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Hashem Montasser, Founder of the The Lighthouse Restaurant & Concept Store in the UAE, is a raconteur who avidly follows the work of arts, culture, technology and, of course, food. In a series of conversations aimed at introducing its audience to the Middle East’s entrepreneurial landscape, Hashem asks his guests about their life journeys, inspirations, successes and failures and everything in-between. New episodes available every second Thursday. You can also follow us on: Instagram Twitter ...
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Lighthouse Conversations

Lighthouse Conversations

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A Caribbean interview program where we explore the issues around your everyday existence. Your family, your community, your environment, your health and safety habits will all be discussed in this 30 minute conversation.
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This week, we’re flipping the script. Art consultant Caroline Louca gets behind the host’s mic to chat with Hashem the art collector! As a long-time friend of Hashem’s, an art advisor, and former Managing Director of Christie’s Dubai, Caroline digs deep into Hashem’s passion for art. They talk about Hashem’s art enthusiast and academic mother, who …
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Hashem catches up with the renowned art collector and CEO of Vivium Holding, his newly established family office. Elie, a self-made man who grew up during Beirut's civil war has had a fascinating career journey, pivoting to advertising early in his career and then building & leading Omnicom Media Group MENA for 18 years. In 2017, he established Viv…
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Hashem catches up with Hamad Al Awar, the founder of the home-grown burger brand, High Joint, a police officer and a creative artist. Having met at a shawarma place in a very interesting coincidence, Hashem decided to bring their conversation to The Lighthouse Podcast room and explore the man with multiple hats. Hamad walks us through how he is abl…
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In this episode Mr. Treavor Isaac, a well know Herbalist in Antigua, encourages you to stay healthy by using natural remedies. He shares effective ways for treating the human organs correctly. He explains in detail his products and usages. Listen as he shares a client’s experience after using his products. Mr. Isaac, answers the question as to his …
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Hashem catches up with Mohamed Maktabi, the CEO of Iwan Maktabi, the go-to address for rare carpets and textile art in the MENA region. They go back in time as Mohamed reveals the captivating tale of his family's heritage: from his grandfather's migration from Iran to Lebanon, fueled by a passion for collecting the most exquisite carpets, to the pr…
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Listen to Mr. Treavor Isaac “Baitup” a well know herbalist in Antigua, as he shares his knowledge of plant-based nutrients essential for the human body. Listen as he shares in detail his plant-based products and their purposes. Learn of the top five plants you should grow in your garden and remedies to combat influenzas. Listen as he shares the rea…
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Listen to Mr. Treavor Isaac “Baitup” a well know herbalist in Antigua, as he shares his knowledge of plant-based vitamins and minerals. Hear how he gained the knowledge to formulate plant-based products. Listen to him share the uses of plant-based minerals and vitamins the body needs to function properly. Learn about plant-based pain relievers to h…
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In our 2023 review episode, our producer Chirag Desai catches up with Hashem to discuss the milestones from this past year such as coping with fear of failure, the allure of leaving a legacy behind and the loneliness of being an entrepreneur. Plus, Hashem talks about his soft spot for the late Queen Elizabeth – and we finally find out why!…
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In this throwback episode from 2023: Our conversation with Ayman Fakkousa, co-founder of The Qode. Hashem and Ayman chat about his experience growing up in Saudi Arabia before eventually moving to Dubai and embarking on a multi-faceted career that culminated in launching his own communications firm at the young age of 30 (with partner Dipesh Depala…
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Listen as Mr. Augustine Erskine shares his experiences working at the Caribbean Radio Lighthouse for over 30years. In this conversation listen as he answers questions such as; Was RadioLighthouse always a 24hrs broadcasting station? Was Radio Lighthouse popular at its inception? In addition to broadcasting, how does Radio Lighthouse evangelize? Wha…
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Listen as Mr. Augustine Erskine shares his experiences working at the Caribbean Radio Lighthouse for many years. In this conversation he shares his conversion from Jah to Jesus. Listen as he answers the question to who led him to the Lighthouse. Hear how many managers Mr. Erskine worked with and a few humorous moments shared. Listen as he compares …
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Dr. Dane Abbott joined us on Lighthouse Conversation. Dr. Dane Abbott is a Gynecologist and Consultant Obstetrician at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre in Antigua. Dr. Abbott along with Dr. Kelsick (deceased) started the Women’s Clinic in 1990. Listen as Dr. Abbott answers questions professionally from a gynecologist’s perspective on why a woman …
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Hashem catches up with Mariana Wehbe, the creative force behind MWPR. Renowned for crafting extraordinary events and transformative projects, Mariana shares her journey from surviving the Beirut blast in 2020 to embracing Abu Dhabi as her newfound haven. Stumbling into PR 'by accident', and ending up becoming the PR Queen in the Middle East, Marian…
