Author Archives: Nabila Rahhal

I’m not buying it

I’m not buying it

Social buying seemed like such a wonderful concept at the beginning when my friends started talking about it three years ago. But it seems to me that after the novelty has worn off, so did a lot of the interest in such sites. It is one of the standard arguments of these sites that ‘everybody

Retail and the economic crisis

After the hotels and restaurants, it is the retail industry that is feeling the effects of the current economic strain,” says Nicholas Chammas, head of the Lebanese Traders Association. The retail industry in Lebanon depends heavily on Arab tourists and has suffered the effect of their decreased numbers this summer. “During the good summers, we

Junkyard tapas

What do you do with your plot of land waiting for a delayed permit from the Ministry of Tourism to build a new restaurant on it? Options vary from converting it into a parking lot to watching the weeds grow as the space goes unused. Mario Junior Haddad and Chef Tomas Reger, respectively owner and

House of Stone

Anthony Shadid’s remains were scattered under the olive tree in the garden at his house in Jdeidit Marjeyoun, South Lebanon. He was not buried in the United States where he was born and raised, but in the home he had chosen as his own. This home, or bayt, as Shadid refers to it, is the

Nicolas Chammas under the cosh

There seems to be little end to the litany of woes Lebanon’s economy has been suffering this year, brought on by regional unrest and internal instabilities mushrooming across the country. Many industries have felt the impact. For a closer look at the implications of this soured environment on the country’s traders, Executive sat down for

Starved for business

With so many foreigners and expats altering their vacation plans to avoid Lebanon this summer, it is no wonder the hospitality sector, which relies heavily on tourism, is struggling.   According to statistics by the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists entering the country this year, until July, had decreased 12 percent in comparison to

Developing debauchery in downtown

In the olden days, Uruguay Street, behind what today is the Samir Kassir Square, was better known as the Souk El Kmash, or the “Clothes Market”, and was famous for high-end tailors and shops full of trendy attire. Today, and a year into its revival, it is becoming known for its bars and restaurants and

Behind the silver screen

"The movie business is a gambling business,” says Salim Ramia, chief executive of Grand Cinemas. “When you buy a movie for a million dollars before it is even filmed, isn’t that a gamble?” Indeed, Ramia himself placed big bets by selling his successful company in the United Arab Emirates to start up the same business

Making them like they used to

What was once a relatively quiet bohemian street parallel to the Mar Mikhael main road has begun bustling in recent months. While artistic types have long visited the art and architectural book shop Paper Cup and the Spanish library here, the increased footfall seems due to a little diner called Frosty Palace, which boasts the

Many plates at the table

When your meal is served at a wedding or when you grab a canapé at a cocktail reception, you do not often stop to think of what happened behind the scenes to put that food on your fork. Starting the day before the event, the kitchen is abuzz with chefs over their stoves, assistant chefs