14 January, 2010

Stories V - Her name was Ursula

Taken on the 30th of June 2009, in Tripoli.

I was with Nour, my girlfriend. We were sitting in an open space in the ancient Tripoli Souk.
People started moving, looking, staring at the same place.
That women, dressed from head to toe in black, walking with chains and a lock on it appeared suddenly.
People's reaction was priceless. She walks fast, and provokes everybody staring for a long time, provokes anyone trying to make contact or trying to touch her.
She looked angry at some people. She didnt say a word though...
We were surprised.
A military man (photographed in the Clichés of Tripoli), tells us that this woman is seriously crazy/insane.
She's from Iranian origins.
He said that she wasn't always wearing this outfit.
That she's a very beautiful woman underneath...
I couldn't take a picture at the time.

After a couple of hours, walking in Tripoli, taking a picture of Nour behind the same background, she comes walking towards us. I jump on the occasion, and ask her if she would like to be photographed.
She doesn't say a word. She gets in the frame, she hugs Nour, starts caressing her back and hair in a weird manner. She seems to be smiling. I take pictures.
Nour gets out of the frame. And she looks at me, and give me this position.
I take the picture. I look at her with gratitude. She continues her way without saying a single word.

People who've seen me take a picture of her come to me "How the hell did she accept? She's a crazy person! She's violent when someone talks to her..."etc --> Everyone was very surprised of the kindness she was able to give us.

A couple of days later, we were driving in Jbeil, we see her on the road, waiting for the bus. We stop the car. She's behind us. We observe her from the mirrors of the cars for a good couple of minutes. A man, a taxi driver, knocks on my door. He asks us if we know her. We tell him we saw her before.
He's like 'I tried to offer her a ride, she kicked my car with her foot, who the hell is she? what is she???... '
We just say we don't know...
We get out of the car to say hello. She sees us. She remembered us right away. She's surprised. She screams. She hugs Nour very tightly. She tells me hello with enthusiasm.
Her eyes are colored. Her skin is very white. She really seems beautiful underneath...
She asks for our names, she tells us we're beautiful and cute together. I ask her if we can see her, in order to give her the pictures we took... she asks for our phone numbers. The bus comes. We give her our numbers, expecting hers in return, but she doesn't have any... she will be the one phoning us.
I ask her for her name. She says "Ursula".

Then again, a couple of days later, she phones us (always from different phone booths) a couple of times telling us she'd like to meet us because she has problems...
We finally set up a meeting with her. Same time and place, in Jbeil...
We get there on time. We wait for 30 minutes. She's not there. We go.
She calls me after a while. She was late. I tell her we cannot comeback, but we could set up a meeting again...
Ursula kept talking to me for around half an hour.
I am going to respect the conversation we had.
It was a lesson in life...

She never called again...

She said she wanted to fly.


  1. WoW elias !
    heda l shi ktir awe !
    we have to do a book 3an hal mara !

  2. wondering if this story was true...
    such an amazing composition (story & picture)

  3. Baccal: Its not that hard to believe... you go to Lebanon, Tripoli, and just ask :)
    She's known there...

    Thanks a lot :D

  4. Wow! That's quite eerie.
    Why wont you share the conversation you had? *curious*

  5. I think it would be very disrespectful to her.
    She did confide in me. She trusted me.
    And I am willing to respect that thought :)

  6. wow sounds like a character from a story... reality can be as interesting, i guess :)

  7. Beautiful, beautiful images & blog! Just came across it. Looking forward to more :) Keep it up!!

  8. Wonderful photographs. Thank you. Have they been gathered into a book? I would like to buy it.
    How does one contact you? There is no contact info on the site.


  9. Thanks a lot for that wonderful comment ! :)
    Unfortunately, they are not gathered in a book.

    You can contact me on elias.moubarak@hotmail.com

    Cheers ! :D

  10. so sad.
    sometimes--folks will just act as folks expect them to. part of me thinks she might be doing some sort of performance act--but --then you say she said-'she said she wanted to fly.'
    i perceive she must have suffered deeply in life.

  11. she did suffer a lot... this isn't an easy matter. When you expect so much more from life, I'm sure it's a suffocating environment to be in...

  12. i knew this woman, i've seen here many times here in Tripoli, and its a big surprise to know what you've done here... i wish we can know more about her and be able to help ...