Retrieving Beirut aims to promote not only the city but also its talents, in Lebanon and abroad. The Retrievers are the cultural community of the platform all over the globe.

Diala Lteif – Information and process designer – Toronto

Diala is an information and process designer with experience in visualization, workshop facilitation, and field research. Her interests orbit around design-led research, participatory methods, systems thinking and storytelling, all tools she uses to address pressing social issues and complex problems. She has an MFA in transdisciplinary Design from Parsons the New School for Design and a Fulbright scholar.


She is currently pursuing her PhD in Planning at the University of Toronto. Until August 2016, she served as the deputy director of the design department at A.L.B.A (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts) and was a board member of the MENA Design Research Center -organizers of the Beirut Design Week. She is also a design trainer/facilitator who introduces design thinking methodologies through interactive hands-on workshops.
In the past few years, she has helped organize several design events such as the Beirut Service Jam (Lebanese edition of the Global Service Jam), Disrupt!/Design!/ an initiative in partnership with Mideast Creatives, and Design Toolbox with GAIA heritage. In her free time, she is a freelance information architect, a writer and an avid podcast listener.

Cynthia-ël Hasbani – Visual Designer – Berlin

Cynthia-ël Hasbani is a Lebanese-born, berlin-based visual artist.

She graduated from the Académie libanaise des beaux-arts in 2008 with a major in 2D/3D animation. She then went on to work in graphic design for a few years until 2015 when she developed an affinity for video art, experimental animation and live veejaying. Her work is characterized with neat and minimalist patterns in harmony with analog textures and colours. She’s currently pursuing a masters in media spaces at the university of art and design (btk) in berlin, and graduates in the spring of 2018.

Elio Mardini – Writer, musician and composer – Los Angeles

Elio Mardini is an artist born in Beirut and raised between France and The United States. He majored in Interior Architecture and shortly after started working in set design and filmmaking.

Being an avid theater enthusiast, Elio starred in theatrical productions in parallel with his architectural studies, which rekindled his passion for acting and performing which led his to his second major in acting and screenwriting at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, California. Following his graduation with top honors, he starred in a few limited releases and theatre productions including Dark Rapture, Brando Unauthorized and Texas Roadside Massacre to name a few.

In 2013, Elio released his first EP entitled Bad Things and Cherryhill Lane and performed in small venues around Hollywood, ultimately landing one of his singles on internet radios such as Pandora and Songza.

As of now Elio is finishing up his new musical venture while working as an Art Director and writer on numerous TV and Film productions.

Dimitri Haddad – Photographer – Madrid

Dimitri Haddad is a visual artist based in Madrid. After several years of professional experience in Beirut, he moved to Madrid to pursue my studies in Instituto Europe de Diseno and diversify his culture and knowledge. 

His work is a mix of archival research and photographic practice, working together to communicate questions and answers that we encounter in our daily life. The most recurrent element in his projects is his family album that he tends to revisit and develop constantly as he grows.

He participated in several collective exhibitions, an art residency in Birmingham (UK) and held a solo exhibition in February 2016. Today, he is the representative of With An Accent, an international collective of 7 emerging visual artists and the organizer of an art residency in Beirut.

He also dedicates himself to social activities and work with several local and international NGOs. 

Rami Abou-Khalil – Architect – New York

Rami Abou-Khalil is a Lebanese and Canadian architect currently based in New York, where he is a Senior Designer for the architecture, engineering and urbanism firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. His expertise spans from cultural and institutional buildings, to retail and mixed-use masterplanning, including high-rise and supertall towers across Asia and the Americas. His interest in arts & cultural buildings, honed at Rem Koolhaas’ office OMA in Rotterdam and New York, forms a continuous strand in his practice.

He avidly pursues Middle Eastern art and culture, and in the past few years he helps organize the New York chapter of Afikra, a monthly salon on Arab culture and history with chapters in Washington DC, Montreal and Dubai.

Sari Cheaib – Interior architect – Dubai

Sari Cheaib is an interior designer and art director experienced in residential, commercial and theming projects. Holding a bachelor degree in interior design, he has been recently involved in designing/directing production of show sets and props for major theme parks besides iconic sculptural design pieces for luxury retailers in Dubai. His design work evokes multi sensorial experiences as it incorporates the latest technologies from Virtual reality experiences to animatronics and special effects.