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MAGAZINE MAY 2013

ALWAYS IN TUNE

BRUNO MARS IN DUBAI

RECAP SOCIAL MEDIA

AWARDS MAINTAINING LIFE BALANCE RESTORING YOUR CENTER

WALKING THE LINE LANVIN HOMME BACKSTAGE PASS

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE STARRING

ROBERT CREMONA * EXCLUSIVE OSCAR WINNER

GWYNETH PALTROW KEEPING THINGS IN CHECK FOR

MAY 2013

IRON MAN 3 www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 1


VOTED BEST FASHION BRAND ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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MAGAZINE

Publisher Gina Gabriel El-Fady Editor in Chief Fida Z Chaaban Creative Lead Odette Kahwagi Assistant to the Editor Youmna Chagoury Junior Graphic Designer Eliane Elias Photographers Odette Kahwagi BeirutNightLife.com Dave Kai-Piper Patrick Sawaya

Contributors Lara Ariss Jonathan Cainer Amal Chaaban Rabih Feghali Maria Frangieh Alice Hlidkova Sarah Hourany J.E.N. Maria-Elena Kassab Imogen Kimber Chris Lambert Sabina Llewellyn-Davies Rani Nasr Nour Obaji Sana Saeed Jacques Tchabarian Adam Volk

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

@RAGMAGMagazine RAGMAGMagazine RAGMAG

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

Media Representative

Selected images Shutterstock

Stylist Jony Matta Public Relations Coordinator Lea El-Alam Marketing Lead Daniella Tayar Administrative Coordinator Teddy Younes Responsible Manager May Ziade

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

Printed by Chemaly & Chemaly www.chemaly.com

RAGMAG is a division of Raycon s.a.l. Copyright RAGMAG 2013 All Rights Reserved

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

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ON OUR COVER GWYNETH PALTROW Photography by S. Bukley

Contact us by phone or email to arrange your subscription subscriptions@ragmaglive.com Lea El-Alam +961 9 916 222 / 9 913 777 RAGMAG Alex Gabriel Building, Rue Colomn de Sahel Sahel Alma, Keserwan, Lebanon

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104 EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES 100 COPYCAT REAL LIFE RUNWAY

106 FINDING BALANCE OUR FASHION SHOOT

104 BACKSTAGE PASS LANVIN HOMME

154 WE NOMINATE YOU

MYBONBONS COLLECTION

OUT + ABOUT 138 BE THE MIXOLOGIST

DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS COMPETITION

18 SOCIAL MEDIA AWARDS 2013 THE RECAP

CULTURE CLASH 70 THE OBSERVATION SCALE HAYDA LEBNEN

32 SEEKING A HAPPY MEDIUM MUSLIMS IN POP CULTURE

52 YOUR GUIDE TO COMICS

A BALANCED DIET OF POP CULTURE

36 ALWAYS IN TUNE

BRUNO MARS TAKES DUBAI BY STORM

78 KEEPING IT IN CHECK GWYNETH PALTROW

GWYNETH

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FML 72 WEIGHING THE ODDS

THE SCALE OF #SPEEDDATING

YOU + YOUR COUNTRY 29 THE RACE FOR EQUALITY CYCLE FOR GAZA

FINAL FRONTIER 128 ARABNET 2013 TECH

58 INNER EAR BALANCE SCIENCE

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151, av. Victor Hugo 75116 Paris 469 Broome Street, New York 10013 Palladium, 2 Park Avenue, Mina El Hosn, Beyrouth www.isabelmarant.com

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EDITOR’S OPINION FIDA NEEDS A BREAK SEE YOU NEXT ISSUE!

MON AMOUR, MON AMI 66 EVEN OUT THE ODDS FIVE CONVOS YOU DON’T NEED

MIND, BODY + SOUL 62 HELP ME NOUR + RABIH ADVICE 60 RESTORE LIFE EQUILIBRIUM STRESS MANAGEMENT

MIRROR MIRROR 96 GLORIOUS NATURE VALENTINA

92 FLAWLESS FINISH MAKE UP FOR EVER

89 MEN’S MUST HAVES GROOMING!

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EAT, DRINK + BE MERRY 140 RESTAURANT REVIEW COPLA

142 A BALANCED DIET RECIPES

TAKE ME WITH YOU 132 WASHINGTON D.C. TRAVEL

124 125 126 127 149

SEE, SPEAK + HEAR NO EVIL SOUND CHECK MUSIC READ’EM + WEEP BOOKS PLAY NICE GAMES WATCH OUT FILM BRAINFOOD QUIZZ. DINBATS. CROSSWORDS. SUDOKU.

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SPRING SUMMER 2013

MAY 2013

Plum, Berytus Building - Corner of Park Avenue & Avenue Française - Beirut Central District - Lebanon www.ragmag.co | (961) 1 976565-–976566 - www.plumconcept.com

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

You’ve heard us repeatedly go on and on about the Social Media Awards or as we know it #SMABeirut. Well the 29th of April witnessed the awards ceremony and it was one of the biggest events of the season, and one that shall be remembered for a while. I would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated on that night- you have all helped #Beirut to #GoDigital. A big round of applause to the winners of the event! I would like to thank everyone that was involved in hosting such an amazing evening, with extra thanks to Mohammad Hijazi, Darine Sabbagh and the Online Collaborative. Your hard work paid off, it was certainly a night to remember! We always get excited with our readers when they get to win the rewards offered to us by brands and companies throughout the Middle East. This month it was no exception. Thank you Jack & Jones for inviting RM readers to the premier of “Iron Man 3” and rewarding them with a styling session. I’d also like to thank Pinea Campus for sending our readers on an eco-vacation. This issue, you can win your Nomination composable bracelet- see more details on that in our fashion pages. We are so looking forward to staging our Stradivarius Star Search where you’ll “Be The Model”! Two lucky winning contestants will appear in our June Issue modeling their top picks from new collection! As usual please write to me to publisher@ragmaglive.com and follow me on twitter @GinaGabriel1. I encourage you to visit our website as well www.ragmag.co and enjoy even more great content.

Gina Gabriel El-Fady | Publisher

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EDITOR’S LETTER

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE BECAUSE EVERYONE NEEDS TO WORK THE SCALES ONCE IN A WHILE

T

HE SOCIAL MEDIA AWARDS- yes, yes, yes! It was amazing and we at RAGMAG appreciate all of the support we received from the online and offline community! We’ve got a huge recap for you. We hope that you all enjoyed the event as much as we did and we gave you a pretty comprehensive outtake in case you missed it. You’ll see our personal favorite moments in the mag! To our valued media colleagues, we appreciate the outpouring of press that you’ve given the #SMABeirut. To the Online Collaborative, thank you for inviting RAGMAG to be the Strategic Partner on this monumental occasion and we are, as always, your tweeps. I want to say a few words to the sponsors of our SMA After Party on behalf of RAGMAG. Momo at the Souks: Rania, a heartfelt thank you to you and your staff for the wonderful event execution. G. Vincenti & Sons: Carlo, my gratitude for the ultra-generous support and the help of your team for our event. BlackBerry: RAGMAG is honoured to have staged the event in collaboration with the Middle East team of my favorite company in the world! British American Tobacco: my sincere thanks for the support and we enjoyed your company at the event. Red Bull Lebanon, thank you for the wings! Now onto this issue, we’ve got Gwyneth Paltrow on our cover! You may not agree with my point of view in the feature with Gwyn, but it has to be said. For our music lovers, we’ve got Bruno Mars and even better we’ve got sick party pics from his After Party exclusively at PEOPLE by Crystal. Check out both

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Gwyn and Bruno in our Culture Clash section. Another of my favorites this month is our special introduction to the world of comics by Contributor Rani Nasr. For those of you who haven’t had an initiation into that world, all you have to do is look no further than Comic Con for proof of this medium’s cultural influence. If there was ever any doubt, I want to remind you that I’m always listening: talk to me on Twitter @fidachaaban and follow @RAGMAGMagazine for updates and reader rewards that are meant to thank you for being part of RAGMAG. If you haven’t joined us on Facebook and Pinterest yet, we’re looking forward to seeing you on those mediums as well. Email me at letterstotheeditor@ragmaglive.com to send me your thoughts and opinions about this issue. Finally, I want to encourage you to subscribe to RAGMAG and make it a part of your life every month. We are the only magazine in Lebanon that talks back and you can find us on the web too at www.ragmag.co

We’re here because of the support and constant encouragement of our loyal readers. It’s Your Magazine.

Fida Z Chaaban | Editor in Chief

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

FOR OUR APRIL ISSUE WE CONTINUED TO TALK TO YOU VIA OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMSPINTEREST, TWITTER + FACEBOOK. WE THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND PARTICIPATION AND WE 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 @RAGMAGMAGAZINE!

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

We’re showing off some of the best images that our readers sent in via email and Twitter. Thank you to all of the readers who sent us tweets and emails of their copies of RAGMAG.

SHOUT OUT!

We love the blog post by Eleventh Room about RAGMAG and our use of different social media platforms. Perfect timing considering that we were the Strategic Partners for the first edition of the Social Media Awards! Check out their website and the RAGMAG post at www.eleventhroom.com/ragmag and the Social Media Awards coverage in our Out + About section. BIG LOVE to the Online Community! Tweet at them @11thRoom

WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU SO KEEP IT UP!

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I AM IRON MAN! THE EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE OF IRON MAN 3 HOSTED BY JACK & JONES

We got out + about and seriously filmtastic at the private screening of “Iron Man 3” starring last month’s cover star Robert Downey Jr. and this month’s cover star Gwyneth Paltrow. Hosted by Jack & Jones, the event included pre-screening cocktails by Poliakov and Saint James. The world’s coolest superhero had us glued to our seats. And yes, it is the best movie we’ve seen in years! We’re giving it a rave review and we can’t wait to see it again. Cheers to you Jack & Jones!

@JackandJonesME MAY 2013

Jack & Jones

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WILL INDIA FINALLY ACT UPON CHILD ASSAULT CASES?

WHAT WILL BE THE AFTERMATH OF THE BOSTON BOMBING?

RAGMAG’S VOTE UNREALISTIC

FIVE QUESTIONS

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On April 15, 2013, two bombs detonated at approximately 3PM next to the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring over 260 people. The news of the bombing went viral online and offline with some facts, a lot of speculation, and countless racist posts and tweets. Suspects’ names and descriptions were thrown around: “Saudi man” who, as an unnamed U.S. official later stated, was “just at the wrong place at the wrong time”, Eric Twardzik who turned out to be the journalist who tweeted a picture of a man being handcuffed on the scene, Suspect 1 the “black-hat suspect” and Suspect 2 the white-hate suspect, a designation accompanied by several pictures of two young men wearing a backpack each. On April 18, a shooting occurs on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The shooters? Suspect one Tamerlan Tsarnaev and suspect two (his younger brother) Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Hours after the altercation between the shooters and the police at MIT, Tamerlan dies and Dzhokhar is arrested. He confesses to the FBI before he is read his Miranda rights advising him to keep quiet and seek a lawyer. Will it matter in court?

RAGMAG’S VOTE UNLIKELY THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE

NEW DELHI PROTEST PHTO CREDIT: REUTERS | ADNAN ABIDI

A five-year-old girl’s rape and torture leads to a several-day protest in New Delhi, India. Abducted on April 15th, the victim is held prisoner by two men in the basement of the building where she lived. She was found semiconscious two days later after neighbors heard her cries. This is not the first child abuse case in India and it is certainly not the last but the people responded to the case with anger and violent protests, similar to those that followed the gang rape case of a 23-year-old female back in December 2012. According to Reuters, “New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures.” Social activists explain that most like-crimes go unreported and the governments –past and current- have done little to ensure the safety of women and children in India. In fact, police authorities are often reluctant to start an investigation or to file cases, as is the case with the most recent victim. The parents said the police response was to offer 2000 rupees (approximately $37) to keep quiet about the rape. Will we see an immediate attitude shift in Indian law enforcement?


FIVE QUESTIONS THE WORLD IS ASKING

CAREY MULLIGAN PHOTO CREDIT: STEPHEN LOVEKIN GETTY IMAGES | NICOLE KIDMAN PHOTO CREDITS: FEATUREFLASH, SHUTTERSTOCK | DAFT PUNK PHOTO CREDIT: DFREE, SHUTTERSTOCK

IS FRANCE GOING TO IMPLEMENT THE SAMESEX MARRIAGE LAW? On April 23, 2013, France became the 14th country in the world to approve same-sex marriage. The measure passed in the National Assembly – a socialist majority with 331 votes in favor and 225 against. However, same-sex couples are not allowed to tie the knot just yet, as those opposing the law immediately appealed to the Constitutional Council to debate whether the law is constitutional. During the months preceding the vote, thousands of people demonstrated against the law, holding the largest protest in Paris since an education protest in 1984 with 340,000 demonstrators according to Paris police. Some reports suggested that the main issue protesters have with the law is the adoption segment and not the union per se. In fact, a civil union recognizes a same-sex couple as such since 1999 but doesn’t allow adoption. In the weeks leading up to the vote, Socialist Party and Green Party politicians who supported the law received threats of kidnapping, death, and even threats related to the safety of their family members. Protests turned violent right after the law passed with several homophobic attacks and police tear-gassing protestors. With such volatile reaction to the law, will the government back out at the last minute?

RAGMAG’S VOTE IMPROBABLE

CAREY MULLIGAN IN TIFFANY DIAMOND EARRINGS AND A TIFFANY LEGACY® DIAMOND RING AT THE PREMIERE OF “THE GREAT GATSBY” IN NEW YORK CITY, MAY 1, 2013

NICOLE KIDMAN AT THE GALA SCREENING OF HER MOVIE “THE PAPERBOY” IN COMPETITION AT THE 65TH FESTIVAL DE CANNES MAY 24, 2012

WHO’S WEARING WHAT TO THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL? Last year, the 65th edition of the Cannes film festival saw the best and the worst in the fashion industry. Some celebs, like Diane Kruger, Cate Blanchett, and Demi Moore, known for their avantgarde sense of fashion and red carpet elegance, set the bar just high enough that others fail trying to meet it. It is safe to say we were shocked, sometimes positively (and sometimes not), at some of the event attire. As expected, judge Diane Kruger was as elegant as can be in a sea-coloured Giambattista Valli Couture dress and Eva Longoria graced the carpet in her stunning Marchesa pale pink mermaid-style gown flared down the knees in a long feathered train which proved to be problematic- but who

cares when it’s that eye-catching? What we didn’t predict was Kristen Stewart in a scarlet Reem Acra gown with a plunging neckline and lace panels – she even smiled that day! We were equally surprised with Jessica Chastain -who usually does no wrong- and her loose, pale Alexander McQueen gown that was less than flattering. Don’t get us started on the men’s fashion disasters: Bill Murray + three different plaids = enough said. This year we’ll be watching both Carey Mulligan as “The Great Gatsby” is the opener film, and Nicole Kidman who will be joining Spielberg’s jury this year. Will they live up to our expectations?

RAGMAG’S VOTE ABSOLUTELY

HAS DAFT PUNK LOST THEIR MOJO? In 1997 the world discovers Daft Punk, a French electronic music duo with their debut album “Homework.” Alongside their French peer, Jean Michel Jarre, they raise France to the level of other Euro electro music destinations. Always wearing masks, notably the robot-like helmets, the duo surround themselves with mystery and release excellent albums over the years- “Discovery” in 2001 with the songs “One More Time” and “Digital Love” and their unforgettable videos. Then came “Human After All” in 2005, receiving mixed reviews, and after that the general public basically forgot about Daft Punk. In MAY 2013

the interim, they released the soundtrack of “Tron: Legacy” in 2010 but that’s not really Daft Punk- then pow! Eight years later we all start hearing about Daft Punk again. News of a new album and a contract with Columbia records went viral, and so did the song “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. The song is entertaining indeed, we can hear the Daft touch a few times, but we’re hungry for more. Will the entire “Random Access Memories” album sound like their first single?

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OUT + ABOUT

RECAP THE FIRST ANNUAL

SOCIAL MEDIA

AWARDS

APRIL 29, 2013

#BeirutGoesDigital Hosted by Lebanese television personality, Pierrette Katrib, at the Phoenicia Hotel, the Online Collaborative revealed who the Lebanese online community considers the most engaging among celebrities, diplomats, bloggers, tweeps and brands across 33 categories. The award ceremony was attended by H.E. Tom Fletcher, British Ambassador to Lebanon and H.E. Alistair Burt, British Minister to the Middle East as well as former Minister Ziad Baroud. Celebrity Haifa Wehbe surprised her followers on social media by attending the event to accept her award. This awards ceremony came as a culmination of the three preceding phases of the Social Media Awards - Online Nominations, Judging Panel Finalists Selection and Voting Phase, whereby the final decision was based 50 percent on the online community’s vote and 50 percent on the vote of the panel judges. Following over 100,000 votes by the online community over a period of a month of intense and creative campaigning by all finalists, the award winners were revealed in a surprise-filled evening accompanied by performances from Lebanon’s most socially active performing artists, Poly and Hiba Kadri. “When we decided to undertake the challenge of this large-scale event, our aim was to empower the users of social media in Lebanon,” said Mohammad Hijazi, Chief Collaborator and Founder of the On-

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line Collaborative. “Online Collaborative, in general, aims to promote the proper use of technology and social media to Lebanese society through courses, workshops, seminars, conferences and other events. Through the SMAs we wanted to promote the users of social media who are investing their time and energy on meaningful content across different social media channels and shed light on their achievements to ‘offline’ society.” The halls were filled with over 600 bloggers, journalists, online activists and representatives of digital initiatives and agencies in Lebanon who eagerly awaited to see who the online community had chosen as its best. Among the most long awaited reveals: the categories of Blogger of the Year and of Most Engaging Person on Twitter on the community side. While on the commercial side Lebanese brands awaited the reveal of the Most Interactive Business. Minister of Telecom Nicolas Sehnaoui, also

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OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXCLUSIVELY BY

MAY 2013

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RECAP

THE FIRST ANNUAL SOCIAL MEDIA AWARDS

an SMA judge, was in Silicon Valley accompanying another Lebanese blogger who won the Ministry’s contest, greeted the public with a video message in the spirit of this digital occasion, encouraging online engagement and presenting the Most Engaging Diplomat on Twitter. The organizers also awarded the finalist who has created the most creative campaign to encourage voting for his nomination. “We were blown away by the dedication and passion with which our finalists starting campaigning for the win, from bloggers creating videos, crowd-sourced slogans and street art to brands giving away tickets to their most loyal fans in celebration of their social presence,” said Darine Sabbagh, Marketing Collaborator at the Online Collaborative, “This is why we felt that such campaigning efforts, that have supported the awards and further highlighted its key message together

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with Online Collaborative’s mission in promoting social media’s force in changing the world around us, deserved a special highlight during the event.” As the Strategic Partner for the event, Fida Chaaban Editor in Chief of RAGMAG commented that “the Social Media Awards ceremony was a spectacular showcase of Lebanon’s best and brightest of social media. RAGMAG Magazine applauds the loyalty that the online community has shown the Online Collaborative in this much needed endeavor, and we were especially pleased with the results of some of the biggest categories. Having long championed the individuals and companies active in this sphere, the SMA was a refreshing acknowledgement of online mastery and engagement. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Online Collaborative as they lead Lebanon’s business community forward on the web.”

The Social Media Awards Beirut 2013 was launched as the first in the series of annual events which will become a staple in the calendar of Beirut’s digital society concluded Hijazi. This event is made possible with the support of the Strategic Partner RAGMAG Magazine, Gold Sponsor Alfa Telecom managed by Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, Silver Sponsor Cornerstone Holding, Crepaway and Arabnet, Bronze Sponsors AddBloom, Eastline Marketing, BANKERS, 961 Beer, IXSIR, Jack & Jones and Nokia, Venue Sponsor Hotel Phoenicia – Beirut, Exclusive PR Partner MIRROS Communication & Media Services, Media Partners Naharnet, Beirut.com, Communicate Magazine, NRJ Lebanon, Nostalgie, Al-Iktissad WalAamal, Beiruting.com & Executive and Community Partners Ihjoz, AltCity.me, and Sociatag.

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THE WINNERS OF THE 33 CATEGORIES

www.smabeirut.com

Best Business Blog Wamda Best Commercial District on Social Media ABC Best Start-up on Social Media Tickle My Brain Best Facebook Application Novo Best Facebook Campaign/Page Lebanese Memes Most Creative Instagram Account Live Love Beirut Most Engaging Diplomat/Politician on Twitter Ziad Baroud Best Lifestyle Blog Mich Café Best Food & Beverage Brand Almaza Best Pub/Bar on Social Media February 30 Best NGO/Organization on Twitter Donner Sang Compter Best Design for a Social Media Campaign Almaza Best Fashion Brand on Social Media Vero Moda Best Food Blog No Garlic No Onions Best Fashion Blog Plush Beirut Most Engaging Person on Twitter Anis Tabet Best Technology Blog Microsoftoholic Most Engaging YouTube Channel Cheyef 7alak Most Engaging Media Personality on Twitter Nishan Derharoutyounian Best News Blog Beirut Spring Most Engaging YouTube Video Beirut Duty Free Flashmob Best NGO/Community on Social Media Lebanese Memes Best Non-Arabic Vocal Artist Anthony Touma Best Restaurant, Café or Bakery on Social Media Roadster Diner Best Band on Social Media Mashrou3 Leila Best Personal Blog Gino’s Blog Best Hotel on Social Media Phoenicia Hotel Most Engaging Celebrity on Twitter Haifa Wehbe Best Media Personality on Social Media Zaven Kouyoumdjian Best Business on Social Media Roadster Diner Best Integrated Campaign Cheyef 7alak Blog of the Year Blog Baladi Social Campaigning Magnet Award Lana El Sahely

MAY 2013

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#BeirutGoesDigital

Social Media Awards AFTER PARTY staged in collaboration with

MUSIC FOR THE AFTER PARTY EXCLUSIVELY BY

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OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXCLUSIVELY BY

MAY 2013

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#BeirutGoesDigital Social Media Awards AFTER PARTY staged in collaboration with

Who was feeling the groove at our SMA After Party at Momo at the Souks? The free-flowing Champagne Pommery, CHOPIN Vodka and Label 5 Scotch Whisky certainly did the trick! The party peeps got wild to the sick beats of Mix FM, starring DJ Rodge in the Mix, who also created an exclusive CD for the event that was given to guests at the party. Who was on hand to capture the whole shebang in action? Our official After Party photographers, none other than the shutterbugs at BeirutNightLife.com Other peeps we’re shouting out? Big RAGMAG love to Jack & Jones and Vero Moda, for the cool fashion fix in our gift bags, Häagen-Dazs for the super sweet gift vouchers, BlackBerry Middle East for the device competition -we had two Z10 winners- and of course the big hit of the evening’s swag bags were the bottles of Champagne Pommery and the cool CHOPIN Vodka! Our guests, courtesy of our sponsors, got fashionable, hyped up on Mix FM’s beats, spoiled with dessert and finally, toasted it all with their fine complimentary bottles! #Cheers!

