Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Leila goes down to Zaitunay - really?

Zaitounay Bay is one of the uppity places in Beirut these days, right by the Marina where influence and status is measured by the size of the moored yacht. There are restaurants galore even if it is now more populated by casual places since upscale places failed to take off. Leila, a Lebanese restaurant chain seems to be opening a branch there with the ad that goes "Leila goes down to Zaitounay" - except, for those with a memory a bit longer than today, Zaitunay (which literally means olive tree) was Beirut's clubs, pubs and whorehouse area. Basically the nowadays-Maameltein of the pre-war Beirut. Calling a woman "from Zaitounay" was basically an allusion to her loose morals. Funny story, a friend we knew had a mother of questionable ethics, in order not to embarrass the guy his code name was "Johnny Olivia" with Olivia of course deriving from "olive" or Zaitounay. We all knew the origin of the nickname except for him.
So there Leila, I am not sure this is a smart ad. Sorry.
"Leila. What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?"