Rima Fakih on Lebanese TV

So, I had no idea that the newly crowned Miss USA, Rima Fakih, could speak Arabic. Am I behind the times? Check out this video I discovered while, ahem, doing some serious research about electoral reform on Youtube.

Anyone else impressed by the way in which a regional dialect is preserved by emigration? Had Miss Fakih grown up in Lebanon, she would have likely moved to the big city to attend university by age 18, at which point her delightful jnoobi accent would have been wiped out by some other prestige dialect (probably Achrafieh-ese). She would have, in other words, ended up speaking like this:

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48 thoughts on “Rima Fakih on Lebanese TV

  1. Isn’t that why she won?

    There is nothing more seductive and attractive than a jnoobi accent from a Dearborn girl.

    Posted by Abu Guerrilla | June 7, 2010, 1:19 am
  2. Haha totally agree Guerrilla

    Posted by Nasser Victor | June 7, 2010, 2:39 am
  3. Hold your horses you guys! Follow the example of your namesake, the Victorious Nasser, and keep for another place and/or time some thoughts that are not politically correct on this site ! Or do you think he is silent because he has no opinion about a southerner of his own milieu parading half nude all over the place? Or maybe she obtained his benevolence because she’s so Green…We all could learn from him to recognize when is the time to shut up (unlike the hysterical voices in the US)

    But this is all your fault Qifa, “delightful” is definitely not a scientific term in Linguistics… even applied to southerner accents (wonder why all that is southern, included accents, is always cute and sexy, and everything northerner is heavy and brutal? Well, as a resistant northerner, I remind you that every southerner is somebody else’s northerner, unless he lives in Patagonia, that is

    Posted by mj | June 7, 2010, 3:49 am
  4. Please insert(half) a smile at the end of my last comment (my laptop won’t do it)

    Posted by mj | June 7, 2010, 3:53 am
  5. It’s about something else, but I’ve just received this, Cohn-Bendit at its best, in the European Parliament talking about Greece et al

    Posted by mj | June 7, 2010, 4:08 am
  6. mj,
    I can’t thank you enough for the Cohn-Bendit video clip. What a delight to hear someone present the clearly the wrong headed policy suggestions of Merkel-Sarkozy.
    What the EU is demanding from the PIIGS is nothing short of the disasterous repeat of the Versailles treaty that led Keynes to write his “Consequences of the Peace” in which he foresaw the rise of the Nazis.
    Then do not underestimate the “Green” argument regarding de militarization.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 7, 2010, 8:27 am
  7. I highly recommend that people read Ghassan’s latest post about the Lebanese debt crisis.


    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 7, 2010, 9:27 am
  8. What crisis? Berri is in the process of making M14 look down the sides of their sofas for $11.5billion they seem to have “misplaced”.

    Anyone been to Beirut lately? I have never seen so many Bentleys per head anywhere in the world!

    Posted by mo | June 7, 2010, 9:56 am
  9. QN,
    Thanks for the plug, the check is in the mail 🙂

    How many of the Lebanese can afford to fill up these Bentleys at the pump not to speak of owning them?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 7, 2010, 10:40 am
  10. Very few GK. I was alluding to the disparity between the very many poor in the country and these Bentley owners wrt the 11.5billion missing dollars.

    I’m surprised QN hasnt posted on the hornets nest Berri seemed to have stirred by bringing this up.

    Posted by mo | June 7, 2010, 11:33 am
  11. QN,

    You know, Helen Thomas is Lebanese. Might she deserve a mention in your blog?

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 12:23 pm
  12. I thoroughly enjoyed that video. Specially the part where he points out that Europe’s giving Greece money so it can buy weapons from them.

    Great stuff.

    (And I fully support his idea of demilitarizing Cyprus/Greece/Turkey as a means of saving Greece’s finances).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 7, 2010, 1:03 pm
  13. AIG

    Helen Thomas? Are you referring to her recent comment about the Jews and Palestine, or whatever it was?

    Anyone else catch the Ross Douthat piece in the NY Times comparing Israel to the Crusader kingdoms? When conservative opinion writers start using the words Israel and Crusaders in the same sentence, you gotta wonder if the world isn’t changing just a little bit… Next thing you know, Bill O’Reilly will be calling zionism a cancerous growth, etc etc etc

    Then again, good old Krauthammer hasn’t changed a bit.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 7, 2010, 1:50 pm
  14. Mo

    Hmmmmmmm, I wonder why QN hasn’t had time to deal with Lebanese political affairs… might it be because SOME PEOPLE prefer devoting days upon days to discussing Israel and Palestine?