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OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXCLUSIVELY BY

MAY 2013

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Fashion at the #SMABeirut

STYLE MILE HERE ARE SOME OF THE FASHION FORWARD LOOKS THAT WALKED THE RED CARPET AT THE SOCIAL MEDIA AWARDS CEREMONY

PIERRETTE KATRIB DRESSED BY AZZI & OSTA WITH JEWELS BY EFFY’S

POLY DRESSED BY SANDRA MANSOUR WITH JEWELS BY MUKHI SISTERS

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DIMA SAIDI OF PLUSH BEIRUT (MIDDLE) DRESSED BY RONALD ABDALA WITH JEWELS BY MUKHI SISTERS, ACCEPTING FASHION BLOG AWARD

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COURTESY OF PATRICK SAWAYA PHOTOGRAPHY

OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXCLUSIVELY BY

FIDA CHAABAN DRESSED BY RAMI KADI FOR BOTH THE SMA CEREMONY AND THE AFTER PARTY AND JEWELS BY EFFY’S, MAKEUP BY M.A.C COSMETICS MOHAMMAD HIJAZI DRESSED BY JACK & JONES MEN’S PREMIUM COLLECTION

MAYA ZANKOUL (ABOVE) AND DARINE SABBAGH (TOP) DRESSED BY SANDRA MANSOUR

GINA GABRIEL DRESSED BY RONALD ABDALA COMPLIMENTED WITH JEWELS BY EFFY’S

MAY 2013

LANA EL SAHELY, SOCIAL CAMPAIGNING MAGNET AWARD WINNER DRESSED BY BASIL SODA, MAKEUP BY FADY KATAYA

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YOU + YOUR COUNTRY

THE RACE

FOR EQUALITY CYCLE FOR GAZA IS ON AN UPHILL COURSE BY IMOGEN KIMBER

T

he 2008 “War on Gaza” made global headlines, but, as with most catastrophes as soon as things calm down, it falls off the agenda despite the fact that the situation remains dire. In an attempt to try and change this, Tamara Ben Halim, a British Palestinian, decided to cycle from London to Paris. Taking 26 people with her she cycled for three days straight. The cyclists demanded attention, and raised some money along the way. Five years later they are still cycling.

“I KNOW THAT PEOPLE THINK OF A 4AM START AND THINK IT SOUNDS TERRIBLE, BUT THE FUN FACTOR IS UNDERESTIMATED” MAY 2013

Move Forward

From these people’s efforts the NGO Cycle for Gaza was born. Zara Hannoun and Mohammed Tahboub are two members of Cycle for Gaza and work on the organization of the ‘cycling challenges’. They are also two of the cyclists, which they actually make sound fun. “I know that people think of a 4am start and think it sounds terrible, but the fun factor is underestimated,” said Hannoun, enthusiastically describing the cycling challenges as a “bonding session.” They are together for four straight days, sweating, eating, sleeping, and probably in some cases suffering. “The first day you feel euphoric and you’re amazed by the views, it’s the second day that is the worst. Every single muscle in your body hurts, but then by day three and four you just accept it.”

After four years they have conquered some pretty impressive cycle routes: London to Paris, Pisa to Rome, Aqaba to the Dead Sea and last year, Bandirma to Istanbul. Hannoun joined on the Turkey route. “It’s a challenge for oneself, you make a mark, you really create a change and kick-start that thing inside,” she said. The planning involved sounds like manoeuvring an army, in the last trip there were 30 cyclists, that means 30 bikes on the roads, 30 mouths to be fed and 30 beds needed every night. Tahboub also organizes training sessions in Dubai before the event as many of the group are based in UAE.

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THE RACE FOR EQUALITY | CYCLE FOR GAZA IS ON AN UPHILL COURSE

Campaign for Awareness

For Mohammed raising awareness on Palestine is what motivates him the most: “There are a lot of misconceptions about the situation in Palestine. Having lived abroad I know that our reality is not the same as the reality in Europe.” Mohammed continued, “It’s a just cause, [and it’s] partly the international community’s responsibility. It’s such inhumane treatment. We are in 2013, in this age it should be unheard of.” For Tahboub carrying out the cycling challenges in Europe is a way of reminding Europe that the crisis in Gaza continues- every time they have a cycling challenge they receive publicity and get a chance to talk about Gaza. They also get sponsored to ride, which over the past four years has amounted to almost a million dollars. This money goes towards healthcare and educa-

tion for Palestinians, through the work of established charities. Since 2012 this has included Palestinians in the refugee camps of Nahr Al-Bared and Ain ElHilweh in Lebanon. So far the majority of the money has gone to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), they support midwives, neo-natal medical support, mothers and newborns. They’ve also got a clever scheme for primary trauma care, providing basic training for people who are most likely to be first on the scene in the case of an incident. An example of this is with taxi drivers or shop owners; they can start applying initial care before medical professionals get there and possibly help save lives. For Hanoun, cycling is a great activity as it is something everyone can join in on and represents something that is “perpetually moving forward,” which is what they want for Gaza

If you’d like to join in on a four day cycle this July you can get in touch with Cycle for Gaza on Facebook. If you don’t feel that you are up to all that cycling they are happy to take your donations instead. All money goes directly to MAP and therefore directly to the people who need it. cycling4gaza.com cycling4gaza@gmail.com | Cycling4Gaza

THE CYCLISTS DEMANDED ATTENTION, AND RAISED SOME MONEY ALONG THE WAY. FIVE YEARS LATER THEY ARE STILL CYCLING

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BELOW: MALCOLM X AND MUHAMMAD ALI

SEEKING A HAPPY MEDIUM POP CULTURE + THE CONUNDRUM OF ISLAM BY SANA SAEED

I

n early 2011, I made the move to the frozen boondocks of Northern Alberta, commonly referred to as The Middle of Nowhere. The sudden departure from the metropolitan life of Montreal into Canada’s northern farmlands cued an onslaught of curiosity from friends and acquaintances alike. In addition to the many questions, there was a march of quips about my new situation. “Little Mosque on the Prairie!” “Corner Gas meets Little Mosque on the Prairie!” “Totally Little Mosque on the Prairie.”

life for life on the prairie. Albeit initially based in some cliché humor about terrorism-esque goofs and ethno-cultural stereotypes, the show quickly evolved beyond eye-roll jokes and gained an international following as it developed its characters and their relationships beyond superfluous phrases and moments. It was the first show of its sort in the Euro-American world that focused on Muslims and Muslim life specifically in a way that made them central and not marginal characters.

Whether or not “Little Mosque on the Prairie” (LMOTP) was any good in terms of writing, plot and humour, it gained a considerable audience that went beyond any geographic, religious and ethnic niche. More considerably, however, LMOTP became an inseparable and central part of Canadian pop culture. For a country known more for its entertainment exports (such as Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, J-Biebs, and Pamela Anderson) as opposed to its music and film industries, LMOTP became a refer-

In almost every conversation, there were constant allusions to the groundbreaking Canadian comedy sitcom that revolved around the lives of a diverse Muslim community in the small town of Mercy, Saskatchewan. The show, drawing its name from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” books (later made into a television series), was the televised representation of series creator Zarqa Nawaz’s experiences as a Canadian Muslim woman who had left her city-

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SEEKING A HAPPY MEDIUM | POP CULTURE + THE CONUNDRUM OF ISLAM

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: BASKETBALL PLAYER KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, BOXER MUHAMMAD ALI, MALCOLM X DVD COVER

MUSLIM REPRESENTATION IN AMERICAN POP CULTURE HAS A LONG HISTORY, SPECIFICALLY AS IT RELATES TO BLACK AMERICAN MUSLIMS ence point. It seemed almost impossible to meet someone outside of Canada who didn’t reference the show within the first five sentences of a convo. The show also prompted a serious discussion on Muslim depiction and representation in popular culture. This became specifically the case in the United States, where there is more than digestible malignant characterization and imagery of Muslims in popular culture as well as in the political and news media spheres. Muslim representation in American pop culture has a long history, specifically as it relates to Black American Muslims. Malcolm X -the person, the book, and Spike Lee’s three hour epic- basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, HBO prison drama “Oz”, and boxer Muhammad Ali are a few names that pop up immediately when we begin to sift through Muslim American pop culture history. Hip hop as a genre of music and as a movement has also been crucial to the formation of an American pop culture space for Islam and Muslims. Regardless of this history, the aftertaste of bigotry spawned in the shadows of the fall of the Twin Towers over a decade ago has left many American Muslims, specifically those from immigrant communities, desiring stronger, more socially-intrusive –in a good way- visibility in the media.

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A glimpse into the possibility of this sort of visibility came with TLC’s “All American Muslim”, which followed the rather interesting lives of a large Lebanese Shiite family in Michigan’s Dearborn community, home to the densest American Muslim population. The show was simultaneously lauded as a great step in “normalizing” American Muslims through pop culture, while being brushed off as poorly representing the diversity of Muslims and, most loudly, condemned by cray-cray bigots as the

death of the American social fabric (which, apparently, is only white and Christian according to some naysayers). Muslim critics of the show seemed uncomfortable with its depiction of –onlyArab Shiite Muslims, many of whom seemed far outside the limits of orthodoxy. While the show only pushed the Arab hegemony of Muslim identity, it did offer a surprising bit of nuance to the lives of a group of Muslim Americans, who are a minority within a minority. “All American Muslim” was first

and foremost a reality show – known primarily for their scripted “realism”- as opposed to any real effort to explore the life and times of Muslim Americans. It was entertaining yes and probably raised some eyebrows in surprise of newly-gained perspective, but it wasn’t apparently what American Muslims were looking for. Unfortunately, it turned out it wasn’t what audiences were looking for either and the show was cancelled after one season. It seems what American Muslims – at least those most vocal about this sort of things – want in pop culture representation is the Muslim Cosby Show.

“ALL AMERICAN MUSLIM” WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST A REALITY SHOW – KNOWN PRIMARILY FOR THEIR SCRIPTED “REALISM”- AS OPPOSED TO ANY REAL EFFORT TO EXPLORE THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MUSLIM AMERICANS “The Cosby Show” was a show about race without actually being about race. Unlike preceding shows centered on Black American characters, “The Cosby Show” focused on an affluent, highly educated Brooklyn Black family, dealing with the issues that come with being a family. The issue of race was sometimes a part of the show, but never in a way that depicted that their lives were wrapped around their own consciousness of being Black. They celebrated their Blackness without tokenizing it. The show became a success not solely because of the brilliant comedy of Bill Cosby – whose stand up inspired the show – but because it was a show that was a genuinely good production in its entirety. The Huxtable family was relatable to a diverse audience and the writers of the show made sure to never leave out any nuance of class, race,

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SEEKING A HAPPY MEDIUM | POP CULTURE + THE CONUNDRUM OF ISLAM

OPPOSITE PAGE: SCREENSHOT OF THE “ALL AMREICAN MUSLIM SHOW” CHANNEL ON YOUTUBE

gender, family and American life. At the same time, that didn’t really come across the goal of the show either. Instead of using race as the centrifugal force in the show, family was. While Cosby had suggested a middle-class Black family, it was the producers of the show who, wanting to break free from repeated storylines and experiences, suggested that the family be outside the norm of what would typically represented of a Black family on TV. While we all have our particularities that set us apart from one another, they do not necessarily govern our every thought, action and intention. Human relationships, individual thought and action are the by-products of the interplay between all the layers and crevices burrowed deep within us and around us. This is what “The Cosby Show” was able to successfully showcase during its eight-season run and it never shied away from the core parts of the family’s identity, which included its Blackness.

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BELOW: BILL COSBY OF “THE COSBY SHOW”

American Muslims seem to be searching for a normalization of themselves while not realizing that there is nothing “normal” about them. There’s nothing “normal” about them when the standard of normalcy seems to be solely defined by the majority cultural group. In addition to this, American Muslims are ignoring the inseparable role of Black American Islam in the formation of American pop culture. The focus now seems to be mixed between representing Muslims and representing Arab and South Asian Muslimness, which in turn is related to America’s “Immigrant Problem”. Maybe this issue of representation and depiction in pop culture needs to be approached in another way. Maybe the focus shouldn’t be on “normalizing” Muslims, but on supporting the artists in the community and producing wellstructured, good entertainment that finds its center on storytelling and entertaining and not on making everything seem hunky dory.

“Little Mosque on the Prairie” was popular because there didn’t seem to be an effort to mainstream Muslims into Canadian popular culture; the show came as an anomaly. There was really nothing that preceded it nor were there any concerted efforts to push it forward. While the first season was built on a single painful stereotype of a joke, the following seasons built relationships between the characters and audience. The humor remained typical of a Canadian sitcom, but the representation of Muslims in the show was diverse. There were practicing and not-so-practicing Muslims. There were Muslims who were born and raised in Canada. And there were Muslims who were recent immigrants. There were women who wore hijab and held their own careers. There were women who didn’t wear hijab and everyone seemed okay with it. There were weird moments of courtship and love that sometimes only Muslims can really understand. This acceptance of differences by the show’s creators and producers as well as by the fictional community itself made it a show, and a fun show at that, as opposed to a sort of socio-political move to make Muslims a-okay. Between the jokes and Rayyan’s pretty face, there was some nuance that made it okay to be different. To not be “normal” – because who really is?

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PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREAS LASZLO KONRATH

ALWAYS IN TUNE BRUNO MARS IN DUBAI BY FIDA CHAABAN

THE FIRST TIME I HEARD BRUNO MARS, I WAS A BIT SPOOKED. HE SOUNDED EERILY LIKE A YOUNG MICHAEL JACKSON. I LITERALLY STOPPED IN MY TRACKS AND LISTENED CLOSER- YES, HE HAD A BIT OF THE MICHAEL MAGIC, BUT THERE WAS ALSO SOMETHING ELSE THERE. THAT SOMETHING ELSE SOON SHOT TO THE TOP OF GLOBAL CHARTS. I COULDN’T TURN AROUND WITHOUT HEARING THAT BRUNO WOULD CATCH A GRENADE FOR ME (OR YOU, FOR THAT MATTER). I WASN’T SURE HOW I FELT ABOUT HIS LYRICS, BUT THE BEATS WERE COOL, AND THE VOICE? THE VOICE SOUNDED LIKE CARAMEL: LAYERED AND DELICIOUS. MR. OFFBEAT SUDDENLY BECAME MR. MAINSTREAM. AND THEN DONE EVENTS BROUGHT BRUNO MARS TO DUBAI, AND HE MADE US FEEL LIKE WE WERE LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN. NO JOKE. BECAUSE ONCE YOU SEE THE MAN PERFORM, YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU’VE BEEN MISSING.

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PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREAS LASZLO KONRATH

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ALWAYS IN TUNE | BRUNO MARS IN DUBAI

OPPOSITE PAGE: “UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX” ALBUM COVER LEFT: JIMI HENDRIX COMPILATION “PEOPLE, HELL AND ANGELS” ALBUM COVER

“I’VE NEVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE, SO I HAD TO GET USED TO IT”

T

his past April, Bruno’s arrival as a tier one performer was confirmed for those of you out there who might have had doubts that the 27 year-old has become one of the most highly regarded in the biz. It came in the form of his “GQ” magazine cover and huge feature. The writer of the piece referred to Mars as one of the “most gifted songwriters of his generation”, and explained that the crooner works with “two partners as the songwriting-and-production team known by the name the Smeezingtons”. Born Peter Hernandez, Mars took the stage at Dubai’s Media City Amphitheatre and reminded over 15,000 attendees why exactly it was that the concert was sold right out. A few rave reviews

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of the concert in UAE dailies suggested that his rendition of ballad “When I Was Your Man” channelled the late, great King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Mars, who began performing at the age of four in his father’s show, was known as the world’s youngest Elvis impersonator. Imagine going from the equivalent of a luau act, to well, being compared to Michael. “After I released the first album I was kinda introduced to a new life. Being on TV and performing these songs on TV and I’ve never done anything like that before, so I had to get used to it. I come from singing in bars and just kinda jamming with my family and my friends and it was a whole new form of entertainment that I kinda had to get used to. I love it, you know it’s your dream. You never really know until you’re there, really how it goes and it’s a learning process.”

Mars says that his single “Guerrilla”, one of the most explicit tracks in his catalogue, is “actually the first song we wrote for this album and it really set the bar. It just reminded us that there’s no boundaries, there’s no laws. This is why we signed up to do music. It really became the mascot song of this album, that’s why we put a guerrilla on the [album] cover and if it shocks people, you know, well that’s good. Everything can’t be safe and sweet and you’re supposed to feel something when you hear music.” Feel something indeed, his club hit “Locked Out of Heaven”, brought the crowd up and around, and yeah really damn close to bliss. Mars is quick to point out the obvious: “‘Locked Out of Heaven’ is about a woman giving you something you’ve never felt before. That’s the long answer, you want the short answer? It’s about sex.” Much of his latest work is, and it’s a marked transition from before. The use of swears on “Unorthodox Jukebox” aren’t many, but they’re definitely there. What does Mars have to say regarding the comments suggesting he’s shed his once-innocent (and highly marketable) image? “[Like] fuck? You know you write songs? Sometimes I pick up a guitar and I’ll freestyle. Sometimes a love song will come out and sometimes profanity will come out. But whatever it is that comes out is my art, and it’s my expression I don’t wanna have to change it cause it won’t get played on the radio or for whatever reasons, politics [sic] reasons. I don’t want to dilute my music for business, so if I want to say fuck I’m gonna say it.”

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ALWAYS IN TUNE | BRUNO MARS IN DUBAI

Bruno Mars After Party images at PEOPLE by Crystal are courtesy of Ping Dubai. Check out comprehensive image and video coverage of the biggest events around on Ping Dubai’s platforms! www.pingdubai.com PingDubai

@PingDubai

PingDubai

“I DON’T WANT TO DILUTE MY MUSIC FOR BUSINESS, SO

IF I WANT TO SAY FUCK

I’M GONNA SAY IT” The singer doesn’t claim to have made this shift intentionally, instead Mars says, “The first album I have ‘Just the Way You Are’ and ‘Grenade’- songs that I’ve written that I love and that I’m going to be performing forever, but I already wrote those songs. I wanna write new songs, talk about new things, so I pushed myself to venture off and experiment with different lyrical content.”

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And it is different, even the stage energy is different. “I just hope that you can just hear change. Every album I put out I want the fans and audience to grow with me and change with me,” says Bruno. “The best way I can describe it is over two or three years later. I know what it feels like to play these songs live every night. I took all of that energy and I put it into this album. Hopefully that’s

what it will be like for every albumyou’re gonna hear growth and you know, bringing something new to the table every time.” Something new includes a lot of catharsis, as Mars admits there is a lot of confession-driven material on his second album. “I’ve been in situations where everything’s not so…”, he says trailing off a bit cryptically. This is “where I messed up- on this song I’m basically just admitting that. And it’s easier to sing about than it is to talk about for some reason […]. Quite a few songs that I’ve written have been confessionssometimes I let my imagination run wild but I think it always has to come from a pure place of truth, of something that you know,” he adds. Why did he name the album “Unorthodox Jukebox”? His explanation sounds almost defensive: “Before that I’d written an album I used to go perform and play for big record executives and that was always what they used to tell me. They would always tell me that my music was too unorthodox. It was a hard pill to swallow because my music reflects who I am as a person, and I think I’m unorthodox so why shouldn’t my music sound like that? A lot of it I think had to do with that they didn’t know how to market it; they didn’t know which radio stations to play it on. The title ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ is kind of a statement of my freedom.”

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ALWAYS IN TUNE | BRUNO MAR IS DUBAI

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ALWAYS IN TUNE | BRUNO MARS IN DUBAI

“‘UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX’ IS KIND OF A STATEMENT OF MY FREEDOM” Since his style is taking on a chameleon characteristic, can we expect a rock album? “Maybe… you never know, it depends. It depends on where I am and how I feel. I might come out with a country album. I might start rapping, I might start rapping on a country song,” he says laughing. And his alltime favorite musician? “Jimi Hendrix is my favorite. What do I admire about Jimi Hendrix? Individuality and fearless [sic] and not being scared. Doing the music that he wanted to do and his God-given talent of playing the guitar like no one has ever played it before ‘til this day,” he says emphati-

cally. This might be the most passionate part of the entire interview- Mars is more animated here than at any other time. He continues, saying that Hendrix is a “great songwriter and I loved his voice. If I could spend a day with Jimi Hendrix I’d like to be in the studio with him and just be a fly on the wall and just kinda watch how they used to do it back then.” Other influences come from his oft-cited father’s collection: “My dad was really into 1950s Rock ‘n Roll and Doo-wop music from that era and also Motown and a lot of the 6os and 70s Soul. That’s kinda what I used to listen to.”

His new album has no other artists on it, he says he simply “locked” himself in the studio until it was done, whereas his previous album aptly named “Doowops & Hooligans”, had a number of guest appearances. As far as collaborations go, Bruno is noncommittal, saying only that, “If I could I’d like to work with some of my idols, that would be nice. But it’s also nice that they’re my idols and that you know I have an imagination of what kind of people they are.” The UAE appearance, as part of his “Moonshine Jungle” tour, was followed by the Official After Party at PEOPLE by Crystal to a packed house. Crystal’s management said that they were “proud to continue the tradition of welcoming international leading artists to PEOPLE. We’ve hosted other tier one performers and international stars like Chris Brown, Akon, and now, Bruno Mars. PEOPLE was awarded the best club for the past two years, and we’ll continue to bring down the house at every opportunity. Bruno electrified the crowd, and PEOPLE was thrilled to stage the event.”

