-Or just donate blood in Beirut
I woke up late; It was past noon. The electricity wouldn’t be back until 12 and I was alone because Matias went on a mission to Tripoli, so I slept — pretty well for a morning filled with jackhammers and never-ending machine groans. I opened my computer to a hauntingly familiar news jolt. Beirut’s been bombed. Again. This is something like the fourth bomb since moving here two years ago. And as usual, Twitter and Facebook were flooded with sarcastic, pissed off, disillusioned comments; despair for the situation; sympathy for victims and families; and the ever-present blood donating debacle.
Since it was past noon, it was time to work. So I started checking what there was to do. And in between clocking casualty numbers and who did what, I’d write a line or two of silliness about bamboo massages (they seem re... [more]
Sometimes I sit on my couch and chat with Matias about how exciting it is to do what we do for 2famous. And how lucky I feel that I have such an epic platform to explore my own creativity and am surrounded by geniuses bursting with innovation and talent. Seriously, even for my own sake, this project makes me better every day.
And sometimes we get feedback from the community about what we do which is so exciting, not to mention fulfilling. But it just so happens that we never make the cut for contests determining the coolest blogs in Lebanon. When I was on Twitter yesterday, I saw people mentioning TimeOut Beirut’s 2013 Readers Choice Awards and noticed there was a blog section. But once again we were not on it. It’s not the first time this has slipped our grip, and I wasn’t going to sit aside and wait for it. Because if I’ve learned anything, it’s that taking the first s... [more]
Plus: Videos of Loopstache & Zeid Hamdan inside!
Our weekly radio show has never been something I just coast through, despite what it might sound like with the awkward silences or music mess ups or fumbling with content. That all happens with my trying REALLY hard. And whoa, two weeks ago was the most intense show to date. We had three scheduled musical performances plus interviews and one regular interview, and one tentative interview to fit into one entertaining hour spiced up with funny news stories and anecdotes, plus a TOTALLY unexpected musical performance twist.
Bold is my brain chatter.
-30.00 It’s early and the sound engineer actually shows up on time! Today is going to be flawless, action-packed, and incredible. Samer ‘Etyen’ Chami is debuting his potentially viral new song. He needs a mic for himself and for his backup singer. Two mics and a small mic for the ukelele. 3 Mics onstage. At least one extra in the studio.
-10.00 Loopstache sho... [more]
-It’s the very last Kaotik System party!
Join Kaotik System for one final party in Baysour and bring your toys — to donate to Syrian children.
Last Friday on our Radio Show Gayath Dakroub told us about the very last Kaotic System Festival taking place weekend Nov 1,2,3. For ten years KS has thrown crazy electronic music parties all over Lebanon in the mountains, under giant trees, on stairs, in haunted houses — you name it. This weekend marks the end of an electro-party era, hopefully taken up but someone else next.
Unlike other electronic music festivals in Lebanon, this one will be a daytime-festival meaning all the acts will finish by midnight. Well-known DJ’s will spin techno, Dub, IDM, Drum & Bass, Breakcore, Jungle, Hardcore and other genres in the absolutely beautiful valley of Baysour. We’ve partied here before — under the canopy of the forest with a crystal clear river winding up and d... [more]
No friends, no money, no problem!
Let’s just say I don’t mind getting experimental when it comes to my birthday.
I love parties, I love my friends, and I love a fabulous dinner with a banging cake at the end just like the next person. But I don’t require it and that has left me a lot of room to get all weird and random on my special day. Because in the end, all I really want is attention and THAT you can get in many places.Two years ago I had just ‘met’ Matias and Jorgen when we went to the beach with a friend, and as we sat dipping our toes into the Mediterranean, I casually mentioned my birthday was in a couple of days. On that day, Jorgen texted me “Happy Birthday! What are you doing tonight?” Since I had not planned a thing, not even where I would want to hang out or with whom, I decided on the spot that Zico House would be ... [more]
New music from Leb and how to donate to refugees
Today’s show is jam packed with intergalactic star power! Drop by Radio Beirut from 6-7 for discounted drinks and bring your autograph book, Matias and Adrian have some celebrities in the studio. Or listen from remote locations LIVE online at radiobeirut.net/listenlive
Joining us are:
Xriss Jor! Songstress, winner of Lebanon’s Voice competition, and recent winner of Dubai’s Music Week which landed her a production deal with Quincy Jones.
Rhea Dally! Our very own Lebanese chiptune artist. Dally is creating the artsiest music with old Gameboys, Nintendos, and other gaming consoles to the delight of artists and cool people everywhere.
