Posts tagged with "Lebanon"

Book award illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Sheikh Zayed Book Award

Sheikh Zayed Book Award Announces 2021 Winners

The World’s Leading Arab Literature and Culture Prizes

  • Three women win including Iman Mersal for the Literature Prize, with additional awards to a study of Saudi Women writers, Arab oration, and a history of supremacy
  • Each winner receives a career-changing prize of $204,181
  • Winners hail from five countries: Egypt (2), Lebanon (1), Saudi Arabia (2), Tunisia (2), and the US (1)
  • Literature and Children’s Book categories receive translation funding
  • The awards will be presented in a ceremony streamed live during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (May 23-29, 2021)
  • Record-breaking year for submissions with over 2,349 entries from 57 countries
  • Cultural Personality of the Year to be announced at a later date

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, the Sheikh Zayed Book has revealed the winners of its 15th edition across eight key categories.

Three women took prizes this year with internationally renowned Egyptian author Iman Mersalwinning the Literature Prize, Dr. Asma bint Muqbil bin Awad Al-Ahmadi taking the Young Author Prize for her critical study of Saudi Women writers, and University of Chicago professorTahera Qutbuddin winning the Prize for Culture in Other Languages for her book Arabic Oration: Art and Function.

Michael Cooperson, a UCLA professor of Arabic, won the Translation Prize for his innovative translation of Maqamat Al-Hariri’s Impostures, a story of the popular Arab folk character Abu Zayd. The Children’s Literature category was won by the Tunisian author Mizouni Bannani for his novel An Artist Journey (Rehlat Fannan); The Literary and Art Criticism Prize was won by Khelil Gouia for his history of Tunisian art, The Path of Modernisation in the Visual Arts: From Drawing to Painting (Massar al Tahdeeth fil Funoon al Tashkeeliyya men al Ursooma ela al Lawhah). The Development of Nations Prize went to the Egyptian scholar Saeed El-Masri for his thought-provoking Legacy of Supremacy between Folklore and Religion (Turah al Este’la Bayn al Fokelore wal Majal al Dini). The Publishing and Technology Prize was presented to Dar Al Jadeed Publishing of Lebanon. The Cultural Personality of the Year Award to be announced at a later date. 

The winning titles in the children’s books and literature categories will be entitled for translation funding through the Award’s Translation Grant. Nine books have been translated into multiple languages since the launch of this grant. The Award has seen a growing interest in translation requests, reiterating the importance of building bridges between nations, cultures, literature, and heritage.

The Awards will be formally presented on May 24th and streamed live on YouTube from the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (23-29 May 2021).

The winners will each receive a prize of $204,181 US (the equivalent of 750,000 United Arab Emirates dirhams) both in recognition of their achievements and to support their ongoing work. SZBA prize alumna Dame Marina Warner (Arab Culture in Other Languages, 2013) has described the Award as one that nourishes the academic community, “less of a trophy than a lavish bursary that allows the recipient to continue their adventures in understanding”.

2020 saw a record-breaking year for submissions, with 2,349 entries from 57 countries, particularly strongin the Young Author, Literature, and Children’s Literature categories. The Judging Committee noted that, despite a challenging year due to the global pandemic, they were delighted by the increase in submissions, reflecting not only the importance of literary awards but the resilience and vitality of the publishing industry.   

One of the Arab world’s most prestigious literary prizes, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award aims to showcase the most powerful, stimulating, and challenging works representing the Arab world, and to encourage greater scholarship and creativity by recognizing and rewarding these significant cultural achievements in Arabic culture.   In the words of last year’s Children’s Literature winner Ibtisam Barakat, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is “the Arab world’s equivalent to the Nobel prize”.

H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “Since its first edition in 2006, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has proved to be a beacon of culture and literature, recognised and respected internationally as a champion of creativity. Through this inspirational Award, we honour the memory of our nation’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose far-reaching vision for the UAE was intrinsically linked to the cornerstones of culture, knowledge and human development.”

