Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Guide to the Global Village ~ Jordan Pavilion, plus Iran, Lebanon & Morocco!

January 17th, 2012 7 comments

I have made many trips to Jordan, so I always enjoy this pavilion. For me this year, the biggest hit of the Jordan Pavilion was the entertainment.

If you’re new to the Global Village, it’s a huge fair-like shopping and cultural event that runs during the winter months and is located just outside Dubai. To know more, see my post Dubai’s Global Village ~ Where the World Comes Together.

As for shopping at the Jordan pavilion, one of the first things you see is the cross-stitch thobs. These are the traditional Palestinian variety.

Also, the Jordan Pavilion has lots of Arabic foodstuff, namely, olive oil, pickles, cheeses, zataar, etc.

I bought some olives here.

I discovered something delicious in this pavilion: “figs in honey,” a thick, chunky kind of jam. It was one of those samples that you casually accept, and then stop in your tracks and ask, “What is this?” I bought 500 g which we gobbled up in our house, eating off the spoon.

This year, my favorite part of the Jordan Pavilion was the debke dancing. There’s an entertainment schedule on the Global Village website. However, I’m never that organized. Instead I stumble upon these shows by luck, as was the case in the Jordan Pavilion. This troupe was good, very enthusiastic and the highlight of that GV visit.

Other Global Village Highlights

There are 28 pavilions at the Global Village, too many for me to list here. Instead, I’ll mention a few more that I have enjoyed this winter.

The Iran Pavilion

This pavilion has seen better days in past years. However, it’s still worth a visit–if only for the quiet Iranian restaurant inside. It’s a good place to buy a carpet. Plus, I have found Iranian tablecloths, tiles and pottery here in the past. I have also bought my share of jewelry here over the years.

The one thing I buy regularly at this pavilion is Iranian saffron. If I remember correctly, a tiny bottle is 80 dirhams ($22) and a very tiny bottle is 40 dirhams ($11). Of course, there are whole tins for the serious foodies. Below is the shop that sells saffron.

I caught some Iranian music (again, it was luck).

The Lebanon Pavilion

The Lebanon pavilion features the foodstuff of the Levant: olive oil, cheeses, Arabic sweets, etc. One thing I enjoyed was the fresh bread near the entrance. These women refused to let me pay for the gigantic round bread they gave me, hot off the grill.

The Lebanon pavilion also has serving items for the home, like trays and platters. There are purses, jewelry and other accessories. However, I was happy to find something I couldn’t find at other pavilions: olive oil soap.

The Morocco Pavilion

I love this pavilion. It deserves a post of its own. Many of the stalls here are actually from home décor boutiques in Dubai. Not a bargain, but lovely to stroll through to admire the gorgeous Moroccan lamps, furniture, tiled tables, fountains, pottery, etc. (I can dream, can’t I?)

There are smaller items such as pottery and these mirrors, still a splurge though.

In past years, I have bought pointy leather slippers in this pavilion, as well as small cans of harissa, decorative jewelry boxes, and hand of Fatima accessories. But I usually head straight for the Moroccan tea paraphernalia. This is the place to buy silver Moroccan tea pots and trays, as well as colorful tea glasses.

This year, I bought Moroccan green tea and mint at this shop, where you can also pick up a clay tagine and everything else needed to make and serve Moroccan mint tea.

For details on specific pavilions, check out my posts: The Yemen Pavilion, The Iraq Pavilion, The Turkey Pavilion, The Africa Pavilion, The Palestine Pavilion, and The Egypt Pavilion.

Question: What do you like to buy at the Global Village? 

Movie Review ~ Where Do We Go Now? A Lebanese film by Nadine Labaki

November 11th, 2011 6 comments

When I heard the premise of this film, I knew I had to see it—a bittersweet comedy about a group of Lebanese women who try to ease the religious tensions between the Christian and Muslim men in their village.

This is the second film by Nadine Labaki, who wrote, directed and starred in this movie which won Best Narrative Film at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, as well as the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

Where Do We Go Now? (in Arabic with English subtitles) is the story of a remote village in Lebanon where both Christians and Muslims live together in relative peace. In this fictitious village, the mosque and church stand side by side. Equally important is the religiously-divided cemetery which looms beyond.

The film opens with a scene of the women of the village attending to the graves of their loved ones. Virtually all these women, both Muslim and Christian, have lost a husband, father, son or brother to past conflicts in Lebanon. This scene of loss and heartache sets up the foundation and motivations for rest of this tragicomedy.

Opening scene from Where Do We Go Now?

While these women continue to mourn, sectarian conflict in the region and escalating violence swirl around the village and threaten to upset the delicate stability between the two groups. And so, the movie follows the antics of the clever women of the village as they distract and confuse their hot-headed sons and husbands. The goal of these women is to avoid a religious war, as they have lost enough already.

I watched this film in a packed cinema listening to the laughs and sobs of the mostly-Arab audience. The film was long (almost 2 hours) but it was one of those movies in which I lost sense of time and became totally engaged in the characters and their story.

This timely and relevant film opened yesterday, November 10th, in the UAE. It’s unclear when it will be released in the US, but I suggest keeping an eye on this film. Where Do We Go Now? is Lebanon’s 2011 entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Academy Awards. If it gets an Oscar nomination, I’ll be rooting for it.

Wordless Wednesday: Scenes from Lebanon

June 8th, 2011 2 comments

Photos from our trip to Lebanon last summer