Haifa Wehbe takes the ice bucket challenge

(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Despite Lebanon’s water crisis, more Lebanese celebrities took on the ALS ice bucket challenge this week, including pop icon Haifa Wehbe.

Others, like Nancy Ajram, said they would rather pass and instead support ALS by donating money.

“I would like to tell everyone who nominated me for the Ice Bucket Challenge to withdraw the nomination,” said Ajram. “I would rather donate instead, that way I’ll be relieved.”

The challenge began as a viral fundraising campaign by the ALS Association. Participants can either film themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads and pass on their nomination or instead donate to the organization.

So far, the campaign seems to be successful in raising funds with the ALS Association saying that as of Wednesday they had received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year.

Watch Haifa take the challenge:

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Elissa sparks controversy after bikini photo


(BEIRUT, LEBANON) – Lebanese pop star Elissa sparked controversy after posting a photograph of herself online in a bikini on Monday.elissa

The photo, which she published on her Instagram account, read: “Relaxing day #lebanon #fakra #elissa I need it.”

The post was met with mixed reactions by fans. Some asked Elissa to “please delete it.”

Others were pleased with the post, calling her “sexy and fit.”

The photograph, which has more than 21,000 likes was taken in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

Egyptian singer cancels Beirut concert

tamer-hosny(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Egyptian singer Tamer Hosni cancelled his August concert in Beirut, sources close to “Beirut Holidays” said.

Hosni and his promoters decided to cancel the August 23 concert because he is “uncomfortable performing in Lebanon and the whole region,” according to the source.

Concerts for Lebanese singer Elissa and French singer Garu will still go on as scheduled at the Beirut waterfront.

An-Nahar newspaper said Hosni’s concert was called off due to the ongoing security concerns in Lebanon, which has affected ticket sales.

LISTEN: Carole Samaha’s “Sahranine” a big success

(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Carole Samaha’s latest single, “Sahranine” stole the hearts of fans on the Anghami app and on YouTube.

Samaha released the song on the mobile app before sharing it on radio, TV, and on YouTube. Just one day after the song hit the app, it was ranked as one of the most heard songs.

Samaha reportedly wrote the song, which Mohamed Raheem composed.

The song was previously proposed to be included in Carole’s last album, but she decided to postpone it to a later date and release it as a single.

Assi Helani reschedules TV interview due to “instability”

(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Lebanese singer Assi Helani postponed an interview with Lebanese TV host Paula Ya’qoubian of Future TV due to “instability” in Lebanon, according to Helani’s media office.

Ya’qoubian, who hosts the show “With Paula”, was scheduled to air the interview on August 6.

Helani cancelled the interview due to unstable security conditions and the unfortunate conditions faced by the Lebanese army, referring to the ongoing clashes in Arsal.

The media release said Helani would reschedule the interview at a later time.

On August 4, Helani launched a new song titled “Leil El Watan” on his YouTube channel.

Watch below:

Alamuddin turns down UN offer to investigate Gaza war crimes

(GENEVA, SWITZERLAND) — George Clooney’s fiancee Amal Alamuddin has turned down an offer to join human rights experts in probing Israel’s Gaza offensive and investigating alleged human rights violations and war crimes in Gaza.

The United Nations offered the position as one of three top experts appointed to a commission by the UN Human Rights Council, which ordered the investigation last month.

“I am honored to have received the offer, but given existing commitments – including eight ongoing cases – unfortunately could not accept this role,” said Alamuddin. ‘I wish my colleagues who will serve on the commission courage and strength in their endeavors.”

Alamuddin went on to say she was horrified by the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip, particularly the civilian casualties that have been caused.

“I strongly believe that there should be an independent investigation and accountability for crimes that have been committed,” she said.

Alamuddin has previously worked with the international tribunal examining the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri and assisted ex-UN head Kofi Annan in efforts to make peace in Syria.

She is reportedly due to wed Clooney in September.

Clooney, Alamuddin to wed on September 20

(LONDON, ENGLAND) — Actor George Clooney and Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin will be married on September 20 of this year, said a public notice posted at the Chelsea Town Hall in London, England.

The notice announced the marriage of “Amal Ramzi Alamuddin,” 37, to “George Timothy Clooney,” 53, according to a photograph of the official document, which began circulating the Internet early Thursday. By law, a couple’s impending wedding must be displayed at the register for 16 days.

The document also confirms rumors that the Clooney and Alamuddin would be married in Italy, where Alamuddin recently held her bridal shower and where Clooney has a home on Lake Como.

Alamuddin, a Druze whose ancestors hail from Baaqlin, Lebanon, works with the Office of the Prosecutor for the Special Tribunal of Lebanon. Just last week, she launched a book with the American University of Beirut detailing the procedural dimensions of the court.

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt was quoted earlier this year welcoming the soon-to-be newlyweds to the country.

“Tell me when George Clooney will be coming to Lebanon so I can greet him in Mukhtara,” he wrote, referring to his home in the Chouf mountains. “I will bring a delegation of Druze sheikhs.”

Clooney attends Alamuddin cousin’s wedding in Italy

(CHIANTI, ITALY) — Actor George Clooney and his Lebanese fiancée Amal Alamuddin are back in the tabloids, this time after the human rights lawyer officiated at her cousin’s wedding in Chianti, Italy, last week.

U.S. magazines and international media reports published a photo Wednesday showing Clooney and Alamuddin posing with her cousin, Tarek Miknas, in a town near Florence after his wedding.

Wearing a long purple dress, the 36-year-old officiated the ceremony, which took place at Villa Mangiacane, a 15th century hotel built by the Machiavelli family located in the small town of San Casciano, according to US Magazine.

The Daily Mail has reported that the couple plan to wed Sept. 12 in a small Italian town as a way to avoid the media horde.

Clooney: Daily Mail “completely fabricated” story on Alamuddin’s mother

(LONDON, ENGLAND) — George Clooney scolded a British newspaper over a “completely fabricated” article claiming his fiancée’s mother disapproves of the impending marriage for religious reasons.

Baria_AlamuddinIn a statement, Clooney said Wednesday that the claims about his future mother-in-law, Baria Alamuddin, were untrue and irresponsible.

Beirut-born Alamuddin comes from a Druze family — adherents of a monotheistic religion based mainly in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.

The Daily Mail cited unnamed “friends” as saying Amal Alamuddin risked being “cast out of the community” because she was not marrying a Druze man. The newspaper said “several women have been murdered” for not abiding by strict Druze rules.

Clooney said in a statement that “none of the story is true. Amal’s mother is not Druze. She has not been to Beirut since Amal and I have been dating, and she is in no way against the marriage.”

According to sources close to the family, Clooney’s future mother-in-law is elated about the upcoming nuptials between her daughter and the actor.

“Baria is very happy and in seventh heaven,” the source says.

Walid Jumblatt, political leader of the Druze sect in Lebanon, told the Associated Press recently that he hoped the couple would soon visit the Druze heartland.

Clooney will bring us “great publicity,” Jumblatt said. “He can make a movie about the Druse sect.”

VIDEO: Highlights from Lebanese Festival Day in London


(LONDON, ENGLAND) — The Lebanese Festival day is an annual event held in London, England that creates awareness about the Lebanese culture, customs, and promoting Lebanese products, cuisine, and tourism.

View highlights below:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QrBzwN42Rg” width=”500″ height=”300″]

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