Examiner Staff

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Lebanese teen wins Amal Clooney Scholarship to study abroad in Armenia

A Lebanese teen was awarded the Amal Clooney Scholarship, and will participate in a two-year international baccalaureate program in Armenia, Reuters reported.

Kamar Omary, 16, is the fourth Lebanese teen to receive the prestigious scholarship set up by Lebanese-British human rights attorney Amal Clooney.

The scholarship aims to promote cross-cultural education and social and philanthropic projects, according to a news release.

Omary will study at UWC Dilijan College in Armenia. (UWC Dilijan)
Omary will study at UWC Dilijan College in Armenia. (UWC Dilijan)

“This scholarship (gives) young women from Lebanon the opportunity of a lifetime,” Amal Clooney said. “Cross-cultural learning and studying abroad can be transformative.”

Omary will head to the UWC Dilijan College in Dilijan, Armenia for the two-year program. She told Reuters she wants to join in a nationwide effort to combat child marriage and marital rape in Lebanon.

“We need a minimum age for marriage and marital rape should be criminalized,” Omary told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Sexism and abuse of women and children is still widespread. Women are stigmatized. They are generally seen as weaker than men and we need change.”

Omary also wants to follow in Clooney’s footsteps and help people in need, she added.

“Every single person deserves education, health and security, and most refugees don’t get that here. That is very unfair,” Omary said. “I want to connect with people and listen to them – that is how you trigger change and that is what Amal does. She listens to the people and defends them.”

The scholarship winner is chosen annually based on academic performance and interest in the promotion of human rights and international issues.

Avocado bar set to open in Beirut, will be first in Lebanon

Avocado lovers will soon have a spot in Beirut to satisfy their next avo-craving!

L’AVO is planning to open in the Achrafieh district of Beirut on Charles Malek Avenue. An opening date has not yet been set.

L’AVO has already teased a few of their planned menu items on Instagram:

Avocado kale salad

Avocado bowls 

Avocado-beetroot toast

Trendy avocado bars appear to be popping up around the world — and the concepts are Instagram gold!

The bars feature an all-avocado menu with avocado toasts, salads, bowls and beverages, among others.

L'AVO has not yet announced an opening date. (Instagram/L'AVO)
L’AVO has not yet announced an opening date. (Instagram/L’AVO)

L’AVO founders said the concept started as an idea between two childhood friends.

“L’AVO gives you all the avocado satisfactions you seek by offering everything ranging from toasts and salad bowls, to smoothies and desserts,” an Instagram post said. “Something to satisfy all your taste buds whether it’s the sweet or sour ones.”

See incredible photos inside the Mikati family mega-yacht

The Lebanese Mikati family own one of the most prestigious mega-yachts in the world, according to Forbes Magazine.

Chopi Chopi is a 262-foot yacht currently docked in southeastern France.

The beauty is valued at over $100 million, and features more than 20 cabins and luxurious space for 12 overnight guests and 33 crew members.

Chopi Chopi was built in Ancona, a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy. (CRN Yachts)
Chopi Chopi was built in Ancona, a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy. (CRN Yachts)

According to its builder CRN Yachts, Chopi Chopi is owned by former Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his brother Taha Mikati, who together own the Beirut-based holding company M1 Group.

VIDEO: Inside Chopi Chopi, one of the largest yachts ever built in Europe:

The brothers have a net worth of nearly $2.5 billion, and have investments in South African telecom firm MTN, fashion retailer Pepe Jeans and prime real estate in New York, London and Monaco, according to Forbes.

The mega-yacht is the largest built by CRN Yachts in its over 50-year history. (CRN Yachts)
The mega-yacht is the largest built by CRN Yachts in its over 50-year history. (CRN Yachts)

The brothers also founded Investcom in 1982, and sold satellite phones at the height of Lebanon’s civil war.

Chopi Chopi features an entire deck for the owner. (CRN Yachts)
Chopi Chopi features an entire deck for the owner. (CRN Yachts)

Chopi Chopi is the largest mega-yacht ever built by the Italian-owned CRN Yachts company.

See virtual map of Chopi Chopi docked at Port Hercules:

Actress, model Jamie Gray Hyder takes pride in Lebanese upbringing

Lebanese American actress and model Jamie Gray Hyder is best known for her role as Lt. Nora Salter — a Lebanese character — in the video game Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

In an interview with Lebanese Examiner, Gray Hyder talked about her Lebanese upbringing, and her successful career in television, movies and video games.

Jamie Gray Hyder plays a Lebanese character in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. (Facebook/Jamie Gray Hyder)
Jamie Gray Hyder plays a Lebanese character in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. (Facebook/Jamie Gray Hyder)

How did you get started in movies, TV and voice acting?

I have been performing on stage since I was very young, and was a classically trained singer for many years. After getting my degree in Theatre and Film Studies, I moved to Los Angeles and began working in film, TV, and video games.

How has the Lebanese culture and upbringing influenced your success?

