The Lighthouse Conversations

Hashem Montasser, Founder of the The Lighthouse Restaurant & Concept Store in Dubai Design District ... more

Latest Episodes


March 10, 2021 00:44:08

“I use my shows to make a statement,” gallerist Isabelle van den Eynde on her curatorial techniques, working with Emirati artist Hassan Sharif and the challenges of showing art through the pandemic.

This week we caught up with gallerist Isabelle van den Eynde, founder of the eponymous Gallery IVDE, one of Dubai’s most established and celebrated contemporary art spaces. Isabelle shared snippets of her journey through the local art scene and how the late artist Hassan Sharif’s artistic methods still affect her everyday life. We also chatted about the ebb and flow of the art world throughout the pandemic, how it influenced the work of artists, gallerists and collectors to varying degrees. What radical changes did Gallery IVDE adopt and how did it accommodate visitors during ongoing international restrictions? Tune in to find out. *Sponsored by [MonViso]( Listen in for a discount code to redeem on their online store.* You can also connect with us on [Instagram]( ...



February 24, 2021 00:43:44

‘If your concept isn’t differentiated, you’re selling hot air.’ Samer Hamadeh on his mission as an F&B owner/operator and how to develop an edge.

This week we caught up with our d3 neighbor Samer Hamadeh to doubleclick on his pivot from nightlife impresario as founder of Stereo Arcade--a Dubai staple--to F&B as owner/operator of Akiba Dori, a licensed Japanese street food restaurant. Samer shared some insights he gained since launching his first venture in 2009, from how to raise capital for new projects to scaling a business beyond one venue. On his learnings over the years and the collective shock of 2020, Samer firmly believes that nothing “is the end of the world,” and recommends for those who have strong convictions to press on the gas pedal during the hunt for opportunities especially during more challenging times. Tune in to find out more about Samer Hamadeh’s journey as an “entrepreneur” and why he really dislikes being called one! ...



February 03, 2021 00:53:11

‘Every act of reading is historical,’ Nadia Wassef on the art of reading vs. the craft of writing, and the business of founding Diwan, one of Egypt’s most popular modern book stores.

This week we’re joined remotely by Nadia Wassef who in 2002 co-founded Cairo’s popular Diwan bookstore with her sister, Hind Wassef and their friend Nihal. Now, with three Masters degrees in her pocket and a separation from Diwan, Nadia is embarking on the arduous journey of writing her first book and shares snippets from her routine and experience thus far; what is the best time of day to write? How does a writer unwind and gather ideas? Hashem and Nadia also discuss the business side of owning a bookstore like Diwan and share parallels to The Lighthouse in Dubai. Aptly titled ‘[Shelf Life: The Chronicles of A Cairo Book Seller](,’ Nadia’s memoir is set for publication later this year and we’re already tapping our feet with anticipation ...



January 21, 2021 00:46:15

Helen Farmer on evolving into a social media influencer & mompreneur yet maintaining a work-life balance while in the public eye

Is there a recipe for building a loyal following? Helen Farmer’s work combines effective storytelling and just enough vulnerability to resonate with her audience of radio listeners and tens of thousands of Instagram followers. As one of Dubai’s most popular radio hosts and author of “The Mothership” blog, Helen amassed an audience who both relate and aspire to her “mompreneur” experience and defer to her in terms of recommendations on Dubai expat living. But how does _the_ Helen Farmer of [Afternoons with Helen]( balance her influencer activities including commitments to her ever growing list of marketing sponsors, her radio job, and spending quality time with her young family? She may say there’s no strategy, but the action plan seems firmly in place and she generously shares the building blocks with Hashem in our first guest episode of 2021. ...



January 13, 2021 00:42:49

2020 in the Rearview Mirror

Feels good saying it’s behind us, doesn’t it? What started as a normal year filled with fresh resolutions and new aspirations slowly took a strange turn into an unknown trajectory. When we concluded our [live podcast session with HE Zaki Nusseibeh]( late in February 2020, we didn’t know that weeks later we would close shop to prepare for quarantine. But we were determined to keep The Lighthouse Conversations going and, like many podcasts, we invited our guests to join via online recordings. Our first post-lockdown session back in the studio with [Amira Rashad]( (Founder of Bulkwhiz) gave us feeling that a sense of normalcy might be upon us despite the masks and physical distancing. Tune in as host Hashem Montasser and producer Chirag Desai recall some of their favorite highlights of 2020's The Lighthouse Conversations, including how being vulnerable took a whole new meaning in 2020 and why food and memory are intertwined in many, sometimes unexpected, ways. ...



December 16, 2020 00:54:19

“You need to have a niche and really invest in yourself.” Tariq Khayyat on architecture in the region; working with Zaha Hadid; and his advice for aspiring architects

We caught up with Tariq Khayyat, one of the leading architects in the region, and a long time guest favorite of our restaurant in d3. Khayyat is the founder of a bespoke architecture firm, TKDP, in Dubai and leads grand scale projects including Shenzhen Luohu in China. But before this, Tariq Khayyat spent 14 years working with the late Zaha Hadid and described what it was like meeting the iconoclast for the first time as an MA graduate in London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture. Tariq also shares his design philosophies; what it actually means to qualify as a “sustainable” building; and the one advice he gives young graduates. ...