Jan 5, 2014

The Tourist Is BACK!

Group picture of (part of) the team that helped restore the Saeh Library in Tripoli

Whenever I transfer pictures off from my camera’s memory card, I tend to name the transfer with whichever occasion that took place the moment the shots were taken at. I had never thought a day would come when I’d label my transfer “Saeh Beneath the Ashes”, the shock and trauma of that instant are still indescribable. But as I – and many others – had promised, the Library will be clean and will for sure shine like never before, in little to no time. Hence, today’s transfer was called “Saeh Renovated”, and it’s only the second day after the incident :)

Being there at the library the whole day long and having to process so many pictures, gives me little time to get comfortable enough to remember tiny details and narrate about this and that of all the funny and silly moments throughout both days, today and yesterday, but all at the same time I can’t stop myself from transferring to whoever couldn’t show up, how exhilarating it was to be among that bunch of white-hearted guys at the renovation of Al Saeh Library.

Summary of yesterday's best shots.
Last scene I could recall of the day of the protest was that fund raising basket Mutaz was holding. What happened afterwards was simply astonishing. Forgive me for not being able to elaborate much, but here’s some bits and pieces. Today witnessed one of the hugest restoration campaigns I ever took part in or witnessed. A couple friends came straight from Beirut in order to help us through. Surrounding neighbours were all enthralled in helping us, providing us with water and coffee, playing some music to keep us up and running, and to be there for us whenever anybody needed to leave something back in a safe place. The organizers had played a very good job in drawing the lines for all the participants to keep things under control. What brought me to being all emotional the most was the few individuals that asked me not to take their pictures, feeling a bit curious to know the reason they threw me off with the most shocking excuse: "we're here to work, not to be photographed".

All in all, yesterday and the night before had a stench of darkness to them, all while today was a happy and bright day :) Oh how long has Tripoli been waiting for such people all flowing with great spirit and good intentions..

I love each and every single person that stepped foot there today, that lifted a box, packed a book or simply made any difference. Again and again, this shall never make any of us feel it's enough or we've done our jobs. It's a never ending process, to change ourselves in order for the world to become brighter. I feel so delighted to have met the people I've been with for the last couple of days, for they are more humane than any of those who claim to be.

I leave you with some of the best shots of today's efforts.


  1. Great article Natheer, I can see 3ammo Toni and tante Najat in the first photo :D
    keep up the good work,

    1. i was at my happiest buddy! you should've been there to see the energy :)

  2. man change ur font please ! i l

  3. Natheer, Hi! - We need help spreading the word that people can pitch in online to support Al Saeh! - http://www.zoomaal.com/projects/touristlibrary/1477?ref=4358 - Could you help out? Thanks a bunch!

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