It all started on December 31, 2009. Late that month, I received a facebook invitation from a group that said:
“Dandana”: A very simple activity.. We gather.. We sing together..
Lyrics will be provided
Everyone can attend
Registration is not required
The location was “Beit El Fann” which is 20 footsteps away from where I live & it sounded like a lot of fun, so I dragged my sister Farah with me.
-“We don’t know anyone there!”she said. “It’s crazy!”
–” It’s fun! And if we don’t like it, we can simply leave!”, I replied.
And so we went. The event said lyrics were provided, & so the lyrics appeared on a projected screen and everyone was supposed to sing together. We had some great laughs but it seemed that the event organizers were too shy to introduce or welcome us. We left before even giving them the chance to do so because it started to rain & it was an open door event.
It wasn’t till February 21, 2010 that I received another invitation from the same group because I was subscribed to it & it was a “Shoot as You Walk” event. It consisted of taking photos of the old city after having a tour on foot. My friend Nour K wanted to go to try her new camera & since photography is one of my hobbies, I went with my friend & sisters. This time. Taha.N introduced himself to us and mentioned the Dandana event, introduced other ppl in the group, Ghaida.B, Hassan.O, Mahmoud.L, Omar.M & Taha.B were the first ppl I met there.
WLT became an official organization recognized by the Lebanese government, and Taha N. suggested I should be among the board. I remember saying that I’m not sure because I’m the newest there and I’m not sure I’d be available when needed because I have no free time in weekdays. Taha insisted and now I’m glad he did.
Simplicity is what makes this organization really special. Knowing it’s not related to any political party or even a religious one is something very rare in our dear Tripoli. Although its pace is a bit slow concerning achievements but the baby steps we took left a print in the society. From shoot as you walk events’ photos, a very successful photo exhibition was held in Nawfal Palace. Purple day, Zero waste, El Mina festival and many other events showed in local newspapers & magazines in addition to segments on TV.
I met some other wonderful ppl there and little by little the circle is getting bigger. The lovely and varied bouquet that forms the core of the WLT, those great people are and will do whatever is possible for our city.
Thanks to WLT I now know a bit more about the history of the city I live in, through the journeys and tours we take every once in a while. Names, places & people are added to my knowledge and believe it or not I am now able to take whoever feels like checking these places in the old city.
The story with WLT has just begun, & I’m looking forward to attend the next event. I’m not originally from Tripoli but I love Tripoli & I know Tripoli loves me too… I quote Ahlam Mosteghanmi who once said: ثمّة مدن نسكنها و أخرى تسكننا، و مدن نكتبها و أخرى تكتبنا. و ثمّة من هي مداد حبرنا، نكتبها حتى و نحن نكتب سواها.