Apr 26, 2017

Tripoli's Event Calendar - APR/MAY '17

No, I haven't been planning for this post to be my comeback after a long abstinence, but the fact is,
Tripoli is blooming with events of all sorts, and I found it dearly necessary to shed light on them and share them among the ones I know. As I had stated in my Facebook posts last night, all events are listed in increasing chronological order by start date.

1- Tripoli Film Festival – April 27 -> May 4

Tripoli Film Festival, organized by Eklat Conseils & Tripoli Foundation - مؤسسة طرابلس - (Lebanon), has paved the way in the last few years for marking #TripoliLB on the international map of Film Festivals, competing with the likes in Cairo and Dubai in the region. Elias Khlat, alongside an army of supporters and volunteers, has succeeded in pulling this event off for the last few years, always growing and always pushing for a better and sharper event every year.

“The Tripoli Film Festival – Lebanon is a cinematic event conceived as an initiative to ameliorate the image of the city with three main objectives:
- Enriching our local cultural environment in Tripoli.
- Promoting the rich cultural heritage of Tripoli and its local artists.
- Branding and marketing Tripoli and its region as a highly promising tourist destination.”

2- Spring Color Festival – April 28

An amazing night that will take you white and bring you coloured, never washing away from your memory nor clothes...

Enjoy the extraterrestrial MUSIC brought to you by DJ 23
Date :28 April
Time:6 PM
Location: Manar University of Tripoli”

3- Souk Bab al Dahab – APR 29

Remember the clashes? MARCH has been putting a lot of effort into spreading and promoting peace and reconciliation through arts and culture. The same people who started off with a mixed coffee shop on the ex-frontline (Kahwetna - قهوتنا Café bi Kaffak) and the theatrical play last year, have amassed a lot of support from all corners of #Lebanon to make this project happen.
Kudos to Lea Baroudi and Khaled Merheb and the infinite amount of hidden soldiers. Follow them on #SoukBebElDahab
"Almost a year after Kahwetna - قهوتنا Café bi Kaffak's opening, MARCH kicked off its Beb El Dahab Rebuilders Initiative in late 2016. The plan was to renovate 100 shops heavily damaged by the decades of fighting and neglect.
MARCH recruited 80 young men, all former fighters, to renovate and revamp 100 stores on Syria Street and Muhajereen Street, overseen by experienced foremen, architects and engineers. Not forgetting the gender equality aspect, MARCH also trained 12 young women from the area in graphic design and marketing, who then went on to design all the shops' signage and marketing material."

4- Xangô Live At CAVA – APR 29

Brazilian Jazz Music!
“Xangô ( pronounced Shangoh ) is a Lebanese based band covering Brazilian / Jazz music. The music ranges from smooth Bossa Nova to fast Samba, variety of Afro Brazilian rhythms.
Saturday April 29th, 2017 - 9.30 pm at CAVA
entrance 10.000LBP
reservations 03543599”

5- Paw Shake's Walk your dog. Save an animal's life. – APR 30

Our very own Paw Shake’s first ever public event, an invitation to all animal lovers in Tripoli and northern Lebanon, especially dogs, to spend the day with their furry friends in an event dedicated for this cause, especially after the atrocities committed by the municipalities against homeless dogs and cats, including poisoning most of them to death.

Event organizers, namely Nuhad Sheikh and Mahmoud Mawass, have succeeded in amassing the support of several businesses and initiatives in town, such as (but not limited to) Rassif café, Newtown Specialty Coffee Roasters and مشروع قهوة.

“Walk your dog. Socialize with other dog owners and animal lovers. Support your local animal NGO. Grab a bite with your furry friend. Take and post a selfie. Leave a mark on our "Paw of Fame"”

6- Challwe Laugh - May 5

Playing at Safadi Cultural Center, organized by I don't know whom.

"Experience Laughter like you never did before with Challwe Laugh - Comedy Show."

7- Bike Tripoli - May 7

Bike Tripoli, a sports initiative by Social Way Association (Mrs. Wafa Saghieh Khoury) is dedicating this cycling event exclusively to women (Rings any bells?) 

