The renowned Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut has released a Valentine's Day advertisement that pays tribute to the various forms of love. 

In a bold and widely-praised move, the hotel most notably acknowledged same-sex love in the powerful video, sending a message of acceptance and inclusivity to the oft-prosecuted members of the LGBTQ+ community in the country. 

"I believe that Love is Love and that is unconditional," the director of the ad, Elie Fahed, told StepFeed. 

"That was an important message to be communicated, especially on Valentine's Day."

The video, which was released earlier this week and has been making the rounds on social media ever since, starts off with the question: "What is love?".

It then goes on to demonstrate different forms of unconditional love, from the love between parents and their children, that between pet owners and their pets, to that between an elderly couple.

"There will never be just one answer to define love," the narrator finally concludes.

Among the forms highlighted in the video is same-sex love

One scene (minute 0:55) features two young women sharing flirtatious glances and smiling at each other in an elevator. 

"But seriously, do you know what love is?" the voice-over asks. "It's when you don't mind how long the elevator ride takes."

The scene can be seen as a subtle nod to the LGBTQ+ community and a gesture against the continuous social stigma and misconceptions the community is subject to in Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world.

Speaking to StepFeed about the importance of promoting tolerance in the media, Fahed said, "Media is everything nowadays, and films express emotions in the noblest way."

He went on to say that he believes it is important "not to label things that much."

"It's love after all, nothing else matters, so my focus was to tell a story about different kinds of love. I didn't think much about targeting a specific audience," Fahed explained.

"It's very simple - An ad where we tried to define and defend love, all kinds of love, that's all," he added. 

People on social media are absolutely loving the hotel's ad. Here are some of their comments:

Rainbow flags were in order

The elevator scene is a fan-favorite


Inclusivity FTW


Here's to embracing all forms of love

"We feel this is true hospitality from the heart," says Phoenicia Hotel

The ad also received some negative feedback for the same-sex couple scene, with one Facebook user referring to it as "terrible".

"You shocked eyes and minds by encouraging homosexuality in a country where it is still banned... Respect this at least," another user wrote.

In response, the hotel posted a comment that read, "We define it (unconditional love) as our love to all our guests no matter their origins, age or gender respecting equality and differences. We feel this is true hospitality from the heart." 

Not the first ad of its kind in the country

In May 2017, the restaurant Crepaway became one of the first in Lebanon to shatter a longstanding taboo by featuring a same-sex couple on screen. 

Under their famous slogan "Come as you are", their ad included a same-sex couple cuddling by the sea as the voiceover says "and here's to never hiding your love-bites."