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MENAFN - Arab News - 02/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Baakline: word that beirut-born amal alamuddin has stolen the heart of oscar-winning heartthrob george clooney has caused a frenzy in lebanon where citizens are more used to bad news.

in baakline the leafy home district of alamuddin's father in the lebanese mountains ramzi sabbagh could hardly contain his enthusiasm.

'she has made lebanon and baakline proud given that she is originally from here" he told afp.

despite the excitement few of baakline's residents actually know alamuddin 36 whose family fled for britain during lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war. alamuddin who was just three at the time now holds british citizenship and is an attorney specializing in international law and human rights.

soon after people magazine broke the news of her engagement to hollywood's most coveted bachelor lebanese internet users began expressing their delight.

'clooney engaged to a lebanese woman is proof that we're the best" one user wrote on twitter. 'only a lebanese woman could make a husband out of clooney" added another.

for others the news was a chance to mock lebanon's perennial political paralysis. 'let's vote george cloony president of lebanon" wrote one wit as the country's parliament wrangles over the choice of the next head of state.

a satirical site in a nod to tensions between israel and lebanon which technically remain at war joked that clooney's decision to wed an arab had raised israel's ire.

'israel presses for military action against clooney after he proposes to lebanese girlfriend" it wrote.

some lebanese lost no time in referring to clooney as 'cousin george" — a very popular name among the christian community.

tongue-in-cheek many internet users wondered if clooney's impending nuptials might see him switch his allegiances from the nespresso coffee brand he promotes to lebanon's famed brew. 'clooney ditches nespresso to become face of cafe najjar" a satirical site wrote.

beirut's daily star newspaper quoting a source close to the couple said clooney and alamuddin are to wed in london in september.

but not everyone is enthused.

'it's difficult to accept that she's marrying a non-druze" grumbled a young man in baakline.

another resident looked blankly when asked about the subject.

'george clooney? who's that?"


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