Aug 13, 2016

My 30th

We've been friends for a while then you must know I'm not big fan of typical everyday birthday celebrations, from facebook posts to cakes and parties. It's not that I'm being prophet of doom here or, well, the Grinch, it's just that I don't see any purpose of celebrating a day I haven't contributed to in any way. Hold on, let me put that differently, I'd very much love to celebrate a friendship anniversary for instance, a sweet memory, an achievement, some progress I was part of, you get the idea.

That said, you must also know of my yearly anniversary ritual, which is quite different each year. (check 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015). Despite growing really tired of all this, I thought to give it a shot based on previous years' success stories. It all started with using a cover photo on my Facebook inciting folks and fellows to, since they'll be doing it either ways, express their birthday celebration differently, whether in a kind deed, a good word or basically just about anything that I can have pride in saying "This somebody did this something on my birthday!"

Long story very, very short, I did end up getting some feedback. This blogpost is to celebrate them all.

Starting with Sandra, the one who managed to turn into two complete strangers into acquaintances, one of them actually ended up on their couch watching a movie with them.

And then on to Nina, who gleefully took out the company's receptionist out for lunch :)) and much more too.

Another friend, Vanessa, had done something incredible too, which she wanted to keep secret. And not to forget Cady, who had hilariously made his precious roommate dinner that day and made sure he'd let me know. Cracking!

Nuhad on the other hand had made my day with an out-of-the-box sort of deeds. See for yourselves.

Last but never the least, here's a bunch of posts that genuinely made me smile my heart out (I'm sure there were others, but forgive me for having so many and barely able to follow them all, especially after this long while).

Jul 23, 2016

El Mina's Book Market

It goes without saying that yesterday was probably when the town had witnessed one of its most successful mini-projects. It was that Samer, the Tripolitan professor at a renowned university in town, and the activist if I may call him, had wanted to put to use the available resources in order to bring books back to life, and hopefully promote for a new fashion for reading them.

Samer, and through the Cultural Agenda, made ties with a few fellows and created what is now known as the “El Mina Book Market”, the first of its kind in Mina (Tripoli’s very own sea port) where used books are sold, bought and exchanged too, all in the sake of gathering enough money to send children back to school. The event was held in non-other than Rassif cafĂ©, the roadside coffee shop that, I believe, had excelled in marking a new footprint and raising the bar for all future coffee shops in town.
“An open air street market for used books. Kids' reading corner and family activities. If you'd like to volunteer or participate in organizing the event, send a message to Cultural Agenda- El Mina.”
As you might be able to notice from the photos, the books were so diversified I was baffled myself. You could see the quran and the tales of the Sahabas right next to a communist book, a German novel or the bible itself. Aside from the books themselves, it was worth mentioning that the organizers had made a wonderful move by inviting a couple authors to the market, in order to exhibit books of their own too, namely Yahya Mawloud and Michel Baghdadlian, both of whom had been dearly celebrated.

The event, as Samer had stated earlier, would take place once a month, which is also the time by which readers would have to return the book they borrowed on the event before. And yes, there was a section for Not-For-Sale books, also known as “Exchange books”.

I can only say I had felt immense happiness for so many reasons, of which the below:

  1. Books have found a new spot to be exhibited other than the city’s yearly “Book Exhibition” which I dare call “very poor”.
  2. People have found what quenched their thirst for an active startup-society of readers and like-minded fellows. What was more surprising was when two neighbors met at the book market not knowing how much of a book worm the other neighbor was!
  3. It’s a humanitarian cause at the end of the day. 
All the best for the Cultural Agenda and all helping hands, the best is yet to come.