A FAMILY AFFAIR./
AFTER 8 YEARS WORKING IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY, KARIM LEFT BEHIND HIS CAREER IN FINANCE IN SEARCH OF SOMETHING MORE MEANINGFUL./ HE HEADED TO SAN FRANCISCO TO STUDY FOR AN MBA IN SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT, EXPLORING SEVERAL AREAS BEFORE EVENTUALLY COMMITTING TO AGRICULTURE + GASTRONOMY./
WHEN HE HAD TO RETURN TO LEBANON IN 2019 DUE TO A FAMILY EMERGENCY, HE ENDED UP STAYING + HE QUICKLY BEGAN BUILDING WHAT WOULD BECOME 'SOLAR' - AN ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL COMPANY USING HIS FAMILY'S OLIVE TREES IN THE REMOTE VILLAGE OF KOUR, IN NORTHERN LEBANON./
SOLAR PRODUCES 100% ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, USING THE KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM + EXPERIENCE PASSED ON THROUGH THE VARIOUS GENERATIONS WHO HAVE NURTURED THE FAMILY'S OLIVE TREES IN THE SAME WAY FOR OVER 150 YEARS./ THE TREES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FREE OF CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS + PESTICIDES, THE ALKALINE SOILS REWARDING THEM WITH A FRUIT THAT'S PACKED WITH FLAVOUR + AN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL RICH IN POLYPHENOLS + ANTIOXIDANTS./
KARIM ALSO CATERS PRIVATE DINNERS, WITH HIS EYE ON OPENING HIS VERY OWN RESTAURANT IN THE FUTURE!/
AS A DEDICATED FOODIE, WE FIGURED KARIM WOULD KNOW SOME OF THE BEST PLACES TO CHECK OUT IN THE COUNTRY'S CAPITAL, BEIRUT...
"It's the oldest bar in gemmayze, a street full of bars - a real institution. The music is eclectic + the dim lights mixed with the hip décor gives an ambiance close to Berlin's Club der Visionare. Even if it's considered a bar, nights can easily turn into mornings."
"The former Abdullah's Boutros palace offers the traditional layout of a 19th Century Lebanese home. Its high ceilings, marble tables, + tasteful wallpaper gives this restaurant an elegance + aesthetics you can hardly find elsewhere. Liza offers a menu of contemporary Lebanese cuisine, giving it a welcome twist."
"An upscale bar/rest, you can enjoy classy drinks with fine dining. It's a chic contemporary space with an architecture of its own. It has a retractable roof to its long, dark tunnel bar, from which you can enjoy the lights of Beirut. The two-storey space occasionally brings DJs that play soothing jazzy beats, creating a flirty atmosphere."
All photos are copyright F1FTY except: Portrait (Image courtesy of Karim Arsanios); Torino (Instagram @caspertornblom); Liza (Instagram @lizabeirut); Centrale (Centrale website). This feature was not paid for in any way.