Skip to content
search
Travel Insider Guide To Beirut: Nour Salamé, Founder Of Kaph Books

Insider Guide To Beirut: Nour Salamé, Founder Of Kaph Books

Insider Guide To Beirut: Nour Salamé, Founder Of Kaph Books
Photo: Walid Rashid
By Jakki Phillips
By Jakki Phillips
July 23, 2018

Beirut is one of this year’s hottest travel destinations, with art, food, hotels and nightlife to rival London, Shanghai and New York.

We enlisted the help of local insider, Nour Salamé—whose publishing house Kaph Books has become one of the leading voices in fine art and photography in the Middle East—to suggest some activity for creatives visiting the Lebanese capital.

Don't forget to check out all five of our insider guides to Beirut (links at the end of this article)

1/5 Bookworm

Photo: Courtesy of Papercup
Photo: Courtesy of Papercup

“My favourite independent bookstore in Beirut is the cosy, characterful and absolutely charming Papercup, which is tucked away in a quiet street in Mar Mikhael. They have a great selection of art, design, architecture and photography books. It’s a great spot to hang out, relax and meet Beirut’s art crowd. They also make a great chai latte.” 

Find out more at papercupstore.com

See also: All Is Not Lost: 7 Independent Book Stores In Hong Kong

2/5 Cultural callings

Photo: Courtesy of Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum
Photo: Courtesy of Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum

The dying wish of wealthy Lebanese aristocrat and art collector Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock was that his palatial villa be turned into a museum so the public could share his love of the arts. Today, the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum is one of Beirut’s main cultural attractions, exhibiting local and international modern and contemporary art.

Book ahead if you want to have lunch in the fantastic museum restaurant, Resto, which serves traditional mezze with a twist. If the weather’s fine, reserve a table outside on the tree-lined courtyard. There’s also a great museum shop selling a tempting selection of art books, locally made crafts and jewellery. “Go for the art, stay for the food,” says Nour. 

Find out more at sursock.museum

See also: 50 Biggest Art Collectors In Asia

3/5 Conceptual art

Photo: Courtesy of Sfeir-Semler Gallery
Photo: Courtesy of Sfeir-Semler Gallery

Sfeir-Semler Gallery is at the cutting edge of Lebanon’s contemporary art scene and stages thought-provoking conceptual and minimalist mixed-media exhibitions at its sprawling space in the industrial neighbourhood of Karantina. Its founder, Andrée Sfeir-Semler, was born in Beirut and runs a sister space in Hamburg, Germany.

“A standout exhibition for me was Lebanese artist Rabih Mroué’s A Leap Year, which was staged at the gallery last year,” says Nour. “Kaph Books published the related book, Diary of a Leap Year. It’s our best-selling title so far.” 

Find out more at sfeir-semler.com

4/5 One of a kind

Photo: Courtesy of Marfa
Photo: Courtesy of Marfa

“Marfa is a small independent art space which opened just two years ago in the busy port district. They represent up-and-coming young artists from the region, all very conceptual and contemporary. The gallery really is a one of a kind in Beirut.” 

Find out more at marfaprojects.com

See also: 5 Asian Galleries To Visit At Art Basel 2018

5/5 Home and away

Photo: Courtesy of Maison Tarazi
Photo: Courtesy of Maison Tarazi

Maison Tarazi is run by a family of master craftsmen specialising in woodwork, copper, mother-of-pearl and glass who have been creating exquisite handmade furniture for the Middle East’s A-list since 1862. Their showroom is a real Aladdin’s cave of lovingly made pieces influenced by Syrian, Lebanese, Ottoman, Moroccan and Indian styles. “This is artisan carpentry at its best,” says Nour. 

Find out more at maisontarazi.com

Check out more travel tips from our other Beirut insiders: Joanna Laura Constantine, Jewelley Designer | Gregory Gatserelia, Interior Designer | Eli Rezkallah, Artist and Photographer | Nour Al Nimer, Tableware Designer


Portrait photography: Walid Rashid

Tags

Travel Travel People Interview Beirut Lebanon

clear
keyboard_arrow_up

In order to provide you with the best possible experience, this website uses cookies. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

close