I’m a Lebanese American clinical psychologist, adventurer, and self-taught photographer. As a first-generation immigrant and the daughter of a Palestinian refugee, my journey began in the midst of a civil war in Lebanon. At the age of 22, I embarked on a new chapter, moving to California. Currently, I provide psychosocial rehabilitation services at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System while maintaining a part-time private practice. It’s a privilege to bear witness to people’s pain and guide them through their healing and growth. Beyond my work in mental health, I’m passionate about both sides of the camera lens. I thrive on physical challenges, seek remote destinations, and connect with people from diverse backgrounds. My passion lies in documenting the cultural and psychological aspects of the human condition. I’m deeply fascinated by traditional communities and counterculture, issues of identity and self-expression, and stories of resilience in the face of adversity. Cemeteries and abandoned places also hold a unique allure for me. My aim is to craft images that unveil our shared humanity, shatter stereotypes, and ignite inspiration for others to live authentically and fully.
I’ve explored 40 countries, and my ever-expanding bucket list keeps me on the move. Travel, for me, is an endless journey of discovering the planet’s breathtaking beauty and embracing its rich cultural diversity. It’s about getting lost in the thrill of adventure, pushing my limits, and gaining fresh perspectives.
My wanderlust has taken me to some of the most iconic religious centers – Christian, Judaic, and Hindu alike. I’ve marveled at the world’s largest religious monument and roamed through ancient Buddhist, Jain, Islamic, Roman, and Nabatean sites. I’ve shared moments with the Maasai and Karen tribes, tracing the human tapestry.
I’ve touched history, from the intricate carvings of the Alhambra to the delicate stone inlays of the Taj Mahal. I’ve run my fingers over bas-reliefs at the Temple of Horus and felt the remnants of the Berlin Wall beneath my fingertips.
My accommodations have ranged from a Beirut bomb shelter to a Kyoto ryokan, a geodesic dome in Patagonia to a cave hotel in Cappadocia, and even a glass pod hanging off a cliff in Peru. I’ve rested in a Rajasthan haveli, floated on a kettuvallam in Southern India, and found solace in a tiny house amidst a Hawaiian lava field.
I’ve shed tears at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, stood in solemn reflection at the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and embarked on a soul-searching plant medicine ceremony in the Andes. I’ve walked through Africa’s largest slum, experienced the poignant scent of burning bodies on the banks of the Ganga, and savored exotic dishes like laal maas, fugu shirako, and alligator quiche.
I’ve cruised the serene Kerala Backwaters and the mighty Nile River, floated weightlessly in the Dead Sea, and relaxed in Jamaica’s Blue Lagoon. I’ve indulged in the ritual of a hammam and basked in the tranquility of an onsen. I’ve had the incredible experience of bathing an elephant and witnessing a pride of lions feasting on a buffalo.
My adventures have included camping atop the most glaciated peak in the contiguous US and traversing the dunes of the Great Indian Desert. I’ve hiked the Inca Trail to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, completed the challenging Three Passes Trek of the Himalayas and W Circuit in Torres del Paine, and summited the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.
I have done a century ride along the Pacific Coast Highway, snowboarded in the Rockies, tested my surfing skills in Mexico, explored underwater realms through scuba diving in Florida, galloped on horseback in Colorado, and soared through the treetops with ziplining in Guatemala. I’ve also ventured into the skies with ultralight flying in Costa Rica, skydiving in California, and paragliding in Lebanon.
Of course, my travels haven’t been without their challenges – a sprained ankle at Burning Man, bedbug bites in Siem Reap, and a stolen purse in Paris have all been part of the journey. And it was only after immigrating, obtaining a PhD and working with the US Government that I could finally visit my father’s birthplace, a dream that was out of reach when I lived 80 miles away.