Category Archives: Events

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

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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.


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Donate Your Used Bags To Less Fortunate Children: 250 Bags Still Needed Before Oct 15

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Hayda Baytak are teaming up with Virgin Megastore to provide students in an underprivileged orphanage with over 300 bags before the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year. All you have to do is the following:

– Grab any used backpack you have and place it in the designated boxes at any Virgin Megastore branch! It’s as simple as that and you will get a discount on new bags as well.

The campaign will end in two weeks and they still need around 250 bags! I’m sure we all have school bags that we are not using anymore, so let’s try to make an extra effort and head to the nearest Virgin branch to drop them.

I think we can easily get the 250 bags and I’m more than willing to drop the bags for you if you don’t have time or don’t have any Virgin branch near you (They have branches in ABC Achrafieh, ABC Dbayeh, Beirut Souks, DownTown Beirut, City Mall, Tripoli and at the Beirut Airport).

Let’s make this happen!


A Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Is Taking Place Tonight: Don’t Miss It!

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For those of you who are not working tomorrow or can be a bit late to work, a supermoon lunar eclipse is taking place on Monday morning between 3 a.m (Beirut local time) and 7 a.m. This is a very rare occurrence as the last supermoon lunar eclipse took place in 1982 and it won’t happen again before 2033. What happens is that the Sun will be directly behind us in respect to the Moon making the lunar surface appear red for around 60 minutes. The Moon will start entering Earth’s shadow at 3.11 a.m. (Beirut local time), reaching the center at 5.11 a.m. and exiting at 8.23 a.m.


If you want further information, check out these three useful links [iflscience], [shadowandsubstance] and [telegraph].

NASA will be covering the Supermoon Eclipse live as well with a live feed from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. I added an informational video by NASA on the Supermoon Eclipse and a couple of useful maps to show where the Supermoon Eclipse is visible and what we will be able to observe in Lebanon.




Khod Nafas And Join The Beirut Yoga Festival This Weekend!

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yoga beirut

I think you all remember the picture that went viral last year of a woman who was doing yoga in the middle of the street? Well that was Dalal Harb, the founder of the Beirut Yoga Festival but unlike what people thought (including myself), it wasn’t really a stunt as Dalal tends to roll out her yoga mat wherever she feels like (usually in nature). The picture did go viral though making the first Beirut yoga festival a success and encouraging the organizers to redo the same thing this year. The second edition will be taking place this weekend on the 19th and 20th of September at Pleine Nature in Mar Roukoz. The event is a non-profit event where proceeds will go to the Lebanese Red Cross.

I think we all need to unplug for a weekend with everything that’s been going on lately, so here’s a good opportunity to do so! I’ve never really tried yoga before so this will be my first time. See you all there!

There are classes for everyone, including parents and their kids. You can find more info on the event [here] and on the [website].

A New 50,000 LBP Banknote To Commemorate The Lebanese Army’s 70th Anniversary

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Lebanon’s Central Bank announced few days ago that they are launching a new 50,000 LBP banknote to commemorate the Lebanese Army’s 70th anniversary. The banknote will feature the Lebanese Army’s Slogan on the front side with a soldier holding the Lebanese flag and the Army Martyrs memorial as well as the number 70 on the back. The new banknote should already be available in banks. The BDL has already issued a special bill for Lebanon’s Independence Day (with the famous spelling mistake) and the bank’s 50th anniversary.

I love the new bill and I think the BDL should donate all the money from people exchanging their old bills with this new one to the Lebanese Army.


Giveaway: Two Golden Circle & Two Standing Tickets To Watch Chris Brown Live At Biel

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Winners are:
Golden Circle: Roxanne Samaha
Standing Tickets: Maya

I will email you details on how to collect tickets. Congrats!

MixFM Lebanon are bringing Chris Brown to Lebanon on July 29th to perform at Biel in what promises to be the biggest concert this summer. Brown is one of the world’s biggest R&B stars worldwide and has been compared to the likes of Usher and Michael Jackson, especially after the impressive tribute he did to MJ back in 2010 at the BET Awards.

I’m not a big Chris Brown fan but I do appreciate his talent and some of his music, and it’s always good to see him and other big names come to Beirut to perform live. Some of you may have heard rumors about Brown cancelling his show but Mix FM reconfirmed today that Chris Brown is coming to Beirut as scheduled and that the concert promises to be the biggest of 2015. I will never understand why some people try to ruin big events like that by spreading false rumors, as they are harming the economy and themselves at the end of the day.

