Our Lady of Lebanon

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As one, we are senseless beings 
begging for love, good health, and happiness, asking for forgiveness. 
Hoping to see light, we look above and stare at her peaceful face, and rest
 our heavy little hearts right on her shoulder. Occasionally I become lost in looking, and stagger into a daze as I wonder how many people have come here in search for something, asking her for help. She has stood there it seems for eternity contemplating anguish and propagating patience. Overlooking the bay of Jounieh, she opens her arms welcoming all.

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The Cultural Warrior

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Lebanese artist and architect Nadim Karam is a multi-disciplinary artist. He fuses his artistic output of sculpture, painting, and drawing with his background in architecture to create large-scale urban art projects in different cities of the world. Blending various cultural influences, Karam’s works transcend social, political and national borders. He seeks to ‘create moments of dreams’ in different cities of the world, constructing a vocabulary of forms in urban settings to narrate stories and evoke collective memory with a very particular whimsical, often absurdist approach.

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The Milk of Lions

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Arak is a colorless, anise-flavored alcoholic aperitif. It’s the national drink of Lebanon, literally meaning, “sweat” in Arabic because the still sweats and drips the liquid. It is typically made from grapes grown in Mediterranean climates, though dates, plums, figs, may also be used. An authentic copper still with a Moorish shape, called Karake, is believed to give the alcohol its best flavor. Typical arak usually ranges from between 30% to 60% alcohol by volume.

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The Chestnut Street Vendors

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The breeze of these winter days, I can feel it slipping into my skin. The wind is sighing in a winter sky and the streets are busy as usual with people going about their day. The birds that came are gone again. The silence reins the skies yet the cacophony of a busy city fills the air. With all the painted images of a winter scene in the heart of Beirut comes the smell of roasted chestnuts in the air. It’s that time of the year where the street vendors stand on the side of the roads selling Kastana (roasted chestnuts).

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Beirut’s Treasure House

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Located on the former Green Line, the National Museum of Beirut is an impressive building with a magnificently displayed collection of archaeological artifacts that offers a great overview of Lebanon’s history and the civilizations that made their home here. The National Museum is considered to be one of the most significant Near Eastern museums because of its rich collection.

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The Title Reversal

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I am sure you’ve heard this about a million times before “ya pappy, kam mara iltilak haj thot ossba’ak bi mounkharak” (oh, daddy, how many times have I told you to stop putting your finger in your nose). Oh no, wait, it’s not what you think… it’s not the child reprimanding the dad for putting his finger in his nose. It’s the dad whose calling his son dad.

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The Poor Man’s Cheese

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Another slow food foundation for the protection of food biodiversity is our very own keshek el foukara (poor man’s cheese). Majdel Zoun is located around ten kilometers from the ancient city of Tyre, a small village of Muslim farmers situated in a dry stony landscape. Their Keshek el fouqara in fact uses no milk, whereas keshek is commonly made with goat’s milk yoghurt.

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