#AnaTarablos: The Triumphant Video That’ll Make You Love Tripoli

ana-tarablos-tripoli-lebanon

If there’s anything that this blog has gotten people to think about me, it’s that I’m one of the staunchest advocates for Tripoli, one of my favorite Lebanese cities, and the capital of my mouhafazat. I know its streets all too well. I pride myself on being able to maneuver its shortcuts. I feel jubilant whenever I’m deep in conversation about it and can converse well in its history.

Tripoli also instills sadness in me when I see its current state, and the massive could-have-been that it is. I hope that future days are kinder on this city whose potential knows no bounds, which boasts some of Lebanon’s most impressive architectural and human feats, and whose imprint in our history as a country cannot be denied.

From its maarad, to its old souks, to its citadel, to the river running in its midst, to its restaurant, to its people. I’ve written about it many times. I’ve told you how awesome it is countless times. I’ve defended it against those who don’t understand its dynamics as many times. I’ve invited you to visit it as often as I can, and I still do, especially now that kinder weather is approaching.

Earlier today, a friend of mine linked me to a magnificent video about Tripoli that I felt I needed to share with all of you. It’s the kind of videos that I wish our government knew how to make – and they tried to before, but decided to exclude anything and everything Northern from it. It’s the kind of videos that can get any Lebanese, no matter where they come from, to be absorbed in the history of that city, learn in the space of a few minutes about its rich past, feel the same sadness that I feel at its present, and yet also feel triumphant at the fact that it’s still standing on its feet despite all.

Nader Moussally, the creator and director behind the “Ana Tarablos,” should be commended on conveying onto his society a sense of humanness that few before him have managed to do. Although I’m not from there, his “Ana Tarablos” video makes me feel the sense of pride and even hope that I know any person from Tripoli would feel watching it, believing the future in store for this city is better than the present it has been forced to deal with through systematic negligence from the part of successive governments that don’t care and its own politicians that see it as nothing more than conquests to be rationed.

I couldn’t write this post before talking to Nader to help him further convey his vision. Like many people from Tripoli, Nader took his own city for granted before he moved to Beirut for his studies. The longing he felt to his city, as well as the sadness that overtook him as he started to further notice how forcibly deprived it is, Nader, away from the politics that he knows is killing his city, decided to support his city in the way he knows best: a movie that conveys how he feels about his city: one that is more like a mother than a town, inspired from the conversations with his own mother, to make his sentiment towards his home relatable to every Lebanese.

The video is that in which Nader imagines Tripoli to be a person and this is the message he believes Tripoli the person would tell the country in which it exists and the people that constitute it. It’s the message of a lover, of a disappointed friend, of a city that has known what it is for times to change and leave you behind.

Nader wanted Tripoli’s story to be narrated by someone whose voice echoes the history and depth that Tripoli is. The only person that seemed like a perfect fit was Khitam Lahham whose sighs in the video will penetrate your soul.

The text is glorious, and jubilant and worthy of the city it portrays :

عمري اكتر من٤٠٠٠ سنة… عندي اكتر من ٤٠٠ الف ولد… ما بحياتي فرقت ولد عن ولد… فتحتلن كل بوابي، هديتن أجمل صيغة، المع نحاس، احسن صابون، اشهى حلو … غسلت قلبون بالحمام و عطرت روحن بزهر الليمون … خيطلن أجمل تياب بالخان زرعت العِلم فيّن و عملتلّن اغنى مكتبة…

و لخفف عنّن خلقتلن اكتر من 20 صالة سينما عملتلّن ساحة و منشية تصارت نبضات قلبن تدق ع ساعتها…هندستلن احلى بيوت… جمعتن بالقهوة عَ لقمة كعكة و عصير خرنوب و تركت الحكواتي يخبرن عني و عن تاريخي بأخبارو لي ما بتخلص… خليت نهر ابوعلي يِبَوردلن قلبن عالمايلتين…

و لانن موهوبين و مميزين قلت ليش ما بعملن معرض … و ايه عملتا … اكبر معرض بلبنان و بالشرق ربيتن عالمحبة بالجامع و الكنيسة. خفت عليّن، ولإحمين عملتلن قلعة و سميتا عَ اسمي . عطيتن كل شي …غنيتن بكل شي و عكتر ما غنيتن سموني أمّ الفقير. مابذكر عذبوني ولادي هنه و صغار

… بس عكبر …هه… خليني ساكته . يمكن من كتر همومن نسيوني، هملوني و تركوني تصرت خايفي ع حالي مننن… آه… بس معليه… انا مني زعلانة لاني انا هون … باقية هون أنا العلم … أنا المعرض… انا العِلم … انا الفن …انا الفيحاء… انا القلعة… انا ام الفقير …انا .طرابلس

The English translation:

I am over 4,000 years old. I have more than 400,000 children I have never preferred one over the other.

My doors I opened wide, and gave them only the best Fine jewelry and copper Fancy soaps Delicious sweets Hammams to cleanse their hearts, the fragrance of orange blossom to fill their souls, exquisitely woven attire, deep-rooted education, and the richest library.

For them, I built over 20 cinemas and theaters, a square and a great clock to whose chimes their hearts beat. Beautiful homes I gathered them in my coffee shops. Fed them cookies and carob juice.

There, the storyteller recounted my history and told his never-ending stories. My Abou Ali River ran on both sides, refreshing their hearts when they grew talented and unique, I exhibited their work. What an exhibition! The largest in Lebanon and the East!

Both my mosque and my church taught them to love. I feared for them so I built a fort to protect them and named it after myself. I gave them everything. I kept granting them riches until I was named “Mother of the Poor.”

