Lebanon, the arts and hope

Artists, Orgs, NGO's and links. 13/07/2020 . NS


Beit el Baraka

Beit el Baraka's mission is to help Lebanon's edlerly and retired citizens gain back a sense of dignity amid a country with no social safety net or pension scheme. Founded by Maya Chams Ibrahimchah, her aims and those of the organisation's team, are to stop people falling into poverty. Beit el Baraka provides food, housing and medical support. A Free Supermarket based on a system of points was started to encourage the elderly and retirees to shop and feel like they are engaging with the community, rather than receiving charity, ensuring they retain their dignity. When helping with housing, much is done through unused material from construction sites or upcycling furniture. Unpaid bills for families of retirees who are too old or sick are settled. The work at Beit el Baraka is achieved through people or companies volunteering, contributing provisions or their skills. The organisation also encourages a community spirit amongst the retired and elderly in order to combat loneliness. The NGO has been looking to agriculture for sustainable solutions, with Beit el baraka embarking on agriculture projects to cultivate food. During these critical times the Lebanon is facing, they have provided food and shelter to many families. 

Please consider donating and if you are in Lebanon, you can become a volounteer and help the organisation.

https://beitelbaraka.net/donation/pay/    https://www.beitelbaraka.org/      @beitelbaraka

Lebanese Food Bank

The Lebanese Food Bank is a non-profit started by a group of Lebanese aiming to eradicate hunger across Lebanon. The non-profit provides food on a daily basis to families and individuals in need from the collection of surplus food from restaurants, hotels, caterers, supermarkets and food exporters or importers. They also contribute food to a number of Lebanese NGO's. Feeding, Development and Awareness Programs, are are developed aiding with their mission of overcoming hunger in Lebanon.

Please consider donating https://lebanesefoodbank.org/donate/     https://lebanesefoodbank.org/       @lebfoodbank

Lebanese Red Cross and Lebanese Red Crescent

The Lebanese Red Cross and Crescent Society led by volunteers has of mission to provide relief to victims of natural and human disasters. It provides its services through: Emergency Medical Services - Medical and Social Services – Blood Transfusion Services, Disaster Management - School Health – Disabled Programs – Community based Health and First aid - Health Education and Preventive programs - First aid training - Nursing.

Please consider donating: http://www.supportlrc.app

If you are in Lebanon, you can volounteer: http://www.redcross.org.lb/SubPage.aspx?pageid=242&PID=205    @lebaneseredcross

Egna Legna Besidet

An organisation working on migrant domestic workers’ and women’s issues in Lebanon and Ethiopia. They stand up against the injustices of the kafala system, against gender-based violence and the exploitation of adolescent labour. Their work is acheived through workshops, artistic projects, educational videos. They provide shelter, legal and financial assistance. 

Please consider donating: https://www.gofundme.com/f/food-and-medicine-for-kafala-victims-in-lebanon   @egnalegna


KAFA meaning enough in Arabic, is a non-profit aiming to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence and exploitation. They advocate for law reform and introduction of new laws and policies. They provide social, legal, and psychological support and conduct research and training, empowering women and children who are victims of violence.

 Helpline 03 018 019  https://www.kafa.org.lb/en   @kafalebanon

Art Initiatives raising funds for Lebanon


Musica Sawa run by the organisation Amitiés Neuilly Liban, is a musical initiative that has gathered the musicians of Lebanon and its diaspora to play music online with the aim of raising funds for Beit el-Baraka and The School of Saint-Vincent de Paul. Each performance is posted on Instagram, with a band or musician highlighted each day.

Please consider donating: https://www.helloasso.com/associations/amities-neuilly-liban/collectes/musica-sawa-2020/don   @musicasawa2020

Lab Tombola: Hala Mouawad x The Lab Team

Lab Tombola is a charitable tombola and sale with all proceeds going to Beit el-Baraka. More than 80 artists and designers have donated a special piece. You can try to win your chosen prize by purchasing as many tombola tickets as you like, or purchase an item from the buy now section. The tombola ends on July 23rd, 2020.

