this is natural and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Run. Away. NOW.” Maya, 21

“I think your problem started the minute you paid for her friends. You’re not dating them and you’re not responsible for picking up their bill. I do suggest talking it over with the GF, but not directly after an outing –she’ll think you’re criticizing her friends or saying you don’t like them.” Samar, 39

“Lebanon is distinctive in how truly expensive it is to have a decent social life vs. how much money people actually make. Your girlfriend lives in the same country so presumably she understands that you don’t make a lot of money. I think you need to have a serious talk with her about quality vs. quantity. In this talk, you can tell her that it is nice that her friends like to hang out with you all weekend but that it won’t be happening that often because you just can’t afford to pick up the bill. There is absolutely no shame and no reason to feel cheap when you are trying to live within your means.”

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MIND, BODY+SOUL Roula, 29

“Err...and why are you paying for her friends in the first place? It’s normal (in the Middle East) for the guy to pay for his girlfriend but not for all her friends. While it shows generosity when done from time to time, it seems unfair and ridiculous for it to happen each and every time. I suggest you discuss things with your girlfriend. Do you want to be with someone who thinks money grows on trees and everything comes easy?”

Nour’s Vote Nour was dating someone who picked up the bill for her friends once or twice a month maximum, not every weekend. I think it’s perfectly okay for a guy to do so ONLY if it is once in a while and you have a large disposable income. More than that is just taking advantage of your generosity. You will have to be upfront and honest, and barring that, rip out this page and hand it to her. That should give her a clear picture of what’s up.

Rabih’s Vote Your girlfriend should be realizing on her own that you shouldn’t be picking up the tab for her friends. If she’s not already doing that, it just means she’s with you just for the ride. So, unless you’re really benefiting from it and getting the most out of this relationship in other ways (wink wink), I suggest you dump this broad for a more sensible lady.

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How much do I have to pay for when I’m with my girlfriend? Sometimes I let her pay for our dinners and stuff like that. I always pay for the expensive stuff but my friend (a girl) said that it’s wrong to let my girlfriend pay at all even though we make almost the same amount. I don’t think this is right? Analisa, 34

“Your friend is stupid and I advise you not to listen to her anymore. Both of you work, I don’t see why you’d have to pay all the time, nor why she’d have to do that.” Rouba, 29

“As a person who believes in equality, I can tell you that I believe that your girlfriend can pick up the tab once in a while. To broach the subject, simply ask her when she is going to take you out for a nice dinner (in a joking fashion). It is unfortunate that you would even have to broach it because realistically speaking, she should know that without you saying it but it is what it is. In the end, you’re right she can pay once in a while and should pay once in a while.” Elena, 25

“I hope your friend (the girl) finds a very wealthy, Eastern-minded man who will finance her every whim, but let’s get real here. A) Life in Lebanon is expensive B) Sharing (the bills) is caring and C) We

girls like to invite you out. You’re apparently confident enough so that her paying doesn’t threaten your sense of manliness, so there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with her picking up the bill.”

Nour’s Vote I am against the IP on this one. I don’t agree with paying for things when I am on a date or in the first 6 months of a relationship. It, to me, is indicative of deeper issues. Once in a long while, when I am very secure in a relationship, I pay for things just as a courtesy, but this is long after he has passed every other test. To me, relationships are an investment and I am not prepared to make a financial leap into something that hasn’t proven its mettle. One of the first questions I ask my friends when they report on dates is if he picked up the bill. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

Rabih’s Vote Ignore your friend (girl). She’s an idiot. Unless you’re earning 5 times your girlfriend’s salary, you can continue in this fashion. It’s perfectly normal- just try not to become a cheapskate

“TO ME, RELATIONSHIPS ARE AN INVESTMENT AND I AM NOT PREPARED TO MAKE A FINANCIAL LEAP INTO SOMETHING THAT HASN’T PROVEN ITS METTLE.”

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MON AMOUR, MON AMI

25

THE

HOUR DAY

SINGLE FATHERHOOD DEMANDS SUPER HU MAN ENERGY BY MARIA-ELENA KASSAB

WHEN YOU THINK OF A SINGLE DAD, YOU PROBABLY IMAGINE SOME HUNG OVER DUDE POURING EXPIRED MILK INTO HIS POORLYDRESSED SON’S CEREAL BEFORE DROPPING HIM OFF LATE TO SCHOOL. THINK AGAIN.

I

f you were raised by a mother and a father who, yes, would argue about the most pointless things and decide every single detail about your life until you become an adult and move out, you had the chance to experience life with a unit of two people who assumed very different roles: in general, fathers often take on the role of provider, the voice of authority, the protector against real life dangers and things that go bump in the night. Mothers, on the other hand, usually tend to be more tender, sentimental and easygoing. When mothers are absent from the household, this equilibrium is shot off-balance and fathers find themselves struggling to juggle all those responsibilities and jobs that are often quite contradictory. When you think of a single mom, your mind automatically flashes to the stereotypical image of the harried, noble, attractive mother left to fend off for herself and provide for her children after the father either abandoned the family, died or went to jail. When you think of a single dad, you probably imagine some hung over dude pouring expired milk into his poorly-dressed son’s cereal before dropping him off late to school. Think again.

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There are many types of single fathers: Non-Custodial Single Fathers, Joint Custodial Single Fathers, Custodial Single Fathers, Widowed Single Fathers, Adoptive Single Fathers, Remarried Custodial Fathers. Add to that Active Single Fathers, Never-Married Single Fathers, Absent Single Fathers, Long-Distance Single Fathers, and Incarcerated Single Fathers. And while some of these situations may be easier than others, there is no denying that single fathers work harder to provide both material and familial comfort for their children. With days that start at 6:00 to wake the children up and end at 11:00 pm with tucking them in, days filled with long hours of work, caring for sick children, cooking meals, cleaning a house and chasing nightmares away, it’s no wonder single dads often wish there were more hours in a day, just to get things done.

THE ENERGY ISSUE


When mothers are completely out of the picture, whether it’s by choice (divorced parents or she wants nothing to do with the children) or by fate, single fathers have to develop a slightly split personality in order to be both Mom and Dad to their kids: they have to hug a broken-hearted teenager and learn the intricacies of bra shopping; they try be more lenient with curfews when a young boy takes his girl out for the first time and weigh the pros and cons of waxing legs versus shaving them; they have to listen to endless babbling about how their daughter’s frenemy totally borrowed her earrings and never gave them back and navigate the tricky waters of the dreaded Talk; they have to build up a timid boy’s ego before his first solo violin performance and try to convince their daughters that the tat-

tooed kid with the motorcycle isn’t a proper suitor… All these things that mothers do best, fathers learn to master when push comes to shove, all while juggling their responsibilities as the man of the house. And if a single father were to fail at his Mom duties, the kids look for the tenderness and affection they crave somewhere else, somewhere possibly shady or risky. Children also tend to blame their fathers for everything, from their mom’s absence to poor cooking skills, from economic trouble to bad grades. There is not a minute that goes by without them worrying about every aspect of their children’s lives and it is common for single fathers to feel utterly helpless as their kids go from children to teens and eventually adults.

When a man has charge of his kids fulltime, he dedicates his life, his time, his money and his energy to them, to raising them and making sure they become respectable and respectful individuals. When he finds a free minute and meets someone new, an even bigger hurdle appears: how to make the kids accept this new woman. If the kids don’t like her, Papa won’t keep her and will have to bear it in silence because kids come first. His feelings, his needs and his desires come second and although some people would boast that they would never let their kids dictate their lives, fathers usually bow down to their children’s will in this regard. So to all the single dads out there, Happy Father’s Day –I take my hat off to you

THERE ARE MANY TYPES OF SINGLE FATHERS: NON-CUSTODIAL SINGLE FATHERS, JOINT CUSTODIAL SINGLE FATHERS, CUSTODIAL SINGLE FATHERS, WIDOWED SINGLE FATHERS, ADOPTIVE SINGLE FATHERS, REMARRIED CUSTODIAL FATHERS. ADD TO THAT ACTIVE SINGLE FATHERS, NEVERMARRIED SINGLE FATHERS, ABSENT SINGLE FATHERS, LONG-DISTANCE SINGLE FATHERS, AND INCARCERATED SINGLE FATHERS.

JUNE 2012

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UPWARD FLUID MOTION

CLIMB THE 7 SUMMITS WITH TEAM LEBANON BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

LEFT TO RIGHT: MOUNT KILIMANJARO, ALLALINHORN SUMMIT (SWITZERLAND)

T

eam Lebanon is humble towards the mountain. They despise the mountaineers who become arrogant after climbing a few summits and keep going if a storm is coming up. At Aconcagua – South America’s highest summit peaking at 6962m – their first summit as Team Lebanon, Avedis (an expedition member) felt very sick a few meters before the summit. They paused for a couple of minutes and then Avo decided to go back to the camp. He didn’t make it to the summit, but he made a selfless and mature decision. “If I had kept going and felt sicker, I would have endangered the whole team or at least ruined the expedition for them” he explains. Team Lebanon is the first national Lebanese team to climb what’s known as “the 7 summits”, the highest summits of each continent. Individuals have done it before, like Maxime Chaya, as part of an international expedition, but never as a Lebanese team. The members met through their love for the mountain and outdoor activities. All linked to Avedis, a mountain guide and member of Team Lebanon, they nourished a team spirit and decided to take the plunge together.

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“PEOPLE SAY THEY HAVE CONQUERED THE MOUNTAIN. NO ONE CONQUERS THE MOUNTAIN. YOU JUST CONQUER YOURSELF WHEN YOU REACH ITS TOP.” Team Lebanon’s message is multidimensional and is rooted in their love for Lebanon’s landscape. “We live a country where the mountains are really easy-access. You’re just out there walking, you don’t need to plan it long before or wait for holidays. It’s a shame that people out there are not aware that there are so many outdoor activities in Lebanon, and that anyone can do it,” says Rana, one of 2 female members of Team Lebanon. “Even the image that we have outside Lebanon is one of dining and clubbing. Yes, the clubbing scene is nice, but there is more to Lebanon.”

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Team Lebanon sends out the message that you can be a very “ordinary” person yet have extraordinary dreams. And they’re living proof: “We all have different jobs and different backgrounds, ranging from expertise in oil and gas in the Middle East, to teaching, to pharmaceutical consultancy,” says Peter. “We work, we have families, we go out, we lead a normal life.” And then, sometimes, they climb a summit like Elbrus, the Russian mountain planned for July 2012. Peaking at 5642m, Elbrus is not the hardest summit in the world but needs specific training. Unlike Aconcagua, where they climbed to reach a higher camp every day until the summit, at Elbrus, they’ll have to climb a bit fur-

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ther every day but come back to base camp, until they reach the summit in a day and come back. “Each mountain is different and requires different training,” Lindos explains. “We won’t have to train [by] weightlifting like Aconcagua, since we can leave part of our equipment at camp, but the mountain is covered with ice and snow from level 0, a condition that requires us to work on our stabilization capacity and specific muscles of our body by hiking every weekend, and by working on our cardiovascular capacity.” One example of this is simple workouts like running or biking, sometimes using masks that diminish the oxygen intake to simulate to breathing conditions on the mountain.