    I have a real job, you know. As we speak, I’m sitting in my “office” trying to write a stinking dissertation.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 7, 2010, 1:55 pm
  15. AIG,
    I am wondering whether you have had a chance to read Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom. I thought he wrote a masterpiece . And what is the significance of the attack on him? From outside of Israel it sure does not look good.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 7, 2010, 2:37 pm
  16. GK, I found Cohn-Bendit not bad in this one, given the pathetic European standards , lol. It made me think of this:

    Posted by mj | June 7, 2010, 4:00 pm
  17. Ghassan Karam,

    I don’t waste time any more reading what Uri Avnery writes. Naysayers are a dime a dozen. He represents maybe 0.1% of the Jews in Israel. If Avnery is such a genius, let’s see him convince Hamas to have the Red Cross visit Gilad Shalit. Then I will read all his articles. But what has the guy done? Nada.

    His “attack” was nothing serious and it got little press in Israel.

    When you say, things from outside Israel do not look good, what do you mean? We just got invited to the OECD, unemployment is very low, we went through the global recession relatively unharmed and we are the country that devotes the largest percentage of GDP to research and development. Thanks to your compatriots we are the world leaders in short distance missile defense. Our borders have never been more quiet. So, some people are infuriated when 9 Turkish gangsters are killed but could care less when 94 Ahmadis are slaughtered while praying. I think what people are really angry at is that it is so much more difficult to kill Jews than it was 100 years ago.

    Bottom line, you want to convince Israelis of anything, show us facts on the ground or lead by example. There is too much talk in the middle east and much less doing.

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 4:18 pm
  18. AIG,
    You do not have to convince me that the Israeli economy is doing well and that it is in a position to continue its performance. In a sense the Israeli economy is the best argument for the phenomenal power of education.I believe tat presently Israel might have the highest ratio of PhD’s per capita in the world.
    Anyway when I said things do not look to be good you have to keep my remark in context. We were talking about the Peace Flotilla, its repercussions and the effect it is having on the special relationship between it and the US.
    You might choose to dismiss the change in attitude toward Israel but I cannot dismiss it. Something is brewing. Even Cordsman is questioning outloud with the Israeli asset has become a liability, the White House is ever so slightly less supportive, the UK and the rest of Europe are more openly critical, Presdient Carter. Bishop Tutu . Rabi Lerner, Amos oz, uri avnery etc… are getting more attention. I understand that Tikkun is holding a public prayer for those the died and for all the lives lost on both sides in front of the White House etc… Do you think that it is wise to dismiss all of these plus many others. Maybe all of this is a tempest in a tea pot but I choose to connect this to Aba Ebban and even Gold Meir who cautioned against holding on to the occupied land
    after 1967.
    I am a supporter of the Palestinian rights but not of Palestinian policies. I have no doubt that you can claim that you have not had a credible partner to work with. I reject that argument outright . Israel appears , again from the oputside, to have aquired a siege mentality, to use the Economist title for the leader in the current issue. If it is truly Israel against the world then one must ask why is the world united against Israel? Surely it is not religious or ethnic discrimination. I think that the current Israeli leadership is not sincere in its search for peace. It is ironic because Israel and the Palestinians seem to trade sides every once in a while which implies that somewhere they cross each others pass just like ships in foul weather.
    I am becoming more convinced than ever that this conflict will not be resolved unless the US dictates terms to both sides along the lines of the Brezinski short plan.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 7, 2010, 5:21 pm
  19. Ghassan,

    “If it is truly Israel against the world then one must ask why is the world united against Israel? Surely it is not religious or ethnic discrimination.”

    I know you’re using sarcasm here, but I bet you good money that a good number of our Israeli friends will cry “antisemitism” in about 2 seconds.

    I gotta agree with you on the “siege” mentality. Rightly or wrongly, Israel has taken that “victim” mentality and run with it to where it’s become a self-perpetuating state of affairs. While nobody in their right mind would deny the origins of said mentality (being surrounded by hostile states, several attempted military invasions in the 50s-70s, ongoing grandstanding by the likes of Iran) there is no doubt in my mind that Israel has over time, ruined a lot of the sympathy it garnished in the west. It becomes increasingly hard to take seriously a boy who cries wolf, while possessing the weapons to kill the wolves and doing so on a regular basis.

