Artist Wissam Melhem free the lines, free the colors.

a paint with white hands and houses above

Article by: Maie El-Hage In the quiet elegance of his Belle Vue apartment, Wissam Melhem opens up about his artistic journey. Recounting his early illustrations, this designer-turned-artist discusses how his work has always been about social and cultural commentary. Now at his artistic peak, Melhem is enjoying the expressiveness and artistic freedoms of his action-painting […]

Volunteer Managers: An Important Investment Rather than an Unaffordable Expense

Several palm hands joined together

Informal volunteering has been part of Lebanese culture for a long time. People spontaneously help relatives, friends, and neighbors in need without expecting any financial return. It is one of the meanings of wajbat, or social obligations. In the past, many community projects were completed on a volunteer basis (awni) — whether it was building […]

Coffee & Politics: Bringing Politics Back to the People

Group of people sitting in a coffee shop

Most of today’s youth feel alienated from political life, and it’s easy to see why. Lebanon arguably has one of the most mind-boggling political arrangements in the world. Eighteen different sects with shifting alliances haggle over a tiny country whose wounds from the Lebanese Civil War have far from healed. Tracy Nehme has been pushing […]

Ahla Fawda: Painting Together in the Spirit of Change

Multicolor painting of two human heads

I first met Imane Assaf on Hamra Street, where she was dressed up as a fabulously ugly Halloween witch. The Halloween street event was one of Ahla Fawda’s very first initiatives aimed at bringing joy, entertainment, and new artistic experiences to locals. Becoming part of the Ahla Fawda team means joining Assaf’s extended family. Her […]

The Politics of Road Rage

Several cars in a circular direction around a green tree

Spotting the problems that bemoan the average Lebanese is easy. While many complain about poor driving etiquette and lack of green patches in this concrete jungle, few have noticed the connection between both problems. A taxi driver tells me, “It’s not the traffic, it’s the people.” Using his prayer mat to block the sun (and […]

Heartbeat: Doctors Moonlighting as Musicians to Save Lives

Group of people performing on a stage with blue lighting

Interviewed by: Patricia Bitar Cherfan, Editor-in-Chief One in a hundred babies is born with a heart defect. That amounts to 600 cases per year in Lebanon. Most of these children can be saved. An outstanding 95 percent can go on to lead normal lives, if they receive proper treatment, and if they can pay for […]