It’s 2019, I used to imagine 2019 as a child with a cloud or mystery and wonderment, what could the future hold? How will we be? where will we be? what would we be doing?
I have always been fascinated with the unknown. It is about that excitement in the pit of my stomach every morning that is a fine line between inspiration and not knowing what the day will hold. Life changed me, it took me to different places in myself and in the world, I gained and I lost, I laughed and I cried, but this gift of loving the unknown never left me. I am thankful for that. It’s what drives me to create, to want to explore and to see rather than look, feel and not only be.
I wish you all an inner peace and the gift of inspiration, no matter where you are and what you are doing. Life is a mystery, waiting to be lived.
progress will wait for no one~ Shanghai’s condemned alleys
Shanghai, the pride of China, races towards its future, bejeweled with glitzy sky scrapers, glowing with billions of energy consuming lights, employing the largest work force in the world, day and night, 7 days a week and waiting for no one to be ready for this epic change. In neighborhoods like this one, people are given very little notice before their homes get demolished giving room to bigger, more modern and more expensive buildings. The people themselves are moved to housing outside the city to start a new life with little character, with no traditions and with not much choice. Every week that I visit these alleys, I find that more and more of them has disappeared…
There are times when the ideas and thoughts that sprout out of our fertile imagination appear to be out of this world to our reasoning mind. We tend to compare them to what has been done before or to what the current trend is and then hurry to dismiss them as a state of temporary madness. But what if new art can only arrive to us in a new never before seen form? What if it must look crazy for it to be real? What if it demand us to be brave enough to step into the realms of the unknown for it to show itself?
It has been an amazing year full of wonderful experiences, learning and great new friends in photography and in life. As my project came to a close I realized slowly what the next step needs to be. A deepening into past experiences and a harvesting of those special times in a fresh new way through photography, images and a bit of storytelling.
“365 from the archive~a deepening journey” will begin in two days and it starts where it all started with me as far as I remember, my home country, Lebanon.
Until then! Stay well and enjoy the wonderful lanterns that adorn the old streets of Shanghai for the coming of the Spring Festival!
The long awaited event came today for Lea. She was destined to own her first skateboard at age 7 years, 4 months and 2 weeks. As soon as they finished building her board it at the shop and she held it under her arm, her face was transformed with a strange kind of excitement I had never seen on her before. It obviously meant so much to her as a significant stage in her development and she could not wait to get home and start her new found love of wheels and tricks. It never ceases to amaze me how your child can grow into something completely different to what you envisioned or imagined and they never stop surprising you…
Our most vivid memories come from events in our life that leave a big mark. I wonder how much this little girl will remember about having to move with her family from the neighbourhood of narrow lanes they have lived in for generations. She and her family happened to live in on of the condemned neighborhoods of Shanghai that are disappearing one after the other to give way to modern buildings, sky scrapers, malls, and large roads. The residents are being moved to other residential areas outside of Shanghai. I visited one of these neighbourhoods in Shanghai’s Hongkou area and walked through the alleys for a couple of hours watching the daily life of people who will need to make a huge adjustment in their daily routine only weeks from now. Imagine having to do that and having no say in the choice of your new home, your new neighbor, your new life… but Shanghai is a relentless growing machine that has no plans of stopping anytime soon. I wonder when old and charming Shanghai alleys will completely cease to exist…
It's a fragile story, and it's all inside the bubble
They say if we want to keep something safe, an idea, a secret, a special thought, a new love, a tender moment; then we need to protect it. We need to shield it and contain it until it grows from fragile and new to strong and mature. It sound easy to do, but I have found it always to be one of life’s biggest challenges. Almost like keeping a bubble from bursting, and letting it hold the magic inside for as long as I possibly can.