Imagine the world

imagine the world



Hay Festival Beirut returns in 2014 for a third year of debate, ideas and the best of international and Arab culture.


Hay Festival is an occasion for friends to meet, an opportunity to give voice to one’s thoughts, debate and to delight in the constant flow of ideas and stories. Beirut has an extraordinary tradition in hospitality and exchange; it encloses a rich cultural scene as well as one of the most diverse populations of the Middle East.

The complex situation in Lebanon at the moment has made us rethink the festival concept: our programme this year will be organised around virtual talks screened in venues across the city and a new online interactive space where audiences and participants will be able to exchange ideas.

The talks will be live streamed from our main festival, Hay Festival Wales 2014. The full programme will be available at the end of April.

Hay Festival
Hay Festival Beirut Short Film 2013

Hay Festival Beirut promotes culture, education and social responsibility. Literature, visual arts, cinema, geopolitics, journalism – all go together with dialogue and celebration. In 2013 we ran an extensive outreach and educational programme that brought the best of the festival to the different communities living in Beirut. Together with our partners Assabil, the French Institute of Lebanon, Goethe Institute and Armenian schools, we programmed a number of events. More info...

'Wonderful event ... bravo – it was just perfect ... thank you so much for bringing this to our city and to our part of the world.' Kamal Mouzawak

'In true Beirut style, the festival was a melting pot where people could explore their ideas in safety. Nowhere is this more needed than in the Middle East today.' Rosie Boycott

'I loved every moment of the festival.' Hani Shukrallah

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2013 highlights

  • Joe Sacco
  • Hanan Al Shaykh
  • Hanif Kuireshi
  • Helena Kennedy
  • Patrick Deville
  • Abbas Baydoun
  • Karl Ove Knausgård
  • Shereen El Feki
  • Mohammed Hanif
  • Hyam Yared
  • Mohammed Hasan Alwan

Media Coverage

Hay Festival Beirut 2012 Programme cover