Category Archives: Art

ASHEKMAN Gift Snoop Dogg An Arabic Calligraffiti Portrait

Posted By :

snoop dog Snoop Dogg taking a shot of his portrait

Lebanese street artists and ASHEKMAN founders Omar and Mohamed Kabbani gifted American rapper Snoop Dogg a calligraffiti portrait. The portrait was handed to the West-coast rapper by DJ BASE and will be hung in Snoop Dogg’s main studio in Los Angeles!

ASHEKMAN brothers have been covering Beirut’s walls with amazing graffiti murals since 2001, have come up with a couple of awesome Arabic rap songs and started their own urban fashion line few years ago. They are among the most talented street artists in the region and it’s pretty cool to see their work displayed in Snoop Dogg’s offices in LA.

snoop dog2

Via Gino

Uniting Bab el Tebbeneh & Jabal Mohsen In A Play: The Story Behind This Tripolitan Tale

Posted By :


Four months ago, MARCH Lebanon brought together young men and women from Bab el Tebbeneh & Jabal Mohsen to create and prepare for a comedy play inspired by their lives. The play entitled “Love and War on a rooftop” was written and directed by Lucien Bou Rjeily and it turned out to be a huge success and an inspiring story for all the Lebanese. The play showed us that these two communities don’t hate each other and these divisions are only in our heads, that they are paying the price of poverty and corruption and more importantly that we can break barriers between different sects and communities in the easiest way possible.


Now for those who are wondering how this play came to be, and how MARCH and the concerned parties were able to bring these young people together to play the lives of 16 ex-fighters Jabal Mohsen and Bab El Tebbeneh, MARCH is releasing “Love and War on the Rooftop – The Documentary” that will be screened on 10-11-12 November 2015 @ 8pm at CINEMA EMPIRE METROPOLIS SOFIL CENTER, Beirut. We obviously need more conflict resolution projects like this one as they help break barriers and bring Lebanese from different sects and communities together and I salute MARCH and these young men and women for their efforts.

Check out the trailer, it looks very promising and I hope I see you all there in a couple of weeks!

For those who need further info on the play or documentary, contact MARCH: or 78-836788

New Aïshti Complex In Jal el Dib To Open On October 25

Posted By :


For all those who have been wondering about the new Aïshti Complex on the Jal el Dib highway, this is the new building for the The Aïshti Foundation and it’s opening on October 25. The Aïshti Foundation is part of a 35,000 square-meter complex that will include fashion boutiques, a curated bookshop, restaurants, cafes, a spa and a rooftop bar with an amazing sea view. More importantly, it will include one of the largest contemporary art museum in the region. In fact, the huge complex which was designed by Adjaye Associates will be dedicated to presenting contemporary art exhibitions and artworks from the 2,000-strong private collection of Tony Salamé, CEO of Aïshti.

Aishti Foundation rendering south-west view

A Contemporary art museum designed by British architect David Adjaye

The opening exhibition will be organised by Massimiliano Gioni, the artistic director of the New Museum in New York and will feature more “than 100 works by international contemporary artists including, among others: Etel Adnan, Ziad Antar, Tauba Auerbach, Agostino Bonalumi, Carol Bove, Kerstin Brätsch, Daniel Buren, Enrico Castellani, Urs Fischer, Wade Guyton, Camille Henrot, Glenn Ligon, Lucy McKenzie, Giuseppe Penone, Gianni Piacentino, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Seth Price, R.H. Quaytman, Gerhard Richter, Pamela Rosenkraz, Rayanne Tabet, Wolfgang Tillmans, Kari Upson, Andra Ursuta, Christopher Wool, Danh Vo, Charline Von Heyl, Michael Williams and Akram Zaatari among many others”. More than 4,000 square meters of exhibition space will be offered in the new building.

Aishti Foundation rendering - Interior

We definitely need more cultural and art centers in Lebanon and what Aïshti is doing is great. There are even talks about building a museum of Modern and contemporary Lebanese art in central Beirut by 2020 that Salamé is also involved in, along with Zaha Hadid (who’s on the jury) and Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones of London’s Serpentine Galleries so let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Here are few renders of the new Aishti complex and check out this drone-filmed 360 degree aerial video.

Aishti Foundation rendering - Aerial Landscape

PS: I was told that Skybar may open on the rooftop but these are just rumors for now.

