Category Archives: M & Interviews

WHY THEM NOT YOU (PART VI) ADEL KARAM

After my appearance on Hayda Talent with Adel Karam, I am often asked about Adel – what is he like? Is he nice in person? Or is he stuck up? My answer always is: I love him!

Today, I witnessed him answering the questions of the attendees at Director’s Kcut conference – proving to me once more how down to earth he is.

What makes him different?

1- He is a giver

Knowing that stand up is the hardest form of public speaking, giving it a try was so stressful, challenging, and scary. Coming up with a script and standing in front of millions was definitely the hardest public experience I have ever went through.

Adel Karam made it much easier for me. He went through my script, gave me advice of how to say my lines, and even interacted with me on stage when he saw how nervous I was.

2- He is not overwhelmed with fame

Today at Director’s Kcut, Adel explained to the students that all the fame and glory a celebrity gets is nothing but earthly void glory, which struck me to the core. I have witnessed Divas who almost have Godly attributes, thinking they’re better; they’re above, that they rule. That is when they actually lose in life – and that is why Adel keeps on winning: getting more successful, more imitated, and more loved; he has his feet on the ground.

3- He is passionate

Many of us are after being famous, being powerful, and being ‘glorious’. That is not what Adel Karam is after, he is after doing what he loves.

When asked about The Late Night Show “Hayda 7akeh”, he told us that it took Tareck Karam two years of convincing – for Adel to present it. If he were just about the fame and glory, it would have taken Adel a minute to jump to the opportunity – because hey, let me not state the obvious, we both know why. 😉

He also explained that he would reject (and has rejected) an offer from Hollywood if he felt that it contradicts with what he is passionate for…

4- He is responsible and loyal

…which brings me to this: Adel expressed that even if he were offered by Martin Scorcese himself a huge role in a movie, he would only take it if he makes sure he wouldn’t be slacking with Mafi Metlo and Hayda 7akeh

– which means he has huge respect and responsibility to what and where he is at now, that he wouldn’t jeopardize it for anything; not to mention his complete and utter trust in his team and his brother Tareck Karam.

So much respect for that, and Oh, even more respect because he gave Scorcese as an example. *fangirls*


4- He motivates

On Hayda 7akeh, Adel never cares about creating a scoop, instead he makes it a purpose to make his guest feel comfortable and at home.

When I was about to come up on stage at Hayda 7akeh, Adel Karam complimented me a lot and gave a lot of positive energy so I could believe in myself. I know that very few stars do that. 

“Do not believe what you hear about the media. TV Presenters are recruited due to their potential and not due to whatever they have done with a director/producer. TV channels want potential, potential makes them money. You will all make it, I can see it in your eyes. Even those who are from an engineering background, you are here, you are passionate for getting there. That is why you will make it.”
– Adel Karam, to the students of Director’s Kcut

It is easy to be popular, especially if you are gifted. It is hard however, to keep on winning. How is Adel Karam STILL making it big?

He is giving, motivating, passionate, down to earth, loyal, and finally responsible.

Much Love!
M

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Why Them, Not You (Part V) Zeina Makki

Many of us dream of being a lead role in a cinema movie or to direct a good movie.
Zeina is only 25 and she has already played the main character in Bingo, Nesswen, and Habbit Loulou! She has also directed two characters (Liliane Nemri and Takla Chamoun) in Waynon, written by George Khabbaz.

—— > Here’s the link to my latest interview on Lebanese Memes with Zeina Makki:                       https://www.facebook.com/mayaakra08/posts/927513744025537

How did she make it?

1. She majored in what she loved

They say it doesn’t matter what you study in college. However, if you know what you love, do not waste your time studying something else for any reason, do not listen to anyone and major in what you are passionate about.
Zeina studied Radio TV in Notre Dame University Louaizeh and got to know all the know-how of how to direct an actor/actress and how to perform on stage and in front of the camera.

2. She kept herself productive/busy

Possibly because she had already been a ballet dancer, Zeina knew that hard work pays off. Zeina acted in many student films and played a lot of characters before being on the big screen. It was clear she was thinking far ahead, she had a vision.

 3. She sets goals

It is proven that those who set their goals have a bigger percentage to achieve them than those who ‘go with the flow’ like dead fish. During my interview with Zeina, she told me that she set a goal to direct at least one film every year. She is a book worm as well, and book worms usually set goals to read a certain number of books every month. She wants to eventually partake in movies outside the Middle East, and because she knows what she wants, there is a high probability she will get what she wants! 

