Monday, 3 December 2012

Tell me your story

Our dearest Noor

Thank you Bilal for the signs
This is how it started with few signs in arabic, english and armenian which say "tell me your story".
Location, Hamra main street, on the stairs in front of a bank, time, 5 pm.
It was our first time that we attempt such an initiative, I expected it to fail miserably.
When we all sat down, Sandy turned and asked me "what do we tell people when they ask us why?"
I told her "I don't know, why are you here? Why are YOU doing this?"
And this is how it started, We wanted to listen, we also wanted to encourage people to share.
When people share with one another with no expectations, it brings them close, and it can create a sense of a bond in the community, others wanted to do it to provide to people a chance to vent or take away some of the weight on their shoulder, help them feel better.
We told the people asking us what to share, to share anything they would like, we didn't limit them, it could be a happy story, or a sad one, personal or not, a joke or an advice... anything they wanted.
The stories opened up, from this person who fought cancer, to this woman who had a family member kidnapped the 80s, the refugees from syria who some had their home destroyed and some were still going in and out of syria regardless of the situation, to people from Baghdad who advised us not to vote...
One man who has been traveling for years told us how he is often viewed as crazy because of his life style, but he was happy and you could see it. He would volunteer from a work to another just to walk in people's shoes and have better understanding of their perspective... He was divorced with a 2 years son who he considered "my only friend". When we asked which was your favorite country, he said "Lebanon" and then explained "there are still some goodness in the people here, it is fading but it is there."
 He sat with us throughout the event and listened to other stories and before he left he asked me "I think people are only coming here because they see beautiful girls sitting, i don't think anyone would come if they were just males".
-"I think you are wrong"
-"why would you think that?"
-"would you have came here if they were only males?"
-"well yes it is a great idea"
and we started laughing.
This evening didn't end without reminding me of what really matters, acting towards making this world a better place when we have the opportunity to do it. Listening is good but acting too when can.
A man came to us for help, requesting food and medication and telling us his story.
I usually don't believe people who are asking for money, I also don't give money to ones not working and choosing to be beg in the streets. Though when this person asked me for food, I realized that he might really need it and it is the least that i could do.


  1. There was also the story of the guy who was addicted to drugs when he was 15 then he took back control of his life with the help of AA.

    I would also want to add that as much as this has helped other people, it has also helped us gain precious experience and knowledge about people and life.

  2. *applause* you represent hope for peace to me, you people are amazing and i hope i'll join you sometime soon!
    keep up the spectacular selfless work!

  3. Indeed and a woman who told me that one of the best anger management treatment that she got, or a good way to deal with her pain was to write it down on a piece of paper and then tear it up or burn it.

  4. i am so proud of you.. all of you