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Showing posts from 2012

Unearthing Broken Hopes

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[Continuation of the previous post]

It was the turn of another man, a man that apparently lived his entire life out of Lebanon. He was extremely happy, filled with beauty and overflowing with satisfaction. He, and his female companion, were eager to park nearby and have a chat: The man seemed to be dying to tell his story to someone, basically anyone. “Ok so, I have two stories to tell you. Ready?” The first was of the reason he was imprisoned, he lived his life in Africa, where planting Marijuana in one’s backyard was common. Upon coming to live in Lebanon, he gave it no thought and thought it was considered the same, therefore he ended up imprisoned for planting (and by the Lebanese law, trading) two plants of Marijuana or “Hasheesh”, that he planted in the first place for personal use only. Eventually he got out of jail pretty soon.

The second story on the other hand left me traumatized for a few seconds. A while back he found out he wasn’t the son of his father, his father is unkno…

Digging For Lost Voices

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Little did I know that my night would be so fruitful. Who would expect to meet a stranger on the street, seeing him pull over with that wonderful smile on his face only to tell you his story with that passionate dreamy look in the eyes of a 40-year old man. I never knew I would meet a person whose story was a perfect match to mine. How would I have known that we’d meet a bunch of dreamy and glamorous guys wanting to join efforts and having so much bright ideas to share with us. This, and much much more, had happened on the night of December 19th.

Free Huggers chose that date for a second round of the “Tell me your story” initiative, the first is the one I missed. Everything was new to me, the way we should hold the signs, the way our answers should be wrapped and the limit we should abide by. Thankfully Sandy and Bilal were courteous enough to give me a heads-up of what they thought was best to do, as a result to the first experience.
PS: I really had a hard time taking photographs of t…

My First Amazon Order

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I decided to write this post right after I opened the new Seagate External Hard Drive box, delivered by Borderlinx, DHL.

A month ago I ordered a 3TB External Seagate HDD from Amazon.com. The price at the time was discounted to 109.99$, previously 139.99$, which would be the deal of the year, I assumed. Upon the estimation of the efficient DHL staff, shipping and all the additional fees (customs, VAT, clearance, etc..) should cost around 52$. Order being made on amazon.com, the package reached my virtual address (Ohio, US, address being given free of charge upon registration with borderlinx) in 2 business days, which was more than perfect. This is where the hassle began.
Outstanding deals usually take place during holidays, which, of course, is a hectic time of the year for all freight companies, due to the escalating number of orders and the additional stress imposed by global shippers. Alas, the package delivery to Lebanon was delayed one week, and it reached my office this morning.

Th…

Dewy Conversations

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Here's what went through my mind during my morning nap in the minibus:

"I just realized that I have no passion, I don't remember the last time I risked my life for something; I am passive generally and don't have any sort of personal extremism. I cannot define things easily. I have trouble with maintaining relationships. I suck at time management and prioritizing. I am selfish though I have lots to give, which gives me constant headache.
I realized I have a great amount of grudge, being the only answer to most of the emotional problems I faced, thus making it a trend to see my frown in the mirror. I came to know I am literally empty, and I know it. I wait no compassion from anyone because I've had enough with compliments: compliments to me are lies with make-up.

What if I've been living a lie all these years? First at class for several years in a row? I never asked to be classified as the front row geek at school, regardless of its supposed benefits for a grad…

Anonymous Confessions

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Let's play a game, shall we?
Apparently there's been an exhibition, a public art project for the american artist Candy Chang who thought it would be interesting to open up a space where people can anonymously project their confessions, their deepest secrets, and enjoy the reaction of whoever reads it.
"By the end of the exhibition, over 1500 confessions were displayed on the walls. It’s about sex, love, or fears of dying alone. By collecting the confessions of the hotel’s visitors, this project seeks to create a cathartic sanctuary for this temporary community and help us see we are not alone in our quirks, experiences, and struggles as we try to lead fulfilling lives."
This post is written for the benefit of the public. I invite you everyone to do the same, let's share our secrets.
Hint: Post your confession in the comment field below while choosing the "Anonymous" profile

