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Faten Baassiri, Galavante with a Local in Beirut
October 6, 2010
Faten Baassiri

Three Words to Describe Myself:  Creative, Ambitious & Positive

Galavante was lucky to sit down with the beautiful Faten, who showed us first-hand the extraordinary city of Beirut.

Galavante:  How long have you lived in Beirut?

Faten:  I’m originally from Beirut, though I’ve lived all over the world, including Saudi Arabia and most recently Milan. 

Galavante:  What was it like living in Saudi Arabia?

Faten:  I lived there as a child, but we lived in a private compound, so it was a very normal upbringing.  I had a lot of very nice memories there, and attended a French school where I learned about different cultures, since all my friends where from different countries.

Galavante:  What brought you back to Beirut?

Faten:  I lived and studied in Milan for a while, a city I love, but I returned to Beirut for work opportunities that I was not able to find in Europe.

Galavante:  Where do you work?  

Faten:  I'm an interior architect & an industrial designer at Sari El Khazen architects full time, and I also get my own freelance projects.  At Sari El Khazen, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some incredible projects, including re-designing Sky Bar, the top club in Beirut. 

Galavante:  Besides Sky Bar, what makes Beirut so unique? Why should visitors come?

Faten:  Every visitor will notice that Beirut has a happy vibe, where they can meet hospitable and easy-going people, and discover many historical sites, experiencing the clash of cultures that coexist together.

Galavante: Beirut has quite a history.  What was it like living in Beirut during the war?

Faten: I was very young during the civil war and lived outside of Lebanon during the tough times. All the stories I heard were really bad and people have learned how pointless it all was. However, I recall all the other wars (not civil) in the years that followed, and remember how we used to stay at home and wait until it was all over.

But what is nice and unique about Lebanese people is that they overcome and forget the hardship of all the wars and go on with their lives, trying to re-collect the bits and pieces to rebuilt what was destroyed (mentally & physically), hoping that it would be the last.

Galavante: How would you describe Beirut now?

Faten: Lively, Hospitable and Multi-cultural.  But of course you know that, because you experienced it yourself! 

Galavante:  What is your typical routine of restaurants, sites, and bars when you are enjoying your city?

Faten:  The turnover of new restaurants and bars is very high. Every season has its own "in" places where everybody wants to be.  This past season, I went to “mybar”, a unique bar/restaurant in downtown, “Chez Sophie” a new restaurant where the chef is the owner herself and “Pierre & Friends” a venue right on the beach in Batroun, outside Beirut, where you can enjoy the sea and the restaurant all day and night.

Galavante:  Where do you go for special occasions? 

Faten:  For special occasions, there are unlimited places to go. However, some are more popular than others: “Sydney’s” on top of the Vendome hotel, where you can enjoy the beautiful view, “Table d’Alfred” a very chic restaurant in Achrafieh, and “Casablanca” where you can enjoy a delicious brunch every Sunday in an old Lebanese house.

Galavante:  What are your favorite places to travel?

Faten: Although Lebanon is on the seaside, I love spending my vacations on exotic islands to relax, or interesting cities to discover new architectural & design tendencies.  Though with my busy schedule now, I try to at least travel once every year. 

Galavante:  What’s next?

Faten:  I hope someday I will be able to build a career and business of my own.