Current occupation: Host of Al-Hurra’s “Al-Mashhad Al-Loubnani” (المشهد اللبناني)
Former employers: OTV, LBCi
Layal Ekhtiar is a highly charismatic Lebanese TV presenter and panelist. Having originally studied medicine and obtained a degree in radiation, Ekhtiar soon turned to media and broadcasting, citing it as her true passion. After media studies in London, Ekhtiar worked with the Lebanese channel OTV, followed by LBC. Currently working for Al-Hurra as a presenter of a political segment, Ekhtiar is very popular among the Lebanese audience given her charisma and proximity to the Lebanese population.
Despite her popularity, Ekhtiar has been threatened several times by various political parties and militias in Lebanon, most recently by Hezbollah. In a tweet in June 2021, Ekhtiar revealed that she was subject to a smear campaign by “individuals allied to Hezbollah” and was threatened with murder. The threats follow her previous tweet commenting on Qassem Soleimani’s statue and quoting a surah from the Qur’an.
Layal Ekhtiar is known for her role in the resignation of former Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe. In a TV interview with Ekhtiar on Al-Hurra, Wehbe defended Hezbollah and suggested that Gulf states were to blame for the rise of Daesh, causing a rift between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Salman Ansari, a Saudi commentator, defended Ekhtiar after she received “verbal abuse and threats” from Wehbe.
In 2021, Ekhtiar received a Golden Visa in the UAE, a long-term residency visa that enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without a national sponsor.