Author Archives: Maya Sioufi

Arabs in a pickle jar

Arabs in a pickle jar

Reading Time: 3 minutes To make pickles, you need to tightly pack cucumbers into a jar, pour in vinegar, add salt and wait for the acid to sink in. Syrian artist Houmam Al Sayed believes Arabs are now being crushed like those cucumbers and the final outcome will taste like nothing but bitterness. That’s the theme he explores in

Bringing India to the Beirut Art Fair

Reading Time: 3 minutes Despite the noise the Lebanese art market creates within the capital, it fails to generate a strong echo beyond the borders of the country. “We have a feeling that despite the fact that the country has recognized artists, the art scene is not developed,” says Fabrice Bousteau, chief editor of renowned French magazine Beaux Arts.

Zayn Makdessi plays Said in the forthcoming short film Ash

Investing in the future of Arab cinema

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ash — a short film about the sexual exploitation of children in Beirut told from the perspective of one boy — is hitting the screens of international festivals from Montreal’s World Film Festival to Germany’s International Film Week in Regensburg. The film’s success is a considerable achievement given that the screenwriter and director, Yasmina Hatem,

Joseph Jabra is President of the Lebanese American University

Training the next generation of doctors

Reading Time: 5 minutes The Lebanese American University (LAU) has had considerable medical ambitions for some time. From acquiring the Rizk Hospital five years ago and transforming it into the University Medical Center — Rizk Hospital (UMC-RH), to setting up a state of the art medical school in Byblos, LAU is not resting on its laurels. It has big

Cutting edge healthcare in Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes Not every hospital has a valet service, a five-star hotel feel and state-of-the-art technology. To continue attracting local and regional patients through its lobby — with a large piano in the center — and into the care of its physicians, Beirut-based Clemenceau Medical Center (CMC) has been upgrading its services despite the challenging economic environment.

Painting oppression from Aleppo

Reading Time: 2 minutes “Men are preoccupied with two things: politics and sex” says Aleppo-based 70 year-old artist Saad Yagan. And that’s why many of his paintings depict men either having heated political debates or dreaming about – often nude – women. With his first solo show at the Mark Hachem gallery in Beirut ongoing, Yagan is in town

Fady Michel Abouchalache is head of Paris-based Quilvest

Finally investing in the Middle East

Reading Time: 3 minutes When I met Fady Michel Abouchalache, CEO of the $27 billion Paris-based wealth management and private equity firm Quilvest in 2012, he was pessimistic about the prospects for private equity in the Middle East. Not anymore, however, since he is placing a bet — a large $150 million bet — on a project in the

Artistic vision on Beirut’s streets

Reading Time: 3 minutes Close to Beirut’s Sodeco Square, a painting of a LL100,000 bill has popped up. It’s not an exact replica of the real note. It features a portrait of the late and renowned Lebanese writer, artist and poet Gibran Khalil Gibran.  This is not the first time 20-year-old graffiti artist Yazan Halwani has painted influential cultural

Bank of Beirut goes down under

Reading Time: 3 minutes "I’m much happier in Beirut than in London or Sydney or Melbourne. We belong to our roots,” says Salim Sfeir, chairman of Bank of Beirut (BoB), Lebanon’s seventh largest bank. Sitting in the bank’s headquarters in downtown Beirut, Sfeir is freshly returned from his latest trip to Australia, a country his bank has taken a

Bridging troubled waters

Reading Time: 6 minutes All seems relatively quiet in the Lebanese banking world, for now. Lebanon’s banks are still growing. They are still making money, too. While their profits are not swelling at the same double-digit rates as in the past, the fact that they are still in the black is welcome news given the fatigued economy and appalling

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