Tag Archives: beirut

#MyVisionMyLife Collection of Hoodies @mayaacra

Motivation Hoodies; 10% of the overall proceeds go to Children Cancer Center.

You probably saw these posts (of the cover photo) on my instagram, their basic goal is motivating people to envision their future and achieve their goals, to believe in their inner beauty, to never let their insecurities and fears stop them, and to be faithfully strong.

The reason I started designing these hoodies though, is because I would really like to inspire others. The second reason is because I often go shopping and I never really like whatever I see. Hoodies with slogans like “Hate Mondays – Today’s Off, Go Back To Bed” is all I see and those do not really describe what I aspire to be – and what I believe life truly is: Life is about hustling, is about loving what you do and waking up every day to do more of. It’s about achievement, success, love, security, and strength.

And since I believe that Children with Cancer are the strongest and most inspiring people of all, this project is not solely for profit – since the profit is minor, 10% of the gross amount is given to charity – to Children Cancer Center. Since most of us really love to help, but we do not often have the time to, by buying a hoodie, you are inspiring whoever sees you wearing one, and you are somehow contributing a fair amount to the strongest kids in the world.

The Cost of one Hoodie is 50,000 LBP. (10% of whatever you buy goes to charity)

You can DM me on Instagram or Whatsapp me on 03366729 to Reserve Yours!

#YourVisionYourLife #MyVisionMyLife #mayaacra #mayaakra08

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“7kita 3ala facebook w maraddit” is not a business approach

So is “Ba3atella DM on instagram w ma raddit”
Being A digital consultant, I find it often that people are interested in working with bloggers, digital influencers, or talents. Sometimes directors would find an actress so fitting for a specific role, that they send her a private message.

 

I also hear this often “I sent her a message on instagram and on facebook, she did not reply, she is probably sheyfeh hala”, while on the other hand there are numerous numbers of bloggers waiting for sponsors, for content, and there are so many talented actresses and models feeling unappreciated.

 

What should you do?
– Every blogger/ actress has contact information on their socials: Send them an email or call their personal numbers. Don’t just wait for a message on Facebook. That is you being unprofessional, not them being cocky.

 

– When not getting a reply, send a reminder after 3 days, then another one after 2 weeks.

 

– (If you still did not get a reply and you are still after this specific person) Figure out a medium. Think of a person who would know her personal number or email and contact that person.

– Contact Talent Agents and Agencies for assistance (they usually have contact information of talents)

Tips:

  • The new instagram links you directly to a person’s contact
  • Many professionals have their numbers put on LinkedIn
  • Bloggers that do not have a contact number on their socials probably do not want to be contacted (so if you are a blogger and aiming for sponsors and proposals, put it there!)
  • When signing deals and talking MONEY with the assistance of a talent agent or medium, ask for a meeting for the 3 of you together. Chances are big that some projects do not go though because the “person in the middle” wants a bigger commission or is not transmitting the right info about a specific activity

 

While mostly all businesses exist on facebook and instagram, both are still NOT BUSINESS platforms. You want to raise a complaint, send an inquiry, or ask for a favor SEND AN EMAIL, CALL THE NUMBER, and ASK FOR A F2F MEETING.

Goodluck!
Much Love!
M

Women, Homosexuals, and Artists as Politicians in Lebanon – @theKIPProject

… following my Not Your Ashta Blogpost..

I was happy to be invited to the KIP Project this year held at the American University of Beirut (AUB), since I was extremely sick for the past week, I could only attend it on the 1st of April (I missed the first day).

*Whereas all the panelists truly inspired me and scratched my head, I will only mention those who somehow triggered my senses more than others.*

Panel (Highlighting Discrimination through Art & Media)

One of the panelists, Bahaa Harmouche, is a creative director and works on the stigmatized HIV Positive outcasts in our modern societies – more specifically the homosexual HIV Positive people in the Middle East. He speaks on behalf of them saying “Accept Us and Love Us, we are not your enemy.”

Homosexuality is still an extremely controversial issue in the Middle East where all religions completely reject it as being un-natural and devilish. Individuals are living an internal conflict day after day, especially those who belong to extremely religious families. HIV patients – often persecuted by (somewhat) hypocrites that mainly engage in the same actions they did, but were luckier to not contract such a fatal disease – victimize themselves due to their little awareness, education, and luck.

“The gay society is already marginalized in our societies. The homosexual HIV Positives are even marginalized in the gay society itself,” claimed Bahaa during his panel.

