The Middle East has been heavily stereotyped and romanticised over the years. Stories of conflict, violence and religious extremism have bombarded the western media in recent decades, shaping a narrow view of the Middle East and its people. The following list contains 8 incredible places that shatter the traditional stereotypes and showcase the remarkable diversity of the Middle East.
Here's a list of a few things you may not have known about the history of coffee and what makes Arabic coffee the cultural institution it is in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Middle East is the home of some of the world’s most delicious and indulgent sweets and desserts, from Turkish Delight to Kunafa and Bastani - Iranian ice cream. To make Middle Eastern sweets and desserts at home, make sure you add these 10 cupboard essentials to your shopping list.
You may have seen the news of the recent successes of Syrian wife, mother and filmmaker Waad al-Kateab’s remarkable documentary, For Sama. We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to showcase and celebrate Waad’s story and her success, along with some of the other great achievements of Arab women in film in recent years. Below are three incredible films from inspiring female directors from the Arab World that you absolutely need to watch!
When most people in the ‘West’ think of Arabic music, we tend to imagine the deep twanging sounds of the oud and the cliché oriental music of Hollywood films romanticising the ‘East’. Most people outside the Middle East and North Africa have no idea how varied Arabic really music is. It ranges from the old classics like Fairuz to the upbeat dance music out of the clubs of Beirut, and the more relaxed, hipster sounds of up-and-coming young artists bringing reggae, funk, blues and R&B vibes into the mix.
If you’re interested in exploring Arabic music, these 7 Spotify playlists will get you well on your way with music for every occasion, from chilled out coffee hour tunes and upbeat workout songs to the perfect dinner and dance party soundtracks.
Famously dubbed the Paris of the East, Beirut is a city of contradictions: It’s the city where you’ll see people on the street bearing nose jobs and flashy cars (usually paid for on finance), passing by buildings pocked with bullet holes left behind by the civil war and tangled electricity cables from the generators keeping … Continue reading 24 Hours in Beirut
Protests erupted in Lebanon last Thursday in response to a government announcement of austerity measures, including a tax on WhatsApp calls. While the WhatsApp tax has made headlines worldwide and is being widely reported as the cause of the uprising, public anger actually runs much deeper, and the current demonstrations are in fact the eruption of years of frustration with a corrupt and ineffective political elite. These protests – which have brought people together across class, regional and sectarian divides – could mark a new era in Lebanese, and perhaps regional politics.
Rooted in local cultures, Middle Eastern food is one of the world's most delicious and intriguing cuisines. But really, it's all about sharing food and precious moments with friends and family.
To help you start your own Middle Eastern cooking adventure, we’ve put together this list of 12 essential ingredients that are used in many recipes from the region.
These 13 English-language Middle East blogs and websites are essential reading for anyone interested in Middle East politics and culture.
With its fresh, delicious and varied cuisine, Lebanon has earned a reputation as the food capital of the Middle East. Lebanese restaurants all over the world serve hummus, falafel and tabbouleh, while international chefs put their own, trendy spin on classic dishes. But undoubtedly the best place enjoy Lebanese food is in Lebanon itself, where … Continue reading 6 Lebanese foodies you need to follow