Turn Me On, Turn Me Off

Abstinence: No Touching + No Lovin’ For RAGMAG

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FML

Bad Hair Day

I hate the word “fashion”. I hate the colloquialism “bad hair day”. I hate women that lose weight when they take their makeup off. I hate it when a girl asks me if I like her nails. Honey, we all have fingers can’t you express yourself somewhere else? I hate cosmetic products made out of ground up cow organs. And I strongly believe that this superficial culture that we submerged ourselves in as a consumerist society is the reason the planet is dying on us.

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Weighing the Odds

Last issue I shared quite a personal facet of my life in an article that took me a long time to write, as I am not keen on sharing my private info. I told our RAGMAG readers why I didn’t want to get married, at least for now, and I thought I was done with the very personal articles. My Editor Fida being who she is, decided it was out of the question so for my FML, she decides to send me speed dating.

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Stunt with Lebanese Parkour

I hadn’t had an FML for a while and I have to say I was dreading it, knowing it would hit me any time soon! As predicted that phone call finally arrived, with Youmna asking me to head down to the Collège du Sacré-Coeur Gemmayzeh Monday at 6pm for a stunt class. After I hung up I was actually pretty excited about the assignment for once: jumping from buildings, blowing up cars, shootouts... I mean that’s what we call stunts no? Little did I know it wasn’t even close to that!

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Goldfingered Chef at the Four Seasons

Fida was actually considering both options for my FML: I would either run the Beirut Marathon for RAGMAG or become a Goldfingered chef at the Four Seasons. I tried blackmailing Fida and Gina into choosing the second option, since running the marathon would kill me, but I had to wait for their Highnesses to decide on my fate.

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A View Of Sobriety

Fida tricked me. I got an email saying there is a “new concept” for RAGMAG and so could I state my favourite things. What Fida actually meant by “new concept” was: a new and devious way to cause pain. In this case establishing what Imogen loves the most and then taking it away from her–and so this is how it came to be that I ended up going 21 days without any alcohol.

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Gold star of achievement

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” I put myself under oath. Or rather, this is what I asked myself before I entered into this foolish social experiment.

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Strobe Lights + Surround Sound

I have embraced all of my FMLs with a gracious heart, willingly, and with the strength of a good team player. But, I just couldn’t fathom the thought of my forthcoming FML. Sickly feelings, cold sweats, anxiety attacks, shivers are just a few of the symptoms I experienced when #EvilEditor @FidaChaaban announced on Twitter that my FML would be transforming me into a DJ for the evening at @Feb30Hamra. I found out at the same time as everyone else that I, @GinaGabriel1, would be taking over the DJ booth for a couple of hours including my training. Does that appeal to anyone out there?

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Hi Ho Silver Away!

This is me waking up on Thursday morning and getting ready for my FML day. I wore a green halter top, Capri pants and flip flops. Yes, I looked very relaxed. I obviously had no idea what spending a day at El Rancho entailed.

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Rolling In the Deep

Once I told a friend of mine who was questioning my ‘spiritual side’, “I’m like a beach ball – colourful on the outside, nothing on the inside.” Sceptic is not the word, I just don’t believe in souls, chakras, floating third realms, any of it. This is why Fida sent me for a chat with her favourite yoga instructor and a lesson in meditation: “Hiba, please teach Imogen how to awaken each chakra in chants and meditation and explain the colours and theories etc... Please also explain souls and connectedness and these sorts of concepts that you have taught me.” Thanks Fida.

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The Show Must Go On

I brainstormed with Gina. What could I do for FML this issue? I learned to blow fire for the February Up in Flames issue and for our first issue over a year ago I’d gone scuba diving. This issue we were turning everything upside down, so I had to be upside down too.

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I Can Transformya

For my second FML, Fida decided to send me to my doom and see how good a writer I could be from beyond the grave

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Pull The Plug

When Fida called me up a couple of weeks ago, I thought she was going to ask about a piece I have yet to write or about an event in the area that I was going to cover or something. When she asked a seemingly innocent question about violence, a red flag went up in a small part of my brain, warning me to answer carefully because this could very well be dangerous

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Water World

He then guides me through a 30 minute workout during which I do three sequences of aqua gym and three others of aqua ride, following the initial warm-up routine. What is particularly interesting about the session is that it was tailormade, designed to meet my specific needs (needless to say, I am a beginner!).

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Busker For RAGMAG

Busking (or performing in the street for money), was not something I was looking forward to for several reasons, not the least of which were my really bad voice, my bad memory for lyrics, and my lack of guitar skills. It’s very simple really: I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PLAY OR SING.

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Down + Dirty

For RAGMAG’s Sterile issue, I thought about all the women (and men) I’d met over the years who wash their faces with soap and water (and those who use JUST water), and I never thought I’d be one of them. My gel cleanser is by Christian Dior, and when they discontinued it, I went into a panic and bought 6 so that I would never run out. I have 4 left so I’m okay for a while.

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Time to Shine

24 HOURS OF ABSOLUTELY NO TALKING WHILE NAVIGATING MY WAY AROUND BEIRUT

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Pump Up The Jam

Yep! The deep end it was. Upon my arrival and my introduction, instructor Petra Abinader looked at me and asked if I was familiar with Zumba. In between shaking my head and the blasting music, something was said! I am sure of it! However there was no time to stop and ask, no time to digest, and no time to make for the exit. I had to Zumba with the flow!

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Metamorphosis

Fida is really trying her best; my second yoga challenge wrapped up as a FML. With the fervour of any religious nut the yoga devotee believes that yoga has something to offer everyone, that we can all be improved by yoga if we just give it a chance. I have heard countless stories of transformations of mere mortals into radiant bearers of light.

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