My Lebanese father has always instilled a good work ethic in me. He has also promoted the idea of balance, meaning work some, play some, which I think has contributed greatly. The Lebanese culture appreciates good food and drinks, which has always fueled my love of food. I was the only 9 year old I knew eating kibbeh nayeh!

RELATED: Actress Shannon Elizabeth: I’m proud of the Lebanese side of my life

Did either of these have any influence in accepting your role in Call of Duty?

When given the opportunity to represent my Lebanese roots as Lt Salter, I was so excited! There aren’t many roles written for Middle Eastern actresses, so I jumped at the chance. I think it’s important to represent well-rounded characters with diverse life experience, and to move away from archetypes and caricatures.

What are some current or future projects that your fans can look forward to?

I am currently doing the voice for the character Zethrid, in the Dreamworks animated series Voltron (you can find it on Netflix!). Voicing animated characters is one of my favorite types of work to do! You get the chance to play characters very different from yourself, which is always fun.

What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of the entertainment industry?

I love to eat and drink and cook anything and everything I can get my hands on. I grew up eating my sittoo’s hummus, tabouleh, baklava, rice, you name it. I have always had a healthy appetite. That goes hand in hand with my love of travel. I went to Japan earlier this year, and I was in food paradise! A food tour of Lebanon is next on my list.

Celine Dion wears power suit by Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz

Iconic singer Celine Dion wore a bright yellow power suit by Lebanese fashion designer Rabih Kayrouz during a visit to Southeast Asia.

The Canadian songstress posed for an Instagram photo while sitting on the edge of a window in Bangkok, Thailand.

Dion was in the country as part of her 2018 tour in seven cities across the Asia-Pacific region.

In an Instagram post, Dion said her power suit was designed by fashion house Maison Rabih Kayrouz, which was established in Paris in 2008.

Dion also recognized the other designers in the Instagram post, including her Prada shoes and earrings, Chloe sunglasses and Jennifer Fisher earrings.

Celine Dion wore a yellow power suit made by a Lebanese designer during a visit to Thailand. (Instagram/Celine Dion)
Celine Dion wore a yellow power suit made by a Lebanese designer during a visit to Thailand. (Instagram/Celine Dion)

Designer Rabih Kayrouz was born in Lebanon and immigrated to Paris to study at a well-known fashion school in Paris. He returned to Lebanon and specialized in designing evening gowns and wedding dresses.

In 2015, Kayrouz moved back to Paris to open his own design house, which is located at 38 Boulevard Raspail in Downtown Paris.

Lebanese café to open at Detroit Metropolitan Airport

A Lebanese café will be one of 15 new food and beverage concepts at the North Terminal at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, officials announced.

Anita’s Kitchen, a popular Lebanese restaurant in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, is expected to open its airport concession by the spring of 2019.

In a news release, the Wayne County Airport Authority Board announced it awarded 10-year contracts to four concessionaires — one of which will operate the Lebanese café.

According to its website, Anita’s Kitchen serves a smorgasbord of hot and cold mezza, salads and signature pita sandwiches such as shawarma, kafta and kabobs.

Anita's Kitchen is located in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, Michigan. (Facebook/Anita's Kitchen)
Anita’s Kitchen is located in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, Michigan. (Facebook/Anita’s Kitchen)

“The concessionaires were selected after a rigorous evaluation process,” said Chad Newton, interim CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority. “We’re confident they will deliver a world-class dining experience for our customers.”

Other food options in the North Terminal are expected to include Air Margaritaville, Brioche Dorée, Cantoro Italian Market Trattoria, among others. Many of the concepts are based in Detroit.

The airport said multiple other concessions will be included in the project. (Photos provided/Detroit Metropolitan Airport)
The airport said multiple other concessions will be included in the project. (Photos provided/Detroit Metropolitan Airport)

“Most of the North Terminal’s passengers are local residents or visitors to our area; they’re not connecting in Detroit to fly to other cities,” said Greg Hatcher, concessions director for the Airport Authority. “When they’re in our terminal, we believe passengers will enjoy seeing local brands they love and those that pique their interest.”

The Detroit Metropolitan Airport welcomed nearly 35 million passengers in 2017 with services from 14 scheduled passenger airlines and 1,100 flights per day, according to a news release.

PHOTOS: Best snapshots from iconic Jounieh fireworks display!

A group of photographers are being recognized for taking the best photos of the iconic fireworks display in the coastal city of Jounieh, Lebanon.

The fireworks celebrate the Jounieh International Festival, which aims to highlight the Mediterranean coastline.

The festival committee shared photos of the winners on Facebook. The winners are:

1st place: Bachir Mouawad

Bachir Mouawad won first place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Bachir Mouawad won first place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

2nd place: Georges Samaha

Georges Samaha won second place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Georges Samaha won second place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

3rd place: Georges Hanna

Georges Hanna won third place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Georges Hanna won third place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

4th place: Carine Assaf

Carine Assaf won fourth place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Carine Assaf won fourth place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

5th place: Jean Daoud

Jean Daoud won fifth place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)
Jean Daoud won fifth place in the Jounieh fireworks photo contest. (Jounieh International Fireworks)

VIDEO: Luciana Zogbi combines four trending songs in beautiful mashup!