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, commented, “As one of the Arab world’s leading cultural awards we are proud to support a flourishing international publishing landscape and pleased to see winners are from five countries across the globe. The judges were especially impressed with the range of genres, the breadth of topics and the ambition of the scholars and writers represented here.  This year’s winners highlight the depth and prestige of the Award in the Arab world and beyond. We commend their achievement and look forward to seeing more superb work in the years to come.

French-Lebanese author Amin Maalouf, winner of the 2016 Cultural Personality of the year, commented, ‘In such difficult times, it is more important than ever to focus on books and on cultural values. They alone can provide us with the moral compass we so desperately need to move on with our eyes wide open.’

The 2021 Sheikh Zayed Book Award Winners:

The Prize for Literature: Dr. Iman Mersal for her book In the Footsteps of Enayat Al-Zayyat (Fee Athar Enayat Al Zayyat)

The judges presented this award to Ms. Mersal for her unique and poignant exploration of the life of the Egyptian writer Enayat al Zayat who died in 1963 four years before her only novel was published. Mersal blends a mix of investigative journalism and storytelling to illuminate a writer’s struggles with mental health and uncover the roots of a woman’s search for identity in contemporary Arab society. 

Iman Mersal is an Egyptian poet, writer, academic and translator. She works as an assistant professor of Arabic literature and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Alberta, Canada and currently resides in Marseille, France. An anthology of her works was translated into more than twenty-two languages and she has five poetry collections published. Herr book, Mamar Moetem Yasloh fee Talom Al Raks (A Dark Path Suitable for Learning to Dance), is one of the most important poetry books issued by the generation of the nineties in Arabic poetry.

The Prize for Young Author: Dr. Asma bint Muqbil bin Awad Al-Ahmadi for her book The Problems of the Narrated Self in the Saudi Feminist Novel (Eshkalyat Al-Thaat Al-Saredah Fee Al-Rwayah Al-Nesaayah Al-Saudiah)

The judges present this award to Dr. Asma bint Muqbil bin Awad Al-Ahmadi for her exploration of the themes of female identity through the lens of Saudi Arabian feminist literature, 1999-2012. This groundbreaking work focuses on topics that female Saudi writers have explored, such as belonging and self-realization.

A Saudi academic and critic, winner of the Sharjah Prize for Gulf Women’s Creativity 2019. Dr. Al-Ahmadi holds a PhD in Philosophy – Specializing in Arabic Language and Literature, and she is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Islamic Culture and Language Skills in the College of Science and Arts – King Abdulaziz University.

Prize for Children’s Literature: Mr. Mizouni Bannani for his book An Artist’s Journey (Rehlat Fannan)

The judges present this award to Mr. Bannani for his innovative use of language and multi-sensory educational techniques in ‘An Artist’s Journey‘. Mr. Bannani’s work is intended to inspire educators and children to learn through active participation and to ignite a sense of wonder and imagination in the process.

Mizouni Bannani is a Professor of Education Sciences at the Higher Institute for Applied Studies in Humanities in Sbeitla, Tunisia. He published two collections of short stories entitled Humma Al Ardh (The Fever of the Earth) in 1989, and Mawawil Aaed men Dhefat Al Nar (Mawawil of the One who Returned from the Shore of Fire) in 1996, in addition to a novel entitled Doroob Al Hawan (Paths of Humiliation). Bannani works as a literary and artistic consultant at Al Moanasah Publishing House and has participated in establishing the branch of the Union of Tunisian Writers in Kasserine in 1997 and chaired it until 2017.

Prize for Publishing & Technology: Dar Al Jadeed Publishing – Lebanon

The judges present this award to Dar Al-Jadeed Publishing for their continued dedication and focus on intellectual and linguistic studies. Their commitment to amplifying Arab poets and writers, as well as their dedication to young writers, has greatly fostered the Arab literary landscape.

Dar Al Jadeed Publishing was founded in Beirut in 2000 with a unique focus on long-forgotten topics in Arab publishing, as well as science books and linguistic and intellectual studies. The company was founded by late Lebanese writer and translator Lokman Slim and Rasha al Ameer as a strictly cultural project that pursues genuine skills and talents looking to be discovered and published in isolation from ideological considerations and partisanship. Bearing in mind the importance of science books to knowledge and the progress of a society, as well as the cultivation of rational, mythology-free knowledge.

