Workshop Summary - Lebanon

In September We had a series of workshops in Tunis, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt, here is a summary made by @nadia on the workshop in Beirut.


photo by Bachar Khattar

Were you at the workshop? To join the community, go to the OpenVillage Group on the platform, read what others have written and leave thoughtful comments. When you feel ready, tell your own story to introduce yourself to the community!

You can use the notes from our discussion at the workshop to help you get started with your own story…

Quotes from Participants

“ What saddens me the most and what I want to change while I am still vibrating on this earth, is changing the economic system in the world… and this can be done by promoting a system that takes care of individuals medically, economically and their well being.”

“OpenVillage will make me have more friends around the world, I would be able to learn more about their culture, get inspired by them and share personal stories of my own background with them. It will improve my life by giving me a space to be who I am, the way I am, away from any family, society or traditional restrictions.”

“Connecting with people from different nationalities, different background, can improve my life dramatically just by sharing cultures and personal experiences, so I will have different connections from different countries, where I will be welcomed and therefore expand my notion of ‘Home’”


People

Bilal @bilal

“Very dynamic person, and a good listener, he has a great potential as he is so focused on his project. His plan is to create a artificial intelligence that will guide you to accomplish your goals, his team is currently working from different countries, he is at a point where he needs a good support to make his project real. Very promising”

Adeeb

“He is very quiet person, working on different projects at the same time, counting on start ups to push his project further. He only shared with us his idea of an application where it gathers a database of refugees concerning their health, environment, houses, family status… so NGOs, companies, donators will know how to help. His goal is to help everyone and not only the refugees as it is not a permanent situation”

Adeeb talked about his experiences around the difficulties in trying to run a project to teach people different kinds of skills. How his project had to adapt to this and the lessons he has learned e.g. that he had started out t he came across many challenges. One had to do with attitudes: At first he tried to interest people in taking Moocs, or watching videos and then discussing/working in study groups. People weren’t up for it. He also tried to teach people (tech/professional skills) with the intentions that they would then teach others. But every time he would try to teach people one skill, he would discover they would be lacking other skills needed to e.g that people were struggling to even use computers. So now he has settled for teaching people life skills e.g. time management and fitting into professional environments.

his project :

Platform on the web and apps to improve Communication between NGOS/companies/organization and Refugees (potentially for everyone).
We work on providing informations and studies and statistics about refugees and about the companies (NGOs organization), so people can find what they need through us.
Our database will be about education-health-family status-work-statistics OF refugees. All help done by NGOs or any company will also be noted in our database, to be able reach everyone.

What we need for the time being :

  •          Road map : to be able to make a better plan,  strategy plan, to know how to take our steps. And to to understand the steps already done.
    
  •          Team: we need a stronger team. We are only two persons behind it so we need more.
    
  •          Budget: consultancy, and accounting studies.
    

Has a lot of difficulty travelling e.g. to do pitches, because of his Syrian passport. He has had to ask his partners who can travel to participate in pitching competitions instead of him. Every government assumes that a Syrian visa applicant will apply for asylum. …

He mentioned having had a similar idea to openvillage at some point….?

Khaleel

“Khaleel is a writer, wants to find a community away from his town so he could have the freedom to write his ideas that don’t match any of the people or family around him. He is feeling like an alien in his world, and needs to come back to LIFE”

“OpenVillage will make me have more friends around the world, I would be able to learn more about their culture, get inspired by them and share personal stories of my own background with them. It will improve my life by giving me a space to be who I am, the way I am, away from any family, society or traditional restrictions.”

Ziad

Lebanon’s eco-warrior. At the end of the workshop had to rush off to manage his stand at Beirut Beer festival - Ziad takes every occasion to draw awareness to the issues and market the solutions people are building.

“I am an engineer; I specialize in environmental problems. My team and I work on tackling problems related to solid waste while linking the solutions to organic agriculture and food production while promoting rural development.

My team and I have 4 patents in technology that fight pollution:
We invented an accelerated composting system
We invented a system that treats slaughter house waste by turning them into high quality fertilizers applicable in organic agriculture
We invented a technology that transforms disposable plastic waste into durable plastic panels (echo board) used in affordable prefab housing, street recycling bins, vertical farming and green wall structures.
As well as Technology to deal with expired pharmaceutical pills by embedding them into plastic barriers.

