The photo initiative “Let Hope Light the Way” is one of several creative projects seeking to raise money to lend a helping hand to those in need in these trying times.
Initiated by Jean-Michel Habis, the project centers on the sale of a work by photographer Bernard Khalil, which captures Beirut Port a few days after the blast, showing the resulting devastation in panoramic detail.
“I’ve been helping out NGOs a lot over the past year, to raise money, because a lot of them are really helping but not doing much marketing,” Habis told The Daily Star. “We came up with this project to offer a bit of hope and Bernard Khalil offered this photo, and I offered the costs to printing, and that’s it.
“The photo composition was my idea. I’m a bit of photographer myself, but the photo itself was taken by Bernard using a drone a few days after the blast, to get a 360 degree view of Beirut,” he added. “I wanted it to go from black-and-white to color, which was an important part of showing us going toward hope.”
All proceeds from the photo’s sale will go toward helping underprivileged families through the NGOs Bassma, Les Restaurants du Coeur, Achrafieh 2020, Afel, Anta Akhi, Oum el Nour and Al Makassed. Sold at LL100,000 per print, the initiative hopes to raise LL100,000,000 overall.
“If people want to help a specific NGO from the list, instead of it being split between all the NGOs, they can buy the print directly from the NGOs themselves,” Habis said, “so all the amount goes directly to them.”
Several of these NGOs will be present at a Christmas fair taking place Dec. 19-20, at the Saint Joseph Church Crypt, where the print will be on sale.