The first woman to receive the Pritzer Architecture Prize, Zaha Hadid is an Iraqi-born British architect and icon, who founded Zaha Hadid Architects, an international architecture and design firm. Some of her notable works were the 20,000 seat Aquatics Center for the Olympics in 2012 and Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome in London. Zaha Hadid passed away in 2016.
Saleh Barakat founded the Agial Gallery in 1991, which is a leading destination for modern and contemporary art from Lebanon and the Arab world. Barakat is passionate about Lebanese art and the preservation of it. He also opened the Saleh Barakat Gallery in May 2016.
Raymond Khoury is a New York Times Bestseller who studied Architecture at AUB and is an MBA graduate from INSEAD. While working in investment banking, Khoury decided to write screenplays and later novels. He has written for two BBC shows and is best known for his novel, The Last Templar.
Tania Saleh is an independent Lebanese singer, songwriter, and visual artist whose songs have been used in various television/radio programs and film soundtracks worldwide. She is known for her unique artistic image, as well as her fresh mix of musical styles. She has released 4 albums so far.
Majdala and Sami Clark remember how they first started their singing career during Lebanon’s “Golden Age”. Majdala talks about her retirement, and Sami Clark shares his perspective on music. They both discuss how music and audience have changed since the 70’s.
Amale Ofeiche and Antoine Kerbaj go back in time and recall their experience in acting. They relay their most important roles, and their views on how the older Lebanese actors can be marginalized.
Oumeima began to sing at the young age of 7, and five years later, she sang alongside Marcel Khalifé in front of a sold-out crowd at UNESCO Palace. An extremely professional artist, Oumeima sings worldwide at high-level concerts.
At the age of 5, he started playing the oud and later, the violin. Simon Shaheen, a Palestinian, born in the village of Tarshiha in the Galilee, has contributed selections to soundtracks for “The Sheltering Sky”, “Malcolm X”, a United Nations-sponsored documentary, and “Blue Flame”, which was nominated for eleven Grammy Awards. Shaheen was honored with the prestigious National Heritage Award at the White House.
Nadim Karam is a Lebanese architect, sculptor, and artist who received a PhD in architecture from Tokyo University in 1989. He founded Hapsitus in Beirut, which has made large-scale urban art projects for cities including Beirut, Kwangju, Prague, London, Tokyo, Nara and Melbourne. One of his main projects is ‘The Cloud’, inspired by the city of Dubai.
She played a leading role in launching the theatre movement in Lebanon and the Arab world. An actor and director, Nidal Al Achkar became known as “Woman of the Theatre”. The Lebanese artist founded “The Beirut Theatre Workshop” in 1966, and she is now the General Manager, founder and animator of Al Madina Theatre Association for Arts and Culture.
Mariam Said, born in Beirut, is a major force behind the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO) and serves as the Vice President of the Barenboim-Said Foundation USA, which was co-founded by her late husband Edward W. Said. Currently, Said is on the advisory board of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Palestine, and ArteEast, a New York-based international non-profit organization promoting Middle East artists.
Darina Al-Joundi, born to a Shiite Lebanese mother and a secular Syrian father who taught her to defy all taboos, began her acting at age eight on Lebanese television. She wrote and performed Le jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanter in Paris, an autobiographical play of Joundi growing up in war-torn Beirut. The play caused a sensation at the Avignon Festival.
Under his lead, Leo Burnett became one of the leading advertising networks in Europe, and it won a number of international awards including one from the Cannes Advertising Film Festival. From 2012 to 2015, he was a member of TAKREEM’s selection board committee. His book, A Bet for a National Conscience won a Grand Prix and was a print best seller in Lebanon.
Latifa is a famous Arab Pop music singer who was born in Tunisia. She left her home country and joined the Arab Academy of Music in Egypt, where she worked with famous composers and poets. The Tunisian singer won the World Music Award 2004 for bestselling artist in the Middle East and North Africa.
A Lebanese cultural figure, Salwa Ghaddar Younes is behind the “Culture of Peace Award” and is the ambassador of the “Lebanon Outstanding Women Award”. She contributes to education, healthcare, and women empowerment.
Hashim Sarkis received his BArch and BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Prior to establishing his own practice, which has won several awards, he worked on the souks project of Beirut. Sarkis, author of a number of publications, became the first Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in Muslim Societies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD).
Syrian businessman, Khaled Samawi founded Ayyam Gallery in 2006, with the aim of supporting and promoting local talent on a global scale. The former investment banker is a longtime collector of international art.
