لست في معرض استنكار لما حصل البارحة من احراق لمكتبة تضم اندر واكبر مجموعة من الكتب في لبنان او ربما في الشرق الاوسط بأجمعه.. فقد فقدت كلمة “استنكار” و”شجب” و”ادانة” كل المعاني التي يمكن ان تحملها في ظل استخدامها المفرط عقب احداث اجرامية متسارعة لا يمكن لأي عقل بشري استيعابها ولا تقبلها ..
كلا، ليس هذا مقصدي.. فقد استهلك “السياسيون”تلك الكلمات بما يكفي واصبحت “كورسا” يتسابقون على ترداده امام اي وسيلة اعلام تسألهم رأيهم ..
كلا، لن استنكر.. لن اعلن الحداد.. لكني لن انسى!
فكل ما يجول في خاطري منذ سمعت خبر الحريق هو كم تشبه قصة تلك المكتبة حكاية طرابلس!
من بداياتها المتواضعة لنشر العلم والمعرفة.. حتى تاريخها الحافل الغني بالامجاد.. الى الاهمال والتخاذل والفوضى ثم الهوان..
نعم، اني ارى حكاية طرابلس متجسدة في تلك المراحل كافة حتى ادهشني عمق الشبه.. هل علم المجرمون يا ترى اي ذنب يقترفون؟ ام ان رمزية تلف مكتبة بهذا الحجم مقصودة؟
ها نحن اذا يا ابونا سروج نقف امام مكتبتك وجرح حزننا يتعدى خسارة الثقافة والعلم والادب والاخلاق..
نحن نقف امامها ونعي ان ما نخسره اليوم هو طرابلس!
اهكذا اذا ستنتهي حكايتك طرابلس؟ تلتهمك نيران الجهل والخراب والعالم يتفرج عاجز عن انقاذك؟
لست ادري ما سر ذلك الأمل الذي يداعبني.. لكنني ارى في يوم ليس ببعيد، عودة المكتبة الى سابق مجدها تستقبل طلبة العلم في حضنها الدافئ تنير دروبهم وتشبع فضولهم… ربما احتضن هذا الامل لأنني أؤمن بطرابلس المناضلة المكافحة الصلبة .. أليست قوة المدينة بصلابة عزيمة ابنائها؟؟
It has been a long time since I thought about my feelings for the troublesome city I live in..
Today, I decided I still love my Tripoli.
Passing through its streets, I felt how lucky I was to be part of its insignificant background..
My Tripoli, the city of ancient history, where you could walk into to a mosque that was built thousands of years ago, or down the streets into markets that served sultans…
My Tripoli, the city of amazing familiarity, where you could easily identify faces, where everyone knows everyone or is related to someone who knows them..
My Tripoli, the city of simple joys, where the special taste of a kaakeh is addictive ,where you know which store sells the best sweets and which offers the cheapest, yummiest Felafel..
My Tripoli, the city of sparkling beauty, where the tempting sea lazily hugs the length of its shores, and is always a few minutes away..
My Tripoli, the city i was raised to love, the city i lived every sweet moment of my childhood in, the city where I met my best friends and where i know every corner, every building, every cafe.. well almost 🙂
I still love you my Tripoli.. All the efforts to make me forget what you mean will not work.. I know better..
I know that whatever happens, a few black clouds could not hide your glorious rays for long..
I know that whoever is trying to turn you into a war zone would only succeed if we let him..
I will always love you my Tripoli.. I promise!
There is no doubt that life always has a way of surprising you.. My most recent surprise was meeting Ahmad.
I have met Ahmad in a recent humanitarian event organized by “We Love Tripoli” which is actually a group of volonteers working on improving our beloved city ,Tripoli, in many aspects.
Each year, we plan two iftars for orphans in Ramadan, usually coming from the poorest places. We decided to make it more like a fun day, an outing where we first play some games until it’s time for the meal. This takes place in a restaurant where most kids like to go: Macdonald’s or Burger King.