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Hashem catches up with Tom Arnel, founder of EatX and the man behind some of the most successful dining concepts in Dubai, including The Sum of Us, Common Grounds, Harvest & Co, Byron Bather’s Club, HawkerBoi, and The Guild at DIFC. Known for constantly trying to push the envelope in the F&B industry, Tom candidly discusses his journey as an entrep…
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Hashem catches up with Pakistani couturier Hassan Sheheryar Yassin, or HSY. In one of our rawest episodes yet, HSY gets candid about his past as the child of a single mother and the effects of poverty and living in a women’s shelter. HSY and Hashem then delve deeper into his experience as a medical guinea pig when a bout of blindness led to a serie…
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Dr. Yazigi an Oncologist since 2017, joins us on Lighthouse conversation. Dr. Yazigi is the Chief Oncologist at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre since 2021, the Medical Director at OncoMed268 and a member of the National Stem Cell Oversight Committee, and the National Cervical Cancer Task Force. Dr. Yazigi attends to patients with all types of Ca…
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Listen as 14year old Janelle Charles defines Osteosarcoma Cancer, and how she discovers her condition. Hear how she fought and now is cancer free. Listen as Ms. Tecla Charles, shares from beginning to end what both her and her daughter (Janelle) went through with the help of family, friends, concern citizens, international support and above all God…
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Listen as Mrs. Kelsick, the general secretary of the teacher’s union, and the deputy Principal at the Princess Margaret Secondary School joins us on Lighthouse Conversation. Mrs. Kelsick is an educator by profession for over 15yrs, she answers questions such as: What is a serious issue principals and teachers may face when correcting or disciplinin…
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Listen as Mrs. Kelsick, the general secretary of the teacher’s union, and the deputy Principal at the Princess Margaret Secondary School joins us on Lighthouse Conversation. Mrs. Kelsick is an educator by profession for over 15yrs, she answers questions such as: What was one of her goals to accomplish when she went into the educational system? What…
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What is sickle cell, and how serious is sickle cell to the human body? What is involved in sickle cell treatment? What discomfort does a sickle cell patient experience? Did you and your partner take a sickle cell test before marriage? What are some things you do to stay alive? Did you ever try to get rid of your sickle cell condition? What is your …
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Hashem catches up with the Nakkash family: patriarch Wajih Nakkash, his daughter Aya, and son Omar. To celebrate their 40th business anniversary, Wajih recounts how the Nakkash journey started with a showroom in Sharjah in 1983 and an avant-garde Emirati couple that approached him to design the interiors of their home. Wajih also shares how the Nak…
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Diving into the joy of Guatemalan retreats and the love of Microsoft Excel, Hashem sits with Ayman Fakoussa this week to have a wide-ranging conversation. Hashem and Ayman chat about his experience growing up in Saudi Arabia before eventually moving to Dubai and embarking on a multi-faceted career that culminated in launching his own communications…
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In this throwback episode to our live episode at The Lighthouse: HE Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh shares personal anecdotes from his childhood in Jerusalem, the early days of the UAE when he worked as a translator for HH Sheikh Zayed and the development of its arts and culture scene. While sharing snapshots from his various life experiences with…
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In this episode I interview Mr. and Mrs. McGuirl, cofounders of Galcom International. We will discuss what Galcom does and how far reaching their solar-powered fix-tuned radio are around the globe. You will be blessed to hear how God worked through three couples to bring Galcom to be an effective International mission organization that is assisting…
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How was your condition discovered? What triggers your Asthma attack?How often would you get an attack? What preventative measures you take to limit attacks on your Asthma? What is your daily routine like in light of your Asthmatic condition? How is Asthma treated? Are there dos and don’ts you avoid in case of an Asthma attack? How do you bring awar…
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Mrs. Ora Gordon, is an event planner and decorator by profession and a brand ambassador for Ardyss Life International a health and wellness company. Listen as she explains the health benefits of a medical bra that can be worn seven ways. Hear what type of bra, breast cancer patients and survivors should wear. Hear some challenges breast cancer surv…
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Mrs. Ora Gordon, is an event planner and decorator by profession and a brand ambassador for Ardyss Life International a health and wellness company. Mrs. Gordon answers questions such as; How has your interaction with breast cancer patients influences your mission? What health issues do bras cause? What are Breast prostheses? Listen as she speaks a…
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Listen as Ms.Thalia Harrigan, mother of J’Lecia Harrigan, discusses the diagnosis of her daughter’s epileptic condition and what she is doing to assist and support her daughter. Hear what J’Lecia’s daily routine is like and what might trigger an attack of seizure. I ask J’Lecia what she is doing as a student to bring awareness and stop the stigma a…