Maysaloun Faraj is an Iraqi-American visual artist based in London. She moved from America to her homeland, Baghdad, in 1968; however, she developed her art education in London. Her work is in notable private and public collections including the British Museum and the National Museum for Women in the Arts (USA).
Rifat Chadirji is an Iraqi architect and author noted for his innovative work in furniture design and for his architectural writings and photography. Upon his return from London to Baghdad, he established Iraq Consult, one of the most influential practices in the Middle East.
Suad Amiry is an author and an architect living in the West Bank, Ramallah. Her book, Sharon and My Mother-in-Law has been translated into 19 languages. Amiry is engaged in major peace initiatives of Palestinian and Israeli women. She is the Director and founder of the Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation in Palestine.
Maath Al-Alousi is founder/Senior Partner for Alousi Associates Technical Studies Bureau, Baghdad and Alousi Associates Technical Studies Ltd., Cyprus. He has 42 years of experience in the planning, design and project management of residential, commercial, industrial and governmental projects throughout the Middle East.
Rafa Nasiri is a renowned Iraqi contemporary painter whose “cosmicscapes” draw influence from abstract art and particularly Abstract Expressionism. Nasiri’s work is infused with Arabic calligraphy. He is an internationalist who has studied art (1956 – 2001) in various locations, including: Beijing, Lisbon and London. Nasiri has taught painting, graphic art and graphic design (1964 – 2003) and has also lectured on the genre worldwide. He has mounted individual expositions throughout the world and has […]
Dia Azzawi is an Iraqi visual artist often regarded as one of the pioneers of modern Arab art. Born in Baghdad in 1939, he started his artistic career in 1964. In 1969, Azzawi and other compatriot artists formed the New Vision group with the idea of uniting artists ideologically and expressed a form that was deemed anti-stylistic. Azzawi found inspiration in contemporary issues and particularly, the plight of the Palestinians. From 1968, based in Baghdad, […]
An accomplished storyteller, a political writer and a humanist, Maalouf is a Lebanese author who writes in French. Most of his works are marked by his experiences of civil war and migration. He has been awarded the Prix Goncourt for his novel, Rock of Tanios, as well as several honorary doctorates.
With her distinctive voice, Celine Dion won major music awards and sold 100 million albums worldwide, breaking the language barrier. Dion comes from humble beginnings and is now an Oscar-winning international star.
Huguette Caland is the co-founder of INAASH, an association which allows Palestinian refugee women to sell their embroidery. Caland is the daughter of former Lebanese president, Bechara El Khoury. The Lebanese sculptor, painter, and fashion designer caught the eye of Pierre Cardin in Paris for whom she designed a line of 102 caftans.
Sometimes described as the “French Frank Sinatra”, Charles Aznavour is recognized as one of the top singers of the twentieth century, recording over 740 songs and selling over a 100 million records in a career spanning six decades.
“Conga” is the song that put her under the spotlight. Gloria Estefan, the Cuban native, started out as a wedding band singer to later become the most successful crossover artist in Latin Music history; selling 70 million records. After a serious tour bus accident, she had a major comeback with chart-topping scores.
At the age of 5, his family knew he would become a musician. Now, Placido Domingo is regarded as a great operatic artist of modern times. Eight of his albums have gone gold, each selling well over a million copies.
Yared is best known for his musical composition on the 1996 film, The English Patient, which won him an Oscar. The French-Lebanese highly prolific composer also worked on the French films, Betty Blue and Camille Claudel.
Percy Kemp, long-time political advisor, was born in Beirut to a Lebanese mother and a British father. Musc is his first novel, and was awarded the Prix Guerlain. His novels include topics of Islam, geopolitics and espionage.
He is one of America’s most prominent designers. Having studied in Paris, fashion designer Joseph Abboud was infatuated by European style and transformed the silhouette of menswear. The American-Lebanese designer’s clothing collections and home furnishing products are sold worldwide.
Vénus Khoury-Ghata came across many hardships in her life. She is a French Lebanese poet and novelist whose works have been translated into many languages.
He has restaurants in Beirut, Las Vegas, New York, Paris, Tokyo, and many others. Ducasse established his credentials at the “59” restaurant in Paris. In 1984, he was the only survivor of a plane crash that left him severely injured, but that didn’t stop the world famous restauranteur.
Avec mon amitié et mes remerciements pour une des rares interviews que j’ai pris plaisir à faire
En appréciation d’un dialogue (en 6 parties jusqu’à maintenant) fort et important et particulièrement constructif
Thank you for the wonderful moments, for the magical questions and may God bless you