Prize for Arabic Culture in Other Languages: Dr. Tahera Qutbuddin for her work Arabic Oration: Art and Function  

The judges present this award to Chicago-based writer Tahera Qutbuddin for her close examination of oration in the Arabic language. Ms. Qutbuddin’s comprehensive exploration of the oration tradition in Arabic society allows for a deeper understanding of how this tradition has shaped the contemporary Arab world.

Tahera Qutbuddin is a Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Chicago and serves on the editorial board of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Library of Arabic Literature. She obtained her PhD and MA from Harvard University, USA, Tamhidi Magister and BA from Ain Shams University, Cairo, and high school diploma from Sophia College, Mumbai. Her research focuses on intersections of the literary, the religious, and the political in classical Arabic poetry and prose.

Prize for Translation: Dr. Michael Cooperson for his translation of Impostures by Al-Hariri from Arabic to English  

The judges present this award to Michael Cooperson for his bold and innovative approach to translation of the classic Arab work ‘Impostures’. Mr. Cooperson excellently translated the sentiments and emotions of the ‘Impostures‘ in such a way that makes for increased accessibility among English-speaking audiences. 

Michael Cooperson is an American author and translator, Cooperson studied at Harvard University and the American University of Cairo, and currently a professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has published two monographs on early Abbasid cultural history: ‘Classical Arabic Biography’ and ‘Al-Ma’mun’. In addition to Impostures, he has translated Abdelfattah Kilito’s ‘L’Auteur et ses doubles (The Author and his Doubles)’ and Ibn al-Jawzi’s ‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Virtues of the Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal)’. His other interests include Maltese language and culture.

Prize for Literary and Art Criticism: Dr. Khelil Gouia for his book The Path of Modernisation in the Visual Arts: From Drawing to Painting (Massar al Tahdeeth fil Funoon al Tashkeeliyya men al Ursooma ela al Lawhah)

The judges present this award to Khelil Gouia for his narrative and research uncovers the progression of Tunisian art, illustrating connections between pre-modernist and contemporary forms of the art form.  

Doctor Khelil Gouia is a professor of aesthetics, art theories and semiology of the image at the Higher Institute of Arts of the University of Sfax, Tunisia. He holds a PhD in arts sciences and techniques, specialising in art theories and history, as well as a professorial degree in philosophy from the University of Tunis, and an in-depth studies certificate in the history of modern art (ISBAT). His published books include Tashkeel Al Roya (The Formation of the Vision), Omarat Al Roya (The Architecture of the Vision), Bonyat Al Thaeykah wa Soltat Al Namothaj (The Structure of Taste and the Authority of the Model), Al Aamal Al Fanny wa Tahwolatoh bayn Al Nathar wa Al Natharyah (Artwork and Its Transformations between Theory and Theory, An Attempt in the Constructivism of Looking) and Masar Al Tahdeeth fe Al Fonoon Al Tashkelyah, men Al Orsomah ella Al Lawha (The Path of Modernisation in the Visual Arts, From Drawing to Painting).

Prize for Contribution to the Development of Nations: Dr. Saeed El-Masri for his book Legacy of Supremacy between Folklore and Religion (Turath al Este’la Bayn al Folklore wal Majal al Dini)

The judges present this award to Dr. Saeed El-Masri for his groundbreaking research into the history of arrogance in pre-modern and contemporary Arabic society. His exploration of arrogance gets to the root of how arrogance has contributed to the spread of extremism and hate within Arab society. 

Saeed El-Masry is a Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University, and an advisor to the Minister of Culture on the development of the cultural system in Egypt. Dr. El-Masry is a cultural anthropologist and holds a PhD in sociology. He won the United Nations Award for Excellence in Human Development in 2013 for the Egypt Human Development Report, which he participated in preparing in 2010. He also won the Arab Grand Prize for Heritage for the book Eaadat Entaj Al Turath Al Shaaby; Kayfa Yatshabath Al Fokaraa Belhayat fee thel Al.

Film illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Unforgettable Foreign Films

10 Foreign Films with the Most Unforgettable Love Stories

By Roberta Seret, PhD

I have two loves – literature and film. The most powerful love stories jump off the pages or off the screen, narrating different types of love turmoil, journeying through danger and obstacles to find love. The best love stories occur when love triumphs over evil. 