UNLIKE ACONCAGUA, WHERE THEY CLIMBED TO REACH A HIGHER CAMP EVERY DAY UNTIL THE SUMMIT, AT ELBRUS, THEY’LL HAVE TO CLIMB A BIT FURTHER EVERY DAY BUT COME BACK TO BASE CAMP, UNTIL THEY REACH THE SUMMIT IN A DAY AND COME BACK. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: MOUNT ELBRUS IN RUSSIA PLANNED FOR JULY 2012, MOUNT ARARAT, MONT BLANC

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MIND, BODY+SOUL LEFT: BREITHORN MOUNTAIN (PENNINE ALPS), BELOW: QORNET EL SAWAD, LEBANON (3088M)

TEAM LEBANON IS LEBANESE ALL THE WAY, WHETHER IT’S WITH THE ASSOCIATION THEY’RE PROMOTING OR THEIR SPONSORS Team Lebanon is not climbing just for personal challenge. They’re doing it for the Lebanese Red Cross, “the only emergency service available when there’s an accident or when someone gets hurt.” The Lebanese Red Cross is a non-sectarian association, and has values that they believe in. By climbing for the Red Cross, they’re hoping to build awareness and acknowledgment of the volunteers’ hard work and dedication. They want people to think of the Red Cross whenever they think of Team Lebanon. Their support is also financial: they set up a donation mechanism on their website, linked to Bank Audi and completely secure. The idea is clever: “climb the virtual mountain” so whenever someone makes a donation, the person climbs the virtual mountain with the team. “This is how we can link what we do to what they can do,” explains Peter. “If everyone donates only 1 dollar to the Red Cross, we’d be able to raise no less than 4.5 million dollars and that’s not counting the Lebanese expats.” The needs of the Lebanese Red Cross are

RAGGED FACTS • There is no certification in Lebanon as to mountain guides. No mountain guide can provide a mountaineering license. You’ll have to rely on their reputation and experience. • The Elbrus expedition will cost each member $3500 between travel fair, equipment and guides. Mount Everest will cost them between $50000 and $60000 each. • Lebanon’s highest summit, Qornet el Sawda, peaks at 3088m

ongoing. They run on private donations only and their expenses are important, whether it’s for fuel, medical supplies or maintenance. Team Lebanon is Lebanese all the way, whether it’s with the association they’re promoting or their sponsors (they focus on local companies for sponsorships, to promote them as well.) They’re proud of their country and root for the Lebanese youth to feel the same. “We want to inspire the youth of our country,” says Georges. “It’s not because you come from a tiny country that you can’t achieve big things. We climbed Aconcagua, we’re climbing Elbrus in a few months and hopefully we’ll plant the Lebanese flag on the 7 summits.”

do something different this weekend Sports 4 Life organizes outdoor activities every weekend (hiking, rock climbing, cycling, caving), pick an activity and try it out. 03574874 sports4life

Get to know Team Lebanon www.teamlebanon.me teamlebanon

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FML [F**K MY LIFE]

PUMP UP

the jam

ZUMBA WITH RAGMAG BY GINA GABRIEL EL-FADY

H

ow challenging is Zumba I hear you asking. I asked myself the same thing! Does it really deserve the title of FML? All it entails is a butt that moves and some music to move to, just as though I was in a club or so I thought! That was until I realized that in my case my butt only shimmies and shakes with my best friend AKA Jack Daniels. I booked myself in for a class at Fusion Fitness in Sarba, and when I say a class I mean it was filled with people who’ve been perfecting the art of Zumba for months. I understood that if I was going to experience the fever that has been spreading around the world and has finally caught on in Lebanon, then I’d have to jump straight into the deep end.

PHOTOGRAPHY CHIRISTIAN HARB

Editor’s Note You should know that Gina didn’t seem altogether concerned when I first suggested she try Zumba for the June issue. I warned her repeatedly how high energy the workout would be and she shrugged it off. I guess her first glimpse of the fist-pumping, heart-thumping room gave her second thoughts.

Yep! The deep end it was. Upon my arrival and my introduction, instructor Petra Abinader looked at me and asked if I was familiar with Zumba. In between shaking my head and the blasting music, something was said! I am sure of it! However there was no time to stop and ask, no time to digest, and no time to make for the exit. I had to Zumba with the flow!

SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN, FOR ALL YOU BEYONCE FANS, THERE WILL BE SHIMMIES AND THRUSTS, JUST LIKE THEY DO IN R N’ B VIDEOS Not like any other workout, Zumba entails body parts moving in harmony with both the music and the group who all follow the instructor. Shoulders and arms, belly and hips, butts and legs will all be used and as we go deeper into the workout they will be used together. Somewhere in between, for all you Beyonce fans, there will be shimmies and thrusts, just like they do in R N’ B videos. It’s always been my dream to be able to do that “butt thing” that Beyonce has going for her, but not in front of 20 women and an instructor that can move and has a body to die for. Editor’s Note That’s how I felt during my first Zumba session. I can do the moves but do I want to do it in front of all these people? And in Gina’s case, on camera no less. I understand why you were reluctant, G!

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Upon my second visit to Zumba (yes, I went for a second visit), I listened to Petra’s instructions which were, “Zumba is a mixture of many dance moves: samba, salsa, merengue amongst many other [styles]. It is a workout, not a dance class but most importantly it should be enjoyed!” I later researched on the internet and the descriptions added hip-hop, soca, martial arts and some Bollywood and belly dance into the mix. Oops, I forgot to mention to you that I cheated on my first visit. Confession: I didn’t take Chris to take pictures of me. Can you imagine the embarrassment of me having no clue what Zumba was all about and having pictures taken? Not that I was more prepared on my second visit. I guess you can say that the second time round I went to enjoy

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the experience as it was and to have fun doing it. I stopped caring where my legs were taking me or if I knew how to shake my bum. I just went with the flow, tried to enjoy the music and I know that with time and practise, I‘ll get it eventually. Editor’s Note What Gina isn’t mentioning here is that you sweat (and I do mean sweat) profusely. The first few sessions you trip over your own feet and you’re going left when the group is going right! If you are a smoker (like we are) you will pant and gasp your way through this super-duper high impact hour.

I read somewhere that Zumba “fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy to follow moves to create a dynamic fitness program that will blow you away. We want you to want to work out, to love

working out, to get hooked”. My definition of Zumba is: “you poor soul, you will use every muscle known to humanity and some not known to you, therefore be ready for an hour of carefree pain whilst being happy and plastering a smile on your face”. It’s worth noting that you burn between 500 to 1000 calories depending on the impact. If you find a good instructor then I guarantee that you will love Zumba just like I did. I can already see myself joining the thousands of crazed Zumba fans and having Zumba pool parties Editor’s Note You might as well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em Get Your Zumba Buzz Petra Abinader | Fusion Fitness | Sarba 76141941

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GET HYDRATED NO FUSS NO MUSS WITH EUCERIN

Eucerin’s AQUAporin Active Refreshing Balm-Lotion for body will be the product you can’t bear to part with! Getting hydrated in one smooth step has never been so easy. The body balm-lotion glides on smooth as silk and leaves zero residue in addition to touting quick absorption. The newest product in the range joins the existing AQUAporin Active facial range of three formulas that are specifically designed for all skin needs: AQUAporin Active Light

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is suited for a normal to combination skin, AQUAporin Active Rich meets the more intense needs of dry and sensitive skin (with an oil-water emulsion that is easily absorbed), and AQUAporin Active SPF 15 + UVA offers added protection against harmful UVA/ UVB while still hydrating normal skin. The best part about Eucerin’s AQUAporin products are that they’re unisex: both men and women can benefit from the affordable range.

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MIRROR, MIRROR

SHIPS

AHOY! M.A.C.’S HEY SAILOR SETS US UP SEASIDE

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THE ENERGY ISSUE


Planning for fun in the sun? Then head for your nearest M.A.C. counter and grab our top picks from their Hey Sailor range. We’re sure that achieving your best retro-cute look is on the agenda for your summer nights and M.A.C. won’t let you down. You’ll see us hitting up marinas wearing eyeshadow in Nautical Navy, Lipglass in Orange Tempera, Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Handforged, and finishing off with Zoom Mascara in Waterfast Black.

SEASON’S BEST

To The Beach Body Oil in Man Rays is packed with a slight shimmer and a great pigment that leaves you looking toned and sunkissed. If you’re a sun worshipper like most of the people in the Middle East, slather on this easily absorbed hydrating formula and prepare to get bronzed. Bonus points for texture: non-greasy and super smooth!

Q + A WITH

NANCY MAHON SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT M·A·C COSMETICS AND GLOBAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR M·A·C AIDS FUND The marginalization of LGBTQ youth in the Middle East is a major issue that we tackle extensively in our magazine. I believe that M.A.C. helps alleviate the stigma associated with being homosexual and/or transgender by choosing brand ambassadors that have pop culture power and are outspoken for the LGBTQ community. Which of the brand ambassadors of the last decade do you believe have been the most impactful in this regard? Why?

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Since its inception, M·A·C has always chosen spokespersons who are strong, bold and outspoken to advocate HIV/ AIDS awareness. From our first VIVA GLAM Spokesperson, Ru Paul, to our current stars, Ricky Martin and Nicki Minaj, all our spokespeople represent MAC’s creative and accepting attitude which attracts customers who are All Ages, All Sexes, All Races. Nicki and Ricky are perfect examples of spokespeople who personify both the VIVA – supporting the life-saving work - and the GLAM – bold and fearless. M.A.C.’s commitment to corporate responsibility has set the bar for cosmetic companies. Many have chosen to go the “safer” routes: breast cancer and developing country water shortages to name 2 popular ones. Why has M.A.C. made it their mission to alleviate the global AIDS epidemic? Did the heavy LGBTQ following of M.A.C. influence this?

The M·A·C AIDS Fund was the brainchild of Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo, cofounders of M·A·C Cosmetics. As the AIDS epidemic spread and began to ravage the fashion and entertainment industries in the early 1990s, the two searched for a way to respond to the crisis. MAC employees were eager to raise awareness and make a difference.

They created a line of lipstick and lipglass called VIVA GLAM of which 100% of the selling price goes to the M·A·C AIDS Fund to fund programs for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. With the support of the founding M·A·C employees, they decided to make HIV/ AIDS organizations the sole beneficiaries of the company’s charitable focus. The M·A·C AIDS Fund has become the heart and soul of the company. Your quotes about the cause itself all sound very passionate. Your bio suggests a heavy personal involvement in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS. Why would you say that this is your pet cause?

My parents have had a strong influence on the career choices that I have made. I was taught at an early age how important it is to do good work and serve others. They have both taught by example, playing an active role as volunteers and Board members on a range of non-profit organizations. Giving back and serving the community was a huge part of our lives growing up. I feel incredibly privileged to represent the M·A·C AIDS Fund. For me, the most exciting aspect of my job is when we are able to see real and profound change come from a program that we have supported.

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MIRROR, MIRROR

LIGHT THE

WAY

CHANEL’S NEW MAKEUP COLLECTION SEES YOUR BRIGHTER THAN EVER

We’re all rushing out to get the new CHANEL BOMBAY collection that highlights a vision of India! Developed by Peter Philips, Creative Director of CHANEL Makeup, the ILLUSION D’OMBRE 85 Mirifique black eyeshadow is impactful and accentuated even further by the otherwise golden look of the overall face. The suggested lip pairing, ROUGE COCO SHINE 437 Empreinte, is the natural, luminous beige with a shimmering gold touch. To perfect your look, opt for the lacquer, LE VERNIS Diwali, described as a “vintage gold with silvery metallic reflections”. For the finishing touch, you’ll do a light dusting of JOUES CONTRASTE 03 Brume d’or – a bronze toned hint of perfection with subtle gold flecks.

STAR PRODUCT Our star product in the range is the ROUTE DES INDES DE CHANEL, a golden powder meant to enhance the features: dab this on eyelids and cheekbones to give the effect of brilliant light. The most lust-worthy detail? The embossed design is a recreation of a rare fabric, a piece of bronze brocade from an Indian-influenced collection created by Gabrielle Chanel in the 1960s. How retro chic can you get!

SECRET SEDUCTION COCO MADEMOISELLE PARFUM 15 ml is your summer saver! Tote this fine fragrance, developed by master perfumer Jacques Polge, with you on the town or on a trip. The elegant parfum size in 15 ml needs only a slight dab on pulse points to keep you enveloped in luxurious scent. Top notes of SICILIAN ORANGE and BERGAMOT FROM CALABRIA are complimented by a bottom note of BOURBON VANILLA. The most sensual arrangement in the best kept secret size- it can’t get more seductive than this!

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MIRROR, MIRROR

CALLING ALL

REAL MEN COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE

If you thought you were meterosexual, Brad Pitt has just one-upped you, again! CHANEL has announced that Brad will be the face for their new CHANEL N°5 campaign. For the first time in this history of the brand, a man will be the face of the historic women’s fragrance.

SUMMER

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RAGMAG’S TOP OF THE LINE FOR MEN ON THE MOVE CHANEL’S ALLURE HOMME SPORT EAU EXTRÊME We’re all about this citrusy-fresh fragrance for summer days and summer nights. The ethos behind CHANEL has always been up our alley, but summer is another matter altogether! Steamy summer weather needs a cool scent with not too much punch. ALLURE HOMME SPORT EAU EXTRÊME is this season’s answer for both our active men who are fanatic beachgoers and our nightlifey readers who can pair this fragrance with their crisp button ups and tailored jeans. Get yours and consider yourself ready to master of all things summer!

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NEW + NOW

IMPORT OF IMPORT Bassoul Heneine is proud to introduce Alfa Romeo Giulietta to Lebanon. The Alfa Romeo Giulietta, heir of a great tradition, manages to match top handling and top performance with the efficiency of a car that is comfortable and cutting-edge from every point of view. The innovative Alfa Twin Clutch Transmission completes the car’s rich technological offer and the Guilietta maintains all the characteristics of handling, comfort and safety, driving pleasure, quality, comfort and habitability, active and passive safety. Further improving performance and efficiency with total respect for the environment, Giulietta joins the tradition of the best Alfa Romeo, treasuring their heritage in terms of dynamic performance, without compromising efficiency and everyday comfort. The secret behind this performance is the fruit of constant technological research that finds its best expression in Giulietta. The Giulietta with Alfa TCT version is equipped with the 170 HP 1.4 TB MultiAir engine. Its top speed is 218 km/h with just 7.7 seconds needed to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. The fuel consumption and emissions are extraordinarily low: 5.2 l/100 km over a combined cycle and 121 g/km of CO2, values that make the Giulietta the most environmentally-friendly and efficient petrol-powered compact on the market, even when compared with manual gearbox versions of competitors with definitely lower power ratings and performance.