Talar Demirdjian! Our favorite hip, funky youth who’s going to sc... [more]
-Before the end of season!
Basil grows really well on Beirut rooftops. Last week our friend Michel Nabti had us over for dinner cooking nothing short of Korean pancakes, BBQ’ed chicken, and Thai cucumber salad.I could go on for days about the meal, but I’d like to focus on the fact that before we left, Nabti ran out to his garden and filled up a gallon bag of all kinds of basil for us to take home before he raided the plants to make pesto. Black Thai basil, small Thai basil, Italian basil — everything!
Throughout the entire week I’ve been devising all kinds of ways to use the fresh basil, especially since its season is ending. Now is the time to pick it and eat it.
1. Basil peanut butter apple.
Oh my god, you could say I was enlightened in the moment, but it’s... [more]
-I landed the starring female lead in a Chinese action movie!
I’m almost 25 everybody, it’s a subject we’ve discussed before. The world is at my fingertips despite my bank account almost plummeting to 0. But that’s ok! Every graduation speech and every tidbit of advice from old successfuls is to do what you’re passionate about. Find something you love and go for it, or at least dip your toes into many fields and see what you like. So I’ve been doing just that! I’ve got my own dream Cooking Show, I host a weekly live Radio Show, and just last month, I got to star as the main female lead in a Chinese action drama!
Matias spotted a tweet searching for American-accented people in Beirut and I shot an email (with my cooking show episodes attached- multitasking!) faster ... [more]
Named the #5 Most Dangerous Food Destination in the World by USA Today!
Whether you’re swirling around the fashion world or the food world, you’re bound to run into Johnny Farah.
He’s legendarily known as a luxury handbag designer from Lebanon who started the first boutique shop in Soho decades ago. He ‘discovered’ Donna Karen, and was interviewed twice by Andy Warhol. And right now he’s exhibiting his latest collection at Paris Fashion week.
But in the video I ask Farah why he started cooking. When he was 17 years old he hitchhiked from Beirut to Denmark, lived and worked there, and missed his mother’s cooking so much it gave him nightmares. So he started learning the kitchen arts. And today he owns two widely popular restaurants in Beirut, Casablanca and Lux by the Beirut Port — where we met him.
It’s an auditory culinary adventure as Johnny prepares some of the best food at what USA Today names the [more]
The coolest, newest indie music from Lebanon.
People all over the globe are secretly messaging me to send them awesome music coming out of Lebanon and now that I’ve gathered tons of juicy fresh tunes I’m ready to publish them here! Of course you can always check out the latest in local music on our Radio Show as well. Now let’s get to it.
1. This is one of the bands I’m most excited about. Loopstache! They are two incredibly talented guys, Carl and Salim, whom I see just about everywhere but want to HEAR more of!
2. Teleferik literally just popped up on my radar. Eliz, the lead singer and bassist, is born of Lebanese parents and lives in Paris. She describes the band as French-Lebanese-Japanese which is unique as hell (mostly just the Japanese part), but their sound is awesome! Eliz sings a couple songs in Arabic which you can catch on their ... [more]
Listen Live: 6-8Pm (Beirut Time) on www.radiobeirut.net/listenlive
Today the ladies will have Beirut’s most famous blues-rock band in the studio, Wanton Bishops!
We’ll also have a special representative from this weekends BEST home-grown music festival, Wicker Park, which last week’s guests (below) Wake Island will be playing at!
And lastly, your two favorite starlets will be chatting about all things under the sun and stars:
Gays in Islam, Life with RealDolls, Std’s and the regular banter!
Watch Videos from Last week’s show with Wake Island and Hamed Sinno!
Wake Island + Hamed Sinno performing Lovefool by the Cardigans”
Hamed Performing Solo:... [more]
I went from hiking down a mountain
to hitchhiking w/ a convicted prison escapee with a heart of gold.
There comes a point after a long night of partying when all you want to do is go home. At least, that’s the feeling I get every single time I’m out dancing for 10 hours and dirty as hell from hanging out in the forest.
Two weeks ago we went to Forest Frequencies, the psytrance festival in Chahtoul, a mountainous area north of Beirut. It’s a four day psychedelic trance festival in an old camping ground. People do a lot of crazy things. They even bring their children.
