Archive | Beirut RSS feed for this section

& JUMP!

10 Feb

As most of us fantasize about leaving their routines behind, breaking the habit, and coming out of the cage, some people go ahead and do it.

do it.

By some people, I mean Nader Diab and Imad Berro. Nader was with me in high school, the typical douche/bully high school molds you to be, now turned into travel guru and life teacher. I am utterly astonished by how that guy turned himself around, got a smashing body, a tan, and a winner’s attitude and rose above all the macho clichés.

The wonders of weight loss and tans.

The wonders of weight loss and tans.

With his buddy Imad, they started travelling around, exploring different countries, and together they started “Globe Jumpers”, a movement they are hoping would encourage the youth to go out there and explore the richness of our dearest Planet Earth.

Imad Berro being all exotic

Imad Berro being all exotic

I sat with them for a mini chit chat via facebook, here’s what they had to say:

How did the idea of Globe Jumpers come about? 

The idea of globe jumpers came to us as a pure coincidence: we met William, a writer and traveler and told him about our passion to explore the world. He was not only amused by our drive, but also suggested we go big with it. This is how we started assembling pictures of us jumping in different surroundings, different cultures, different continents; the ‘jump’ is the only consistent element in an ever-changing backdrop.

Jumping in Malibu Bay!

Jumping in Malibu Bay!

How many countries/cities have you travelled so far? 

It would be hard to count the number of cities we’ve been to due to the fact that we enjoy targeting remote areas, such as deserted islands, small villages and mountaineering adventures. We have visited about 40 countries in total: looking forward to doubling the number in the upcoming 2 years.

travel-inspiration-words

Does “Globe Jumpers” get in the way of your respective jobs?

No, it does not get in the way of our jobs simply because, figuratively speaking, we live two lives. We have a multitude of jobs from teaching at schools to working in hospitals. We use what we make out of these jobs to fuel our taste for adventure. All our day-to-day experiences help us build patience and gain knowledge, which become the building blocks of our travels.

Jumping over Chile

Jumping over Chile

What is your most prominent travel memory? 

In 2010, we took a trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The women there had to carry massive baskets filled with fruits on their heads and go sell them at the market, civilians had to shower outside while the youngsters found their form of entertainment in playing with pebbles and twigs. The houses were made out of clay, and the thought of these homes having to withstand weather changes only baffled us. We left Port-au-Prince having gained attachment to the city, along with appreciation for what we had back home. Devastatingly enough, a week later we found out about the massive earthquake that shook the area and took with it the lives and happiness of those Haitians. We still think about them all the time.

What is the most touching travel memory?

The day we went to the Dominican Republic. A woman called Ramona hosted us, gave up her bed and shared the couch with her son; she also protected us with her only mosquito net, saying that she was used to the bites but that the insects could end up hurting the newcomers.

The next day we had the great honor of meeting all her family member a nice “arroz y pollo” typical Dominican dish. Meeting people like this, you can’t but be humbled and touched; we feel like humanity exists the most in less “civilized” corners of the planet.

Jumping over "La Laguna Esme", Argentina

Jumping over “La Laguna Esme”, Argentina

Tell me about your most spiritually enriching experience?

“March 2012, Patagonia, Chile”, the day we discovered meditation.

It was the third day of a weeklong camping expedition, and we met a wise Japanese man named Yoshi. He spoke nothing but Japanese, but that didn’t stop us from conversing with him via body language. Meeting Yoshi gave a spoonful of Japanese culture that we had never witnessed; since then we started incorporating meditation techniques into our travelling experiences. This has enabled us to become one with nature and appreciate our surroundings, environment and our instinct of survival considering the fast rough climate changes we are bound to experiment. Glaciers become more majestic, mountains sharper, rivers more refreshing, and trees more alive!

the Torres mountains in Chile

the Torres mountains in Chile/ Photo taken by the Globe jumpers themselves.

Do you have a message to convey through your Facebook page?

We want to be the first Lebanese youngsters to jump around the world.

We would like to inspire others to take a walk in our shoes, or in this case, our hiking boots; the world has a lot to offer in ways a tour guide can’t. Motivating others to do the same is what we would love to see happen: Traveling opens you up your mind, develops your tolerance and understanding to others.

While travelling, do you ever see concretely the effects of “Global Warming”? 

For the first years of our travels, our main focus and excitement was targeted on exploring till we hiked up the mount of Kilimanjaro where the snow on top is known to be eternal.

We were dumbfounded by the massive glaciers but shocked to learn that they had once been even grander. “Within the decade there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro”.  A local once said.

Also, visiting the “Descente de la Lesse” in Belgium (a 7 hour rapid river kayaking), the trees in the forest had lessened; the rivers had narrowed, limiting the only source of living for certain populations.

at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

What is your ultimate ambition when it comes to “Globe Jumpers”?

