Am working a lot these days on a very exciting project: a book collecting lost and unknown stories from Beirut.
Mashallah News, the platform I’m one of the co-founders to, has been sharing less-told stories from across the Middle East for nearly two years now (our 2nd birthday is approaching – less than 2 months away!). We felt that there was a need for something different than conventional media, which focuses heavily on politics, conflicts and what different leaders do or don’t do. Sure, these are things that influence people’s lives, but so do other stuff too. Life is very much about your daily on-goings, and how changing social and economical realities affect you and people around you. So Mashallah News was launched with the aim to speak about these things.
Since then, we’ve written about lots of great people, interesting places and inspiring projects. Saudi Arabia’s only female stand-up comedian for instance, or the Libyan sculptor Ali al-Wakwak who makes art with left-overs from the war. The dream about a metro in Gaza, the things you experience learning Hebrew as a Lebanese, or Syrians who use the regime newspaper for voicing their criticisms. And, some amazing revolutionary writing from Egypt: what to wear on a revolution and what to do with sexual harassment.
So, that’s Mashallah News. Right now, we’re doing this first book, which will gather stories about Beirut’s people and places, and unknown things from the city’s past and present. There are so many things to talk about, and the people you come across are just amazing. Suggestion: stay in touch with us through our Facebook page, the best way to follow our work and get some of these nice Lebanese vibes.