It’s a hardcore way to party and I’ve spent days at a festival before but I just can’t make myself do it anymore. These days the party plan is this: Arrive early evening one day, party till the morning, and leave around noon the next day. ... [more]
Authentic delicious Italian food from a master chef
You know I studied in Italy once so I know my way around an Italian kitchen and I’m not kidding when I say Chef Max’s food is as authentic and delicious as his style is badass. For the past 26 years Max has been cooking around the world sharing his gift of Italian cuisine — starting in his hometown of Florence.
The custom shark-Harley is easy on the eyes, sure, but damn his food is unique and tasty. In his kitchen at Canaletto, a restaurant owned by Italian-Lebanese maestro, Mr. Giorgio, Max makes his own creation: Ravioli Nudi or naked ravioli or just ravioli without pasta. Yes, a pasta without a pasta. Only a true blue Italian master chef could come up with that!
Ricotta Cheese Spinach Egg Parmesan Cheese Salt Pepper
Mix up and scoop into little balls, place on pan and bake with butter on top.
Equal parts: Creme Fresh and Milk Some Parmesan
Sprinkle with cinnamon!
Absurd tales from the toilet at the most underground party in the Middle East
Dad: Alright Honey, there is some vomit on the floor of that toilet so you don’t have to go in there.Daughter: What is vomit, Dad?Dad: Vomit is the stuff that comes out when you throw up.Daughter: (Thinking) Why does someone throw up?Dad: It happens when someone eats something or is sick and it hurts their stomach so they throw it up out of their mouth to get rid of it.Daughter: Ew, it’s gross and it smells bad.Dad: Yes, a bit. But if you just have to pee we can walk to the forest and you can do it there. Do you want to do that?Daughter: Yea, let’s go walk into the forest.
Bleary eyed, I stood in the line for the bathroom at a psytrance festival, Forest Frequencies, in the mountains of Lebanon when a Frenchman in his thirties walked up holding his 5-year old daughter’s hand. He was wearing sunglasses and a straw touri... [more]
This week on the ‘two girls one mic bar/studio LIVE from Beirut radio show,’ Adrian and Layal will have guest, Aziza, Lebanese Popstar and musical sensation whose album drops in December!
Watch her video
They’ll also discuss other predictably scandalous things such as:
*Long distance relationship (Layal and Jorgo have been apart for like 2 weeks!) *Slut-shaming and double standards *Spoons saving women from forced marriages…
Listen Live! Either keep this window open and it should start playing or stream online HERE
Beirut: 6-8PM EastCoast USA: 11am-1pm WestCoast USA: 9-11am Europe: 17:00-19:00
TWEET US WITH #radiofame... [more]
Fucking Shit. It hurts so bad to say it, but I’m done with you, Blue Moon.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a damn understatement when it comes to an expat who has been deprived of something they truly love but can only be found in their home country. There are just some things you get used to and love that you start to go psycho for when you can’t have them for a long time.
Jorgo missed caviar, brown cheese, and milk from Norway so much that he left in a flurry only to be found in the nearest grocery store in Oslo smashing his mustache into said delicacies; Layal misses Dr Bronner’s lavender castille soap and Korean BBQ. I miss a whole lot of things: Marshall’s, Sriracha, limes, Thai food. And one of the things I’ve written about that I really miss is good beer. Sure Almaza is just fine; However, I really really really love Belgian White beers, namely, Blue Moon.
Even Matias, who had never heard of Blue Moon, knew to order it for me in any establishment we entered as we toured America. The delicio... [more]
Today’s episode, which goes live at 6pm Beirut time, is a real page turner.
Our in-studio guest Noel Paul just got back from directing Portugal. The Man’s latest music video and today we’ll get the chance to pick the brain of a real true blue Hipster.
Here’s the video he directed:
Listen to the episode HERE:
This week, we had indie music video director Noel Paul in-studio talking about a bunch of stuff he’s unsure about…maybe it’s a hipster thing. He was still awesome, especially when he turned the tables on his two unsuspecting hosts and became the interviewer!
Our sex segment ‘Nympho Info’ made a come-back and we discussed squirting (yes, that kind), teenagers having sex at home and whether it&rsq... [more]
-I feel like my badass travelling days are coming to an end…
I am no stranger to the US’s travel warnings. I signed up with the Embassy the first time I came to Beirut and they used to send regular warnings. These days the regularity of it all has kind of fizzled.
Then I read this headline in the news “US Issues Global Travel Alert — Cites Al-Qaeda Threat.”
I took a peek and breathed a deep sigh of relief. Great! I thought, now it’ not just Lebanon, the whole world is a threat to Americans! Apparently, throughout the month of August, we Americans need to be extra specially safe and take care of ourselves because we’re at a greater risk of getting bombed or kidnapped by the “Bad Guys”.
