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 echoes of time in the remnants of the Berlin Wall.

I’ve slept in a Beirut bomb shelter, Kyoto ryokan, geodesic dome in Patagonia, cave hotel in Cappadocia, kettuvallam in South India, Rajasthan haveli, glass pod hanging off a cliff in Peru, and 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 kangaroo satays, laal maas, fugu shirako, and alligator quiche.

I’ve enjoyed memorable cruises along the mighty Nile River, the serene Kerala Backwaters, and through the wilderness of Western Tasmania. I’ve 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, cuddling a koala, and witnessing a pride of lions feasting on a buffalo.

My adventures have included camping on the most glaciated mountain in the contiguous US and on 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 completed a century ride along the Pacific Coast Highway, snowboarded in the Rockies, and galloped on horseback in Colorado. I have tested my surfing skills in Mexico and mountaineering skills on the Cascade Volcanoes. I have scuba-dived in Florida and snorkeled along the Great Barrier Reef. I have also tried ziplining in Guatemala, 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.

I started taking pictures during my teenage years and acquired my first film camera, the Canon EOS Rebel G, in 1999 during my initial visit to the United States. The transition to a digital SLR, the Nikon D90, took place in 2009, and by 2015, I had adopted a full-frame Nikon D610. My primary gear includes two lenses – a 35mm and a wide-angle – and I employ uncomplicated post-processing methods for refining my images. It wasn’t until 2019 that I started shooting in Raw Format and delved into the world of Lightroom. More recently, my photographic pursuits have been captured through the lenses of a Canon 5D Mark III and a pocket-sized mirrorless camera, the Sony RX100 VII. Photography serves as a means for me to eternally encapsulate cherished memories, scrutinize the intricacies of the world surrounding me, and foster connections transcending cultural and linguistic barriers. Guided by my insatiable curiosity, I see my camera as not just an extension of my eye, but an extension of my heart. I try to wholly immerse myself in each environment and gain insights into diverse ways of life in order to capture the true essence of a place. A good photograph possesses the capacity to expand horizons and dismantle our preconceived notions about the world.