Author Archives: Nabila Rahhal

Cleaning up the scraps

The Lebanese do not have a good record when it comes to the environment. There are few facilities for disposing of your waste in an environmentally-friendly manner, and those that do exist are often underused. But have you ever wondered what happens to the leftover scraps of food on your plate at a resturant or

Battle of the Malls

  ABC Dbayeh: The Veteran Established back in 1979, ABC Dbayeh was one of Lebanon’s first department stores and is part of many a childhood memory — a fact that the ABC team proudly promotes. But, as any pioneer, ABC Dbayeh had to grow with the times and keep up with the competition or risk

Teaching dependence

The modern-day obsession with success has hit overdrive in Lebanese schools. While it is a trend that is difficult to quantify, it is obvious to anyone with a child in school or who works in education: students have never been under more pressure to outdo their peers academically. This pressure is compounded by well-meaning, if

Turning Japanese

Driving down a narrow road off Monot Street in Ashrafieh, you find a French style, 1920s building with a purple neon sign displaying the word ‘Noa’ from a first floor apartment. The trendy and ultra-modern pub-restaurant serving Japanese cuisine is the last thing you would expect inside such a building, but this is one of

Ditching popcorn for sushi

Butter soaked popcorn, dark packed theaters and noisy teenagers kicking the back of your seat are the thoughts on many people’s minds when it comes to the cinema experience. It’s little wonder that the older one gets, the more appealing the idea of watching movies at a home theater gets. But Beirut’s cinema owners are

The slow rebirth of Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day looms closer, store displays turn red, email inboxes are flooded with wine or chocolate promotions and prices for the day’s favorite mascot — the rose — doubles. Falling after the sluggish month of January, retailers see in Valentine’s Day an opportunity to bring life back into the sector. Lebanese retailers are no

Playing profits

Like most things in Lebanon, it all began with sectarianism. Or, more accurately, with one basketball team’s efforts to break free from the yoke of patronage.  The year was 2001 — the Syrians were rounding up opposition activists in unprecedented numbers, the South was basking in its freedom and basketball was booming in Lebanon. Riding

Lebanon’s newest bottle

Lebanon’s long history of wine production dates back to 2,600 BC when the Phoenicians used to export the wines of Byblos to Egypt; many believe the story of Jesus Christ’s first miracle of converting water to wine at a wedding took place in Lebanon’s Qana. When the Ottoman Empire took control of Lebanon, wine production

Villa Clara restaurant review

It’s truly a family business,” says Mary Helene Gougeon, describing Villa Clara, a restaurant and boutique hotel in Mar Mkhayel she owns with her husband, Olivier Gougeon. With Olivier, a French chef, preparing the food for the venue, Mary Helene managing the hotel, and their two young children Clara and Patrick on the premises, her

Government’s failing grade

Since the beginning of the academic year, public school teachers, and many from private schools too, have abandoned their classes on an almost weekly basis and taken to the streets. The reason? They are demanding that the Council of Ministers, Lebanon’s cabinet, stop stalling and honor its promise to refer the new salary scale draft