Posts tagged with "Lebanon"

I ❤️ Beirut

By Justin Lyons

Mika announced Wednesday that his “I ❤️ Beirut” concert, which was live-streamed Sept. 19 on his YouTube channel, raised more than €1 million for the people of Lebanon.

An explosion at a Beirut warehouse on Aug. 4 killed more than 200 and injured more than 5,000.

Ticket sales, sponsors and public donations all contributed to the large sum that will be split between the Lebanese Red Cross and Save the Children.

Tickets were purchased in 120 different countries via Ticketmaster, the most in the ticketing giant’s history. Donations also poured in from 48 different countries via a GoFundMe page.

The show featured megastars like Salma Hayek, Danna Paola, Rufus Wainwright, Kylie, Mashrou Leila, Louane, Etel Adnan, Fanny Ardant and Laura Pausini. It has also picked up interest from major television stations across the world.

Mika joined Georges Kettaneh, the secretary general of the Lebanese Red Cross, and Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children UK, on a video call Wednesday to make the announcement. He thanked everyone who helped the fundraiser cross the €1 million mark.

“I also wanted to say how amazing this statement of solidarity for the situation in Beirut has been, with tickets for the stream selling to over 120 different countries around the world,” Mika said. “This has been a project that was born out of and made possible by love, and a huge amount of collaboration with friends and many new friends made in the process.”

The certified gold and platinum artist was born in Beirut and is now celebrated around the world.

Kettaneh also thanked donors, saying the Lebanese Red Cross would continue to use the funds to support the people of Beirut.

“The people of Beirut face a long road to recovery, with this generosity and the continued support we have received from around the globe, we can continue to stand alongside them for as long we are needed,” Kettaneh said.

Watkins also chimed in to say Save the Children would work to help children and families affected by the explosion.

“All donations will be going toward our emergency response efforts in Lebanon, which include weather proofing damaged homes, supporting vulnerable and displaced families with food and cash grants, and providing ongoing psychological support for children and families,” Watkins said.

Donations can still be made to the campaign’s GoFundMe by clicking right here. The goal of £150,000 has already been passed, and it is closing in on £200,000.

You can also learn more about the Lebanese Red Cross by clicking right here and about Save the Children UK by clicking right here.

Lebanon explosion illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Huge Explosion In Beirut

By Vaughn Lowery × Rita Azar

According to CNN, there was a massive explosion in Beirut just now. Shattering glass and debris followed by monstrous amounts of smoke.

A Massive explosion hit an ammunition storage in the port of Beirut. Many Lebanese civilians have been affected, houses have been burned down, glass has been shattered and there has been fatalities.

This blast has not just hit Beirut’s Eastern areas next to the port but has destroyed many key infrastructure building like hospitals, infrastructure buildings, kilometers away, including the headquarters of former prime minister Saad Hariri. The explosive could be heard all the way to the Bekka valleys capital Zahle 56 kilometers away. Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut stated, “The explosion was felt across the city.” She added, “There is chaos in the streets.” Tensions are higher than ever.

The source of the explosion is still unknown.

Actual footage can be seen here.

Check out coverage by BBC.

Rita Azar is a summer intern at 360 magazine.

Rita Azar

Rita Azar is a Senior at the Lebanese American University taking up a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design. She finished her primary education at The American School of Kuwait, where she was born and raised. Her passion for graphic design started when she took her first graphic design class at school.

She is currently an intern at 360 magazine, where she enjoys illustrating for published articles, and writing a few articles herself to raise awareness about the current situation in her home country, Lebanon.

Rita mainly takes interest in branding, publication design, and UX/UI design. Her work has been selected and published in the 60th edition of Creative Quarterly journal and is soon to be published in international exhibitions by Ecuador Bienal, in the upcoming months.

In the future, Rita would like to continue her studies and earn a masters degree in branding.

Lebanon illustration by Rita Azar

Lebanon Currency Crisis

By Rita Azar

The Lebanese currency has severely depleted in value during the last few months. Although many politicians claim that the lira will stabilize at 3000 to a dollar, the currency crisis continues to rock the finances of Lebanon. Ever since 1990, 1500 liras have always equaled a dollar. Although this is a far cry from 1980 when three liras equaled one dollar, the instability of the lira from 1990 on is treacherous to the economy. The worst the conversion rate has ever been was when the dollar reached a staggering 12000 liras.

