Showing posts from May, 2019

Disney's Aladdin Remake Beautifully Retells the Iconic Classic

Easily the single most important movie to us kids growing up in the ‘90s was Disney’s “Aladdin.” The intriguing storyline; the incredible voices of Genie, Jafar, and Iago; the mesmerizing musical score and lyrics; the animated scenes from Agrabah; the definitive triumph of good over evil…it was spellbinding   for impressionable youngsters like me and my brothers. We would listen day and night to the Children’s Broadcasting Corporation radio station called AAHS. Any time one of the songs from the Aladdin soundtrack came on, my elder brother Andre would bolt to the radio and press the record button on a blank cassette he’d pre-loaded. We obtained the sheet music for “A Whole New World” and practiced it religiously until we’d mastered playing it on the piano while singing along. Andre was Aladdin, and I – of course – was Jasmine. My younger brother John Paul chimed in whenever we generously allowed it. We hunted down the movie paraphernalia: everything from the official movie p

Strolling Down Memory Lane: Restaurant Closures in Beirut

The other day, I was scrolling through the extensive directory of restaurants published on my blog . By no means is this an exhaustive list of every eatery in Lebanon. It is merely a compilation of the places I’ve (1) visited and (2) felt utterly compelled to showcase. To be sure, the list counts hundreds of food institutions in and around Beirut. But as I was skimming over the roster, I realized an update was in order, for a vast number of these joints have gone out of business. A reliable source in the food and beverage industry recently confided that 741 establishments shuttered in the past year alone. That number is at once record-breaking and crippling. Indeed, the one constant in Lebanon is change, and more often than not, it’s anything but positive. Our dilapidated roads, the poor urban planning, telecom and mobile service, pollution of the environment, economic stagnation, unemployment, unreasonably low wages…the banes afflicting this nation are too numerous to recount

Honoring Lebanese Female Entrepreneurs on This International Workers' Day

May 1 marks International Workers’ Day or, more commonly, Labor Day, when all productive members of society are recognized for their achievements. The aim of this blog post is to highlight the endeavors of a number of female entrepreneurs in Lebanon who are slaving over their dreams with nose to the grindstone. While the majority dabble in the food and beverage industry, they hail from completely diverse backgrounds, proof that a mere hobby can evolve into a passionate and gainful enterprise. Here are these women wonders, in no particular order. Laure Schoucair, Laurita’s Bites I may have a sweet tooth, but truth be told, I yearn for simple tea cakes, particularly if they’re healthy and wholesome. Those who  follow me on Instagram  are no doubt privy to the toddler-friendly cakes I bake incorporating yogurt, fruit, and natural sugar – either honey or molasses. Which is why I readily identified with pastry chef Laure’s artisanal cakes counting among them flavors such as