Day 19~ August 19th~ Boracay

flare~ fire dancer in Boracay

We live on this planet in close proximity (relatively) and with great reliance on this huge wonderful burning star we call our sun. The center of our solar system, it rises every morning with no fail, completely reliable, warming us, providing us with light and energy, giving us life as it marries with our beautiful planet’s resources. After a quiet period of rest and sleep from 2005 to 2010, our sun has awakened and is emitting powerful flares and electromagnetic storms that can travel through space at a staggering speed of 5 million kilometers per hour. If any of these flares were to hit planet earth (and often they do), they can in the very least disrupt GPS signals, radio signals and power grids. And yet, so many of us are living oblivious to the fascination of this phenomenon and are not at all moved to investigate it or follow its trends. But I find that incredible happenings like solar storms can help shrink our daily nagging concerns and bring the mysteries of life to a whole new level of interestingness. We are part of this universe and its issues should trigger our interest in the very least.

Day 23~ April 23rd~ Congo

messages in art

It is difficult to imagine in our day of gadgets and the time of i-this and i-that available to everyone in the west even small children, that in some places like Congo, this is not the case at all.

And because of that, the children I met often asked me to take a message back with me from them to the world. They spoke mostly Swahili and through their translators they told me that they would like to draw these messages for me to photograph. So here, in the Cajed center for helping the children of the street, ‘les enfants de la rue’ in Kinshasa, the volunteer teacher allowed the children to take the time and draw some messages on the blackboard. And like the children that I met in Goma, these boys also dreamt of peace, of a world with no guns, of a colorful world that included them in it…

Then they went on to sing to me very playfully and very shyly their national anthem (video). After singing, they turned to me and requested that I sing my anthem to them, which I did, a bit more shyly than they did. I sang them the Lebanese anthem, because being with them brought me back to my childhood in Lebanon, or maybe it was the school desks that took me right back to elementary school. It was a very moving day for me meeting their bright faces and sharing unforgettable moments together.

 

 

Day 12~ April 12th~ Congo

dancing the bad memories away

It was so clear to me the day I saw these children dancing for hours, that Africa, the land, radiates and infuses its people with rhythm. Moving seems to be the most natural thing to them and they move with a lightness and swiftness that are most beautiful to witness. These children are young demobilized child soldiers and dancing is part of their healing process.

I was able to take a couple of short videos and here is one to give an idea of the way it felt to be there and to witness this event in person.