Rumors have been floating around that Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization, is plotting some things around this exact time, especially in ... [more]
An amazing summer salmon dinner!!
Here’s what’s cooking in Beirut this week!
Jad El Hage is the founder and sole chef of L’Humeur du Chef, a single table restaurant in Beirut that showcases a unique and delicious dish everyday for dinner. I’d walked past this curious place in my neighborhood often and heard that it’s quite a hit among locals so I had to find out for myself.
After he studied in Switzerland, he opened up the restaurant with the sole purpose of bringing people together to share a meal designed on his whim. I can’t say the concept isn’t amazing and the food is even more tantalizing.
Honey Baked Salmon
220g Salmon Honey Rock Salt Worcestershire Sauce
Sautee it skin side down for a couple minutes. Throw it into the oven for just a couple more minutes till the top is a bit pink.
Blanche in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Throw into pan with melted butter and sautee with slices... [more]
-3 Fancy breakfast recipes you can make at home!
Welcome back to SCIB! This episode highlights the unsung hero of the cooking world, Breakfast, as we tinker in the rooftop kitchen of my friend and incredible chef Michel Nabti.
I first tasted Michel’s masterpieces when I ate at the Fern event at Tawlet and knew Nabti had no choice but to be a star on my show. Here, we climb to the top of Beirut and pick herbs and veggies from his garden, have a blast in the kitchen, and finish off with a glorious meal under the sun.
You’ll most likely be seeing Michel again, as he’s got some crazy tricks up his sleeve that I just can’t wait to learn!
Enjoy the show. Below are the recipes as per this episode.
Grated potatoes 3 Types of Chopped Basil: Italian, Thai, Black Caramelized Onions Sauteed Sausage Egg Red and Green C... [more]
They are so delicious!
Before we release our next epic episode of SCIB, here are two delicious and easy salads using one of the summer’s best vegetables: Cabbage.
Nepali Ginger Cabbage Salad
The first salad I made up was completely inspired by my trip to Nepal. You see, in Nepal they don’t really DO salads and if there is some sort of semblance of salad it’s smothered in mayonnaise and that shit makes me want to commit seppuku. So using the ingredients I had on hand I made a badass creation you will love:
1. Cabbage (depends how much salad you want, really) 2. Freshly chopped/grated ginger 3. Chopped cilantro 4. Chopped green onion 5. Tiny limes (perhaps only found in Nepal) or limes to squeeze. 6. Salt 7. Chili 8. Olive oil 9. (Optional if you are feeling fancay) Grated carrots and cucumbers.
As you can see there are n... [more]
-For the worse…now I know why rich people are assholes.
The term “rich bitch” doesn’t exist for nothing and I know the reason why. Certainly you can ‘fake it till you make it’ and project an image of living large, but it isn’t until you actually live large that you rightfully adopt the bitch part of it. I gained this new insight on life a couple of weeks ago when Matias and I were upgraded to First Class on our four-hour flight from Kathmandu to Qatar.
It started in a typical third world airport, all hot and rundown, as we sat in the waiting area about to board a shuttle bus to the plane. A confused airline attendant walked around and stopped at a 40-something well put together guy and bumped him up to first class.
“Hey! How did you just get to do that!?” We leaned over and asked him. “Ha, I have friends in high places,” he chuckled. “Good for you, Asshole, we have friends in high places too,” I mumbled under my breath, and glancing at Matias hissed, (... [more]
Read the hilarious email exchange between me and the Embassy
Last year my favorite summer holiday approached and I was distraught as to how to celebrate it so I emailed the American Embassy in my most sincere attempt to go to their party. Below are the emails:
Hello! I am American living in Beirut, I moved here about 10 months ago and started working at LivingSocial. I wanted to ask if there was an official 4th of July party at the Embassy. It’ll be my first Independence Day out of the country and I’d love to celebrate it with other Americans, as well as get to know my fellow compatriots. I’d really appreciate any reply and hopefully it’s positive.
Thanks so much. Cheers, Adrian Avedisian
*** 6/29/2012Dear Sir,
We appreciate your interest in 4th of July celebrations. Any Embassy’s 4th of July event is limited in scale, for contacts of the Ambassador, and not open to the public, even the Americans. That being said, we would ... [more]
-We have to get him back!
Just a couple of days ago Matias blogged an epic video of Russell Brand taking down a mindless crew of TV morning show hosts. In the video he questions why they purposefully avoid critical topics and rather focus on inane, visual fodder, when they are the faces and voices of America. Anyways, he sounded like a badass and it pumped us up for his upcoming show in Lebanon on the tour for “Messiah Complex”.
