"Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.”-Jane Perrone, The Guardian
Saturday, June 24, 2006
It was such a boring night that I told mum that if I was a child I’d be crying and throwing a tantrum by now – which I felt like doing anyway and would have done if I hadn’t have left early. Never are beauty and ugliness in such close proximity than at a Lebanese society wedding. The beauty of the flowers of society, in all their finery and at their loveliest, and the ugliness of the attendant jealousy, meanness, pettiness and snobbishness of these beautiful war machines at their most defensive and most vulnerable. The Prime Minister (also in attendance) had less ‘’security’’ and ‘’weaponry’’ than most of the women present last night. Beauty and ugliness sitting together in closer proximity than check by jowl – body by soul. People looking their best and acting their worst. My fourteen year old cousin Omar (Omo) introduced himself to the Prime Minister as the PM was leaving the mass at Bkerki and getting into his car. ‘’So now even the Prime Minister knows that Omar’s a loser’’ I whispered to his older brother Fouad as Omar accosted Mr. Siniora. Shall we tell the President? Seriously though, good on him – it takes a lot of confidence and character for a fourteen year old to do something like that. But the most impressive VIP guest there in my opinion would have to be the former President of Yemen – how many living former Arab Presidents are there? Very few Arab leaders leave power voluntarily and/or alive. During his rampage at Bkerki, Omo also accosted several other politicians and crashed a closed door protocol meeting between the Patriarch and my uncles before the wedding – where he went straight for the Patriarch, who stood up to greet him, kissed him and sat down and joined the meeting. The Patriarch expressed delight and asked whose child this was – whereby my Uncle Milan admitted responsibility for this wunderkind. That the Patriarch stood up for a fourteen year old boy does not surprise me in the least – ‘’let the children come to me’’ is not just a quote from the bible for this father of our nation. At the end of the meeting, he accosted the Patriarch again, saying ‘’I want to greet you properly this time’’ and kissed his ring (in the interim his father had told him that that was the proper thing to do). A one-man Beavis and Butthead (whenever I see or think of that kid I hear the Beavis and Butthead theme music in my head) let loose at the Maronite ‘’Vatican’’. My question is ‘’where’s the security at this place?’’ Beirut has more security than it has residents, yet in this part of the country, you can traipse around in the middle of the night without even being challenged by a dog except the manouchie mongrels that guard the ‘’manoucheries’’ on Manouchie Mile (http://renatoobeidsworld.blogspot.com/2005/01/warning-not-suitable-for-children.html) Not that those dogs aren’t scary but let’s help them out a bit.
UPDATE: 5.15 PM Tuesday 19th May 2009 OMNIPRESENT OMO Omar Zelig is still at it. He insinuated himself into the limelight at the recent launch of Uncle Jean’s election campaign. Check him out in the background between the two bodyguards (his “appearance’’ starts forty five seconds into the video clip). What will Omar crash next? I half expect him to be standing behind the Pope (if not next to him, in front of him or even instead of him) when the later addresses the faithful at Saint Peter’s Square this Sunday.
I didn’t follow Omar’s lead and accost the Prime Minister but I have had the pleasure of meeting other Lebanese Prime Ministers and I even once ‘’met’’ a late president’s dog who had been adopted by his granddaughter – he seemed pretty cool and down-to-earth.
CURLY’S WIFE I’m not the only one to cover this event – it made the social pages all over the country. The caption of a picture in the social pages of a northern magazine reads ''Mr ---- and his wife and his sister the nun’’