Author Archives: Nabila Rahhal

Uprising

Uprising

Reading Time: 2 minutes October 17: Protesters set fire in Downtown on Thursday on the first day of the revolts.  October 18: Demonstrations continued with protestors closing roads in downtown.  October 20: Sunday’s protest was the largest gathering in Downtown since February 2005.  October 22: This photo depicts elements of an open air carnival in Riad el-Solh.  October 23:

Challenging misconceptions about Lebanese wine

Reading Time: 5 minutes There is a negative perception of Lebanese wine that views it as overpriced and headache-inducing. This perception may even be shared by some readers of this piece. Luckily, those in the retail and hospitality industries who sell local wine say that this misconception is changing over time. There is a vast range of Lebanese wines

In search of Lebanese wine’s identity

Reading Time: 8 minutes Although Lebanon has a rich history of wine production, dating back to the Phoenicians who used to trade it, it has only recently reached a high level of maturity that often leads to introspection and a questioning of identity. The last decade saw the number of wineries in Lebanon go up from about 20 to

Developments in Lebanon’s wine sector

Reading Time: 5 minutes Late August and September were harvest months for Lebanon’s wineries, and the energy across vineyards, whether in Batroun or the Bekaa valley, was palatable. From grape picking at dawn to Fête des Vendanges brunches (post-harvest celebrations) that stretched until sunset; from gathering around a table de tri (sorting table) for destemming to tasting that first

Le Gray’s general manager’s four years in Beirut

Reading Time: 6 minutes Lebanese born and raised, George Ojeil was the hotel manager at the Intercontinental Hotel in Amman, Jordan, when he was offered the position of general manager (GM) of Le Gray Beirut, which he describes as a “very sexy product which any hotelier would love to run.” What further facilitated the decision to accept Le Gray’s

Private schools in Lebanon struggle to provide quality education at a reasonable cost

Reading Time: 8 minutes This year marked the 200th anniversary of the death of al-Muallem or the master Butrus al-Bustani, a writer and scholar, who founded one of the first schools in Lebanon, Al-Madrassa al-Wataniya (the national school) in 1880. The school was based on national principles and was open to all without discrimination—a change from the religiously run

Lost in Trainslation

Reading Time: 3 minutes Kan ya ma kan (once upon a time), Lebanon had a well-developed railway network established by the different foreign authorities that governed the country before its independence. The first major rail line was developed during the Ottoman period in 1895 and ran from Beirut to Damascus. It was constructed by the French upon a concession

Public transport projects in Greater Beirut and beyond

Reading Time: 6 minutes While it is true that exaggeration is somewhat of a national trait, when it comes to congestion getting in or out of Beirut—and driving inside it—it often feels that no hyperbole is enough to describe the sense of despair evoked when inching forward in bumper to bumper traffic breathing in exhaust fumes and listening to

Number 12 bus

Lebanon’s informal public transport system

Reading Time: 9 minutes Public transport is part of Lebanon’s mobility heritage, as is evident by our popular culture. In the song entitled “Ala Hadir el-Bosta,” the late Joseph Sakr sings of his love Alia’s pretty eyes while on a shared bus from Hammana to Tannourine, humorously describing the passengers who were with him—the song was composed by Ziad

Five star hoteliers preparing for forecasted boost in tourism from Saudi Arabia

Reading Time: 5 minutes The rising temperatures in Beirut signify a rapidly approaching summer, typically a peak tourism season in Lebanon and one that five star hoteliers in the country are eagerly anticipating. Tourism in Lebanon has been slowly getting back on its feet over the past four years—thanks to a diversification of markets that included European and South

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