Anthony Rahayel Aussie Tour Wraps Up By Houda Harb
Fewer things could probably top the way Anthony Rahayel ended his last visit to Australia some two years ago, which saw him jump on the last flight out of Sydney in March 2020, before the whole world shut down on a never before seen scale. Two and half years later and he has finally returned to visit this country he so loves and re-connect with the people who he fondly recalls made his 2020 visit unforgettable.
Anthony Rahayel is that man on YouTube who’s always smiling wherever he goes and to whomever he meets. It’s an affectionate smile. It’s an infectious smile. In Anthony’s words, “Your greatest weapon is your smile”. It’s so powerful that it breaks down the barriers that get in the way of enabling us to connect with one another. It’s very much like food in fact. According to Anthony “Food is the international language of unity and happiness, food unites us”.
The Australia tour has been part of a several month long NoGarlicNoOnions World Tour this year, stretching from Paris and Dubai all the way to Canada and Australia. The tour will be wrapped up with two more stops after Australia, in Belgium and again Paris. The back-to-back NGNO World Tour 2022 has been interspersed with travels elsewhere, including to Cyprus and the UAE as part of the on-going NGNO series of #MissionNature videos on Anthony’s YouTube channel. This year also saw Anthony bring us an eye-opening Iraq food and culture series of videos. To say it has been a busy year of travelling, food hopping, explorations and connecting people and cultures, for this increasingly popular YouTuber and award-winning social media influencer, is an understatement.
The 21 day Australia tour spanned Sydney and Melbourne and reached as far as Hobart in Australia’s much-loved little island state, Tasmania, located 240 km to the south of the Australian mainland. Anthony is not one to waste a single moment of the day while travelling which is why we saw him constantly on the move from one destination to the next, even using the time between stops and at the conclusion of his long days, to tirelessly edit his videos to create the wonderful content we enjoy and have come to expect every day on his channel.
After 21 days and some 40+ YouTube videos later, Anthony has made close to 200 stops across Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. These have included not only food destinations (from the award-winning fine dining to the casual eating), but also a number of high profile events and receptions as well as nature and wildlife tours, special guest speaker invitations, community radio and national television interviews, bakeries, factories, an award-winning Whiskey distillery (!!), on-stage theatre production appearances, live music concerts, networking events, meet and greets and Christmas markets to name but a few. There was even a stop at the Australian Stock Exchange!
When you watch Anthony’s videos, it’s not just the places you see. You see so many inspiring people and hear about equally inspiring stories of hard work and success and you walk away with a deep sense of appreciation for our food and culture, which Anthony works so hard to promote and celebrate. You also walk away with a desire to not only go out and explore more of the world around us, but connect with these wonderful people and places we’re introduced to everyday by Anthony.
To describe Anthony Rahayel as merely a YouTuber or food and travel blogger does not do him one ounce of justice. He really ought to be described as the best thing that has happened to Lebanon, and quite easily the Middle East, in a very long time. He is the one person who has not only entered every Lebanese home, but he’s brought every part of Lebanon into every home. When you consider just how diverse the make-up of Lebanon is, you begin to realise this is no small feat and you get an immediate sense of just how wide-spread the positive impact is, that he has had on so many people all over the world. Just watch the Australia tour videos on Anthony’s YouTube channel and you will see exactly what I mean.
No-one can argue that Anthony’s content and videos make us forever feel hungry. But they are also a timely reminder that while businesses win money, it’s the people behind the business who win hearts. Anthony often refers to the Arabic term “nafas” in a lot of his videos which he describes as a word having no like for like English translation but he says it’s a word that implies passion. He uses it to describe the result of putting lots of love into what you make. Well, i think I may have finally cracked the code and figured it out. “Nafas” is the action of putting your whole self into the things you make so that when you serve them up to the people in front of you, you’re serving up “you on a plate”. That’s how to win hearts, by putting that nafas into everything you do - exactly the same way, really, that Anthony serves himself up on a plate on his honest-to-goodness YouTube channel every day, to win our hearts.