You have your Lebanon and its dilemma.
I have my Lebanon and its beauty.
Your Lebanon is an arena for men from the West and men from the East.
My Lebanon is a flock of birds fluttering in the early morning
As shepherds lead their sheep into the meadow
And rising in the evening as farmers return from their fields and vineyards.
- Gibran Khalil Gibran
Perhaps now is the time when these words by Khalil Gibran can remind us of that which we seem to work so hard to destroy. There is an element of hatred among the Lebanese, and especially among the youth, towards Lebanon’s past, its present and its future. Those of age have grown cynical and those coming of age are gathering pieces of cynicism left behind by the previous generations.
Now, more than ever, we find ourselves entrapped in an endless search for meaning. We live a daily life that can only be defined as chaotic. We have no system, nothing to look forward to. All who can leave this country would do it quite gladly. We don’t participate in politics. We have good reasons not to do so. Our politicians are ridiculous, self-serving and out of touch. Our air is polluted, our sea is dying, our coasts are threatened, our architecture is discarded and our natural heritage is being murdered.
Facing this, a simple project like “Humans of Lebanon” might seem naive, or absurd. I don’t want you to think that we’re idealists. What we want to do is allow the Lebanese population to see what it is trying so hard to deny.
We want to capture Lebanon in all its beauty and diversity. We want to celebrate Lebanon’s diversity by showing its inhabitants. We want to go to Hamra and show you the Filipino and Ethiopian workers on their Sunday break. We want to go to Beit Mary and show you an old couple sitting on their balcony, watching the streets below. We want to go to Dbayeh and show you a man walking his dog. We want to go to Tripoli and show you a fisherman doing the job he’s been doing for the past 60 years. We want to go to a construction site and show you the Syrian and Palestinian workers. We want to go to refugee camps and show you their relatives and loved ones. We want to go to Raouche and show you the many young couples walking side by side. We want to go to Faraya and show you the ski-fanatics coming back from their daily routine. We want to go to the Bekaa valley and show you the farmer working the land he’s so familiar with. We want to go to Dahieyh and show you that which you dare not see.
Anyone can participate. We are two administrators and photographers. My name is Joey Ayoub and my fellow administrator is Mher Krikorian. We participate as well. If you have any memorable photographs of humans in Lebanon, share them on our page or send them to humansoflebanon(at)gmail(dot)com.
Republished with permission from Mashallah News.