Decade 1980s

Interview with Diran Mardirian


In this interview Diran Mardirian, owner of a historic record store in Beirut, highlights the importance of Chico Records as an inclusive cultural space and archive of pop culture in the neighborhood of Hamra, Beirut. Touching upon themes of witnessing and archiving as forms of resistance, the enduring presence of the record shop during the Lebanese Civil War (1979–1990) made it an important site for remembering, discussion and debate.


Diran Mardirian is the current owner of Chico Records, a historical record shop in Beirut established in 1964, where he has worked since he was 12 years old. The shop was founded by his father Khatchtik Mardirian, who later established it as the site of the short-lived Zida records with Ziad Rahbani, the son of popular Lebanese singer Fairuz.