Sometimes when I look back at my path in Lebanon, all I can manage to see is a tightly knit series of random and fortuitous connections. In fact, one reason why I love Beirut is because of its dynamic nature, one where personal connections are very easily formed. I imagine my version of Lebanon is somewhat like Calvino’s Ersilia, a place where connections between people form a dense, visible web of strings.
“In Ersilia, to establish the relationships that sustain the city’s life, the inhabitants stretch strings from the corners of the houses, white or black or gray or black-and-white according to whether they mark a relationship of blood, of trade, authority, agency. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the inhabitants leave: the houses are dismantled; only the strings and their supports remain.”
Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
Things often start innocuously; a chance encounter in a coffee shop or on a bus, a friend of a friend hosts a party where I meet someone great, or in this instance, a friend tells me of an Instagram account, and I send a random email.
Back in January, one of these emails was sent to a woman named Karima, an artist in Bahrain who does beautiful “mystical Arabic writing,” her own unique and captivating form of Arabic calligraphy. This initial email about getting a quote for a logo for the Sadalsuud Foundation led to Karima and her business partner Noora generously donating their time and talents in designing Sadalsuud’s new logo. Additionally, these two amazing women had the idea to create a bracelet with the logo for Sadalsuud, and to give my organization the proceeds from the sales. You can imagine my utter surprise.
Things have moved very quickly during the past weeks, and I am pleased to show you the outcome of Karima and Noora’s selfless donation. Behold, Sadalsuud’s new logo, and gold and silver bracelets:
The Sadalsuud bracelet is now available for sale in Bahrain, and will soon be added to the Generous Light Company’s website, the jewelry brainchild of Karima and Noora. Anyone in the world will soon be able to order the Sadalsuud bracelet, and by so doing, will be providing direct support to Syrian children in Lebanon.
Ersilia’s strings were simply physical manifestations of connections between people in a city, but this new connection between the Generous Light Company and The Sadalsuud Foundation is something much more. Stretching from Bahrain across Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and into Lebanon, this string is not simply for show. It is strong and durable, and will serve as a lifeline for Syrian children in Lebanon, pulling them from their hopeless situations, allowing them to rise high above a life without education.
Perhaps a more apt description still would be a more complex network of these strong lines accompanied by pulleys, looping far up into the heavens, around the Sadalsuud star in the Aquarius constellation, and back down to Earth again, the generous star providing the leverage needed to hoist these children up and away from their current lives. And soon each and every one of you can be on the other end of this line, simply by purchasing a Sadalsuud bracelet.
Sadalsuud has experienced some other exciting developments, which I will fill you in on throughout the coming weeks. In the meantime, please check out the Generous Light Company at www.thegenerouslightco.com, or go to Instagram and follow @thegenerouslightco and @karimasart.