Lebanese Government Declares Miss Lebanon Will Not Be Stripped Of Crown After Selfie With Miss Israel

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor


We previously reported HERE the bizarre and saddening controversy involving Miss Universe contestant Saly Greige representing Lebanon who was photographed in a selfie by Miss Israel Doron Matalon. The event caused a row that could have stripped Saly of her crown for violating Lebanese fraternization prohibitions with citizens of Israel.

Now, a Lebanese government official announced that no sanctions would be taken against the young hopeful.

The incident arose from a selfie taken by Miss Israel that included Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia, and Miss Lebanon and then posted to a social medium. The image then caused outrage among many in the Muslim world for this association between a Lebanese citizen and an Israeli. There were calls in Saly’s native country and elsewhere for her removal and possible prosecution. She then offered a rebuttal statement:

I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me) … I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself; suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media.”

For what it’s worth Saly has found at least a measure of relief now offered by the Lebanese Government.

Michel Pharaon, Lebanon’s Tourism minister stated in a televised press conference:

According to the information we obtained, Miss Lebanon did not have bad intentions that necessitates her being stripped of her title or punishment. [She should be supported because she] has been the subject of a racist and random campaign.

While this certainly has some credibility issues relating to the accusation of racism, at least in some respects a bizarre form of reprieve was extended from a bizarre manner of criminal justice involving race relations in Lebanon. From a pragmatic point of view, one could hope this announcement by Lebanon will have the benefit of shielding Miss Lebanon from any further scorn or retribution by others.

By Darren Smith



The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

13 thoughts on “Lebanese Government Declares Miss Lebanon Will Not Be Stripped Of Crown After Selfie With Miss Israel”

  1. Interesting information on Lebanon’s demographics (from 2005):

    “Lebanon is the most diverse country in the Middle East, with significant Sunni, Shia, Christian, and Druze populations.”

    “Lebanese Muslims stand apart. In particular, data from a Pew Global Attitudes survey conducted in May of last year (this year’s survey did not include Lebanon) shows that Lebanon’s Muslims are considerably more secular in their outlook than Muslims in other countries.”

    “Fully 86% of Muslims have a favorable opinion of Christians, by far the highest rating of Christians by any Muslim public. At the same time, 82% of Christians have a positive view of Muslims.

    Attitudes toward Jews, however, are quite another matter. Even before the current conflict, negative sentiments about Jews and Israel were widespread in Lebanon, and they were not confined to the Muslim community. Indeed, no one in our Lebanese sample, Muslim, Christian, Druze, or otherwise, said they had a favorable view of Jews. ”

    “Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, prior research has generally shown the Lebanese to be pessimistic about a two-state solution. A 2003 Pew Global Attitudes survey found that three-in-four Muslims (75%) and one-half of Christians (50%) agreed with the statement “the rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the state of Israel exists.””

    “Only 22% of Muslims have a favorable opinion of the U.S. — a level consistent with anti-American sentiments found throughout much of the Muslim world. However, nearly three-in-four Christians (72%) have a favorable view of the U.S.

    Muslims and Christians also differ with respect to attitudes toward the American people: 52% of Muslims have a favorable view of Americans, compared with 87% of Christians.”

  2. Va va voom. That said, just got back from a 7 mile walk on the beach in San Diego. It is 75 degrees and not a cloud. Saw some beautiful women even better, IMO. The beach volleyball @ the south end of Mission Beach is a target rich environment. That’s where Big Bill Walton spent his youth. He loved volleyball more than basketball. And, loved the Grateful Dead more than both. See him biking on the boardwalk. A very nice man.

  3. Maybe we can offer to let them address a joint session of Congress.

    In swim wear of course.

    It only right. We need to hear from both sides.

  4. First prize is filling and empty place in the portfolio of the head Imam of Saudi Arabia’s harem. No wonder she’s upset about losing.

  5. Pillow and blanket fight offer in my bedroom is still on the table. We will also be using under inflated NFL footballs. If bed box spring fails, will Lebanese government cover cost of replacement?

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