FOR THE 1ST TIME EVER – THE GREEK FESTIVAL OF LEBANON, JUNE 7-8-9, 2019 IN BYBLOS: ZEUS MEETS AHIRAM
FEATURING AN EXCLUSIVE EXHIBITION FOR THE ACROPOLIS MUSEUM
The Greek Festival of Lebanon is more than just a festival. It’s an experience for all the senses! From Food to music, dance, music, movies, real estate, travel and Culture. The festival opens the doors of Greece to the Lebanese and Arab public and revitalizes the connection between the two Mediterranean countries and old Greek community of Beirut. It’s a place where a 360 experience of Greece is offered in an open air space.
Hosted on the ancient Roman road of Byblos known for its ancient columns. The festival is organized by “Stinviryto من بيروت “organization founded by the Lebanese broadcast journalist who is also one of the most prominent figures of the Greek community George Eid, author of “Kalimera Men Beirut” the 1st documentary that tells the story of the Greek community in Beirut.
In a press conference Held on Monday 20th of May 2019 in the Greek community of Beirut. Eid who is also the director of the Greek festival of Beirut announced the program of the festival in the presence of the Greek ambassador to Lebanon Franciscos Verros and the Greek performer Stergios Liberis who will feature as a special guest at the opening ceremony of the festival.
The festival which is under the auspices of both the Lebanese ministry of tourism and the Greek National Tourism organization (GTO) is supported by a bouquet of 30 sponsors.
The Conference was moderated by MTV Lebanon’s Jessy Trad Kastoun.
Eid announced that: “the idea behind the festival is to bring Greece in all its beauty and splendor to the Lebanese public. From food to mood and even music. I was raised by my Greek Grandfather Paul Mazidji who came to Lebanon as a refugee and although I do not have the Greek citizenship I was always proud of my Greek roots and culture. But this year I decided that I wanted everyone to share this passion especially that the Lebanese and Greek culture are interrelated.
This festival is made with love and passion. Most importantly it is non-commercial. Out of the 27 stands on site only 4 stands will be selling products. The rest of the stands will offer free samples. I launched the idea in February and it was on a short notice however I was determined to achieve it. This was possible through the support of a team that believed in this dream (Rana Richa Eid, Jessy Trad Kastoun, Rabih Kastoun) and above all the Greek ambassador to Lebanon Francisco’s Verros, an exceptional ambassador who is also one of the dynamos of the project. He believed in my idea and offered me all the support to make it happen.”
“Everything about this festival is authentic and heartfelt even the poster symbolizes the idea behind the event, the man in the poster is a Greek refugee from Smyrna dancing to teach his children and lift their moral only a month after the beginning of the Lebanese civil war. The picture was taken in May 1975, the mans is my grandfather. While the child is the youngest members of our Greek community his name is Yannis Caponis. This is to represent our past and the hope for our future”
THE EXPERIENCE: STERGIO LIBERIS & GIORGIOS PACHIS AS SPECIAL GUESTS
Eid elaborated on the program of the Festival after showing the special advertising dedicated to the even which was recorded both in Arabic and Greek (a first in lebanon): “the opening ceremony of the 7th of June will feature a special guest from Greece: Stergio Liberis who will perform a series of his best hits. On the other hand, one of the elite Bouzouki players in Greece Giorgios Pachis will be joining the festival for two consecutive nights where he will be part of an amazing performance planned by the Greek-Lebanese performer Marina Abu Rjeily on the Friday 7th and Saturday 8th with the special presence of the Kassandra municipality folklore dance group coming from Greece for two days. Sunday night the Greek-Lebanese Singer Kassiani Kaplanis and her band will entertain the visitors of the open air Festival”
The performers offer more than just a dance or a song, they share a piece of their culture, their heartfelt message and unique contribution to the world. The visitors will be able to participate in the dancing by joining the Greek community of Beirut Stand and the dance instructor Marilena Caponis who is offering free lessons for those interested.
The central attraction of the event will be two ancient statue copies from the Acropolis Museum sent to Lebanon for the 1st time the history of the little Mediterranean country.
Most of the stands will be offering various Greek products from wine, olive oil and even pitas”. More than 6 companies from Greece will be present to introduce their products to the Lebanese public.
Also in partnership with the Open Film Festival of Lebanon a selection of Greek movies will be shown in an open air cinema projection that the visitors can enjoy while sipping wine.
The event will be covered by major media outlets from Lebanon and Greece.
VERROS : THE FESTIVAL EMPHASIZES THE TIES BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES
On the other hand, the Greek ambassador to Lebanon Franciscos Verros said “
THE LOCATION & DATE
The festival will take place on 7-8-9th of June in the ancient city of Byblos, Lebanon starting 19:00 till midnight. The Performers will start singing at 19:00 followed by a dance performance by Kassandra folkloric Group each hour in a rotation mode.
The Director of the Festival reasserted that the tickets will be at a nominal fee and available at the door of the event.
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