Tourism Ministry will (try to) bring back ‘air of respectability’ to Miss Lebanon Pageant

Apparently, the Tourism Ministry thinks that the pageant hasn’t been “attracting the right girls under full LBC production rights.”

In an article titled, “Tourism Ministry will bring back ‘air of respectability’ to Miss Lebanon,” Simona Sikimic wrote,

“BEIRUT: The Miss Lebanon competition, an annual staple of the Lebanese Broadcasting Channel (LBC), will  move under greater control of the  Tourism Ministry in 2011 in a bid to clean up the pageant’s image.

The change, announced this week, has been introduced to ensure the competition reverts to being “a truly national one” and regains much of its long-lost respectability.

“Unfortunately, [Miss Lebanon] has become too commercial and is not attracting the right girls,” caretaker Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud told The Daily Star. “What we are trying to achieve now is to get the pageant back to its former glory and restore the glamor and prestige which used to be associated with the competition.

Rahaf Abdulla

Rahaf Abdulla - Miss Lebanon 2010

“The atmosphere has become for models, not for real girls, and most families are not OK for their daughters to enter the pageant,” he added.

Miss Lebanon has always operated under the patronage of the ministry, which awarded full production rights to LBC after the Civil War. The announced changes will not impact the station’s coverage, but should ensure that the ministry plays a more decisive role.

“LBC will keep the contract. This is something that I cannot change and I respect the sense of continuity,” Abboud said.

The station has publicly endorsed the move and pledged to work with the ministry to “turn around the event.”

Martine Andraous

Miss Lebanon 2009 - Martine Andraous

“[LBC] totally agrees with the minister that we should bring back the glamor to the event,” LBC said in a statement. They have also asked viewers to post suggestions via social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

However, the ministry is expected to dominate most aspects of jury and candidate selection, with the hope that with the government’s full and clear backing, hundreds of girls will apply, up from just 40 applicants in 2010. All interested parties are expected to submit applications directly to the ministry in April.

“It is especially important to make this a truly national competition because there are many critics that are trying to present Lebanon as a terrorist nation that is against beauty,” said Abboud. “But this is plainly not true. We have been a country of much beauty [natural and otherwise] for thousands of years.”

The framework of the competition will stay much the same, and the swimsuit part of the pageant will not be scrapped although higher value will be awarded to education.

A language requirement has also been introduced and 2011 hopefuls are expected to speak at least two languages fluently in addition to Arabic.”


So, the article asks for feedback from Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter, yet makes no mention of a Facebook page or @ handle to like/follow!  FAIL!..a basic search on both of these sites reveal that the Miss Lebanon Pageant has no official social media presence whatsoever.  They need to get on this, and ASAP.

Oh, and I can’t believe only 40 women entered last year!  That number is shockingly low for Lebanon, no?

And whoever thinks Lebanon is a “terrorist nation against beauty,” as so eloquently put by Tourism Minster Fadi Abboud, obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about!

If I was Rahaf, I would be soooo insulted that the Ministry issued this statement after my reign!  Poor girl!


Anyway, I know at least one person who will be happy to hear that the Tourism Ministry will be (trying to) bring back an ‘air of respectability’ to the Miss Lebanon pageant.

Nia Soul from the blog, Beirut Beauty.


Photo from Nia Soul's post "The Votes Have Been Tallied: Rahaf Abdulla is Fug-nasty!" with the authors addition of certain "props." Rahaf Abdulla was Miss Lebanon 2010.

In her post titled, “The Votes Have Been Tallied: Rahaf Abdulla is Fug-nasty!” Nia had this to say,

“Dear BeirutBeauty readers,

I have stayed awake countless nights pondering the issue of Rahaf Abdulla and her crowing of Miss Lebanon 2010.

Is she really THEE most beautiful woman in Lebanon? Highly doubtful.

No offence to those who think she is a decent winner, but this girl is FUGGALICIOUS and I am not the only one who believes this. Google her name and you will find many bloggers like me who were shocked by her win.

I understand that Lebanon has an impossibly high standard of beauty that no woman can actually live up to. But impossible standards of beauty are the cornerstone of beauty pageants. We want to see hot women walking around the stage. We like to make fun of the ugly ones and envy the hot ones. It’s the sole reason we even watch that shit.

To say that Rahaf Abdulla represents Lebanese beauty is false.

How is this woman supposed to compete with other beauty queens in Miss Universe? She won’t make it past the first round!

Is it too much for us to ask that an incredibly hot woman be Miss Lebanon so she could have a chance to win Miss Universe so we can all celebrate her back home and have some national pride like we did with Rima Fakih?

Who were the Miss Lebanon judges this year? They need to be fired, with a quickness! Because they did not do a good job. It seems like all the female judges kicked out all the pretty contestants for some weird reason.



Nia Soul

PS. That is not a penis… It’s a penis-shaped lollipop which we sell here on BeirutBeauty! Contact Moi for further details.”

What do you think about the Miss Lebanon pageant?  Is a language requirement  enough to bring back an ‘air of respectability’ to the pageant?  Is the Tourism Ministry up to the challenge?  Especially after The Lebanon Blues debacle?



