April 09, 2022

Lebanon before versus Lebanon after NoGarlicNoOnions – by Houda Harb

It’s been exactly 10 years since Lebanon and the world were first introduced to NoGarlicNoOnions and to the unconventional man behind this unconventional brand, Mr. Anthony Rahayel. I’m here today to mark the occasion by sharing with you, 10 reasons why you need to follow NoGarlicNoOnions.

Anthony’s blog has never really been just a blog. It’s been so much more than that. It’s been an identity – a Lebanese identity. Certainly, what we see today is something that extends far beyond - something that has evolved into a vision and a mission, a cause with a sizeable following. A growing, global NoGarlicNoOnions community, a global NoGarlicNoOnions movement. Here is my take on where we have seen NoGarlicNoOnions make some of its biggest impacts in Lebanon throughout its 10 year journey, and 10 reasons why you need to follow Anthony and subscribe to his YouTube channel today!

  1. Before NGNO, Lebanon lacked a means of retaining its cultural identity. After NGNO, Lebanon has gained this means of retaining and preserving its food traditions and its cultural identity. 
  1. Before NGNO, the Lebanese were culturally divided. After NGNO, the cultural disconnect between Lebanese is considerably less & its villages all over have opened up to each other to connect, exchange, share and learn. 
  1. Before NGNO, Lebanon lacked a vision for a better tomorrow. After NGNO, Lebanon has gained the visionary, the vision, the strategy and road map for this better tomorrow.
  1. Before NGNO, Lebanese heroes were little known and had no voice. After NGNO, Lebanese heroes now have a voice and a means through which to be introduced to the world, celebrated and honoured for their contributions to Lebanon.  
  1. Before NGNO, the Lebanese lacked a platform on which to connect and celebrate all the wonderful things about their identity. After NGNO, they now have a global community and an exclusive YouTube channel – a happy, positive space dedicated to celebrating and promoting our distinct “Lebanese-ness”. 
  1. Before NGNO, there was an absence of any spotlight on spokespersons for Lebanon’s precious natural environment. After NGNO, there is now a clear spotlight on these champions advocating for nature, agriculture and biodiversity, awareness has been raised on key issues and calls to action put out to serve the greater good. 
  1. Before NGNO, Lebanon’s hidden gems were practically unheard of. After NGNO, many of Lebanon’s hidden gems and undiscovered special places of historical significance have been uncovered and showcased for all to appreciate and celebrate.
  1. Before NGNO, Lebanese local producers and farmers had little support. After NGNO, they have gained a voice and a platform to enable their products to reach a wider consumer base. NGNO has played an ever-critical role in empowering them, mentoring and helping them build up their brands so they can keep on producing despite the country’s on-going geo-socio-eco-political challenges. 
  1. Before NGNO, the Lebanese image was in need of a refresh to clean up the negative stereotypes that have done the country and its credibility a terrible dis-service. After NGNO, people’s belief in Lebanon has been restored, a new Lebanese mind-set has emerged, one that challenges the status quo, thinks outside the box and drives the sort of behaviour that serves the greater good.
  2. Before NGNO, Lebanon lacked a digital repository to archive the beauty in its food, its people, its places and its history. After NGNO, this central library now exists and will be of priceless value for the next generations. 

Much has happened over these 10 years. No doubt we can expect a whole lot more over the next 10. Congratulations NoGralicNoOnions on reaching this milestone. Follow the NGNO journey on Instagram and Facebook. And subscribe to and join Anthony Rahayel’s YouTube channel.

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