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contemplations Germany inspiration Photography street photography war

Daily Coffee Talk~ 89/365

This cloud shall pass~ Germany

Hi again from Germany. It has taken me a while to force myself to come back to this blog since current events threw me completely off balance lately. But if there is anything I am sure of, it is that I am the boss of me and there is plenty of coffee left in the world to drink while I write my blog.

I chose this image today because it has felt lately as though a cloud is over us, casting a shadow on what we love to do and how we love to be, but all clouds dissolve and all storms will pass as they have always throughout history. We live on a planet of duality after all and there is always an up that follows a down.

I still remember spending hours trying to ‘melt’ clouds with my sister in Lebanon by firing force at them with our extended hands, and you can believe me or not, it works! Try it next time you feel like having some sunshine in your life.

The best way to get over a hurdle is to help break it down, and with the sad situation in the Ukraine and other wars, well, help, find a way to support the people who are helping by donating, creating, communicating, being compassionate and all of that somehow feels like a breeze that pushed the clouds out of the way.

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contemplations human rights morning coffee talk Photography war

Daily Coffee Talk~88/365

Hi again,

The last few days I found myself unable to write, thinking constantly of the situation in Ukraine and feeling the pain of innocent people echoing in my mind.

We must fight the low with embracing the high. If I have learned anything from witnessing the bravery of Ukrainian people, it’s that you cannot bow down to evil.

‘Saved by Art’. This phrase keeps coming up in me. It is about creating in the face of destruction. Being bright in the face of darkness and rising when all wants you to fall.

Hoping for a better, clearer, more hopeful tomorrow.

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children children's rights contemplations Germany inspiration morning coffee talk Photography street photography

Daily Coffee Talk~ 87/365

Today I saw a lot of children and young people enjoying the sun on a cold crisp day here in Germany and it made me think of this new generation.

They have to deal with so much and to inherit a broken world lacking in hope and riddled with corruption and warp.

The world today is so different to the one I had as a child. And yes, I did grow up inside of a civil war, but today feels somehow more volatile than that.

Things seem to be changing so fast and my hope is that change can happen in both directions. I know that sanity will return and morality still exists and good take up center stage at some point. It must…

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contemplations Germany morning coffee talk Photography street photography war

Daily Coffee Talk~ 86/365

Have you every had the feeling that even when you are alone, you are really not?

In my mind, there is never a dull moment. Thoughts, ponders, queries, hopes, questions, memories, investigations, plans, connecting of dots, and yes, sometimes fears and worries.

I am finding it difficult to not be concerned about what is happening around me in Europe. How can anyone not be? But why are we feeling the pain of others so much more acutely? Has something changed in the conductivity of the world?

It is quite unfathomable what humans are capable of doing to other humans in the search of their own self glory and greedy agendas.

So myself is telling me today to keep going, to keep hoping, to continue sending strength and good thoughts toward the innocent people caught up in this crazy war and to know that there is always light behind the darkness.

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contemplations Germany human rights inspiration morning coffee talk Photography street photography war

Daily Coffee Talk~ 85/365

The world around us is always changing, every second could bring a new outcome, could cause a new future to onset. What are we in control of? Only our choices, in the now.

Europe feels so turbulent at this time and that unsettlement, I feel echoed in me. I feel the shockwaves of the despair and fear inside of those facing the unfortunate aggression going on in the Ukraine, and the human in me has a very hard time separating from the pain of other humans at this time.

So I keep pressing on with art, with trying to stay creative and feeling the immense value of having a space where peace can still exist. Every new day feels like a new opportunity and the only way I can help is by remembering human purpose in defiance of those who oppress and who take away from the innocent.

Let’s pray again and again for peace so that life and art can have a chance in shaping our future.

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contemplations Germany morning coffee talk Photography spain

Daily Coffee Talk~ 84/365

Self portrait taken in Spain by the moonlight ~

When we are confronted with life changing events or the possibility of them, we tend to go inward and see life more clearly.

