It’s been a while now since I attended my first “shoot as you walk” event with “We Love Tripoli” people. To tell you the truth, I was not quite certain I would ever repeat it.. let me first explain that ever since we were kids, old Tripoli with all its charm and souks and corners was familiar to us: mom used to take us with her whenever she went. Then when we became older, the school’s history teacher- Ahmad Barakeh- so passionate about history, organized several field trips and introduced many of the ancient relics of the city.
So, I wasn’t expecting to learn anything new or to find an attraction I did not have for the beautiful old city. but I attended anyway, out of curiosity and out of respect for the enthusiasm the guys showed. Mainly, I attended because my sister Ymn wanted to and I would accompany her anywhere, no questions asked. The trips became revolved around me waiting for her to take shots or finish talking to someone or pack something… It became for me an event of “follow Ymn as she shoots”.
Soon, however, the trips began to interest me: I discovered new/old corners that I never noticed before, it became easy to put a name tag for streets and places previously unknown to me.. I rarely took photographs, and when I did I found it silly since at least 10 other people took variants of the same shot.. I soon lost interest in “shooting” and took interest in the walk itself. The companionship I found there was amazing: how people, complete strangers, can find common grounds then build a friendship amazed me. I think this is where these trips succeeded the most: introducing perfect strangers to each other with only one passion in common: Tripoli.
I consider myself lucky now when I think about the new friendships I made. Taha Naji, Hassan Osmani, Ghaida Bakri, Nour Kabbara, Omar Mourad, Omar Bakkour, Taha Baba, Ahmad Derbass, Mahmoud Layla…People I like, people that are funny, interesting and each with a personality so different but still able to bond and become friends. I couldn’t imagine any other way these people could have met or formed such a successful group without the ” Tripoli bonds” that united them.
there may be other names I forgot to mention, faces I saw, people I met..but the point is this: No matter how many times I went on these trips and observed the same scenery, each trip I had new people to meet, new experiences to live , new anecdotes to tell..And this is why I still attend these events.