“IF I COULD SPEND A DAY WITH JIMI HENDRIX I’D LIKE TO BE IN THE STUDIO WITH HIM AND JUST BE A FLY ON THE WALL AND JUST KINDA WATCH HOW THEY USED TO DO IT BACK THEN” OPPOSITE PAGE: “UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX” ALBUM COVER LEFT: JIMI HENDRIX COMPILATION “PEOPLE, HELL AND ANGELS” ALBUM COVER

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PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREAS LASZLO KONRATH

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ALWAYS IN TUNE | BRUNO MARS IN DUBAI

SOUND BITES BRUNO MARS IN DA HOUSE “YOU COULD DEFINITELY USE SONGWRITING AS THERAPY, LIKE I SAID IT’S EASIER FOR ME TO SING ABOUT THAN TALK ABOUT IT FOR SOME REASON.” “I THINK THE PUREST FORM OF MUSIC IS A PIANO AND A VOCAL AND THAT’S WHAT I WANTED TO DO. I’VE NEVER DONE IT ON MY LAST ALBUM AND I WANTED TO DO IT ON THIS ONE. IT’S JUST ME AND THE PIANO AND THE SAD, SAD TRUTH.” “I DON’T KNOW WHAT KINDA MARRIAGE I WOULD WANT, PROBABLY SOMEWHERE ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN.” “AS SOON AS I CAN BE A GOOD FAMILY MAN, I’LL HAVE A FAMILY. IT’S HARD TO THINK ABOUT FAMILY WHEN YOU’RE TRAVELLING EVERYWHERE. I’D LIKE TO BE THERE TO WATCH MY CHILDREN GROW UP.” “THE FIRST THING I BOUGHT WHEN I MADE A LITTLE BIT OF DOUGHSKY, I BOUGHT MY MOM A HOUSE.” “I’VE LIVED IN LA FOR A WHILE NOW, BUT HAWAII IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE HOME. THAT’S MY EVERYTHING DOWN THERE.” “I LEFT HAWAII WHEN I WAS LIKE 17, 18. I NEEDED TO GIVE IT A SHOT I NEEDED TO TRY. I WANTED TO MAKE MY OWN ALBUM ONE DAY, THAT WAS MY DREAM AND BE ABLE TO SEE THE WORLD SINGING MY TUNES.” “LIFE’S FUCKED... AS FAR AS MUSIC IS CONCERNED THERE WAS NEVER A PLAN B. IF I WASN’T DOING IT AT THE LEVEL OF BEING ABLE TO MAKE MY OWN ALBUM, I’D BE DOING MUSIC SOMEWHERE, I’D BE SINGING AT A RESTAURANT. IT’S ALL I KNOW THANKS TO MY PARENTS, IT’S ALL I KNOW HOW TO DO.” “YOU KNOW WHAT I LOVE TO DO THAT I DON’T GET A CHANCE TO DO MUCH ANYMORE IS GO TO THE MOVIES- IT’S NOT THAT EXCITING I KNOW BUT IT’S THE TRUTH . I LOVE SITTING IN THE BACK AND WATCHING A FLICK.” “IN HIGH SCHOOL I WAS A HOOLIGAN. I WAS A TROUBLEMAKER.” “I LOVE BEING AT HOME NOW, BECAUSE YOU WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. YOU’RE ALWAYS IN THE STUDIO AND DOING A SHOW. BUT EVEN WHEN I’M AT HOME I’M STILL WORKING, I’M STILL THINKING ABOUT A SONG- OR I HAVE IDEAS. I GUESS YOU CAN CALL IT WORKAHOLIC, BUT THAT’S THE BLESSING AND THE CURSE. YOU GOT THESE IDEAS THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU CAPTURE.” “YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT’S GONNA JUMPSTART A SONG. IT COULD BE CHORDS, IT COULD BE A MELODY OR SOMETHING YOU SAY- A PHRASE THAT RINGS IN YOUR HEAD. YOU NEVER KNOW HOW IT’S GOING TO COME AT YOU, YOU JUST HOPE YOU’RE READY TO CATCH IT.” “YOU KNOW BEING A SONGWRITER YOU HAVE TO BE A STORYTELLER.”

KEEP YOURSELF IN THE LOOP

www.doneevents.com DoneEvents

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@DoneEvents

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NIMBUS GREEN ROOM, 2013 COURTESY THE ARTIST AND RONCHINI GALLERY

9

TEN MINUTES WITH AN ARTIST ON

CLOUD BERNDNAUT SMILDE HANGING IN THE BALANCE We asked one of the world’s most discussed installation artists 10 questions. Berndnaut Smilde is whimsical, a good sport, and above all, the artist who has created something that both critiques and laypeople can appreciate. And for an artist with his head in clouds, he’s surprisingly down to earth. Based in Amsterdam, you can see more of his work here www.berndnaut.nl

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RIGHT, TOP: NIMBUS D’ASPREMONT, 2012 COURTESY THE ARTIST AND RONCHINI GALLERY PHOTO CASSANDER EEFTINCK SCHATTENKERK

RIGHT, BOTTOM: NIMBUS PLATFORM57, 2012 COURTESY THE ARTIST AND RONCHINI GALLERY PHOTO CASSANDER EEFTINCK SCHATTENKERK INKJETPRINT ON BUBOND,125X198 CM

“THE WORKS QUESTION CONSTRUCTION AND DECONSTRUCTION. EVENTUALLY IT’S DETERMINED FAIL BUT FOR A VERY BRIEF MOMENT YOU TRANSPORT THE IMAGE OF A CLOUD INSIDE A SPACE AND START MAKING NEW CONNECTIONS” So you’re the rainmaker: you create clouds indoors. The science behind it must have taken some time to perfect- in a previous interview you said it was about the potential of an idea, a perfect representation, falling apart. Can you discuss this? BN I find it interesting when a work functions in between reality and representation in a way that it has potential but will never really function. My work is often about situations that deal with duality. Just as the cloud that builds up and falls apart at the same time, the works question construction and deconstruction. Eventually it’s determined fail but for a very brief moment you transport the image of a cloud inside a space and start making new connections. RAGMAG Why clouds? RAGMAG

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There is something you cannot grasp about clouds that I find interesting. People have been projecting meanings and myths around clouds for centuries. I’m still fascinated by old seascape paintings and their impressive skies. It always looks like there is something about to happen. RAGMAG Your images have been compared to many different artists by the mainstream media. When you read articles suggesting your work is reminiscent of this or that artist, what do you think? BN Sometimes I see the reminiscence too and sometimes I really don’t. RAGMAG How do you feel about the fact that your installation pieces are so shortlived and the only surviving evidence is image-oriented? Is this intentionally conveyed? BN

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LEFT, TOP: NIMBUS MUNNEKEHOLM, 2012 COURTESY THE ARTIST AND RONCHINI GALLERY PHOTO ONUR DAG

LEFT, BOTTOM: NIMBUS NP3, 2012 COURTESY THE ARTIST AND RONCHINI GALLERY PHOTO CASSANDER EEFTINCK SCHATTENKERK DIGITAL C-TYPE PRINT ON DIBOND, 125X185 CM,

“THE PHYSICAL ASPECT IS IMPORTANT BUT THE WORK IN THE END ONLY EXISTS AS A PHOTOGRAPH. THE PHOTO FUNCTIONS AS A DOCUMENT OF SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED ON A SPECIFIC LOCATION AND IS NOW GONE” I am not so much interested in the process of making. The work is really about the idea of a cloud inside a space and what people project on it. This is best represented by an image. The physical aspect is important but the work in the end only exists as a photograph. The photo functions as a document of something that happened on a specific location and is now gone. I like the temporary aspect of the work. RAGMAG When you became the artist that the mainstream media (BBC is one example) wanted to interview, what was it like for you? BN That is great of course. As long as they understand that I am an artist and work with ideas. I am not a magician. RAGMAG Your other work is widely recognized and exhibited, but the cloud series is the one most likely to be recognized by laypeople- viewers outside of the art world. What do you think of this? BN

The fact that the cloud-works are recognized by so many different viewers means that the works have something universal and timeless maybe, I can only see that as a quality. RAGMAG Are you a melancholy person? BN Affirmative. RAGMAG Do you hate all of the clichés that the writers are using to title their pieces about you? (Us included!) A few references we’ve seen in English: silver lining, head in the clouds, weatherman… BN Yes, why is that? RAGMAG Do you believe that the average person can appreciate art? BN Sure, an average person can also appreciate music, film or design. RAGMAG So umm, you’re our hero, you managed to bring a little magic back into the world. Can we come visit you and watch you make clouds? BN That depends. Do you like magic? BN

Berndnaut Smilde is represented by Ronchini Gallery www.ronchinigallery.com

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COMIC EDUCATION A BALANCED DIET OF POP CULTURE

FIVE GRAPHIC NOVELS THAT WILL MAKE YOU GEEK-CERTIFIED BY RANI NASR

Take a look outside and observe the flocks of zombified hipsters stumbling past the mall windows, munching on everything with a good marketing campaign. They’re all wearing Batman paraphernalia, whether they’re fans or not- a trend is a trend. Ever since the geek stereotype went from being a pimpled loser to wearing fashionably huge glasses and a superhero t-shirt, comic merchandise has been a cash cow for marketers. Add to that Hollywood’s shameless exploitation of the tons of forgotten gems in the comic world and anything with a Batman insignia on it will sell quicker than hotcakes. The comic world is a complex and colourful universe, it’s not for kids and hipsters alone. We’ve compiled a list of stepping stone graphic novels that changed the industry, funked-up pop culture, and made The Nerd a sex symbol. These novels are striking pieces of literature- I can assure you, if you dig deeper into this medium of colour and imagination, you’ll find yourself flipping the pages rapidly in excitement. For proof of this, all you need to consider is Comic Con, one of the world’s biggest events that is widely attended and covered by even the most straightlaced media outlets. You don’t need to be a comic fanatic to appreciate our choices, give it a shot and you might get hooked.

WATCHMEN

“WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?” “Watchmen” is more than just a graphic novel. “Time” magazine ranked it as one of the Top 100 Novels of all time in 2005, a significant feat on more than one level since it is the only graphic novel that made the list. It’s a mystery tale about a collection of deranged, bizarre, and retired superheroes: the melancholic, the doomsayer, the omnipotent and the ruthlessly funny. The plot, told with brutal psychological realism and a complex structure of detail, is the signature of its mad scientist writer Alan Moore, creator of the globally rebellious comic book: “V for Vendetta”. Innovative artwork by Dave Gibbons lends the “Watchmen” a cinematic edge- a mind-expanding, heart-pounding, and groundbreaking read with lots of Easter egg surprises: fearful symmetries, a comic book within a comic book (called metatheatre in the medium of plays), newspaper excerpts, tributes and parodies. This is a carefully orchestrated and complex work of genius.

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THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


COMIC EDUCATION | A BALANCED DIET OF POP CULTURE

SIN CITY

“WORTH DYING FOR. WORTH KILLING FOR. WORTH GOING TO HELL FOR. AMEN.”

“Sin City” is a neo-noir seven book series in which every page is a standalone masterpiece artwork by Frank Miller, the brains and pens behind “The Dark Knight Returns” and “300”. The story is a violent mystery ride, fueled by sexual tensions, creepy perversions and demented vigilantes. Miller single-handedly created every detail in this body of work, and there are lots of them. “Sin City” is a sweaty, dark, sexy and stylish read, and to boot, the script is poetic, well-paced and raw. It will blow your brain to pieces.

SCOTT PILGRIM

“SCOTT, IF YOUR LIFE HAD A FACE, I WOULD PUNCH IT”

This six-volume comic is about Scott’s glorious epic of defeating the seven evil ex-boyfriends of the girl of his dreams (and the dreams of the comic’s fanbase), Ramona Flowers. Scott is a 23 year-old Canuck, he’s a bassist in a rock band “between jobs”, and a fan of 8-bit games. He’s your average geek- awkward and hilarious. This is one (more like six) of the funniest books we’ve come across, told in video game format with edgy wit and lots of laugh-out-loud moments. This book and the 2010 movie it inspired are truly underrated one-ups to your geek culture knowledge. MAY 2013

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The International Motorcycle, Bicycle and ATV Exhibition

26 - 30 JUNE 2013 BIEL,

Beirut - Lebanon

Whether you are a Motorcycle Agent,

> Showcase your latest models, accessories and services to over 12,000 of the region's top targeted riders

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P.O. Box: 55576 / Beirut, Lebanon Tel: +961 5 959 111 / Fax: +961 5 959 888 Email: info@ifpexpo.com 54 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


CULTURE CLASH

COMIC EDUCATION | A BALANCED DIET OF POP CULTURE

PERSEPOLIS

“NOTHING’S WORSE THAN SAYING GOODBYE. IT’S A LITTLE LIKE DYING.”

This true story puts the reader in warm and cozy, yet not very comfortable shoes. It’s an autobiography that depicts the life of Iranian writer Marjane Satrapi growing up in the midst of the Islamic revolution and eventually follows her studies abroad. “Persepolis” will make you giggle, tear up, laugh and maybe even jump in excitement. It’s a sincere message to the world drawn in a gentle minimalistic technique, not to mention a lighthearted and enlightening read. Empathy is Marjane Satrapi’s key strength; you’ll relive the sweet moments, the disappointments, the tragedy, the achievements, the grief and the joy.

SUPERMAN RED SON

“I OFFERED THEM UTOPIA, BUT THEY FOUGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO LIVE IN HELL.”

This is the story of Superman if he’d landed 12 hours earlier in Soviet Ukraine. The idol of the average worker, Superman fights his battles for Stalin, socialism and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact. What’s intriguing about this piece or any other Mark Millar book (“Wanted”, “Nemesis”, “Kickass”…) is the element of surprise. In “Red Son”, the twist will have you gasping and gripping tight to the edges of your seat so that you don’t fly off right off. What will become of the rest of the DC superhero realm if Superman is red? This surrealistic, flamboyant, trashy, phantasmagorical horror and humor satire will slap you with these answers right on your DC-loving face. MAY 2013

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RAGGED EQUILIBRIUM FACTS 13

That’s how old American acrobat, aerialist, daredevil and high-wire artist Nik Wallenda was when he made his first professional tightrope debut. Wallenda has dubbed himself “The King of the Wire” and holds six Guinness World Records for his various feats. You probably know him as the first person to walk a tightrope stretched directly over the Niagara falls in June 2012, but did you know he fought a two-year legal battle with Canada and the USA to get this stunt approved, and had to wear a safety harness for the first time in his professional life?

GET LOST

We have a labyrinth in our ears, which probably explains the concept of selective hearing as stuff tends to get lost! On a more serious note, the bony labyrinth in our ear is divided into the cochlea, which is dedicated to hearing, and the vestibular system, dedicated to balance. The vestibular system works with optical nerves to keep stuff in focus when we move our heads, and joint and muscle receptors to control balance, as well as fluids and detection cells such as hair cells to detect altitude, rotation and linear motion of our heads. Check out the Final Frontier section for an article about balance and the inner ear.

BOTTOMS UP

You know how you cannot, for the life of you, walk in a straight line after downing one too many drinks? It’s all due to how alcohol dilutes your blood and makes it less dense, since it is lighter than water. Your alcohol-soaked blood then wooshes up to your ears faster than regular blood and makes the cupula in the cochlea want to float and bend, which in turn makes your brain think your center of gravity is changing. Want to know the best part? The process happens in reverse when the alcohol leaves your system, which is why you’re dizzy during a hangover –like you needed that.

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That’s the number of hours the Tamil-Canadian film actor and producer Suresh Joachim Arulanantham stood on one foot, give or take 40 minutes, at the Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Air Stadium in Sri Lanka, from the 22nd to the 25th of May 1997. When he discovered the Guinness Book of Records in 1991, he became inspired to break records and gain fame easily. He then went on to set and break 60 World Records in several countries to raise money for underprivileged children around the world.

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


RAGGED EQUILIBRIUM FACTS

GUN FU

A portmanteau of Gun and Kung Fu, Gun Fu is a close-quarters gunplay famous in Hong Kong cinema. It inspired the Gun Katas used in the futuristic 2002 film, “Equilibrium”, starring Christian Bale and Taye Diggs. It is based on the premises that all trajectories of fire in a gun battle are statistically predictable given the positions of the participants; by memorizing the positions, participants can fire at each other without actually aiming at one another.

180 – 207.25

If you position yourself at these celestial longitude degrees, you’d be in an area that the Sun transits through around the autumnal equinox, between September 23 and October 22. You’d also find Libra- the seventh sign of the Zodiac, represented by the scales to symbolize the balancing mechanisms that people of that sign will use to preserve and protect harmony. Libras are said to be adept at striking the right balance in their lives and Libra partners are said to be the epitome of balance, harmony and fair play.

IN VINO VERITAS When you’re having dinner with an oenologist and you hear them say the wine is well-balanced, you’ll know what to order. Well-balanced wine is that which strikes a perfect harmony between all its characteristics- none stick out. Key components are alcohol, acidity, tannin, sweetness, and fruit concentration, making a well-balanced wine pleasant to drink, elegant, and refreshing.

MAY 2013

MA’AT VS APOPHIS If we were to delve into the metaphysical or conceptual meanings of equilibrium and balance, we’d find that people have long believed in the point between opposite forces that pull and push against one another in our world. Such is the nature of the relationship between “Ma’at”, which means order and truth, and “Apophis”, the deification of chaos and evil in Egyptian Mythology. While Ra, the solar deity and bringer of light was the upholder of Ma’at, Apophis, represented as an evil serpent, was the sworn enemy of Ra and was “worshipped against” since his occasional defeat of Ra caused natural disasters and generally bad things.

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THE FINAL FRONTIER

WEATHERING

the STORM WHY YOUR INNER EAR IS THE BAWS BY J.E.N.

T

he ground beneath your feet seems to be moving. Parked cars feel like they are ever so slightly edging forward. Stairs seem to suddenly tilt or shift. Silence is something that can never be heard. The unrelenting sound of static or ringing masks it. This is is how people with inner ear balance problems and tinnitus experience the world. Our inner ear is our center of bal-

ance. If something goes wrong, we feel like we’re in the middle of a stormy sea even if we have two feet firmly planted on dry land. Feeling unsteady, dizzy and disoriented is basically what happens when your sense of balance has

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disappeared. You feel like you’re floating, spinning or moving even when you’re sitting down or not moving a muscle. And the most common cause is a problem in the inner ear. Beyond the ear drum and the three tiny bones behind it lies an intricate maze-like realm called the “labyrinth”. At the end of the labyrinth is a complex network of pouches and loops (the semicircular canals and the otolithic organs). This is where our balance is maintained and the nearby cochlea that resembles a snail’s shell allows us to hear. The parts of the inner ear associated with balance is the vestibular system.

LABYRINTHITIS IS DIZZINESS AND LOSS OF BALANCE BECAUSE YOUR INNER EAR IS INFECTED OR INFLAMED FROM SOMETHINGSAY A FLU. MÉNIÈRE’S DISEASE CAUSES TINNITUS, IRREGULAR HEARING LOSS, VERTIGO AND THE SENSATION OF FULLNESS IN THE EAR BECAUSE OF A CHANGE IN THE FLUID LEVEL IN THE LABYRINTH BUT THE ACTUAL CAUSE OF THIS CHANGE IS NOT CLEAR. PERILYMPH FISTULA IS WHEN THE FLUID FROM THE INNER EAR LEAKS INTO THE MIDDLE EAR

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


WEATHERING THE STORM | WHY YOUR INNER EAR IS THE BAWS

Our vestibular system doesn’t work totally solo. It works with our sense of sight, bones and joints to ensure we maintain balance at all times. It does this by perceiving mechanical forces that impact us when we move around, like gravity. And this cool trick is done by the labyrinth. Our semi-circular canals are made of three loops that are filled with water. These inform our brain that our head is moving in a circular way or rotating. Each semicircular canal comes complete with a raindrop shaped base (the capula) that has a gel-like substance inside. The capula crowns hair cells which have extensions (stereocilia) that go into the gel. So the fluid in the semicircular canal moves when our head moves and in turn the capula bends and the stereocilia tilt which tells our brain about the position and movement of our brain. Maintaining balance is more complicated than this alone though. The otolithic organs (the utricle and the saccule) between the semicircular canal and the cochlea tell our brain we’re moving in a straight line and where our head is in relation to gravity (like when we’re lying down, leaning back). The otolithic organs work in a similar way to the semicircular canals with the addition of

tiny grains of calcium carbonate (otoconia). So how does this super powered balance system get out of whack? An infection in the ear, blood circulation problems, head injuries, and taking certain meds can all wreak havoc. As can something wrong with our eyes, bones and joints since they also play a role in balance. There are different kinds of balance disorders. Some common ones include positional vertigo, labyrinthitis, ménière’s disease, perilymph fistula, and MdDS (or sea sickness). Positional vertigo is a powerful yet short-lived episode of vertigo that happens when you move your head. It could result from a head injury or sim-

ply from getting older. Labyrinthitis is dizziness and loss of balance because your inner ear is infected or inflamed from something- say a flu. Ménière’s disease causes tinnitus, irregular hearing loss, vertigo and the sensation of fullness in the ear because of a change in the fluid level in the labyrinth but the actual cause of this change is not clear. Perilymph fistula is when the fluid from the inner ear leaks into the middle ear. Head injury, scuba diving, and other things can cause it and it makes you feel dizzy, nauseous and unsteady. We all know what sea sickness feels like! It’s interesting to note that some sever cases can last months if not years!

OUR VESTIBULAR SYSTEM DOESN’T WORK TOTALLY SOLO. IT WORKS WITH OUR SENSE OF SIGHT, BONES AND JOINTS TO ENSURE WE MAINTAIN BALANCE AT ALL TIMES. IT DOES THIS BY PERCEIVING MECHANICAL FORCES THAT IMPACT US WHEN WE MOVE AROUND, LIKE GRAVITY. AND THIS COOL TRICK IS DONE BY THE LABYRINTH

BONO IMAGE CREDIT: FEATUREFLASH, SHUTTERSTOCK

LEFT TO RIGHT: BONO AT THE 2011 GQ AWARDS, VAN GOGH, SELF-PORTRAIT WITH BANDAGED EAR OIL ON CANVAS, 60 X 49 CM COURTAULD INSTITUTE GALLERIES, LONDON

MOVE EARTH MOVE I FEEL THE EARTH FEEL THE Tinnitus is another ear problem that can shake up your world. It’s intermittent or constant noise in your ears. Lots of famous figures throughout history have suffered from tinnitus including Vincent Van Gogh (maybe that was really why he chopped his ear off), Ludwig Van Beethoven, Sylvester Stallone, Larry King, Bono, and Martin Luther to name but a few.

MAY 2013

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MIND, BODY+SOUL

RESTORING YOUR EQUILIBRIUM MANAGING

STRESS BY SARAH HOURANY

Y

ou are getting married. You have exams coming soon. You have been fired. You are in a rocky relationship. You moved to a new home. The causes are numerous, yet the result is varying levels of the same thing: you feel stressed. It’s the “reaction triggered by our body to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response.” What happens to your body when you’re stressed? Are some people more likely to be stressed than others? Is stress always a bad thing? And finally, how can we cope?

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ALARM TO EXHAUSTION Dr. Hans Seyle, “the father of the stress field”, divided this reaction into 3 stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. During the alarm stage, also known as the initial response to the “stressor”, the brain perceives some form of danger and goes into a “fight or flight” response. It’s a reaction providing us with power and energy to cope with the new situation. As a result, adrenaline, noradrenalin, and cortisol are released causing an increase in heart and breathing rates. Blood is diverted to the parts of the body that need it for its planned action, the pupils of the eye dilate, and the muscles contract ready to work. The liver releases an additional amount of sugar and fat to provide energy for the muscles. The other characteristics of this phase include an increased amount of sweat, pale skin, and dry mouth.

