Cities, People, Perspectives with Leica – Beirut.
I never really got the the chance to shoot properly in Beirut, usually I am too busy building with our extended family there or frankly too tired from partying with them . Not this time , this time I did nothing but shoot. While people usually marvel at the beauty of Beirut and rightfully so, I decided to take a different angle , I went for that gritty , nutty dark side of Beirut that most of you dont get to see , the burj al barajneh and Sabra and Shatila refugess camps, the sunday markets , burj Hammood were my areas of choice, I also had the privilege of hanging out and building with two of my personal favorites Arab artists, DJ Lethal Skillz, who just recently celebrated 20 years behind the turntables and who was gracious enough to allow me to hang out with him for five hours while we went over his upcoming new album. More on Skillz and his album later in the week , I am just gonna say this, musically , this album is going to blow your minds away. The other artist was Yassin of I-Voice, make no mistake about it ,without Yassin I would have never had the chance to venture into the camps the way I did. Every time I hang out with Yassin, I realize that this kid is the future , the amount of hard work, passion, heart and love this young man invests in himself, his people and community is truly humbling and ground breaking, so thank you Yassin, and I wish you all the best in your next phase in life in Canada.
The Following is a sneak peak from the Beirut trip, a couple of not so dark and gritty images are thrown in ,just cause Beirut’s beauty can not be over looked .
Lebanese old man ,well dressed at 8 in the morning , wonderful morning walk by the beach.
I am not sure if they guys were playing football to play football or to flirt with the ladies going for morning runs and walks.
Street artists work by the American University of Beirut.
The Lebanese people have a strong sense of identity and history, just outside the AUB , a monument dedicated to a scientists that worked some 700 years ago.
I really like this shot, the phrase on the wall says , confessions of a woman, I made sure that I only get part of the man in the image as the young lady walked in.
Skillz and Immortal have worked on a couple of things before, for this new album however we are going to be much more involved, we have to be ,the album is just too sick not to.
On my way to the Sunday market , I look up and see a man reading a newspapers on his balcony, trying to test the speed of the new camera I snapped , I am impressed.
Mostly the Sunday market is attended by the very poor in Beirut . I also noticed there were a lot of people with different disabilities.
Perhaps the most educated and sophisticated of Arabs, the Lebanese no matter how poor they are have a passion for reading .
I am slowly discovering that the best way to deal with such situations, where the subject you are shooting notices you, is to simply continue walking around and shooting as if nothing has happened.
The Sabra and Shatila camp, I saved the better images for now , just going to post a few ones .I just found this man interesting , being a refugee for almost 30 years he must have some stories to tell
In 30 years will this child still be a refugee?
Though I was warned about shooting in the camps, I found the task, except in the military areas of the camp to be a relatively easy one, the refugees seem to know exactly why one would be interested in shooting in their areas and as such , even when they catch you in the act, they dont trouble cause they know that you are in a way shooting for them.
I have a theory about the wiring in Beirut and specially in the refugee camps, I am sure they gave a chicken a lot of drugs , then they let it run loose over a huge piece of paper, when it died they took the piece of paper and went viola, now we have a wiring plan.
After the Sabra massacre in 1982 , the bodies were literally collected and buried in one massive grave yard, no tombstones , nothing to mark who is buried where, this picture was taken next to the site’s entrance.