SUMMER ICE Azar Jewelers is proud to unveil the stunning new Spring/ Summer collection, including the house’s bridal collection and a collection by Judith Leiber, both now on display in Azar Jewelers’ boutique at the Beirut Souks. The new bridal collection was designed as the perfect final touch on a bride on her wedding day, complementing her beauty and bringing a fairy tale wedding to life. Also showcased is the newly introduced unique personalized Children’s Art Minaudière with a replica of a child’s art work in Austrian Crystals. An ultimate collectible and priceless family heirloom, the bespoke minaudière features customized children’s artwork, as submitted by the customer, rendered in signature Austrian crystal. Each bag is handcrafted and executed with a full colour reproduction of the artwork. Prices begin at $6000 and take 3 months to deliver from date of order. Final price will be confirmed upon receipt of artwork. Sangeeta Assomull, CEO Marigold Group commented, “Introducing Judith Leiber in Beirut is an extraordinary experience because I will be able to share the heritage of this beautiful brand by bringing timeless pieces to the Lebanon Luxury patrons.” 96 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

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BOOK BREAK Renowned Lebanese artist Hrair is crowning his successful and enduring career with “HRAIR”, a book that offers an insight into his creative world. The painter included a selection of his paintings into this book that focuses on his key themes: horses, women, flowers, landscapes, as well as iconography-inspired paintings. The book signing took place on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012, at Byblos Bank Headquarters. To make this event special, Hrair devised a unique drawing on each book for Byblos Bank invitees among which were clients, art connoisseurs and amateurs, as well as media representatives. In conjunction with the book signing, a week-long painting exhibition of the artist titled “Splendor in Colour” was also launched at Byblos Bank Headquarters. Nada Tawil, Head of Byblos Bank Group Communication, commented: “Arts and Culture play a vital role in the betterment of our society to which Byblos Bank is committed. We are very proud to host

Hrair’s book signing and painting exhibition. Indeed, Byblos Bank and Hrair are both staples in their respective fields, having established themselves in Lebanon since the 60’s and grown to become ambassadors of our beautiful country worldwide.” Known for his Byzantine-inspired paintings and his harmonious style, Hrair gained recognition not only in his home country but also in Europe, the United States, and in the Arab world as he exhibited his paintings in galleries around the globe. “I was born a painter, an artist, and art is my life”, Hrair said. “I was always inspired by colours, movement, and forms and people loved my art because it is spiritual, mystical, and optimistic. My fans, art collectors, and people who have faith in my art, like Byblos Bank, encouraged me to create this book to draw upon all my experiences and to have a retrospective of my artworks and career.” The exhibit, “Splendor in Color” presents 25 paintings created exclusively for this event.

LOCATION IS EVERYTHING La Société Tamer Frères S.A.L. is proud to announce the opening of the new MontBlanc boutique in the heart of Verdun at the Verdun Twins Center. The new boutique, reflecting brand elegance and follows the new architectural concept of the MontBlanc boutique, currently in downtown Beirut. Separated into three levels, MontBlanc goods are displayed in this new boutique representing the savoir-faire of the brand. In the boutique, the wide selection includes timepieces, jewelry, writing instruments, and leather goods available in a range of shades (light beige and dark blue), in addition to exclusive pieces and limited editions.

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NEW + NOW

LA VITA É BELLA Under the Patronage and in the presence of H.E. the Ambassador of Italy in Lebanon, Giuseppe Morabito, Luxury Clothing Company (LCC)/Rodeo Drive held a fashion show to showcase its elegant Italian brands’ Summer 2012 collections during the launch of the special Italian issue of Selections magazine. Models wore the latest designs by some of the most famous Italian luxury houses in the world such as Brioni, Armani, Kiton, Loro Piana, Stefano Ricci and Versace. The fashion show which was held at the Italian Embassy gathered a large number of VIP guests, embassy officials and the country’s top fashion faces in addition to media partners.

A STITCH IN TIME To celebrate the launch of the awe-inspiring Arceau Le temps suspendu, La Montre Hermès held a spectacular concept event at the Park Hyatt, Dubai on 26th April 2012. ‘Time to Dream’ was hosted by CEO Luc Perramond and renowned watchmaker and mastermind behind the award-winning timepiece Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, who invited guests to be immersed in another dimension, losing themselves in their imagination, and ultimately suspending time. Guided by Hermès through the maze of an idyllic and imaginary world, visitors experienced the true poetry of the passing hours, poised amid their own dreams. Hermès staged a themed route along which visitors entered an idyllic and imaginary world. After being greeted by the hosts, stilt performers and masked, living statues, they were guided through a dazzling cloakroom and invited to leave their watches freeing themselves of the concept of time. Then, plunged into the darkness of a vestibule area, they were lost in a forest; Arceau Le temps suspendu and Cape Cod Grandes Heures timepieces were presented on trees, shining in the silvery light of an imaginary moon. Guests were then led into the final section, for an astonishing seated dinner during which they admired a special live show: a dance of hours in which the moving bodies of the dancers mirror the hands of a watch as they perform a choreography representing the different hours of the day. Launched at a global Time to Dream event in Beijing last year, the Arceau Le temps suspendu watch conceals time and erases it from the dial whilst continuing to register its ceaseless march; it is a world first. Protected by two patents, one for its construction and the other for mechanical attributes, this non-conventional horological complication was awarded by the prize for ‘Best Men’s Watch’ at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2011.

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BUILDING BLOCKS The 3rd Beirut Public Relations Forum (BPRF) to be held June 21-22 at Gefinor Rotana Hotel under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Walid Daouk, Lebanon’s Minister of Information, will feature public relations guru, Lord Peter Chadlington, CEO of Huntsworth plc, the global public relations and healthcare communications company and leading PR practitioners from Lebanon and across the region. BPRF 2012 will provide a platform for the theme “Invest in Your Voice”. Launched in 2009 and held again in 2010, BPRF was originated and is organized by TRACCS, one of the largest public relations networks in the Middle East & North Africa, as part of the company’s long-term initiative to promote the profession of public relations and build an indigenous industry across the Middle East. This year’s event is taking place through the generous support of UFA Assurances, Lebanese International University (LIU) and Gefinor Rotana Hotel. “The effective imple-

mentation of public relations can transform, build and protect the image and identity of an organization,” says Katia Yasmine, Managing Director of TRACCS Lebanon. “This is even more true in troubled times. However, in Lebanon the practice of public relations is relatively new and still widely misunderstood by both private and public sector organizations. Our aim in establishing the Beirut Public Relations Forum is to raise awareness of this powerful and cost effective communications discipline among organizations in Lebanon.”

SHARING IS CARING

ABC, the leading retailer in Lebanon, announced today the results of the ‘Find it. Treat it. Together Prevent It’ campaign raising 27 million Lebanese pounds for the fight against breast cancer. All proceeds were donated to Faire Face Association, a non-governmental organization supporting women with breast cancer and to the May Jallad Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on providing those in need with the essential resources to survive cancer. ABC launched the “Find it. Treat it. Together Prevent It” breast cancer campaign in October 2011 in partnership with Hoffmann-La Roche to increase awareness on breast cancer and raise funds for mammography and treatment. During the campaign ABC visitors had the chance to visit the dedicated information kiosk, where specialists provided them with extensive information about breast cancer’s early detection and screening, signs and symptoms, risk factors, treatment and statistics. “80 percent of ABC customers are women, thus this

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campaign was an important milestone for us in order to make a significant difference in the lives of women who need support in their battle with cancer” said Robert Fadel, Chairman of ABC. “Through the generous donations from ABC, we will be able to keep up with the free mammography program that was initiated in 1998 for women who cannot attend to a mammogram on yearly basis to make them aware of the importance of early

detection of breast cancer,” explained Anne Franjieh, president of Faire Face for Cancer. “We can really make a difference in the lives of patients who need our help to obtain vital treatment. The donations collected today will immensely contribute to improving the quality of life of cancer patients who would otherwise continue to suffer in the absence of treatment,” commented Rima Dandashi, president of the May Jallad Foundation for Cancer.

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John Varvatos

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 STYLED BY STEPHANIE AOUN

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CRISP+ COOL

PATTERN PLUSSES Canali

Canali

T TIME

To The Black T-shirt available at gs

Canali cardigan + sweater

burberry

BRIGHT WHITE

THE BAG MAKES THE MAN Canali bags

Timberland shirt, available at gs 130.000 LBP

Brunello Cucinelli

CANVAS CREW

Burberry brit white non apparel

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John Varvatos

Zegna

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supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

STAR SIGHTING

Perlee hoop earrings White Gold

Alberta Ferreti

Tiffany Enchant butterfly key pendant with white diamonds in platinum and pink diamonds in 18k rose gold

YOU PANSY! Stradivarius 45.000 LBP

Bershka 17.000 LBP

A DOZEN ROSES Stradivarius 45.000 LBP

Tiffany 1837™ padlock charm in RUBEDO™ metal, inscribed with founder’s signatuare 7 For All Mankind jeans

LEMON LIME Stradivarius 45.000 LBP

Bottega Veneta Flowercutout leather sandals

Mulberry patent leather wedge sandals

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Lanvin

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RAGMAG

RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR MEN

CANALI SS 2012

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

RAGMAG

RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR WOMEN

GIVENCHY SS 2012

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

SUAVE

SHADES

KARL LAGERFELD

GUY’S GUIDE TO EYEWEAR

MICHAEL KORS

JIL SANDER

JIL SANDER

CALVIN KLEIN

CALVIN KLEIN

MICHAEL KORS BURBERRY

BURBERRY

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

THIRD TIME IS A

CHARM

GEMSTONES, GOLD + IMAGINATION MEET AT THE MUKHI SISTERS BOUTIQUE PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA

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Beirut’s Mukhi Sisters have managed to do what no jewellery designer in Lebanon has done thus far: capture the spirit and imagination of the trendy shopper who wants fine quality creations. Their pieces, at once whimsical and original, tell you things both about the 3 Mukhis -Maya, Meena and Zeenat- and about the women (and lately men) who wear their designs. Recently, their #OccupyConversations campaign has cropped up in a few of Lebanon’s hippest places with viral social media support. Innovative and eye catching, they’ve recently introduced several collections that embrace new life situations: EverYours is one such collection that depicts their evolving mindset. “The brand is changing and growing,” says Zeenat the youngest of the 3. “We’re now introducing pieces that reflect the timeline in our lives- like promise rings and engagement pieces.” This is only one reason that the Mukhi Sisters do indeed occupy conversations, another is that there really is nothing else like their work being done in the Middle East. “We have clients from everywhere and we do custom work that mirrors us and the identity of what people want to see in the jewellery they wear,” added Meena. RAGMAG agrees that once there’s a Mukhi in the room, it’s hard to converse about anything else. They certainly do occupy our conversations!

