cultural itineraries in the Gulf and the Levant

7 Mar 2010
19 Mar 2010

Contemporarabia aims to provide cultural itineraries, focusing its attention on the regional quality and diversity of cultural projects in the Gulf and the Levant. Taking place from the 7th to 19th March 2010, the journey will provide a unique opportunity to experience the extent of cultural activities in the Gulf and the Levant.

Contemparabia 2010 will incorporate the most exciting new cultural destinations and trips to Beirut, Amman, Damascus as well as the established tour across Doha, the Gulf, and including Art Dubai.

... more on the event website at the official website: www.contemparabia.com

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—Arrive in Beirut
—Lunch at Casablanca, an urban, chic yet cosy restaurant that serves eclectic cuisine in a restored Lebanese villa overlooking the Mediterranean
—Tour of Saifi Village including; Design tour of the showroom of renowned urban-chic interior designer Nada Debs, showroom of leading Lebanese fashion designer Rabih Keyrouz, modern masters gallery Maqam
—Special event of 98 Weeks, a research project that shifts its attention to a new topic every 98 weeks
—Dinner at Bread in Gemmayze


—Buses leave to Saida/ Sidon the third great Phoenician city-state, rivaling Byblos and Tyre as a naval power. In Darius' time, towards the end of the 6th century B.C., it was the capital of the 5th Persian satrapy and a showplace of buildings and gardens. The town was conquered by the Crusaders after a famous siege lasting 47 days, then retaken by Saladin 70 years later.
—Arab Image Foundation/ Hashem El Madani Tour of Saida. Hashem El Madani’s photographic work
is tied to the city of Saida where he has worked for over 55years and founded Studio Shehrazade Motivated by the wish to expand his business, he set out to become the collector of portraits of all Saida’s families. His unique archive reflects the very fabric of an Arab town that has experienced major political and societies shifts. Initiated by Akram Zaatari and the Arab Image Foundation (AIF), the project retraces Madani’s path while working in Saida’s streets by identifying locations of 41 photographs.
—Lunch break
—Tour of Old Soap Factory in Saida. Sidon’s Soap Museum, located in an Ottoman soap factory transformed by the Audi Foundation is part of efforts to preserve the architecture, urban fabric, and social/ cultural heritage of the old city. A major handicraft tradition, the ‘Story of Soap’ is now one of Saida’s hotspots.
—Buses leaves back to Beirut
—Galerie Janine Rubeiz cocktail launch with the Director, Nadine Majdalani, in the presence of the two exhibiting artists Laure Ghorayeb and Mazen Kerbaj.


—Architectural tour with eminent architect Georges Arbid
—Brunch at The Running Horse Gallery. Launch of the renowned artist Ziad Antar’s exhibition by the director, Lea Sednaoui and in the presence of the artist and curator. Located near the infamous Sleep Comfort building (which had its dark days during the war), The Running Horse gallery is the latest gallery addition, with Art Lounge and Sfeir-Semler galleries nearby.
—Visit of upcoming fashion designer Mohammed Ashi
—Cocktail reception at Galerie Sfeir-Semler with the director, Andree Sfeir-Semler, and in the
presence of the artist. Located within a post-industrial building in the Quarantina district the1,000
square-metre sister-space of the Hamburg based Galerie Sfeir-Semler maintains a striking mix of
cutting edge established international and Middle Eastern artists.
—Dinner at Centrale, dubbed 'one of the 20 most beautiful restaurants in the world'. One of the best places in Beirut to enjoy French cuisine, the restaurant was designed by the architect Bernard Khoury.
—Visit to Zico House, the oldest such space providing a place for artists to get together, an exhibition space. Tour of the space by the director


—Visit to Espace Kettaneh Kunigk, the sister space of Galerie Tanit. Tour of the acclaimed artist,
Fouad El Khoury’s exhibition, ‘What have they done with my dreams’ with the director Naila
Kettaneh Kunigk
—Lunch at Gruen
—Tour of Agial Gallery, specializing in the promotion of contemporary art from the Arab world with director and Arab art specialist Saleh Barakat and in the presence of the artists.
—Tour of Private Collection
—Visit to the celebrated Beirut Art Center with guided tour and welcome by directors, Lamia Joreige and Sandra Dagher. Beirut Art Center (BAC) is a non-profit association, space and platform dedicated to contemporary art in Lebanon. The purpose of BAC is to serve as a catalyst for the realization of contemporary art projects and for the interaction of local and international cultural players.
—Dinner at the Sporting Club, a relic of pre-civil war days, enjoys beautiful views onto the Mediterranean.


—Morning visits to the studios of emerging Lebanese artists
—Brunch at the showroom of upcoming fashion design Krikor Jabotian
Free afternoon
—Dinner at the restaurant Oceana. In the wake of global village replicas, a select few places can still leave you gasping for air. The re-open Oceana Damour asserts itself as one of those.