Play for Lebanon: https://lab-tombola.com/   @lab_tombola

D i k k é n i

Dikkéni is an online concept store showcasing emerging and established Lebanese talent. Proceeds go to NGO's and the artists. Brands include Sarah's Bag, Bokja, Nada Zeineh and Pop of Hope including art prints by Nourie Flayhan. Dikkéni came together through Impact Lebanon, an initiative incubator raising funds and awareness through projects such as Environment Academy or Clothes Drive.

Please consider purchasing for a purpose: https://dikkeni.com/  @dikkeni


There are too many talented artists who either live, are from Lebanon or its diaspora to name them all. This space is not to define or categorise an artist from where they may come from or live, but to relay the positive element of art that has stemmed from much hardship and showcase how the Lebanon can impact the arts and the arts impact Lebanon.  We do our best to highlight as many artists as we can. If we haven't highlighted a particular artist here, then we aim do so in other posts. It is not just in these critical times that we look to do so, but it is now particularly poignant to stand in solidarity with a civil society that keeps shining the light of their art, rising from the shadows of a turbulent past, a critical present and looking towards perhaps with some uncertainty but a lot of hope and resilience.

Haig Aivazian

Haig Aivazian works across a range of art, including sculpture, performance, installations and drawings, delving into the ways in which power affects people, objects, animals, landscape and architecture. Through his art he connects political reflections, ideas and biographical references, looking into identity questions as well as theoretical and historical notions.


Ahmad Ghossein

Ahmad Ghossein is a filmmaker and artist using video art, installation, public art, photography and film. Documents, found footage and analysis feed into his work, connecting politics, historical references and human experiences, rendering his art concerned with personal experiences and larger political dynamics.


Jad El Khoury

Jad El Khoury is a street artist who's work include his doodled cartoon characters, referred to as Potato Nose. He has drawn them across Beirut on damaged buildings to highlight the bullet holes that adorn the buildings and the destroyed infrastructure, in turn reframing the memory of war. Through public art installations, Jad El Khoury aims to bring attention to social and political issues in Lebanon, transforming spaces and what they mean. One of his art installation was on the Burj Al Murr building which had been used by snipers during the war. It took shape with El Khoury placing colourful curtains on the windows, to seem as if the buidling was dancing in the wind, bringing back the tower to life through the curtains blowing in the wind, as well as tranforming the Lebanese perception of the construct and turning its name into Burj Al Hawa / Building of the Wind. After 2 days, El Khoury was asked to bring down the installation by the proprietors, but the power of his art is such, that the meaning behind his work was already widespread. 


Simone Fattal

Simone Fattal is an artist working in ceramics, sculpture, paintings and collage. Her work explores the impact of displacement, history,  memory, alongside the essence of earth and archeology. Her sculptures have an unfinished look, emphasizing fragility in humanity. In 1980, upon leaving Lebanon due to the Civil War, she had founded the Post-Apollo Press in California, a publishing house dedicated to experimental literary work.

https://www.simonefattal.com/   @simonefattal  @galerietanit

Nadim Asfar

Nadim Asfar is a photographer and filmmaker. He confronts the language and technique of photography in his art. His work captures the relationship between subject matter, space and time in both landscape and interior settings. His art reflects and frames stillness and patience.

Experiencing The Mountain (2015-ongoing)

https://nadimasfar.com/  @nadimasfar

Katya Assouad Traboulsi

Katya Assouad Traboulsi is a multimedia artist whose art confronts the effects of the Lebanese Civil War. Her art includes hand-crafted replicas of Lebanese war bomb shells covered with colourful patterns, beads or sculpted into forms. They embody political and historical themes, rendering military objects into beautiful and decorative art vessels, attainable and yet fragile as well as powerful, as the vessels are still visibly within the shape of a bomb shell. 

