All six of us have lived in Beirut, and each of us loved this country for different reasons.
This project is close to our hearts for several reasons. One of us, Adrienne, was present during the October Revolution and the August 4th explosion. After that, we wanted to invest ourselves and contribute, from here, to the reconstruction of this city and its people. We also wanted to make sure that the world continues to talk about Lebanon and its population.
In order to know us a little better, and to understand the multiple reasons that pushed us to financially support the considerable efforts undertaken by the Lebanese, you will find in the boxes below a brief description of each one of us, through answers to the following questions:
- What led us to go to Lebanon?
- What do we remember from our stay in Lebanon?
The answers to these questions are at the basis our desire to contribute, at our level, to the wave of solidarity that has been inundating Lebanon since the explosion.
After having lived and studied all over the world, I felt the need to reconnect with my roots, and make myself useful in the face of the migration crisis, by doing an internship in a Lebanese NGO helping refugees. My mother being Lebanese and my father Belgian, I had the incredible chance to grow up in a mixture of cultures. East and West, every day at home.
What I remember is the warmth of the people, the importance of family, the sense of celebration, the thirst for life. The human being. Above all, and no matter what else. It is this warmth, which I missed terribly in Belgium, that I went to Beirut to find. And it filled me so much, that I almost stayed there…
After discovering the Balkans during an internship in Serbia, I went to Lebanon for a 4-month internship in the editorial staff of the daily newspaper l’Orient-Le-Jour; The opportunity for me to discover a new region at the heart of the news.
What I remember is the accessibility of the country and its population. We feel right at home and it’s really difficult to leave. I also loved the mix of cultures and faiths that coexist there, the frenzy of its capital that gathers so many cultural and artistic treasures. In short, Lebanon in all its splendor.
After a Master’s degree in International Relations in Leiden, my passion for the Middle East and its culture led me to Lebanon, and more precisely to Beirut, for an internship at Peace Labs, in order to continue satisfying my curiosity.
What I remember from Lebanon is the thirst for life of its inhabitants and the most stimulating environment in which I have been able to evolve. The rhythm is never lost, young, adults and old have like a second breath after the civil war. All we want to do is to keep learning, strutting through the crowded streets and escape the city with friends on the weekends.
Following a master’s degree in international humanitarian law, I wanted to learn Arabic and better understand the region from a geopolitical point of view. But it was mostly out of pure curiosity!
What do I take away from my stay? In a word: life in the present moment – as we know too little about it at home. But also its cabs – service (called service) and horns; its inhabitants and their thousand lives; the intensity of the city; the port of Batroun; and the rhythm that always keeps us away from boredom. We do not forget Lebanon.
After a master’s degree in international relations with a specialization in the Arab world region, I went on a trip to Lebanon. When it was time to leave, I promised myself that I would come back. A few months later, I came back to settle there to learn Arabic.
What I remember is the incredible mix between East and West. The Lebanese’s zest for life, this need to be always on the move, mixed with this oriental spirit that teaches us to take the time to receive friends, drink a coffee, walk along the corniche or chat with the neighbor. I have taken Fairuz’s songs with me; they bring me back to my home every time I listen to them.
I arrived to Lebanon in 2017 for an internship as part of my university studies. After a brief return to Brussels, I made Beirut my home and my friends, my second family.
I can do without electricity in a country that brings me so much in terms of culture, love and adventures. You never know what the next day will be like – both positive and negative. One of the reasons I want to stay here is to participate in bringing justice to a country and people who have brought me so much happiness.