It was definitely the first time I hear such a panel – a taboo, an unspoken battle, and a condemned group by even the minority sub-culture – a courageous topic to address.

Heather Jaber, an independent researcher, discussed the fact that homosexuals are often portrayed in Lebanese series as depressed, and are sent or exiled to other countries. While this portrayal of reality has its positive aspect where it shows that these individuals are unaccepted in society, other questions arise like: why isn’t the media showing us the successful happy homosexuals in Lebanon as normal characters living with us everyday – and are WE  giving them the option of either living with depression, committing suicide, or unintentionally sending them to extreme exile? Why is the sexual orientation the only layer a character is described with in Lebanese cinema and why is homosexuality the only artifact that is leading gay characters into depression?


Panel (Marginalized Groups in the Lebanese Political Sphere)


Carmen Geha and Krystel Tabet shared with us the findings of their research of the little engagments of females in the political life. “Politics is masculine” she said, “women are usually brought up in Lebanon to be honest, thinking about the benefit of the community rather than personal benefit whereas men usually possess more ego, aspire to be powerful and are more interested in politics.” Other reasons discussed were the patriarchy of sectarianism and the (debatably) little resources of women, their little effectiveness in national institutions, and their less availability (since they are mostly also mothers and house wives).


Reem Saab’s research highlighted a slight difference in the degree of political voting among men vs women (men are more likely to vote by 1.2% than women) yet a rather great-low representation of women in politics, due to lack of interest, lower chances of employment, and lower education levels.


Nada Anid, representing the NGO Women In Front, shared with us her findings of Lebanon being ranked 180/187 (in Women Parliament Representation) and 143/144 (in Women Governmental Inclusion). She states that a better Quota of women will only happen under one condition: Real Political Will.


In addition to the absence of a Feminist Block and the misconception of the role of politics, one can not but note that the seats in the Lebanese Parliament are barely fitting our politicians that are almost devouring each other for one seat, what if a WOMAN was to take that seat? Unfortunately, giving a seat to a woman is regarded as more of a gentleman act than anything else in the Lebanese government.

Perhaps these issues are disregarded in oppose to what our country is facing these days, however there exists a definite misconception of the role of politics.

Women and activists are less likely to consider politics due to the global interests/lobbies that do not appeal to the interests of such individuals. However, the KIP Project reminded all its attendees that politics is not about Russia, USA, France, or the Middle East, it is about our daily life struggles.

The representation of labor in the syndicates and unions has a direct effect on the rights of the practitioners of a certain labor force. The municipalities are responsible for the concerns of its citizens and we (and our votes) are to be blamed for the traffic jam we are stuck in every day. The government is held responsible for the tax, the double-electricity, and our endless expenses. Politics is not whether Iran and USA are on in “tsingof” or “TGIF” mode. Politics is the daily stress or distress we live with every single day.

The panel  (Art as an Alternative Catalyst for Change In Lebanon) featuring the Kesserwany sisters reminded artists that usually have no interest in politics to address social change in their own creative way. Yes, even artists are responsible for fixing Lebanon, no one is exempted – not the women, not the homosexuals, and not the artists. We are all in this together.

I hope one day all Lebanese People find this as interesting as the numerous pointless memes circulating our useless whatsapp groups,
With Love!
M

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From the book Louder Than Hearts Poems – Zeina Hashem Beck Winner of the 2015 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

Interesting Facts About Whiskey with Mr. Graham Coull

So, I got the chance (among with 14 other bloggers) to meet the Master Distiller at Glen Moray Himself Mr. Graham Coull, and be lectured about Glen Moray Whiskey and about Whiskey in general.

glen-moray-3Some interesting facts I learned: 

  • Scottish Whisky is only be made in Scotland (obviously but you know)
  • It is made of Water, Grain, and Yeast
  • Kinds of Whisky are Single Malt, Blended Scotch (and Blended Malt)
  • Whiskey is made of beer (Add Barley and Yeast, distill it twice to get Spirit, put it in an oak cask for 3 years)
  • If you mix 2 whiskeys of different ages in the same oak cask, the whiskey takes the age of the youngest (Say you put a 12 year old whiskey with an 18 year old = 12)
  • In Summer, the whiskey interacts more with the wood inside the oak
  • The use of a Narrow-From-The-Top tasting glass is so, so the taste is centralized, the aroma stays in the whiskey
  • No two whiskies are identical
  • To keep the taste of the whiskey, do not add ice (because it is water) Water Cools Down and changes the taste of whiskey
  • There is no specific age for a whiskey to be bottled; it just needs to be ready; different casks mature differently
  • When emptying a cask, Master Distillers keep a couple of liters inside to keep the cask moisturized between two generations.
  • The whiskey is much more intense if it is bottled in a brand new cask used for the first time, 50% less intense if it used the second time, 25% less intense the third time (usually casks are used for three generations)
  • Glen Moray works with 90,000 barrels a year (around 3 million bottles)

glen-moray-2

How to Taste A Whiskey:

