Overwhelming refugee crisis? Nope.
The fact that it has been over a year that our parliament convened in session to vote for a president? Nope.
All other issues worth discussing about the country? Nope.
Salma Hayek visiting? YES, YES, YES.
In order to stay up to date, little as I want to, with what’s happening in my very beloved country, I usually turn to my social media feeds. As it goes: if it’s important enough to become a twitter thing, then you should be aware of it.
Salma Hayek was a Twitter thing. A Facebook thing. An Instagram thing. A get out of my face thing. A don’t we have other things to worry about thing. An everything kind of thing. A “are we seriously still talking about this” thing. A “awwww Lebanese pride, bitches” thing.
It had been a while since I saw my country, even if from afar, kiss ass in such a glorious way. Not only was the nation all over Salma Hayek’s Mexican-American ass, we were also salivating all over it, begging her for the minimal and most mundane of acknowledgment. We are here, we matter, recognize us please, breathe our air please, share our sewage system we beg you.
1 – We Gave Her A Freaking Citizenship
Salma Hayek’s grandfather was Lebanese. Sure, she has “legal” right to get the citizenship, but so do a whole lot of other people of Lebanese origins who have been blessed by the Almighty Lord to have the semen-given part of their genome be Lebanese. Salma Hayek lands in the country and not only do we run to give her a citizenship, I bet we also gave her a very nice “golden” civil registry number. I’m also sure her national ID card number was golden. Her passport number? Platinum, I bet!
Never mind that it actually takes presidential decrees to nationalize. Never mind that the country doesn’t really have a path of citizenship to begin with. Never mind that there are hundreds of people of Lebanese-origins who have been trying to get our very precious citizenship for years to no avail. Never mind that our country won’t even let Salma Hayek pass her citizenship to her daughter, like the so many Lebanese mothers who have been struggling for years and whose children are more Lebanese than Hayek.
Certainly, Salma Hayek should get our citizenship. Because being Mexican, and American and being married to a French guy are definitely not enough. Lebanon trumps them all.
2 – We Hosted Her On Kalam Ennas:
I usually associate Kalam Ennas’ special episodes with matters of national crisis that require the country to halt all programming in order to accommodate the necessary political diarrhea to be spewed. Not this time.
Salma Hayek was in the country. How could we not host her? How could we not flaunt to the entire world that she was giving Lebanon its very first movie premiere EVER. How could Marcel Ghanem miss the opportunity to boost his interviewing record by interviewing…. just some B-list actress who happened to grace the country with her presence?
What’s your name, Marcel would ask. Salma would answer. He’d sit dumbfounded. She was proud of having Lebanese heritage, as if it was a multiple choice question with more than one option. She forgot her purse at the terminal because she was pre-occupied with the Cedar she was given. They ran after her. She didn’t care, mostly because she has 46342753851371357 other purses, because that Cedar was her whole country.
3 – Sethrida Geagea Joined Twitter
In order to capitalize on the buzz that was generated by Salma Hayek visiting Bsharre and the subsequent fashion showdown, Sethrida Geagea decided to join twitter. She has tweeted 4 times so far. 3 of those 4 tweets are about Salma Hayek and her visit to Bsharre. Of course, Lebanese media did not see it from this perspective because they were pre-occupied with the fact that Sethrida Geagea was better looking than Salma Hayek.
How is that possible? A Lebanese is better looking than a Hollywood star? How could that be? Is it even remotely possible that Salma Hayek could be human and not the God she was made out to be? What does Samir think about all of this? Next time, on Lebanese Serial.
4 – We Suddenly Cared About Syrian Refugees
It took Salma Hayek visiting the Syrian Refugee camps for those refugees to become news again. Were they important enough during Lebanon’s relatively harsh winter? Nope. Are they important in absolute value? No. But we can’t let Salma Hayek know we don’t care. So for the few days she was here, of course we’d show how much we cared for those refugees… as long as we capture that perfect Kodak Moment in order to show how much we care to the whole wide world.
Don’t you see those poor babies? That huggable little girl? All those miserable people in subpar conditions? Don’t let anyone tell you we’re not helping them… We made sure Salma Hayek visited!
5 – The Prophet Is Now Everyone’s Favorite Book. Ever.
In between all the mania surrounding her visit, I bet Salma Hayek almost forgot why she was here in the first place: to promote her upcoming movie to the country that made it.
