Pépé Abed

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Youssef Gergi Abed (1911 – December 2006), also known as Pépé Abed, was a Lebanese adventurer, explorer and entrepreneur. He is considered the epitome of Lebanon's golden age. Nicknamed 'The Hugh Hefner of the Middle East', he frequently paid host to a series of sexy ladies - from Georgia to Latvia.

Early life[edit]

Abed was born in Rmeil but spent much of his time as a child and young adult in Mexico. In the early 1950s, Pepe, who was by that time a jeweler, returned to Lebanon to see family.

Career[edit]

Abed pioneered Lebanon's tourist potential with the Acapulco beach club in Jnah, the Bacchus hotel and nightclub in Beirut, the Admiral's Club in Tyre, the Hacienda in Amshit and his personal refuge, the Byblos Fishing Club.

Among the more high-profile visitors to the Byblos Fishing Club were Swedish actress Anita Ekberg, French crooner Johnny Hallyday, Kim Novak, Ginger Rogers, Ann-Margret, the poet Said Akl, Czech President Václav Havel, Mexican President Miguel Alemán Valdés and Lebanese President Camille Chamoun, among numerous other heads of state.

In the 1960s, the Byblos Fishing Club had become a world-class destination for the decade's jet-setting glitterati, and Pepe had a veritable empire on his hands. In addition to the Admiral's Club, the Hacienda and the Bacchus, the family established a full-service travel agency to coordinate a seamless experience for a clientele of bold-faced names.

Pepe bought seven caves from their fishermen owners and turned them into a restaurant serving traditional Lebanese fare of fish and mezze, washed down with local wine or arak.[1]

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