In the past twenty years, I have taught film through my NGO at the United Nations and at New York University. It is a love story that captures my students the most. Their 10 favorite love stories in foreign films deceit different ways of loving, but they all try to overcome these obstacles to find it. Although they may not always get their happy ending, it’s always worth the risk:

1.     JOJO RABBIT – (New Zealand) 2019, director Taika Waititi. During World War ll, ten-year-old Jojo is being brainwashed as a Hitler Youth. Strangely, his mother allows this, for it is her only way to protect him. We see how deeply a mother loves her son as she prepares him to be independent. Simultaneously, the director expresses his love for the future of children to do what’s right.

2.     HONEYLAND – (Republic of Northern Macedonia) 2019, directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary and Best Feature Film, this story recreates a Paradise Lost and its destruction by a greedy man. Love for beauty and nature, and the desire to recapture it, is represented by honey – becoming extinct – and man’s inhumanity to lose it.

3.     NEVER LOOK AWAY – (Germany) 2018, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Based on the life of the famous painter, Gerhard Richter, the director recreates the artist’s search for Truth. It is only through love for Art that the artist can find peace. It is this tumultuous search that pushes him/her to create.

4.     CAPERNAUM – (Lebanon) 2018, director Nadine Labaki. Lost children, abandoned, hungry, and forced to go against their conscience, are victims of war-torn Lebanon and Syria. The director opens her heart by using her hand-held camera to capture how children suffer in their struggle to survive. It is through her love for these children that we understand and want to help. 

5.     FACES PLACES – (France) 2017, directors Agnes Varda and JR. At 89-years-old and one year before her death, famed filmmaker, Agnes Varda embarks on a road trip to show her appreciation to the people of France. As a token of her deep love, she offers them a new type of art – photos of themselves – while she is making a film of their acceptance. Photography mixes with cinematography, the moving image fuses with still art, to show the director’s love for people and give them Art. 

6.     LION – (India/ Australia) 2016, director Garth Davis. The true story of 5-year-old Saroo, who gets lost on a train in India and cannot communicate in a different dialect to return home. He is placed in an orphanage and adopted by a couple from Tasmania, Australia. Twenty-five years later, his obsession to find his biological mother is proof of his filial love.

7.     TONI ERDMANN – (Germany / Romania) 2016, director Maren Ade. A father loves his ambitious, modern daughter and wants to help her understand what happiness and love are. But the generational gap proves to be stronger than his quest. Despite his struggles and sacrifices, she answers when she sings Whitney Houston’s song, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”

8.     PHOENIX – (Germany) 2014, director Christian Petzold. Nelly survives World War II because she is obsessed at Auschwitz to be loved again by the man she loves. She does return to him but disfigured, and he does not recognize her. Deceitfully, he schemes to help her survive the traumas of her past. But as she learns the truth, will her love forgive him?

9.     IDA – (Poland) 2013, director Pawel Pawlikowski. Ida embarks on a spiritual journey to choose between a life of love and family, or God and religion. As she voyages toward the answer, she learns about her history and what the material world can offer. But she keeps repeating, “And then?” She realizes it is love for God and the spirit that can offer her the truest love.

10.  CASABLANCA – (USA/ Morocco) 1942, director Michael Curtiz. This is the best love story of all. For those who will see this film for the first time, I am jealous. This is an American movie made in Morocco with an anti-Hollywood ending. It shows and answers what is true love? What we see on the screen is a love that hurts – for all of us. And yet, love must be experienced, and this film must be seen!

Roberta Seret, Ph.D., is the director of Advanced English and Film at the United Nations for the Hospitality Committee and Founder of the NGO at the United Nations, International Cinema Education. She is the author of the Transylvanian Trilogy, with Love Odyssey releasing March 23, 2021. Visit her website for more information.