    This is not to exonerate the Palestinians and Arabs of any wrongdoing (I would argue their “Palestinian cause” shtick is even more overplayed than Israel’s “victim” routine. But sadly, both sides would benefit from an imposed resolution (as you alluded to). In short, a parent-figure to step in and say to both sides “now go to your rooms and knock this shit off!” End of story.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 7, 2010, 5:38 pm
  20. might it be because SOME PEOPLE prefer devoting days upon days to discussing Israel and Palestine?

    Hey, you’re the one that has insanely spent three days trying to get a straight answer out of an Israeli, not me!

    And when I try and steer it to all things Lebanese I get told off cuz ur busy busy busy.

    OK, how about our notable Minister Ziad manning checkpoints at 2 o’clock in the morning?

    Posted by mo | June 7, 2010, 5:41 pm
  21. Ghassan Karam,

    Ok, maybe I have a siege mentality but does that mean Israel is not under siege? I frankly don’t understand and don’t care why the world is so hypocritical, why Gaza is so much more important than Tibet, or Turkish Occupied Cyprus, or what happens to the Ahmadis. It is a fact Israel has to deal with. But we are not going to deal with this fact by repeating again actions that did not work in the past. Peace is a frame of mind and nothing that Israel can do at this point (except annihilate itself) will induce that frame of mind in the majority of the Arab world.

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 5:55 pm
  22. BV,

    I see, you want someone like Syria that stopped the Lebanese civil war. No thank you.

    Seriously though, the US can neither force the Israelis nor the Palestinians to sign an agreement they don’t like. The Americans haven’t even been able to get Hamas to accept the conditions of the quartet! So, move on to the next pipe dream.

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 6:02 pm
  23. I admit it’s a pipe dream. But I do honestly believe that the 2 sides on this one will NOT see reason in our lifetimes.
    Some kind of resolution that is less than ideal for each side (such is the nature of compromise) will have to be imposed SOMEHOW. It may not happen in the next 50 years, but SOME DAY, that’s going to be the only way out, UNLESS the mentalities on both sides change.

    Having said that, I posted something in the “5 things about turkey” thread that I was honestly curious to hear your answer on. Would you mind giving it a go?


    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 7, 2010, 6:26 pm
  24. And just to be clear, I didn’t say i WANT something like Syria. What I WANT is not relevant here. There is a difference between what i WANT, and what i think is the only way out.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 7, 2010, 6:27 pm
  25. I think what people are really angry at is that it is so much more difficult to kill Jews than it was 100 years ago.


    Thanks for putting it so clearly.

    QN –

    So you didn’t like C. Krauthammer’s article?

    I loved it.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 7, 2010, 6:29 pm
  26. Ghassan Karam,

    If it is any interest to you, I quite like Uri Avnery. AIG is more or less right. He is by nature a marginal person and a true contrarian. I think that’s an important role, and mixed with his historical perspective (he was there in 48′ and before, for example) and his sharp eye I think he’s the man for it.

    On what is going on currently, I think it is more up to Turkey then Israel. At the moment, Israel is defensive and reactive. We are not determining much. I’m not sure how to read Turkey, not sure where, if anywhere, they are planning to take this past week’s events. They actually have quite a few options available to them. Options that haven’t been available to anyone for a while.

    But.. this is the ME and I am not holding my breath.

    Posted by Netsp | June 7, 2010, 6:30 pm
  27. Cudos to Helen Thomas. She was only stating the obvious regardless of the help they will get from the White Man in Washington, Barack Obama, or the Zombie-like Angela Merkel. The redneck Zionist Jews will be UPSed to Texas and Alabama, along with the decendants of the Nazi collaborators in Germany and France.

    Posted by Jihad | June 7, 2010, 6:36 pm
  28. She was only stating the obvious…


    It isn’t obvious to me Jews are going to “get the hell out of Palestine”.

    Nor is it “obvious” to me that “redneck Zionist Jews will be UPSed to Texas and Alabama”.

    What is obvious, however, is that making your dreams public can sometimes cost you your job. Too bad Helen didn’t work for al-Jazeera. She’d still be employed.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 7, 2010, 7:37 pm
  29. AIG said: “I think what people are really angry at is that it is so much more difficult to kill Jews than it was 100 years ago.”

    Way to enrich the conversation there, AIG. I’m sure that everyone reading this blog, everyone on those aid ships, and every person who has written a column criticizing Israel in the last week (from Steve Walt to Ross Douthat to Anthony Cordesman to Uri Avnery to Akiva Eldar) are angry because “it is so much more difficult to kill Jews than it was 100 years ago.”

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 7, 2010, 7:47 pm
  30. QN,

    I accept the criticism; what I wrote can be interpreted as a generalization. I do however feel quite a few of Israel’s critics have this problem but of course not all.