This reaction is followed by the resistance stage, where the amount of adrenaline in the body decreases while the stressor remains the same. In order to handle the prolonged stress, the other hormones swing into action: cortisol increases blood-sugar levels providing the energy that the body needs. Aldosterone keeps the blood pressure high enough so the body can achieve its circulatory tasks. In the majority of situations, the resistance stage helps us cope with stress, but it is unable to do so indefinitely. Once it fails, the body enters the exhaustion stage: the stressor is not eliminated, mainly because we keep pushing ourselves into stressful situations. The body then collapses since its resources have been used up, opening the door to various illnesses. It is no coincidence that people catch flus and colds easier when they are stressed; the body is worn out and your immune system is weakened.

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


RESTORING YOUR EQUILIBRIUM | MANAGING STRESS

A OR B?

Various research has led to a number of personality classifications. One of the common (and controversial) distinctions used is the separation between Type A and Type B personalities. Type A people are usually impatient, workaholics, competitive, self-demanding, driven by ambition, and aggressive. Studies have shown that Type A personalities are more likely to suffer from work stress, heart disease, and hypertension. A Type B person tends to be relaxed, at ease with himself and his friends, moderately ambitious and easy going. Type B personalities don’t seem as predisposed to great stress and its complications as Type A personalities. Studies also show that stress management is different between genders. Although women are three times more likely to develop depression in response to stress due mainly to the female hormones such as estrogen, they are better than men when it comes to coping with stress. This is mainly because of the various and stronger social connections they succeed in developing which provide love and support to them when needed. BELOW: DR. HANS SEYLE, “THE FATHER OF THE STRESS FIELD”

THE PLUS SIDE

It is true that stress has various negative impacts on us emotionally, mentally and physically but not all stress is bad. The good stress or “eustress” allows you to stay alert, focused, and energetic. This good stress is exactly what it takes to help you meet challenges, deadlines, win a race, and even save someone. In short, it gives you the push to work harder and makes you experience pleasant feelings when you achieve your goals

NOT ALL STRESS IS BAD. THE GOOD STRESS OR “EUSTRESS” ALLOWS YOU TO STAY ALERT, FOCUSED, AND ENERGETIC. IT GIVES YOU THE PUSH TO WORK HARDER AND MAKES YOU EXPERIENCE PLEASANT FEELINGS WHEN YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.

QUICK TIPS TO COPE WITH STRESS • Take a deep breath, it helps you relax • Exercise, it allows your body to get rid of the chemicals released when you are stressed • Walk away, it eases your anger • Organize and prioritize your work, it helps you know what you have to do and when • Think positive, it boosts your confidence

MAY 2013

• Change your routine; it helps you experience the world from a different angle • Eat well for a positive effect on your mind and body • Stay away from your smartphone for at least one hour prior to going to bed, studies indicate that you are less likely to fall asleep earlier with prebedtime usage

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MIND, BODY+SOUL

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

help me

NOUR+RABIH BY NOUR OBAJI + RABIH FEGHALI

I think my boyfriend may be cheating on me. He tells me he loves me, the sex is amazing, and we are a part of each other’s lives, but I just have this weird feeling. I have not asked him about it, and I am worried that if I do, he might think I’m crazy. Should I talk to him about it? Leila, 25

“Hire a private investigator or stop being so self conscious unless your feelings are based on something a little more substantial.” Nadine, 31

“Go with your gut! If you think he is cheating, and you’re not crazy, then he probably is!” Naimeh, 30

“I don’t believe that he is cheating because you say the sex is amazing. Usually when a guy is getting it from someone else he doesn’t want it from you.”

Nour’s Vote Frankly you sound insecure. You need to reevaluate what you want in a relationship. If everything is as good as you say it is then you should not be going over these types of scenarios in your mind. Put the shoe on the other foot. How would you like it if he was the accuser, and you the accused? It isn’t fun being in the hot seat so take it down a notch or break up with him and find out what you really want.

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MOVE OUT. NUFF SAID. NO BRAINER: SCHOOL AND A JOB ARE EXCELLENT EXCUSES AND UNARGUABLE. FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT. CHANCES ARE IT WILL GET UNCOMFORTABLE. YOU NEED TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOU. NOT FOR ANYONE ELSE. NOT EVEN FOR YOUR PARENTS I am 30 years old, still living with my parents. I know that it is still the done thing in Lebanon but they won’t let me out of their sight. It’s home to work and back again. I don’t want to hurt anyone but I’m thinking about leaving, with or without their approval. I don’t want it to get ugly. Help! Kamilya, 28

“Hun, if you wanna get up and leave remember that there will be consequences. You will not change your parents and they won’t change you. So live with it or change it. You have to decide whether you want to be selfless and live for them or selfish and live for you.” Caroline, 33

“Move out. Nuff said. No brainer: school and a job are excellent excuses and unarguable. Fake it ‘til you make it.”

Rabih’s Vote

Zein, 23

No, do not speak to him about it. If he is indeed cheating on you, he will not admit it, and if he’s not cheating on you, you’re asking for trouble. Try to find an alternative way to find out about it without him knowing. There is no other solution.

“You’ve got to remember your parents come from a different era than you do. In the old days a girl went from her parent’s house to her husband’s. You need to be patient and talk to them. Tell them you are unhappy and want more out of life.”

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


HELP ME NOUR + RABIH

Nour’s Vote Chances are it will get uncomfortable. You need to live your life for you. Not for anyone else. Not even for your parents. Approach it with some sensitivity, and rather than issue ultimatums, try being diplomatic and asking how they feel. They might just surprise you. In the event push comes to shove, push and make your move.

THIS SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING STRAIGHT OUT OF AN 80S HORROR MOVIE- HOW AWFUL. OBVIOUSLY HE DOESN’T TRUST YOU. NEXT TIME YOU SEE HIM STALKING YOU, CONFRONT HIM RIGHT THEN AND THERE

Rabih’s Vote The only person that will be hurt will be you- financially speaking. So if you’re ready for the financial burden of having your own place, then go for it (there are other things that you’d have to worry about such as electricity, water, cleaning, maintenance, furniture, laundry). Things will be sour at first, but they’ll get over it with time and life goes on. My husband is the jealous type. I have seen him drive by my work and have caught him sitting outside restaurants while dining with friends. The other day he claims he saw me driving with another guy in my car while I was at work. I can’t live like this anymore. What should I do? Eiman, 29

“Creepy. Tell him that you weren’t, but if he keeps up his behavior you soon will. He clearly has to learn to trust you, and respect your space. If he has his own baggage that isn’t sorted out yet, you shouldn’t have to pay for girlfriends past.” Najla, 27

“Divorce him. Life will only get worse. Really jealous men turn crazy.”

HE MIGHT BE DELUSIONAL OR HE MIGHT JUST BE A JERK. GET OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP QUICKLY IF YOU HAVE ALREADY GONE THROUGH THE COUNSELING STAGE. IF IT WERE ME, I WOULD HEAD FOR THE HILLS SINCE SITUATIONS LIKE THIS TEND TO ESCALATE MAY 2013

Hanan, 31

“Explain that you would never do anything to ruin your marriage however if the spying continues then you should warn him that it could lead to a divorce.”

Nour’s Vote This is basically a form of mental abuse. He might be delusional or he might just be a jerk, I can’t be certain from what little information you’ve given us. There is the option of counseling to see if this can help him work through his problems (yes, he has problems if this is the way he thinks). Get out of this relationship quickly if you have already gone through the counseling stage. If it were me, I would head for the hills since situations like this tend to escalate. Left unchecked, this sort of behavior is only bound to get worse. Better now than later.

CREEPY. HE CLEARLY HAS TO LEARN TO TRUST YOU, AND RESPECT YOUR SPACE. IF HE HAS HIS OWN BAGGAGE THAT ISN’T SORTED OUT YET, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO PAY FOR GIRLFRIENDS PAST Rabih’s Vote This sounds like something straight out of an 80s horror movie- how awful. Obviously he doesn’t trust you. Next time you see him stalking you, confront him right then and there. Involve a trusted family member (like his sister - if she’s trustworthy) to act as a buffer in order to smooth things out. If he continues doing it, and you continue to be faithful and innocent, he’ll get bored with time and will eventually stop.

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MIND, BODY+SOUL

My boyfriend works like crazy and when he gets home he’s so tired that he basically has no energy for me. I try to give him space and time to relax but I feel like I’m falling onto the backburner. Do I just have to accept that this is how it is or is there anything that I can do?

Ginny, 30

“No, you should not have to accept it. He makes the choice to put in long hours and in any relationship there has to be some balance.” Antoinette, 27

“Suck it up and be patient.” Elizabeth, 25

“You should never up give making an effort to keep the magic alive. You’ll feel good for helping him chill out, unwind, and handle the current living situation.”

YOU’LL FEEL GOOD FOR HELPING HIM CHILL OUT

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Nour’s Vote “Accept this” makes me hear warning bells. When you use a phrase like that, it sounds like you are resigned to a life of tedium. You try to “give him space and time”, and that is positive, but what is he trying to do for you? When you say he has no energy, I would even venture a guess that your sex life is waning. So all in all, you are not being mentally stimulated, and your physical connection might have deteriorated as well. You need to talk to him about keeping up his end of the bargain. If he doesn’t perhaps you need to explore other options, such as finding someone who is more focused on providing what you need. This is a givegive situation, and it should be a give and take situation.

Rabih’s Vote You didn’t say he has no energy for me ANYMORE. Was there ever energy? Chances are he already has someone on the side fulfilling the love department. Or he is gay. You can’t fix what was never there.

WHEN YOU SAY HE HAS NO ENERGY, I WOULD EVEN VENTURE A GUESS THAT YOUR SEX LIFE IS WANING. SO ALL IN ALL, YOU ARE NOT BEING MENTALLY STIMULATED, AND YOUR PHYSICAL CONNECTION MIGHT HAVE DETERIORATED AS WELL. YOU NEED TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT KEEPING UP HIS END OF THE BARGAIN

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


HELP ME NOUR + RABIH

I’m in love with a man, but we have different religions. The whole world is against us. What do we do? Judy, 24

“Religions are just labels. Be with whoever makes you happy.” Hoda, 27

“Wow this is a tough one. Fuck the world. The world isn’t going to wake up next to you every morning and kiss you and hug you and tell you how much they love you.” Yasmeen, 29

“As long as you’re ok with it. Time heals everything. Friends and family will come around and accept the relationship.”

Nour’s Vote Before I answer this question, I’d like to note that we receive this same sort of problem at least three times per month. That being said, the whole world is always against everyone who wants something that even slightly deviates from the accepted norm. What you need to do is decide what is more important- the accepted norm or your happiness? This is not a utopia. There is no such thing as pleasing everyone all of the time. A backbone is in order. It’s your life, and if you want to live it for other people, then break up with your other half, and ask your parents to choose a man for you to marry. If you are sure you want to be with this person, then the only real choice you have is to stand up for yourself and make an adult decision. Sooner or later they will warm up. You aren’t the first couple, and you won’t be the last.

Rabih’s Vote Maybe look at short term versus long term love, not religions. I don’t condemn nor do I commend. Sorry can’t help on this one ‘cause you’re looking at it all wrong!

YOU ARE MISREPRESENTING YOURSELF, AND YOU HAVE LED OTHERS TO BELIEVE YOU ARE SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE NOT. YOU ARE NOT A VIRGIN? WHO CARES? IF HE DOES, THEN MAYBE HE IS NOT THE KIND OF MAN WHO WILL BE FORGIVING OF OTHER THINGS MAY 2013

I’m not a virgin and I’m getting married to a religious guy. He doesn’t know and I don’t know how he will react once he does. Will he know for sure if my hymen is gone? What do I do? Sara, 26

“You are screwed. Believers come in two categories: Full On or Cool. It depends on what sort of believer he is – if he is Full On I would be faking my own death. If he is the Cool type, I’d be telling him everything about myself. Marriage isn’t something that lasts 10 minutes, it is for life!” Youssra, 32

“Not every girl bleeds. But if your hymen is in fact broken, then he won’t feel the pressure of the break. I wouldn’t marry this guy.” Cherine, 29

“I’m married to a religious guy and if I could go back and change things I wouldn’t have done it. I was a virgin, and I don’t think he would have married me if I wasn’t. I was scared that he wouldn’t believe me. If he finds out you are lying it will be worse, but I don’t think there is a way he can figure it out for sure. ”

Nour’s Vote This is a classic case of misrepresentation. You are misrepresenting yourself, and you have led others to believe you are something that you are not. You are not a virgin? Who cares? If he does, then maybe he is not the kind of man who will be

forgiving of other things. Sexuality sounds like a touchy subject in your relationship. It should not be that way. I don’t think you should remain with this person because you seem afraid to be honest with him. If you do want to stay with this person then be very aware of what you are getting yourself into. You sound panicky when asking about your hymen. You can either get it stitched up or just lie, but I cannot tell you how strongly I am against you doing either. If virginity is a make it or break it issue for him then he doesn’t love you enough to see out of his box. There is no real way for him to tell whether or not you’ve had intercourse, and a hymen is easily broken. A relationship built on a lie is not a relationship. Further, this is 2013 and do you want to marry someone who has such outdated ideas about sex? Good luck navigating a long life with someone who has a mindset like that.

Rabih’s Vote Are you kidding me? Are you being forced into this marriage? Because obviously you’re not religious, so I don’t see you two as an ideal match. That’s beyond the point. My gut tells me he is a virgin, so don’t say anything and he won’t know any better

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MON AMOUR, MON AMI

EVEN

OUT THE ODDS RELATIONSHIP BANTER TO AVOID

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his one goes out to the ladies in our audience who crave a little real talk! When dealing with men, it is important to remember that invisible lines exist. Lines one should not cross. Lines that, for your own good, should not even be toed. To save you energy, and time, RAGMAG has gathered a list of phrases that you should avoid like the plague when dealing with the object of your affections. You know the drill, ask a stupid question… Skip these no-no statements altogether, and make like a communication expert.

1. I WANT TO MEET YOUR FRIENDS Let us not forget that this fiasco was partly your fault since you insisted on meeting his “friends”. You didn’t know that his friends were a bunch of chimps. He took you to a keg party in the bushes. He didn’t bother to prepare you, so you wore stilettos. With each painful step your Manolos sink into the grubby mud... umm grass, you curse the hour you laid eyes on him. If you knew that you would be playing Ranger Joe all evening, you would have brought a compass. Without it, there is no other hope of you finding your way off this God forsaken rock. Get to know his friends better? What were you thinking? His friends, as it were, happened to be drunk by the time you got there. His friends were drooling. His friends think it’s cool to laugh like weird cartoon characters. Grabbing your mobile frantically, you realize that you don’t have reception and your best friend can’t even run the scheduled “something came up” call. Short of pretending to talk on your phone, you really have no way to bail. Rub two sticks together, get a fire going, and send a smoke signal. Otherwise you’re stuck. Not such a great idea after all, was it?

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THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


EVEN OUT THE ODDS | RELATIONSHIP BANTER TO AVOID

OPPOSITE PAGE: PHOTO FROM RAGMAG’S MAGNETIC ISSUE FASHION SHOOT PHOTOGRAPHY ODETTE KAHWAGI

GET TO KNOW HIS FRIENDS BETTER? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? HIS FRIENDS, AS IT WERE, HAPPENED TO BE DRUNK BY THE TIME YOU GOT THERE. HIS FRIENDS WERE DROOLING 2. DO I LOOK FAT IN THAT OUTFIT? Ask and ye shall receive. Or not. Do not ask questions that men have no hope of getting right. The right answer is always, “Fat? What are you talking about? Baby, you should be eating steaks morning, noon, and night! It would be amazing if you put on 10 pounds!” This is in a perfect world. We don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a I-Have-AnIdiotic-Boyfriend world. And that idiotic boyfriend will always answer, “Uhh fat? Where? Like your butt you mean?” That girls, is always the first nail in his coffin. For the rest of the night/week/year you will be running an inquisition that could put the FBI to shame. Dissecting every syllable trying to discern whether or not he meant the fat was concentrated more in your hips, rather than your arms, and so on and so forth. Frantically turning on him, your voice so shrill it could shatter glass, you carefully ask, “Why is my butt too big?” Like an animal that can smell fear, you hone in for his jugular, and watch him shrink in misery.

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3. WE NEED TO TALK This is the phrase that strikes fear in the heart of every male ever born. We mean every single one. In the history of humankind, there has never been a sentence looked upon with more trepidation. Trust us. These four words will make the bravest of the brave shoot furtive glances at the door. It sounds ominous, and usually is. The poor dear will then mentally begin tallying every insensitive thing he has done in the past six months. As he wonders which incident

led to this unfortunate moment, one all men on earth liken to walking the plank, he will gradually pale, and grasp that this is the beginning of the end. He will become uncommunicative, and jumpy, more so than usual. Rather than preparing himself to right the wrong, he will skirt the issue, like a cat on crack. You haven’t accomplished anything, because his defenses are up so high he makes the Berlin Wall look like your little brother’s Lego set. Forgo the line, and get right to the point. It will be much more effective.

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MON AMOUR, MON AMI

EVEN OUT THE ODDS | RELATIONSHIP BANTER TO AVOID

4. MY FRIENDS THINK… Ladies, do we need to even go there? He doesn’t care. He never will. Your friends are, in his eyes, the extra baggage that comes with you. For better, and for worse, and to him, they are the latter, not the former. In the cavernous expanse of his empty head, your friends are the bad voices that you hear when you are giving him the once over. When you say, “Honey I’m going for cocktails with the girls”, he hears, “I’m going out to listen to my friends talk about every single thing you have done wrong, and will do wrong, and all the things you have no hope of ever getting right, and how many better men there are out there, and oh remember when he wore that ugly shirt to dinner?” It doesn’t stop there. Think cacophony. Think harpies. Think loud! When you say, “My friends think__ (fill in notorious blank),” he pictures sharp, red nails, and scary brightly painted lips moving rapidly, and whoa... this little field trip inside his head is scaring us.

DON’T MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE COMPLICATED THAN IT HAS TO BE 5. WHERE IS THIS GOING? Are you trying to kill him? His heart is beating, his palms are sweaty, and his eyes roll so far back into his head, you can see the whites. He almost looks as though he might go into cardiac arrest. The truth is you shouldn’t have to ask. If he doesn’t make his intentions clear six months in, then you can pretty much surmise on your own: this is going nowhere. You don’t really need to have this talk. Skip it altogether. Relish your stress-free existence. Your options are: either enjoy the relationship for the pointless waste of time and energy that it is or face the truth and move on. Don’t make your life more complicated

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than it has to be. If you have to ask, then it is not going anywhere. When men want something and have to have it, they will make their wishes known. He hasn’t, therefore he doesn’t. This question is a minefield of disappointment, and you will be much happier grazing greener pastures.

Well ladies, RAGMAG thinks it’s pretty much cut and dry here. You can avoid the five scenarios above easily enough. Most of them don’t need to be said, and if they do, we suggest you flip to Nour and Rabih’s column for advice. Here’s to a successful time on the dating circuit!

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


STRADIVARIUS STAR SEARCH #BETHEMODEL

Stradivarius wants to make you a star! Two contestants will win $300 Stradivarius shopping sprees and they’ will star in a photo shoot modelling the Spring Summer 2013 collection to be featured in RAGMAG’s June issue. Ladies of Lebanon s end: one face picture and one full length picture of yourself. Email your images to Stradivarius@ragmaglive.com with your full name, age and phone number before May 12, 2013. www.stradivarius.com

MAY 2013

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CULTURE CLASH

HAYDA LEBNEN’S

SCALE

OF NAZARIET EL 3AM 2013 BY SARAH HOURANY

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f we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists”. Inspired by this quote, RAGMAG decided to share with you “Nazariet El 3am 2013” that was finally deciphered after three years of extensive moure2abe of the Lebanese society.

INTRODUCTION Since our study is quite complicated, involving a regression model and pages of econometric results’ interpretation, we have decided to publish a simple version of its executive summary exclusively for our readers. After all, you have the right to be the first to get the answer to the question you’ve been asking for decades: Why isn’t Lebanon progressing?

METHODOLOGY This study adopted an inductive research approach: it moved from specific observations of social and political issues in Lebanon to broader generalizations and theories. It was based on monthly data series retrieved from Hayda Lebnen’s database.

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KIF ZAMATET HAL KHABRIYE? KIF MA 3REFNA? KIF MA LA7AZNA! DAMN YOU FACEBOOK, DAMN YOU ZUCKERBERG! A. SOCIAL LEVEL

1. Habibi inta Lebanese society is suffering from a severe public display of affection’s disorder, lesh ta el wa7ad ykhabe. You have those who take it to the extreme: they overuse #habibi #3omri #albi #loveofmylife #baby #loveyou hashtags on Instagram (#2arrafouna_yeh lal Instagram), they attempt to break the national record of “I adore you” Facebook posts, and worse, they tweet about “how wonderful last night was ;)”, as if we needed to know that. Men mayle tenye, you have those who do not make their relationship public, well at least not on the social media level. Ya3ne you do discover eventually that some couples just got married bala wala 7ess. La soura, la post, wla status update. This type of people drives the Lebanese community crazy. Kif zamatet hal khabriye? Kif ma 3refna? Kif ma la7azna! Damn you Facebook, damn you Zuckerberg!

2. Sana helwa ya gamil Birthday part 1, followed by part 2, then part 3 Facebook albums -we hope you don’t have friends with part 4 kamen- are published to remind you once again that this particular person celebrated the most important occasion of the year: his or her birthday. And that’s as if Facebook’s birthday reminder, the “birthday girl/ boy” status update followed by “thank you everyone for your warm wishes”, as well as the balloons cover picture ma fala2oukon enough. By comparison, others remove their birthday date men el 2ases from their profile, are allergic to surprise birthday parties, and do not feel the urge to celebrate the fact that they are becoming older.

“YA HUGE WEDDING, YA BALA WEDDING HON” HAS BEEN THE TREND OVER THE PAST DECADE THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


HAYDA LEBNEN’S | SCALE OF NAZARIET EL 3AM 2013

LEBANON IS SUFFERING FROM A CHRONIC, SEVERE AND HARMFUL TYPE OF EQUILIBRIUM 3. Mahrajenet el sha3biye 500 guests wa ma fawk at Phoenicia, an Elie Saab dress for the bride, and Ragheb Alameh as the entertainment. This is the standard. Those who can meet it are the luckiest and do it in Lebanon, but those who can’t quickly escape to Cyprus. Actually, “ya abyad ya aswad” typically applies in this case: “ya huge wedding, ya bala wedding hon” has been the trend over the past decade. And while those who celebrate it abroad claim 2enno hek original aktar, they are in fact trying to avoid dealing with the following • “7aram manno 2edir” - when they’re just saving money for a down payment on an apartment • “Walaw ma 3azamna? Ya 3ayb el shoum bass” - when it’s the mother-in-law of the father of the bride’s aunty complaining • “Ya ya3mol 3eres metel el 3alam aw ma yetjawaz” - when it is said out loud by the jiran’s orchestra. This sentence, by the way, may be classified as a new Lebanese proverb very soon.

