Category Archives: Photography

Some Snapshots from Latest Trip to Lebanon

I recently came back from Lebanon, where I presented at SHARE Beirut. The conference was one of the most laid back (yet organized), chill, and diverse gatherings I have ever attended. I could go on and on about the conference, the people I met, and Lebanon in general – especially since this time, the country has entered my heart for good (they say third time’s the charm). Yet, a picture is worth a thousand words –  and I believe I could write something more substantive later on.

Most photos were taken in Beirut (Jemmaizeh, Hamra, and Mar Mikhael), Shouf, and the National Arz Forest Reserve.

tunis: the medina

a brisky mid-morning in downtown tunis. the cafe a friend took me to was called “qahwet el 3inba (قهوة العنبة )” or, “cafe of the grapevine.” what i loved most about it was its nonchalant attitude: the cafe was not easy to find, and unlike many in the area, did not exude a touristy shine. it is essentially some chairs and tables on the sides of an alley with grapevines above. it was raw and rusty, but utterly charming – despite some noise emanating from the blacksmith next door. the server does not offer a menu as the cafe only had classics such as turkish coffee, espresso, and tea. following the coffee – wherein we discussed thomas paine, ennahda, zionism, and cyclical physics – my friend and i just walked around the medina. even though i have walked its narrow alleys countless times, the sun hit every thing quite differently this time.


One year later: Sidi Bouzid marks first anniversary of uprisings

Sunrise on the road to Sidi Bouzid. Unlike the one pictured, most of the roads were actually unpaved – full of holes and rocks.

Harsh climate conditions given the region’s rather desert-like atmosphere. The days are very warm, while the nights are near unbearably cold.

On December 17th, 17 kilometers to Sidi Bouzid.

Note the “USA” scribbled onto the sign – although it is uncommon, some Tunisians like to attribute any and all world events to an American agenda.

Ennahda sure got its promotional strategy right.

The monument honoring Bouazizi was unveiled on the eve of the 17th. The monument depicts a fruit cart pushing off chairs – symbolizing Bouazizi’s act as ousting despots and systems of power all over the world.

Waiting for the festivities to begin. Crowds eventually started to become increasingly large…

To the point that many forsake the crowds “down there” and took to some neighborhood rooftops to watch the festivities in full view.

The marching band was the most organized aspect of the festival. With heart, soul, and good coordination, they attracted everyone’s attention.

The conductor wasn’t joking around.

This is another, older monument near the center of Sidi Bouzid. Plastered on it is a poster depicting Bouzizi’s act as one that sparked changes reaching all corners of the world.

Young and old participated in the festivities. Some members of the armed forces were also present to help ensure the day is smoothly and orderly run.

A local Sidi Bouzidi, “Take a photo of me! I’m happy this is happening too!”

More crowds.

People from all over the republic flocked to the city to celebrate December 17th. “The youth of el Kasbah [Tunis] commemorate the uprisings first anniversary.”

Including our Salafi friends [Hizb Ettahrir]. “Dear family, you have created your revolt – complete it with Islam.”

Recently appointed Prime Minster Hamadi Jebali walking in to a conference held that day to discuss the region’s development.

Head of the Constituent Assembly Ben Jaafar, President Marzouki, and PM Jebali.

And course, can’t forget Rached [leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party].

a promenade with nostalgia

took a walk around the neighborhood i went to primary school in today – école primaire claude bernard, established in 1912 under colonial french rule. some buildings in the neighborhood tell stories that are decades old.