Friday, November 5, 2010

Do Women Always = Sex?

Despite my admiration of the production value and writing of characters in Entourage I’ve never “got” what the big deal with it all is. I mean it’s a show, it’s there, the actors are quietly good looking and well spoken, even the mousy women are gorgeous and the locales are the hottest spot in my own backyard. It’s on regular television these days as I work through my mountain of emails at midnight. I try to get through shows but I wind up screaming at the flat screen because the male characters are just so wholly unlikeable. The way they treat women within the show is very degrading and it only reconfirms the way women are being treated as such in real life.

So it begs the question, why would Hollywood ultimately always use women as sex subjects in a man's entertainment world? Why? Because this is how men treat women. It didn’t come as much of a revelation to me, but apparently the actors on the show are dogs too. Former Playboy Playmate Irina Voronina was dismissed recently–-she says for refusing the actors’ advances. She confirms they were constantly hitting on her and completely incapable of doing anything else. They objectified her and were boorish at very, very best. She bruised their fragile egos and got booted from the show.

Such is life.

Now, I get this: Women have their issues too. Some are in it for the money grab. Women might search for deep pockets and an easy way to succeed in a very competitive world (as they say). But men at their core have now been taught to seek sex as a property of their own. Then they feel they can sell it or release it anytime the sex appeal disappears. They intend to treat themselves (and certain parts of the woman's body) as a final goal. I know the famous words "sex sells" but why the need to do it in such degrading manner? Why do women put up with that? And why aren't there initiatives to change this perspective in the entertainment world? I do not want to deprive men from their activities behind their private walls with a real partner; however, to see this hunting attitude on Entourage (as if they live in a zoo) makes me sick to my stomach and the whispered disrespectful comments that men make amongst themselves is despicable!

I did a quick Perspective Check and here’s the flash result:

"Entourage is a p-i-g show for men who are stuck in the house. Sad thing is, that when you have power we throw ourselves at men. I heard a friend say every woman has a price. How sad really."

What about how men are portrayed in shows like Sex and the City? Beefcake, dense, and useless. How fair is that?"

So what happened to equality? It appears to me that men and women these days speak of it as a play of deception. Who's in control? Who wins? Who is more powerful? Do we all live in this typical world of gender politics in an increasingly inhumane society.

HBO’s marketing posters (above) and online banners are slugged with this tagline: “A lifestyle is a terrible thing to waste.” For me equality is the lifestyle. It means respect for you and to others. You earn your place based on qualification, synergy and credentials. Personal growth is based on performance and not how big your boobs are or how thick a woman’s skin needs to be. Nor is it how deep a man's pockets are or how sexy his body looks and feels. If this is a world that Entourage and Sex and the City reflects on today's society then today I should announce the birth of the new constitution and awakening: "Respect for Sex or No More Sex for you!" We can call it the 28th Amendment.

Sadly, for most of us, stereotypical “Hollywood” male experience isn’t confined to the television or movie set. We get it everyday in business. Everything from being called “honey” or “sweetheart” in the office to offers of clandestine “massages” to seal business deals. These aren’t the worst sexual harassments in the world, but why do they even have to enter the equation to begin with?

The more I think about it, the more I like the Wafa 28th Amendment.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Miss USA to cover the Next Issue of ALO Magazine

In what promises to be an eye-popping and insightful interview, winner of the 2010 Miss USA title, Rima Fakih graces the cover of the next issue of ALO Magazine. Holding one of the most prestigious crowns in the world, she discusses to ALO the reality behind what shapes the American Dream.

The hot topic of this upcoming issue focuses on art of living in fashion, lifestyle, culture, social philosophy and architectural elegance.

ALO is America’s Top affluent American Middle Eastern Lifestyle Magazine, a cultural attraction of the elite lifestyle enthusiasts who want to expand, explore and experience the richness and beauty of the Middle East. “ALO” literally translates to “hello my darling” in Arabic.

Wafa Kanan is the dynamic founder and publisher of ALO Hayati magazine. Five years ago, as an entrepreneur woman-business owner, Kanan realized the gaps and void of media presence of the growing and successful Middle Easterners in the United States who immigrated to the country from various origins in search for social freedom and advancement in career and lifestyle. The startling growth of this affluent but untapped market of successful Middle Eastern communities who contributed in so many ways to the economic triumph, international business and technology and science throughout the United States. With passionate vision and a mission to balance and shatter the misconception and false reputation of Mid East continent she created ALO Magazine as a window and eventually the voice of 1st, 2nd and third generation and a path for equality and pride heritage bridging all diverse communities and interconnecting to their core values.

