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Anthony Elghossain

Boobs over Bullets, Gold over Graft: Jackie Chamoun and the 'Other' Olympian

Lebanon

Jackie Chamoun, one of two alpine skiers representing Lebanon at the Sochi Olympics, has come under fire for exposing herself (or part of herself) in a photo shoot a few years ago. In turn, her critics have come under fire for targeting “boobs instead of bombs.” Meanwhile, the Lebanese Minister of Youth and Sports has called upon Lebanese Olympic officials to investigate matters to uphold Lebanon’s reputation. (Incidentally, as many others have pointed out, that reputation would be a lot nicer without the cartels, bombings, killings, kidnappings, gun running, drug smuggling, corruption, poor roads, lack of power, inconsistent water supply, and declining quality of hummus.)

 

While it may be true that the Lebanese have, or should have, the mental bandwidth to discuss politics, economics, society, and culture, it’s a bit disconcerting to see how much energy some segments of society have spent attacking a woman instead of celebrating her accomplishments and cheering her on. (By the way, good luck to Alex Mohbat—Lebanon’s “other” Olympian—too. Please, brother, keep your shirt on!) Similarly, it’s odd that so many of us—myself included—are spilling ink and sweat defending a person who hasn’t really done anything wrong. And it’s more than odd—just downright perplexing—that a caretaker minister would call for an investigation into the matter. Underpinning all of this, however, are more disagreements on the sort of Lebanon we’d like to see, the sort of people we’d like to see succeed, and the sort of image we’d like to show the world (and each other).

 

Take heart Jackie. Yesterday’s gossip is today’s news—and tomorrow’s Twitter-faded memory. Go for Gold.

 

Anthony Elghossain ain’t gonna lie… Those pictures were nice. Anyway, good luck to Jackie and Alex. He tweets at @aelghossain

Lebanon's reputation would be a lot nicer without the cartels, bombings, killings, kidnappings, gun running, drug smuggling, corruption, poor roads, lack of power, inconsistent water supply, and declining quality of hummus.

Similarly, it’s odd that so many of us—myself included—are spilling ink and sweat defending a person who hasn’t really done anything wrong."

  • yas784

    Tout ce grabuge pour une petite sous .... payée par des promoteurs peu scrupuleux... C'est ca le vrai visage de la femme libanaise prête à se plier aux exigences du bel occident qui lui offre la liberté... Heureusement elles ne sont pas très nombreuses... Et quand au ministre du tourisme c'était en 1971, et c'est un MEC... C'est comme ca c'est la nature

    February 13, 2014

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    Comme je t-l'ai dit ci-bas... la ferme

    February 14, 2014

  • MahaA

    According to the published Austrian calendar, the photo you have is not even of Jackie Chamoun, it's of Elena, who got the highest no of votes: ...... Let's fact-check please.

    February 13, 2014

  • Ranya Radwan

    Dear Maha, The image depicts what is acceptable in Lebanon and what is not. No where in this article does it state that the image is of Jackie Chamoun... Thank you for your concern though. Cheers

    February 13, 2014

  • yas784

    Ouais bon... Si c'était leur soeur, leur fille, leur mère... Les gens réagiraient pas pareil... Tu fais pitié Jacky Chamoun

    February 12, 2014

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    Va te faire f --tre. C'est toi qui fait pitie. En tous cas, si c'etait TA SOEUR, TA FILLE ou TA MERE, on serait tous degoute. J'imagine qu'elles doivent se couvrir de haut en bas a ressembler, Wahhab dixit, a des sacs de poubelle noirs.

    February 12, 2014

  • yas784

    C'est comme ca que tu vois la liberté de la femme, akhou ....., pour toi ya pas de juste milieu alors si on remet en question une pauvre petite libanaise qui se déshabille on est un wahhabi??? Voilà le petit con qui vomit sa haine anti musulmane et pro israelienne, bravo comme les autres tu es bien confessionaliste. Va chier ailleurs, tu pues le sionisme à la Gemayel-Geagea-Chidiac, ce qu'il faudrait au Liban c'est le retour de la Syrie avec Hafez au pouvoir pour mater des sales raclures comme toi et les faire croupir en prison.

    February 13, 2014

  • RODRIGUEZ

    down down down goes lebanon !

    February 12, 2014

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    The "undertaker" minister should go to hell. I suggest he be investigated for corruption, embezzlement, money laundering, smuggling, kickbacks and other assorted bribes that he and his political cartel are engaged in. This vendetta against Chamoun is insulting to the intelligence of the Lebanese people who know that with such so-called "scandals", the corrupt Lebanese politicians try to divert people from paying attention to the real scandal: The Minister himself.

    February 11, 2014

  • yas784

    "The intelligence of the Lebanese people" Mais regarde toi espèce de sous merde, si les Libanais étaient aussi intelligents ils n'en seraient pas là à se faire la guerre à cause de leurs croyances, à cause de types comme toi qui insulte. La seule solution pour reconstruire un pays fort était l'annexion à la Syrie, mais d'aucuns ont préféré se la faire mettre profond par les Francais et leur pseudo amitié chrétienne. Pauvres de vous !

    February 13, 2014

  • andreas.y.zachariou

    the picture on the left isn't even jackie... at least post the right one, she's showing even less skin than this one... (...)

    February 11, 2014

  • bahtia

    A very clever move in a time when Lebanon is immersed in bombings and political quagmire .. A very nice move in diverting the sttention of people for the time being

    February 11, 2014

  • tarek.chemaly

    When the Ministry of Tourism itself posted an ad in the past in Playboy, no one is in a place to criticize Ms. Chamoun! (...)

    February 11, 2014