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What was Sean Penn doing in Beirut? Open in fullscreen

Karim Traboulsi

What was Sean Penn doing in Beirut?

The American actor tries hard to be involved in global humanitarian issues [AFP]

Date of publication: 27 May, 2016

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The Hollywood star was seen in the Lebanese capital, but no official announcement has been yet made as to the purpose of his visit
Madonna's former husband, Hollywood actor and sometimes political activist Sean Penn has been spotted in the Lebanese capital Beirut. 

It was not immediately clear what Penn was doing there, but rumours on social media suggested he visited the Hizballah-sponsored "resistance museum" during his trip, which coincided with the anniversary of Lebanon's liberation from Israeli occupation in 2000.

A photo later surfaced on the web showing him visiting the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sean Penn is known for his extra-curricular interests. Most recently, he came to the limelight for his involvement in the affair of Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo. 

He was also the subject of a spoof-gone-wrong that suggested he was meeting with the leader of Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

His latest film was butchered at the Cannes Film Festival.

The "well-meaning" movie was accused of using African conflicts as an "aphrodisiac for white people" by The Guardian.

Lebanon is a frequent destination for Western celebrities, who come for charity projects (and photo-ops) given the presence of hundreds of thousands of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in the country.

Recently, Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei was in town, reportedly for a project with Palestinian refugees.

Hollywood superstar (and LSE lecturer) Angelina Jolie is also a frequent guest in Beirut, due to her role with the UN refugee agency.

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