Somewhere is our new travel blog, interviewing people from different cities around the world. Just as Sorato embraces the story in each unique Moroccan Kilim bag, we wanted to share with you the story of a different place and person each week. We value individuality, and every piece we hand make is one of a kind- just like the people of the world. Get to know them and the amazing cities they live in. Hopefully, it will inspire you to travel and use their tips...
Joya Haddad- Beirut, Lebanon Interview
Joya is a travel enthusiast, a freelance photographer, and a filmmaker. She is currently preparing her masters in engineering at IMAC grande ecole in France. Before that, she studied computer and communications engineering at the American University of Beirut, and at UC Berkeley. She lived in Dubai, Beirut, and California before settling in Paris. Growing up in a multicultural environment, she speaks four languages, Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. You can follow her accounts on Instagram and Twitter: @joya_haddad
Hidden treasure spots or shops?
Hanna Metri’s ice cream shop is the perfect example of a hidden gem in the heart of the Achrafieh district of Beirut.
It was even dubbed as the world’s best ice cream by global newspapers such as The New York Times!
Where is your favorite brunch spot?
The best brunch spot has to be the Four Seasons hotel. A great all around atmosphere, topped with a beautiful buffet, as well as an exceptional view. Simply a must !
Tips for getting around?
Usually, everyone gets around by car, I recommend you to use uber, you can have a free ride using my code : joyah23ue! Also, Beirut is a perfect city for walking or biking. In fact, everything is at a walking distance!
Best date night?
Cherry on the rooftop, Le Gray’s Hotel rooftop. The staff is extremely professional, the food is outstanding, especially the sushi! You also have an amazing view of Beirut, totally worth it! ;)
If your city was an animal, what would it be?
A phoenix because Beirut rose from its ashes 7 times !
Where is a good shopping area?
Beirut Souks is a great place to shop for all the international and well-known brands; it is located in the heart of Beirut’s rebuilt downtown. Moreover, a wide selection of international cuisines, a cinema hall, as well an arcade attract tourists and locals.
A word that defines it? ... a song?
Spontaneous and vibrant
Carla’s Dreams - Sub Pielea Mea (Midi Culture Remix), it was the hit of 2016 in Beirut!
Where to go for a fun night on the town?
Well, Beirut has been voted as the #1 party city by CNN! So, here is a list of amazing venues you definitely shouldn't miss while in Beirut! : Skybar, The One, Grand Factory, Sporting Club, The Garten, Mar Mikhael, Hamra, Iris, Seven Sisters.
Any cool relaxing places you like to unwind at?
The American University of Beirut offers a nice scenery for you to relax at. Moreover, you can go to Zaitunay Bay, a chic venue by the sea to relax at, or Horsh Beirut, which is a gigantic park in the middle of the city.
Do you have a funny story to tell us about life in your city?
In Lebanon, French nights are a thing at major clubs like Caprice, where they play songs such as Nuit de folie and Les Démons de Minuits, old hits that even the Parisian youth don’t listen to!
An expression only heard in your city?
Betchill? (literal translation “would you carry/remove?” ) which means, would you like to..? It is used in asking someone if they would like to do something / or if they are interested in someone.
In lebanese, you call everyone “habibi”, which means my love; and you greet people by mixing three languages: “Hi, kifak, cava?”
Now hit the road and see the world!