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Book Boho, guide to Middle East sophisticated city Beirut, culture, neighborhood  
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LebanonPostcard presents the Book: Boho - A Guide to the Middle East's Most Sophisticated City by Shirine Saad - Beirut

Table of contents:

- Preface
- The neighborhoods of Beirut
- Art / Culture
- Architecture / Design
- Eat
- Drink
- Shop
- Stay / Tips
- Summer Escape
- Things to know
- Map

Lebanon History 4000 Years, Historical texts, Greek, Roman Byzantine and Arab
Boho - A Guide to the Middle East's Most Sophisticated City
by Shirine Saad - Beirut - Published by Turning Point
21 x 14.8 x 2 cm - 164 pages

About the Author

Shirine Saad has lived in France, Canada, Lebanon and the USA. She studied art history and international development and holds an M.A. in arts journalism from the Colombia School of Journalism. After working as a lifestyle editor in Montreal, Saad moved to Brooklyn, where she covers art, fashion, travel and food. Her work has been published in The New York Times, MTV, Jalouse, Aishti, L'Officiel Levant and En Route. When not sampling reindeer tongue in Helsinki, skiing in Colorado or roaming the museums of St. Petersburg. Saad travels between Beirut and Brooklyn.


Many Lebanese born during the civil war, which ravaged the country for fifteen years, have lived most of their lives scattered throughout the world. For all those years we have tried to find meaning in our aimless wandering, looking back to our homeland seeking clues and answers. Sadly, many of my friends in New York or Paris still view Beirut solely through the prism of war. But Lebanon is also a bounty of nature, of sun, of infinite seas and mountains, a lively country with a generous and warm people - a land with 5000 years of history, where great civilizations have left their traces. People of different religions and ethnicities have coexisted in this tiny land for centuries; the real Beirutis are resilient, open, tolerant and joyful. To me, as to many of us, Beirut also represents freedom and hope.

I have so much admiration for those who moved back to Beirut after the civil war - artists, musicians, chefs, architects, curators and others, full of hope and confusion, determined to make a mark in shattered country that gives so much pain and yet that is one in which they continue to believe. Despite the wars and assassinations, the censorship and corruption, they continue to fight with ideas and art. Defying the lack of public or private funding and cultural institutions, they create events that bring people together-rethinking the legacy of the war while everyone else has erased its memories. In the absence of corporate or government sponsorship, a genuine underground culture has blossomed. Once again, and in spite of the regional turmoil, Beirut is a dynamic cultural capital.

This book pays homage to these courageous and creative Beirutis, to their determination, courage and vision. Seeking out Beirut's new tastemakers, I have interviewed up-and-coming art entrepreneurs, chefs, designers, hoteliers and night owls, threaded throughout their musings, Beirut's new face shines through.

And for those eager to discover this epicurean city's choicest offerings, I share my address book, filled with charming boutiques, delicious restaurants, posh bars and gritty clubs. I ask friends for insider tips: what to order at restaurants, which rooftop pool is the coolest, where to purchase elegant gifts and where to head for the best contemporary art exhibitions. Expect to laze around during the day, walking around Beirut's quaint streets or gazing at the Mediterranean; at night, the city wakes up and parties until sunrise.

Indeed, some clichés are right: Beirut is a decadent city, buzzing with energy and always inviting people for one more might to sleepless fun.

But, Beirut also defies all clichés: It is a city of chaos and peace, of uncertainly and celebration, of innovation and deep history. We love its contradictions and complexity. We hope you do, too.

Shirine Saad

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