Kayaking illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

What’s Trending in Tennessee

What’s New, Trending and Blooming this Spring in Tennessee

  • Memphis – Memphis Zoo’s all-new Kangazoo Experience lets you get face-to-face with kangaroos roaming free in the walk-through exhibit. Visitor favorites also include giraffe-feeding, the panda exhibit and Sting Ray Cove.
  • Jackson – Discover what makes Jackson a unique place for music lovers of all backgrounds whether you’re looking for new eclectic sounds, blues and gospel, country music or more with live performances of Jackson’s Hidden Tracks.
  • Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Musicand Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.
  • Columbia – The Mulehouse is a 55,000 square feet new music and event venue located a few blocks from the downtown square, established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner.
  • Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.
  • Chattanooga – Grab your thinking caps, maps and don’t forget your mask. Take adventure to the next level. Learn more about Chattanooga’s top attractions and neighborhoods during the Spring Break Safari Scavenger Hunt.
  • Knoxville – Three levels of magical crystal barrooms wait to be discovered in downtown Knoxville. Bernadette’sbarrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge, and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens.
  • Gatlinburg – Anakeesta will be in full bloom with the launch of Blooms and Tunes featuring colorful nature-themed art installations, live music and a new spring-themed menu at four restaurants in the park.
  • Townsend – The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival Noon-10 p.m. May 22 includes live music, vendors, food trucks, bigfoot competitions, oral histories, 1-mile fun run and more at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.
  • Johnson City – Grab a scavenger hunt clue card online or from a downtown business to search for 15 bronze animal sculptures as part of Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt from the public library and King Commons Park to Main and Market Streets.

New Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries

  • Memphis – Renowned chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are at it again, this time with their Little Bettie pizza joint inside Wiseacre’s newly opened downtown taproom.
  • Clarksville – The Thirsty Goat is a newer gathering place outside of the city that features a beer garden, artisan coffee shop and oven-fired pizzas.
  • Murfreesboro – Biscuit-based meals made baked fresh daily are at the forefront of Maple Street Biscuit Co. Jams and jellies are also made in-store. Featured on Food Network, The Squawking Goat dish is an all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly atop a flaky biscuit.
  • Columbia – Wolf and Scout Coffee Car is located in the Columbia Arts Building serving varieties of coffees and their signature drink, the Wolfhunter.
  • Carthage – Cajun wings, honey BBQ wings, onion rings, fries and delicious sides are on tap at Something 2 Wing About.
  • Farragut – 35 North, located in the heart of Farragut, features the area’s best food trucks, local brews, wine and spirits and features two patios, an outdoor fireplace and a place for gathering.
  • LaFollette – Twin Flame features amazing hot dogs, burgers, wings, catfish, specialty drinks and much more with carry-out and dining room seating available.
  • Wartburg – The MoCo Brewing Project is Morgan County’s latest brewery and coffee shop with signature beers named and influenced by local landmarks. The owners brew beer, coffee and offer flavored coffee and hot chocolate.
  • Sevierville – Tennessee Shine Co.uses family recipes and small-batch distilling, features a tasting bar and Moonshine Tour.
  • Johnson City – Watauga Brewing Company is a three story brewery, restaurant and rooftop bar. Restaurant On 2 combines upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian and southern roots. The chef uses local, seasonal foods in her menu. 

New Attractions and Exhibits

  • Memphis –Visitors can enjoy movie nights and world-renowned musicians in an all-new outdoor setting at The Grove at GPAC.
  • Memphis – Graceland celebrates the 50 anniversary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meeting then President Richard Nixon with a special pop-up exhibit and artifacts with Dear Mr. President: Elvis and Mr. Nixon.
  • Nashville – Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland includes a live story time show, art activities, cookie decorating, scavenger hunt, boat rides and other fun programming.
  • Knoxville – Zoo Knoxville’s The ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus), open spring 2021, will showcase the zoo’s pioneering conservation work with these species and feature revolutionary STEM education resources.
  • Johnson City – Paradise Acresis a family farm park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, outdoor laser tag, barn-side drive-in theater and U-Pick produce.

New Hotels & Places to Stay

  • Memphis – Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, storied art district and Overton Square at The Memphian, set to open April 2021.
  • Memphis – Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is within walking distance of the city’s famed entertainment district, nestled in a vibrant neighborhood known for lauded music venues, historic landmarks, southern comfort and Memphis-style barbecue.
  • Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.
  • Pigeon Forge – Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool, and hot tub, playground, picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals, a retail store, conference room, gym, and laundry facilities.

