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A unique library and arts center in Beirut worth supporting
When Rita first saw the building down an alley in Furn El Chebbak, it was like love at first sight. Its old architecture made for a familiar and comfortable atmosphere that made her feel at home. Today, she has made the space her own after purchasing the the lower floor and converting it into an artistic hub with a novel twist.
As a fine arts student Rita had encountered a reoccurring problem. Due to Lebanon’s limited supplies she couldn’t find the books she needed to supplement her coursework. Fortunately, she decided to do something about it. The result if Aleph B; an arts and cultural center that also serves as one of Beirut’s only libraries.
The inventory features rare arts and design-related texts and there are plans to secure other scarcer works that are banned in Lebanon. Slowly but surely the shelves have multiplied to accommodate books of all genera’s. Soon the collection will be digitized in a searchable database for easy, time efficient browsing. For a $25 monthly membership fee ($20 for students) you can access the library, music archive and the kitchen's caffeinated beverages. However, books are not to be taken home so come prepared to spend time inside the shop.
In the afternoons Aleph B is often busy hosting one of their many workshops. In addition to special topics usual options include dream catcher making, junk art, painting techniques, screen printing, paper art, digital painting, and candle and bracelet making. There are several classes on offer as well such as Adobe Suit, figure drawing, natural jewelry, up-cycling, drawing, African rhythms, and even chess. For a more complete schedule be sure to check out the Aleph B website for their weekly events, like movie screenings and poetry. With talk of escape games planned for the future its anyones’ guess what might pop up on the calendar.