"'Why on earth ride a bike in this city ?' This is the way I started my graduation project thinking of the reasons why I would ride a bike or anyone would also ride a bike."

In ABCycling in Beirut from PechaKucha Night Beirut Vol.24Siwar Kraytem shares her passion about design and cycling. As part of her final year project, she created this guide to cycling in one of the least bike-friendly cities, Beirut. Beautifully illustrated and filled with a wonderful sense of humor, this guide will help you get on your two-wheels in any concrete jungle.

"We use the parks and gardens as outdoor gyms, and we use our bodies as obstacles to overcome. And I wasn't afraid to fail." 

In Parkour: Dodging Obstacles from PechaKucha Night Beirut Vol. 25Majed Medawar is a landscape architect and free-runner, amongst other things. In his talk, he tells us about his journey from gymnastics to parkour, from the gym to the outdoors and the city. Listen in to see how Parkour's philosophy and relationship to obstacles changed Majed's relationship to landscapes and challenges. 

“Initially the plan was to bring bands to Beirut, organize concerts, and make something cool out of the music scene in Lebanon–which was not very active at the time.…and then we said it can’t just be bringing bands to Beirut, we need to promote local bands as well”

In Beirut Jam Sessions from PechaKucha Night Beruit’s Volume 24, speaker Anthony Semaan tells how he started Beirut Jam Sessions with two of his friends. Building up the local music scene and collaborating with international artists, they have created a platform that supports music acts and develops local talent in Lebanon and abroad.

“So most of my friends thought that this is something luxurious because you’re starting a company etc but actually it was very tiring, I was working from Sunday night till Saturday morning every week and then crashing for 24 hours.”

In What You Don't Learn in University from PechaKucha Night Beirut’s 23rd volume, Entrepreneur Jad Joubran tells us about how he refused university and taught himself in order to fulfill his passion. By the age of 22, Jad has developed eTobb the first online medical platform in Lebanon to connect doctors and patients.

PechaKucha People: Monica Basbous

This week's PechaKucha People Spotlight shines on urban researcher, illustrator, and PechaKucha Beirut Organizer, Monica Basbous. When not co-producing one of PK's most active series with her rock-star team, she serves as fellow at the Home Workspace Program in Ashkal Alwanis, collaborating with architects, artists and activists, and commited to social and spatial justice in the politics of public spaces. Find out more about her on her website:

"It didn't matter what I had... because when there was inspiration, there was always a way to do it."

In Unrevealed Canvases, from PechaKucha Night Beirut, Vol. 22Salam Shokor takes us through the personal and passionate journey behind some of his amazing paintings, sharing the experience and daily challenges of being a young artist nowadays. 

"I was driven by this insane inner urge to do something...the only way to deal with it was to abandon myself."

Based in Paris since 2012, Lebanese-Canadian pianist & composer Jad Salameh shares with us the story of his life-long affair with creativity. In 'It Comes in Whispers', from PechaKucha Night BeirutVol. 21. he goes through his composition process and how he came to understand the relationship between his own mind and the music he writes.Little whispers, great ideas!

"Presentation of the Day" on March 30, 2015.

Pechakucha sends some much needed City Focus to our friends in Beirut. In spite of the weekend's tragic events, we know the city has a vibrant spirit that will undoubtedly overcome. When we look back at their numerous inspiring presentations, we're all reminded of the uniting power of creativity!

PechaKucha Night Beirut's poster for their recent PKN Vol. 23 reminds us how far the 20x20 format continues to travel! Check our their archive of always compelling presentations and click through to our PechaKucha Poster tumblr! Be inspired to design one for YOUR city's PKN! 

"Its not about what you see, but how you see it."

In A Thin Line from Beirut, Vol. 22, Serge Najjar, who once suspected he could never creative anything artistic, offers a truly stunning view of Lebanon through his masterful photos, full of delicate humanity against a backdrop of unsuspecting yet dramatic architecture. While alluding to the thin line between past and present, he shares his experience of how the challenge to create a single image can shape one's view the entire the world, adding "when you look at things around you with a new eye, you live again."

Come see the world through Najjar's lens, in this highly compelling presentation, and be inspired to see your surroundings with curiosity, attention, seeking magical revelations in everyday life.