jueves, 20 de febrero de 2014

Counting Lebanese Blessings

 Another bomb. Another heart breaking news piece. Another pang of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. Another sleepless night with my cat. In situations like this, the only think I can do is to count my blessings. 

So that is what I did last night. 

And while doing it, I started counting my Lebanese blessings as well. These are the people who inspire me incredibly, the ones that you seldom here about in the news.

The news only portray the bad stuff... These days, it is important to focus on the good.

Therefore, I present to you my list of Lebanese blessing (in no particular order):

The folks from Animals Lebanon. They work day in and day out, rescuing abandoned, beaten and abused animals. They take them in, heal them, love them, and find them homes, sometimes abroad. They do this with very little money and pretty much zero government support. Just because they care.

The folks at Souk El Tayeb. They bring together local producers and consumers, and they also have this awesome restaurant called Tawlet with the most amazing Lebanese food. They offer cooking classes, raise awareness about the importance of eating local and give jobs to Syrian refugees. My heart goes to them.

The young people from Onomatopeia, a new music hub/music school/gig central that just opened in Ashrafieh. This quirky place, filled with talent is an amazing space to go have a coffee and listen to good music (and maybe play some). The owners are young people with a huge heart and amazing vision who built the place from the concept to the handmade furniture. They have created a unique and very needed musical haven in this crazy city.

My people from Toastmasters Lebanon. These is a group of young professionals, from all confessional backgrounds, who come together every week to practice public speaking, support each other, develop leadership skills and have fun. I only wish people in Lebanon could be as accepting, honest and open-minded as these young professionals. Every time you go to a meeting, you feel energized and can't help smiling. And where you come from or what you believe in is never an issue to be part of this group.

Mahmoud the fruit vendor (no link unfortnatelly). He has the best customer service I have ever seen. He works 14-hour days, every day of the week. And he is always smiling. Every time I come to see him, he calls me a princess and gives me an extra lemon. There is no coincidence that despite all the small convenience stores that open around the block, people keep coming back to Mahmoud.

So this is my Lebanon. The one I like to live in. The one I like to talk about. You can call me a naïve or a silly optimist, I dont care.

Id much rather focus my attention on my Lebanese blessings.