Thursday, September 3, 2015

My Exclusive visit to Sursock Museum

After seven long years, the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum, dedicated to modern and contemporary art, reopens on October 9, 2015. The renovation and expansion—undertaken by architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Jacques Aboukhaled—includes new exhibition spaces, a 164-seat auditorium, a specialized research library, and state-of-the-art storage and restoration facilities. A store and restaurant are introduced to the garden of this former mansion, a true Beirut architectural icon.

I was lucky to visit before the official opening: I spent two hours in this amazing white palace, with an excellent guide, Muriel, who knows the history of the place by heart and made sure to explain each and every detail. The highlight of the visit was stepping into Mr Sursock's private office!

Here’s a sneak peek through my lens before the official opening.

Mr. Nicolas Sursock's Office
Historical facts:
The Sursock Museum was conceived out of Lebanese collector Nicolas Sursock’s commitment to the endorsement and promotion of art. Recognizing the need for institutional support of artists in Lebanon, Sursock left his mansion, built in 1912, to the city of Beirut as an art museum upon his death in 1952. A nine-year delay in implementing Sursock’s will followed. During that time, former Lebanese President Camille Chamoun issued a decree turning the villa into a palais d’hôtes, housing various visiting heads of states.

The Museum opened its doors in 1961 with the Salon d’Automne, an open call exhibition showcasing new art of the time. The Salon, based on the 19th-century French model, awarded different prizes for the most innovative works. It was held regularly since the Museum’s opening, tracing the evolution of fine arts in Lebanon throughout the years. Major Lebanese artists featured in the Salon in include Chafic Abboud, Yvette Achkar, Etel Adnan, Michel Basbous, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Paul Guiragossian, Elie Kanaan, Aref el Rayess, and Adel Saghir.

Alongside the Salon d’Automne, the Museum held a diverse exhibitions program showcasing art from all over the world, from Arabic manuscripts, oriental carpets, and Syrian contemporary art, to sculptures and drawings by Rodin, 20th century British watercolors and drawings, and Belgian contemporary art. Notably, the Museum remained open throughout most of the Lebanese Civil War, despite a period of uncertainty.

In 2008, the Museum closed for major renovation and expansion works that saw a fivefold increase in its total surface area. This structural overhaul aimed at providing the Museum with the facilities that would turn it into a cutting-edge cultural institution of the 21st century.
Two temporary exhibitions and two collection displays will launch the museum’s new era.

Temporary exhibitions

Regards sur Beyrouth 160 ans d’images
The City in the City
Permanent collection displays
Collection Display
A Selection of Works from the Sursock Museum Collection

Picturing Identity

A Selection of Photographs from the Fouad Debbas Collection

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: ENTRY TO THE MUSEUM IS FREE SO YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE!!!Huge thanks to Zeina Arida & Muriel Kahwaji  for this exceptional privilege.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The black Burger: A great Marketing Recipe!

Burger still remains our most popular choice when it comes to eating out,  the product is unlikely to be remarkable, I don't think that people are once again fascinating by this product. Roadster realized that the game has changed... They Successfully launched a "Unique" product The Black Burger, the concept isn’t new but Roadster is the first to introduce it to the Lebanese market.
A black burger in itself is remarkable, and so the hashtag. They launched the campaign exclusively to their online fans and influencers; they fuelled the social media hype by providing foodies and bloggers with personalized posters ( visuals gather all the random, funny and weird reasons why someone would want to try the burger) of #WhyGoBlack
Everyone who saw it wanted to try it and everyone who tasted it wanted to talk about it and instagram it. A great idea to keep ahead of the competition. The reward of being remarkable!
Unfortunately this item is a limited edition but hope will make it to the permanent menu.
Kudos to the marketing and social media department for thinking outside the Box!
Now Stay tuned for purple, green and blue burgers in any Roadster competitor.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Behind The Scenes with David Droga and Emily Anderson

Nice conversation with David Droga and Emily Anderson from Ogilvy about the creative minds  in the age of online  video. Worth five minutes out of your day.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Live Love Food

MINISTRY OF TOURISM "Live Love Lebanon " CNN 2015 Culinary Experience in Lebanon

Cool short movie sharing our Lebanese cuisine with travel bloggers Natalie Fay & Cliff Pollard and Anthony Rahayel  Nogarlicnoonions 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Size isn't the problem.