    Maybe you can help me enrich the conversation. How would you explain to Jihad that I, a second generation Israeli (both my parents were born in Israel and so was I) have as much right to be here as any Palestinian?

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 8:26 pm
  31. QN, AIG is an insult to this blog. How dare he suggest that Israel’s critics lament that it is today harder to kill Jews than 100 years ago. What kind of rubbish does this person think he can spout? The fact of the matter remains that it is today easier for Palestinians to be killed than 60-odd years ago.

    Your final sentence in the last post AIG makes the false suggestion that Palestinians are the ones with the greater rights than you when it is you who has the benefit of more rights. get over your victim mentality – you belong to the imperial power and to the state that oppresses Palestinians.

    Posted by SydneySider | June 7, 2010, 8:50 pm
  32. BV,

    Regarding your question, I am not a humanist. I used to believe like you that all men are created equal but upon self reflection, I saw I was believing a lie. I can’t help myself, I think my wife and mom are more important than all other women (I hope my wife does not read this and finds out that I have not included my mother in law on the list, but I am trying to be as honest as possible). This has practical applications that sometimes are quite dramatic. If I were on a sinking ship with my wife and there were room for only one more person, I would fight other women off to get a place for my wife.

    It gets worse, I figured out that I think my sons are much more equal than all other children in the world. For example, I just bought them the new Super Mario video game instead of donating the money to pay for HIV medicine for a kid in Africa.

    Along the same line I believe that granting the right to many Palestinians into Israel would be at the expense of the current life style and security of my kids and so I am very much against it.

    Sorry, for me, not all people are created equal. This is something I may have believed in my youth, but my actions have since proved that I don’t really believe it. I cannot deceive myself.

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 8:55 pm
  33. AIG said: “Maybe you can help me enrich the conversation. How would you explain to Jihad that I, a second generation Israeli (both my parents were born in Israel and so was I) have as much right to be here as any Palestinian?”

    AIG, you just spent several paragraphs explaining to Bad Vilbel why you feel it is more important for you to buy Super Mario for your sons than saving a child suffering from HIV in Africa. And now you expect me to selflessly act as your lawyer in front of Jihad? What if I’m too busy playing Super Mario with my daughters? Don’t judge me!

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 7, 2010, 9:05 pm
  34. AIG,
    There are no contradictions in what you were trying to explain to BV. This is not the proper form for it because I do not want to sound too pedantic. There are too kinds of rights negative and positive.Most of the political and civil rights that you mentioned are negative rights which means that you have to respect the person who possesses them but no action is required on your part. It would be nice to help maybe even moral but you are not under an obligation. As for your preference to preserving your gene then that is also understandable. Biologically we act altruistically only towrds our dear and near. The further away is the relationship then the less altruistic we are. These are scientific theories that are not open to discussion. This does not mean that you might not know of an altruistic act but chances are that no one is altruisticaly except in protecting their genes. BTW, those that sacrifice their life by blowing themselves up do not do that for the sake of doing the right thing. They do it for purely selfish reasons, God will reward them and the community will hold them in high regards.

    So I do not mean to rain on your parade but your actions are perfectly normal and above all they do not imply that you do not hold principles of equality and freespeech in high regard.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 7, 2010, 9:30 pm
  35. QN,

    You nailed it, that is how deceitful humanism is. If you ask anyone, what is more important, a video game for children who already have quite a few, or saving a child suffering from HIV, we know what almost everyone will answer. But when we check their actions… We find out that they have been lying, mostly to themselves.

    Just one correction. I don’t feel that buying the video game is more important. But the fact is I buy the video game instead of donating the money. My actions help me understand that my feelings are masking my true beliefs. I have to accept that it is not my feelings or emotions that determine my true beliefs, but my actions.

    As for my request for help in enriching the conversation, I have to admit that playing with your daughters is certainly more important. From your answer I sense you are starting to get cured and maybe you are not a humanist anymore!

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 9:32 pm
  36. Ghassan Karam,

    Of course I agree with most of what you say. There are though people that overcome their natural tendencies and argue that even, for example, if it is natural for humans to eat meat they shouldn’t. One such person is Peter Singer from Princeton.

    You may be familiar with his work. I know he practices what he preaches (I think he donates most of his money). I find his views very strange but he is consistent.

