Lebanon is most often in the news in American newspapers as a place of terror attacks or fighting in the streets.
But in the Arab world, Lebanon is known as the place where sexy talent is born.
In fact, Lebanese divas are one of the small Mediterranean country's biggest exports.
The World's Aaron Schachter explores the world of Lebanese divas.
The highway leading north from Beirut is plastered with billboards bearing the likenesses, and cleavage, of, among others, Melissa, Elissa, Larissa, Myriam, Latifa, Asmara, Asalla, Nancy Ajram, and the queen of them all, Haifa.
Haifa Wehbe is a former model and Miss Lebanon runner-up turned singing-superstar, and is, quite literally, the ideal that many women here aspire to. Plastic surgery's a big industry here, and reports say many women walk into surgery and say "make me look like Haifa." One of her most popular songs is called "I'm Haifa."
The song, as you might imagine, doesn't say a whole lot but that sigh and giggle, dear listener, have made the hearts of millions beat faster.
Aramouni: You have Haifa and you have the Haifa wanna-bees.
Eli Aramouni is the programmer for Nagham TV, a popular music channel based in Beirut.
Aramouni: Haifa has created a craze, like Madonna in the 80's. Everybody wanted to be Madonna, whether teenagers, whether aspiring singers. Everybody wanted to look like Madonna, everybody wanted to dress like Madonna, everybody wanted to be the Madonna of the day.
Aramouni says there are other genres of music here but they're drowned out by the new Divas who appear each month to feed the satellite music channels. Ghassan Chartouni runs the Music is My Life management agency. He claims to be the only talent agency in the country, with 15 artists in his stable. Chartouni says the diva business is centered in Lebanon because this is where the media is.
Chartouni: In the Arab world, Lebanon is a cosmopolitan and melting pot country, so we have too many cultures living under one roof and the music industry is good because we have too many media, too many talents and technologically we are advanced.
But what Lebanon can't do is protect recording artists from piracy.
Most people do not buy albums, at least not the real thing. You can get a bootleg copy of just about anything for a couple of bucks. Because of that, the albums and videos are mere advertisements.
Even superstars like Nancy Ajram make their living performing at weddings and concerts in hotels around the Arab world. The sad fact, say industry insiders, is that Ajram can make more money at a single event like this, a $300-per-person dinner show, than she'd make selling any album, ever.
This is El Donia Helwa, The World is Sweet, one of Ajram's hits. Ajram is another of the rare huge talents here who is also hugely talented. Until recently she had a chubby-faced, girl-next-door quality...but that apparently wasn't going to fly if she was to be a superstar. She hooked up with one of Lebanon's premier talent managers and is now a sexy siren, thanks to a change in jaw line, nose, and bust. But she claims that's not where her appeal lies.
Ajram: You can't say it's only a sexy girl because children doesn't know the sexy people only they are very innocent and they see the innocence.
Innocence is not a quality that the blonde, French-educated Sabine portrays. She's an up-and-coming diva who works hard to avoid Haifa comparisons, except the shared desire to be a superstar.
Her video for the song "Send Me an Email" was a hit two years ago, based perhaps more on tease than talent. She hasn't had a hit since then. She tells me she's plotting her next move carefully to show herself as an all-around performer like Christina Aguilera or Whitney Houston.
Sabine does have the talent to make it, if as she says she can choose wisely, her manager, her material, her image. But whether she has the staying power to survive the Arab music industry is yet to be determined.