Welcome to the first post of the new year and I’ve got some great news to share. Remember that post I had on the Indian bar in Mumbai that resembles Beirut? Well, the journalist who came up with that statement has received my Looks Like Beirut certificate and has responded by email:

Dear Mr. Jad,

May I begin by saying how cool you are!

Thank you for the “Looks Like Beirut Award”. Makes me feel like Pipik, a character from a Philip Roth novel! As someone who hates clichés and stereotypes I think you are bang on. Absolutely! In future I will be more careful about what I write. In fact I am going to write a piece on this specifically. Nothing like an egg on the face to wake you up!! Thank you very much!!

Warm Regards

Mayank Tewari

Principal Correspondent
DNA —Daily News and Analysis, Mumbai

I am beyond thrilled by the response I received from Mayank and I’m so glad he took my comments lightly, which was actually my intention.

I will be responding personally to Mayank to thank him and maybe I’ll get a chance to meet him in person as I’ll be flying to Mumbai this Friday (more on that later).

Remember, if you see any “Looks Like Beirut” comments, do let me know. My repeated attempts at getting a functional contact form on this website have failed miserably so just email me jad at jadaoun dot com.

Update – January 5, 2010: Just wanted to provide you with a link to our very first convert: Tyler Hanley.