  • Hold it in the light, to start differentiating different blends of whiskey and their colors
  • Nose it, to know what to expect
  • Taste it

glen-moray

What We Tasted:

Glen Moray:

The Classic Single Malt (6-7 years)
Taste: Malty Toffee Sweetness
I liked it, but you can definitely taste Barley in it, because it is young

 

The Classic Port Finish (40% alcohol)
Taste: Citrus, Apple, Pear, Cinnamon
I loved this one, I would recommend this whiskey to girls

 

Chardonnay Cask Finish
Taste: Unique, Spicy, Wine Flavor, Candy, Fruit Sweetness
I also would recommend this one to girls and not heavy whiskey drinkers

 

Peated Single Malt
Taste: burned turf, peat smoke, peated vegies
I would only recommend this one to a heavy smoker who stopped smoking and would want to feel some chimney, it’s too heavy I would imagine an oversized man drinking it on his porch while his wife cooks soup

 

12 Years Old
Taste: Sweatness, Dark Fruits, Red Berries, Vanilla, Oak Woody Element, Very subtle amount of smoke
This has more character, probably because it is 12 years old and that is the basic age of whiskey

 

15 Year Olds
Taste: Coffee bean, Cherry, Fruits, Bitter
I like this one more than the 12 year olds, it has more flavor
I would add to it 2 ice

 

18 Year Olds
Taste: TOO STRONG because it is 47.2% alcohol
You will need to add to it water

 

 

 

M Spotted: Drunk Stool Blocking Antelias Highway

Okay, I am writing this FULLY cause of my mom’s request.

She sent this to me earlier today by whatsapp:

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A picture of a chair blocking the road at the Antelias Highway.

I thought of creating a meme with it, comparing roadblocks in other countries and road blocks in Lebanon, then I thought of the Lebanese Private sector.

It is not fair to say that we, Lebanese People, are far behind, because WE are not. Whoever takes care of THIS in Lebanon are VERY far behind. Whether it is the municipalities, the police, or the government. This is not a roadblock, this is a drunk chair in the middle of the road and it is only Wednesday.

The private sector however has advanced entrances and ‘roadblocks’. We are not underdeveloped as citizens, all our homes are Hi-Tech; our education is better than any other country, our styles are modernized and urban, it is our “system” that is not keeping track. I am so sure that people in our government open their garage doors with a click, yet block our roads with a high stool from Maamelten.

I will be updating this article with a couple of entrances to media houses and private institutions in Lebanon with a better infrastructure (you can send me some images too).

Hoping for a change by the people for the people. #V

Much 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

Dressed by Jean Fares at The Murex D’Or : M Fashion

I was honored to wear a design by @JeanFaresCouture at the Murex D’Or Ceremony this year; and I am glad to have met with a humble, down-to-earth, music-lover, artist, and father like this great man! Not to mention his 23 year old elegant, responsible, witty, and mature princess/daughter Yara Fares.

JF by Jean Fares Fashion was founded in 1992. The brand has its own trademark style, mixing and communicating with colors, asymmetrical cuts, curved lines, and embroidered precious stones on refined gowns. It is the reason for which the most famous Hollywood stars are constantly requested to wear his innovative creations.
Some of the celebrities wore by JF: Paris Hilton, Nicole Scherzinger, Maria Carey, Haifa Wehbe, Shatha Hassoun, and Paula Abdul

All Cosette El Kamar, Sheila, Boosy Shalaby, and Paula Yacoubian wore JF Dresses at the Murex D’Or this year;
Make sure you follow the JF instagram account: @jeanfarescouture and facebook page: www.facebook.com/jeanfarescouture to stay tuned with his latest updates!

My Over-All was all black with a black back-skirt.
To add a twist for the Murex, Mr Jean replaced the half-jupe with the red one!
What do you guys think?


Photo credits  @rodandroy – I will be updating this post as I get more pictures!

With Love!
M