On November 13, 2019, I was in Tripoli during the height of what had come to be known as the October Revolution in Lebanon. During those months, Tripoli was given the name ‘ the bride of the revolution’, because its people rose with power, with hope, and with an undeniable spirit to right what was wronged by a failing and criminal government of thieves and war lords in Lebanon.
What I met that evening was unforgettable. Simple and humble people gathering in the city square with music, art, food and a common cause. Hope tinged the air with gold and the enthusiasm was infectious. I found myself lifted to the platform where the speakers were addressing the crowds along with my camera and lenses.
But looking back on the first image today, 2 years and 2 months later, I am heartbroken to realise that back then, the cry of the people expressed in writing on that wall in red : ‘your lies are causing our hunger’, was only the beginning of a disastrous economic collapse that has left these beautiful people below the poverty line with no end in sight.
I was born in Lebanon and grew up there in a scarring civil war that raged on for the majority of my young life, until at one point in 1987, I just picked up and left, never to return except for short family visits.
And today I watch with disbelief how my country continues to suffer, how its people go hungry without food, medication, electricity, water, infrastructure or money. I feel helpless about helping them and I struggle to understand how this can be fathomed and tackled without emotion.
I hope to photograph my country again in its glory, with it people happy and smiling, well fed and armed with dignity.