One must grasp the country’s financial decisions to understand what led to the economic collapse. Lebanon’s broken electricity, water, and waste collection systems has cost the country billions of liras of debt. Before the early 2000s, most of Lebanon’s debt was local; this means that, theoretically, the debt could be paid off by simply printing more lira, which the central bank has the power to do. But after the former prime minister, Fouad Siniora, took billions of dollars worth of foreign loans in 2007, Lebanon needed to collect foreign currency to pay for the debt debt. On top of this, Lebanon’s economy damaged by an immense decrease in tourism and foreign investments. Due to this, Lebanon has used the little foreign money that still exists in the central bank to pay off its foreign debts which leaves the citizens and companies of Lebanon unable to withdraw dollars from their bank accounts.

Due to foreign currencies being rare to find in Lebanon’s economy, they have become far more expensive. In addition, because of the abundance of Lebanese liras, the lira has fallen dramatically in value. This has led to massive gouging by all types of businesses that need to import with foreign currencies that are no longer accessible. In response, the government and central bank have taken measures to stop the massive inflation of the lira. One method is keeping the official rate, 1500 lira to one dollar, from small scale transactions and being a little more lenient with larger transactions by offering a rate of about 4000 lira to a dollar.

But, this means that the Lebanese people are losing money when exchanging foreign currency into lira. This has led many people living in the country to go to the black market to exchange money with rates other than the governmental regulations. While the black market approach has allowed many Lebanese people to get their money’s worth, it has caused the government to enforce stricter exchange rates to control inflation and ban the black market. 

 

https://www.france24.com/en/20200612-lebanon-pound-economic-crisis-protests-imf-aid-bailout-hassan-diab

https://aawsat.com/home/article/2356311/ذعر-في-لبنان-بسبب-تدهور-الليرة

https://www.alhurra.com/lebanon/2020/04/23/يسقط-حكم-المصرف-تدهور-الليرة-اللبنانية-يشعل-الاحتجاجات-مستقبل-مجهول

https://www.tayyar.org/News/Lebanon/358134/دياب–سلامة-مسؤول-عن-أزمة-الدولار

 

Syria illustration

Lebanese Crisis: How it Happened

By Rita Azar

Lebanon today can be summed up to bread lines, a devalued currency, no clear system for clean water, and a garbage crisis. To understand how the country that was called “Paris of the East” for nearly 40 years in the 20th century has now became widely known as a failed state, one must understand how post-civil war Lebanon was built.

During the 1990’s through the early 2000’s the countries leaders notably Rafic el Hariri stared privatizing previously government owned facilities for his own companies. These leaders did this by creating systems that were made to fail by being a burden on the state. Where this proved successful for politicians was when Rafic el Hariri privatized Lebanon’s internet department. In other words, Hariri made the internet department his own company, free of the state, named “Ogero.” With “Ogero,” politicians would be able to buy failed government facilities for cheap and benefit financially whilst the country only would soon after claim debt.

Of course, not all of these government facilities were privatized and stolen. Due to opposition forces that came after the Syrian withdrawal of 2005, the states had some protection to protect their assets from being stolen. These facilities include: the electricity sector, which only provides 8 hours of electricity daily and costs the government billions of dollars in yearly debt, and the Ministry of Water and Environment, which, despite also costing the government billions in debt, is unable to supple citizens with clean water. Despite all of these characteristics of a failed state, Lebanon has been able to survive with generous amounts of foreign aid. But now, due to the more recent politicians, Lebanon has been stripped of its American and Saudi financial aid. Some of these politicians include the new prime minister, Hassan Diab, and leader of the largest political bloc fpm, Gebran Bassil, and the president, Michel Aoun. All this has led to complete economic collapse.

This economic collapse caused the currency being inflated and around half of Lebanese citizens being under the poverty line. This collapse hasn’t been unfelt by the Lebanese people. Senior citizens have seen their savings destroyed. Young adults, adults, and older adults have all came up with one solution, the solution being emigration.

An important fact to consider is that more than 15 million Lebanese that live outside and only 5 million inside the country, so immigration is nothing new, but the fact that millions of young Lebanese people will leave their country, their home, their families and their friends is not being celebrated or ignored. As the economy crumbles in the once celebrated city, Lebanon’s fate is more blurry than ever.

