Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Attack of the 50-Foot Natalie Portman?

February 22, 2012

This post first appeared on The Shmooze blog at the Forward.

Natalie Portman is big everywhere in the world, including in Beirut, Lebanon, where she appears on a 50-foot billboard for Dior cosmetics. But not everyone is a fan.

Algemeiner reports that anti-Israeli Lebanese bloggers are complaining about the actress’s image in their capital city. “Since each contact or with an Israeli occupation in Lebanon is considered a crime, you do not think hanging a poster size of 15 meters with the Zionist Jerusalem is illegal?,” suggested one blogger. He was referring to Portman having been born in Jerusalem (as Natalie Hershlag) and to her public stance in defense of Israel and against anti-Semitism.

Click here to read more.

© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

The Secrets Of The Hummus Masters

September 6, 2011

This piece first appeared as “Hummus – The Devil’s in the Measurements” on The Jew and the Carrot blog of the Forward. 

“Everyone thinks they make it the best,” is what Abdul Lama said as he stood at the cash register under a portrait of Jordan’s King Abdullah and Queen Rania in his Mediterranean Wraps restaurant on California Avenue in Palo Alto, California. Lama was speaking of hummus, and it appears that his statement is correct — at least from the bit of research I did among the professional authentic hummus makers here in Silicon Valley.

“There’s only one way to make hummus,” Lama’s business partner Abraham Khalil told me emphatically as I sat with him at a table at Mediterranean Wraps’ second location, on busy University Avenue near the gates to Stanford University. The frustrating thing was that he was only willing to go so far in revealing just how he specifically makes his popular hummus.

Click here to read more.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Gyrating To The Beat Of Peace

July 29, 2011

This post was first published as “Lebanese Belly Dancer Can’t Go Home Again” on The Arty Semite blog of the Forward.

Johanna Farkhry and Kobi Farhi

Lebanese-French belly dancer Johanna Fakhry has gyrated herself into some big trouble with her homeland. She has been barred from returning to Lebanaon following an appearance last month at Hellfest, an outdoor music festival in France, with the Israeli metal band Orphaned Land.

The Jerusalem Post reports that it was Fakhry’s idea to dance onstage with the Israeli musicians, and to hold up the Lebanese and Israeli flags side by side in a gesture of peace and brotherhood (though the Israeli one happened to have been much larger). Orphan Land’s lead singer Kobi Farhi was pleased to join forces with the belly dancer after she contacted him through Facebook. However, he warned her of his concern for her reputation and safety should she appear with the band, and especially should they wave their national banners together. Lebanon has technically been in a state of war with Israel since 1948.

Click here to read more and view the video from Hellfest.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved


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