Things in Beirut have been pretty cool. The first panorama photograph above is a photo I took when I visited Byblos a couple days ago. According to Wiki “It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon…It is believed to have been ocupied first between 8800 and 7000 BC…” That was a nice little break. i feel like things have been hectic as soon as I arrived.
The Lamba Labs Hackerspace is doing great and it’s been really fun documenting their progress. The day after I arrived there was an Arduino Workshop and then this last weekend there was a No Excuses Hackathon, which was open to the public for anyone to come work on any of the projects they’ve been meaning too.
Here are some things that were accomplished on the first day:
- Jad and Marc made a DIY electromagnetic speaker.
- Maya is almost done on her face-tracking device.
- Bassam worked on his environment sensing belt, so that blind people can sense vibrations of objects that are near them, w/o having to use a their stick.
- People came in and out to experiment with electronics and photography.
Being here has been incredible in seeing how people can come together as a community to create incredible projects that will better the world and their communities.
Run and gunning has been a change for me. I brought the bare minimum I would need to shoot, a Canon 7D and 2 lenses, my 50mm 1.4 Nikkor and my Tokina 11-16mm. I had to be very aware of traveling extremely light and to some potentially dangerous places, later on in the trip, so I didn’t want to bring to much attention to myself and setup. I brought my Sirui carbon fiber tripod sticks and Velbon fluid pan/tilt head. Super light and get the job done for smooth moves. I also brought my Glidecam 2000, just in case, and my Pico Table dolly. All very low profile. I am realizing that I don’t need the Glidecam as much as I thought I would, since I am predominately working in one space but who knows it may come in handy later. I feel a bit naked without the rest of my gear, this is the bare minimum of stuff I need to tell this story.
Other than the awesome rush of documenting these workshops and events, I’ve been getting pretty exhausted. My body hasn’t been adjusting to the weather/jet lag/food very well. I constantly feel nauseous and weak. Hopefully after a couple more days I’ll feel in better shape. I’m not going to lie, I kind of miss little things about home like air conditioning, my bed, or even just being able to flush toilet paper down the toilet.
The next 2 weeks I will be here in Beirut documenting more events at Lamba Labs in Karaj. We have a Youtube Mashup night, 3D Printing for Graphic Designers Workshop, Illustration Hackathon, more workshops, and the Share Conference (www.sharebeirut.net). If you are in Beirut or know anyone there, come by Lamba Labs and say hi or come create!
After Beirut I will be in Iraq for a couple weeks and then maybe Lagos, Nigeria and Cairo, Egypt.
This is important, and people need to hear about these communities and hackerspaces…but I do really miss home.