New Stores

  • Columbia – Columbia features several new stores including Cope (in the Columbia Arts Building with a variety of trendy plants), family-owned jewelry store Tillis Jewelry on the downtown square and Southern Clutter Boutique with a variety of clothing, accessories, home goods and crafts.
  • Farragut – Euphoric Cheese features cut-to-order cheeses from all around the world, a wide variety of charcuterie items, specialty groceries and a selection of local brews. Items such as chocolate-covered figs, blue cheese stuffed olives, creamed honey and rosemary crackers will make your grazing board memorable.
  • Kingston – That Local Cheeseboard Co.features handcrafted charcuterie boards & boxes, grazing tables, customizable boxes, corporate catering, and gifts and items for special occasions.

Hot/Trending Places for Spring

  • Hornbeak – Vacation while you dine at Blue Bank Fishhouse & Grill at Blue Bank Resort with delicious weekend specials, local craft beer, live music, fire pits, butterfly garden & front row seating to a beautiful sunset on Reelfoot Lake.
  • Alamo – Drive through the 5.5 miles of safari roads in your own car, interact and feed animals at Tennessee Safari Park. After the journey, experience the walk-through zoo, enjoy refreshments at the concessions, the playground area, and the petting zoo.
  • Clarksville – Downtown at Sundown Concerts at Downtown Commons includes free live music the first and third Friday nights May through October. The large urban outdoor park allows space to socially distance with your chairs or blanket.
  • Linden – Experience serenity on the water. Commodore River Adventures offers an uncrowded, individual or small-group, artisan kayaking experience.
  • Nashville – Celebrate spring, warmer weather and longer days with more than 150,000 blooming bulbs and fun seasonal activities during Cheekwood in Bloom.
  • Nashville – Board the General Jackson Showboat, one of Gaylord Opryland’s most popular attractions, for cruises featuring first-class live entertainment, delicious meals and gorgeous views of Nashville.
  • LaFollette – Chapman Hill Winery is a quaint winery with an elegant tasting room nestled in the hills of East Tennessee on the edge of Norris Lake. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the Vineyard Vibrations live music series.
  • Farragut – Enjoy a stroll through town, a heritage trail, cemetery and educational sites to learn history of the area, pioneer settlements and more through artifacts, photos and stories during the Farragut History Walk.
  • Harriman – Lakeshore Park offers recreation fun for the family and is home to the Gupton Wetlands area, where at least 114 species of birds can be found. Bring bikes, kayaks, fishing poles and enjoy scenery and trails.
  • Lancing – Lilly Hopyard Brewery is tucked away in the woods near the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Warm up around the campfire, watch the game, play corn hole, listen to live music and enjoy the Sauced Frog eatery.
  • Winchester – Stroll with family and friends during Food Truck Fridays at the downtown Farmers Market Pavilion on the Boulevard. Downtown merchants will stay open late on the first Friday of every month.
  • Johnson City – At the 40-acre Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park, riders can experience the thrill of off-road riding from the gnarly, rocky downhill of the Black Diamond to smooth dirt paths on the green trails.
  • Pigeon Forge – Explore larger-than-life plant sculptures adorned in half-a-million colorful flower blooms, dance under an Umbrella Sky and indulge in garden-fresh flavors from chefs during Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.

