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March-April 2014

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MIM Museum Opens in Beirut: Mineral Event of the Century

The buzz started several years ago, it became louder two years ago, and this past year it was heard all around the world-a new museum devoted to minerals. In Lebanon, you say? Who is the person behind it? Where did he acquire the specimens? Really? The world's finest?

There was no disappointment on 12 October 2013 when the doors of the MIM Museum finally opened. The gasps were so audible they could likely be heard throughout the entire city of Beirut and beyond. Salim Eddé, an engineer and graduate of the École Polytechnique, began in 1997 to put together a mineral collection like no other. Eddé's story of success could be classified as one of the "Steve Jobs moments"-an idea hatched in a garage with personal funding of around $8,000 by Eddé and a college friend, Laurent Neel. Elias Eddé, Salim's younger brother who was still in college, worked alongside the pair. Murex was born, and it is now one of the most successful software companies in the world and still very much a family business-it includes four Eddé brothers and one brother-in-law in addition to a worldwide staff in the offices in Beirut, Paris, Dublin, New York, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Beijing.

Dona Leicht and her husband, Wayne, have owned and operated Kristalle in Laguna Beach, California, since 1971.

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