Words and Photos by @beirutspring & @max927

@beirutspring post about the Hamra Festival and its unofficial blog 🙂

@max927 Hamra Street Fest photos.

Hamra Street Festival Parade
Hamra Street Festival Parade
Hamra Street Festival Parade
Hamra Street Festival Parade
Hamra Street Festival Parade
Hamra Street Festival Parade
Hamra Street Festival Parade
Hamra Street Festival Parade

For more photos check our flickr gallery

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I love my Hamra :)

Today, Saturday the 11th, was the second day of the Hamra Festival! As usual I got there late, around 9:30, I saw a couple of stands here and there, one of them selling some handmade stuff, another with some food on it; cupcakes and so one…The first thing i did when I got there is signing up my name for the Nokia (X3 phone draw), and I only did that because I was dragged by my 14 years old brother who thought that its better to have 2 names in the draw, you know to increase his chance of winning, and he was right, I did win one of the 14 phones that were given away, and yes my brother took it 😀

Anyway, it was such a pleasure to see Hamra main street full with people from all ages and classes, they were walking up and down the street with a smile oc their faces enjoying the nice ambiance…All shops were open, and the cafes were loaded with those who chose to drink coffee or enjoy a muffin while the bands were playing!Some chose to sit on the side of the street and chat…

It felt like everyone was waiting for this festival to go out and enjoy their time…Hamra looked amazing today with all the lights, and the people roaming its street, it was joyful, a bit chaotic, yet security guys were present to make sure that there were no problem.  It is nice to see this street in particular car-free, I was able to walk all along without worrying about cars passing by, and kids were running all around and their parents had their peace of mind. When it was over, people didn’t leave right away, they chose to stay and enjoy to the maximum the street with no cars, they sat, chatted, laughed and sang!

Personally I enjoyed the most Ashekman, twin rappers who rapped for Beirut, and Amy Smack Daddy, a band that played some nice songs among which Beautiful Day by U2 and a Muse song.

I didn’t leave before buying ‘2eni ouheb al Hamra’ shirt 😀

Tomorrow is another day, and Hamra’s festival last day, unfortunately I won’t be able to make it  :s

Sarah Hilal

http://sarahilal.wordpress.com

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Hamra Festival Day 2

The second day of the Hamra festival was kind of fun, but could have definitely been better.

There were three stages, and a lot of stands. It was some sort of bazar, with the occasional arcade stand and another game stand.  Again, it was definitely cool to walk around Hamra, and it was very crowded. The people were mostly parents bringing their kids, and teenagers. The festival was definitely not trying to target the parents or older people. The music appeals to the younger generations, and some games for the kids. Maybe some of the stands could appeal to the older ones, but still it wasn’t enough in my opinion. Another thing that would’ve been nice to see is if there were some sort of festival special prices. There were some things I wanted to get, but they were actually too expensive. I understand that  there may be a percentage of the sales revenues that has to go to the organizers for giving you a stand, but it’s still a festival, a special occasion. Most people are not there to shop, but they are more likely to get into some impulse buys if the prices were more encouraging. At least that’s what it was like for me.

I only took pictures of the stands I enjoyed. The “Li Hamra2i” had amazing paintings of Hamra. It promotes the book “لكم حمراؤك و لي حمرائي” (You have your Hamra and I have mine). Check out their website, it’s cool.

There were also displays of photography by Mazen Jannoun. They were nice to look at, as they seem to be taken spontaneously, all around Hamra.

This was one of the best stands. The people there are cool, and they are selling some funny tshirts. I got myself an “I heart Hamra” one.

Cocoa and Co had an awesome and colorful stand. They have the most amazing brownies (in the boxes). I hate brownies, and a friend once got those to work,  and everyone went crazy for them. Seriously, you have got to try them.

I attended some of the concerts. JLP were the best for me, and I enjoyed the songs they played.

I think they even had a larger crowd than the other performances I was able to see.

They also offered free Nokia X3 phones to anyone who was willing to go on stage and sing with them, a song of the person’s own choice. This was an awesome opportunity to the few willing to do that.

