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March 02, 2005



"I don't *only* keep blogging these things because I *ahem* "find Lebanese girls disarming", as a certain frequent commentor would have it!"

lies, filthy lies ...

good post, sir.

Have you been following the Al Hinnawy case?


Maria's video is pretty ridiculous. It's not a bathtub. She's in a frickin' cereal bowl filled with milk. There's an extended lolly-pop-licking scene, and her hair's done-up to look like that of a nine year-old's.

the aardvark

Oh man, I can't believe I forgot about that. What a fabulous detail to have neglected to mention... It's even worse than the one with the teacher.


I don't know how this fine, fine website suddenly got dragged into the gutter ...


David Witt

well, the secret's out about Lebanese girls now...i've got a sister-in-law to marry off, so make an offer!;>

Scott Martens

Well, if you're sister-in-law is interested in a tall, lonely Norwegian army guy with a job in computers, I have a family friend who really, really, REALLY needs to be set up with a nice girl. ;^)

Some years ago, when I was young and living in Montreal, I contemplated an economic development strategy for Quebec predicated on hiring young science and technology graduates from international universities to come work in Montreal for firms whose non-tech staff was composed largely of young French-Canadian women. I figured the result would be pretty predictable given the rather xenophilic and libertine tendences of Montreal women, and that once you've got them married to local girls who aren't very interested in moving to the US, you've got a high productivity workforce by the cojones.

Recent coverage of Lebanon leads me to think this might not be an unreasonable development strategy for them. Good weather, low prices, a nice beach and hot exotic women - there are definitely worse capital bases to build on.


Um, Scott, Lebanon is the *source* of all those high tech workers you need in Canada. Doctors, too. The Lebanese populate the tech sectors of France, the US, and of course the Gulf in huge numbers.

The Lebanese would love to figure out how to get tech going in their country, but they seem to have dropped the ball on this years ago and spent all their development money on hotels. My cousin, for instance (I have 31 first cousins and countless 2d & 3ds) is a high up telcomm guy, BS in engineering from the States and early career here. Back in the mid-90s his company talked about letting him set up an office in Beirut so he could do his wheeling and dealing across Europe and Africa from a Middle East base.

For many reasons, mostly to do with bureaucratic disorganization and corruption, the Beirut office just didn't work out. My cousin is now living a fabulous life in the Gulf, heading that office that should have been in Beirut. He employs a steady stream of nephews trained in Lebanon on Java web, html, other computer languages, all of whom were refused visas to the USA.

In the meantime, your family friend wanting to marry Lebanese would need to be a Catholic I am pretty sure, and he'd have to bring lots of relatives along for vetting before any Lebanese would marry off their daughters. If he can convince them he's French, or perhaps Irish, he has a chance. Forget marrying a Muslim girl unless he converts. Even then it's a problem.

Pearsall Helms

I always find it remarkable how similar the Lebanese (particularly the Maronites) look to the French. No wonder they get along so well.

David Witt

what's the problem after converting, Leila? maybe i'm just fortunate to have missed it...

my wife grew up in France, where her family escaped to during the civil war--quite likely they are more liberal than most Muslims, but my conversion (and 10 silver coins) were enough to satisfy her family (many of whom are Syrian, btw);>



Since the assassination on February 14, Future, the Hariri-owned television station, has dedicated every minute of its broadcasts to his memory, showing long interviews with people who knew him and producing video clips and songs reflecting Beirut's sadness at his loss.

Even the rival Lebanese Broadcasting Company has joined in the veneration of Hariri. When viewers complained that Star Academy, a popular talent show, was back on the air just a few days after the assassination, LBC quickly brought together hot new pop stars such as Nancy Ajram and Haifa Wehbe to create a melancholic Hariri tune for the next episode.

(via belgravia dispatch)


According to Elaph, the Emirati lawyer has filed suit against the "Melody" channel, which is apparently owned by a grandson of Gamal Abdel Nasser.

the aardvark

Haifa and Nancy on the same stage? And they say that Arab unity is dead...


David - the problem? Nothing in particular about being married to a Muslim, just that Lebanese families are picky and insular and don't *really* like to marry their children to outsiders. But of course they do. (My dad married my mom, a Southern WASP) So the problem would still be convincing the in-laws you're okay. Looks like you did a good job of it!

My hint to others in the same boat - bring a relative at some point in the courtship, if you can. An uncle, your father or mother, someone who looks respectable, older and established. Then see if you can organize some kind of family to family meeting, your place or theirs. A lone wolf is much more suspect than someone who can demonstrate that he has a respectable family. Respectable means honorable, decent, hospitable. Doesn't *have* to be educated or rich but either helps.

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