“Looking for light in this world is like looking for light in a bucket of mud (his metaphor for sh*t). Even if it exists, you will never know. The mud envelopes the light, envelopes you, and fills all the space between. Any impact the light might have is minimal. The mud is all there is, don’t waste your time looking for more.”
“Your story only needs to do one thing. It needs to give people a reason to care. If you stop trying to convince people to think differently, but change how people feel, then you have told your story well!” Mark Abouzeid
Most people know how to tell a good story, especially if it is their own. Our experiences have tastes, smells, sights, sounds and more from which to draw. Emotions are felt again, then shared, connecting us with our listeners. When we tell the stories of others, we often lose this connection.
In this workshop, you will learn the empathy needed to share amazing stories with the same fullness as your own. You will learn the fundamental rule of SlowMedia work: you cannot share an emotion until you actually have experienced it yourself.
How do you prepare to drag a 180 kilo sled battling -53 degree temperatures and 200 mph winds across the most inhospitable terrain on the planet? Dragging tires in a rock river bed reaching over 100 degrees in the summer…where else?
Epic Failure Conference, Florence, September 2015
What did you learn from your failures, both professional and personal? How did these failures lead you to create a specific project? Ultimately, how did these failures bring you to where you are today?
Mark Abouzeid shares his trials, exploits and lessons learned in a rare personal talk on the importance of Epic Failure.
About Mark Abouzeid
Born in 1962 to a Lebanese American immigrant, Mark Abouzeid has been filming the oral histories, living culture and human endeavours of people around the globe for over 15 years. His short film, “Interview with an Assassin”, was shortlisted by the Florence Film Festival and his documentary work on the Dying Seas will be the centrepiece of exhibits at the Maritime Museums of Valencia, Barcelona and EU Maritime Museum in Marseille.
He is currently making a feature length documentary film, Growing Cedars in Air, and a short film, Finding Lebanon. Each are based on Abouzeid’s own personal discovery of his roots and what it means to be Lebanese, today.
About Epic Failure Conference
A process is not always linear, but non-sequential and always navigated by failures. Consequently the goal of EPIC FAILURES is to gather professionals into sharing their stories, their process; how they overcame their mistakes and how failures, more often than not, open new doors. We live in an area where there is an over emphasis on achievement and so this creates an alliterated vision of reality. The stories of errors are not told; yet success is always paved by mistakes! We need to embrace our past flaws in order to move forward. Creativity and Failure go hand in hand. EPIC FAILURES is a conference talk that celebrates creativity and entrepreneurship, built through failures, by providing a networking-platform across industries and communities. We are a bimestrial event, hosting between four to five speakers.
My name is Mark Abouzeid and I am the Director of Growing Cedars in Air. I am Lebanese; I wasn’t brought up Lebanese, but I am beginning to understand just how Lebanese I am.
Last year, before my father died, I interviewed him about my own family heritage, something he had never spoken of before. That moment was the start of a personal discovery which became the basis for the upcoming film.
During the course of getting to know the Lebanese people, I came across this poem by Gibran at the same time as the people I met spoke with similar pride of their homeland. So I decided to start asking anyone, “What is your Lebanon?”
The results have been incredible and the impact overwhelming. The question reminded Lebanese to appreciate what matters, caused foreign viewers to question their view of Lebanon, and helped me find my own Lebanon.
The response has inspired us to launch My Lebanon as a social initiative through videos and with the help of social media. Anyone can contribute with a My Lebanon video. In this video, are just a few My Lebanon examples.
What does My Lebanon mean to you? Is it an album of photos, an object, a person, a song, a poem?
Share your Lebanon with us and you might find yourself in in our next My Lebanon video or in an international feature film. Send links, video files, or written submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, share your Lebanon with others and witness the impact of your statement.
With original music by Rama’s Whisper, Growing Cedars in Air presents 24 hours in the lives of the People of Lebanon, a teaser for the upcoming short film, Finding Lebanon, and feature length documentary film, Growing Cedars in Air. Share this video with your family and friends, spread the word and let your curiosity guide you inside a new Lebanon.
”Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to go home. Not my parents’ house in whatever country they happened to be living in, at that time. But my ancestral home, the land of my dreams: burnt earth under olive trees and rocky hillsides shadowed by secular cedars, their roots reaching deep into the core of the earth….my earth…my roots.”
Mark Abouzeid, director of Growing Cedars in Air.
Ask anyone you meet what they know about Lebanon and you will invariably receive one or both of the following replies:
“Oh, yeah, Beirut! It was once the Riviera of the Middle East. Great place to party!” Or “A damn shame what war has done to that country, poor people.”
If Lebanon has seen nothing but war and parties for the last 40 years with no culture of its own, then how could it have provided so much to world culture in the sciences, arts, design, fashion, music, world politics, business and entertainment?
“Growing Cedars in Air” is an indie documentary video project about personal discovery of what it means to be Lebanese…about the living heritage and unique culture that has allowed Lebanese to flourish wherever they settle.
The films gather Lebanese people of all walks, local and abroad, to tell their own stories of Lebanon and their lives across recent history, including:
Edd Abbas, Lyricist / Producer; Rania Abouzeid, Award Winning Journalist; Aziza, Lebanese Singer and Songwriter; Michel Elefteriades, the Emperor of Nowheristan; Jennifer El Hage, fashion and graphic designer; Robert Fisk, Award Winning Journalist/Writer; Barbara Massaad, International Gourmand Cookbook Award recipient; Kamal Mouzawak, founder of Souk el Tayeb; Mohamad Rifaii, Art Director and Visual Artist; Laila Sarkis, aka Djette, female DJ in Beirut; Rania Tabbara, Artist and Art promoter; Rami Tibi of Rama’s Whisper.
Gio Carbone de Le Arte Orafe durante l’inaugurazione del Florence Jewellery Week 2015.
#learteorafe, #preziosa, #markabouzeid,
“After decades of, often criticized, conservative economic policies and cultural heritage protectionism, Oman is perfectly positioned to win tourism’s greatest prize: the cultural tourist, writes Mark Abouzeid. Continue reading
Quoted in Forbes!
“Mark Abouzeid, economist and cultural documentarian, who has followed Oman’s economy closely, agrees.
“People living and working in the area, possibly in countries with draconian laws on alcohol, who visit Oman regularly, and, yes, do like their drink, may choose other holiday destinations,” he says. “But the fastest growing sector in Oman is cultural and natural tourism. These tourists tend to accept local laws and adapt. They’re looking for something different and will be drawn to Oman’s parks, beaches, natural reserve, etc, and will willingly accept new laws.”
Even labor shouldn’t be affected, according to Abouzeid, who says petroleum businessmen and engineers would likely be put off by the changes, but will go regardless “since work requires them to, as they do in Saudi Arabia.”
“Overall, Oman may suffer slightly, but I don’t think it will do significant damage to hotels over the long-haul,” he says.
“It will require the Omani destinations to promote heavily on the cultural and natural aspects of the country and reinforce the cultural norms that make it a unique and wonderful destination.”
– See more at: http://www.forbesmiddleeast.com/…/will-oman…/articleid/7731