An Unforeseen Traffic in Beirut

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Left Tripoli at 7:10AM , reached my office at 12:00PM... Today was supposed to be another normal day in Beirut, getting to your office shouldn't take more than what you are used to, usually 20 minutes is more than enough to move around the capital in one direction. And for those who commute daily from outside of the capital, just like me, and have to drive several tens of kilometers on the road each morning, are constantly anxious about any mishap that would delay their timetable, even if it were by one minute, because they know the aftermath of it, and the price they will pay having to drive the same distance when going back home. 
My day kicked off by leaving my house at 7:10AM as usual, wasn't surprised by the daily traffic at the casino area, but was rather shocked by the news I read on my phone saying the army is performing rehearsals for the independence day military show, that usually no one watches, but would rather enjoy the holiday with their family and friends. Cars…

TEDxBeirut The Full Day Event

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Up til this day I often get people wondering what is TED talks. Personally TEDxBeirut is your dose of enthusiasm, self motivation, faith in humanity, and worldly peace altogether. Well, that would be my definition as I stated. Here's what the TEDxBeirut organizers had to say on their Facebook Page:
"TEDxBeirut is a gathering of wonderful minds, designed to inspire, nurture and propagate great ideas in compliance with TED’s mission of  “changing attitude, lives, and ultimately the world”. We are accountants, students, doctors, lawyers, media people, housewives and your neighbor next door. We have one thing in common – a desire to push the boundaries, make a difference and maybe even leave a legacy." Read more on their page

And it was, definitely a gathering of wonderful minds, wanting to share with the world their success stories, their aspirations and dreams, their life-changing moments.
The Interviews Being a volunteer assigned to videography work was my shortcut to re…

Seven Times Have I Despised My Self

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To begin with, I need to point out that the title is not of my creation. It's been stuck in my memory, and I always wondered when would I ever use it. I guess this is it.
In order to keep myself aware of how much bad the human being can do, or to simply highlight to my own self that I can be of nuisance, I need to constantly check myself, to gratify it when it does good, and punish it when it messes up with the morals I go by. What triggered this post now was something I read over Facebook. A page that broadcasts news about the Syrian war has just announced a breaking news, the death of a Jaylani Cheikh in Syria upon invading his house by the "Forth Squad". For a split second, a feeling of gloating just found its way through my veins. To all those who don't know what Jaylani is, a jaylani way (belief) is one that has taken its own road far away from the basics of Islam. Jaylanis believe fondly in their "Cheikh" or master, a person who's been blessed of b…

Car Free Day - Rmeil

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I loved the area span of the event's location: A long street (Kataeb street as locals call it) filled with merchandise stands on the sides, two platforms, one at the end (for sporting activities) and one at the middle where bands were playing and various activities were held throughout the day.I first headed to the "Jesuites Park", first thing that catches your eye once you step foot in Rmeil, where I was supposed to meet with the rest of the free huggers to start our last flashmob for this year. Good thing we chose the car free day for our flashmob, the whole ambiance of joy and calamity, the positive vibes in the air and the whole serenity of the place gave us that push we needed to withstand the whole 6 hours with a smile on our face the whole time.
Children and toddlers were filling the park, while two young guys and a teenager girl were spending the time with the infants singing, dancing, shouting out loud, skipping around, face-painting and many more activities on p…

Coffee Shop Photo Session at Al Baba

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It wouldn't take me much to think of how splendid the idea of asking the management of Al Baba sweets for a photo session a while back (Passion for Food blog post) at their Beirut Branch, it turned out to be even more amazing ever since I got another chance of being there at their Zouq branch to hold a photosession in their coffee shop. Technically speaking, two cameras were used. My own Sony for its powerful artistic features, and a 450D Canon with a standard 18-55mm lens for closeups, great image quality and a powerful manipulation of the depth of field.

Ambient lighting was the hardest hurdle at the moment, different light sources were there, with, obviously, different temperatures and tones, thus leaving me with no solution but to be my own light manipulator, of course with the help of the great staff. Here's a shoutout for Mrs. Amani by the way who was the first person to ever see this collection and gave me the push to share it here. Occasionally I asked one of the guys t…