When they were young, my children were always good. But when they grew older…  Ah Things got worse. Perhaps worries burdened them. They forgot me, neglected me, left me all alone. Now I’m afraid they might hurt me. But that’s okay I am not saddened. Because I’m still here, and here I’ll stay.

I am History. I am The Exhibition. I am Knowledge. I am Art. I am Al Fayhaa. I am The Fortress. I am the “Mother of the Poor.” I am Tripoli.

I leave you with the wonderful video:

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The Lebanese Brew Ad Campaign: Try Something Brave… the Last Summer on Earth

I blogged several months ago about a great ad video by Lebanese Brew: Courage is Contagious.

The message behind that video was about the importance of being courageous enough to be free in life. And it extremely well done.

Well, who knew Lebanese Brew can come back with an even better campaign this time around?

Not straying away from their previous message, the Try Something Brave campaign is here: Going out of your comfort zone and doing things that you never thought you’d do, on the last summer on Earth.

All of these amazing ads are part of a video that has creativity & ingenuity written all over it:

Can I say brilliant? Can I say awesome? Can I say I got goosebumps?

This is probably the first time I’d want to try something after an ad campaign. I really want to have some Lebanese Brew right now.

Check out the campaign’s website by clicking (here) – it will redirect you to their Facebook page where a countdown for a smartphone app (for both iOS and android) is taking place. Almost 90 hours to go until you can get the app and try something brave. I’ll make sure to let you know about the app too.

Cheers to Lebanese creativity!

Update: The agency that did these is Interesting Times. I mention this because I think these ads are such a breath of fresh air that I need to congratulate the agency, even though they don’t need me. They have this feel of Lebanese friends sitting together and coming up with them – very authentic and very refreshing. A job truly well done, Interesting Times! 

To All Med Students: The Rise and Fall of Medicus Studentus

This is an absolutely hilarious video done by medical students at the American University of Beirut (AUB) that was presented during an annual gala dinner which serves as a fundraiser for the Lebanese Medical Students International Committee (LeMSIC).

I was fortunate enough to watch this firsthand at the aforementioned gala dinner and I thought it was totally awesome. Other med students, you will eat this up. For those who have nothing to do with med school, here’s the setting you need to put in your head: cut-throat competition, your med school books are neo-scripture. Caffeine is your BFF. You also hate everyone.

It’s long but definitely worth it. And hey, we have unlimited internet at night now. So why not?

This is Not A Movie – This is Syria

To affix to the previous post about a year in the life of a Syrian revolutionary, I found this video fitting to showcase the struggle of the Syrian people – politics aside.

Your stance regarding the Syrian matter cannot be how it reflects on your country. It should be a reflection of your humanity because you cannot see such a video and not be shaken to your core.

And if you still feel like nothing’s wrong in Syria, then you are simply blinded and lack basic human compassion.

 

Greenpeace Lebanon’s Secret Mission: Blue Shield 011 – Mission #1 – The Video

As a follow-up to my initial post about the matter, which you can check here, Greenpeace Lebanon has unveiled the first in a series of videos in their secret mission, which is slowly taking form.

You can check out the video here:

It’s not too late to get aboard the mission’s ship. All you need to do is follow this link and register your email. You’ll be receiving secret material as soon as it becomes ready. Video #2 will be up and ready very soon, from another region in Lebanon, to slowly expose the horrors going on with our waters, beaches, etc…

Change in Lebanon starts with these small steps, such as being more active even if it’s simply online.

 

The Rihanna “Man Down” Controversy

Prior to this weekend, I was about as knowledgeable about a song and video for Rihanna titled Man Down as I am about quantum physics.

Which basically means: I have no clue.

But soon enough, I get many of my followers on Twitter retweeting Rihanna’s charged tweets:

“I’m a 23 year old rockstar with NO KIDS! What’s up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice! Cuz we all know how difficult/embarrassing it is to communicate touchy subject matters to anyone especially our parents! And this is why! Cuz we turn the other cheek! U can’t hide your kids from society, or they’ll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL WORLD!”

Those leading the campaign against the Man Down video are the Parent’s Television Council for the video’s portrayal of murder and rape. And honestly, this is overly melodramatic.

1) There are many TV shows with full length episodes about murder and rape. Did they call out to get them banned?

2) The song is about shooting a man down. What would the video be about? Rihanna dancing in a field of corns?

3) As Rihanna said, she is only 23, and as a person who has already been the victim of domestic abuse, she is allowed to speak up more than anyone else, especially that she hasn’t tackled the issue, at least to my knowledge, in depth.

4) If parents are worried their children would act out on the video, then maybe they’re not doing a good enough job of raising them? If a child or teenager thinks they need to imitate every single pop music video out there, then we’re in serious trouble. Have you seen what goes on in some of those videos? Why haven’t that council spoken about the near orgies going on in pop music nowadays?

5) Again with controversies, the only thing they do is shed light on something that most people would be unaware of. I would have gladly resumed my life without “Man Down” and would have remained clueless about the song hadn’t it been for the Parent’s Television Council. And for that matter, blowing this way out of proportion is definitely not the way to handle it.

Check out the Man Down video here:

Katy Perry’s Hidden Message in E.T?

Katy Perry’s new video for her smash hit E.T. was released on Thursday and, like the song, it’s all about aliens and weirdness.

I have mixed feelings about the video personally. I thought it was way overhyped (everyone was saying how it was going to be the video of the year and whatnot) so I was let down by the final result. But it was still a good video in the sense that it wasn’t boring and it was definitely engaging. The visual effects were quite good, especially for a music video, and I just like the song. I did ever since I listened to its demo.

You can watch the video here.

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