In all cases, I’m more than willing to attend the concert just to prove them wrong, even if I don’t like the guy, and I’m giving away 4 tickets (two Golden circle & Two Standing Tickets) for all Chris Brown fans and readers of the blog.

All you have to do is answer the below question:

Which Chris Brown single peaked atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and spent five week at No.1?

Leave a comment on the blog post with the right answer and I will draw two lucky winners (two tickets each) by tomorrow morning. Tickets for the event are available on [Virgin Ticketing Box Office].

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.


Jounieh 2015 Fireworks In Pictures

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Jounieh we arelebanon via WeAreLebanon

The Jounieh fireworks were as impressive as every year yesterday and the traffic to Jounieh in the evening was even worse than last year unfortunately. I was enjoying last year’s fireworks from a prime location, on the rooftop of Monte Cassino but I couldn’t watch them this year so I regrouped some of the best pictures I saw online and on the Jounieh International Festival Facebook page.

I will keep updating the post with new pictures and videos once they come out. If you have any cool pics or vids, I will be more than glad to feature them. Here’s the full schedule for the Jounieh 2015 festivals that kicked off last night with 7 minutes of Synchronized Fireworks along the coastal of Jounieh bay.

Update: Here’s a 30 second time-lapse of the fireworks.

Saturday July 4
Magida El Roumi Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Monday July 6
The Voice Tour Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Wednesday July 8
Jamel Debbouze Stand Up Comedy Show at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Thursday July 9
Johnny Hallyday Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Friday July 10, Saturday July 11 & Sunday July 12
Kids & Family Day
• Street Show Parade, kids playground and special entertainment, bicycles, roller blades, skateboards, for all the family and youth along the coastal area of the city

Wednesday July 15
Jessy J Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Haig1 via Haig Adventures






10390051_10100144608820832_8883972551943793764_n via Bassam Karam

11692650_10100144608955562_4625178854343332181_n via Bassam Karam

And this is how the roads looked like yesterday.

10492318_10152851787067096_866265389576570606_n Thank you Sophie!

Remembering Samir Kassir: Ten Years Already

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11428794_10155624076965497_1530574301337524088_n via Jad Ghorayeb

The 2015 Beirut Spring Festival was concluded yesterday with a stunning performance entitled “Beirut, the timeless city” “بيروت كانت وتكون” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Samir Kassir’s assassination. The open air unique performance took place at Martyrs’ Square where attendees experienced art in all its forms, from dance to music to poetry to light and image projections. Ivan Caracalla, Reza Aligholi, Talal Haidar, Beirut Symphony Orchestra, actors Gabriel Yammine, Rafaat Tarabay, Jihad Al Andary, Alecco Daoud, Khaled Al Sayyed, Fadi Rifai, Ali el Zein, Romeo El Hachem, singers Hadi Khalil, Yasmine Hadj Nasser, Tania Saleh, Faten Sidawi, Marc Reaidi, local bands and musicians Who Killed Bruce Lee, Fareeq Al Atrach, Saad Saab & The Oud Family, dancers from Totem Contemporary Dance Company and composer pianist Rami Khalife all made this commemoration “an artistic travel in time through the eyes of Samir Kassir and scenes taken and inspired by Samir’s book “Beirut”.


When I think about Samir Kassir, I remember Gebran Tueni and how these two were the most inspiring and daring journalists during Lebanon’s darkest years. Samir Kassir was the first journalist I ever sat down with back in 2002 to discuss local and regional issues. I met with him right before the lecture and we sat outside the AUB cafeteria and talked for like an hour. I was already a big fan of his article and books and he never ceased to amaze me by the amount of knowledge he had and the way he was able to connect things. He was a calm and modest person but also charismatic and captivating in his lectures and speeches. You can never get bored listening to Samir and he’d always listen back and take you seriously.

Beirut misses Samir Kassir and the freedom of press and expression that he represented. Quoting European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst “Amid the absence of the freedom of media, there’s no presence for press, but for systematic propaganda”, and this is where Lebanon is headed unfortunately.

Here are few pictures from yesterday’s performance and there are videos being shared on the Facebook page [here].

samir via Jad Ghorayeb

11014963_10155645598580263_4239804059749468576_n via Oussama Wehbi


Giveaway: Five Tickets To Watch The Amazing Yasmine Hamdan At O1NE Beirut On Sunday!

