Sherif, Maktabi joined Karaj in July 2011. He worked on the Solar Powered Fan project (SPF) with other interns and residents, where he conducted site visits, worked on design & development, researched local sources of solar panels and assisted in taking video for the Karaj trailer. During his stay at Karaj, he was also working on his own projects: “Lebanon would be better if…” (he turned one of our garden walls into an installation for people to write on anonymously) and an alternative museum. We asked Sherif to tell us more about his project and here’s what he said about his work and how Karaj helped him in implementing it.
I dream of a collaborative space in Beirut.
I remember talking with my friend and co-founder Abdallah and asking him:
“What would it be like, to work in a place where everyone is doing something different, everyone is working on their own project, they have their own background and expertise… What would a collaborative space like that look like?”
And I never imagined I would experience that first hand, at Karaj Beirut.
I was invited to become a member at Karaj in the beginning of summer 2011. That was the perfect time for me. I was working on two projects and I had milestones to achieve that summer. But I still had a lot to learn and to experience.
Started working from day one. Where did I work?
In a beautiful old Lebanese house, with a garden… in mar mkhael. (just a hundered meters from Gemmeyze). And in that Lebanese house, you are surrounded by interesting people from different backgrounds. That was perfect because when I needed to brainstorm with creative people from different back grounds…
All I had to do is get Manakish, paper, the projector and sit with everyone around the wooden table.
By the end of Summer 2011, I launched the www.lebanonbetter.com website, did two Lebanon Better installations at Karaj and Souk El Tayeb. We did several site visits around Lebanon to tackle the “electricity problem” through the SPF project. And shot a video for Karaj!
Finally, a collaborative space in Beirut.