While distance can make us feel helpless, the reality is every one of us can contribute to re-building Lebanon after the explosions in the capital of Beirut on August 4. Here are the ways in which UAE residents and businesses are making a difference:
In partnership with renowned local chefs Rita Soueidan, Bethan Kehdy, Ruby Chaer, Mohammad Orfali and Greg Malouf, Gates Hospitality has launched the initiative, Cook for Beirut.
The chefs will team up for a four-course dinner at Reform Social & Grill on Tuesday, August 18 at 7pm, followed by another event at Publique at the same time the following day.
Both dinners are Dh385 with all proceeds donated to the Lebanese Red Cross.
- Reform Social & Grill is in The Lakes, Dubai and can be contacted through +971 4 454 2638, or [email protected]. Publique can be reached on +971 4 430 8550 or [email protected] and is located in Dubai’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
Foodsheikh All Stars
Dubai’s online food delivery platform Foodsheikh All Stars will donate to UNICEF monthly over the next six months in support of Beirut’s children and families.
Launched by the anonymous food blogger Food Sheikh on June 17, the platform clarified that the contributions are ‘just a straightforward donation,’ not linked to sales, proceeds or turnover.
In their Instagram promotion the platform announced: “Lebanon needs its youth more than ever now. They are the future and need protecting.”
- Orders can be made through the platform at ChatFood
The Lebanese NGO, Shaabe Masouleyati (my people are my responsibility) has gained significant traction on social media since the explosions, particularly among the UAE’s Lebanese community.
Located in 11 cities in Lebanon with 130 members, the NGO was founded by 31-year-old Afif Ayad in December 2019 after the start of the Lebanese Revolution.
“The name of the NGO says it all,” says Ayad, who is president of the NGO. “We are entitled to be responsible for one another.”
People outside of Lebanon can contribute to Shaabe Masouleyati through financial services companies like Western Union or the fundraiser platform, GoFundMe.
- Reach out directly to Shaabe Masouleyati through Instagram or by calling +961 76 643 738.
La Cantine Du Faubourg
DIFC’s upmarket French restaurant and bar, La Cantine Du Faubourg has partnered with the Emirates Red Crescent to donate all proceeds to Beirut from their special sharing set menu.
This will be available on Monday August 17 and is priced at Dh600 per person for the set menu with drinks.
- Contact +971 4 352 7105 or [email protected] for reservations.
Also on Monday August 17, Iris Dubai in DIFC will host their Dine and Donate Lebanon Relief Dinner from 8 pm.
The 3-course dinner is available for Dh300 per person with all proceeds donated to the Lebanese Red Cross, Shaabe Masouleyati and Bala Wala Chi. The event will also feature Irish singer Gari Deegan performing live.
The Lebanese brand gained support from neighboring businesses when La Cantine Du Faubourg commented on their Instagram post: “We are in this together, we support you and would like to book a table for 4 at 8pm.”
- Reservations can be made through +971 56 951 1442.
Launched amid Covid-19, the homegrown delivery platform, GoFood announced that all sales made on August 14 will be donated to the Emirates Red Crescent to support the relief effort in Lebanon.
Customers may also contribute through purchases made on their grocery delivery service, GoFood Grocery.
- Orders can be made through their website.
Founded by the 57-year-old Palestinian chef, Salam Dakkak, the Levant cuisine restaurant was one of the first local businesses to pledge 100 percent of revenue made on August 5th to Lebanon through the charities Lebanon of Tomorrow and the Stouh Beirut Association.
The 27-year-old Palestinian managing director Nada Darraj was surprised when one of their first Instagram videos about the cause drew 170,000 views.
“We want everyone to stand together and do what they can to support Lebanon during this time,” she explains. “Every effort makes a difference. It’s our responsibility to do whatever we can to help. This isn’t a nationality concern. It’s a humanity issue.”
- Bait Maryam is located in JLT, Cluster D and is open daily from 10 am to 11 pm. Orders can be placed online through Deliveroo, Zomato, Talabat and ChatFood.
Gulf Photo Plus
Dubai-based Gulf Photo Plus has launched the fundraising initiative “For the Love of Beirut” in partnership with Ruwa, the Beirut Center of Photography, In My House and Jadaliyya, to sell fine art prints from over 60 Lebanese and international artists.
Printed on archival fine art paper, the 25 x 38cm images are priced at US$135 plus shipping and can be delivered worldwide.
The online print sale runs until August 26. The photography center is also running a limited print sale for disaster relief of works from Lebanese independent visual designer Roï Saade’s exhibition, All I want is Life; Dh195 pulse Dh25 for shipping in the UAE.
The sale is limited to 100 pieces, which are printed on fine art archival paper. The dimensions are 20x25cm and the cost is Dh195 plus Dh25 shipping anywhere in the Emirates.
All net proceeds from both initiatives will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross. Click here to purchase a print.
Volunteers swiftly created the Support Beirut Instagram account on the night of the explosion to promote and connect people wanting to help.
Jessica Pierre, a 23-year-old junior architect from Lebanon based in Dubai, is volunteering her architectural consulting services.
Although she was born and raised in Dubai, Pierre calls Lebanon home.
“We used to feel the warmth and safety as soon as we’d step into Lebanon,” she explains. “So, when we saw the blast on television, it was heartbreaking feeling so distant and helpless.”
Steven Khalife, 20-year-old Support Beirut community manager, said much more than food and medical supplies is needed.
“The impact is both physical and mental, ranging from demolished houses and displacement, to physical injuries and even trauma,” he explains. “Our social media platform gives affected citizens a more efficient and accessible way to find services that can alleviate these damages.”
Other services offered through Support Beirut include reconstruction, medical assistance, mental health support, and home sharing.
- Those interested in volunteering their skills or resources can visit the Instagram page, which regularly posts the services required.
Abeer Ibrahim Allouz, who founded her Dubai confectionery company in 2010, has been donating 100 percent of revenue between August 5 and 12 to Lebanon through Emirates Red Crescent.
“I couldn’t sleep as I kept wondering how I can help them,” she says. “We were all very upset, yet we slept comfortably in our homes while the people of Lebanon didn’t even have homes to go to. I decided to create this initiative because even though we’re an SME, small changes can make a huge difference.”
- Artocolate operates via pickup from the villa location in Dubai’s Al Bagaara Street or via delivery throughout Jumeirah 3.
Local photographer Waleed Shah has made waves for his inventive campaigns, including Rock Your Ugly, and now he’s donating 100 percent of the profits if you order a print from his Mowjood (I am, I exist) series, with free shipping throughout the UAE.
- The Dh400 prints are available through Shah’s website.
Issa handles multimedia at livehealthy.ae and got involved in fitness and healthy living after graduating high school. The sedentary lifestyle and junk food diet of his teen years had taken a toll on his wellbeing. Now, he makes sure to put his health first. Issa earned his bachelor’s in marketing and has since found his passion in media and arts.