presents the Book: Boho
- A Guide to the Middle East's Most Sophisticated City by Shirine
Saad - Beirut
- The neighborhoods of Beirut
- Art / Culture
- Architecture / Design
- Stay / Tips
- Summer Escape
- Things to know
Boho - A Guide to the Middle East's Most Sophisticated
by Shirine Saad - Beirut - Published by Turning Point
21 x 14.8 x 2 cm - 164 pages
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
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.
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