Tanguy Faucon is one of the country’s most loved radio presenters. We talk to the Light FM host about his experiences living and working in Lebanon.
What did you know about Lebanon before you arrived?
I knew it was a country that had suffered because of wars; a place that used to be green and was known as the diamond of the Middle East. I felt Lebanon was a place where I could be free. Coming from Montreal, where you’re just a number, this was important to me. I loved the idea of a chaotic city. My father was working in Beirut at the French Embassy and he would tell me stories of how great it was, so I decided to come and ended up staying.
What convinced you to move here?
I studied professional broadcasting and was working in television and radio in Montreal but couldn’t stand the cold anymore. I was supposed to go and live in Brazil and open a surf retreat there. However, my dad convinced me to spend some time here before my trip to South America and I came to Beirut for three weeks. It was so much fun. Being a Frenchman from the South of France made it easy to adapt to the Mediterranean lifestyle. Although I took a huge cut in salary, I didn’t mind. Relocating to Lebanon was the best move I made and I haven’t looked back since.
Name your favorite things about the country.
Definitely the fact that there are more than 300 days of sunshine. The scenery is amazing too. Having the sea, the mountains and everything else at your fingertips is incredible; it’s like taking France and compressing it. There is always something different to do in Lebanon.
You’ve been in Light FM since 1999. What has been your career highlight?
There are highlights each and every day. I love sharing time with my listeners and having interviews on air. It’s exciting because you never know who you’re going to meet. This is the beauty of broadcasting.
Lebanon can definitely go forward; changes will happen.
Where is your favorite region in Lebanon and why?
The coast fascinates me because I’m more of a sea person. I always feel at home when I’m in Byblos or Batroun.
If you had the power to change something about the country, what it would it be?
I feel that Lebanon is crowded. There are too many cars and not enough roads and just too much concrete. We spend hours in traffic jams getting nowhere, and every year it gets worse. We need more parks and green areas, and I think it’s time to let the younger generation take over.
What would you miss most if you ever left?
The good life, which sounds cliché; but Lebanon has given me so many great moments. It still does. Every time I go away for a few weeks I come back and remember how privileged I am to have this fantastic life despite all the negativity surrounding me. Lebanon can definitely go forward; changes will happen. I believe it and I must think positive for the sake of my children, Jazz and Sky, and all the people I love, including my listeners of course.
Restaurant: There are so many good ones, but I particularly like Couqley, Bartartine, DIVVY and Slate.
Lebanese Dish: Literally all mezze! I love daoud basha too.
Neighborhood in Beirut: I’d rather escape to the sea or the mountains; I’m not a huge fan of the city.
Coffee Shop: I like to watch the sunset from my balcony with a nice cappuccino or a cup of tea.
Summer Activity: That’s easy; summer is a time to go kitesurfing, surfing or do anything by the sea.