05 November, 2006

Welcome back to Beirut.

"At a Halloween party at the C-Lounge in Beirut, some danced on the bar and competed in a contest for the title of sexiest woman."

Katherine Zoepf writing in Thursday's INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE on the diminishing population of men in Beirut:

BEIRUT: This is a city of nightclubs, but the night life is something else these days, and not just because of the feverish edge sharpened by the war last summer.

By 8 p.m., women in their 20s and early 30s are prowling in packs of five and six, casting meaningful glances at any and all passing men. In the bars the women dance for hours - often on top of the bar - and legs, midriffs, bare shoulders and barely covered bosoms are offered for public admiration.

Samir Khalaf, a professor of sociology at the American University of Beirut, said the scene astonished his American colleagues. "They are just shocked," he said. "'This is Lebanon, the Middle East?' they say. They can't stop talking about all the belly buttons, about all these highly eroticized bodies. You see it everywhere here, this combination of consumerism and postmodernism and female competition."

The full story is HERE, which made me want to be several years younger and go to school HERE.

So I have a question for UAE bloggers who are either Lebanese or spend time in Beirut: do you think this article accurately reflects the social scene in the city?

DISCLAIMER: the above photo is the one that ran with the article...


marwan said...

"...do you think this accurately reflects the social scene in the city?"

In God's name, send me to Beirut to find out.

psamtani said...

I guess I know which city I should be moving to... LOL

Great link btw, should be an interesting discussion..

Anonymous said...

I need a cold shower

Mirvat said...

if you guys would care to visit the lebanese bloggers forum here (http://lebanonheartblogs.blogspot.com/2006/11/where-boys-are.html) you would see the lebanese women's point of view on this.

in short, no it's not! lebanese women are always criticized for being liberal. the truth is we are as much as any arabic woman. the difference is we're honest about it!

psamtani said...

@mirvat: Yeah, I had a feeling there was a more balanced side somewhere...

fellow atheist said...

While this may be a bit sensationalized, the reality is -- give any country a shortage of men (or women) and things go.. well, they turn out different.

It is obvious that the girls interviewed were naive teenagers who know little to nothing about life. I am sure they have their fair share of airheads in Lebanon. The reporter seems to know where to find them.

Lebanese people in general, men and women, do appear to take great pains at going over their physical appearance. So, a significant ratio difference between men and women will undoubtedly result in women competing against one another. Just cause they look good doesn't mean they're bad people :)

And mirvat, no, you're not like any other Arab women. You're not just honest about it. You _are_ more liberal than most other Arab countries. Okay, make that all. And no, you're not 'honest' about it. I've lived around enough Lebanese (and other Arabs) to know better. Either way, it doesn't make you bad. I appreciate the differences in cultures. The more liberal the better (and by liberal I don't mean mini-skirt.. I mean open mindedness).

Anonymous said...

I was in Beirut last week and while people are partying still (they never stopped really), in my opinion the overall mood hanging in the air is one of depression and hopelessness.

The female situation is simply what happens when women out number men by a large proportion

Anonymous said...

fellow atheist said...
While this may be a bit sensationalized, the reality is -- give any country a shortage of men (or women) and things go.. well, they turn out different.

Is that the case in Lebanon? Stats, please?

It certainly is the case in UAE. And the show is definitely on the road.

Lirun said...

wow.. i dont see that in telaviv.. but then again im a nerd..


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