But just as I was searching for the date of the show, I read, to my horror, that Brand has cancelled the shows in both Abu Dhabi and Lebanon for fear of his safety. Or rather, as the Huffington Post says:
“Brand told BBC radio Thursday that the Mideast venues ‘contacted u... [more]
Making Duck Confit Salad for Le Sushi Bar’s 15th Anniversary!
I love food; I love shopping for it, preparing it, talking about it, experimenting with it, cooking it, eating it, and watching people eat or talk about it. In fact, while other people tell me they paint or sculpt or draw or make movies, I’ve always maintained that my art form was cooking. So you know what? I’m starting my own damn cooking show and I hope you guys will love it.
For my first ever episode, I wanted to go big so I went all the way to the top and that is in the kitchen with Chef Tom, a renowned professional chef in both Beirut and Dubai.
Tom is an exceptional dude, in fact, he’s down right badass! Born and raised in the Czech Republic, Tom decided he needed to get out and fled to England where started at the bottom of the kitchen rung working in Chinese restaurants as an illegal immigrant. Nine months in, Czech was finally admitted to the EU and Tom bec... [more]
The first CD I ever listened to on repeat was Ace of Base’s Happy Nation/ The Sign when it came out and changed my little life at the age of 2. Since then I’ve had faith in the Scandinavian music scene although it disappeared on me for a couple decades. But! Now I’ve got a permanent Scandi in my home and that’s what I’ll chalk this compilation up to. Plus, now that we’re authorities on being hipsters or whatever, I might as well kick off the summer with an ironic twist.
1. Ane Brun – Do You Remember I’m a sucker for throbbing, tribal drums and this song nails the fun, poppy side of it. That coupled with Ane’s deep moaning throughout the tune and her obvious accent when she slides those S’s are priceless. (Norway)
2. Alina Devecerski – Flytta På Dej Three words: Crazy, fun, danceparty! (Sweden)
3. Blár Opal – Stattu Upp You know... [more]
-The Types of Travellers You Meet in Nepal
The country of Nepal is like a giant, living museum — everything is a sight to behold. Its borders perfectly outline a chunk of the Himalayas with a bit of forested plains in the south and is situated directly between China and India. It is amongst the poorest countries in the world, where the majority of people make about $1 a day and the second biggest revenue comes from people leaving Nepal to work as maids or construction workers in other countries, namely the Middle East, and sending those few hundred dollars a month home. Let’s just say it’s not very developed. Dirt roads abound, one meager dish — dhal bhat — is the customary meal consisting of lentils and rice, and electricity is out more than it is on.
Then again, it is the birthplace of Buddha and Kama Sutra, the home of the world’s highest mountain and local Tigers, a jungle of breathtaking nature where those birds on “Planet Earth’ almost crash into your face when y... [more]
Travel Diaries V — Many of them are in the Middle East
Being the only girl on the trip is definitely a ‘thing’ and it’s not because I point it out all the time, it seems to be in line with the way society here rolls. Our third day in Kathmandu we joined Hira and his friends to celebrate a local festival in their village and out of 25+ guys at most times, I was the only female.
On our way to the festival, I wobblingly demounted the bike high from the ride, and walked into a small room packed with 15 guys chatting and smoking and preparing for the festival. They all shook my hand and acknowledged me like the other guys and I am pleased and impressed to get the same respect and acknowldgement as everyone else. That doesn’t always happen in Lebanon, fyi.
Hira tells us fights will most likely break out but not to worry, because we’re foreigner... [more]
Travel Diaries IV: He may look like a hippie, but he’s got business in his blood
At 8’oclock in the morning I was soundlessly asleep in my white sheets dreaming about something fantastic when a sharp and constant rapping on the front door shook me out of my slumber. I punched my love in the face and he got up to see what was up. Our landlord was at the door.
“Wake up! You have one hour before you are going paragliding.”
It’s not the most horrible way to be shocked out of bed, that’s for sure. Just the night before our landlord and owner of Blue Sky Paragliding came to check up on us when Matias, the ever-clever businessman, proposed a deal.
Matias suggested that in return for not having WiFi as promised, we could paraglide for a deeply discounted price with our landlord’s company. Going to bed that night we weren’t sure what the future held, as he seemed very hesitant and didn’t give an answer. But only an hour after the sun rose the next morning, the deal was sealed.
I probably would ... [more]