Spring Festivals & Events

  • Gatlinburg (March 18-20) – Explore the new Gatlinburg St. Patrick’s Day Celebration complete with traditional Irish music, food, fireworks, and more. The city will be decorated with Shamrock green and feature fireworks show at 10 p.m. Friday at the Space Needle.
  • Bell Buckle (March 20) – The historic town adapts Daffodil Days to include a tree seedling give away, spring bulbs vendors on the square, spring items in stores, and a book signing by beloved former Tennessee Poet Laureate Maggi Vaugn.
  • Chattanooga (March 20-21) – Come see the High Falls flow green during Shamrock City at Rock City featuring Irish food, specialty beer from Chattanooga Brewing Co., bagpipers, pop-up Irish dance performers, and virtual scavenger hunt.
  • Linden (March 26-27) – The Blooming Arts Festival mixes fine arts, local craftsmanship, performances and fantastic local eats. Masks and social distancing recommended. Sanitization stations will be up on Main Street.
  • Pigeon Forge (March 26-28) – Cowboy cooks circle the wagons for the one-of-a-kind outdoor Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff that features chuck wagons–the original food trucks. Attendees can sample the offerings at lunch.
  • Murfreesboro (March 29-April 2) – Looking for a fun and safe way to kick off spring? Stop by the Discovery Center for Mess Fest. Get creative and messy with free outdoor activities such as making oobleck, elephant toothpaste and more.
  • Spring Hill (April 2) – Grammy Award Winner Casting Crowns performs a socially distancing family-friendly drive-in concert 7 p.m. at RippavillaTickets benefit the Well Outreach Food Pantry.
  • Crossville (April 2-June 24) – Cumberland County Playhouse kicks off its 2021 spring season with productions like Clue on Stage, The Savannah Sipping Society, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.
  • Savannah (April 3) – The 9th Annual Generals Breakfast kicks off at 9 a.m. at Cherry Mansion with an outdoor breakfast, storytelling program and a Q&A by the homeowners. Tickets are $15. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
  • Murfreesboro (April 23) – Travis Tritt with special guest Frank Foster takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Hop Springs Beer Park. There’s live music every weekend at the family & dog-friendly park with food and a huge selection of craft beers on tap.
  • Harriman (May 1) – The May Day Craft and Antique Fair will have vendors that display handmade crafts, vintage items and antiques, food vendors, live entertainment and classic car show.
  • Granville (May 1) – The Cornbread & Moonshine Festival features whiskey tastings, cornbread tasting, food, music, and craftsmen. Admission is $5. The new Whiskey Decanter Museum also opens with over 3,000 whiskey decanters.
  • Cookeville (May 1) – Cookeville Storyfest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the big tent in Dogwood Park includes headliners Andy Offutt Irwin and Minton Sparks, and an amateur storytelling competition.
  • Tellico Plains (May 1) – The Tellico Trout Festival 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. downtown gathers fishermen, river sports enthusiasts and families for fun, education, food, entertainment and outfitter services.
  • Gatlinburg (May 1-3) – Guests can begin a creative journey in crafts, woodworking, basket weaving, jewelry making and more during Hands on Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Register in advance before workshops sell out.
  • Pigeon Forge (May 5-8) – Textile art and techniques to stitch quilts are on display at Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest. Guests can register for instructional classes. The free quilt exhibit and vendor hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the LeConte Center.
  • Sweetwater (May 7-8) – Head to Historic Downtown Sweetwater for the Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival with live music, barbecue competition, vendors, picker’s corner, kids’ zone and fun activities.
  • Smithville (May 8) – Center Hill Lake Fest 4-10 p.m. at The Burlap Room Beer Garden and Dispensary features plenty of space to socially-distance while enjoying food from local food trucks, craft beer and local vendors. Please wear a mask in vendor and restroom lines. Tickets for the kid and pet-friendly event start at $20.
  • Rugby (May 8) – Raise a cup to Queen Victoria during the Queen’s Tea at Historic Rugby. The festive tea will include sandwiches, scones and dessert. Tickets are $22.
  • Wartburg (May 15) – The Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival is filled with music, food, exhibits, creative arts, crafts, a car show and 24 designated scenic trails 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. around courthouse square.
  • Harriman (May 22-23, May 29-31) – Join a weekend of fun with costume contests, pirate Olympics, treasure hunts, get a picture with a mermaid or scallywag or shop the merchant village for unique treasures at the 5th Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest.
  • Bell Buckle (May 29) – Load up the car and go on an adventure in Historic Bell Buckle geocaching for prizes 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the Bell Buckle Car Cache and Pig Bash. Registration information can be found here.
  • Donelson (May-October) – Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, shop from local vendors, listen to live music and stroll through the historic grounds of Two Rivers Mansion Fridays 4-7 p.m. during the outdoor Hip Donelson Farmers Market.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit the calendar on the website.  

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.