The first volunteer was seriously, seriously, SERIOUSLY excellent. She definitely deserved the phone. So were the two other girls who came up. However, what everyone around me said was that these very talented ladies were in a band. If that is the case, although that wouldn’t mean that they shouldn’t have gone up there, I wish more chances were given to those people who wanted to go up and sing, and were not picked to do so (such as @DinaMyColors who actually can sing decently). Plus, even if someone came up to sing and was awful at it, they’d earn the phone by embarrassing themselves.

All in all, it was fun. I hate sounding too negative, but this was my experience and I thought there was room for improvement. I am still going to try to go tomorrow as well, I enjoy outdoor concerts, crowds, Hamra and walking around. If you can pass by and you haven’t already, then you should because it was pretty okay, but don’t feel too bad if you are unable to.

From http://threadofdesire.wordpress.com by @RihamBerjaoui

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Maraya 2010 – Hamra Street Festival Inaguration and Parade!

Living in Hamra has its perks.  Apart from being within walking distance to absolutely everything you need – grocery, pharmacy, tailor, carpenter, gym, shopping, pubs, and restaurants..the streets of Hamra occasionally play host to charming street festivals.

Yesteryday was the beginning of Maraya 2010 – Hamra street festival.  So..seeing that I live two minutes walk from Hamra main street, I thought it would be a great way to spend the afternoon.

This post is by Danielle, who is not Lebanese, she moved to Lebanon months ago, and has a different eye on things. So make sure you check her full post here.

More photos taken by Ghassan Salameh (Kibot) have been added as well.

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Hamra’s Happy Days – Preparation for 2nd day

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Following last night’s opening parade, Hamra street is getting ready to welcome its visitors, as street merchants, corporate slugs, Hamra residents, and local bands prepare to take over the street for two consecutive days.
Here are some pictures I snapped last night and this morning of the preparations.
Three stages are being erected for the festivities (in front of vero modo, jack & jones, and starbucks) with concerts scheduled to kick off today starting 5:00 pm with The Incompetents, Charbel Rouhana, Ziyad Sahhab, Ashekman, Fareeq El Atrash and others.

As far I can remember, for the long time I’ve been a Hamra resident, this is the first time that Hamra truly transforms itself and celebrates what it stands for. A celebration of life that is, where everyone — the kids, the elderly, the young and the young at heart, the hippies, the wazawez, the cynics, the AUBites, Hamra’s very own intellectuals and culture jammers, the cool and not so cool people, the clowns, the fashion victims, the bloggers, the soldiers, the trendspotters and the trendsetters– will be there to capture their very own snippets of Hamra’s happiness.
Be there, and capture yours.

@eebz

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More bloggers blog about Hamra

Which is more exciting, making Hamra a pedestrian street for three days, or the festival? Answering this question is difficult. For all the people who love Hamra, driving there is a challenge due to traffic. Having the ability to walk around in the middle of the street with no cars in sight was amazing. The first day of the festival was just as good.

You can continue reading Riham‘s excellent round-up here.

Last night marked the start of Hamra festival lasting till Sunday featuring a lot of live performances across three stages near Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, and Starbucks.

The festival started on Friday at 5:45PM with a street parade that lasted till 7:30PM.. continue reading Rami’s full post here.

And finally Lindsay_NYC took a shot of Hamra street before the parade started, her comment on the photo is:

Hamra Street as you’ve (probably) never seen it before.

Check out her full post with so many photos (I did not know bloggers were all good with photography seriously!), just click here.

By Lindsay_NYC

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Hamra’s Parade

Parade full of red VW beetles, Harley Davidson, Scouts cavalry, cheer leaders, zaffeh band, etc… Luckily, our own blogger Sietske made it to the parade and took some incredible shots. Check her full post here.

Moreover, blogger Rawad took really awesome shots (and many of them) of the festival and also made some comments and offered constructive criticism of what should and shouldn’t have taken place. You can check his full post here.

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