Filed under life in Lebanon

9 responses to “Tourism Ministry will (try to) bring back ‘air of respectability’ to Miss Lebanon Pageant

  1. Robin

    The Miss Lebanon beauty pageant is a joke, and it stinks with WASTA like everything else here.

  2. Robin

    Try walking in shorts and a tshirt on the corniche in the middle of the day ==> So many disgusting comments and sick, perverted stares. An experience never ever to be repeated again. So marching in front of the whole country wearing just a bikini? I wouldn’t do that in this society and I’m sure a lot of other girls think like me.
    As for the competition being backed by the ministry of tourism, I’mnot sure how this will change anything. After all, the minister Fadi Abboud was the one behind the Lebanon Blues ad selling women’s bodies as Lebanon’s number one asset.

  3. They should start by defining respectability… I can’t imagine how it could actually turn a Miss-anything pageant into something respectable *sorry* It’s obviously all commercial, and guess what, it is intended to be.

  4. I really hope it works, because for the past few years most girls in the show are truly not-that-beautiful and you can easily get dozens more beautiful girls with one simple trip down the street… the IQ isn’t being taken into account, alot of the girls can’t answer a straight Question and the few that do, never make it. It’s sad.
    The land of beauty, feels more like the land of legally blonde.

  5. I’ll make a prediction: There will be less than 40 applicants this year.
    I’ll make another prediction: The “fluently” rule of the language requirement will be bent … badly.

    I disagree with Mr Abboud on one thing though. What the Miss Lebanon pageant needs is more model-like girls, and less really rich whose daddy will pay for the “wasta” or straight out bimbos. Mr Abboud seems to equate models with bimbos apparently..

    I’m not sure what kinda career future Miss Lebanon offers its contestants (besides “make daddy proud” obviously), but it is often the case that these pageants are a doorway to modelling to girls around the world. There’s a Venn diagram to be drawn here, with one circle containing the women Mr Abboud in interested in having in the pageant (beautiful educated women who don’t want to be models), and another with the women who want to be in the pageant. I’m pretty sure the two circles are miles away from each other.

    As for the current Miss Lebanon, she must be flattered out of her crown right about now, being described as a lower quality queen and whatnot..

  6. Youssef Chaker

    I had never heard of the two *winners* whose pictures are posted above until you mentioned them. And I don’t expect to hear about the next few either. There was a time when Lebanon and the Lebanese respected themselves. There was a time when a Lebanese women in a bathing suite could command respectability. That all went down the drain with the house-maid-raised generation. That is not a shot at the house made, they probably bring more respectabilities to the homes they serve than their *employers*. But the absence of a mother to teach her kids the value of a women and the respect they deserve creates the base for situations like what was mentioned in the comment above by Robin.


    I’m sorry, I had to take a break there and go back to that picture. I am not one to judge people on looks. But I can’t stop staring at Rahaf Abdulla’s picture. I’m hoping that maybe if I stare long enough I would find one little good feature, but no…

    Anyway, the “two languages fluently in addition to Arabic” part seems odd to me. I know we all boast about the Lebanese and their ability to speak 3 languages fluently. But that is not completely accurate. Some Lebanese do, but not all. There are those who go to english schools in Lebanon where french is not a strong suit. As well as those who go to international schools (like ACS for example) where the curriculum follows more closely that of the US. So by introducing the language restriction, the ministry is actually discriminating against highly educated and well qualified potential contestants.

    … just my two cents…

  7. Joseph

    I’ve seen hotter women at spinneys dbayeh on a friday night doing their shopping than the above ‘winners’

  8. Here’s what I do know. 1. Beauty pageants worldwide face the challenge of being traditional “beauty” pageants and transforming their image to respect the role of a modern young woman and Lebanon is no exception. 2. Wikipedia says “Miss Lebanon is the only national beauty contest that awards prizes worth more than one million US dollars to its winners.” I’d say that’s a pretty respectable prize for a talented and determined young lady. 3. If Nia Soul’s vulgar rant and disgusting drawing over the photo of last year’s Miss Lebanon winner is an example of what we can expect from social media then the Ministry and LBC might want to seriously consider the benefit of engaging social media. Her rant and her so called “lollipop” was an embarrassment and a waste of cyberspace. (Nia Soul also had this to say in reference to the new Miss Lebanon- “A lot of people keep saying that Miz Rahaf here looks more Syrian than Lebanese. She is really white with dark features which are typical of Syrian women but I don’t see it.”and this little gem- “She looks likable, doesn’t she? Lebanese women typically have this evil look on their faces whenever they’re in public. This girl looks approachable.” In these two quotes taken directly from her blog, she slams Syrian and Lebanese women.) 4. I find it a bit odd that that anyone could criticize the appearance of Miss Lebanon, while criticizing the women who surgically enhance their appearance, while still calling themselves pro-women. 5. Social media is not a license to be rude, crude and socially unacceptable.


    The Beirut Beauty pic is sooooo perez hilton hahahahahahahhaha

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