Currently working in transforming every rooftop in every city into a urban farm using recycling water.

What saddens me the most and what I want to change while I am still vibrating on this earth, is changing the economic system in the world… and this can be done by promoting a system that takes care of individuals medically, economically and their well being.

Muriel @MurielAboulrouss

Studied audio visual/cinema studies at USJ…
First woman cinematographer in the arab world – Award winner
Started teaching cinematography at 24 years (USJ-LAU-Kafaat-Antonine-NDU-Alba)…discovered that the system is designed to block creative freedom…decided to create own filmmaking workshop…in 2012 created CineJam, a journey of cinematic self discovery which will eventually be established as the 1st alternative film lab in the arab world. Pushing the new generation of filmmakers to believe in their own stories and have the courage to discover their own cinematic language…

CineJam philosophy based on creative freedom was not accepted to be embedded in the educational system since it is uncategorized hence uncontrollable.

Decided to become a certified life coach to enable participant in CineJam film lab to exercise personal stories and emotions into a cinematic art form to provoke healing for both creator and viewer/receptor….

In parallel, co-created with Denise Jabbour a documentary webseries Zyara, a platform for emotional healing on a global level….by sharing authentic powerful stories portraying resilience in a very unique visual language that erases judgment and underlines listening to others.

Bachar Khattar @bachar_khattar

A Film maker. His main priority is creating a beautiful environment for his family and especially for his son.

“Connecting with people from different nationalities, different background, can improve my life dramatically just by sharing cultures and personal experiences, so I will have different connections from different countries, where I will be welcomed and therefore expand my notion of ‘Home’”

Denise Jabbour @DeniseJabbour

-My passion is telling stories through short films, by meeting people and listening to their personal stories then sharing it with the world. Also, my passion is to create a hub where people from different places can meet and become One big family.

-My work can progress in the OpenVillage by expanding my circle of thoughts and
imagination, by meeting new people, learning about new cultures and listening to new stories… it can be a real inspiration to my work.

-Any encounter will improve my life, any visit to a new country will contribute positively to my soul’s path. The Openvillage will be a meeting hub to people from all over the world.

Rayanne Audi
I am an LAU student, studying business. I am here to discover new things. I heard about the event on Facebook

I am the type of person who thinks Lebanon should open up more to the outside world. Let go of our taboos and inner fears imposed by society. We are not progressing or evolving and we are in the same cycle and not moving forward.

I propose to bring people together through music. In festivals or street music (open street concert) positioned in between two regions who were separated by war or religion or politics.


Choices of papers from the table:

Rayanne

  • meeting point / leisure
  • responsibility vis a vis common goods
  • solidarity, sharing and learning together

Ziad

  • Peace of mind/peace

  • Politeness/respect/tolerance

  • Cleanliness/pollution/noise

Muriel

  • Education, training

  • Politeness, respect, tolerance

  • Transparency and communication

Second phase: (About the project for each)

Rayanne

I was researching where most of the pollution is coming in Lebanon and I realized most pollution comes from throwing away “ugly” food fruits and veggies. I want to connect the farmers into giving me the ugly food in order to use it and recycle it in a chain of restaurants where ugly food and cooked and eaten despite its shape and prove to people that ugly food as as tasty.

It turned out too expensive and I lost the competition because the project was above their prize.

What is missing:

  • The team

  • The research

  • Connecting to farmers

  • Business plan

  • Funding and resources

Solutions proposed by Ziad & Muriel:

  • Deepen research

  • narrow the intervention space

  • create a tag line “ugly food are tasty”

  • Use green waste to compost

  • Introduce product through events

  • Clear business plan facilitates funding from banks

  • Start NOW!!!

Ziad
We are helping the last glass blowers in Lebanon to stay active and in business
We studied their business model
We changed their designs
We provided packaging
We provided a few points of sale

We need:
To reach out further on social media and in the market

Solutions:

  • Create an account on edgeryders and promote globally for their work

  • Be part of the open village festival to expose the project on a wider scale

Muriel

The cine-jam film lab

Creative freedom for personal growth in cinematic language and authenticity.

Finding international partners: Denmark film school
Location – old house by the beach to fit 20 people
Secure funding to offer the 1-year Film lab program to max 15 international participants based on a very specific set of rules and references

Solutions:

  • Contact the Denmark filmschool

  • Find a land and home for the film lab

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