Leila’s Down The Road

As you might know already, my absence is a reflection of loads of work.

I’ve been working real hard on this “surprise project” I’ve been keeping from all of you.

Following the London Grammar gig, Vincenti’s wife called me up, announcing she needs me on her project.
So I’ll be doing this one with Clapping Hands at the Casino du Liban in February: The Sound Of Music.
If you’re a fan of musicals, the movie, or just music… there are nine shows in February for this great musical from the UK.

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Apart from that, I met up with Mashrou’ Leila’s manager, Karim, and they’re testing me out in their upcoming tour this November. If it works out well, that will be my door to the roadies, as they call them. It was the next step for me, something I’ve been searching for, for at least a year. And well, it’s here. Let’s hope I don’t screw it up so I’ll get more to come. The team is nice, respectful and focused. My kind of “colleagues”, it’s a good start.

Finally, we shot a campaign with some friends for 4 a Cause. It’s a different approach to raise awareness about our local causes, given that we’ve only focused these last two years on events.

photo 1  photo 2

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Why Michelle Ghoussoub and some were the ones who actually missed the point.

It is sad when reporters or articles get published without proper documentation first. With them out there, there are a lot of people that agree just because they liked agreeing with something.

Thank you Michelle for repeating EVERYTHING the campaign has already said about why “I am not naked” raises the ridiculous issue to promote the important ones.
The bigger irony is that you missed the point of the campaign completely!

Before this campaign, Manal Assi was not known and no one even gave it importance that it deserved that a woman was beaten to death by her husband, when he’s walking free now. Thank you also for finding the time to creating an “against violence” campaign. Ah wait, you didn’t… my bad.

Than you for saying that they’re doing it for their own satisfaction, for a pat on the back.

Three people on the I Am Not Naked campaign actually work with different causes and charities, going from helping people with Down Syndrome, cancerous kids, clown doctors, homeless people, feeding the poor, associations about AIDS awareness, and many more.

Also thank you for predicting the future about justice for Manal Assi and letting us know that it will never be served for either her or the other 24 women.
And thank you for wanting to fight with us for women’s rights (but you didn’t know that as I have carefully read your article…)

As the people behind it also said, Jackie should’ve had support and recognition before the pictures. But sadly she didn’t, because the Lebanese people just waited for her boobs to remember that we have two athletes representing us in Sochi.

You can also apologize to Nemer for telling us that he called the people behind this stupid and dumb. You misunderstood apparently. He disagreed with the people posting on instagram their abs and such using the hashtag to get likes. [misunderstanding fixed after a phone call]

The sad truth is that the people criticizing this campaign expected the team to change the issues needing change in less than a week.

This is day 3 and we’ve made some noise. The next step is on the way, we cannot cross the finish line while we’re still at the beginning.

The Kony campaign did die unfortunately, but how about the Trevor project which actually made a change and is still running for a better world in their country (and worldwide)? We would have rather you focus on positive than negative. I really hope you will be joining us when we launch our more serious campaign to fight for change instead of complaining online.

We also want to thank you for your twitter account, so we can pat you on the back and you can get satisfaction out of writing an article many have agreed to.

I Am Not Naked Campaign

Jackie Chamoun, 22 year old Lebanese Olympian skier, participated in a semi-nude photoshoot three years ago. The “making of” got out at the beginning of this week and caused a scandal among stone age media and minister Karami. Lebanon was outraged, they started stripping for Jackie!

At around 4pm on tuesday, I called up two friends of mine:
Carl Halal (photographer/animator/illustrator) and Mohamad Abdouni (art director/FIM2P editor) and told them I wanted to shoot naked people for Lebanon. Carl called up photographer Tarek Moukaddem and he was instantly supportive and offered us his talent, time and studio! We were now the I’m Not Naked Team.

For all those who know me, know that it was never and never will be about the body and the nudity, it was about the message. I never got how so many people complain but few of them do.
But as we saw that the #stripforjackie Cyrill Reaidy launched, was already spreading, we thought it was not logical to create a new one. And so we added that cause to our message!

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This is not about the pictures we’re spreading.
It’s about Manal Assi & Roula Yaacoub beaten to death by their husbands (who now walk free).
It’s about a minister who’s worried about a beautiful model/athlete ruining Lebanon’s reputation, and that same minister who refused to sign that petition against domestic violence!
It’s about Jean Assi being arrested and thrown in jail for two months for tweeting about the president!
It’s about women being murdered and men getting away with it because they were crimes of honor.
It’s about the Lebanese Army not getting enough attention and recognition for arresting a suicide bomber and getting him to disclose information about two cars that were about to go off!

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We’re stripping to get your attention. And we did.
We could’ve done it in a completely other way, but so many have tried for a lot of years and things didn’t change. We saw what Jackie’s body did to you, so we tried with our own.
Some of you didn’t understand, families cried or shouted. Others were outraged that we were a disgrace. Some even told us, instead of stripping, go help these women.
We are, in our way. What are you doing?

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Paris, London, Brussels, NYC, Boston, and many more are joining our cause. It’s not about us. It’s about all of you. We’re all Jackies.
It can be about Lebanon, but we are starting to think that it is now about the youth, since we’re getting international support. They’re all shocked of how a 22 year old was attacked for being a model, and not praised for being an athlete.

I think enough was said about the matter. Mohamad has even said it better, I now urge you all “Jackie supporters” to support her by watching her perform on the 21st. If we can gather around for the world cup, we can gather for her race and thank her for being the drop that mattered and woke us up about all the other issues that need to be addressed!

Before the campaign, I have seen 3 of my friends sharing the Manal Assi story. After the campaign, my news feed is flooded with Manal Assi, Roula Yaacoub and Jean Assi’s pictures and articles. I think the point has been made!

Keep Calm They Say…

I think few of us know the story behind the Keep Calm campaign.
During World War II, the queen ordered to print three kinds of posters to hit the streets in case the Germans were taking over. These posters were to calm the population down in case this horrible event happened.
But it never did and these posters just ate dust over the years until they were discovered and the one “Keep Calm and Carry On” made it out in an old library, and made it to the TOP of the most popular posters in the World.

I also think after having lived in Beirut for more than 24 years, that poster is to be used every month in Beirut. It has never been more appropriate to people than it was in Beirut.

Regardless this whole story and concept, the boss coincidentally asked to do that kind of poster for the Creamfields Beirut 2013 campaign.

So we hit the streets.

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