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In the village of Taanayel, tucked into the Bekaa's forests and vineyards, lunch tables topped with vibrant-colored tablecloths punctuated Lebanon's annual Arak Festival.Arak is popular among middle-aged Lebanese people, who constituted the majority of the crowd, bringing their relatives along.Gathered around an oud player, one group of young people – the pot of gold for the industry, several of the arak makers told The Daily Star – stood out from the crowd.At a stand for one of the most established brands in the country, Arak Brun, which dates back to 1868, its caterer, 33-year-old Joseph Francis, said he figured taste alone would not cut it.Throw it away, let me serve you real arak," said Walid Touma, 53, a co-owner of the family business Arak Touma, founded in 1888 .His brand is among the most recognized Lebanese arak products, both locally and internationally, alongside Chateau Ksara.
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