I am a diet coke big fan, I know it is not good, I have seen all the infographics online, but still treat myself on a daily basis…
After a long absence, Coca Cola is back on the Lebanese market, well only on the billboards... It is so hard to find it, the product is available in the supermarkets and don't try to ask your waiter, I failed every time...
“I’d like a Diet Coke, please”
“Is Diet Pepsi okay?”
I am not sure if the Billboard AD that I have seen today is a teaser or a real campaign for a rare product on the Lebanese Market...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

FoodBox: Memory Lane

This is really cool place I came across, located in Mar Mikhael - Beirut, a massive space, they developed it from an abandoned 1980 sewing factory.
A relaxing clam and productive place to work from, it has an amazing bar, a great restaurant and a work space. Freelancers, writers drop in and stay with their laptops, so they can get work done any time with free wifi and it is great for meetings as there is a long tables. I definitely think this one of the best places to work in Beirut.
Not only is it a great work environment but also has really good lunch menu, I have tried their pizza and the Baba Au Rum. DELICIOUS!!!

It gets little louder towards the night, so it is best to get your work done earlier in the day

Seriously this place is worth checking out!

*I am a food lover but not a food expert, I will be sharing my thoughts on places across Lebanon. A new section on my blog

Monday, August 3, 2015

My July in Pictures

For daily pictures check out my insta account: @Joesbox 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Yazan Halwani - Eternal Sabah Making Of

Check out  this  mini-documentary of the Eternal Sabah mural in Hamra. Beautiful Work! 
This is the documentary of Yazan Halwani's mural in Beirut, the first building of such scale by a Lebanese artist. It was painted on an iconic building of Beirut pre-war era named the “Heart Of Hamra”. The building that earns its name from its history: Before the Civil War it hosted the legendary Horseshoe Café, a literary café where Nizar Qabbani, Paul Guiragossian, and many Arab artists and intellectuals used to sit. After the war, Hamra started slowly recovering but was never able to become the Arab cultural hub it once was.
This mural is an attempt to bring back that era.

Yazan Halwani says about the mural: " I painted the legendary Sabah on one of the largest murals in Beirut to immortalize the woman that was loved by all and was able to challenge the rules of society. She was not only an “icon”… I think we need to take Sabah’s drive in modern society, break taboos when need be and not be held by norms."

This project was done in collaboration with Ahla Fawda, Colortek and the people of Hamra.

Movie by: Nadia Asfour
Music by: Karim Douaidy
Via: YouTube

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lebanon: A Day in the Life

Cool documentary! 24 hours in the lives of the People of Lebanon check it out!
Thank you Maya for sharing it!

"With original music by Rama's Whisper, 24 hours in the lives of the People of Lebanon, a teaser for the upcoming short film, Finding Lebanon, and feature length documentary film, Growing Cedars in Air.

Ask anyone you meet, what they know about Lebanon and you will invariably receive one or both of the following replies:

“Oh, yeah, Beirut! It was once the Riviera of the Middle East. Great place to party!” Or “A damn shame what war has done to that country, poor people.”

If Lebanon has seen nothing but war and parties for the last 40 years with no culture of its own, then how could it have provided so much to world culture in the sciences, arts, design, fashion, music, world politics, business and entertainment?

“Growing Cedars in Air” is a indie documentary video project about personal discovery of what it means to be Lebanese…about the living heritage and unique culture that has allowed Lebanese to flourish wherever they settle. ”Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to go home. Not my parents house in whatever country they happened to be living in, at that time. But my ancestral home, the land of my dreams: burnt earth under olive trees and rocky hillsides shadowed by secular cedars, their roots reaching deep into the core of the earth….my earth…my roots.” Mark Abouzeid, director of Growing Cedars in Air.

These films gather Lebanese people of all walks, local and abroad, to tell their own stories of Lebanon and their lives across recent history, including:

Edd Abbas, Lyricist / Producer; Rania Abouzeid, Award Winning Journalist; Aziza, Lebanese Singer and Songwriter; Michel Elefteriades, the Emperor of Nowheristan; Jennifer El Hage, fashion and graphic designer; Robert Fisk, Award Winning Journalist/Writer; Barbara Massaad, International Gourmand Cookbook Award recipient; Kamal Mouzawak, founder of Souk el Tayeb; Mohamad Rifaii, Art Director and Visual Artist; Laila Sarkis, aka Djette, female DJ in Beirut; Rania Tabbara, Artist and Art promoter; Rami Tibi of Rama's Whisper."