Tag Archives: LEBANON

A selection of the best wines in the Eastern Mediterranean.


(Une sélection des meilleurs vins en Méditerranée de l’Est)

  • Greece

Agiorgitiko: This grape produces lush, velvety reds with black-cherry flavors.

Agiorgitiko, which is the most widely planted grape in Greece, is most easily comparable to Cabernet Sauvignon, as it has similar dark fruit flavors of prunes and plums, and the same heavy tannins that dry your mouth out and beg for the wine to be drunk alongside meat. It’s also due to this similarity that you can often find the two grapes blended together. It’s a powerful and bold red wine that fans of this style will love, which is what makes it go so well with the heavier meat dishes.

  • Turkey

Öküzgözü: is a grape variety and a Turkish wine produced from this grape. “It’s called ‘bull’s eye’ because it’s a big, round, dark grape.

The grape is one of the two native grape varieties of Elazığ province, located on the Anatolian plateau at the north of the Taurus Mountains. Öküzgözü makes bright, fruit-driven red wines. These grapes make a full-bodied, intense red wine that marries well with food and can benefit from time spent in cellar.

  • Lebanon

Ixsir red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon Variety):Plenty of fruit with licquorice on the finish – and yet, it is dry with elegance, enveloped in fine, soft oak, and finishing very long.

This (unusual) red blend of Caladoc, Syrah, Tempranillo made with the help of St-Emilion’s Hubert de Boüard (of Château Angélus) from vines grown at an altitude of 1,000 metres is refined and elegant, a pronounced streak of freshness giving verve and definition to the blackcurrant fruit, while the tannins are polished to a fine sheen. 90/100: The Wine Gang

  • Egypt

According to the Oxford Companion to Wine, today Egypt produces about half a million gallons of wine a year (about as much as England). This is a remarkable amount of wine, especially considering that 75% of Egypt’s population are (mostly) non-drinking Muslims.

There are only a very few modern Egyptian wines in production. Egypt’s climate is simply too hot and dry to support viticulture on any scale. Although vines are famously fond of dry conditions, they need a certain amount of water for respiration and photosynthesis. Beyond that, water makes up a significant part of the grapes which are, after all, the entire point of viticulture. The famously fertile Nile Delta (one of the world’s largest river deltas) is the only part of Egypt where viticulture is a practical enterprise. The delta is formed as the Nile River fans out before draining into the Mediterranean. It stretches westwards along the coast from Port Said to Alexandria (home of the Muscat of Alexandria grape), and thus benefits from the cooling effects of the nearby sea.

Grand Marquis: This wine needs food like red meats because of its power.

Sometimes sweet or simple red , smooth, easy, middle of the road, clear, vanilla, silky, short finish, well integrated, diluted like a Crystal Light packet, blackberry jam, Egyptian version of table wine, low sugar, low tannins.

  • Cyprus

Marathevtiko: its grapes can give rich wines with soft tannins and aromas of cherries and black chocolate. With proper care it offers an excellent wine with great body, intense color and a pleasant bouquet. The characteristics of this wine rank it among the most high-quality varieties of our country with prospects of development. Specifically, it is characterized by a scent of freshly cut grass, vanilla, berries and wood.

Maratheftiko does not have hermaphrodite flowers like many cultivated grape varieties and requires co-planting with other varieties in order to achieve fertilisation and fruit development. This exceptional variety was grown amongst other grape varieties and was used in winemaking only to improve the colour and body of wines made from the local Mavro. Maratheftiko still represents only 3% of cultivated vineyards on the island but has become extremely popular among Cypriot winemakers and wine enthusiasts.

  • Palestine

Taybeh wine.(source)

Nadim Khoury, a Palestinian who is known for establishing Taybeh Brewery, has also opened a winery in the West Bank Christian majority village of Taybeh. Using 21 indigenous varieties of grapes, the wines produced were quick to gain visitors’ praise.Khoury admits that Israeli restrictions has made it difficult to do business, his shipments for example, including his wine-making equipment, have been delayed because of Israeli checkpoint inspections.The family behind the wine and beer says they are carrying out “peaceful resistance” by investing in their homeland and staying put.A wine festival is now held annually in the town.

Nadim Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied, elegant and complex wine that exhibits flavors of local spices and ripe cherry. Its equilibrated acidity and persistent tannins allow this wine to age effortlessly for years. Nadim Merlot is a well-balanced, medium-bodied and aromatic wine. The nose and palate exhibit intense aromas of fresh herbs combined with hints of cherry and a background of earth. Its maturity and smooth tannins allows for immediate enjoyment of this wine.

What’s happening between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon?


Lebanon was stunned on Nov. 4 and its still in shock when its prime minister, Saad Hariri, speaking from Saudi Arabia, delivered a halting resignation speech. Mr. Hariri said he left Beirut because he feared assassination. He placed the blame for his long-distance resignation on Iran and its main ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah.

