Archive for September, 2009

Interesting documentary about how Arabs are depicted in films…

September 27, 2009

This past Friday, I had the wonderful opportunity to check out a screening of Dr. Jack Shaheen’s “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People” at my alma mater NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.


It was a real eye opener! Dr. Shaheen gladly answered questions following it and stressed how important it is for the next generation of Arab-Americans to help make a difference in how Arabs are portrayed in the movies. (Hey, why not produce an upbeat and humorous film like “My Big Fat Middle Eastern Wedding,” as Dr. Shaheen proposed?) Well, one positive way we’ve been doing this is through initiatives like the New York Arab American Comedy Festival, which I’ve had the pleasure of performing in and is now in its sixth year, and the first annual Middle Eastern Comedy Festival, which just wrapped up out in L.A. and has received some good press coverage.

Fortunately, there are more encouraging initiatives and projects coming down the pike, and if you have any suggestions for or would like to be a part of them, do let me know ( and let’s help continue making a positive difference!  

Tabouli wishes and fattouche dreams,


(Photo courtesy of


Move over baklava and sfouf, and make room for…cupcakes?!

September 23, 2009

Purty cool–this guy Fadi Jaber’s on to something and I can’t believe I didn’t know about this while I was in Beirut. Doh! Oh well, will just have to check it out next time I visit 😉


Tabouli wishes and fattouche dreams (and now cupcakes, too!) ,


(Photo courtesy of

Welcome to Anjar!

September 5, 2009

Welcome to Anjar

This past week’s been a whirlwind with biz meetings and family time, but I felt compelled to give at least some morsels of info this evening, so here goes…

The sign you see up top is what greeted my Uncle Paul and me when we reached Anjar, a mountain village with Armenian flavor, where he and the Artinian clan go on the weekends during the summer. (It’s quite typical for folks who live in Beirut to have a summer home of some sort in the mountains to escape the hustle and bustle–and heat!–of the city.)

In any case, I was especially excited about this trip as he showed me lots of things along the way relating to my dad and their childhood, etc. Plus, when we reached our destination, I got to reunite with relatives I hadn’t seen in about 18 years–as well as meet some new additions to the family since then 🙂 We even took a drive to the Litani River, which entails going through the Bekaa Valley where you’ll find both the Chateau Kefraya (I’m a fan of their “Blanc de Blancs,” which I first sipped at Fly, my Cousin Sami’s restaurant/lounge in Downtown Beirut–more to come on that in a future post…) and Chateau Musar vineyards–good stuff! Here are some pics–both en route to (the McDonald’s sign is for my Cousin Shushan’s amusement ;-)) and in Anjar itself:

AGBU Medical Clinic my uncle



Litani river

Tabouli wishes and fattouche dreams,