“In these few years, the magazine has served as a forum for understanding the Middle Eastern culture and a great tool for those within to keep true to their heritage. Despite the world’s disorder and conflict, ALO’s central focus remains unchanged: maintaining editorial integrity while striving to push the publication’s quality ever higher each quarter,” states ALO’s editor, Michael Lloyd.

Other Fall features include The Big O: An inside story of never having a real orgasm, The New Middle East and the Path to Change: A look at new architecture with closed societies, Doing Business in the Middle East: The need for connections and a safe haven for investments, and the Middle Eastern Woman: Breaking the gender bias and 5 steps to recapturing your culture.

ALO is available by subscription, at bookstores nationwide such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, in VIP lounges and on board Delta Airlines, Kuwait Airways and other major airlines. ALO Magazine is a proud publication of Unique Image, Inc.
The Art of Living Special 2010 issue will hit newsstands and major bookstores October 2010.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Agency Breaks New Ground In Cultural Expression Marketing

The leaders in cultural expression and ethnic marketing, Unique Image, Inc., expanded their Cultural Expression Marketing division designed to help corporations target the 500 billion dollars of spending power that their demographic delivers.

Currently, the Middle Eastern market in the United States is experiencing its most important socio-demographic shift since its emergence as a powerful and distinct U.S. market segment. This shift has become evident in the marketplace as the Middle Eastern “generational crossover” takes place. Understanding the market is essential, but understanding cultural differences and tastes is vital to succeeding in new markets. Through its vast experience, Unique Image, Inc. explores the generational differences among Middle Eastern immigrants and their U.S.- born descendants and what their differences mean for marketers of all kinds of products and services, government agencies and for non-profit organizations.

By 2016, it will be a different market altogether; the majority of Middle Easterners aged 20 to 29, will be born in the United States and will be well acquainted with U.S. culture. This will be a dramatic change for the Middle Eastern community. Unique Image, Inc.’s President, Wafa Kanan states, “these consumers are very often born to at least one parent who is foreign born and they are straddling two cultures! Communicating, selling, providing services to them, etc., will be nothing like the past two decades.”

Wafa Kanan, an international brand specialist, is recognized as the creator of the “In-culture” marketing approach. Through her vision, Unique Image, Inc. has published ALO Hayati for five years. Despite a failing economy that has rocked the publishing industry, the magazine continues to increase visibility, readership and subscriptions. ALO is the primary portal for the fastest growing community in the U.S. “There has never been a publication that brings such diverse communities together to overcome barriers between nations,” states Kanan.

ALO has forged a new path for the Middle Eastern culture, as other now established ethnic publications have done for their demographics. The rich culture and positive influence of the Middle East is becoming more widely known. Middle Eastern-Americans have greatly contributed to the U.S. economy and to stakeholders of major corporations worldwide. Awareness of this achievement requires open communication, which ALO represents.

With the evolution of the Cultural Expression Marketing division, Unique Image, Inc. now offers this expertise to an expanded client base. By continually defining, exploring and developing new markets among diverse cultures, they’ve become the widely recognized global outreach specialist and intercultural liaison.

Monday, August 9, 2010


...and I know just the company that fits the bill.

THE NEED. The Middle East and surrounding region has long been a cultural gold mine for potential tourists, but the area has largely remained untapped. The standard reasons have included political and social unrest fueled by differences in cultural and religious norms.

Moreover, the problem is largely one of perception, fueled by Western and world media. The distance between the U.S. and the Middle East is also an integral challenge, along with unfamiliarity with the region, and a dearth of direct flights into certain cities and regions.

Overcoming these hurdles takes a veteran marketer fluent in both Western and Middle Eastern culture and society. Unique Image, Inc. brings a skilled approach in bridging these cultures, and moreover, uniting them through tourism marketing.

Overall, travel tourism drives economies, helping to build a rich base of not only tourism dollars, but a positive and widespread public relations image for cities, countries and regions.

APPROACH. Unique Image recognizes that tourism is comprised of numerous components, including transportation, accommodation, food and beverage service, entertainment, shops, special events and overall aesthetics. Given this, various tourism organizations, agencies and businesses are coordinated to work as teams to package and promote tourism opportunities in their area. These aligned efforts achieve the greatest results.

- Target Markets. Attempting to appeal to every potential tourist is a losing game. What varying tourists search for in destinations is specific and often times quite detailed. Focusing on niche market elements helps narrow a message, while greatly enhancing its receptivity. Target markets may include a specific brand of tourist, a geographic region, or other groupings of preferences. Learning where tourists traditionally travel and why they travel is also crucial. One market may prefer historical destinations; another may demand economical pricing at the cost of comfort and luxury; another may require full-service resorts.

