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.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed how the Forum de Beyrouth was beautifully lit up and transformed in the past few weeks to accommodate KOHAR’s performances. KOHAR originally started as an independent musical and cultural institution by Lebanese-Armenian, Harout Khatchadourian, also known as The Armenian culture patron, and grew to become “an important cornerstone in the unique musical rendition of Armenian alphabet and culture”. KOHAR is famous for its recordings of All Time Armenian Favorites and for their visually and acoustically appealing concerts.
I’m not very familiar with Armenian culture to be honest (except for the food part), and I wasn’t really sure that I would enjoy listening to Armenian songs for 2 hours especially that I don’t understand the language, but a friend of mine got me tickets and insisted that I should attend and that I would love the show and she was absolutely right!
To begin with, I don’t remember the last time I attended an event as organized as this one. I left home early expecting traffic before the Forum De Beyrouth but there were none and we easily went in and parked. Everyone was seated on time, doors were closed at 8:30 as stated on the tickets and the show kicked off right on time. Moreover, the 15-min intermission didn’t last an hour like most concerts in Lebanon and people went back to their seats on time.
Moving on to the concert, the setup was magical, the performances were outstanding, songs were presented with an amazing choreography and visual effects (3D Projections) and there was a great attention to details! Throughout two hours, 165 musicians, 16 solo performers and 15 dancers entertained an enchanted crowd and kept us asking for more. The whole experience was truly one of a kind and is highly recommended for any music lover and you definitely don’t need to understand Armenian to enjoy the show.
The only part where I felt a bit weird was when we were all handed flags of The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia and everyone stood and started singing and waving. I obviously couldn’t relate to the song or that part of Armenia’s history, but I did stand up and waved as well 🙂
All in all, the story behind KOHAR is beautiful and inspiring and the concerts perfectly reflect the devotion and passion of the people behind it. The performances are over this year but I will make sure to spread the word and encourage everyone to go watch KOHAR next year.
KOHAR was founded in 1997 as an independent musical and cultural institution by the Armenian culture patron, Harout Khatchadourian of Lebanon, who along with his brothers, Shahe and Nar Khatchadourian, entirely sustain the activities of KOHAR and all its concerts in tribute to their parents; in memory of their late father Aram and in Honor of their mother KOHAR.
Here are few pictures and a couple of short videos from the show:
Here’s a pretty cool story published by Antoine Kanaan on metal-bell.com and that took place almost a month ago during the early #YouStink protests. An Austrian artist called Roterfeld was a victim of tear gas while shopping at the Beirut Souks and ended up buying all the milk he could get his hands on to help the protesters combat the effects of tear gas, but it doesn’t stop here!
As soon as he got back home, he released a special edition of one of his songs “Blood Diamond Romance” and dedicated it to the Lebanese people. Pretty cool 🙂
I’m not a big fan of Arab rap music but this track by Bou Nasser El Taffar and Al Raass (بو ناصر الطفّار و الرّاس) is quite something! I’m gonna try write down the lyrics because they are quite daring. If someone already has them please do share.
I couldn’t find any cool song for the #YouStink protest but a friend of mine shared this old song from 2013 that applies perfectly to the current situation and is pretty awesome! I hope they are panicking 😀
Update: His name is Maroun Nachef and is known as The Seller of Songs. Here’s an old article with more details about Maroun. Thank you Alexis!
I was once told about an old man who sits on Sassine Square and plays the Oud but I never really met him until today. He was sitting in the middle of the square with a hat in front of him to collect tips and a banner on his right that basically says that he’s unemployed, he’s playing the Oud and singing to earn few bucks and he’s willing to attend parties and events. I think this is the first time I meet a street musician in Beirut and I thought of a way to help him out:
– If anyone is getting married or planning an outdoor event this summer, invite this old man to play at the event and earn few bucks. It’s a pretty cool and original idea and it would help him earn few bucks. I will share this post with all the agencies that I usually work with and I hope they will consider my request.
Until then, make sure you leave a good tip if you spot him on Sassine Square.