B. STATE LEVEL

1. LebanON w noss? Getting stuck in the elevator, spending the evening à la chandelle, or even wearing fostan mesh mekwe have all become part of our daily lives here in Lebanon (for more on this, check Hayda Lebnen’s Never-Ending Probl-Ohm, September 2011.) Yet despite the te3tir of the energy sector, reports are currently pointing out that Lebanon could become a net producer of energy if the offshore oil and gas fields located in the eastern Mediterranean are properly exploited. 2enno tkheyalo the drastic change from zero to 24 hours of electricity, from a she77ad to an exporter! Whether it’s just political propaganda or reality, you can’t help but feel, once again, that you are living in a deeply schizophrenic state. 2. Ontor-net no more? We all remember how we used to click on a YouTube video, dress up, go to university, attend four courses, have lunch, go back home, take a shower, then wait for another two hours so we could finally watch it. Back then, the government announced plans to bring the 3G connection to Lebanon hek faj2a. 2enno shway shway 3a 2alebna, we cannot handle going from hell to heaven bala ma t7adrouna nafsiyan. It cannot be shway faster bil 2awal then superfast masalan? Walla ya tokho ya kserlo mokho?

MAY 2013

3. 3aj2it ser w ma fi kher It is really heartbreaking to spend an hour and a half going back and forth, to and from Beirut during rush hour. While the traffic improved our communication skills w fajjaretelna mawehebna el fanniyeh 3al tari2, it also 7ara2elna a3sabna, caused us chronic back and neck pain and wasted our time, thus our money. 2enno we could have spent 20 minutes 3al tari2 bass, or wa2et 2a2al bi 77.77 percent, to travel that same distance during off peak time. Ma 3am befham, ya over 3aj2a ya wala chi bel marra? Ma fi 7all wasat ya3ne?

IT IS REALLY HEARTBREAKING TO SPEND AN HOUR AND A HALF GOING BACK AND FORTH

CONCLUSION

Based on the specific cases listed above, our study concludes that Lebanon is suffering from a chronic, severe and harmful type of equilibrium, “a condition in which all acting influences are canceled by others, resulting in a stable, balanced, or UNCHANGING system”. Men el 2ekhir ya3ne, in Lebanon, fi neiss w eshya bteshed la 2eddem w fi ness w echya bteshed la wara. Why? Ta ydal hayda Lebnen, matra7 ma houwe, ya 3ayneh!

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FML [F**K MY LIFE]

WEIGHING THE ODDS FML-ING MY RELATIONSHIP FOR RAGMAG BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

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ast issue I shared quite a personal facet of my life in an article that took me a long time to write, as I am not keen on sharing my private info. I told our RAGMAG readers why I didn’t want to get married, at least for now, and I thought I was done with the very personal articles. My Editor Fida being who she is, decided it was out of the question so for my FML, she decides to send me speed dating. What’s the problem with that? Here’s a quick recap: I’m 27, I don’t want to get married now but I am in a committed, exclusive relationship and I don’t

feel the need to date other people. As I couldn’t imagine myself going jobhunting, I signed up for The Mansion’s “Speed Date Me” event –I didn’t exactly “go with the flow” though. I made my sister Hiba and my colleague Eliane, who both thought it would be “soooo fun”, accompany me for moral support as this strategy turned out to be beneficial during my last FML. EDITOR’S NOTE To be fair, I just thought she should play the field a bit. Why not? If you’re going to make a huge decision like that, you might as well check out the alternatives!

THE DILEMNA As soon as Fida announces my assignment, I’m torn between telling my significant other and keeping it a secret. I’m not sure how he’ll react at me trying to meet other people –read potential dates- even though I don’t really have a choice. The thing is, he’s an openminded person and we don’t have a “leash” policy; but making male friends is one thing, trying to date other people is another. I decide to tell him, after all I’m not doing this of my own accord. I send him a voice note on BBM explaining the situation and emphasizing the fact that I’m not pleased with the assignment. His reaction: “Okay, and what are you going to do?” I’m going to do it, whether I like it or not– and believe me, I don’t like it.

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FML-ING MY RELATIONSHIP FOR RAGMAG

We arrive at The Mansion where I order my first drink, quickly followed by another, and another (don’t judge if you’ve never gone speed dating). All I can think of is me sitting on one of those stools waiting for my dates to take their places in front of me and stare awkwardly while I try to make small talk. The place quickly fills up and many people sign up for speed dating, creating three rounds. I take a look at all these people trying to figure out who is here for the dating part, who’s here for support, and who’s here to make fun of us all. I see young men, older ones, stylish women and ones with a more classic look. I thought I could figure it out but I just can’t spot a “speed date me” type. Here I am, sitting next to five other girls –including Hiba and Eliane- while the guys take a seat each opposite a girl.

“GET INTO GROUPS. PAIR UP WITH ANOTHER PERSON. YOU AND YOUR PARTNER WILL HAVE THREE MINUTES TO INTERVIEW EACH OTHER. WHEN THE TIME IS UP, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER THREE MINUTES TO INTERVIEW EACH OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR GROUP”

EDITOR’S NOTE

So I was totally feeling this whole speed dating FML. I went to lend my support, and also because I wanted to watch Youmna and Eliane meet new people and interact. Youmna seemed confident at this pointlittle did I know she was feeling this much trepidation.

THE DATES We’re all given rules and a rating sheet, I read mine quickly before my first date. “Get into groups. Pair up with another person. You and your partner will have three minutes to interview each other. When the time is up, you will have another three minutes to interview each of the other members of your group.” THREE MINUTES? How the hell am I supposed to know if someone’s interesting in only three minutes? Rules are rules and I don’t have time to read the rating system before AZ arrives. I’m usually a very social person; I have no difficulty striking up conversations with random people but here I just blank. After a few seconds of “mmms” and “errrrs” (he wasn’t really helping either, why should I start the dialogue? Man up, dude!) I just ask him the most obvious question: “Why are you speed

MAY 2013

dating?” He goes on explaining how he lives abroad and that he thinks speed dating is a good way to meet new people. I mentally cross his name off the list of potential matches. Honesty is a character trait that I particularly appreciate, and I wouldn’t date a guy who hides his desire to meet a partner behind a lame excuse. You want to meet people? You don’t go speed dating, you go out and mingle. AZ seems like a nice guy, but we don’t click and he certainly isn’t an option. Our time’s up and I read the rating rules before my next date 1. I think it’s a match. We share many of the same interests. 2. Very interesting. I need to learn more about this person. 3. I am not sure. 4. We do not have much in common.

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FML [F**K MY LIFE]

FML-ING MY RELATIONSHIP FOR RAGMAG

MY FIFTH DATE ARRIVES, I’LL CALL HIM PI. HE SEEMS SHY, AVOIDS EYE CONTACT BUT ACTUALLY TRIES TO HAVE A DISCUSSION. WHEN I ASK HIM WHY HE’S SPEED DATING, HE AVOIDS ANSWERING BY RETURNING THE QUESTION. NORMALLY, I WOULDN’T HAVE LET THAT GO, BUT I DECIDE TO ANSWER WITH THE TRUTH AZ gets a 2.5- I create that rating as really, I’m not sure but I think we did have a few things in common. It was my first date and I was being nice. In comes my next date, AL. Simply put, AL is boring. I don’t know why he’s speed dating, he doesn’t know why he’s speed dating, and quite frankly I’m not even sure he wants to date as he makes no particular effort in trying to get to know more about me. The bell rings sounding off of the three minutes– he gets a 3. My next (and worst date) is JO. JO was bad. Really, really bad. Picture JO as a 20-something, half drunk, screaming mess who is high-fiving his buddy next to him (for real). I barely talk to him as I

can’t see the point and would rather sip whisky instead of trying to find an interesting person under this brute. I create another special rate for JO. He gets a 5 for “I don’t ever want to see your face again.” Next comes his best friend (the high-fiving one) named EL. Same drama, but EL deserves a 4 because he honestly was a tad bit less annoying. My fifth date arrives, I’ll call him PI. He seems shy, avoids eye contact but actually tries to have a discussion. When I ask him why he’s speed dating, he avoids answering by returning the question. Normally, I wouldn’t have let that go, but I decide to answer with the truth (I didn’t disclose it to the first four

dates): “I’m in a relationship, but I feel like I might not be ready to fully commit to that person. I want to see if he’s the one or if I should try something else, with someone else.” PI gapes at me in disbelief and asks if my partner is aware of my speed dating excursion. I confirm that he does, and PI says he hopes I will figure out what I want before answering himself: “I am quite shy, and honestly, I don’t know how to meet girls. I can never make the first move when I see someone that attracts me, so this speed dating thing might help me.” I am pleasantly surprised by his honesty, which is rewarded with a 2. I take a deep breath as the bell rings the end of the round. Speed dating wasn’t really fun, at least for me. Hiba and Eliane did have fun, even though they didn’t meet good matches. I personally couldn’t enjoy it. Maybe it was the fact that I felt like I was cheating on my partner, maybe it was the type of men that signed up for that specific round. The only good thing about my FML? I’m now more sure than ever that I have found “the one” if there is such a thing, and I know for a fact that I don’t need to explore other options before tying the knot EDITOR’S NOTE

I actually did you a favor: now you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are with the right person! Isn’t clarity wonderful? You’re welcome.

MAY 2013

The Mansion Mar Antonios Street, Gemmayzeh, Beirut 03 286596 www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 75 The Mansion @MansionBeirut


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THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


NEW + NOW

NINE LIVES adidas, the world’s leading sporting goods brand, has announced the opening of a new store in Beirut City Center. The opening marks the ninth store for adidas in Beirut and features an area of 231 square meters dedicated to the brand’s latest product collections. Commenting on the opening of the store, Zeina Abou Laban, General Manager, adidas Levant, said, “We are proud to announce the opening of our ninth store in

TIP TOP SHAPE TOPSHOP TOPMAN, the British high street brand, is arriving at Beirut City Centre with exclusive UK style propositions for both women and men. The official opening of TOPSHOP TOPMAN took place on April 4, 2013 at the biggest mall in the Lebanese capital. Identifying huge demand for its trend-driven offerings, TOPSHOP TOPMAN is introducing for the first time in Lebanon at its new Beirut City Centre store, the free Personal Shopper service that guarantees a highly personalized shopping experience for its clients. The collection will boast the same selection of stylish pieces, specialized collaborations, and bespoke services, that the brand has become internationally known for and celebrated by Lebanese consumers. As an iconic UK brand, TOPSHOP TOPMAN remains a favourite amongst the fashion set and is the only fast fashion brand to regularly show collections at London Fashion Week, setting popular fashion trends

MAY 2013

Beirut; this store is the biggest so far to reflect our leadership in the Lebanese market. Since we opened our doors in 1995, it has been our goal to give our consumers the best shopping experience with great products and holistic themes.” In addition to the Sport Performance products, the new adidas store at Beirut City Center will also offer consumers the latest collections from adidas Originals. The street style-

inspired products pay homage to urban culture from the 70s, 80s and 90s, with the signature trefoil creating the mark of authenticity. adidas by Stella McCartney, a collaboration that has created fashioninspired training products for women, will also be available at the new store, along with adidas Porsche Design. Beirut City Center Mall | Hazmieh highway | level L0-32 | +961 (0)1 283 982

each season. The design of the TOPSHOP TOPMAN store will evoke the spirit of London’s iconic Oxford Circus. Embracing 600 square meters of retail at the Beirut City Centre, the store’s details will include signature touches such as mannequin display windows, shop lettering, graphic mural decals and brand accents.

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CULTURE CLASH

GWYNETH

PALTROW KEEPING IT IN CHECK HOLLYWOOD PAYS COURT TO THEIR CROWN PRINCESS IN THE WAKE OF IRON MAN 3 BY FIDA CHAABAN

Y

ou might not like Gwyneth Paltrow. You might even feel a little green with envy when you read about her simply because she’s got a charmed life. This cold crown princess is the daughter of Hollywood royalty, and she even found her prince- she’s married to a rockstar and they’ve got some kind of sickeningly-cutesy marriage with perfect little heirs apparent. The chilly celebrity has the entertainment world in the palm of her hand with her pick of the absolute best scripts and top directors, and she’s got a shelf full of awards to reaffirm her status as a serious actor. She’s got the cool factor without all the smut and rut, and she’s hip as hell- there’s also some kind of mystic aspect to her life that the general public greets with a mixture of intrigue and annoyance. What makes her even more unattainable is that she’s starring opposite Robert Downey Jr. in the biggest film of the year. So all of that makes it okay to admit that you don’t like Gwyneth Paltrow. Haters gonna hate, and she isn’t the least bit surprised.

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Maybe another reason you’ll hate Gwyneth is that she might be the only celeb on earth who can skip her own premiere in London, England to party it up with Tiffany & Co. in NYC. Both tabloids and fans skewered Paltrow for the diamond-encrusted evening appearance, but her notorious no-show is a contradiction to her excitement (and some might even say love), for the film: “I think this movie ends in a really unexpected way, and there’s real heart to it. It’s about discovering yourself and what’s really important. And of course it’s done with all the fireworks and action and excitement, but there’s really heart underneath it,” she says. The heart that seems to concern fans most at this juncture is that of Pepper Potts (played by Paltrow) and

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CULTURE CLASH

GWYNETH PALTROW | KEEPING IT IN CHECK

OPPOSITE PAGE: GWYNETH PALTROW AT THE VANITY FAIR OSCAR PARTY AT SUNSET TOWER ON FEBRUARY 26, 2012 IN WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA BOTTOM OF PAGE: STILL SHOT FROM THE MOVIE “IRON MAN 3”

“IT’S ABOUT DISCOVERING YOURSELF AND WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT” her billionaire heartthrob Tony Stark (Downey Jr.). At this point in the Iron Man saga, Pepper “and Tony Stark are very much in a relationship. They’re living together, she’s moved into his house in Malibu, and she’s still running Stark Industries, so their lives are very intertwined and there’s a lot of comfort between them now, so it’s not the kind of tentative relationship they had in the first one. It’s very comfortable. I think you get the sense that they know each other very well and they’re in a serious relationship.” Here we’re going to get a bit high-handed: the dynamic between Pepper and Tony is one of the most avidly examined subplots of the film and the comic series. Gwyn agrees saying that “Robert is incredibly charismatic and funny, and I think the Pepper and Tony relationship is always at the heart of the movies. People love to see that relationship.” Paltrow insists that this is also the case with Pepper’s appearance in Marvel’s “The Avengers” and fans of the franchise seem to agree with her. “It gave the movie a center. Even though it was one scene, I think Pepper’s relationship to Tony is something that keeps the movie grounded,” adds Paltrow. “It’s always in reality, and it’s always funny and full of love but always witty. It’s a real relationship. I think people like to see that and they like

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to see a woman who’s so loving and supportive of her man but also keeps him in check. It’s a really sweet relationship.” Her own real life relationship with Chris Martin, Coldplay frontman, is another story- Paltrow, born September 27, 1972, is five years her husband’s senior and they will have been married a full decade this December. Reports differ, but Paltrow’s mother stated in an interview that “Fix You”, Coldplay’s 2005 hit, was written for an inconsolable Gwyneth after the death of her father. This seems to make Paltrow more human, more warm to the touch, but it’s probably her starring role in the Iron Man franchise that has done her iceberg image the most good in the past few years.

Whatever points Paltrow scores playing Pepper are undermined by her determination to be everything new-age and (somewhat douche) guru-ish, like her macrobiotic diet fixation endlessly reported by the media, her yoga, and all the other Om Shanti Om stuff she’s constantly putting out there. In just over a week as this issue was going to print, Paltrow was voted both the “Most Hated Celebrity” in a tabloid poll run by “Star” magazine, and “People” magazine’s “Most Beautiful Woman in the World”. The two actually fit if you think about it, misogyny is rooted in the fear and/ or discomfort that attractive women can engender. Paltrow hit the ground and kept running with this one, laughing it off and calling the beauty label completely

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CULTURE CLASH

GWYNETH PALTROW | KEEPING IT IN CHECK

SHE MIGHT BE THE ONLY CELEB WHO CAN SKIP HER OWN PREMIERE IN LONDON WHATEVER POINTS PALTROW SCORES PLAYING PEPPER ARE UNDERMINED BY HER DETERMINATION TO BE EVERYTHING NEW-AGE “untrue” to the Associated Press, but added that it was flattering since she’s 40 years-old and a mother of two. Whether or not Paltrow is a global beauty, her recent appearance at the Hollywood premier of “Iron Man 3” caused a stir with her body-baring gown by Antonio Berardi. What the sheer side panels of the dress revealed was splashed on every website imaginable: the best body Gwyn has ever had. Paltrow says her new hyper-toned physique was due to her role as Pepper: “I’m a person who works out anyway, but I felt like for this movie that I needed to be in excellent shape. So a couple of weeks before I came back, I really hit it super hard and I tried to watch what I ate, which I’m not so good at doing. But I was very focused because I really wanted the whole end sequence to be unexpected and I thought if people saw me like that, fighting and in really good shape, that it would be an extra bonus for the movie to have.” This is contradictory to the star’s reputation for micro-managing both her diet and that of her children. Recently, it stands to reason that Gwyn’s image consultants may have counselled her to take a break with the perfect princess routine as she’s been a lot easier to swallow in her recent interviews and appearances, pun intended.

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Paltrow currently spends her time between homes in New York City, London, and Los Angeles, California- the lattermost is where she spent the better part of her childhood with her brother, actor mother Blythe Danner, and producer father Bruce Paltrow. Paltrow is known as quite the hands-on mom to eight year-old daughter Apple and seven year-old son Moses, and now, she’s become the superhero mom. In “Iron Man 3”, for the first time ever Gwyneth dons the Iron Man suit to the delight of her kids: “My children thought I was extremely cool. They were here on a day where I was in it, so they were trying it on and when my son saw me in the suit, he [Moses] had the biggest eyes, so it was definitely worth it.” And what do they think of the fact that Iron Man himself is a close buddy of hers? “It’s funny because they didn’t realize it for a long time. My son was only one on the first movie, so obviously he had really

no clue for ‘Iron Man 1’ or ‘Iron Man 2’, but now for this movie [...] he’s super into Iron Man and Hulk. I remember the day he kind of put it together that Robert was Iron Man, because he has had an affinity for Robert his whole life. He really loves Robert, and now the fact that Robert’s Iron Man just puts an extra little spin on it. My kids loved him anyway, but it’s really fun I think for a little boy to realize that he’s friends with Iron Man.” What’s she most excited about? “I’m really curious to see this film because I feel that where it begins and where it ends is kind of brave and different and really interesting. And I think we’ve set ourselves up well for that. At the end of the first movie Tony Stark says, ‘I am Iron Man’, which is an unexpected thing. Normally, it’s left in the dark. The movies always end in an unexpected way,” and “Iron Man 3” should be no exception if the trailers are any indication.

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IMAGE COURTESY OF WENN

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: GWYNETH PALTROW WEARING A SHEER SIDE PANEL GOWN BY ANTONIO BERARDI AT THE “IRON MAN 3” LA PREMIERE, APRIL 24, 2013 PALTROW’S HUSBAND, CHRIS MARTIN OF COLDPLAY PERFORMING LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY GWYNETH PALTROW IN DIAMONDS FROM THE TIFFANY & CO. 2013 BLUE BOOK COLLECTION AT THE BLUE BOOK BALL AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER IN NEW YORK CITY, APRIL 18, 2013

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CULTURE CLASH

GWYNETH PALTROW | KEEPING IT IN CHECK

BOTTOM OF PAGE: STILL SHOT FROM THE MOVIE “IRON MAN 3”

IT’S PROBABLY HER STARRING ROLE IN THE IRON MAN FRANCHISE THAT HAS DONE HER ICEBERG IMAGE THE MOST GOOD IN THE PAST FEW YEARS So why is it that the franchise keeps getting bigger and better? “I think the reason that Iron Man is so successful is because it’s that classic archetypal figure of somebody with incredible light and darkness, and that’s the story of all of us. We’re always trying to reconcile both sides of ourselves and all parts of ourselves, and there’s something about Iron Man that encompasses all of those qualities and it’s what we strive to do—accept our dark and make our light brighter,” she says, perhaps reflecting a bit on the nature of both onscreen and off-screen personae of both Downey Jr. and herself.

There is a marked shift in Tony Stark’s character according to some, they’re suggesting he comes across as a bit more vulnerable this time around. Gwyn says that this is a layered part of Stark: “The scene where he sends a fake Iron Man to Pepper and pretends it’s him could be that classic man thing of, ‘I just don’t want to deal with my girlfriend’, but I think it’s really Tony not wanting to be intimate.” She explains that in her opinion “it’s a barrier between Pepper and Tony that he doesn’t necessarily want to cross. I think it’s painful for him to fully commit to her

with his whole heart, because there’s a lot in there and he’s still reckoning with how to deal with it.” And maybe Gwyn is as well, last year a veritable breaking newsflash went out as Martin kissed Paltrow in between songs at a concert and later dedicated a rendition of Coldplay hit “Yellow” to her. The reason for the pandemonium is that the couple are intensely private and have only reportedly had one other PDA moment in the limelight, as far back in 2003! This might even be the reason that Paltrow plays Pepper so well, she is used to high profile and highly challenging relationships. Her numerous other high profile roles, including an Academy Award winning performance in “Shakespeare in Love” and a really noteworthy supporting role in “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, remind audiences that she’s a force to be reckoned with, whether or not they like her on a personal level. After hearing Gwyn talk about Iron Man, we like her a bit more. Doesn’t it make her seem more approachable? At least you now can say that she’s more human, and a fraction of her icy exterior has melted. She only seems slightly warmer, but at least it’s enough so that you no longer come away frostbitten. That, and the fact that she is Pepper Potts for the third time around, make her a lot more bearable. At least we think so

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our summer heartbeat at +961 1 369 100 86 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

RESERVATION@PHOENICIABEIRUT.COM

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NEW + NOW

FRENCH KISS French luxury brand S.T. Dupont officially inaugurated its flagship boutique in Dubai Mall at a ribbon cutting presided over by Alain Crevet, President of ST. Dupont, Patrick Chalhoub, Co-CEO of Chalhoub Group and Sean Hepburn, son of legendary Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn. To mark the celebration, S.T. Dupont hosted an exclusive by-invitation-only after-party at Fashion Lounge, Dubai Mall, for fans and collectors in the UAE. Highlights of the evening included a beautiful timeline of the brand’s history, elegant display of limited edition pens and lighters and the opportunity to watch a master craftsman at work.