I went for that iftar in Macdonald’s on friday the 27th expecting to give… instead, I gained!
Ahmad was part of the 6 kids group I was in charge of. From the very first minute, I liked him. His enthusiasm charmed me. Before the games, I made a deal with my kids: we are there to win!! The competition always gives a fun and exciting aspect to the games. He was so thrilled he came directly to me, full of self confidence and said: “I promise you we will- ma 3layki”.. It was so touching.. he said it as if by winning he would be doing his part.. During the games, this enthusiasm never failed him.. he was so eager to please me, and midway through the event, he became very possessive of me: each time we passed one of his friends he would smile that big smile of his and proudly announce:”this is Farah”.. He was showing me off!!
As time passed, I got a bit tired and we had to wait before our turn came. I decided to sit on the floor with my kids around me, and play a small game of Q & A. It seemed only fair that game should be about Ramadan.. I asked about the name of the month, how long it lasted, then I asked what was so special about this month.. his innocent answer shook me to the core.. he said “restaurants”!! He said so many things in this simple word that I was hardly able to control my tears.. It was his way of telling me he was happy, that the event was special to him, and to remind me of how different his life is… I had little time to recover however, It was time for that game and they asked us to go.. I complained about not being able to get up, he sweetly stood up in front of me and extended his little hand to help..” ana bse3dek!” .. and the event went on.. I was amazed at how much humanity can be packed in such a small frame.. I kept watching him closely.
When it was meal time, Ahmad had another surprise for me. On the table he shared with his team, he was eating his meal peacefully when his friend complained he finished and wanted more.. I was going to get him another meal but before i could do anything, I watched Ahmad as he gave him half his own.. ” ana bshba3 bsr3a, khod nes li ma3i”.. He gave!! In a place where he should be given.. that simple act was the most generous of deeds!!
Before Ahmad left, he hugged me, thanked me and blew kisses from his bus seat at me.. It was a very difficult goodbye for me.. because I knew what waited for him back there, I knew how difficult his life is.. I knew that tonight he went for that cold bed of his, feeling happy and content, dreaming about tomorrow, and I also knew that slowly ,cold realities will be forced on him as he grew up.. That 9 year old boy was so full of life, so content, so sweet , so caring.. He had so much less than a normal kid his age, but really was a better human than any of us.
I have expected to feel bad meeting my kids, I expected to read the need in their eyes and the hunger for attention, but Ahmad taught me that you are never too young or too poor to be a better person…
I wish that Ahmad reads this sometime in his life.. This is my way, dear Ahmad, to thank you for the most touching lesson of humanity I have ever learnt! God bless you sweet boy, and may He grant you the happy life you deserve…
انها طرابلسي … فيحائي ! رمزها الأبدي زهرة ليمون فواحة عطرة
انها طرابلسي لن يغيرها زمن القسوة والاستنزاف، زمن النسيان والتناسي.. زمن النكران
انها طرابلسي … تلك الزهرة البيضاء الحلوة
كريمة انت..أعلم، ككرم شجرة حمضية تعطي الزهور والفاكهة بغير حساب
بسيطة أنت.. لا يعنيك التكلف والتلون والتزين
بيضاء أنت.. بياض قلبك الواسع الذي كان وما زال يحضن الكل بلا تمييز
عطرة أنت.. عبيرك الساحر يمضي بخفة متمايلا مع نسمات الهواء ليملأ الكون سحرا ويرسم بسمة أينما حل
أزلية أنت.. لن يردعك مغرض أو حاسد أو مخرب عن البقاء.. والعطاء
وربيعك طرابلس ليس موسما.. ليس حلما.. ليس وهما
ربيعك باق حتى آخر شجرة ليمون زرعتها فينا،
نحملها رسالة فواحة بين زواياك الأثرية ونمضي ننثر عطرك دون أن نشعر.. دون أن ننسى
أنها طرابلس يا سادة..طرابلسي التي أعشق، طرابلس طفولتي و صباي
طرابلس الحياة… طرابلسي
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.