Afghanistan - Brass base and top, Engraved Painted Resin, 80 x 20 cm  / Iraq - Brass base and top, Stone and Marble, 80 x 20 cm

https://www.katyaassouadtraboulsi.com/     @katyatraboulsi

Ali Cherri

Ali Cherri is an artist who works with film, installation, performance, drawing, print, and video. His work looks to decolonise the narrative and explores the links between archaeology, heritage and historical narrative. Cartography and ruins embody his work within the context of the Middle East and North Africa’s pre- and postcolonial histories. In his artwork 'Archéologie', he sourced maps from the late nineteenth-century, reproduced them in ink and charcoal. Other works of the artist, reflect on the effects of the Lebanese Civil War.

https://www.alicherri.com/    @ali.cherri  @galerieimanefares

Myriam Boulos

Myriam is a photographer who engages through the camera and her artistic eye with Lebanon. She documents the country through the night, the self, the contrasts and recently the Revolution. Her work is a tool looking for social justice, a form of resistance on a patriarchal society and an arena to question gender roles. There's the visual feel of a mixture of modern life and nostalgic element within her work, much like the country itself.

 Dead End, 2019

http://myriamboulos.com    @myriamboulos

Mazen Kerbaj

Mazeb Kerbaj is a comic artist, visual artist, musician and one of the initiators of the Lebanese free improvisation and experimental music scene. His visuals are like a window onto Beirut life and its citizens. Through his ink work both chaos and clarity intertwine to reveal art stories that dip into the Lebanon.

https://www.kerbaj.com/   @mazenkerbaj

Rayyane Tabet

Rayyane Tabet’s art reflects on the social and historical arena of Lebanon through the object. He transforms objects into a collective memory, exploring the relationship in Lebanon between history and the built environment. His art installations or architectural objects are placed in context of studying the perception of space and distance.

Tabet's art inquires into how objects transformed and placed within a context, can explain a perspective of history, tapping into both personal and the collective memory. 

https://www.sfeir-semler.com/galleryartists/rayyane-tabet/work?page=6      @sfeirsemlergallery

Marwan Rechmaoui

Marwan Rechmaoui’s art looks at urbanisation, focusing on the architecture, socio-geography and history of cities through the study of cartography and demographics. His art taps into the political structures and history that has affected Lebanon. His artwork entitled 'Beirut Caoutchouc' showcases the city Beirut cut into different segments representing municipal sectors, but not marked with divisions of politics or sectarianism that once may have marked the city. 'Beirut Caoutchouc' puts forth the resilience of a city marked by war and natural disasters, seeking to make its viewer reflect on the urban planning of Beirut and thus question one's personal relationship to the city. 

https://www.sfeir-semler.com/galleryartists/marwan-rechmaoui/biography     @marwanrechmaoui

Mounira Al Solh

Mounira Al Solh is an artist who's works encompass painting, drawing, embroidery, and video art. The artist explores feminist issues through the realm of both personal histories and civil society, inadvertently touching on social issues and the political. In her art, Mounira Al Solh has gathered women's stories that defy systems of suppression, looking towards liberation and women’s strength.  Her series of paintings entitled 'The Mother of David and Goliath'  mixes fictional stories by women writers with real ones on detained women and their sufferings in prison. 

 http://www.mouniraalsolh.com/     @sfeirsemlergallery

Mohamad Said Baalbaki

Mohamad Said Baalbaki known as Baal, is an artist who's paintings references the notion of displacement. From the effects of the Lebanese Civil War on his childhood and family, his paintings portray items such as suitcases and clothes that symbolically represent leaving belongings behind, loss, forgotten histories or personal stories. His work on 'Al Buraq' (The Pegasus), a fictional museum, questions the role and power museums and institutions have in providing their own perception of history and thus, on the museum-goers. 

Sandra Kheir Sahyoun

Sandra Kheir Sahyoun depicts her subjects and scenes between what is visible and what lies under the surface, between an inner world and what is deemed as real. Travelling in Yemen, India and Nepal, she had captured poignant stories of each country through portraiture, discovering then that she was also searching to understand her identity as well as wanting to define her Lebanese identity. Exploring the contrasts of the Lebanon through her art, she found the essence of her question, her roots, upon walking in a cedar forest in Lebanon, resonating through her art with the viewer, that " The Cedar lives in Us".

The Cedar In My Mind, Acrylic, 98x98cm

www.sandrasahyoun.com     @sandra_kheir_sahyoun

Walid Raad

Walid Raad is an artist who works in photography, film and multimedia installations. He founded The Atlas Group a fictional collective with work produced by Walid Raad. His art is impacted with the memory of the Civil War and the contemporary history of Lebanon. Raad examines the representation and documentation of historical and traumatic events and its effects.