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Occupy Your Own Conversation Mukhi Sisters Beirut Souks @MukhiSisters www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 109 mukhisisters 01989188


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UNPLUGGED

SOUND MACHINE RADIO WAVES, DECIBELS + VIBRATIONS

Starring Slutterhouse’s Rabih Salloum

Photography by ODETTE KAHWAGI Styled by JONY MATTA

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MADE IN DANCE TRACK 06 3:54

DRESSED BY ZADIG & VOLTAIRE ACCESSORIES BY NOMINATION HAT STYLIST’S OWN

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DRESSED BY ZADIG & VOLTAIRE ACCESSORIES BY NOMINATION SHOES RABIH’S WON

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TRACK 02 2:53

YOU’RE

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DRESSED BY ZADIG & VOLTAIRE HAT STYLIST’S OWN SUNGLASSES + SHOES RABIH’S OWN

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I L L E G A L

T H O U G H T S

TRACK 01 3:54

DRESSED BY ZADIG & VOLTAIRE ACCESSORIES BY NOMINATION OPPOSITE PAGE: NECKLACE + JEANS RABIH’S OWN

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DRESSED BY ZADIG & VOLTAIRE ACCESSORIES BY NOMINATION TIE SYTLIST’S OWN

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TRACK 08 3:38

FRENCH ROBOT LEUVE JUNE 2012

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DOE-EYED DRESSED BY ZADIG & VOLTAIRE ACCESSORIES BY NOMINATION SUNGLASSES RABIH’S OWN

TRACK 07 3:38

OPPOSITE PAGE: DRESSED BY ZADIG & VOLTAIRE NECKLACE RABIH’S OWN

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INSIDE T H E S TAT I O N TRACK 03 3:56

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SHIRT RABIH’S OWN | JEANS BY ZADIG & VOLTAIRE ACCESORIES BY NOMINATION OPPOSITE PAGE: NECKLACE RABIH’S OWN

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SLUTTERHOUSE BLUES BONUS TRACK 2:12

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

A GENTLEMAN’S

TIMEPIECE MOVEMENT, ERGONOMICS

+DESIGN

BAUME & MERCIER CAPELAND

HARRY WINSTON OCEAN SPORT AUTOMATIC SILVER DIAL

A. LANGE & SÖHNE GRAND LANGE TIMEPIECE

EBERHARD CHRONOGRAPH

A. LANGE & SÖHNE DATOGRAPH TIMEPIECE

HARRY WINSTON OCEAN SPORT CHRONOGRAPH

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OUT+ABOUT

HYDROPOWER Beirut Boat Show 2012 BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES

I

n keeping with the Lebanese love of all things luxury, a Maserati car lingered proudly at the entrance of the Beirut Boat Show at La Marina Joseph Khoury drawing in yearning looks from visitors. I am sure I heard a voice murmur, “I want you so badly,” …or was I just thinking out loud? But, the real focus at the Beirut Boat show was all things nautical, including dream boats and one of them was going for a cool 11 million Euro. Last year’s boat show was deemed a huge success: 130 exhibitors from 17 countries participated. Albert Aoun, chairman and CEO of IFP (International Fairs and Promotions), organizers of the event, was ready for the influx of visitors and fully intent on promoting the maritime sector in Lebanon. The Middle East is certainly witnessing major development in the yachting and boating sector and Aoun considers them to be smart and lucrative investments given that boats and yachts retain long term value. “Despite the unrest and instability the Arab world is currently witnessing, we are well aware that Lebanon remains a main destination for regional yacht and boat companies as well as international companies involved in leisure and water sports, seeking investment opportunities in our emerging markets,” said Aoun. “I commend the international level of participation at the show and I hope that this level of participation continues to grow and develop in the coming additions,” said Olef Yang Michael of Messe Düsseldorf, who joined efforts with IFP for the boat show. ”The international presence we are witnessing today reaffirms Beirut’s significance on the international scene,” said H.E. Mr. Fadi Abboud, Lebanon’s Minister of Tourism at the launch. He went on to refer to Lebanon’s maritime heritage and the multitude of marina and waterfront projects in the pipeline with the aim of attracting luxury boats and yachts. The current lack of mooring space is actually a real concern for Aoun and he believes that it is an obstacle for

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the growth of boating in Lebanon. ”We are surrounded by sea …let’s make good use of it.” The Lebanese navy had a token presence and a naval ship was docked at the show with white uniform clad naval officers were onboard the ship. There was a real buzz around the stand of the Waterfront City project: A joint collaboration between Majid Al Futtaim Properties and Ste. Joseph G. Khoury et Fils Holding, it’s set to take shape around La Marina Joseph Khoury stretch and highlights the potential of waterfront facilities. Fairline, luxury yacht makers since 1967, marked the launch of their Lebanese dealership at the show with four stunning models, including a silver-hulled Targa 50GT. “We feel that there is an opportunity here and we aim to offer something different,” said Oliver Winbolt, head of marketing, who gave us a tour of his yachts. “Our emphasis is on quality.” Winbolt was just back from shows at Miami and Palm Beach and says that Lebanon compares very favorably. The boat show also saw the launch of Lebanon’s first freestyle Power Ski jetboard. It costs a cool 8,800USD, but, according to Chady el Chayeb, salesman at Helmets On sarl, sole distributors in Lebanon, it’s sure to be a hit this summer. And, to ease the burden of paying for that yacht, or jetboard, the Break the Waters boat loan from Lebanon & Gulf Bank advertised at the show will surely come in handy. The Beirut Boat Show 2012, the 8th edition took place from 16 to 20 May at La Marina Joseph Khoury, Lebanon

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OUT+ABOUT

A NIGHT

AT THE RACES GET READY TO BE OUT + ABOUT WITH BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES

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THE BEIRUT RACE CUP

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ARABIAN HORSES, STUNNING HATS, AND RED CARPET POMP TAKE CENTER PLACE ON BEIRUT’S SOCIAL CALENDAR FOR THE 4TH EDITION OF THE BEIRUT RACE CUP 2012

T

he “Beirut Race Cup” Fourth edition is set to bring some glamour back into Beirut’s Hippodrome with a unique entertainment packed evening. Under the theme of “High Luxury for Environment”, Roula Douaidy and Néda Ziadé, the managers of Events Production, the company organizing this high profile event, have some ambitious plans up their sleeves. On June 27th 2012 they are promising to give Arabian thoroughbreds a run for their money… and at the same time wow Lebanon’s elite. “We aim to provide, as each year, a really special day for the Lebanese. In 5 years, it will be the one hundred year anniversary of the Beirut Hippodrome, a special date for a very special place in the heart of Beirut. With our event we hope to raise awareness for Lebanon’s heritage and this unique garden within Beirut,” says Douaidy. Built in 1918, in the pine forest of Beirut, the Beirut Hippodrome is considered to be one of the oldest horse racing tracks in the Middle East; and, it is sadly one of the few remaining green areas in the capital. With their event the ladies hope to revive the interest in horse racing and to encourage support from public and private sectors to the rehabilitation of this landmark.

“Since the civil war the hippodrome has been neglected. Before the war people used to attend races there, even with their families on weekends,” says Ziadé. So, four years ago these entrepreneurial ladies decided to develop a one of a kind event dedicated to horse racing. And, they are attracting Lebanon’s movers and shakers to figure highly on the guest list. The last Race Cup was in 2010 and it was attended by over a thousand race-goers. “This year we expect even more,” says Ziadé. So, how does this year’s theme of “High Luxury for Environment” fit in with the image of horseracing? “By involving high luxury brands in our event we hope to raise awareness for the environment and for the potential of utilizing the green spaces of the hippodrome. We also hope to plant more trees there,” she adds. The “Beirut Race Cup” will be held in the evening and guests can expect the royal red carpet treatment. “We realize that the ladies will be dressed up and wearing high heels so we will be laying out a carpet to ease crossing the sandy tracks of the hippodrome,” says Douaidy. Two races will take place and both can be watched from the comfort of terraced balconies. The betting stakes are expected to run high. Last year eight horses raced in each race and the betting was fierce, especially on one underling by the name of “Ya Habibi” owned by Mahmoud Haddara, which stood at 54-1.

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OUT+ABOUT

“THE CHOICE OF THE RACING HORSES FOR THE BEIRUT RACE CUP WILL DEPEND ON THE CONDITION OF THE HORSES, AND WE JUST FIND OUT THREE DAYS BEFORE THE EVENT WHICH HORSES ARE FIT TO TAKE PART”

“Many women especially bet on this horse, mainly just for its name, but it actually turned out to be a winner,” says Ziadé. Even the organizers can’t be sure of this year’s racers until just a few days before the big day. “The choice of the racing horses for the Beirut Race Cup will depend on the condition of the horses, and we just find out three days before the event which horses are fit to take part,” says Douaidy. Each winner will take home a cup as well as valuable prizes awarded to the first horse, the jockey and the owner. During the break between the two races attendees will be treated to a car show, of course, only featuring cars with strong horsepower. Then, the race-goers will move to a specially designated dining area, where each table will be set up uniquely by individuals and companies. This year, some

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very special and elegant settings are expected and a select jury will award prizes to the best tables and hats. “Each individual or company which attends is encouraged to decorate their table according to their preferences,” says Douaidy. “A jury composed of around ten persons will select four winning tables for elegance, style, originality and creativity.”

So, get decorating on those hats and table settings to be ready for the start line at this year’s Beirut Race Cup ... it’s expected to offer great entertainment packed with some incredible action, on and off the course

There will also be a competition for the four best hats worn by the ladies. Although, Lebanon is not a typical hat wearing society, the “Beirut Race Cup” certainly aims to give Ascot a run for its money. Most women attending make an effort to wear hats, some of them real stunners like the striking spiraling concoction worn by Nayla Bassil made of recycled material. Another lady wore a fabulous hat made up of blue plastic bottle tops.

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

S.T.A.Y. JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER ELECTRIC CUISINE IN BEIRUT BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES

PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA

Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno is on a quest to promote French nd, he hopes to pass on his passion to a Lebanese active setting up concepts in Morocco, gastronomy

A

Dubai, Taipai and China. “The spirit of the restaurant is the same, but, the concept changes.”

Alléno’s life is certainly hectic. Our meeting takes place just an hour after his plane has landed in Beirut. He doesn’t even count his working hours, he says. “But, it’s fine as I love what I am doing. We are expanding, so of course I work long hours.” Alléno has just opened a new bistro in Paris, Terroir Parisien. “The French like to go and try out different restaurants. The Lebanese are similar.” He has also been

He was working in the kitchen since an early age - Alléno’s parents owned a bistro – and at the age of fifteen he decided that this was the career for him. He started working his way up, “learning from the very best chefs.” His hard work was rewarded with his first Michelin star in 2000 while he was at Scribe restaurant. In 2004, he received a second Michelin star as chef at the Hotel Le Meurice, followed by a third in 2007. Suddenly, his life was turned upside down. “The change was amaz-

audience. Yannick Alléno’s talent lies in reinventing dishes from traditional cuisine by giving a unique interpretation mixing precision and surprise. He takes his inspiration from local products to create links between classic and modern creations. Chef Yannick Alléno is the proud holder of three Michelin stars. This French national has also gained fame founding several restaurants in his hometown of Paris. Now, he has set up S.T.A.Y., one of Lebanon’s most avantgarde restaurants in Beirut Souks.

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ing…with three Michelin stars you are considered to be one of the best chefs in the world, like Paul Bocuse.” The award spurred him on to create his own company in 2008 with Florence Cane and together they created the Group Yannick Alléno to develop culinary concepts around the world, including S.T.A.Y. in Beirut. He came to Lebanon for the first time about three years ago and fell in love with the country and it’s people. “The Lebanese love to eat, drink and enjoy life. And, they have refined tastes.” S.T.A.Y. stands for “Simple Table Alléno Yannick”, howev-

er, when you walk into the restaurant, it appears anything but simple. The restaurant features cool hues of purple and grey and white, walls lined with mirrors and a stunning lightbox in the entrance. The décor is elegant and light; glamorous, yet not ostentatious. “I wanted to create a restaurant which offers easy dining without restrictions, a place where you feel comfortable enough to take off your tie.” One thing is clear from the moment you step into S.T.A.Y. is that the personnel is exceptionally well turned out, extremely wel-

coming and polite to the max. The two main features of S.T.A.Y are the communal table and the pastry “library”. The long gleaming white table seats up to twelve diners for whom the chef creates a customized menu upon demand. “We want people to come and converse with the chef.” The pastries are prepared and set up on the shelves of the “library” where the pastry chef is on hand to add an individual touch, like a sprinkling of chocolate or a dose of nuts. “I aim to offer 3 star dining, without outrageous pricing.” So, what’s his personal comfort food? “I love cooked vegetables with just a touch of lemon and, of course, a glass of good wine.” His favorite spice is white pepper, but, he hesitates when asked to name his favorite ingredient. “There are so many, but, I do love the versatility of scallops and asparagus.” Alléno’s passion out of the kitchen is collecting art. “I just bought a sculpture by Laurence Bonnel and also artwork by David Reimondo, an Italian artist.” In his gleaming kitchen, buzzing with sous chefs and waiters preparing for the evening’s setting, he picks up a knife and slices a fine sliver of fish, explaining the process. I suddenly feel out of place and decide that it is time for me to leave them to it. “Come back another time for dinner,” says Alléno. I have already taken a peek at the menu and decided on my choice: burrata di buffala pistou et salade de roquette for starters, followed by noix de coquilles Saint- Jacques dorées à la plancha. And, to top it off, a delicate tart from the pastry library

S.T.A.Y. STANDS FOR “SIMPLE TABLE ALLÉNO YANNICK”, HOWEVER, WHEN YOU WALK INTO THE RESTAURANT, IT APPEARS ANYTHING BUT SIMPLE. LEFT: FRENCH CHEF YANNICK ALLÉNO