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 9:40 pm
  37. There’s a new post, people. AIG, it should be right up your alley, so stop talking about Peter Singer.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 7, 2010, 9:50 pm
  38. AIG,
    I am very familiar with Peter Singer. I have read probably all what he has written, attended many of his lectures and had a few email exchanges with him. I tell you this so that you would know that my information about Peter Singer is rather reliable. He obviously tries to practice wgat he preaches. But he is the first to admit that he fails. For one he gives only 25 % of his income while according to his theory he must give anything in excess of what he needs for a simple existence. He also has a mother who has a severe case of Alzheimer and yet he has not encouraged euthanasia. And worse of all he encourages people to shop at Whole Foods or similar establishments when If I read him correctly these individuals should shop at A&P and send the savings to sub Saharan Africa or any other needy places.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 7, 2010, 10:00 pm
  39. Ghassan Karam,

    Very interesting. Thank you. I was only at a few of his lectures.

    Posted by AIG | June 7, 2010, 11:11 pm
  40. Way to miss the point entirely AIG. I wasn’t asking about your wife and mother. I think it’s fair to say every one of us would give their wife or mother preferential treatment.

    What I asked was: I, as a Lebanese, do not see the problem with naturalizing Palestinians in Lebanon (contrary to the oft-repeated mantras about upsetting sectarian balances).
    I asked if you would be willing to do the same in Israel.
    I take your answer to mean: NO.

    All that shows me is that you pretty much do believe in the apartheid mentality. This makes all your talk about the Ahmadis or whoever else being oppressed ring hollow and hypocritical. You want everyone else to stop discriminating against minorities, while yourself declaring that you want to give preferential treatment to “your own kind”.

    I don’t see why “your own kind” here would be any different than Germans discriminating against Jews. Whites discriminating against Blacks. Or even European Jews discriminating against Middle Eastern Jews.
    Discrimination is discrimination. No matter who practices it. Talk about double standards there in your own belief system…

    Thanks for sharing your beliefs. I do appreciate the honest response. Can’t say I found it to be all that encouraging though.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 8, 2010, 12:10 pm
  41. BV,

    Your view is somewhat naive. Every country in the world has immigration constraints. That does not make it an apartheid state. The Arab citizens of Israel already have the rights you are talking about.

    And yes, I want a country for Jews, just like Germans want a country for Germans and the Japanese for the Japanese and the Czechs and the Slovaks and all the countries Yugoslavia broke up into. If nationalism is apartheid in your dictionary then so be it.

    Sure, nationalism has its downside, but mostly for the nations that do not have a territory that they can control and protect. And that is why the Jews need a country.

    Posted by AIG | June 8, 2010, 1:04 pm
  42. The flaw in your logic is there’s a difference between immigration and people who are already there.
    It’s one thing for Germans not to want to welcome new arrivals. It’s another altogether for Germans to want to EXPEL people who were born there (such as was done in the 1930s-40s). I believe you have a word for it “pogrom”?
    You can call it “nationalism” if you want…Hitler called it “Nationalism” too.

    And we all saw how righteous Yugoslavs were, when they started butchering each other in the name of nationalism. I guess you’re simply admitting to being no better. That’s all.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 8, 2010, 1:39 pm
  43. BV,

    There is no flaw in my logic. I am for the two state solution and against the right of return. The Arabs that have Israeli citizenship are entitled to it but I am against Palestinian refugees becoming Israeli citizens.

    The word you are looking for is not “pogrom” it is war. That is what the Arabs waged against Israel in 47-48 and lost.

    Posted by AIG | June 8, 2010, 2:05 pm
  44. BV,

    And just to make clear, I never claimed I was righteous because I ain’t. I am a flawed human being. Apparently I am even a Nazi since I support a Jewish state.

    Posted by AIG | June 8, 2010, 2:10 pm
  45. I didn’t say you were a Nazi. But I do see a double standard in what you preach for yourself, and what you preach for others.

    Anyway. Moving on. This conversation has run its course.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 8, 2010, 2:31 pm
  46. I didn’t say you were a Nazi. But I do see a double standard in what you preach for yourself, and what you preach for others.

    You basically have no moral ground to complain about antisemitism anymore. If you want a Jewish state, then you should completely appreciate other countries not wanting Jews in their state, no?

    Anyway. Moving on. This conversation has run its course.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 8, 2010, 2:33 pm
  47. BV,

    I don’t get it. If I want a Jewish state why does it follow the Jews should be expelled from other countries? Does the fact that there is a Lebanese state mean that Lebanese should be expelled from the US? Where is the double standard?

    Posted by AIG | June 8, 2010, 3:10 pm
  48. I LOVE the fact that her Arabic accent is almost intact!

    I didn’t expect it to be half as good!

    I like her…

    Posted by BeirutBoy | June 24, 2010, 5:21 am

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