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Fantasmeem main teaserdesign by Karim Farah


FANTASMEEEM is a program initiated by the Goethe-Institut Libanon adopting a holistic approach towards fostering creative entrepreneurship as well as encouraging collaborations and knowledge sharing in the design industry in Lebanon.


The program is part of an initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to promote the creative industries in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Senegal, Kenya and South Africa. The content of FANTASMEEM is linked to the Takween project in Jordan and Khan al Fan in Iraq. The e-learning and knowledge platform Ebtedy supports the three projects in the MENA region.

Based on specific local needs, activities in the following areas have been implemented within the framework of FANTASMEEM since the start of the program:


Fantasmeem Skills designed by Karim Farah | photo by Alia Haju

The pillar SKILLS aims at building capacity and strengthening skills of designers and design entrepreneurs in a practical and professional way, so as to help them grow their creative business and succeed in expanding the outreach of their various design projects. The design residency “Faculty,” the online training program “Design, Entrepreneurship and Co-Creation in Times of Overlapping Crises” and the intensive “Design Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme” are programs that were held under the pillar SKILLS, along with specialized workshops, targeted trainings and other qualification programs. Considering the national context in Lebanon as well as the global challenges faced by creatives and designers in particular, a focus has been especially put on sustainability and resilience in times of crises.


Fantasmeem Forward designed by Karim Farah | Photo by Alia Haju

The pillar FORWARD consists in granting financial support for selected design projects, often with a sustanability and/or resilience focus, aiming at accompanying the development of design practices, as well as sustaining the design scene in Lebanon despite all the challenges faced because of multilayered crises. Some programs integrate a mentoring component to provide tailor-made advice and feedback on the design practices and projects being developed. The “Forward Fund” and the “Lebanon Design Fund” are two main programs that were run under the FORWARD pillar.


Fantasmeem Focus designed by Karim Farah | photo by Alia Haju

The FOCUS pillar offers informative events and knowledge-exchange opportunities among experts and stakeholders from the cultural and creative scene in Lebanon and the MENA region, with a focus on design and entrepreneurship. This aims at exchanging knowledge and opening discussions on various themes relevant to the design scene in Lebanon, and in various design fields. The events under the FOCUS pillar are public and every interested party is free to join and encouraged to contribute to the discussion. “Design in Times of Crisis” was the only live event before lockdowns and sanitary restrictions forced the next events to be held online such as “Reviving Design and Rebuilding a City” and “Innovative Design Entrepreneurship in Times of Crises.”


Fantasmeem Exposure designed by Karim Farah | photo by Alia Haju

The EXPOSURE pillar provides opportunities for designers and design entrepreneurs to showcase their work in different design events in Lebanon and abroad. This aims at increasing their visibility on the design scene, locally and regionally, as well as giving them opportunities to network with their peers and other stakeholders from the cultural and creative industries. Before the pandemic hit, the EXPOSURE pillar had offered designers and design entrepreneurs a chance to participate in the Beirut Design Week and the Amman Design Week, and before the Beirut blast, a “Finals” exhibition was held at the Goethe-Institut Libanon in Gemmayze.


Fantasmeem Findings designed by Karim Farah | photo by Alia Haju

The FINDINGS pillar features research pieces by creatives, design experts, academics and practitioners, tackling the challenges and potential of the design sector as a creative industry in Lebanon. This aims at gathering data on design in Lebanon to better grasp the challenges, needs and opportunities for growth and development of the sector.



Hiba Shehab

Project Coordinator
Cultural and Creative Industries /FANTASMEEM


Hala Barakat

Project Assistant
Cultural and Creative Industries /FANTASMEEM



The project “Cultural and Creative Industries” is implemented by the GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut. It improves employment and income opportunities for creative professionals in six partner countries; Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa and operates mainly in the music, fashion, design and animation sectors. In addition to promoting the development of entrepreneurial, digital, creative and technical skills through training programmes, the project aims to strengthen the framework conditions and the ecosystem of the cultural and creative industries.