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

Gargantuesque CRO MAGNON BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

C

ro Magnon Steak House does things on a grand scale. As the name suggests, the restaurant, located in Zaitunay Bay caters to real meat eaters, the kind of carnivores that don’t eat well-done diet-sized steaks. The restaurant is separated into several areas: the terrace (perfect for summer lunches), the cigar/bar area, and the dining room. The setting is typical of an upscale American steakhouse: big leather chairs and sofas, dimmed lighting, huge paintings on the walls. I particularly liked the big golden halved cylinders on the ceiling, and the lounge, with its international wine wall (Cro Magnon offers Francis Ford Coppola wines exclusively), the spirits bar and the round tables and armchairs. Maybe it’s the quality of spirits they offer, or the fact that men of a certain age gather to smoke cigars and sip on fine wine, but the place gives a very luxurious impression, without pretending to be the typical uptight venue for meat and alcohol. The Cro Magnon portions are huge. 136 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

Not big, HUGE. I am tempted to tell you to go straight for the main course, for your own sake (I couldn’t walk straight after a full meal there), but you would be missing way too much palate pleasure, so go on an empty stomach and make sure you share the starters and desserts. We started with the shrimp cocktail, the crab cake and the Burrata salad. I highly recommend the latter, for the twist it brings to your usual Caprese: fresh mozzarella stuffed with ricotta cheese, fried basil leaves, coloured tomatoes and icing on the cake, a morsel of honeycomb. For the mains, definitely go for the cut of the day. We had the sirloin steak- a 120 day grain-fed Black Angus piece, professionally dry-aged for 28 days so there is no water, nor is there blood excess. Pure meat. If you want to try something else, order the crusted veal chop, cooked the way you want it. It’s thick and juicy, and comes with a side of garlic mashed potato. The meat is so tender, you don’t even a sauce to go with it. Even if you’re feeling full, don’t leave without their decadent chocolate cake with cognac sauce

THE

+

+ THE QUALITY OF FOOD It is more expensive than other steakhouses, but it also is much better. The seafood is incredibly fresh, and the raw cuts just show how clean they are. I can state here that they gave me the best shrimps and veal chop I’ve had so far in Lebanon. + THE SURF N’ TURF PRINCIPLE There’s nothing more annoying than trying to please a group of friends with “sea” VS “earth” tastes. Cro Magnon solves the never-ending issue. + THE SAVOIR-FAIRE You get your meat cooked exactly the way you wanted it, the waiter knows and details any item on the menu and can actually help you chose depending on your preferences. Same goes for the wine.

THE

-

- THE SERVICE It left a lot to be desired for this standard of resto. Sauces are spilled, waiters don’t actually “wait” the tables, and sometimes you have to walk up to a waiter to ask for something.

Cro Magnon Steak House Zaitunay Bay 01370356 cromagnonsteakhouse

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TAKE ME WITH YOU

MANIC BY ALICE HLIDKOVA

ABOVE: JEMA EL FNA SQUARE IN MARRAKESH OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: MARRAKESH MENARA PAVILLION

S

hifting through the narrow alleyways of the ancient Medina is like climbing the seat of bygone imperial dynasties. The old Islamic quarters of Marrakech bear the road markings of prosperous trans-Saharan trade that gave birth to the best artisans. Arriving in clusters of thousands, they heave rice bags of leather, copper, glass, coal, and argan oil through the crowd, moving their feet swiftly, into the large, open square of Djemaa el Fna, teeming with young acrobats and comedians, old storytellers and snake charmers. Setting up their tools on hand-made carpets, they repeat traditional patterns and techniques, before dispatching into country’s oldest souks—a world both shocking and fascinating by turns.

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Morocco’s second largest city traditionally connected trading crossroads, grown from a mix of Atlas Mountain tribes, Sahara desert nomads and descendants of African slaves. Frenchled imperial dominion rigidly codified mercantile traditions that took stock of tribal customs. Industry was limited to tanning and drying leather, exchanging camels and donkeys for heaves of meat, bowls of pottery or trays of copper. Old methods of glass and leather -making sustained the local economy

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TAKE ME WITH YOU VAST AND BEWILDERING, THE REMARKABLY IRREGULAR STREETS ARE HARD TO NAVIGATE, AND BARGAINS EVEN TOUGHER TO MAKE while new procedures bore little credit for traditionalists tinkering with simple tools passed from one generation to the next. Artisanry attracted tourism; scores of pilgrims from around the world paid homage civic, rural and historical enclaves. Beggars followed suit, collecting coins. Arabs, Persians and Europeans purchased property, adding flavor to the bewildering array of voices, gestures and faces. North of the massive square, the fortified souks take form of tree branches; expanding diagonally, bent at odd angels, blooming with life at the break of dawn. Vast and bewildering, the remarkably irregular streets are hard to navigate, and bargains even tougher to make. Women in long hooded garments stand at the grill, roasting affordable meat. Boys in sandaled shoes push donkeys that transport goods on their backs. Squatted men dip their hands in spice baskets to show the quality of their products. Blind folks shout out demands for coins in exchange for tours of far-reaching corners. The flittering of the fingernail moon signals the change in rhyth-

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mical pattern. Night food stalls replace artisan carpets, and a new illustration of medieval pleasures comes to life. To the south, lavishly decorated landmarks convey the city’s opulence. The Saadian Tombs buries important sultans in its mausoleum which was only rediscovered in the early 20th century, then repaired, and is now admitting tourists. Works of cedar wood, stucco, Italian Carrara marble and mosaics, reflect geometric mastery with Islamic beliefs. Beyond the Arabian splendor, El Badi Palace boasts one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Nicknamed the “Incomparable,” for its luxurious and grandeur pools and sunken gardens, the royal residence rewards visitors with the impression of highly-decorative tile and plaster.

ABOVE: DYE RESERVOIRS IN TANNERY IN FES, MOROCCO LEFT: THE KASBAH

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TAKE ME WITH TAKE MEYOUWITH YOU

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: BERBER WOMAN MAKING TRADITIONAL MINT TEA, MARRAKESH BIENNALE / JOHANNES FOERSTER, VIEW INSIDE DAR SI SAID MUSEUM OPPOSITE PAGE: JEMA EL FNA SQUARE, THE OLD CITY

USING THE CITY’S IMPERIAL LANDSCAPE TO SHOWCASE NEW ART FORMS, THEY RECENTLY ORGANIZED THE MARRAKECH BIENNALE In the last decade, internationally acclaimed art enthusiasts have seized such rich artistic expression by staging literary, film and art events. Using the city’s imperial landscape to showcase new art forms, they recently organized the Marrakech Biennale. Contemporary artists descended into the long-forbidden underground cisterns of the Koutoubia ruins—the great 12th-century mosque. Built as rainwater reservoirs in the medieval era, then abandoned and sealed, the cellars needed cleaning to make room for the exhibitions. The brave souls hosed high and low ground, shoveling through dust and debris, and stripping dangling wires in the nearby Théatre Royale.

Somehow the monumental facelift escaped the dangers of crowds signaling political upheaval, and brought forth substantial tourist revenue while the region took cover from the Arab Spring. A Moroccan minister caused a stir by saying that tourists spend a lot of time sinning in the city. Minor disturbances, however, rarely changed the wielding of tools, the mixing of spices, and the galloping of mules. The common prac-

tice of haggling over the price of goods, service and fun, keep many in business: painting henna on skin is one transaction, pouring mint tea is another. Hammam, steam, gommage and soaping, are preferred. Tastings and excursions through the heat and pace of Marrakech, within rambling markets, blended with spice and dander, assault the senses and keep visitors engaged

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

GET ENERGETIC Protein Plusses! 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 given a selection of recipes that can be paired together and used as a brunch, lunch or dinner menu. For more great ideas, check her out on the web http://www.bylara.me @laraariss bylara

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Mushroom + Cheese

OMELETTES

PREPARATION TIME 15 MINUTES COOKING TIME 15 MINUTES SERVES 2

In general, an omelette is the ultimate fast food as it cooks in minutes, is nutritious and can be eaten at any hour of the day.

INGREDIENTS •20 grams butter •200 grams mushrooms, thinly sliced •2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped •8 eggs •1 tablespoon milk •4 green onions, thinly sliced •60 grams cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

METHOD

• Melt the butter in a pan. • Cook mushrooms and chives stirring occasionally until they soften. Drain the vegetable mixer on absorbent paper and cover to keep warm. • Whisk eggs in a large jug until frothy and then whisk in milk and onion. • Pour half of the egg mixture into the pan, tilt to cover the base with the egg mixture. • Cook over medium heat about 4 minutes or until omelette is just set. • Spoon half of the vegetable mixture onto one half of the omelette; sprinkle mixture with half of the cheese. • Fold omelette over to enclose filling. • Slide omelette onto plate; cover with foil to keep warm. • Repeat with remaining egg mixture, vegetable mixture and cheese to make a total of two omelettes.

Caesar

SALAD

PREPARATION TIME 20 MINUTES COOKING TIME 15 MINUTES SERVES 2

METHOD • Whisk together 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 egg. • Slowly add 125 ml olive oil, whisking constantly. • Stir through 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and season with sea salt and black pepper. • Boil 2 eggs for 10 minutes. • Remove the crusts from 3 slices of sourdough bread and chop into squares. • Put 4 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan and add the bread and fry till golden brown. • Roughly chop the hearts of 2 romaine lettuces and put into a serving platter. • Shell and quarter the eggs. • Add the eggs and fried bread. • Drizzle with the dressing.

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

Barbecued

PREPARATION TIME 10 MINUTES, plus resting time COOKING TIME 30 MINUTES SERVES 2

FILLET

The process of cooking this fillet is called indirect cooking which is barbecuing that approximates an oven, when lower temperatures and longer cooking times are required.

INGREDIENTS •20 ml barbecued sauce •1 tablespoon mustard •2 garlic cloves, crushed •40 ml beer •400 grams beef fillet

METHOD

• Combine the mustard, garlic, beer in a large bowl. • Add in the beef and turn to coat in mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. • Preheat oven at 140C. • Place the beef and marinade in lightly oiled disposable aluminum baking dish and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes or as desired.

Blackberry

PUDDING

PREPARATION TIME 15 MINUTES COOKING TIME 15 MINUTES SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS •150 grams blackberries •1 ½ tablespoons sugar •1 teaspoon rosewater •125 ml whipping cream •biscotti, to serve

METHOD • Put the blackberries, sugar and rosewater into a blender and blend to puree. • Sieve the puree. • Fold the pureed berries into the whipping cream and spoon the mixture into two chilled glasses or small bowls. Serve with biscotti.

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SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

CHECK

JACQUES TCHABARIAN

Norah Jones LITTLE BROKEN HEARTS I have to admit right off the bat that I’m not the biggest Norah Jones fan out there, especially in the early stages of her career, where she was mainly revolving around a soft Adult Jazz/Pop music that didn’t really appeal to my ears. She did eventually change course after a couple of albums to a more contemporary Adult Pop/Alternative feel which made her more interesting to listen to, making small detours at times to collaborate with other musicians on different projects, such as the surprisingly fresh The Little Willies’ Country covers earlier this year. “Rome”, another collective album

that Norah participated in, put her in the path of producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse, who opted to work with her again resulting in the recording of “Little Broken Hearts”. Mr. Mouse, mostly known for his Electronic adventures, helped Ravi Shankar’s daughter (FYI) to adorn her compositions in an elegant yet unconventional manner, making her tunes brighter and amplified with his twists and diversions unique to his production skills. “Say Goodbye”, “She’s 22”, “Happy Pills”, and the mystic “All a Dream” are key examples of good composition and production foundations. Mouse and Jones do make a good team at the end of the day.

Marilyn Manson BORN VILLAIN Lock up your wives, hide the children and bring forward the moral police: Marilyn Manson is back ladies and gents, and with a healthy return to form, at least for most of the album. Manson’s last two albums were sketchy at best, allowing many to suggest (to the joy of his detractors) that it was the beginning of the end for the self-proclaimed Antichrist Superstar. But then “Born Villain” comes along to put things right and let everyone know that the prime purveyors of Industrial/Goth Metal are still to be taken seriously. Musically, this album will bring joy to the hordes of longtime fans out there: crunching guitars, fat bass lines and wicked melodies give all of the songs power and purpose.

This drive tends to die out a bit halfway through, not that the quality changes, but the length of the album (over 60 minutes) make things a little repetitive for the second half. Lyrically, the usual sex, murder and religious topics are covered extensively, with songs such as “Murderers are Getting Prettier Every Day” being self-explanatory and an indication of what to expect. The most unexpected song however would have to be “You’re So Vain”, a cover version of, wait for it… Carly Simon. The song has been given a full makeover, Manson-style, and it comes out as a menacing and authoritarian piece of doom. Too gloomy? Not really, try it out and see for yourself.

