Over nine months, I interviewed thirty-one Lebanese personalities, including filmmakers, architects, fashion and furniture designers, visual artists, musicians, media pioneers and writers. I then wrote their portraits, while award-winning photographer Roger Moukarzel set about photographing them. Author and professor Roseanne Saad Khalaf has contributed a perceptive introduction, and Chantal Coroller, a sleek, modernist design.
Together our efforts have produced the book Creative Lives: Portraits of Lebanese Artists (Turning Point Books, Dec. 2009).
During my conversation with each artist, I posed a simple question in many different ways: “How have the unique events in your life shaped the way you create?” These artists are Lebanese, but their stories are universal, and Creative Lives is the fruit of our collective excursion into the mysteries of the creative process, a tantalizing glimpse of the homegrown ingenuity transforming the contemporary Middle East.