Category Archives: Events

Remembering Samir Kassir: Ten Years Already

Posted By :

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”.

11219438_10155892123145221_8697564290190289848_n

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

[YouTube]

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

Posted By :

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.

yasmine

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:
[YouTube]

2- Beirut:
[YouTube]

3- Yasmine Hamdan singing Mohammad Abdel Wahab
[YouTube]

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

Posted By :

20150426_121836

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.

20150426_133137

20150426_133305

20150426_133659

20150426_151448

Salma Hayek Is In Beirut For The Prophet’s World Premiere

Posted By :

Salma via LiveLoveBeirut

Hollywood star Salma Hayek arrived to Beirut a couple of days ago and visited yesterday the museum of Lebanese-born poet and philosopher Gebran Khalil Gebran in Bcharreh. Salma is here for her movie “The Prophet” world premiere which will be held at Cinemacity in Beirut Souks.

The premiere will be a private event and few people were invited to attend. If L’Orient Le Jour’s info is accurate, the projection of the movie will be followed by a private dinner for 300 people at La villa Rose at ESA. I was actually eager to watch the movie tonight but I guess we will have to wait till Thursday when it’s officially released. The Prophet is based on Gebran Khalil Gebran’s masterpiece and will feature a voice cast including Salma Hayek as Kamila, Liam Neeson as Mustafa, John Krasinski as Halim, Alfred Molina as Sergeant, Quvenzhané Wallis as Almitra and Frank Langella as Pasha.

PS: Salma Hayek will be with Marcel Ghanem on Tuesday.

cinem

In Pictures: More Than 100 Lebanese Men Walked In Heels Against Violence

Posted By :

20150426_103920

More than 100 men, including myself, wore heels today and walked a mile in support of #Kafa and in an attempt to raise awareness on violence against women. LBCI, Future TV, OTV, Al Jadeed, Al Arabiyya, Al Hurra, Skynews Arabia, Reuters, MBC.net and other media outlets were there to cover the event which is pretty cool. MTV didn’t show up which is weird.

One of the TV reporters asked me if I was worried that the Lebanese society would make fun of me or other men for wearing heels. I told them that I couldn’t care less and don’t mind it as I’m doing this for a good cause, and if wearing heels would help raise further awareness on violence against women, then maybe we should do this more often. By the way the heels weren’t as annoying as I thought they’d be lol!

Here are some of the pictures I took and more will be added tomorrow on Walk A mile Beirut Facebook page.

PS: For those who didn’t understand the point of the event and started a hashtag against it (#المراه_مش_كعب_سكربينه), the idea is to put yourself in her shoes by literally wearing heels, not representing women by heels. I never thought I would need to explain the idea, that’s just absurd! In all cases, instead of wasting your time by trending a silly and pointless tweet, a good idea would be show up at demonstrations that promote women rights and raise awareness the way you see it fit instead of criticizing positive movements and initiatives.

20150426_101915

20150426_101321

20150426_104058

20150426_101932

20150426_112626

20150426_112553_001

20150426_111132

20150426_112524

20150426_113445

20150426_113939

20150426_114253

Echoes Photo Exhibition: 40 Pictures From The Red Cross Archives & 6 Lebanese War Photographers.

Posted By :

20150425_102242

Echoes: The voices behind the pictures is a photo exhibition organized by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) on the occasion of the 40th commemoration of the start of the Lebanese civil. There are 40 pictures being displayed for the first time and taken from the Red Cross archives and 6 Lebanese war photographers: Abbas Selman, Jamil Saiidi, Patrick Baz, Aline Manoukian, Marwan Tahtah and Hussein Baydoun.

The exhibition is taking place at Villa Paradiso in Achrafieh until April 26th from 10 till 10. I highly recommend that you pass by and see what the Lebanese went through during the war and the tough circumstances that these brave humanitarian workers had to endure.

40 years have passed since the Lebanese war erupted on April 13th. Its “Echoes” are still resonating today. They are the voices of families of missing persons, the disabled and weapon wounded persons and dispersed families. Forty stories will be told in an audiovisual exhibition organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Lebanese Red Cross. The exhibition will be displaying 40 photos from the Red Cross archives and 6 Lebanese war photographers.

map Here’s a map showing where the exhibition is taking place. You can spot Urbanista on the main Gemmayze street and there’s La Tabkha on the way up to Villa Paradiso.

Here’s a small video showing the exhibition:

[YouTube]

Here are some of the pictures I took:

20150425_101934

20150425_102011

20150425_102024

20150425_102109

20150425_102433

20150425_102557

20150425_102648

20150425_102730

20150425_102833

Controversial French Comedian Dieudonné Is Coming To Lebanon On June 3rd & 4th

Posted By :

dieudonne

I know for a fact that a lot of Lebanese are fans of Dieudonné, either because he’s anti-Zionist or just because he’s controversial and funny. For those of you who don’t know who this guy is, Dieudonné was born in the Paris suburs in 1966, and is a famous and controversial French stand-up comedian and activist. He’s been fined in France several times for hate speech and was recently arrested for being “an apologist for terrorism” after he published a post on Facebook that expressed sympathy with one of the Paris gunmen. He popularized the “quenelle” gesture, a straight-arm salute, that was labeled by some people as being racist and a gesture of hatred. The French authorities even tried to shutdown his show calling it racist and anti-Semitic, but Dieudonné insists that his comedy targets everyone and that he’s anti-Zionist not anti-Semitic.

