The very first short movie I shot, edited and produced in the summer of 2009 in New York City.
The details of the event that I covered are in the following article published in NowLebanon.
Here are some shots behind the actual images in the short movie. My friend Miguel Olivo from the Dominican Republic, who is particularly fond of Lebanese culture, assisted me in the filming process. Carrying the equipment from Manhattan to Brooklyn and back, was not a walk in the park, especially when we had to switch trains and endure service changes during weekends on metro lines servicing Brooklyn. The whole experience was very rewarding, especially after the final project was done. I have met amazing people who were so passionate about their background and engaged in their community. The young generation of Lebanese immigrants were very excited about showing off their dancing skills. As for Lebanese music, it played till very late after sundown.
The notorious dabke (Photo by Miguel Olivo)
Some behind the scenes shots (Photo by Miguel Olivo)
Miguel Olivo, Assistant Producer (Photo by Carla Haibi)
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Posted in Socio-cultural, tagged Archeology, Bekaa valley., beverages, Carla Haibi, Lebanon, Levant, Middle East, museum, NowLebanon, Patrick McGovern, wine, wine culture, wine museum on July 23, 2009|
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As some of you may know, Lebanon is considered by some historians the first site of wine production in the world. I found this Q&A in NowLebanon.com with Patrick McGovern, the Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia.
McGovern is going to be a consultant for the opening of a wine museum in the Bekaa Valley.
From the interview in the article , I quote:
Because of Lebanon and coastal Syria’s pivotal role in transmitting the wine culture possibly as an indigenous development or from regions farther north (Transcausasia, Azerbaijan, or eastern Turkey) to other parts of the Near East and Mediterranean, such a wine museum should put the Levant on the ancient and modern wine map like never before. It will become an impetus for further archaeological and DNA research, provide a direct connection between past and present (with the excellent wines now being produced in the Bekaa and elsewhere in Lebanon), reveal the crucial role of the Levant in laying the foundations for western culture (in contrast to current negative perceptions), and serve as a magnet for tourists.
The article speaks for itself. If the project of the museum gets through, it would be beyond amazing!!!
Actually, the video below may give a better idea about the wine culture in Lebanon.
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Posted in Socio-cultural, tagged Carla Haibi, cuisine, food, gastronomy, ilili, Lebanese cuisine, Lebanon, New York, NowLebanon, Restaurants, wine on July 15, 2009|
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Ilili, or tell me, in Arabic, is the name of a Lebanese restaurant in New York City. Many friends have asked me which was my favorite Lebanese restaurant in the city. A question that would embarrass me because… you know what? I don’t like any Lebanese restaurant in the city. Truth is , I don’t like to eat Lebanese food at restaurants in New York. It is not worth it for me. And anyone who likes good food and appreciates homemade cuisine would agree with me…until i went to ilili in the Flatiron area. That place actually changed my views about Lebanese food in New York restaurants.
First, the tabboule definitely competes with the homemade version.
Although the service was not always great! Waiters take on the task of educating customers about the menu and the characteristics of the cuisine. And if they have doubts that the customer may be Lebanese , they ask him or her , if they would like to break the Arak themselves. A gesture that made up for the mishaps that followed. But I will not dwell on that, because this place is a must-go destination, if you want to have a sense of what the cuisine in Lebanon tastes like.
At the bar, you can choose from a special selection of cocktails with original combination of ingredients such as rose water and vodka to warm up the palate for the upcoming culinary voyage. A complementary helping of creamy labne (strained yogurt) served with crispy pita chips drizzled with extra virgin olive oil imported from Koura in Northern Lebanon along with Lebanese olives; greet you at the table.
And about the rest? you can read it here.
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Posted in Socio-cultural, tagged Carla Haibi, cuisine, gastronomy, immigrations, Kibbe, Lebanon, NowLebanon, quipe, Santo Domingo, traditions on May 26, 2009|
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When i first came to New York, one of my professors who is Dominican — and now became one of my closest friends– told me that in the Dominican Republic, kibbe and tabboule, both traditional Lebanese foods, are essential elements of the Dominican cuisine. I wondered how this happened. How did kibbe become so popular from Lebanon all the way to Santo Domingo? From there, I got the idea to write the article that just got published in Now Lebanon.
Dominican Quipe in Washington Heights (Carla Haibi)
Reporting and writing this story was really fun and interesting. With the help of some Dominican friends, i got recommendations of one of the most popular Dominican restaurants in New York and I got in touch with the president of an important cultural club, the Syrian-Lebanese-Palestinian club in Santo Domingo to understand how this fact came to be. I also interviewed the president of the Lebanese industrialists Associations and a researcher from the University of Austin -Texas among few others who did not make it to the finished piece.
I am going to Santo Domingo in less than a month, and I will do some live reporting from there.
Lebanese kibbe in Brooklyn (Photo by Carla Haibi)
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