Interview

Ayad Nasser, a dedicated man
By Janine Ayoub
January 11, 2017

A social activist, a green activist and a pro-active philanthropist. Ayad Nasser has the mission of defending the environment of the Cedars, without expecting anything in return.
His minimalist, modern and functional signature is far from unnoticed. Modern interiors, authentic parquet flooring, high ceilings - a view on traditional Lebanese houses - and most of all a touch of green.
Natalia is his main executing agent, she's in charge of designing his last baby. Coming straight from Bulgaria, she translates Ayad's vision through a new project that combines ecology and civic education. "I won't tell you anything else," he insists, betting on the surprise effect. We have to wait to learn more.
What we know till now is that Ayad is in the process of his activism as a citizen. "My dream is to see my project that started on a personal level go national. Our buildings are a sample of Lebanon. It's from our neighborhood that we begin to build our country and it's from this moment that the Lebanese will become aware of their roles as citizens," he explains.

 

The revelation

His biggest achievement? His two children, Nabil, 15 and Saria, 12. Today, some gray hues run through his hair but the man who tasted the American dream of the 90s has turned into a philanthropic activist. "You always have to speak out. Raise your voice. Otherwise, our cause does not succeed." Ayad Nasser does so. Very active on social networks, he addresses a disenchanted youth and shares his suffering. He talks to the head of state. His latest open letter to the newly elected President, General Michel Aoun, is full of optimism.

This child of the world has set himself the task of saving Lebanon. A superhero job that he takes seriously. Tense? Very organized and pragmatic, on the contrary.

Walid, his creative director, confirms this statement. "I was going to emigrate to Spain but one meeting with Ayad changed all my plans. I followed him on social media and "liked" his posts on the role we should play as citizens, on sharing, mutual help etc... One day I posted a comment, he simply replied and Invited me to attend the inauguration of Urban Dawn".

His encounter with Victoria on a plane will give him another reason to exist: climb the ladder of success while giving back to his country. Victoria Latysheva runs her own small business, Curator 990, and is the founder of Urban Dawn, which was created in Kazakhstan in 2015. He invited her to Lebanon and together they thought about how to transform the garbage crisis into an awareness event. If no one wants to remove the waste from the streets, why not color them, decorate them? Ayad Nasser decides to introduce the concept to the Lebanese public. The largest urban art exhibition in the region has received a panoply of international artists whose work contains the DNA of urban art and graffiti. Here, the world of art joins in the active education of positive evolution. Tripoli, Ouzai, Burj Hamoud, and soon Saida and Bekaa, the Lebanese quarters are covered with colors.

If we ask him where he will be in ten years, he will say, "in another life probably. I hope that I will have completed my mission." Fatalist? Perhaps. Resilient? Certainly.

For the rest of the interview, check our December 2016 issue.