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NEWS/Haifa Wehbe, Nancy Ajram and Maya Diab for the Ice Bucket Challenge!

Many celebrities around the World are getting involved in what’s called “The Ice Bucket Challenge“, made in first place for raising awareness of the ALS. But in Lebanon this Friday, it was the way to go for Lebanon’s water crisis, as more celebrities took up the ice bucket challenge and others declined their nomination.

Nancy Ajram, the Lebanese songstress, declined her nomination by many of her fans by stating that she would like to tell everyone who nominated her for the Ice Bucket Challenge to withdraw the nomination and that she would rather donate instead so that way she will be relieved.

But on the other hand, the two Lebanese beauties Haifa Wehbe and Maya Diab took a more daring stand; Haifa was being doused in three buckets of water with the help of two friends and Maya took her challenge in Al Mandaloun Pub in Beirut.

Haifa Wehbe nominated the international star Rihanna, her make-up artist Bassam Fattouh and Tarek Freitekh, she said so before going off in to a sonic pitch at the touch of cold water, while Maya Diab nominated the Lebanese singers Wael Kfoury and Fares Karem, as well as Hadi Sharara and the Egyptian artist Cherine Abdel Wahab. Will they accept the challenge?

The ALS ice bucket challenge gives those nominated 24 hours to respond - either by filming themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads and passing on their nomination or instead donating to the ALS Association in the United States, founded by the American Baseball player Peter Frates who was stricken by ALS. Now, he can no longer speak, walk or move his arms.

According to the ALS Association, "amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as 'Lou Gehrig's Disease,' is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord."

So far, the campaign seems to be successful in raising funds with the ALS Association saying that as of Wednesday they had received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year.

As for the Lebanese version of the Ice Bucket Challenge, a group of young Lebanese filmed a reinterpretation of the challenge, focusing out of ALS, and zooming deeper in to a problem that is a little closer to home. Under the title, “Ice Bucket Challenge ONLY IN LEBANON,” eight people launch an animated countdown before upturning what turns out to be empty buckets.

#MAFIMAY- Arabic for #ThereIsNoWater - then appears on the screen after a humorous cricket chirping silence for awareness of the water crisis in the country.


by Jamil Richane


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