Author Archive | Rami

Yanni is coming to Lebanon

Yanni Byblos

I just learned Yanni will be performing at Byblos Festival on June 30th and July 1st as part of his world tour this year. He’s absolutely one of my favorite musicians and I’m really glad we will finally get to see him live here.

In case you’ve never heard of him, chances are you have definitely heard some of his work since a lot of Lebanese radio and TV shows use some of the music he composes.

Tickets will be on sale for 50, 75, 100, 150 and $200, and can be purchased from all Vigrin branches or online here.


Ossit Sawani / Blind Intersections

ossit sawani - blind intersections

I was lucky to attend the press screening of the new Lebanese movie Ossit Sawani (Blind Intersections) at Sofil last week.

For a change, this movie doesn’t tell a story from the Lebanese civil war, nor does it suggest a solution for sectarianism in Lebanon. It actually follows three characters, Nour who loses her parents in a car accident and gets into financial problems, India, a rich woman who dreams of having a baby, and Marwan, a 12 year-old kid who lives with a violent alcoholic mother. These three characters obviously come from different backgrounds and never meet throughout the movie, but the effects of one incident will alter the lives of them all. Don’t expect any happy ending, since Ossit Sawani just portrays the daily struggles of Nour, India and Marwan.

I’m not sure how accurate my judgement about Ossit Sawani will be since I’m no movie expert. Anyway, I believe it’s good enough to watch even though the transition from one scene to another was not so smooth at the beginning of the movie but got better as the movie went forward, moreover, I believe some scenes could have been cut shorter. Still the movie is worth the ticket price and eventually supporting its producers.

Ossit Sawani is by the way directed by Lara Saba and produced by Nibal Arakji, and started showing in cinemas as of yesterday.


The Hangout Gemmayze

Hangout Gemmayze

After blogging about their competition last week, The Hangout were kind enough to invite for a dinner two days ago.

The first thing you’ll notice when entering the place, is that unlike what its name tells, The Hangout is more of a fine dining restaurant than a place to really hangout at with your friends. It’s nicely decorated, spacious with indoor and outdoor areas unlike most of the places in the neighborhood, and the staff is quite friendly and welcoming.

We sampled the following items from their menu:

  • Onion soup (11,000 L.L)
  • Foie Gras (26,000 L.L)
  • Chicken rolls (13,000 L.L)
  • Pan fried mushroom with halloum (13,000 L.L)
  • Charcoal grilled sojok (14,000 L.L)
  • Beef Stroganoff (27,000 L.L)
  • The Hangout gourmet burger (24,000 L.L)
  • Fondant au chocolat (12,000 L.L)
  • Pain perdu (13,000 L.L)

The Hangout Gemmayze (1) The Hangout Gemmayze (2) The Hangout Gemmayze (3)

Given that The Hangout is still operating in soft opening stage, I found the food to be quite good. I totally loved the Foie gras, the chicken rolls, the fried mushroom, the grilled sojok, and their gourmet burger. I also overheard at an adjacent table that the salad bar is pretty good too. The other items were good as well, but I thought they could be improved a bit.

The Hangout Gemmayze (4) The Hangout Gemmayze (5) The Hangout Gemmayze (6)

For example, I would have preferred the onion soup to be a little thicker, and the beef stroganoff meat a bit tender. The desserts on the other hand need to be re-worked, and don’t get me wrong, they’re seriously not bad, but I personally believe a great dessert can turn an average meal into a memorable event, and that’s what one would expect from a place like The Hangout.

The Hangout Gemmayze (7) The Hangout Gemmayze (8) The Hangout Gemmayze (9)

Anyway, the overall experience was very pleasant, and the restaurant’s atmosphere alone can set you in a good mood even if you just went there for some drinks or wine at the bar. It’s definitely worth a try.

The Hangout Gemmayze (10) The Hangout Gemmayze (11)


The independent state of Roumieh

Roumieh prison

This photo by Marwan Tahtah was taken in Roumieh prison and made it to the cove page of Al-khbar’s issue for today. If only these muscles were put to good use to stop the chaos in Roumieh!

Check this article on how the prison is currently more like a command centers for some criminals on the run due to the lack of control over the Islamist prisoners.


Maura Connelly’s bodyguards harass two women in Hamra

Maura Connelly

Is the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly now determined on creating a mess every time she goes out on weekends?

First her convoy drove over some ancient ruins in Tyre and damaged a stone wall two weeks ago, and just yesterday, her bodyguards harassed Lebanese actress Yara Abou Haidar and one of her Egyptian friends at Dar Bistro in Hamra where Connelly was having a coffee. You can read all about the incident in this article by Al-Akhbar.

via @AbirGhattas


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