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Arts and culture

Music, food and Formula 1: The 1st Beirut Cultural Festivals will be held from May 17 to 22

BEIRUT |, with agencies - April 08, 2016, 08h58

The Beirut Cultural Festivals Association announced Thursday that the first edition of the Beirut Cultural festivals will be held from May 17 to May 22, 2016 at the Beirut seafront area. This event (which is chaired by Mrs Lama Salam) will include cultural, artistic, sports and entertainment activities, some of which are featuring for the first time in Lebanon. The opening will consist of a mass visual and musical production using the latest technologies to recount the main historical eras and events in the capital. The closing festivities will include Lebanon’s first F1 show starring one of the leading names in the field.

The Association held a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel facing the festivals’ venue, with Mrs. Salam saying: “the Beirut Cultural festivals strive to constitute a special event befitting our ancient capital, which is deeply rooted in history, in keeping with Beirut’s status as a point of convergence for civilizations and cultures, and with the capital’s iconic historical, civilizational and cultural background. The launching of the Beirut Cultural festivals aims to instill life once again in Beirut, and spread joy, arts, creativity and beauty in this city, which is dear to our hearts. The aim is to reignite life in wounded, problem-ridden Beirut and restore its former prosperity.”

Mrs. Salam called on the public to participate actively in these events “as an expression of the Lebanese people’s love for this city, which is home to the Lebanese of all regions, and in order to put it back on the map of life, joy and tourism.

She went on saying: “We had hoped for the festivals to be held in Nejmeh Square, as originally planned in September 2015, since this location is the heart of a city, which we want to see vibrant again. However, the prevailing situation in downtown Beirut prompted us to postpone the festivals and to move the location to the seafront area. In any case, Beirut and the sea go way back and share a historical relation, with every part of Beirut symbolizing and bearing witness to its ancient character.”

Secretary General of the Beirut Cultural Festivals Association Ezzat Qoraytem then gave a detailed presentation of the association’s activities, some of which will be held within a giant 3,600-m2 dome with a capacity of approximately 1,800 people, which has been especially brought in for the occasion. The inside features a 360-degree panoramic screen used for the display of special visual effects.

“The Story Beirut”, a production using 3D technique

Qoraytem explained that “the opening night of the Beirut Cultural festivals on May 17 will be characterized by excellence and sophistication. At the center of the dome stands a replica of the Nejmeh Square’s iconic Sa’at al-’Abed watch. The city will be vibrant, as the dome is set to house an incredible 70-minute show, titled The Story of Beirut, which will recount the city’s past using the 3D Mapping technique.” This dome show will be a first in the Arab World, as he added: “This show will be accompanied by musical compositions inspired by the city and its history, arranged by Guy Manoukian and performed by about 75 musicians of Lebanon’s Philharmonic Orchestra.” The gigantic scale and artistic excellence of this event, he stressed, “express the pride we take in the history of our city and its civilizational importance. This allows us to relive Beirut’s ancient past using modern techniques and to look forward to a bright future under the aegis of development. This production will be replayed on May 18 and 19 as well.”

The Story of Beirut is the brainchild of “Its communication”, whose CEO Daniel Georr gave a detailed explanation of the show.

Ragheb and Nancy… and the Youth Night 

Within the framework of the festivals, Qoraytem said, “Beirut will be vibrant once again on May 20 thanks to its two beloved stars Ragheb Alama and Nancy Ajram who will hold performances full of joy, love and life in the dome, with appearances by XFactor finalists Latoya and Nedjim.”

On May 21, the city will dance with its youths to their favorite tunes as chosen by world-class DJs in White’s wonderful atmosphere. We have dubbed this night ‘the White Experience’."

The Motor Sports Village 

Moreover, he recounted, “Beirut will have its share of excitement as of May 20 with the opening of the motor sports village, housing the three-day Beirut International Motor Show under the supervision of Lebanon’s rally champion Abdo Feghali. The motor sports village, which spreads over 60,000m2, will house a karting track open to the public and a collection car exhibition. The public will be able to watch the opening and closure of the Lebanon Cup Rally, an exhibition stage within the framework of Lebanon’s Rally Championship, in addition to drifting shows and a karting show featuring known stars. Other events include Lebanon’s karting and drifting championships, and one of the stages of Lebanon’s motorbike championship.”

Formula 1 for the Closing Ceremony

Qoraytem announced that the closing of the festivals on May 22 will feature “Lebanon’s first F1 show with a RedBull team car driven on the road between Phoenicia Hotel and BIEL by Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Junior. This show will be open to the public free of charge.”

“Souk El-Akel”

In keeping with the six-day festivals, the Souk El-Akel will be open near the dome in cooperation with NoGarlicNoOnions.

#Beirut, #Culture_in_Beirut
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