With the shocking onset of a war in an otherwise peaceful Europe, life becomes more real. Our senses are honed to feel, detect, and comprehend what is and might be going on around us. For a brief time, clarity replaces the fog and we become more human.

It is strange that it takes a war to make us learn the flag colors of the Ukraine, to become aware of its people, its history, and its current state of affairs because it is brought center stage at this time.

We become sensitized to the pain of others and feel a care that we previously were not conscious to.

The human and its behavior are a deep mystery to me.

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human rights morning coffee talk Photography refugees war

Daily Coffee Talk~ 83/365

On the third day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, my mind goes back to my experiences with refugees and the misfortunes of war.

I am finding myself unable to disconnect from the shock of seeing this happen in front of our eyes again, the war, the pain, the destruction, the displaced people and most importantly, children having their childhood stolen from them.

The pictures shown here are from the Syrian refugees that I photographed back in 2013, and back then, I saw a side of humanity that I was hoping I would never have to meet again.

Here we are in 2022, innocent people and their children subjected to tragedy because of ego, the strive for power and an unfathomable greed that lives in people like Putin.

The world does not need more refugees, we do not need more pain and confusion, humans have the right to lead a happy, productive, and full life with the chance to be who they are meant to be.

Who gives others the right to take that away? What kind of essence fuels wars? Will history keep repeating itself to the detriment of the human race and this planet?

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war

Daily Coffee Talk~ 82/365

I have no words for today, I can only echo what most of us are feeling which is that this cannot be.

My heart goes to the innocent people in the Ukraine that have to suffer through that is unfolding in their home.

From a child of war, this should not be allowed to happen.

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Daily Coffee Talk~ 66/365

The Lebanese Revolution~ November 2019~ Tripoli

On November 13, 2019, I was in Tripoli during the height of what had come to be known as the October Revolution in Lebanon. During those months, Tripoli was given the name ‘ the bride of the revolution’, because its people rose with power, with hope, and with an undeniable spirit to right what was wronged by a failing and criminal government of thieves and war lords in Lebanon.

What I met that evening was unforgettable. Simple and humble people gathering in the city square with music, art, food and a common cause. Hope tinged the air with gold and the enthusiasm was infectious. I found myself lifted to the platform where the speakers were addressing the crowds along with my camera and lenses.

The view from the platform of the revolution on Allah Square.

But looking back on the first image today, 2 years and 2 months later, I am heartbroken to realise that back then, the cry of the people expressed in writing on that wall in red : ‘your lies are causing our hunger’, was only the beginning of a disastrous economic collapse that has left these beautiful people below the poverty line with no end in sight.

I was born in Lebanon and grew up there in a scarring civil war that raged on for the majority of my young life, until at one point in 1987, I just picked up and left, never to return except for short family visits.

And today I watch with disbelief how my country continues to suffer, how its people go hungry without food, medication, electricity, water, infrastructure or money. I feel helpless about helping them and I struggle to understand how this can be fathomed and tackled without emotion.

I hope to photograph my country again in its glory, with it people happy and smiling, well fed and armed with dignity.

keeping the hope alive in you.
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LEBANON morning coffee talk Photography street photography

Morning Coffee Talk~17/365

Weathering the Storm~ Lebanon

Good Morning,

This morning I am casting my mind and thoughts towards my home country, Lebanon. My thoughts are with its people, my family, and everyone affected by the economic breakdown that this beautiful country has been and is still going through.

A phrase came to mind upon waking this morning: “all the concentrated darkness in the world cannot put out the light of a single candle”. Lebanon has always glowed like a candle in the night, through its people, colours, sunshine, snow-capped mountain tops, art, history, food, its sea, and the bright radiant love of life and hope that has lifted it through the many wars, occupations and difficult times throughout history.

So today, sending a bucketful of love to my Lebanon. This too shall pass.