an image of me meeting a local woman and child, taken by a good friend on an adventure in Yangshuo, China, a few years back.
How gratifying it is to explore the spinning sphere we call home. Each time I plan a new trip, I feel a bubbling of excitement at the unknown that would undoubtedly meet, the amazing people who cross my path and the images my camera would capture. It is as soul nourishing journey when I am far from my routine, away from the usual comforts of home and when I get the chance to push the limits of what I know. It makes me think of how knowledge was collected prior to the industrial revolution and the schooling systems that created machines for the industry; before that time knowledge was sought through experience, apprenticeship and exploration. What an incredibly esoteric experience.
Where is your next journey taking you?
when time carves its lines
When I started this project I wrongly assumed that a story such as mine with my Lebanon could be told with 29 photographs and 29 small writings. With every passing day I could see that life does not work like that. The stories that came to my mind and married with my photographs each day barely scratched the surface of the immensity that life in Lebanon was to me. Life engraves lines in us, each experience life changing, each event leaving its unique signature on our aging skin. No aging face is designed like any other, in the same way that no life is like another and no fingerprint is the same.
I met this lady in the street while in Beirut, her name is Aida, she could not tell me for sure how old she was and she sold cigarettes for a living. Her lines are evidence to a life that would take ages to tell. Nothing is more humbling than looking at a face like Aida’s.
I have been writing in this series about the wonderful history, the enchanting memories, the great mysteries that live in my home country, but it would be an incomplete story if I were to skip the part of history that has printed itself on my soul the most, the life changing part.
I will start the story at the end of it. I remember moving to New York after I finished my university studies and after arriving in the buzzing metropolis that I was unable to sleep, not because it was too noisy, but because it was too quiet. The last years I spent in my beautiful Lebanon were filled with noises of war, with the shrill cries of bullets, of bombs, and with the ugly smell of death. Experiences like these print deep in you, they do not just fade away, the are always there under the surface threatening to haunt you. My reaction to those memories and experiences is the same as all Lebanese people, you run away from it if you can (which I did), and you love life even more. I do love life more after living the long years of war, I value it so much more and every morning is a new burst of inspiration and a phoenix of a new and fresh start.
The Lebanese recent war started in 1975 and only ended in 1991.