Yes, it technically premiered at Cannes last year. Yes, there was also technically a premiere at Doha earlier this year. Yes, the book on which the movie is based was written in the United States and in English. Yes, Salma Hayek probably came here because part of the funding of the movie was via a Lebanese bank.
But goddammit, no. She’s here to show how proud she is of her Lebanese heritage, which is clearly exemplified in The Prophet, a book about how the wonderful stringing of words together can be and how easy it is to repeat them at funerals, weddings, graduations and other miscellaneous occasions.
Subsequently, The Prophet has now become Lebanon’s official favorite book, even possibly beating The Bible and the Quran. Don’t let priests and sheikhs know, though. “Your children are not your children” has been quoted so many times I’m beginning to search for children that may not be mine.
I bet the movie will be the movie of the year too!
Bonus: Elissa Was Fangirling
A picture is worth several hundred words. How about a bunch?
She is just Mexican, not Mexican-American.
Firstly, the blog and blogger win when everyone dedicates this much time analysing and commenting on a quite a thin, bitchy, ranty piece of vomit.
Secondly, at the expense of joining the club of blog and blogger boosters, I’d like to point out that one can easily pick apart absolutely everything in this world if they put their simple minds to it. Is any famous person attaching themselves to a cause or country or whatever a useless piece of attention-grabbing narcissism and do those who entertain them deserve bucketfuls of bile? Think of Princess Diana, Angelina Jolie, etc etc. I’ll take whatever publicity and light they shed on issues/causes and ignore the ass-kissing that may have accompanied that. I’m perfectly happy with recognisable people from the world of entertainment or finance or whatever drawing even the tiniest attention to the cultural relevance and contribution of a small country. I’m especially proud as our neighbours in the region cannot claim the same range of eclectic talent across industries going back generations. The special formula lies in long-standing educational edge of the Lebanese, outward perspective, ability to adapt everywhere pretty much, and (historically) relying on more than religion and stubborn tradition as their guiding compass when they settle their asses abroad. The Lebanese have every write to be snotty about these contributions. I’m afraid the way the culture is being shaped now, by crappy anti-liberal ideologies, looking to the East and neighbourhood for inspiration and so forth means we will be accelerating the exodus of the Hayek grandfather types. Eventually we can resemble Libya or Yemen or Iran and many people will be perfectly pleased with that…
I wonder what the author did to the Syrian refugees to improve their welfare. Opportunist and a hypocrite! on the expense of the Syrian refugees.
Wow. There’s one thing I hate and it’s people that criticise for the sake of criticising and feeling they’re “different”. Yes an internationally famous person came to Lebanon and it was on TV not because the people are so “shallow” but because the country is so unstable that this is not an EVERYDAY incident. Does Marcel Ghanems show always have to be about a CRISIS?? And if YOU didn’t care about the Syrian refugees before, please don’t generalize and condemn ALL the Lebanese people of not caring. Sorry Bas 3anjed ennik mastoule
Lebanon is a country of few million people plus few million other people. To generalize and say ” Lebanon kissed Salma’s ass” would be an insult to most of those millions including myself. In addition, please note those who currently in government including any minister or deputy do not represent most of the population of Lebanon. Furthermore, Marcel Ghanem has a show called kalam el nass so having her as a guest reflects kalam el nass that week, and frankly I bet 99.9% of the Lebanese would rather watch and listen to her rather than any of his usual pathetic guests. Visiting artists in any country usually go on TV shows to promote themselves. You would know if you watchedTF1 or CNN, FR2 or BBC or even Alarabiya. Claire Chazal who is TF1 news anchor receives foreing artists within her “journal de 20 heures” and police blocked off all Saint Germain roads for Madonna Just last week. Does this mean France is kissing the material girl’s ass?
Yes most Lebanese know of Gibran directly or indirectly and appreciate one or more forms of his art and most Lebanese know of Syrian refugee and sympathize with their suffering and many Lebanese know of Salma Hayek and like her acting and NO not all Lebanese kissed her ass.
Apology is in order !
Her ass seems better that the stupid stuff u wrote..go seek some more inportant subject than that…u looked on ur level…talking about the ass..
i really fail to understand the point behind this article
why hate? Only the unloved hate
Dear Mr. GHanem,
With all my respect to your person & your program. I wish if you could do a session with the normal employees of M.E.A who were forced to leave the company services in 2001 and have worked in the Company for over 30 years and especially during the war.