Founded in 2014, MagLebanon is a Beirut-based microblogging platform dedicated to sharing a panorama of different life experiences. Boasting more than 167,000 followers in the Middle East and around the world, it focuses on sharing positive moods and moments as an antidote to the trials our planet endures. We’ve asked its founder Abed Al Rahman Namani about his goals for the platform and his vision for the future of Lebanon.
1. Are you worried about the financial sustainability of MagLebanon, especially with Lebanon’s crisis?
Although I am indeed worried, I believe that we should all support each other. If we survive, we will help others survive, especially small start-ups.
I count on international regional collaborations, as well as some small projects in Lebanon. We should always have hope, as money is a tool that can come and go. We need to work hard, but what matters most in life is our values, and most importantly the trust we build with people.
2. How did people react to your initiative?
I was surprised and impressed by the positive impact of Maglebanon.
3. Who supported you the most?
When you are passionate about your work, people support you without asking for anything in return. I’m lucky to be surrounded by great people that guide me. For example, I learned from Lebanese Arab Star Assi El Hallani and his children singers Maritta Al Walid and Dana, and his wife Colette that we should always stay modest. Also, designer Elie Saab’s family taught me that there is no better place than home, and Lebanon will always be our home.
I am also thankful for our great Lebanese entrepreneurs who believe in the youth, such as businessman Ayman Jomaa and his brother Imad, Bachir Sarkis, engineer Wassim Ammache, Michel Gabriel El Murr (MTV Lebanon’s CEO), and many more. Moreover, my lawyer Mark Habka told me that I should be aware of everything happening around me. I am also grateful to my friend Hala Obeid who is always a great listener.
4. Your country is being torn with all sort of crises: COVID-19, economic depression, political instability, the Beirut Blast of August 4th, etc. How is this affecting you and MagLebanon? How will you survive this? Do you have any hope?
Regardless of everything, regardless of all the hard times we pass through Lebanon is like a Phoenix. We will rise again.
After the blast, MagLebanon started to showcase all the great humanitarian work of the Lebanese people and civil society helping the victims, and I sought to spread awareness and gather donations. Although circumstances are difficult, we still have many businesses, NGOs and key people still investing in projects to rebuild Beirut and help the economy. Moreover, MagLebanon shared all the aid initiatives coming from the international community and NGOs from all over the world.
We will not allow the economic crisis to drag us down. Instead of spreading negative energy, let us all work together hand in hand to support each other. That’s exactly how #MAGLEBSupports was born, when I thought of an initiative to help people around me as much as I can, without expecting anything in return.
5. What is your Lebanon 2030?
Hopefully much better than Lebanon in 2020. I’m counting on our beautiful new generation’s energy. If given the chance, they will be able to run a great country. The Lebanese youth hopefully will stay positive. We are all working on great humanitarian initiatives that will help heal the country.