by L’Orient Le Jour
The gold braid trims, the costumes, and solemn ambiance could have led you to believe that the “tsar of all Russia” had reincarnated Tuesday night at the Beirut Music Hall. Only the «emperor» of «Nowheristan», «His Imperial Majesty» Michel Elefteriades, resembles no one but himself, in the frenzy and atmosphere that he creates, and more specifically, in the messages that may look funny while full of wisdom, and which he so well knows how to deliver.
To the Lebanese lost and torn between two hostile camps, he wanted to offer an alternative, the «Nowheristan», a mythical «country», with no frontiers and no State, with no passport and therefore no visa, where «citizens» can move about freely and give the best of themselves, far from the usual state constraints and other limitations blocking the minds and the means. The birth of this mythical «country» was proclaimed in 2005 and it is for the fifth anniversary that Michel Elefteriades gave a big reception in the presence of diplomats, «Nowheristanis», and staggered journalists often times won over by his style.
Surrounded by his «imperial guard» in ceremonial dress, helmets and metallic suits, dressed in red velvet and gold mainly, carrying the scepter of his «empire», he addressed his guests reminding them that «Nowheristan» is the first step towards the creation of «Everywheristan» which will be the country of all citizens, beyond divides and differences. To the ironic skeptics, he reminded them that five years later, thousands of «citizens» from around the world have joined «Nowheristan», and that this concept would be the solution to all the problems of our time: no more frontiers, no more states, no more antagonisms, therefore no more wars…
For that matter, a brochure explaining the main concepts of «Nowheristan» and having as a title the very explicit slogan «We have the solution», was distributed at the entrance of the Music Hall, turned for one evening (and a memorable one) into the headquarters of the «empire»; one born out of the overflowing imagination of a 40 year old man with a past full of all sorts of struggles, but who succeeded in show business with a theme. His pomposity and unrealistic humor can cause few smiles, but somehow also lead to thinking about the absurdity of this world always in need of wars and conflicts to exist…