Beirut’s 3-way wedding: The Wedding Reception

The Wedding Reception isn’t your usual ceremony; while it is not particularly an actual marriage, yet it  commemorates the union of three artists who fused their talents to depict an actual wedding reception which took place in Beirut in 1988 during the Lebanese civil war.

Organized by Beirut & Beyond  International Music Festival, this fundraiser takes place in Beirut on the 17th of June, and aims to highlight the beauty of music integrated with visual art to go beyond notes and pictures to narrate a story and the sentiment behind it.

The artists:

Hamed Sinno

The Beirut-based singer-songwriter and frontman of the well-known indie-pop band Mashrou’ Leila.


Liliane Chlela 

A multitalented producer and musician whose work covers a variety of music genres and producing music for short films, art installations and contemporary dance performances.


Mohamad Abdouni



Visual artist, photographer, filmmaker and curator who focuses on music in most of his projects.  In 2012, he founded a magazine which focuses on arts and culture in the Middle East called “F/I/M2/P”


What distinguishes these artists is the moral of their productions which resonates through the music, videos, or lyrics, and this multlilayered project is not different. “Weddings, and marriage itself, build on, and re-perpetuate rigid gendered scripts that make them necessarily political. That said, The Wedding Reception is not a politically motivated performance, it merely builds on the inescapable politics of quotidian performances.” Hamed says, as this was one level at which the project works in.
He added that all weddings underlie a performance, and the ceremonial mantras usually cause attendees to suppress their genuine thoughts or emotions. “It would be impossible to imagine a wedding continuing to function if all the participants expressed their actual reservations and misgivings, or if the newly wed expressed their own skepticism.”

When asked about the Eureka moment this project was conceived, Hamed said
Liliane and I called up Mohamad Abdouni for a photoshoot, and while we made him listen to the tracks, (which at the time included rough vocal takes of hamed singing gibberish to sketch out melodies) Mohamed showed us clips of a wedding video from 1988, that was shockingly tense for a wedding. The footage worked so well with the music, that we all decided to work together on the project, and to work the remainder of the music and lyrics to explore the possibilities of marrying the footage with the tracks.”

This unique project is a virgin territory for both the audience and the artists as it is their first collaboration. “The process itself has been so tense that it has given us a massive amount of insight into each other’s creative processes and personalities in such a short period of time.”

Hamed sinno promises you a “kick-ass show” on the 17th, so visit the event’s page if you’re hyped up as much as we are now!


Written by: Kameel Kishek


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