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In this throwback episode from 2022: Hashem invited Ahmad Al Marri, Founder of Dubai-based ice cream brand Canvas Gelato to the hot seat. Launched in 2017, Canvas Gelato’s raison d'être is to produce ice cream that is made exclusively with “real” ingredients and delivered at negative 70 degrees celsius. Ahmad’s ice cream delivery concept proved suc…
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In this throwback to our first episode from 2019: Hashem talks to Mryna Ayad, the former Editor-in-Chief of art magazine Canvas and now an independent art consultant who continues to shape the way art & artists from the Middle East are represented internationally. In addition to her professional journey that took her from Canvas to Director of Art …
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Our guest is up-and-coming designer Meshary AlNassar. Hailing from Kuwait, Meshary’s journey into interior design started during childhood with American TV pop culture influences The Oprah Winfrey Show and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Hashem and Meshary discuss his “design education” surrounded by an all-female cohort and how he managed to navig…
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Cairo, mon amour! This week Hashem catches up with Sotheby’s veteran Mai Eldib, whose recent book release ‘Cairo Eternal’ was instantly sought after even by the iconic Fifi Abdou. Hashem and Mai bond over their experiences in Cairo—from overbearing doormen to the perpetual noise factor. Leaving giddiness aside, they agree that what makes Cairo magi…
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We're throwing it back to our 2022 conversation with Anoud Alzaben. Anoud is a multidisciplinary designer rooted in the practice of architecture. She shared snippets from her childhood growing up in a family steeped in tradition, and how this upbringing has influenced her passions and, ultimately, her career trajectory. We were delighted to see Ano…
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What is mental health? What is mental illness? How should the average person, protect their mental health? What causes mental illness? What are some risk factors of mental health disorder? Is there a correlation between marijuana usage and mental health? Can your mental health change over time? Why is mental health important for overall health? How…
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Hashem catches up with Natasha Sideris after a two-year scheduling ping-pong. He instantly bonds with the iconic restaurateur and founder of Tashas, Avli, and Flamingo Room, over their quest for work-life balance and sustaining a timeless brand with menu classics and sleek interior design. Natasha shares her most cherished metrics for success and w…
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Hashem catches up with publisher Yasmina Jraissati, who manages content strategy and acquisition at Storytel MENA. They explore the commonalities of growing up in Arab homes with a French-speaking parent, and the implications of language on societal participation in the Middle East. Hashem and Yasmina also discuss the lack of Arabic content and att…
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Listen as Dr. Georgette Meade a specialist in internal medicine and a cardiologist joins us on Lighthouse Conversations. Dr. Meade is co-founder and president of “Heart and Stroke Foundation” and practices internal medicine and cardiology at “The Hope and Grace Cardiac Center” in Antigua. She answers many questions such as; What is hypertension? Ar…
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On the back of his recent trip to Singapore, Hashem catches up with Ivan Brehm, chef-owner of Michelin-starred restaurant, Nouri. They discuss the essential role storytelling plays in Ivan’s “crossroads” menu and how he curated his space at Nouri so that sharing takes center stage enabling his guests to bond and find commonalities. Hashem and Ivan …
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Listen as Mr. Calvin Southwell, shares his experience as his life was threatened with a stroke. Learn how he discovered his condition and how he challenged himself to keep his blood pressure levels stable. Hear as he brings awareness to hypertension and the importance of visiting your doctor for a health checkup. Listen as he advises men of the ben…
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How important is respect? Is the discipline we received years ago, effective in today’s society? Is it important to accept your teens as they are in order to build trust? What are some institutions in Antigua and Barbuda that parents/guardians can contact for the support of a child that is facing some sort of trauma? Listen as Officer #26 Clinton W…
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In our bonus episode, Hashem and Shereen chat about social media as a marketing tool and the science behind cold showers. Oh, and why to keep your icy immersions to yourself! You can listen to the full episode with Shereen in your podcast app, and on the web.بقلم The Lighthouse
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Hashem meets up with Shereen Al-Mulla, soon-to-be Master Herbalist, and co-founder of Hikma Rituals, a homegrown brand of botanicals including oils, tinctures and dusts. Hashem and Shereen discuss the beginnings of her journey into herbalism by way of a rose infusion ritual, the desire to reclaim her Iraqi heritage, and the serendipitous meeting wi…
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What are the related Problems causing our youths to react with so much negativity and vicious actions? How would you encourage parents tovalidate the needs of their children? How should parents transfer knowledge to their children in order to protect them, without fear that they would abuse thatknowledge? Hear the level of exposure teens have today…
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Listen as Officer #26 Clinton Williams of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda answers questions such as; What are some commonproblems and concerns that teenagers are faced with? Are most teenagers raising themselves? Why teenagers say or feel that they are beingmisunderstood?
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