The Lighthouse Conversations

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

Latest Episodes


December 03, 2020 00:49:29

Gear your life towards more than one legacy,’ Michelin Star Chef Daniel Boulud on wearing multiple hats to turbocharge a successful multi-decade career

This week we caught up with Michelin Star Chef Daniel Boulud on location at his newly launched Brasserie Boulud at the Sofitel Obelisk in Dubai. Chef Daniel is heralded as one of the world’s top chefs and has many accolades under his belt including a James Beard Award. He is the author of several books, and possesses a keen business acumen with a portfolio spanning food tech investments and charitable endeavors including ‘Citymeals on Wheels’ where he serves as board co-president. Host Hashem Montasser argues that many great chefs are just that; great chefs and being a Star Chef does not always equate to good business sense. So how does the iconic Daniel Boulud remain at the top of his game and what was the best birthday gift he ever received? Tune in to find out. ...



November 18, 2020 00:46:30

"You can't be noticed unless there is sincerity in your work." Fashion designer Yasmine Yeya on being inspired by Egypt’s beauty, landing Jennifer Lopez as a customer, and debunking the overnight success myth

How do you go from working in advertising, to waking up with a gazillion Instagram notifications of J.LO wearing your mustard yellow couture gown to her movie premiere? In this week's episode, Hashem sits with fellow Egyptian, designer Yasmine Yeya, to discuss what entrepreneurship means to her...and their mutual love of Egyptian fattah! Yasmine shares stories from her beginnings; how she launched the now well respected Maison Yeya, and her transition from emerging designer, to a couturier whose opinions are so sought out by her clients that she acts as part designer, part friend & therapist to help them through the finish line and fulfill their wedding gown dreams. ...



November 05, 2020 00:43:26

“I'm not going to measure somebody by whether or not they've had a show at the MoMA,” Maya Allison on her curatorial techniques and how she forged a successful artist-curator bond ahead of the UAE Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale

In this week’s episode, Hashem, a long-time art enthusiast & collector, is joined by Maya Allison, Executive Director & Chief Curator of NYUAD’s Art Gallery, who shares glimpses of her professional journey leaving the New York/American art scene and moving to Abu Dhabi to establish The NYUAD Art Gallery. Maya reflects on how she measures the ripple impact of artists she’s interested in; the growing pains of managing an art-focused “start up” and what’s in store for the upcoming UAE Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. ...



October 21, 2020 00:45:48

“Life is beautiful” has become a personal philosophy for me.’ Fatafeat founder Youssef El Deeb on his creative journey across media platforms, and the Arabic saying that became his life’s calling.

This week’s episode was quite a unique experience for us at the recording studio that we hope all you listeners will enjoy! Our guest, Youssef El Deeb, is the founder of Fatafeat, the first Arab TV company that was acquired by a global media conglomerate, Discovery. In a time when Middle East television was airing cooking shows as “fillers" for grandmothers at home, Youssef El Deeb had the foresight to drum up the likes of Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson to the prime time. And fostered a now growing scene of Arab TV chef talents. He is also an author, painter, photographer and award winning filmmaker. And yet, despite his many achievements, and like most successful people of such high calibre, El Deeb has vulnerabilities and a punishing inner voice. Find out what makes him tick, and which Arabic saying became his life’s motto. ...



October 07, 2020 00:45:17

"We don't have pills for eating disorders." Eating Disorder expert Carine El Khazen on signs for the early detection of mental health issues, and how to cope with the collective trauma of the pandemic.

This week Hashem caught up with Dr. Carine El Khazen, clinical psychologist at the American Center in Dubai, and Vice President of MEEDA (Middle East Eating Disorders Association). Eating disorders are the deadliest form of mental illness, and 95% of sufferers are women between the ages of 15 to 25. Dr. Carine also shared that patients as young as 11 have come to seek treatment at her practice. Growing up in a family of image-conscious female relatives on both parents' sides, Carine witnessed early on and first-hand the effects of body consciousness and food obsessions, cementing her focus on eating disorders during her psychology career which spans over 15 years. Hashem and Carine also discuss the devastating effects of social media channels like TikTok on children's self esteem as well as the long-term effects of the pandemic on society's collective mental well being. ...



September 23, 2020 00:47:35

“You’re not investing in my husband, you’re investing in me” Bulkwhiz Founder, Amira Rashad, on navigating the entrepreneurial landscape as a woman.

Hashem is joined by fellow hybrid Egyptian/Arab/American, Amira Rashad, founder of Dubai’s first bulk online shopping portal, [Bulkwhiz]( As the founder of a retail startup that implements AI and bespoke customer service, Amira shares her philosophy behind Bulkwhiz, why even affluent customers like a good deal, and how COVID-19 set the stage for new challenges and adaptations. With not only their alma mater--Harvard Business School--in common, Amira and Hashem also share the experience of leaving the corporate world behind to become bona fide entrepreneurs. Citing a lack of collective experience in the regional women’s startup landscape, Amira highlights how she managed to forge ahead as a female leader. She also shares her experience mentoring young female founders, and how to build a successful support network. We’d love to hear from you. You can leave us a review in your podcast app, [on IMDb]() or drop us a line [on Instagram]( ...