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Culture

My Paris: Ibrahim Maalouf

© AFP

Text by Rachel HOLMAN

Latest update : 2014-02-22

Known for mixing elements of jazz with Arabic music, Lebanese-born trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf recently released his album “Illusions” and will perform at the Olympia music hall in Paris on March 24. Maalouf talks to FRANCE 24 about Paris.

What is your most cherished memory of Paris?

There are a lot of course, but when I was young I used to go on long walks in Paris with my parents and sister and I really loved it. In those days, we lived outside of the city.

What is the thing you like the most about Paris?

That you can really walk anywhere in the city. I am a big fan of walking. It’s an easy place to get lost.

What is the thing you like the least about Paris?

It’s a general French thing, but that people still let their dogs poop in the road.

If you had to describe the city in three words, which words would you use?

Romantic, artistic and serene.

How would you describe Parisians?

I’m not really sure you can know who is a real Parisian and who isn’t. It’s not easy to get to know people – they’re not very open.

What’s your favourite neighbourhood in Paris?

The Latin Quarter. It brings me back to when my father was studying in Paris during the 1960s. It’s a big tourist area, so I like to see all the different people walking around there. It’s a real melting pot.

If you could recommend one restaurant in Paris, what would it be?

Can I say two? One is a Lebanese restaurant, a family restaurant, called El Fares (166 Boulevard de Grenelle in the 15th arrondissement). The other is Les Comptoirs de Carthage (27 rue Picardie in the 3rd arrondissement). They’re two of the best places to eat in Paris.

What’s your favourite venue to hear music in Paris?

The New Morning Club (7-9 Rue des Petites Ecuries in the 10th arrondissement).

Tell us one surprising thing about the city…

You can be sitting in a restaurant eating, and then notice that the person next to you is a famous movie star, or a musician or an artist. It’s not like a lot of other cities where celebrities hang out in certain areas. You stumble across them in the most simple settings.

Date created : 2014-02-20

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