Nearly a year ago, an independent local publication was launched, dubbing itself: “a magazine of possibilities." That magazine was The Outpost. It has traveled the world and earned itself critical acclaim both regionally and internationally; a magazine of possibilities, indeed. On September 26, a small gathering was held in the quaint Mar Mikhael restaurant, Tawlet, in celebration of The Outpost’s one-year-anniversary.


(Photo via Facebook)

The Outpost started out as a small independent magazine published four times a year in Beirut and intent on bringing about change. Editor in Chief Ibrahim Nehme recounts, “It started a year ago and the objective was to kind of ride on the waves of change that were sweeping through the region, in an attempt to inspire the Arab youth. So naturally, as we started publishing, the different pages of the magazine became like an outlet to see the very change we wanted to see.”

The magazine tackles subjects such as politics, society, culture, the arts, and more. However, it does so through a unique approach, not merely relaying information from journalist to reader, but instead sharing the stories and experiences of people who have something to say. “When we think of our content, we don’t like to call it 'content,' we call it 'narratives'; we think of ourselves as storytellers," says Nehme.

The Arab Spring is proving to be a period in time where this approach to the spread of information is most welcome, as The Outpost is all about narratives, giving the public a chance to hear both unheard stories and different sides to others heard time and time again. Nehme explains, “There was just one narrative that’s out there, and we wanted a magazine that would project different narratives. When the Arab Spring started happening, which was at a time when we were conceiving the magazine, we felt that we could ride on that wave and actually offer something based on all these energies that were present at the time.”

Aside from the magazine’s text, it has also been highly lauded for its visuals: minimalistic illustrations, stylish infographics, and daring page layouts. “If you see the evolution of the design from issue zero to issue two, it has obviously changed a lot and we’re continually pushing the layout, or at least challenging our designers to be more experimental and more playful,” says Nehme. He attributes the aesthetic style to the magazine’s target audience: young people. “Although our content is a bit serious, our audience is the youth, and they’d expect something more playful.”


(Photo via Magspreads.com)

One of the magazine’s latest undertakings has been a social initiative they call Tear Down This Wall!, a reference to the June 12, 1987 speech given by former US President Ronald Reagan, in which he demand Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev destroy the Berlin Wall, a longstanding symbol of oppression.

The oppressive barriers that The Outpost wants to break down, however, require much more than hammers and chisels. “After a year of doing the magazine, we felt that so many of the ideas we were trying to explore, be it the unity of the Arab youth, the meaning and the relevance of borders - especially between Arab countries and in this [contemporary] day and age - and all the stereotypes and taboos that hold us back as Arab citizens, are ideas we've been exploring for the past year in the magazine. We felt that we needed to take them and explore them in a different medium, and that’s how the campaign was born,” says Nehme.

The Outpost’s latest issue, which Nehme is calling “the best issue yet," is set to be released by the end of the month. Keep in touch with the publication through their website and on Facebook.

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