4. She enjoys her life

It is clear that Zeina does not drain herself with her work, she engages in hobbies that again, keep her busy. She dances, boxes, reads books, hikes, and goes out with her friends – thus keeping her life balanced.

So how did she make it? She knew what she loves, what she wants, and she knew how to get it!

Much Love!
M

 

Why Them, Not You [PART IV] Wissam Saliba

Stella-Adler graduate, Professional Actor and Singer
Celebrity Duets Star, Metl L Amar and Ahmad W Christina Lead Role Actor

– Starting with Metl L Amar Season 2, and starring in a cinema movie starting October

People often tend to attribute Wissam Saliba’s success to his father (Ghassan Saliba)’s success. We cannot deny that people have always admired Ghassan Saliba’s stage performances, strong presence, and massive charisma; being a legend’s son definitely adds a lot to one’s acceptance and love by the society. However, knowing Wissam for quite a bit now, I can certify that his success is not simply inherited.

Why is Wissam this loved and known by everyone?

1. Wissam is available

Even though Wissam is on the bulletin boards and on TV, he isn’t stuck up and living in a cocoon. Instead, he goes out with his friends all the time, he has a healthy social life, he supports the local music and talent scene (which he often takes part of), he often eats at Helado (what?), and he is super nice to the fans who spot him.


During my interview with Wissam on Lebanese Memes, he stated that celebrities should not destroy their fans’ image of them by being mean or rude in their encounter. He expressed that he appreciates fans that just love to have a chit-chat with him instead of taking a picture and leaving (since he tends to live the moment and is not a fan of taking photos himself).

2. Wissam is a sophist

What I mean is, Wissam strives for knowledge and admires history and philosophy. That is, what I think keeps him ahead of his game: his education and culture. He is passionate about certain civilizations that some of us has never heard of, which creates his mysterious (energy) un-accessible (aura) and vivid charm that shows on stage and on camera.

He, and his brother Ziad, are also geeks (being movies’ walking encyclopedias); thus respected by the 90s kids and the Lebanese Geek Circle (like Iron Heyoka)

3. Wissam is a dreamer

Probably because he lived in L.A. for around 7 years and witnessed great success, Wissam is always looking forward for more. What makes some celebrities lose their skills, fans’ love, and sometimes even their sanity is having Gods-like attributes: over glorifying themselves, believing they’ve done it all, and taking their fame for granted.
Wissam works on satisfying his diversified talents and isn’t restricting himself to acting. He will soon start forming his own band, he is looking forward to having his own movie productions, and eventually dreams of owning a vineyard.

4. Wissam developed his gifts

Wissam could have simply leveraged on being Ghassan Saliba’s son. Instead, he studied at one of the finest film academies in Los Angeles and constantly spends his spare time attending movie premieres, theatres, and watching DVDs. They say painting is learned at museums, so do the math (:

5. Wissam constantly takes part of different projects

Also, Wissam does not limit himself to his roles on the big screen. We saw him on Kazdoura with George Khalaf, on Chi N N with Fouad Yammine, and recently on Lebanese Memes with myself (“)(^_^)(“) – soon on some other digital platforms.

Link to interview here: https://www.facebook.com/mayaakra08/posts/917011291742449

Being this down to earth and adventurous will definitely take Wissam Saliba very far in his career.

6. Wissam is attached to his roots

I accompanied Wissam in his trip to the GSS Scouts (which he was a member of) Camp in Majdel Akoura, his homeland. I realized how much Wissam is proud of his roots, how much he loves nature, and how much he misses being in Scouts; probably the reason why he came back to Lebanon, with a good fluent Arabic accent; making us all proud!

7. Wissam loves and supports his family

Finally, one can’t deny his love and support to his brother, Ziad Saliba (the script writer, musician, and actor), to his cousins (that he always surrounds himself with), and definitely to his father.

How did Wissam Saliba make it? He developed his skills, pursued his dream by studying what he loves, took advantage of all the opportunities that came his way like Celerbity Duets, kept his feet on the ground, strived for knowledge, kept his love for his country, and didn’t decide to live in a deserted island.