Lebanese-Brazilian singer Luciana Zogbi combined four trending songs from the Billboard Hot 100 list on a beautiful mashup video posted on YouTube.

The singer included the songs:

  • Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” featuring Cardi B
  • Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood”
  • Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss”
  • Post Malone’s “Better Now”

WATCH: Luciana Zogbi combines four trending songs in beautiful mashup!

The independent multilingual singer shot to fame in 2014 after her cover of John Legend’s “All of Me” went viral, garnering more than 76 million views worldwide.

Zogbi has nearly 200 million combined video views on YouTube, and 1.8 million subscribers.

Lebanese-Brazilian singer Luciana Zogbi is known for her YouTube channel, which has more than 200 million total video views. (Facebook/Luciana Zogbi)
Lebanese-Brazilian singer Luciana Zogbi is known for her YouTube channel, which has more than 200 million total video views. (Facebook/Luciana Zogbi)

RELATED: WATCH: Lebanese-Brazilian singer back with amazing mashup!

She most recently explored a mashup with lyrics from Havana, Mi Gna, Mi Gente, New Rules, Strip That Down and IDGAF.

Vote for this Lebanese-Canadian beauty for Miss Universe Canada!

A Lebanese-Canadian beauty is competing in the Miss Universe Canada competition on Aug. 18 in Toronto.

Rita Houkayem is one of 46 contestants hoping to clinch the Miss Universe Canada title, and move on to the global Miss Universe Pageant.

Lebanese-Canadian beauty Rita Houkayem is one of 46 contestants hoping to become Miss Universe Canada. (Facebook/Rita Houkayem)
Lebanese-Canadian beauty Rita Houkayem is one of 46 contestants hoping to become Miss Universe Canada. (Facebook/Rita Houkayem)

Houkayem, who speaks four languages, holds a master’s degree in International Affairs. She works as a policy analyst for the Canadian government, where she focuses on information and communications technologies.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Height: 5’9
  • Hometown: Toronto, ON
  • Languages: English, French, Arabic, Spanish
  • Occupation: Public Servant

In an interview with Miss Universe Canada, Houkayem expressed pride in her Lebanese roots.

“I have also visited Lebanon numerous times and have fallen in love with it after every trip. It is one of the most intriguing places in the world as it has experienced centuries of conquest and turmoil but remains as one of the most vibrant places. Fun fact, it is the home of the Phoenicians, the civilization that created the foundation for the modern Alphabet and is characterized by charming ancient cities such as Byblos, which is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. To me, this little country conveys a message of hope and resiliency to the world, inhabiting people from eighteen different religious sects, coexisting peacefully despite all their differences.”

In the future, Houkayem hopes to become an international leader in education and development, and a UN ambassador for youth and women.

VOTE HERE: Rita Houkayem for Miss Universe Canada.

Subscription box company launches products for Lebanon lovers

A subscription box company created to promote Lebanese culture has launched new boxes perfect for any lover of Lebanon.

The ‘Koullouna‘ concept aims to connect Lebanese expats with local products that celebrate Lebanese culture, tastes, smells and sounds.

According to its website, Koullouna sends surprise themed boxes to a subscriber’s doorstep every month.

The boxes can include:

day3a box 1

The Day3a box

  • Dark chocolate by Eshmoon
  • Strawberry and rose petal jam by Mymoune
  • Sumac by Adonis Valley
  • Amareddine by Al-Rifai
  • Wild thyme by Shams Permaculture
  • A pillowcase by Art7ake
  • A postcard designed by Hoda Adra

jam3a box 1

The Jam3a box

  • A bottle of Almaza
  • Two coasters by Images d’Orient
  • A bag of nuts from Castania
  • A bowl for your nuts by Verdi
  • Zaatar crackers and other nibbles by Rural Delights Cooperative
  • A tote bag by Inoui

sobhiyeh box 1

The Sobhiyeh box

  • 3 healthy bars from Freekeh Bites
  • A Labneh bag from IRAP
  • 2 coffee cups made with recycled glass by GGRIL
  • A pack of Zaatar by The Good Thymes
  • A jar of honey by Miel Du Levant
  • A pack of Coffee by Cafe Najjar
  • A postcard by Mimo Quirks

kankaneh box 1

The Kankaneh box

  • A pair of socks by Sikasok
  • The book “L’Etoile Phoenicienne” by Tania Bonja Honein
  • A bookmark by L’Artisan du Liban
  • A suitcase tag by 10452 DNA
  • A soap by the Soap Museum in Saida
  • A pack of Anis seeds by Abido spices
  • A postcard designed by Cindy Daccache

The subscription cost is about 39 euros, or $45 per month.

Koullouna also has gift options available on their website.

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