More sources about the Lebanon Crisis:

NC state University- “Why Did They Leave”

Al Jazeera- “Plotting Our Escape”

Al Jazeera- Who is the One to blame for Lebanon’s crisis

Annahar- Lebanon crisis brings mixed legacy for central bank governor

BBC- Lebanon protests escalate as currency dives

CNN- Michele Aoun’s presidency ends 29-month leadership vacuum in
Lebanon

Beirut × “The Heart of Lebanon”

Written by Rana Salloom

Known as the Paris of the Middle East Beirut, Lebanon is a city that never sleeps and is rooted in its traditional Middle Eastern culture dating back thousands of years.

Lebanon is a small country spanning 110 miles off the Mediterranean coast and its capital, Beirut is the 3rd oldest city in the world. Many westerners know little about this eclectic country, but this tiny country has been standing strong for thousands of years. Beirut, the heart of Lebanon, prides itself with its irresistible cuisine and its insatiable nightlife. People from all over the Middle East, come to Lebanon especially Beirut to unwind and relax at countless restaurants and nightlife excursions. This destination city prides itself with its food with numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs offering food 24/7.

It’s a foodie nation showcasing the best of the best of Lebanese food and culture. Each borrow within Beirut has its own twist on traditional Lebanese cuisine such as Shawarma, Chicken Tawook, Manaeesh, and etc.. These delectable items can be found at many hotspots such as Barbar, Maroushe, and Zaater w Zeit. But the best food finds, in my opinion, are at the local shops on every block in this mini metropolis. These shops offer a more traditional take on Lebanese food and are usually made in a more customary fashion.

Side note: most of the shop owners at these places do not speak English so it’s important to have someone who’s a native speaker be present helping you order your goodies. 

Other than its food, Beirut is known for its irresistible nightlife. Beirut, in recent years, has been ranked as the #1 party city in the world mixing both traditional Arabic music and current hits in every nightclub and bar in and around the city. What makes this city so special is it’s night owl effect. People just don’t sleep in Beirut. Visitors and natives alike stay up all hours of the night at lavish nightclubs such as Iris, February 30, Skybar, Music Hall and etc..

If you’re looking for a more mellow bar scene, Mar Mkhayel is the place to be. This street has multiple bars aka pubs and restaurants within walking distance of one another. This street has both the dive bar vibes and the classy rooftop appeals for your visiting pleasure. Basically whatever you are in the mood for, there is a bar for you on this street. What makes this street more interesting is how each bar and restaurant is westernized. For instance, my friends and I walked past this one bar that’s specifically a dive bar for motorcycle enthusiasts and right across from it is a classy rooftop bar called Fabrk (it doesn’t get more diverse than that).

Overall Beirut, Lebanon combines both eastern and western culture in a euphoric twist to keep any party-goer and foodie elated for days. It’s a destination city enveloped in a traditional culture for each traveling enthusiast.

BEIRUT DESIGN FAIR

BEIRUT DESIGN FAIR responds to the expectations of amateurs, collectors and professionals in search of different and innovative methods, ideas and inspirations in the field of design. “Our objective is to promote recognition of Lebanon’s proper place: at the forefront of creativity in the region. We have here assembled evidence confirming that Beirut has both the legitimacy and the means to become a capital of design.” – Guillaume Taslé d’Héliand, Founder-Director

Over the course of four intense days filled with events and interaction, Beirut Design Fair will gather the best names in Lebanese design – from designers and labels to galleries, distributors, and exceptional artisans – in order to demonstrate the legitimacy of Lebanon’s place at the heart of the international design scene. According to Hala Moubarak, Co-founder & Head of Exhibitor Relations, “The work of Lebanese designers is the fruit of innovative, moving, and elegant ideas; sometimes, research and the desire to preserve ancestral craftsmanship lead to an invaluable creative inspiration.”  Among the fair’s participants will be: Joy Mardini Design Gallery (showing Carla Baz, David & Nicolas, and Charles Kalpakian), Carwan Gallery (Lindsey Adelman, Carlo & Mary-Lynn Massoud, Georges Mohasseb, Paul Matter), Ramy Boutros, Hawini (Wissam Moubarak), YEW Studio (Rami Kik), Hicham Ghandour, and Fadi Sarieddine. The full list of participating galleries will be unveiled in the coming days.

Beirut Design Fair will be marked by events, conferences, roundtable discussions and design courses. The fair’s program will be available on its website at the beginning of September, but we can already mention some highlights: a stop at FabLab, a one-of-a-kind workshop that unites a host of trades and makes them available to Lebanese designers, or a behind-the-scenes visit to Basta, Beirut’s flea market.

