Photographer: Emile Issa | www.emileissa.com | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter
Beirut is a city that makes us love to hate it. We grew up, studied, and worked in remarkable capitals including London, Madrid, Moscow, and New York, all the while lamenting its faults. Yet there’s something about this tumultuous, unrestrained city that has us hooked. Perhaps it’s the undeterrable hope that, as the youth, we can break old habits and instill new ideas and attitudes into our country. At least we can say that much about our mindset here at Raghunter, as we try to shift the local fashion industry online.
When we were coming up with the concept for the first Raghunter fashion photo shoot, it got us thinking about other people who are moving and shifting their own industries in one way or another. We looked at people in Business, Innovation, Technology, Film, Music and even Fashion who have chosen the entrepreneurial route to turn their visions into real plans. Unfazed by local hindrances, they are clawing day in and day out for what they believe in. Together, and maybe even unknowingly, we stand united in trying to make Lebanon what we see it to be.
Together, we are taking back the streets.
Hind Hobeika | InstabeatWWW.INSTABEAT.COM
Hind Hobeika makes our hearts skip a beat. This AUB graduate is the founder of Instabeat, an award winning startup that revolutionized water-based workouts with a heart rate monitor that displays data on swimming goggles. And we’re not the only ones whose pulses are racing; MIT Technology Review selected Hind as one of its “5 Pan Arab innovators under 35”, The World Economic Forum has labeled her a Global Shaper, and Wired UK and The Wall Street Journal have featured her work on their pages.
Omar Christidis | ArabNetWWW.ARABNET.ME
If there’s one man who can get the local technorati to look up from their iPhones, it’s Omar Christidis. The founder and CEO of ArabNet recently brought together more than 15,000 people for the fourth annual ArabNet Digital Summit, which can safely be called the biggest gathering of digital pros and entrepreneurs in the Middle East. He may be young, but he’s not going unnoticed – GulfNews Magazine selected him for its “30 under 30” list in 2012.
Nader Mansour | The Wanton BishopsWWW.THEWANTONBISHOPS.COM
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the Beirut music scene was limited mostly to hip-hop and bubblegum pop. And then The Wanton Bishops strolled into town, a guitar, banjo and harmonica trailing behind them. Nader Mansour and band mate Eddy Ghossein introduced the city to a new brand of blues-infused indie rock with their debut EP, Bad Rhyme, and fans are thanking them with a steady succession of sold out gigs. Catch them if you can – The Wanton Bishops often take their show on the road, spreading the Beirut blues across Europe.
Pamela Haydamous | Dispatch BeirutWWW.DISPATCHWORK.INFO/DISPATCHERS-WORLDWIDE/BEIRUT/
Beirut is a more colorful place, thanks to Pamela Haydamous. She and Lea Tasso, founders of Dispatch Beirut, began using a rainbow of bricks to fill in the bullet holes and cracks that riddle the city’s neglected buildings. Earning her a master’s degree in urban design, Pamela’s thesis focused on how a city’s identity can change with public art, a concept she and her team are applying from Karantina to Martyrs’ Square. This may just be the start of Dispatch Beirut, but we’ll be following Pamela’s yellow (and red and blue) brick road as she inspires other young people to reconstruct the city they call home.
Sarah Hermez | Creative SpaceWWW.CREATIVESPACEBEIRUT.COM
Some people fantasize about being catalysts of change; others, like Sarah Hermez, take a more hands-on approach. After studying fashion design at the prestigious Parsons the New School of Design in New York, Lebanese-Armenian Sarah Hermez bought a one-way ticket to Lebanon and set up The Creative Space Beirut, a free educational program in fashion design that brings together young people from diverse backgrounds. The educational model she designed could alter the course of social activism in Lebanon.
Sarah is wearing: Shirt, Found at 6:05 | Shorts, Found at 6:05 | Pink Bracelet, Found at Vengeance of Eve | White Bracelet, Found at Vengeance of Eve | Multicolor Bracelet, Found at Vengeance of Eve | Earrings, Found at Vengeance of Eve.
Rabih Salloum | SlutterhouseWWW.SLUTTERHOUSE.COM/BLOG/ If you’ve ever turned on the radio, gone out in Gemmayze, or opened a Lebanese fashion magazine, you know Rabih Salloum. He’s Beirut’s jack-of-all-trades, a creative triple-threat who’s settled comfortably at the top of the music, fashion and nightlife scenes. Now retired from the electro-pop group Slutterhouse, the part-time model and photographer spends most nights at The Mansion, the Gemmayze bar he co-owns. We’d ask if there’s anything he can’t do, but we already know the answer.