Beirut Dweller: Encounters of a Young German Ajnabe أجنبي

People on a corniche at night

Gradually, an image of Lebanon developed in my mind. It somehow kept on building up within me, while I was living and studying in Berlin, Germany. For example, I accidentally discovered Fairouz’ Shayef al bahar shoo kbir while searching for an entirely different song. Without knowing Arabic, I instantly fell for her sound. At around […]

Roots and Routes: A Swedish-Lebanese Tale of Exile and Belonging

Illustration of a tree and its roots in red, blue, green and yellow colors

My first contact with Sweden was through the film Scenes From A Marriage by the “demon director” Ingmar Bergman. The projection took place in one of Beirut’s smaller cinemas. Not surprisingly, we were a handful of people sitting stuck to our chairs. There was some kind of enchantment over the characters in the movie, we […]

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 […]

The Corniche: Beirut’s Thriving Public Space

The Corniche stands out as a successful Beirut public space, used by Lebanese and tourists from all walks of life. Architect and designer Yasmeen Arkadan explores why. A single strip of pavement links the dense urban fabric of Beirut to the Mediterranean Sea. High-rise buildings lining the edge of the city stand tall against the flat expanse […]

Tripoli’s Zambo Festival

Photos by: Houda Houbeish Young men move rapidly in every direction, their chests bare, their bodies tinted black and gold. African hair wigs, crowns, feathers or hats adorn their heads. An occasional guerilla or monster mask catches your eye. Giggles, screams, chants, honking, drumming and pop music fill the air, as well as whiffs of […]

Zena El Khalil’s Unique Artistic Process of Reconciliation

It’s time to start talking about our pain publicly. If we don’t talk, we can’t start the healing,” artist Zena el Khalil told the people gathered to see an exhibition of her work. Photo by: Imad Khachan Wearing a long, simple white frock, she stood in the middle of the recently opened Beit Beirut museum […]