The Shins PORT OF MORROW 5 years. Fans have been waiting 5 long years for the new Shins album, and now that it’s here, I wonder if it was worth all the wait and anticipation. To begin with, main man James Mercer has replaced everybody in the band with other musicians, establishing firmly the rumors of him being kind of an autocrat in song-making decisions. He signed the band (if you can still call it that) to his own Aural Apothecary label, with distribution by major label Columbia. As is the case mostly when being involved with a major label, the new Shins sound can be easily qualified as radiofriendly and the Indie brand can be stricken from

their vocabulary. This way, more people will have access to their music, but it’s not as rewarding as before: songs and melodies are not as powerful and are paired with an over polished sound. One good feature is the addition of clever keyboard works on some songs, undoubtedly an influence from Mercer’s collaboration with Danger Mouse (see first review) on the Broken Bells project, making tracks like opener “The Rifle’s Spiral” a welcome (but rare novelty) on the album. Although some songs tend to keep a healthy dose of good composition, most tracks like “No Way Down”, “For a Fool” or “It’s Only Life”, make you question where the Shins good sense has gone. At least they still make amazing music videos… for now.

Jason Mraz LOVE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD Jason Mraz’s flirtation with love themes in his songs is no secret to the general public, nor is his liking of Soul -something that goes hand in hand with love- as witnessed in previous works. He garnered affection for this type of music earlier on during his San Diego days, when he was under the wing of many singersongwriters that he looked up to, specifically Jewel. Never has he, however, devoted almost an entire album to 70s Soul as he has on his latest “Love Is a Four Letter Word”. His trademark acoustic guitar is accompanied this time around by a lavish wall of string instruments, making the songs accessible (in 148 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

a good way) with a balance between songwriting and instrumentals. “The Freedom Song”, “I Won’t Give Up”, and the dazzling and honest “The World as I See It” see Mraz contemplating the different aspects of love, and, the means of seduction to reach a higher plane of wellness. This can give you at times a feeling that he is a bit full of it, considering himself a great Casanova, but you cannot help but succumb to his overblown self-esteem. This is especially true when he creates good music to back up his views and observations on the matters of the heart. Do give him a spin or two, the poor boy.

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read’em +

weep BY AMAL CHAABAN

El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin Anonymous Why you should read this book

Mexico is not just the land of turquoise waters and white sands

There is an adage that says “truth is stranger than fiction” and that certainly applies here. Originally a documentary titled “El Sicario, Room 164” directed by Gianfranco Rossi, this book seems sometimes so out there that the reader wonders at the measure of truthfulness. Told in the first person, translated by two different people into English, it is the story of a man recruited into Mexico’s drug cartels very early on and how fully immersed in them he is by the time he graduates from the police academy in

Chihuahua, Mexico. El Sicario is an assassin and by his own account, very skilled at the tools of his trade not the least of which is torture. The reader is not told his name, nor are you given a description except that he has absolutely no distinguishing features. There have been some concerns voiced regarding the authenticity of this story but the reality is, the details El Sicario provides as the reasons behind murders and tortures are so hideously mundane that even the best of fiction writers would be hard pressed to make them up.

The Hypnotist Lars Kepler

Why you should read this book Hypnosis takes you deep into the recesses of deep and dark minds When the lone survivor of a horrific family murder is brought into a hospital, the local detective needs to speak with him urgently. As his doctors are insistent that he can’t be coherently questioned, a doctor with a background in hypnotherapy is brought in to attempt to extract information. This single act sets off a chain of events that take the main character back into a past he would rather forget and towards a future he doesn’t even want to imagine. Written by husband and wife team Alexander and Alexandra

Ahndoril under the pen name Lars Kepler, this book explores crime, hypnosis, different methods of psychotherapy and the lengths people will go to for revenge. The pace of this book is tight and like others in its genre, it is fairly descriptive though not overly gory. The main detective is just human enough to be likeable despite his belief that he is “always right”. This book is the thinking person’s mystery and not a light read in any sense of the word due to its subject matter.

Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead Neil Strauss Why you should read this book

Sometimes interviews don’t tell the whole story

Author Neil Strauss has a very long and storied career. A veteran writer of hallowed magazines such as Rolling Stone and newspapers such as the New York Times, there are very few people in the music business that matter that he has not interviewed. It was with this in mind that I picked up this book. A compendium of interviews that didn’t make the editing cut in whatever publication they were to appear in, this book is a delight. Each portion is prefaced by

his comments on both the interview subject and the interview itself. He is funny, insightful and a fantastic interviewer. Some of his best interviews are done with people that may not have achieved a level of what could be considered fame in North America but they are musically significant nonetheless. This is a great read for music lovers and for people who like to know what goes on behind the scenes of interviews in magazines.

24/7 Jim Brown

Why you should read this book

We all have the capacity to be murderers

When 12 contestants go to an island near Haiti to film a new reality show called 24/7, they could never have imagined what awaited them. They thought they would have to best a series of challenges including facing their own deepest and darkest fears. What really happened was a hijacking of epic proportions. From the get go, someone named Control seizes the show and adds a new angle. Each of the contestants has been infected with a deadly virus and each day, they must get a shot administered to ward off death. The JUNE 2012

twist? The viewers will be voting for who will die. That’s right, everyone out there in TV land gets to cast a vote on who lives and who dies a very painful death. This book is a gripping, fast-paced, scathing verdicton the voyeurism that our culture engages in by watching reality TV. For the most part, the main characters are very well fleshed out though it would have been nice to have a bit more back story on the supporting ones. This is a book that makes you stay up all night. Read with the lights on and the doors locked.

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playNICE

SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

BY ADAM VOLK

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition

Publisher Microsoft Studios | Developer 4J Studios/Mojang Platforms Xbox 360 If you’re not familiar with Minecraft, chances are you’re not a geek (congratulations!). Minecraft, however, just happens to be one of the most popular PC games of the past few years, selling over 5 million copies since it was released in 2009 and spawning a veritable pop culture empire. Now the game has been ported over to the Xbox 360, offering the Minecraft experience to console gamers. Like the PC version, the graphics look almost painfully outdated, but don’t be fooled, beneath the simple visuals is a powerful game engine with the ability to generate worlds that are almost limit-

less in size. Your goal is simple: “mine” resources (note the game’s title) in order to create weapons, tools and build whatever your twitchy little brain can come up with. Along the way you can also explore new terrain and battle deadly monsters. The Xbox version also has some noticeable improvements over its PC predecessor, offering up a detailed tutorial, streamlined interface and the ability to play with up to eight players over Xbox LIVE. It’s an insanely addictive experience that you almost have to play to understand. But be warned: once you start, the block-building insanity almost never stops.

Diablo III

Publisher Blizzard Entertainment | Developer Blizzard Entertainment Platforms PC It’s been over twelve-years since Blizzard released Diablo II, a game which quickly broke sales records and cemented its place as one of the most popular role-playing games of all time. Now Diablo fanatics’ dark prayers have been answered in the form of Diablo III. The game once again drops players into the world of Sanctuary, a horrific fantasy realm where fell monsters and ancient evil dwells. Gameplay revolves around a top-down view, with the option to adventure on your own or join with other players online. The game has generated some controversy over the fact that it requires a constant internet connection,

even if you’re playing alone (something which seems inconsequential, but has raised the ire of more than a few gamers and generated accusations of Big Brother-style monitoring on the part of Blizzard). The game has also had a number of frankly baffling server errors since its release, which has further frustrated gamers. That being said, when Diablo III works, it’s a phenomenal experience with improved visuals, an impressive storyline and a game engine sharper than a flaming battleaxe. The result is a somewhat flawed demon-slaughtering experience, but one that was definitely worth the wait.

Max Payne 3

Publisher Rockstar Games | Developer Rockstar Games Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC What’s in a name? A lot, apparently. Take Max Payne for example. I mean, with a name like that you’re probably not going to end up working as a pizza delivery guy. Fortunately for us, Max Payne also hasn’t lost a step since his last trigger-happy outing. The third entry in the popular series once again puts players in the role of the titular shootfirst-ask-questions-later anti-hero. The former cop now finds himself in the slums of São Paulo where he’s traded in his badge for the life of a private security contractor. But when the wife of a

powerful businessman is kidnapped, Max finds himself caught up in a world of double-crosses and firefights more dangerous than a botched Brazilian waxing. The game’s crime noir storyline is solidly told and gameplay follows the same tried-and-true formula of its predecessor, with Max able to wield a variety of weapons and perform slow motion “bulletime” moves in order to create a devastating ballet of bullets. Throw in a surprisingly robust multiplayer mode and the result is a game which proves once and for all that that there’s only one Max Payne.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

Publisher Ubisoft | Developer Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Red Storm Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC When it comes to jingoistic American flag waving and shooting terrorists in the face, almost no one does it better than Tom Clancy. Of course, it’s doubtful that everyone’s favourite military-loving novelist has any involvement in the games that bear his name, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t entertaining. Take the Ghost Recon franchise for instance, a series which fuses cerebral strategy with adrenaline-fuelled action. As the fourth entry in the popular shooter series, Future Soldier takes place a few decades from now, with players once again taking on the role of an elite American special forces operative. Gameplay, 150 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

however, swaps out the first-person mechanics of its predecessors for a new third-person perspective utilizing a familiar cover-based shooting system. In addition to squad based commands, the game also includes a variety of new high-tech gadgets including optical camouflage, remote controlled drones and a new “Gunsmith” mode which allows you to customize your high-powered peashooters. Add a polished multiplayer mode and some impressive visuals into the mix and it’s clear that Tom Clancy still knows how to make one hell of an entertaining shooter – or at least, how to lend his name to one. THE ENERGY ISSUE


watch out ADAM VOLK

Release dates based on amazon.co.uk

Safe House | DVD & Blu-ray | 117 mins Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga Release Date: June 15 It’s not easy being a super spy. The car chases, the shootouts, the uncomfortable itching sensation you got from hooking up with that last Russian doubleagent. It never ends. It’s not unlike the feeling you’ll get after watching Safe House, an action-thriller which has an intriguing premise but ultimately falls back on the same tired spy clichés. The story follows a CIA rookie (Ryan Reynolds) who dreams of becoming a field operative but is saddled with the monotonous task of babysitting a safe house

in the slums of Cape Town, South Africa. But when an elite CIA operative-turned-traitor (Denzeeeeeel!) ends up on his doorstep, our hero must step up to the plate and become a bona fide ass-kicking secret agent. Of course, he soon discovers that there’s more to being a spy than martinis and swanky tuxedoes, as both the plot and his confidence gets shaken (not stirred!) along the way. The end result is a solid if unremarkable action-thriller that proves that sometimes, even being Bond can be a major pain in the double-oh-seven.

The Muppets | DVD & Blu-ray | 103 mins Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper Release Date: June 11 It’s time to play the music! It’s time to light the lights! It’s time to meet the muppets on the Muppet Show tonight. If the following three sentences looked even remotely familiar, chances are you grew up with the Muppets, the legendary 80s pop cultural phenomenon which spawned a television show and a series of movies. Sadly, the muppets seemed to disappear from sight back in the 90s, and in the soulless modern era of Justin Biebers and *shudder* Snookis, it seems like there wasn’t really any place for them. Until now... The Muppets

are back and better than ever in a smart, funny and hilariously awesome big screen reboot. The film follows a down-on-his-luck schmuck (Jason Segel, who also co-wrote the film) and his fiancé (the always amazing Amy Adams) who set out to reunite the cast of the Muppet Show and get them back on the air in order to save their theatre from a devious oil tycoon. It’s a clever family-friendly flick filled with hilarious dialogue and catchy musical numbers, proving once again, that you can’t keep a good muppet down for long.

Man on a Ledge | DVD & Blu-ray | 102 mins Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell Release Date: June 11 Sooner or later everyone gets pushed to the limit. But what if your limit just happens to be the fortieth floor of a downtown Manhattan hotel? That’s pretty much the premise behind Man on a Ledge, an entertaining if somewhat flawed thriller. The film follows an ex-cop (played by Hollywood’s new action go-to guy, Sam Worthington) who is wrongfully convicted of stealing a priceless jewel from a powerful millionaire. Fast forward to a few years later, and our hero escapes from prison, climbs onto a high-rise ledge and proclaims his

innocence to the media, a crowd of onlookers and a trigger happy SWAT team. A hostage negotiator with a trouble past (Elizabeth Banks), soon arrives to talk him down, but of course, she soon discovers that there’s more to the situation than meets the eye. The film features some solid performances and impressive nail-biting visual set pieces. Unfortunately, it does tend to drag a bit and while you may come close to reaching your breaking point watching Man on a Ledge, it’s just enough of an interesting premise to keep you from getting too close to the edge.

