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Lebanon: Fashion Designer Says It's Business As Usual In Tough Times

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By Reuters

BEIRUT, LEBANON (SEPTEMBER 15, 2010) (REUTERS) INTERIOR OF SHOWROOM OF LEBANESE DESIGNER ABED MAHFOUZ MANNEQUINS WEARING MAHFOUZ'S DESIGNS DRESSES HANGING IN SHOWROOM MORE OF THE DRESSES BEADING AND FABRIC ON DRESS MAHFOUZ SPEAKING TO JOURNALIST BEADING ON DRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE DESIGNER, ABED MAHFOUZ, SAYING: ''In Morocco today, have you heard about what's in Morocco? I have had two weddings in Morocco and frankly I was shocked. It was not just one wedding dress. It was a different dress for seven nights. The dresses range between 20 and 25 thousand dollars each and in the end, the last dress, for 150 or 200 thousand. What I can see is that this crisis will be over soon.'' MANNEQUIN IN RED EVENING DRESS DESIGNED BY MAHFOUZ (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE DESIGNER, ABED MAHFOUZ, SAYING: ''Why don't we have new generation of designers? We do have a new generation. But there is no support for them. This business is expensive. I have been working for 28 years, since 1982, and it was only until nine or ten years ago when I went to Rome that I began to achieve international recognition. It needs time. You can't make a name in two or three years.'' MORE OF MAHFOUZ DESIGNS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE DESIGNER ABED MAHFOUZ SAYING: ''In Rome, the ministry of culture takes care of me. In Rome, I am taken care of from the time I arrive at the airport to the time I leave the airport. In Rome, we don't pay money, or now we pay a small amount. Everything is paid for by the government. In the summer, the president hosts us for lunch or dinner, and in the winter the prime minister and the municipality honour us. In Lebanon, unfortunately, there is nothing like this. Before there was a plan by Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri to have an international fashion week in Beirut, but unfortunately...''
Dateline: 2010

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