Dieudonné has become somewhat of a divisive figure in France and abroad, as some view his show as being “a danger to society” and an “incitement of racial hate”, while others believe that silencing him is an attempt to limit free speech. I’ve seen many of his shows and some are hilarious while others are truly shocking but that’s what he does, almost the same way Charlie Hebdo magazine did (not according to the French law), and I’m actually surprised that they are letting him come to Lebanon specially after the latest controversy.

In all cases, Achillea is bringing Dieudonné to Beirut as mentioned on their website and “Dieudonné En Tournée: La Bête Immonde” will be showing in Lebanon on the 3rd and 4th of June 2015 at Casino du Liban and tickets should be available soon for purchase in all branches of Virgin Ticketing Box Office.

PS: This is not Dieudonné’s first visit to Beirut as he performed in 2010 at the Music Hall in Beirut.

[YouTube]

[YouTube]

[YouTube]

100 Years Already: Remember And Recognize The Armenian Genocide

Posted By :

Genocide

The above picture is the forget-me-not flower, the official emblem of the 100th year of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. The forget-me-not flower expresses the theme of eternal remembrance, and is also meant to symbolically evoke the past, present and future experiences of the Armenian people. Here’s what the emblem means:

THE PAST: the black center represents the sufferings of 1915, and the dark aftermath of the Armenian Genocide.

THE PRESENT: the light purpose petals represents the unity of Armenian communities across the world – all of whom stand together in this 100th year of remembrance.

THE FUTURE: The five petals represent the five continents where survivors of the Armenian Genocide found a new home. The dark purple color is meant to recall the priestly vestments of the Armenian Church – which has been,is, and will remain at the heart of the Armenian Christian identity.

ETERNITY: The twelve trapezoids represent the twelve pillars of the Dzidzernagapert Armenian Genocide memorial in Yerevan, Armenia. The yellow color represents light, creativity, and hope.

On this day, let us remember that The Ottomans wanted to get rid of the Armenians and Lebanese as well back in 1916, and that the blockage that Jamal Pasha imposed on Lebanon and the entire eastern Mediterranean coast caused the death of thousands in Mount Lebanon. Of course what happened in Lebanon is only a fraction of what the Armenian people had to go through, and Turkey must acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

Everything you need to know about the genocide:
Approximately 1.5 million Armenians out of a population of 2.5 million were killed by the end of 1922. When the genocide was over in 1922, there were just 388,000 Armenians remaining in the Ottoman Empire. You can check more information on the genocide in Rita’s post [here] and on this [website]. Here’s also a touching story that a friend of mine sent me few months back about the Armenian diaspora in Lebanon.

Tales of survival of the Armenian Genocide:
– Tales of survival posted by Armenian elders [DailyStar].
– Lebanese Journalist and activist Joumana Haddad recounts her family’s trauma from the Armenian Genocide [Link].
– Blogger Garlik & Saphire shares her grandmother’s survival story. [Link]

[YouTube] AK made this film to document the printing of the magazine in real blood drawn from 5 Lebanese-Armenians who decided to give blood as a symbolic gesture of remembrance for the blood that was spilled by the Armenian people.

Remember The Armenian Genocide And Discover Armenia Street On April 26th

Posted By :

11011028_634518953349975_6760589054743991586_n

Achrafieh 2020 is collaborating with Audio Kultur for the commemoration of 100 years of the Armenian Genocide and organizing a “Discover Armenia Street” on April 26th. Armenia Street, also known as Mar Mikhael, is the hottest place to be in Beirut right now and will be turned into a car-free street for one day. Armenian artists and music will be there to celebrate Armenia and make this day an unforgettable one.

I will be at Waterfront City Dbayeh at 10am walking in heels on April 26th before heading to Armenia Street, so see you all at both events hopefully!

12494_10152782322335217_489831463_n

Before I Die, I Want Lebanon To …

Posted By :

11148982_10206791548412363_1876879630_n

A group of Jamhour students decide to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Lebanese Civil War by writing down their dreams and wishes for a better Lebanon on the pillars of the Fouad Chehab bridge in Beirut. The students were joined Live Love Beirut, Paint Up, Lezem, La 3ème Voix pour le Liban, Sakker el Dekkene, One Lebanon and Offre Joie, and left messages of hope for a better Lebanon on the symbolic bridge.

It’s always great to see Lebanese youth raising their voices against the civil war and its warlords. I love that they chose Fouad Chehab bridge as it stood between “Muslim West Beirut” and “Christian East Beirut” and the Murr Tower at the end of the Fouad Chehab Avenue was an ideal spot for snipers.

This picture can’t get any better as it was behind the bullet-ridden and the Jamhour students’ activity was underneath that bridge. Taken by @yasnoor via LiveLoveBeirut

Here are some pictures from the event and there’s more on @iwantlebanonwall. In case you missed my post on the civil war remembrance, check it out [here].

11099955_10206791549972402_947875963_n

11118581_10206791548052354_1588922665_n

11134458_10206791548612368_700433324_n

11148875_10206791551532441_95522049_n Someone loves Pizza too much lol!

11156792_10206791549532391_428909609_n