Much Love!
M

 

Why Them, Not You [Part III] Roula Kehdy

Fashionistas in Lebanon pop up every day like chicken, why is Roula Kehdy the fashionista on MTV Alive? And why is she the fashion icon on Pierre Rabbat’s programs?
Before we get to that, allow me to answer your definite questions;

One: Roula did not know Pierre before she joined Men El Ekhir
Two: Roula majored in Business (not in fashion) and worked in the media for more than 10 years – *Yes, she was already successful and she is not all about that ring*
Three: Roula is completely straight
Four: I ended up not asking her about her exact height (oh well, keep guessing *_*)

Click here to watch my interview with Roula Kehdy on Lebanese memes.

1- A fashion icon before becoming a fashion icon

They say Fake it till you make it. Guess what? It works! I am not saying Roula had the intention of being a fashion public figure, but Roula was approached by the media simply because she stood out in public. She told me during our interview that she was approached by Men El Ekhir’s producer because she seemed like someone who belongs to TV.

Lebanese people often tend to say “mfakkar 7alo…” or “msadda2 7alo…” about someone who is in the debut of his career. The secret is yes, you should pretend to be that person you want to be till you become that. You simply MAKE YOURSELF. If you love fashion and want to pursue a career in that, be fashionable every day, be known for your style, stand out, and make a long lasting fashion statement every time you step outside your house. This does not only apply to fashion, it applies to everything else.

Even socially, if you want respect, demand respect and start out with respecting yourself.

2- People love her

When Roula joined Men El Ekhir, people loved her – and her style. When the season was done, they wanted to see her more. Thus, she got her own segment, Fashionista, on MTV Alive. Roula was smart enough to take good advantage of her appearance on TV to make people love her, want to be her, and want to see her more often. Again, she stood out and didn’t take what she got for granted. She won.

3- Attitude “Wake Up with A Smile”

A beautiful fashionable lady is often thought to be arrogant. I remember the first time I met Roula at Director’s Kcut, I thought she is just another fashionista that I shouldn’t give any importance to – due to reasons that I keep to myself. I was surprised by her attitude. She made sure to stop the Style Make-Over workshop and say a little hello to a face she didn’t know #Me. I later observed how amazing her character is!
When asked how she can keep the smile on her face, Roula answered that it was simply the way she was raised, “My mother made me wake up every day and say Bonjour with a smile”. How beautiful is that? Welcoming every day with a wide smile!

4- Fame is an illusion

Every body wants to be famous, however not everybody knows how to react to fame. When asked if she lost friends in the course of her success, Roula Kehdy told me that fame is simply an illusion. A person shouldn’t think of himself as too important, “el khasseh ma lezim tekbar bi raso”.
At the end of the day, we are all the same. No one is more important than anyone else, fame comes and goes. Your relationships and friendships, your values, and your self-worth stay forever.

5- Set Goals, Believe, and Dream Big

When asked where she eventually sees herself, Roula answered without hesitation “be known globally”. I believe that a dreamer is never intimidated or threatened, a dreamer is never selfish, a dreamer is ambitious and constantly aims higher. Roula told me that 5 years ago she set goals and she got her goals accomplished, she was definite that she WILL accomplish her next 5 years set-goals.

6- Passion for Fashion

Roula worked for ten years in media, with her degree in business. Her passion however is fashion. Possibly without her even realizing, Roula’s strong energy got her to be able to luckily make her passion her profession. With a few workshops and a lot of innate tendency, Roula Kehdy started her own shoe accessories line & is a fashion public figure.

How did Roula make it?
She was what she wanted to be before becoming it, she made people love her, maintained a positive attitude, kept her feet on the ground, dreamed big, and made her passion her profession.

They say don’t do anything you don’t really love; Roula loves fashion. The way she happily gave the fashion tips during my interview with her is what I call generous. Some people are selfish and keep the information they know to themselves, other people are loving and share their experience and knowledge with others; those, I describe as passionate givers -and givers always get something in return!

Cover Photo credits to Jad J. Awada 
Give, Believe, and Dream
Much Love!
M

 

 

 

 

 

Why Them Not You [Part II] Elie Sleiman

For those who don’t know, Elie Sleiman (and his brother Mario Sleiman, with the help of Wissam Kamal) is Radar on Menna W Jerr with Pierre Rabbat on MTV Lebanon.
Well, Elie Sleiman worked in PR earlier – He founded – at a very young age – his own U.S. Productions that hosts nightlife events and brings international Guest Speakers/ Stand Up Comedians. Basically most of those who work in PR or in Night Life or are at NDU Louaizeh know him. Moreover, Elie having to jump a couple of the finest schools in Lebanon (namely Champville and Jamhour), acquired La Crème De La Crème of the youth PR.