As globe jumpers, our ultimate ambition is to travel the world and take on nature with the most adventurous challenges possible. Most importantly, we do this while carrying the Lebanese passport and Flag: it is important for us to represent our country and spread the real image of Lebanon around the Globe; one of cultural richness where religions and ideals cohabitate.

If you wish to connect with the guys personally or try to hit on them (all the single ladies), you can join their Facebook page and stay up to date with their latest activity. Who knows, they might have us jumping with them one day!

Jumping over Huttington Beach state park

Jumping over Huttington Beach state park

WE WANT MOAH JUMPIN’ JUMPIN’ a la Beyoncey

X

Ashrafieh My Love

20 Oct

When I was in New York, a couple of people hadn’t heard about Lebanon, didn’t know what/where Beirut was.

Perhaps because “people in the US don’t have maps” [SIC]

But the truth is Lebanon is a country, the country I live in; the home I call mine.

However, somehow, in the back of my mind, I don’t take Lebanon seriously… I think in a way, we all don’t. We think that one day we will ‘flee because the country is not for us’.

But if i hear myself, I just said not for US; WE. PLURAL!

You get the point,

If WE don’t belong here then why don’t WE change that?

I don’t talk politics. I hate politics. Politicians are the mafia of the soul (read Osho’s long but PRECIOUS view http://tinyurl.com/8vr8lh5)

I talk humans and emotions.

What would you feel if on a random Friday, your neighborhood was bombed, and innocent people were killed, and many were wounded?

Why is it any different if this happened in Ashrafieh, Pakistan or America?

I urge you to realize that You, me, WE are to blame. And we are the solution.

So don’t be ludicrous with the blames, fingers and same patterns. Rise above the silliness people- and for Fuck’s sake stop following those politicians- Write down your solutions on paper. We could use some ideas

Correspond with me via gimmemoah@gmail.com

Send Ashrafieh some luvin’ tonight, it is after all Beirut’s darling.

Now’s the time to see the stars.

Picture from Dani’s Pinterest, here

Check out one of the well written, detailed posts about what happened yesterday:

http://stateofmind13.com/2012/10/20/the-lebanese-hurt/

Love and Light

Try a little Compassion

14 Oct

Today, as I was driving to work, and the first fall clouds hit the still warm Beirut weather, a woman was crossing the street, an umbrella hanging from her bag, waiting for someone to let her pass.

At that moment, It really hit me, how vulnerable we are as humans.

A little drop of rain and we are in dire need of protection. Just like we all need to eat (previous post), we ALL need protection/shelter: We all need each other.

As I stopped my car to let let the lady cross, she hastily threw herself to the other side of the road so that she doesn’t stand in my way and thanked me apologetically, as if expecting me not to stop, her umbrella almost falling from her bag.

Cars were honking/passing me all along that fraction of a minute I dared to pause to allow a woman in her forties to get to work on time, using the not so good Lebanese public transportation, or probably just walking on her feet, a balancing act with all those motorbikes coming the opposite way of the traffic (as if you haven’t done enough)

at this rate, your chances of surviving as a pedestrian are close to null.

I don’t know what triggered that, but this scene made me cry. Weep even.

I don’t know why I get those outbursts of compassion sometimes, à la Mean Girls,

but It really saddens me how much we don’t care about each other.

A vulnerable woman, who needs protection from the rain, can’t rely on her fellow humans to cross the street safely.

As I went to Yoga class today, I was reminded that we are all one – we are made out of one energy- so open your hearts people.

open your hearts and arms, trolls.

This isn’t a sermon; instead look at it as a slap in the face so that next time you remember to be more loving. And if you don’t then I’ll slap you.

Sit there for a moment, and feel yourself fill up with love. Release a little compassion into the world (sounds like a quiff), we could really use some. I know that we all have anger, and stress doesn’t help, but anger and compassion are the same energy – it’s up to us to transform it.

even in Beirut.

People of the city, for God’s sake stop honking, and let pedestrians cross, even if you’re late and REMEMBER (excerpt from an OSHO talk)

Your neighbor is just a form of you; your enemy is also a form of you. Whatsoever you come across, you come across yourself. You may not recognize because you are not very alert; you may not be able to see yourself in the other, but then something is wrong with your vision, something is wrong with your eyes. COMPASSION is therapeutic.”

Love thy neighbor as thyself?

We’re all in this together, even people who think color blocking is IN this season, this one’s for you:

http://danielleabisaab.blog.com/2012/07/16/were-all-in-this-together/

Maybe you should also listen to this song:

It feels so sexy to be kind; we already agreed that kind is the new mean.

Let me see y’all gimme some compassion-spread the word,

Pictures from this Pinterest board, check it out for moah Inspirational quotes, that will hopefully inspire you to be a better person. thanks Dani!

Hugs (for the pretty ones only)

X