Lebanon’s former beauty queen throws wedding party amid ban

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The ceremony was followed by a wedding gala held for family and friends. (Twitter photo)
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The former Miss Lebanon got married wearing a Dior wedding dress. File/Instagram
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Updated 04 August 2020

Lebanon’s former beauty queen throws wedding party amid ban

BEIRUT: Amid a Cabinet-imposed lockdown to prevent the coronavirus spreading, Miss Lebanon 2015 Valerie Abou Chacra held her marriage party on Saturday despite wedding bans.

Abou Chacra, an actress, married Lebanese businessman Ziyad Ammar in an open-space wedding in Bkerke during which Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai led the nuptials.

The ceremony was followed by a wedding gala held for family and friends — flouting the nationwide lockdown.

Following a surge in coronavirus cases, the Cabinet decided on the lockdown with strict regulations imposed by the health and interior ministries, so Lebanese were taken aback when photos and videos of Chacra’s wedding party surfaced on social media.

People took to social media to criticize the former beauty queen whom they accused, along with her husband, of being socially irresponsible for violating the ban. 

Meanwhile, other social media figures and users praised the “fancy and stylish” wedding.

Social media users censured the authorities for allowing Abou Chacra to carry on with her wedding celebration.



A post shared by Valerie Abou Chacra Magazine (@valerieabouchacramagazine) on

The weekend witnessed a flurry of media statements from different ministries about allowing some prescheduled wedding parties to go ahead within strict social distancing and protective measures.

In a televised interview with LBCI, Health Minister Dr. Hamad Hassan said that he had granted permission to seven wedding functions.

“We have to adapt and live the joys and sorrows, but with certain procedures,” he said.

However, the minister warned that in the case of any breach of procedures, the Interior Ministry would reconsider the exception.



A post shared by (@valerie_abouchacrafans) on

Arab News contacted a Health Ministry official, who could not confirm whether Abou Chacra’s wedding was on the list of the seven exemptions.

The exemptions were granted to a specific number of weddings granted they met certain regulations, the official said.

“Part of the regulations were that the party be held outdoors, social distancing be respected and the number of invitees must be limited in accordance to the venue’s seating and accommodation,” he told Arab News.



A post shared by . (@iixa.60) on








Meanwhile, Interior Minister Brig. Gen. Mohammad Fahmi’s media office released a statement confirming that social gatherings (including weddings) were strictly banned within the lockdown period.

Consequently, any permission granted from any authority would be withheld and strict measures taken against those violating regulations, the statement read.

TV presenter Youmna Sherry tweeted that law enforcement officers stopped Abou Chacra’s wedding, however this could not be independently confirmed. 

Sherry tweeted that what happened to Abou Chacra during her wedding celebration was wrong as she deserved all the best.


REVIEW: It’s a tough, brutal world in ‘The Devil All the Time’

Updated 24 min 8 sec ago

REVIEW: It’s a tough, brutal world in ‘The Devil All the Time’

  • Tom Holland leads an all-star cast in Netflix’s gritty post-war thriller

LONDON: The star-studded cast of “The Devil All the Time” promises big things. Tom Holland and Sebastian Stan (both mainstays of the Marvel cinematic universe), Bill Skarsgård (fresh from traumatizing a new generation in the “It” movie remakes), Jason Clarke (“First Man” and “Pet Sematary”) and new Batman Robert Pattinson all signed on for this Netflix thriller, directed and co-written by Antonio Campos, one of the filmmakers involved in the recent COVID-era anthology “Homemade.”

“The Devil All the Time” follows a disparate group of characters in post-war Ohio and West Virginia. (Supplied)

Based on the novel by Donald Ray Pollock, who takes a turn as the movie’s narrator, “The Devil All the Time” follows a disparate group of characters in post-war Ohio and West Virginia. Returning soldier Willard Russell (Skarsgård ) believes he’s left the war behind him when he meets waitress Charlotte (Haley Bennett). The two have a son, Arvin. But despite these positive overtones, Campos’ world is one of ever-present menace, with corrupt officials, twisted lovers and charlatan preachers behind seemingly every corner, waiting to sully any glimmer of optimism with depravity.

Adult Arvin (played with surprising grit and gravitas by Holland, better known for his bright-and-breezy Spider-Man) struggles to cope with the brutality of the world as it batters him at every turn. When vile preacher Preston Teagardin (Pattinson) rolls into town, his sinister intentions are telegraphed from the get go and, unsurprisingly, his predatory nature kickstarts a chain of events that lifts the lid on the darkest possible side of 1960s USA.

Holland is a joy to watch, his dramatic heft belying his young age. Pattinson is, quite simply, horrifically intoxicating, throwing himself into the role with all the sneering vileness he can muster. The two Brits steal the lion’s share of the limelight, but Campos’ film benefits from the high-caliber ensemble. Simply by pointing a camera at them, the director is onto a winner.

The movie doesn’t shy away from violence, and some scenes are a little tough to take. And it’s an unrelenting second half as Holland’s world comes tumbling down in relatively short order. “The Devil Al the Time” is a brutal, visceral experience. But great performances from a stellar cast make it an engaging one.