All You Need To Know About The Sursock Museum Before Its Re-opening

Posted By :

sursock Nicolas Sursock Museum – Credit-Jacques-Abou-Khaled

The Sursock Museum is finally reopening tomorrow after 7 years of renovation and expansion works. The project was initiated in 2000 by the President of the Museum’s Committee at the time, Ghassan Tueni, who, along with the Committee, commissioned the architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Jacques Aboukhaled to undertake the expansion project. The museum’s total surface area was increased from 1,500 square meters to 8,500 square meters and works were completed last year.

The Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum in the center of Beirut first opened in 1961, with a mission to collect, preserve, and exhibit local and international art. The mansion in which the Museum is housed was the former residence of Nicolas Sursock, a Lebanese collector and philanthropist. Recognizing the need for institutional support of artists in Lebanon, Sursock left his mansion to the city of Beirut as an art museum upon his death in 1952. The Museum opened its doors in 1961 with the Salon d’Automne, an open call exhibition showcasing new art of the time. The Salon was held on an annual—and occasionally biennial—basis, showcasing the work of such artists as Shafic Abboud, Etel Adnan, Michel Basbous, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Paul Guiragossian, Aref el Rayess, and Adel Saghir. Alongside the Salon d’Automne, the Museum organized diverse exhibitions showcasing art from all over the world. As such, the Museum played a key role in the development of the cultural scene in Beirut, especially in the 1960s and 1970s.


I visited the museum a couple of months back and went back yesterday for a sneak peek before the official opening on October 8th. Here are few exclusive pictures and an overview of the Museum’s new premises:

The Special Exhibitions Hall: an 800-square meter hall with double ceilings that can accommodate works and installations that are over two meters high. The Special Exhibitions Hall will host three exhibitions a year, from thematic group shows to guest-curated exhibitions.

The Twin Galleries: two identical spaces that function as a single exhibition space. The Twin Galleries will host four exhibitions a year, featuring both local and international artists.

A specialized research library dedicated to collecting, preserving, and studying local and regional art historical resources.


An auditorium of 168 seats, equipped with the latest audiovisual and presentation tools, in addition to simultaneous translation equipment.


Two storage spaces with different climate control conditions for the Museum’s permanent collection: one for paintings and objects, and another for paper-based works, including photographs and manuscripts.

A state-of-the-art restoration workshop, equipped with all the necessary tools and chemicals to clean, dust, and treat works from different media.


A store and restaurant housed in a glass-and-steel extension in the Museum’s esplanade. The store will offer a comprehensive selection of contemporary art books and gifts. The restaurant, headed by Joanna Debbas, will offer an eclectic range of Mediterranean dishes, as well as coffees and desserts.


Continue reading

Gibran Khalil Gibran Exhibition At The Sharjah Art Museum Till Dec 10, 2015

Posted By :


The Sharjah Art Museum in collaboration with the Gibran National Committee is hosting an exhibition entitled Drawings of Gibran: A Humane Perspective that will showcase artworks by the Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer. More than 50 works and manuscripts will be displayed, making it the largest collection of Gibran’s work ever to go on display in the UAE. Some of the works displayed will include his 1916 face of a Veiled Woman, a charcoal self-portrait from 1908 and an oil painting from 1910 called The Sad Mona Lisa. The original Gibran museum is located in Bcharreh of course and includes 440 original paintings.

Admission is free and the exhibition will run from October 7th until December 10th. Gibran Khalil Gibran is considered one of the most influential figures of the modern age. His most popular work is The Prophet, which was turned into an animated movie this year by Salma Hayek.

I am sure a lot of Lebanese here and in Dubai never visited Gibran’s museum in Bcharreh so here’s a chance to check out some of his artwork.


A Tribute In Dortmund (Germany) To Fares, The Much-Loved Syrian Flower Boy In Hamra

Posted By :

yazan fares The Flower Salesman – Dortmund, Germany

Fares is a little Syrian boy who used to sell flowers in Hamra and was loved by everyone. Fares came back to his hometown in Syria a while ago but was unfortunately killed by an airstrike (as per his brother). Children are unfortunately paying the highest price for Syria’s war and there are hundreds if not thousands of children like Fares out there.

Lebanese graffiti/street artist Yazan Halwani decided to paint Fares “on a building in Dortmund (Germany) during the Huna/K festival, so that he can keep on spreading his positive vibe, and charming pedestrians to buy flowers from him”. His only regret is that he didn’t paint Fares while he was still alive.

I loved the initiative and the mural is amazing! Thank you Yazan!

The Museum of Art and History – Beirut 2019

Posted By :


Just like art is immortal, some of our politicians are and have been in the same position for ages. Dictators, popes and presidents come and go, empires fall and we still have the same political class in Lebanon. Marie-Josee Rizkallah is hoping that things will change by 2019 and imagined a museum of art and history at the old Mar Mikhail train station where visitors and young Lebanese can learn about the “garbage era” given the garbage crisis we are currently in.