The Descendants | DVD & Blu-ray | 115 mins George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Matthew Lillard Release Date: May 21 Name one movie George Clooney has released over the past couple of years that’s sucked. Pretty difficult, huh? G-Clo (as absolutely no one refers to him) adds another notch to his Hollywood heavy weight belt in The Descendants. Based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings, the Academy Award-winning film (which snagged an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay), revolves around Matt King (Clooney), a father and wealthy Hawaiian land owner who is forced to reconnect with his two daughters after a devastating JUNE 2012

accident puts his wife in a fatal coma. So begins a road trip through the rarely seen back country of Hawaii as Matt struggles to understand both his daughters and his troubled relationship with his wife in order to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. It’s a fascinating and brilliant story that’s made all the more enjoyable thanks to the careful direction of Alexander Payne (who also co-wrote the script). The result is a rare film that manages to be funny, sad and insightful at the same time. In other words, another cinematic triumph for King George. www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 151


WORLDVISION BY LILIANE ASSAF

RAGMAG IS PLEASED TO GIVE THE ONLINE COMMUNITY SOME MUCH DESERVED PRINT SPACE. THIS IS THE ELEVENTH INSTALLMENT IN A PERMANENT COLUMN DEVOTED TO BLOG REVIEWS. FOR THE JUNE ENERGY ISSUE, WE ASKED LEBANON’S BLOG AGGREGATOR LILIANE ASSAF, TO CHOOSE THE 3 BLOGGERS IN LEBANON DEVOTE THEIR ENERGY TO BLOGGING ABOUT LEBANON’S SOCIAL CHALLENGES. GET CLICKING, PEOPLE! It gives me pride to introduce you to three women, who happen to be bloggers (lucky us), that I had the good fortune to meet, get to know and become close to in one way or another. I highly respect these women, how they think and what they do. I want you to join me in this mini journey to get to know them better in hopes that it will intrigue you enough to get clicking and follow them. BLOG TITLE Mich Café BLOGGER Micheline Hazou http://michcafe.blogspot.com URL

@mich1mich

Let me break it down for you, Micheline is not a blogger. Micheline is a journalist who we dragged into blogging. *Sound of wheels squeaking on the road* - HALT! Is it even possible that I still haven’t talked about Mich in RAGMAG’sWorld Vision? Here I am attempting to write about her and I feel as though I’ve already done it. The words to describe a blogger have never come to me easier than they have now. Micheline is a veteran in journalism. After being encouraged to be featured on Lebanon Aggregator as a blogger, Mich decided to jump on the wagon with the help of my brother. And boy, we didn’t regret this move for her one bit. Her posts are masterpieces that deserve to be read by the world. Investigative and thorough state of the art background about any subject she picks, smooth flow of ideas that are additionally decorated with an abundance of emotion… her emotions. I promise you, you will read at least one article that will get you bring tears to your eyes. Micheline is one of the few people online who is supportive of everyone, with a big heart; our online mother if we may call her this. We’re blessed with her words, kindness and existence. Her blog crowns the Lebanese blogosphere: her blog is royal.

BLOG TITLE Abir Ghattas – Blog & Portfolio BLOGGER Abir Ghattas http://www.abirghattas.com/ URL

@abirghattas

There are few people who do everything at once and do them well, and Abir is one of them. To say the least, Abir is one of the most active people in the online scene, but she is equally on the ground; from photography to activism to stating her opinion loud and clear. A software engineering, who can kick box you out of the window using her Canon, strong personality and her courage to say what’s on her mind. With the recent launch of her photography book which contains photos entirely shot in an old house in Batroun, to her posts about several causes from slow internet (#ontornet) to human rights, Abir has her hands full. She has a smooth style that’s sarcastic, keen on using the Arabic language in her posts. As a matter of fact, she writes in slang (colloquial) Lebanese language which makes it closer to our hearts. Funny, smart and straight to the point is how I’d describe her blogging style. If you want an opinion about a certain issue in Lebanon and don’t know where you stand, you can always try reading what Abir has to say about it, and see which side of the fence you’re on from there.

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

THE ENERGY ISSUE


SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

BLOG TITLE Lorena’s Epiphany BLOGGER Loryne Atoui http://www.lorenasepiphany.com/ URL

@LoryneAtoui

Loryne is a multi-talented, multi-tasking, multi-everything kind of girl. Who is Loryne? She is a freelance graphic designer with the power of social media. She’s also got a big heart that pushes her to volunteering every once in a while to help her see things from a fresh perspective. After all, she’s an artist, and artists require continuous inspiration. Other than the soul searching, Loryne worked on a well-known awareness campaign for breast cancer called “Bras for a Cause”, by combining the efforts of her own NGO (One Wig Stand) with other NGOs. So, now do you all agree with the first sentence I stated about her? That’s not all, in addition to all that she is actually an excellent writer with a critical mind that dissects any issue she’s addressing into categories and points making it easier for anyone to grasp and perhaps apply to themselves. I’ll stop talking here, because I know you are probably browsing her blog already.

LILIANE’S CHOICE

BEST CUBE REVIEW

www.thecubelb.com Reviewer Youmny Book “Buy.ology – How Everything We Believe About What We Buy Is Wrong” by Martin Lindstrom “Written by Martin Lindstrom, Buyology is a New York Times Bestseller. The name sounds scientific, and this is exactly what the author intends the book to be. Buyology presents the findings of Lindstrom’s neuromarketing research on over 2,000 subjects – a study of their cognitive response to advertising stimuli measured through an MRI of the brain. Buyology analyzes our buying behavior, or rather, our response

to different types of advertising. It investigates some very common beliefs in the marketing world, ‘Sex sells’, ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’ – even when the negative message is about smoking, it turns out they aroused the subjects’ craving, ‘subliminal advertising’, product placement – unless the sponsor is included within the storyline, the viewer easily dismisses him. All of which make of this book a page turner, and a very interesting read, although not always backed by sound scientific research as the hype around the book seems to point.”

www.lebanonaggregator.com Lebanon Aggregator JUNE 2012

@LebAgg

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BRAINFOOD ROUND #1

ROUND #2

Trivia

ROUND #3

Food and Drink

1. Which famous female singer died on 17th May 2012?

2. What is the difference between a meteor and a meteorite?

1. What breakfast food gets its

name from the German word for “Stirrup”?

2. On what vegetable did Ancient

in Paris on the evening before Bastille Day in 1998?

4. What are the International

registration letters for Iceland?

5. The “World’s Biggest” what

was made in London in 1998 to celebrate the re-release of Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp”?

6. A famous male singing star died

1. What was the name of Clark

1. What organ regulates the blood

2. In Longfellow’s poem about

2. How many tentacles does a

Kent’s childhood sweetheart?

3. What were the first names of Dr.

3. What drink did the Coca Cola

Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde?

Company launch in 1982?

4. From which country did Agatha

4. Roquefort cheese is made from

Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot come from?

what animal’s milk?

5. What are the top two selling

that Quazimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, loved?

6. Wax moulds of which French

with the lines “Now is the winter of our discontent….”?

7. What fruits were crossed to

7. In what film did Jodie Foster

8. What colour golf balls are used

8. What is the largest fruit crop on

8. In the King and I, the king ruled

9. What was the name of the

9. What animal’s milk is used

9. Who was Elton John paying

10. What cocktail is made from

10. Who starred opposite Geena

on the golf course in Antarctica? British singer who was spotted with his boyfriend in BO18 on the 18/19th of May 2012?

10. What was the name of Michael

produce the Nectarine?

play FBI agent Clarice Starling?

earth?

which country?

to produce authentic, Italian mozzarella cheese?

3. What is the scientific name for the windpipe?

4. What animal’s skin is the true source of Moroccan leather? chambers?

6. What is the term used to

indicate that a satellite is always in the same position above the earth?

7. What does the chemical formula Fe2O3 indicate?

8. How many colours are there in

the spectrum when white light is separated?

9. In the formula e=mc2. What does C represent?

tribute to in his song “Candle in the Wind”?

Coke, Tia Maria and Vodka?

Jackson’s second wife?

squid have?

6. What Shakespeare play opens

Queen’s breasts supposedly led to the design of the shallow champagne glass?

7. What does the “D” stand for in the acronym CAD?

sugar level?

5. The heart has how many

5. What was the name of the girl

spices in the world?

on the 20th May 2012. Who was it?

Science and Nature

Hiawatha, what was the name of Hiawatha’s wife?

Egyptians place there hand when taking an oath?

3. Why were people celebrating

ROUND #4

Entertainment

Davis in the film “The Fly”?

EASY

1 4

8

7

2 7 2

3 1 9

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

7 4

5 4 7 3

2 9 8 7

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

6 7 4

5 8 5

9 3

6

2

1

8

4 8 9 3 8 9 7 3

3 5

5

9

6 7 1 4 9 6 8 7 2 4 5

9 5 3

7 1 1 6 4 9

3

9

1

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

1. Donna Summer 2. A Meteorite has fallen to earth 3. France had just won the World Cup 4. Is 5. Bowl of Spaghetti 6. Robin Gibb 7. Design 8. Orange 9.George Michael 10. Debbie Rowe 1. Bagel 2. Onion 3. Diet Coke 4. Ewe 5. Pepper and Mustard 6. Marie Antoinette 7. None 8. Grapes 9. The water buffalo 10. Black Russian 1. Lana Lang 2. Minihaha 3. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde 4. Belgium 5. Esmerelda 6. Richard III 7. Silence of the Lambs 8. Siam 9. Marilyn Monroe 10. Jeff Goldblum 1. Pancreas 2. Ten 3. Trachea 4. Goat 5. Four 6. Geostationary 7. Iron Oxide 8. Seven 9. Speed of light 5 2 8 9 4 6 9 8 7 3 4 3 2 1 6 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 7 5 3 4 8 9 2 1

2 3 1 5 9 7 6 4 8

9 4 8 6 2 1 3 7 5

8 5 7 2 6 4 1 3 9

3 6 4 1 7 9 8 5 2

1 9 2 8 3 5 7 6 4

5 2 6 9 8 3 4 1 7

4 4 9 7 5 6 2 8 3

7 8 3 4 1 2 5 9 6

4 6 8 3 5 7 9 2 1

5 3 9 1 2 4 8 7 6

7 2 1 9 8 6 3 5 4

3 7 4 6 9 5 2 1 8

6 8 5 2 7 1 4 3 9

1 9 2 4 3 8 7 6 5

8 1 6 7 4 3 5 9 2

2 4 7 5 6 9 1 8 3

9 5 3 8 1 2 6 4 7

THE ENERGY ISSUE


1

2 4 7

5

3

6

8

9

DOWN

10 11

12

13

14

16 20

17

18

15

19

21 22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29 30

31 32

35

33

34

36

37

38 42

45

39

40

43

46

41 44

47

48 49

50 51

52

53

54

55 60

56

61

57

58

59

62

63 64 66

67 68 70 71 73

74

75

72 76 77

79

80

78

81

82 83

84 85

86

87

ACROSS

1. Disfigured. 6. Prisoners. 7. Aromatic oil from

a Japanese tree. 10. A Scotsman’s drink? 11. A small, single story house. 13. Explains in detail. 14. An apparition. 16. Measured. 18. Walked slowly. 20. Work out the code. 22. Used for measuring radiant energy. 25. Ships tie up here.

88

26. A tidal movement. 28. It didn’t go off! 29. Makes the least noise? 30. A policeman’s truncheon? 32. We do this to express doubt. 33. Substance identical to

hemoglobin.

36. Not completely invisible! 37. An old English coin. 38. Found in X-PLOSIV. 44. Got older. 45. Drug addict. 48. False teeth. 49. Gets on to.

STOP LYING!

TAKING A CHANCE.

52. Two pints in this. 53. A lot of mixed sounds! 54. A small piece of meat? 55. Prevent from moving. 60. Memento. 62. To try to do something! 66. Easily seen. 67. A large whirlpool. 68. Found on the lower part of

75. Belief that politics and

69. Priests? 72. The state of being located

88. Decorated.

the face.

screen?

in a certain place.

73. A strong want of something.

OLD SONG?

UNDECIDED

IT’S NOT ALLOWED!

A BREAK DURING A GAME?

A PUZZLE!

A LEBANESE DRINKING PLACE?

A PERSON TO AVOID?

CUT THE CRAP - OUT ON A LIMB - CLOSETTED PERVERT - IF I RULED THE WORLD - DRINKING UNDER AGE - CROSSWORD - SITTING ON THE FENCE - HALF TIME - HOLE IN THE WALL

JUNE 2012

religion should not mix.