8- Behance Portfolio Reviews '17 - May 8

Behance, the world renowned arts hub, and through their local -verified- community in town are launching their annual portfolio review event.
This year's guests are my amiga Hanane Kai (super happy to know you're coming Hanane) renowned Illustrator and Picture Book Maker, and Salim Azzam, community-based Storyteller and Illustrator.
I'm guessing Samira and Rafik would be there too.
"Behance Portfolio Reviews: Connect & Get Feedback On Your Creative Work"

9- Lebanese International Choir Festival II - May 15 -> 21

It is with great pride to announce the fruit of efforts of so many that I know, all beneath the wings of one of the country's best and most elegant instructors and fathers, Maestro Barkev, the Lebanese International Choir Festival 2017 in its 2nd edition. Brought to you by a huge team of volunteers run by Roula Abou Baker, the Fayha Choir's magic wand and its driving force, the festival will run over the course of a week, spreading its activities among all corners of the country, and ending with a majestic full-day finale in #TripoliLB.
"Following the success of the first Lebanese International Choir Festival in 2015, Fayha Choir, in cooperation with Polyfollia International, have decided to hold the second Lebanese International Choir Festival!
On one special day during the festival, the world will be able to see the hard work and passion of the talented Syrian and Palestinian refugee children’s choirs of different NGOs including the Norwegian Refugee Council, Sonbola, Beit Atfal Assumoud, and Social Support Society.
In parallel to the festival, the 6th Mediterranean Choral Forum and the second 'Sing Me In' meeting will be taking place. For the first time in an Arab country, international music/choral experts will gather to re-discover the choir scene from the Arab perspective."

** Quotes taken from respective official outlets for each event and is not endorsed by le moi.

Mar 20, 2017

Eves On Wheels, The Next Chapters

It's been a long while since I blogged, and I couldn't be happier to make a comeback for one of my biggest project, Eves On Wheels. So many of you know by now how it never was planned to turn it eventually into a project, I don't have resources enough to make that happen, or to take it where it must go to.

As I was interviewing all the gorgeous female cyclists in both Tripoli and Beirut, it was almost always nothing short to pure fun. We'd experiment together, the cyclist who more often than not were not used to being photographed, and myself who's not really used to shooting poses. The effort that's been put, however, has been great by far. We all managed to come up with beautiful photographs that portray each character in liaison with their story, all in a much suitable environment in the frame too. We also managed to get the media to write about us, I personally had been interviewed a handful times on TV and Radio, and so on and so forth.

It's no secret today at all, how much support the project needs to come up to expectations. Starting with the logistical and financial needs to cover harsher parts in Lebanon, I'm just thinking out loud when I mention the Bekaa valley, Beirut's southern suburb, Southern cities such as Saida and Sur. All those aside, the project has been harvesting major appraisals anywhere its news travel to. On the official level, Eves On Wheels has booked an exclusive exhibiting space at the KIP Conference for Sexual Harassment and Discrimination at the AUB, on both March 31st and April 1st, 2017. It has also been officially invited by the Alliance Francaise - Karachi to visit, exhibit, and possibly hold a handful activities related to the topic, such as open talks with community, presentations in universities, public seminars, etc.

Furthermore, the project is given the green flag to visit each of Algeria, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Iran, Egypt, Sudan and Iraq to cover the similar female cycling revolution, where women alike are claiming back their rights in male-dominated societies. Countries like Syria, Jordan, Tunis, Morocco and many others could also be fertile lands for similar initiatives, on the hopes to create a virtual support platform for all these women just like it did in Lebanon.

The "Eves On Wheels" project has, by words of others, raised the spirits of so many of its Eves who were in dire need to feel any sort of support at a given time, due to knockdowns by their own families and communities at times. And I personally cannot imagine the support the project will transfer to other women elsewhere too.

Crowdfunding page on Generosity
For all the above, I have started a crowdfunder recently that would remain active until the project sustains itself for a couple more year. I have therefore asked for 2,000USD that would cover printing costs for the exhibition at the KIP, in addition to the trip costs to Karachi and hopefully to other cities in Pakistan.

If you ever feel like supporting the project, giving it a much needed push, here's what you can do:
  1. Donate: by visiting the crowdfunder on Generosity:
  2. Share among your friends, call or send emails.
  3. Share on social media and invite your friends.
  4. Put me in touch with somebody who might be interested in sponsoring the project. Said sponsor has to have some relation to cycling, might be a cycling company, a bicycle shop, and so on.
I'm personally aware of how crucial this stage is to the project. It's very much clear to me that I'm either able to sustain the project and grow it into something more impactful, or just basically enjoying the thrill of the upcoming exhibition and then leave everything to be forgotten over time.

A video of last year's exhibition at Beit El Nessim: