I may be bias, but the panel on education was of particular relevance in my opinion, since it directly addressed the future of the Arab city & how to best prepare the MENA youth for the challenges that lie ahead (remember - upwards of %60 of the population in the Arab world is under 30) ... and it featured one of the star panelists of the event - a man who was recently named one of the 500 most influential Muslims on the planet - my brother, Mohamad Abdullatif Chakaki.
My show was at a lovely little restaurant on Rue Makdissi called Walimat Wardeh - an old Lebanese house turned restaurant/pub ... A couple hundred friends/fans packed the smoke-filled, humid space as I did my thing on the mic - covering a range of topics that I felt represented the inter-disciplinary goals of the YAAA Conference.
Lea Hakim, one of the dedicated conference organizers, had this to say about my show:
Electric ... maybe thats why they call me Ohmz =P
When I was done, I slowly slipped out of the restaurant & walked over to a shawerma spot on Rue Hamra to fill my empty belly ... Pita bread, garlic mayo, pickles, & tender slices of marinated/roasted chicken to be exact ...
Prior to leaving Beirut, I made sure to indulge in one of the most amazing culinary experiences in the city - Mayrig Restuaruant in Jemmayzeh - if you don't know, you better ask somebody ... This Armenian establishment is top-notch, & is just one more reason to love Lebanon & its diverse blend of culture/cuisine. All the dishes are prepared to perfection, & presented in small portions that are shared throughout the table - salads, fattehs, kibbehs, kiftehs, soujouks, & kebabs ... Two of my favorite dishes there are the rice kibbeh (kibbeh prepared with rice instead of bourghul), and the cherry kabob (sweet/savory gooey goodness) ... To top it all off this ice-cream lover got to taste 4 unique twists on the classic desert - marzipan, rose petal, halawah/halvah, & karawyeh (again, if you don't know - you better ask somebody!) ...