79. Organized. 81. Made with eggs. 83. Signs up for. 84. A short expressway? 85. Cannot stop stealing. 86. Fawning. 87. Found on a computer

ACROSS 1. MUTILATED - 6. JAILBIRDS - 7. XANTHOXYLENE 10. WHISKY - 11. BUNGALOW - 13. EXPOUNDS 14. PHASM - 16. GAUGED - 18. AMBLED 20. DECRYPT - 22. BOLOMETER - 25. WHARVES 26. EBB - 28. DUD - 29. QUIETIST - 30. COSH 32. HUMPHED - 33. MYOCHROME - 36. FAINTISH 37. GROAT - 38. TAURINE - 44. AGED - 45. JUNKIE 48. DENTURES - 49. MOUNTS - 52. QUART 53. CACOPHONY - 54. NOISETTE - 55. IMMOBILIZE 60. KEEPSAKE - 62. ENDEAVOUR 66. NOTICEABLE - 67. MAELSTROM - 68. JOWLS 69. VICARS - 72. UBIETY - 73. YEN 75. SECULARISM - 79. METHODIC - 81. OMELETTES 83. ENROLS - 84. EXPWY - 85. KLEPTOMANIAC 86. OBSEQUIOUS - 87. CURSOR - 88. GARNISHED

69

leg. 5. Bad thoughts? 8. Doesn’t like strangers. 9. Some space flights were this. 12. Scared into madness. 15. The study of fluids. 17. Chew on. 19. In botany, has parts arranged in two rows. 21. Showing deep respect. 23. Floating accommodation? 24. An eighth note. 27. A skin blemish. 31. One type of engine. 34. Valued too low. 35. Hugely wicked! 39. A moral fable. 40. Caesar was warned about these in March! 41. Toilet? 42. Not confirmed. 43. A badge. 46. Busy. 47. Member of a religious order founded by St. Vincent de Paul. 50. Handy fastening devices. 51. Talked continuously. 56. A type of tuna fish. 57. One kind of sugar. 58. To make it old? 59. Stolen goods. 61. Excess of urea in urine. 63. A place that serves alcohol as well as food. 64. Medicine for old people? 65. Barter. 70. Paralyzed on one side only. 71. A large waterfall. 74. Feeling nothing. 76. Can be found in a water pump. 77. His or her first performance. 78. Skin of an orange? 80. An old make of car. 82. Likes.

DOWN 1. MUUMUU - 2. FANGS - 3. ARTICULATE 4. KNEE - 5. IMPURE - 8. XENOPHOBIC 9. UNMANNED - 12. LYMPHATE 15. HYDRODYNAMICS - 17. GNAW - 19. BIFARIOUS 21. KOWTOWING - 23. HOUSEBOATS - 24. QUAVER 27. BLACKHEAD - 31. RECIPROCATING 34. UNDERRATED - 35. FACINOROUS 39. APOLOGUE - 40. IDES - 41. LATRINE 42. QUESTIONABLE - 43. INSIGNIA - 46. OCCUPIED 47. LAZARIST - 50. ZIPPERS - 51. YAKKED 56. YELLOWFIN - 57. GRANULAR - 58. HISTORICIZE 59. KNOCKOFFS - 61. AZOTURIA - 63. BRASSERIE 64. GERIATRICS - 65. HAGGLE - 70. HEMIPLEGIC 71. CATARACT - 74. NUMBNESS - 76. IMPELLER 77. DEBUT - 78. ZEST - 80. ZEPHYR - 82. ENJOYS

65

1. A long loose dress. 2. Sharp teeth? 3. Able to speak. 4. Joint between thigh and lower

www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 155


RAGMAG

ASTRO

Zodiac forecasts FROM JONATHAN CAINER

June.2012

THIS IS THE MONTH WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. JUNE BRINGS A GLORIOUS LUNAR ECLIPSE PLUS A RARE TRANSIT OF VENUS. IT ALSO BRINGS YET ANOTHER SHARP ENCOUNTER BETWEEN URANUS AND PLUTO. THESE TWO PLANETS HAVE BEEN SQUARING UP TO EACH OTHER FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS, LIKE BOXERS TRADING INSULTS BEFORE A FIGHT. EVERY SO OFTEN, THEY GET INTO THE RING, CREATING DRAMAS IN THE WORLD OF GLOBAL FINANCE AND POLITICS. YET THE OVERALL MESSAGE FROM THE SKY IS ONE OF ‘SOFTENING AND SWEETENING’. THE MAIN THING WE’LL NOTICE IS HOW MUCH MORE INSPIRED AND HOPEFUL WE FEEL.

MORGAN FREEMAN

NATALIE PORTMAN

CANCER June 23 - July 23

Can’t you go a little faster? Can’t you try harder? Isn’t there more you can do? Have you no other tricks up your sleeve? I don’t mean to add to the pressure that you are already starting to experience, but I do need to highlight the way in which you are continually being made to feel as if nothing is good enough. It seems as though you are being weighed and found wanting, yet you have nothing to apologise for. You deserve appreciation not castigation. June’s rare transit of Venus, will address that imbalance. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

GEMINI May 22 - June 22

LEO

This month’s rare transit of Venus takes place while the Sun is in your sign. Venus, obviously, is in your sign too! As if that weren’t portentous enough, we get a lunar eclipse in your opposite sign as well. This is deeply auspicious. It might be best interpreted as the sky pointing a giant finger straight at you, singling you out for special attention. Whatever the cosmos can do to help better your lot, deepen your understanding and improve your ability to enjoy life in June, it will do. All you have to do, is accept that help.

July 24 - August 23 Think of some of the tastes and flavours that you have gradually learned to like. At some point in your life, you stopped screwing up your nose in disgust, gave a dish a cautious nibble and said, ‘Actually, I like it.’ Then it earned a real place in your heart. Acquired tastes are always more rewarding, once we have acquired them. June is an historic and exciting month. It brings a rare transit of Venus and suggests that you are about to develop an appreciation for a new experience. That could change more than you think.

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

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

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

THE ENERGY ISSUE


August 24 - September 23 While Mars has been in your sign, you have been travelling at such a speed as to cause all passing scenery to become a blur. Finally, you are slowing down. You can see clearly. You have not reached your destination but you have reached a place to pause for reflection. This month’s historic transit of Venus implies a sense of elevation and illumination. You are rising higher than you have been for some while. Others (rightly) are starting to look up to you and you will see many reasons to feel proud of yourself in June.

September 24 - October 23 A thought-provoking conversation will soon cause you to think rather differently about an important matter. Venus traditionally rules your sign - and this month’s rare transit of Venus, suggests a host of exciting opportunities in store for you. They have not just suddenly arrived, they have been there for some while waiting for you to recognise them. As you now begin to understand what could be possible, your heart should grow full of enthusiasm. Allow yourself to become motivated. You can set out on a journey to a whole new life in June.

LIBRA

SCORPIO

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

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

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

VIRGO

SAGITTARIUS

CAPRICORN

October 24 - November 22 Little escapes your eagle eye. Somehow, you can instinctively see where the needle is hiding in the haystack. Every so often, though, you become like a deity who has descended to the mortal realm and is now choosing to function without the use of their godlike powers. Right now, you face a situation that sorely requires analysis and understanding. The transit of Venus invites you to draw on your hidden, higher self. You will soon see a way to get to clear up a mystery that seems to be baffling many people. Trust what inspires you.

AQUARIUS

November 23 - December 21 It is easy to forget how insecure most people are. Not only do we do things that others find hard to accept, we refuse to understand why anyone should object. Yet, when we are unreasonable, it is because deep down, we are afraid. June’s lunar eclipse helps you understand something useful about your own deepest fears. And a rare transit of Venus that speaks of your chance to understand a loved one’s behaviour or the reason why someone is often difficult to deal with. Thus, it brings hope and harmony.

December 22 - January 20 This month’s rare transit of Venus, creates a climate in which candid exchanges can be safely conducted. But it is always very difficult to tell someone the truth if you feel that they are not going to enjoy hearing it, or if you suspect that your honesty could result in a punishment. To take advantage of this celestial opportunity, you must overcome your own sense of insecurity. You don’t have to tell everyone everything but someone needs to know something! Someone needs to tell you something too. You will benefit from all of this.

January 21 - February 19 We all know that people have selective memories. Often too, they have selective perceptions of the present. They see what they want to see. If they find themselves seeing something that they do not want to see, they soon find a way to see it the way they want to see it! June is due to be an exceptional month. A transit of Venus will soon occur, opening your eyes to truths that you have been reluctant to acknowledge, whilst opening your heart to a hope that, up until now, you have felt afraid to embrace. Trust this.

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

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

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

PISCES

ARIES

February 20 - March 20 It is always easier to love someone from afar than to appreciate a companion. We can dream about those remote figures and imagine that they will be wonderful in every way, should we ever be lucky enough to spend time with them. When we project the same hopes and wishes on to those who are a little nearer to us, we keep encountering their faults and foibles. Yet June’s rare transit of Venus enables you to see just how wonderful someone really is. Someone you are close to. This discovery may yet lead to a marvellous month. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

JUNE 2012

TAURUS

March 21 - April 20 Sometimes, we all push our luck a little. Life without adventure of some kind is really no life at all. What you are doing now may not be wise, but, at least, it is fun! Or, at least, it has the potential to bring you great enjoyment, as long as you don’t push yourself too far, too fast. June brings a glorious lunar eclipse and a rare, wonderful transit of Venus. These two events promise a month of discovery and delight. Prepare to learn more about yourself, your potential to be successful and your ability to deepen an essential relationship.

April 21 - May 21 There is nothing ordinary about a transit of Venus. You can’t expect your life to proceed as ‘normal’ under such an influence. It doesn’t necessarily follow, though, that some enormous drama is about to be enacted. A coming development is about to make a very big difference. But the development itself may prove surprisingly small. An exchange of information. The dawn of a new idea. A subtle but powerful realisation. Be open to the idea that a seed planted in your heart, could grow in time into a whole forest.

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

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 157


THE FINAL FRONTIER

iBattery HOW YOUR BODY CAN BECOME THE NEXT SOURCE OF ELECTRICITY BY JEN

I

n Lebanon we love to rant about electricity cuts. And rightfully so! The government seems to be taking forever to sort out the problem. Fuel shortages and over burdened outdated power stations are always to blame as is the lack of funding needed to swiftly resolve these issues. But a new breakthrough in technology could make life easier, provided you don’t mind being the power supply. While this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel (and may seem slightly creepy), a team headed by Dr. Serge Cosnier at the Joseph Fourier University of Grenoble near the Alps have invented a gadget that makes this possible: the biofuel cell. The biofuel cell uses concentrations of glucose and oxygen naturally found in the body to create power. They successfully implanted the gadget in a living animal to demonstrate how it works and in the next 10 or 20 years biofuel cells may be part of our lives. They could potentially generate electricity for medical implants, drug delivery devices, sensors, artificial organs and much more. And keeping the energy supply up is easy. You simply have to munch on something sweet or indulge in a sugary drink. With many electrically powered artificial organs in the works (kidneys, hearts and the like) and moving artificial limbs being developed, biofuel cells could be a good source of power. Especially since batteries have a short life making using them in implants not the most ideal solution as it means having operations every few years to replace batteries. Biofuel cells won’t need replacement, saving people from going under the knife multiple times. Biofuel cells are not super high-tech. They’re actually surprisingly simple. They are basically two electrodes: one has a hunger for the electrons in glucose and the other gives these electrons to oxygen and hydrogen, thus making water. When

they’re linked to a circuit they create a flow of electrons and voila, you have electricity. Our bodies are full of glucose and oxygen and so biofuel cells won’t run out of fuel. Dr. Cosnier explains: “A battery consumes the energy stored in it, and when it’s finished, it’s finished. A biofuel cell in theory can work without limits because it consumes substances that come from physiological fluids, and are constantly being replenished.” The idea of tapping into the potential of glucose and oxygen first popped up in the 1970s but since the resultant energy was disappointing, the idea was scrapped... until 2002 when researcher Itamar Willner revisited the idea from a different angle. From that point on the interest in biofuel cells skyrocketed and many universities plunged into research.

THE BIOFUEL CELL USES CONCENTRATIONS OF GLUCOSE AND OXYGEN NATURALLY FOUND IN THE BODY TO CREATE POWER.

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

With a better understanding of enzymes and enzyme manipulation, biofuel cells became a possibility. The technology is still in its early stages and a lot needs to be done before it hits the market. But the implications are vast. SONY for instance claimed it has developed an MP3 player powered by biofuel cells. Laptops and mobile phones can be powered by biofuel cells and batteries can be recharged even when there’s no electricity. If the electricity problem in Lebanon isn’t resolved in the next 10 or 20 years, at least we know that we may be able to count on biofuel cells to keep out laptops running and our music playing

THE ENERGY ISSUE


JUNE 2012

www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 159

RAGMAG Energy Issue | June 2012 | issue #25  

www.ragmag.co | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @RAGMAGLebanon | FACEBOOK ragmag | PINTEREST Ragmag | In this issue: THE LAST ROCKER SLASH, NEI...

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