Akram Zaatari

Akram Zaatari is a filmmaker, photographer, archival artist, curator and co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation. His work explores social issues within the context of post-war Lebanon. His interest lies in investigating the power of image through its circulation, production and resistance. During lockdown due to COVID-19, he did a series of work which was 'Produced in confinement in Beirut'.

@Akram Zaatari      @thomasdanegallery


Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige collaborate in art and film, examining the history and the representations of Lebanon, questioning both the country's and the region's real and imaginary fabric. Their films include 'A Perfect Day' and 'Je veux voir'. In 2012 they did a documentary on 'The Lebanese Rocket Society' and a series of art installations on the 1960's space project. They have weaved some personal life experiences into their art, such as with 'Lasting Images' on the kidnapping and disappearance of Khalil Joreige's uncle, Alfred Junior Kettaneh, and in the documentary ISRMYRNA, in collaboration with the poet and painter Etel Adnan, on both Hadjithomas's and Adnan's origins from Smyrna.

http://hadjithomasjoreige.com/      @abboutjoana

Rania Mattar

Rania Mattar is a photographer who's work explores notions of identity, through photographing women and the female adolescent in both the USA and the Middle East, the artist is showcasing a universal feeling of these experiences.

 https://www.raniamatar.com/    @raniamatar

Lamia Ziadé

 Lamia Ziadé is an artist and illustrator. Memories and trauma from the Lebanese Civil War shapes her work, as does nostalgia from her childhood and pre-war days. Her art also illustrates the objects, posters and cultural artefacts that belong to the fabric of Lebanon.


Tom Young

Tom Young's architectural background seeps into his paintings through space, light and subject matter, depicting buildings and documenting spaces. His paintings references childhood memories and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. He also fuses historical and political subject matters with floral or decorative elements, showing the paradox of life. He often exhibits paintings as site specific installations within the buildings he depicts, such as painting the Holiday Inn building in Beirut which played a crucial point during the Civil War. He transforms abandoned spaces into a creative space, with the hope to preserve heritage and memory.

http://www.tomyoung.com/     @tomyoungart

Nathalie Harb

Nathalie Harb is a designer and artist who develops public installations that propose an alternative to our notion on the home, shelter and city landscape. She founded the Nathalie Harb Studio in 2009, together with practitioners, developing projects as urban interventions and exhibitions. Her project 'Urban Hives', brings green spaces to city car parks through low-cost, modular structures that are erected over open-air parking, thus creating garden space in an urban setting.

 http://nathalieharb.com   @nat_head

Nourie Flayhan

Nourie Flayhan illustrates the world around her, concerned with socio-political issues that need addressing and justice.  She is influenced by her childhood memories, her roots, and showcases the inner strength of women.


Art shaping the Fabric of the Country

Arab image foundation

 http://arabimagefoundation.com/     @arabimagefoundation

http://artbreath.org/coffee-talk/arab-image-foundation-preserving-photography link to our visit to Arab Image Foundation

Art of Thawra

@art_of_thawra  Art of the Revolution

http://artbreath.org/coffee-talk/art-of-thawra we chat with Paola Munlo on Art of Thawra and the power of art

Art of Thawra collaboration with @carredartistes_beirut :invest in Lebanese artists

The Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) 

https://www.alba.edu.lb/english/SCHOOLS_AND_PROGRAMS0  @alba.beirut check out next gen of artists

Ashkal Alwan -The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts


Beirut Art Center -(BAC) is a non-profit association, space and platform dedicated to experimental art in Beirut, Lebanon


Beirut Art Residency


Beirut Art Fair


Baalbeck festival


Beirut Design Week



@artofchange.global a community and public art projects hub

Vogue Arabia: Article on Fashion in Lebanon


Eco Art:

@ziad_abichaker set up glass bottle bins around Beirut, recycling the glass in Sarafand into glassblown art and different shapes.

Check in soon for a list on museums and art galleries in Lebanon