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Yasmine-HamdancJean-Baptiste-Millot Yasmine Hamdan – Source

Update: Winners of the Yasmine Hamdan tickets are:
Agnes Semaan
Amira Mourad

I will send you emails later on today on how to claim your tickets.

If you can feel the emotion, it’s for you. That’s what Yasmine Hamdan told Telegraph in one of her many interviews and she’s absolulty right. Her music is like nothing I’ve ever heard before as it mixes between traditional Arabic music and electro folk pop, add to that her wonderful voice and the playful use of various dialects of Arabic in her lyrics and you get music that is out of this world.

Who is Yasmine Hamdan?
Yasmine Hamdan is a Lebanese artist, singer and actress is now living in Paris. Hamdan spent her youth dodging wars between Beirut and Kuwait before she settled in Beirut, formed Soapkills with Zeid Hamdan, one of the first indie/electronic bands to appear in the Middle East and soon established herself as an underground icon throughout the Arab world. She was praised by the New York Times as “Arabic Music’s Modern Voice” (New York Times) and was described by NPR as “one of the most free-thinking and inventive artists singing in Arabic today”. Yasmine has been on stages all around the world, amongst them the Opera house in Australia, Olympia in France, Albert Hall in London, Haus Der Kulturen der Wel in Berlin, the Byblos Music Festival in Lebanon and she’s performing on Sunday 24th of May at O1NE Beirut: House of Entertainement.


Who wants tickets to watch Yasmine Hamdan?

Yasmine’s concert is on Sunday at the exceptional O1NE Beirut and I have 5 tickets to give away. I will definitely be there with the winners and we might get the chance to meet Yasmine behind the scenes. All you need to win these tickets is answer the below questions:

1- How many albums did Yasmine produce with Soapkills?
2- Under which album is her song “Deny”?

I will draw 2 names (2 tickets each) by Wednesday night and announce the winners on Thursday morning. Another ticket will be given away on Facebook or Instagram so stay tuned. Tickets are available on Virgin TicketingBoxOffice for those interested.

Some of My Favorite Yasmine Hamdan songs:
1- Deny:

2- Beirut:

3- Yasmine Hamdan singing Mohammad Abdel Wahab

Just to understand how complex Yasmine’s music is:

If it’s not really “world music”, it’s certainly not mainstream pop. “I don’t define my music geographically,” she says, “whether it’s Middle Eastern or international. If you can feel the emotion, the music’s for you.” While she feels proud of the changes wrought by the Arab Spring, she feels sceptical of the term itself. “Things happened and are happening very differently in Cairo, Tunis, Libya and Syria. The Arab world isn’t one reality.” Indeed, the fact that she lives in Paris, where she is married to Palestinian film director Elia Suleiman, suggests a degree of alienation from what is happening in the Middle East. “Islam itself is in a complex period. I learnt the Koran as a child. When I read the Koran or hear it read, the images and the poetry, the sound of the language is very inspiring. There are many positive values that come with a Muslim upbringing. But when religion becomes about rules and hierarchies, when it starts to feel like a prison, I’m not interested.”

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.

#Achrafieh2020: I Want Every Sunday To Be Car-Free

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Every time Achrafieh 2020 organizes a car-free day, I get more convinced that Lebanon needs a car-free day at least once every month. On Sunday, thousands went down to Mar Mikhael to have fun, have a drink and grab a bite, walk their dogs, dance, play with their kids and enjoy the sun. More importantly, a wall of remembrance was placed in the middle of the street on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide where people shared their thoughts and showed support.

I went down to Mar Mikhael around noon when things were still relatively calm, sat at Radio Beirut and enjoyed a couple of drinks with friends. Around 2, the streets were already packed and you could barely walk among the crowds. The atmosphere was amazing, the pubs and restaurants were packed, kids were having fun and there’s music everywhere you go. I walked around for a couple of hours checking out the different stands, tasting all kinds of foods specially the Armenian ones and greeting friends and random people I meet. I even shared a Nutella crepe with a Sukleen worker who was taking a break.

I’m not sure why I enjoyed this car-free day more than others, but the crowds were amazing, the streets were packed and the day was just perfect! I really believe we need more car-free days like this one and I hope every Sunday will become a car-free day in Beirut and everywhere else in Lebanon.

Here are some of the pictures I took and you can find plenty on Achrafieh 2020’s Facebook page.