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 email@example.com, 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.
In August of 2013, my father, knowing that his death was imminent, spoke to me of his past…his Lebanese past, the one before becoming the American immigrant that I knew…the one of which he never spoke. Continue reading
On a snowy winter day, Mark Abouzeid crossed the mountains surrounding Beirut to visit Hezbollah stronghold of Balbek…and found a history of Roman conflict rather than present day.
The second installment of Mark Abouzeid’s journey to his ancestral home in search of his roots. This work as well as future footage from upcoming trips will be developed into an upcoming documentary film, “Cedars in Air”.