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LEBANON: Beirut nightlife again starts to sizzle

July 24, 2008 |  8:34 am

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Beirut will be back on the world map and, this time, it will be for good reasons. That was the message behind the relaunching party of Time Out magazine’s Beirut edition, after a two-year hiatus, at the Riviera Beach Lounge along the capital's seafront.

With fireworks and champagne bottles in sparkling boxes, the party was designed to mirror the reemerging face of Beirut: a city of glitz and glamour boasting many trendy open-air rooftop nightspots, underground nightclubs and funky bars.

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As the publisher of Time Out Beirut, Nehme Abouzeid, pointed out in the magazine’s July/August edition, tourists and Lebanese rushed back to Lebanon immediately after a political agreement between squabbling factions was reached and civil war was averted:

Sometimes we tend to forget that our story is that of the phoenix, rising after every fire. The Lebanese have always been optimistic and our faith in this fantastic country has never been stronger.

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The magazine, which chronicles the cultural and musical events of the buzzing city as well as reviewing its restaurants and clubs, thrives on stability. So after a short, zealous start, Time Out stopped publishing because of the July 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.

And it was only after the country regained some sort of normalcy that the magazine, which publishes editions for New York and London as well as other towns, decided to return to cover the flourishing arts and entertainment scenes.

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This summer, Time Out takes a look at street theater performances, welcomes back the stand-up comedians of The Axis of Evil, and chats with Mika ahead of his mega-concert this weekend in downtown Beirut.

- Raed Rafei in Beirut.

Photos: Time Out Beirut relaunch party at the Riviera Beach Lounge.

Credit: Raed Rafei/ Los Angeles Times (two in the middle), Time Out Beirut (top and bottom).

P.S. The Los Angeles Times issues a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from all over the Middle East, as well as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can subscribe by registering at the website here.

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