Sarah Chaabo Instagrams her way through Tripoli to share a taste of this beautiful, lesser known city of Lebanon through her lens…
2014 marked my third trip back home to Lebanon.
My family is from Tripoli, which is in the north of the country. It’s the second largest city in such a relatively small country, yet not many people I know have heard of it. I decided to put it on the geo-map through Instagramming my trip to a viewership of 20, 000.
Through framing my city in photographic squares and putting myself in the position of a tourist, I saw the city from a completely different perspective.
Like an undiscovered gem, it opposes Beirut’s hastiness to forget its Arabian past; rather, Tripoli embraces it into the present through both the language and lifestyle.
Suddenly, things I found tedious about the city became fascinating to document; the crazy driving, the way that shops close down so that shopkeepers can take an afternoon siesta at home and have meals with the family,the densely populated old neighbourhoods, etc.
The response I received from people was overwhelming. During my stay, I connected with two people who wanted to meet ‘the girl behind the photos’. One of them was a children’s book illustrator who gave me a caricature she drew of me during the taxi ride over.
The most rewarding part of it all is when people who trace their family history to Tripoli take an active interest in discovering more about the place.
By Sarah Chaabo
Public servant by day and public observer by night, Sarah is a photographer and well known Sydney Instagrammer. You can find her photos and commentary on her Instagram account, @sarah_and_the_city.