I have to admit, the Ministry’s latest ad is probably their best production yet. It doesn’t try too hard and focuses on small wonders, like family, food and the sea– a major reason why most Lebanese living abroad come home during summers. 
And let’s face it–the bulk of visitors are actually expatriates. So one need not waste time catering to Orienatalist fantasies– locals should be the target. But wouldn’t it also be nice to sell this country on more than eating, dancing and drinking for once? Maybe expatriates should be encouraged to return to take park in say development and citizenship, not just partying.
Nonetheless this latest commercial is far better than the painfully contrieved last one:

Or its equally strange predecessor:

But all of these ads are actually produced by ad agencies, not the Ministry itself, which occupies a gargantuan multi-level complex facing the central bank in Hamra.

I’ve been there several times myself, navigating a maze of offices on its many floors. If the main output is these outsourced commercials then what do ministry employees–there must be hundreds of them throughout the building– actually do everyday?

This is a question that can probably be asked of the 20 odd ministries that currently exisit and employ thousands while producing very little, at least in terms of publicly viewable policies, projects or deliverables. 

  1. Unlike most countries, in which municipalities regulate restaurants, hotels, bars and all the other fun places we like to go… in Lebanon these are all considered touristic establishments/gold mines and the ministry employees go out of their way to collect as much money from owners as possible by putting up ridiculous roadblocks, losing paperwork, arbitrarily enforcing/not enforcing the law and generally making it hard as hell to run an above board business that people might like to hang out at…

    Some production company came to my place a couple weeks ago asking to film a promotion for the Ministry with Assi Helani, and when I politely refused, I was accused of being non-patriotic… a few TV commercials, no matter how good they are (and the new ones are GOOD), cannot make up for daily onslaught of bad news our politicians broadcast to the world, and unseen, but equally pernicious, the shit storms the ministry stirs up for businesses inside the country trying to abide by the law (i.e. without some wasta/partner taking 10-30%).

    Sorry, but for obvious reasons I gota post this anonymously

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