The evening also commemorated the 140th anniversary of the brand. The boutique, which is located in the ground floor of Dubai Mall, truly reflects the brand’s spirit of French art de vivre: a subtle mix of refinement and allure, a combination of power and passion. Created using S.T. Dupont’s exceptional expertise, the boutique demonstrates a commitment to superlative quality, in terms of both the detailed finishes and the choice of the most refined materials. With 140 years of French handcrafted excellence for the elite, S.T. Dupont is the perfect expression of Parisian touch and assertive allure. www.st-dupont.com

SEXY AND YOU KNOW IT Porsche Centre Lebanon SAL, presented the new Cayman and Cayman S to local media representatives on Wednesday, 17th of April. The third generation of the two-seater has been completely redeveloped: it is lower and longer, lighter and faster, more efficient and more powerful than ever. A longer wheelbase, wider track and larger wheels enhance the driving performance of the mid-engine sports car to an unparalleled level in its competitive class. The new Cayman is – after the 911 Carrera and Boxster – the third sports car model line from Porsche to feature innovative lightweight body design. Porsche’s latest model is up to 30 kg lighter, depending on the specific model and equipment, and consumes up to 15 percent less fuel per 100 km than the predecessor – despite higher engine and driving performance. Featuring a new

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lighter design and powered by a 2.7-litre flat-six cylinder engine, the sports coupé produces 275 horsepower. It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds, depending on the equipment, and reaches a top speed of 266 km/h. Commenting on the occasion, Assaad Raphael, General Manager and Chairman at Porsche Centre Lebanon, said: “The new Cayman is built for driving through bends like few other sports cars can: the mid-engined sports coupé sets new standards in its class for driving performance with a longer wheelbase, all-round new chassis and lower weight.” Aesthetically, the two-seater stays true to its heritage. It has been redesigned to become even more distinctive. The new model features an extended wheelbase with shorter overhangs. The standard 18- and 19-inch Cayman wheels give it not only a sportier

appeal but also better lateral stability and handling properties. The car’s styling is marked by precise lines and razor-sharp sculpted edges, emphasizing the vehicle’s low, extended silhouette with the windscreen shifted forward and the roof line that reaches far back. Typical of the more advanced styling is the shoulder line, which runs from the wings towards the rear side panels. The door mirrors are newly positioned near the top shoulder. Mounted directly to the rear lid is the thin blade of the rear spoiler, which – in contrast to that of the Boxster – is higher and deploys at a steeper angle. Assaad Raphael added: “Our two-seater sports coupé is a genuinely new car featuring drastic changes in the design, but without losing its valuable Porsche identity. I am convinced that the Cayman will be a real sight on our roads.”

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MIRROR, MIRROR

KEEPING UP

YOUR ROUTINE MEN’S MUST HAVES HERE ARE SOME OF OUR TOP GUY’S PICKS OUT THERE. WE’VE CHOSEN YOUR SUMMER SCENT TO LIFT YOUR MOOD, AND A SKINCARE REGIME TO GIVE YOU AN APPEARANCE BOOST. GET CRACKING FELLAS!

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

CLINIQUE HAPPY FOR MEN This cool and crisp scent is for men looking for that breath of fresh summer air. A hint of citrus gives a brisk facet to this modern man’s staple. Less is more, guys. One mist here and a small application on your pulse points is more than enough.

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KEEPING UP YOUR ROUTINE | MEN’S MUST HAVE

WE HAVE LIFT OFF!

L’OREAL REVITALIFT FOR MEN

The L’Oreal Revitalift Laser X3 range for men is your newest skincare routine. Gentlemen looking for a lift and a revitalized complexion can opt for the three-piece regime that consists of day cream, eye cream and serum. The anti-aging components, including Pro-Xylane, a trademarked active ingredient, are effective and have been tested extensively in L’Oreal labs. For immediate benefit, you’re going to apply a thin, even layer of serum on a cleansed skin, followed by the day cream. For your eye area, you’re going to apply a small amount around the orbital bone area. Best results mean using this regime day and night guys. Come on, you can do it!

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MIRROR, MIRROR

FLAWLESS FROM START TO FINISH MAKE UP FOR EVER’S PRO FINISH Want a flawless complexion in just two minutes? Make Up For Ever’s Pro Finish, a compact powder foundation, is about to make you picture perfect when the clock is ticking. With 25 shades to suit all skin tones and a formula that can be applied on any skin type, Pro Finish when applied dry corrects and evens out the complexion with an instant matte coating that erases imperfections to achieve a full coverage, matte result. You can customize the coverage according to your need. The more coverage you want, the more layers you will need to apply as it remains light, making it perfect for touch-ups as well.

HOW-TO

THE STEP-BY-STEP PRO FINISH APPLICATION BY MAKE UP FOR EVER

DRY SPONGE

1. Rub the integrated sponge on the compact foundation 2. Apply on the whole face and neck by gently sweeping the sponge 3. Repeat application for additional coverage as needed Pro Finish is the essential product to carry with you at all times if you want to achieve true professional results instantly. It is the perfect most practical high-performance compact foundation which will guarantee you flawless complexion even while you are “on the go”.

INDUSTRY INSIDER TIP • If you’ve got combination skin, use the wet technique on the external parts of the face and use Pro Finish dry on the T-zone. • For a more sophisticated makeup application, use the first layer of wet foundation to even out the skin then add a dry layer to fix and improve the coverage.

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MIRROR, MIRROR

KISS KISS

BANG BANG Guerlain’s MAXI

SHINE LIP GLOSS The House of Guerlain brings the 60s back with their new Maxi Shine lip gloss collection. A palette of 20 ultra glossy shades ranging from beiges to pinks and reds, Maxi Shine is the modern pin-up’s makeup essential: the smart, elegant and seductive woman. RAGMAG loves: 468 Candy Strip, a bright tangy pink for a flamboyant look and 463 La Petite Robe Noire, a refined rosewood inspired by the hit Guerlain fragrance. The fine, non-sticky texture guarantees a mussfree shimmer and a plumping lip finish. Forget smearing and the uneven application: with the ergonomic design of the applicator, and the mini-reservoir that delivers just the right amount of gloss, you’ll be able to easily outline and define the shape of your lips.

PREP + PRIME

DAILY just like you have a skincare routine, you should care for your lips. To avoid dried and cracked lips, apply a lip balm with sunscreen every morning and a moisturizing lip cream every night. EVENTS Exfoliate your lips to get rid of dead skin with a lip brush or a lip scrub. Moisturize your lips with a lip primer, before applying a lip liner -use a shade close to that of your lip gloss or a nude- to line and fill your lips. Apply your lip gloss and focus on the center of your lips for an even plumper finish.

IDYLLE DUET

Jasmin-Lilas by Guerlain Guerlain’s new edition of Idylle Duet, Jasmin-Lilas, is an unfolding tale! Thierry Wasser was paying a visit to his bergamot producer in Calabria, Italy, when he came across a few jasminum grandiflorum seedlings planted as a remembrance of old times. In fact, this variety of jasmine was grown in Calabria for perfumery before its cultivation was abandoned for bergamot. Thierry Wasser decided to have it replanted and worked hand in hand with the producer for years to have enough of these flowers to create the new Idylle Duet. The fruity accents of Calabrian jasmine enhance the purple lilac notes, creating a powdery, musk-like fragrance to wear this season.

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SHINE BRIGHT

The new range of Guerlain lacquers are available in 10 pretty pigments that you can mix and match with your Maxi Shine lip gloss. We like the long-lasting formula incorporating adhesive resins and the extra flat, widened brush that helps applying the nail lacquer in an even coat. If you can only get two, choose 260 Jardins de Bagatelle, and 168 L’Heure Bleue. For a manicured look, start by applying Guerlain’s base coat enriched in silicon that creates a protective film to avoid turning the nails yellow and finish with the top coat gel, a formula incorporating Cellulose Acetate butyrate –an ingredient renowned for its resistance to scratches and water- for an exceptional shine.

“I promised myself that I would revive Calabrian Jasmine and add it to my perfumer’s palette.” Thierry Wasser, Guerlain perfumer

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MIRROR, MIRROR

NATURE IN ALL ITS GLORY VALENTINA AQUA FLOREALE

Inspired by the Valentino woman, Valentina Acqua Floreale is an olfactory stroll in nature, the fragrance of a summer garden. Master perfumer Olivier Cresp created it as an alchemy of contrasting notes: the sparkling freshness of bergamot is combined with more delicate notes of neroli, followed by a blend of mimosa, jasmine, orange blossom, and tuberose. Warm accords of amber and patchouli complete the floral bouquet of this summer fragrance. We like the delicate three-dimensional flower embellishment on the bottle, bringing the floral theme inside out. Glorious indeed.

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THE REVOLUTIONARY

MAESTRO C O M P L E X I O N

P E R F E C T O R

After 10 years of face expertise, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics is back with a groundbreaking launch. With the revolutionary Maestro-Fil™ patented formulation technology, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics introduces a new generation of textures, inspired by SUPERORGANZA, the thinnest fabric in the world seen on the Armani Privé SpringSummer 2012 fashionshow.

Giorgio Armani introduces in 2012, after 8 years of research Maestro and a new face makeup category. “It’s not a foundation, it’s a complexion

perfector. A whole new generation of makeup that feels incredible, looks invisible and makes skin appear luminous every time. Anyone can wear it !! ” Linda Cantello - International Makeup Artist for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics

BREAKING THE RULES OF FORMULATIONS Patented Maestro-fil™ fusion technology The Fusion makeup technology delivers a weightless fitting texture with the thinnest color film, ultra-fine oil-pigment suspension that corrects skin imperfections without buildup and perfects the complexion. This high slip fluid spreads evenly over skin for a blendable, faultless complexion worthy of a professional make-up artist every time. Maestro instantly ignites skin’s natural luminosity. 98 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

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UNFORGETTABLE UNFORGETTABLE TEXTURE. TEXTURE. NO MAKEUP NO MAKEUP FEEL FEEL Meticulously Meticulously selected oils selected – theoils perfect – thealchemy perfect alchemy Giorgio Armani Giorgio Cosmetics Armanicreated Cosmetics the perfect createdalchemy the perfect of essences alchemytoofdeliver essences thetomost deliver the most of comfort and of comfort care. Theand precious care. The clearprecious mixtureclear evenly mixture spreads evenly on the spreads skin surface on the skin with surface with micro-millimeter micro-millimeter high precision. high precision. Maestro is oil-based Maestrobut is oil-based not oily. Evaporating but not oily. Evaporating at different rates, at different the made-to-measure rates, the made-to-measure oily oily complex awakens complex theawakens skin withthe anskin immediate with anfeeling immediate of freshness, feeling of providing freshness, a featherproviding a featherlight, glide-on light, textural glide-on sensation textural andsensation a perfectly andeven a perfectly distribution even distribution of the complexion. of the complexion. It provides anItoptimal providescombination an optimal combination of applicationofslip application and non-greasy slip andfeel, non-greasy with a moisture feel, with a moisture and comfortand sensation comfortallsensation day long.allExtracts day long. of lotus Extracts oil which of lotushas oilanti-free which has radical anti-free radical properties and properties hydrating andagents hydrating remain agents on skin remain surface on skin for ansurface extra care. for an extra care.

TESTEDTESTED BY WOMEN BY WOMEN PROVEN PROVEN BY SCIENCE BY SCIENCE 100% addiction 100% addiction thinness thinness tested among tested100 among products 100 products

the mosttheeven most application even application

Blends into skin Blends on into application: skin on100% application: 100% Easy to wear,Easy you to forget wear,that youyou forget are that wearing you are make-up: wearing 100% make-up: 100% Easy to apply,Easy givestorapid apply, and gives perfect rapidmake-up and perfect result make-up every time: result98% every time: 98%BIOSKIN NAKED BIOSKIN CLASSIC NAKEDFOUNDATION CLASSIC FOUNDATION WITH MAESTRO WITH MAESTRO It’s a pleasureIt’stoause pleasure this make to useupthis product: make 95% up product: 95% Natural make-up Natural result make-up without result make without up feel:make 95% up feel: 95% Tested during oneTested week by during 60 women one week agedby20-50, 60 women with all aged skin20-50, typeswith except all extreme skin types ones. except extreme ones. Tested during Tested one week during byone 60 women week byaged 60 women 20-50, aged 20-50, Tested and provenTested on Bio-skin and proven Fine lines on Bio-skin and blemishes Fine lines blurand away blemishes in a bare-faced blur away luminosity. in a bare-faced luminosity. with all skinwith typesallexcept skin types extreme except ones.extreme ones.

THE ART THE OFART MADE-TO-MEASURE OF MADE-TO-MEASURE COMPLEXION COMPLEXION Drop-by-drop Drop-by-drop perfectionperfection An ellipticalAn shaped elliptical bottleshaped and luxurious, bottle andblack luxurious, lacquered blackdropper lacquered delivers dropper a drop delivers a drop It might seem It might paradoxical seem paradoxical that only 12that only 12 by drop custom-controlled by drop custom-controlled make-up application make-up application for precise for coverage. preciseSmart coverage. Smart shades are enough shades are to cover enough thetofull cover range the full range pigments reflect pigments the rays reflect of light the rays in aof360 light degrees in a 360 radiance degrees on radiance the skin on instead the skin instead of skin tonesof but skinit tones becomes but possible it becomes with possible with of absorbing of them. absorbing Easy them. to apply, Easyeasy to apply, to build, easyeasy to build, to wear, easy thetoMaestro wear, the Maestro the transparency the transparency of Maestro formula. of Maestro formula. complexioncomplexion perfector suits perfector all skinsuits tonesallaround skin tones the world. around the world. “Maestro is“Maestro very sensual, is veryit sensual, just feels it just feels incredible, featherlight incredible, featherlight and fresh ! It and is fresh so ! It is so easy to apply,easy justto a few apply, drops, just and a few you drops, haveand a you have a matte and luminous matte andfinish. luminous I think finish. women I think women would love would to apply loveit. toMaestro apply it. matches Maestro matches every look and every every lookneed and !every From need the most ! From the most nude or classical nude ormake-up classicaltomake-up the mostto the most sophisticatedsophisticated or daring ones” or daring Linda Cantello ones” Linda Cantello

Maestro Maestro revolution. revolution. Instant and Instant perfect and make-up perfect make-up results every resultstime. every time.

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atelier versace haute couture ss 2013

COPYCAT MIX N’ MATCH REAL RUNWAY

RAGMAG SHOWS YOU HOW TO REPLICATE THAT RUNWAY TREND! SEE OUR TAKES ON HOW TO MAKE THE READY TO WEAR, ACTUALLY WEARABLE

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EYE SEE YOU emilio pucci

tiffany & co. victoria cluster pendant and earrings with diamonds in platinum

carolina herrera ss 2013

chloé ruffled silk georgette blouse

sachin plus babi ss 2013

CENTERPIECE atelier versace jewelry ss’13

XVII

versace barocco ring

piaget haute joaillerie

YELLOW SUBMARINE chloé maani leather shoulder bag

burberry prorsum pants

saint laurent belted silk georgette gown

lanvin handbag with hardware clasp

BLUE MOON FLAT FORCE

mango sandal stilettos

lanvin

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TRAIPSING

chloe sunglasses

vilebrequin panama hat

issey miyake ss 2013

pilot’s watches for father and son iwc schaffhausen

dolce & gabbana ss 2013

BALANCED STATEMENT

piaget haute joaillerie

roland mouret alston striped top lemlem dehna striped dress

lacoste shirt

LUSTY LAYERS

CROSS MY HEART

piaget haute joaillerie

lacoste chemise-shirt

roland mouret alston striped top

CROCODILE MILE

COME IN HANDY

givenchy bag

lacoste belt

DOUBLE TROUBLE

lanvin men’s clutch

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christian louboutin stilettos

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massimo rebecchi ss 2013

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

BACKSTAGE PASS

LANVIN HOMME’S MIXED-MATERIAL COLLECTION WALKS THE LINE

There’s nothing out there more appealing than a man who knows how to work the clean edges and angular cuts of Lanvin. The Summer 2013 collection boasts a range of outwear (jackets and parkas in transparent nylon), shirts, and sportswear in mixed materials. Shying away from rocking snakeskin? Not with these pieces- they’re paper thin and corded internally for texture. Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz went for a modern feel but honoured classicism for this wardrobe magnum opus. Walk Lanvin’s line- it’s on the straight and narrow!

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FINDING the MIDDLE GROUND A WELL BALANCED STATE OF AFFAIRS

STARRING

ROBERT CREMONA

Photography by ODETTE KAHWAGI Styled by JONY MATTA

Hair by ROGER GABRIEL | Makeup by ELIE ESTEPHAN

DRESSED EXCLUSIVELY BY

JACK & JONES

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RAGMAG

RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR MEN

GIVENCHY SS 2013

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

RAGMAG

RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR WOMEN

DONNA KARAN SS 2013

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SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

CHECK

BY JACQUES TCHABARIAN

Woodkid A Golden Age A few video directors have stepped out from behind the lens to embrace a musical career, but none has so flamboyantly made the transition like Yoann Lemoine, a.k.a Woodkid. The French director who’s worked on A-lister videos for Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and Katy Perry, has decided to try songwriting and the gamble paid off. His debut album is strong in content while his directorial characteristic is also celebrated by a Grammy nomination and an MVPA win for Best Director for his self-directed clip “Run Boy Run”, taken from the album on review here, “The Golden

Age”. A golden age indeed as Mr. Lemoine brings us lavish compositions painting theatrical backgrounds with vocals that, even though imperfect, emphasize the mood of the songs. One listen to the sumptuous “I Love You” will take you to a serene (albeit tormented) place the way the songs of Antony and the Johnsons do. On other tracks Lemoine focuses on constructing massive sounds, some gradually building throughout the track and others projected straight at your face from the getgo, as on the above mentioned jewel of a track “Run Boy Run”. Maybe more directors should follow suit and consider a musical career.

Lil Wayne I Am Not A Human Being II The “I Am Not a Human Being” series doesn’t seem as consolidated as “Tha Carter” series, maybe because veteran and game-changing rapper Lil Wayne seems to use the “Human” installments as an opportunity to drop leftover tracks from the “Carter” (or other albums) into a consolidated disc for public release. That is not to say though that the quality of tracks or the recording process is street level, as Mr. Wayne deems everything he has to present worthy of the highest level of attention and he’s accordingly surrounded himself with a panel of hot producers and collaborators. Cockiness and a rebel attitude

can be found on almost the entire album, some of them boasting pretty solid hooks while others just pass as acceptable, but all benefit from a top notch production. Friends, guests and label-mates help out (or he helps them out, not quite sure) on the album; 2 Chainz raps out on the bragging “Days and Days”, Trina sings about sex till the morning on “Wowzerz”, while Drake and Future bring some class and a bit of suave on “Love Me”, Soulja Boy, Gudda Gudda, Juicy J and Gunplay completing the list with their own formula of strut and living the Rap life. Not a bad album to keep the fans busy until the next “Carter” release.

Depeche Mode Delta Machine Over the years, Depeche Mode have brought us their superb tales of sin, damnation and the human condition, wrapped in beautiful tunes and lusciously created sounds and melodies in such abundance that they have become quite skilled at making sorrow and self-destruction appeal to us mortal sinners. On album 13 (bad omen?), Martin Gore and Dave Gahan -the main drive behind the band- have penned down 13 (again with this number) well-crafted tracks that unconsciously draw you to their favorite state of mind, thriving on addictions, unreachable love and other

dark obsessions. The mood on this album is more of a slower pace, most tracks range from mid-tempo to slow rhythms as hinted by first single “Heaven”, a ballad reminiscent of “Precious” (their first single from the “Playing the Angel” album). Those who are expecting upbeat anthems will be disappointed, as “Should Be Higher” is the only track with a fast punch, but the Blues/Rock guitar of “Slow” and the majesty of “Alone” will more than compensate the most passionate upbeat fan. Strike 13 (in a positive way) for one of the most creative bands of all time.

The Knife Shaking The Habitual If you aren’t familiar with The Knife, all you need to know is that they are: a) a brother and sister duo from Stockholm b) they are an Indie/electronic band, and c) they are totally awesome. If there ever were a band that pushed themselves to the limit and challenged their audience, it would have to be this crazy duo. On their fourth album, “Shaking the Habitual”, things are pretty unpredictable -as the title would suggest- and it would be wise to say it’s even more unpredictable than their three previous albums combined. “Shaking the Habitual” clocks in at around 100 minutes, which usually makes it really

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hard to keep the attention of listeners, but that’s without taking their profuse creativity into account. On another level, the deep tones and the wriggling surface of the tracks are given a mutated treatment: sounds coming out of the process like something you’ve never heard before. The album feels more like art and less like a compilation of songs, so I won’t give certain tracks preferential treatment- all of them being totally different from one another- it would be a great injustice to this body of work. If aliens ever visit us, this would be a perfect gift to greet them with.

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read’em +

weep BY AMAL CHAABAN

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

Jenna Miscavige Hill and Lisa Pulitzer

Why you should read this book Indoctrination isn’t just for the big three religions When it comes to religious indoctrination, it’s usually the big three monotheistic faiths that stand accused. This scathing expose by Jenna Miscavige Hill (niece of the head of the Church of Scientology) proves that all religions have their methods of programming and isolation. The book opens during the early childhood of our author when her parents decide to uproot the family and move to California to better serve the Church. What follows is a trip down the rabbit hole as we’re introduced to life inside Scientology. At first glance, the concept of the children living in a camp, being cared for by other Scientologists and

Pandemonium

given applied skillset acquisition seems idyllic. It’s not until Hill takes us deeper into the forced child labour, separation, and spying on others in the Church (a tactic used by dictators), and all manner of odd and obscure lessons that the darkness is apparent. As Hill grows up part of the Church, she’s not only unquestioningly loyal, she is completely brainwashed. Her rebellions against doctrine are met with very swift and very fierce punishment. This is a true insider’s tale of what happens in the most secretive religious organization in the world and what it takes to escape it. No other book on Scientology can even compare to this.

Warren Fahy

Why you should read this book Some places are better left unexplored When Warren Fahy exploded on to the scene with his first book, “Fragment”, I wondered how he would meet or surpass that book simply because it was just that good. “Pandemonium” has been one of the most hotly anticipated books of the 2013 publishing year and it is certainly living up to the hype. Fahy brings back beloved characters such as Hender (and if you haven’t met Hender, you are missing out!), Nell, Geoffrey and of course, Andy. The new characters introduced are just as vital as our old faves and they all play integral roles.

An underground city is being built and when a mysterious species are making it difficult to complete, Nell and Geoffrey are called in. Mayhem ensues almost immediately when Nell realizes things are not what they appear to be and is separated from Geoffrey. It’s refreshing to see an author who is willing to kill off characters that are greatly loved by fans and even more so when characters we all love to hate come back to haunt us. “Pandemonium” is a fantastic follow up to “Fragment”- definitely a great read for a relaxing weekend.