Continue reading What’s happening between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon?

Watchtower of… this beautiful world


“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

 

  • Capturing landscapes from Samsun to Batumi in Blacksea Region.

  • Directed and edited : Nakeeb Yaghi music performance : Ajabb Din

  • Watchtower of Turkey got nominated Best of Vimeo 2014 and Leonardo Dalessandri, the young Italian filmmaker who made it, got offers from producers all around the world to work with him.

  • This film is an homage to Lebanon and Leonardo Dalessandri’s :Watchtower of Turkey

  • Watchtower of Luxor and Aswan

  • Watchtower of Lisbon: One big city full of light. The unique colors, flavors and smells from a wonderful Lisbon, portrayed and abbreviated in a few days. I could make one hundred videos about this city, which as so much to offer, without repeating myself. Lisbon is and will always be “menina e moça”.

Lebanon Beirut’s First-Ever LGBT Pride Celebration (en/fr post)


Despite threats of violence, the LGBT community of Beirut, Lebanon hosted their first ever pride celebration last week, a country where homosexual acts are still considered a crime.

In a country often regarded as socially liberal compared to its Arab neighbors, conservative social values remain deeply embedded among many, with LGBTQI Lebanese facing widespread discrimination.

Most countries in the region do not tolerate an open celebration of LBGT life, with few Middle Eastern countries according rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender citizens. Many risk fines, jail and even death, with reports of social exclusion and abuse commonplace.

Turkey  hosts (or used to ) a gay pride parade in Istanbul each year and Israel holds a week of events in Tel Aviv every June.

A 2015 report by advocacy group Helem revealed that 81.2 percent of Lebanese polled disagreed that homosexuality was normal and natural.

Fears of harassment from the public and authorities remain widespread, while an article of Lebanese penal law that prohibits sexual acts that “contradict the laws of nature” have been used to prosecute members of the LGBTQI community.

But at the end of a week that — amid threats and pressure — saw events take place not just in conference halls but the streets, bars and cafes of Beirut, there are hopes that a push into the public spotlight offered by the newly launched Beirut Pride platform could further drive change.

From May 14 to 21, multiple events were held in Beirut’s cultural centers, bars, offices and outdoor venues. These events included exhibitions, talks, concerts, parties, performances and screenings. In a country where homosexual acts remain illegal, some 4,000 people attended.

A statement posted on the Beirut Pride website says, “Beirut Pride is a happy, friendly, constructive platform that invites people to express themselves, in an attempt to contribute to our liberation from the destructive hate that poisons our country and forces many fellow citizens out toward other countries that guarantee their basic rights.”

The League of Muslim Scholars in Lebanon, a Salafist group, on 14 May, used social media to voice its opposition to the NGO Proud Lebanon’s day-long series of discussions and presentations on LGBT issues and rights.

Within hours, the downtown Beirut hotel scheduled to host the event had cancelled it.

“The hotel apologised and said they couldn’t provide security for everyone,” Cosette Maalouf, Proud Lebanon’s advocacy officer, explained, adding that the venue had “received pressure from the Lebanese authorities to cancel the event”.

  • Français:

Le dimanche 21 mai, la première gay pride du monde arabe a eu lieu dans la capitale libanaise. C’est une première pour la défense des droits des LGBT au Moyen-Orient. Dimanche, à l’issue d’une semaine de festivités organisée contre la discrimination sexuelle, le Liban a accueilli la première Gay Pride du monde arabe dans le nord du pays, à Batroun.

beirut pride LEBANON

Le pays considère en effet toujours l’homosexualité comme un délit : Libération rapporte que l’article 534 du Code pénal prévoit une condamnation d’un mois à un an de prison ferme ainsi qu’une amende en cas de “relations sexuelles contre-nature”.

Le conservatisme religieux du pays limite également les manifestations. Le week-end du 13 avril dernier, un colloque organisé à Beyrouth par l’ONG Proud Lebanon (“Liban fier”) a par exemple été annulé. Les pressions des théologiens musulmans menaçant de manifester devant l’hôtel où les débats devaient se dérouler étaient trop fortes.

Mais les organisateurs de la première Gay Pride libanaise veulent souligner les avancées en matière de droits LGBT, et ont d’ailleurs expliqué à CNN que le but de l’événement était avant tout de “banaliser” l’existence de la communauté LGBT, pour aider à “transcender les étiquettes” aliénant certains individus aux identités sexuelles non-hétérosexuelles. Hadi Damien, organisateur de la journée, a ainsi raconté qu’il faisait suite à plusieurs années de travail en secret, avec des rendez-vous clandestins ou en ligne : “C’est une initiative qui vient dénoncer — de façon complètement pacifique — toutes les formes de haine et de discrimination, et nous travaillons plus spécifiquement sur l’identité sexuelle.”