24 hours in Lebanon

“All you have shall some day be given. Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors. You often say, “I will give, but only to the deserving” The trees in your orchid say not so, nor the flocks in your posture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish…”Jibran khalil Jibran

Always start your day with coffee, turkish, espresso, american, arabian, just start it off fresh. Then start walking, down town Beirut, Hamra, Ein Mreisse, Rass Beirut, Zaitunay Bay, Beirut Souks, Saifi Village, Gammayzeh, Monot, Achrafieh, Mar Mikhael, Bourk Hammoud. Just walk where the wind takes you, look at the authentic streets, the old carriages, the people running in the morning along the port, people fishing, experience things you have never imagined you ever will. Speak to the locals, listen to their stories, eat their food, look into their eyes, look for the art, the graffiti, the music, be spontaneous, pray in a temple, which ever one that calls upon you. Get into a house, have more coffee at their balcony, walk some more, keep a smile on even if you see anyone frowning, take a cab to the closest beach town, Batroun, Jiyeh, Jbeil, Jounieh, Faraya, Tyre. Swim if the weather is fantastic, read a book if it is a little cold, drive around a close by mountain town, Zarour, Arz, Laklouk, Faraya, Tannourine, overlook Beirut from above. Head back downtown, join a protest, there must be one around, listen to the people chant, wave their flags. Walk again between the old streets, watch their sunset, and try to find a Lebanese dabkeh or traditional dance near by at night. Enjoy Lebanon.

For more on Beirut Beach Towns 

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The Scent of Jasmine & Cardamom in Tripoli – رآحة الياسمين و الهيل في مدينة طرابلس

Tripoli is so poetic; it is just like Jasmine and Cardamom mixed together and sprayed between the tree leaves. This city is ancient wonderland located Northern side of Lebanon. I have a weakness for architectural art. I would walk all day for it, I would stand still and look at it for hours, I can leave everything, find a bench and sit as I gaze at it. If I sound like you, then book your next destination to Tripoli, Lebanon.

You will experience understanding the mixology between architectural art, or maybe not truly understand it, but sense it. I am unfamiliar with architecture studies myself, but I am obsessed with it. I have seen art in Tripoli that dates back to the Mamluk times, Art Nouveau, Islamic Art and of course Ottomans. You walk the old city of Tripoli and it is just like a walk through history. There is also a Spanish Breeze as you explore the city, I felt like I was somewhere in Spain several times as I was exploring Tripoli.

I have taken few photos below of the Old city of Tripoli, Grand Mosque Mansouri Mosque, a popular dish by the name Maghrbieh, a popular dessert by the name Ma’jouka, a famous game that the elderly enjoy playing by the name Doma that is very similar to chess, and the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles or Qal’at Sanjil Castle.

A little bit about my first day in Tripoli – Lebanon | عن رحلتي في طرابلس لبنان

Old, authentic, and a great exploration. I spent my first day in Tripoli just browsing around the city to take a glimpse of what it is about. Just to estimate the amount of time I need to explore, and it sure is one of those cities that need at least a good week to find the best of the best inside out. It has so much to offer, but things are a little buried under.

In my photos you will first see a great spacious exhibition area that used to hold alot of concerts in the past and theater shows. Today it is used as an automobile exhibition. We then went for a quick roam around the old city of Tripoli, where the market is, and the old mosques and churches reside. The architecture in Tripoli is brilliant, you will see the Islamic art, the arabesque, the Ottomans, very similar to architecture resemblance found in old Palestine.

We then had lunch at one of the most popular restaurants “Akra”, that can be visited for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It serves traditional dishes of Tripoli and the Middle East like; Hummus, Fatet Hummus and Fool. After which we walked towards “Khan al Saboun” Soap house to shop for some hand made authentic soaps that are made with lavender, rose, olive oil and more scents and herbal spices. We then went for some Arabic ice-cream from the Mina area as we enjoyed watching one of the most beautiful sunsets to take place ever.

Best part of the day was the evening of it, we ended it at one of the most famous arabian desert making shop “Al Halab”, we had knafeh with chocolate and some lahmeh bajeen. Delicious.

A day on the road… in Lebanon | بين شوارع لبنان

There is nothing more beautiful than exploring, traveling and road tripping.

So here I am in the lands of Lebanon, we first arrived to Beirut airport and from there, we started driving up towards Tripoli. Between the old architecture, blue sea and skies, we drove. We entered Tripoli that smelled like authenticity, old tall buildings scattered one next to the other, it looks very much like Barcelona. What is so beautiful about the Middle-eastern old architecture is the art that is incorporated with it.

The heat in Tripoli was incredible, it was too humid and too hot, we had home-made Lahmeh Bajeen and Cordon bleu for lunch, and continued our road trip more to the north towards a mountain village called Ehden. Breezy and cool, the weather transformation is magical, an hour drive away and the weather is the complete opposite. Luckily, we arrived at sunset, got mesmerized by the view, had halloumi cheese for dinner, and started the walk around the tiny little town that never sleeps during the summer.