About the Creative City:
Zahlé, with a population of approximately 150,000 inhabitants is celebrated in Lebanon and throughout the region for its pleasant climate and traditional cuisine. The capital and largest city of the Beqaa Governorate in Lebanon, Zahlé is proud of its celebrated gastronomy as well as of the fifty poets and writers born in the city over the past century.
Known as the "Bride of the Beqaa", and the "Neighbor of the Gorge", due to its geographical location and natural beauty, Zahlé is also known as the "City of Wine and Poetry". Zahlé's culture has long revolved around its grapes, wine and arak, the distilled anise-flavored drink that has traditionally been served in cafés at any time of the day.
Zahlé's most important cultural event is the Festival of the Vine, traditionally held each September, during which concerts, plays, poetry readings and artistic exhibitions are organized daily over the course of several weeks.
A famous historical site in Zahlé, the Berdawni River is celebrated for its many waterside restaurants. These institutions have a strongly rooted reputation of delivering excellent traditional food. Dishes and meals made with trout are considered a particular specialty for the Hermel and Anjar communities.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, Zahlé envisages:
- sharing its experiences and cultural gastronomy;
- organizing the Festival of Gastronomy in September to which all Creative Cities of Gastronomy are invited to participate; and
- developing training courses, notably targeting women, on Zahlé's gastronomy in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Tourism.
Michel Abou Abboud, Municipal Counselor, email@example.com
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