The Lebanese Rocket Society – The film

About two weeks ago, I had the chance to watch the documentary “The Lebanese Rocket Society” during the Arab Film Festival 2013 in Metropolis, Empire Sofil- Achrafieh.


Image Source: The Lebanese Rocket Society


The « Lebanese Rocket Society » Society is an ongoing project comprising a series of installations, and the feature documentary film Lebanese Rocket Society: The Strange Tale of the Lebanese Space Race.


The adventure of the Lebanese Rocket Society began, in the early sixties, at Haigazian University, a young Armenian University in Beirut, where a group of students, led by a professor of mathematics, Manoug Manougian, set up the Lebanese Rocket Society to “create and launch rockets for space study and exploration.” They produced the first rocket of the Arab World. The project had no military character and was aimed at promoting science and research.
The adventure, which appears nowadays rather unbelievable and surrealistic, was nevertheless a serious one. Between 1960 and 1967 – at the time of the Space Race, revolutionary ideas, and Pan-Arabism – more than ten solid fuel Cedar rockets were launched. The launchings gave rise to national celebrations.

To commemorate the 21st anniversary of Lebanon’s independence, a set of stamps representing the Cedar IV rocket was issued. The Arab defeat of 1967 put an end to the initiative and slowed down the thrive towards this aspect of technological modernity of this part of the world.

Nowadays, considering the world divisions and the bellicose attitudes, it would be unconceivable to allow a small team of dreamers to launch rockets into the skies of the Middle East.



Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige are Lebanese filmmakers and artists. Together, they have directed documentaries such as Khiam 2000-2007 (2008) and El Film el Mafkoud (The Lost Film, 2003), and feature films including Al Bayt el Zaher (Around the Pink House, 1999) and A Perfect Day (2005). Their last feature film Je veux voir (I want to see), starring Catherine Deneuve and Rabih Mroué, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 in the Un Certain Regard section and was granted the Best Singular Film Award by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics that year. Hadjithomas and Joreige have created numerous photographic and video installations that have been shown in many museums, biennials and art centers around the world. Their last project is about the Lebanese space program which include several artistic installations and also a long feature documentary, The Lebanese Rocket Society, the strange tale of the Lebanese space race. They are University teachers, board members of Metropolis Cinema and co-founders of Abbout Productions along with Georges Schoucair.


It is a really interesting and informative documentary, I really advise you to watch it when ever you have the chance.

If you want to have more information, you can visit the website, check the Facebook Page.



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One thought on “The Lebanese Rocket Society – The film

  1. dikranseferian April 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on dikranseferian.


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