I don’t hide my indifference (and ridicule) to her as evident by this scathing post I wrote in response to her answers at the Miss Universe competition. But sometimes, you need to say: enough is enough.
During a Miss World 2011 interview after going to the Republic of Congo where she visited her father, she said: “I think it’s kind of relaxing for me because Lebanon is kind of noisy… Yes, it’s very busy and the traffic is crazy there so I think when I go to Congo, it is kind of calm, peace and people over there they appreciate small things. I kind of enjoy it. I feel more at ease. It’s like relaxation time.”
Yara’s duty to represent Lebanon is known, regardless of how ridiculous a pageant representation is. I’d much rather be proud of my country’s national team beating South Korea 2-1. How about that, right?!
Anyway, soon after those statements by Yara Khoury-Mikhael, she started getting bombarded left and right by people who accused her of berating Lebanon. Apparently she was not “proud” enough of her country. But I believe her statement, poor English-aside, was taken absolutely out of proportion. People need to chill and relax.
First, she didn’t say anything negative (or nonexistent) about Lebanon. We have traffic. Life in Beirut is definitely hectic. The urban parts are noisy. Next time you want to complain about the noise, how about you stop honking your car every ten meters?
Second, just like every single Lebanese person likes to travel to relax, Congo might be her preferred destination of vacation. I’m pretty sure if her statement had been: “I think it’s kind of relaxing for me because Lebanon is kind of noisy… Yes, it’s very busy and the traffic is crazy there so I think when I go to France, it is kind of calm, peace and people over there they appreciate small things. I kind of enjoy it. I feel more at ease. It’s like relaxation time,” no one would be throwing a fit. A nonexistent comparison with France is more redeeming than a nonexistent with a third world African country, right?
Third, and finally, many Lebanese (more numerous to count) are drooling day and night about getting those coveted visas to all those “better” countries because “Lebanon sucks.” All you hear is them complaining left and right, ever single second of every day, about how horrible their life is in Lebanon, about how they feel unaccomplished, about how the beach regulations suck, about how our electricity keeps cutting, about how our internet is among the slowest in the world, etc…. None of us truly appreciate the little things about Lebanon that we all take for granted. None of us take our country seriously. And yet, when someone like Miss Lebanon makes a statement that is a VERY censored version of what all of you say among your friends, families, etc… you shout in angered protest. How about less hypocrisy and more self-control?
Yara Mikhael-Khoury is definitely not the best Miss Lebanon we had and she did mess up immensely at Miss Universe. But today is the time to cut her some slack. It has been a while, however, that a Miss Lebanon has caused so much upheaval. This is Yara’s reply to the critics regarding this incident.
For reference, you might want to check this post I wrote back in July, which keeps ringing true the more I hear about the ridiculous stuff Lebanese say about Lebanon.