The paintings are quite hilarious. I’m illustrating some of them and you can check out the rest [here].



Saad Hariri


amine sami

Beirut Martyrs Square Statue Joins The #YouStink Protest

Posted By :

FB_IMG_1440648704785 by Joy Fayad

Someone photoshopped Martyrs Square statue to make one of the statues look like they’re disgusted from the smell (or maybe suffocating from the tear gas canisters) and joined the #YouStink protest. I think it’s pretty funny but I really hope that we won’t be having any martyrs in the upcoming protests.

There’s a big demonstration planned in Beirut on Saturday and we’ve witnessed the birth of 4 or 5 new movements this week which is not necessarily a good thing. It’s like everyone wants to start his own thing now and create a new hashtag because it’s cool and trending. I hope things will be organized and coordinated properly on Saturday to avoid more violence.

At the same time, there’s a protest taking place in New York on Saturday in solidarity with the Lebanese Youth “who have taken to the streets demanding their rights and ours in a modern, clean, and just Lebanese Republic”.

offer via Hayat Chaaban

The Beirut Wall Of Shame Turned Into A Piece Of Art In Less Than An Hour

Posted By :

wall beirut via Patyl

I still can’t believe they actually built a cement wall to block the entrance to the Serail and prevent protesters from getting any further. I’m totally against what happened two days ago and I’m glad Interior Minister Mashnouq distinguished the troublemakers from the genuine protesters but I don’t see the need for a wall.


In all cases, I passed by yesterday to check it out and graffiti artists were already there turning the walls and barriers into canvases even before the wall was finished. Here are some of the pictures I took:




wall via JosephWillis

The Memorial: An Urban Act To Draw Attention To The 17,000+ Missing And Disappeared In Lebanon

Posted By :

The Lebanese Civil War lasted 15 years from 1975 to 1990, killing more than 150,000 people and leaving some 17,000 missing. The government has done nothing to clarify the fate of the disappeared and missing people and their families are still waiting and fighting to learn of their loved ones’ fate.

We’ve already had an ACT to support these families, as well as movies and initiatives to support their cause, but nothing comes close to the “urban memorial” that Domaine Public Architects are proposing. I first read about the memorial in the DailyStar and asked the Domaine Public guys to provide me with further info and pictures regarding their project and it’s a pretty amazing one.

The urban memorial constitutes Phase 1 of a larger plan to revitalize the Beirut Waterfront by setting up The Memorial at first, followed by a cultural art park, a lighthouse square, a viewing platform and a sea park in the last phase. I will only discuss The Memorial for now until I have further information on the other phases.

The Memorial is urban space that will act as a platform to help the families of thousands of missing persons keep their cause visible and alive, and to also keep the faith that one day the fate of their beloved ones is revealed. Its aim as well is to help Lebanese in dealing with memories of their not too distant past and contribute to national reconciliation.

The Memorial will be set up on Beirut’s Corniche, a neutral public space that is embraced by Lebanese of various sects, economic background and political affiliations, and will expand into three sub spaces:
The Contemplation Room, which opens to the sea and the sky, slightly curving downwards to create a direct connection to the sea and the natural sunset.

The Collectibles Room, where families can place objects belonging to their loved ones.

The Message Room, a room for projection, movies and messages that will act as an interactive communication space within the memorial.

The memorial is meant to keep the cause of the concerned families alive as it display images of those missing on a curved glass wall. Whenever the fate of that person is revealed, his image is removed from the glass. The emptiness is an act of closure while the remaining images allude to the work left to be accomplished.

I honestly believe it’s a very important project, and the location they’ve chosen is ideal as it’s highly frequently especially by young people who will have a glimpse of the suffering that these families are still going through and realized the ugliness and brutality of war. I hope that it will be implemented one day, and I would love to see The Museum of Civilizations come to life as well one day.

Here are some more pictures of the project:

The memorial lifts 50cm above the sidewalk to create an 85 meters long public bench. It hence becomes a bench of unity, a bench that brings people of different beliefs, confessions and political ideas to sit side by side united and contemplate on their shared history and ultimately the future that binds them. as the bench lifts, it allows the sunlight of the setting sun to filter into the memorial space below as a spiritual gesture. The bench is etched creating circular recesses that collect rainwater. As the Beirut sun emerges from behind the clouds, the bench dries up and a series of circular pockets retain the rain, a succession of miniature water pools is what remains.