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lebanon life Photography

Day 21~ February 21st~ Lebanon

direct connection

At about age 5 or 6, my sister and I used to love playing house games with the neighborhood children in our village. We had an unfinished floor in our home that was still cement walls and bricks and we created our own pretend little world there. We had a basket tied to a rope from the kitchen window on the top floor and we snuck food ingredients down in it to create our own breads, coffee and other pretty disgusting recipes that we ate with total pride.  We also found there an old discarded yellow closet that we declared to be our very own church. We acquired all sorts of iconic pictures, crosses and religious signs and hung them inside the walls of the yellow closet. We would go inside it with complete reverence and pray daily for miracles. One day a miracle finally happened. We heard a big bang on the walls of our little yellow church that made it vibrate miraculously! We ran yelling in awe and in great fear with shaking knees declaring our religious status and direct connection to all that is holy. It was only a couple of years later that our neighbor Nabiha, the very same one who offered us the yummy bread from her ‘saj’, gigglingly confessed to have thrown rocks at us to make believers out of us.

photo taken: My daughter visiting a favorite church or ours in the mountain in Lebanon.

Categories
lebanon life Photography

Day Two~ February 2nd~ Lebanon

born into faith~ boy in mosque door

In Lebanon, ‘non-religion’ is not recognized by the state. Being familiar with Lebanon, it is totally understood that it is so. Religion is in every grain of sand and in every handful of soil  there and the word ‘God’ is somehow slipped into every conversation. You hear things like “allah ykhallik, (may god keep you)” for “please”, “allah maak”(god be with you) for “see you later”, “iza allah bireed”(god willing) for “maybe”… I can literally count hundreds of these expressions. Religious references go as far back as the epic of Gilgamesh from the Mesopotamian mythology, biblical references to the cedars of Lebanon, among others.

With a majority of various sects of Christians and Moslems currently in Lebanon as well as Druz, it is almost a given that people will guess your religion from a combination of your last name and your village or city quarter. Despite all that, you grow up in Lebanon with deep friendships and ties across the religious boundaries that no war or schism can tarnish. True Religion causes humility in people and I never tire of seeing it translate into genuine smiles and deep penetrating eyes.

faith lives there~ two nuns at a greek orthodox church in Batroun