Author Archives: Nathalie Rosa Bucher

Bike messengers are a new sight on Beirut's streets

Deghri bike messenger service gaining traction on Beirut’s streets

Deghri bike messenger service gaining traction on Beirut’s streets

After six months in business, Deghri Messengers s.a.r.l. – out to prove that bicycles are faster, cleaner and more reliable than cars and motorbikes – is firmly in the saddle as the first bike messenger company in the Middle East. Deghri employs two full-time messengers, two part-time riders, and one dispatcher from their AltCity base

Rana Salam – Lebanon’s mistress of Pop Art

Rana Salam’s studio is a maze of colors, a veritable smorgasbord of Middle Eastern trinkets, icons, logos and visuals, ranging from old movie posters to funky packaging that bursts with creativity. In her shop on Abdel Wahab al-Inglizi, Abdel Nasser’s profile features on a retro tabletop and Um Kulthum adorns button pins. What Campbell’s tomato

Green shoots

Organic shelves and refrigerators filled with (fresh) organic products can be found in most Lebanese supermarkets these days. A few years ago, these products would have been hard, if not impossible, to source. Nour Farra-Haddad lists 23 companies and food stores under “bio and organic products” in “Eco-Lebanon Nature & Rural Tourism: A Guide to

A wellspring of form and function

I believed it would be the Soho of Beirut. I was the third or fourth business to open next to the mechanics,” Lina el-Khoury says of the time she scouted around Mar Mkhayel looking for a convenient space to open a design concept store. “I had a vision that this area was going to grow

In with the old

While the bulk of Lebanese would not hesitate before buying a secondhand car, most frown upon the idea of purchasing, let alone wearing, secondhand or vintage clothes. Deeply engrained as this attitude may be, secondhand and vintage fashion is on the rise in Beirut.  “I wanted to open a vintage store as I knew that

Animating success

The handful of Lebanese companies working in animation have had to come up with enterprising business models in order to be seen. Despite the presence of a pool of talented animators working in creative and commercial projects, there is no Lebanese animation industry per se to speak of. An increase in the number of regional

Syrian artists revitalize Lebanon’s creative scene

The presence of Syrian artists in Beirut is far from new, due to the city’s international connections, and the higher prices artworks fetch. “Syrian artists have always been part of the Lebanese art scene for as long as I can remember,” gallery owner Joanna Seikaly says. However, currently more work by Syrian artists is being

A show of support

Contingency plans, cancellations, and reduced audiences. This is what Lebanon’s summer festivals had to cope with this year in the context of a bleak socio-political and security situation. Although the 2013 summer festival season has been marred by many rippling effects of the war in Syria, the event season also saw many memorable and well-attended

Sending it by bike

As a student, Karim Sokhn used to cycle to Université Saint-Joseph, frequently returning late at night. “Beirut is charming at night. It is small, everything’s close and it’s fascinating to experience the contrasts between old and new areas.” An intense love for cycling and strong environmental concerns motivated him and Matt Saunders to set up

Catering to our sweet tooth

Social media was abuzz last month when two billboards popped up on the highway outside of Jounieh. The first, an advertisement for Tripoli-based Abdul Rahman Hallab 1881, a stalwart of Lebanon’s sweets industry, read: “It’s in Jounieh? Sweet…”, which prompted Douaihy Lebanese Pastries, firmly established in the area for 15 years, to retort via another