Unique Image also measures current awareness of tourism markets and their specific attractions. With that information, promotional goals and campaign themes can be designed. Through these, specific images and attitudes about destinations can be built. Follow-up marketing determines if those messages indeed registered and approaches are then refined.

- Advertising Media. Print advertising can reach more than 25,000 group travel organizers keyed in part to the Middle Eastern region. Custom publications can also be created, along with group guides and resource guides for specific cities, countries and regions. Content is designed to complement advertising messages. Electronic marketing is also essential, including email campaigns and web site banners.

- Public Relations. Public relations efforts excel in overall promotion of a region or specific location or attraction. Using free public exposure through radio, television and newspapers, attitudes and perceptions about a specific destination can be shifted.

- Evaluation Plan. Measurable goals are created, against which the questions, “Did it work” or “Did it not work” are answered. From there, marketing efforts can be further refined and calibrated.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Carry the Torch

As we celebrate ALO's rapidly growing worldwide distribution, including at retail giants, national and international airlines, luxury hotels and more, it is important to share with you what ALO brings to its readers and the mission it serves. ALO is the first and only Middle Eastern lifestyle magazine; an illuminating, educational and entertaining read for our community. It is written to further awareness of the glamour and culture of the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern community in the United States.

In a climate where diversity is the focus of major corporate America, governments and visionaries, ALO is the vital steppingstone toward building cross-cultural awareness and bilateral relationship toward the emerging Middle Eastern Market. Walking in the footsteps of Ebony and Latina magazines, ALO reaches one of the most influential, educated and passionate communities in the U.S. ALO represents a new marketing avenue to tap in this under-served and affluent community.

We encourage you to join our other Ambassadors, Dr. Farouk El-Baz, Director at Boston University; California State Senator George Runner; musical superstars Yuri Mraqadi, Diana Haddad, Assi Hillani and international violinist Joseph Chamaa, as we continue providing strength and inspiration to the community to turn our fondest dreams into reality.

Become an ambassador today. Email me:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Miss USA to Grace the Cover of ALO magazine

No one turns heads like the reigning Miss USA Rima Fakih. In between coast-to-coast trips from Dearborn to New York City to Los Angeles, Fakih squeezed in some interview time with our editors in what promises to be an eye-popping, enlightening insight into her whirlwind promotional tour, her meteoric rise in popularity and her connection to her roots.

As the controversy for this beauty queen spins around her with the media bashing her as a small town girl from South Lebanon, Fakih stands with poise. The poise, her eye on the future and her vast intelligence are quickly shaping her reign as queen. These are the defining aspects that some media with a mind on propaganda fail to address.

The exclusive ALO interview shows the reality behind this beauty and what shapes the American Dream.

Magazines hit the newsstands and book stores in October.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eliminating prejudice from the soul

How do we end prejudice?

We end prejudice by accepting each other.

By doing what we say and saying what we do. By honoring our word and keeping true to the promises we make to others.

We don't do it by living for the sake of greed and money. When we use money as a tool for changing what is wrong in the world, it begins to evolve. When we invest in the right places and causes we can leave the past in the past. When we do, we only learn from our past mistakes and we do not perpetuate it.

Lawrence Durrell said "History is an endless repetition of the wrong way of living," and he is right. The future can be harmonic but we have to change.

LOVE each other more. Lead with your heart for the sake of humanity and do not let self-interest be the sole motivator. RESPECT each other. Do not to judge - teach instead. Do not to fight - but reconcile. Do not to argue - communication is the tool that enlightens. Fix yourself before asking others to change and live by the same rules we ask of others.

Prejudice exists in the hearts of those do not believe in the highest power. Simply put, those who only know how to hate and discriminate have prejudice in the heart of their soul. Those who embrace tolerance will shine for humanity. So, the people of the Earth must decide whether they know what love is?

When you find love, then you found perfection. LOVE everything and everything will be right within you and the world around you. This is how you eliminate prejudice from the soul.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Claim Your Identity

Thought of the Day: Interesting how leaders, our governments and various non-profit organizations are encouraging communities of Middle Eastern descent to complete their Census forms. BUT why are we not considered an ethnicity like all other diversity groups -- or at least the 29 represented on the Census. I urge you all to ask your legislators to claim your existence as one of the most influential and diverse groups in the States. Under others write: Middle Eastern.

Ethnicity can be broken down under the Middle Eastern categories. Selection of ethnicity can include: Arabs, Persian, Turkish, Armenian, Israeli, Middle Eastern non-arabs, etc.. It is time to raise your voice. Subscribe to ALO online and learn more about this subject.

Your thoughts?