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us Micheal Moss Why you should read this book If

we truly are what we eat, then we are all in trouble

After reading this book, conspiracy theorists can be forgiven for saying, “I told you so” when talking about the global food supply. In an eye opening exposé on the industrial food industry, Michael Moss takes us behind the scenes where the biggest processed food and beverage producers in the world concoct ever new foods to hook us on to their products. It sounds like a normal business strategy until you read just how much chemistry, testing and lobbying goes on to get these foods to us though they may well be behind the sky

rocketing obesity and type 2 Diabetes rates. We’re taken to a board meeting where the heads of all the food companies categorically refuse to change the formulas (yes, formulas) they use mixing salt, sugar and fat for maximum “bliss point”, to labs where chemists put their PhDs to use finding the right formula to garner customer loyalty and to testing centres where even children are guinea pigs. This book is not for those who want to hide their heads in the sand about what is in the food they’re ingesting.

The Silver Star Jeanette Walls

Why you should read this book Resilience comes in many forms Jeanette Walls is not known for writing silly, frothy novels and this book remains true to form. “The Silver Star” is a story of two girls growing up at the end of the segregation era in the United States. These girls are pretty much neglected by their mother (the primary caregiver) and left on their own a lot. When this comes to the attention of local law enforcement, they head out on a cross country journey to their uncle in rural Virginia who accepts them, but lives in the past more than the present. At this point, Virginia is facing great upheaval MAY 2013

because desegregation has just been passed and the racial walls are about to shatter, this adds more difficulty to the girls’ lives mixed in with a very skilled predatory adult. “The Silver Star” has many shining moments of redemption to it that breathe through the heartbreaks that bleed on each page, but there is no denying that this is a dark book. This is not to say it’s not brilliantly written -or that the scenes do not come to life in your mind’s eyeit’s an extremely good book. Pick this one up when you want a deep, thoughtful read. www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 125


SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

Injustice: Gods Among Us

playNICE BY ADAM VOLK

Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment | Developer NetherRealm Studios Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U Comic book geeks love asking “what if?” Who would win in a fight between Superman and Wonder Woman? Is the Green Lantern stronger than the Flash? Does Batman ever air out his rubber bat suit? (Okay, that last one might just be me). Fortunately, “Injustice: Gods Among Us”, may just answer some of fanboys’ most burning questions. Created by the studio behind the popular “Mortal Kombat” series, “Injustice” is a no-holds barred fighting game that pits the who’s-who of the DC Universe against one another. Players can choose from 24 different spandex-clad characters, each

with their own powers and distinct fighting styles. Rather than the typical three-round fights however, players battle non-stop across a series of interactive environments. The story, however, is pretty terrible, taking place in an alternate universe where the once good superheroes are now evil, twisted versions of themselves. Fortunately, the gameplay is incredible, the visuals are rock solid and there’s a ton of multiplayer and additional content to keep players KA-POWING. The result is a game that should help comic book geeks determine once and for all who’s got what it takes to survive in the ultimate superhero smack down.

Star Trek: The Game

Publisher Namco Bandai Games Developer Digital Extremes | Platform Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Ah, Captain Kirk. You’ve got to hand it to him, when he’s not out saving the galaxy from evil Romulans, he’s knocking boots with a slew of alien babes. Now Trekkies can finally have the chance to walk a mile in James Tiberius Kirk’s space boots, thanks to “Star Trek: the Game”. Based on the rebooted film series from director J.J. Abrams, characters can play cooperatively as either Kirk (the Chris Pine version, that is) or Spock (a video game version of Zachary Quinto). Unfortunately, despite looking and sounding like the big screen version of Star Trek, the game

never really hits Warp 9. Instead, it’s really a clichéd third-person shooter that offers little innovation and is plagued by the kind of inexcusable technical glitches that would give Scotty a heart attack. “Star Trek” tries to break up the tedious run and gun shooting with a few mini-games, but these are equally dull. The game also offers a lacklustre story that only the most hardcore tribble-loving Trekkie will appreciate. The result is a game that might have Star Trek in the title, but is about as appealing as hitting up an all-you-can-eat Klingon buffet.

Dead Island: Riptide

Publisher Deep Silver | Developer Techland Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Sooner or later everyone needs a vacation. Nothing beats kicking back on a sunny beach with an ice cold drink and a good book. Unfortunately, for the holiday-goers in “Dead Island: Riptide”, a bunch of smelly, brain-hungry zombies have shown up and ruined the whole thing. The sequel to the 2011 sleeper hit, “Dead Island”, players once again take on the role of a group of hardened survivors struggling to stay alive on a once idyllic tropical island now overrun with the walking dead. The game more or less follows the same familiar

first-person shooter formula of the original, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Like its predecessor, “Riptide” is a perfect blend of blood spattered action and roleplaying that lets you build your character from a terrified tourist into a zombie killing machine. It’s fun, fast paced and – it almost goes without saying – incredibly gory. Of course, like a freshly made margarita pitcher, the game is best enjoyed with friends (you can massacre the undead together with up to four-players). Nothing beats a vacation, but hacking a few zombie heads off in “Dead Island: Riptide” comes pretty damn close.

LEGO City Undercover

Publisher Nintendo | Developer TT Fusion Platforms Wii U Cities can be awful places sometimes. There’s the crime, the noise, and the terrible smells. In “LEGO City” you won’t exactly find any meth labs or cracked out serial killers, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get your block knocked off if you’re not careful. You play as Chase McCain, a fast-talking cop who’s on the hunt for the diabolic criminal known as Rex Fury. The game then turns you loose in a sprawling city where you must smash, shoot and build your way through puzzles and LEGO-based environments. The gameplay and combat is fairly shallow, but 126 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

fortunately it’s offset by an incredible number of abilities, items, costumes and vehicles that you’ll find scattered throughout the city. The lack of co-op gameplay and some unnecessarily long load times detract a bit from the game’s overall experience, but the game still manages to work as a kind of kid-friendly version of “Grand Theft Auto”. With its tongue-in-cheek humor and sprawling open world gameplay, “LEGO City Undercover” offers all the thrills of the big city, without the funky smell and stabby drug dealers. THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


watch out BY JACQUES TCHABARIAN

The Call

| 88 mins Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin It is a recurring fixation, in the plot of many Hollywood movies, that a character goes through some bad experience resulting in the harm of a person for which he or she feels responsible, only to redeem him/herself later on by shining on a similar occasion. That’s what happens to Halle Berry in her latest movie “The Call”. Berry plays Jordan, a 911 operator in the busy Los Angeles emergency headquarters that once makes a mistake resulting in the murder of a young girl, which leaves her full of self-doubt and remorse. Six months later, when another operator receives a call from a horrified teen who’s

been kidnapped and locked inside the trunk of a vehicle, Jordan takes the situation in hand to help out the victim only to realize that she herself has become the next victim of the kidnapper. Director Brad Anderson (“The Machinist”), lends his master’s touch here, having gained enough experience in this genre not to fall for the usual clichés that could weaken a plot. He takes the viewers through the development of the movie by using the reactions of the abducted girl instead of showing the scene through her eyes. A good suspense thriller to get some adrenalin pumped in before the weekend.

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Vanessa Williams

I don’t think I have ever written a review specifically to warn readers about a certain movie. I am gladly doing so this time around because “Temptation” is the sort of movie you should hunt down, shoot and put out of its misery. When “Alex Cross” came out in theaters back in 2012, Perry’s acting had set the bar very low. Come 2013 and Tyler Perry’s new project –as a director this time- and believe it or not, the bar has dropped even lower if such a thing is possible. It’s so bad that 15 minutes in, you’re able to predict how everything unfolds-

Trance

| 112 mins

storylines that have the cliché Perry characters: the straying wife, the girl running away from a stalker ex, buddies who are tight but have issues with each other. These scenarios could be worth developing as they reflect daily life, but in the hands of Perry the actors mete out a poor reflection of what they are meant to convey. I’ve saved the worst for last: Kim Kardashian (yikes!) does some acting here, as flat and plain as a diet pancake. Being who she is, Kim might bring in some viewers, but everyone else should avoid this movie like the plague!

| 101 mins

James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel Danny Boyle took a major risk orchestrating an unconventional opening ceremony of last year’s Olympics; it proved to be worth it as it was the delight of the show. That same risk is taken again with the release of his new picture “Trance” and once again things are as delightful and powerful as expected, dragging us in a world of techno-crime thriller, where nothing is clear -whether things are genuine or fakeand you don’t know who you can really trust with your life. In this modern Hitchcokian twist, James McAvoy plays the role of an art auctioneer with a heavy

gambling problem and with an even heavier debt he owes Franck (the legendary Vincent Cassel), a fierce mob boss. To pay his debt, McAvoy agrees to help Franck steal a valuable painting, and in the process sustains a blow to the head- which in turn makes him forget the location of the stolen painting. Enter Rosario Dawson, a hypnotherapist who’ll try to elicit the info from McAvoy’s mind, but the deeper she penetrates in his subconscious, the crazier and more complex the mystery seems to be. Take this ride and expand your vision.

The Host |

125 mins Diane Kruger, Saoirse Ronan After wrapping up the vampire and werewolf sagas and milking them to the last fricking cent, Hollywood has now set its eyes on another facet of Stephenie Meyer’s writing: alien life forms. No Meyer work is complete without a simpering love triangle and we’re blessed in this movie with the one between Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), a human with an alien soul, her ex-boyfriend Jared who wants her back, and Melanie’s love interest, Ian. All of them are pursued by the Seeker (Diane Kruger), an alien who has internal struggle issues with her body, looking for human outcasts after MAY 2013

her alien race took over earth. That’s the plot in a nutshell, and trust me two hours and five minutes of this is way too much, but teenagers and young adults who ate up the Twilight series will have no problem with this (and maybe will ask for more). Not much can be said about the acting as a whole with even veteran actor Kruger failing to convince us with her performance, having given us quite different presentations in the past with “Inglorious Basterds” and “Goodbye Bafana”. Targeted at the teen audience and I feel they’ll have no trouble replacing vampires with aliens. www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 127


THE FINAL FRONTIER

ARE THE SCALES ARABNET ZOOMS TIPPING? IN ON THE MEDIA DIGITAL IMPACT ON NEWSPAPERS + ADVERTISING

A

BY J.E.N.

rabNet Beirut was in full swing from the 20th to the 22nd of March 2013. It featured a full Design+Code Day (which was a taste of heaven for developers) and two whole Forum Days (which fed the hunger of entrepreneurs and professionals). ArabNet’s founder and Executive Director, Omar Christidis, wanted the 2013 edition of the conference to reflect the times and hence there was a strong emphasis on digital technology issues in creative industries like media and entertainment, arts, culture, fashion, design, and F&B.

From rather serious (yet highly amusing because of the English) tweets in the Twitter feed like @AlfaTelecom’s “The MOT has more than 15 ministers working hardly to improve the digital scene as stated by @NicolasSehnaoui at #ArabNet” to supercharged business networking opportunities during the breaks, ArabNet was abuzz with interaction. Amidst the showcase of innovative start-up ideas and insightful interviews, vibrant talks and dynamic panel discussions with established names, one panel stood out because the topic is very close to RAGMAG’s heart: “Media- From Print to Digital”. The discussion delved into

the newspaper and advertising industries and the impact the digital world is having on the two. With traditional print newspapers (and magazines for that matter) having to face significant new challenges and shifts in how people read, will print survive? When people are used to reading articles on the internet for free, how can newspapers continue to ensure a steady flow of revenue? Will online subscription fees be viable? And will the revenue be enough to fund reporters and journalists? If subscription is going to work, then the fees have to be affordable. This means that the money won’t be enough to pay salaries and hence a

ONE PANEL STOOD OUT BECAUSE THE TOPIC IS VERY CLOSE TO RAGMAG’S HEART: “MEDIA- FROM PRINT TO DIGITAL”. THE DISCUSSION DELVED INTO THE NEWSPAPER AND ADVERTISING INDUSTRIES AND THE IMPACT THE DIGITAL WORLD IS HAVING ON THE TWO

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ARE THE SCALES TIPPING? | ARABNET ZOOMS IN ON THE MEDIA

YOUNGER MORE TECH SAVVY JOURNALISTS ARE IN GROWING DEMAND AND YET HAVE A LOT TO LEARN FROM VETERANS AND OLDER JOURNALISTS NEED TO ADAPT TO RISING TECHNOLOGY. THE TRADITIONAL NEWSROOM MUST ALSO HAVE A MORE SOLID CONNECTION WITH THE ONLINE NEWSROOM FOR BETTER RESULTS mixed formula with alternative sources of revenue is needed. Huge names in the West are still experimenting with different financial models to see which is the most feasible. The ambiguity and lack of concrete answers extends to the question of what will be the most preferred format for news. In other words will more people be getting their daily dose of news from laptops, tablets or smartphones? The challenges don’t stop there: the approach to journalism is shifting as a result of digital platforms.

“TWEEPS CAN SHARE A PHOTO OF [...] A DEMONSTRATION OR A FLOOD SOMEWHERE, BUT [...] THE JOURNALIST HAS TO BE AWARE, MORE THAN EVER, OF THE IMPORTANCE OF FACT-CHECKING”

MAY 2013

News has to be delivered and updated faster than ever. This means that younger more tech savvy journalists are in growing demand and yet have a lot to learn from veterans and older journalists need to adapt to rising technology. The traditional newsroom must also have a more solid connection with the online newsroom for better results. Will social media pose another threat to newspapers? More news than ever before is reaching us on social media networks and yet this source is still not fully trusted by people. In fact social media has been driving traffic to online news websites. This further stresses that generating revenue from online news is something that has to be figured out sooner rather than later.

Emilie Sueur, Responsable de la rédaction web at L’Orient Le Jour, shared her views with us after the event: “A journalist, in an online newsroom at least, can’t be disconnected from those new generators of news anymore. Bloggers can alert him/her [sic] about a scandal, like a traditional house on the verge of being destroyed in Beirut. Tweeps can share a photo of a road accident, a demonstration or a flood somewhere, but with those sources, the journalist has to be aware, more than ever, of the importance of fact-checking. New technologies can help journalists with fact-checking too. New tools have appeared, that can check if a photo has been altered, or if the photo has been published somewhere else in another

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THE FINAL FRONTIER

ARE THE SCALES TIPPING? | ARABNET ZOOMS IN ON THE MEDIA

“EVEN THOUGH NEWSPAPERS AND TV MEDIA HABITS ARE EVOLVING WITH THE RISE OF DIGITAL DEVICES, SOCIAL MEDIA AND ‘FREE’ CONTENT, WE SEE GREAT MEDIA BRANDS LIKE ‘ANNAHAR’, ‘ASSAFIR’, ‘L’ORIENT LE JOUR’ AND ‘LBCI’ SUCCEEDING IN EVOLVING INTO A MULTI-SCREEN EXPERIENCE” context. In fact these new generators of news can help the journalist check the veracity of a piece of information. Here I could mention the work of Andy Carvin, the ultimate tweep, who has mounted a network of tweeps with the rise of the Arab spring. Thanks to tweeps based in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan… Carvin can cross-check a piece of information, check if a picture marketed as a demonstration in

“ONLY ESTABLISHED MEDIA BRANDS CREATING ORIGINAL AND ENGAGING CONTENT CAN PROVIDE BOTH USERS AND ADVERTISERS A TRUSTED EXPERIENCE IN THIS WORLD OF NONSTOP AND INVALIDATED USER GENERATED CONTENT” MAY 2013

Tunis, is really a picture taken in the Tunisian capital. France 24, a French news channel has developed something similar: a network of Observers (Les Observateurs). “The Observers” are individuals, not necessarily journalists, based in different countries. They can provide information that France 24 will check and they can also help France 24 check the authenticity of a video found online by simply going on the ground and investigating.” It’s not just newspapers that have to change their game. Advertising has to shake things up too, especially since people are spending more time online. During the panel discussion Ziad Khammar, Strategy and Development Director, Digital Media Services, made an interesting comment that highlights the dynamic link between advertising, the media and digital technology: “Users and advertisers both want and need traditional newspapers to succeed

in their digital evolution. Even though newspapers and TV media habits are evolving with the rise of digital devices, social media and ‘free’ content, we see great media brands like ‘Annahar’, ‘Assafir’, ‘L’Orient le Jour’ and ‘LBCi’ succeeding in evolving into a multiscreen experience… Advertisers want a safe branding environment to attract the highest return on their advertising investment. Only established media brands creating original and engaging content can provide both users and advertisers a trusted experience in this world of nonstop and invalidated user generated content.” The next five years will prove to be very exciting for the news and advertising industries. By then will newspapers have transformed into news that follows the reader in different formats? Will advertising also move with us in different formats according to our location and the device we’re carrying? Quite possibly

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TAKE ME WITH YOU

THE BALANCE

OF POWER WASHINGTON, D.C. BY ALICE HLIDKOVA

On a plateau more than 80 feet above the Potomac River the French engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant envisioned a great American city modelled after his beloved Paris. He conceived the idea for monumental structures of stone and brick masonry that would represent the skillful, determined, and law-abiding citizen. With architectural drawings stored in his head,

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L’Enfant moved to win approbation for the Capitol Building. Made of sandstone, the structure was erected under the approval of the first President, George Washington who commanded the central section, topped by a low dome, and flanked on the north and south by two rectangular wings: one for the Senate and one for the House of Representatives.

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MAY 2013

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TAKE ME WITH YOU

LEFT TO RIGHT: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS INTERIOR, ABRAHAM LINCOLN MONUMENT

P

THE BALANCE OF POWER | WASHINGTON, D.C.

OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: THE WHITE HOUSE, HOUSE WING OF US CAPITOL

ierre Charles L’enfant executed an impressive architectural and historical harmonization—by using the great architectural styles of the past in creating a new city. He simultaneously cast Washington as both the incorporator of previous great civilizations and also their logical successor by being a new city for a new kind of government. Influenced by ancient Egypt, classical Greece and Rome, medieval Europe and 19th century France, the historic fabric of the architecture

evoked a rigid order. In all grandeur, simplicity and convenience, buildings such as the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress reflected the ambition of presidents who filled their minds with such historical studies. Though the dichotomy of old versus new was evident in his concepts, L’Enfant’s execution met misfortune. Most of the buildings suffered from delays in construction, demolition after sudden fires, extension after stagnant reconstruction and finally, restoration after varying degrees of consultation.

The White House, west of the Capitol on a 10 mile stretch from the Potomac, concealed the evidence of construction shock. The practical and handsome project developed by Irish-born architect James Hoban was intended for presidential residencies and offices. With each president settled in their nest, interior additions and subtractions outfitted the burgeoning architectural work like medals of honour stacked on tables and bookshelves of famous heroes. The succession of political figures conjured new maintenance schedules overseen by the First Ladies of the nation; First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy often volunteered for the arduous task of decoration. Having bestowed her patronage on interior designs and architects, Jackie’s outfitting included new furniture covers and curtain drapery for fancy Meet and Greets.

THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL, IN ALL ITS WHITE GLORY, CAST THE PRESIDENT’S FIGURE SEATED IN A HIGH CHAIR, HIS HANDS TOO HEAVY FOR THE ARMRESTS. THE COMPOSITION BROUGHT VISITORS CLOSER TO THE SMOOTH MARBLE PRECISION

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TAKE ME WITH YOU

THE BALANCE OF POWER | WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE DOME-SHAPED ROTUNDA OF THE JEFFERSON MEMORIAL DISPLAYED THE 19-FOOT BRONZE STATUE OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT SURROUNDED BY A GROVE OF CHERRY TREES

Beyond honorary residencies, many of its celebrated monuments rested on calm grassy patches to honour important statesmen. The Lincoln Memorial, in all its white glory, cast the president’s figure seated in a high chair, his hands too heavy for the armrests. The composition brought visitors closer to the smooth marble precision. The dome-shaped rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial displayed the 19-foot bronze statue of the former president surrounded by a grove of cherry trees. Additional tree groves commensurated the artistic efforts of Former President Lyndon Johnson and his wife who played a crucial role in beautifying the country’s landscape. The Lyndon Johnson Memorial paid homage to their service. From its perennial gardens marvelous views of the Potomac River forged the pristine and floral setting of Parisian natural parks. Additionally, the simulacrum of plaques mounted on fountains

MAY 2013

LEFT TO RIGHT: THOMAS JEFFERSON MEMORIAL MONUMENT, THE WASHINGTON DC MONUMENT

OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: THE AUDITORIUM IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM

and statues threaded the city fabric in honour of national leaders. Soldiers of various ranks who bore witness to the American heritage and military strength rested in the hallowed grounds of the Arlington Cemetery. Many of the war memorials were contemporary in style with name engravings placed on long slabs of polished stone. While most depict the names of soldiers, others displayed life in the trenches to uphold the spirit, sacrifice and commitment of the American people. The Smithsonian committed to national heritage by building the world’s largest museum and research complex, comprised of 19 museums and galleries, nine research facilities, and a zoo.

L’Enfant succeeded in designing the federal center of inspiring buildings in what was then a district of hills, forests, marshes and plantations. His voracious approach in building America’s federal city became an inexorable mission from which diagonal avenues named after the states radiated, cutting across a well-defined grid street system. By strategically placing the buildings on the highest points above the Potomac, he reserved the grandest spots for the people’s houses rather than for the leader’s palaces, as was customary in Europe. No other city in America would match the strong foundations of Washington in portraying the world’s most powerful government

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OUT + ABOUT

MIXOLOGY LEBANON’S FINEST IN

BARTENDING COMPETE

DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS COMPETITION IN BEIRUT

W

e got out + about for the first burst of Lebanese edition of the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS bartending competition! Taking place over a three-part series, the annual worldwide event sets the latest global mixology trends, bringing together the best bartenders, and this year was no exception. The competitive atmosphere at Achrafieh’s Al Mandaloun fostered creative and unconventional bar technique. Thirteen bartenders, hailing from Lebanon’s strongest cocktail destinations, vied during the first burst for best “Bar Chef” title. Their mission? To present a superior cocktail created with Diageo’s luxury portfolio of Reserve Brands paired with a snack. High standard judges onhand flown in specifically for the event: Hidetsugo Ueno, world-renowned bartender best known for his ball and diamond carving of ice blocks (we got a demo!), and Tim Philips, 2012 Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year.

