2020’s word of the year

We are almost at the end of such a tumultuous year. And historically, my bylines would include stories about travels far away, and don’t get me wrong – they did. Just not as much as expected. This year, I talked about stronger subjects like the pandemic, systemic racism, healthcare and sustainability. Upon reflection, I recognized that these themes all have global implications. Each and every person in the world was and has been affected in some way. We have all shared the emotional narratives of loss and grief with the common thread being the resiliency of people. 

2020 threw a wrench in everyone’s plans. For some, more than others. For this last piece of the year, I talked to Lynn Lin, the cofounder of Electric Bing Sutt, an award-winning bar in Beirut, Lebanon.

Bing Sutt in Cantonese translates to Ice Room in English. “A very authentic neighbourhood diner,” as Lynn tells me, “a place where people catch up over coffee and butter toast and stay until the late night. As I am very interested in Hong Kong culture and Wong Kar Wei movies (many scenes have been filmed at Bing Sutt’s), I wanted to make Electric Bing Sutt a modern Asian/Middle Eastern diner that will gather people from all paths together for a fun time.” In the summer of 2018, from Beijing to Beirut, Lynn along with her husband and business partner Jad Ballout and their friend, Andre Gerges did just that.  

Successfully marrying Lynn and Jad’s cultural ethnicities into the ‘Asian Middle Eastern All-Day Bar’, they served Satay Chicken Bombs along with their best-selling, gin-based Ginza Affair fused with exotic Asian and Middle Eastern ingredients. In a short period of time, Electric Bing Sutt became a local hot-spot that ran a coveted queue in the historical old town district of Beirut. Lynn remembers, “We could never forget those nights where everyone was smiling, everyone was dancing, everyone was in love with each other.”