Where is your happy place?~

You often hear people escaping mentally to their happy places where they can reconnect with who they are meant to be for a moment; rewriting some chapters, rearranging some priorities and for just a short moment, just ‘being’.

I found my happy place when I went to Myanmar. I could not stop smiling there, it was a wellness trip of sorts where I met the ‘me’ that Life had made me forget.

Have you met your happy place?

Adventures in Dumbo~

In Dumbo, the bit of urban neighborhood that defines itself by the fact of living under a bridge, there is much adventure to be had. If you are a photographer then that would be an ideal playground and every other child seems to play nice.

And to think that this neighborhood didn’t even exist when I lived in the city some years ago!

Day 27 of 365

Images taken during a creative street photography that I gave today that some very cool people attended.

I just can’t wait to be back in this amazing city again.

Have you found your art?~

Is there something that allows you to live life more passionately? Do you find yourself doing something regularly that you cannot not do and it makes time as you know it stretch, fly by or completely come to a halt? Is there a place inside your world that only you hold the key to? Because only when you find your art do you truly know real passion. Don’t you love watching a musician lost inside their music, a dancer moving as if in a trance or a cook absolutely absorbed in what they are creating?

Inside of that magical world of real art there is little room for boredom, lethargy, competition or ego. Inspiration, satisfaction, happiness and the right kind of struggle seem to resonate with it.

That is the world I want to live in if I can be so lucky.

Image of a young boy who loved music and created a self made instrument of wood and string. I met him in 2011 in the old beautiful city of Kashgar, in Xinjiang, China

Them too~

The amazing speech of Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globe awards is still resonating in me today with its powerful and poignant attention to the issues that women of the world face today and how it’s more than ever time for a radical change. She caused me to think of all the stories I have heard throughout my life growing up in Lebanon and feeling fury at the roles women and girls were forced to adopt. In some places in the Middle East women can be legally killed if there is any “suspicion” of adulterous behavior. Dead before proven innocence is the way to go.

I am thrilled for the amazing women in the entertainment industry and their #metoo campaigns, but who is fighting for the rights of the forgotten women in places like India, Africa and the Middle East among many others. It’s #themtoo.

I took this image last April in the slums of Delhi where girls hide behind doors and windows and hesitate to shine in the glory they were born into.

Day 8 of 365

The Good People

The way to explore slowly

The way to explore slowly

Life is slow in Yunnan. People walk with no rush; the fields can wait. The clouds change form in slow motion; the lush mountains are great company. Even the birds chirp melodically and without strain; it’s just the way it is. In a place like that, a bicycle fits so well for exploring at the speed of the land. I came upon a child and his grandfather walking with their shadows along the rice fields and enjoying the caressing rays of the gentle sun. I got off my bicycle and began photographing them after getting their clear unspoken agreement. Then I saw alarm in their eyes as they gestured towards me; I turned around and watched my bicycle tumble with my second camera and my bag into the rice field. This man with grace, ease and a smile, put his grandson down, helped me lift my now damaged mode of transportation, with its dislocated wheel. He gestured to me and we communicated with my limited Mandarin as he helped carry my bicycle back the other way towards his home, his little grandson following us shyly. The man asked me to wait as he brought out his toolbox and slowly and methodically fixed the wheel and tested it. He smiled and his granddaughter joined them as they posed for a last photograph before I took off feeling lighter, happier, and grateful for the good people who give without counting the cost, who help because it is human to do so.

warmed by the sun and a grandparent

warmed by the sun and a grandparent

the good people

the good people

loving what you do and doing what you love

fisherman~ Penang~ Malaysia

fisherman~ Penang~ Malaysia

Have you ever tried to photograph or just picture in your mind an office worker who does not like what they do, but do it only because they have to? Can you imagine the expression of discontent and almost despair on their face? I still remember having jobs before where I did a mental countdown daily until the time came that I was free to go home. How unnatural it is to live that way…

Imagine finding what you love to do and doing just that all day, every day, wishing you had more hours in the day to do it. This is how I feel about photography and my work in it. I love doing it, sharing it, learning it, teaching it, exploring the world with inquisitive eyes, mind and faculty and remaining constantly at awe of everything I see and everyone I meet.

All of this has become more and more intense since I found another photographer who shares my vision and who was willing to dive into the unknown of a new amazing project of taking our love of photography and exploring the world while sharing it with others who have the same passion.

We found and keep finding ourselves in the streets of the city, where we meet the unexpected, exchange unforgettable moments with other humans, and then capture and share bits of it with the world.

Please visit our new project ‘finding yourself in the streets’, where Tokyo photographer Michael Kistler and I are beginning our photographic adventure, and hopefully see you one day in the streets!

Please ‘like’ our facebook page if you have time and help us kickstart this exciting adventure!

At certain speeds the world becomes gentler

She walked in color

She walked in color

For those of us who live in big cities, life can be overwhelmingly abrasive. The speeds we are forced to run at, the massive amount or impressions we need to process on a daily basis, the number of people we meet and pass by, the so many obstacles we have to navigate around to get from one point to the next, all these things force us to run fast and to move at the speed dictated by the engine of the metropolis.

I have recently discovered that you can enter a bubble where the world slows down, a magical dimension, where the city can become gentle, ethereal and its humans like butterflies fluttering by.

~ This blur series is hugely inspired by the work of three amazing artists: Michael, Brendan and Serap

When magic meets us

magic likes to meet us when we walk alone

magic likes to meet us when we walk alone~ River Seine~ Paris

Does it ever happen to you that something so special joins you when you are alone; a spark of revelation; a moment of clarity; something that makes you want to jump up and down in glee, and you might even do just that? I find that when that happens, it mostly does when I walk alone. Maybe when we walk alone we invite into us what wants to give us clarity, and maybe at other times, we are too busy and crowded to hear it. As long as I can be with inspiration, boredom will never meet me, they seem to live in different essence realms.