Beirut is more than boobs and Botox (a response to David J Constable)

D J Constable: Is he wearing any trousers?

So summer is here again and with it comes the annual influx of derogatory, poorly researched articles by western ‘journalists’ doing their best to pick out the worst parts of Beirut culture after a quick holiday visiting a couple of nightclubs.

Last year CNN made a brave expedition through the jungle of Beirut’s rooftop bars, encouraging the world to think that the city was populated entirely by sparkling idiots who couldn’t care about tomorrow as long as the champagne was flowing and the iPhone still had enough battery to film the dead look in everyone’s eyes.

This year the Huffington Post have gone one step further, with a piece by David J Constable claiming that

Beirut has now overtaken both LA and Miami as the plastic surgery capital of the world.’ 

Unfortunately, David neglects to inform us exactly where he sourced this data from, and if he did manage to bump into a medical statistician armed with a verifiable set of figures in either of the two shit clubs he visited he must have forgotten to add it to the article.

And that was not the only piece of data he forgot to reference. With such gems as

Muslim, Christian and Druze women in Beirut dress surprisingly skimpy’


the women look like Cleopatra, with a dark natural beauty’

it seems that it was not a guidebook but his own penis that led him around the city.

Well if the Huffington Post can employ a pervert to make wild unsubstantiated claims Beirut Beat can go one better. If Beirut is the plastic surgery capital of the world it is also a few other things too.


Beirut is design capital of the world

Beirut Design Week 2012

As last month’s Design Week showed, Beirut has more talented designers, artists and creative thinkers than any other city in the world, possibly the universe.

From workshops and talks with renowned fashion designers…

Johnny Farah workshop by Ghannouj

non-profit fashion houses

Creative Space Beirut Workshop

Arabic type-inspired furniture designers

Kashida: Product design inspired by Arabic typography

independent graphic designers

Maajoun: Independent graphic designers

renowned design educators and award winning film makers, the city embraced its design heritage and celebrated the rich culture of a very Middle Eastern art.

NB: Boob design does not qualify as design.

Beirut is the electronic music capital of the world

Per capita, there is more ground breaking electronic musicians in Beirut than any other city in the history mankind.

With musical outfits such as Beirut Groove Collective and Acousmatik system

Acousmatiksystem: They love owls…

and song-writing performers including Munma

Munma aka Jawad Nawfal

Tarek Attoui and Jad Atoui

Jad Atoui

not to mention Dj’s Lethal Skillz and DJ Spindle

or hip hoppers Fareeq El Atrash

Edd Abbas of FareeQ el Atrash

and Toufaar (who are from Bekaa but they deserve a mention for being amazing), there is enough new music coming from Beirut to give your ipod a heart attack.

NB: You may see many people with unusually large smiles at concerts and parties but trust me, it is not Botox.

Beirut is the western journalist capital of the world.

The journalists spot a mini skirt

At the last estimate there were approximately 17 million western journalists in Beirut. Building nests in 5 star hotels wearing their best Jesus sandals and tattered baseball caps, they crawl around every conceivable public space, interviewing people about ‘issues’ and trying to twist your every word into a political dialogue about refugees or Iran.

I once sneezed when walking down the street and the next day found out it had been translated into a double page article about Gaza. The only way to avoid them is to stay away from rooftop bars. You heard it here first people.

(ps Sorry Bobby Fisk I wasn’t talking about you).

(pps There are loads of other great bands I didn’t mention, this article pretty much covers them all)

13 responses to “Beirut is more than boobs and Botox (a response to David J Constable)

  1. Love the positive look :)

  2. Just wondering where you sourced your data in your rebuttal piece to that of D.J Constable.
    -Beirut is design capital of the world!!!
    -Beirut is the electronic music capital of the world!!!
    -Beirut is the western journalist capital of the world!!!

    You piece is also a bit on the exaggeration side.

  3. Hey Zu – you can find all the data you need here

    Thanks dessinemoiunoeil, I thought it was time to look on the bright side for once :)

  4. Thanks. Now that’s funny -:)

  5. Hehe :)

    In all seriousness though, there is an absurd amount of talent in such a small city. If Soap Kills had come out in the UK they would be as famous as Portishead. The design scene is throbbing too, there is a lot of stuff that simply doesn’t get recognised…

  6. wanted to thank you for referencing my article. even though i am technically a western journalist – it took 6 years to write. for more about beirut’s underground music/art scene (shameless self-promotion), check out my blog ‘Beats and Breath’ ( – keep up the unverified satire

  7. Dear Beirut Beats,
    Where do I begin. For the past few months my facebook newsfeed and twitter feed have been full of negative criticisms and complaints about Beirut whether it’s about the city’s so called “backwardness” or the current political situation. To finally open my FB account and find your blog post is literally a breathe of fresh air. I’m not saying our city doesn’t have it faults, all cities do, but the amount of talent whether creatively or academically that has emerged and been created these past few years is mind-boggling and so many of us fail to realize the prospects and potential that this city has. It’s always good know that there are fellow believers out there and It’s people like you that are going to end up changing this city for the good.

  8. Jackson- Shameless promotion is fine, I owe you for the pics

    Dina- Glad to make you smile.

  9. Pingback: Beirut is more than boobs and Botox - Blog Baladi

  10. Amen to that ! Thank you for presenting the correct perspective so vigorously.

    Id like to add that we’re also doing very well in the technology realm. Lebanese entrepreneurial efforts are blossoming (check out Cinemoz, Yamli, Woopra, etc .. ), start up accelerators are in momentum (Seeqnce, Karaj, YallaStarup, Berytech) and our yearly technology summits are fully packed & expanding (ArabNet, etc…).

    The funny thing is that I head to Capitole every week and meet with work buddies to have a few drinks and enjoy the music. I wonder if David Constable saw the girls with us as victims of “blow-me-up operations”; and the boys as the actual surgeons.
    What a load of cr*p !

  11. Thank you. That is all.

  12. Pingback: Patrick Galey

  13. Very interesting article @Beirut Beats im half a year late in reading this one but every word still stands out..

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