Prologue: A Walk in Hamra

Here I write my first post on this blog. Honestly I didn’t know what type of blog I wanted, whether it should be an art blog, or a photography blog, or a private one. I thought about many. But then I realised that all these types of blogs only described one part of me, so I decided to do them all.

I moved to Beirut about four months ago to start my Uni life at the American University of Beirut (AUB); as part of a scholarship programme that gave the same opportunity to many students from various Arab countries. I was extremely excited to start a new chapter of my life. As a Libyan girl I always dreamed of studying abroad, of living an independent life, of obtaining the level of education I always aspired to have. So this thing was a dream come true. And I don’t mean to say that I hated my life back there in Libya, it had its goods and its bad (the latter being merrier than the former) but still the past couple of years it became almost unbearable to live in such a country, and so my desire to flee the scene became more passionate.

I never travelled alone, never lived alone, so this was all new to me. I remember walking the streets of Hamra on my first day in Beirut and trying to actually believe the fact that this is happening, that I’m in a country where I know no one, in a country where I can be anyone, where I can start a new life with a new self. Too cliché I know, but it was too much to comprehend for me!

It is no pink fantasy though, this comes with severe consequences, first days were amazing, I got to come out of my little bubble of social anxiety and meet new people. People from different ethnicities, different religions, and most importantly different personalities.

When I came here I thought I would find it difficult to meet new people; because I would have to befriend people who are similar to me, in senses of personalities and what they like or not. It may be stupid to think that, but I used to think if my friend doesn’t obsess over indie rock bands and Harry Potter what are we gonna talk about? I was wrong! for I have met many friends who have extremely different personalities and interests. I learned that every single person is cool in their own way. But after such days of mesmerisation and socialising, exploring, and revelations, you start experiencing home sickness, or what I like to call “Withdrawal Symptoms”; because Libya was somewhat an addiction, my life there my family, my friends, something I did every day, and now I have suddenly been stripped off.

It does not get better it just gets more bearable.

Hamra Street

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