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Eclectic cocktails with ingredients like Turkish coffee, tequila, egg whites, and grapefruit juice were concocted, and every mixologist showed off a skillful hand, but at the end of the day two winners emerged: Jad Ballout of Garcia’s and Joseph Antoun of Lei. Ballout and Antoun were judged both on the quality of their respective cocktails and on the quality of their canapés, but a key element was the pairing of the two. “I wanted to do a contrast between the cocktail and the canapé so I chose very different ingredients: caviar for the canapé and chocolate for the cocktail. The Zacapa Rum I used for the cocktail has

woody hints so I smoked the caviar canapé to make a merge between the cocktail and the snack,” explained Ballout. He also “infused the Zacapa with olive oil because the judges were from Japan and Australia, so I wanted to have local products as well [to] make it a Lebanese cocktail.” Tim Philips particularly liked the story behind Jad’s winning recipe: “The story of the Zacapa Rum having a distillery above the clouds and yet close to the sea is very well known. Telling the story of the caviar from the sea and the drink being above the clouds, it was a pleasant image in my head already; in terms of presentation it was fantastic.”

THE ANNUAL WORLDWIDE EVENT SETS THE LATEST GLOBAL MIXOLOGY TRENDS, BRINGING TOGETHER THE BEST BARTENDERS, AND THIS YEAR WAS NO EXCEPTION. THE COMPETITIVE ATMOSPHERE AT ACHRAFIEH’S AL MANDALOUN FOSTERED CREATIVE AND UNCONVENTIONAL BAR TECHNIQUE THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


MIXOLOGY | DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS COMPETITION

“THE ZACAPA RUM [...] HAS WOODY HINTS SO I SMOKED THE CAVIAR CANAPÉ TO MAKE A MERGE BETWEEN THE COCKTAIL AND THE SNACK”

Philips’ thoughts on the second winning recipe were mostly based on the pairing itself: “In terms of food matching it was the most delicious, it’s the one I’d like to eat the most. I think you needed a bit of sour in the cocktail to balance the saltiness of the canapé, one didn’t overpower the other and they both tied in well with the pineapple.” For this recipe, Antoun gambled on matching different tasting notes:

sour, sweet, bitter, and salty, with a hint of pepper. “I created a toasted bacon and pineapple canapé for the sweet and salty notes, and did a bittersour sorbet as a cocktail.” Joseph’s use of liquid nitrogen to solidify his cocktail must have tipped the scale when it came time for ranking. “It’s an ingredient that’s hard to use. You can’t find it everywhere and when you [do] find it, it’s very expensive.”

Ueno-san pointed out that there is more than skill to a great mixologist: in Lebanon he suggests that “bartenders need to work on their attitude. They need to show themselves, like when you’re behind a bar. You look at the customer, you smile at him, you make him happy. We had a little talk, Tim and me, with the finalists. They need confidence.” The bartending scene in Lebanon is “an emerging cocktail market. It’s not as established as Japan, the UK or the US. It’s good to see Lebanese bartenders train but bring their own regional indigenous spirit on the drinks as well,” added Philips. “I think it’s only a matter of time before Lebanon does really well in cocktail creation and bartending.” As for the two winners, they both agree on what sets the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS bartending competition apart: “They care, they really care about the bar.” Enjoy responsibly | DRINKiQ.com

BE THE MIXOLOGIST TRY YOUR HAND AT SETTING THE BAR WITH THE WINNING COCKTAILS FAT JOE Approximately 18.3% alcohol per (cocktail) unit Recipe developed by Joseph Antoun of Lei exclusively for DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS COMPETITION

Ingredients • 60ml Tanqueray No. TEN® Gin • Fresh mandarin leaf • 30ml fresh lime juice • 25ml jasmine infused simple syrup • 40ml pineapple juice • 2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Food Pairing Serve with toasted bacon and pineapple

TEMPTATION Approximately 29.5% alcohol per (cocktail) unit Recipe developed by Jad Ballout of Garcia’s exclusively for DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS COMPETITION

Ingredients • 50ml Ron Zacapa™ 23 Rum infused with olive oil • 30ml Vermouth aged in oak barrel • Dash dark chocolate bitter • Dash chocolate bitter • 1 teaspoon cherry liqueur • 1 teaspoon of homemade black pepper and ginger syrup

Food Pairing Serve with caviar canapés smoked with cherry wood

MAY 2013

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

QUE APROVECHE! COPLA BRINGS ESPAÑA TO LIBANO BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

F

or this month’s resto review, I tried out a new gem in Beirut. It’s of Spanish inspiration, and it’s definitely worth a visit. Open for less than a month and located in Downtown Beirut, Copla is a Spanish bistro with a modern design setting. The dining room houses a bar on the right side that is designed to comfortably seat both diners and drinkers alike. On the left side, the wall is flanked by a black couch facing wood and iron tables and chairs, and ends up with a bay-window leading to the garden –the outdoor area will be fully furnished by mid-May and will seat up to 45 guests. Long minimalist

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lamps hang from the ceiling, giving the restaurant just enough luminosity to widen the space, yet still dim enough for an inviting atmosphere. On to the menu, the Land section offers a selection of “turf” tapas while the Sea options focus on the “surf” part. A Raw Bar –the name is self-explanatorypresents salads, mains and desserts. The menu highlights Copla’s selection of tapas or small portion dishes to share. My personal favorite aspect? They serve dishes that I haven’t seen in other restaurants: oxtail mini-burgers with havarti cheese and an oxtail sauce, lettuce wrap with pringa and bell pepper pipirrana and the best ham in the world, a plate of pata negra, freshly cut on demand. Served the traditional way with Spanish bread, rubbed with garlic, olive oil and tomato, it was one of the highlights of the dinner. My friend was converted to crab-eating thanks to their avocado cannelloni stuffed with spicy king crab and I changed my mind on the usually bland Spanish omelette –Copla’s is served with whisky sauce!

We shared an organic Australian fillet steak served with a grilled bresaola stuffed with mashed potato and it was good although I could do with a side of vegetables, but next time I head there, I know what to do: order more tapas and forget about a main, dine out like the Spaniards! THE +

Garden Beirut is a noisy city but the garden is surprisingly quiet. Ask to be seated here if you’re looking for a cozy, romantic dinner; if you’re looking for busy ambience, stay inside. Torija Make sure you have enough room for a dessert to share and do not dine at Copla without trying the Torija, a caramelized bread pudding served with a citrus crème anglaise and a mint ice cream… heavenly.

THE –

Wine They have an extensive wine menu, but I didn’t know what to choose and I would’ve appreciated advice from the wait staff.

Copla Berytus Building, Park Avenue Minet El Hosn Downtown Beirut THE EQUILIBRIUM 03023400 Copla | www.coplabeirut.com

ISSUE


DRINK JAMESON RESPONSIBLY

Embracing the Irish spirit 200 years ago, a legendary Irish whiskey was born. From the very beginning, John Jameson was keen on developing a whiskey with an incomparable smooth taste. 200 years later, the everlasting success of this number 1 Irish whiskey worldwide is due to three main factors: triple distillation, controlled maturation and masterly blending of the various whiskey components. “Loyalty ensures quality” was John Jameson’s motto: loyalty to the workers at the distillery and to a genuine recipe of course. But most of all, loyalty to the core character of the Irish people renowned for their unique “joie de vivre”. A typically merry spirit that John Jameson whiskey conveys successfully by celebrating joyfully St. Patrick’s Day, a yearly date all true Irish whiskey lovers throughout the world wait for eagerly. Lebanese share some similarities with Irish people in their way of celebrating life, as they enjoy it to the fullest. Over the recent years they have grown fond of Irish pubs; and since celebrating St Patrick’s is Ireland’s biggest custom, we have taken a step to bring it to life in Beirut. Indeed, what better than Jameson whiskey to get a memorable taste of this traditional Irish festivity? “Sing, dance and drink responsibly”, that was the Irish festive spirit of Jameson in collaboration with two local talented bands, “Who Killed Bruce Lee” and “Goldfish Parade”, performing live on a mobile truck circulating in the busy streets of Central Beirut to culminate in Mar Mikhael. The crowds were cheerful, experiencing the true Irish feeling, toasting each other’s with Jameson whiskey in a joyous and friendly ambiance that the Irish would have certainly envied Beirut for. Up above in the sky you could hear the Master’s harsh voice resonating with its inimitable accent: “My friend, take a drink or two, but never let a drink take you!”. Until we see you next year, please enjoy Jameson responsibly, the loyal companion of your most memorable moments.

MAY 2013

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

BALANCE IT OUT BY LARA ARISS

HEALTHY PROTEIN + PRODUCE

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 compiled a healthy balanced meal to give you your vitamin fix –including breakfast! For her menu selection, check her out on the web http://www.bylara.me @laraariss

bylara

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laraariss

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


BANANA BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE PREPARATION TIME 5 MINUTES SERVES 2 LEVEL EASY

INGREDIENTS • 2 bananas • 120 ml vanilla yogurt • 120 ml milk • 2 teaspoons honey • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon • 50 grams ice cubes

METHOD

Combine all the ingredients and whizz them through a blender for about 2 -3 minutes, until combined. Pour the smoothie into 2 tall glasses and enjoy.

PRAWN WITH POPPY SEED + SESAME SEED

SALAD PREPARATION TIME 20 MINUTES SERVES 2 LEVEL EASY

INGREDIENTS • 500 grams cooked prawns • 2 cucumbers, sliced • 300 grams green beans • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds FOR THE DRESSING • 3 tablespoons soya sauce • 2 tablespoons honey • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated • Juice of 1 lemon • 1 garlic clove, crushed

METHOD

In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together. Mix the dressing ingredients in small bowl and serve alongside the salad.

MAY 2013

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

ROASTED

LAMB PREPARATION TIME 30 MINUTES COOKING TIME 4 HOURS SERVES 2 - 4 LEVEL MEDIUM

INGREDIENTS • 1 kg shoulder of lamb • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 onion, roughly chopped • 3 garlic cloves, crushed • 300 ml vegetable stock • Zest and juice of 1 orange • 1 cinnamon stick

METHOD

Season the lamb well on both sides. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan. Add the lamb and brown on both sides. Remove and set aside. • Heat the oven to 150°C. • Brown the onions in the remaining fat for 5 minutes, add the garlic and sizzle for 30 seconds. • Pour 175 ml of the vegetable stock and as it bubbles, scrape any caramelized buts at the bottom and sides of the pan. • Add enough of the remaining stock to come 1/3 of the way up of the lamb. Add the orange zest and cinnamon. • Cover and cook for 2 ½ - 3 hours, turning half way until the meat is tender. Remove and wrap with foil. • Strain the juices and spoon off any fat that comes to the top, then put into a wide pan and boil to reduce for 5 – 10 minutes until slightly thickened and rich in flavor. • Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of orange juice. Slice the lamb and serve with the sauce. • •

BAKED PEARS IN CINNAMON SYRUP PREPARATION TIME 15 MINUTES COOKING TIME 30 MINUTES SERVES 2 LEVEL EASY

INGREDIENTS • 4 pears peeled, cored, and cut into quarters • Juice of 1 lemon • 30 grams light brown sugar • 1/2 teaspoon rosewater • 1 small cinnamon stick

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METHOD

Place the pears in a pan with the sugar, rosewater, cinnamon and 100 ml of water or just enough to cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pears are soft and the liquid has turned syrupy. Strain the syrup and discard the pulp. Serve the pears with the syrup and add ice cream if you like.

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


MAY 2013

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THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


NEW + NOW

LIFE IS GRAND The “half-cocktail half-spectacle” opening of Cappuccino Grand Café Antelias branch – the third in Lebanon - was up to the great reputation of the famous Spanish franchise. On March 22nd, human statues dressed in white and gold, amazing Latin and Brazilian dance shows, the incomparable humour of Tanguy Faucon (well-known host of “La Bonne Humeur” on Light FM), and most of all, the captivating voice of the Lebanese tenor Bechara Moufarrej hosted the evening and added flavor to the cappuccino-cup-shaped cake. The crowd was comprised of local celebrities, social figures, media personalities, friends and future clientele exceeding the expectations of the organizers. With its modern design, lounge area with fireplace, and a rich international menu, Cappuccino Grand Café Antelias promises to be, after its Zaitunay Bay and Achrafieh branches, that new favorite place, until a forth location is chosen for the expansion of this famous coffee shop in the country of cedars!

GREEN + GLAM The Garden Show & Spring Festival is turning 10! Ten years of gathering colours, flowers and happy events has made the Garden Show & Spring Festival the ultimate Lebanese outdoor way of life event. The show will take place from May 28th to June 1st at the Beirut Hippodrome and will be held under the theme of “Water: Source of Life”. Around 200 exhibitors attract more than 23,000 buyers and garden lovers looking forward to this show year after year. Visitors will enjoy the different sections of the exhibition from Art of Gardening to Plant Market, Art of Living in the Garden, Designers, organic food exhibits and more. For the first time; an exclusive pre-opening will take place on Monday May 27th from 6 to 10pm. Also new at this 10th edition, The Garden Show & Spring Festival tickets will be available at all Virgin Megastore branches. Each year visitors enjoy the themed flower competition open to all florists in Lebanon, gardening tips highlighting informative topics, a photo competition, and of course the live music event and varied Food Court.

MAY 2013

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BEIRUT

A Break to Escape Indulge yourself this spring with our special package and benefit from a relaxing Spa treatment at “Alda Beauty Center” starting 210 USD per couple including Accommodation Breakfast CROWNE PLAZA BEIRUT TO BOOK CALL 961 1 754755 OR VISIT CPBEIRUT.COM Above rate is subject to 10% VAT 148 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co Valid from 1st of April to 30th of May, 2013 © 2013 InterContinental Hotels Group. All Rights Reserved.

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


BRAINFOOD ROUND #1

ROUND #2

Films

ROUND #3

Science + Nature

1. In which film and book would you find the character Passepartout? 2. Which actress, who appears in the comedy series “Friends”, also appeared in the film “Scream”?

5. In which 1993 film did Robin Williams dress up as a woman?

1. What is the chemical formula for sulphuric acid? 2. Who transmitted the first radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean? 3. What was the world’s first high level computer programming language? 4. What element is present in all organic compounds? 5. What is classified by the A.B.O. system?

6. Which cartoon character’s famous words are “Beep Beep”?

6. What do the initilas I.C.B.M. stand for?

7. Who was the female star of the film Erin Brockovich?

7. How many prime numbers end in the number “2” ? 8. What is 70% of 70?

3. Who sang the theme tune to the film “Nine to Five”? 4. Who starred as the character Rocky Balboa?

8. I am a cartoon character, my favourite time of day is feeding time and my favourite food is Lasagna. Who am I? 9. In the “Dirty Harry” films what was Clint Eastwood’s character’s family name?

ROUND #4

Pot Luck

Arts

1. Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? 2. Apart from cars what is the most commonly used four wheeled device? 3. On the sweets known as M&Ms, what do the letters M and M mean? Is it (A)Murries and Mars, (B)Mars and Mars or (C)Mortan and Murray? 4. In music what does the word Forte mean? Loud, slowly become louder or softly? 5. In NBA basketball how high is the ring? 10ft, 10.1ft or 10.15ft ? 6. What was Barbie’s first career? Waitress, fashion designer or model? 7. The gangster Al Capone was finally imprisoned for what crime? 8. Who developed the VW Beetle?

9. On the internet, what tracks your browsing habits? 10. In 1852 who invented the safety elevator?

1. Who wrote the book “Les Misérables”? 2. Who composed the ballets, “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker”? 3. Who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome? 4. Who wrote the famous opera “La Bohème”? 5. Who designed the famous Easter eggs that were originally meant for the Russian Royal Family? 6. Who painted the Mona Lisa? 7. And, on what material did he paint it? 8. Who wrote the “Lord of the Rings” books?

9. Who wrote the play “Hamlet”? 9. The popular song “Alouette” is about 10. Which very short artist, who died a bird, but what sort of bird is an at the age of 36, was renowned alouette? Is it a duck, skylark or eagle? for his posters of the Moulin Rouge? 10. Which ear did Van Gogh cut off?

10. What breed of dog is Scooby Doo? EASY

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

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THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


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

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

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

1st, 2nd, 3rd telling you GO X Isto this have sex?

OH OHA French maid?

TOTOO

Lets work it out!

Watch all games with this

SEASON IT

ABCDE MNOP VWXYZ FGHIJK QRSTU

Another name for Xmas...

1st of January 2000 was this!

53. Work together! 54. Not her? 55. Flea Trawl. {Anagram} 56. A metal before refinement. 57. Usually made from denim. 59. A noisy person? 62. A search engine? 64. Arm Ascent. {Anagram} 68. Didn’t win!

A LITTLE

S H O R Not quite tall T enough!

WEATHER FEELING

I’m not too healthy today!

IS IT

4 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10

Can I rent this?

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

MAY 2013

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

70. Becomes steam. 71. Lift up by magic? 72. A crane’s arm. 75. Found on a squid’s arm. 77. Difficult in Arabic or a car? 78. Digit? 81. Not theirs! 85. A type of tide. 88. Annoying little creature.

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

DOWN

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

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RAGMAG

ASTRO

Zodiac FROM JONATHAN CAINER

May. 2013

MAY BRINGS A STUNNING SOLAR ECLIPSE, VISIBLE FROM NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND THE SOUTH PACIFIC, PLUS THE THIRD IN THE SERIES OF SEVEN SHARP ‘SQUARES’ OR RIGHT ANGLES BEING FORMED BETWEEN URANUS AND PLUTO BETWEEN 2012 AND 2015. THAT MAKES THIS A POTENTIALLY LIFE-CHANGING MONTH. NO MATTER WHAT SIGN YOU ARE, IF THERE’S ANY ASPECT OF YOUR EXISTENCE THAT HAS INVOLVED A DEGREE OF DENIAL OR DECEPTION, YOU CAN EXPECT TO FIND YOURSELF FACING FACTS AND ENTERING A MUCH MORE HONEST PHASE OF YOUR FUTURE. THIS MAY FEEL CHALLENGING AT FIRST BUT THE LONG-TERM IMPACT CAN ONLY BE POSITIVE.

COLIN FARRELL ADELE

GEMINI

May 22 - June 22 The challenges and dramas that arise in May will be connected, somehow, to your sense of belonging. The questions are: where do you fit in; what are you a part of; and how true and how strong are the ties that bind you to various people and situations? Are you a small cog in a big machine or a big fish in a small pond? And is there anything you can do to change this, even if you want to? Prepare to discover answers that make you stop and think, and insights that potentially improve every aspect of your future. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

TAURUS April 21 - May 21

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CANCER

Mars will be in your sign, all through May. So the rest of us had better start standing to attention when we talk to you. We had better get ready to take our orders, carry out our instructions and quake in our boots, should we even suspect that you are going to unleash your sharp tongue on us. Really? Are you actually about to become that powerful? Well, no. Not ‘become’. That’s how powerful you already are. It’s just that recently, various pressures and conflicts have prevented you from recognising this.

June 23 - July 23 A potent annular solar eclipse implies a month full of life-changing experiences. They may not be dramatic. Some will have a subtle impact, at least at first. Only after a while will you start to see just how differently you are beginning to think about matters and situations that you once took completely for granted. That is the only impact that a life-changing event actually has to have on us. If it alters our understanding, it changes our life! Don’t underestimate the very positive impact that an imminent realisation is about to have on you.

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

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

THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


LEO

VIRGO

LIBRA

September 24 - October 23 Some folk are sensitive to the weather. If the day looks good, they feel good. Others find that their moods fluctuate depending on the attitudes of the people around them. You are more independent than most but you still have a tendency to feel happy or sad, depending on inner whims and concerns. You somehow need to learn to shield yourself from the feelings that your own fears and fantasies create. Events this month help you to deepen that essential ability, and thus grow more stable and more powerful.

July 24 - August 23 The story of your life, in May, is an adventure yarn, a cracking tale of courage and heroism, of riding to the rescue and standing up against wrongdoing. Are you ready for that? Well of course not! All the best characters in all the finest tales of this nature are reluctant. They find themselves dragged into, caught up in or obliged to respond to unfolding events. And then, despite their own doubts, misgivings and problems, they rise to the occasion and emerge triumphant. Just as you will do so wonderfully this month!

August 24 - September 23 Some people are behind the times. Others are ahead of the curve. You’re a curious mixture. You’ve got your finger on numerous pulses, some of which others are surprised by. Yet you like to be up to speed, and take pride in the broad nature of your interests. Apart, that is, from one area of life where sometimes you let your attention slip and end up being the last one on the block to know if something is changing. May, for you, is a game of catch-up and one that, after some initial resistance, you profit from enormously.

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

SCORPIO

SAGITTARIUS

CAPRICORN

October 24 - November 22 There may be moments in May when you start to feel as if you are trying to push the heavy cart up a steep hill, using only your nose! How much of a sacrifice is life asking you for? How overwhelmed with worry and woe are you in danger of becoming? I’m delighted to tell you that the further into the month you get, the less stressful your situation will start to seem. You will have amazing resources available to you, both psychological and material. As you become steadily more able to draw upon them, your spirits will rise. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

AQUARIUS

November 23 - December 21 Have you ever wondered why your life is not like anyone else’s? Things that happen easily for colleagues and companions happen for you with difficulty or not at all. But before you dwell on the unfairness of that, consider the more positive differences. The uncanny advantages, for example, that you have enjoyed while others have not. The times when you have fallen, apparently from some great height, yet somehow managed to land on your feet. Events in May will show you even more about what a blessed life you are leading.

December 22 - January 20 How come you seem to be right back where you used to be so many months or even years ago? Has time stood still? Have the hands on the clock been reversed? Have you refused to learn a vital lesson? Could that be why you seem to be going over the same old ground? Actually, it is none of the above. And actually, too, you are not precisely where you once were. The similarities are superficial. You are bravely returning to an issue that once nearly got the better of you. This month you will triumphantly rise to that old challenge.

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

January 21 - February 19 Sometimes, you are almost too clever. You have ideas that are so bright, they dazzle. Others are almost blinded by the impact of what they hear you saying. You are even a little overwhelmed by the depth and power of your own observations. But none of this makes you infallible. Every so often, you have errors of judgement, just like any other mere mortal. Your story, in May, involves picking up the pieces after the trouble caused by a series of choices made earlier this year. You will soon be back on track, being brilliant once more.

February 20 - March 20 How clean are your sheets? If we ran our fingers over your household surfaces, would we find dust? And what if we did? Were you placed on this earth so that you could keep it neat and tidy? Is that the purpose of your life? No. You came here to have a wonderful adventure. It is hard to do justice to that mission and still focus on life’s smaller chores. This month, what matters is neither how spick and span your home is, nor how cut and dried your finances are. Let some love and laughter into your life and all the rest will take care of itself.

March 21 - April 20 One step at a time. That’s how you are going to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Will you complete the journey this month? Of course not. This is a long expedition and you have really only just embarked upon it. But you will definitely soon have reason to feel as if you have started an important process. Be encouraged by all that looks hopeful and avoid feeling daunted by all that seems disappointing. In the fullness of time, you won’t even remember the issue that is now worrying you.

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

MAY 2013

www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 153


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HOW

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THE EQUILIBRIUM ISSUE


RAGMAG The Equilibrium Issue | May 2013 | Issue #35