Lebanon Emerges as Mideast's 'Mecca' for Cosmetic Surgery

by Barry Neild ,  CNN | 2010-11-19

(CNN) -- While the search for inner beauty is this month drawing Muslims to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage, a different kind of search -- this time for beauty of a more obvious kind -- is drawing many from the Middle East to another location.

The traditional Eid holiday that marks the start of the Hajj is used by many in the region as an opportunity to travel abroad for plastic surgery. Their destination is usually Lebanon, a country whose obsession with physical perfection has transformed it into a very different kind of Mecca.

"We are very busy at this time of year -- we work like restaurants, when everyone is on vacation, we're working," Roger El Khoury, head surgeon at the Beirut Beauty Clinic, told CNN.



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