❊ Lebanese Minister Of Tourism Gives Women The Hummus Treatment

The Daily Star:

Tourism Minister Fadi Aboud said in the statement that his ministry will accept applications for Miss Lebanon throughout April 2011, in order to “ensure the competition’s high standards” and encourage participation in this national celebration.

The Minister wants to “ensure high standards” for the participants, probably by scrutinizing them in person to see if they “measure up”. It’s as if he’s trying on purpose to piss off Lebanese women and feminists.

Minister Abboud has been heavily criticized for selling Lebanon as a boobs-and-booz kind of place, most recently in a series of mediocre ads that effectively waste Lebanese taxpayer money.

But Mr. Abboud is no stranger to vulgar and superficial notions of what makes Lebanon special. After all, he’s the guy who came up with the ridiculous idea that making the world’s largest bowl of Hummus is somehow testimony to our superiority in making that dish.

Lebanese Hummus is special because it has a delicate, subtle flavor that took centuries of improving and perfecting. It is that quality that attracts the foodies to Lebanon, not the size of the dish.

But Mr. Abboud doesn’t do nuance, and it’s very unfortunate that a person with such dubai-esque sensibilities is the one in charge of promoting a place as rich and diverse as Lebanon. What’s even more unfortunate is that he’s using Lebanese women as Lebanon’s unique selling point.

→ Respond to this post On Twitter
  • http://jadaoun.com Jad Aoun

    It’s quite infuriating. Do we know if he’s likely to keep his job in the next government?

  • f

    Ok, ok, I probably deserve to get bashed for what I’m about to say, especially as I’m a woman myself. And I 100% agree that Abboud is promoting Lebanon in all the wrong ways, including the exploitation of its women.

    BUT… the standards really do need to be raised for Miss Lebanon… in recent years the contest seems to have become totally corrupt and more about wasta than the the women themselves. You can debate the merits of beauty pageants in the first place (they are hideously misogynistic), but if there’s going to be a Miss Lebanon contest at all I would like to see it become less of a sham.