BDF-vignette4.jpg

Since its inception, Beirut Design Fair has prioritized quality, creativity, and a cosmopolitan spirit, an emphasis which makes the selection of Studio Adrien Gardère a natural and obvious choice for the direction of the event’s scenography. The collaboration between Beirut Design Fair and Studio Adrien Gardère is intended to generate a spatial language unique to the fair, forged in a spirit of cooperation while keeping in mind the creative singularity of each participant. Inspired by the contrasts in the urban landscape of Beirut, the fair’s scenography will guide visitors along a dynamic and contemporary path.

SPOT ON! will showcase some twenty emerging talents from a new generation of Lebanese designers who will exhibit their creations in a shared pavilion. These include Sayar & Garibeh (presented by the Starch Foundation – Rabih Kayrouz), a selection by ALBA (the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts), Architecture & Mechanism, Anastasia Nysten, and Souraya Haddad – Credoz Rami Matar.

At the heart of the fair, The Banquet will provide a dedicated space in which participants and visitors will be encouraged to exchange ideas, perspectives and discoveries. In the Land of the Cedar, home to one of the world’s oldest cultures, The Banquet, will be situated on a large dining table sculpted from 50,000 year-old wood, around which participants will be invited to gather and taste some of Lebanon’s greatest delicacies, provided by renowned chef Maroun Chedid.

Finally, the salon MAISON & OBJET will organize a networking event at Beirut Design Fair that will bring together the Lebanese design, decoration and lifestyle communities.

For its first edition, Beirut Design Fair has assembled an exceptional selection committee whose members are attached to Beirut and Lebanon either by origin or by affinity: Aline Asmar d’Amman (architect, interior designer and artistic director), India Mahdavi (architect, designer and interior designer), Marc Baroud (designer and director of the design department of the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts), Marianne Brabant (from the Modern and Contemporary Department of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris), and Mathias Orhel (founder of m-0 creative recruitment consultancy). During the salon this committee will also participate in the selection and attribution of the Beirut Design Award for creativity and innovation.

BDF-vignette2.jpg

Beirut Design Fair will be held at BIEL (the Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center) from September 20 to 24, 2017.

The fair will be both simultaneous with and adjacent to BEIRUT ART FAIR, the contemporary art fair which since 2010 has promoted the artistic and cultural vibrancy of Beirut, of Lebanon and of the ME.NA countries (Middle East – North Africa). During these four days, the contemporary art and design fairs will provide a place and an opportunity for the creative energies of Beirut to flourish and thrive.

NEMR COMEDY 👑

Nemr (pronounced  like  simmer Lebanese/American  Stand… but  hotter) is  a  comedian  who  is credited  with  establishing  and  pioneering  the  standup  comedy  scene  throughout  the  Middle  East. Nemr grew  up  in  San  Diego  and  then  moved  back  with  his family  to  Lebanon. Inspired  by  comedy  and healing  powers  of  laughter,  he  went  on  to  break  down barriers  and  unite  people  in  a  region  where  bombing on  stage can have  a completely  different  meaning. 

As  an  accomplished  comic,  it  is  no  wonder  Nemr’s  latest  tour  was  met with  unprecedented  success,  selling  out  prestigious venues  such  as  Caroline’s  in  New  York and the  Wilbur Theatre  in  Boston.  This is the first global  comedy  event  to  successfully  stretch  from  the  US  to  the  Middle  East,  with  continued  sell  outs in  Houston,  Dallas,  San  Francisco,  Washington  DC,  Michigan,  Cleveland,  Oman,  Qatar and Lebanon where  he  set  a new crowd record with 5,000 people in  one night.  Nemr  has  numerous  television  credits  from  major  networks  in  the  Middle  East,  has  been  seen  on CNN  and  recently  appeared  on  “The  Nightly  Show  with  Larry  Wilmore.”  He  has  also  released  two feature  specials  as  cinematic  experiences  and  his  own  prime  time  TV  show.    

In  May  of  2014, he  was featured  on  the  cover  of  Rolling  Stone  Magazine  (Middle  East)  solidifying  Nemr’s  legacy  as  the biggest  name  in stand up  in that region. On  the  heels  of  his  hugely  successful  tour,  Nemr  will  continue  his  2016  international  comedy  tour adding more  than 20  cities across the  US  and will  soon announce dates in Europe  and Australia. 

NEMR FOR PRESIDENT 20/20 🙌