How did Elie at only 25 get to be on TV in possibly the smartest segment on all channels – making fun of all the other channels and getting no harm at all, no threats, and no hate?

1- Be Proactive.

Elie’s ambition, strong personality, and self-confidence formed his proactive character. In his interview, he told me that he first added Pierre Rabbat on Facebook and was constantly active (writing likes and comments) on Pierre’s updates.
Pierre Rabbat stated that he was recruiting and Elie jumped to the opportunity. Basically “7arkash fi”.

2- Grasp the Opportunity When It Comes

Elie told me that he did not know that he will be presenting Radar. He only thought he was creating the content with his team. He was even bringing cast for Pierre. One day before the show got on air, Pierre surprised Elie with the news that he is the face of Radar.
Did Elie grasp the opportunity, again? YES.

3- Prove Yourself

Knowing that more than 200 actors, comedians, and critics casted for his position, Elie Sleiman didn’t take what he got for granted. Instead he proved himself and got the respect and the appreciation of all the viewers and guests of the show.
He worked on improving himself show after show, surprising Pierre with the great content and an improved attitude episode after episode.

4- Give Credit To Your Team

I asked Elie for an interview; being the proud friend I am of his viral videos and overall life accomplishments. I was proud of him again when he got his brother to join usconstantly mentioning the content team. No one is successful by himself. Giving credit to your team gets you always ahead of the game. Those who are around you grow big with you!

How Did Elie Make It?
He took the intitiative, grasped the opportunity when it knocked, prove himself, and didn’t take all the credit for his work!

Cover Photo by Jad J. Awada
I
nterview Link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10157109323495084&id=758480083

You can make it too!
With Love!
M

 

Why Them, Not You [PART I] Xriss Jor

You often tend to think ‘Why Did They “Make It” and You Haven’t Yet!’
The interviews I’ve had with the public figures of this month may answer your questions of why you may want to be them, but instead you’re on your couches watching them do what they’re doing – and they’re getting one step closer to their goals at a time!

– Xriss Jor
Link To Interview: Here
Xriss Jor is a Lebanese-American Singer best known for her appearances on the debut season of “The Voice Arabia.” She is also managed by Quincy Jones.

(Strong, Enthusiastic, Happy, Smart, Passionate, Confident, Bright-Eyes, Positively-Opinionated)

On Being Managed By Quincy Jones:
Everyone thinks she’s so lucky Quincy picked to represent her in specific!
Xriss Jor told me during our interview that she met Quincy through a person she met at the Voice. This proves to so many people who are anti-popular commercial shows wrong and that such shows do get you good deals. Moreover, that you should consider being nice to people you meet randomly; if you are talented but stuck up and in constant-rejecting-mode, you have little chances of getting anywhere!

About Gigs:
One Thing I observed without Xriss having to tell me, is that she is extremely active and receptive! She is what I call a Yes-Girl. I had already briefed Xriss that we will be having an interview a week before going Live, however the same day I asked if she could go live with me, she answered quickly ‘YES’ even though she had a gig an hour after that! That is what I call being really Active – Juggling more than one thing in the same day and taking advantage of your little 24 hours!
Getting Yourself some good  Gigs has a lot to do with eagerly asking for ones (Being Active!); Do It and You Will Definitely Get Somewhere!

As for Popularity:
I personally have thousands of followers on my Snapchat. People tend to call them fans. I hate the word fans. Your supporters are the reason you are whatever you are. You need to give them back – not only good work but appreciation and sometimes, engagement. Xriss Jor called a devoted supporter of hers on his birthday wishing him a blessed year. That Is What Makes You More Loved. AND Do it when you mean it, it shows when it’s fake.

 

Get your feet on the ground, don’t be blinded by popularity once you get a bit known. No matter who you are, you will always be a Big Fish in A Small Pond. Over Arrogance will make you lose your crowd. Xriss insisted over and over again that she is not famous; some bloggers have 30k on instagram and call themselves famous. That is what is making Xriss work on her brand more and more: her Realistic Modesty.

I hope you find this handy in your self-worth self-discovery journey!
With Love!
M