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Nur Turkmani 13 Aug 2014

Five Lebanese Men (Dead or Alive) I’d Like to Have Lunch With

Maybe it’s their looks (or rather, their beards), their character or their contributions, but they’ve definitely got something going on for them.

1. Emir Fakhreddine II

(Image via Souar.com)

I don’t care how bad-looking Fakhreddine is; this prince is totally a keeper. All I need is my fairy godmother to send me to the ball, and it’d all be set (#fail).

It is safe to say that Fakhreddine laid the foundation for Lebanese identity. Born in the late 16th century, Fakhreddine was a Druze emir from Baakline who waged small wars to help unite Lebanon and attain independence from the Ottomans. He was witty and courageous, and his rising power alarmed the Ottomans, who later executed him.

In addition to unifying Lebanon, he contributed to Lebanon much more than one might realize. For instance, Fakhreddine’s exile in Europe enabled him to witness the Renaissance and bring back with him art, architecture and philosophy from the West. He also developed trade and industry, sought an alliance with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and was a man who avoided all forms of religious discrimination.

2. Gebran Khalil Gebran

(Image via famousauthors.org)

I know what you’re thinking. Gebran Khalil Gebran has become an overused cliché that the Lebanese throw out at every opportunity to flaunt Lebanese aptitude. But trust me – this man is a God of literature and art. His words have an eloquence that – dare I say it – are unrivaled in most of the literature and philosophy books I’ve encountered. And his art? His art is mysterious, dark and entrapping.

Osho, the world-famous Indian mystic, even described Gebran as one of the few men to ever truly be enlightened. To quote him, “Kahlil Gibran? The very name brings so much ecstasy and joy that it is impossible to think of another name comparable to him.”

3. Fouad Shehab

(Image via lebarmy.gov)

Shehabism (the political ideology that Shehab incoprporated into the country) might have failed, but Fouad Shehab was the best president to ever watch over Lebanon. Shehab is, perhaps, one of the only politicians who actually cared about the well-being of the country and dedicated his life to improving it.

He introduced the notion of central and social planning, established several banks, attempted to bridge the gap between the poor and rich, and was a noble, kind man who acted on a non-confessional basis and remained neutral throughout his political career.

4. Ziad Rahbani

(Image via albawaba.com)

Ziad Rahbani is that musically introverted character you want to sit and share ideas with. Listening to him ramble angrily at Lebanon is not too bad either. Thing is, he’s not the sweetest of hearts, but boy is he interesting.

His lyrics and music are so simple, yet rich with political commentary. Cherry-on-the-top: he’s a communist. I think yes.

5. Elie Saab

(Image via arabianbusiness.com)

Since the age of eight, Saab knew designing is what he wanted to do with his life. And at 18, he launched his own fashion label. He is self-made, ambitious and makes gorgeous dresses. Please have coffee with me? And maybe bring one of your dresses with you?

BONUS PICK: George Clooney

(Image via news-briefs)

Since he’s become a part of the fam (sohirna hayda!), how could I NOT add him to this list?